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!

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!

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!

Final Girls by Riley Sager

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 7/29/19-7/31/19

About 4 months ago, I read my first book by Riley Sager, called The Last Time I Lied. I has originally heard about that book through Book of the Month (which I know I am completely slacking on putting out BOTM reviews out, and I am hoping to be better, especially because this months picks are REALLY good), and I finally picked it up (before my dog ate the book, true story) and read it. I grew up on authors like Agatha Christie and Mary Higgins Clark, so I enjoyed Sager’s novel.

When July’s selection for BOTM included another novel by Sager (Lock Every Door), I immediately clicked for it to be the book I choose. Quick researched showed that Sager had only written one other book, this one. So I hopped on Amazon, got a copy, and here we are. Since I already have a review up for The Last Time I Lied, I figured I would do a mini-author series, so welcome to Riley Sager week!

In this story, Quincy Carpenter is the lone survivor of a knife attack that killed 5? others (when I piece together the list of names from those nights, I only count 5, but I currently don’t have the book with me to confirm that fact). In the media, Quincy along with the 2 other girls who have been the lone survivors in massacres, Samantha Boyd and Lisa Milner, are called the Final Girls. Lisa chose to use her experience as a way to help others, becoming a child psychiatrist. Samantha chose to hide, disappearing from the public eye a few years after Quincy’s attack. And Quincy chose to live, creating a baking blog, moving in with her long time boyfriend, Jeff, and checking in with the original police officer that found her after her massacre, Coop.

When Lisa’s body is discovered in her Indiana home, original evidence suggests suicide. In an effort to quench her guilt, Samantha shows up outside Quincy’s home, with the hope of them getting to know each other. But Samantha is a bad influence, and the farther into their friendship, the more complicated Quincy’s “perfect” life becomes.

I was about halfway into this book when I had a conversation with a friend about it. I was telling them that this girl was obviously the bad guy, which makes me think that she is a red herring. Talking more, I put the blame on Jeff, on Coop, even on Quincy, but I surely was not expecting the actual result. The ending was so surprising, while also thrilling, and I could not wait to finish this book.

The number of days might be a surprise for you. That number had nothing to do with the quality of the book and more the amount of things on my plate. But I literally threw everything aside in order to finish the book when I got home from work, so it is THAT level good.

I would give the book 4.5 out of 5 (due to the extreme emphasis on Samantha being the bad guy, essentially giving away that she isn’t his top pick for the actual bad guy) stars, and I genuinely would recommend this book for mystery/ thriller lovers. Side note: this book gave me nightmares, which is HUGE compliments.

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!

Caraval Trilogy by Stephanie Garber

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 7/15/19-7/20/19

Caraval was a book that had been sitting on my TBR pile for a while. I had seen it on Goodreads and was interested mainly for the cover (I know, I know, the cliché is real) because I couldn’t tell you any part of the synopsis. In a moment of weakness, I purchased the books on Audible, and then in a more pressing moment of weakness, bought the books on Kindle. Figuring that I had busy days at work that required me to be by myself A LOT (aka more reading time) and a day off, I figured this is the week to GET IT DONE! And here we are!

Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.

Book 1: Caraval

The story begins in Trisda as Scarlett Dragda (plus guest) and Donatella (Tella) Dragda get invited to Caraval. A sailor, named Julien, took Scarlett and Tella to the Caraval island, dropping Tella off first before he came back for Scarlett. Scarlett, with the help of Julien, gets into the Caraval game. Given only 5 nights (during the day, the doors to the hotel are locked and everything is turned off), she must find her sister who seems to have been kidnapped. But every chance at help comes at a price, and everything is not always what it seems. Every time Scarlett thinks she has figured it out, another twist in the road comes into play, making finding Tella more and more difficult. Will she find her? And more importantly, will she find herself in the process?

Book 2: Legendary

Tella is reeling from her experience at Caraval. Soon after the after celebration, news spreads that there will be another Caraval in a few weeks in Valenda, the capital of the Meridian Empire. Unlike the first Caraval, everything reminds the players that everything that happens in this game are completely real and have real-life consequences. So I didn’t mention him in the synopsis of the first book because he didn’t play THAT big of a part in it, but there is this performer, Dante. He ends up convincing the people at the hotel that Tella is the empress’ heir’s fianceé, so she gets a special room. Turns out, that heir is the Prince of Hearts, a Fate who is has the power of killing someone with a kiss. He strikes a deal with Tella that he will give her her mother in exchange for the Caraval prize, Legend. But as the game progresses, Tella begins to fall for Dante, causing her to be put between a rock and a hard place between her fianceé and her love.

Book 3: Finale

This one is hard to explain, so bear with me. Okay, so this story is told from both Donatella’s and Scarlett’s POV. Now that the Fates are released into the world, Tella and Scar must find a way to remove their powers in order to save humanity (and Legend). Both Tella and Scarlett are caught up in their individual love stories, which continues to get more and more complicated as their individual plots deepen. For Scarlett, that means discovering the Fallen Star (aka the maker of all the Fates) is her father, and then having to try and find a way to follow his plans to then kill him. For Tella, it means getting caught between the obsession from Legend and the obsession from the Prince of Hearts, when really all she wants is love, WHILE also trying to protect her sister. Yea, if you haven’t figured it out, it is kinda a mess and a lot of the time I felt like:

Image result for always sunny solving meme

The Series

As for my personal feelings, I enjoyed Caraval, the book. I thought it was a cool idea and while I saw a lot of people on Goodreads say it was similar to other books (I specifically saw Hunger Games, the Lunar Chronicles (which I haven’t read yet, but own, so I’m not sure how true that is), and The Night Circus (which I purchased because I wanted to see the connection that people listed)), which is up for interpretation. Whatever the first book may be like, the second book is basically a carbon copy of the first book except it was now in Tella’s POV. The third book was so incredibly convoluted and un-directional that I found myself thinking we were going one way for ANOTHER twist to magically be added. I am glad I read the first book, but I could have lived without the rest of the trilogy. As a whole, I would list the Caraval trilogy as 2 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!