4.5 star, YA

Review: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Stalking Jack the Ripper #1

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.



Okay, just have to start off right off the bat that this was amazing. This series (book one here) was suggested by our very own Andge and I am 100% on board and thankful for this recommendation. I even checked with her and she agreed with my 4.5 rating here.

I was never much of a history buff, and so I tend to avoid historical fictions if left to my own devices. But ever since Andge introduced The Last Magician to me, I honestly have a newfound interest and curiosity for them. So if you have never tried historical fictions, I can honestly say you should give it a try – you may find that you also enjoy them!

I can’t think of a better first dive into historical fiction, especially if you’re into YA (which is why we’re all here, right?). Stalking Jack the Ripper may be a bit of a intimidating title, but I promise it’s not a sappy love story where a girl falls in love with a serial killer. Set in the late nineteenth century England, Audrey Rose Wadsworth is not your typical young lady. Studying as an apprentice under her uncle in post-mortem studies, she is no stranger to dead bodies and getting her hands dirty. Don’t be fooled by the macabre setting – all the essence of your favourite YA novel can still be found!

Continue reading “Review: Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco”
3.5 star, YA

ARC Review: Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

Series: Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1

Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit. 

When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.



**Pride and Premeditation comes out April 6, 2021**

Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Pride and Premeditation was a fun and unique twist of a Jane Austen inspired story. I will first have to admit that I like Jane Austen’s works, but that I am by no means a super fan so I cannot speak for those of you who identify as such. What I will speak on is my appreciation of familiar characters in new roles while maintaining the essence of their personalities from the original.

Set in the Regency era (I really love this period, honestly), our Lizzie Bennett works at her father’s law firm which unfortunately is named Longbourn & Sons. Her hopes are set to be a barrister one day, something that is an uphill battle in this day and age for a woman, but Lizzie has the fight and stubbornness in her that many fans have grown to love. Worse yet, her father does not approve of letting her work on cases, though the lazy Mr. Collins takes all the credit for the work she ends up doing for him.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price”
5 star, adult

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel eBook: Reid, Taylor Jenkins:  Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life.

When she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.



I am not normally easily convinced by reading biographical type stories – but this one had me hooked in very few pages. This novel follows an aspiring journalist, Monique, who lands a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interview a now-aged Hollywood icon, Evelyn Hugo. Famous for a plethora of scandals and of course, her seven husbands, what is it that finally makes Evelyn open up about her past? And what secrets has she been hiding all these years?

Wow, 5 Drink Me Potions. I really didn’t think I would have many books in my life I was confident to rate at the top level. But honestly, I was so enraptured by this book I flipped through it in one day and absolutely could not put it down. The character Evelyn Hugo, is just so perfectly imperfect, exactly the type of character I absolutely adore. And this was a whole biographical retelling of her life story. Evelyn was an absolutely stunning character, so well written and intricate. I found myself heavily admiring her, and wondering if I would have the courage and smarts to do all that she did to protect herself and her loved ones.

When I say they go through her life story I really do mean her life story. After all, how else do you get through seven husbands? But from her childhood all the way to old age, the roller coaster of events that life takes her through is an absolutely wild and riveting ride, and all facets of her character are truly shown off. While she makes very morally ambiguous choices, and stretches the grey zone further than most people ever do, I found that despite her “bad” actions, I just couldn’t blame her for anything. I understood her motivations, and despite that not being a justification for her actions, it was completely understandable. I reckon that if I had the courage to reach for my goals the same way she did, I would have done the same things.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is well-researched and written, as we span the decades of 20th century Hollywood through the eyes of Evelyn. This is also beautifully tied back to the journalist Monique, and her own journey as she learns about Evelyn’s. I really haven’t been this moved by a book in a long while! The complications and difficulties of real life situations are illustrated so well, and demonstrates the necessity of morally grey actions and truly highlights the complexities of life. This is story of a girl’s humble beginning through her rise to fame and all the sacrifices she had to make to attain her goals and looking back, just what was it all worth in the end?

Obviously, it is just a personal opinion that this book (and mainly, this character) spoke to me so much, but if you love that 20th century Hollywood setting, and honestly one of the most clever and powerful heroines I have ever met (or read about), then give this book a shot!

Overall Recommendations:

Obviously, with such a rating, I absolutely recommend this account of Evelyn Hugo’s life. This novel truly explores the theme of dreams, love, and sacrifice, and how far one can push to reach for the stars (or stardom, in this case). You are really taken through a journey (7 husbands, can you imagine?) and as more and more of Evelyn’s character comes to light, this idea of being perfectly imperfect could not be more clear. If you wanna see a female protagonist truly tear up the Hollywood scene and seriously outsmart the patriarchal society, Evelyn Hugo’s your girl. I was absolutely entranced by her story, and hopefully you will be too!