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Lowest Average Goodreads Ratings

I was inspired by Rebel Mommy Book Blog’s post titled “Books I’ve Read with the Lowest Average Goodreads Rating” to make my own post. So here are some books that I’ve read with low average ratings.

The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Franchise Enguehard

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Average Rating: 2.00

My Rating: 3.00

My Thoughts: I think the reason why The Islands of Doctor Thomas has such a low average rating on Goodreads, is because it isn’t very well known. In fact it was actually beautifully written and the setting of St. Pierre et Miquelon is one of my to visit bucket list locations.

The Secret Sister by Fotini Tsalikoglou

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Average Rating: 2.70
My Rating: 2.00

My Thoughts: I won a copy of The Secret Sister from Goodreads. My low rating for this book connects with the low average due to the confusing style of the writing.

Forty Love by Madeleine Wickham

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Average Rating: 2.92
My Rating: 2.50

My Thoughts: I was so disappointed that I didn’t enjoy Forty Love more as it is from an author I enjoy. The tone of the writing and the characters was so different than I have come to expect from this author and it seems as if others had the same problems with this book.

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Book Reviews · Recommendations

L.A. Candy (L.A. Candy, #1) by Lauren Conrad

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L.A. Candy
(L.A. Candy, #1)
By: Lauren Conrad

Published: June 2009
Published by: HarperCollins
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: YA Lit, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis

Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer…everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can’t wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.

When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a “reality version of Sex and the City,” they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!

Soon Jane is TV’s hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara-free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres-and she’s lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane’s spotlight.

In a city filled with people chasing after their dreams, it’s not long before Jane wakes up to the reality that everyone wants something from her, and nothing is what it seems to be.

-Goodreads

My Thoughts

Well.. you know what they say “write what you know”. And former reality television darling, Lauren Conrad did just that. Pulling from her own experiences on the MTV hit series Laguna Beach and The Hills, Lauren writes a “fictional” tale of being plucked from obscurity and put in the spotlight in front of millions of viewers.

As I was a fan of both of those shows in their hay-day, I remember being excited to hear that L.C. (as she was often referred to) had wrote her own book. Unfortunately I didn’t pick it up until ten years after it was released. And that greatly affected my reading experience and in turn resulted in my low rating. Because truth be told, my interests have changed a lot since then. I am no longer captivated by the lifestyles of the rich and famous, like I used to be. Although I once enjoyed watching reality television shows like the fictional L.A. Candy, now I wouldn’t call it my cup of tea. In fact I haven’t even watched a single episode of the recently re-vamped Hills series, nor do I plan to.

Had I read this book back when it was released in 2009, I guarantee that I would have enjoyed it much more. However 32 year old me found it boring. What should have been a quick read was dragged out because I fought to keep myself interested in the story.

L.A. Candy did give a behind the scenes peek into reality T.V, which was informative. Knowing Lauren’s story and how her life was depicted on the shows, it was easy to tell who had influenced her characters and the direction she took the book. Due to a somewhat cliffhanger of an ending, I feel curious to read the second novel in this series.

Even though the writing wasn’t fantastic and it didn’t hold my interest as much as I would have hoped, I would still recommend it to fans of Laguna Beach, The Hills and Lauren Conrad.

Memes

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Spice King

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme featuring our most anticipated releases to come. It is hosted by Tessa at Wishful Endings.

The Spice King
(Hope and Glory, #1)
By: Elizabeth Camden

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Expected Publication Date: September 3, 2019

Synopsis

Gray Delacroix has dedicated his life to building a successful global spice empire, but it has come at a cost. Tasked with gaining access to the private Delacroix plant collection, Smithsonian botanist Annabelle Larkin unwittingly steps into a web of dangerous political intrigue and will be forced to choose between her heart and her loyalty to her country.

-Goodreads
Book Reviews · Recommendations

At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham

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At the Mountain’s Edge
By: Genevieve Graham

Published: April 2019
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Format Read: ARC, eBook, Kindle App
Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 3/5

NOTE: I was sent a copy of At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham, from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

From bestselling author Genevieve Graham comes a sweeping new historical novel of love, tragedy, and redemption set during the height of the Klondike Gold Rush.

In 1897, the discovery of gold in the desolate reaches of the Yukon has the world abuzz with excitement, and thousands of prospectors swarm to the north seeking riches the likes of which have never been seen before.

For Liza Peterson and her family, the gold rush is a chance for them to make a fortune by moving their general store business from Vancouver to Dawson City, the only established town in the Yukon. For Constable Ben Turner, a recent recruit of the North-West Mounted Police, upholding the law in a place overrun with guns, liquor, prostitutes, and thieves is an opportunity to escape a dark past and become the man of integrity he has always wanted to be. But the long, difficult journey over icy mountain passes and whitewater rapids is much more treacherous than Liza or Ben imagined, and neither is completely prepared for the forbidding north.

As Liza’s family nears the mountain’s peak, a catastrophe strikes with fatal consequences, and not even the NWMP can help. Alone and desperate, Liza finally reaches Dawson City, only to find herself in a different kind of peril. Meanwhile, Ben, wracked with guilt over the accident on the trail, sees the chance to make things right. But just as love begins to grow, new dangers arise, threatening to separate the couple forever.

Inspired by history as rich as the Klondike’s gold, At the Mountain’s Edge is an epic tale of romance and adventure about two people who must let go of the past not only to be together, but also to survive.

-Goodreads

My Thoughts

At the Mountain’s Edge has been one of my most anticipated releases from this year (2019). In fact I have been patiently waiting for any of Genevieve Graham’s books to come to the top of my TBR pile for quite some time now, as all of them have caught my interest. Needless to say I was very excited when I was accepted to read and review an ARC of this book via Net Galley.

I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction from various different eras, but I am especially intrigued by those that are set in my home country of Canada. This particular novel follows those who went north for the Klondike Gold Rush in the late 1800’s. This story was very much centered around the different settings including the journey from Vancouver to Alaska, the Chillkoot Pass and on to Dawson City. I appreciated how the author chose this approach as it interested me more than the Liza’s personal storyline. However I was fascinated by Ben’s career as a Mountie and the roles they played in the Gold Rush.

Unfortunately I didn’t fall in love with this book, like I thought I would and was disappointed by the dialogue. I thought it could have better represented the time period. Instead it came across as more modern.

Even though At the Mountain’s Edge wasn’t one of my favourite books I’ve read this year, it still kept my interest and I would recommend it. I still look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Uncategorized

ML’s Worth a Watch: You

It has been a long time since I’ve posted about anything worth watching here on my blog. In fact I can’t seem to find any on Red House Review’s at all, so my last post must have been back on my old blog Melissa Lee’s Many Reads. Anyway the title says it all. This segment I post about movies, TV shows and videos I recommend. So lets jump in..

Today I would like to chat about the series You on Netflix. Recently I was scrolling through looking for something different to put on and came across this series. I vaguely remember hearing about it when it first came out, but for some reason it didn’t catch my attention. I also knew that it was based on a book by the same name. Anyway I decided to give it a shot, mostly because it starred Penn Badgley, of Gossip Girl fame.

And after just one episode I was totally hooked! I ended up binge watching it in just a couple of days as I just had to know what was going to happen. My boyfriend even thought it was decent, which is saying a lot because he normally doesn’t care for the types of shows I like.

If you haven’t seen You (or read the book) it is a psychological thriller that follows a stalker and the women he stalks. Here is a preview:

Apparently there will be a second season. If so I can’t wait to see it. I’m also now interested in reading the book. Here is the synopsis for You by Caroline Kepnes.

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From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.

When a beautiful aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

A terrifying exploration of how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation, debut author Caroline Kepnes delivers a razor-sharp novel for our hyper-connected digital age. You is a compulsively readable page-turner that’s being compared to Gone Girl, American Psycho, and Stephen King’s Misery.

Goodreads

Have you ever read the book or watched the series? If not does the premise catch your interest? I’d love to hear from you so leave me your thoughts in the comments.

Book Reviews · Recommendations

Snow Fence Road by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

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Snow Fence Road
By: Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Published: June 2013
Published by: Black Lyon Publishing
Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Literary Fiction, Romance, Inspirational Fiction

Rating: 3.5/5

Note: I was sent a copy of Snow Fence Road by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

A village on the coast of Maine holds painful secrets- the kind only the miracle of new love can heal. Tormented by her fiance’s death, Tess Johansen escapes to the only place that can still comfort her-the Spinnaker Inn in coastal Maine. Here in this place by the sea she feels close enough to the man she lost to numb the pain, if not the guilt. For local craftsman, Evan Marston, the ramshackle inn serves only as a grim reminder of the accident that shattered his life and killed the woman he once loved. But while the Spinnaker’s walls may hold guilt and grief and suspicion, they might also house a bright new spark. Drawn together by a love they never expected, Tess and Evan begin to unravel the mysteries of their pasts and question the miracle at work in their wounded hearts-until one fateful evening along a snow fence road …

-Goodreads

My Thoughts

Author Phyllis Edgerly Ring was kind enough to send me a copy of her book Snow Fence Road, in celebration of its audiobook release on Audible. I jumped at the chance to read another one of her books as I loved her previous release The Munich Girl.

Although Snow Fence Road was a contemporary unlike the historical fiction of The Munich Girl, it still packed the same emotional punch that seems to be a signature for Ring’s writing. This was a story of life after tragedy and the possibility of finding love again.

Although it did take me some time to get into the story, I enjoyed how it unfolded and learning about the histories of the characters. I also liked the setting at an old Inn and the visions for bringing it back to its glory days. I would have liked to have seen this aspect developed more. However as it was only a short novel, it was only right that the relationships took more precedence.

I would recommend Snow Fence Road to those who are fans of short literary fiction with a focus on romance.

Challenges · Currently Reading · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: June 2019

Total Books Read in June: 2
Total Books Read in 2019: 22

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Snow Fence Road
By: Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance
Rating: 3.5/5
NOTE: I was sent a copy of Snow Fence Road by the author Phyllis Edgerly Ring, in exchange for an honest review.

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At the Mountain’s Edge
By: Genevieve Graham

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating: 3/5
Note: I was sent a copy of At the Mountain’s Edge by Genevieve Graham, from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 2
Total Number of Fiction: 2
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 2
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 0
Total Library Books Read: 0

Challenge Update

2019 New Release Challenge: 1
2019 TBR Jar Challenge: 0

July TBR

From My TBR Jar

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Once again I didn’t finish either of my TBR Jar picks during the month of June so I am quite behind.

Sent for Review

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Currently Reading

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Book Reviews · Recommendations

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

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Serious Moonlight
By: Jenn Bennett

Published: April 2019
Published by: Simon Pulse
Format Read: ARC, eBook, Kindle App
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 5/5

NOTE: I was sent a copy of Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett, from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that the most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.

-Goodreads

My Thoughts

Serious Moonlight was a surprise 5 star read for me and among my favourites, that I’ve read this year to date. Set in the beautifully described Seattle, readers follow as two young people navigate a new romance and try to solve a mystery of a reclusive author.

There were so many things that I loved about this book including; the mystery and pop culture references and quotes, the diversity of the characters and the chemistry they had together. I found both Birdie and Daniel to be very relatable. I appreciate how the author chose to represent two very different health afflictions with a character who was deaf in one ear, and another who suffered narcolepsy. Both of which I hadn’t previously read about in young adult fiction.

I found Daniel to be especially charming and loved how he worked to win over Birdie’s affections.

Jenn Bennett’s Serious Moonlight was a wonderful romance with a touch of mystery, that I would highly recommend. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Challenges

Books I Need to Read in 2019

2019 Releases I Own

2019 Releases Sent for Review

Books Hauls

Book Haul: May 2019

Here are the books that I added to my collection during the month of May.

Sent from Author

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Snow Fence Road by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Sent for Review

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Crashing the A-List by Summer Heacock

Library Book Sale