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Wrap Up: January 2022

Hello readers, sorry if I’m late for this wrap up, I totally forgot to post it!

In January I’ve read 11 books and 1 DNF, a super hyped book.

5 stars:

Did you know that there’s a book with some of the letters from Theo to Vincent, alongside letters from Jo (Theo’s wife) and Gauguin? In Italian is Verranno Giorni migliori, from a phrase in a Theo’s letter. An unmissable read if you love the Van Gogh brothers.

Once upon a haunted moor is a supernatural/crime/m/m book, lovely and creepy, and with remarkable characters.

My first read of 2022 was The Last photograph of John Buckley, a short story about a ghost in a photo, some secrets, and justice.

4 stars:

Devil may care is a spin-off/ sequel of Dracula, where the Harker, both Mina and Jonathan, need to investigate some dark supernatural circumstances. Very entertaining.

Il segreto di Greenshore (Poirot and the Greenshore folly) is a short story involving Poirot, very well crafted and planned, like you can expect from Agatha Christie. I’m participating in a Christie challenge this year on Instagram, if you are interested you can find the post here.

3 and 2 stars:

3 stars to Happily Ever awkward, that from the cover alone seems a sci-fi book, in reality, is a funny twist of the traditional fairytales, with the princess who wants to be kidnapped so she places an AD on a journal, to the prince who isn’t charming, or brave…

A historical fiction that is set during the great blizzard of 1888 of New York, rapidly became boring and predictable, I had great expectations from What the dead leave behind.

Another disappointment was Paola Santiago and the river of tears: I wasn’t a fun of Paola, and La Llorona appears at the end of the book, too late to save the plot.

1 star/DNF:

Three hyped books are fallen under my severe judgment: I’ve understood that I didn’t like the writing style of Schwab, so I had to DNF This savage song; The silence of the girls was a constant eye-rolling to Briseid; in Come una lady sfugge ai cannibali there’s a scene of a se*ual assault to a man, gratuitous and unnecessary; and I don’t want to talk about The devil and the dark water, is simply disgusting.

Remember that these are my opinions, if you liked the books above I’m happy for you!

And that’s all, have you had a good reading month? Tell me in the comments!

5 star, meme, Senza categoria, wrap up

Wrap up: April 2019

Hello readers! Welcome to my April 2019 wrap up! I’m back for my hiatus! Thanks for your messages, I really appreciated them.

How was your reading month? In April I read 10 books, 2 were in Italian and 1 was a DNF.

5 stars:

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The yard is a fantastic historical fiction/crime book, I’ve loved it so much!

4 stars:

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I received the ARC of Dead school, and is a funny book with a twist of dark humor.

3 stars:

 

Johannes Cabal The Detective is a great series, but I didn’t like this second book like the first one. Tamamo the Fox maiden is a graphic novel on Asian myths, very interesting. The flaw is all magic is a fantasy steampunk with a great female side character. Thornghost has a beautiful cover, but the previous book was better.

2 stars:

 

Oh Crenshaw, how disappointing were you! And the cover is so beautiful!

Zombie boy press start was a required reading for my A to Z reading challenge! It’s not easy to find books that begins with Z.

And that was my reading month! Have you read a 5 stars book this month?

review, Senza categoria

ARC Review: The Lost History of Dreams

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Title: The lost history of dreams

Author: Kris Waldherr

Genre: adult historical fiction, mystery, gothic.

Editor: Atria Books

Pages: 320

Publication date: April 9th 2019

Goodreads Rating: 4,44

My Rating: 4

Trigger warning: corpse, memento mori, mentions of death, blood, death of animals, violence, s*x scenes.

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon.

Synopsis:

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.
However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.
As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.
Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.

Review:

This had the potential to be my fave read of the year, no, my fave read of all the time.

It has everything I’m searching in a book: a creepy beginning set in a past era; a tormented main character; the mention of the post mortem photography; a lonely house in the moor; ghosts that haunt people and houses; a tragic love story; a dark and gothic atmosphere.

I love it so much.

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I was reading this in total darkness (tablet in night mode), and it gave me chills. I also had a couple of nightmares during my reading. If you are easily scared, this book is not for you!

But everyone knows that all good things come to an end, and the end for this book it’s literally the ending: it has ruined pretty much everything.

The beginning is amazing, the plot is really well done and it develops with a lot of twists, there a lot of characters and a lot of locations to memorize, but everything is so captivating and I was on the edge of my seat at least a couple of times.

Robert is an interesting main character, Isabelle is a little annoying with her obsession for Ada, but we want to know what’s inside the Ada’s Folly.

There are a couple of scenes during the entire book that doesn’t suit well: one is involving the death of many animals, and I really don’t like it. My main issue is the ending: I love when there are plot twist, and I love when a book is unpredictable, but the Lost History of Dreams is a traitor. All the pieces of evidence, the tales about Ada, the scenes involving Isabelle led the reader to a certain type of ending, or at least, that was for me.

No, we don’t have what we expected: a glorious horror ending. We have however a romance style ending that has let me in tears not for her magnificent, but because it has broken all my expectations and has ruined my love for this book.

 

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That was literally my reaction.

Also, I really don’t like s*x scenes throw like that, when they are not necessary. I don’t think that only because a book is labelled “adult” it means you can write weird adult scenes involving (enlight the rest of the phrase) make s*x on the floor of a chapel with your dead aunt next to you. This is a no-no for me.

 

The ending in my head was better that that.

review, Senza categoria

ARC review: The Raven’s Tale, by Cat Winters

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Title: The Raven’s Tale

Author: Cat Winters

Genre: historical fiction, gothic, young adult

Pages: 368

Publication date: April 16th 2019

Goodreads rating: 3.66

My Rating: 4

Trigger warning: death, blood, ghosts, violence

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

 

Review:

“Give me a name that means “light”, not shadow, and we may be able to show them there’s beauty in horror.”

I’m very emotional because this is the first ARC that I got approved on Edelweiss! And it’s from one of my favourite authors!

The cover is amazing, and shows perfectly the character of Lenore, Edgar’s muse.

Let me say this: Cat Winters is fantastic writing gothic and horror books. She has a talent to let you fall into the story.

In The Raven’s tale, I completely fell in love with Lenore from the very first time she appears on the page.

However, this is not the best Winter’s book, and that’s why: we understand that it’s made for a younger audience, so the writing style is lighter and easier to read; we read of the conflict of young Edgar, who want to be a student in a prestigious university but it’s attracted to this dark and frightening Muse; we also participate in his success and his failures, but in the end we know that he has indulged in the horror tales that Lenore inspires him.

I comprehend that with this story we know more about the young Poe, about his family and what in the world inspires him to write, but in the end I was like: well, he’s known to everyone for his horror tales, so I already know that he will follow Lenore, no matter what.

“There’s nothing wrong with tales of fright and horror told late at night. They make your listeners appreciate waking up in the morning, discovering they’re still alive.”

But the most disappointing thing in this book is the ending: I honestly thought it will be another chapter but no, it finishes like this, with a scene that seems to lead to a great revelation and a great scene of Lenore and in fact it ends with nothing.

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I was also disappointed because in the ending that’s not a reference or a connection to the most famous poem of Poe, The Raven. With a horror muse that resembles a raven, and with this title, I was eager to read a scene when Edgar writes the poem with Lenore on his shoulder.

To conclude this review: the setting and the characters are all well done, we know better about Poe, but this is really far away from the first and still best book of Cat Winters “In the shadow of blackbirds”.

All the quotes are from my ARC copy, that I received in exchange for an honest review.

 

1 star, 5 star, non fiction, review, Senza categoria

From Madness to the crime: 2 mini reviews

 

 

 

 

Title: Bedlam, London and its mad / Underworld London, Crime and Punishment in the Capital City

Author: Catharine Arnold

Pages: 320 / 352

Genre: true crime, non-fiction, history, mental illness

Editor: Simon Shuster Uk

Rating on Goodreads: Underworld 3.91 / Bedlam 3.54

My rating: Bedlam 1/5 – Underworld London 4.5/5

Trigger Warning: death, blood, graphic description of corpse, violence and murder, child abuse

Goodreads: Bedlam / Underworld London

Reviews:

I will review these two books together, because I read them in the past months and they are from the same author. And better be prepared, because one of the books will receive a negative review.

Let’s begin with Underworld London, that’s so much better than Bedlam. I have a thing for macabre and dark history, so I was always attracted by the books of Catharine Arnold. Underworld London it’s a long journey about the crime, the most famous criminals and the punishment in London.

We can read of assassin and murderers, from Newgate to Tyburn, from the middle age to the modern days. Each chapter is focused on a famous criminal of a location, but most of the times the author tends to divagate from the main topic. It’s okay, I can tolerate.

But there is a problem: a series of mistakes in one of the chapters. You maybe want to know that I’m obsessed with Jack The Ripper, so obviously I know a thing or two.

Well, in the so brief chapter about Jack and his murders, the main Inspector who conduct the investigations is named Abbeline. But everybody knows that his name is Frederick Abberline. I thought of a series of typos (it’s weird, but…) but then, I read Bedlam and a review on Goodreads has caught my attention: the reviewer says that there are a lot of errors about a character in this book.

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Are you kidding me? A non-fiction book with poor research and a lot of mistakes about real people, and maybe other errors in god knows what. meybe there are mistakes about other people, or their crimes, or about the psychiatric treatment. I was so disappointed.

Bedlam is also the most muddler and chaotic book I ever read. I wanted to read about Bedlam, the hospital and the illness, the life inside the hospital and the most famous patients.

Instead, I’ve read chapter and chapters about all the supervisor of the hospital, about the land on where was the building, and a lot of digressions. A transantlantic of digressions.

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It’s like: I want to read Harry Potter, instead I read a finnish manual about salmon.

I haven’t learned a single thing about the building I visited in December, and also the chapter about the Modern Bedlam, now the Imperial War Museum, is poor written. A couple of lines and that’s all. And it’s a shame because the museum is extraordinary.

I’m also disappointed because I already buy Necropolis from the same author. I don’t know if I want to read it.