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April 18, 2024

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Top Ten Tuesday- On Thursday- Most Recent Books I Did Not Finish (Review And Summaries)

Ten Most Recent Books I Did Not Finish – Top Ten Tuesday, On Thursday!

Top Ten Tuesday is run by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Go check out her site. It is amazing!


The Last Applicant ByRebecca Hanover- Summary

This book was not what it seemed and took some really bizarre twists (I mean, went off-the-rail twists) that made me throw my hands in the air.

From award-winning author, Rebecca Hanover comes an emotional thrill ride about two women whose lives take a dangerous turn in the high-stakes arena of private school admissions.

Audrey Singer revels in her position as the admissions director of an exclusive Manhattan private school. Parents cater to her whims and desires, desperate to give their children an edge. Audrey’s power is undeniable; privilege comes with the territory. Her perfect marriage completes the glossy picture of her life.

Until the arrival of the neurotic, vulnerable Sarah Price. Determined to get her son into the city’s most coveted kindergarten class, Sarah inserts herself into Audrey’s world, testing boundaries at every turn. For Sarah, everything Audrey has is a potential target: her job, her friends…even her marriage.

But what seems to be another ploy by an overachieving mother takes a dark and ominous turn. Sarah seems to be hiding secrets of her own. Are her designs on Audrey’s life purely about getting what she wants for her son?

Or is there something more sinister at play in this cutthroat game?

 

Midnight Is The Darkest Hour By Ashley Winstead-Summary

I should’ve known when it was compared with Verity to stay away. However, I LOVE this author’s other work. I didn’t even get to 25% before chucking it.

From the critically acclaimed author of In My Dreams I Hold A Knife, and The Last Housewife comes a gothic Southern thriller about a killer haunting a small Louisiana town, where two outcasts—the preacher’s daughter and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks—hold the key to uncovering the truth.

For fans of Verity and A Flicker in the Dark, this is a twisted tale of murder, obsessive love, and the beastly urges that lie dormant within us all…even the God-fearing folk of Bottom Springs, Louisiana. In her small hometown, librarian Ruth Cornier has always felt like an outsider, even as her beloved father rains fire-and-brimstone warnings from the pulpit at Holy Fire Baptist.

Unfortunately for Ruth, the only things the townspeople fear more than the God and the Devil are the myths that haunt the area, like the story of the Low Man, a vampiric figure said to steal into sinners’ bedrooms and kill them on moonless nights. When a skull is found deep in the swamp next to mysterious carved symbols, Bottom Springs is thrown into uproar—and Ruth realizes only she and Everett, an old friend with a dark past, have the power to comb the town’s secret underbelly in search of true evil.

A dark and powerful novel like fans have come to expect from Ashley Winstead, Midnight is the Darkest Hour is an examination of the ways we’ve come to expect love, religion, and stories to save us, the lengths we have to go to in order to take back power, and the monstrous work of being a girl in this world.

The Neighbors We Want By Timothy Lane-Summary

This had all the hallmarks and potential to be a brilliant neighborhood drama. Alas, it didn’t work out that way.

This psychological page-turner, perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Gillian Flynn, explores how far couples will go to keep their marriage intact—unless their secrets tear it apart first.

Adam is having a hard time adjusting to the stay-at-home dad life. The sleepless nights and the constant diaper changing were not what he expected after he was abruptly fired from his job. Then again, Adam wasn’t prepared for his relationship with his wife Sarah to slowly come apart at the seams either. One thing, however, keeps him going—his growing obsession with his neighbor, Ali.

But one night, something changes. While staying up with his baby, instead of seeing Ali in the window across the way, he sees her ex-boyfriend, Crispin, lurking around her house before disappearing within. When Adam hears that Ali doesn’t show up for work the next day, and she doesn’t seem to be home, he fears the worst—that she’s been abducted or possibly killed. His search for the truth will lead Adam on a path filled with deceit and lies.

Adam knows the answers are lurking somewhere in the shadows of his small suburban town—the trouble is, the truth is hard to find when everyone has something to hide.

How Can I Help You By Laura Sims- Summary

Nothing really to say here, lol.

No one knows Margo’s real name. Her colleagues and patrons at a small town public library only know her middle-aged normalcy, congeniality, and charm. They have no reason to suspect that she is, in fact, a former nurse with a trail of countless premature deaths in her wake. She has turned a new page, so to speak, and the library is her sanctuary, a place to quell old urges.

That is, at least, until Patricia, a recent graduate and failed novelist, joins the library staff. Patricia quickly notices Margo’s subtly sinister edge and watches her carefully. When a patron’s death in the library bathroom gives her a hint of Margo’s mysterious past, Patricia can’t resist digging deeper—even as this new fixation becomes all-consuming.

Taut and compelling, How Can I Help You explores the dark side of human nature and the dangerous pull of artistic obsession.

Summary Review

Thank you to all publishers that provided ARCs of these novels (audio and/or otherwise)

 

What The Neighbors Saw By Melissa Adelman- Summary

Like The Neighbors We Want, it had all the potential to be a great neighborhood drama but fell flat.

Sometimes the darkest acts occur in the most beautiful houses…

When Alexis and her husband Sam buy a neglected Cape Cod house in an exclusive DC suburb, they are ecstatic. Sam is on the cusp of making a partner at his law firm, Alexis is pregnant with their second child, and their glamorous neighbors welcome the couple with open arms. Things are looking up, and Alexis believes she can finally leave her troubled past behind.

But the neighborhood’s picture-perfect image is shattered when their neighbor Teddy – a handsome, successful father of three – is found dead on the steep banks of the Potomac River. The community is shaken, and as the police struggle to identify and apprehend the killer, tension in the neighborhood mounts, and long-buried secrets start to emerge.

In the midst of the turmoil, Alexis takes comfort in her budding friendship with Teddy’s beautiful and charismatic widow, Blair. But as the women grow closer, the neighborhood only becomes more divided. When the unthinkable truth behind Teddy’s murder is finally uncovered, both Blair and Alexis must reexamine their friendship and decide how far they are willing to go to preserve the lives they have so carefully constructed.

I’m going to get nailed to the cross for the rest of these, I suspect.

The Fourth Wing By Rebecca Yarros- Summary

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Enter the brutal and elite world of a war college for dragon riders from USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Yarros.

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else, and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.

She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

The Jasad Heir by Sara Hashem- Summary

Ditto the above.

Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.

The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people—not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.

In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.

A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.

In this Egyptian-inspired debut fantasy, a fugitive queen strikes a deadly bargain with her greatest enemy and finds herself embroiled in a complex game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

 

This Dark Descent By Kalyn Josephson- Summary

I loved Kalyn Josephson’s Storm Crow duology. This one just didn’t pan out for me.

The Shadows Between Us meets Six of Crows in this spellbinding new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, and pulse-pounding action, where the eldest daughter of a renowned family on the verge of ruin joins forces with a mysterious, rogue enchanter and a handsome, ambitious heir to win a deadly race.

Mikira Rusel’s family has long been famous for breeding enchanted horses, but their prestige is no match for their rising debts. To save her ranch, Mikira has only one option: she must win the Illinir, a treacherous horserace whose riders either finish maimed or murdered. Yet each year, competitors return, tempted by its alluring prize money and unparalleled prestige.

Mikira’s mission soon unites her with Arielle Kadar, an impressive yet illicit enchanter just beginning to come into her true power, and Damien Adair, a dashing young lord in the midst of a fierce succession battle. Both have hidden reasons of their own to help Mikira — as well as their own blood feuds to avenge…

Steeped in Jewish folklore, This Dark Descent is a pulse-pounding new fantasy full of forbidden magic, sizzling romance, and epic stakes. In a world as dangerous as this, will the need for vengeance butcher Mikira’s chances of winning the Illinir … or will another rider’s dagger?

 

I Feed Her To The Beast By Jamison Shea- Summary

Like Unholy Terrors, this one was a real disappointment. I highly anticipated it, and it was just too predictable and formulaic.

There will be blood.

Ace of Spades meets House of Hollow in this villain origin story.

Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage. To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood.

The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.

But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is—monstrous heart and all. That is, if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.

From debut author Jamison Shea comes I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me, a slow-burn horror that lifts a veil on the institutions that profit on exclusion and the toll of giving everything to a world that will never love you back.


Ok, that is my list of books I couldn’t finish. Are there any books that you think I should try again? What do you think of DNFs? What books could you not finish recently?

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