Category: Review

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Author: Stephanie Oakes
Published: June 9, 2015

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something—but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.

Kim’s Review:

This is the second time I’ve read Minnow Bly and I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first. Stephanie Oakes has a way of drawing the reader into the story and immersing them in the lives of the characters. I identified with Minnow since I also grew up in a cult-like environment. Thankfully my parents had brains and used them to think for themselves and there was no violence, so I wasn’t affected at all like Minnow was. I’ll admit that there is a huge difference between the school I went to and a cult. 😊

I also love how Oakes manages to draw the mystery out to the very end. She kept the scope relatively small and intimate; everything stayed believable and realistic. Minnow was a likable character that I had no problem rooting for even when the possibility of wrongdoing came into play. The idea of her missing hands made her more fascinating. And that brings me to the missing .5 star. I don’t like how the cover has a girl with hands holding a book . . . Minnow doesn’t have hands, why would you put a girl with hands on the cover??? Petty and picky, I know, but I can’t help it! Y’all know that covers mean a lot to me, so you can’t expect me to not analyze the cover! But overall, I really loved this book! Between this book and The Arsonist, I’m at the point that I will pick up anything written by Stephanie Oakes without question. I would definitely reserve this book for older teens, because there is some language. But I think anyone who enjoys brainy, psychological reads will enjoy this book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

 

The Merciless IV: Last Rites

Author: Danielle Vega
Published: June 12, 2018

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The fourth book of the scream-worthy cult series The Merciless combines Stephen King level terror with true crime stories like the Amanda Knox case.

The ropes tighten on Berkley Hubbard’s wrists. Blood drips down her fingers and lands with a smack on the cold floor of the church basement. She’s trapped, bound, and petrified by fear. A knife punctures her fragile skin as Berkley’s captors search for the mark of the devil on her body. They say they want to save her–drive the devil away and cleanse her soul–but will she make it out alive?

When Berkley arrived in Italy a week ago, the last thing she expected was that she’d end up fighting for her life. After spending six months at the Institute, confined to a room with the dangerous-yet-alluring Sofia Flores, Berkley was certain that a vacation in Italy with her two best friends would be the perfect getaway. But Berkley is hiding a terrible secret, one that threatens to undo everything. As she’s forced to face her wicked past, she learns that the devil is always watching, and no one is coming to save her.

**Kim’s review for the first three books in the Merciless series is here.

Kim’s Review:

This was such a great ending to a great series! The first 3 books got a little repetitive and predictable, so having a few weeks between reading them and the release of the 4th book was a good thing. But the 4th book was also different enough to stave off predictability. I liked how the story was resolved and more info was given about the demon moving from person to person. Plus, I just got back from Italy so I was feeling very nostalgic! 😉

There was a little drama that got annoying, but by the end of the story, I understood why it was included. The people that I was most fascinated by were the Italians! Europeans are usually more traditional and old school anyway, so superstition kind of goes hand in hand with that. Plus, the timeline goes between Berkley’s time in a mental institute and her vacation in Italy with her friends . . . how could it possibly get any better?? There is language, some adult themes, a lot of creepy, so probably not a good idea to give this book to younger readers. But if you love scary, creepy reads, this series is perfect!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

 

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Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Author: Zoje Stage
Narrated by: Gabra Zackman

To Be Published: July 17, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: June 21-28, 2018
Jessica’s Rating:  
Novel: 4 stars
Audio Narration: 5 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Jessica’s Review:

We have all seen movies or read books with creepy kids in them, and now you can add another to the list! Hanna is more than creepy, she is pure evil! This child will make you think twice about having children.

We have two points of view in Baby Teeth: Hanna and Suzette. There is no mistaking whose narration is whose.  The chapters alternate between Hanna and Suzette.

Hanna loves her Daddy more than anything; in fact she wants it to be just her and Daddy with no Mommy.  Hanna will go to great lengths to get Mommy (Suzette) out of the picture permanently. And she evolves in her methods as the novel progresses.  I had no idea how this book was going to end: and I am ready for more story, I hope Stage writes another!

This will not be a book for everyone.  The various things that Hanna does could be very disturbing to some.  And it’s not just Suzette that she hurts. Hanna will do anything she possibly can got get what she ultimately wants: Suzette gone.

Hanna is mute and plays the sweet angel to Daddy (Alex) while she is a complete 180 around Suzette. None of the characters are really likeable, they all have their problems.  I had issues with all of the Jenson (pronounced Yensen) family. Yes, Suzette is frustrated and frightened, but to heavily curse at her daughter?!?  If she could rewind the clock, you know what her decision about having a child would be.  Alex is just ignorant to everything and doesn’t listen to what his wife is trying to tell him. It’s right there staring him in the face but all he sees is an angel! In a way, Hanna is my favorite character as she really is pure evil! I loved the character but wanted her to get what is coming to her. I’m stuck in the middle between #TeamHanna or #TeamSuzette.  I really enjoyed Baby Teeth.

The Audiobook Narration:

I listen to many audiobooks, but don’t usually mention the narrator. The narrator to Baby Teeth is Gabra Zackman and she was wonderful! She had Alex’s Swedish accent down and pronounced the words in the way I would have not have been able to do. She played Suzette’s frustration perfectly and Hanna…. OMG, you could just hear and feel the hated in her narration!  Bravo, Gabra Zackman on a well done narration!

I give Baby Teeth 4 stars and the narration 5 stars! I would say listen to the audiobook versus reading it: the narration is that good! (Plus, the Swedish words are read to you versus you attempting to read it incorrectly in your head.)

Thank you St. Martin’s Press and Macmillian Audio for my audio and physical arcs. Baby Teeth was a pleasure to listen to and review!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
**You can read the first 10 chapters for FREE now! To get a taste of Baby Teeth get the sampler here.

Amazon UK
Please note: Baby Teeth is being released in the UK as Bad Apple.  It will be released on August 9th.

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