I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.
A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay. Read July 30 – August 1. 4 Stars.
I thought this book was a little more psychological suspense than the other books I’ve read by Barclay have been so it was different than I expected, but I liked it. I thought I had absolutely everything figured out, but it turned out I was only partially right. The story took a turn I definitely didn’t expect and while I do wish it had maybe gone a little differently, it was a ballsy move and did serve the story well.
The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton. Read August 2-6. 4 Stars.
Sharon Bolton has written some of my favorite books and I have been eagerly anticipating The Craftsman for quite awhile. Like I have come to expect from Bolton’s books, it was a well done, suspenseful mystery. It was even a little creepy at times. But it definitely took a departure into the supernatural that I was not expecting. Full review to come.
A Boy Like You (Like Us #2) by Ginger Scott. Read August 7-8. 4 Stars.
I’ve struggled with what to rate this. It’s probably closer to a 3 or 3.5, but I’ve decided to bump it up to 4 for a few reasons. There were parts that were really romantic and sweet. I adored Wes and his family. I also found this pretty compulsively readable. Even though it was super angsty (not really my cup of tea) and I was pretty frustrated with Joss quite often I never really wanted to stop reading it. It did take me over half the book to begin to like Joss and even now I’m not really that big of a fan of her. I also got a weird Twilight vibe at times that I wasn’t really expecting. No review I’ve read mentioned this falling into the magical realism category and the book never actually goes there, but it ends with unanswered questions. I didn’t love the direction the story took in the end, but I am really looking forward to reading the next book.
Tell Me No Lies (Follow Me Back #2) by A.V. Geiger. Read August 8-9. 3 Stars.
I was pleasantly surprised with Follow Me Back and have been looking forward to this one ever since. While it was ok, it kind of disappointed me. I thought what was happening was pretty obvious long before it was revealed and then I kept waiting for another twist or surprise to come at the ending, but nothing did. There were still a few good tense moments here and there, though, and I liked the formatting with the police interviews interspersed throughout the story.
A Kiss in the Dark by Gina Ciocca. Read August 10-12. 3 Stars.
This was a little longer than it needed to be and was pretty predictable, but there were definitely a few cute moments. I thought Macy was pretty likable. I absolutely adored Ben. I liked the alternating timeline and thought it was used well. One thing I never understood though was Macy’s friendship with Meredith. Even in the “Junior Year” chapters Meredith didn’t seem like a very good friend. She was more like a frenemy. She doesn’t seem like someone Macy should want to reconnect with. She kind of redeems herself at the end, but their whole relationship just rubbed me the wrong way.
Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. Read August 10-13. 2.5 Stars.
I love that the authors who wrote this are a couple. #RelationshipGoals. I enjoyed some of the bantering, there were some cute moments, and except for a couple of things he handled poorly, I really liked Owen. That’s kind of the end of my “likes” for this book, though. It was super over-dramatic. Megan was a really unlikable main character. She was so, so shallow and then she got really upset that people thought she was shallow. She did have some learning/character development moments, but they honestly just came across a little cheesy. I thought all her problems with her blended family was resolved way too quickly. I also thought her views on sex and intimacy for most of the book were pretty skewed and potentially damaging to young readers. I wish it was handled a little more responsibly.
Lies by T.M. Logan. Read August 22-25. 4 Stars.
Lies is a well-paced, entertaining thriller that managed to surprise me. My full review will post next week.
A Girl Like Me (Like Us #2) by Ginger Scott. Read August 25-26. 3 Stars.
It may have just been my mood, but I just wasn’t really into this. I found it kind of boring and things weren’t really explained to my satisfaction. I didn’t really care for the fantasy-like elements. This is probably more like 2 or 2.5 stars for me, but I’m bumping it up to 3 because it was a fast, easy read and there was nothing wrong with the writing. I think it’s just not the book for me.
On Magnolia Lane (Blue Ridge Romance #3) by Denise Hunter. Read August 27-28. 4 Stars.
I’ve enjoyed the other books in the Blue Ridge Romance series and On Magnolia Lane just might be my favorite of the series. Full review to come closer to release date.
The Similars (The Similars #1) by Rebecca Hanover. Read August 28-30. 2 Stars.
I thought that the concept for The Similars had potential. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to it for me. Full review to come.
************************Back on the TBR************************
Friday Night Brides by Samantha Chase and UNSUB by Meg Gardiner. I feel like I’ve been waiting to read both of these books for a really long time, but I started both of them and just couldn’t get into them. I don’t want to give up on them entirely, though, so I’m putting them back on the TBR for another time instead of marking them as DNF.
Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg. I really loved this book just as much the second time around. It’s so sweet and oh my goodness the banter!
31 thoughts on “Reviewing the Unreviewed: August 2018”
I definitely want to read that Denise Hunter series. I have a problem with her books because I loved The Convenient Groom so much and then none of the other ones seem quite as good haha I’m also adding A Noise Downstairs.
Reading through these thoughts I was struck again by how weird it is that so many YA/chick lit kind of reads have really unlikable, or barely likable, female leads. The guy is always incredibly sweet and amazing, and then the chick is a mess. I just think it’s funny that society is always going on about unrealistic expectations placed on women, but I think the really unrealistic expectations are placed on men – they’re supposed to be some crazy blend of hot, sweet, funny, caring, supportive, thoughtful, yet edgy and maybe ride a motorcycle, and they also have to completely ignore every negative aspect of a woman’s character! I don’t know. I’ve just been noticing lately that it seems like a lot of books make a lot of excuses for their female leads to have a lot of attitude issues, but expect the males to not only not have any attitude issues of their own, but to excuse the female’s issues completely. It doesn’t seem exactly fair…
I’d look forward to hearing what you think of this Denise Hunter series. There’s a book that’s kind of a prequel to the series – “Sweetbriar Cottage” – which you don’t have to read first, but it’s my favorite Hunter book, so I’m still going to suggest it!
I agree the male leads in contemporaries are always unrealistic. I think because the majority of these writers are women that they make their perfect guy, but try to make the female more “real” and “relatable”. And then male authors think all guys are perfect and women are crazy anyways lol. (This is obviously a generalization.)
Loved the post. 💖
Thank you! 🙂
I’ve been wanting to read Unsub for a long time as well! I also have The Craftsman on my readlist and it’s staring me in the eyes as I write this but I want to savour it a little longer ;-). Happy reading Stephanie!
Thank you! I hope you enjoy The Craftsman. It had a different feel than Bolton’s other novels, but was still good (obviously). And I hope we both get to Unsub someday!
Unsub is really good, when you’re in the mood for it. I think the second book was even better. I can’t wait to read The Craftsman!! I’m getting that one to read around Halloween.
One day I will try Unsub again. Everyone loves it, so I know it must have just been a weird mood. I think saving The Craftsman for Halloween would be good! You like books with witches in them, right?
Yes, I do!! Especially around this time of year.
I hope I like The Similars more than you did! The blurb sounds so fantastic. I have Lies coming up so I’m excited to get to it now. Looking forward to Craftsman review. Happy Friday 🙂
I hope you enjoy The Similars much more than I did, too! There was a lot of political overtones in it that annoyed me and I thought the twists were obvious and the characters weren’t very developed. But maybe I was in a mood? I hope you enjoy Lies, too! That one I found very entertaining and there were even some parts that managed to surprise me.
Starting Lies next week! Yay, excited
All in all, a bunch of positive reads for you. I really like how you explain why a book didn’t work for you. That helps readers decide for themselves, based on their own tastes. Happy Friday and happy reading!
Thank you! That’s what I shoot for 🙂 Happy long weekend to you!
I remember reading Better Off Friends years ago, when it was released, and I loved it very much, but now I can’t recall much about it, I forgot so much about the story.
I can see you read really interesting books, I wish you liked them more though, but then again when we read mediocre books, it makes us appreciate the great ones better.
Better Off Friends is so cute! Have you read other books by Eulberg? Take a Bow is one of my favorites. I did end up reading many so-so books this month, but I had some good ones, too!
I have to admit I haven’t read anything else by her. I kinda forgot to check if she wrote sth else, tbh.
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I am so excited you read Ginger Scott!
Thanks to you for the recommendation! She definitely has some addictive writing!
You’re welcome! I hope you’ll try some of her other books. I think you would like The Hard Count.
It doesn’t look like my library has The Hard Count. Do you think I would like the Falling series or Waiting on the Sidelines series? There’s also Memphis and Cry Baby.
Bummer. Hmm… All of them? Here’s the thing. All of her books are different. I loved the Falling series. The second book in that one if one of my faves. You have to read the first book first, though. Memphis is a dark, gritty boxing book. Cry Baby is dark as well, but more about gangs. Really good, though. Does that help narrow it down? I can’t believe they don’t have The Hard Count!
Yes it does. I think I’ll put a hold on the Falling books and go from there. Thank you!
Just make sure to read the second book, even if you don’t like the first. That’s all I ask. 😉
Haha I will keep that in mind!
I loved Ginger Scott’s Like Us duology! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it as much as you hoped. Tell Me No Lies was a disappointment for me too! I expected more from it! A Kiss is a Dark was a cute read but it was nothing amazing.
While I do like paranormal reads from time to time, I want to know that they have those aspects before I read them, I think that’s what my problem was with the Like Us books. It wasn’t what I thought they were and maybe if I knew beforehand, I would have felt differently (though I still would have been bothered by the lack of explanation). I think I read A Kiss in the Dark because of you, so I kinda knew going in it wouldn’t be my new favorite book or anything, but I did enjoy it!
I like the supernatural turn in Craftsman 😀 It was super well done!
In general, I just don’t like being surprised with a genre change. If I knew from the beginning it was going to be like that, I would’ve been fine with it, but I just found myself unable to take the ending seriously. I still liked the book, though!
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