This Cruel Design (This Mortal Coil #2) by Emily Suvada

This review is spoiler-free but exercise caution when reading the book’s synopsis if you haven’t read This Mortal Coil yet.

“If there is a design that underpins us, Catarina, then it is cold, it is violent, and it is cruel.”

One of the biggest surprises that I read in 2018 was Emily Suvada’s debut novel this Mortal Coil. I’ve shouted about this book countless times and shoved it in the hands of many of my friends so they too could have their hearts broken experience this amazing book for themselves. My Twitter mentions are full of people screaming at me, and it brings me immense joy like the Slytherin that I am. Suffice to say that I was anxious & terrified to see what is in store next for the characters that I have come to love would be a drastic understatement.

📝 Related: read my spoiler-free review of This Mortal Coil

Just when you thought everything was over, the story seems to have only just begun. The plot thickens for our group: this is a solid continuation of the series and the story is plotted intricately well. Reading the overarching storyline of the series is like a play broken down into three acts, and Suvada plotted it very well.

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The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

“In life, the murderer is anyone. The reasons, the methods, the circumstances – the paths to becoming a murderer are as numerous as the stars.”

The Vanishing Stair was one of my most anticipated sequels for 2019 after falling absolutely in love with Truly Devious last fall. I was really excited to see what happened after that incredibly rude cliffhanger, and hoped to get more answers in this installment. 🕵️ I am pleased to say that we got some much-needed answers (& some new questions!), as well as more actual investigating, but overall this one fell into themiddle book syndrome for me. It was an enjoyable and I will finish the series, but if I am being honest I could have done without the first 40% of this book.

My friend Hamad @ Book Prescription summed up my feelings pretty well in his review:

“The Vanishing Stair was what I expected it to be; an unnecessary bridge to the third book and this whole series could have been a duology.”

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Pretty Little Liars (#1-4) by Sara Shepard

As you may have noticed, I’ve been reading the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard for the first time and honestly rather enjoying myself! The television series was something that I loved until it got super convoluted and it was obvious no one had any idea where things were going. I legit watched closely like an investigator 🔍 and took notes to figure out who A was, but by the end of the series I was spite-watching it just to see how it ended. Spoiler alert: not well. Many people told me that the book series was better (which is often the case with adaptation) and completely different.

I wanted to do something a little different with my review for Pretty Little Liars. The way the series is written is each arc is really one story (so books 1-4 roughly follow seasons 1 and 2, ending with the first A reveal). It made the most sense to me to review the arcs of the series in one post, so here is my review for books 1-4 of Pretty Little Liars!

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Sadie by Courtney Summers

“You aren’t supposed to answer violence with more violence but sometimes I think violence is the only answer.”

😭😭😭 It’s been a bit over a week since I finished Sadie and I am still struggling to find the words to adequately review it. Friends this book took me completely by surprise in the best (and worst?) kind of way. Sadie by Courtney Summers was my first read of 2019 and I devoured it in one sitting. This is a powerful, unique, and sad story that tackles tough topics but provides some amazing representation. This book is definitely worth all of the hype it’s received and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

The book is told through alternating perspectives: a true crime podcast in the same vein as Serial and in Sadie’s perspective told months apart. Sadie is a nineteen year old girl that went missing after her younger sister was brutally murdered and West McCray essentially following Sadie’s trail for the podcast to try and find her.

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Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

“Lightning without a cloud in sight means one thing. Visitors.”

What an incredible debut from Roanhorse! I absolutely fell in love with the characters and the world that Roanhorse crafted, engaged from the first page to the last. If you are looking for a fast-paced story that is both character and plot driven, I highly recommend Trail of Lightning!

This urban fantasy is set in an alternative America. Most of the world has been destroyed due to cataclysmic flooding, bringing about what the gods call the Sixth World (kind of like a new era for humanity), and the Navajo have taken back their own land and built a wall to survive. In the Sixth World gods walk among humans, but so do monsters… and everyone has their own agenda.

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