Book Review: “Lock Every Door” By Riley Sager

Look at me, giving Riley Sager a second chance after DNF’ing Final Girls. I only made it about 100 pages into Final Girls before I decided it wasn’t for me, the writing was just so boring! So giving him a second chance wasn’t really on my radar, but Lock Every Door was a book that everyone was saying to give a try so here I am.

“Never take anything you haven’t earned, my father used to say. You always end up paying for it one way or another.”

Riley Sager, Lock Every Door

About The Book

Author: Riley Sager

Publisher: Dutton

Published Date: July 2nd, 2019

Page Count: 381 Pages

Main Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 3.91

Format: Physical Book

“Every so often, life offers you a reset button. When it does, you need to press it as hard as you can.”

 Riley Sager, Lock Every Door

Synopsis

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

“One time is an anomaly. Two times is a coincidence. Three times is proof.”

Riley Sager, Lock Every Door

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review

I went into this book with basically no expectations which was probably for the best with this one. The only expectation I had was that this could possibly be a paranormal read and spoiler alert, I was wrong.

This book started off really strong. in fact, I flew through the first 100 pages! But after that we hit a slow part in the book that felt like it would last forever, and it did. In fact it lasted for practically 200 pages, almost till the very end of the book where it finally decided to get good again and man oh man did it get good!

Honestly, this book had a really interesting conclusion that saved this book from being a 2 star read. If you don’t want any kind of spoilers I would stop reading right now, don’t even skim the rest of this paragraph. Ok so the ending of this book reminded me a lot of the movie “The Menu” It talks about how the rich take advantage of the poor and man oh man did they take advantage of these apartment sitters!

Now the big question remains, after DNF’ing one of Riley Sagers books and giving this one a 3.5 star rating, will I be interested in picking up any of the other books from this author? Ummmm, I do have two of his books currently on my shelves, they are House Across The Lake and Home Before Dark. I think I want to try Home Before Dark as I have heard some good things about this and possibly even that it has paranormal aspects which I am here for. SO yes, I will probably try one more book from this author.

“Because here’s the thing about being poor—most people don’t understand it unless they’ve been there themselves. They don’t know what a fragile balancing act it is to stay afloat and that if, God forbid, you momentarily slip underwater, how hard it is to resurface.”

Riley Sager, Lock Every Door

QOTD: Do you have a favorite Riley Sager Book?

Book Review: “The Silent Patient” By Alex Michaelides

This is the first book that I read in over a month…Yikes… how sad! However, I am so glad that my first book of March was this one. This book has been recommended to me several times over the past few years and honestly I am kicking myself over the fact that it took me this long to get to it.

“Remember, love that doesn’t include honesty doesn’t deserve to be called love.”

 Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

About The Book

Author: Alex Michaelides

Publisher: Celadon Books

Published Date: February 5th, 2019

Page Count: 336 Pages

Main Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 4.18

Format: Physical Book

“We are made up of different parts, some good, some bad, and a healthy mind can tolerate this ambivalence and juggle both good and bad at the same time. Mental illness is precisely about a lack of this kind of integration – we end up losing contact with the unacceptable parts of ourselves.”

 Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

Synopsis

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

Synopsis From GoodReads

“There’s so much pain everywhere, and we just close our eyes to it. The truth is we’re all scared. We’re terrified of each other.”

 Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review

If I am completely honest with you, I went into this book with low expectations. I have heard a lot of mixed reviews behind this book, either you love it or hate it and I thought I was going to hate this book. To my surprise, I can see this being a contender for my 2023 top books!

This book started off kind of slow only because I wasn’t sure I liked the POV of the psychotherapist but as the story moved on the pace picked up and I flew through this book!

I would hate to spoil anything in this book for you if you haven’t read it yet, but let me tell you this, I did not see the twists coming! My jaw was on the floor for the last few chapters cause I just didn’t want to believe what I just read. If you are looking for a quick page turner you need to pick this one up!

“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”

 Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

QOTD: What Psychological Thriller can you not stop thinking about?

“You know, one of the hardest things to admit is that we weren’t loved when we needed it most. It’s a terrible feeling, the pain of not being loved.”

 Alex Michaelides, The Silent Patient

Book Review: “The Sun Down Motel” By Simone St. James

This book was my Book Clubs pick for the month of October and I don’t think we could have picked a better book for the spooky season! I know a lot of my book Club peeps were busy this month so not many of us were able to finish but that is perfectly fine because we are friends first before a Book Club. Over all I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to tell you my thoughts.

“For the odd girls, the nerdy girls, and the murderinos. This one is yours.”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

About The Book

Author: Simone St. James

Publisher: Berkley

Published Date: February 18th, 2020

Page Count: 327 Pages

Main Genres: Mystery, Horror, Thriller

GoodReads Rating. 4.03

Format: Physical Book

“I think it’s instructive to be awake in the middle of the night every once in a while. To really see what you’re missing while you’re usually sleeping.”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

Synopsis

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

Synopsis From GoodReads

“I’m the one you didn’t kill,”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review

This book started a bit slow to me and took maybe 150 pages to really get into. But by the time I met that 150 page mark I was hooked and did not want to put it down!

At the beginning of this book everything just felt too perfect, like she was out of money and had no where to stay but then she finds a rich roommate, like what? Why was it so perfect? That kind of story telling really gets under my skin. But honestly you forget about how perfect this book started after a little while and just get sucked into the atmosphere of The Sun Down Motel and the story of all the missing girls. You really want to help them figure out the truth!

I did really enjoy all of the characters in this book, and there were many. They all played a pretty important part in this book and really made the story. Carly made some really good friendships which was a really cute part that I enjoyed a lot, I was afraid she wouldn’t know anyone and be doing all this research on her own.

If you are looking for a paranormal book that actually gives you chills, I highly recommend picking up this book.

“The person who could be truly alone, in the company of no one but oneself and one’s own thoughts—that person was stronger than anyone else. More ready. More prepared.”

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

QOTD: What are some good paranormal books?

Book Review: “Every Heart a Doorway” By Seanan McGuire

I have had this book on my radar for probably 6 months and I can’t believe it took me that long to finally pick it up! It is such a short book that I devoured it in one sitting and spoiler alert, I loved every moment of it!

“Their love wanted to fix her, and refused to see that she wasn’t broken.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

About The Book

Author: Seanan McGuire

Publisher: Tor

Published Date: April 5th, 2016

Page Count: 173 Pages

Main Genres: Fantasy, YA, Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 3.82

“She was a story, not an epilogue.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

Synopsis

No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Synopsis From GoodReads

“We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review

Like most books, I really didn’t know much of anything about it before I started to read it. I had no clue that it was as short as it was or that it had a bit of a mystery tied into it. All I knew is that a few booktubers said it would be a nice cozy read about kids who found doors to other worlds but couldn’t go back, But it was about so much more than just that.

This book had some really good themes about acceptance and honestly some of the conversations were tough to listen to but much needed. I truly loved this cozy YA Fantasy with a mix of mystery. If you are looking for those in a book make sure to check this one out!

“You’re nobody’s doorway but your own, and the only one who gets to tell you how your story ends is you.”

Seanan McGuire, Every Heart a Doorway

QOTD: What is a good Cozy Mystery?

Book Review: “Hidden Pictures” By Jason Rekulak

This book has been read by everyone under the sun, Ok maybe not really, but it does feel like it. I have seen it everywhere with raving reviews so I was extremely excited to finally get my own copy and devour this book and what better time than the beginning of spooky season?!

“hardest things about recovery is coming to terms with the fact that you can’t trust your brain”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

About The Book

Author: Jason Rekulak

Publisher: FlatIron Books

Published Date: May 10th, 2022

Page Count: 373 Pages

Main Genres: Horror, Thriller, Mystery

GoodReads Rating: 4.25

“I’m grateful to the judge who sent me to rehab instead of prison.”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

Synopsis

Fresh out of rehab, Mallory Quinn takes a job in the affluent suburb of Spring Brook, New Jersey as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves this new job. She lives in the Maxwell’s pool house, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

As the days pass, Teddy’s artwork becomes more and more sinister, and his stick figures steadily evolve into more detailed, complex, and lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to suspect these are glimpses of an unsolved murder from long ago, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force lingering in the forest behind the Maxwell’s house.

With help from a handsome landscaper and an eccentric neighbor, Mallory sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy—while coming to terms with a tragedy in her own past—before it’s too late. 

“seemed so epic. But I mentioned the challenges to Adrian’s mother and she gave me some good advice. She said I shouldn’t try to write a book, I should just sit down at my laptop and tell the story, one sentence at a time, using the same language I’d use to tell a friend over coffee. She said it was okay not to sound like J. K. Rowling. It was fine if I sounded like Mallory Quinn from Philadelphia.”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

Synopsis From GoodReads


Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review

This book was everything I hoped for plus so much more!

I used to be a nanny so while I was reading this book I was imagining this happening to me and how I would have handled the situation, and I don’t think I would have made it out of this house alive.

I really loved that this book had pictures because without them I don’t think it would have been as scary as it was. The pictures just really helped you see that something was really weird with this situation. I think I stared at each picture for a good five minutes a piece just to get a real good look at what was going on.

The one thing I want to shout out is that this wasn’t as predictable as most thrillers I have read and I really appreciated that. I think this book is probably the scariest thing I have read in my whole two years of being on bookstagram and I am so glad I was able to finally read this one! I highly Recommend it!

“I see her every night,” Teddy says. “She sleeps under my bed so I can hear her singing.”

Jason Rekulak, Hidden Pictures

QOTD: What is the scariest book you have read?

Book Review: “Truly Devious” By Maureen Johnson

This month I started a small Book Club with some of my closest friends on Bookstagram. Our first book was “Truly Devious”. I finished this book in two days! Our book club is supposed to only read one book throughout the course of the whole month but I couldn’t put this book down or slow down my reading at all to make it last the whole month.

“You have to take things as they are, not how you hear they’re supposed to be.”

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About The Book

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published Date: January 16th, 2018

Page Count: 416 pages

Main Genres: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary

Average GoodReads Rating: 4.00

“Where her books were, she was. Get the books right and the rest will follow. Now she could address the rest of the room.”

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Synopsis

Stevie is a teenager obsessed with the Ellingham murders that took place in the 1930’s. She somehow got the chance to attend Ellingham Academy for her Junior year of high school and now she hopes she can crack the unsolved murder case. What she wasn’t expecting was for one of her own classmates to be murdered right under her nose. Will Stevie be able to solve the mysterious murders or will she herself be taken as a victim?

“Anything is better than doing what I’m supposed to be doing.”

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Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review

I honestly can’t remember why I wanted to start reading this book or where I even heard about this series. What I do know is that I bought the three books in a box set and immediately fell in love with the covers.

This was such a good YA mystery! I haven’t read a lot of YA and I think I am slowly finding my YA grove. I really loved all of the characters, especially Stevie. Stevie reminds me a lot of myself, I too love true crime but I think she is a lot more brave than I am. I thought the friendships made in this book could have been a bit more defined but I think those will grow in the next few books.

I am happy I get to read this with my Book Club and I am so excited to talk to them about this book in more details. I found this book had a lot of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and I think this will make for a really interesting discussion. I will be honest there were parts that frustrated me or even just didn’t fully make sense, but like I said, I think it will all come together in the rest of the series.

“There is something about early mornings that changes your perceptions subtly. The light is new; no one has put on the defences of the day. All is reset and not quite real yet.”

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QOTD: Have you read this series? What were your thoughts? If not what is your favorite YA mystery?