The Stranger Inside

The Stranger InsideThe Stranger Inside by Jennifer Jaynes

Pages: 274

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis: 

After mystery author Diane Christie loses her husband to suicide, she and her son move to the small coastal town of Fog Harbor, Massachusetts. Her daughter is attending college nearby, and Diane hopes that her family can now begin to heal. But rebuilding their lives after the tragedy isn’t so simple.

Diane’s depressed college-age daughter, Alexa, still avoids her, critical of everything Diane does, and even her generally amiable teenage son, Josh, has started acting out. Diane pushes forward, focusing on her writing and her volunteer work at a local crisis hotline. She knows that healing takes time.

But then a girl from Alexa’s college is found strangled. Worse still, the murderer uses the crisis hotline to confess to Diane… and claims she is the only one who can stop the killing. And just when the glow of new love from an attractive admirer begins to chase away some of the darkness, more girls turn up dead, and Diane races to solve a mystery she fears will hit terrifyingly close to home.

Review:

I originally bought The Stranger Inside months ago on my Kindle because it was super cheap and decided that it might be a good, quick read one day when I was in the mood for a mystery thriller. I went into this book thinking that I would think it was a pretty solid read but didn’t hype myself up for it that much. Unfortunately it fell short of even those expectations.

The book starts off right off the bat introducing us to victim number one, a college student who gets murdered. Getting right into the story, for me, is such a good sign for a book. I don’t like leading up to something just for the sake of thrillers and we were getting off to a good start.

The writing in this book is very basic but it has just enough information to get you engaged in the story and it’s a rather quick read. I never felt like I didn’t receive enough details about a character or a scene and I connected with the characters just enough to care about them…certain ones at least. The story also follows a few of the main characters which I really liked. It gave the reader more insight into their lives and how close everyone was to the killer. It could have been anyone and you knew that they were all in danger.

Before the ending of the book I was at a solid three stars for this book. The writing was decent, the plot was decent and I did connect on a certain level with the main characters but the ending ruined the book for me, RUINED. It was so terrible and unrealistic. The killer did not come as a shock to me at all but I didn’t think the way Jaynes wrapped up the killer’s story left a lot to be desired. There was just so much build up I didn’t feel the payoff by the end of the story. And what happens to the killer was SO unrealistic that I had to take a star off just for the ending. I just didn’t feel like everything was wrapped up in a way that left me content and instead of a real ‘wow’ factor at the end it came off as a quick ending just for the sake of ending the story.

Recommendation: 

I personally wouldn’t recommend this book. I felt like it had a lot of potential but it ultimately fell short. I would be open to trying another Jennifer Jaynes book in the future though.

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February Wrap-Up

Total Books Read: 9

Total Pages Read: 2,864

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

  • Pages: 173
  • Rating: 4/5

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

  • Pages: 189
  • Rating: 4/5

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

  • Pages: 174
  • Rating: 4/5

Home Sweet Murder by James Patterson

  • Pages: 304
  • Rating: 2/5

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

  • Pages: 383
  • Rating: 3/5

Love, Life and the List by Kasie West

  • Pages: 384
  • Rating: 4/5

My Best Friend’s Exorcism (Favorite Book in February)

  • Pages: 336
  • Rating: 5/5

Every Day by David Levithan (Least Favorite Book in February)

  • Pages: 322
  • Rating: 2/5

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

  • Pages: 599
  • Rating: 5/5

 

My Best Friend’s Exorcism

MBFE.jpgMy Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Pages: 336

Rating: 5/5!!!

Synopsis: 

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act…different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

Review:

I honestly don’t know where to start…

This book was AMAZING!

My Best Friend’s Exorcism follows our main character, Abby, who’s best friend Gretchen gets possessed by the devil. I had originally bought this book towards the end of 2017 but put off reading it for a few reasons. One, I never was ‘in the mood’ and as I think I have mentioned before I am a HUGE mood reader. Two, I didn’t know what to expect from this one. I didn’t know if it was going to be silly or scary or even something I would be interested in reading about. However I will say that if I had read this last year it would’ve made my top three books read list easily.

I absolutely loved the friendship between Abby and Gretchen. We get an insight on how their friendship started and watched it evolve and it brought me back to when I was a child. Bullying was a major part of the book, in my opinion, and Grady Hendrix did a lovely job making the book sound very realistic. High school drama, friend drama, boyfriend drama, it was all there and he had me dive head first into this story and I loved every moment of it.

A few people I watch on BookTube recently read this book and loved it which made me want to see what all the hype was about. After I finished reading the book, however, I looked on Goodreads and saw it had a 3.88 rating and I was surprised it wasn’t higher. I did see that some of the comments thought that the book was silly and took a while to get to the point…..isn’t that every single book though??? (Getting to the point, not silly) But the thing is I didn’t get those vibes. I was hooked into the story by chapter one and I never felt like the story dragged on. Was it silly? Yes. It was but in a great way. It made the whole story more realistic because while we knew how serious the devil was and how serious it was that Gretchen was possessed by him, we also knew that nobody else knew what was going on for most of the book and people were acting like themselves.

I laughed throughout the book and I definitely shed some tears at the end of the book which was such a pleasant surprise. It made me realize how much a loved the book and how invested I became.

Recommendation: 

YES YES and YES!!!!!!! READ READ READ!!!!!!!!

Goodbye, Vitamin: Mini-Review

Goodbye, VitaminGoodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Pages: 208

Rating: 2/5

Synopsis: 

Goodbye, Vitamin is the wry, beautifully observed story of a woman at a crossroads, as Ruth and her friends attempt to shore up her father’s career; she and her mother obsess over the ambiguous health benefits – in the absence of a cure – of dried jellyfish supplements and vitamin pills; and they all try to forge a new relationship with the brilliant, childlike, irascible man her father has become.

Mini-Review:

I got Goodbye, Vitamin a few months ago in my Book of the Month box and have been wanting to read it ever since. It’s a very short read and is written in diary-type entries. This turned out to be both a good and bad thing for me. I did like that most of the story cut out the fillers that a regular book would usually have and unnecessary information that we would never have to be informed about. However, sometimes I felt like I either wanted a bit more or a scene was rushed through and I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I would have if there was more detail put into it.

I also really disliked how the book progressed. We get an insight into her ex-boyfriend and his new life and I thought it was so irrelevant. There were topics like that included in the book that I could care less about and it added no real value to the story.

Recommendation: 

Usually when I rate a book so low I would not recommend this to other people but I do think that I just didn’t connect with the book as much as other people do. (I know other people who read this book and thought that it was a cute read and did enjoy it.)

If you are looking for something quick and easy to read and you like the idea of the diary entries as well as the synopsis, I would say to go ahead and try it out! But I personally did not enjoy this read and would not actively recommend this to other people.

The Woman in the Window: Mini-Review

The WITWThe Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Pages: 427

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: 

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Mini-Review:

Months before The Woman in the Window came out it was already so hyped and my expectations for it were extremely high. When I started the book I was extremely worried I wouldn’t like it. The main character suffers from alcoholism and there were so many more similarities to The Girl on the Train. For some people this might be a good thing but I personally hated The Girl on the Train and one of my biggest pet peeves about that book was how often the character got drunk and didn’t ‘remember’ events that were occurring throughout the whole book. So you can understand where I stood when I realized that this book was going to have a similar story line in that regard.

I will say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I did enjoy this book. The characters were rich and their I really enjoyed everyone’s part of the storyline. There was one major ‘plot twist’ that I predicted about thirty pages in which was slightly disappointing because I really dislike being able to predict what is going to happen but finding out the killer was worth the wait and made up for it.

Recommendation:

Overall I was glad I liked this book as much as I did and while I wasn’t blown away by it I would recommend this book.

January Wrap-Up

I know it’s a little late but here are the 7 books I read in January and their ratings!

Still Alice 4/5

The Woman in the Window 4/5

Goodbye, Vitamin 2/5

P.S. I Like You 4/5

The Stepford Wives 3/5

Love, Rosie 3/5

You 5/5

Love, Rosie

Love, RosieLove, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern

Pages: 448

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

What happens when two people who are meant to be together can’t seem to get it right?

Rosie and Alex are destined for each other, and everyone seems to know it but them. Best friends since childhood, they are separated as teenagers when Alex and his family relocate from Dublin to Boston.

Like two ships always passing in the night, Rosie and Alex stay friends, and though years pass, the two remain firmly attached via emails and letters. Heartbroken, they learn to live without each other. But destiny is a funny thing, and in this novel o f several missed opportunities, Rosie and Alex learn that fate isn’t quite done with them yet.

Review:

The characters in this book were so well described and every single character arc was done fabulously. Within the first ten pages I had already fallen in love with Rosie and Alex which I knew was probably a bad thing considering the book was over four hundred pages and I knew we had a long road ahead of us. Through their own romances and life events you not only fall deeper in love with who they are but the level of compassion, at least for me, went up. With that being said they also frustrated the hell out of me and I wanted to shake both of them SO MANY TIMES throughout the book but I can honestly say I still loved both of them on the last page.

My copy of Love, Rosie (which is pictured at the top of the post) was 448 pages. Usually a book of this size would usually sake me 3-5 days to read depending on how much I loved the book. I read Love, Rosie in two days. The entire book, except for the last few pages, was written entirely in letters and IM messages. At first I was concerned that this would take away from the story/characters, it didn’t at all. I still fell in love with the characters, as well as completely despised others, and didn’t feel slighted at all. It also made it such a quick read because for the most part it went from one event to the other, with a few exceptions.

One of the things that I did not like in this book was how much it seemed to drag on at times. In the synopsis you can clearly tell that it will be a long journey for these two characters and their relationship but holy shit…I finally was on page 400 and had the realization that we were still waiting for something incredible to happen and the rating immediately lost one star right there.

The other star taken off was for a few reasons. One, I thought that there were more than a few slow parts in the story and instead of keeping the pace steady throughout the novel I found myself forcing to get to the next moderately exciting part. Another reason was that, in my opinion, I felt like there could’ve been a few parts that could have been cut out entirely. (i.e. without spoiling too much Rosie starts to chat with a group of people towards the second half of the book and I honestly hated reading those sections. They weren’t very exciting and felt a lot like filler rather than adding anything to Rosie’s story.)

Recommendation: 

If you are looking for a quick, cute read I would definitely recommend this book. I would advise that some people may think it goes on far too long, and I would say I felt like that at moments, but I also think some people will agree with me that it’s a very cute love story.

I would also recommend this book for a readathon.