March 2022 TBR: Can I Read 50 Books In A Month?

Hello Everyone,

So I’ve got a big goal for March. I’m already behind on my Goodreads tbr goal. Not badly, maybe 15 books behind schedule. But this month? I’m issuing a challenge to myself to read 50 books. What books might those be? Well, the last tbr is still on my “must reads” but I have other new ones added. Sit back, relax, and prepare for scrolling through my stack of books!

Such an ambitious pile, as always but I think that this is my biggest yet! (I could be wrong lol.) I’m definitely looking forward to The Poppy War, Vita Nostra, Light From Uncommon Stars, and Brandon Sanderson Way of Kings. Many of these look so good! Tell me which ones you think I should prioritize because I could definitely use the help! 😆

I hope everyone else has a great month in March. Stay safe out there everyone!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: The Kidnapping of Sarah Easton

Hello Everyone,

Title: The Kidnapping of Sarah Easton

Author: Erik Goddard

Series: Standalone (?)

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

Page Count: 400

Book Summary:

The morning it happened, Sarah thought little of the slight change in plans. By evening, she realizes the result of that decision: she is trapped in a remote cabin, where her captors force her to record a ransom demand aimed at her wealthy father. As the countdown to the deadline begins and Sarah looks for ways to escape her confine, she is unaware that a far more sinister danger lurks unseen as various parties plot and scheme their way to the ransom. With the clock ticking toward the deadline and these plots beginning to coalesce, Sarah realizes what’s at stake is far more than money.

My Thoughts:

It’s always so hard to review thriller novels. Any novel really, but thrillers I don’t want to spoil anything for everyone else. Did I enjoy this? Well, I read it through one sitting so definitely yes! However, fair warning. The main character in this is ridiculously stupid at times to the point I wanted to reach through the book and go “really? Why would you do that?!” as I was reading. IE: First chapter, she hands over her phone to a man that asked her for it. No threats. No intimidation, just can I have your phone please? Um, no. You don’t just hand it over that’s how my sister’s phone got stolen in St Louis. (It was recovered a month later by police thankfully.) But it’s constantly things that are common sense that she just…ugh. So frustrating!

The bad guys were interesting. At first they start out reasonably smart. Then they go into the “I’m in charge so I’ll make all the blatantly stupid decisions I can” mode about forty percent through the book.

But despite the stupidity of the characters at times the book itself is fast paced and I managed to read it in one sitting. It ties together at the end and though it’s a bit of a wide open ending it still resolved everything so that it surprised me here and there with how it played out. Highly recommend for suspense fans.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: The Dead of False Creek

Hello Everyone,

Two Netgalley reviews in a month? Who is this girl and where has she been all this time? 🤔 Anyhoo…

The Dead of False Creek is a twisty murder mystery not quite involving time travel. I say “not quite” because no one actually goes back in time. Instead two people communicate through a journal and that premise intrigued me into requesting the book.

Book Title: The Dead of False Creek

Book Author: Sarah M. Stephen

Book Publisher: ? (I’ve searched on Google and Netgalley but am unsure of the publisher. If you know please let me know!)

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Page Count: ?

Goodreads Summary:

He chases crooks. She dusts off maps. With important men vanishing, can one key document prevent death? Vancouver, 1897.

Jack Winston refuses to let his bloodline decide his vocation. Keeping his family connections secret as he joins the Constabulary, the rising detective works hard to make a name for himself on his own merit.

But when he investigates a missing young lawyer, he’s shocked to find his own journal connects him to a woman claiming to be from the future. Vancouver, 2017. Riley Finch adores history.

With life pulling friends and family further away, the archivist throws herself into her new position cataloging police files from the nineteenth century. And her excitement with her research bears thrilling results when she finds a way to contact a policeman from the past.

Despite his well-founded suspicions, Winston still struggles to wring answers out of his list of prime suspects. And as Riley risks her job to unearth useful information, she’s inexplicably drawn to Jack’s great-grandson but forced to keep both men in the dark. Can the pair forge a partnership across decades and solve an impenetrable crime?

The Dead of False Creek is the compelling first book in the Journal Through Time historical mystery series. If you like endearing duos, split narratives, and stunning twists and turns, then you’ll love Sarah M Stephen’s time-bending tale.

My Thoughts:

Set in 1800s Vancouver and present day, this story is told between a male detective and a woman archivist. They begin communicating through the journal, as the male detective searches for missing men. There is a bit of a slow burn romance building and the mystery itself wasn’t what kept me going it was the journal. Unfortunately I will have to wait until summer of 2022 for the next book in the series as it ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. I really enjoyed it and I’m eagerly awaiting the rest of the series.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: Leave the World Behind

Book Summary from Goodreads:

A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong

Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.

Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another? 

Suspenseful and provocative, Rumaan Alam’s third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis. 

My Review:

This book was weird. An ending that left it all hanging wide open. No questions answered, and no one technically dead. An apocalypse story but with few signs of the actual events shown. From the point of view of strangers stuck together at a vacation home in the middle of nowhere. The disjointed writing took a bit to get used to and I didn’t much care for Amanda or the rest though I was curious as to what would happen. A slow build of a plot that cuts off abruptly leaving you asking “wtf was that?!”

Trigger warnings: 9/11 discussed, kid sick/ill, missing child, and brief sexual scenes between husband/wife

Final Rating: 4/5 ⭐

Top 25 Books on my 2021 Most anticipated reads

It seems as though all the bloggers are making top ten lists, top twenty, so on and so forth. I thought I would do a slightly bigger number. Top twenty five books on my tbr pile that I’d like to get to. I chose random books from fantasy to romance to historical fiction. The choices were hard to pick, but I narrowed it down at last.

#1:

To survive the Holocaust, a young Jewish woman must pose as a Christian farmer’s wife in this unforgettable novel from USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Robson—a story of terror, hope, love, and sacrifice, inspired by true events, that vividly evokes the most perilous days of World War II.

#2

In The Need, Helen Phillips has created a subversive, speculative thriller that comes to life through blazing, arresting prose and gorgeous, haunting imagery. Anointed as one of the most exciting fiction writers working today, The Need is a glorious celebration of the bizarre and beautiful nature of our everyday lives.

#3:

Inspired by the true story of a daring deception that plunges a courageous young woman deep into the horrors of a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.

#4:

An electrifying, page-turning debut about a young woman haunted by her tragic past, who returns to her hometown and discovers that there might be more to her police detective mother’s death—and last case—than she ever could have imagined.

#5:

A traveling librarian ventures into the mining towns of Kentucky on horseback and rediscovers her passions in this powerful novel from the best-selling author of A Silken Thread.

#6:

Combining the emotional power and dual narrative style of ‘Before We Were Yours’ with the nuanced, layered, and atmospheric mystery of ‘The Dry’, a powerful debut novel revolving around a shocking disappearance, two neighbor families, and shameful secrets from the past that refuse to stay buried.

#7:

Happily ever after is only the beginning as Belle takes on the responsibility of becoming queen and learns to balance duty, love, and sacrifice, all while navigating dark political intrigue—and a touch of magic.

#8:

A propulsive, richly entertaining novel about two adventure-seeking brothers, the enemies who threaten them, and the women who reveal to them an unjust world on the brink of upheaval.

#9:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.

#10:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

#11:

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.

#12:

An unforgettable tale of what we owe to those we love, and those we have left behind

#13:

A queer retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” in which teenage twins battle evil religious extremists to save their loves and their circus family.

#14:

A space princess on the run and a notorious outlaw soldier become unlikely allies in this imaginative, sexy space opera adventure—the first in an exciting science fiction trilogy.

#15:

Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downs’s debut is the perfect summer suspense, with the modern gothic feel of Ruth Ware and the morally complex family dynamics of Lisa Jewell.

#16:

Bestselling author Nancy E. Turner returns to the world of Sarah Agnes Prine through the wide-eyes of her irrepressible young niece, Mary Pearl.

#17

It’s late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest.

#18:

When fragmented images and unfocused panic force Noelle St. Claire to flee her wealthy, sheltered life in New York, she gains sanctuary on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains.There Noelle finds solace in the breathtaking scenery she paints. But as the attentions of two brothers, Rick and Morgan Spencer, breach the wall she hides behind, the past she yearns to escape becomes a menacing threat from which she can no longer hide. Award-winning and bestselling author Kristen Heitzmann has skillfully created a story resonating with emotion and depicting a poignant spiritual journey.

#19:

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s HamletThe Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

20:

All the Light We Cannot See meets The Nightingale in this literary WWI-era novel and epic love story of a brilliant young doctor who races against Einstein to solve one of the universe’s great mysteries.

#21:

Li has a father and a sister who love her. A best friend, Mirabae, to share things with. She goes to school and hangs out at the beach and carefully follows the rules. She has to. Everyone she knows–her family, her teachers, her friends–is an alien. And she is the only human left on Earth.

#22

From a beloved, award-winning writer, the much-anticipated novel about what happens when two families go on a tropical vacation and the children go missing.

#23

An instant New York Times Bestseller, this is a stunning debut set in a world where reading is unheard-of. Perfect for fans of Inkheart and Shadow and Bone

#24

Set in a magical world of terror and wonder, this novel is a deeply felt epic of courage and war, in which the fates of these characters intertwine—and where ordinary people become heroes, and their lives become legend.

#25:

Mrs. Sherlock Holmes tells the incredible true life story of Mrs. Grace Humiston, the New York lawyer and detective who solved the famous cold case of Ruth Cruger, an 18-year-old girl who disappeared in 1917. 

And those are my top 25 books I’m anticipating in 2021. I should note, all of these are backlist titles, except Kristin Hannah’s, and maybe a couple other historical fictions that I couldn’t resist adding onto the pile. This list was also in no particular order, as I’m determined in getting all these read, as my library has ebook copies, as well as physical copies, of all of these apart from the new releases. I hope some of these caught your attention. I also hope that y’all can send me more recommendations in the comments for backlist titles!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book.

Netgalley Review: Penne Dreadful

Penne Dreadful

Title: Penne Dreadful
Author: Catherine Burns
Series: Book 1 of the Italian Chef Mystery Series
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Page Count: 500
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Type of Book: Netgalley Read, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Review Word Count:
Notes: A wonderful start to a new mystery series that will surely leave readers hungry for more!

I should start this off with a warning to readers: don’t read this book without snacks nearby. Especially tasty snacks. Because this book has described food that made me hungry and craving pasta for lunch (which I successfully had while reading this book!) and it’s description of food is definitely on par with a lot of chefs that I’ve met who know what they’re talking about when they talk about food. The type of food in this book is my favorite kind too-pizza, pasta, and many other things besides (except for eggplant. Blagh.)

This was a fun, yet depressing at times, mystery book. There was a murder, plenty of suspects, an overly helpful cat, another murder, several attempted murders, blackmail, robbery, and even a happy ending. This book was a non-stop action ride from beginning to end, and I spent two days flying through the pages wanting to know who would was the killer. I was half right in my guess, but forgot several factors, and was therefore still taken by surprise at the end. Clever of the author to do so!

I highly recommend this author’s book. It’s very fun, it’s a quick read, and it’s definitely one to be added to my shelves at home. Her writing is flawless, and her characters are realistic and entertaining each with their own secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end.

5/5 stars!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Arc: Lying Beneath the Oaks

lying beneath the oaks

Title: Lying Beneath the Oaks
Author: Kristin Wright
Series: Standalone/Debut
Genre: Mystery/Romance
Publisher: Bella Rosa Books
Page Count: 300
Review Word Count: 600
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 4.5/5 stars
Notes: Read for the Buzz-Word-a-Thon! Really liked this one!

This book was beautifully crafted, well written, with strong characters, and definitely well researched material. Molly’s character was fascinating, and I loved her story though it definitely had some trigger warnings for child abuse. So, here are the warnings first before I dive into the full review:

Warnings: child abuse, suggested child sexual abuse, suggested child trafficking, attempted murder of both child and adults, suggested rape of adults and child, some swearing, steamy romance bedroom scenes, sexism, light racism (only one character), talks about fires, talks about hurricanes, a few chapters regarding religion/going to church, other

This book, though certainly dark and twisted at times, made me almost long for a trip back to Louisiana or any of the places down south for its rich atmosphere. Of course, having been to the south, those emotions were few and far between. There were also plenty of triggers in the book that made me want to flinch away and hide, but the book tells such a good story that I was mostly able to ignore it.

Molly is a complex, blunt, and strong female character. She’s served time for possibly accidentally killing her mother, and has paid for it for years. There’s lots of interesting (and depressing) history there, but the focus of the story is her waking up married to a complete (handsome) stranger named Cooper, who happens to belong to a wealthy southern family.

It’s a fascinating story, completely with twisted plots that I didn’t see coming, though a lot of it I did notice right off. I loved Aurelia, the town eccentric, who is one of my favorite characters. I loved Mia and the golden retriever and just all of this book shown with creative clever schemes and strong characters so that I couldn’t turn away from it. I read through it in most of a day, and wish that there was more available, and that I could have seen the bad guy getting his due, aside from the tiny snippet of it at the end of the book-that’s my only real complaint, really, is that we didn’t see him getting published enough.

I really liked reading this book, and highly recommend it-especially if you love gothic, southern crime/romance fiction. It’s rich in detail, and you won’t regret reading it, unless you absolutely loathe reading about the south. 4.5/5 stars!
Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Conspiracy of Lies

conspiracy of lies

Title: Conspiracy of Lies
Author: Kathryn Gauci
Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical/Mystery
Publisher: ?
Page Count: 300
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3 stars
Review Word Count: 300
Notes: Not what I was expecting. Heavy sigh.

I gave up at 40% in reading this book. With so many five star reviews, I thought this would be a great read. It was an okay read, but I didn’t connect with the characters, or the plot, hardly at all. While the mystery was interesting enough to keep on reading-just what did happen to Marcel?-I couldn’t force myself to continue as the characters kept giving Sarah grief over her divorce with Alastair and basically treating her as if she was mentally incompetent, and that her mother’s heart attack was her fault. At least, that’s the way it read to me.

The historical bits were fascinating. I liked reading about the first attacks, the newscasters, and the stories the family told about experiencing the war in France. It was interesting, and well researched. My main problem with the story was just the characters. I didn’t connect with them, and found Peter and Alastair and others to be quite annoying.

Others may enjoy this story more than I, but I still appreciate being given the chance to read it. My thanks to the publishers for approving my request, and apologies that I can’t leave a more glowing review.

3/5 stars, and my second book for Buzz-Word-a-Thon.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Netgalley Review: Families and Other Enemies

famiilies and other enemies

Title: Families and Other Enemies
Author: Christiana Dodd
Series: Short Story
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Harlequin
Page Count:
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3 stars
Review Word Count: 300
Notes: It’s got the word ‘lies’ in ‘Families’ so that counts for Buzz-Word-a-Thon, right?

Well, this was a bit different from my usual read, though it was short so I could easily knock it off the list. This has a potential minefield of triggers, though, so let’s just get into that before doing the review!:

Warnings: child abuse, homelessness, attempted murder, murder, spousal abuse, one scene bashing lesbians (old aunt stuck in her times), hospital scenes, church scenes, veterans, homeless veterans, homeless teenagers, drugs, addicts, abuse, amnesia, dementia, other

I don’t remember an entire year of my life.…
I still don’t remember, but I know what happened now.
I had a baby, and that changes everything.

Kellen Adams has fought battles, saved lives, earned the respect of her colleagues and the love of her friends. But now, can she triumph against the greatest challenge of her life — her family?

-Description from Goodreads

This was a fast short story to read, but also a hard hitting one. It touched on a lot of issues, and some of it made me angry and uncomfortable (such as the old aunt), so it’s not going to be one of my favorite short stories, I don’t think, but it was still a good important read.

There was a bit of mystery, life and death situations, people doing good, people doing bad. I can’t give away too much without revealing the entire plot, but the main point of the story was a woman survived her husband’s attempt to murder her only to get amnesia in the process and switch identities with her cousin who looks almost exactly like her. It was an interesting take, and I liked the main character, though I questioned her intelligent at times.

Overall, I liked it. It’s definitely worth a re-read in the future, if I feel up for it, and I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Netgalley Review: A Spell for Murder

A Spell for Murder

Title: A Spell for Murder
Author: Clea Simmon
Series: book 1
Genre: Mystery (Cozy)
Publisher: Polis Books
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Netgalley ARC, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars

This is a cozy mystery book that’s seemingly told from the cats point of view. Need I say more? Well, apparently I must for this to be a full length review that’s more than a hundred words, so here goes.

{“It’s Harriet’s fault. It’s always her fault, not that she’ll ever admit it.” So begins A Spell of Murder: A Witch Cats of Cambridge mystery, the first in a new cozy series that mixes feline fiction with a touch of the paranormal, and a little romance as well.

Becca, newly single and newly unemployed, wants to believe she has psychic powers. With nothing but time – and a desire for empowerment – she’s studying to become a witch. What she doesn’t know is that her three cats – Harriet, Laurel, and Clara – are the ones with the real power. And when Harriet – “a cream-colored longhair with more fur than commonsense” – conjures a pillow for her own comfort, Becca believes her spells are finally working. Could that be why Trent, the coven’s devilishly handsome leader, has been showing her special attention? Or why Suzanne, a longtime coven member, draws her aside to share a secret – a confidence that may lead to murder?

-As seen on Goodreads}

I loved the cats. I loved how accurate they were described in their behavior, I loved the humor and feel-goodness of it all. It was a perfect read, and I hope to be able to continue the series soon. I really liked the whole mystery set up too, and I can honestly say that there are very few books that I’ve read where the cats are the ones to go on the case to solve a mystery. I think this will be one of my favorites. Especially with the magical elements, the witches, and the dark atmosphere throughout the book itself.

If you like cozy mysteries featuring cats, then this book will definitely be to your liking. It’s fun, it’s clever, and it’s thoroughly magical. 5/5 stars for a an excellent first read from a new author, and I definitely look forward to getting to the rest of the series!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

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