Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Big thanks to the publishers for these copies!

Pub Date: 6-7-22
Adult - Mystery/Thriller

The Woman in the Library- Sulari Gentill: Winifred "Freddie" Kincaid is an aspiring author who comes to the States on a scholarship to work on her next novel. She spends her days writing at the Boston Public Library, hoping to get inspiration from the people around her. On one such day, she's sharing a table with three others when a scream pierces through the silence. While security tries to figure out what happened, Freddie and her tablemates strike up a conversation that leads to an unlikely friendship. When the news breaks that a body was found in the library, Freddie and her new friends set out to discover the truth about what occurred. But things aren't all that they seem, and Freddie quickly learns that the killer has been in front of her the entire time.

I didn't realize going in that this was not only a story within a story, but a mystery within a mystery as well. Had I known that, I probably wouldn't have picked this up because it got more and more convoluted as the story progressed. I didn't love the writing style or the characters. I didn't find myself taken with either storyline/mystery, so I didn't care much about how either played out. I think if the author just focused on one plotline, the story would've been more intriguing and interesting. Instead, it felt clunky and disjointed. Unfortunately, it was just one big miss for me.

Rating: 2/5

Pub Date: 6-7-22
Adult - Historical Fantasy

Ordinary Monsters- J.M. Miro: Charlie and Marlowe are two young boys who have nothing in common. They both come from different worlds, but one thing links them together: they each were born with special powers. Charlie can heal from any wound within minutes, and Marlowe has a strange bluish glow and can melt or mend flesh. When both boys are discovered by detectives, they believe they're being taken to a special school in Scotland to learn how to harness their abilities. But when they're attacked by a dangerous man with powers of his own, both boys quickly realize something more sinister is at play. Charlie and Marlowe have no choice but to team up with the other gifted children--dubbed the Talents--to uncover the secrets of the Institute and harness their powers before the world as they know it ceases to exist.

This checked so many boxes for me. Lush, atmospheric writing? Check. Interesting world-building? Check. An ensemble cast of characters with X-Men-like powers? Double-check. The premise of this book is fantastic. I loved the idea of this ragtag group of kids having to team up to save the world. Each kid had a unique power that was so interesting. I loved the bond forged between Charlie and Marlowe. It was so brotherly and just tugged at your heartstrings. But my favorite of the bunch was Ribs. I love a sassy character, and she was a firecracker and had me chuckling the whole time with her antics. I thought the mystery was solid, and I liked how the plot developed, but my main issue was the pacing. It took me a good 20-30% to get into the story, and I found some parts were jam-packed with action while others dragged a little. Despite that, I'll still be continuing with the series because I need to know what happens next after that ending. If you like stories with dark, eerie vibes and don't mind a denser read, I recommend checking this one out.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pub Date: 6-7-22
Adult - Historical Mystery

A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons- Kate Khavari: Saffron Everleigh would rather spend her time as a newly minted research assistant studying plants at the University College of London than at a stuffy dinner party. Saffron is expecting to spend the night listening to conversations about the university's upcoming expedition to the Amazon, so when one of the professors' wives drops to the floor, poisoned by an unknown toxin, Saffron is just as flabbergasted as everyone else. When the crime is pinned on her mentor, Saffron decides to launch her investigation to clear his name. Saffron enlists the help of a fellow researcher, Alexander Ashton, but will the pair be able to track down the real murderer before it's too late?

I was initially drawn in by the cover, but once I read the synopsis, I knew it'd be right up my alley. I can't say no to a historical mystery with a plucky heroine. I liked Saffron right off the bat. I thought she was smart, capable, and held her own against all the men who would belittle a woman in her field. She and Alexander had a nice dynamic together, and I enjoyed how they bounced off one another. They had great banter that I loved. I thought the plot was good, but it felt too simple; as did the writing. It was easy to read, and I flew through it in almost one sitting, but it felt clunky. However, I still liked this and would recommend it if you're looking for a cozier mystery.

Rating: 3/5


  1. Sad to hear about The Woman in the Library- that's not at all what I was expecting either so I'll probably skip this one!


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