Tag: fiction

Book Review: U Up? by Catie Disabato

U Up?
Author: Catie Disabato
Published: February 2, 2021
302 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 28-April 3, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 1 star

Book Description:

Eve has a carefully curated online life, works occasionally, and texts constantly with her best friend, Ezra. Basically, she is an archetypal L.A. millennial. She has also been carrying on a year-long conversation with her deceased friend Miggy over text. But when Ezra goes missing on the anniversary weekend of Miggy’s death, Eve feels like her world is shattering.

Over a frantic weekend Eve investigates Ezra’s disappearance, scouring social media for clues, while drowning her anger and anxiety in drinks, drugs, and spiritual cleansing. Eve starts to spiral as her friends try to convince her that she’s overreacting, and ghosts–both real and metaphorical–continue to haunt her. When she uncovers clues to a life Ezra kept hidden, Eve starts to question how much she really knows about her best friend… and herself.

In U UP? Catie Disabato holds a mirror to the ways the phantom selves we create online permeate our emotional lives and hide our worst traits from everyone, including ourselves.

Jessica’s Review:

I am not the target reader for this novel, in fact this one did not work for me at all. I received a copy from Amazon Vine for review, otherwise I would have put it down much earlier than I did. When sent something from the Vine, yes you must review it. Yes, I did ultimately DNF this one, with just 50 pages left which I will go into that later.

Eve is our narrator and speaks to us directly in addition to texting her friends which include Miggy who is a ghost. Yes, an actual ghost. He committed suicide, and we are at the one year weekend anniversary of his death and Eve is experiencing a variety of emotions. And then her best friend Ezra disappears after his girlfriend Noz breaks up with him. So goes Eve’s search for finding Ezra. Sounds interesting right? Yes, but the delivery of this novel did not work for me at all.

Eve is very unlikable; she and her friends use offensive language (The f word) and cocaine throughout the novel. She also uses the word d*ke repeatedly describing herself and other lesbians. This is a world I am not a part of and maybe it is ok to call yourself and others this word, but I just did not agree with the constant usage of it. And yes, Eve is a lesbian herself. I did not know going in to the novel that she is, and I did not have an issue with that, but we do go into that world of nightclubs and more. There are female on female sex scenes as well.

Another issue I had with the novel was with the text messages. The messages start and then a few pages later the messages continue but previous texts are shown again. The length of the novel could have gone down with just continuing the message stream versus repeating the texts.

The novel does go into showing how the excessive use of social media can affect a person. I do realize that we are at the anniversary of Miggy’s death, which brings up a variety of emotions and Eve’s grief, but Eve just comes off as shallow, so I did not connect with her character at all.

Once we find out what happens to Ezra is where I ended up DNFing the novel. There was just so much anger and more going on that at that point with just 50 pages left I just did not care about the ending and could not bring myself to read anymore. I was hoping in some way the novel would redeem itself. Maybe it does, but I just could not finish it. As I previously mentioned this one would have been put down much earlier, but I have to review it since it came from Amazon Vine, and I hate that it is a negative review.

All books are not for everyone and this one is not for me. I cannot recommend this one at all.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Blood Cruise by Mats Strandberg

Blood Cruise
Author: Mats Strandberg

Published: May 1, 2018
560 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

On the Baltic Sea, no one can hear you scream.

Tonight, twelve hundred expectant passengers have joined the booze-cruise between Sweden and Finland. The creaking old ship travels this same route, back and forth, every day of the year.

But this trip is going to be different.

In the middle of the night the ferry is suddenly cut off from the outside world. There is nowhere to escape. There is no way to contact the mainland. And no one knows who they can trust.

Welcome aboard the Baltic Charisma.

Kim’s Review:

This book was crazy: It was like watching an 80s slasher film, minus all the cheese! My only criticism was that it seemed to take forever to get to the blood; a lot of detail about a lot of people on the cruise that I can’t really say that I cared about. But Strandberg kept everything moving at a good pace and boy when disaster hit, it really hit!

I can’t really say much because this book is an ordeal of pretty big proportions and it should be experienced! It had me from page one and then stuck in my brain after I closed it! It is perfect for a slasher fan and will scratch whatever horror and gore itch you may have! I absolutely recommend it to the horror fans out there!! It was crazy, but awesome!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Double Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab! We both gave it 5 stars and so far it is my top read of the year! We will see if anything can top this one for me!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
Author:  V.E. Schwab

Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published: October 6, 2020
448 Pages

Book Description:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.


Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
Dates Read: January 13-26, 2021
Format Read: Audiobook
Jessica’s Review:

Oh My GOSH!!! This one will be tough to beat as my #1 pick of the year so far, and we still have so much of the year to go! Addie gives you so many feelings, wonderful yet bad! I thought I was going to be ugly crying at the end of this one, but no  I did not, but my heart was still broken at the end (but in such a good way!)

On the eve of her wedding that she does not want, Addie LaRue prays to a god of some kind for the wedding to not happen.  A deal is made and now Addie will now live until she no longer wants to and will become his.  Living basically forever, Addie is suddenly forgotten once a person turns away from her. Imagine a life of never having a home and constantly moving and no one remembering you except for a slight memory of seven freckles on her cheeks….. Until one day she is in a bookstore and hears three words she never thought she would hear again: “I remember you”.  How does this man named Henry remember her when no one has for over 300 years?  This begins a new adventure in Addie’s extended life.

Again, prepare yourself for ALL the feelings you could possibly feel in this novel!  The author’s writing is just beautiful with so many worthwhile quotes in it.  It can be a slow moving novel that moves in two directions: Addie’s long 300+ year life going from the past to present day, and also Henry’s perspective. The devil/demon himself who goes by the name of Luc, pops up off and on throughout Addie’s extended life, bringing the pain that Addie feels to the surface.

There are some surprises that pop up throughout, and I thought I knew how the novel was going to end, but no, it went in another heartbreaking direction. I can say this: I will remember Addie and her story.

This novel is very highly recommended.

Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
Kim’s Review:

I’m still dealing with my feelings after reading this book! It was emotional, to say the least!

I went into it not really knowing what to expect, and I’m glad I did. I read the description long before I bought the book, so I knew I was interested, I just wasn’t dependent on the description. And this is definitely one of the more popular reads right now. Jessica gushed over it, so of course I was gonna read it.

It actually had me from the beginning. Some books try to ease you into the story and takes a few chapters. Not Addie! Everything started at the very beginning! I liked Addie right away. She was relatable and human. I think my only real issue with the entire book was the way Addie, despite her many years, still seemed to act like a teenager. But even this was tempered by her extreme cynicism so I’m not even gonna complain about it. The whole theme of the book seemed to be that time should never be taken for granted and I certainly pondered that long after I closed the book. There’s even a part of me that would love a sequel, but I actually liked the open way Schwab ended Addie LaRue.

Overall, this was an awesome read!! I couldn’t put it down and I had all the feels while reading it! The characters were likable and the ending tied everything up! There are some objectionable elements so I wouldn’t call this completely teen safe, but I’d still recommend it to pretty much everybody!


Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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