Book Review- Two Can Keep A Secret

Two Can Keep A Secret is by Karen M. McManus and her second book that is out in the wild. I remember being at the bookstore with my friend, having her pick out a birthday present (I was also really late for her birthday present so she got to pick out whatever she wanted at the bookstore) I saw Two Can Keep A Secret on a table for new releases and promptly grabbed it to find out what it was about. McManus has this tendency to have clever sounding covers that make you want to start reading the entire book right there in the store. 

Two Can Keep A Secret is a mystery that leaves you with more questions than answers. At least, until you get to the end. Things are then wrapped in a nice little bow, which is my favorite type of ending. All the loose ends tied, nothing that leaves you hanging and itching for the next book in a series. If McManus keeps up this trend of stand-alone books, she is going to be my next favorite author.*

Two Can Keep A Secret has two POV’s. One of them, Ellery, is a self-taught detective. Meaning, she listens to a lot of real crime podcasts and reads all the stories. Her own life could be the plot of one of these podcasts. However, even before her move to a small town and her real crime-like situation— her family is already clouded with mystery. Her mother’s twin sister disappeared after homecoming and was never found. Factor in the fact that a few years before Ellery moves there and this book takes place, another girl went missing after homecoming and was found later, murdered. Also, both these crimes are unsolved. Things are about to get real. 

When I started seeing reviews for this book, I got excited. Everybody was loving it and the people I saw on social media were praising it. One line kept being repeated, The Last Line, OH MY GOSH! (plus all things similar)

That is when I started to get skeptical. How powerful could a last line be? Really though, how could a book that was fully completed with no loose threads (me, assuming it had no loose threads before reading it) have that powerful of an ending line? As a writer, I didn’t even know how it was possible to write one.

The book ends with no loose ends or things hanging, except for my jaw that hit the floor when I read the last line. Yes, my friends, it is that good and powerful and unexpected. I actually liked this book a little more than One of Us is Lying. I couldn’t figure out who the main suspect was. I couldn’t figure out who would have had a motive. The questions kept piling on top of each other and I had zero leads on who was doing what. (I might not make a good detective guys.) 

This book isa really great read. You should get it and take a look for yourself. Let me know how far your jaw hangs at the last line. 

*Her newest book, One of Us is Next is technically a sequel to One of Us is Lying but it is told in different POV’s than the first book. I don’t need to read the first book to understand the second and vice versa. (At least, from what I know I still need to read it guys.) 

Book Lovers Guide Part II

Welcome back to another exciting edition of gift guides! I know I have done one whole gift guide and now I think I’m an expert. For part two of the book lover’s gift guide, I’m handing out a list of some of my favorite books I’ve loved period. Part 1 was strictly focused on books I’ve read this year and loved. Part 2, we are expanding.

Reminder, don’t be afraid that the book lover in your life has read these books or might already own them. Just grab a gift receipt. Nobody was ever injured exchanging a book and waltzing through a bookstore for a few hours. 

Continue reading “Book Lovers Guide Part II”

Book Lovers Gift Guide (Part I)

It’s officially the gift giving season! Now, I’m not the best gift buyer in the history of anything. In fact, I very much struggle to even buy gifts for my husband. (I crushed it this year for Father’s day but that might be where I peaked.) Sometimes I struggle with my own thought process in my gift giving. “Oh, I could make… wait, if they wanted something like that, they could make it themselves.” Or I tell myself if they wanted whatever I’m thinking about, they would just buy it. I need to think harder. Gift giving can get stressful and I haven’t even gotten to the store yet. 

While I might be not the greatest gift picker for others, I am a great picker of books and things that book-lovers will love. The best gift to give someone who likes books is a book! No lie, if everybody I knew got me a book for Christmas, I’d be a happy camper. My favorite thing to do is to give books I’ve loved to friends who I know love to read. 

Here are five books I’ve loved this year! 

1. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus– I technically read this book last year. I borrowed it from the library on my kindle and I read it in one day. I sat out on my balcony in the Vegas summer and just enjoyed being outside, probably getting sunburned, and flipping through the pages of an awesomely strung together story. It is a great little murder-mystery that makes you wonder, who really killed Simon?

2. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen– This author has been my favorite since I was sixteen. Her books are just great little getaways for me. The Rest of the Story follows a girl as she is suddenly reunited with her mother’s side of the family, a side of the family she hasn’t seen since she was a kid. 

3. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard– This book is a rollercoaster of action, surprises and it is very hard to put down. Dennard’s world building is the best I’ve seen. I have so many questions and not enough answers. I have the second book, I just need to start it. This book is perfect if you don’t want the sole focus of the character’s plot line to be a love story. This book also has my favorite best friend-ship. 

4. You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn– I stumbled across this book when I took my brother and son out to the bookstore to pick out books for everybody. The story line seemed cute and just the type of story I like, cutesy YA. BOY DID IT DELIVER. I went home and read this book in a night. I regret nothing. It’s so good. It isn’t full of fluff like I thought it was going to be but the deep stuff was good and made the cute stuff even better. It was great.

5. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins– I actually wrote a review for this book earlier this year. This is the first book in a series that I devoured in like four days. It has the perfect enemies to lovers troupe. However, the enemies thing is like a “should be enemies” deal. It’s great. 

This is part one, keep an eye out for part 2 where I’ll list out five more books!

P.S. Don’t worry about whether or not the book lover in your life might have already read a book you get them, get a gift receipt! No one has ever complained about having to go to a bookstore to exchange a book.

Currently- September

General- If you follow me on Instagram, you might have heard about our little flood that happened when our washer machine broke and created a small lake throughout my downstairs. Well, the guy came and tore up the damaged flooring and baseboard and now the fans are gone and we are waiting to fond out if they are able to match our current laminate or what the deal is there. In the meantime, we replaced the damaged things and I wrote about how to make your house work for you. You can check out that post, along with how I used the small lake as an opportunity here.

We are undergoing schedule changes as hubby got a new job and for the time being, our schedules are very different than they used to be. We’re rolling with it though! I get a lot more time that is just me and Little Man so I have been working on creative ways to keep us both occupied and not outside. We are still rocking 90’s here and I cannot wait for cooler temps. 

Reading– I’m technically still reading Bookish Boyfriends. I actually haven’t picked it up in a while. I started reading The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (again). I just really love this book and the entire series. I recently took a mythology in literature class and I spent a majority of that class referencing these books so it made me want to pick them back up. Maybe I’ll get back to Bookish Boyfriends one day. 

Listening– I actually went back and re-listened to Uninvited by Sophie Jordan. Gosh, I love that book! I just need to read the second one. I started listening to The Elite by Kiera Cass. I loved the Selection and since it is a series book, I promptly forgot that I had more books to read so I grabbed the audiobook from my library to listen to. I didn’t finish it in time but I struggled with the audiobook. I wonder if the performer can ruin a book for you. I think I might grab the book to just read it and see if the main character doesn’t annoy me as much. 

As for music, I went back to my high school glory days and started listening to all the bands I listened to in high school and now I don’t listen to the same 20 songs theses days, hahaha. I think I realized why my parents listened to the stuff they loved in high school well into adulthood. Music is constantly changing so when you find something you love, why are you going to try and keep up with the new stuff? (I don’t particularly LOVE the new stuff out there, some of it is good, but I get why my parents didn’t like the stuff I listened to.) 

Watching-We are COMMITTED to the show Younger. That show has me feeling all types of ways and I don’t know what to do with all the emotions. I might be slightly overreacting but oh well. Younger is what we are binge watching. But it is the end of September which means all the new seasons just started back up! So far we got the Masked Singer and I am waiting for some free time to catch up on the premier of Gray’s and Single Parents. 

Writing– I am currently working on a script for my screenwriting class that I am taking this term. Screenwriting is HARD, guys. Seriously, I didn’t realize how different screenwriting is from other types of writing. I am also writing blog posts and journaling a lot. I am working on a journaling challenge for October on Instagram! I decided I am going to do my book for NaNoWriMo this year so I’m just going to write an outline and then come November 1st, write it every day.

Other– There has been a lot of work going on with my Cricut and home stuff. It has been fun. Maybe I’ll post my projects on the blog so you can see all the stuff I work on. If you’re curious. 

What did you spend your September doing? I’d love to hear about it! 

Book Review- Sweet Evil

Yay! My first book review. I’m not being paid or anything to do this review. I just really wanted to let you guys know books I enjoyed reading. I think I mentioned this book series in one of my Currently posts because I read this series in like a week. I would lay down to read, realize it was like 1 in the morning, and then see I was at like 68% and I might as well finish it at that point. Right? Any other late night readers out there relate? That’s okay, maybe I’m just weird. Also, yes, I am aware that I am reviewing a book that was published years ago. I don’t discriminate books because they are older.

Sweet Evil is a book I’ve had on my kindle for years. I read it back when I used to work a graveyard shift that wasn’t very busy. I would read a book or so a night so I was constantly buying new ones on my kindle. I don’t even know how I came across Sweet Evil but I read it and I enjoyed it. Fast forward to this summer where I’m looking for something to read and not spend all my money (because I’ve bought enough books this year already) so I go through my handy dandy kindle library and decide to give Sweet Evil another read.

Side note, this is why I don’t read series books. I read Sweet Evil years ago, knew there was going to be more books and promptly forgot about it. I love following series and seeing the character development but sticking with them until they are all published is ROUGH. The only series I was able to follow like that was Harry Potter. The first 4 appeared in my library in my room, I got the 5th one the day it came out, I lost track around the 6th book (because it took forever) and then got the 7th book the day it came out. Even with Harry Potter though, I still forgot about it. There are so many book series I am in the middle of that I need to just get the next book but I forget about them. However, I do enjoy reading a series after all the books have been published. Then I get to read them the way books are meant to be read, quickly and with lack of sleep.

I swear I have a point in this post. Sweet Evil! This book is by Wendy Higgins. The first of a trilogy if you haven’t put that together yet. We meet this girl, Anna. She has a best friend, who is a dude, typical YA things. She’s adopted, we learn and is being raised by someone straight out of the 50’s in parenting style. Her adoptive mom is named Patti and she is typical over-worrying mom. 

Turns out, she had plenty of reason to worry because we soon learn that Anna is a nephilim and has a demon for a dad and we get started on a wild ride. We meet Kaiden, who is also a nephilim and 100% trouble. Obviously, he is the love interest and equally parts bad to Anna’s good.  Sweet Evil is a journey to Anna discovering who she is and meeting her biological father (duke of substance abuse) and also trying to stay away from Kaiden’s dad (duke of lust) because of reasons. It’s really great and keeps you hooked. It’s also good for a second read. Plus it is the kickoff to a great series. There is demons, angels, prophecies and character development. (The most important thing!) 

At some points, Anna does seem too”good, like it almost unbelievable for a person but that is the ONLY flaw I have in the book. 

My rating? 8/10 & I would still reread it.