An ever updating list.
  1. This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp ⭐️⭐️1/2
    Such an intriguing premise wasted with flat characters. They're mostly very one-dimensional with a few exceptions. Of the four narrators, only Tomas has any spark of originality and depth. The others fall into tired stereotypes or else just aren't that interesting or well-developed. There's an Arab-American character who's interesting though, but the book clumsily reminds you again and again of his ethnicity. As for the main antagonist, he's so underdeveloped that the whole book falls apart.
  2. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter ⭐️⭐️
    Really the book bears little resemblance to the original story. That doesn't mean it's bad. It's at times very suspenseful while genuinely funny at others, and I love the friendship among most of the girls in the book. And the main love interest, while not necessary a healthy choice, is very swoon-worthy. That being said, I am not the intended audience for this book, and while usually that doesn't matter, it did in this case. The author tries a little too hard to be "cool," and it shows.
  3. Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I read this because a movie based on it will soon be released, and man, it's been awhile since a book has totally bowled me over like this one did. Aciman so accurately describes forbidden longing and breathtaking ache that often go hand in hand with love, and it really blew me away. This book is actually kind of similar to a situation I'm in right now, so maybe that's why I was so emotionally affected, but whoa. A knockout.
  4. Cut & Run by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I have @rycores to thank for this one since he recommended the series, which consists of I think seven books. I think his secret plan was to get me obsessed with the series because I am. I'm almost done with the second book now. If you're looking for an exciting story involving FBI agents investigating a serial killer who fall for each other in the process, this is your book.
  5. I haven't updated this list in forever, but that's because I have been reading the nine book Cut & Run series, which I just finished tonight.
    Now I'm sad. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ overall.
  6. Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This is a sequel to the book Openly Straight, which I really loved apart from the wholly unsatisfying ending. I'm very happy with the continuation of the story because I feel like we got the ending we deserved, and it's not some easy, wrapped up in a ribbon denouement. It's much more realistic - yet ultimately happy - than that, which I why I'm so pleased with it. There were a few dangling plot threads that were unresolved, but I guess in real life we don't always get all the answers we seek.
  7. The Reminders by Val Emmich ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    Val is a singer-songwriter and also an actor (he's been on shows like 30 Rock and Ugly Betty), and I've been a fan of his in both regards for awhile now. This is his first novel, and I loved it. It's about how painful remembering can be but how forgetting can be even worse; it's about moving on without letting go. It's just great.
  8. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    I really liked this book. The central mystery was very intriguing and not at all obvious, and I loved the way that the four main characters start out as typical two-dimensional stock characters until the layers start getting peeled back, showing that there's so much more to all of them. They say this is The Breakfast Club as a murder mystery, and I agree even though I hate The Breakfast Club and loved this book.
  9. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    This book was so good. It's about these two boys from this secret organization of "Love Interests" who are trained to romance potentially important and influential people and obtain their secrets, which they then sell. They're assigned as a "Nice" and a "Bad" to the same girl, Juliet, and the one she doesn't choose will die. The problem is they both begin to fall for...well, not Juliet. Their relationship is so sweet, and there's ample tension and suspense as well. I definitely recommend it.
  10. Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I'm actually too afraid to play the game this is based on. It's about friends who've grown apart after several children (including their friend) are murdered. It's years later, and they head back to the ruins of Freddy Fazbear's, a Chuckie Cheese type place previously owned by the main character's father. There they encounter nightmarish living animatronics. It scared me a few times and was very suspenseful throughout, but the level of writing and characterization are a bit amateur
  11. Five Nights at Freddy's: The Twisted Ones by Scott Cawthon and Kira Breed-Wrisley - ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Although this features animatronics that on paper should be even scarier than the originals, it was somehow less scary. And not that the first book was exactly plausible, this one was even less so for reasons that would be hard to explain with such limited characters as this will allow. However, there seems to be a larger story and mythology about these characters that has yet to be explained fully, and it ended on a cliffhanger, so here's hoping there's an eventual sequel.
  12. Valentine by Tom Savage ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    There's a movie based on this book, but it's extremely different. Whereas the movie is a slasher, the book is a mystery, a more nuanced thriller. The only thing the two have in common is that someone is seeking murderous revenge against a group of girls who slighted him on Valentine's Day many years prior. I really enjoyed the book. It's not obvious at all who the killer is (at least not to me). I audibly gasped when it was revealed, and there's another twist as well. I enjoyed it.
  13. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I love Anna Kendrick. Seriously, I just think she's hilarious, and her book did not disappoint. Her brand of humor just works for me, and it translates well to the written word (as proven by her tweets). More than once, I was literally laughing out loud, such as when she described one ill-fated ocean voyage that very nearly did not end well or when she Aubrey Plaza went to buy a car. I definitely recommend it if you're even a casual Anna fan.
  14. The Backup Boyfriend by River Jaymes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    Another one recommend by @rycores It was ridiculously adorable and sweet and represented the kind of relationship I want and that also probably doesn't really exist, but I can dream, right? My only qualm is that books like these give me unrealistic life expectations. But like I said, I can dream.
  15. The Boyfriend Mandate by River Jaymes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    When I find a series I like, I tend to devour it. This is the sequel to the one I just read, and while it wasn't quite as good as the first, I'm not gonna lie, I maybe cried a little at the end.
  16. The Lying Game by Ruth Ware ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    Just like in the book by Ware last year - In a Dark, Dark Wood - the thing that keeps book from being truly great is the protagonist. She writes a certain kind of narrator, and I don't know, both times I found her to be such a wet blanket of a character. I don't even really think that's totally accurate, but I don't know how to describe them otherwise. That being said, I DID enjoy the book even though I saw the end coming about halfway through. It's twisty and interesting, a good read.
  17. Final Girls by Riley Sager ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Wowowowow what a book. I devoured this, reading it more quickly that any book in awhile. I seriously couldn't put it down, especially toward the end - I HAD to know how it turned out. Surprising and suspenseful, it's a cross between a mystery and a slasher (it's not too graphic though, don't worry). Seriously, I can't recommend it enough for people who like thrillers (and even for those who typically don't). It's for sure one of the best books I've read this year.
  18. All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This book kind of snuck up on me. What I mean is that I didn't realize I was so invested in it until, well, I realized how invested I was in it suddenly. It centers on Jake, alternating between her present as she tries to protect her sheep from an unknown predator and her past (told in backwards order), which slowly reveals the dark history she's running from. The ending was appropriate for the novel but also kind of ambiguous, so I have mixed feelings about that. Overall though, a good read.
  19. Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
    If you like the Welcome to Night Vale podcast, you’ll like this. If you don’t, well then this isn’t the book for you. As the cover claims, it’s wondrously strange. I’ve honestly never read a book like this. But amid all of Night Vale’s eccentricities is a very human story about love and family. I really liked it.