EVERY LAST SECRET by A.R. Torre

Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.

As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.



Title : Every Last Secret
Author : A.R. Torre
Format : eARC
Page Count : 389
Genre : Thriller
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Release Date : December 1, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Every Last Secret was enjoyable, unputdownable and a little crazy. This book was a bit consuming, a lot conniving and cunning with characters I don’t think I was ever supposed to like. However, I definitely appreciated the characters, their development, the evil sides and morally grey-ness. There were a few good types thrown in just to balance it out though.

The story focused on an uber-rich community and a interloping couple Neena and Matt. Cat and William were too good to be true and boy did that play out in a spectacular way. William in particular was an aloof character, not particularly nice and Cat was a crafted and perfected individual; lots of facets for the reader to get their teeth into.

The real William Winthrope was an asshole, and I was fascinated by him.

While I was there for every twist and turn, I did know where it was going broadly and who the perpetrator was. I really enjoyed the dynamics between Cat and Neena, Cat and William, Matt and everyone. The blurring of lines between these couples was gripping and kept me hooked.

She smiled, and I smiled, and the morning chill didn’t have anything on us.

There was something about the end portion of the book that begged for a little more depth in my opinion although I did love the final pages. This was such a clever story and A.R. Torre always gets me with her thrillers/suspense. I think this genre is where she is most talented.

Every Last Secret really gave me Big Little Lies-vibes so if you’re a fan of that book, definitely try this one.

Thank you to Thomas & Mercer for the early review copy.

LAYLA by Colleen Hoover

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover comes a novel that explores life after tragedy and the enduring spirit of love.

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.



Title : Layla
Author : Colleen Hoover
Format : eARC
Page Count : 301
Genre : Contemporary/PNR
Publisher : Montlake
Release Date : December 8, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ .5



Micky’s 2.5 star review

A curious tale to start, turning into something I wasn’t expecting (trying to stay spoiler-free here) and then too much of the ridiculous for my taste. Layla and Leeds (Leeds is a city, not a town by the way) met and magnetised in a lust at first sight kind of interaction. I was all eyes and ears for this. What ensued was a quick obsession with one another until tragedy knocked at their door.

Leeds was a musician, song writer and I have to say how much I love when Colleen Hoover writes song lyrics, she really hits the spot with her words through lyrics and I will always relish when I see them in her books. However, I would prefer to see heroes from authors with different occupations. I don’t want to compare to Maybe Someday, for example. Leeds was the narrator in this story and I enjoyed that it came from his POV, even though I didn’t like him at all as a character.

What ensued was me being scared with the paranormal element until things were explained, then I settled into it. The story kept me reading and did provide three good twists but I felt like things weren’t always explained well enough and there was a bit of ‘that’s just how it is’. ‘The interviewer’ exasperated me…and that’s how I felt a bit at the end, exasperated and a bit deflated. It just didn’t work as a story for me but I’m sure many will love it.

I admire Colleen Hoover for turning her hand to different genres but so far, only her romances hit the spot for me. I guess we can’t like them all, it’s that age old thing but I was really buzzing for this one and then disappointed when it didn’t work for me.

Thank you Montlake for the early review copy.

BRAMBLES by Intisar Khanani

In the kingdom of Adania, everyone knows what Princess Alyrra did to earn the court’s contempt, her mother’s disdain, and her brother’s hatred.

She betrayed her own.

Yet, the truth hides another story, one of honor and honesty, of a princess gambling her own life for another’s. It’s a tale of courage and consequences, and a choice that can never be undone.

A short story prequel to her multi-starred fantasy, Thorn, Intisar Khanani’s “Brambles” gives Alyrra’s account of what really happened all those years ago, and how a few critical days turned her life into a daily fight for survival.


Title : Brambles
Author : Initisar Khanani
Series : Dauntless Path #0.5
Format : e-ARC
Page Count : 40
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Hot Key Books
Release Date : December 7, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3 star review

Brambles is a prequel novella to the full length and wonderful Thorn (you can see my review here). This story finds Alyrra quite a bit younger and back in time in her original lands. This really is a brief origin story about why Alyrra found herself on the end of Valka’s wrath and how the plot for Thorn eventually unravels.

I hated Alyrra’s brother and Valka in Thorn so this wasn’t the nicest company to be keeping in this novella. These two were bullies in Alyrra’s life, manipulating and controlling. Alyrra’s mother wasn’t much better either. I always hated that Alyrra didn’t have any allies at the beginning of Thorn and this is what we see in Brambles. BUT this was still a very engaging world to be in. Reading about villians can still be fulfilling!

The world created in this series is intruiging, pretty fresh and as a collective, I’ll alwaysbe happy to read in this world. If you aren’t aware, the second book in the series The Theft of Sunlight is coming in March 2021 and I couldn’t be more excited about it. Whilst Brambles is not essential reading to the series, it’s a welcome snippet and insight into the grand story.

Thank you to the author for the early review copy.

DAYS OF BLOOD & STARLIGHT by Laini Taylor

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?



Title : Days of Blood & Starlight
Author : Laini Taylor
Series : Daughter of Smoke & Bone (book two)
Format : paperback
Page Count : 528
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date : November 6, 2012 (original) / December 1, 2020 (new editions!)

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5



Hollis’ 4.5 star review

“.. absolutely preparing myself to be destroyed and devastated all over again,” was how I wrapped my review of book one. Because I remembered the vibe of this story more than the events themselves. Infact, only a few scenes stood out to me, so it was almost like reading this for the first time. I think maybe I had forgotten most of what happened in this series outside of book one and a few broadstrokes. I have a feeling book three will be the one I recall the least.

What can a soldier do when mercy is treason, and he is alone in it?

I actually don’t think this book was quite the devastation or destruction I remembered it to be, vibe or no. But it’s definitely relentless. Hit after hit is taken, not all of them all-encompassing, but enough that it wears you down. Just like Karou is worn down, worn thin, believing she has no path but the one she’s on. And I think it was that atmosphere that allowed for those few (very few) moments of sweetness, of levity, to feel both out of place but impossible not to cling to. Like the image of Zuzana and Mik, fragile humans, playing amongst creatures of nightmare and imagination and death. Your brain questions it but you can’t look away.

Mercy, she had discovered, made mad alchemy; a drop of it could dilute a lake of hate.

There was a lot of hurt in this book; in the sense of loss, of betrayal, of grief, of a dream that will never be realized, of hope. Because hope, too, hurts.

As always, Taylor’s writing was impeccable, the way she toyed with us every time, making us believe one thing, only to reveal the opposite, was both breathtaking and left the heart pounding and also something of a trap. Because just when you come to rely on that, to expect it to happen each time, it won’t. Sometimes the bad, the sad, is the reality and there’s no surprise waiting to tell you otherwise. But it’s a compelling way to force one’s readers to devour page after page, chapter after chapter. Which is what I did. Not just out of hope but also because I just could not tear myself away.

For all that this was grim, and at times hopeless, I think it’s probably my favourite of the two. The questions posed, the wrong for the right reasons, the push for vengeance which only propels more violence to answer the call, the conflict our characters felt, made me feel so much.

I also feel helpless to do anything other than jump into book three.. right.. now.

** I received a finished copy of the new edition from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

There are no strangers in the town of Near. 

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. 

But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. 

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. 

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.



Title : The Near Witch
Author : Victoria Schwab
Series : The Near Witch (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 279
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Titan Books
Release Date : March 12, 2019 (reprint)

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 



Hollis’ 2 star review

This was Schwab’s debut and it certainly reads like one.

While I like the concept of this story and enjoyed how it unfolded in the beginning, it did start to lose me because of the insta-quick romance and the various antagonists, particularly the one who was our main character’s age. Almost every character felt rather flimsy, to be honest, almost as insubstantial as the witch. The few exceptions were a few female characters; the lead wasn’t bad but I preferred the old crones of the town and the sense of sisterhood both in the family and that permeated the general atmosphere. It was a nice counterbalance to the fact that 98% of the male characters were terrible — I don’t mean terribly written but just terrible people.

What added an extra heaping of disappointment was the fact that the love interest was one of the the only male characters that didn’t quite suck and in the added bonus short story? Well. I had felt something for him in THE NEAR WITCH but in THE ASH-BORN BOY it sort’ve all faded away. Wasn’t a fan of that short.

I get the point was likely to just preserve the original and reprint, as opposed to revise something that once existed, but I think this could’ve been made so much better. And it’s a shame it wasn’t. This could’ve been great.

The setting and sordid history of it all gave me some Hocus Pocus meets Practical Magic vibes, but YA, and I was very into it. Schwab does well with imagery and description. But thankfully her characters have come a long way since these early days. I’m glad I read it, particularly having just revisited another early series of hers (which thankfully was just as good on reread), but this wasn’t quite it.

CHRISTMAS ISLAND by Natalie Normann

Cosy up in front of a fire and discover Christmas the Norwegian way…full of romance, cosy traditions and hygge!

In the bleak midwinter…
A really frosty wind is making Holly’s life absolutely miserable

After all the years of hard work it took Londoner Holly Greene to become a doctor, now it could all be taken away and she only has herself to blame. She’s retreating to her brother’s rustic home on an island off the coast of Norway to lick her wounds. Only, it’s the middle of winter and icy slush plus endless darkness isn’t exactly the cheery, festive getaway she had imagined.

Nearly stumbling off the edge of a cliff in the dark, Holly is saved by Frøy, a yellow-eyed cat of fearsome but fluffy proportions, and his owner – grouchy, bearded recluse, Tor. Tor has his own problems to face but the inexplicable desire to leave a bag of freshly baked gingerbread men on Holly’s doorstep is seriously getting in the way of his hermit routine.

Call it kindness, call it Christmas, but Holly’s arrival means midwinter has never looked less bleak.


Title : Christmas Island
Author : Natalie Normann
Format : e-ARC
Page Count : 340
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : One More Chapter
Release Date : November 30, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 2.5 star review

The idea of Christmas Island hit all the seasonal buttons for me and in November, I find I’m primed ready for a Christmas read. I’m also a Norwegian descendant, so that all added into my buzz for this read.

Christmas Island was a very low-key, low-drama tale, set on a wet and somewhat uninspiring island off the coast of Norway. This was the story of Holly, an English doctor escaping a work issue and coming for the season to her brother’s house. The hero of this piece was Tor, a hermit-come-introvert with a wild cat. All the potential was there for this couple but I felt zero connection or chemistry to them or betweeen them and that made me super disappointed.

The meet-cute in this book happened immediately in the book and it was the best thing about the story, so once that element was over, everything afterwards felt anti-climatic. The plot was very meandering and lacking in excitement.

I felt disappointed by the setting for the book. There was a fair bit of emphasis about the bleakness of the setting and it didn’t inspire that lovely Norwegian Christmassy feel I was seeking.

So overall, you can see how this book didn’t work for me. I wanted more plot, more couple-connection and a more of a sense of seasonal warmth. Hopefully it’ll work more for others than for me.

Thank you to One More Chapter for the early review copy.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?



Title : Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Author : Laini Taylor
Series : Daughter of Smoke & Bone (book one)
Format : paperback
Page Count : 433
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date : September 27, 2011 (original) / December 1, 2020 (new editions!)

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★



Hollis’ 4 star review

Don’t worry, I’m not late to the party when it comes to this series. This is a reread inspired by the upcoming release of the tenth anniversary paperback editions featuring new covers that, to be quite honest, I didn’t love at first sight. But in person? Wow do they grow on a body. And lets be real, as much as I love a cover, it’s the insides that really matter. And was I afraid this might not live up to my memories? A tiny bit. It’s 2020 after all. Much stranger things have happened.

Despite owning two different editions of this series, this was my first reread. I don’t know how that’s possible, either, but thankfully reliving the magic and wonder and heartbreak was only slightly less pow, bam, boom, amazing than the first time.

Loneliness is worse when you return to it after a reprieve — like a soul’s version of putting on a wet bathing suit, clammy and miserable.

Taylor’s writing is.. well, I mean, you either love it or you hate it. But I love it. I love how vividly and perfectly I can picture everything she describes. I love how I can sense the emotion she’s trying to convey. I love how her characters can make you laugh just as quickly as they can make you bleed. It’s really the whole package for me.

To take from the universe, you must give.
But.. why pain? Couldn’t you give something else? Like.. joy?
It’s a balance. If it were something easy to give, it would be meaningless.
You really think joy is easier to come by than pain? Which have you had more of?
That’s a good point.

If, after all these years, you’re still on the fence about this series, you should definitely.. get off that fence. There is such wonder and magic in this story and, yes, darkness but also humour, with strong characters, hints of destiny, and.. inevitability, I guess. In a good way.

Surprising no one, I’m diving face first right into book two and absolutely preparing myself to be destroyed and devastated all over again. Bring it.

** I received a finished copy of the new edition from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

ROCK by Anya Sunday

Igneous.

When Cooper’s parents divorce, he finds himself landed in Week About—one week with his mum and one week with his dad.
Only, it’s not just his dad he has to live with. There’s Lila, too: The other woman, the one who stole the rock-solid foundation of his life. 
And then . . . 
There’s Jace. Lila’s son. Lila’s smug, regurgitated-fish-scale-blue eyed son. 
All Cooper wants is to have his family back the way it once was, but there’s something about this boy that promises things will never be the same again. 

Sedimentary.

Resisting the realities of his new life, Cooper and Jace get off to a rocky start. But rocky start or not, after hundreds of shared memories together, they forge something new. A close . . . friendship. 
Because friendship is all they can have. Although it’s not like they are real brothers. Technically, they’re not even stepbrothers . . . 

Metamorphic.

But how does that friendship evolve under the pressures of life? 
Under pressures of the heart?



Title : rock
Author : Anyta Sunday
Format : eBook
Page Count : 248
Genre : LGBTQIAP+ contemporary romance
Publisher : indie
Release Date : October 1, 2014

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2 star review

So this is a big yikes for me as this book is one of my buddies’ favourites and one I’ve been keen to read for a while (but likely avoided because of said aforementioned status as a buddy’s favourite — the pressure!). But I can’t say I went into this with any preconceived notions or trepidations because I had no idea what it was actually about and knew only that it was an m/m contemporary. And now, having read it, what people likely assume was my problem with this.. wasn’t. Or rather it wasn’t my main issue or why I disliked this.

Said main issue was this : I realize the family dynamic is purposefully a little messy and chaotic and that plays into complications between Cooper and Jace but.. like, wow, this family really did that and just went along as if it was okay? Like, I’m not going to spoil anything but what Cooper and his sister Annie are just forced to accept? Wow. Hard no. And to be honest I’m not sure how it was any better for the other side, either. I’m sure this kind of thing happens in reality (though I hate to think it), but I found the whole thing so strange. Particularly in the beginning when everyone just found themselves distracted by “family vacation fun-times” as, like, what a bribe? A manipulation into forcing camraderie and connection? I’m honestly pretty mad. Maybe I’m taking this a little too far but it left a bad taste in my mouth.

As for the angst itself, I mean, I don’t like how things were left when it came to a certain unveiling but I think what was more disappointing about it all was that I didn’t find either character very compelling. No one, in fact, in the entire story really interested me. This was likely exacerbated by time jumps, weird chapter ends, and strange transitions, which made it hard to really connect to anyone or feel grounded in events or emotions. Which didn’t help when we later had the whole cyclical back and forth of it all which just felt kind of tired and tedious — even though I didn’t know if this would even have an HEA and therefore couldn’t predict what awaited me. I was prepared for either result and not quite invested to care either way. Though maybe I would’ve liked it more had it gone in the opposite direction it did? Unsure.

So, yes, I feel bad (my shoulders have been up around my ears as if said buddy was lurking behind me as I write this) but this wasn’t remotely a win. However, in order to not end on a negative note, I will say the writing had moments of loveliness and the reason for the title, the way Cooper connected to rocks, was sweet. But sadly that’s all I’ve got.

THE UNBOUND by Victoria Schwab

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy, not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real. When her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s truly safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. Unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything: not only her role as Keeper, but her memories – and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?



Title : The Unbound
Author : Victoria Schwab
Series : The Archived (book two)
Format : physical/hardback
Page Count : 346
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date : January 28, 2014

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★



Hollis’ 4 star review

THE UNBOUND picks up a few weeks after the end of book one and things are both better, for having survived and having come out ontop of the villain from the previous book, and also worse because surviving, and winning, doesn’t mean you come out unscathed. Family dynamics take an even messier turn over the course of this installment because of near misses and secrets and oh boy. I get the difficulties but these particular parentals were something. Additionally, Mackenzie is haunted both literally and figuratively by what happened to her but this time she doesn’t have the freedom of movement or time because summer break is over and school’s in session. It’s a new school, too, which means new routines and new faces but maybe one familiar one.

“I’m not ready for this.
You hunt down the animated records of the dead in your spare time. I’m pretty sure you can handle private school.

I’m always a sucker for an ensemble and while Mackenzie’s new social group doesn’t take up too much page time they are still very present and very fun — and not without complicated histories (little h!) to navigate.

The walls between worlds used to feel like they were made of stone — heavy and impenetrable. These days, they feel too thin. The secrets, lies, and monsters bleed through, ruining the clean lines.

And it’s not the only thing to navigate. The Archive is coming down hard on her, in new ways, and while in some ways the villain from before is still present in this book, there’s also a new baddie : one of the top members of the Archive is out to discover what Mackenzie is hiding, by any means necessary, but all for the good of the Archive. I did kind of question this insane zeal but it does kind of fit with the the mixed bag of feelings about the Archive itself; it has an important role but not everyone involved is on the level.

And speaking of important role? Wesley. That’s all.

I don’t remember this feeling as open ended as it clearly is but in the years since I’ve read this at least we know (?) there are plans to continue this series. Eventually. Maybe. That’s reassuring. Plus I’d love to see where Schwab goes with these characters after all these years. I am definitely here for it. I’m not sure I liked this one as much as book one but as an overall arc? It works so well. Plus this just brought with it so much more Wesley and, as established, that’s all I need.

One more thing? Don’t forget to read this after you finish.

THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?



Title : This is Not a Test
Author : Courney Summers
Series : This is Not a Test (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 337
Genre : YA horror/post-apocalyptic thriller
Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date : June 19, 2012

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ .5



Hollis’ 1.5 star review

I wish I could say my problem with this book was the fact that I was reading about the downfall of society in the face of a zombie apolcalypse whilst enduring a global pandemic but sadly this just sucked because of the characters. However the scary part is it is very likely to be a realistic portrayal of a group of dysfunctional teens and the drama and chaos as they try to survive.. but it still just sucked to experience.

The arguments, the antagonizing, the petty BS.. it was just never ending. This clocks in at just over three hundred pages but it felt so much longer and I dreaded picking this up every time I put it down. Which is why I powered through it this afternoon just to be done with it. The zombie aspect was fine and I actually liked those action sequences. I would’ve been happier with more of those, maybe? It was the humans I hated. I definitely wanted them to die off quicker. Too harsh? Sorry.

That said, I did pick up the novella that follows this, from a different POV, and that was better. Not good or great but readable. Also, short! It was more action packed but with an ending that was pretty sad, awful, sawful and yet also somewhat open ended so I don’t think if there’s eventual plans for more or not. But.

There are plenty of similar themed stories out there. I would give this a miss.

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