Blogmas Day 3: November Wrap-up

Hey guys! It’s been so long since I’ve done a wrap-up. Last time I did one was in February. My reading ended up being put on hold for a bit and I wasn’t reading a lot. Thankfully I’ve been in a good reading groove. I’ve pretty much been reading books back to back so I’m really happy about that. I’m sure things will slow down with how busy December will be. Anyway, I’m excited to share with you the books I read in November. So let’s dive in!

The Tricker-Treater, and Other Stories By Briana Morgan

Genre: Horror, Short Stories, Anthologies, Fiction
Pages: 101 pages
Publication Date: December 4th 2020
Publisher: Self-published
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: “The Tricker-Treater is gonna stop by your house tonight. You gotta meet with him and do what he says, or else.”

A woman agrees to take part in a creature’s sick game to save the child she loves. A girl and her mother move into a nightmare house. Two brothers embark on a high-seas treasure hunt.

In this haunting collection, Briana Morgan shares stories of love, loss, and horrors both real and imagined.

My Thoughts: I read Unboxed by Briana in 2020 and loved it. I was so surprised by it and right away knew I needed more from her. When I heard she had a short story collection coming out I knew I had to pick it up. I was hoping to read it all on one day on Halloween but that wasn’t the case. I feel none of these stories really grabbed me like I’d hope they would. I also just wanted more from these stories. I wanted more story out of some of these. I’m really bummed by these feelings. I do want to check out Briana’s other work so can’t wait to pick those up.

The Hawthorne Legacy By Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Genre: Mystery, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Thriller, Fantasy
Pages: 368 pages
Publication Date: September 7th 2021
Publisher: Penguin
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Intrigue, riches, and romance abound in this thrilling sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Inheritance Games perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Inheritance Games ended with a bombshell, and now heiress Avery Grambs has to pick up the pieces and find the man who might hold the answers to all of her questions – including why Tobias Hawthorne left his entire fortune to Avery, a virtual stranger, rather than to his own daughters or grandsons.

Thanks to a DNA test, Avery knows that she’s not a Hawthorne by blood, but clues pile up hinting at a deeper connection to the family than she had ever imagined. As the mystery grows and the plot thickens, Grayson and Jameson, the enigmatic and magnetic Hawthorne grandsons, continue to pull Avery in different directions. And there are threats lurking around every corner, as adversaries emerge who will stop at nothing to see Avery out of the picture – by any means necessary.

With nonstop action, aspirational jet-setting, family intrigue, swoonworthy romance, and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, The Hawthorne Legacy will thrill Jennifer Lynn Barnes fans and new readers alike.

My Thoughts: I don’t want to say too much about this book since it is the second one in the story. I do have to say this series has really surprised me. I read the Inheritance Games in October and was so happy to read this one right after. I thought the author did such a great job coming up with riddles and puzzles. They were all so creative and well done. Overall I felt like this series is so addictive. The chapters are short so I found myself breezing through them. This was a buddy read and we both agreed that we’d finish a day early. There is one more book in this series and I can’t wait to see what the author is going to do. This book series felt like it could have just been two books so excited for August 2022.

*This is a buddy read with Shirley @Shirley Cuypers*

Double Dexter By Jeff Lindsay

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Suspense, Adult, Humor
Pages: 337 pages
Publication Date: October 18th 2011
Publisher: Penguin
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: The dark and witty New York Times bestselling series…

The inspiration for Showtime’s critically acclaimed show…

Double Dexter is Jeff Lindsay’s completely new, wickedly entertaining novel.

A witness. Such a simple concept – and yet for Dexter Morgan, the perfectly well-disguised monster, the possibility of a witness is unthinkable. But when Dexter is on a very private, very satisfying excursion one evening with a wretchedly deserving playmate, the unthinkable happens: someone sees him.

Dexter is not at all pleased. As an upstanding blood-spatter analyst for the Miami Police Department, he has always managed to keep the darker side of his life out of the spotlight…the fun part, where he finds truly bad people – murderers who have escaped the reach of the justice system – and quietly gives them his very special attentions. But now that he’s been seen and identified by his witness, Dexter must launch himself into a different kind of hunt.

Making matters worse, a brutal cop killer is targeting Miami’s police detectives, leaving behind bodies that are battered beyond recognition…and completely bloodless. As the department grows more fearful of the psychotic killer in their midst, Dexter must handle his own crisis and come to terms with the fact that his witness is not only circling him but determined to expose him. Dexter is being followed, manipulated, and mimicked…leading him to realize that no one likes to have a double, especially when his double’s goal is to kill him.

Double Dexter is complex and suspenseful and, as always, raucously entertaining…full of smart thrills and dark laughs that move effortlessly from a keen portrayal of Miami to Key West and beyond. Like the previous five bestselling novels in the Dexter series, this one is alive with the witty, macabre originality that has propelled Jeff Lindsay to international success.

My Thoughts: The Dexter series is one I am very familiar with. I was a big fan of the show when it came out. I would like to forget the ending of the show but we don’t talk about that. I did read a couple of the books after watching but I never finished the series. I decided I would continue it this year. I’m not going to say a lot because this is the 6th book in the series. I will say that I am really enjoying the series overall. It’s taking a lot out of me to be taking breaks from the series. I just have other books I want to get to. I am hoping to finish the series by the end of the year. I do find it to be a bit over the top but in a fun way. Things are so ridiculous at times but I love every second of it. Plus Dexter always has me laughing. He isn’t a normal person but he has a sense of humor. I always find myself laughing at things he says. I also love reading it and comparing it to the show. There are so many differences. I can’t wait to finish this series. I do think it’s going to become a favorite of mine.

Little Cruelties By Liz Nugent

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Family
Pages: 384 pages
Publication Date: November 10th 2020
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin.

Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother’s unequal love. As men, the competition continues – for status, money, fame, women …

They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead.

But which brother killed him?

My Thoughts: Man I was really excited to pick up this book. It has been a while since I’ve picked up a Liz Nugent book. I really enjoyed Lying in Wait and Unraveling Oliver. However this book didn’t do it for me. I think one of the main reasons why is because all of the characters are horrible. I get I can still like a book with horrible characters but not this one. I hated majority of the characters. I maybe liked one or two of the characters. I also feel I wasn’t fully invested in the story. This book is more family drama than anything else. Sure you’re trying to figure out who died and who killed him but sometimes I’d forget about that. I’m sad I didn’t like this one because her other books were 5 stars. I do have one more book to read by her. I am hoping I like that one a lot more than this one.

Five Total Strangers By Natalie D. Richards

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Young Adult, Contemporary,
Pages: 302 pages
Publication Date: October 6th 2020
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Plot: A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.

When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.

As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.

Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

My Thoughts: I randomly picked this up for Big Library Read. That’s where Overdrive picks a book and allows everyone all over the world to read it at the same time. So you don’t have to wait at all for the book. It’s available for everyone right away. So I thought I’d check it out. It seemed like it was right up my alley. However this fell flat for me. I feel I was pretty bored in the beginning of the book. I felt it took a while to get things going. So when things started happening I wasn’t fully paying attention. I also couldn’t tell the difference between the two guys that were in the car. I feel they blended together for me. When things happened with the guys I never knew who was who. I also felt like there were a lot of dumb decisions made. I get if these decisions weren’t made there wouldn’t be a book. I just feel some things should have been thought about more.

The Art of Sushi By Franckie Alarcon

Genre: Graphic Novel, Nonfiction
Pages: 160 pages
Publication Date: December 14th 2021
Publisher: NBM Publishing
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: Fly to Japan and come discover all there is to know about sushi. After revealing the secrets of chocolate to us, Franckie Alarcon offers a gourmet panorama of this exceptional dish that has conquered the planet! But do you really know sushi? The author traveled to Japan to meet all the players involved in the making of this true work of culinary art. From the traditional starred chef to the young cook who is shaking up the rules, including all the artisans and producers involved, this book covers the most emblematic of Japanese products from A to Z. A fascinating journey of discovery that, along the way, tells a lot about Japan itself. You’ll never believe the precision and detailed obsession with quality ingredients involved.

My Thoughts: I randomly picked this up from Netgalley. I saw it was about sushi and was sold. I’m a huge fan of sushi. I honestly could eat sushi everyday. I barely know anything about sushi. This book really taught me a lot about it. Here I was thinking that all sushi was pretty much the same but there is so much more to it. Some sushi chefs will make sushi the traditional way while others will take a more modern approach. They all have different ways of getting the fish they use. They even prepare the fish in different ways. It was so interesting to read about. You also learn about other components that sometimes make up sushi. You learn about how nori is made and how the rice is grown. They even show us the process of how a popular sake is made. There are pictures for everything in this book. So if you like sushi don’t read on an empty stomach. You will be drooling over the pictures otherwise.

*I just want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.*

The Burning Girls By C.J. Tudor

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, Adult,
Pages: 333 pages
Publication Date: February 9th 2021
Publisher: Ballantine Books
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Plot: An unconventional vicar moves to a remote corner of the English countryside, only to discover a community haunted by death and disappearances both past and present–and intent on keeping its dark secrets–in this explosive, unsettling thriller from acclaimed author C. J. Tudor.

Welcome to Chapel Croft. Five hundred years ago, eight protestant martyrs were burned at the stake here. Thirty years ago, two teenage girls disappeared without a trace. And two months ago, the vicar of the local parish killed himself.

Reverend Jack Brooks, a single parent with a fourteen-year-old daughter and a heavy conscience, arrives in the village hoping to make a fresh start and find some peace. Instead, Jack finds a town mired in secrecy and a strange welcome package: an old exorcism kit and a note quoting scripture. “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed and hidden that will not be known.”

The more Jack and her daughter Flo get acquainted with the town and its strange denizens, the deeper they are drawn into their rifts, mysteries, and suspicions. And when Flo is troubled by strange sightings in the old chapel, it becomes apparent that there are ghosts here that refuse to be laid to rest.

But uncovering the truth can be deadly in a village where everyone has something to protect, everyone has links with the village’s bloody past, and no one trusts an outsider.

My Thoughts: Overall I’ve really enjoyed C.J. Tudor’s books. This one was no different. Reverend Jack Brooks moves to a new town after the Reverend of that church is found dead. She moves with her daughter. They soon discover there is a lot of secrets that don’t want to stay hidden. I found this story to be really surprising for me. I did not see anything that happened in this book coming at all. I feel at the same time I didn’t really make any guesses but I know I wouldn’t have guessed them anyway. I have one more book I still haven’t read by C.J. Tudor and I just can’t wait to pick it up.

These are the books that I read in November. I feel like this was a good reading month for me. I’ve been having bad luck with thrillers lately so I’m happy that I ended up enjoying The Burning Girls By C.J. Tudor. I was sad that I didn’t like Little Cruelties By Liz Nugent as much as I thought I would. I think for the month of December I’m going to try to stay away from thrillers. I’m hoping to end the year with some good reads.

What did you guys read in November? Any new favorite books?


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4 thoughts on “Blogmas Day 3: November Wrap-up

  1. I did not know Dexter was a book adaption! I am putting it on my TBR because the show has fascinated so I am thinking I should go this route first 🙂 thank you for this! 💜


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