Tag: 3 stars

Book Review: One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One
Author:  Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogene Church
Published:  September 8, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 18-30, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars     

Book Description:

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

An off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

Jessica’s Review:

One by One centers on a up and coming new social media app called Snoop, where you can do just that: Snoop on whomever you want and listen to the same music they are listening to at the exact same moment of time.  (You can keep your information as private or public as you want). This app is supposed to be the ‘next big thing’ and has a possible high selling price, if the shareholders want to.  And there are mixed feelings about selling the company. 

A certain number of employees of the company attend a retreat at a chalet, but there is an avalanche and one of the members goes missing, and they presume this person is dead.  There is also no power and things keep happening and well… others start dying and no one can really trust anyone. Everyone seems to have ulterior motives. 

We have two POVs: Erin- the host at the chalet (and thus the one in charge of the people and her resort) and Liz- an employee attending the retreat.  Through both of these perspectives we see the dynamics of this company and why everyone becomes a suspect.

Though the story is more of a mystery than a thriller, in fact it really is less than thrilling.  When we find out who the killer is it wasn’t anything really earth shattering and I finished it to see what would happen. I think this was an instance of too many characters in one story.  There was really no one to root and cheer for.  It also became a story of who is going to die next and how?  If you put all these people in one small place with no power, not much food, and nowhere to go of course paranoia will start running rampant.

Ruth Ware is an established author and I enjoy listening to her books. The narrator Imogene Church is wonderful as always.  Ware and Church have become two names synonymous for me.  (Such as Mary Kay Andrews and Kathleen McInerney- I also love that dynamic duo!)  Some of Ware’s books have not been totally for me while I have really enjoyed others.  This is an author I will keep reading! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Harrow Lake
Author: Kat Ellis

Published: August 25, 2020
304 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

Things I know about Harrow Lake:
1.It’s where my father shot his most disturbing slasher film.
2.There’s something not right about this town.

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker–she thinks nothing can scare her.

But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s quickly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot. The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map–and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away.

And there’s someone–or something–stalking her every move.

The more Lola discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her.

Kim’s Review:

Hmmmm… what an odd read.

It had a lot of good things in it, but it also has some pretty confusing things. I felt lost a good portion of the time. The pacing at the beginning was so fast that I started to think that something was up. But then, Lola ends up in Harrow Lake where everything slowed down to a snail’s pace. I’m all for a slow burn, but this just dragged. I was having a hard time connecting everything that was happening. The horror film, Night Jar, that was set in Harrow Lake felt like an extra element that did more to muddy the waters than to clear them. While Mary Ann fascinated me, I couldn’t really figure out her place in the story either.

Nothing really made any sense until the very end. I’m mostly happy with the way things turned out, most of the loose ends were tied up. I also like the horror elements that Ellis included in the book. There were some places where I felt the goosebumps.

Overall, this was an ok book. I’m glad I read it and I love the cover … but I’m also probably not gonna read it again.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer
Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Narrator: Adepero Oduye
Published: November 20, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 13-17, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…

Jessica’s Review:

My Sister is a short audiobook, at just 4 hours long and it is also the debut novel from Oyinkan Braithwaite who is from Lagos, Nigeria where the novel takes place.    It takes place in our current time with all the contemporary things we have including references to Instagram.

The narrator Adepero Oduye is also from Nigeria and that accent definitely enhanced the listening of this novel and made it feel more real.   You also get a feeling of what living in Nigeria is like and it is a country I would not want to live in, especially being a woman.

The novel does focus on the killings, but this novel is really all about family dynamics, sisterly love no matter what one does, and loyalty. We have two sisters, Korede and Ayoola.  One is ‘drop dead’ gorgeous while the other isn’t.  One is responsible in her life and the other isn’t. And one kills her boyfriends and the other helps clean up afterwards.  It’s all about sisterly love, isn’t it????  And who is more guilty? The one who kills or the one who helps cover it up afterwards???

This is a short novel with even shorter chapters and makes for a very quick read. The ending will either be enjoyed or not, it will come in how you take the rest of the novel.  Me, I enjoyed the ending. 

My Sister was not totally for me, I think it was because it ended up being a different type of novel than I thought it was going to be. I was ready for more violence and gore, but again, it is actually more of a story about sisters and family. 

Even though I rated it three stars My Sister, The Serial Killer is recommended. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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