Category Archives: 2017 Books

Between Me and You

Finished Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch. I received a copy for review. This was originally published on August 8. 

Depending on where you are in the book, Ben and Tatum are unhappy and divorcing or the best couple ever. That’s because Tatum’s narrative starts at the beginning and moves forward and Ben’s starts at the end and moves back. We get the full picture, but not right away. 

This masterpiece of a novel has elements of A Star is Born (pick your favorite version) and also reminds me of Almost Paradise by Susan Isaacs, but is completely its own thing–it doesn’t read like a pale imitation of either. 

If you love love stories or Hollywood (Yes, they are a Hollywood power couple, though they take turns eclipsing each other) or smart stories told perfectly, this is for you. You need this book. 

I’ve been a fan of Allison Winn Scotch’s for years and this is her best book by far. (This is also an incredibly high bar. All of her books are excellent.)

Highly recommended. 


Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

Finished Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray. I received a copy for review.

Jonny needs a new heart. He’s been sick his whole life and time is running out. And then a boy roughly his age dies and is a perfect match. His life is great, except he can’t stop thinking about the donor. After a little detective work, he thinks he’s figured out who it is. Jonny wants to learn more about Leo (donor) but there’s a new hitch: he’s fallen for Neve, Leo’s sister. His twin sister.

This is easy to dismiss as a slightly altered YA version of Return to Me, but there’s a lot going on here. This story has a lot of heart (forgive the phrase) and is just a delight. But also, since there are sick kids, a tear-inducing monster. (A little of both.)

2017: The Books


1) The Wicked City by Beatriz Williams (1)

2) The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins (2)

3) The Fifth Letter by Nicola Moriarty (3)

4) Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson (4)

5) Cinder by Marissa Meyer (5)

6) After the Fall by Kate Hart (6)

7) The Girl Before by JP Delaney (7)

8) The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish (8)

9) Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson (9)

10) The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (10)

11) Copycat by Kimberla Lawson Roby (11)

12) Caraval by Stephanie Garber (12)

13) Silver Stars by Michael Grant (13)

14) Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley (14)

15) By Your Side by Kasie West (15)

16) Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas (16)

17) March Trilogy by John Lewis (17)

18) The Young Widower’s Handbook by Tom McAllister (18)

19) Fun Home by Alison Bechdel (19)

20) Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel (20)

21) Marbles by Ellen Forney (21)

22) Stitches by David Small (22)

23) Becoming Unbecoming by Una (23)

24) Ghost World by Daniel Clowes (24)

25) Black Hole by Charles Burns (25)

26) Blankets by Craig Thompson (26)

27) Kindred by Octavia Butler (27) (graphic novel)

28) Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart (28)

29) The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak (29)

30) All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai (30)

31) A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (31)

32) The Mothers by Brit Bennett (32)

33) All the Lives I Want by Alana Massey (33)

34) The Lost Woman by Sara Blaedel (34)

35) Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson (35)


1) #Famous by Jilly Gagnon (36)

2) A Separation by Katie Kitamura (37)

3) Sister, Sister by Sue Fortin (38)

4) Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance (39)

5) The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (40)

6) On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman (41)

7) Wonder by RJ Palacio (42) (reread)

8) The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (43)

9) A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (44)

10) The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (45)

11) Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher (46)

12) Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher (47)

13) Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen (48)

14) We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (49) (2017)

15) Sophie Someone by Hayley Long (50)

16) The Book That Made Me by Judith Ridge (51)

17) Camp So-and-So by Mary McCoy (52)

18) The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (53)

19) The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (54)

20) Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (55)

21) The Widow’s House by Carol Goodman (56)

22) Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse (57)

23) Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf (58)

24) The Fall of Lisa Bellow by Susan Perabo (59)

25) Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (60)


1) Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens (61)

2) I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid (62)

3) The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (63)

4) Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper (64)

5) Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper (65)

6) Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson (66)

7) Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres (67)

8) Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail (68)

9) Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Andersen (69)

10) The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend (70)

11) See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (71)

12) Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner (72)

13) You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner (73)

14) Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (74)

15) The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett (75)

16) Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (76)

17) Beatdown in Bangkok by Adam Fleming and Justin Fike (77)

18) The Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato (78)

19) The Secrets You Keep by Kate White (79)

20) A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell (80)

21) Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (81)

22) 100 Hours by Rachel Vincent (82)

23) Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows (83)

24) All the Forever Things by Jolene Perry (84)

25) Miss You by Kate Eberlin (85)

26) The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (86)

27) Hallelujah Anyway by Anne Lamott (87)

28) Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (88)

29) At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer (89)

30) Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott (90)

31) Extreme You by Sarah Robb O’Hagen (91)

32) The End of Our Story by Meg Halston (92)

33) We’re All Wonders by RJ Palacio (93)

34) Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern (94)

35) Worthy by Donna Cooner (95)

36) Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (96)


1) Fallout by Sara Paretsky (97)

2) Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (98)

3) The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (99)

4) The Takedown by Corrie Wang (100)

5) The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day (101)

6) One Hundred Spaghetti Strings by Jen Nails (102)

7) Literally by Lucy Keating (103)

8) Apartment 1986 by Lisa Papademetriou (104)

9) The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda (105)

10) Dangerous Ends by Alex Segura (106)

11) Fireworks by Katie Cotugno (107)

12) The Unprotected by Kelly Sokol (108)

13) Bang by Barry Lyga (109)

14) The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook (110)

15) It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vezzini (111)

16) The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers (112)

17) Beartown by Fredrik Backman (113)

18) Looking For Group by Rory Harrison (114)

19) Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel (115)

20) I Found You by Lisa Jewell (116)

21) The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger (117)

22) How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake (118)

23) Suspect Red by LM Elliott (119)

24) Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee (120)

25) Dreamfall by Amy Plum (121)

26)  Planet Jupiter by Jane Kurtz (122)

27) Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson (123)

28) Georgia Rules by Nanci Turner Steveson (124)

29) The Summer of Bad Ideas by Keira Stewart (125)

30) Posted by John David Anderson (126)


1) The Scattering by Kimberly McCreight (127)

2) Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (128)

3) Saints and Misfits by SK Ali (129)

4) Girl out of Waterby Laura Silverman (130)

5) That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim (131)

6) Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (132)

7) Deacon Locke Went to Prom by Brian Katcher (133)

8) Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane (134)

9) Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia (135)

10) Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee (136)

11) Gabby Garcia’s Ultimate Playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer (137)

12) It’s Not Like it’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura (138)

13) Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King (139)

14) Public Relations by Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini (140)

15) Arrowood by Laura McHugh (141)

16) Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (142)

17) The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord (143)

18) Keys to the City by Lisa Schroeder (144)


1) It Started With Goodbye by Christina June (145)

2) What is the Bible? by Rob Bell (146)

3) Antisocial by Jillian Blake (147)

4) Max and Menna by Shauna Kelley (148)

5) From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle (149)

6) Once and For All by Sarah Dessen (150)

7) Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith (151)

8) The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs (152)

9) Vigilante by Kady Cross (153)

10) When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (154)

11) The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green (155)

12) The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone (156)

13) Necromantic Shenanigans by JA Campbell and Rebecca Mcfarland Kyle (157)

14) Fanny and Dice by Rebecca McFarland Kyle (158)

15) He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly (159)

16) Geekerella by Ashley Poston (160)

17) Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett (161)

18) Torn Away by Jennifer Brown (162)

19) Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid (163)


1) The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (164)

2) After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid (165)

3) Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid (166)

4) Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid (167)

5) It Happens All the Time by Amy Hatvany (168)

6) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (169)

7) The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo (170)

8) My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella (171)

9) The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (172)

10) Off the Cliff by Becky Aikman (173)

11) Beware the Ranger by Debra Holt (174)

12) The Force by Don Winslow (175)

13) The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand (176)

14) A Stone of Hope by Jim St. Germain (177)

15) The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick (178)

16) The Late Show by Michael Connelly (179)

17) The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash by Candace Ganger (180)

18) The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein (181)

19) The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham (182)

20) Hello Sunshine by Laura Dave (183)

21) Freefall by Joshua David Bellin (184)

22) The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed (185)

23) Final Girls by Riley Sager (186)


1) The Stars in Our Eyes by Julie Klam (187)

2) Morningstar by Ann Hood (188)

3) Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler (189)

4) One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn (190)

5) Between Me and You by Allison Winn Scotch (191)

6) The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby (192)

7) Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (193)

8) The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian (194)

9) Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari (195)

10) The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter (196)

11) To Siri with Love by Judith Newman (197)

12) Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore (198)

13) Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess (199)

14) Patina by Jason Reynolds (200)

15) Blood Defense by Marcia Clark (201)

16) Moral Defense by Marcia Clark (202)

17) Snap Judgment by Marcia Clark (203)

18) I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (204)

19) Blame by Jeff Abbott (205)

20) Hunger by Roxane Gay (206)


1) Friend Request by Laura Marshall (207)

2) They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (208)

3) Copycat by Alex Lake (209)

4) Clickd by Tamara Ireland Stone (210)

5) Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello (211)

6) What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton (212)

7) In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner (213)

8) Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (214)

9) Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben (215)

10) Everything Must Go by Jenny Fran Davis (216)

11) Warcross by Marie Lu (217)

12) Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King (218)

13) The Thin Line Between Good and Evil by Liza Wiemer (219) (beta read)


1) There’s Someone in the House by Stephanie Perkins (220)

2) We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby (221)

3) The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (222)

4) Little Monsters by Kara Thomas (223)

5) Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (224)

6) One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (225)

7) Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen (226)

8) Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (227)

9) Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart (228)

10) Autoboyography by Christina Lauren (229)

11) Far From the Tree by Robin Benway (230)

12) What Girls are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold (231)

13) The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (232)

14) In the Shadow of the Sun by Anne Sibley O’Brien (233)

15) City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson (234)

16) You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins (235)

17) American Street by Ibi Zoboi (236)

18) Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (237)

19) Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg (238)

20) Honestly Ben by Bill Konigsberg (239)

21) All in Pieces by Suzanne Young (240)

22) I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (241)

23) The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz (242)

24) Lucky in Love by Kasie West (243)

25) A Psalm For Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl (244)


1) What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum (245)

2) How to Break a Boy by Laurie Devore (246)

3) You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Darrow (247)

4) In a Perfect World by Trish Doller (248)

5) The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera (249)

6) The Border by Steve Schafer (250)

7) The Art of Starving by Sam J. Miller (251)

8) Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (252)

9) Water in May by Ismee Amiel Williams (253)

10) Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (254)

11) The Museum of Broken Relationships (255)

12) Pantsuit Nation edited by Libby Chamberlain (256)

13) The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby

14) Crash by Wylie Ender (258)

15) When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn (259)

16) Stolen Secrets by LB Schulman (260)

17) Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork (261)

18) Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (262)

19) And Then There Were Four by Nancy Werlin (263)

20) Maud by Melanie J. Fishbane (264)

21) Trell by Dick Lehr (265)

22) Maid of the King’s Court by Lucy Worsley (266)

23) The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith (267)

24) The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah (268)

25) Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (269)

26) Protected by Claire Zorn (270)

27) Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens (271)

28) Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin (272)

29) The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt (273)

30) The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan (274)

31) Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen (275)


1) Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield (276)

2) Truthers by Geoffrey Girard (277)

3) Confessions of a High School Disaster by Emma Chastain (278)

4) 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac (279)

5) Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman (280)

6) At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (281)

7) The Lives of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common (282)

8) Get it Together, Delilah! by Erin Gough (283)

9) A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White (284)

10) Feral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson (285)

11) A Void the Size of the World by Rachele Alpine (286)

12) Boy by Blake Nelson (287)

13) The Truth of Right Now by Kara Lee Corthron (288)

14) Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (289)

15) Neighborhood Girls by Jessie Ann Foley (290)

16) The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares (291)

17) Here Lies Daniel Tate by Christin Terrill (292)

18) A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck (293)

19) Forks, Knives and Spoons by Leah DeCesare (294)

20) Spinning by Tillie Walden (295)

21) The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag (296)

22) Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (297)

23) Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills (298)

24) No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear (299)

25) Girl in a Bad Place by Kaitlin Ward (300)

26) Otherworld by Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller (301)

27) The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange (302)

28) Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda (303)

29) Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden (304)

30) Love, Life and the List by Kasie West (305)

31) Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (306)

32) Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray (307)

Love, Life and the List

Finished Love, Life and the List by Kasie West. I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.”

I love Kasie West’s stories. They always make me feel like it’s summer (making them a great read in winter, when I am freezing and miserable). This one is no exception.

I love Abby and how focused she is on her art. She really wants to get into this special exhibit and so she decides to challenge herself to grow as a person in order to grow as an artist. It sounds a little simplistic, but it actually works.

One of my favorite things in YA novels are when friendships take a central role. I am not a fan of the “girls can’t be friends because they always compete for things” idea and, while there’s some of that, too, I loved Lacey and Abby’s new friendship. I’m also really fond of her relationship with her parents and especially with her grandfather. I’m glad that YA novels are starting to reflect close family ties.

This book is an absolute delight. Recommended.

Promise Me, Dad

Finished Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden.

This is equal parts a political memoir and the story of Beau Biden’s illness and eventual death. Regardless of your interest in and fondness for Joe Biden, this is a book readers will likely love. It’s profound and an insight into foreign policy and grief. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition.

I knew Beau Biden would die (we covered it at the TV station) but his death and funeral made me burst into tears on the lightrail on my evening commute.

I didn’t know Beau but this book somehow made me feel like I did and also wish I had.

Highly recommended.

Fragments of the Lost

Finished Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda.

Jessa’s ex-boyfriend is presumed dead (his car washed away in a flash flood) and his family blames her for his death since she was the last one to see him alive. As penance, she’s packing up his room for them…except she is learning some things about Caleb. There is definitely more to this story.

I love Megan Miranda! She writes these amazing, fun thrillers and I never see them coming. This one is no exception. I love everything about this story, and it’s a fantastic winter read.

Grab this and put on your fuzzy socks. Recommended.

The Secret of Nightingale Wood

Finished The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange. I received a copy for review.

Henrietta (“Henry”) is trying to hold her family together. After her brother’s death, her mother has suffered from a major depression (obviously) and her father has now gone abroad for business, leaving Henry and her little sister with a nanny. Nanny Jane isn’t awful but she’s listening to a doctor who wants Mama to be committed. And that’s not even everything that’s going on.

This is an absolutely charming middlegrade debut. It’s set shortly after World War I and feels like a classic already. I love Henry and her determination to keep everyone together (even in the face of incredible odds).

This is the kind of book you treasure. Recommended.


Finished Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller.

Otherworld is the world’s most addictive game. It’s virtual reality times a billion—-you would swear that you were really experiencing everything there. Except maybe there’s something sinister going on…

This is insanely fun. I love the concept and it’s nearly impossible to stop reading. I wanted this because it seemed like Ready Player One but it’s a combination of that and a thriller. Yes, please!

Even better, it’s the first book in a series! I cannot wait to read Otherearth, which is out in the fall.

No Saints in Kansas

Finished No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“A gripping reimagining of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and the brutal murders that inspired it

November is usually quiet in Holcomb, Kansas, but in 1959, the town is shattered by the quadruple murder of the Clutter family. Suspicion falls on Nancy Clutter’s boyfriend, Bobby Rupp, the last one to see them alive.

New Yorker Carly Fleming, new to the small Midwestern town, is an outsider. She tutored Nancy, and (in private, at least) they were close. Carly and Bobby were the only ones who saw that Nancy was always performing, and that she was cracking under the pressure of being Holcomb’s golden girl. The secret connected Carly and Bobby. Now that Bobby is an outsider, too, they’re bound closer than ever.

Determined to clear Bobby’s name, Carly dives into the murder investigation and ends up in trouble with the local authorities. But that’s nothing compared to the wrath she faces from Holcomb once the real perpetrators are caught. When her father is appointed to defend the killers of the Clutter family, the entire town labels the Flemings as traitors. Now Carly must fight for what she knows is right.”

I haven’t read In Cold Blood or seen Capote and I don’t know much about the story, so this was a new experience for me. This is not entirely accurate (most of the people involved are real, but Carly is fictional…I’m not sure if her classmates are real or not) but it’s somewhat based on those murders. (This year marks 50 years since the murders ,so it’s definitely interesting that this came out now.)

This is a compelling read, and it’s definitely fascinating. That said, it felt like the book didn’t quite go deep enough into Carly’s motivations. (She wanted to prove that Nancy’s boyfriend was innocent, but it really seemed like more than that.) I was more interested in what happened after her father agreed to defend one of the killers and the effect that that had on her and her brother and mother (the townspeople were not fans, to put it mildly) but that wasn’t a huge part of the novel.  If that’s what you’re interested in, you’ll be disappointed.

Girl in a Bad Place

Finished Girl in a Bad Place by Kaitlin Ward.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Mailee and Cara take care of each other. Mailee is the star of the high school plays; Cara is the stage manager. Mailee can’t keep her life together; Cara has enough organizational skills for the both of them.

So when the girls are invited to visit the Haven, a commune in the mountains near their suburban Montana homes, it seems like an adventure. Until Cara starts spending every waking minute there … and Mailee thinks it’s creepy, almost like a cult. When Cara decides she’s going to move to the Haven permanently, Mailee knows it’s a bad idea. But how far will she go to save her best friend … from herself?”

I really wanted to love this book.  I’m weirdly fascinated by cults and the people who join them (and especially the people who lead them) and a YA book about a cult? YES TO THIS. But 260 pages wasn’t enough for me. Cara went from zero to full on obsessed in no time whatsoever, and Firehorse (the cult leader and yes, you should picture me rolling my eyes at that name every time you see it) went from a normal amount of weird to complete villain incredibly quickly. There’s no real escalation; everything seems normal until it’s not.

It’s still a fun read (I tore through it in no time whatsoever) and if you’re interested, I still recommend checking it out. But this book could’ve been absolutely amazing but totally missed the mark.