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The House Across the Lake

My Riley Sager

This is one of those books you should go into blind. Just know you are in for a wild ride, its starts out pretty typical but then the drop hits you. There were so many twists and turns towards the end that the story completely changes into a complicated tangle.

The first half felt very familiar to me, think Woman in the Window vibes. Our main character Casey Fletcher, a widowed actress, escapes to her family’s lake house after some awful moments in the press. She drinks herself into oblivion every night until she sees the binoculars sitting next to her.

Tom and Katherine Royce are staying in the house across the lake. She is a famous model and he runs a tech company. One day Katherine almost drowns in the lake and Casey is able to save her. From there the relationship between them grows, and Casey finds it hard not to spy on the famous couple. When Katherine goes missing, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened.

For over half the book I felt like the story was very familiar. The unreliable narrator thinks she sees something across the lake. With all of Casey’s drinking you just don’t know what you can believe, but when the twist hits it changes everything.

This is one of those twists that you either hate or love because it is so outlandish it’s hard to believe. The last 30% of the book went pretty fast for me. There were so many twits and turns I couldn’t really stop reading until I knew exactly what was going on.

Thank you to Netgalley for the arc in exchange for my review. I really enjoyed this one. The twist wasn’t my favorite but I still liked the spooky atmosphere.

Happy reading

XOXO Tricia

Ordinary Monsters

By J.M. Miro

I knew it from the beginning, there was something special about this novel. I could tell it was nearing 5 star territory and by the end it wound up being an all time favorite. It had all the elements I love in a fantasy novel, excellent characters, found family, intriguing mystery, and plenty of scary don’t read this in the dark moments.

Not only was the writing impeccable, the atmosphere gave me chills. Set in England 1882, we are thrust into a time of the past. This element made the scary parts even more intense. Knowing the characters don’t have access to modern day amenities added to the tension they were feeling.


England, 1882. In Victorian London, two children with mysterious powers are hunted by a figure of darkness —a man made of smoke.

Sixteen-year-old Charlie Ovid, despite a lifetime of brutality, doesn’t have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When two grizzled detectives are recruited to escort them north to safety, they are forced to confront the nature of difference, and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous.

What follows is a journey from the gaslit streets of London, to an eerie estate outside Edinburgh, where other children with gifts—the Talents—have been gathered. Here, the world of the dead and the world of the living threaten to collide. And as secrets within the Institute unfurl, Marlowe, Charlie and the rest of the Talents will discover the truth about their abilities, and the nature of the force that is stalking them: that the worst monsters sometimes come bearing the sweetest gifts.

I feel in love with all the characters in this book. That doesn’t happen often for me. I even liked the bad guy, Jacob Marber. I liked how we got little bits of back story for each of them, but only at the right moments. Everything was revealed in time and that added to the mystery surrounding them. Their stories were complex and they all had hidden secrets.

If you like the found family aspect in books you will love this one! Charlie Ovid and Marlowe have an amazing brotherly relationship. They grow to trust each other and by the end you will be sobbing. In fact you might cry a few times. I won’t say anything else, but don’t get too attached to these characters.

The “super power” parts of this book were perfection. It never felt gimmicky or super heroish. In fact if people really did have special abilities or “talents” this is how I would imagine it. We were there when the characters discover their powers and are able to connect with their wonder and fear throughout as they learn to live with these new abilities.

Luckily for us this is scheduled to be a trilogy so we can get more of this complex world. I will definitely be continuing the series.

Happy Reading

Xoxo Tricia

You’re my I.T.

By C. N. Holmberg

If you’re looking for a cute nerdy non traditional romance then this is it!


The first guy Blaine ever confessed her feelings to dismissed her. The second made her friendless. The third, a viral internet sensation.

And Blaine is praying the fourth will be different.

After two years of pining for the aloof and secretly hilarious IT guy at work, roller-derby-warrior Blaine creates a master plan: after Lysander returns from his transfer in California, she’s going to spill everything. And why not? She’s got a killer undercut, thighs of steel, and shares his love for superheroes. In her book, they’re a match made in heaven.

Lysander has enough self-esteem to fill a thimble and has always struggled with his place in the world. When his father has a health scare, Lysander takes charge of his own, and consequentially loses fifty pounds. Suddenly the people around him think he’s worth his space—especially the women. And when Lysander fishes the literally shallow waters of dating and returns with a girl on his arm, Blaine fears she may have lost her chance with him entirely.


This book was really cute. The characters felt genuine and real. They definitely weren’t your typical romance couple. Blaine plays roller derby and Lysander loves Dungeons and Dragons. Nerds of the reading world unite!

I really liked the slow burn friends to lovers in this one. They were vulnerable, but still strong. There was also an emphasis on body positivity that I really liked. Lysander leaves and comes back with a bit of makeover, he loses some weight, and the focus on his mental health was a really important conversation. The struggles he faced were spot on.

I also really enjoyed the descriptions of the office jobs. I think being a technical writer would be an interesting job. The workplace banter was fun and I always love an office romance.

This is the perfect fun summer read that is absolutely adorable. Nerds fall in love too and when they do it’s utterly heartwarming.

Happy Reading

Xoxo Tricia

The Fifth Season

By N.K. Jemisin

Do you ever read a book and really like the writing, the characters and the story but don’t feel the pull to continue in the series? That happened for me with this read. I’m not sure where it lost me, but for now I don’t plan to continue this series.

The overall plot felt slow and it’s definitely something you have to have patience with. The book starts with being thrown into a post apocalyptic world that is quite confusing. I really had to stick with this one to grasp all the concepts and give it a chance until I started to understand what was going on.

The female characters were excellent! I felt liked I really cared for them and I understood their struggles. They were strong and real. Probably some of the best female characters I’ve ever read.

The hardest part for me to get use to was the 2nd POV narrative. It’s very different to read because it’s not done very often. The other POV’s were done in 3rd person, so switching back and forth took a little bit for me to feel comfortable with.

I liked the blend of sci-fi and fantasy and the emphasis on the importance of family. Maybe this is one I will continue later, but for now I’ll wait to hear more reviews for the rest of the series.


This is the way the world ends. Again.

Three terrible things happen in a single day. Essun, a woman living an ordinary life in a small town, comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Meanwhile, mighty Sanze — the world-spanning empire whose innovations have been civilization’s bedrock for a thousand years — collapses as most of its citizens are murdered to serve a madman’s vengeance. And worst of all, across the heart of the vast continent known as the Stillness, a great red rift has been torn into the heart of the earth, spewing ash enough to darken the sky for years. Or centuries.

Now Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, and with limited stockpiles of supplies, there will be war all across the Stillness: a battle royale of nations not for power or territory, but simply for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night. Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Happy Reading

Xoxo Tricia

The Golden Couple

By Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen


Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all―until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their eight-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter Avery Chambers.

Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate.
When they glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.


I love this style of writing with multiple perspectives, but not too many. It was just the right amount of back and forth without the confusion. I thought Avery’s character was the most interesting. She was edgy but sophisticated and could take care of herself. On the other hand I didn’t enjoy Marissa as much. I can see how her character was meant to be a little weak and vulnerable, but I found it hard to care for her.

There are a lot of side stories and characters that help round out this book. They keep things interesting and added enough intrigue that I found myself needing to know more. Once you think you know where things are headed your’e thrown a twist that changes everything.

I’ll be honest, a couple of times I thought I had it all figured out and I turned out to be wrong. It wasn’t until one clue at the end that it all came together for me before the big reveal. That’s how I like a thriller. I want to be taken in the wrong direction as long as possible to make the reveal that much sweeter.

If you like a little martial drama and an unsolved murder from the past, you’ll likely enjoy this one! It’s a slow burn in the beginning, but stick with it, you won’t be disappointed.

Happy reading,

Xoxo Tricia

Seasonal Fears

By Seanan McGuire

Seasonal Fears, the sequel to Middlegame, takes you on a journey through another parallel world where the seasons are much more than they seem. Thank you to Netgalley for the arc in exchange for my review.

Melanie is a cheerleader, her boyfriend is on the football team and besides her failing heart her life seems pretty great. Harry loves her, and would do anything to protect her, and he might just get the chance sooner than he thought. Without warning they are thrust into a new world full of violence and unexplainable magic that has their heads spinning.

The intricacies of this world are beyond anything I could ever come up with. This is the complex world in Middlegame on steroids. There are familiar concepts including alchemy, but there is also an entirely new direction, each layer being peeled away to reveal more complexities.

The side characters became just as important, if not more important, than the main characters because they are the ones explaining everything to us. Without their detail we would surely be lost. I can see how that may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I love detail in a book.

The book felt a little slow throughout and then the ending rushed by so quick I felt cheated. I would have preferred less in the middle and a more drawn out ending as that was what the entire book was building up to. That being said I look forward to more from this world and I’m curious to see which direction the next one takes.


The king of winter and the queen of summer are dead. The fight for their crowns begins!

Melanie has a destiny, though it isn’t the one everyone assumes it to be. She’s delicate; she’s fragile; she’s dying. Now, truly, is the winter of her soul.

Harry doesn’t want to believe in destiny, because that means accepting the loss of the one person who gives his life meaning, who brings summer to his world.

So, when a new road is laid out in front of them―a road that will lead through untold dangers toward a possible lifetime together―walking down it seems to be the only option.

But others are following behind, with violence in their hearts.

It looks like Destiny has a plan for them, after all….

“One must maintain a little bit of summer even in the middle of winter.” ―Thoreau

Seasonal Fears comes out May 3rd, 2022.

Happy reading,

Xoxo Tricia

City of Orange

By David Yoon

A man who can’t remember who he is wakes up injured and alone in an apocalyptic world. That first line made me want to read this book, but it turned out to go in a direction I wasn’t expecting. If you go into this book hoping for an apocalyptic story you’ll get parts of that with a strange narrative built in. I don’t want to spoil the direction this story takes by saying too much, but it’s not the traditional apocalypse story.

The inner dialogue of our main character, who doesn’t get a name until the end of the story, is often at times uncomfortable and a little crazy. It doesn’t feel grounded, his thoughts are distracted and sometimes disturbing. As the books progresses you start to understand his state of mind better, but in the beginning it’s a wild ride.

For the majority of the book we’re left wondering if he has lost his mind. There are constant flash backs to a normal life he had and it makes the reader want to know what happened to this guy, how did he end up like this. His mind was very crumbly and fragile.

I think there were several important topics by the end of this book. It’s a shame the beginning with the uneasy dialogue lost me. The ending was poetic and deals with grief and friendship. It’s hard for me to rate this one. While I liked the story as a whole, I didn’t enjoy the ride to get to the end.

This is one of those books where you have to decide if you want to go on the ride. It’s weird and uncomfortable and tragic and sad, but if you can make it through it has a glimmer of hope.

Happy Reading!

Xoxo Tricia

Upgrade by Blake Crouch

What if your body could be stronger or your brain smarter than any other human being. Would you do it? In the new action packed Sci-Fi Thriller, Upgrade, it’s all possible, but is it the right thing to do?

Logan Ramsay works for GPA, an organization stopping the illegal gene editing happening all over the world. When one mission goes wrong he finds himself waking up in a hospital bed, in complete quarantine. As time passes he realizes he’s smarter, faster and now he’s the guy they want to hunt. My favorite part of any super hero movie is when the character undergoes their “transformation”. This book did not disappoint! At times it felt like it went a little over my head with all of the scientific terms, but it really added to the overall feel of Logan getting an upgrade.

Logan has a complex past. His family has secrets that kept this story constantly taking twists and turns. While he was able to turn his emotions down, we as the reader couldn’t and even with all the action there was plenty of heart.

While the middle of the book slowed down for me, I still couldn’t put it down. The constant need to know what would happen kept me enthralled. Even with most of the story talking place with only Logan we get a good amount of side characters that each open up new turns in the plot.

The Epilogue turned this book into a 5 star for me. Even though this story is fiction there are some very real elements of human nature that make you think. Blake Crouch really touched on the parts of humanity that are both ugly and beautiful.

Thank you to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for this advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

Happy Reading

Tricia, XOXO

Gallant by V.E. Schwab

If you’re looking for a hauntingly beautiful and poetic story this one is for you. It’s a mystery wrapped up in a series of journal entries and new discoveries made by our main character, Olivia.


Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for Girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home; it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile, or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?


This was a slow start for me, but I cared so much about the story and the characters I couldn’t stop reading. Olivia was an easy character to feel for, her story is tragic but her determination is powerful.

As a person who loves journaling, I was really intrigued by the mysterious journal entires scattered throughout. The look into her mother’s journal was probably my favorite part! It was like trying to solve a puzzle.

I will say this book is frightening! You have your fair share of super creepy ghosts and monsters in this story and V.E. Schwab’s writing brings them to life in a terrifying way. I was completely creeped out and curious at the same time.

The ending was poetic. There is no other way to describe it. I don’t cry when reading books, but this ending had me drowning in my feels. I gave this book 5 stars! It’s a little slow but oh so beautiful.

Happy Reading

Xoxo Tricia

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

“Is there anything more dangerous down here?” It seemed to consider the question. Then it said, “ME”.


The dead of Loraille do not rest.

Artemisia is training to be a Gray Sister, a nun who cleanses the bodies of the deceased so that their souls can pass on; otherwise, they will rise as spirits with a ravenous hunger for the living. She would rather deal with the dead than the living, who trade whispers about her scarred hands and troubled past.

When her convent is attacked by possessed soldiers, Artemisia defends it by awakening an ancient spirit bound to a saint’s relic. It is a revenant, a malevolent being that threatens to possess her the moment she drops her guard. Wielding its extraordinary power almost consumes her—but death has come to Loraille, and only a vespertine, a priestess trained to wield a high relic, has any chance of stopping it. With all knowledge of vespertines lost to time, Artemisia turns to the last remaining expert for help: the revenant itself.

As she unravels a sinister mystery of saints, secrets, and dark magic, her bond with the revenant grows. And when a hidden evil begins to surface, she discovers that facing this enemy might require her to betray everything she has been taught to believe—if the revenant doesn’t betray her first.


This isn’t a book world I would want to live in, but the cover is gorgeous! I finished Vespertine recently and it was an easy 5 star for me. I immediately fell in love with the writing and the main character. It started off strong with action right away and didn’t disappoint the rest of the way. I really enjoyed the inner dialogue of the main character and her growth throughout the story. The ghosts were terrifying and I loved very minute of it. I can’t wait to read the next one.