Show Us Your Books (Apr. 2021): The Deep, Every Missing Thing, and More Mini Book Reviews

Posted April 13, 2021 by shooting in Book Review / 14 Comments

I’m linking up some book reviews with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books

Last Tuesday I finally had my carpal tunnel release surgery so while I have been posting online, it’s been a bit slow moving as I can’t fully use my hand yet. I have to get my left done at some point, but I did my right first because it’s my dominant hand. Today’s reviews will probably be a bit shorter than normal, but enjoy! Also, the bookshop purchase links are affiliate links – I get a small % of any sale at no extra cost to you, and you support independent bookstores with each sale.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lauren Becker (@laurenashleybecker)

I actually have a full review already up for Daisy Jones and the Six if you would like to check that out. I loved it though!


Hard Sell by Hudson Lin

this comes out on May 25th so if interested, it’s a pre-order

copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Hard Sell is an LGBTQ+ best-friend’s younger brother romance. I gave this one four stars but it was more of a 3.5 for me. I liked it more as the book went on and I got to learn more about Danny Yip and Tobin Lok. It deals a lot with business – Danny and Tobin reunite because they are both working with the same company in different capacities. I found a lot of the business details to not be as interesting, but I know it’s based on the author’s own experiences, so some might find it more intriguing than me. I did like the actual characters though.


I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan 

copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

I read Tom Ryan’s book Keep This To Yourself a couple years ago and loved it, so I was excited to read another by him. I enjoyed this one though not quite as much as KTTY. I Hope You’re Listening is a YA mystery novel. The main character, Dee, was present when her best friend was kidnapped and she was left behind (they were seven). Ten years later, Dee has a secret podcast where she tries to gather people to help solve similar crimes. She disguises her voice though, and only her friend, Burke, is aware.

When a young girl goes missing from Dee’s old house, the subject of Sibby (Dee’s childhood friend) starts coming up more often and now Dee is thrust into a mystery of whether the two are connected, and whether or not they are, is Sibby still alive? It was an intriguing read; one that I read really quick. I loved Dee’s parents and her girlfriend, Sarah, though I wish we had gotten a bit more from Sarah at the end of the book. Dee does make some dumb decisions in her search for the truth, but I felt like I could give her some leeway since Sibby was kidnapped right in front of her and even with her podcast, this is the first time she really puts herself into the actual investigation. If you like YA mysteries, I would recommend Tom Ryan.

Wonderstruck by Allie Therin

copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

This is the third and final book in the Magic in Manhattan series. I absolutely loved all three of these, and I thought the conclusion was really well done. I will miss the characters of Rory and Arthur and all of their friends. The books feature an m/m romance, but it’s not the main focus. The book is much more about magic and special powers and trying to save the world from nefarious men and women. I love that the book takes place in the 1920’s – it adds another layer to all the storylines. Highly recommend this trilogy!


Every Missing Thing by Martyn Ford

I was really fascinated by this storyline – parents have a child go missing and then years later, their second child goes missing. The retired detective, Sam Maguire, who worked the first case is called back in to help try and solve this one…and perhaps the first one too. I will admit this book took awhile to really draw me in. I don’t know if it was the writing style, or just me, but I almost DNFed. I think the biggest hurdle for me were all the moments from camera’s perspectives – CCTV, work cameras, laptop cameras, etc. There was a reason for this, and it did allow the fuller story to be told, but it was a bit off-putting at first. I am glad I kept reading though as the mystery got really interesting. I didn’t guess all the twists and turns, and boy were there are a lot! The end was especially shocking.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lauren Becker (@laurenashleybecker)

The Deep by Alma Katsu

From my Instagram post: Did you know that the Titanic had a sister ship called the Britannic that also sank? 🚢
⁣I was not aware of this until I started reading The Deep by Alma Katsu. It’s a really interesting, fantasy take on these two tragedies! ⁣ One of the secondary characters is even based on a real person (a nurse called Violet Jessop) who survived both sinkings!  It’s one of those “the truth is stranger than fiction” moments. ⁣

** I also want to add that for some reason I kept thinking this was YA but it’s not, it’s an Adult novel. It was an intriguing read and I would definitely read more by Katsu in the future. You can purchase The Deep here.


The Candy Mafia by Lavie Tidhar and illustrated by Daniel Duncan

copy for review; all opinions are my own

The Candy Mafia was a really interesting middle grad novel. It took me a moment to get into it, but then I found myself really enjoying the story of 12-year old self-appointed detective, Nelle. The book begins with her thinking she is searching for a missing teddy bear but it turns into something a lot bigger and more complicated. I kept thinking of this book as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory meets the Mafia (but in a pint-sized version). Honestly, the book gets a bit darker and more serious in the end than I would have expected, but I think it worked overall. Also, I’m sure a lot of young readers will be horrified by a town that has outlawed all candy!


The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too) by Gretchen Rubin

This is the fourth book by Gretchen Rubin that I’ve read. I know people are hit or miss when it comes these “self-help” type of books and authors but I’ve always really liked Rubin’s work, even if I can’t apply all of it to my own life. The Four Tendencies is all about grouping people into four different types when it comes to motivation (there is obviously some overlap between the four): Upholder, Obliger, Rebel, and Questioner. Based on the quiz in the book and all of the examples, I am definitely an Obliger. Basically – I do well at meeting outside expectations but not inner expectations. Essentially, I’m a “people pleaser.” I found this to be a really interesting book and I liked how it delves into working with, being in relationships with, having children with, different types. Not everyone will react to or be motivated by the same things so it’s good to know if you want healthier relationships.


Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay

This book has been on my radar for awhile now, so I’m glad I was able to find the time to read it soon after I acquired a copy. I want to start my review by mentioning something a Bookstagram friend said about this book – she felt that the depictions of Mexico and its people were a bit offensive and upsetting, and I told her that I could definitely see her point. I do think the author could have done better with the parts that took place in Mexico, so I thought it was important to make a note of that. As for the rest of the book, I did really enjoy it and thought the mystery was pretty well done. I guessed an aspect of the reveal, but not everything. I liked that it included past POV’s too because it really brought the whole story together.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lauren Becker (@laurenashleybecker)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Lauren Becker (@laurenashleybecker)

Called Upon by Bethany Lee

copy for review; all opinions are my own

From my Instagram post: The book follows the perspective of three seemingly unrelated teenagers- though mostly Kaitlin. I really identified with Kaitlin. She’s way more of a social pariah than I was but I could still relate to her self-esteem issues. ⁣Called Upon, for Kaitlin, takes place at a summer camp that seems a bit too good to be true. So of course… it is! ⁣This is a fairly quick moving read. I loved the mystery and the suspense. I even enjoyed (most) of the secondary characters. They were all written so well. ⁣ The book has a bit of a science fiction angle as it progresses, which isn’t always my favorite but it worked for me! I would recommend, and I am very curious to see where Kaitlin and the others go next. ⁣

** If you are in the U.S. and would like a copy, I recommend purchasing from the author’s website. Through the end of April, you can use my code LAUREN60 to get 60% off a physical copy of the book. That’s an amazing deal!

***

  • I have a few giveaways going on right now (one on Instagram and two on the blog). You can find the details and links on my right hand sidebar. The blog giveaways are part of a hop too so there are a lot more giveaways to enter.
  • If you are not already following me on Instagram, I would love to have you join me over there! Leave a comment on this post with your username and I will make sure to follow you back if I am not already. I know I included some bookish photos from Instagram in this post but I have some other photos from the above book reviews that I just haven’t posted yet, so keep an eye out for those!! Plus, I have Instagram only giveaways quite often so you don’t want to miss those.
  • I have another Behind the Bookstagram segment on the blog, with myself and another Bookstagrammer. These are all tips and tricks for taking photos in the snow – but they can be used for other weather conditions too (or even sand/beach photoshoots).
  • Finally, I am taking part in two virtual book tours for The Children’s Book Review and both have giveaway opportunities attached if you are interested. Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice (I created and shared a Beyond the Book Activity for this picture book) and my interview with author Margaret Peterson Haddix.

14 responses to “Show Us Your Books (Apr. 2021): The Deep, Every Missing Thing, and More Mini Book Reviews

  1. Ive heard great things about the Daisy Jones book! I also loved The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin so I’m sure I’d enjoy that book as well. I love books that make you dive into your personality/tendencies to optimize for your best life! I hope your recovery goes quick! Sending you virtual hugs!

  2. I read Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project years ago and I remember liking it. This one that you mentioned here, I can’t remember if I’ve read it before but the premise sounds familiar.

  3. Wow! So many great books here! I Hope Your Listening and Wonderstruck really seem up my wheelhouse. I love a good series and a fantasy one too so I’m definitely going to check that one out. I enjoyed Daisy but didn’t love it quite as much as Evelyn. It was one of the rare books that I actually feel like I’ll enjoy better on screen. I believe Reese Witherspoon optioned it and the series is going to be on Amazon? Netflix? One of the streamers. 🙂 And that I think will be terrific.

    Tanya @ A Mindful Migration recently posted: March Bookshelf: Hello, Remember Me?

Leave a Reply

(Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.