Book Review | Bunny by Mona Awad

Trigger Warnings for this book: bestiality, murder, rape, assault, mental health, self harm.

Samantha is not the typical student you would on the famous Warren Creative Writing MFA, especially as a scholarship student. She is ostracised by the rest of her all-female cohort, a group of women who call one another “Bunny” and hug for too long. Then Samantha receives an invitation to their “smut salon”. As Samantha is dragged deeper into their sanctimonious world, the edges of fantasy and reality begin to blur, and the Bunnies push her to the edge.

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Book Review | Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles

Image result for bookshop girlPaige Turner works at Bennett’s Bookshop in her small town of Greysworth. It’s her safe haven, her escape from her life… and it’s about to close. Another ‘casualty of the high street’, Paige and the team have only four weeks to try and save the bookshop from permanent closure. Can they protect it from closure? And… can Paige stop herself from falling for bad boy Blaine?

This was such a cutesy book but there were a fair few things I didn’t like about it that stopped my enjoyment of the book whilst I was reading.

Okay so to start with, I liked the idea of the book. It’s about books and a bookshop and the main character is actually called Paige Turner. The actual bookshop was adorable and I would love to work in one just like that myself.

Paige’s best friend, Holly, was also such a sweetheart and I really liked her. I wish that their friendship had been more fleshed out.

That was the main downfall, I think, of this book – it was so short. Some books are short but just the right length, but this one wasn’t. Nothing felt fleshed out – the characters didn’t have much scope, some of the scenes felt so slow, and I felt no connection. I also feel like Coles tried to do too much – it should have just been about Paige and the bookshop. For example, the love interest that was introduced for Paige just felt awkward and out of place, and the bookshop and the boy seemed to be fighting for stage time each scene. I wish that Coles had just picked one or the other to really focus on instead of attempted to do 50:50 and not really making it work very well.

It had its merits of course, although predictably, if you’re a well-read reader, you probably know the outcome before going in. Also, I did love that Paige was a 16 year old girl, but the love interest was bad news from the start and it kind of irked me that no one said. Well, Holly did. Hence, Holly is my favourite characterrrr and I love her and the book should’ve been about her tbh.

Overall, this was a cutesy, funny read, but I wanted a lot more from it and it just didn’t live up to what I hoped it would be.

Rating: 2.5/5

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Personal source: I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. As always, opinions are entirely my own! 


If you liked this, you might also enjoy… Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley 

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Book Review | Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

33784373After the tragic events that occurred in London, Audrey Rose and Thomas have travelled to Romania to attend a prestigious medical school. Love is brewing, Audrey Rose and Thomas are finally able to learn together; but death has followed them everywhere. With bodies turning up drained of blood, Audrey Rose is wondering if the rumours are true: that Dracula has arisen from the dead… 

I. loved. this. book.

After ripping (heh) through Maniscalco’s first book, Stalking Jack the Ripper, I knew that I was going to love this one. I wouldn’t say that it is better than Jack, and although I think that I actually preferred that one, this certainly does not suffer from second book syndrome.

Why did I enjoy book 1 more? Well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I think it’s the excitement. Audrey Rose was suffering a great deal throughout this book, battling depression and grief, and I feel like she didn’t have this weight in book 1. This is no criticism to the author, because it gave a different feel to the book and gave scope for so much character development. It just gave a very different tone to the book, but I liked this far darker version. I think I would like to reread both back to back and come back to this part of my review in the future!

So let’s start with the plot. Whilst I guessed the murderer right at the beginning, I was actually left questioning my decision the entire way through, and that’s what you need in a murder mystery novel. Maniscalco throws in so many red herrings and new ideas that you really are left guessing. She dug up an old myth, and I felt like it was really fascinating how she interweaves history and turns it into this incredible book.

The characters are, of course, brilliant. Audrey Rose and Thomas – ugh, can they just get married and have cute babies already?! I loved the diversity that Maniscalco managed to incorporate despite the time period it is in. I thought that Audrey Rose’s reaction was quite appropriate too – I thought she might have been more shocked, considering lesbianism in the 1800s wasn’t exactly able to be as open as it is nowadays, but she stayed completely true to her character in her response to it.

I think that’s something I really like about Kerri Maniscalco’s writing – her consistently. I find that some writers really exemplify their characters after they find what streaks readers enjoy, but she has managed to mingle character development and consistency throughout both of the novels.

I also liked how there wasn’t a huge jump between books #1 and #2. I feel like, again, this can be a huge mistake some writers make, especially when it’s a book following a debut, and also when lots of readers have had a lot of time between two books. I took a while to find my feet again in Hunting Prince Dracula, but I think that that’s partly because it’s been a year (??) since I read book 1.

Maniscalco set us up brilliantly for book 2, though. The setting was so delicious! I cannot explain how much I loved the setting for this book. It was chosen so well, and I feel like it really helped the book along and to be far more creepy than it could have been!

Overall, these are incredible books and I highly, highly recommend them. I zipped through both of them, and I cannot wait for book 3! I’m excited to see what mystery Maniscalco aims to write about next. I think that it’s a really great concept for a book series – unsolved mysteries that are explored by a really plucky, strong female character.

Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads
Source: bought from Wordery