KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS by David Bell


Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: July 6, 2021

โœฆ Plagiarism, murder, and a mystery inside a mystery in a Kentucky college town. โœฆ

To save his tenure, Professor Connor Nye must publish a novel, which has proved impossible since the death of his wife and son left him numb and uninspired. When one of his students disappears leaving behind a brilliant thesis paper, Connor submits it as his own book. However, after the novel is released, the missing student returns looking to collect the money Connor received for her work โ€” or else.

But there’s much more to this layered story. What’s contained inside the plagiarized novel are words that could get certain people in a whole lot of trouble, including Connor. I enjoyed the conundrum he found himself in.

This is the 7th book I’ve read by David Bell, and I always know I’m in for a smart and twisty thriller when I pick one up. KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS had less family drama than some of his previous books, but there was still plenty of tension and emotion to pull me in. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

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

THE STARS OF WHISTLING RIDGE by Cindy Baldwin


Publisher: Quill Tree Books
Release Date: June 15, 2021

โœฆ Middle Grade Magical Realism โœฆ

“Ivy Mae Bloom is almost thirteen years old, her name is almost a complete sentence, and her familyโ€™s RV is almost a home.”

THE STARS OF WHISTLING RIDGE is a magical middle grade story of a girl desperate for a forever home, and ultimately learning that “home” means more than just a stationary building. Ivy Mae Bloom’s mother and two aunts are fallen stars in human form, and they control the magic in different parts of the country. Ivy’s family is constantly on the move, traveling from place to place so her mother can help people by granting wishes.

Even though her mom warned her that sometimes wishes were unpredictable, Ivy steals the wish jars and dreams of a permeant home like her Aunt Agatha has in Whistling Ridge, North Carolina. Not long after, the family ends up stranded in Whistling Ridge, and they learn that the town is plagued by a sinister force destroying its magic. Ivy is then faced with a dilemma, since saving the town will mean having to move on again.

Ivy is a relatable character as she faces conflicts with her parents & siblings, the challenge of making new friends, and doing the right thing even if it means not getting what she wants. I enjoyed the mystery of Whistling Ridge’s curse, and how clever Ivy was to research the town’s history and try to fit the puzzle pieces together. The ending was satisfying with Ivy learning a lot about herself, her family, and what “home” truly means. Recommended to fans of magical realism and mystery. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

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

THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF FRICK ISLAND by Colleen Oakley


Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 25, 2021

This book was so charming and uplifting. Anders is a journalist working for a small newspaper when he gets assigned to cover the annual cake walk on remote Frick Island. It’s a place without internet and without cell phones, but what it does have is a curious story about a young widow named Piper who acts as though her husband Tom is still alive, and an entire town that goes along with it.

I did question the town’s decision to pretend that Tom was really there (helpful or harmful?), but I decided to suspend disbelief and go with it too!

Anders’s real dream is to be a famous podcaster, and Piper’s peculiarity could be just the hook to reel in thousands of listeners โ€” but at what cost? I liked Anders. He was soooo not what you’d picture as a romantic hero. Awkward. Kind of goofy, though not really meaning to be. A good heart, but not perfect by a long shot.

THE INVISIBLE HUSBAND OF FRICK ISLAND takes a unique premise and adds a little mystery and romance to create a sweet story of love, loss, and loyalty. I wish it had been more emotional like the author’s last book, YOU WERE THERE TOO, but I still enjoyed it and recommend as the perfect summer read! โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

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

THE DROWNING KIND by Jennifer McMahon


Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Release Date: April 6, 2021

โ˜† Don’t go near the water โ˜†

THE DROWNING KIND is a wonderfully creepy book! In Brandenburg, Vermont, and surrounding areas, the legend is that a dark pool of water fed by a natural spring has the power to grant wishes โ€” but when it gives, it also takes something away.

The murky water connects the two storylines in this book: Ethel in 1929, desperately wishing for a child of her own, and Jax in present day, returning to her deceased grandmother’s home after her sister Lexie drowns in the pool. In her last weeks, Lexie uncovered clues to the history of pool, but will Jax be able to decipher her sister’s notes and discover what’s really at the bottom?

This was an eerie, atmospheric story with a vivid sense of place. The pool itself felt alive and so menacing! The ending was quite a shocker. It’s one that I had to reread just to make sure I understood what happened. I was left with some lingering questions, but overall I enjoyed it. I connected most with Ethel’s story and my heart went out to her. Recommended to fans of haunting, slow-burn paranormal suspense. โ€” ๐““๐“ฒ๐“ช๐“ท๐“ช

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

๐Ÿ“š Find THE DROWNING KIND on Goodreadsย ๐Ÿ“š