Continuing this as a monthly post, even if I end up with none.
Beholder by Ryan La Sala
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beholder by Ryan La Sala
Published by PUSH on October 3, 2023
Genres: YA Horror, YA LGBTQ
Source: the publisher
"Beholder is a resplendent monster of power, secrets, wealth, and murderous interior design." - Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of Hell Followed With Us
"A top-notch horror novel." - Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"Ryan La Sala is one of the most exciting, risk-taking authors working in YA. BEHOLDER is, like THE HONEYS, a high-wire act of brilliant invention.” - Melissa Albert, bestselling author of The Hazel Wood
"This berserk beauty is a joy to behold! - Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons and Your Lonely Nights Are Over
From Ryan La Sala, author of the tantalizingly twisted The Honeys and riotously imaginative Reverie, comes a chilling new contemporary fable about art, aesthetic obsession, and the gaze that peers back at us from behind our reflections.
Athanasios “Athan” Bakirtzis hasn’t had an easy life. Orphaned by a fire at a young age, he’s had to rely on his charm, his under-the-table job as an art handler, and the generosity of family friends to care for his ailing Yiayia, his grandmother.
But Athan also has a secret: a hereditary power that allows him to rewind the reflection in any mirror, peering into its recent past. Superstitious Yiayia calls the family ability a curse, and has long warned him never to use it. For Athan, who’s survived this long by keeping to the realm of the real, this is a perfectly agreeable arrangement.
Until the night of the party. After being invited to a penthouse soiree for New York’s art elite, Athan breaks his grandmother’s rule during a trip to the bathroom, turning back his reflection for just a moment. Then he hears a slam against the bathroom door, followed by a scream. Athan peers outside, only to be pushed back in by a boy his age. The boy gravely tells him not to open the door, then closes Athan in.
Before Athan can process what’s happening, more screams follow, and the party descends into chaos. When he finally emerges, he discovers a massacre where the victims appear to have arranged themselves into a disturbingly elegant sculpture—and Athan's mysterious savior is nowhere to be found.
Something evil is compelling people to destructive acts, a presence that’s been hiding behind Athan’s reflection his whole life, watching and biding its time. Soon, he’s swept up in a supernatural conspiracy that spans New York, of occult high societies and deadly eldritch designs. If beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, what can it do to us once it’s inside?
I have loved the other books I read by this author and this one also sounded right up my alley. But I think maybe it was the little interspersed books kind of in 2nd person that took me out of the story as I read it. I had to set it down for a review that had an actual tour, and I just didn’t ever feel like picking it back up. I got to 128 pages, or 36%, before I finally gave up. I know I will still try to read the author’s next book, as I said, I did really like the others.
Book Lovers by Emily HenryBook Lovers by Emily Henry
Published by Penguin Audio on May 3, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming....
Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.
So, I’ve been wanting to read Emily Henry for a while, and I ended up buying this one on audio, when I own the others in hardback from Book of the Month. When I first started listening, I already wondered if I would enjoy it, based on the character’s own description of herself. But then I thought it would be interesting to get the side of the story from that character. However as the story went on I just could not get into it. I only got to 12% before I gave up. I did have the paperback, and thought maybe I’d try reading it, but when I tried to pick it up, I decided I didn’t feel like that either, so I ended up giving away my copy. Still going to give a try to one of the others ones that I own.
You Said I Was Your Favorite (Lancaster Prep #5) by Monica Murphy
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.You Said I Was Your Favorite by Monica Murphy
Series: Lancaster Prep #5
Published by Entangled: Amara on October 19, 2023
Genres: NA Bully Romance
Source: the author
Nobody in our class pays attention to Daisy Albright and I think she likes it that way.
But when I'm sent to work in the headmaster's office every day with Daisy I am stuck staring at her pretty face, hearing her sweet voice and I start to make her laugh.
The more I get to know her, the more obsessed I become. And I think she feels the same way.
The problem? She's not part of my crowd. No one approves of us together. Not my friends, not my parents and not her father.
But I don't care what anyone thinks.
I always get what I want.
And I'm going to make Daisy mine.
So, I’m not really a fan of the bully romances really. Once in a great while, one might work for me. Unfortunately this one did not. I’m on this author’s review team, but honestly I think lately her books haven’t worked as much for me as I’d like them to. It might be a team I need to step away from for now. And concentrate again on the books I own already! Others might really enjoy this one, it just didn’t work for me. And it is really long, so I just wasn’t in for this story for that long of a read. I got to 40%, and just knew I wasn’t enjoying it enough to go on.
Beautiful Bombshell (Beautiful Bastard #2.5) by Christina LaurenBeautiful Bombshell by Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard #2.5
Narrator: Jonathan Cole, Sebastian York
Published by Audible Studios on September 3, 2013
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
In this new novella, the gentlemen from Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, and Beautiful Player are out for a wild night on The Strip.
When Max, Henry, and Will steal Bennett away for a weekend of shenanigans and strippers in Vegas, the first stop of the night doesn’t go at all as planned. With their scheme for a "Guys' Weekend" completely derailed anyway, Max and Bennett begin to play a wild game of stealth and secrecy in order to have their bombshells all over Sin City.
©2013 Christina Lauren (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
So I do love this series, but this novella is just really a bunch of the steamy sex scenes. Which isn’t bad. Just not what I’m in the mood for these days. And I just didn’t feel like listening. I might be able to read the actual book and speed through it, but listening just wasn’t working for me right now. It is short, so I did get about halfway through before giving up.