3 stars

Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory PowerBurn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 7th July 2020
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape.

Burn Our Bodies Down is the second book I’ve read by Rory Power, and I’m really wondering if she is maybe just not the author for me. Wilder Girls was enticing but the ending just left me a bit dissatisfied because I was expecting more, and Burn Our Bodies down had such potential to discuss a tense mother-daughter relationship but instead it was a slow burn story that, again, ended kind of strangely?

Also, this author has a real thing for plants.

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Book Review: Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay

Book Review: Survivor Song by Paul TremblaySurvivor Song by Paul Tremblay
Genre: Horror
Release Date: 7th July 2020
Publisher: Titan Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

In a matter of weeks, Massachusetts has been overrun by an insidious rabies-like virus that is spread by saliva. But unlike rabies, the disease has a terrifyingly short incubation period of an hour or less. Those infected quickly lose their minds and are driven to bite and infect as many others as they can before they inevitably succumb. Hospitals are inundated with the sick and dying, and hysteria has taken hold. To try to limit its spread, the commonwealth is under quarantine and curfew. But society is breaking down and the government's emergency protocols are faltering.

Dr. Ramola "Rams" Sherman, a soft-spoken pediatrician in her mid-thirties, receives a frantic phone call from Natalie, a friend who is eight months pregnant. Natalie's husband has been killed—viciously attacked by an infected neighbor—and in a failed attempt to save him, Natalie, too, was bitten. Natalie's only chance of survival is to get to a hospital as quickly as possible to receive a rabies vaccine. The clock is ticking for her and for her unborn child.

Natalie’s fight for life becomes a desperate odyssey as she and Rams make their way through a hostile landscape filled with dangers beyond their worst nightmares—terrifying, strange, and sometimes deadly challenges that push them to the brink. 

As Paul Tremblay books go, this one Survivor Song isn’t my favourite. It’s another one of those books that left me wondering what the point of it was. Survivor Song is a story about two women called Rams and Natalie who are trying to get to a medical clinic during a mutated rabies outbreak. Sounds fun, right?

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Book Review: I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

Book Review: I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit FrickI Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 30th June 2020
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected—and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth?

I’ve not read anything by Kit Frick before, but from having read I Killed Zoe Spanos I can tell that she’s going to be a thriller author for me! I Killed Zoe Spanos was a fast paced thriller (love), with Rich People Drama (double love), that was set during the summer in the Hamptons. There was a lot going on for such a short book, and I was truly engaged the entire time.

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The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson, the final book in the Truly Devious trilogy. This was a fun mystery trilogy to read, despite some minor gripes!

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen JohnsonThe Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson
Series: Truly Devious #3
Genre: Mystery
Release Date: 21st January 2020
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Ellingham Academy must be cursed. Three people are now dead. One, a victim of either a prank gone wrong or a murder. Another, dead by misadventure. And now, an accident in Burlington has claimed another life. All three in the wrong place at the wrong time. All at the exact moment of Stevie’s greatest triumph . . .

She knows who Truly Devious is. She’s solved it. The greatest case of the century.

At least, she thinks she has. With this latest tragedy, it’s hard to concentrate on the past. Not only has someone died in town, but David disappeared of his own free will and is up to something. Stevie is sure that somehow—somehow—all these things connect. The three deaths in the present. The deaths in the past. The missing Alice Ellingham and the missing David Eastman. Somewhere in this place of riddles and puzzles there must be answers.

Then another accident occurs as a massive storm heads toward Vermont. This is too much for the parents and administrators. Ellingham Academy is evacuated. Obviously, it’s time for Stevie to do something stupid. It’s time to stay on the mountain and face the storm—and a murderer.

In the tantalizing finale to the Truly Devious trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson expertly tangles her dual narrative threads and ignites an explosive end for all who’ve walked through Ellingham Academy.

The Truly Devious series is one that started out really strong. I was hooked by the mystery in the first book, and by Stevie’s love for true crime, and so I absolutely flew through these books.

That said, Truly Devious is still the strongest book in the series. I strongly believe that the following two books, The Vanishing Stair and The Hand on the Wall, should have been combined into one book. The Vanishing Stair turned into a filler, and The Hand on the Wall lacked the same snappy writing that I loved in Truly Devious.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy The Hand on the Wall, because I did. I enjoyed learning even more about Ellingham Academy, and I enjoyed reading about all the reveals and the characters putting everything together. It was a lot of fun, and I always enjoyed how Johnson flicked between the past and the present day with her storytelling.

Another thing I really enjoyed about The Hand on the Wall was the side characters and their relationships. Not David, of course (more on him later), but Stevie’s other friends are all pretty wonderful, and contributed a lot to the story. I could have read a whole book just about the friendship group, to be honest.

Now, David. I hate him. His relationship with Stevie is the most unhealthy thing, and I’m honestly annoyed and upset and offended that Maureen Johnson keeps trying to push this pairing on readers – especially since the majority of her readers are teens.

My exact problem with David is how he spent two books completely ignoring Stevie. He spoke over her, he refused to speak to her, and he flat out pretended she didn’t exist, no matter how much she tried to address him. He later claimed this was partly for her protection, which is bull. I’m so unhappy with this unhealthy relationship, and I’m really unimpressed that Johnson kept it going.

The Hand on the Wall isn’t a bad book, but it’s certainly not the strongest in the series. It was fun to get some closure and to see the friendship group again, but I couldn’t get over the unhealthy relationship or the fact that the final two books should really have been combined into one.

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour of Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez! It’s a very solid fantasy debut inspired by Bolivian politics and mythology.

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel IbañezWoven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 7th January 2020
Publisher: Macmillan
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princess, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

Woven in Moonlight was a really good read! It took no time at all to get into, and I found myself reading it very quickly as I was completely enamored by the world building. The author has done a fantastic job building this world that is inspired by Bolivian myths and politics, and because she was clearly quite invested in her craft, I was as well.

I think the world building was the strongest point of the book, as the main plot of Ximena being a decoy was a bit of a let down. Ximena’s character or personality may have had something to do with this, as she was far too open about everything she was talking about. Because she kept talking about herself and her background, and because she was so impulsive, the whole decoy plot point fell apart, as it didn’t really make much sense.

I wasn’t too keen on the romance, but this is YA so what can you do? I often feel very meh about YA romances nowadays, so to be honest I wasn’t expecting much.

Overall, Woven in Moonlight is a solid debut, and if you’re into YA fantasy then I would recommend picking it up!