Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

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.

The book is originally called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. When it came over to America, the title was changed. Since I am American, I will be using the Americanized version in my review.

When the Potters were attacked, only baby Harry Potter survived. Albus Dumbledore decided that the best place to put baby Harry is with his Aunt Petunia Dursley and her husband and son, a family of non-magical “muggles”. In the lead up to Harry’s 11th birthday, letters begin to arrive from a mysterious sender, and ignoring them only seems to increase the amount sent. Finally, on his 11th birthday, Harry gets a surprise visit from Hagrid, a half-giant who informs Harry that he’s a wizard and invited to attend Hogwarts, a school for witches and wizards.

After obtaining all of the materials and books he needs for his first year, Harry gets on the Hogwarts Express. He meets Ron Weasley, a fellow first year. They quickly become friends and once they are both sorted into Gryffindor, their friendship is cemented. They meet a fellow Gryffindor first year named Hermione, whom they joke about because she is incredibly smart and overly attentive in class. When Ron says something mean and Hermione overhears, she runs to a girl’s bathroom, one that just happens to be attacked by a troll. After Harry and Ron save her, the three become a unit.

When they are out of bed after hours, they accidentally run into a restricted part of the castle. There they find a 3 headed dog that is guarding a trapdoor. When talking to Hagrid about it, the name Nicholas Flamel comes up. During the winter holidays, Harry and Ron stay at Hogwarts. As a present, Harry gets an invisibility cloak. Planning on using it to investigate the Restricted Section of the Library for the name Nicholas Flamel, Harry finds the Mirror of Erised, a mirror that shows you what you really want.

When they figure out who Nicholas Flamel is after a Chocolate Frog, they learn that the thing being guarded is the Sorcerer’s Stone. They also learn that two of their professors, Professor Snape and Professor Quirrell, have been arguing with each other in relation to the stone. When things begin to get dicey, Harry feels like he has to obtain the stone in order to prevent the stone from getting in the wrong hands.

We spend a lot of this book learning about what is going on within the wizarding world, so it has quite a bit of background. It is the shortest of all the books, so there are a lot of times where it feels like not much happened, especially compared to the later books. I think that it is a great first book and stand-alone, but it seems lackluster once you read the rest of the series. I think I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Compared to the Movie

The movie is relatively accurate when compared to the book. Once of the biggest changes is how the kids find the room with the trapdoor. In the book, Harry and Malfoy were supposed to duel, but the staircase changes in the movie and that’s how they find it. Also, in the book, the kids give Norbert to Bill, but in the movie, it is glossed over. All-in-all, the movie did a very good job of sticking to the book. The acting was a little stiff, but the special effects in the movie were honestly not that bad.

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 Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Over the past few years, J.K. Rowling has made statements that are TERF, or against the trans community (especially towards male-to-female). These statements are completely against the thoughts and ideas of the creator of this blog. I have been and always will be an ally for any member of the LGBTQIA+ community. You exist, and you are valid. If you are struggling and need to talk to a counselor, there are many resources available at thetrevorproject.org.

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 12/10/21-12/24/21

How I Found It: Childhood/ Pop Culture

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.

Why hello everyone! To give you guys some context on my relationship with these books, I’m going to start by saying that I was about 1.5 years old when the first book was published. I was 11.5 years old when the final book was published. Actually, I remember going to a release party for Deathly Hallows in my hometown bookstore where I had butterbeer for the first time and within minutes of getting in the car, my friend read the epilogue of the book and spoiled the ending of the book for us. When I was 13, my dad told me that I could not read adult books if I couldn’t read these books. So as a dutiful daughter, I got to the 7th book and gave up almost 200 pages from the end. I have seen all of the movies multiple times (in large part because apparently they are Christmas movies now) and have even seen the Fantastic Beasts movies when they come out in theaters. But the fact that I never finished reading the 7th book has always been a weight on my shoulders, and something that I wanted to remedy. Almost 2 years ago, having started a blog where I give my opinions on books, I planned to read the books. And with all best laid intentions, I picked up the first book and brought it downstairs and never cracked it open.

The next question I am sure that you are wondering is why now? Well, we have officially reached 20 years since the first movie came out, and in order to honor that, the Harry Potter actors have come together for a reunion to talk about their time in the universe. And as I was trying to figure out what my next book was going to be, there was a huge draw to the series for me. After about 2 weeks, I have officially completed something I have wanted to do for a very long time, read the series that was supposed to be a gateway into adult fiction.

Firstly, it is hard to find fault in a series that has played such a big part in popular culture. With that being said, one of the most disappointing parts of this series is the lack of representation. Not only is there is no explicit LGBTQIA+ characters, but there is little representation of non-white characters, as well as terrible treatment of characters who are overweight.

Secondly, if you are someone who has only seen the movies, you are missing a very large part of the series. The most common thing across the board that is missing from the movies is the ghosts. They are introduced, but are not used, especially as we get later into the movies. Peeves, who isn’t introduced in the movies, plays a part in all of the books even into the 7th book.

And thirdly, the first 3 books are an easily digestible, but the fourth book is when the amount of pages almost doubles. It is actually kinda hysterical when you look at the size of the first 3 compared to the sizes of the last 4. If you have a hard time staying engrossed in longer books, the end of the series is a huge deterrent.

As a series, I would rate the overall series as a 4.75 out of 5 stars. There is definitely some part of that score that is purely due to my childhood memories, but I also think that this is a very well written series overall.

If you would like to see my individual posts on the books and other random Harry Potter topics, check out the links below!

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!

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 12/23/20

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club/ Book of the Month

The 3×5 print from the Christmas 2020 box

Hello friends and happy holidays! Before I go into this book, I want to stress that I know nothing about this book. I am going into this book with you guys as well, so let’s jump in and I will see you all at the first present!

Page 144

“Mom pulls her hair back into a bun, slips on her Mrs. Claus apron, and takes the wooden spoon from my hand, wordlessly telling me that she’ll take it from here.”

In a Holidaze, page 144

In a cabin in Utah, Mae struggles to understand how she ended up making out with her family friend, Theo, especially when she has a huge crush on his brother, Andrew. When she learns that this may be her last trip to the Utah cabin, Mae finds herself wishing for the opportunity to be happy. Suddenly, a car crash derails her, and she wakes up on the flight leading to the exact same trip she just finished. With a bit of a Groundhog Day feeling (says from someone who has never seen Groundhog Day), Mae continues to relive her trip until she reaches happiness.

As for the apron, it is a little on the cheaper side, but I have someone who absolutely loves aprons, so I will be sure to get this one to her the second that the pandemic lets up!

Page 164

“‘Dude.’ He points upward. ‘You two are under the mistletoe.'”

In a Holidaze, page 164

Okay, I am not a mistletoe person, at all. I personally think this is a really dumb tradition. But I do appreciate that this is plastic so that it can be used over and over for Christmases to come!

Page 281

“In my sketch, the figure is easily in his eighties, but clearly Andrew…. We’re sitting on the porch swing of the cabin, side by side, fingers interlaced….”

In a Holidaze, page 281

I was terrified that this was going to be a close up on people. If you know anything about me, then you know that receiving portraits of people that I don’t know is the same as inviting a ghost into my house. So I am incredibly happy that this picture is 1) not creepy and 2) not the main gift that they are trying to give us. Also, I love this frame! I can’t wait to put pictures of my nephew in this!

Page 285

“I lift my foot, pick the item off the bottom, and study the silver object.”

In a Holidaze, page 285

Fun fact about Papa Slick: he is obsessed with this type of Hershey’s Kisses. When we enter December, almost every year, he will buy 3 packs of the Candy Cane kisses, and would take handfuls of these up to his office. Truly, I grew up on these, so I am so incredibly excited by this gift.

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!

December Update!

Hello everyone! I wanted to give you an update on things from my end.

  1. You will see 2 different advent calendars from me. The first one is the Once Upon a Book Club Advent Calendar from 2020. For the 3rd year in a row, the advent calendar for this year has yet to ship, so I will not be posting the gifts from the 2021 advent calendar until next year. The second advent calendar is the Owlcrate Owl-mas calendar. This is the 2021 advent calendar, which means I will be updating you all as I open gifts. With that being said, I still have to work and do other things, so there will not be a distinct time for when those will be uploaded. I will do my best to post those that day, but again, life happens.
  2. Starting Christmas Day, I will be posting my review on the Harry Potter series. I have wanted to review the series for YEARS, but never had the drive to make it happen. It seems like that is finally going to happen during the week between Christmas and New Year. I will be posting a disclaimer on all of those reviews that I feel the need to explain. In June of 2020, J.K. Rowling, who is the author of the Harry Potter series, released a series of tweets about the transsexual community. In these tweets, she took offense to the tem “people who menstruate”, a term she believes should just be “woman”. Following a series of tweets, she tried to explain that she supports the trans community, but the initial tweet shows that she is either lying or ignorant. There are many people who do not identify as “woman” who menstruate, and they do not deserve to be ignored. For that reason, I am going to be putting a disclaimer above every post related to the HP series that this blog is an ally for the trans community.
  3. I will be posting reviews for series every month for the year 2022 (I hope). I currently have 3 months of series reviews ready to go, but I do want to hear your thoughts on books you would like to see!

Thank you guys for the support and I hope you all have a great end to your 2021!

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 10/13/21-10/15/21

How I Found It: Book of the Month

Trigger Warning: This book includes instances of rape, criminal trials, and police corruption. If these are triggers for you, read at your own discretion.

Rachel has a podcast called Guilty or Not Guilty that focuses on a true crime where she breaks down the evidence to figure out whether the suspect is guilty or not guilty. She travels to Neapolis, North Carolina for her subject of season 3, a rape trial between a future Olympian and the granddaughter of the former chief of police. She continues to post podcast episodes throughout the trial, giving her audience the chance to be in the jury box.

On her way to Neapolis, Rachel discovers a letter from a fan, Hannah, who asks for Rachel to look into her sister’s, Jenny’s, death. While the official report is that Jenny died from an accidental drowning, Hannah is sure that is a lie. Telling her story over a series of letters, Hannah slowly lets Rachel in on Jenny’s death and why she thinks that Jenny died under suspicious instances.

Following a present rape trial while we follow the death of another rape victim, we slowly begin to investigate who is guilty, and how history repeats itself.

As I was looking through my TBR pile, this was the book that I gravitated to the most. There is something so modern and cool about following a podcast in a book. While I am aware that she chose to follow a rape case because she wanted as much attention as she could get, there is something that feels uncomfortable about the whole guilty or not guilty thing. Considering how difficult it is for women to be believed in sexual assault trials anyway, I don’t like the idea of basically saying “do you believe her or not?”. It just doesn’t sit well with me.

I do like the idea of Hannah’s storyline, but I don’t like that we don’t meet her until the end of the novel. It just feels like a really weird resolution that totally could have happened earlier in the novel. They also totally could have met before the final scene. It almost seemed like overkill.

Ultimately, I enjoyed this novel. I think I had slightly higher expectations, but it was a solid novel nonetheless. Overall, I would give this a 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!

56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 10/12/21-10/13/21

How I Found It: Book of the Month

Trigger Warning: This book has instances of murder of a child, a murderer who is a child, manipulation, death (including decay), gore, and suicide. If any of these are triggers for you, please read at your discretion.

Ciara meets Oliver at a grocery store and go for coffee. They connect over their love of space travel, and quickly their connection leads to dates. Both of them feel like secrets are hovering over their relationship, but neither is willing to give in to what they know. When the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down Ireland, they decided to move in together for the 2-week lockdown, hoping that their secrets would stay out of the apartment. But as things go on, their secrets become stifling, and they have to make the hard decisions in order to keep each other.

56 days later, a body is found in the apartment. In an advanced stage of decay, the police can’t decipher who the victim is and whether it was a result of murder or an accident. They discover that the resident of the apartment is Oliver St. Ledger, a former child murderer. As they investigate, Lead Investigator Lee has a gut feeling that something more happened here, but she has no evidence to prove it.

As we switch between the past and the present, we slowly begin to unravel what happened in that apartment and relationship. But will justice be served?

This is the first book that I have read where the story is actually set during the pandemic. There are some authors who have claimed that they will never write a book in the pandemic times, but I think that the pandemic really opens up the mystery/thriller genre. Since so much of the pandemic feels like a horror movie, I hope that more thriller writers will write about this time in the future. I also am surprised that we haven’t had more adventure novels out since we have been stuck inside with only the opportunity to do nature activities instead of traveling. I feel like there are so many possibilities with the pandemic, and since there are so few books that are set in this time, each one will be so unique.

Anyway, this book is so brilliantly written. From the get-go, Howard sprinkles a little bit of doubt, then slowly regains control of the situation so that she can blow it up at the perfect time. It was so fun to read, and I cannot encourage you enough to pick it up and read it for yourself! I am going to go with 4.5 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!

Not a Happy Family by Shari Lapena

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 10/11/21

How I Found It: Book of the Month

Trigger Warning: This book includes instances of murder, gore, manipulation, police investigation, poisoning, stalking, financial crime, and miscellaneous other crime. If any of these are triggers for you, please read at your own discretion.

The 3 children and their partners attend Easter dinner. When there, they learn that their parents are selling the house, which Catherine dreamed of inheriting. Their father also went on a tirade, belittling both Dan and Jenna as well. They storm out of the house, but each of them have a gnawing feeling over the day’s events. Days later, the parents are found brutally murdered, and none of the children have an alibi for Sunday night. As we follow the investigation, we have to ask what we would do for our family, would we ever cover up a crime for the people we love?

I like that we get bits and pieces of the motives and what could have been used for the murder bit by bit. It does really add to the mystery to have little hints that something important was kept from everyone, not just us. I personally found the Audrey storyline really annoying, but I think it would have been less annoying if she was actually the detective. I think following the detective in this story would have been really cool since they knew about as much as we did anyway.

I do like the psychological torture element for the partners. It does add a lot of ambiance to the mystery aspect of the story. I kinda wish that Jenna had a more established partner, since Jake always was a peripheral character.

Spoiler Alert: I will say that the murderer is pretty obvious in hindsight. It’s almost like we were so pushed towards the other two siblings that we almost ignored the murderer throughout the book. I almost wish the book led us to Rose as the killer since she was such a surprise. But I also see how she was used as a red herring, which was also a really cool idea. I think Ellen would also be a really cool killer in this case, too.

I think that this is a really cool story that definitely had me invested from the beginning. There are things that I wish happened that didn’t, but overall, I would give it a solid 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!

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

How I Read It: Audiobook/Print

Dates Read: 10/15/21-10/16/21

How I Found It: Book of the Month

When Maggie was a child, she lived in a house called Banberry Hall for 20 days. Her father (with support from her mother) wrote a true story memoir called House of Horrors, claiming that the reason the family left was because the house was haunted by the former residents. When her father dies, she gains full ownership of the house. Since she works as an interior designer, she wanted to go and refurbish the house in order to hopefully gain a bigger profit, but more importantly gain closure over this time she doesn’t remember.

Upon coming back to Banberry Hall, Maggie immediately learned that everyone in the town hates the book. She begins to investigate the clues that were left from her family’s time in the house. As she finds more and more evidence that confirms the events of the book, she begins to believe that maybe her father didn’t make it all up. Flipping between the House of Horrors book and Maggie’s adult experience in the house, we follow a journey towards discovering what is really haunting the house once and for all.

I was listening to this book while working and let me tell you, that was a mistake. I have talked about it previously, but I am not a paranormal person. Due to a childhood trauma, paranormal/ haunted tropes get to me more than I think any other. Give me gore and I’m fine; give me a ghost and I’m running screaming. As my coworkers slowly trickled out of the building, I became one of the last people at work. One of my coworkers, who is the sweetest grandmotherly-type person, often brings me chocolate at the end of the day, thinking that I would need the little bit of sugar to get through the rest of my shift. With no warning to her presence, I turned around and she was right there. I swear I almost pooped my pants. Lessons learned, not a good idea. But it created a memory that I am always going to associate with this book, which is always one of my favorite parts of reading. There is something so magical about that.

Anyway, I totally didn’t see the ending coming. I think that it is very humanizing, but I think that the book would almost been better if it didn’t come together with a perfect bow. I think that would have made it completely unique. In the same vain, I also see why we needed closure for who the ghosts are. It’s a really hard line to cross, and I also am very introspective today about books, so ignore me, I’m being weird.

OOOOOOOhhhhhhh, I almost forgot. I hate the title of this book. Where did it even come from? It 1) was not said at all during the book and 2) was not even implied in the book. Let’s be honest, I don’t know what I would have called this book, but I also hate when titles do not match the content of the book. Again, that’s a personal feeling, but it is something that bugged me when I finished it.

I think this book is good, but I personally would give it a 3 out of 5 stars. Trying to think in a non-biased viewpoint, I would probably bump it up to a 3.5 or 3.75. I would say that it is good, but I also don’t think it is as good as Sager’s other books.

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!

We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Print

Dates Read: 10/8/21-10/10/21

How I Found It: Book of the Month

Trigger Warning: This book has moments that feature rape, sexual assault, murder, body dumping, manipulation, car accidents, and panic attacks. If any of these are triggers for you, please read at your own discretion.

Emily and Kristin are backpacking through Chile when they meet a Spanish backpacker. Kristin takes him back to their hotel room where he attacks her. She ends up killing him. A year earlier, Emily was in the exact same position in Cambodia, where Kristin killed a South African backpacker after he attempted to rape Emily. In both cases, the two women worked together to destroy the evidence and get rid of the bodies. 

Following their return home from Chile, Emily felt a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right. Kristin was not acting as if she was raped and killed in self-defense, she was acting like she had a completely normal trip. When Kristin moved back to Wisconsin from Australia soon after the trip, Emily couldn’t feel more stifled by their blood soaked history. As time continues, we watch as Emily becomes more and more paranoid and Kristin becomes more and more present in Emily’s life until we finally reach a breaking point.

This book really puts you right into it. While that is a huge plus in my eyes, there are always going to be people who wish they had time to ease into it. I think part of the reason why I immediately got into this book was because we began with action. That being said, your major conflict happens within the first 20-30 pages of the book, which does take away some of the novelty by the end of the book.

I think this is the most thriller-y book I have read in a while. I truly felt the feeling of paranoia and fear in a way that I haven’t felt in a book in a while. It was a super cool experience that kept me on the edge of my seat from page 1. For that reason, I would give this book a 4.5 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 Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 10/16/21-10/18/21

How I Found It: Once Upon a Book Club

Trigger Warning: There are instances of home invasion, murder, occult (including seance and ouija boards), and violence. If these are triggers for you, please read at your own discretion.

I am feeling in a spooky mood, so I decided to pick up this box! While I have no idea what is in the 5 gifts yet, I can go ahead and guess that there is a candle, purely by the overwhelming smell that comes out of this box. This thing has been stinking up my entryway for months until I have finally decided to pick this one up! That being said, this is April’s? YA box called “After School Fright Club” from Once Upon a Book Club.

Page 18

So right idea, just slightly wrong. The soap is definitely small but mighty. From what I understand from the brief glance I had of the soap, it is a completely natural soap without any of the chemicals that other name brands use. 

Rachel was in her bedroom when she sees a man outside her house. She looked away for a second, and he was gone. Alone in the house by herself, she begins to get frightened by the sound of footsteps downstairs. There were 2 intruders, one who instantly fled and the other who came straight for Rachel.

Now a year later, Rachel has moved to New York City with her mom. A junior in high school, Rachel’s mom is concerned that she doesn’t have many friends here. When Saundra, a new classmate, encourages Rachel to go to a party in an abandoned house a neighborhood over, Rachel runs into the most popular couple in the school in the middle of an argument. Trying to break away from the thoughts rushing through her head, she finds a random guy and kisses him.

I don’t think that this book will be necessarily scary, but there are obviously going to be some horror tropes touched on throughout the book. That being said, the prologue is a stroke of genius. I am hooked, and I want nothing more than to know more about that beginning scene. With that being said, I’m going to shut up and read, I’ll see you all at the next gift!

Page 67

There are so many moments that you feel like the story is going one way and it ends up driving off the road down a cliff and completely takes you by surprise. With that being said, never in a million years would I have expected to get a pair of scissors in one of these boxes.

Following the make out session with Lux’s (ex?-)boyfriend, the partygoers head to the main floor for a seance. When she realizes that it is a prank, Rachel begins laughing, which Lux assumes means Rachel is laughing at her. As Rachel begins to look into the prank to find out who is behind it, she discovers that there is a club, including who 2 of the members are. But Lux has also looked into Rachel, discovering that Rachel was looking at the Instagram of a dead boy, which leads us to our gift.

One of my favorite parts of this book is that I cannot tell you what is going to happen next. Every time I think I know where we are going, there is something that throws a wrench in the plan, which really draws me in. However, the flip side of that is at a certain point, that feeling will become a deterrent for some people. I can easily see the novelty wear off. Just a thought, but I will see you in the next gift!

Page 178

100% not what I was expecting to get! The gifts this time are so incredibly creative and out of the box (haha). It is a little on the flimsy side and the lid is a little weird, but I’m willing to try it out once to see what it is like!

Rachel inevitably joins this club, called the Mary Shelley Club, which is made up of Thayer,  Bram, Felicity, and Freddie. She learns that they complete challenges called “Fear Tests” where they will choose a target, then hone in on their worst fear until they can illicit a scream from them. These tests are designed by each of the members, and they grade each other’s test to ultimately decide a winner. At the point of this gift, we have seen Thayer’s fear test. On top of all of this, we are starting to see something going on between Rachel and Freddie, but not much has happened yet.

In terms of the idea for the book, this is pretty morbid. I’m not the hugest fan of the idea of the Fear Tests, and while I can totally see a limited series made out of this book, I seriously hope that it does not reach similar fame levels as Squid Game. We do not need copycats of this idea. But this is also incredibly inventive while being brutally honest that she is repeating horror tropes. I feel like I should praise the idea, but I also fear what this book could lead to. I don’t know, man, but I’ll think about that as we get to the next gift.

Page 239

I am flabbergasted. Holy potato sticks! I swear this box is better than any I have opened in the recent past! I am so excited to try this guy out tonight!

Since the last gift, we watched Felicity’s Fear Test. And due to that, the shoe finally drops, causing memories of Rachel’s attack from the previous year to come at full force. 

Having tried this, I will say that I was never able to make the video not blurry. As great as this is, it is a little lackluster when you live in a time of 4k. But still incredibly cool and a fun date night addition.

Page 401

If you haven’t been around for a while, you might not know that I read The Shining last year (What’s that? A link? You should click on it!). This is definitely an incredibly cool gift, though it is a little too bulky for me. I am currently trying to figure out what I can attach this to so I can justifiably keep it!

Now, it has been a little bit since I finished the book, so bear with me. As we watch more people do their fear tests, flashes of moments from Rachel’s attack keep popping up. She is starting to realize that these “coincidences” keep piling up. When things go too far during a fear test, the group has to figure out whether or not they want to continue with the fear tests.

Overall

I think that the book was really good, but I personally felt like there were so many twists at the beginning that it kinda fell off by the end. I would rather there have been consistent twists throughout the entire book than for there to be such a chaotic beginning and boring middle. While there were some twists at the end, it takes a lot of reading to get there. And it just felt like we needed a little more consistency across the board.

I also think that for a book that this book is more accurately a contemporary YA novel with some thriller aspects. The horror wasn’t really there for me, and you don’t really feel the thrill except at the very beginning and the very end. All in all, I would give it a 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!