September 29, 2019

Nick Scorza: "People of the Lake" (ARC Review)

Title: People of the Lake [on Amazon | on Goodreads]
Series: None
Author: Nick Scorza [Site | Goodreads]
Genres: Thriller/Mystery, Supernatural
Year: 2019
Age: 14+
Stars: 3.5/5
Pros: Puts a fresh spin on some classic supernatural/horror tropes, with a couple of surprises. Explores grief and daughter/father dynamics.
Cons: Employs quite a number of such tropes. Side characters feel a bit underdeveloped. The final confrontation is a tad over the top.
WARNING! Some gruesome deaths.
Will appeal to: Those who like classic mysteries in a contemporary setting. Those who like sibling stories.

Blurb:  Sixteen-year-old Clara Morris is facing an awkward summer with her father in the tiny upstate town of Redmarch Lake. Clara's relationship with her parents - and with life in general - has been strained since she lost her twin sister, Zoe, when the girls were eight. She soon finds that Redmarch Lake, where her father's family has lived for generations, is a very unusual place. The townspeople live by odd rules and superstitions. The town's young people are just as odd and unfriendly as their parents. Clara manages to befriend the one boy willing to talk to an outsider, but he disappears during a party in the woods. The next day, he is found dead in the lake under mysterious circumstances. The townspeople all treat this as a tragic accident. Clara isn't buying it, but she doesn't know what to do until she receives a mysterious note hinting at murder - a note written in the language she shared with her twin sister, Zoe. (Amazon excerpt)

Review: First off...DISCLAIMER: this title was up for grabs on Netgalley (in the Read Now section). Thanks to Skyhorse Publishing/Sky Pony for providing a temporary ecopy. This didn't influence my review in any way.

TWISTING THE (T)ROPES

If you're looking for books that employ a minimal dose of tropes, here's your caveat: People of the Lake is not one of those books. The good piece of news is, it uses them to its best advantage, and throws in a couple of twists that - combined with the sisterly bond/grief theme, and a relatable heroine who doesn't try too hard and isn't your usual special snowflake - alone would be enough to make POTL worth reading. There's a lot in this book that feels familiar: a mysterious and creepy place (albeit a lake and not your usual forest), a virtually gated community, a string of gruesome murders swept under the rug, a headstrong teen with a strained relationship with her parents, a couple of reluctant sidekicks, a love interest, and other minor things. But the way Scorza weaves it all together and incorporates the deceased-twin theme into the story makes all the difference - along with the fresh mythology he builds his story on. [...]

September 25, 2019

Goodbye Cruel Summer - Hallo(ween) Sweet October

...This summer has been the pits, my friends. THE PITS πŸ˜“ 😫.

I know it's customary for me to annoy you with my severe case of summer allergy every year, not to mention, to write posts where I'm embracing the fall with all my might. But every year it feels like the "happy season" is harder and harder for me to endure. It might be part old age creeping in, part summers getting more and more heated and humid and all things EEEEEW and AAAAARGH. Because, if summer of '18 was unrelenting and unforgiving, summer of '19 sure stepped up its game. In between June and July, we had a huge heatwave that lasted around 3 weeks (!!!) - then it rained, so we got a brief respite. But the second heatwave was just around the corner, and the third a few days later. It was hard to sleep properly (especially given my muscular problems - my legs always get crampy and/or achy in the heat) without air conditioning - we and the hubs usually put a big fan at the foot of the bed and make it rotate, but of course it's not much. Lunches and dinners have, more often than not, consisted of cold cuts, canned tuna/spam salads, the quickest things to cook we could come up with...and a few times, even ice cream (and I don't even have a sweet tooth. The hubs does, though...). I couldn't bear the very thought of eating hot meals, let alone COOKING them. And the house, it goes without saying, was a mess. So, basically...it's been a drag 😡.

This would be a live footage of me this summer, if I only were a man and owned a cat...

September 17, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday: How Do You Handle Writing Reviews for Books that You Didn’t Love?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:

HOW DO YOU HANDLE WRITING REVIEWS FOR BOOKS THAT YOU DIDN'T LOVE?

Eh...the shortest answer would be: with care. And respect. Unless we're talking about a problematic book (I mean, a really, INFURIATINGLY problematic book, not one with a questionable thing of two), in which case I'd probably be...not lenient. Thank goodness though, I've managed to dodge such books so far - probably because I'm on a tight book budget, and when I can afford a book haul (always a hundred months later than pub date) I've read so many reviews that all the problematic books of the moment (or of the year LOL) have been exposed πŸ˜‚.

September 10, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday: Are There Authors/Books that Everyone Seems to Love but You Don’t?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:

ARE THERE AUTHORS/BOOKS THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO LOVE BUT YOU DON'T?

As anticipated in my previous TMST post, I tweaked the original question a little...well...a lot πŸ˜…. Because it seems like I never tried a popular author or read a popular book only to find myself disappointed with them. Of course, I'm the champion of books no one has ever heard about LOL - so it makes sense. Also, more often than not, hype has the counterproductive effect to turn me away from things designed to be popular. So, I decided to tweak today's question like this:

ARE THERE POPULAR GENRES/AUTHORS/BOOKS THAT EVERYBODY SEEMS TO READ BUT DON'T APPEAL TO YOU IN THE SLIGHTEST?

September 04, 2019

Taste the Books: Review Morsels #14 Rin Chupeco, Charles Yu, 'Nathan Burgoine


Intro


Hello beauties!

Welcome again to my own brand of mini reviews! I never thought I'd do minis, until I recapped a few of my long reviews in some digest post in 2014, and then guest-posted some shorties for a blogging event in 2015. And Karen from For What It's Worth started praising my short recs/recaps 😊. Just to be clear,  I'm NOT taking a break from writing long reviews - no such luck LOL. But while I'm making up my mind about a new book I've read, I might as well give you the short version πŸ˜‰. Just be warned - this feature will be VERY random! So, here goes...

September 01, 2019

Tooting Your Trumpet #4


Some people toot their own trumpet. I mean to toot yours. On the first Sunday of every month, I'm sharing your posts, your sites, anything interesting I stumble upon during my internet vagrancies. This month on TYT...
  • HOW TO USE TRELLO TO ORGANIZE YOUR BLOG (a post on Kelly's blog Another Book in the Wall)
  • TEEN INFLUENCERS BOOK BLOG DIRECTORY (a database on Kelly's blog - see above)
  • IS THAT A COMPLIMENT? (a discussion post on Sam's blog We Live and Breath Books, where she discusses tagging authors in positive reviews)
  • BLOGGING MISTAKES NOT TO REPEAT (a TMST discussion post on Heidi's blog Rainy Day Ramblings)
 Please note: all the graphics featured in these posts are property of the blog/site owners, and are only used in association with their blog/site links.