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TorieStorieS

TorieStorieS

Joined October 2016

Visit me on Instagram! @toriestories6
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TorieStorieS
Such Pretty Flowers | K. L. Cerra
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Lushly written, with vivid imagery, this impressive debut novel grips you from the very start. The book opens with Holly‘s brother‘s suicide. Grief and guilt fill her as she tries to piece together what happened in the months leading up to his death in his Savannah home. Drawn to his magnetic and enigmatic girlfriend, Maura, Holly hopes to she holds the answers she needs. With creeping horror and fresh originality, I couldn‘t put this one down!!

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TorieStorieS
Julia and the Shark | Kiran Millwood Hargrave
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Wow- I loved this middle-grade novel. Titular character/narrator Julia spends her 10th summer on the isle of Unst in Shetland, Scotland with her marine biologist mother & electrical engineer father. They live in the lighthouse that her dad‘s fixing while her mom searches for the Greenland shark. Dealing with bullies, new friends, & identity apart from her folks- along with mental health, this beautifully illustrated book is lyrical & emotional!

52 likes2 stack adds
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TorieStorieS
The Blackhouse: A Novel | Carole Johnstone
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I adored Johnstone‘s debut novel, MIRRORLAND, so I was super excited to dive into one. It opens on 2/15, with Maggie‘s arrival on the isolated Isle of Kilmeray in the Scottish Hebrides. Determined to uncover truths while grieving her mother‘s death & recovering from her own breakdown, Maggie is a sympathetic heroine amongst the tempestuous weather, buried secrets & the edges of myth making it a thin place. Eerie & lovely, I couldn‘t put it down!

marleed You‘re naked BOTMs look cool! 2d
TorieStorieS @marleed Thank you so much! Our living room bookshelf‘s center case is all BOTMs- but I have more to add! Bookshelf organizing is my 2023 goal! 2d
marleed Haha. I get it. Consider bookshelf arrangement as one as one aspect of my book management hobby. Maybe not as high as reading, but it‘s up there! 2d
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TorieStorieS @marleed I have been waiting to get shelves installed upstairs and they were put in yesterday- so I can finally start really playing with my books! We have two cases in the living room and now I can start excavating my basement books!! I‘m so excited- but a little overwhelmed as to where to start!! 2d
marleed Oh how fun. Since I seasonally decorate my front room shelves (0r as @Lindy gave me an idea for a new moniker - my secondary library!) from month to month, my ‘reading room‘ shelves get traded out often - I really do play with my books! One idea I‘m mulling for a reading room section is a 5* area. I like my shelves to be sorted differently than B&N! I also mix read and TBR but this year put clear post-it tabs on unread spines. 2d
TorieStorieS @marleed Oh that sounds so lovely! I do decorate the shelves with different treasures for the seasons but have never thought to switch out the books too!! I just may have to do this now too!! Thank you for the inspiration! 🥰My last library was organized just by author‘s last name- and that‘s how they are stored in basement boxes… but I am not sure how I want them now! 2d
47 likes6 comments
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TorieStorieS
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My last book of January! I listened to this one in just a day- moving things around in preparation for my new bookshelves! I loved Joyce‘s MISS BENSON‘S BEETLE, so I went in with high hopes for this one! Recently retired, Harold Fry receives a letter from an old coworker with bad news and as he walks to the post box, he decides to keep walking all the way to her. His absence gives both him and his wife time to reflect on their lives together.

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TorieStorieS
The Villa: A Novel | Rachel Hawkins
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I‘ve enjoyed Hawkins‘ earlier novels for adults, so I was thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of this one! Available now, this book offers an engaging story about friendship, a book-within-the-book, journal entries, & articles within its dual timeline. It‘s a fast read and while the characters aren‘t always likable, their stories are compelling and I couldn‘t put this down! I really wanted to read the entire book-within-the-book though!!

Monica5 I wanted to read the book in the book, too 5d
TorieStorieS @Monica5 Right?? I wanted more of that story for sure!! It‘s my only real complaint about this one!🤣 4d
51 likes1 stack add2 comments
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TorieStorieS
Careless Whispers | Carlton Stowers
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Considered a #TrueCrime classic, Stowers‘ book centers around the murders of 3 teens in Waco, TX. A lengthy & detailed read, the bulk of the material originates with Truman Simons, who left the police to work in the prison where the main suspect was held for other crimes. This focus eventually results in four convictions- though the reader may be left with questions about the nature of obsession & if, like Stowers, you believe justice was served.

Monica5 Love True Crime. Going to have to read it. 5d
TorieStorieS @Monica5 It‘s a lengthy one but well-written! I hope you like it! 5d
Christy2318 There is a good Texas Monthly article from 2014 about this case. https://www.texasmonthly.com/true-crime/the-murders-at-the-lake/ 5d
TorieStorieS @Christy2318 Oh thank you!! Checking it out now!! 5d
53 likes1 stack add4 comments
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TorieStorieS
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Panpan

Unfortunately #BOTM is off to a rough start for me! I just didn‘t care for this one- unlikable characters, a slow beginning that relies on a lot of “telling” and passive verbs (not to mention verb tense switches!) and a main character who devolves rather than grows. There‘s a lot of slang (not all of it period appropriate) but maybe these flaws are easier overlooked in an audio format? Disappointing and predictable- just not for me at all!

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TorieStorieS
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The third installment in the Finlay Donovan series is another fun and exciting read that I didn‘t want to put down! With writer‘s block and loose ends still to tie up from their last predicament, Finlay and her best friend/nanny/parter-in-covering-up-crimes, Vero, need cash again a way out from the mob‘s thumb. Hot detective Nick plays a bigger role here, hilarious scenes & a cliffhanger of an ending has me anxious for book #4! I love this series!

61 likes3 stack adds
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TorieStorieS
The Shadow Queen | CJ Redwine
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Mehso-so

The #FairyTaleRetellingChallenge has #SnowWhite up first, so I plucked this one that has been long languishing on my TBR. It‘s a retelling that sticks close to the source material- but the extras, like dual-hearted dragon/human shifters and some creepy battles give it an original twist. I wish there was more character development but the nonstop action doesn‘t leave much room. The series continues and hopefully more world building goes with it…

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TorieStorieS
The Dutch House | Ann Patchett
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Two 5-star reads in one day!! I‘ve been a longtime fan of Patchett‘s books- though it‘s been a while since I last picked up one of her books. But, I couldn‘t resist getting this one on audio when I saw that Tom Hanks performed it! It was a little distracting at first to have Hanks‘ familiar voice in my earbuds so close, but it wasn‘t long before I was absorbed in this understated but still epic family drama surrounding the bond between siblings!

BkClubCare Ann talks about getting Tom to narrate in her essay book These Precious Days 💗 2w
TorieStorieS @BkClubCare Oooo! I‘ll have to check that out for sure!! Thanks for letting me know!!🥰 2w
64 likes1 stack add2 comments
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TorieStorieS
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My January book club‘s pick for this month was simply a delight from start to finish! I‘ve been looking forward to reading this one since I first heard about it- a romance from one of my very favorite audiobook performers?! My only regret is not listening to it- but I plan on doing that, too! Whelan takes some of the best tropes and combines them with her own knowledge of voice-acting, this side of the publishing business & characters to love!

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TorieStorieS
House Guest | Hank Phillippi Ryan
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Ryan‘s latest isn‘t my favorite of hers, but it‘s an entertaining & engrossing listen! Alyssa narrates this book that consistently builds tension- she‘s separated from a wealthy and manipulative husband who isn‘t conforming to their agreement, a chance encounter at a bar brings Bree into her life- another woman who seems at the mercy of a controlling man. A surprising plot & plenty of drinks to make everyone seem villainous, it keeps you guessing!

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TorieStorieS
Maame | Jessica George
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The #BOTM hint indicates this will be a February pick (though it‘s available next week), and I can definitely see why! Maddie narrates this story that opens with her own, in some ways, delayed coming-of-age when her mother returns from Ghana, giving Maddie a chance to step out of her role as primary caregiver for her father. Personal, raw and emotional, I really enjoyed this book that touches on a range of topics but at its heart, deals with love.

marleed I‘m really looking forward to this book. I‘m drawn to the groovy cover! 2w
TorieStorieS @marleed I really enjoyed it- and definitely didn‘t plan on reading it in just one day! I hope you love it, too! 2w
60 likes2 comments
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TorieStorieS
The Drift | C. J. Tudor
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Tudor‘s latest novel thematically fits right in with her last collection of spooky stories- here 3 narrators offer their own combination of a wintry, apocalyptic survival story with a locked room-esque twist that adds to the body count. It‘s a grisly but fresh tale with the backdrop of a global virus that will feel familiar- but with a horror movie flair. While it takes a while for the 3 narratives to reveal their connection, it‘s well-written!

60 likes3 stack adds
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TorieStorieS
Perpetual West | Mesha Maren
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Mehso-so

I actually hadn‘t originally planned on reading this one for the #ReadingAroundTheWorld challenge for #Mexico, but ultimately I‘m glad I ended up reading this one. The story between this young husband and wife living on the US-Mexican border in 2005 makes for an interesting read. I think it will lead to interesting conversations amongst readers though I wish that the ending was a little less ambiguous on some of the other characters‘ fates…

Librarybelle Wonderful! And the book cover goes so well with your flowers! 2w
TorieStorieS @Librarybelle Thanks!! A happy coincidence! 😊 2w
BarbaraBB It sounds very good 2w
TorieStorieS @BarbaraBB I think it would be great for a book club to discuss! 2w
60 likes1 stack add4 comments
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TorieStorieS
Charming | Elliott James
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This start to a new urban fantasy series is fun- monster hunting in rural Virginia with technology, some supernatural super powers and a bit of romance and banter makes this a joy to listen to! John Charming is an ex-Knight, nurses a broken heart and has skills of his own setting him apart. When he ends up joining a team of other hunters, the plot moves quickly in this engaging start. I have the sequel & am looking forward to seeing where it goes!

ShelleyBooksie Thank you for sharing this!! I love Jim Butchers Harry Dresden series and this sounds very similar. 2w
TorieStorieS @ShelleyBooksie It‘s been on my TBR for almost a decade!! And the Harry Dresden series is on there for almost as long! 😳 2w
61 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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TorieStorieS
All Hallows: A Novel | Christopher Golden
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If you‘re looking for a nostalgic Halloween, Goldin‘s latest standalone is set in 1984 Coventry, MA. Multiple perspectives across the neighborhood bring this community and spooky night to life. Pre-teens, teenagers & adults are all impacted by the last year the Barbarosa‘s host their annual Haunted Woods- & a few children seem to have goals of their own. Fast-paced & fun, this turned a winter afternoon back into fall for me with a high body count!

dabbe That looks like the PERFECT Halloween read! #stacked 2w
TorieStorieS @dabbe I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! It really is 🤌 for Halloween!! 2w
57 likes5 stack adds2 comments
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TorieStorieS
Locust Lane: A Novel | Stephen Amidon
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My first experience with the author-& I really couldn‘t put this mystery/thriller/family drama down. From its tense opening (a warning- a dog is hit by a car, but is ultimately okay), the story shifts across multiple narrators, all surrounding the night in question that not only has an injured dog, but a murdered 20 year old woman. The plot provides some surprises, plenty of secrets and will work well as a catalyst for plenty of talk on justice.

MyNamesParadise I‘m excited to read this one! Great review! 2w
TorieStorieS @MyNamesParadise Thank you!! I really enjoyed this- though it‘s not exactly an uplifting experience- but it is a well done novel! 2w
MyNamesParadise @TorieStorieS you‘re welcome! Oh that‘s good to know! 2w
55 likes3 comments
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TorieStorieS
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I adored last year‘s COLD THE NIGHT, FAST THE WOLVES- and was thrilled for this sequel that picks up shortly after the first book‘s conclusion. Though Sena and Iska are still major characters, Remy narrates this installment and her backstory and goals provide the main plot. Some of the twists here are more expected- but I love the jungle setting in such contrast with Tundar! The emphasis on friendship makes this stand out in the YA Fantasy genre!

ShelleyBooksie Gorgeous dog! ♡♡ 3w
TorieStorieS @ShelleyBooksie Thank you! Hard to believe he will be 15 this year!! 3w
dabbe Sweetest face! Want to kiss that nose! ❣️🐾❣️ 3w
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TorieStorieS @dabbe Thank you!! He gets lots of boops on that nose! But he prefers to do the booping himself- his favorite way to wake up my husband is to put his cold nose right in his armpit!! 🤣 3w
Monica5 Beautiful Furbaby ❤️🐾 3w
TorieStorieS @Monica5 Thank you! He loves to have his picture taken! 😍 3w
Bette Gorgeous boy. He sure doesn‘t look 15. 🐶❤️ 3w
TorieStorieS @Bette Well he has a few months to go yet- but he definitely doesn‘t act like a super senior dog! Hoping that we will be calling Guinness for his lifespan! 3w
Maria514626 That face! What a sweetheart! 5d
TorieStorieS @Maria514626 Thanks!! He gets away with plenty of mischief on account of that cute face! 🤣 5d
64 likes10 comments
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TorieStorieS
Love, Comment, Subscribe | Cathy Yardley
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Mehso-so

This friends-to-lovers romance centers around two YouTubers who, despite knowing one another for 20 years, are often at each other‘s throats. Tobin, a gamer and comedian, wishes his parents would accept his career while Lily strives to be a top beauty influencer as revenge for being snubbed from the popular crowd in high school. Predictable & with characters that aren‘t always likable, I just didn‘t really like this one despite the diverse cast.

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TorieStorieS
Exiles | Jane Harper
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The 3rd installment in Harper‘s Aaron Falk series moves to wine country. Falk is in town to be named godfather of his friend‘s son, but the annual festival that coincides with the christening is also the 1 year anniversary of a mother gone missing & the 6 year one of a fatal hit-and-run. Falk can‘t stop himself from investigating while also falling into deeper relationships with the town‘s residents. A surprising plot & a solid audio performance!

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TorieStorieS
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Willingham‘s second novel makes for another gripping read that quickly sucks the reader in! Isabelle has had sleep issues her entire life- sleepwalking as a child and now, sleep deprived for a year since her 18 month old son disappeared from his bedroom. Determined to uncover the truth, Isabelle confronts her own past and the start to her marriage, revealing secrets along the way. Well-written and sure to start discussion, this is a quick read!

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TorieStorieS
Heart Bones | Colleen Hoover
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Like so many readers, I love Hoover‘s books! I couldn‘t stop listening to this one! Beyah just has to get through the summer before her new life as a Penn State freshman with a volleyball scholarship can start- but when she returns home from a shift, her whole world changes. She spends the summer with her father & in a whole different economic situation, surrounded by strangers. But Samson seems to be the only one to see her… secrets & sparks fly!

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TorieStorieS
Into the West | Mercedes Lackey
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This sequel to BEYOND marks the next stage into the Founding of Valdemar. This is such a nostalgic read for me that I have no choice but to just love it! Yes, it starts out slowly and the mundane details of moving 15k people bogs down the pacing a bit, but I just adored the last quarter of it! It was really like finding a new old friend and makes me just want to dig out all the earlier books and treat myself to a huge re-read! Maybe later in 2023!

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TorieStorieS
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I‘ve been a fan of Roach‘s books for years now and her latest one doesn‘t disappoint as she dives into the absurdities and heartbreaks of the “legal” dealings of humanity and nature- B&E bears, murderous leopards, bullying monkeys, danger trees, vandal gulls and more- in her usual blend of fascinating facts and amusing anecdotes. Roach herself narrates the audio which is great, but the footnotes are clumsily handled, unfortunately.

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TorieStorieS
The Stolen Marriage | Diane Chamberlain
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Listening to Diane Chamberlain‘s books makes for such a treat! I have been saving this one to listen to and just delighted in listening at every opportunity- including hanging out longer in my driveway, parking lots and wrapping gifts. Set mainly during the polio epidemic in NC in 1944, Tess‘s story is both heartbreaking and hard to stop listening to! I really enjoyed this! The performance is great too!

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TorieStorieS
Beyond | Mercedes Lackey
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This is my Christmas gift to myself- reliving a bit of my childhood with brand-new books set in Lackey‘s Valdemar world. This kicks of a new series about the founding of Valdemar. Duke Kordas inherited more than his duchy and a talent for horse-breeding, but also a Plan to save his people from the endless cruelty of the Emperor. And finally the pieces fit for them to enact it! Spies, adventure, magic and a love of animals blends well here!

GondorGirl I will forever buy and read every Valdemar book Misty writes. She was my gateway into fantasy as a tween. 🥰 1mo
TorieStorieS @GondorGirl I feel absolutely the same! Years may go by as an adult between me picking up one of her books, but each time I do, it‘s just like coming home!🥰🥰🥰 1mo
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TorieStorieS
The It Girl | Ruth Ware
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Well this marks my last #BOTM book for the year & the shelf slayer challenge! I liked Ware‘s latest- her foray into a murderous university experiment is well-plotted, but the characters & setting all feel rather familiar. The pacing, though consistent, is a bit drawn out. But the two timelines work well & Hannah‘s pregnancy really adds to the tension. I enjoyed it but it‘s not my favorite of Ware‘s novels. Looking forward to what‘s next from her!

ICantImReading Ahh yay, I‘m happy you finished this challenge despite the frustrations! I am not going to make the shelf slayer challenge, but would have been close if they would have counted older books! 1mo
TorieStorieS @ICantImReading Thank you- I did leave some strongly worded feedback for them so hopefully they will better communicate any limitations on the challenges in the future! 1mo
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TorieStorieS
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I was looking forward to another Christmas rom-com, & while this starts off in the direction with Josie meeting Max by chance as the perfect distraction from a dreaded anniversary & the recent bad news on both the career and her relationship, but as the year progresses, & their chance encounters continue, Max‘s own secret changes the holiday tone into something my inner-Lurlene-McDaniel-obsessed-4th-grader approved of… but not much holiday spirit!

GondorGirl Okay, but my inner fourth grade is really intrigued now! 😅 1mo
EclecticBookLover Oh wow, I read Lurlene McDaniel and I knew EXACTLY the direction this is heading in. I hope to finish it by the end of the year. I never read any of her books, but my friends did and we talked about them. 1mo
TorieStorieS @GondorGirl Hahahaha! I hope you enjoy this then! I really did like the audio and was thoroughly hooked but I can see some feeling cheated out of something lighter! 1mo
TorieStorieS @EclecticBookLover Hahahaha!! I remember forcing two of my friends to read her books and was shocked when they didn‘t immediately want to read all the rest of them like I did! I really had a different ending in mind for this one while listening so I understand its mixed reviews! 1mo
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TorieStorieS
The Christmas Pact | Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward
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Short and cute, this holiday romance hinges on a funny set up when both Riley Kennedy and Kennedy Riley work at the same company. A personal email has Kennedy offering unsolicited advice to Riley and soon they are deciding at the holiday party that they may be able to help one another in a fake dating scheme. Not earth shattering but a nice, light listen that is well performed and makes for the perfect backdrop to holiday errands!

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TorieStorieS
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Mehso-so

Part tribute to his son‘s memory and part adventure/disappearance mystery, this listen ends with a string albeit heartbreaking finish. Roman Dial‘s only son followed in his adventurer father‘s footsteps in many ways. But in 2016 only a last email to his family reveals his planned five day hike. After two weeks and still no word, it takes even longer to get a search underway in Costa Rica. The first half of memories moved a bit slower.

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TorieStorieS
Skye Falling: A Novel | Mia McKenzie
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This uplifting delayed coming-of-age story focuses on the titular Skye. Successfully running her own travel tour business has her rarely in her hometown of Philadelphia. But she ends up extending her stay to get to know the pre-teen daughter of her camp best friend- the one she donated eggs to in her 20s. This spurs self-reflection, funny scenes & Skye building real relationships for what seems like the first time. Strong setting & characters!

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TorieStorieS
It Starts with Us | Colleen Hoover
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Well, I waited to start IT ENDS WITH US until this one was on my shelf (and I was sure there wouldn‘t be a matching BOTM edition), because I know me. I finished the first one and with a laugh told myself I would just read one chapter of this before bed… instead, I stayed up way late and read the whole thing in one sitting! I loved the story continuing (and want it to keep going), and just enjoy these characters all. A great sequel!

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TorieStorieS
It Ends With Us | Colleen Hoover
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Though this is far from my first CoHo experience, this marks the first physical book of hers that I‘ve read- and just like on audio or Kindle, I loved this one. It was hard to not be a bit aware of the plot going in (this one is from 2016), but I didn‘t expect to be sucked in so completely that I read it in one sitting! Lily, Atlas, Ryle and the rest of the characters come to life. I cried, flinched and the best part? Not waiting for the sequel!

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TorieStorieS
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Mehso-so

This lovely edition has been languishing on my shelves for years- so I‘m thankful that the #BOTM bonus challenge gave me the push to pluck it off and read it! It‘s a nice blend of historical fiction, with a dash of mythical fantasy and some romance to balance out the darkness of the journey and hardships across 1937 China, with the country at war with Japan & itself. I wish the characters were more deeply developed & I wanted more of the legends!

ICantImReading I felt similarly about this one! It feels so good to finally check a lingering BOTM book off the list, though! 1mo
TorieStorieS @ICantImReading Indeed! Except their challenge is only accepting releases from 2021-2022 for the shelf slayer bonus challenge which is frustrating! 1mo
ICantImReading @TorieStorieS ughhh I didn‘t realize that! That is disappointing 😣 1mo
TorieStorieS @ICantImReading I had my first negative experience with their customer service over it, too- the poor communication of the challenge and the obvious lack of care by their representatives has me considering trying out a different subscription box for 2023 actually! 1mo
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TorieStorieS
The Love Hypothesis | Ali Hazelwood
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Wow!! I picked this as my #BOTM Book of the Year but honestly wasn‘t expecting to love it- let alone read it in one sitting! But I totally loved it and absolutely couldn‘t put it down! Such a delightful romance- steamier and with great bantering dialogue and a great cast of characters! Was it predictable- sure, but in the best sort of way! I had fun reading it and wouldn‘t have picked it up otherwise so I‘m glad to have not missed out! Such fun!

swishandflick Love all of her books! 2mo
DivineDiana Rudolph! ❤️ 2mo
TorieStorieS @swishandflick I definitely immediately ordered LOVE ON THE BRAIN after finishing this one so I‘m glad to hear it!! 🤣 2mo
TorieStorieS @DivineDiana Thanks!! I treated myself to two new Christmas vases this year! 2mo
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TorieStorieS
Valentine | Elizabeth Wetmore
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Mehso-so

Aspects of this debut novel are so strong- from the vividly described setting and the characters in 1976 Odessa, TX. The opening of the brutal rape and attack that Gloria suffers sets a dark tone for the book and the shifting perspectives give a wider but not uplifting view of the aftermath. Some style choices are a bit distracting but I can see this being a solid discussion starter for a book club!

BkClubCare Yep, good review 2mo
TorieStorieS @BkClubCare Thank you! 🥰 2mo
56 likes2 comments
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TorieStorieS
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I enjoyed this fast and fun neighborhood gossip read! I loved the book club at the heart of this (but I wish the books were all real!), and while the characters certainly made questionable choices, I do think it could lead to lively discussions about morality. Entertaining and engaging with secrets, lies and a neighborhood vandal, I am glad to have finally gotten this one off my TBR!

Wesleypaker Hello 👋 how are you doing today? 2mo
TorieStorieS @Wesleypaker Hi! Pretty good- hope you‘re doing well too! 2mo
Wesleypaker Yes I‘m doing great just reading book 2mo
Wesleypaker What are you doing today ? 2mo
51 likes4 comments
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TorieStorieS
What Lies in the Woods | Kate Alice Marshall
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Wow! I loved this thriller! With an exciting plot with some genuine shocks alongside some more expected turns, a small Pacific Northwest town cast and plenty of secrets & lies, this hooked me in from the start! Naomi & her friends had a secret game in the woods- a game that abruptly ended one fateful day when Naomi was stabbed 22 times. The aftermath-& their secret- bound them together but news from prison has Naomi questioning her past.

kspenmoll Gorgeous cover! 2mo
TorieStorieS @kspenmoll Thanks- I colored this with Tombow markers! The real cover is a bit more thriller-looking! 2mo
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TorieStorieS
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Mehso-so

Maybe I‘ve over done WWII fiction this year, but I didn‘t love my December #BOTM pick as much as I expected! Main character Lena does steal the show in the way that precocious and smart young girls do and her storyline of overcoming a variety of obstacles shines. But the rest of the characters rely on more telling than showing. Head-hopping & modern sensibilities make for distracting editing choices here that are compounded by a predictable plot.

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TorieStorieS
Key to My Heart | Lia Louis
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Ahh, Louis has done it again!! I just adore her latest! Since first reading DEAR EMMIE BLUE, Louis shot up to one of my favorite authors and her fourth novel doesn‘t disappoint! I laughed, I cried (and cried some more) and didn‘t want it to end! Songwriter Natalie lost her husband over two years ago, but the first glimmers of hope come from mysterious but significant sheet music seemingly left for her at the public piano in the train station…

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TorieStorieS
Ghost Music | An Yu
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This brief but strangely powerful novel is one that will linger on long after it ends! Song Yan & her husband move to a larger apartment to accommodate his recently widowed mother moving in with them. The new apartment also features a mysterious weekly delivery of wild mushrooms & odd dreams of a taking mushroom. Mixing magical realism, modern Beijing, a love of piano music & pressures of a relationship, only the abrupt ending disappointed me!

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TorieStorieS
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When I first heard about this sequel to THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS, I was so excited! I remember finishing that one and wishing for more- so to have that delivered years later was thrilling! I do wish that I had re-read it for my own enjoyment but this does stand alone and has enough reminders that it‘s not necessary. Henry & Lucy are more the focused here- along with Rachel who‘s tied to Lucy in an unexpected way. Well written & fascinating characters!

thegreensofa What a gorgeous cute little pine trees in bottles decoration!!! 🌲💕 2mo
TorieStorieS @thegreensofa Thank you!! I got them a few years ago- they are battery operated but really need to be hung for the best look! I only wish they had a timer function like some of the other battery lights I have! 2mo
56 likes2 comments
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TorieStorieS
Tell Me I'm Worthless | Alison Rumfitt
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Bailedbailed

Maybe it‘s just the audio format (though the performance is actually quite good), but at a third of the way through, I am bailing on this. Maybe it‘s trying to listen while preparing for the holidays that this isn‘t working for me, but this gender-charged novel is light on the traditional haunted house aspects (the house has its own perspective here- and its own horrific political views), but the drugs, sex and language are killing holiday vibes!

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TorieStorieS
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Mehso-so

I really like Rowell‘s writing style-& I love that she consistently works with the same audio performer who I also love- unfortunately this short story just didn‘t deliver what I hoped for… Maybe it‘s all a little “too soon” but looking back on COVID holidays just isn‘t very charming- and Rowell mentions all of the family divides that I‘m sure took place across the world and not just Nebraska. Also, picking up a year later missed other holidays…

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TorieStorieS
Don't Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark | Brenna Yovanoff, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Amy Lukavics, Barry Lyga, Josh Malerman, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Tananarive Due, Jonathan Maberry, Tonya Hurley, R L Stine, Micol Ostow, Brendan Reichs, D J MacHale, Courtney Alameda, Michael Northrop, Et Al
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Pickpick

I listened to most of this collection while up late decorating for Christmas- so while not seasonally appropriate, I enjoyed this spooky background on my endless trips from the basement and back! Some of the stories fit in with the original spirit of the Schwartz collection better than others- some more silly than spooky like the original “Viper”. I thought “The Golden Peacock” and “Brain Spiders” especially matched the creepiness of the original!

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TorieStorieS
The Collective: A Novel | Alison Gaylin
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Pickpick

I‘m trying to catch up on my #BOTMBacklog to get that extra challenge prize- and I flew through this one! Camille‘s grief over her daughter‘s death hasn‘t ebbed in five years- but after a business card comes her way, she may have found just the right outlet for her rage- or should she be a little concerned about this new group of women? A pageturner with surprises big and and small to the plot, I couldn‘t put it down!

Soubhiville Beautiful candle holders! 2mo
ShelleyBooksie Your decor is gorgeous 2mo
TorieStorieS @Soubhiville Thank you! The green one holds my favorite Christmas candle- Thymes Frasier fir! And actually the two black and white tree silhouettes are electric lamps! And the reindeer is new this year and I am still looking for realistic battery candles to put on him! 🧐 2mo
TorieStorieS @ShelleyBooksie Thank you so much!! This is my favorite time of year for decorating! 🥰 2mo
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TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

I finished this one just in time before tomorrow‘s #BookClub meeting! I didn‘t realize at first that this book is a decade old already- but a few technology references do date this. Otherwise it‘s a funny epistolary novel that really works well with this lively audio performance! A few things seemed there just for the added drama, but overall I enjoyed listening while decorating for the holidays!

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TorieStorieS
The Push | Ashley Audrain
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Pickpick

Whoah- there‘s a lot tightly packed into this relatively slim novel! Blythe‘s family has a history of bad mothers- and though Blythe is determined to break the cycle with Violet, all may not be right with her daughter… or is Blythe the unreliable narrator of this second-person perspective tale? Gripping, emotionally draining and also tense, I couldn‘t put this one down even though my to-do list is beckoning! #BOTM

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Great review 🖤 I enjoyed this one too! 2mo
TorieStorieS @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thanks!! That ending!! I‘m sure this would be a great one for a book club to discuss!! 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @TorieStorieS yes!! I literally threw the book in the floor at the ending!! 😱😱 2mo
TorieStorieS @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Hah!! That is quite the visceral reaction! I just wish there was a little more to the story than that last line!! 😬 2mo
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TorieStorieS
My Darkest Prayer | S.A. Cosby
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Pickpick

This is a reissue of Cosby‘s debut novel - with a new introduction by the author giving a little behind-the-scenes about this first book. The audio performance is great & I liked the tough, sort of nouveau film-noir feel to the story and characters. Nathan works for his cousin at his funeral parlor but has a history with the marines and as an ex-cop in their small, VA town. When a local preacher turns up dead, parishioners ask him to dig into it.

Monica5 Sounds good 😊 2mo
TorieStorieS @Monica5 I enjoyed it! I think that the characters are more developed in his recent novels, but they are memorable here! The new edition comes out 12/6! 2mo
Monica5 @TorieStorieS thanks! I'll look for it 😉 2mo
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