Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 7-25-23
YA - Thriller

Their Vicious Games- Joelle Wellington: As a scholarship student at the prestigious Edgewater Academy, Adina Walker has always known that she must work twice as hard to get even the slightest recognition afforded to her wealthy classmates. Adina has always ignored the snide comments of her classmates, knowing that the tiniest slip in her behavior could cause her to lose everything, and it does. After an altercation with another student leaves Adina with no college prospects, her only hope is the Finish, a notorious high-stakes competition hosted by Edgewater's founding family. The Finish is a competition where twelve young women get tested in a series of events, and the last one standing will have the backing to achieve whatever they desire. It doesn't take long for Adina to realize there's something off about the Remington family and that the stakes of the Finish are life or death.

I heard someone describe this as a lot like the movie Ready Or Not, and while I can see where they're similar, this stands on its own. I'm already a sucker for books with a competition element to them, but then when you mix in murder? Consider my attention piqued. It was fascinating to watch all these privileged, stuck-up teens turn cut-throat to get what they want. I liked watching Adina realize there are limits to what she would do to secure her future, and wouldn't let herself sink to their level. She managed to survive with her morals (mostly) intact, and I was rooting for her the whole time. You must suspend your disbelief because the plot is wild and over-the-top, and the characters don't feel like teenagers. But it was highly entertaining, and I recommend it if you're in the mood for a quick read.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 2-2-23
Adult - Historical Fiction

Weyward- Emilia Hart: In 1619, Altha awaits trial for witchcraft after the death of a local farmer. Altha's family has a long history of magic tied to nature, but Altha has always been cautious about letting anyone suspect her abilities. But women who are deemed unnatural will always be targeted. In 1942, Violet is trapped in her family's crumbling manor, longing to explore the world. Rumors swirl around her family and how her mother went mad before her death, but Violet finds hidden clues that point to powerful magic lying dormant in her blood. In 2019, Kate fled from her abusive boyfriend, heading for a cottage she inherited from an estranged great-aunt. When she arrives, she begins to suspect there are secrets hidden here that will change her life forever.

I thought this would be a mesmerizing story, and I was right. I loved seeing how these three family members were tied together despite the years. Usually, when we're following different POVs, there's always one I tend to like more than the others, but that wasn't the case here. I loved all three of these characters and was captivated by what was going on in their lives. Hart's writing was gorgeous and lush, and I felt fully transported in the story. The magic is subtle, and I love how it encapsulates how nature can heal and harm. I also liked seeing how it manifested for each woman. I found the pacing a little too slow at times, but overall, I thought it was a beautiful story of women reclaiming their power.

Rating: 4/5

Pub Date: 3-1-23
Adult - Historical Mystery

Murder in Postscript- Mary Winters: Amelia Amesbury may look the part of the dutiful widowed countess on the outside, but inside, she longs for adventure. She wants nothing more than to experience all life has to offer, but, for now, she'll live vicariously through the advice she doles out anonymously as Lady Agony for the local newspaper. Amelia is used to receiving letters asking for fashion tips, so when a lady's maid reaches out believing that her mistress has been murdered, Amelia is determined to help. Amelia enlists the help of her best friend and Simon Bainbridge, a marquis and friend of her late husband, to unravel the mystery. But the more she prods, the more dangerous the situation becomes. Can Amelia track down the killer before she becomes the next victim?

Don't you love when a book just hits the spot? I had zero expectations going into this and ended up loving it. Amelia was outspoken and unpolished, and unlike how a countess is supposed to be. She was so determined to help, and I loved how she never backed down from Simon trying to shield her from the investigation. And Simon? Mr. Tall-broad-and-broody? Yes, please. I instantly loved him. They worked so well together and had great banter. There are breadcrumbs littered through that hint at a romance brewing between the two, and I have a feeling it'll be the slowest of slow burns. The mystery was engaging and kept me guessing. It's more of a cozy mystery, so the stakes never felt too high. My one pet peeve was that Winters did that thing where there's a child character who talks/acts like an adult, which always bothers me. Other than that, I adored this and ate it up in one sitting. Now, I'll be impatiently awaiting the second book.

Rating: 5/5


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