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Here’s the Plan, Man

Hi everyone and welcome to Elizabeth’s Bookstore! Every week, I post 2 reviews on books I read (and often the movie adaption as well). I also post a Let’s Talk, which can be about trips/tricks I’ve picked up on reading, my favorite authors/ genres, or even updates on my personal life/ blog. But I also want to throw in other ideas for content. This post is simply my master list of things I am trying out:

Weekly:

Tuesday: Review posted at 5 pm EST

Thursday: Review posted at 5 pm EST

Saturday: Let’s Talk posted at 10 am EST

Monthly:

First Friday of every month: Series review posted at 5 pm EST

Third Friday of every month: Once Upon a Book Club review/unboxing posted at 5 pm EST

Author series can/will cause changes in this schedule. Those changes will be addressed in the announcement prior to those series. You can also see me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog to see more announcements, or you can always email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks guys for helping this blog along the way, and I hope to see you all in the next book!

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 8/5/19-8/8/19

This book is super weird. It reminds me of The Municipalists and Supermarket in the writing style and overall oddity. I heard about this through Book of the Month (February 2019).

This one is hard to explain, so strap in, it will be a bumpy ride. There’s this dude, Charlie, who is really good at memorizing things. He gets picked to be the assistant to the most famous consul, Jack Logan. We are set in a time where humans hibernate for 8 weeks out of the year, and in order to save energy during those weeks, people take a drug called Morphenox that removes dreams. The catch? Taking the drug could make you a nightwalker, where you lose any touch of reality and instead walk around completely dazed. Charlie comes across a nightwalker while on official business with Logan. He subsequently loses the nightwalker to what he thinks is a farming scheme (where they impregnate female nightwalkers), and the leader of HiberTech comes across him. She tells Charlie to go to Sector 12, where there is a viral dream that has spread among people staying at the Sarah Siddons, a dormitory, on the ninth floor. When he finds himself inside the dream, he is trying to piece together what it could mean, and who he can trust to tell about it.

If you are confused, welcome to the club. There is A LOT to this story, so I don’t think I could really explain what happened if I tried. But take my word for it, it is incredibly intricate and crazy, but really good. I have never read anything by Fforde, nor will I probably read anything by him again (sorry), but I was surprised by how into it I was. The first time I tried to listen to this book, I wasn’t interested after about a half hour in. This time, I just said, screw it, let’s do it, and I got it done. It is slightly dark and confusing, but I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Going Blind

Hi Internet! Recently, I have been starting my posts by saying that I am going into this blind. That seems like a strange concept, even for me as I am writing it, so I wanted to explain why I choose to do that a lot of the time:

When you read a synopsis, the author is literally advertising their book. Every author wants to make money off this project they spent months and sometimes years of their lives on. For that reason, they will tell you all the good parts of their books that will draw people in without completely giving away their book. Even if those good parts are really far into the book. I have been burned by too many synopsi to read them before reading a book I already planned on reading.

When it comes to Once Upon a Book Club books, I already know I am going to put in the time to read them. I don’t want a spoiler for what happens 300 pages into a 450 page book, nor do I want to be sitting on the edge of my seat for a plot event that will happen late in a book. So I let the gifts take me through the book, knowing that the insane want for the gift will get me to read the book.

As for other books, I won’t read synopsi if it is for an author I like, a book that is important for the blog (*cough, cough* The Night Circus), or a book that has been getting a lot of hype. I would rather be surprised on my own time than for that moment to get spoiled. Also, since I have been running this blog, I have been telling you what happens in the story. I don’t want what the author thinks is important to affect what I think is important.

So, I don’t. I would rather go in blind. Fun fact: not as scary as that sounds.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/12/19-7/14/19

About a year ago, through Uppercase box (See Let’s Talk… Subscription Boxes for more information about their box. Side note: This subscription box no longer sends out book boxes. At the time of this switch, I was no longer a subscriber, but a quick Internet dig shows that their item store is open, but the subscription system is closed.), I got sent Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. The general premise sounded similar to something I read when I was a young’n (Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass), and I absolutely ended up loving the story. When I saw that Bennett had another book coming out soon, I immediately got the pre-order for Serious Moonlight. And then…. I got sent it. Whoops!

Since I am trying to declutter my mess of a room, I felt like it was finally time to pull out this box and read the book, so here goes nothing. I literally looked at nothing before jumping in, all I know is that reading a Bennett book is like the Hotel California, once you are in, you can’t leave.

Page 221

I am so happy with this book! She has a writing style that makes it hard for me to immediately get into a book. I felt the same way when I read Starry Eyes, and it took me a really long time to read the first 50 pages until my interest was grabbed. With that being said, the next 200 were so easy.

This book is about Birdie, an amateur detective, as she begins her new job at the Cascadia Hotel in downtown Seattle. When she starts, she learns she is working with Daniel, her ex-hookup. Daniel, in an effort to get closer to Birdie, tells her of the mystery of Raymond Darke, a thriller author who has never been pictured, but for whatever reason stays at the hotel every Tuesday night for about an hour. As they begin to investigate, their feelings begin to grow stronger, and the mystery continues to get more and more complex.

As for the gifts: the necklace is really cool. It definitely will be something that I hold on to. As for the nail decals (yes, that is what they are), they are cool, but I doubt I will ever use them. But hey, never say never.

Page 258

So technically, the gift is the “tarot card”, but I think the real gift is the luggage tag. You best believe the next time I have to check luggage, I am going to be whipping this bad boy out! While I understand the aspect of creating a gift that follows the words of the book, these types of gifts are my least favorite. They often feel like a cop out to me.

As for the story. We see Daniel open up more in this section. We also see how more vulnerable Birdie becomes as her feelings for Daniel grow. However, for the sake of keeping some mystery, I won’t be giving away much more plot details unless I know there will be more in the story.

Page 403

I have never read a Miss Marple mystery from Agatha Christie, so I am excited to take the plunge and read one! They did a good job of dressing the gift to fit the storyline of book!

As for the ending, I was surprised! Maybe I’m not a good detective, but I didn’t put all the clues together to discover the final gut-wrenching secret. I enjoyed the ending, but I felt like it was a little cliff-hanging, maybe that’s just me.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Enchantée by Gita Trelease

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/28/19-8/4/19

Welcome back to me cleaning out my room! Here is another OUABC for you guys! Similar to how I treat all of these books, I literally know nothing. I am going into this completely blind, so here goes nothing!

Page 44

Hmmmmmmm… okay, so I didn’t even read a synopsis about this book so I LITERALLY went into this with 0 expectations. I was expecting it to be a book that is all about magic, and while I still have a lot of book to go, I am still surprised how heavily historical this book feels. It seems really dense to me, and that may just be due to the writing style, but it took me a seriously long time to get to the first gift.

As for the gift, the picture might be a little bad, but it is a bookmark that has a note saying to read to page 89 to get the second half of the gift. Yes ladies and gentlemen, there is a gift within a gift (side note: that gift is in a shiny gold bag, and my princess of a puppy has stolen it from me 3 times so far, so either it is filled with puppy treats, or my puppy really likes shiny things)! So I will see you all in about 40 pages!

Page 89

Why hello! Another day, another gift. This book still has not aired out for me, and I am finding it difficult to read it. I am still hopeful that the farther I go, the easier it will be to read, but I just am not there yet. This book follows Camille, a young girl from Paris (her age is never given, but I would expect that she is 17/18) who is trying to take care of her sister, Sophie, while dealing with a drunkard as a brother. She meets a boy named, Lazare, who seems to be an inventor/ adventurer, and they are flirting with each other, while neither is sure how the other feels. When Camille realizes that she can use her talent for magie to potentially win rent money after her brother robs them blind, she decides to take her gift to Versailles, with the hope of winning some real money.

As for the gift, I was extremely disappointed to discover that this gift doesn’t attach to the chain from the previous gift. Unless I managed to do that completely wrong. The picture is of a woman holding a baby, and yes, it easily came out. The actual gift is a little locket that has little fake diamonds surrounding it.

Page 180

Man… this book is going to be a rough one for me. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am trying to prep a different book, I probably would be cheating and listening on Audible. I just can’t stay in it, I find myself so easily distracted and it isn’t getting easier for me.

As for the storyline, we have learned that her mother had a magical trunk full of items that can change her appearance to look more noble. She uses that look to get into Versailles, where she meets a young man, Chandon, and his group of friends at a gambling table. Though she loses her first meeting, she gets invited to play again, where she does relatively well thanks to her magie. She learns that Chandon is also magie, and he warns her that she needs to be more careful about using magie to change cards to make it look less obvious. Camille also visits Lazare’s workshop full of his hot air balloon plans, and he promises to show her a secret whenever he is ready, which is a ride on his hot air balloon. We open the gift as she explains her successes at Versailles.

I LOVE THIS GIFT! Oh man, it is so pretty, and grown-up, and sparkly, and I will definitely be using it in my adult life!

Page 360

And we found the cop-out gift of the box! I thought for sure there was more in the package, but I was sadly disappointed. However, there are 4 other gifts in this box, which is higher than usual, so I shouldn’t complain.

As for the story, I FINALLY got to a point where I can read this book for longer than 10 minutes at a time! Still not my favorite book, and it still is really dense, but I am getting things done (after watching the entire new season of Queer Eye because I am not a monster).

Since we last talked, Camille has learned that Seguin, who is one of the noblemen from Versailles, is also magie. He, however, is only interested in producing as much chaos as possible with his magic, which is concerning because he is attaching himself to Sophie. We also learn that Lazare is an aristocrat, who also hangs out with the same group of friends that Camille has met. He seems to have an attraction to Camille when she is hidden by magic, causing her to struggle between whether he likes her or her magical self more. We also learn that Lazare and his other aeronauts are struggling to get the funding they need for their balloon expeditions, which weighs heavy on Camille’s heart.

Page 392

Wow, I have gotten so many shiny things in this box! Since we are incredibly far in this book, I am not going to be telling you plot details, but this gift is a very shiny broach that I probably will never wear!

Conclusion

The last 100-150 pages were fast-paced and easy to read, though some of the French I had to look up. Just wished the first 250-300 pages were the same pace. I probably won’t end up reading the sequel to this book, but hey, to each their own. Based on my own personal preferences, I would rate this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/21/19-7/23/19

Surprise OUABC? I’m still desperately trying to get rid of all the boxes in my room, so these will still (probably) be thrown in with other reviews!

As for this book, I don’t know much, as I normally do when I jump into these OUABC books. I do know that this box is a specialty box for Valentine’s Day, so I am assuming that there will be a romance of some kind. So I figure we’ll just jump in and get it read!

Page 59

I am already feeling like I am going to like this one! It is similar to other books I have read on here (*cough, cough* Dream Factory by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler) and I am excited to keep going! Also, I obviously ordered this months ago and I can’t remember them asking for my size, but it actually is a size I can wear, which normally doesn’t happen, so I’m excited. (P.S. this is a t-shirt, the picture doesn’t really show that) (Side note: after making this post, I had gone onto the OUABC page (for a completely different reason) and saw that they did ask for your t-shirt size)

This book is about Charlotte and Ginny, identical twin sisters who come from a line of pageant queens. Charlotte has 0 intention of being a pageant queen, and is instead an elementary school librarian who is there to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. However, Ginny gets an allergic reaction, and Charlotte is debating whether she should take place in the preliminary parts of the pageant in order for her sister to qualify for the finals, since this is the last year she could qualify. Also, there’s a cute boy.

Page 173

I was getting real nervous for this one. That was a very small box for an ice bucket, but hey, it all worked out! Also, fun fact, a great way to stop a puppy fight is to try and convince them to put an ice bucket on their heads. Also, they won’t do it.

As for the story, Charlotte takes on the role of contestant for her sister. Turns out that the cute boy who also loves literature (is that even possible?) is also the judge for the pageant. And our girl Charlotte is falling hard. As for the pageant, Charlotte is finding herself making friends and doing well? But sometimes it is hard to distinguish herself from her sister, which could make the fling with Gray (cute boy) a little dicey.

Page 201

Ummmm… I literally do not own anything to go with this headpiece. Also, even if I do, I doubt I could pull this off. But, hey, maybe this could be my calling and I really could pull this off!

As for the story, we just watched the preliminary talent portion, and Charlotte won!

Page 215

Since I started this book, I was sure that I was going to get some type of alcohol, specifically wine. When I got to the point where I opened this gift, I thought that I was a magician because I was sure I was going to get champagne. Sadly, there is no alcohol in this box, but there is a champagne flute, so there is that.

Book wise, we learn that Ginny is going to continue the lie with their parents, and this gift came from Gray. So yea, don’t have much for you!

Completion

I’m going to say meh, and I am pretty sure that the only reason is because I am currently also reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I literally listened to that book all day. Since that book is also about a set of twins and it features a love story, I found myself comparing the two for the last 50 pages. Which I know, isn’t fair. But I did it.

As for the book, it definitely played as a rom com movie. I read it super fast and I really enjoyed reading it.

I would probably give this book 3.5/4 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s Talk… Riley Sager

A mini-author post, coming at you! Okay, so normally I would read everything written by the author, but this isn’t a normal situation. Riley Sager is the pseudonym of of Todd Ritter (author of Death Notice, Vicious Circle, Bad Moon, and Devil’s Night), an author whom I have never had the pleasure to read. He has listed on his Goodreads that the reason for using the pseudonym was due to publishing issues under his actual name.

I first heard about Sager through Book of the Month. In my third month with the program, The Last Time I Lied was given as an option. I did not choose it, but I did purchase it from Amazon with the expectation to read it at my first chance. In my July 2019 box, I chose Lock Every Door. Realizing that the only book by Sager I didn’t own was Final Girls, I immediately purchased it, and then because I literally own 0 self control, I bought both books on Audible.

When it comes to his style, I have noticed that he chooses characters that suffer “survivor guilt”. In Final Girls, each girl is the survivor of a terrible massacre that is heavily perpetuated in the media. In The Last Time I Lied, Emma is the lone survivor of a cabin in the woods when everyone disappears. And finally, in Lock Every Door, Jules is the lone survivor of her family.He also uses this survivor guilt to heavily influence the thought process throughout the plot.

He also likes to throw up smoke screens in his stories. While that can be a great tactic, he sometimes overuses it to the point where you can detect it. And when the happens, it takes away from the overall story. He also finds ways to surprise you at the end that leave you completely stunned. He clearly has found his niche in the thriller genre.

As of August 2nd, 2019, he does not have a next list date for his next book, but he seems to be releasing books every July. I will definitely be looking out to see when his next book comes out!

Side note: According to his Goodreads, Final Girls has been optioned for a movie, and The Last Time I Lied has been optioned for a limited series. Quick searches show that other than purchasing the rights, little has been done to get either project off the ground.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 8/1/19-8/2/19

Eww….. I have the heebie jeebies just thinking of making this post. This book is so incredibly good and dark and intriguing and fun to read. I would recommend it for anyone who likes the feeling of “wtf”.

We follow our girl, Jules, as she is recovering from one of the lowest moments in her life. After losing her job, boyfriend, and apartment, Jules takes an apartment sitter job at the famous Bartholomew in New York City. Upon taking the job, she learns that she is forced to stay in her apartment every night, no one is allowed to visit, and she has to hide the fact she is staying there. Chalking it up to privacy for the famous residents in the building, Jules thinks nothing of it.

She meets her fellow apartment sitter, Ingrid, where she learns that the girl before her left unexpectedly in the middle of the night to end her tenure. After finding out this information from Ingrid, Ingrid disappears in the middle of the night. As Jules begins investigating and piecing together Ingrid’s sudden disappearance, conspiracy theories began to lead her down a rabbit hole.

I had 2 theories as I read this book. The first theory, which I proposed on page 130 (yes I did use Post-It notes, come at me) ended up correct. The second theory, made on page 162 was TECHNICALLY incorrect, but was also correct. I am unsure if I was able to guess this hypotheses because I am a lover of the genre, or if that information was semi-blatant. Whatever the case may be, I was able to guess bits and pieces of what would eventually be the conclusion, but I was nowhere near able to actually guess the ending.

This book also had the added effect of tapping into one of my movie fears, so there is that. It is almost creepy in the story, unlike his others which felt more thrilling. I would give it 4.75 out of 5 stars.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!