Carly Reads Here | October

the barbizon hotel 2016
This was the month of getting into all of my library books right before they were due back to the library-- meaning I didn't succeed in finishing many of them. And sometimes watching Hart of Dixie takes priority over reading, whether I'd like to admit it or not. I had my worst book (one star) of the year in this batch of books, but the rest were 3.5 stars or above, which rarely happens. Linking up with all of the other book lovers for Show Us Your Books.

The Look of Love | I picked this book solely because it popped up on my library page and I liked the cover and the author sounded familiar. I saw that it was available and the synopsis (a woman finds out she has a gift to literally see love) sounded fun... I did not like this at all. First it was the writing- there was too much I did this, I did that, then I did this... there was also a lot of dialogue that I found obnoxious/pointless. Every character used the term of endearment honey so many times that I stopped reading to do a search to see how many times the word was used. Each chapter was set up with a random address at the beginning- this would have been fine, but the location changed many times within the chapter, so I didn't see the point, and found that aspect to be distracting more than anything else... I could go on, but I imagine you get the point. Wasn't for me.

The Dollhouse | This story follows a girl from the Barbizon Hotel in New York in the 50s, but flips between a present day story of someone who now lives in the building. I would categorize this as something of a mix of historical fiction and chick lit with a good suspense element to it. The POV switches between decades each chapter, and it definitely worked really well at building the suspense, because as soon as you'd get really invested in one storyline the chapter would change-- the further into the book you get, the more the stories start to connect, making it really interesting. I'm not sure if it's because I had a galley copy, but I was hoping there would be more at the end about how Davis researched the book, it definitely left me curious to explore more about that time in New York and at the Barbizon. //this book was provided to me by penguin random house - first to read in exchange for an honest review.

The Woman in Cabin 10 | I'm torn on this one because it was definitely a book I couldn't put down and it had a much better suspense element than In a Dark, Dark Wood, I thought the setting and premise of the story was unique and different, but the main character was highly frustrating. Which often seems to be the trend with psychological thrillers? It felt a bit overdone to have a female appear as unreliable because she has mental health issues and abuses alcohol. There was also one pretty big component to the story (borrowing a stranger's mascara) that bugged me a lot because it seemed so unrealistic. With all my gripes, if you're in the mood for something suspenseful, I'd recommend it.

Things I Would Say |  If you read Alyssa's blog you already know how amazing of a writer she is, if you're not reading it yet, you should be. I mistakenly thought it was going to be a book I would breeze through because of the length... instead I found myself reading one or two essays at a time to take in their depth.

The Wrath & The Dawn | Fantasy usually isn't my jam, but I was in the mood for something different and I remember Kristen (& just about everyone on Goodreads) raving about this book, so I figured it was worth checking out. My understanding of the premise was that a boy-king takes a new bride every night and then kills her (inspired by arabian nights). I had a really hard time getting into this book- girlfriend is possibly going to die the next day, but she's just totally calm and collected hanging out with the people who are going to kill her? That's to say I was really skeptical at first, but I ended up loving it for so many reasons. The romance completely sucked me in, combined with a great suspense element and a really rich setting in the middle-east. So excited for the sequel!


What great books have you read lately?

28 comments

  1. I'm reading The Woman in Cabin 10 right now, and I can understand what you're saying in your review. I am anxious to see how it ends, though.

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  2. Thank you for this! I'm gonna add a bunch of these to my reading list now!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    www.askawayblog.com

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  3. Loved loved loved Alyssa's collection. Deep. True.

    I hated the main character in Cabin 10 but was also rushing to see how it ended.

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  4. I've heard about Things I would Say a few places. I need to go to Amazon right now.

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  5. I added Wrath & The Dawn to my list, you convinced me I need to give it a go! I need to read Alyssa's book still. I have heard so many mixed feelings of Woman in Cabin 10 and that it was similar to Gril on a Train in that the character isn't likeable so I think I might just skip it. I skipped Girl on a Train too.

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  6. I agree with The Woman in Cabin 10. While I enjoyed the book, I also saw some things as issues like you did. I tend to always hate mostly every character in this new genre of "girl" thrillers, but I just can't put the books down.

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  7. HAHA! I read woman in cabin 10 last month too, and liked it. but I agree, I would NEVER borrow a stranger's mascara.

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  8. The Woman in Cabin 10 really kept me on the edge of my seat! It was like every time I thought there was a solution, something else went wrong. I did really like the emails and news stories at the end of each section, it was kind of cool to keep reading in the present while also having a sneak peek into the future.

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  9. The Wrath and the Dawn sounds really good. I loved Alyssa's collection too. Such great writing.

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  10. Oh no! I picked up a Sarah Jio book at a book sale recently. Hopefully her writing is different in the book that I grabbed! Ew, ew, ew. Who would borrow someone else's eye makeup in general?! Does she live under a rock?! That's how some people go blind!

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  11. nothing wrong with choosing a tv show over a book hahaha i have been doing that and i daresay i will keep doing it for like 6 months. where are you at on hart of dixie?
    that sucks about the look of love :( it's on my shelf at home, sounded so adorable!
    the dollhouse is on my kindle.
    i keep hearing varying things about ruth ware's books. i might leave them both on my list for quite a while,. wait for the 'hype' to die down.
    i honestly can't tell you how happy i am that you loved the wrath & the dawn!!!! seriously, makes my heart happy. i hope hope hope you like the second one!

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  12. I've heard mnixed reviews about Girl in Cabin 10 so I'm ok with being a billionth in line at my library.
    right now I'm tryingn to get through 2 books but keep getting distracted by a show I'm watching (The Night Of).

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  13. I'm hearing mixed things about Cabin 10, but I think I still might give it a chance...if it ever comes up on the library hold list which is a million people long, that is! ;) But I do feel the main female character abusing alcohol or drugs is being over done...I just read another thriller with a very similar main character (Still Mine) and it just feels old.

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  14. I agree completely about The Look of Love, I did not like it AT ALL. I thought the writing was just... bad.
    Definitely going to check out The Dollhouse and The Wrath & The Dawn!

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  15. I loved The Dollhouse too. It actually surprised me how much I enjoyed it. I did have a library copy and if I recall correctly, which I may not be, she did have a longer acknowledgement section. The Ware books are on my TBR, but they are getting such mixed reviews. I'm keeping them on there for now, at a low priority. The Wrath and the Dawn is on my TBR and honestly I forgot what it was about but reading your review makes me want to read it now! :)

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  16. I liked Cabin 10 (I think we're in the minority) but the mascara thing totally grossed me out, too!

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  17. Aw, thanks for the sweet words about my book. I so appreciate that you took the time to read it and glad that you enjoyed!
    The Dollhouse sounds interesting; I think that's the second or third time I've seen mention of it lately. Adding!

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  18. I am torn on if I should read The Woman in Cabin 10 - so many varying reviews!

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  19. How have I not heard about The Wrath and The Dawn? It sounds like a book that I would totally love, especially since I'm a huge YA and fantasy fan. I also really want to read The Dollhouse! I keep on hearing great things about it! I really do hate how there seems to be a lot of unreliable female characters in thrillers lately. I understand that that's the only way that the story would work, but it just makes me dislike the characters.

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  20. Things I Would Say sounds intriguing. You always have the best recommendations.

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  21. Ruth Ware is on my list. I will get to one of her books before the end of the year!

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  22. I felt the exact opposite about Dark Dark Wood and Cabin 10.

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  23. I'm intrigued by The Dollhouse and may have to add it to my list, as well as The Wrath and the Dawn. Great reviews gurlie <3
    Green Fashionista

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  24. Lots of interesting reads on this list!! The Dollhouse grabbed my interest!

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  25. Gah, I'm so sorry The Look of Love didn't work out for you! I hate when the cover fools you into reading a bad book.
    The Dollhouse sounds really good though, I'll have to check that out!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  26. I will definitely be adding some of these to my list!

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  27. I'm slowly but surely making my way through this month's link-up. Someone else read The Dollhouse too (and I've already forgotten who that was), and I added it.

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  28. I have to read the Woman and Cabin 10! I've seen so many reviews!!

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