Anticipated Releases of 2019 | Expectations vs Reality

The end of 2019 is here and it’s about time that I started all these end of year/year wrap-up/top 10 books etc.. posts. As you can already tell by the title, today I’m going to be sharing with you my anticipated releases for this year, and whether they lived up to my expectations or not.

I did 2 posts earlier this year in which I shared my most anticipated books for 2019, and my most anticipated books for the second half of 2019. Out of those 20, I’ve only read 5, and I just got a sixth one, so maybe I’ll finish that by the end of this month. To be honest, the lowest rating I’ve given a book I was excited for this year is 3 stars. So none of them have truly, really disappointed me, but there were still some that I was expecting much more from.

Let’s get started!!

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

This was really good. Initially, I was kind of bored, and I thought that the Husband was a bit annoying, but it was still pretty good and I loved the suspense and the mystery.

However, I was expecting more, and the plot was pretty similar to other books that I’d read. The POV was definitely unique, and it was interesting seeing how the murders happened and why. However, it was just not a amazing as I anticipated it to be. I was just expecting more.

In the end, this was a dark and twisted thriller with an unconventional narrator, and a surprising ending.


We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

I seriously was super excited for this book. I was looking for a heist, with some diversity, and also a fantasy book, since it was out of my comfort zone at the time.

And this was good in some ways. I loved Nasir and Altair (seriously, there’s no way not to love Altair. He’s obnoxiously awesome!!!), I respected Zafira and the other characters, and I loved the descriptions and the culture.

However, it was seriously lacking in the plot department, and until the very end, not much happened. Honestly, the characters were the only thing that kept the story going, at least for me.

In the end, this was an amazing Arabia inspired fantasy with phenomenal characters.


Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

4 Stars | GoodReads | Review

I read this right before One of of Us is Lying, and I’ve gotta say, it was pretty good. Not spectacular like I’d been expecting, but it was still a decent mystery.

The pacing was a little slow, but the family drama, and the several mysteries were pretty interesting to follow. I liked some of the characters, but now that it’s been 10 months, I really don’t remember much, except that it was just good. Which is kind of disappointing.

In the end, this was a suspenseful mystery with great characters and an amazing twist/plot.


The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

3 Stars | GoodReads | No Review Yet

When I initially heard about this, I was super excited because I seriously loved The Naturals and The Fixer series by JLB. I was sure that this was going to be another awesome book, and I was pretty disappointed.

Book wise, it was ok. However, I came in with the wrong expectations, and didn’t get a mystery, but more of a search-and-rescue, which is the point of the book. I wasn’t expecting the search and rescue to be the main focus, so that added to my disappointment.

I didn’t connect much to Kira, the main character, either, but I thought she was cool and different from the usual YA heroines. Free and Jude were such a welcome relief and I loved them for that, but honestly, they were all just meh. This book was really just meh. Really disappointing.

In the end, this was a good book with okay characters, and a meh plot.


The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

5 Stars | GoodReads | Review

This was truly one of the best books I’ve read this year and I loved it. The idea of the story, the setting, the time period, the characters, it was all so splendid and I couldn’t have been happier.

This was one of the few Historical Fiction novels I’ve read this year and it was the most perfect. I loved Jo, I loved the atmosphere, and I loved how she was determined to make a change in a society that did not want that kind of change. I loved all the side and semi-MC characters who supported Jo through everything and made this book the beauty that it is.

In the end, this was an amazing historical fiction novel that tackles diverse topics, with an amazing cast of characters.

That’s it! These were the five books that I had on my list that I managed to read, and hopefully I’ll be getting to a sixth one (The Queen of Nothing!!!!) before this month’s end.

Chat with me

Have you read any of these? What did you think? What were your most anticipated releases for 2019? Did they live up to your expectations? Which books surprised you and why? Did you read as many books as you hoped to this year? Chat with me in the comments below?

Top Five Tuesday ~ K-L-M-N-O

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. However, this time, I’ve decided to try Top Five Tuesday! Top Five Tuesday was created and is hosted by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm.

Today’s topic is: Books that start with the letters K, L, M, N, and O.

This is actually part of a series that started the first Tuesday in July, starting from A and it will continue to the last week of July and end with Z. However, I still wanted to join in.

Let’s get started!

K is for Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland

I read this last week, and it was an amazing, edge of your seat kind of thriller! I was a bit confused by the end and would have loved it to be wrapped up more neatly, but I still enjoyed it! I felt so much for Agent Maddox and for all the trouble and pain that she’s been through in life. Also because it’s an FBI book and I absolutely love FBI or CIA or MI5/MI6 or basically any intelligence/law enforcement organization centered book!


L is for Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

I read this over the weekend and loved D.D. and Flora!! The mystery was great and I loved D.D. and Flora’s relationship. It was also interesting to read about Flora’s vigilante work and her survival group, and to know what it’s like to be a survivor. I was also glas because the book was easy to read as a standalone, and this happened to be book nine… so I’m definitely going to go back, and start from book 1!


M is for My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

This was a great mystery, with a bit of an annoying narrator, but I still really enjoyed it at the end. The POV was new and unique and I loved watching the story unfold. It’s an amazing debut novel and I’m going to be on the lookout for whatever the author publishes next!!


N is for No Exit by Taylor Adams

I’ve been recommending this book to all my friends who I think would be able to stomach the gore and the pain that is in this book. Because besides that, it’s a great story, and it’s also kind of like a short movie in book format. The plot is quick, there’s a lot of action, pain, and it is the very definition of a thriller! So if you think you can handle a good amount of gruesomeness, please please do try this out!!!


O is for One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

When I first heard about this book, I said nah, I’ll pass. Fastforward a couple of years, to when I joined GR, and everyone was talking about the author’s second book. That seemed more interesting to me, so I read it first, really liked it, and then decided to just give this one a try.

I loved it. The plot was interesting, the characters were amazing (Nick and Maeve were my favorites! Nick and Bronwyn together were so cute!!!!), the ending shocked me even though I’m pretty sure I’d read a spoiler beforehand, but I was completely blown away! It was the second mystery book that I gave 5 stars too (the first one being The Fixer) and I definitely highly recommend it!

That’s it for this Tuesday! Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Did you enjoy them? Who are some of your favorite authors? Let’s chat in the comments below!

(Be sure to link to your Top Ten Tuesday and Top Five Tuesday posts so I can check them out!!)

Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2019

Well hello there!! I hope you are having an amazing Thursday! Today, I’m going to share my Monthly Wrap-Up for June 2019

June was just okay. I caught up on reviews from May, read only 4 books, and did a few tags. I am also two books behind schedule for my Goodreads goal. I didn’t take any hiatuses which is great! But I didn’t do a discussion post which is bad. Let’s take a look at my just-ok month.

Books:

Covers are from Goodreads

Only 4 books this month which is incredibly disappointing. Hopefully I might do better this month. Click on the titles to visit my reviews.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // ★★★★★ One sentence summary: An amazing fantasy with remarkable and awesome characters. (I have not reviewed this even though I should have like three weeks ago?? I’ll be getting to it next week Monday though!)

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing // ★★★★☆ One sentence summary: A twisted and surprising thriller, with an unusual narrator.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid // ★★★★★ One sentence summary: An intriguing historical fiction story with an amazing main character. (No Review)

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal // ★★★★☆ One sentence summary: An amazing Arabia inspired fantasy with phenomenal characters.

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 4


Because I did two other reviews and I didn’t do a Monthly Wrap-Up for May, I’m going to add the two books I read in May and the links to their reviews.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens // ★★★★☆ One sentence summary: A slow coming of age story with an interesting murder mystery.

The Wicked King by Holly Black // ★★★★☆ One sentence summary: A surprising political fantasy with great characters.

Tags:

I did only three tags this month.

Who Am I? Book Tag  (Thank you so much Xandra!)

The Liebster Award #2 (Thank you so much Meeghan!)

The Pancake Book Tag (Thank you so much Kat!)

Great Posts From Around the Blog-O-Sphere:

Stealing Blog Content Is Not Flattery (Or Legal) by Christine @ The Uncorked Librarian

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag (2019 edition) by Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink

Discussions & Rambles // What makes a novel “Young Adult”? by Xandra @ Starry Sky Books

A DELICIOUS STORY OF LOVE AND LOSS // A REVIEW OF NATALIE TAN’S BOOK OF LUCK AND FORTUNE by Kat @ Novels and Waffles

Anything Else?

I didn’t write a discussion post this month even though I said in May that I was going to come out of my shell and try. So maybe, hopefully, I’ll try to write one this month. I’ve also joined an indie author review site called Reedsy Discovery. So you’ll be seeing some books from there soon.

I also reached 1,000 likes!! Thank you guys so much 💚

And I think that’s all I have to say…??

That’s A Wrap!

In the end, I read only 4 books, did 4 reviews, 3 tags, and 0 discussion posts. All the 4 books I read this month were either 4 or 5 stars books which is awesome! I kind of didn’t meet any of my goals for June that I set in May which were to read more, do interesting/discussion posts, or discover new blogs, which is sad.

For July, I’m going to try and aim for more reading (at least 6 books), and better blog content (not the same old boring routine lol). Hopefully, I will do a lot better this month and actually focus and pass my goals.

And that’s it for this wrap-up! Do you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see me do? Any discussion ideas you want me to talk about? Please share them in the comments below!! I’d really appreciate it 💚

How was June for you? Did you get as much reading as you wanted done? Any interesting posts that you’d like to share? Let’s chat in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday #22

Hi friends! I hope you are having an amazing week! It is time for my weekly reading update: WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Let’s get started!

All covers are from Goodreads

What I Just Finished:

I finished The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid two days ago. It was a mesmerizing and great story. I love the narration, and was captivated by Evelyn’s story.

I also reviewed My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing on Monday. You can check out my review here.

What I’m Currently Reading:

I still have not finished We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal. There’s nothing wrong with the book, I just haven’t gotten around to reading it. My library copy was also due, so I’m going to have to find another copy somewhere else.

What I Plan To Read Next:

Next up, I’d like to read Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer!

That’s it for this Wednesday. What are you reading? Have you read Trust Me, I’m Lying? What did you think of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo? Let’s chat in the comments below! (Be sure to link to your WWW’s so that I can check them out!)

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – Review

Hi friends. Today, I will be reviewing My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. This was a disturbing, yet amazing read. I found it a bit similar to a book I’ve already read, but it was still interesting and unique in it’s own way.

Book: My Lovely Wife

Author: Samantha Downing

Rating: ★★★★☆

Summary: Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.

We look like a normal couple. We’re your neighbors, the parents of your kid’s friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.

We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.

Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.


Some spoilers are marked and hidden!!

Quote: “But I keep my mouth shut, because that’s what friends do. We don’t point out each other’s faults unless asked.”

*The Husband. At first, I was annoyed by the way he was narrating the story, but I eventually got used to it, and began to enjoy his POV. His true name is never mentioned, and his alias is Tobias, however, I decided to call him, The Husband. He is like any other father in his rich neighborhood, teaching golf at the local club, with a wife who is a realtor and two kids. However, his secret hobby is murder. As the story continued, I sympathized with him, and also tried to make excuses for him in my head. By the end of the book, I was rooting for him, which makes me just a tad bit worried about my mental health 😉

*Millicent. She was an interesting character who was constantly full of surprises. She also seemed to be the main brains behind the murders, and a bit controlling of her husband. But what can you expect from a serial killer? Though I didn’t like her, it was interesting to learn about her through her husband’s POV.

*Mystery and Plot. The mystery wasn’t much of a mystery, since we already knew who did it and why – well, you think you know why. I was surprised how things turned out, and couldn’t guess the ending. There was a good amount of suspense, and I was also constantly worrying that Millicent and her husband would get caught which I guess I should have been happy about, but I was still nervous. Most of the book wasn’t very fast-paced, but the end was more of a thriller.


Quote: “You didn’t think we were going to stop, did you?”

*The Husband is a bit stupid. Honestly, I don’t plan murders, and I stay on the right side of the law, yet I felt like I knew that he shouldn’t have made such a ridiculous mistake. I think it’s a bit of a spoiler, so I’m going to hide it in the drop-down.

SPOILER!! BEWARE!! Do not click the arrow unless you want to reveal the spoiler! After Trisha (?? I think that’s her name) told him that she dated Owen, and she gave some details about his house, The Husband wrote a letter, pretending to be Owen and used pretty much the exact same words to prove that he is indeed Owen and not a copycat. I expected Trisha to notice that those exact words had been used and that that would have been The Husband’s downfall. It seemed very obvious to me that he should not have done that.

*Justice. I personally would have liked for The Bad Guy to suffer a lot more than they did at the end of the book, but I guess justice was still served in its own way.

*Similarities. After I finished reading the story, it occured to me that this book was a bit similar to another book I have read, especially with the ending twist. You can see which book in the drop down below!

SPOILER!! BEWARE!! Do not click the arrow unless you want to reveal the spoiler! I think it was similar to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Both wives got cheated on, and then they planned an elaborate revenge that included framing the husband for a crime they didn’t commit. However, while I liked My Lovely Wife, I didn’t like Gone Girl.

Quote: “My name is not Tobias. I use that name only when I want someone to remember me.”

Overall, I liked this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it. This was a dark and twisted thriller with an unconventional narrator and a surprising ending. For a debut thriller, I think Ms. Downing did a very good job.

One sentence summary: A twisted and surprising thriller, with an unusual narrator.

Overall, 4 stars!

★★★★☆

Have you read My Lovely Wife? What did you think? Have you read any other thriller from the point-of-view of the killer? Let’s chat in the comments below!