April 9, 2019

Books in 2019 (#2)

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
I thoroughly enjoyed this. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads without question. You're kind of dropped right into the middle of the story when it's already well underway and I really liked that. I won't give more detail than that because I don't want to spoil it.
If you can stick through the first two or three chapters, it will start to come together. Promise.
I would describe it as Downton Abbey meets The Maze Runner, but I've also heard it compared to other books/TV shows.

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella
This wasn't bad at all. It was predictable, but enjoyable. It's true chick lit. I didn't mind My Not So Perfect Life, two years ago. I didn't like Surprise Me at all, last year. But I will always, always, always read whatever she comes out with next. She's that author for me: the one I will always read no matter what.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
I had such high hopes for this! I just couldn't get behind the YA factor. I found a lot of the characters really unlikable, actually. If I'd read it 10 years ago, I probably would've liked it more. I really liked the name Bronwyn, though.

Murder in the Stacks by David DeKok
This is a true crime non-fiction book. Apparently, there was a murder in the Pattee Library on the Penn State campus in 1969. I saw this book on a list or on a website somewhere years ago in Colorado. I added it to my TBR and, when we got to Pittsburgh, I found it in the Allegheny County Library system. I could never find it anywhere else.
Anyway. I'm a Penn State graduate, but I went to the Altoona campus. Scott went to the University Park campus. I remember going to the campus with him, and we'd walked through the stacks at the Pattee Library once or twice when he had to meet someone to work on projects or pick up books or whatever. THEY ARE CREEPY. I can't even describe it. It's like these hidden stairwells behind doors in the main library building and spiral staircases that go up and random doors for different rooms/levels of the classification system. The level of "lost" you could get without even trying is extreme.
The book outlines all the issues that would happen in the library: arson, especially. But anyway, there was a murder there in 1969 and this book, written by someone who lived in the same Michigan town as the victim and works in Harrisburg, goes over the history of the area, the campus, the murder, the state police, the investigation, etc. I can't imagine what the place looked like in 1969, but the one point the author made again and again was that State College was kind of in the middle of nowhere and the nearest reliable hospital was 40 miles away and technology, even for that time period, was sparse.
And, every time I go back, I agree: it really is just a college town plopped down in a farming region.
If you are from PA or from the area in general, you might enjoy the historical aspect of it. Or if you like real-life Dateline-esque stories, it's a good one.
Here's a Youtube video the author made if you want a quick overview. 

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison
This was good. It definitely kept me up til midnight (a grave, grave mistake) trying to finish it. A true thriller if you're looking for one, and that made me happy because I didn't like her first book that I read a few years ago.
I do feel that it could've been 80 pages shorter if Juliet would've stopped explaining and re-explaining the current situation to every character she came across. It was almost 500 pages.

Linking up with Jana and Steph!


  1. i've been trying to get into 7 1/2 lives but the first few chapters .... wasn't doing it for me but i can power through it if it does get better.

  2. I feel like we have such similar taste in books! All of these are on my TBR except for the True Crime one, which also sounds right up my alley! And I feel the same about Sophie Kinsella, I will read whatever she puts out. I also recommend listening to her books on audiobook because honestly it's just so light hearted and the readers are always british and amazing readers! Makes it a very enjoyable read!

  3. I loved Evelyn Hardcastle! I have no idea whether your description is accurate because I've never seen Downton Abbey or seen/read The Maze Runner. lol.

    My mum used to have a friend called Bronwyn. It's a Welsh name.

  4. Oh my gosh, as both a librarian AND a true crime buff, I really need to read Murder in the Stacks! Adding it now!

  5. One of Us is Lying is a YA book though so YA isn't just a factor, it's purposefully written in that genre...can't fault a book for something you know you don't like going in LOL

    I can never put JT Ellison books down.

  6. Ive seen the 7 1/2 deaths everywhere!

  7. Yep... the 7 1/2 book has been on my radar for the past few months - everyone keeps raving about it.
    I loved One of Us - I cant wait to read the new one out by that author. I get the YA factor though - sometimes, I'm just not in the mood.

  8. oh my gosh you liked evelyn hardcastle?! mind, blown. we liked the same book! what is happening! lol. kidding, glad you liked it. i liked i owe you one, but didn't love it. i will pick up her next one too, i just can't help myself. even when i don't love them, they are fun enjoyable reads. though surprise me was my least favourite.

  9. Evelyn hardcastle is on my to read as well as the sophie kinsella. Just too many books to get too!

  10. I liked One of Us is Lying, but I kind of felt like the end was a cop-out.

  11. I loved one of us is lying but totally get what youre saying. I want to read 7 1/2 deaths but the name reminds me so much of evelyn hugo and I just want to read them far apart lol

  12. I really liked the fact they dumped us mid-story into Evelyn Hardcastle too, although the book flap description clued me into what was already happening so I was eagerly awaiting you-know-who to catch up. :D I have not read One of Us is Lying yet. I have a love/hate relationship with YA. I tend to enjoy it more when it's fantasy/dystopian (a la Hunger Games) versus modern stories because I am an old coot so teens can really get on my nerves! That said, it gets such rave reviews that I want to give it a try and see where I fall with it.

  13. I feel like you never enjoy YA books because of the fact that they're written in that manner. It's exactly the reason I avoid historical fiction. I know what I'm getting into and I know I don't like it.

  14. I really enjoyed Tear Me Apart. I had given up on One Of Us is Lying the first time I got it. After so much hype about it, I gave it another try and finished it but thought it was just okay. I've been pretty disappointed with Kinsella's recent books.

  15. I wasn't thrilled with One of Us is Lying either! However I sure did love the title!

  16. I just couldn't get into 7.5 Deaths :-/ But I enjoyed One of Us is Lying...it's fun to see everyone's different reactions to books sometimes!

  17. I've had one of us is lying on my list for a while, but am not into YA... I may take it off based on your review!

  18. I'm sorry to hear you didn't like One of Us. I'll have to add Tear Me Apart to the TBR. I picked up her book Lie To Me from BJ's before Christmas. Sad to say it's still unread. I suck at books!


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