Book Review: Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa

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Title: Sweet Bean Paste

Author: Durian Sukegawa

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: February 6, 2013

Number of Pages: 213

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

Genre: Contemporary, Japanese Literature

Synopsis:

Sentaro has failed. He has a criminal record, drinks too much, and his dream of becoming a writer is just a distant memory. With only the blossoming of the cherry trees to mark the passing of time, he spends his days in a tiny confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with sweet bean paste.

But everything is about to change.

Into his life comes Tokue, an elderly woman with disfigured hands and a troubled past. Tokue makes the best sweet bean paste Sentaro has ever tasted. She begins to teach him her craft, but as their friendship flourishes, social pressures become impossible to escape and Tokue’s dark secret is revealed, with devastating consequences.

Sweet Bean Paste is a moving novel about the burden of the past and the redemptive power of friendship. Translated into English for the first time, Durian Sukegawa’s beautiful prose is capturing hearts all over the world.

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Book Review: The Troop by Nick Cutter

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Title: The Troop

Author: Nick Cutter

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: February 25. 2014

Number of Pages: 355

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Horror, Thriller

Synopsis:

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected…or one another.

Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity…and terror hungers for more.

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Stuff I’ve Been Reading Lately #27

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BOOKS READ:

  • Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare
  • The Troop by Nick Cutter

ONGOING:

  • The Burning Maze (Trials of Apollo, #3) by Rick Riordan

BOOKS BOUGHT:

  • The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
  • Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
  • Clown in a Cornfield 2: Frendo Lives by Adam Cesare
  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix
  • Look Closer by David Ellis
  • The Holiday by T.M. Logan
  • Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner
  • You Were Gone by Tim Weaver
  • My Darling by Amanda Robson
  • Do Not Disturb by Claire Douglas
  • The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan
  • Caught by Harlan Coben

BOOKS RECEIVED:

  • Midwinter Sacrifice by Mons Kallentoft
  • The New Girl by Ingrid Alexandra
  • Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  • The Marriage Pact by Michelle Rachmond
  • Our House by Louise Candlish
  • Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
  • His & Hers by Alice Feeney

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Book Review: Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

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Title: Clown in a Cornfield

Author: Adam Cesare

Format: Hardcover

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Number of Pages: 346

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: YA Thriller, Slasher

Synopsis:

Quinn Maybrook just wants to make it until graduation. She might not make it to morning.

Quinn and her father moved to tiny, boring Kettle Springs to find a fresh start. But ever since the Baypen Corn Syrup Factory shut down, Kettle Springs has cracked in half. On one side are the adults, who are desperate to make Kettle Springs great again, and on the other are the kids, who want to have fun, make prank videos, and get out of Kettle Springs as quick as they can.

Kettle Springs is caught in a battle between old and new, tradition and progress. It’s a fight that looks like it will destroy the town. Until Frendo, the Baypen mascot, a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat, goes homicidal and decides that the only way for Kettle Springs to grow back is to cull the rotten crop of kids who live there now.
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Book Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Format: Hardcover

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Number of Pages: 308

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Genre: Contemporary Thriller

Synopsis:

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial-like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.
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Book Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

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Title: Stolen

Author: Lucy Christopher

Format: Paperback

Publication Date: May 4, 2009

Number of Pages: 299

Publisher: Chicken House

Genre: YA Contemporary

Synopsis:

The captivating, disturbing, and heartbreakingly beautiful thriller from award-winning and critically acclaimed author, Lucy Christopher.

A girl: Gemma, 16, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.

A guy: Ty, rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.

She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what’s happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. To sand and heat. To emptiness and isolation. To nowhere. And expects her to love him.

Written as a letter from a victim to her captor, Stolen is Gemma’s desperate story of survival; of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare–or die trying to fight it.
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October Reading Plans

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I know I’m not good at following TBRs, but in the past two months, I lowkey tried creating one for myself and I was able to follow it—though not entirely as I usually run out of time to finish all of it, but I was able to stick to it by reading book from that specific list. So I figured that since I was able to that in the past two months, I can now re-introduce this section on my blog.

For this month, I plan to read books that lean towards the spooky and the creepy because, duh, it’s Halloween season! I live for this season and I look forward to it by devouring all things spooky. I am a bit of a scaredy-cat so the most “horror” that I can read are actually more from the thriller side of things like slashers and whodunnits. But this year, I plan on reevaluating my tolerance by reading some horror from authors like Stephen King and Adam Cesare. So without further ado, here are the books I plan to read this month:
stack of books

  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King
  • Mars, May Zombie by Chuckberry J. Pascual
  • The Troop by Nick Cutter
  • Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare
  • The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Hopefully I get to read these books and if time permits, I would also like to add other titles like Coraline by Neil Gaiman and Home Before Dark by Riley Sager. How about you? What are you planning to read this month?

Book Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

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Title: Final Girls

Author: Riley Sager

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Number of Pages: 450

Publisher: Dutton Books

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime

Synopsis:

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to–a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls: Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well–maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiance, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit; and Sam, the second Final Girl, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

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Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately #26

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BOOKS READ:

  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Final Girls by Riley Sager
  • Naoki Urasawa’s Monster Vol. 1 by Naoki Urasawa
  • I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

ONGOING:

  • Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

BOOKS BOUGHT:

  • The Treatment by C.L. Taylor
  • Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
  • My Bloody Valentine by Alastair Gunn
  • The Christmas Killer by Alex Pine
  • Blonde Ice by R.G. Belsky
  • The Other Child by Lucy Atkins
  • The Ex by Alafair Burke
  • The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
  • The End of Her by Shari Lapena
  • House Across the Street by Lesley Pearse
  • The Missing by C.L. Taylor
  • Mars, May Zombie! by Chuckberry Pascual
  • The Troop by Nick Cutter

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Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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Title: And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Publication Date: November 6, 1939

Number of Pages: 301

Publisher: Harper

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Classic

Synopsis:

“Ten . . .”
Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious “U.N. Owen.”

“Nine . . .”
At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.

“Eight . . .”
Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by a nursery rhyme counting down one by one . . . one by one they begin to die.

“Seven . . .”
Who among them is the killer and will any of them survive?

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