Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira – 2.5 stars
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro – 3.5 stars
The Chasm by S. Usher Evans – 3.5 stars
Smash & Grab by Amy Christine Parker – 3.5 stars
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys – 4 stars
Nerve by Jeanne Ryan – 3 stars
Bookishly Ever After was full of potential but unfortunately ended up disappointing me. I thought that Bookishly Ever After was cute but unnecessarily long. The romance was drawn out with unnecessary drama and miscommunications. I think others will enjoy it, but this one was just not for me. Full review here.
A Study in Charlotte is the story of the great-great-grandchildren of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes go to the same boarding school and become friends once copy-cat murders of the original Holmes’ cases start happening on campus. Wrongly framed for these crimes, the two team up to try to solve the case. While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t love it. I liked the relationship between Jamie and Charlotte, and I liked Jamie’s narrative (which was very funny). The mystery was okay, but something was off for me. I think it might’ve been a little too slow for me? Regardless, I do look forward to reading the sequel.
The Chasm is the second book in the Madion War trilogy and it picks up four months after the end of The Island. While reading The Island, something just felt a little off to me. I still do not really know what it was exactly, but whatever is was, it disappeared in The Chasm and I ended up being able to connect to the characters more. Another reason I think I ended up enjoying the sequel more, was because Theo and Galian were separated most of the book so there were two different storylines and more action to follow. I look forward to reading the conclusion to the Madion War trilogy, The Union, next year! Full review here.
I’m a huge fan of heist novels, so I had high expectations for Smash & Grab. While Smash & Grab didn’t quite reach my expectations, it was still a fun and enjoyable read. There was a lot of set up in the beginning to establish characters and motives. The actual action for the heist didn’t pick up until a little over half way through the book. Due to this, it took a while for me to really get into the story. However, once the action started to pick up, I was engaged. The ending was predictable but still satisfying. Full review here.
When I heard about Ruta Sepetys’ latest work, Salt to the Sea, I was instantly curious. Like many others, I had not heard of the Wilhelm Gustloff disaster before (there’s a reason why it’s known as The Forgotten/Unknown Tragedy). Salt to the Sea is the story of how four teens—Joana, Florian, Emilia, and Alfred—come to board the Wilhelm Gustloff, one of the greatest and most unknown maritime tragedies. Each chapter only consists of a few pages and switches off between the four main characters. At first I disliked like this layout, but as I got farther along in the book, I enjoyed the quickness that this format provided. The beginning is slow, but the ending makes up for it. I will definitely be reading Between Shades of Gray in the future. Full review here.
I read Nerve solely in preparation for the movie. The book was an okay read, but I ended up enjoying the movie more. The book’s dares were a little lackluster and some of the characters were annoying at times. For the most part, the movie made changes that raised the stakes for all of the characters involved, which made it more fast-paced and definitely INTENSE. I think the actors did a great job portraying the different characters and were able to stay true to them at their core. Full book-to-movie comparison here.