Like, Follow, Kill by Carissa Ann Lynch – A Review

Hi. We’ve established by now that I have failed Blogtober, I think. To my defense, I had family stuff the past week, and keeping up with that, work and reading was difficult enough. I come back today with a review!

Like, Follow, Kill by Carissa Ann Lynch
  • Publication Date: October 25th 2019
  • Publisher: One More Chapter
  • Genre: Mystery thriller

Badly scarred after the accident that killed her husband, Camilla Brown locks herself away from the world.  Her only friendships are online, where everyone lives picture-perfect lives. 
In private Camilla can follow anyone she likes. And Camilla likes a lot.

Especially her old school friend Valerie Hutchens.  Camilla is obsessed with Valerie’s posts, her sickening joy for life, her horribly beautiful face.  But then Camilla spots something strange in one of Valerie’s posts – a man’s face looking through her window, watching, waiting…
And then Valerie goes missing…

Thank you to NetGalley for providing and eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Like, Follow, Kill is a book I thought I’d love. It’s about this woman, Camilla, who was in a car accident with her husband, Chris, while drunk driving. She came out of the accident scarred, her face quite disfigured, yet still somehow, she got the better end of the stick than her husband, who died in the accident. Camilla locks herself up in her house and turns to social media for any kind of entertainment. She follows her school acquaintance, Valerie, very closely, developing an obsession for her perfect, glamorous life. And then Valerie goes missing…

I think anyone who enjoys thrillers would be hooked after that synopsis. Unfortunately, the story didn’t turn out to what I wanted it to be. The bones of it were great, the ideas solid. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll be very vague about my thoughts. I thought the main character was well done, but apart from one mention at the start, there is nothing that explains the person she is and why she is like that. She’s not very likeable (not that she’s meant to), none of the characters really are, and I feel like most of them lack depth – or at least the depth I’d like them to have.

The book was suspenseful and fast paced. The first person narrative was a good choice of a narrative – it gave a glimpse into the main character’s mind. I think I would rate this book 3.75 stars if not the ending. I like being shocked, but what I like more is when I can go back and trace all the signs back to the big reveal. The ending was full of plot twists, but the bad kind. The ones that are there clearly for the shock value, and don’t add up. I think, maybe, I would’ve enjoyed the book even with those if not the last 2 pages, but sadly, those completely ruined the book for me.

Saying all that, I do think that if you like plot twisty thrillers, you might want to give it a go. Unfortunately, it just didn’t do anything for me, hence the 2.75 stars rating,

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Preorder the book here

I’ll talk to you soon! Hopefully tomorrow.

What I’m currently reading

I know it’s after 12, so it technically doesn’t matter, but can we please bend the rules and make this count, for Blogtober’s sake? Like I said yesterday, I have family over and it really messes up the whole schedule.

Today I wanted to talk about books I’m currently reading right now. I usually read more than one book at at time. Right now I’m reading:

IT by Stephen King

I’m reading IT on audio right now on my way in and back from work, and enjoying it immensely. It’s my first Stephen King book, and, although I’m not very far into it, I think it’s great.

Like, Follow, Kill by Carissa Ann Lynch

This one, I’m reading exclusively on ebook, because I’ve been granted an eARC. I haven’t gotten far into it, but so far it seems very interesting.

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deidre Sullivan

It’s my current physical read. I always try to have an ebook, physical and audiobook going on, to keep on reading, yet still have variety in stories and the medium by which you’re reading.

We Hunt the Flame – A Review

Hi. I’m on my phone, so the formatting of this might be odd, but since I’m doing Blogtober, I need to try to post today. Here’s my review of We hunt the Flame. I will fix it tomorrow morning, add links etc., as I have a family obligation today. Sorry about that.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal is an ancient Arabic inspired YA fantasy, which I was very excited to read. I knew I enjoy the setting, as I liked The Wrath and the Dawn, and Rebel of the Sands a lot, but with the amount of hype that surrounded the book, I think I set my expectations a bit too high.
We follow Zafira, a huntress, who pretends to be a man (as women have no power in her country) and hunts the magical forest, so her people wouldn’t starve. There’s also Nasir, the Sultan’s son and “The Prince of Death” – an assassin. In the world where old magic is gone, the forest steadily creeps up across the land, and anyone who steps foot in it goes insane, the two, although separately, are sent on a quest to bring magic back, by finding a lost artefact.

The concept of this book is quite simple, and honestly, nothing new, but it didn’t really bother me. I enjoy quest stories, it’s definitely a trope I like to read. The book starts off with a great amount of world building and descriptions, while the plot moves rather slowly – I expected it to follow in the same fashion (I have absolutely nothing against slow paced stories, if they pay off), but unfortunately, after about 100 pages or so, the descriptions just… stopped. It’s a shame, as the world was my favourite bit of the story – the forest, part of a kingdom covered in snow, instead of sand, ancient witch Sisters etc. The writing set a really great base for the story, I loved the beginning, I thought it was rich and vivid, but sadly, it then focused on the characters.
I didn’t like the two main characters, but I didn’t dislike them either. Both Zafira and Nasir felt quite bland to me, as did most characters in the story, with the exception of Altair. They all had tragic back stories, and I appreciated the back stories themselves, but didn’t much care for them. I guess, what I’m trying to say is that I think the characters were the weakest point of the story, though there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with them.
What I say in nearly every review by now, and what probably is getting stale for many, is… I really disliked the romance in this book. It genuinely comes out of nowhere. It’s an enemies to lovers kinda deal, and I know it can be done well (The Wrath and the Dawn!!!), but in this case it was insta-lovey and completely unbelievable. I had no doubts those two would have a thing going on from the very start, but not because it was in any way hinted or built up – it was just the kind of cliché I expected from the book.
Although, as I mentioned, the book was slow paced, I enjoyed the writing and the setting. There were a lot of words I didn’t understand, and it irked me until I found the glossary at the end, which made my reading experience a lot more positive. It definitely added to the atmosphere and the overall feel of the story.

It sounds like I’m complaining a lot about the book, which would suggest I did not like it, but the truth is – I did. It wasn’t a gripping, riveting story, it didn’t push any boundaries, it didn’t do anything new, but it definitely has a potential as a series, especially after that ending. There’s something about it that makes me interested in picking up the sequel – I think it’s going to be worth reading. As a debut, this book is far from perfect, but the idea for it is good and I believe the author will expand on what I thought was a very interesting world.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2019

Hi! It’s day 3 of Blogtober and I’m still here (I know that’s not a big achievement, but let me be happy about it). I wanted to talk about my most anticipated releases for the rest of the year, because there’s quite a few of them.

October 8th brings us:

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Preorder: Hardback/Paperback

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay

Preorder: Hardback

I love Leigh Bardugo so much, and I’m curious to read an adult fantasy from her. There is so much hype around Ninth House, I really hope it lives up to my expectations.

As for Harry Potter… I don’t think I need to explain.

On October 17th we have:

Jackpot by Nic Stone

Preorder: Paperback

I was lucky enough to be able to read this before the release date, and have a review up for it here, if you’re curious to hear my thoughts.

And lastly, big day for releases, November 5th comes out with:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Preorder: Paperback/Hardback

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Preorder: Paperback/Hardback

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Preorder: Paperback/Hardback

Three amazing books, by amazing authors with amazing covers.

As always, all of my preorder links are affiliate links, which means, if you order through them, while it doesn’t cost you any extra, I get a small commission. If you’re thinking about preordering any of these from BookDepository, I would be eternally grateful if you could do so through the links provided.

Are any of these on your list of your most anticipated books of the end of 2019?

I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

Finally Fall – Book Tag

Hi! I feel like I have been neglecting this blog, and I have only started it. I thought an easy way to get into posting regularly would be to do a few book tags. This one is one that I’ve seen around on YouTube a lot and it fits, as it is definitely Fall now (though, I call it Autumn…). Unfortunately I cannot link to the creator of the tag, as the video has been made private. I also wasn’t tagged by anyone, I just thought it would be fun to do it.

Okay, let’s get into the questions!

QUESTION 1: In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting!

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

You might not know it yet, but will probably soon notice I absolutely love The Gentlemen Bastards series and I praise it ALL.THE.TIME. It deserves every single bit of praise, though. Set in a fantasy city inspired by Venice, following a band of cheats and con artists, it’s one of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a good few). The writing and the setting are very evocative. You know when you remember a story and you don’t know if you’ve seen it or read it? If I wasn’t absolutely sure the series doesn’t have an adaptation (I mean, I would not be opposed to it), I’d have to stop and think – because I can clearly SEE scenes from this book.

QUESTION 2: Nature is beautiful…but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Another one of my absolute favourites EVER. Celeste Ng writes beautiful and gut wrenching stories. The writing in this one is really stunning, but dear god, did it absolutely break my heart. It is one of the best family dynamic I’ve read – it follows a Chinese-American family of five, and it opens up with us finding out the middle child and the parents’ favourite, Lydia, drowned in the lake at the age of 16. If you plan on reading it, and you definitely should, make sure to have some tissues ready.

QUESTION 3: Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

I don’t read non fiction usually, and if I do, I reach for biographies/memoirs, and it’s hard to learn anything new from those. I’ve been racking my brain for an answer, but alas – I have none.

QUESTION 4: In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I have the most generic answer for this one, or what I think is a generic answer, at least… The Weasleys? I mean, is there any other fictional family out there who welcomes strays (yes, Harry is a stray) with open arms, shares whatever they have with them (even though they don’t have much) and is just so incredibly warm? I don’t think so. The Weasleys!

QUESTION 5: The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

Shamelessly plugging in my own Instagram. The blue doesn’t quite match, I guess, but it’s late and no picture I take right now is going to look in any way as nice as this one. Red and orange for leaves, purple for witchy Halloween vibes. There you go!

QUESTION 6: Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

This is a retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, and the protagonist, Shahrzad, is a story teller. It’s also one of a precious few romances I enjoyed – and by enjoyed I mean, I ship Shazi and Khalid so hard, it’s crazy.

QUESTION 7: The nights are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read.

You by Caroline Kepnes

You’re probably aware what this book is about, after the TV show with Dan Humphrey (I forget the actor’s name, I’m sorry… I don’t even like Gossip Girl) took Netflix by storm, but if not I’ll tell you – it’s a book about a stalker. As far as thrillers go, this one isn’t anything ground breaking. I knew what to expect, it didn’t really surprise me, but what got me to rate it 4 stars was the second person narrative. It was disturbing and creepy, and honestly I never thought I would enjoy being so uncomfortable, but… I somehow did.

QUESTION 8: The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

This might seem like a cop-out for a lot of you, but just hear me out. This story wraps you up like a cosy blanket and it keeps you warm and happy. It fits all the criteria. I don’t care if it’s a conventional answer. What’s makes it the best choice for this question is that anyone can enjoy it. To all of the people who never read it because “they’re too old for it” (this is mostly aimed at my boyfriend, who’s never gonna read this anyway, but it probably fits a lot of people) – you are missing out, BIG TIME. No one is too old for Harry Potter.

QUESTION 9: Fall returns every year: Name an old favourite that you’d like to return to soon.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

I haven’t read Anne in a really long time (close to 10 years now) and I miss this series a lot. It was one of my absolute favourites growing up, and I feel like I need to reread it all, soon. Realistically, I probably won’t get to it until the start of next year, as my tbr is kind of out of hand, but I will definitely be rereading it in the next 6 months.

QUESTION 10: Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favourite cozy reading “accessories”!

My bed – for starters. There is no other and better place to read. Pair it with a cosy blanket, a cup of tea, a hot water bottle and fairy lights and I’m good to go. I could read like that forever.

And that would be it! I tag anyone and everyone who wants to do it! If you do decide to do this tag on your blog, post your link down in the comments – I’d love to read your answers.

I’ll talk to you soon!

How did I become a reader? – A Brief History

Hello! You have entered the “bookcentral of bookish blabber” (which is just a book blog, but that’s boring and I blab a lot and enjoy alliteration). My name is Zaneta ( dʒænɛta), you might know me from this Bookstagram account (or not), and I am an avid reader. I thought as my first post on here I’d go a bit into why I read and where my love for books came from.

I honestly don’t remember a time when I wasn’t a reader. I have always enjoyed stories, especially the written ones, as they escalated my already crazy imagination and were oh, so fun, though, admittedly, sometimes gave me nightmares, too. My parents read to me before bed and I loved every second of it – that is until I smartened up and realised they were skipping pages, shortening all the stories I knew so well, to put me to sleep ASAP and I decided to take matters in my own (tiny) hands. I learned how to read at the age of 3 (don’t ask me how, it’s a mystery), my memories of it are pretty hazy, but it’s something my family doesn’t shut up about (I think I peaked at the age of 3, to be honest), so here you have it.

I know you can hardly tell if I’m reading or just dumbly looking at the pictures, or worse!, just posing for a photo and not paying any attention to the book, but if we are to establish any relationship between us here, it should be based on trust, and so you should trust me when I say I was reading.

I read a lot in primary school! I think I always had an aptitude for learning – I was curious, I wanted to know everything and do everything and books helped with the learning part, but since I also wanted to DO a lot, I read mostly at night. I’d stay up way past my bedtime and read with a flashlight under covers, so my mother wouldn’t know I was still awake. I’d go to my local library twice a week and come back home with stacks of books, itching to read them all. By the time I was eleven (that is a complete guesstimate, but bear with me) I have exhausted all the age “appropriate” reading material available at my library, and my parents had to write a note to the librarian, giving me permission to borrow teen books.

There were many books I have read as a child that stuck with me and fueled my love for reading even more (I’ll make a separate post talking about my childhood favourites), but it wasn’t until I was thirteen and read an excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in one of my textbooks and it flipped a switch in my brain. I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day, I rushed home and begged my dad to buy me my own copy of the book so I could read it all (sidenote, my dad owned a good few books, but generally, my family wasn’t at all well off, hence me frequenting the library and not having my own books). He agreed. It is, to this day, my favourite book of ALL time.

Here it is – my first (and now, one of many) copy of The Catcher in the Rye. Handsome, isn’t it?

Fast forward a couple of years, I moved countries and found myself in a strange place where I knew absolutely no one my age and did not speak English (well, not fluently anyway). I’ll give you a hint where this leads – it was around 2007 and that’s when I discovered YA. Ding, ding, ding! It was Twilight. And before you say, “but wasn’t that out a bit earlier? your timeline is off!”, rewind – I read the Polish edition as it came out, because I wasn’t anywhere near fluent in English. All roads lead to Rome, and in the book world, Rome is Twilight, and everyone’s story (everyone who is over 23 anyway, or around that age) revolves around that series a bit. Twilight was the first series I have bought with my own money (and I still own them). I was obsessed with it until City of Bones came out 2 years later (also in Polish) and it stole my heart.

I have been reading YA ever since and it’s the genre I gravitate towards the most (that being said, I read adult books also, and really enjoy them). Reading helps me relax and unwind. It keeps my mind sharp. Even though I mostly read fiction, I learn new things from books nearly every day. It’s been a part of my identity since I was a child and books are what people associate me with. Most of all, though, it’s my favourite form of entertainment.

I hope you enjoyed this post and got to know me a bit. What’s your story? How did you become a reader?

Until the next time!