Reading Mash-Up #189

Summer may not be my favorite season (the heat and the constant fear of local forest fires takes a toll pretty quickly), but I do love the delicious produce that ripens this time of year, as well as enjoying my flowers.  These lilies are in full bloom right now, and they smell heavenly!

What I’ve Been Reading

W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton — 4 out of 5 stars

One of my July selections.  I don’t think I’ve read a book in this series that I didn’t like, and this one is no exception.  Two seemingly unrelated deaths takes Kinsey Millhone down a rabbit hole that involves medical research and family secrets.  These nearly 500 pages flew by, and even though it’s been a while since I read the last installment, I quickly fell back into Kinsey’s world.  This can easily be read as a standalone, and a great recommendation for any mystery fan.

Final Girls by Riley Sager — 4 out of 5 stars

I don’t know how I managed to avoid all the spoilers for this wildly popular thriller, but I did and it was worth it.  The plot is probably well known by now so I won’t try to summarize it.  But I will say this–I was hooked from the beginning, and every time I thought I knew where things were going some new curveball would get thrown in.  I am usually pretty hesitant to read popular bestsellers as I go in with high expectations and oftentimes wind up being disappointed.  This one did not disappoint.  A good choice for fans of psychological thrillers.

Daughter of Song by Doug Hood — 4 out of 5 stars

In 2007, seventeen-year-old Panna Krom was found guilty of murder after hiding her pregnancy and the newborn was later found dead.  Several years later, while volunteering for a prison writing group, author Doug Hood met Panna, and, after hearing her story, launched his own personal investigation into the “crime” itself and the inequalities of the judicial system.  This is not entirely about Panna and the legal system.  Hood also interviews Panna’s family, refugees from Cambodia, and takes a look at the generational trauma that Panna grew up with that ultimately lead to the choices she made.  This is a somewhat difficult read due to the subject matter, and truly heartbreaking at times, but it’s one that is thought-provoking and will certainly raise questions about the “fairness” of our legal system.

North County Paranormal Unit by Amanda McCormack — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

The first in a series of novellas that I think has the potential to be a fun addition to my Halloween reading list.  In this installment, we meet the people who make up the North County Paranormal Unit (think Ghost Hunters or the Ghost Adventures team).  There are a few paranormal encounters but the bulk of this story focuses on the character development.  I would label this as “horror lite,” and even with the couple of darker scenes I thought it was more amusing than scary.  Thanks to kindle freebies, I have the rest of the series ready to go and I am looking forward to following their adventures.

Inside the Wolf by Amy Rowland — 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rachel returns to her family’s North Carolina farm, where memories of a childhood friend’s death continues to haunt her.  When another child dies in a similar way, Rachel decides to confront her past and try to make changes to stop similar tragedies in the future.         First I want to say this was beautifully written and the characters, for the most part, were well developed.   While the many issues that were presented were definitely timely and thought-provoking, I felt that some things felt forced, as though they were last minute additions.  There was a lot to unpack in this story, and overall I would recommend it, but with caution.


Stay safe, and Happy Reading!

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