DISAPPEARING EARTH by Julia Phillips


Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: May 14, 2019

Guess I need to file this one under “you can’t love them all.” I feel bad for not liking this book, because it got so many five-star ratings on Goodreads. From the blurb and title, I was expecting DISAPPEARING EARTH to be a suspense/thriller, maybe somehow related to climate change? Not the case. (That last part about climate change was just my imagination.)

I was intrigued because the novel is set on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. I don’t know much about that area, and it sounds fascinating. The book begins with the kidnapping of two young girls, and if you’re only interested in the mystery of their disappearance, then just read the first and last chapter.

The in-between chapters are stand-alone short stories with new characters, and each story has some very loose connection to the kidnapping. For example, one story is about a girl whose best friend’s mother won’t let them go into the city alone anymore because stranger danger.

Overall, I thought the book was dull, and with such a huge cast in a fairly short book, the character development was lacking. Like I mentioned, most readers seemed to love DISAPPEARING EARTH, so please check out their reviews.

I do love the concept of taking a theme and weaving together a collection of related short stories. I read Alice Hoffman’s THE RED GARDEN and BLACKBIRD HOUSE a few years ago and really enjoyed them. — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

📚 Find DISAPPEARING EARTH on Goodreads 📚

MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW by Waubgeshig Rice


Publisher: ECW Press
Release Date: October 2, 2018

This was a haunting cautionary tale! Set in northern Canada, MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW is a character-driven, slow-burn thriller about what happens in a remote Anishinaabe community when the unthinkable happens. Their power goes out, their phones quit working, and suddenly they’re cut off from the rest of the world. Winter is setting in, food supplies are low, and word from the south is that the chaos is widespread. When an outsider arrives seeking shelter, their precarious situation gets worse.

I’m not usually a fan of dystopian/post-apocalyptic fiction, BUT something about the premise of this book pulled me in. I’m so glad I took a chance and read it. The wonderfully tense, ominous atmosphere kept me glued to the pages. What a terrifying situation to be in, and I felt like I was a part of it, wondering what was coming next.

One of the most memorable moments was when main character Evan talked to an elder about the meaning of “apocalypse,” and how their world had already ended when they were forced off their land and had their children taken away.

If a dystopian novel can be realistic, then this was it. In the end, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions, but in an actual apocalypse, would you have all the answers? I just read that there will be a sequel coming out (next year, maybe), and I can’t wait to find out what happens next! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

📚 Find MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW on Goodreads 📚

FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS by Natalie D. Richards


Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: October 6, 2020

I love cold weather/snowy suspense novels, so the cover of this book was screaming for me to read it. FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS is a locked-room-on-wheels YA thriller that left me with mixed feelings.

The protagonist Mira is a high school student flying home to Pittsburgh to be with her mother on Christmas. A snow storm cancels connecting flights and leaves her stranded at the Philly airport. Desperate to get home, she makes the BAD decision of hitching a ride with four college-aged strangers who were on her flight. In a blizzard with strangers on desolate backroads? What’s the worst that could happen? Mira is about to find out…

First of all, I loved the creepy, frozen atmosphere the author created. As odd things start to happen, Mira becomes convinced that someone in their party doesn’t want them to get home. But why? There were a lot of tense moments, and my thoughts on who was the bad one was constantly changing.

Though the book kept me guessing, I thought the first half moved too slowly, and the ending was too abrupt. There were loose ends and unanswered questions that annoyed me, plus the reasoning behind the bad one’s actions wasn’t convincing, and also, what an absurd plan. You’re in a blizzard!?!

Overall though, I did enjoy the author’s descriptive writing style, and I wouldn’t hesitate to give her other books a try. — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

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

📚 Find FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS on Goodreads 📚

Sunday Post | It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Linking up with Kimberly @ Sunday Post and Kathryn @ It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ Will you be celebrating today? My husband is a fantastic cook, and he’s making spicy fennel pasta for dinner and chocolate pots de crème for dessert. Yum!

This past week was filled with bitterly cold weather and a handful of expensive home repairs. When it rains, it pours, as they say! We added new insulation below our kids’ bedroom floors hoping it will keep them warmer, though not a lot helps when it’s -10°F. 🥶

This gave me a laugh a few days ago. You know how on the Goodreads sidebar it gives you recommendations based on what you’ve read? So mine said “Because you enjoyed Mr. Rochester” and the rec was Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens. 🐓

I love it!!! 😍 Mr. Rochester is a Jane Eyre prequel of sorts, where the author imagines what Rochester’s life was like before Jane. And, I really did enjoy the book. Why the chicken connection, I don’t know! However, if my homeowner’s association would allow it, I’d love to raise chickens. 🥚 Have you noticed any strange Goodreads recs?

What I Read Last Week:

⭐ Click here for my thoughts on THE PUSH ⭐
⭐ Click here for my thoughts on FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS ⭐

What I’m Currently Reading:

DOWN COMES THE NIGHT is a YA gothic fantasy that I was so excited to get from NetGalley! DISAPPEARING EARTH has been on my wish list forever, and it was recently an eBook deal that I had to grab. Have you read it? Thanks for stopping by & have a wonderful week! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

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THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain


Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Release Date: January 5, 2021

★ BOTM Club Pick ★

Wow! I’ve seen THE PUSH getting a lot of buzz on Instagram, and I can certainly see why. The subject matter is chilling and flat-out tragic, but I couldn’t quit reading.

The story is told in second person, with the narrator being Blythe, and the “you” she’s taking to, her husband, Fox. Blythe’s own mother, and her mother before her, were cold & neglectful. Was it mental illness, or simply a lack of desire to be a mother? Blythe wants to give her new baby, Violet, the love and affection she missed as a child. But, things don’t go as planned, and Blythe soon senses that something is wrong with Violet.

This book tackles the struggles of motherhood, generational trauma, and the “nature versus nurture” debate in a gripping way. My mind kept wrestling over Blythe and Violet’s characters, wondering if there really was something “off,” or whether it was imagined. Either way, what a devastating situation to be in.

THE PUSH is a remarkable debut novel from Ashley Audrain, and she’s definitely going on my auto-buy list! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

📚 Find THE PUSH on Goodreads 📚