Top 5 Wednesday: Non-Horror Books that Scared Me

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is: Non-Horror Books that Scared YouThis can be entire books you found frightening or just specific scenes from those books, but discuss books that weren’t technically supposed to scare you, but did. I’m going to go with a different kind of scared and choose books with: Scary Teenage Behavior. It’s no secret that I’m not really a kid person and these are the books that featured some kids that kind of scared the crap out of me and made me glad I don’t have any of my own.

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1. Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell. 

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2. I Found You by Lisa Jewell. 

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3. 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

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4. Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

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5. The Fever by Megan Abbott

What are some non-horror books that scare you?

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Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway: 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

Synopsis:

“Mean Girls for the Instagram age.” —The Times (London)
The New York Times bestselling author known for her thrilling twists is back:
They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart.

Natasha doesn’t remember how she ended up in the icy water that night, but she does know this–it wasn’t an accident, and she wasn’t suicidal. Her two closest friends are acting strangely, and Natasha turns to Becca, the best friend she dumped years before when she got popular, to help her figure out what happened.

Natasha’s sure that her friends love her. But does that mean they didn’t try to kill her?

13 Minutes is a psychological thriller with a killer twist from the #1 internationally bestselling author Sarah Pinborough.

ABOUT THE BOOK:
13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: October 3rd 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Crime, Mystery, Fiction

Links:

 Goodreads
Amazon 
B&N
Book Depository  
iBooks 
Kobo 
IndieBound  

13 Minutes is a YA psychological thriller that will once again prove that teenage girls can be the worst. Tasha is the pretty, popular girl that wakes up from a traumatic event with no memory of what happened to her. She begins to suspect her best friends had something to do with it and reaches out to her former friend, Becca, for comfort and for help. Along with the mystery of what really happened to Tasha, there is some major teenage girl drama going on. The relationships between the girls, Becca and her boyfriend, and the high school popularity hierarchy were all explored. Can I say this again? Teenage girls can be the worst. I don’t really want to say too much more about the actual plot because I think it’s best to go in without a lot of information.

I really liked the formatting of the story. The chapters alternate from the POVs of Tasha, Becca, and the man that rescues Tasha in the beginning of the book. There are also excerpts from Tasha’s journal, counseling sessions between a doctor with Tasha and the same doctor with Becca, newspaper articles, text threads, and excerpts from the detective’s notes. I thought all of these were used very effectively and helped keep up the suspense.

Overall, I enjoyed 13 Minutes. I thought the characters were very well done and loved the formatting. It was definitely one of the better YA suspense books I’ve read. It reminded me a lot of another one that I really liked, but I don’t want to say which one because the twists are very similar and it would give too much away. Speaking of the twist, I did figure things out well before they were revealed, but it was still fun to see how everything came together. I have to admit that I was just a little disappointed, though. After the great twist ending in Behind Her Eyes by this author, I was expecting a little something extra at the end of this one, but there wasn’t. I think fans of YA suspense will enjoy it, though.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed adult and YA author based in London.
Sarah was the 2009 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Short Story and also the 2010 and 2014 winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella, and she has four times been short-listed for Best Novel. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.
Her next novel, Behind Her Eyes, coming for HarperFiction in the UK and Flatiron in the US (January 2017) has sold in nearly 20 territories worldwide and is a dark thriller about relationships with a kicker of a twist.
You can follow her on Twitter @sarahpinborough

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY

   1 ARC of 13 MINUTES by Sarah Pinborough
   US Only

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Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2017

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.

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My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff. Read September 5-7. 3 Stars. 

This book was light and cute and I enjoyed it. It will definitely get you into the holiday mood. Full review to come closer to release date.

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With a Twist (Bad Habits #1) by Staci Hart. Read September 7-9. 2 Stars. 

I’m kind of surprised that I decided to finish this one, to be honest. The characters were ok and I did want to see West and Lily get together, but most of it was pretty boring. It wasn’t that graphic compared to most books in this genre, but the characters were just constantly talking about sex and anatomy and it was sometimes kind of crude. There were a couple of nice moments between West and Lily and it was kind of interesting that Lily was a ballerina, but those are the only good things I can really say about it. I’m sure that people who are big fans of New Adult romance would enjoy this a lot more than I did.

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A Family for Christmas (Willow Park #3) by Noelle Adams. Read September 9-10. 3 Stars. 

A cute, quick read featuring a marriage of convenience. I read the first book in this series a while ago and liked it and have had this one on my e-reader for awhile and decided to give it a try. I didn’t like it quite as much as I did the first one, but it was cute and I liked the relationship between Lydia and Gabe. What I really like about this series is that the characters are Christians, but it’s not Christian Fiction. It has all the elements (including the love scenes) you would get in regular mainstream Romance, but the characters stand apart a bit from the norm. I like this bit of diversity that you don’t often see in mainstream fiction.

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13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough. Read September 9-11. 3.5 Stars.

I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for this. Look for my review on October 2nd. 

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Always You (Bachelor Brotherhood #3) by Denise Grover Swank. Read September 12-16. 3.5 Stars.

I enjoyed this. Matt is definitely one of the sweetest male leads I have read and I wish he was real. While it did take me a little bit to get into the romance and to like the kids, I did eventually get on board with all of it. There were several humorous parts, including a scene in Chuck E. Cheese that made me laugh out loud. Full review to come closer to release date.

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Accused (Rosato & DiNunzio #1) by Lisa Scottoline. Read September 16-18. 3.5 Stars. 

I really needed a good mystery and Accused delivered for me. I thought it was just a tiny bit drawn out, though, and did not find the conclusion surprising. I was really frustrated with a lot of Mary’s behavior for most of the book, but she was much better by the end. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.

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Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz. Read September 23-25. 3 Stars.

I love a good holiday romance and I love Pride and Prejudice re-tellings, so Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe looked like it would be perfect for me. While it was a fun read, it ended up falling short of my (pretty high) expectations. Full review to come.

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Killing Kate by Alex Lake. Read September 25-27. 3.5 Stars

Short chapters just make books so much more readable and I must say that they served this book really well. Even though the pace was actually pretty slow, the short chapters kept the suspense up and made it so much easier to say “just one more chapter” long after I should’ve stopped reading. As for the story itself…it was ok. It was kind of a different angle of a serial killer book and I liked that. Kate was not a very likable character. I preferred the chapters from her ex-boyfriend’s POV, Phil. A little over half way through I guessed who the serial killer was and what the slight “twist” with it was. It wasn’t too long after that that everything was revealed, but then it just drug on and on and on. I was not at all satisfied with the ending. However, the fact that I found it addicting for a while is bumping my rating up the extra half star.

Chocolate Book Tag

I was tagged for this by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (she’s awesome, check her out). Thanks Deanna! I’m going to try and keep my answers to only books I have read this year.

Dark Chocolate: A book with a dark theme/content

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. There are definitely some parts that are hard to read in this book. But it’s so good!

 

White Chocolate: A light-hearted/humorous read

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Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren. I smiled my way through this whole book.

 

Milk Chocolate: A book with a lot of hype that you are dying to read

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo. Honestly, I don’t really care that much about the whole super hero thing that’s so popular these days, but since Leigh Bardugo wrote it, I want to read it!

A Wafer-Free KitKat: A book that surprised you lately

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. Even though I didn’t really enjoy most of the book and figured a lot of stuff out, the very final twist definitely surprised me and I loved it!

Chocolate With a Caramel Centre: A book that makes you feel gooey on the inside

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Only You by Denise Grover Swank. I was shipping Kevin and Holly so hard during this whole book.

Snickers: A book you are going nuts about

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Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton. This is one of my favorite books of the year and I tell everyone to read it. READ IT!!!

Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream and Marshmallows: A comfort read that you turn to again and again

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My Lady JaneSince I’m trying to stick with books I’ve only read this year, this is one of the few re-reads I’ve done. It’s so funny and cute and I love it.

 

Box of Chocolates: A series that has something for everyone

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What’s a tag without mentioning Red Rising? This is another re-read this year. It has actions, twists, romance, space, politics, romance, and terrific writing.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2017

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.

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Mistakenly Married (Married #3) by Victorine E. Lieske. Read July 7-8. 3.5 Stars. 

I felt like I needed a little break from the Mystery/Suspense genre and this was just the cute story I was looking for. I loved the mistaken identity bit in the beginning. I thought this was a really well done fake relationship story and I appreciated that it could still portray lots of sexual tension while remaining very clean. I definitely want to check out some of the other books in this series.

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Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski. Read July 15-16. 1 Star. 

I think the only good thing I can say about this book is that I bought it when it was on sale so I only wasted $0.99. It was slow, repetitive, and drawn out for way too long. The “twist” was not surprising. The end was completely unsatisfying. Just another story of dumb kids behaving badly. For the life of me I can’t understand the 5 star reviews. I am obviously in the minority as everyone else seems to love it. Maybe if I had listened to the Serial podcast I would have appreciated this more? I did actually like the format, though, so I don’t think that’s it.

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Lies She Told by Cate Holahan. Read July 16-18. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed Lies She Told. I loved the writing style and the alternating chapters made me never want to stop reading. I definitely recommend this one to fans of psychological suspense. This is my first book by Cate Holahan and I am now anxious to try out what else she’s done. Full review to come closer to release date. 

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The Summer I Became a Nerd (Nerd #1) by Leah Rae Miller. Read July 18. 3 Stars. 

Though I had several problems with this, it was overall pretty cute. I didn’t quite understand the main premise of Maddie needing to hide her love of comic books, especially since they’re kind of mainstream now (though this is a couple years old) and her whole need-to-be-popular-at-all-costs thing was pretty off-putting. However, I did like that she grew a lot from the beginning to the end. And I LOVED Logan. He is exactly the kind of guy I would’ve been friends with in high school.

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. Read July 19-20. 3 Stars.

The twist got me!

This book had some elements I wasn’t expecting and quite honestly found pretty annoying. However, it wasn’t until close to the end that I figured out what “the twist” would be. Then it happened and I was kind of disappointed because I figured it out and wasn’t surprised. But then the last chapter came and I realized what I thought was the twist wasn’t the twist and I was so happy! That is the reason I’m giving this 3 stars. The book dragged on for way, way too long and really wasn’t all that interesting to me. I was very set to give it 2 stars, but then that last chapter surprised me. I just wish everything leading up to it had been a little more compelling.

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Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens. Read July 23-26. 3.5 Stars. 

I decided to think of this as more a family drama than a psychological suspense and I think that made me enjoy it more. I picked out my number 1 suspect pretty early in the book and while Stevens did do a good job of making me second guess myself, I ended up being right and felt kind of disappointed. However, I thought the relationship arc between Lindsey and Sophie was well done (even though Sophie was one of the dumbest teenagers ever and I hated her most of the time) and the flashback chapters to Lindsey and Andrew’s marriage were compelling. I was ready to give this 4 stars, but I felt the last few chapters played out like a cheesy Lifetime movie and brought my overall enjoyment of the book way down.

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Lucky in Love by Kasie West. Read July 27-28. 4 Stars. 

Kasie West books just make me happy. They are always so cute and such quick reads. The short chapters make the story seem to just fly by. I liked Maddie, but found myself frustrated with her for most of the book – the way she didn’t realize when she was being used for her money and how irresponsible she was being with it at first. I kept telling myself that without those things there wouldn’t be much of a story, though. And she does learn a lot by the end of the story, which I appreciated. I loved her relationship with Seth. He was adorable and just might be my new favorite West male lead. I loved every single scene of the two of them together. West’s last book left me just slightly disappointed, but Lucky in Love has definitely restored my faith.

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The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. Read July 27-30. 2 Stars. 

What a disappointment! I pretty much disliked every second of reading this book and I really don’t know why I even decided to finish it. The story was very, very slow moving, the “mystery” was obvious and not very well done, and the characters were awful. I just hated Isa. I couldn’t believe all the stuff she dragged her baby through and she was so incredibly awful to her partner, Owen, who was sweet and completely justified in his few moments of anger. Those few chapters where Isa is home with him just made me hate her. I feel like the ending was supposed to have a great message about love and sacrifice, but it did not come across at all. So why am I giving this 2 stars instead of 1? Much like The Woman in Cabin 10, Ware does do a good job of setting up a creepy atmosphere. Though it was more detailed than I appreciate, there is no denying that she is a talented writer. I just wish she would have given the plot the same care as she did the setting