Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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Published July 2nd 2019 by Dutton

384 Pages

Goodreads Summary: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Review: This is my first book by Riley Sager and after seeing all of the hype about the first two books he wrote, I was equal parts nervous and excited to get a review copy of Lock Every Door. I love mysteries so that won out in the end and I gave it a shot. The synopsis totally hooked me too.

Jules has had a rough life. First, her sister disappears without a trace. Then a couple years later, her parents pass away and she is left all alone in the world with a mountain of debt. Then she catches her live-in boyfriend cheating on her the same day she loses her job…. Talk about a tough break. So when she finds an ad for an apartment sitter in Manhattan, she jumps on the chance and finds herself interviewing at a building she never in a million years would have dreamed she would have the opportunity to live in. A book she grew up reading with her sister took place in this very building. Her first day there isn’t even over before things start to get a little weird. There are all of these weird rules including that they are not allowed to have visitors or spend a night outside of the apartment. She meets another apartment sitter named Ingrid and they make a plan to meet up every day to make the time go faster and get out of the building. That plan very quickly falls apart.

This book was very well written. I was gripped by the story and the characters. I really connected with Jules and empathized with her situation. The more the story goes on, the more twists there are. Once you think you have an idea of what is happening, something else happens that throws all your ideas out the window. The action continually builds until the last few chapters when things explode. I was really surprised by the big reveal. I will most definitely be reading Riley Sager’s other books, both past and future.

5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

41733208. sy475 Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa (Shadow of the Fox #2)

Published June 25th 2019 by Inkyard Press

304 Pages

Goodreads Summary: One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Review: Last year when I read Shadow of the Fox, I was blown away. It was such a great, original fantasy and I loved all of the Japanese folklore and myths that Julie Kagawa tied in. So when I got a review copy of the sequel, Soul of the Sword, I was ecstatic.

Beware going forward if you haven’t read Shadow of the Fox. This is a review for book 2 so there will be some spoilers from the first book because that’s pretty unavoidable.

This was such a great sequel! There was so much action and adventure that picked up right where Shadow of the Fox left off. I was so nervous to see what was going to happen with Tatsumi after he was possessed completely by the evil Hakaimono. It was so nerve wracking following Tatsumi/Hakaimono traverse the countryside wreaking havoc in his effort to free Hakaimono from the curse of the sword altogether.

One thing that surprised me, in a good way, was how close Okame and Daisuke were becoming. There were some definite vibes going on between the ronin and the samurai that had me totally shipping them 100%.

I couldn’t believe the ending! It was so incredibly intense! I really can’t wait for the next book and it’s going to be really hard waiting an entire year for it. This series has it all. Humor, action, adventure, romance, you name it. If you haven’t read book one yet, I highly suggest you check it out.

5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Top Ten Strong Female Characters

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Girl. Each week there is a different topic. This week’s topic is a character freebie so I decided to go with Strong Female Characters. Check out the links to go to the first book in each series (except for Queen of Shadows and Outlander) to read more about these characters. Queen of Shadows and Dragonfly in Amber are the first books that my selected character appears in those series.

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Who are some of your favorite strong female characters?”

Top Ten Childhood Favorites

Top Ten Tuesday

Hey everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these posts but I have so many anticipated releases for the rest of the year that this one came pretty easy to me. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Girl. Each week there is a different topic. This week’s topic is Childhood Favorites.

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I love this week’s topic. I devoured books when I was a child, even more than I do now. I loved going to the library to pick out new books. And over the years I’ve gradually been collecting the books I loved to read when I was growing up. Here is a stack of ten of my favorite books that I read when I was growing up.

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  • Dove and Sword by Nancy Garden – This was one of my absolute favorites, in case you couldn’t tell from how worn the spine is haha. I think this was one of my first purchases from the Scholastic Book Fair. I actually found a hardcover copy at Half Price Books a few years ago so I have that as my back up if/when this copy falls apart. This book is about Joan of Arc from the perspective of a childhood friend who went along on Joan’s journey. I think I read it at least 4 times.
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – This entire series holds a special place in my heart as well as the movies. I feel such a kinship with Anne Shirley and love her story so much.
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl – This one is kind of representative of several of Roald Dahl’s books, but this one is definitely my favorite one that he wrote.
  • Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder – This series also holds a special place in my heart. I’ve also been able to visit at least one of the places where Laura Ingalls lived.

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  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt – I’ve always loved this story and really need to find a copy that doesn’t have the movie cover on it. I liked the movie for what it was but I just generally don’t like movie cover editions of books.
  • Save Queen of Sheba by Louise Moeri – This was a book I first read with my 4th grade class and loved. I still remember parts of it pretty vividly although I haven’t read it in a long time.
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry – Everyone loves The Giver, and while I enjoyed it too, it’s not my favorite she’s written. This book is. I’ve lost count of how many times I read this book and count it as one of the reasons why I love WWII history so much.
  • Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech – I loved a lot of her books – Walk Two Moons, Chasing Redbird – but this one was probably my favorite. And totally funny story but since we were so young, my friends and I pronounced “Chaos” as “Ch-ouse” haha. We still get a kick out of it when we talk about that book.

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  • A Journey to the New World  by Kathryn Lasky – This one is representing the entire Dear America series. I freaking loved these books so much and couldn’t get enough of them. I still am working on collecting as many as I can get my hands on.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – One of my all time favorite classics. I always identified most with Jo with a splash of the other three sisters.

Also, shout out to some other books I loved while I was growing up – Goosebumps, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Sideways Stories From Wayside School, and the Boxcar Children.

What were some of your favorite childhood reads?

Month In Review: June 2019

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How is June over already?! This whole year is going way too fast. I haven’t had as much time for reading this year but I’m hoping to fit in more during the second half of the year than I did the first. This month I started reading ARCs again which is throwing my TBR a little bit but the review copies I read were pretty great so I’m glad I started fitting them in again. I also finally finished my 3rd read through of The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon which is book 5 of the Outlander series. Most of the books I read in June were review copies actually. In addition to reading some really good books this month, I also had a pretty great book haul. I’m really excited to read all of the books that I got. I’m not sure when I’ll read them because… never ending TBR… but they will be read at some point this year.

  • June 2019 Books Read: 6
  • 2019 Books Read: 51
  • June 2019 Pages Read: 3,443
  • 2019 Pages Read: 19,973

Books Read In June

  • Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard
  • We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman (eARC)
  • Everything by Jennifer Weiner (eARC)
  • The Summer Country by Lauren Willig (review copy)
  • The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (re-read)
  • Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin (eARC)

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Book Haul

  • Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
  • Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  • The Darkest Time of Night by Jeffrey Finley
  • The Dark Above by Jeffrey Finley
  • DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

And now for a little check-in for my year-to-date stats. I like to keep track of all kinds of different things including genre and format. So far this year my most read genre is historical fiction which is making up 32% of the books I’ve read so far this year. The past few years I’ve been pretty heavy on the YA books but this year 88% of the books I’ve read so far have been adult books. On average I read 109 pages every day which is pretty great considering there are days I don’t read at all. I’m really looking forward to seeing how those numbers change as we go through the rest of the year.

What books did you read in June? Any new favorites or books you’d like to recommend?