The Silent House by Nell Pattison – A Review

Hi! I’m back with another ARC review – this one for The Silent House by Nell Pattison – a debut mystery/thriller which released today.

The Silent House by Nell Pattison
  • Publication date: March 5th 2020
  • Publisher: Avon Books
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller

If someone was in your house, you’d know.

Wouldn’t you?

But the Hunter family are deaf, and don’t hear a thing when a shocking crime takes place in the middle of the night. Instead, they wake up to their worst nightmare.

The police call Paige Northwood to the scene to interpret for the witnesses. They’re in shock, but Paige senses the Hunters are hiding something.

One by one, people Paige knows from the Deaf community start to fall under suspicion. But who would kill a little girl?

Was it an intruder?

Or was the murderer closer to home?

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

I’ve been getting more and more into thrillers in the last year, I seem to be in a mood for one at nearly all times, and when I saw The Silent House on NetGalley I nearly immediately requested it. It sounded amazing and thrilling and unique, a perfect combination. I’m sad to say it was none of these things.

Something I noticed from page one is how simple and juvenile the writing was. I am by no means an expert in this area, English is my second language after all, but the whole book read like a secondary school student wrote it. “I went there and did this. Afterwards, I did something else. I was very tired.” Short and to the point sentences work in a lot of thrillers, they build atmosphere, add to the tension – there’s a sense of urgency in those types of narrative. In the case of The Silent House, the simple structure made it incredibly mundane and boring. Both the plot and the writing were filled with cliches.

Yeah, about the plot… The gist of the story is – Paige is a freelance interpreter – coming from a deaf family, she’s part of the Deaf community and interprets for them on different occasions. When an 18 month baby is killed, she is called to the police station to interpret for the deaf family who just lost a child.
I was really hooked on the premise, it sounded great. Unfortunately what followed was a generic mystery/thriller plot. It read like the author followed a strict plan of when to introduce a new “clue”, or add something “emotional”, or write in a “plot twist” (I’m writing all these in quotation marks, as I don’t believe any of those ended up being what the author intended them to be). The book ended up boring, predictable and unconvincing.

I can forgive a thriller for having underdeveloped secondary characters if the main character has an actual personality, and the book is gripping and fast paced, but in The Silent House every single character felt incredibly one dimensional. I couldn’t make myself care for the child’s parents, or for Paige, because they felt so far removed from reality and not like real people at all. Even when Paige’s dark past (once again, typical mystery/thriller trope) was revealed, I only rolled my eyes. I mean, this book deals with the death of a baby – if the book was half decent, only a heartless person wouldn’t be in some way moved by it. I wasn’t, and I’m a big softie.
Paige is probably the most frustrating MC I’ve ever read from. She makes one bad decision after the other and doesn’t seem to be capable of any critical thinking. I nearly DNFed the book many times while reading, because I just couldn’t stand her. Her sister, Anna, isn’t any better, and all of the scenes with her present were infuriating. Not one character in the whole story redeemed the book for me even slightly.

I hate rating ARCs low, but unfortunately The Silent Patient was a snooze fest full of cliches and terrible characters and I can’t honestly rate it any higher than 1.5 stars, which is a shame, because I went into it expecting to like it.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Thank you for reading!

P.S. Forgive the poorly edited cover on the picture. I’m still very new to this.

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.

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma – A Review

Hi! Happy book birthday to Shadow Frost by Coco Ma, a new YA fantasy!

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma
  • Publication date: October 1st 2019
  • Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
  • Genre: YA Fantasy

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes.
Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm.
Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned.

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.

To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

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

Shadow Frost is a book I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, it is an interesting new fantasy story, written by a 15 year old (!!!), with a lot of potential, on the other hand, it is quite inconsistent and full of clichés.
I going to try not to spoil anything, as the book comes out in a couple of months, so my thoughts might not be explained fully.

The book starts off amazing. It really captured my attention from page 1. The writing is beautiful, too, and it makes it hard to believe a 15 year old wrote it, which is even more impressive. Yet, with every chapter the book becomes more clunky and all over the place.
Shadow Frost is a high fantasy, with kingdoms, magic and a princess as a main character – Asterin.

She’s not your typical princess (although very typical nowadays in YA), she enjoys fighting and all of the non girly things. She also has quite powerful magic. As we find out about halfway through the book, she is often sent on secret missions around her kingdom, to protect her people.

There are other main characters whose perspective we get to read from.

Orion is Asterin’s friend and her royal guard. He’s sworn to protect the princess. The story sets up as there could possibly be some romance between the two, but it dissolves along the way, when Orion becomes interested in someone else. I’m not sure if it’s a spoiler, or not, but I felt like the character was written as a possible love interest for Asterin, then Rose, and ended up being edited in the later revisions for more representation.

Luna, the lady in waiting, and Asterin’s best friend (or is she?) was one of my favourite characters. She doesn’t have any magic and no real skills other than she’s a great sculptor. She really develops throughout the book and her journey is definitely the most interesting of all, although at the start, she’s not particularly important.

Rose, or Orozalia, is a queen of the neighbouring kingdom. She joins Asterin’s guard in disguise. She’s a great fighter, and altogether badass, and we definitely don’t get enough of her in the book.

Quinlan, Rose’s cousin, is my least favourite character. He is a pain in the backside – arrogant, in love with himself, and all in all annoying. I’m sure many girls are going to swoon over him, and maybe as a teen I would, too, but now that I’m old and a bit smarter, I know better.

Eadric and Harry are characters I can’t say anything about because there really isn’t much to say. They don’t really develop, and one serves nearly no purpose at all.

As characters go, I see some of them appealing to the target audience (I understand I’m not part of it).

As I said earlier, the writing is beautiful at the start. It doesn’t deteriorate much as the story progresses, not much, anyway, but it definitely changes and becomes more clumsy. The dialogues especially. I didn’t like that the tone changes so frequently between the flowery language to a colloquial one, and it made it difficult to be fully immersed in the world. Another thing were the names of characters… we got Asterin, Eadric… and then Hayley, Nicole, Harry. It’s just incredibly jarring to read these in one book.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was the magic system. If you like Avatar The Last Airbender, then you definitely will enjoy it, too, as it is quite similar. I wish the author didn’t try so hard to make it very complicated, and stopped adding rules to it. It became too complicated in the end, which is a shame, because it gives plenty of space for errors, inconsistencies and loop holes. I understand it’s to make the world richer and more developed, but that could’ve been done in a different way. I mean, being able to control different elements is cool, using stones for it is cool, too. Depending on what family you are from to what’s your affinity is okay, too, I guess. But also using spells? It just gets too much.

What I flat out didn’t enjoy is, surprise, surprise… the romance! Saying that, I’m sure many people will. Romance is just not my thing, and the story could really do without it. Especially without the nearly love triangle, and the main couple teasing each other and calling each other names, but in an “endearing” way. It’s such a kindergarten way of describing a brewing romance.

I think Shadow Frost is a solid YA fantasy with a lot of potential, that many readers will love. It gets 3.75/4 stars from me, because I definitely enjoyed it – I just didn’t love it, as I feel I’m a bit too old for these kind of stories.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t have an aesthetic board for this one, oops. I read it a couple of months ago, and didn’t prepare one.

Buy the book here: BookDepository (as I mentioned in my last post, this is an affiliate link and I would be eternally grateful if you decided to use it while purchasing books).

I’ll be back this evening with my September wrap up! Thanks for reading!

Jackpot by Nic Stone – A Review

Hi, everyone. I’m back today with another review. Let’s get into it.

Jackpot by Nic Stone
  • Publication date: October 15th 2019
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
  • Genre: YA Contemporary

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

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

Jackpot is my second Nic Stone book. I have read Dear Martin early this year and loved it, so I was over the moon when I received the ARC for this book. I thought, if it was in any way like the other book I’ve read, it would be a poignant story with a lot of commentary on some important subjects. I wasn’t wrong.

Jackpot’s main character, Rico Danger, doesn’t come from much. Raised by a single mother, with a younger brother to support, she needs to work full time on top of her studies, to help her parent keep the family afloat. With a constantly busy schedule, she has no time for herself. No time for friends. While working at a petrol station on Christmas Eve, she sells 2 lotto tickets to an old lady. The woman lets her keep one. Later, she finds a winning ticket has been sold at her petrol station on Christmas Eve, and convinced the old lady still has it and has forgotten about it, she decides to do anything she can to find her. But to do that, she needs help… help from the most popular guy in school, Alexander Macklin.

I enjoyed Rico’s character for most of the book. She is fierce and flawed. Her relationship with her family is perfect – unconditional and nearly motherly love for Jax, and lots of love but also resentment towards her mother. She is very guarded, and because of that she plays to a lot of stereotypes and views a lot of people as stereotypes of themselves. She is human and very much a teenager, which I enjoyed – finally a character that feels authentic in YA contemporary. I expected more of a development by the end of the book, but I’m not sure I fully got what I wanted – I don’t know if she finally stops judging people based on what her assumptions about them are. I wish the development was a bit more clear.


This book is a breath of fresh air when it comes to romance. I feel like I say it in every single review I write – I’m not big on romance, it’s usually what makes me enjoy the book I’m reading less. Jackpot has a lot of build up, a lot of back and forth “will they, won’t they” and an unconventional conclusion, which made the book really enjoyable. Rico and Zan have a lot of chemistry, that’s for sure, but they also work extremely well as friends.


I’m not sure about the structure and pacing of the plot. It keeps changing direction – from being purely about the ticket, to being about Rico and Zan’s relationship, to, what I thought came too late – the big conflict. In my opinion it happens too late, and the resolve of it gives the book a really abrupt ending. A lot of people say they don’t know how they feel about the ending and I second that – I’m just not sold on the money part of the ending (I’m trying hard not to spoil anything).


Jackpot provides a great commentary on socio-economic status, privilege that comes from money and appearances. It shows many different points of view and really makes you think about how money affects people and their lives. After all, not everyone who comes from a wealthy family is well off themselves and not everyone who looks rich is actually rich. I think the discussion this book brings up to the table is an important one.

Overall, I really enjoyed Jackpot and will definitely be picking up future Nic Stone books. I’m docking 1 star for some minor things, like the development and the ending not being to my liking, but those things are personal preference and not necessarily the book’s fault. Do yourself a favour and pick it up when it’s out. It’s definitely worth a read. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Preorder the book here:

Book Depository*

*I am a Book Depository Affiliate which means if you buy the book through my link, while it doesn’t cost you any extra, I receive a small commission. Help a girl out!

I hope you enjoyed this review.

I’ll talk to you soon!

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – A Review

Hi everyone! It’s review time!

But first, a bit of a disclaimer before I get into the review. I review every single book I read (fully, I don’t bother with reviewing DNFs, for an obvious reason – I can’t have fully fledged opinions if I haven’t read the book) and I try to be critical with each and every single one. In negative reviews, I make sure not to bash the book but give constructive reasons as to why I disliked a book I am reviewing. All of the opinions are 100% my own, regardless of how I obtained a book, whether it is a copy I have bought myself, a book I’ve received in a subscription box, or an ARC provided by a publisher/author.

Okay, now that everything is clear, let’s get into the review!


Thank you to Net Galley for providing an eARC of this book in an exchange for an honest review.

  • Publication date: Sept 12th 2019
  • Publisher: Orion
  • Genre: Historical fantasy

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

Normally, I would give a little bit of a synopsis before I go into a review and my thoughts on a book, but in this case I believe it is the best to go into the book knowing the very minimum, so I will leave you with the Goodreads synopsis.

I must admit, what attracted me to the book first and foremost was the cover – it is S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G! It’s definitely one of the prettiest books I’ve ever seen. It definitely pushed me to read the synopsis and request it on NetGalley. Let’s just say, I wasn’t disappointed.

PLOT

Once again, I’ll be very vague here. As you know, the book revolves around January and a book full of stories about magical doors leading to different worlds. Comparisons between Ten Thousand Doors and The Wayward Children series were made by many already, and although I’ve only read the first book in the latter – I definitely agree.

The pacing of this book is fantastic. The plot moves smoothly and steadily, alternating between January’s story and the one she is reading in her book, making it very easy to get immersed in it. It’s exciting, magical and extremely atmospheric. The different perspectives really add to the narrative and let you figure some things out yourself (or at least it helped me figure them out), but it is definitely not predictable.

WORLD BUILDING/SETTING

Harrow created very vivid, yet somehow subtle, worlds within our own world, without paragraphs upon paragraphs of info dump. I think she’s a very skilled writer. Her settings are full of imagery – I could see clearly each and every one of them while reading – the ones set in our world, through those close enough, to the completely imaginary ones.

CHARACTERS

Multidimensional, with so many layers and personality traits and development throughout the story! Ten Thousand Doors is a real gem in this regard. I especially loved the main character, January, and how interesting, strong willed and determined she was. She encounters many struggles throughout the book as a POC and a woman in the 1900s, yet she doesn’t let them break her.

The relationships between the characters, the friendly, romantic and familial, were beautiful. Some of them heart warming, some gut wrenching, all absolutely perfect, I cannot stop raving about them, and it’s just a lot of blabber, so I’ll stop.

OVERALL

If I were to sum it up in a few sentences, I would say The Ten Thousand Doors of January is a magical and whimsical story of trying to find a place and people to belong with. It has great characters, beautiful writing and an interesting concept.

Now, for the rating:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow gets:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

and a half. Docking half a star for a slow and somehow confusing start, which was entirely a fault of mine and my engagement with the book, and not the books’ itself.

A little aesthetic board I made, inspired by the book.

For fans of: Seanan McGuire and Laini Taylor

You can preorder the book here:

Amazon / Book Depository


Thanks for sticking around. I hope you found this review helpful or interesting (although I know it is rather vague and rambly). Until next time!