Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda (2021) Review

You will never look at quiet tight-knit neighbourhoods the same. After reading Megan Miranda’s Such a Quiet Place, you might not even want to live in one.

Such a Quiet Place is Megan Miranda’s new book coming out on July 13. I’m so thankful to Megan Miranda, Simon & Schuster Canada and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

I couldn’t wait to read this book since reading the synopsis: Picture the perfect neighbourhood – a true community where neighbours know each other, are friends and celebrate everything together. Now picture that two of you are dead, no not just dead, murdered by one of your own.

Ruby has been convicted, mainly due to testimonials of other residents, of the Truett’s murder. The neighbourhood never recovered and now, 1.5 years later, Ruby returns as her conviction was overturned based on new found evidence. Pot stirred, check!

Harper, whose house Ruby lives in, starts to receive threatening notes which makes her question the verity of all events. Is Ruby the killer? If not who is? I couldn’t wait to find out. After reading the book, I think you should pre-order this must have summer read.

This is why: Miranda description of the time and place is outstanding. I honestly felt like I was part of that neighbourhood, feeling the summer heat, the tension and fearing for my safety. I have mentioned before and will mention many more times – If an author will focus on a location (in this case the isolated American neighborhood) and time (Summer), I enjoy it when they make it relevant to the plot and/or almost like a character, in the sense that you develop it as carefully. Megan Miranda achieved both in Such a Quiet Place. I am just happy we don’t celebrate 4th of July in Canada.

You can tell that Miranda considers her plot and her plotting carefully. I really enjoyed how fair she played and how original (to me) the whole concept of the book was. Megan’s characters were mostly strong and she really shined with the development of Harper, Mac, Tate and the Truetts (though we never met them directly, you feel like you knew them). I was just slightly confused in the beginning and took me a while to distinguish between some of the side characters, I also wanted Ruby to be more developed.

If I were to nitpick just a bit, I loved how Miranda used mixed media with the introduction of closed group community posts, and how she made it relevant to the plot. I would, however, liked to see more of it.

if it wasn’t clear already, I highly recommend Such a Quiet Place.

#SuchaQuietPlace, #NetGalley

Enjoyability     9

Characters 8

Ambience        10

Fairness          10

Plot                  10

Execution        8

My total rating: 4.58

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager (2020) Review

In Home Before Dark, Sager gifts us with two superb books in one: an amazing thriller and suspense that dips its toes in horror.

That moment when you start a book by one of your favourite authors knowing you will love it, but STILL get more than you were expecting. Yup, it happened to me with Home Before Dark.

This book ticked all of my boxes, I loved the twists, the pacing, the characters, the care with which it was written and how it ended!

This book has two narrators, and both unreliable at that! The past is told in the form of a book written by Ewan Holt, in which he narrates the events that passed during the 20 days his family lived in a house until they fled, in the middle of the night, leaving everything behind! Sager really flirted with Horror in Ewan’s narrative and I was spooked! I appreciate that the whole book Ewan wrote is contained in “Home Before Dark.”

The present is narrated by Maggie Holt, Ewan’s daughter who just inherited this house, 20 years after the incident and is told that the house is not safe FOR her. What does she do? She moves in, of course! And digs into the events that happened when she was 5, event of which she has no memories at all.

At the center of both, you have a broken family, shaped by a shared tragedy and tainted by one person’s decision to share it with the world. Was the book a true account or was it an elaborated lie? We rely on Maggie to answer that question.

I don’t want to spoil the book so I will leave it at you must read this! This is a thoroughly satisfying book! Sager is really good at drawing complex, real, characters. In fact, in my humble opinion, he is one of the few male authors I know who does an amazing, respectful and superb job with their female characters. In Home Before Dark, Sager showed us, once again, how versatile he is with Ewan’s book. Ewan had his own voice and his book read original and in character, I can’t imagine a less talented writer pulling this off as well and seamlessly as Sager did.

The one thing I was disappointed in was the fact that, in the audio book, the song that keeps playing wasn’t sung (I was singing it in my head as I read the book and only switched to audio because I didn’t want to put the book down as I ran some errands). This is not on the author at all. Or even the narrators, they didn’t do a poor job – but this book is better and scarier and more suspenseful when read. So if you can, read the book first and save the audio for a reread.

Enjoyability      10

Characters      9

Ambience        10

Fairness          9

Plot      9

Execution        10

My total rating: 4.83

Video Review: https://youtu.be/2dfWNwqUxT4

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett (2021) Review

Who knew the Queen could be this cheeky, witty, marvelous and thirsty for justice? SJ Bennett did…

I live in Canada, and had already pre-ordered the physical book when I had the opportunity to listen to the audio book in advance. It’s been torture not to share my first 5 star read of the year with you, but the date is finally here. ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

I hope “Her Majesty the Queen Investigates” becomes a series!!

Jane Copeland’s narration is superb, I could honestly listen to her all day. She manages to bring each character to life and keep their individuality. The way Copeland narrated this book made me forget that “full cast” is even a thing. Her voice brought every character and scene to life, her pace was amazing, and the book was done before I knew it. This book flew really well, I knew what was happening and who was speaking at all times. Her voice made it an immersive experience for me.

Now for the story – BRAVO Bennett, BRAVO! This was my first 5 star read of 2021. I rate my books based on the following criteria: Enjoyability, Character, Ambience, Fairness, Plot and Execution. “The Windsor Knot” ticked all my boxes and did not leave me wanting anything more than what I got.

I COULD not put this book down, and thoroughly enjoyed myself as I was reading it. I can’t remember chuckling this much while reading a book.

Her characters were modern, endearing, witty, multidimensional, multicultural and read like real people I want to meet. I don’t know much about the Royals, but with Queen Elizabeth II is anything like her fictional character, she is amazing! I don’t know how Bennett got permission to fictionalize such an iconic real life person, but I am so glad she is. If the Queen is not solving mysteries in real life, she should! And the way the character interacts with her staff, friends and family is just so adorable! She is the grandmother everyone wishes they had! Rosie and Sir Simon are also amazing characters. This is the triad mystery dreams are made of and they need to keep existing for many books to come! (one a year, maybe?!?)

I like when time and place are almost characters in a book, when they are mentioned I like to be transported to the “then and there.” And I WAS in London in 2021. Bennett described the places so well; I could vividly picture them in my mind. Also, the modernity of our times was so perfectly captured and in such a subtle way, such as mentioning “contour game”, and the slow changes in London’s rich neighbourhoods landscape.

Bennett played extremely fair and all the clues were in the book, there was no curveballs or solutions coming out of thin air. The plot was fresh, original, imaginative and interesting. Its execution was superb.

I recommend this book to everyone and I can not wait until it’s released so I can discuss it with my friends!

I am so thankful for NetGalley and Harper Audio for allowing me to listen, ahead of its release, to “The Windsor Knot” by S.J. Bennett as narrated by Jane Copeland.

#TheWindsorKnot #NetGalley

Enjoyability 10

Characters 10

Ambience 10

Fairness 10

Plot 10

Execution 10

My total rating: 5

Review for this book is mentioned in this video: https://youtu.be/WixTJ_WPyuY

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard (2021) Review

She’s too pretty to burn is Wendy Heard’s Young Adult, LGBTQIA, romantic thriller reimagining of one of my favourite classics – The Picture of Dorian Gray.

In She’s Too Pretty to Burn, we follow best friends Veronica and Nico, each an artist in their own right. Veronica is passionate about photography and Nico lives and breathes chaotic performance art. Then, they meet Mick, an incomparable beauty with a rocky relationship with her mother. One picture changes everything: we see Mick and her mom’s relationship crack, Mick and Veronica fall in love, the best friend’s dynamic completely change with the addition of a third person.

When two becomes three, disaster follows. I couldn’t say it better than the description “One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.”

I listened to the audio book, and I loved how Frankie Corzo, Bailey Carr, Stephen Dexter brought She’s too pretty to burn to life. They made the perfect ensemble and delivered a great paced audiobook. I couldn’t imagine any other narrators.

I am not really into romance anymore, but I have to give props to Heard. Mick and Veronica’s relationship was beautiful and crucial to the plot. Their relationship was poignant, intense, epic and treated with respect. As teenagers you can feel their angst and their abandon to everything they do.
All the characters in this book were very well drawn and developed. I appreciate that there were consequences to the character’s actions and that there was a parent present. This book read as real life and, for YA fiction, it didn’t feel far fetched.

Wendy played fair with her solution and ended the book in a perfect note. I highly recommend this book to anyone who love thrillers, atmosphere and characters who feel real.

You don’t have to wait long to read this book, it comes out on March 30th and until then you can visit Wendy Heard’s website (https://www.wendyheard.com) to read the first two chapters!

I am so thankful to Wendy Heard, Dreamscape Media and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of She’s Too Pretty to Burn Audio Book in exchange for my honest review.

Enjoyability         9              Characters          10

Ambiance            9              Fairness               10

Plot                        9              Execution            9

My total rating: 4.66

All The Murmuring Bones by A. G. Slatter (2021) Review

Gothic and enthralling. Finally a fairy tale for adults.


I’m so excited All the Murmuring Bones release date has arrived!

Growing up I used to read my grandfather’s childhood tales, they were old dusty books with the true versions of fairy tales. This book gave me the same vibes, but it is too dark for children. I simply loved the atmospheric experience of a fairy tale for adults.

Aoife McMahon did a superb job narrating this book. I honestly did not miss a full cast, her accent enhanced the atmosphere, her pace was perfect. I felt like I was being told a story by someone who had lived, and I could not get enough of it!

We follow Miren O’Malley as she refuses to be a passive agent of her own story. Her ancestors had struck a deal with the mer people – the sacrifice of an O’Malley from each generation in exchange for prosperity. For years, unable to keep their end of the deal, the O’Malley’s fortune started to decline and Miren’s grandmother is decided to sacrifice her.

Miren is a strong, smart, independent woman who doesn’t accept her fate is goes on a coming-of-age journey to write her own story.

I loved Slatter’s mer mythology. This was an original story, told superbly with well developed characters and enthralling atmosphere.

While I appreciate Slatter’s careful descriptions and feel it helped build the atmosphere. I felt this book read slightly too long. Maybe it is my bias and association with dark fairy tales I read as a child, but had this been shorter or even a novella, it would have been a 5-star read to me.
I highly recommend this book.

Thank you W.F. Howes Ltd, A.G. Slatter and NetGalley for an advanced copy of All the Murmuring Bones, narrated by Aoife McMahon, in exchange for an honest review.

#AllTheMurmuringBones #NetGalley

Enjoyability    7

Characters       10

Ambience        9

Fairness           10

Plot                  10

Execution        8

My total rating: 4.5

Review for this book included in this video: https://youtu.be/WixTJ_WPyuY

Who Am I as a Reader and What do I Want From Books?

Hello everyone!

I am so happy you found my blog and are going on this bookish journey with me!

I thought I would share with you a bit of who I am as a reader and how I rate my books! Please remember that I do love talking and that I love lists, math and spreadsheets!

There is nothing I admire more than someone who can read a book and discuss it so eloquently and beautifully. I am not that person (but maybe I will become one?!?). I wish I could speak of books and use the proper lingo such as “voice”, “narrative”, “first person”, or even understand the full nuances of different genres and subgenres. But as it is, I am an amateur reader who, selfishly, reads for pure enjoyment. If I could compare it to my psyche, I currently am an “ID” reader and hope to at least get to be a “Superego” reader by the end if the year! #goals

I started reading at a very young age, 3, my mom says I pushed myself to learn how to read because I couldn’t wait for her to read me the books I craved. My parents worked full time and we also did a lot of activities and spend time as a family together, so it is very understandable that my mom and dad wouldn’t want to spend all of their down time reading to me!

I would read primary comic books (In Brazil they have a wonderful child comic series about a girl called Monica and her friends) and fairy tales. By 9 I was reading classics (which I still love), and finally at 11 it was, what I consider, to be the main milestone of my whole reading “career”. My grandfather gifted me “Murder on the Orient Express,” a book that had my mom’s name on it. He had tried gifting it to her when she was a teen, but her interests lay elsewhere. This was the beginning of a wonderful journey – my grandfather, my soulmate, and I would from then on visit bookstores everywhere we went until I had the whole collection. They are all mismatched and from different editions and publishers. Once, now in my adulthood, I have settled in Canada. My grandfather and I went on a virtual journey to complete my English collection, now from the same edition from Harper Collins. Due to copyright, I couldn’t find all books in Canada, so we imported from the UK and – believe it or not – Brazil! We completed the collection before he passed away. These are my “special books.”

This marked me so deeply. It gave me fond memories that shaped me. My love for my grandfather bled into my love for Agatha. I can not think of her without thinking of him and this is, to me, a wonderful thing. Agatha Christie has also made me want to read English, and love England and all things British. She is solely responsible for cementing my love of Golden Age Mysteries, female British writers and it has shaped me as a reader.

Because of Agatha Books there are 6 things I rate a book on before I get my overall rating: Enjoyability, Characters, Ambience, Plot and Execution. I have a video explaining which all of those mean and you can check it out here: https://youtu.be/dkwjzkFbeG0

I also have a deduction criterion, that is only used when applicable. But in a nutshell, while I try to consider when the book is written, there are things – basically any “isms” you can think off, that I find unappealing in a book if it clearly doesn’t add to the plot or isn’t a product of its time that can be understood in context (but never endorsed).

I always strive to give a book a fair rating with my personal emotions aside. Just because a book isn’t for me, doesn’t mean that a lot of people won’t enjoy it. Therefore, I might rate a book high but not recommend it to readers like me. Or really enjoy a book with an average rating. There is no shame in enjoying a fast read!

What are some of your favourite books?!? I would love to hear about your rating system and what things you look forward to while reading a book.

Until next time, be the hummingbird!

Brief Introduction to My Vision and My Blog

Thank you for being here! This blog started out of the need to share all my reads with you – faster than I can make videos! Currently I post book videos on my YouTube Channel on Mondays. I have recently gotten out of years long reading slump and I have been devouring books way faster than I can share on one day a week! My back log of wonderful reads is getting bigger and bigger and I figure I can have this blog as a companion to my YouTube channel.

Why don’t you just you just take the leap and become an exclusively BookTube channel? Well, because I do not have the confidence to speak about books like many marvelous booktubers can. I read for fun, escapism and pure enjoyment. I consider my opinions honest, but selfishly leigh man-like. I also feel that I have different interests and different things to share. So far, my posting schedules work for me.

The current world situation has made it impossible for me to be near people and be as social as I feel I need to be in order to survive. I think this is the reason for my sudden social media presence (I was an antiquated hermit previously). I needed my voice to be heard, and I need to hear people’s voice. For that reason (and also because I am THAT person who has hundreds of folders on her computer and e-mail – I really need everything to be placed where it makes sense), I couldn’t just pick one platform as I haven’t found one in which I could do everything I envision. So, I would like you to invite you to follow me on any of the platforms that interest you, a quick breakdown of my plan for them is:

  • Youtube: Most weeks I post thrice in both English and Portuguese:
    • 🔍 Mystery Mondays 🔍: Everything book related: Book Reviews, Recommendation, Hauls. It is my laidback back approach to sharing books I have read. It is informal and based on emotional connections to the book, I can’t even pretend to know and use all the lingo! I love mysteries, so the majority of the books I share will be fictional mystery/thriller/horror/suspense books. 
    • 🎲 Wayward Wednesdays 🎲: It is my unpredictable posting day. Videos on Wednesdays will vary in theme and will follow my inspiration and gut. These videos could be on sustainability, the paranormal, cultural differences, entertainment, rants, raves and wonders. I could also talk about books and products, if I feel like there’s more to say that week!
    • 📝 Feedback Fridays 📝: Unboxing and product reviews. On Fridays I will be unboxing some subscriptions, reviewing products I use and sharing any discount codes I may have 🙂
  • Good Reads: I am very active on Goodreads and review books I read within a few days of finishing them.
  • Pinterest: Mainly boards ideas for entertaining, cooking and children’s activities
  • Facebook group: I have two groups, one in Portuguese and one in English and they are a melting pot of interests – it’s where we will discuss random topics, where members can start threads of things that interest them and a place where everyone can have a voice. (and of course, books will be a big part of it). I envision my groups as a virtual park, where everyone visits to meet people and have fun by doing and talking about things they love!
  • Instagram: I am currently trying to not give up on a “One year in Pictures project” I started in January. It’s a way I found to try and learn the platform and catch up with the times!
  • Blog: You will find mainly book related posts on this blog – sprinkled with an occasional feedback / unboxing posts about some boxes I subscribe to and really enjoy!
  • Twitter: This is the most inconsistent of them all. I am still learning to navigate it and let go of my need to be able to find posts months after!

I hope you like what you read here and decide to stay with me!