The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – Spoiler Free Review

Title: The Vanishing Stair
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series Name: Truly Devious
Genre: YA Mystery
Publication Date: January 22nd, 2019
Pages: 369 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Katherine Tegen Books
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

Writing

These books just get better and better! This series is extremely addictive. The Vanishing Stair is very fast paced and will keep you guessing the entire time. This is definitely one of those books that you will hate the author just a little bit at the end because while a lot of your questions from book 1 were answered in book 2, you will have 1000 more. Which can be a good thing, because its addicting and you are super keen, or bad because it makes you feel like slapping a bitch.

Plot

Lets just say the plot is insane. You have literally no idea what to expect next and you can guess all you want about who did what, but you will be wrong 99% of the time! I just love how unpredictable this plot is.

Characters

The Characters in this book will never be fully developed but that is just one of the aspects of this book. If you know too much about them it would be easier to figure out motives. So I’m not really mad about not connecting with any of the side characters.

As for Stevie, our main character, she is awesome. She is extremely intelligent and very realistic. She show weakness, she shows fear and that makes her super relatable in this book.

Overall

I LOVE this series. It has been added to my Top 5 favourite series of all time. It is addictive, action packed, mysterious and just fucking awesome. This is definitely a book I will always recommend.

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository
Hardcover

Booktopia
Hardcover

Angus & Robertson
Hardback

Amazon (Aus)
Hardback / eBook

Let’s Chat!

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

PURCHASE ANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY! WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING.
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On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – Spoiler Free Review

Title: On the Come Up
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: 
YA Contemporary
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 431 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Balzer + Bray
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

Writing

Angie Thomas has this way of creating a world so vivid that you feel like you are literally sitting on the hood of a car listening to Bri rap. She incorporates so many touchy subjects in her books but handles them in way that is real & also respectful. Same with the diversity she brings into her stories. Even though she isn’t own voices for all of the diverse characters she writes, she handles those diversities in a super respectful & tactful way. She doesn’t pretend like she knows what it’s like, but incorporates them in a way that works.
I absolutely adore her writing and she has become and auto-buy author for me. Seriously, she could write a guide to polishing furniture and I would read it.

Plot

The main issue that I usually have with contemporary books is that I get bored. 100% not the case with Angie Thomas. The plot is gripping and action packed but in a realistic way. She doesn’t just through crap at the main character simply to create interesting points. Everything just flows & makes complete sense to what is going on.

Characters

Now Bri actually isn’t my favourite person. She did frustrate me at times as she was very hot headed, stubborn & would jump into things without thinking of the consequences. But I appreciate that she was meant to be that way and I enjoyed her as a character, just not as a person.

Really there isn’t a character in the book I can fault as a character. Yes some are horrible people, but that is the point & they were written amazingly.

Overall

I friggen loved this book! Not quite there compared to THUG but still amazing. I would give THUG a 5 stars & OTCU a 4 3/4 stars if I could. They are both amazingly written, deal with important topics really well, have amazing characters & amazing diversity. I can’t fault this book at all.

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository
Hardcover / Paperback (Alternate Cover)

Booktopia
Hardcover / Paperback (Alternate Cover)

Angus & Robertson
Hardcover / Paperback (Alternate Cover)

Amazon (Aus)
Hardcover / Paperback (Alternate Cover) / eBook

Let’s Chat!

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

PURCHASE ANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY! WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING.
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Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco – Spoiler Free Review

Title: Escaping from Houdini
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Series Name:
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Genre: 
YA Historical Mystery
Publication Date: September 18th, 2018
Pages: 431 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Little Brown (Hachette Australia)
Rating:

Goodreads Synopsis

In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. . 

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale? 


Writing

I absolutely adore Kerri Maniscalco’s writing! It has a way of dragging you in and hooking you from the very beginning. I love how she slowly develops the mystery and is constantly throwing possible hints at you. It leaves you guessing and in the end you still have no damn idea who to believe until the big reveal.

I promise to stand by your side through whatever comes our way. You’ll end up being the hero, no doubt, but I’ll look good beside you. And that’s what truly counts.”

Thomas Cresswell (Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco)

Plot

The plot/mystery of this book really keeps you on the edge of your seat and I loved it! The mystery aspect is my favourite & it is so unpredictable! I did not however enjoy the side plot, if you can call it that, of the love triangle. I’m not a huge romance reader & I especially don’t like love triangles. So I wasn’t happy with that aspect and that is the reason this book didn’t get 5 stars.

Characters

I love Audrey-Rose but in this book with the love triangle I kinda wanted to slap her often. Don’t get me wrong, I do love her but I just didn’t love that aspect. Ignoring that I really like her. I love seeing how her mind works through mysteries & I love how realistically strong she is. By ‘realistically strong’ I mean that she is strong but you still see weakness at times & you see her struggling to be strong at times which makes it more realistic than some YA characters.

Of course I love Thomas, he is an awesome character & I also loved seeing Liza back in this book. I really enjoy her character, so I was really excited when she returned in this book.

I also enjoyed all the new characters we meet in this book. Everyone was super intriguing and I love that everyone has a back story and is well fleshed out.

Overall

I enjoyed every aspect of this book except the love triangle. I really love this series and can’t wait to see where it goes next! Kerri Mansicalco is an amazing mystery writer who can leave you completely confused in the best way possible!

*I was sent a finished paperback by Hachette Australia in return for an honest review!*

You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.

You could also use my affiliate links for Book DepositoryBooktopia or Angus & Robertson.

Book Depository
Paperback / Hardback

Booktopia
Paperback / Hardback

Angus & Robertson
Paperback / Hardback

Amazon (Aus)
Paperback / Hardback / eBook

Let’s Chat!

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

PURCHASE ANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY! WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING.
AUSSIE? WANT QUICK SHIPPING? AWESOME PRICES? WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE AFTERPAY? MAYBE TRY BOOKTOPIA OR EVEN ANGUS & ROBERTSON!
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My Bookish Goals

So if you didn’t know, I fell into a reading/blogging/bookstagramming (and basically everything else bookish related) slump at the end of last year. I am finally out of it, I think, but I’m now out of sync with everything. So I wanted to make a few goals for myself to try and get the ball rolling.

1. Blog Posts

So my first goal has 2 parts. The first is related to review posts & the other is related to other posts.
So for the review posts, my goal is that when I finish a book I have to write the review within 4 days. That’s not much time, but when I leave it longer I end up forgetting things and the reviews aren’t as in depth as I would like.
For all other posts, my goal is to post at least once a week and that doesn’t include reviews.

2. Instagram

So my goal for my Bookstagram account it to post every second day. My other goal for this was to choose one day a week that I will take photos on for the coming week. So I have chosen Tuesday for that. So every Tuesday I will set up and take 3 – 4 photos.
Next is my goal for my personal account, which is to simply try and post once a week as I’m so inactive on that account.
Next, my goal for my pets related account is to post twice a week!

3. Book Buying Ban

Yes, I am going on a book buying ban for at least 2 months!!! This will not be a complete ban as I will still need to buy the books that we choose for discussion in the Facebook group I run, The YA Book Nerds. I’m the one that writes the discussion questions, so I kinda need to read the books. But that will be the only books I buy! I am also cancelling all my subscriptions except Scribd. Which is fine as it’s the cheapest and you get the most for your money! I have already put in a few pre-orders, so I will still have some new books coming in to keep me occupied.

4. Youtube

So if you follow my channel you may have seen my update in regard to my internet situation. Well it hasn’t improved so I won’t be putting this goal into action just yet but once I have all my internet sorted I will.
So my goals for Youtube are, for one, to start a new channel. Which I have done but yet to post on yet due to internet.
My next goal is to have an actual posting schedule. My plan at the moment is to post a Sims 4 video on my new channel every Sunday, a bookish video on Dusk Angel Reads every Thursday & a random video on the new channel every Tuesday.

5. Update Blog

My last goal is that I want to update the look of my blog in the near feature. Just to change it up and give it a new look. This takes a fair bit of work though, so I have been putting it off.

Well I think that is all my goals for now! Hopefully I will be successful in these goals and I might do an update in a couple months!

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.

PURCHASE ANY OF THE BOOKS MENTIONED FROM BOOK DEPOSITORY! WORLDWIDE FREE SHIPPING.
AUSSIE? WANT QUICK SHIPPING? AWESOME PRICES? WANT TO BE ABLE TO USE AFTERPAY? MAYBE TRY BOOKTOPIA OR EVEN ANGUS & ROBERTSON!
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