Tag Archives: top 5 saturday

Top 5 Saturday!

It’s Top 5 Saturday! Hosted by Devouring Books, this week it is Top 5 dark reads. I have read a few dark reads in my time, but here are my most recent:

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Book Description From Goodreads:

“An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice.

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light.

Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power.

Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game… “

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé – Popular on Social Media

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Book Description From Goodreads:

Two sisters on trial for murder. Both accuse each other.
Who do YOU believe?

Alexandra Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body, and needs the police right away. She believes her sister killed him, and that she is still in the house with a knife.

Sofia Avellino has just found her father’s mutilated body and needs the police right away. She believes her sister, Alexandra did it, and that she is still in the house, locked in the bathroom.

Both women are to go on trial at the same time. A joint trial in front of one jury.

But one of these women is lying. One of them is a murderer. Sitting in a jail cell, about to go on trial with her sister for murder, you might think that this is the last place she expected to be.

You’d be wrong.”

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh – Featured on BBC Between the Covers

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Book Description From Goodreads:

You won’t want to leave. . . until you can’t.

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge–there’s something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in. . .”

Pandemic Reading List 2021 – The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

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Book Description From Goodreads:

“Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the unsolved murder of a preteen girl and the disappearance of another. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.”

Pandemic Reading List 2021 – Book Review – Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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Book Description From Goodreads:

“The perfect couple…or the perfect lie?

A year and a half ago, Gemma met the love of her life, Danny. Since then, their relationship has been like something out of a dream. But one Friday evening, Gemma returns home to find Danny is nowhere to be seen.

After two days with no word from her husband, Gemma turns to the police. She is horrified with what she discovers – a serial killer is on the loose in Bristol. When she sees the photos of the victims she is even more stunned…the victims all look just like Danny.

But, the detectives aren’t convinced by Gemma’s story. Why has no one apart from Gemma seen or heard from Danny in weeks? Why is there barely a trace of him in their flat? Is she telling them the truth, or are there more secrets and lies in this marriage than meets the eye?”

Pandemic Reading List 2021 – The Perfect Couple by Jackie Kabler

What do you think of these books? Out of them all Sharp Objects was the darkest one for me, but the others all give it a run for its money!

Happy Halloween Weekend!

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Top 5 Saturday!

It’s Top 5 Saturday! Hosted by Devouring Books, this week it is Top 5 books with blood on the cover. I really struggled with this and have had to resort to covers that represent blood as well as having blood on them.

So here are my Top 5 books with blood on the cover:

Book Review – Dead Road by Alex Apostol – Dead Soil Book 2

Book Description From Goodreads:

“The group of wanderers in the wilderness of Northwest Indiana and the group of survivors at the Dune Ridge apartment complex have come together in this thrilling tale of zombie apocalypse survival. With the scientist, Liam, gone only his journal is left to give hope for a cure to the zombie plague. Christine, Zack, and the others band together to deliver the journal to the disease research center in the heart of downtown Chicago, but it is not an easy road ahead of them.”

Pandemic Reading List 2020 – Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Book Description From Goodreads:

“When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?”

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New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Book Description From Goodreads:

I knew we were both in mortal danger. Still, in that instant, I felt well. Whole. I could feel my heart racing in my chest, the blood pulsing hot and fast through my veins again. My lungs filled deep with the sweet scent that came off his skin. It was like there had never been any hole in my chest. I was perfect – not healed, but as if there had never been a wound in the first place.

I FELT LIKE I WAS TRAPPED IN ONE OF THOSE TERRIFYING NIGHTMARES, the one where you have to run, run till your lungs burst, but you can’t make your body move fast enough…. But this was no dream, and, unlike the nightmare, I wasn’t running for my life; I was racing to save something infinitely more precious. My own life meant little to me today.

FOR BELLA SWAN THERE IS ONE THING more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella could ever have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning….

LEGIONS OF READERS ENTRANCED BY THE New York Times bestseller Twilight are hungry for the continuing story of star-crossed lovers Bell and Edward. In New Moon, Stephanie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural spin. passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga is well on its way to literary immortality.”

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Book Description From Goodreads:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses.”

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Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

Book Description From Goodreads:

“Readers will witness the birth of a heroine in Dawn of the Dreadfuls – a thrilling prequel set four years before the horrific events of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As our story opens, the Bennet sisters are enjoying a peaceful life in the English countryside. They idle away the days reading, gardening, and daydreaming about future husbands – until a funeral at the local parish goes strangely and horribly awry.

Suddenly corpses are springing from the soft earth – and only one family can stop them. As the bodies pile up, we watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naive young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. Along the way, two men vie for her affections: Master Hawksworth is the powerful warrior who trains her to kill, while thoughtful Dr. Keckilpenny seeks to conquer the walking dead using science instead of strength. Will either man win the prize of Elizabeth’s heart? Or will their hearts be feasted upon by hordes of marauding zombies? Complete with romance, action, comedy, and an army of shambling corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls will have Jane Austen rolling in her grave – and just might inspire her to crawl out of it!”

What do you think of my choices? I have read so many murder mysteries but none of them seemed to have blood on the cover!

Happy Saturday!

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Top 5 Saturday!

It’s Top 5 Saturday! Hosted by Devouring Books, this week it is Top 5 books set in a forest. I found this week quite tough as a lot of the books that I read only briefly feature a forest, if at all. With this in mind here are books that feature a fair amount of forest!

Dead Soil by Alex Apostol

Rated 5/5

Book Description From Goodreads:

“On June 21, 2020 civilization will fall and the dead will rise. Northwest Indiana will become ground zero for the zombie plague. Within twenty-four hours, Chicago will be nothing more than a breeding ground for the undead. Some people will choose to fortify their homes while others flee to the woods when it becomes apparent that there’s no end in sight to their hell on Earth. How will you survive the apocalypse?”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Rated 4.5/5

Book Description From Goodreads:

A brilliantly original high concept murder mystery from a fantastic new talent: Gosford Park meets Inception, by way of Agatha Christie and Black Mirror.

‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…”

Popular on Social Media – Pandemic Reading List 2020 – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Rated 5/5

Book Description From Goodreads:

“Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.”

Pandemic Reading List 2020 – Mother Knows Best by Serena Valentino

Rated 4/5

Book Description From Goodreads:

“The tale of the legendary golden flower is widely known. The story has been told many times and in many ways. But always the flower is coveted by an old witch to keep herself young and beautiful. And always the flower is used to save a dying queen, who then gives birth to a princess with magical hair. Not willing to lose the flower, the old witch steals the princess and locks her away in a high tower, raising her as her own. But the princess always finds out who she truly is and manages to defeat the old witch.

And yet this is only half the story. So what of the old witch, Mother Gothel? Where does she come from? And how does she come across the magical golden flower? Here is one account that recounts a version of the story that has remained untold for centuries . . . until now. It is a tale of mothers and daughters, of youth and dark magic. It is a tale of the old witch.”

Pandemic Reading List 2020 – The Beast Within by Serena Valentino

Rated 3/5

Book Description From Goodreads:

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle.
Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?”

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Top 5 Saturday!

It’s Top 5 Saturday and this week it’s books with bones on the cover. I have to admit that I was a bit worried that I hadn’t read 5 books with bones on the cover, but once I went through my Goodreads App I managed to find some!

Hosted by Devouring Books, here are my top 5 books:

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Book Description From Goodreads:

“When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…”

When I read this book I had already read the previous series, The Infernal Devices, and absolutely loved it, so I had high hopes for this series. I was not disappointed. I love Cassandra Clare’s writing and the world that she creates. I also love the TV series and the film.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Book Description From Goodreads:

“Everyone’s invited…everyone’s a suspect…

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.
All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close?”

I remember seeing how popular this book was and went to see if it was available at the library. It was but there was a bit of a wait on it, of a couple of months! I decided to wait it out and I am glad that I did. It was a great book and one that I couldn’t put down. It had a unique style to it in that as the reader not only do you not know who the murderer is, but also who was murdered! I definitely recommend reading this book and the next one, The Guest List. I am currently waiting for her third murder mystery book due out February next year!

Near Death by Glenn Cooper

Book Description From Goodreads:

“#1 International Bestseller 

New from the internationally bestselling thriller writer Glenn Cooper, whose books have sold more then 6 million copies worldwide, comes Near Death. 

A brilliant neuroscientist, obsessed with death since his own childhood near death experience, resorts to drastic measures to prove the existence of the afterlife. 

Milan, Italy today. It is the most serious crisis that the world has ever faced. Bewildered, young and old, believers and atheists are asking all the same, distressing questions: What will they do now that the greatest dream of humanity has turned into a nightmare? What will happen when the countdown clock winds to zero? 

Boston, a few months before. It is the most complex investigation that Cyrus O’Malley has ever faced. The FBI special agent looks at photos of the victims for the umpteenth time and wonders why, after being strangled, the serial killer has drilled a tiny hole through their skull. For Cyrus, the case becomes an obsession. To solve it, he will be forced to give up everything he holds dear. 

England, 1988. It is the most overwhelming feeling that Alex Weller has ever had. In ecstasy, at the pivot point between life and death, the boy sees a river of light flowing in front of him and on the other side there is his father, joyfully urging him to join him. But Alex cannot move, and suddenly he is back at the site of the terrible car accident that has just killed his parents. 

Since that time, Alex has had only one goal: to understand and relive that experience. Even if he is forced to kill.”

I read Glenn Cooper’s trilogy of books (The Library of the Dead series) and loved them so I decided to read this one. I loved it! I loved the writing and the darkness of it. It is similar in style to Dan Brown, which is probably why I like these books so much! In my opinion it wasn’t quite as good as the Library of the Dead series (that would take some beating!), but it is still worth a read.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Book Description From Goodreads:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses.”

I love Jane Austen’s stories and the re-writes and this one was no exception. It took an excellent story and made it dark and apocalyptic. What more can I say? The characters are pretty much the same as is the storyline, but it has natural twists to it. It doesn’t seem forced and I really enjoyed reading it. I have the rest of the series yet to read.

Bakeries and Bones by Nic Roberts

Book Description From Goodreads:

“Sticks and Bones and…Baker’s Stones? 

To most people, Ally Wescott has an idyllic life. Engaged to a French banker, a quaint apartment in Greater London, an array of amazing friends and a family friend whose bakery she gets to spend her free time in, polishing her passion for making sweet treats. What could possibly go wrong? 

She’s about to find out. 

A surprise letter, a wavering fiancé and the discovery of bones are about to shake her peaceful world to the core, and this time, a cup of tea and a slice of apple pie won’t fix the major upheaval in her life… or will it? 

Bakeries and Bones is a 10,000 word Prequel to the Westford Bay B&B Cozy Mystery Series.

Ally and her wonderful group of friends live in the United Kingdom, so please note that this book contains British terminology and British spellings.”

This was a cute short story that I enjoyed reading. I didn’t rate it as highly as the other books as I felt that it came to an abrupt end. I am aware that it was only a short story, but more time was spent in areas that could have been shortened and other areas could have been lengthened. The balance just wasn’t quite there for me. Nevertheless I enjoyed the book and appreciated it for what it was.

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Top 5 Saturday!

It’s Top 5 Saturday and this week it is magical books. Hosted by Devouring Books, here are my top 5 magical books:

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

Book description from Goodreads:

“Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy – until he is rescued by an owl, taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, learns to play Quidditch and does battle in a deadly duel. The Reason … HARRY POTTER IS A WIZARD!”

I loved this whole set of books when I was younger (and am still a fan of the books, films and all things Harry Potter!) and couldn’t wait for the next one to come out. This will always be one of my favourite series of books.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Book description from Goodreads:

“In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…”

I first came across this series by chance and completely loved it! I went on to read the rest of the series and the series after it (see below).

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Book description from Goodreads:

“When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…”

I read this series after loving the previous series, Infernal Devices. I read the rest of the series and a novella about one of the characters. I also love the television series!

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas (click link to see my review)

Book description from Goodreads:

“Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.”

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (click link to see my review)

Book description from Goodreads:

“A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.”

What magical books would make your list?

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Top 5 Saturday!

I found out about Top 5 Saturday on a post by Dinipandareads https://dinipandareads.home.blog/2021/09/04/top-5-saturday-intimidating-books-2/ hosted by Devouring Books https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.com/2021/02/20/top-5-books-with-family-relationships-in-the-title/

This week’s theme is Top 5 Illustrated Covers. So here is my offering!

Popular on Social Media – The House in the Cerulean Sea by T J Klune Rated 5/5

Free on Kindle – Aloha Alibi by Jasmine Webb Rated 5/5

Popular on Social Media – Dial A For Aunties by Jesse Sutanto Rated 5/5

Dead Soil by Alex Apostol Rated 5/5

The Book Network Review – Cauliflowers Through The Catflap by Cassandra Campbell-Kemp Rated 4/5

Interestingly they are mainly rated 5/5. Maybe you should judge a book by its cover?!

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