First Lines Friday – 09 April

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“I sit with my wrists cuffed to the table and I think, But that I am forbid / To tell the secrets of my prison-house, / I could a tale unfold whose lightest word / Would harrow up thy soul. The guard stands by the door, watching me, like he’s waiting for something to happen.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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ARC Review: The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: The Last Secret You’ll Ever Keep
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 16 March 2021
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/Mystery

Panda Rating:


Four days…
Trapped in a well, surrounded by dirt, scratching at the walls trying to find a way out.
Four days of a thirst so strong, that when it finally rains, I drink as much as possible from the dripping walls, not even caring how much dirt comes with it.

Six months…
Since my escape. Since no one believed I was taken to begin with – from my own bed, after a party, when no one else was home…
Six months of trying to find answers and being told instead that I made the whole incident up.

One month…
Since I logged on to the Jane Anonymous site for the first time and found a community of survivors who listen without judgment, provide advice, and console each other when needed.
A month of chatting with a survivor whose story eerily mirrors my own: a girl who’s been receiving triggering clues, just like me, and who could help me find the answers I’m searching for.

Three days…
Since she mysteriously disappears, and since I’m forced to ask the questions: will my chance to find out what happened to me vanish with her? And will I be next?

TL;DR: An intense young adult thriller told through alternating timelines that often had cold chills running up my spine throughout the read. This book has a very unreliable narrator that honestly confused me a fair bit because I really had no idea what was happening at times–the confusion and daze that engulfed Terra was palpable! While the story really reeled me in from the beginning, it kind of lost me in the middle and I felt the resolution of the mystery was a little underwhelming. Overall, I liked how the author explored aspects of trauma and healing but sadly found the execution lacking.

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Blog Tour Review: Kept from Cages by Phil Williams

I’m back with another blog tour with The Storytellers on Tour for Kept from Cages by Phil Williams. Thanks to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to click on the banner below to check out the rest of the bloggers on tour!

Goodreads: Kept from Cages (Ikiri Book 1)
Publication Date: 21 September 2020
Genre: Supernatural Action Thriller
Panda Rating:

No one returns from Ikiri.
Reece’s gang of criminal jazz musicians have taken shelter in the wrong house. There’s a girl with red eyes bound to a chair. The locals call her a devil – but Reece sees a kid that needs protecting. He’s more right than he knows.
Chased by a shadowy swordsman and an unnatural beast, the gang flee across the Deep South with the kid in tow. She won’t say where she’s from or who exactly her scary father is, but she’s got powers they can’t understand. How much will Reece risk to save her?
On the other side of the world, Agent Sean Tasker’s asking similar questions. With an entire village massacred and no trace of the killers, he’s convinced Duvcorp’s esoteric experiments are responsible. His only ally is an unstable female assassin, and their only lead is Ikiri – a black-site in the Congo, which no one leaves alive. How far is Tasker prepared to go for answers?
Kept From Cages is the first part in an action-packed supernatural thriller duology, filled with eccentric characters and intricately woven mysteries. Start your journey to Ikiri today.

BUY NOW: Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

BOOK PROMO: The Kept From Cages ebook will be available for 99p/99c in UK/US Kindle from January 13th–19th.

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Goodreads Monday – The Outsider by Stephen King

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is The Outsider by Stephen King. This is a psychological thriller that was published several years ago now (2017) and has a 4.05 star rating on Goodreads.

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Goodreads Monday – UNSUB by Meg Gardiner

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is UNSUB by Meg Gardiner. This is a psychological thriller that was published several years ago now (2017) and has a 4.05 star rating on Goodreads.

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Goodreads Monday – The Survivors by Jane Harper

Welcome back to Goodreads Monday! It’s been a very hot minute since I did one but I figured I might as well get back into it! This weekly meme was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners and it invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s featured book is The Survivors by Jane Harper. This is mystery thriller that was published a few weeks ago and has a 4.18 star rating on Goodreads.

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Blog Tour Review: May Day by Josie Jaffrey

Hi friends! I’m so excited to be back for another @WriteReads blog tour for May Day by Josie Jaffrey. Special thanks to the author for the copy in exchange for an honest review!

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour here.

Goodreads: May Day (Seekers #1)
Publisher: Silver Sun Books
Published: 09 July 2020
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Panda Rating:

If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.

It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.
When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.
To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.

May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.

BUY NOW: Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

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Top 5 Saturday: Young Adult Detective Books

Welcome back to another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is actually: detective books but I really wanted to do last week’s topic on Young Adult Books and I’m sad that I missed it. So I decided that I would combine the two topics this week to share: Young Adult Detective Books!

After making the decision to focus on YA Detective Books I realised that I wasn’t even sure I had (m)any on my TBR in the first place! Luckily, after a quick sweep through my Kindle shelves and my Goodreads TBR, I’ve managed to find a few. A lot of these are pretty hyped and popular titles although one is a much older release from 2014 but I only added it to my TBR last year. I’ve had the majority of these on my shelf for at least one year? So I’m hoping that I can get to at least a few at some point this year!

(book covers are linked to the Goodreads pages!)

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#5OnMyTBR: Mystery

Hello Mondays, welcome back to #5OnMyTBR, a meme created by the wonderful E @ The Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. This bookish meme gets us to dig even further into our TBRs by simply posting about five books on our TBR! You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it. You can find the full list of prompts (past and future) at the end of this post!

This week’s prompt is: Mystery.

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#WWWWednesday: 05 August

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to finish a surprising five books!

The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology) by A.J. Vrana ★★★☆☆
As The Ultimate Chicken™ this book was completely out of my comfort zone but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Apparently all the horrifying things happen in small towns, right? The small town secrets and folklore were definitely terrifying in this one! If you like a dark fantasy with paranormal elements this will definitely be up your alley. Read my full review!

Frostheart (Frostheart #1) by Jamie Littler ★★★½
I absolutely loved that the whole story was illustrated because it helped bring this ice covered world to life. My heart really felt for Ash and his longing to find a place where he belonged and the people who would accept him in spite of his dangerous legacy. It was a heartwarming and sweet read full of adventure that I think many young readers will enjoy. Review coming soon!

A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens ★★★☆☆
This was very different to what I expected. Laurens does paint a very eerie small town atmosphere but it didn’t end up being as scary as I thought it’d be. It was also a much heavier read that covers intense and difficult topics that can be potentially triggering for many. Read my full review and see the full list of content warnings the author shared on her website!

The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas ★★★★☆
To steal Emer’s term, this was a fantastic popcorn read. It was a space opera reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy, Aurora Rising and Illuminae Files (imho). I loved the awkward, quirky and dry banter between our found family crew and the story left me feeling extremely comforted. It was such a fun and fast-paced story 💙 Read my full review!

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2) by Chloe Liese ★★★★★
I absolutely adored this romance and it had me swooning through the whole read. Give me more empowering couples who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and open with each other, who don’t suffer from the typical miscommunication issue in many romances and don’t devolve into immaturity. Frankie and Ren were the romance couple I didn’t know I needed. Read my full review!

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