It's time for a raid 0f my bookshelves to find the next round of novels that you must read.
#1: A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw
This book shocked me in a good way. The overall plot was something I'd never really seen at all in a lot of the novels I've read over the last few years. At first glance, A History of Wild Places appears as your typically mystery/suspense story. A missing girl, a small amount of clues, and one man determined to solve the whole thing. But then he disappears as well and what follows will truly blow your mind.
#2: I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
Where are my fellow history nerds at? This novel covers one of my favorite subjects: Russian history. Inspired by the fall of the Romanov Dynasty, the story takes place in many different times and places. The period of 1917-1918 is told from the point of view of the Grand Duchess Anastasia, who is the second youngest child of the imperial family. The period of 1920 and on is told from the point of view of Anna Anderson, whose claim that she was the youngest Grand Duchess of Russia's last royal family captivated the world for much of the twentieth century. This book combines accurate history with some creative imagination to make one intriguing tale.
#3: Mercy by David Baldacci
I had a love/hate relationship with this one when I thought it was the final book of the whole series because the ending left so many unanswered questions. I was so mad that I had invested in two previous books when the finale technically didn't even qualify as one. Overall, it kept my attention and had an interesting plot but that ending, you guys. I just can't get over it. I will say that what it implies is interesting and the reason it's on this list is because I feel the author deserves my attention for writing a fairly decent book. For as many answers that weren't given, we ended up with quite a few resolutions which I appreciated. I think I will forever have an unbalanced enjoyment of this particular novel.
#4: Daylight by David Baldacci
Remember how five seconds ago I said there was no actual ending to the previous book series? I welcome you to that actual ending. My annoyance at Mercy can be forgiven since the story now has a conclusion. And a pretty epic one if I do say so myself. There's government corruption, hitmen, mob connections, mistaken identities, emotional reunions, and fight scenes that left me physically in pain just imagining them. I read this book in three hours on Christmas Day. It was so good! I definitely think the series could've been shorter. As we know, the last book infuriated me on another level. Don't get me wrong, four to five book series' can work but you have to make it go on in a way that's interesting. While the overall story is cool, I only really appreciated the first and last books. The middle ones had more filler and random information than I would've liked. This one got right down to business and I appreciated that all the questions were answered fairly quickly. Insider note: You could totally read the first book, which is called Long Road to Mercy and then skip to this one. You wouldn't be missing much.
#5: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
Overall, I think what the author wanted to achieve was cool but the execution failed. The whole book is written as a letter from a prison inmate to a lawyer explaining their case and why they're innocent of murder. First, you get a house in the English countryside that is portrayed as spooky but it really isn't. You have a rich family with demon children with a flakey dad and a mom whose just trying to raise her kids. In comes a new nanny after half-a-dozen have already been ran off because the house is supposedly haunted. The whole supernatural aspect just throws me off. It kind of is pulled together in the end but I hated it and wish it was never involved in the first place. I wish it would've been explained as the actions of the demon children in the beginning and not as a ghost. Also, there's a "romance" plotline that does not work at all. I wish that had been cut entirely because there's no build-up and no after effects except for a five page run in the middle of the story. It's supposed to aid in getting to the climax but instead it's like another story got inserted in this one. This novel starts out strong and then slowly devolves into a chaotic mess with the author hastily trying to tie up all the loose ends. But then at the ending, she LEAVES A LOOSE END?! Some books have endings that leave you wondering and they are fabulous. Hello, Verity. In this particular instance, I hate it. Just give me the clear ending after persevering through that whole thing. The only reason that The Turn of the Key ended up on this list is because it's so messy and chaotic and outrageous, it makes for great reading.
And with that, January's books are concluded, ladies and gentlemen. Until February.....
Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday filled with all your favorite people and things. The post-Christmas/New Year's fog has finally lifted from my brain and let me tell you, it was rough. I had no sense of time no matter how many times I looked at a calendar (which was a lot) and no motivation whatsoever. I had been on autopilot for most of December but am glad to finally be back to some form of normalcy.
One Week Later....
Hello. It's been a week. A long, boring week that I had to drag myself through. It was cold and my computer kept dying literally everyday and I had to finish writing an English paper about Russian history of all things. I did a whole lot more that I won't bore you with but all you really need to understand is that my brain is fried. Today we're starting our final speaking exam in Spanish which I'm torn over. I'd love to get it over with but I also don't want to do it. Which is so dumb. I'm creating stress for myself for absolutely no reason but that's how my brain operates. It's very annoying. As I'm writing this, I'm listening to music and I just totally missed three songs from Hamilton. I'm sad now. Those were some of the best songs. I'm contemplating rewinding. Does anyone else do that? You miss your favorite song or part because you spaced or gasp, breathed too loud?
I finally did a thing. I posted a TikTok. This is a very big deal. I never got on the TikTok train when it first came out but now I have started using it more and thought, Why not? I mean, it's not great but it doesn't suck either. My username is carolinehill1 if you want to form your own opinion.
Update: I did my speaking exam. My final thoughts: it wasn't that hard. Luckily, we got to use notes so I wasn't totally thrown into the deep end. Next semester (which starts a week from today), I'm taking Spanish III so I better be a fluent-ish speaker by May otherwise I'm going to be very mad.
I also have $100 so let me know what I should do with it because I've hit a wall. I'll probably end up buying more books, lets be real here. In other news, Grey's Anatomy got renewed for a nineteenth season and I don't know how I feel about it. I love the show and will watch an episode a million times over but this last season has been a hard one to get through. It's missing the feeling that the older seasons have. I don't get as excited anymore which makes me so sad. It was the first show that I truly binged watched before binge watching was even a thing. I'll keep watching new episodes but I think the end is very close. I mean, there aren't that many characters left to kill anymore.
I need to cease procrastinating and actually get some studying done so I’ll be back next week! Hopefully when I return, it’ll actually make sense and isn’t just my thoughts as I think them. Have a great week!
The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!