Linking up with Kimberly @ Sunday Post and Kathryn @ It’s Monday! What are you reading?
Hello! Unfortunately I missed the last couple of weeks — too much going on in real life for much blogging. Hope everyone is doing well! Here are a few pics of my chi-chi Ginger to make up for it. She’s ready for spring…
What I’ve Been Reading:
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for reading. More misses than hits, but the hits were very good! Click on the titles below to see my thoughts:
MOON OF THE CRUSTED SNOW (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
DISAPPEARING EARTH (⭐⭐)
THE IN-BETWEEN (⭐⭐⭐⭐)
DOWN COMES THE NIGHT (DNF)
THE SANATORIUM (⭐⭐)
What I’m Currently Reading:
Thanks for stopping by & have a wonderful week! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪
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Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Release Date: February 2, 2021
THE SANATORIUM was probably my most anticipated read for early 2021, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to that delicious creepy gothic cover. This book is very popular now so I don’t want to rehash the plot. Here it is in a nutshell:
Elin Warner, a British detective on leave due to PTSD from a case gone wrong, travels to the Swiss Alps to celebrate her estranged brother Isaac’s engagement at a renovated hotel, previously a sanatorium. She and Isaac have some heavy, unresolved family drama. Not long after Elin arrives, Isaac’s fiancée goes missing, a snowstorm traps them at the hotel, and then dead bodies start piling up. Elin investigates to help out local police, though she lacks jurisdiction?
I love snowstorm thrillers, and I appreciated the frozen, isolated setting, especially combined with the hotel’s unsettling history as a tuberculosis hospital. Unfortunately, though, not much else appealed to me. The pacing was slow, I felt detached from the characters, and the culprit’s reason behind the murder spree was too farfetched. And then there’s the confusing epilogue. Meh, not for me. (There are other things I’d like to add about the killer’s reasoning vs the victims and the epilogue vs the rest of the book, but I won’t because of spoilers.) — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪
📚 Find THE SANATORIUM on Goodreads 📚
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Release Date: January 26, 2021
THE IN-BETWEEN is an enjoyable middle grade mystery-fantasy combo with relatable characters and intriguing twists!
Cooper has had a lot on his young shoulders since his father abandoned the family three years prior. His mother works two jobs to support them, and often he’s left in charge of managing his sister Jess’s medical issue. He has a difficult time connecting with old friends, and often feels invisible. Then suddenly a strange girl moves in next door, and all she wants to do is stare at him from her swing. What’s her deal?
Cooper and Jess get wrapped up in trying to solve a century-old train crash mystery involving an unidentified boy. Things get really strange when they suspect a connection between that tragedy and their new next-door neighbor. The quest to discover the truth teaches them a lot about friendship, loss, grief, and finding a way to move forward, even though things may seem out of their control. THE IN-BETWEEN is a beautifully written story with plenty of excitement to keep mystery lovers of all ages turning the pages! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪
📚 Find THE IN-BETWEEN on Goodreads 📚
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 📚
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 📚