Book Review: Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes by Eric LaRocca

Saturday 27 August 2022

 Thank you Netgalley and Titan Books for an arc of this title to read and review honestly.

I finished this title in one evening the book comprised of three short horror stories each completely different yet thought provoking and disturbing in their own ways.

The first story follows an exchange between two women Zoe and Agnes which leads to a contract with one woman becoming a sponsor and the other woman a drudge who has to do everything the sponsor says in return for love and money.

The second story follows a couple who have moved to an isolated island during winter season while mourning the loss of their son. While on this island they meet a man who's become stranded and needs help.

The third and final story follows an old man who finds a bone in his yard with his neighbours initials on it. He reaches out to the neighbour and gets involved in a game of betting that gets more sordid per bet.

Overall each story was disturbing in its own way and kept me reading wanting to see how it ended. 

These short stories were really well crafted and perfectly encapsulated the horror genre each for different reasons. 

Some of themes left me feeling uncomfortable and disturbed which was exactly what the author was intending I believe. 

I would recommend this title for fellow horror fans who want a book of short stories they can get through quickly within a day.  

Book Review: Belladonna by Adalyn Grace

Sunday 7 August 2022

Thank you to Hodder Books and Netgalley for the advance e-Arc of Belladonna by Adalyn Grace to read in exchange for an honest review.

I must admit I did not know much about this story before diving into it other than the novel had gothic themes and was highly anticipated by many readers.

This book was a massive surprise and the writing had me hooked from the first chapter.

The story follows Signa Farrow who has been able to see death since a young age following the death of her parents. Set to inherit a vast fortune when she turns 20 Signa has moved from guardian to guardian with death always following. Following her aunts death Signa arrives at Thorn Grove where she discovers the Hawthorne family are also plagued by death.

Her cousin Blythe is ill with the same affliction that took her mother Lillian and with days to go Signa must uncover the mystery of Thorngrove and the curse that seems to be upon the family all while keeping death at bay.

This story was a complete surprise to me I was so hooked that I finished this within a day.

I loved the mystery meets gothic theme of the story and the almost enemies to lovers arc between herself and death. The book itself had many twists and turns that it took awhile to decipher. The mystery was well crafted and the revelation of the person who murdered Lillian and has been poisoning Blythe did keep you guessing throughout.

Main plot aside I also enjoyed the interactions between her and death when she is learning more about the powers she possesses and how to use them to solve the mystery.

I also enjoyed the relationship built between Signa and Blythe following their first rocky encounter as they rely on each other more and become almost like sisters. I hope this continues in the sequel.

The book ends on a cliffhanger with another mystery to solve and the announcement of the sequel Foxglove. This is a sequel I will definitely be reading and I recommend Belladonna to anyone who is a fan of mystery fiction and gothic themes.

Thanks for Reading! 

Book Review: Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

Friday 5 August 2022

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder Books for the advance arc of Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen.

This book had been on my radar for awhile and as it was suggested for fans of The Cruel Prince it was one of my highly anticipated releases of this year and I have to say it did not disappoint.

The story follows Violet a prophet to the king who earned her place by saving the prince's life when they were both children. Under the Kings command Violet has spun many lies based on her visions while growing up. However Prince Cyrus who she saved plans to have her stripped of her title once he is crowned King.

Following previous predictions of a curse only to be broken by the Prince finding his one true love, Violet is tasked to weave her greatest lie of all and as the line between love and hate blurs between Violet and Cyrus the curse and the right path forward become much more complicated.

This book was definitely one for the fairytale lovers out there it had everything magic, prophecy and a curse only to be broken by the prince finding his true love. It had many themes similar to the sleeping beauty tale but with an entertaining enemies to lovers trope added in.

The characters were all well crafted and I could feel myself getting lost in the story the more that I read. Based on the ending and the questions left unanswered I am hoping this book will become a series.

If you are thinking about picking up this book to read do not hesitate it was great escapism from the mundane day to day and I struggled to put it down once I started reading.

Thanks for Reading! 

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