Top 5: Mystery Hidden Gems

top-5

I was planning on doing my wrap-up and TBR but I really wanted to do this Top 5 this week.

As most of you know, I’m a mystery fan, so here are the 5 hidden gems in this particular genre. I’m going to include varieties of sub-genres since I do read a lot from these sub-genre.

YA Thriller

I Hunt

Jasper Dent: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

This is definitely one of my favorite YA thrillers written to date. I love all of the three books in the trilogy, but I especially enjoyed the first book, obviously. Anyways, this book doesn’t get enough recognition for its brilliance and uniqueness. I hope more people would actually pick it up an read the books. Definitely a book that needs to be checked out!

‘Adult’ Thriller

i-see-you

I See You by Clare Mackintosh

On the midst of the movie releases of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, I feel that there was a boom on book thrillers in general. There were thrillers being release left and right almost every month. Mind you I’m not complaining, I love the variety of choices, the problem is there were some books that did slip through the cracks because of popular thrillers. I feel that Mackintosh’s book was one of those thrillers that slipped out. I don’t really see a lot of people talking about this novel, but its a really creepy read, especially when your on the train yourself. Just thinking about it gives me the chills and that ending! ACK!

Cozy Mystery

burried in a book

Novel Idea: Buried in a Book by Lucy Arlington

There are a lot of cozies out there with many readers who love this sub-genre. This is actually a pretty new series, since there are only 5 books, so far, written by the author. I’m not really hearing much about series, but I really love the setting of this quaint town. I wasn’t a fan of the protagonist on the first book, but as the series progress, she eventually grew on me. I kept reading the books because of the different minor characters and their unique quirks to them. I’m still awaiting for the 6th book and I can’t wait to pick it up when it is released.

Historical Fiction 

Spy in the House.jpg

The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y.S Lee

This is a YA novel, but I wanted to recommend it because it’s actually a good read. I’m not a fan of historical fiction with just Mystery elements in it, but when done right I tend to get through them fast. The Agency series is one of those books that are enjoyable.

Classic

murder-of-roger-ackroyd

Poirot: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Yes, I know Agatha Christie is a popular author, but I feel that those who are not actual mystery readers only know Christie’s And Then There were None or Murder on the Orient Express. The thing is she has a lot of really good books and I think The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is just as good as the other two books mentioned, but it doesn’t get as much hype as the others.

 

 

 

 

 

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Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Unearthed

Unearthed
Series: Unearthed (Book 1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 3.75/5

Goodreads Synopsis: When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.

For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study… as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Mia and Jules’ different reasons for smuggling themselves onto Gaia put them immediately at odds, but after escaping a dangerous confrontation with other scavvers, they form a fragile alliance.

In order to penetrate the Undying temple and reach the tech and information hidden within, the two must decode the ancient race’s secrets and survive their traps. But the more they learn about the Undying, the more their presence in the temple seems to be part of a grand design that could spell the end of the human race...

Review: I’ve been excited for this book since I learned about its release. I really enjoyed the Starbound Trilogy and I couldn’t wait to read more from these authors and since I’m in a really Science-Fiction mood, I decided to pick this up right away. I wish that I waited for the other books to come out, like I did with the Starbound trilogy.

I’m on the fence about both the protagonists in this book. On one hand I appreciate the author’s reverse gender roles, but I’m actually one of those rare individuals who enjoys the ‘bad boy, but good guy’ trope. I had problems with Jules in the beginning, but eventually warmed up to him after a few chapters. Mia, is the ‘street-smart’ trope, who will do everything and anything for an ultimate goal, but there is something about her that didn’t really catch me. I just thought she was too much of every female characters we find in popular books these days, that I had a hard time differentiating her from the others. I can’t really dissect her in this review, since that will give too much of the whole story, and possible spoilers. Maybe she will grow on me in the next book, but since she might not be the main character in book two, I’m not sure how that will happen.

During my reading process of the book, I was entertained, but now that I think about it, there were too many downtime for my liking. I wished that she spent more time with exploring the caves or even create a proper world building of the dying earth, this would have given readers a better idea to the dire situation of the planet. I can’t really say that I hated the book since I did give it an almost 4 out of 5 stars, but there were too many unanswered questions by the end of the book. I guess this is the plan of the two authors, since that ending was a killer for me! I didn’t really take out points for the lack of the world building, since I know that the two will most likely explaining everything by the end of the trilogy, but I wished that they gave us a little bit more.

All in all, I enjoyed reading the book. It was one of my most highly anticipated read of 2018. Did it live to my expectation? Not really. The one thing I enjoyed about Starbound is the seamless flow of the stories between all six characters and the romance of all three couples. My two favorite is of course Tarver and Lilac, who I just adored. To be honest, although it’s really not fair, I was comparing our two protagonist with the main characters of These Broken Stars. Unfortunate for Jules and Mia, they just didn’t live up to my expectations. Their relationship, for me, didn’t seem quite as sincere and it didn’t really give me the butterflies that I experience with Lilac and Tarver. That being said, I still enjoyed the story as a whole. I like how Kaufman and Spooner writes together and I will definitely be picking up the second book in 2019 (if it will be released next year).

**************************SPOILER ALERT***************************

WARNING: THE ENDING WILL BE REVEALED

There’s a major cliffhanger in this novel. Although our two protagonist pass all the test that the undying laid out in the caves, they were tricked by Mia’s handler and Jules contact, who (it’s not really a surprise) is actually the same person. She was hired by the AI to follow Jules and capture as much Tech as they could transport to Earth. Unfortunately for all of them they, in turn, were tricked by the ‘Aliens’ who turned out to be other humans.

This is were the book ends and the readers are left wondering what these Undying want with their planet and why bother mislead everyone into thinking they are aliens. The fate of our protagonists is also left hanging in the air, since they are hiding (in a not so hidden area) inside the ship of the aliens/humans who is trying to invade their planet.

5 Star Book Prediction

I saw this idea being done with one of the Booktubers that I follow. The concept is to go through all the TBR books that you own and pick all the books you think will be a five star in you opinion, taking into consideration your likes and dislikes on books. I think the idea behind this is not so much as the popular opinion of the mass, but rather going with your gut feeling. I think this idea is really cool.

After you have compiled your list of ‘maybe’ 5-star reads and have finished reading them, you look back at your predictions and see if you were correct on you assumptions. I’m really interested on how well I’ll do on this challenge, because I rarely give a five star, so I think this will be a bit difficult to achieve.

Anyways, here are the books that I’m giving a temporary 5 star and hopefully by the end of the year, or whenever I finish the books on this list, I’ll be able to post on my success. Due to the fact that I’m a slow reading, I’m only going to be including 5 books, and if I have fun doing this, I might do another one next year. I will also include books that are either standalone or first in the series. Since I already I enjoy the series, I don’t think it’s fair for me to include a book from a series that I’m already giving a 5 start to.

 

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Brandon Sanderson’s books, especially his Mistborn Trilogy. Everyone, and I mean everyone, enjoyed these books and I have nothing but high hopes for it. My only problem is, if I get too excited for a certain book and my expectations for it are high, I tend to be let down. I’m hoping that this Sanderson book will not let me down.

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

This book was described as The Da Vinci Code of YA and that got me hooked right away. I haven’t gotten a chance in picking it up but the description of the book intrigued me. I’m a huge Dan Brown fan, although, I haven’t enjoyed all of his works to date, I really liked The Da Vinci Code and I’m interested to see how Maggie Hall managed to write a book with a similar concept.

Origin by Dan Brown

Speaking of Dan Brown, here is his latest novel in the Robert Langdon series. I know that this is technically a series, but they are individual stories that are really separate from each other. Although I do enjoy the main character, I don’t always enjoy each an every book within the series, since they are so different from each other. I will be sad to see him end this series.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I’m excited to actually get into this book. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and I’m not really sure why it’s taking me so long to pick it up. Not only do I want to know what all the hype is all about, but the description of this book is quite fascinating. This is basically a heist novel and of course nothing better than a heist novel set in an totally different backdrop.

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Growing up, I was a HUGE fan of Aladin. I would watch it every single day. I knew each line, every song and every movement of each character. I have the VHS, DVD and Blu-Ray of the movie and that shows how much I enjoyed it. So of course I have a feeling I will like this novel OR hate it. There could only be one side of the coin on this, no sitting on the fence for me.

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So those are my 5 books and I’m actually really excited for my predictions. I don’t know if it will come true or I will be a total failure. Only time will tell!

WISH ME LUCK!

 

It’s Time: Books I NEED to Read in 2018

I’m a major procrastinator and it’s a big problem when you’re a reader because I tend to buy books I want to read, but end up putting them off until It’s been sitting on my shelf for years.

These are the 10 books I really NEED to read in 2018. I’ve had these books for more than three years and I feel like if I don’t get to these this year, then I most likely will unhaul them. Since I don’t want to unhaul them, then I NEED to read them.

I got this idea from Books and Lala with her Closet unhaul last year. I don’t really buy a lot of books each month so I’m trying to do just the books I’ve owned the longest and instead of monthly, I’m doing it for the year. I can’t do her massive monthly TBR and actually stick to it.

magnus chase

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

I actually own all three books in the Trilogy and I was planning on reading all three in 2017, but like I said, I procrastinated and never got around to it. It’s been in many of my TBR last year.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

I’ve actually been putting this off reading because the books are huge, but since the third novel came out last year, I’ve been wanting to get back into this creepy world of the Roaring 20’s.

Shadow of Bone by Leigh Bardugoshadow and bone

I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t picked up a single Bardugo book and I want to remedy that this year. I’m a bit hesitant to get into this book, but I heard nothing but great things about the trilogy. I also definitely want to get to her other books, Six of Crows.

Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

I know nothing about this book and it really was an impulse buy. I read the back and I was hooked, plus the cover is so drool worthy. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten a chance to pick it up and actually see what the book is all about.

also known as.jpgAlso Known As by Robin Benway

I think this is the oldest book I own as of right now that I haven’t read. To be honest, I’m really not sure if I want to even pick this up. I bought this book during my ‘teen spies’ phase and I feel like I’ve already passed that stage. The only think that’s really keeping me from unhauling this book is the author. I’ve hear nothing but good things about Robin Benway’s books and I want to try her writing and since I have this book it’s the best way for me to check her out.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

I don’t want to read this book, but I have all three books. So I feel like I’m stuck to read it. Which is the reason why I’m not picking it up. I’m annoyed that I need to read it, but I don’t want to. I feel like I’m whining and it’s not very flattering, it’s just I haven’t been in a contemporary mood in a while now and I want to be able to put these books as read on my shelves! ARGH!

More Than This by Patrick Ness more than this

I’m a fan of Ness’ books. I’ve read all of his Knife of Never letting go Trilogy and his Monster Calls. This is one of those books that I really wanted to read a few years ago but my want to it is starting to dwindle. I love how he writes, I’m just not sure if this book is for me. I’ve heard mixed reviews for it and that’s really not helping my want to pick it up. I will probably try to read it this year, give it 100pages and if I don’t want to continue I’ll most likely unhaul it. Sorry!

Oracles of Delphi by Victoria Laurie

This is a chunk of a middle grade book. It has 500+ pages which is quite a lot for a middle grade novel and for that reason I’m hesitant to pick it up, but it’s been on my shelf forever. The fact that I totally forgot that I own this book, until I cleaned out my book shelf, just goes to show you how long I’ve own it. So definitely a must in 2018.

kiss-of-deception

Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

This trilogy recently wrapped up last year and that is how I found out I’ve owned this book for awhile now. Since the last book is finally out, I might as well pick it up. I’ve heard good things about it and other not so good things about it. I’m intrigued at which side of the fence I’ll fall in.

Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie King

I lied when I said AKA was my longest book unread, because that award should go to Beekeeper’s Apprentice. I’ve owned this book when I was still unmarried and living with my parents and I’ve been married for a couple of years now, so this definitely should be read this year. I’ve tried starting it when I bought it and I remember the beginning to be very dense. So I’m really reluctant.

***

That’s it. These are the books that I definitely need to read this year, or off to the Thrift Store it goes. So basically, ideally I have to read one book a month and I wave two months of free time. Since January is half way done, I basically have 1 free month.

Series I want to buy

Even though I have a lot of books on my TBR shelf already and loads of series that I want to start, there are still some series that I want to buy so I can have them for my collection of unread books.

Here are series I want to buy:

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
Book 1: The Final Empire
Book 2: The Well of Ascension
Book 3: The Hero of Ages
Book 4: The Alloy of Law
Book 5: Shadows of Self
Book 6: The Lost Metal
Book 7: Untitled
* I’m really not sure how many books will be in this series. I really thought it was a trilogy, I guess I’m wrong. I’m a bit overwhelmed right now.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Book 1: Strange the Dreamer
Book 2: The Muse of Nightmares
* I wasn’t a fan of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy (I’m one of the few), but I love her writing. Maybe this book will be more up my alley

The Expanse by James Corey
Book 1: Leviathan Wakes
Book 2: Caliban’s War
Book 3: Abaddon’s Gate
Book 4: Cibola Burn
Book 5: Nemesis Game
Book 6: Babylon’s Ashes
Book 7: Persepolis Rising
* There are two other books that’s going to be release in this series, both are still untitled. I’ve been meaning to get into more sci-fi novels, and I heard many good things about this series.

Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel
Book 1: Sleeping Giants
Book 2: Waking Gods
Book 3: Only Human
* I’ve heard many things about this trilogy, some good and some bad. It’s not for everyone apparently, but I still want to get my hands on it and try it out for myself.

The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
Book 1: The Name of the Wind
Book 2: The Wise Man’s Fear
Book 3: Doors of Stone
* I don’t really want to start this book because I heard that the author takes awhile to release his books. I’m one of those readers who forgets book and I really don’t want to wait for the rest to be released 5years or so from now. Also, have you seen his books! They’re so daunting!

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So there you have it. Those are 5 of the series that I really want to buy but haven’t gotten a chance to. As you can tell most of these are fantasy/science fiction. I feel like this year will be the year when this genre will win over mystery for me.

TBR Challenge #1: Meet Cute by an Assortment of well known Authors

meet cuteMeet Cute (Anthology) by Various Authors

Rating: It really depends on the story. My rating range from 3-4 out of 5

Theme: Short Stories, novellas, etc.

Why? This is one of those highly expected new release of 2018 and it works for me because it was perfect for the TBR Challenge. I also wanted to try out some of the authors that is in the book.

Review: A few years ago I read another anthology, similar to Meet Cute, My True Love Gave to me, and I wasn’t a fan of those stories. Mind you I’m not really much of a contemporary romance reader, but there are some occasional books that slip through and I actually end up enjoying them. This is one of those occasions that I had a memorable reading experience. Although I was really hesitant to pick this up, I’m glad that I did, I actually prefer these stories than the ones in My True Love Gave to Me. Also, I was able to try some authors I’ve been on the fence about in picking up their books, at least this way I was able to get a feel on how the author write.

There are some that was a hit and there are those that was a miss, understandable since authors doesn’t write the same way. I’m really not going to give a synopsis of the stories since they’re already pretty short. However, I will list the stories that I did like and those that I disliked.

Stories that I enjoyed:

  • Click by Catherine McGee
  • Somewhere that’s Green by Meredith Russo (This one by far is my favorite out of all the ones that I enjoyed)
  • OOMPH by Emery Lord
  • The Dictionary of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • The Unlikelyhood of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies
  • The Department of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon

Stories that I wasn’t fond of:

  • Printshop by Nina LaCour (this story reminded me too much of YOU with the whole social media stalking)
  • 259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan (This had such potential, but that ending…)

 

 

 

Book Date Monday 2018 #1

its-monday-what-are-you-reading

My first Book Date Monday: What are you reading? for the year 2018! It’s been awhile since I posted one. So as usually this Book Date Monday is hosted by
Kathryn @ Book Date, so if you want to participate, make sure you check her blog out and tag her.

Last Week I Finished:

I actually enjoyed both these books and can’t wait to read the next book in the Diabolic Trilogy. I’ll be posting a review for Meet Cute so stay tuned for that one.

Currently Reading:

I’m currently in the middle of The Amateurs by Sara Shepard, but it’s not grabbing me as much as I wanted it too. I really want to start the re-read on Ready Player One by Earnest Cline and I think that’s hindering me from enjoying the former. I’m going to start Ready Player One this week and hopefully get it out of my system so that I can finish Shepard’s novel.

Upcoming Reads:

I’m really yearning for more fantasy or science fiction novels this past few months and I’m not complaining because I really need to get some of my Sci-fi and Fantasy novels read. I’m not really sure what I will be picking up with my current mood, but these two books are in my TBR for the month. So we’ll see.