Book Review

Book Review: Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4) by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult historical fiction mystery + romance
Length: 453 pages
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release Date: September 10th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In the shocking finale to the bestselling series that began with Stalking Jack the Ripper, Audrey Rose and Thomas are on the hunt for the depraved, elusive killer known as the White City Devil. A deadly game of cat-and-mouse has them fighting to stay one step ahead of the brilliant serial killer—or see their fateful romance cut short by unspeakable tragedy.

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell have landed in America, a bold, brash land unlike the genteel streets of London they knew. But like London, the city of Chicago hides its dark secrets well. When the two attend the spectacular World’s Fair, they find the once-in-a-lifetime event tainted with reports of missing people and unsolved murders.

Determined to help, Audrey Rose and Thomas begin their investigations, only to find themselves facing a serial killer unlike any they’ve heard of before. Identifying him is one thing, but capturing him—and getting dangerously lost in the infamous Murder Hotel he constructed as a terrifying torture device—is another.

Will Audrey Rose and Thomas see their last mystery to the end—together and in love—or will their fortunes finally run out when their most depraved adversary makes one final, devastating kill?

BEST OF THE BUNCH.

Okay. I can officially say I’m glad I read this after being very frustrated with how book three went down. This was a solid ending that wrapped everything up liked it needed to be.

BUT FIRST. Let me just say, I do not appreciate why the marriage was postponed. I haaaaaaate stuff like that y’all. Hate. And that’s pretty much why it’s a four star. I think they should have gotten married and solved the murder together, married. There wasn’t angst adding the drama in.

Now, THOMAS CRESSWELL. Seriously one of my top bookish boyfriends. I can’t get over him. The sweet and precious moments between Thomas and Audrey Rose were written so beautifully. I swooned over and over at the writing. Lyrical and utterly romantic. Thomas is amazing. We won’t discuss Audrey Rose, though I will say this was the best version of her I’ve seen in the series. The least annoying.

I’ve seen some lower reviews for this because they wanted more of the mystery aspect. These books are romance books at their base. They really are. If you’re interested in them, definitely know that going in. My expectations went much better when I knew I was going to be getting a lot of romance (which we know I prefer anyways).

The plot line of this book kind of went: romance, romance, mystery, mystery, romance. It felt a little disjointed. There was a big focus on the romance, then it dove off into just about solving the murders, then the epilogue finished off the romance. It worked out okay, but I think they could have been combined better.

I’m satisfied and happy with this series and would still recommend it to those interested. I liked the historical fiction aspects and of course, THOMAS CRESSWELL. The writing is well done and even the frustrating moments don’t ruin the enchanting story it is.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical fiction romance + mystery
  • Language: very little light
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, a little detailed love scene, another fade to black scene
  • Violence: very detailed descriptions of multiple murders, physical attacks

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Follow On Social Media

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

This was a fun topic this week! A little hard for me to think about, but when I considered how many photos of bookish boyfriends I could see, it became a whole lot easier.

Rhys – ACOTAR Series

Ohhhh yes. Can I please get selfies of Rhys all day long? I don’t think it’s too much to ask. [Which means this one could definitely apply to Cassian and Azriel too].


Thomas Cresswell – Stalking Jack the Ripper Series

Clearly, I mostly want pictures of my bookish boyfriends. AND WHO DOESN’T LOVE THOMAS CRESSWELL?


Calla – Wild Duology

Mostly because I know she’ll post pictures of Jonah (hello hot tub photo from Wild at Heart). But also because I would love to see all of Alaska photos!


Lara Jean – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series

Could you imagine all of the amazing baking photos there would be?! As a fellow baker I would love this (and ya know…pictures of Peter K.).


Shallan – The Stormlight Archive Series

She’s an AMAZING artist in this series and her “artwork” is even in the books! Definitely think her artwork on social media would be top notch.


Aelin – Throne of Glass Series

I know she’d post a lot of pictures of Rowan and I AM HERE FOR IT. I think I would follow just about anyone in this world. There’s so many great options.


Olivia Langley – Faking Under the Mistletoe

Olivia is someone you want to be friends with so easily. I adored her character and personality in this book and think she would be so fun to follow on social media. She’d keep things lively!


Grant and Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Okay, but honestly. Who doesn’t think it would be so cool to follow a President on social media?! And I don’t mean those that are ultimately managed by someone else, but an honest Instagram page from a President during these time periods. I found both of these books so fascinating.


Lou – Serpent & Dove

Yes please. I want to be this chicks best friend. I think we could bond over our love a pastries.


The entire crew of Squad 312 – The Aurora Cycle Series

I JUST LOVE THEM ALL. AND WANT THEM ALL. BUT ESPECIALLY KAL.

Who would you follow on social media? Anyone from my list on yours? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Historical fiction + Mystery
Length: 437 pages
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Expected Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea.

It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

THOMAS CRESSWELL DESERVES BETTER.

BETTER BETTER BETTER. Oh my goodness. Usually I give a book higher marks for making me feel intense feelings for all the things. In this case, the intense feeling was rage, so instead I marked it lower.

HOW DARE AUDREY ROSE WADSWORTH. This was cheating and I will stand by that firmly. I’m tired of seeing this as a plot device and it makes me upset every time.

Something kind of funny though? If this was a different story without a boyfriend and the girl was having this kind of flirtations and kisses with a magician with a mask? Yes. I would have loved the banter and the set-up of that. BUT IT’S THOMAS FREAKING CRESSWELL. WHAT.

Wow, I can’t get over this. My review is running away from me. It was the entire plot which is why it’s very much on my mind. Other than that, the plot consisted of the same as the previous two books. People die, Thomas & Audrey Rose try to find the murderer. Nothing new. It’s a kin to watching CSI (or something similar) where the same show essentially happens every time but you can’t look away. This is how I felt.

I love my boy Thomas though. And I missed him this book! Since Audrey Rose and her shenanigans took up most of the page time, I felt he was barely on screen. There wasn’t much banter between them, mostly angst and angry words.

This was honestly a big letdown for the entire series. I am curious how Capturing the Devil will play out because I’ve seen very mixed reviews.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical fiction + mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: physical, a lot of murder (by knives, hangings, animal attacks)
  • Trigger warnings: cheating

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Book Review

Book Review: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Historical fiction + mystery
Length: 435 pages
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
Release Date: September 19th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

STILL ONLY HERE FOR THOMAS CRESSWELL.

This wasn’t bad. I think it’ll probably be my favorite of the entire series.

I keep expecting these books to have a better plot line, because it keeps forcing whatever mystery is happening in my face rather than letting the romance really shine. And so far I’ve been disappointed twice. I think HPD would be better if everything was turned more towards the relationship between Thomas and Audrey Rose. BECAUSE THOMAS Y’ALL.

I fear every story will repeat the same saga. Murder, murder, run around, fight with Thomas, love Thomas, murder, solve it quickly. That’s what I see in my future, yet here I am already downloading book three. There’s something oddly catchy about these books and I think it all goes back to THOMAS Y’ALL.

Cleary, I have a new book boyfriend and he really holds all of the cards here. I love his banter, confessions of love and the general way he swaggers about. This paragraph may be small, but my love for Thomas is large. I understand why everyone reads these for him, I’m doing the same dang thing.

Audrey Rose is fine. She’s still one of those main characters that runs around scatter-brained and trying to accomplish everything while accomplishing nothing.

I liked the change in setting and though the mystery around Dracula was cool. We got to meet a lot of interesting characters and I didn’t pick the bad guy out super early so that’s a plus. I’m captivating by listening to these audio books.

Really though, THOMAS Y’ALL.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult mystery + historical fiction + romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses
  • Violence: murder, baths of blood, bodies being drained of blood, autopsies, near drownings

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: October 2019

IT’S NOVEMBER.

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH.

So while October is cool and all, I’m really here for next month.

I read 23 books for October! Some good, some eh, even read some thrillers to get in that spooky mindset.

  • The Art of Falling in Love by Haleigh Wenger – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Bands of Mourning (MIstborn #6, The Alloy Era #3) by Brandon Sanderson – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • DEV1AT3 (Lifelike #2) by Jay Kristoff – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • Hunting from Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Spin the Dawn (The Blood of the Stars #1) by Elizabeth Lim – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • [ARC] Ruthless Gods (Something Dark and Holy #2) by Emily A. Duncan – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) by Kerri Maniscalco – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archives #2) by Brandon Sanderson – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Heart of the Fae (The Otherworld #1) by Emma Hamm – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Boy Who Steals Houses by C.G. Drews – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2) by Katharine McGee – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1) by Tara Sim – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Lovely War by Julie Berry – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)

Had some really great reads this month! My reviews will be out over the course of November.

My favorite this month was Words of Radiance or Lovely War.

My least favorite was Final Girls and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Have you read any of these? What was your favorite read of October? What are you looking forward to in November? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Talk

Happy Halloween!: Some Favorite Spooky Reads from 2019

Happy Halloween Y’all! I hope everyone has the plans to look forward to tonight. Whether that’s getting dressed up and going out or shutting your porch light off to watch a spooky movie.

We’re going to a Halloween party tonight and my family is dressing up as pirates this year!

I wanted to write a special little post about what spooky reads I’ve enjoyed this year, and a few from some of my Bookstagram friends. Spooky is a very broad term for this post. Anything that has fall vibes, freaked someone out, had a creepy moment or two, maybe some witches? It all goes! I wanted to give some options for all to add to your TBR! My only rule was that you had to read it in 2019, whether or not it came out then doesn’t matter!

These responses were from my friends on Instagram. I’ve included a link to their Insta’s and a little blurb about why the enjoyed this read. I’ll include my thoughts if I’ve read them!


littlelindsreadsThe Whisper Man by Alex North

“If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken. If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home. If you window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass. If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.”

Lindsay says: Just this quote alone from The Whisper Man gives me the chills! This book has just the right amount of spookiness to have you on edge while you are reading it. The alternating points of view keep the story interesting as you try to solve the case of the disappearing children. Fans of Law and Order will love this book!


bookish_tayThe Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Taylor says: I loved The Wicked Deep because it was so creepy and enjoyable. Even though parts were predictable, I was sucked into the story. Rooting for the boys, rooting for the witches at times, rooting for Penny. It was a perfect read for this time of year!

Cait says: I’ve read this one too! I definitely loved the creepy vibes it gave off. The story of the Swan sisters and the witchy vibes. Perfect for October. Find my full review here.


caro.libraryHouse of Salt & Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin, and The Whisper Man by Alex North

Caroline says:

House of Salt & Sorrows: Is there anything better than a spooky fairy tale retelling? This atmospheric retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses is equal parts dark fantasy, mystery, and Gothic horror. It’s creepy and magical, and it kept me guessing until the end.

Serpent & Dove: This book has the best cast of characters! It’s a great witchy story, but also hilarious and heartfelt.

The Whisper Man: One of the best thrillers I’ve read this year! It was so well done with great pacing, a ghost story feel, and some downright chilling moments!

Cait says: I’ve read the first two of her suggestions. House of Salt & Sorrows was a buddy I read I actually did with Caroline! It was great and this book is DEFINITELY creepy. It’s a dark take on the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Full review here!

Serpent & Dove. ONE OF MY FAVS OF 2019. I usually don’t love books with witches. THIS IS THE BEST EXCEPTION. Seriously. Read it. Full review here!

This second section will include books I’ve enjoyed from this year (some might overlap).

Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Probably the best thriller I read this year. It had the creepy factor and a lot of unknowns. Some twists were easy to see, but others left me shocked.


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Really. Top 10 from this year. Without a doubt. I’m going to link my review again because you must get this on your TBR ASAP.


The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

This one is all about Dracula! No actual vampires, but a lot of spooky vibes as the MCs run across Romania. See my full review here!


Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco

I’m waiting on a library hold for the very last book, but this are perfect for a good spooky time. There’s murder, romance, mystery, a great mix of YA historical fiction goodness. And of course, there’s Thomas Cresswell.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found a new book or two to consider for your TBR. Have you read any of these? What was one of your favorite spooky reads this year? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Avoiding On My TBR and WHY

This is such a fun week! I’m excited about this topic and dove right into my TBR to find some books.

I found a list of books that I’m definitely hiding from for a myriad of reasons. Check them out below!

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

WHY – I have heard great things about this middle grade series, but it’s also a LONG series and LONG books. And I just haven’t hit the mood of wanting to read them yet. I can get them all digitally from my library though which is a huge plus.


Eidolon (Wraith Kings #2) by Grace Draven

WHY – I really loved the first book, Radiance, and thought I’d dive right into the next one but never got the chance. Now I’m afraid I’ve waited too long and won’t love it like I want to. So there it sits on my TBR.


The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

WHY – I have seen SO MANY CONFLICTING REVIEWS Y’ALL. Everything from 1 star I hated this, to 5 star this was amazing. Which is why I stare at it on my shelf and have yet to pick it up.


Princes at War by Deborah Cadbury

WHY – I am a mood reader. And I haven’t really been in the mood for a non-fiction. I picked this up for super cheap on Book Outlet and I really hope to get to this soon. It sounds interesting!


Hunting Prince Dracula & Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

WHY – I’m including these together since they’re by the same author. I have wanted to continue this series and binge the last two before Capturing the Devil came out. My library hasn’t gotten EFH yet though. And I’ve requested a few times without getting anywhere. They have the first two so I thought they would be cool with getting the third? UGH.


The Fallen Kingdom (The Falconer #3) by Elizabeth May

WHY – I’m not loving this series as much as I’ve seen other people. And since I’ve been reading it through the library it’s turned into an out of sight, out of mind book. I might eventually get to it, we’ll see.


Vortex Visions (Air Awakens: Vortex Chronicles #1) by Elise Kova

WHY – Okay, it’s no secret around here. I LOVE THE AIR AWAKENS SERIES WITH MY WHOLE BOOKISH HEART. This is the next series and is a spin-off. Oh how I want to read it. Oh how I’m frightened to meet new characters and know I will compare it to Air Awakens.


The Devil’s Thief (The Last Magician #2) by Lisa Maxwell

WHY – After super enjoying The Last Magician, I was excited to get to The Devil’s Thief. Then I saw some reviews and people seem to hate the second book?! WHY. This makes me want to pick it up, and also hide from it.


Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

WHY – I LOVED BEARTOWN. And thought I would pick up book two immediately. I spoke to a Bookstagram friend about why she DNF this one. She mentioned that it was a bit repetitive if you read it right after Beartown (they go over everything that happens in book one). So for now I’m putting this away until I can’t remember Beartown quite enough to really love this one.

What books are you hiding from on your TBR? Are any of these on your list? Lets talk in the comments! Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

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