REVIEW: Little Monsters by Kara Thomas // YA – Mystery – Thriller – July 2017 Release

Little Monsters by Kara ThomasSeries: 

Published: 25 July 2017

Genre: YA, Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 336

Language read: English

Format read: eArc, ebook

Rating: weak 3 stars 3stjerner

-SYNOPSIS-

Little Monsters Synopsis: For fans of Pretty Little LiarsLittle Monsters is a new psychological thriller, from the author of The Darkest Corners, about appearances versus reality and the power of manipulation amongst teenage girls.

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone. –Goodreads

-MY THOUGHTS-

I wanted to read this book because I have been in the mood for thrillers this summer. The synopsis sounded intriguing, and anything that says for fans of Pretty Little Liars and psychological thriller really peaks my interests.

I struggled with this book in the beginning. It took me awhile to get into, since I found it a bit slow. I had mixed feelings towards the beginning. I was so eager to jump right into the mystery, but the book took its time with building up the story, the world and the characters. At this point I didn’t even care that much for the characters. I later on appreciated that the book took its time with the character development, because it is very important for the rest of the story. I also had some problems with telling the characters apart in the beginning. I especially got confused when the book jumped into the diary. I thought it was the main character’s for a while. I’m not sure if this was intentional, or if I am really dumb and it went over my head? All of this got better as the book went on though.

This was just some minor problems and not necessary a big reason for disliking the book. Now I’m going to talk about why my feelings for the book really soured. 7% and 13% into the story I found some things I thought was problematic and harmful, especially for younger readers. Now I’m going to talk a bit about what I found.

I hated how the book tried to make fun of people with allergy or intolerance to gluten. It is, and can be, very dangerous for some people to eat gluten. Even just a little bit can be fatal. Eating gluten free food for health reasons are already stigmatized, and a lot of people thinks that it is just some bogus thing that people are making up. The comment in this book enhances that problem. The comment can especially be hurtful for younger readers that are eating a gluten free diet. People who eat gluten free should be taken serious and be believed, especially by sales personnel and cafe waiters.

The other thing I found to be problematic in this could also be harmful to young readers. I wasn’t sure if I overreacted to this so I asked my boyfriend what he thought, and he agrees with me.

In writing that a person can be the town gossip because they struggle with an eating disorder, can be very dangerous for a young person that struggles with the same to hear. It can strike fear of getting sent away if someone finds out into readers with similar problems. The paragraph also insinuates that it is wrong to get professional help, or if the parents are making the child get help. A good parent will help their child with eating disorders, or other problems, this is not something that should be talked down on. The whole page just made me feel sick. Please let me know what you think?

The version of the book I read was an eArc and not the final copy. If anything has changed in the final release, and the things I’m mentioning are gone or changed, please let me know.

The sad thing about this is that these two paragraphs wasn’t necessary for the book at all. I would have liked that the author didn’t include them, because the book would be so much better without.

Two thirds into the story the book flipped 180° and went from meh to I CAN’T PUT IT DOWN. The mystery got real intense and addictive. It wasn’t just the story that grew on me, but I also started liking the characters a bit more.

The book’s strongest feature was the last part. It got real intense and addictive. Plot twists after plot twists shocked me because I didn’t see any of it coming. All in all the mystery was very interesting. I actually ended up liking the book at the end.

Would I recommend this book? Hmm, I’m not sure. I liked the mystery, It was addictive and intense. But the book took its time before it became interesting. Plus it’s the whole problem with the things I found in the beginning that I didn’t like. I don’t want younger readers, or other readers that can be hurt from it, to read anything like that. I was planning to give this book 2 stars, but the ending was so good that I gave it a weak 3 stars.

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I received this copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley, Random House Children’s & Kara Thomas for giving me a copy of this book.


❤ -Rakel

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3 IN 1 MINI REVIEWS books #32-34 || A Living Nightmare, The Vampire’s Assistant, Tunnels of Blood

A Living Nightmare (Cirque du Freak #1) by Darren Shan

The Vampire’s Assistant (Cirque du Freak #2) by Darren Shan

Tunnels of Blood (Cirque du Freak #3) by Darren Shan

Series: Book 1 – 3 in the Cirque du Freak series | Published: In 2000 | Genre: YA, Middle grade, Vampires, Horror  | Pages: 272, 256, 240 | Language read: English | Format read: Audiobooks | Rating: 3 stars 3stjerner

This is a mini review of the 3 first books in the Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan. Instead of writing my thought on the 3 separate books, I’ll just write my general thoughts on all of them.

This is a middle grade series I read as a kid. It follows a kid named Darren Shan, who gets into trouble with a vampire when he steals the vampire’s big and deadly spider. The vampire chooses to turn him into a half vampire and make him into his assistant. He now has to leave his family to live with his master. I remember really loving this series, the books were dark and addictive, and the whole vampire setting just intrigued me so much.

I thought it would be fun to revisit this series and see if it was as awesome as I remember. Sadly I didn’t like it as much now when I’m older. I don’t know what my problem with the books was. Maybe I’m just too old for them? They just didn’t grab me like they used to do.

The books are pretty short, so I smashed through them in just a couple of days. I was hoping for them to get better, but when the 3rd book ended I wasn’t sure I will ever pick up the 4th. This series was unfortunately not for me anymore.

Will I recommend these books? Maybe not for adults, but I think younger readers might find them fun and scary to read. The books are fast paced and action packed, definitely something a lot of kids like.


❤ -Rakel

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JULY 2017 MONTHLY WRAP UP // What I Read This Month

This month has been one of the busiest months EVER, or at least in a long time. First I had to prepare for my trip and then I went to Croatia for a week. The day after I came home I went straight to west Norway to attend my grandmother’s funeral. The car ride took 8 hours one way. At the end of the month I participated in two readathons and moved some of my things into my BF’s apartment. We are planning on slowly moving in together. I also had one of my most successful reading months to this date. 

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READING STATS

I rated:

2 books  5stjerner

2 books  4stjerner

2 books  3-5stjerner

2 books  3stjerner

1 book   1stjerner

I read:

 8 books read & 1 DNF

A total of 3.508 pages read this month

Challenges:

Beat The Backlist Challenge: The Titan’s Curse


BOOKS I READ

American Gods by Neil Gaiman – 1 star – DNF @ 18% 1stjerner

Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi – 3 stars   3stjerner

The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #3) by Rick Riordan – 3.5 stars3-5stjerner

The Girls by Emma Cline – 5 stars 5stjerner

The Color Purple by Alice Walker – 3 stars  3stjerner

Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor – 5 stars 5stjerner

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner

Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children, #1) by Seanan McGuire – 4 stars 4stjerner

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – 4 stars 4stjerner

Books I didn’t manage to finish this month: The Book of Strange New Things 86% read – Milk and Honey 42% read – The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women 59% read – Little Monsters 50% read – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) 84% read


BOOKS I BOUGHT

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking #1) by Patrick Ness

The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss


Goodreads Challenge July 2017 2

I finished my Goodreads goal of 50 books, so I bumped it up to 70.


What have you been reading this month?

❤ -Rakel

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Mid Year update – All The Books I Have Read So Far In 2017

In December last year I did a post on every book I have read in 2016. I thought it would be fun to do a mid year post about all the books I have read so far in 2017. As of 30. May I have read 41 books, that is 17 books ahead of my Goodreads goal of 50 books. I will finish my goal way before the end of the year, so I might have to bump it up a bit.

Goodreads Challenge July 2017

Here are some stats on the books I have read:

Favorite Books Read:

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) by Scott Lynch

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Longest Book Read:

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch – 650 pages

Shortest book Read:

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – 49 pages

2017 Releases Read:

7 books

Big Books Read:

10

Audiobooks:

21 books

Books DNF:

3 books

Books Bought:

Physical books: 11

Ebooks: 15

Star rating:

5stjerner3 books rated 5 stars

4-5stjerner4 books rated 4.5 stars

4stjerner8 books rated 4 stars

3-5stjerner7 books rated 3.5 stars 

3stjerner11 books rated 3 stars 

2-5stjerner1 book rated 2.5 stars 

2stjerner3 books rated 2 stars 

1-5stjerner1 book rated 1.5 stars  

1stjerner2 books rated 1 star 


January – LINK TO WRAP UP

REVIEW – Deadlight Jack (The Faceless One #2) by Mark Onspaugh – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner

REVIEW – We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – 5 stars 5stjerner

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco – 3 stars 3stjerner

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven – 4.5 stars 4-5stjerner

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – 1.5 stars – DNF 1-5stjerner

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – 4 stars 4stjerner


February – LINK TO WRAP UP

The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) by Lemony Snicket – 3 stars 3stjerner

The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5) by Lemony Snicket – 4 stars 4stjerner

The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6) by Lemony Snicket – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner

The Vile Village (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #7) by Lemony Snicket – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner

The Girl From Old Nichol by Betty Annand – 2 stars DNF 2stjerner

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) by Scott Lynch – 5 stars 5stjerner

Final Girls by Riley Sager – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner

Morning Star (Red Rising, #3) by Pierce Brown – 4 stars 4stjerner

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking – 4.5 stars 4-5stjerner


March – LINK TO WRAP UP

The Hostile Hospital (A Series of Unfortunate Events #8) by Lemony Snicket – 2.5 stars 2-5stjerner

The Carnivorous Carnival (A Series of Unfortunate Events #9) by Lemony Snicket – 3 stars 3stjerner

Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers – 3 stars 3stjerner

REVIEW – One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus – 4.5 stars 4-5stjerner

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) by Tahereh Mafi – 3 stars 3stjerner

The Magicians (The Magicians #1) by Lev Grossman – 3 stars 3stjerner


April – LINK TO WRAP UP

#famous by Jilly Gagnon – 2 stars 2stjerner

Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, #3) by Jim Butcher – 3 stars 3stjerner

The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1) by Brandon Sanderson – 4.5 stars 4-5stjerner

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner

Blankets by Craig Thompson – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō – 4 stars 4stjerner

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – 1 star DNF 1stjerner


May

MINI REVIEW – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – 3 stars 3stjerner

MINI REVIEW – American Street by Ibi Zoboi – 4 stars 4stjerner

MINI REVIEW – Stalker (Joona Linna #5) by Lars Kepler – 4 stars 4stjerner

A Living Nightmare (Cirque du Freak #1) by Darren Shan – 3 stars 3stjerner

The Vampire’s Assistant (Cirque du Freak #2) by Darren Shan – 3 stars 3stjerner

Tunnels of Blood (Cirque du Freak #3) by Darren Shan – 3 stars 3stjerner

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner


June

To Søstre by Åsne Seierstad – 4 stars 4stjerner

I Am Pilgrim (Pilgrim #1) by Terry Hayes – 1 star 1stjerner

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – 4 stars 4stjerner

An Introduction to the Lightning Process by Phil Parker

The Thief (The Queen’s Thief #1) by Megan Whalen Turner – 2 stars 2stjerner

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami – 5 stars 5stjerner


-Tell me your favorite reads so far this year. I would love to know! 

❤ -Rakel

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Vacation TBR – The Books I’m Taking With Me On Vacation

I’m leaving for Croatia on Saturday. I’m so excited for my first vacation in many years. I have struggled with an illness called ME/CFS for the last 5 years, and been very ill. The last year and a half I have been slowly getting better. I’m far from “normal”, but it is a huge step from how it used to be. This vacation is going to be a big milestone in my recovery, and I’m really looking forward to the trip. I’m also very anxious, but I will not let that stop me.

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Ok so over to this post, I want to tell you about the books I’m taking with me to Croatia. I narrowed it down to 3 books. I don’t think I will be reading more than 3 books, and if I do I have my Kindle and audiobooks. My criteria was: not too long, easy to read, paperback and that I already owns it. A lot of the books I owned didn’t make my criteria, but I found some that did.

 

The Titan’s Curse & The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Book 3 and 4 in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series

It’s been a while since I read book 1 and 2, it was some time last year. I have been wanting to pick the series up again, and finish it this year. Since it is a middle grade series, it’s fast paced and easy to read. It’s perfect to read by the pool because I don’t have to focus on the book too much while reading. The books also fits all my criteria.


 

The Girls by Emma Cline

This book sounds really interesting, so I thought it would be fun to take with me on the vacation. I hope it is an easy read and not too slow. The book is only 355 pages, so it fits all my criteria.


That was all of the physical books I’m taking with me to Croatia. I might have to take with me the book I’m currently reading, if I don’t finish it before I leave. The one extra book will be Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi, I hope to finish it before though. I’m also taking with me some audiobooks that I have downloaded on my phone. 

I have downloaded:

1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling

2. Kaninjegeren (Joona Linna, #6) by Lars Kepler (The Rabbit Hunter)

3. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

I’m not going to list books from my Kindle.

What do you think of my TBR? Which books would you take with you on a vacation?

❤ -Rakel

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May & June 2017 Monthly Wrap Up

The end of June is here, and it is time for yet another wrap up. Buuhuu, I don’t want the summer to end, I’m starting to dread it already. Since I had my big blog pause in May I didn’t do a wrap up for that month, so I’m including the books I read in May in this post.

The format of this post will be a bit different from how I used to do my wrap ups. Instead of writing my thoughts on every book I have read that month in one long post, I will do a summary of my month. My thoughts on the books I read will be in separate posts called 3 IN 1 MINI REVIEWS, that means I will post a blogpost of my thoughts every 3rd book I read. You can read my first 3 IN 1 post HERE.


may.png

In May I had my big blog pause. I only wrote 1 post on my blog to let you know I was ok. Even though I was in a blogging slump, I did quite a bit of reading. 7 books isn’t that bad for me. This was also the month I went on vacation to the West of Norway to visit my grandparents and other family. I celebrated 17th of May, Norway’s constitution day, with my family on the West side. It was such a fun day. I wore my Bunad and ate lots of good foods.


Reading Stats:

I rated:

2 books 4stjerner

1 book 3-5stjerner

4 books 3stjerner

I read:

Ca 2.297 pages

Since I didn’t take any notes from this month, I can’t add the pages I read from books I didn’t finish.


Books I read:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – 3 stars 3stjerner

American Street by Ibi Zoboi – 4 stars  4stjerner

Stalker (Joona Linna #5) by Lars Kepler – 4 stars 4stjerner

A Living Nightmare (Cirque du Freak #1) by Darren Shan – 3 stars 3stjerner

The Vampire’s Assistant (Cirque du Freak #2) by Darren Shan – 3 stars 3stjerner

Tunnels of Blood (Cirque du Freak #3) by Darren Shan – 3 stars 3stjerner

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – 3.5 stars 3-5stjerner


JUNE.png

This month has been a roller coaster of anxiety and problems with my chronic illness. The start of the month was absolutely horrible, but thankfully it is better now. Besides not feeling great, I have prepared for my trip to Croatia next month. I have dragged my mom and my brother to the mall to buy things I need for the trip. I have shopped A LOT, and spent so much money. The weather has been absolutely beautiful this month and a lot of my time has been spent on the porch tanning and reading.


Reading Stats:

I rated:

1 book 5stjerner

2 books 4stjerner

1 book 2stjerner

1 book 1stjerner

1 I don’t want to star rate

I read:

Ca 2.885  pages


Books I Read:

To søstre by Åsne Seierstad – 4 stars 4stjerner

I Am Pilgrim (Pilgrim #1) by Terry Hayes – 1 star 1stjerner

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – 4 stars 4stjerner

An Introduction to the Lightning Process by Phil Parker

The Thief (The Queen’s Thief #1) by Megan Whalen Turner – 2 stars 2stjerner

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami – 5 stars 5stjerner

Books I didn’t manage to finish this month: Unravel Me 13% read – The Book of Strange New Things 86% read –  American Gods 11% read – Milk and Honey 30% read – The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women 59% read


Books Bought:

I have been really good with my book ban so far this year, but in June I got really shopping mad and bought so many things, including books. Here are the books I bought this month.

20th-ann-hp-book

The Ravenclaw editions of the new 20th Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in both hardback and paperback.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Every Heart a Doorway By Seanan McGuire

We Are the Ants By Shaun David Hutchinson

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh

The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3) by Scott Lynch

The Girls By Emma Cline

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Books received:

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker


Goodreads Challenge July 2017


I hope you liked the new monthly wrap up layout. And I’m sorry it got so long,I had to include May. What have you read this month?

❤ -Rakel

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3 IN 1 MINI REVIEWS books #29-31 – Station Eleven, American Street, Stalker

This is the first post in my new category 3 in 1 mini reviews. Instead of doing a monthly wrap up with thoughts on all the books I have read that month, I’ll write a blog post every 3 books read. I will still do a monthly wrap up, but it will be more like a overview and not a big post with all my thoughts. I hope you enjoy this new idea, and I hope it will be easier for both you and me. 


station-eleven-by-emily-st-john-mandelStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I had really high hopes for this book, since I have heard great thing about it and the synopsis sounded intriguing. I really thought this would be a great book for me. Unfortunately this book wasn’t what I thought it would be. I liked some part of it and found them interesting, but overall it wasn’t my favorite. What really throw me off was all the different point of views and stories. It just felt messy at times and not cohesive, even though everything connects at the end. I wished we got to see more of The Traveling Symphony and The Museum of Civilizations, and not all of the focus on Arthur and his life. 3 stars

3stjerner


American Street by Ibi ZoboiAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi

This is a great diverse 2017 release that I think every YA contemporary reader should read, or at least know about.

17 year old Fabiola is moving with her mom from Haiti to Detroit USA to live with her aunt and her cousins. The move doesn’t go as planned when her mom is detained in the airport, and isn’t allowed into the country. Fabiola is now on her own without her mom and it cause a lot of stress. She has to get used to living in a new country, with family she doesn’t know well. This book is a really good book about immigration, family, race, a community full of drugs and violent, and the journey to get settled in to a new place far from home. I love this book, and I fell in love with all the characters. It definitely made my emotions rise in me. 4 stars

4stjerner


Stalker (Joona Linna #5) by Lars KeplerStalker by Lars Kepler

Book 5 in the Joona Linna series

This is the 5 book in a popular Scandinavian crime series. I don’t read a lot of Scandinavian crime books, this was the first in many years. One day I randomly wanted to pick one up, so I choose the most popular one on a list, and this was it. I have previously read the first book in this series many years ago, and I wasn’t over the moon with it. So my expectations wasn’t the highest. To my surprise I really liked this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time, and I devoured the 14h long audiobook in under one week. If you are looking for a Scandinavian crime book, I recommend this one. I will read other books by the author in the future.

Even though this is book 5 in the series, you don’t have to read the previous ones to read this. I have only read book 1 and 5. 4 stars

4stjerner


-How do you like my new idea?

❤ -Rakel

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