Monday, April 1st 2019

The Hating Game

The Hating GameThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on August 9th 2016
Pages: 384

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;2) A person’s undoing;3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I am just going to say it…I love this book. I’ve read it three times so far. I think that says more than I want it to about my love life, but whatever.

This romance has two of my favorite tropes: a slow burn and the enemies to lovers. So, so good.

I’ve seen others talk/write about this book and some of its problematic elements and while I can acknowledge those elements, they don’t make me love the story any less.

This is my go-to book when I am in a reading slump. If you like the same romantic tropes as me, give this one a try.


Tuesday, December 4th 2018

The Night Circus

The Night Circus four-stars

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

Why did it take me so long to read this book?!

This book is stunning. I have a hardcopy of this book but when I found out that Jim Dale narrated the audiobook, there was no question that I needed it.

There are so many people who love this book and I think maybe that is what put me off of reading it for so long. I was scared I would hate it. But of course, that did not happen. The Night Circus is a beautiful story. And even though I predicted where certain relationships were headed, it was not the type of predictability that takes away from the story.

I enjoyed all of the characters. All of the characters stories were nicely woven together and I loved learning about each of them. No character was left behind. All of them were fleshed out and all of their backgrounds were colorful and interesting.

The only reason I cannot give this book 5 stars is due to the main relationship not being more front and center. Typically I enjoy books where the romantic element is not the focus, but for this story, while I enjoyed all the friendships and relationships between all of the characters, I really wanted more from the romantic relationship between the two main characters.


Wednesday, November 28th 2018

Pet Sematary

Pet SemataryPet Sematary by Stephen King
Published by Pocket Books on January 31st 2017
Pages: 560

Discover the classic #1 New York Times bestseller from master storyteller Stephen King!
When Dr. Louis Creed takes a new job and moves his family to the idyllic and rural town of Ludlow, Maine, this new beginning seems too good to be true. Yet despite Ludlow’s tranquility, there’s an undercurrent of danger that exists here. Those trucks on the road outside the Creed’s beautiful old home travel by just a little too quickly, for one thing…as is evidenced by the makeshift pet cemetery out back in the nearby woods. Then there are the warnings to Louis both real and from the depths of his nightmares that he should not venture beyond the borders of this little graveyard. A blood-chilling truth is hidden there—one more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. An ominous fate befalls anyone who dares tamper with this forbidden place, as Louis is about to discover for himself…

Dafuq did I just read. 

Stephen King is the only author who can use even blatantly obvious foreshadowing, and still make the outcome completely interesting. Even when expected. It’s a talent. 

It’s been a hot minute since I have read any Stephen King. I honestly cannot remember the last novel of his I read. I have read a handful and none of them disappointed. And this was no exception. As with all his novels, the pacing is perfect. Even when I thought for a moment that there was a lull in the middle of the book, I realized when I got past it, he was setting up a sense of normalcy before punching me in the gut. And the reveals! Even when I was expecting them to some degree, he still managed to take me by surprise in his delivery. 

All of the main characters and even some of the secondary characters were fully developed. I felt like I really knew all of these people and their actions made sense based on their personalities and their backgrounds. 

The only reason this book is getting 4 stars instead of 5 from me is due to the ending. While I liked the ending for the most part, there was a character who I didn’t feel closure with and I really wanted that. I was left wondering what the hell happened to them. It was a loose end that I really wish had been tied up. But other than that, Pet Sematary is an amazing read. I cannot wait for the new film adaption coming out in 2019.


Saturday, November 17th 2018

Batch Reviews

I am behind in my book reviews and now it’s been a while since I have read some of them. Here are my quick thoughts and ratings. 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: 3/5 stars. Meh, this is more like 2.5 rating for me. I read all eight comics. They were okay. Honestly, I like the show better. 

History is All You Left Me: 5/5 stars. Adam Silvera breaks my damn heart again. Jerk.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You: 4/5 stars. Just want I wanted. Enemies to lovers. A favorite trope. 

The Nowhere Girls: 4/5 stars. This was heartbreaking and intense. And all too familiar. 

The Wicked Deep: 4/5 stars. Beautifully atmospheric. 

The Perfect Mother: 4/5 stars. Creepy and a pretty good “who done it.” 

Meaty: 4/5 stars. I will read/listen to anything Samantha Irby puts out into the universe. 

Anger is a Gift: 5/5 stars. Very timely. A must-read for everyone. 

My Plain Jane: 4/5 stars. Not quite as good as My Lady Jane, but pretty close. Can’t wait for the third book. 

Monday, October 1st 2018


GhostedGhosted by Rosie Walsh
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on July 24th 2018
Pages: 337


Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.
When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it's mutual: It's as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn't call.
Sarah's friends tell her to forget about him, but she can't. She knows something's happened--there must be an explanation.
Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she's right. There is a reason for Eddie's disappearance, and it's the one thing they didn't share with each other: the truth.

This book ended up being more than just a story of a woman being ghosted. Based on the title, I knew what was going to happen, I just didn’t know how it was going to make for a 300+ page book. But I have to say that I really enjoyed the sub-plot of this book. I did not read any synopsis of this book before reading it. I went in completely blind. That’s not to say that I think you should go in blind, that is just what I did. And I did enjoy the twist/curveball.

I enjoyed Rosie Walsh’s writing style for the most part. I do think she strayed here and there in over-describing some scenes, but it wasn’t so overdone that I put the book down.

I enjoyed most of the characters, however, I wish there had been just a little more development with some of Sarah’s friends. I felt like I had to fill in some gaps myself with how the mechanics of some of the friendships/relationships worked. I did enjoy Sarah as the main character as well, even though some of her thoughts/actions drove me batshit crazy. And I loved Eddie, even though for a good portion of the book we are supposed to feel slighted by him. But I knew there was more to the story.

My only big gripe about this book is the beginning. I am not one to be bothered by just being thrust into a story without much context right away, but for some reason, it just did not sit well with me for this book. I can see others getting frustrated a few chapters in and giving up. It all made sense the further I got into the book, but it was difficult to stick it out at first.



follow along @christinavanp