When No One is Watching Review

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo. But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

I liked Sydney right from the start when we are introduced to her at the tour of the neighborhood and she challenges the tour guide. She is very unforgiving of her attitude towards these families that have come and are seemingly taking over yet she knows when to leave things alone even though it’s unfair and very racist. She was a little bit of an unreliable character which did get on my nerves a bit but I think it was realistic when we find out what she has had to deal with.

Theo I didn’t feel as connected to as Sydney. It was an interesting perspective to put into the book for sure as we kind of get to see things from the other side of the ‘invaders’. I didn’t really know what his intentions were right up to the climax of the book. I was annoyed that he wouldn’t call out the problematic language his girlfriend would use and make excuses for her when she was obviously racially profiling people and using her white privilege to get what she wanted.

I loved the feeling of comradery between the neighbors and that sense of familiarity and comfort that can be had by knowing so much about the people around you and then how violating that can be when new people keep forcing their way in. The book was a little slow in terms of pace for a good two thirds of the book but the ending does ramp up. There was just this ominous tone that was woven throughout the storyline that kept me hooked and eager to find out what was going to happen next and boy could I not predict that ending!

⭐️4/5 stars Darker than what I was expecting!

House of Hunger Review

Marion Shaw has been raised in the slums, where want and deprivation is all she knows. Despite longing to leave the city and its miseries, she has no real hope of escape until the day she spots a peculiar listing in the newspaper, seeking a bloodmaid. Though she knows little about the far north–where wealthy nobles live in luxury and drink the blood of those in their service–Marion applies to the position. In a matter of days, she finds herself the newest bloodmaid at the notorious House of Hunger. There, Marion is swept into a world of dark debauchery–and at the center of it all is her.

I really liked Marion as our main protagonist. I thought she was quite strong and resilient and doesn’t back down despite the situations she finds herself in. Although in that same vein I thought she pushed the boundaries a little too much and thought she was above all the rules and didn’t have to adhere to them like the other blood maids. I liked the evolution of Marion’s character throughout the course of the book and even though she succumbs to Lisavet and gives herself wholly to her I liked that she regained some sense to investigate when things felt off.

I just kind of wish we got to explore more of the court and debauchery that takes place, I just feel like we were always just adjacent to that side of the house and I wanted to see more of Lisavet in her element as the Countess. I also wish we get to know the other blood maids a little more, we do get introductions to them and a little bit of a back story but not enough for me to feel a connection to them.

I really enjoyed the atmosphere of this book, the setting was wonderful and the pacing was fast and consistent. I was pulled into this world right from the start and the intrigue continued to build as we progressed through the plot with all of the twists and turns.

⭐️4/5 stars This was a ‘bloody’ good time!

One of Us Is Dead Review

Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships. Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge … Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against … Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book … Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell? Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly.

Jenny was a good buffer between all of these pretentious housewives. She really utilised the connections that Olivia has and built up her salon from basically nothing. I wish she would of exerted her power as the owner a little bit more, especially when she knew Olivia was up to her tricks but I can understand her wanting to keep the status quo. Seeing the behind the scenes of how much these women need Jenny to handle their upkeep just to keep up appearances in this town was fun and pretty crazy.

The rest of the ladies at first were a little hard to distinguish between but as the plot unfolds they become more distinct. Olivia is our obvious antagonist and she does very well at it, Crystal is a little too naïve for the majority of story, Karen was a bit of a wild card and was quite fun to see how her story unfolds and I couldn’t help but feel bad for Shannon. None of them were particularly likeable but that was definitely by design but I think they were all very integral to the plot and kept things interesting.

The premise of this book is just so fun and entertaining. Knowing that one of these women are dead and going back and trying to figure out which was a great time. It definitely got a lot darker than what I was expecting which once again kept me so engaged and eager to find out what is going to happen next. These women are so conniving and strategic and the way that the story plays out was so satisfying.

⭐️4/5 stars Rich housewife drama that takes a deadly turn, so much fun!

His and Hers Review

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

I liked Anna’s character for the most part. I thought she was quite relatable and her drive was admirable for sure. I thought she was going to end up being an unreliable narrator just from the amount of drinks she has throughout the day but I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t take over her character. I think the way she has overcome everything in her life, especially her daughter’s death made me more attached to her and made me invested in what was happening.

Jack I was a little apprehensive about at the start but I warmed up to him for sure. Again after hearing his backstory and the connection he has with Anna and the rest of the women that are getting murdered piqued my interest. He was definitely one of those characters that are making all the wrong decisions while he’s in the middle of an investigation pretty much implicating himself but it was quite entertaining.

I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives and the format of the story kept the pace pretty fast which really helped me fly through this book. There were so many little twists and revelations throughout the course of the plot and it had me guessing right up to the end who was really behind all of the murders. Didn’t blow me away by any means and isn’t a new favourite but I still really enjoyed it.

⭐️3/5 star a solid read

The Weight of Blood Review

*SPOILERS BEWARE*

An outcast at her small-town Georgia high school, Madison Washington has always been a teasing target for bullies. And she’s dealt with it because she has more pressing problems to manage. Until the morning a surprise rainstorm reveals her most closely kept secret: Maddy is biracial. She has been passing for white her entire life at the behest of her fanatical white father, Thomas Washington. After a viral bullying video pulls back the curtain on Springville High’s racist roots, student leaders come up with a plan to change their image: host the school’s first integrated prom as a show of unity. The popular white class president convinces her Black superstar quarterback boyfriend to ask Maddy to be his date, leaving Maddy wondering if it’s possible to have a normal life.

I quite enjoyed Maddy’s character. I think the way she chose to deal with everything that has happened to her so far has been quite realistic. There is definitely that sense of not belonging to any one particular group at school and also the horrific treatment from her father has really stunted her maturity and also her confidence which leads to her inevitable psychotic break.

I wasn’t all that invested in any of the other characters to be honest. I think they were all meant to be unlikeable as we know that none of them survive prom night. Kenny’s character got on my nerves a little bit. I know it would be quite hard to not stick to the status quo when your in high school but he should of stuck up for Maddy and called out the quite obvious racists acts that his friends were pulling. His sister was one of my favourite characters and I loved how she wouldn’t stand for it and made a fuss! Wendy was totally selfish and even though her intentions might of been to help smooth everything over she was doing it all for herself and her image.

I haven’t read the original Carrie or watched the movie before so I honestly had no preconceived notions on how this should be written or how close or far from the original it is or should be. I thought it was well written and the format with the added podcast element was fun and made it easier to get through. The pacing was quite fast and I was highly entertained throughout. The prom night scene did feel a little rushed though so I wish we could of had more time to really get a grasp of what was happening and how horrible it would of been to witness.

⭐️4/5 stars seeing these characters get what they deserve was fun!