Book Review | Sawkill Girls

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Title: Sawkill Girls

Author: Claire Legrand

Format: Hardcover (own)

Pages: 447

Categories: Horror, Romance, Young Adult, Paranormal

Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

I read this book last night and got halfway through before going to bed. I woke up with a nightmare because of a scene in the book that kinda grossed me out and took on an even more disgusting form in my dreams. 😫 I didn’t think this book would be creepy but the more I read I got sucked into this place called Sawkill Rock and the events happening there.

Girls have gone missing on Sawkill Rock and three girls share an interesting fate there. Marion is new to the island, she and her family are grieving the death of her father so this is a new start. Zoey moved there awhile ago to live with her father but things haven’t going so well there. And Val is queen bee of the island, gorgeous and popular with a hidden agenda.

Surrounding this place is an urban legend about the Collector. Is he real or just an urban legend with no substance to the stories? Will they figure out what is going before more girls disappear?

  • Creepy! The atmosphere of Sawkill was perfect for a chilling story. There things that definitely go bump in the night on Sawkill Rock, especially in the Mortimer household. There is a lot of mystery about Val and her family but we ultimately find out what their purpose is.
  • So much LGBTQIA+ representation! The asexual relationship between Zoey and Grayson was really well done for someone like me who is trying to learn more about people who identify as asexual. I don’t find a lot of books with asexual relationships.
  • This is a superhero story – that was surprising! There was woman power all over this book, mostly at the end. At first the girls are struggling, Val is abused/controlled, Zoey is bullied – Val does the bullying, Marion comes off as strange but they have powers within them and that was cool to see them work together.
  • The Collector was creepy as hell and disgusting. He is a killer, manipulator, abuser, he’s gross and at times I felt uncomfortable about the things he did. Like am I the only who thought it was sketchy that at times he was in the form of a “boy child” and then meet he was a doctor seducing Val…like…what was I reading?! Eww, I mean he was straight evil.
  • It’s quite atmospheric so if you don’t like that type of story, this one might not be for you. I mean at times moths would speak to the girls and I couldn’t tell if that was a good or bad thing haha. The beginning was a bit slow going as we try to figure out what in hell is happening on this crazy island with Marion hearing things, Zoey seeing things and Val…doing things. 😒
  • Though the story starts off like a mysterious paranormal story, the second half is like a superhero movie, maybe more like X-Men. It was an interesting turn and direction that worked for the most part – but it also threw me off at times. I just went with the flow. 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • There is insta-love. More like…insta-lust?
  • Triggers: abuse, murder

This story was atmospheric, creepy and at times strange – the Collector is a vile villain. The message of women empowerment came through hard and the LGBTQIA+ reps were awesome. Overall, this one definitely caught my curiosity, I could’ve done without some of the horror aspects but that’s just me, since I don’t read much horror.

Bookish Items | PastelrainCreations

Hi everyone! Pastelrain Creations is an account I follow on my bookstagram and I finally made a purchase on her Etsy shop. Bianca, the owner, has a good sale going on right now so definitely check her shop out!

She is based out of Canada, so I know there is a little wait with the shipping time, but it came right on time! It took only less than two weeks. Yay! 😍

The thought that went into the packaging (as a former Etsy shop owner myself) is so awesome. My packaging was not as pretty for my shop haha – I love how everything was so feminine and cute, all the way down to the thank you note!

Most of these I am gifting to friends and family that read a lot but I kept the pineapple cord bookmark for myself because I’m an island girl, pineapples are my thing! This was my first purchase but certainly not my last.

Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020!

Aloha everyone! It’s not just the end of a year, it’s the end of a decade. 😲

When I think about all the big things that happened in a decade this is what I came up with:

  1. I got engaged and remarried.
  2. Went to Europe on my honeymoon.
  3. Bought a house, twice.
  4. Had 2 kids.
  5. I had my own Etsy shop for 5 years making hand-stamped metal jewelry.
  6. Started a book review blog.

I definitely tried to do a lot in 10 years for sure! For 2020, I’m looking forward to taking my first trip off this island since giving birth to my son almost 8 years ago. We are doing a big family trip (with parents, sister and her fam) – we are going on a Disney Alaska Cruise. It will be my first cruise and honestly, the first time I am traveling with my two kids. We shall see how that goes, but I’m excited!

As for reading books and blogging – the blog will still be here but I won’t be reading 200 books in one year like I did for 2019. It was overkill for me and started becoming like a chore back in November. I’m much happier reading my usual 60-70 books a year, so I will pace myself accordingly. I want to have a nice balance of NetGalley arcs to read and library books so I control my book spending. I have no more room on my shelves. 😔

And for other hobby news – I miss crafting. I miss my Etsy shop, it’s been closed because when my daughter was a baby it was a lot for me to juggle, so I closed it temporarily. But I think I’ll be opening it up again in 2020. My gift to myself this Christmas was a Cricut Explore Air 2 – it’s a cutting machine. I used to hand stamp metal keychains and other accessories, but now with the Cricut I’ve been playing with acrylic keychains with adhesive vinyl stickers/decals and glitter. Lots of glitter…and glue. 😂 I’m in love with it. Here’s a few starter projects I made:

I’m still learning how to design and weed the vinyl stickers. I’m testing out different fonts that work better with cutting certain words and phrases. It’s so different from hand stamping, where I just picked up a stamp, centered it and banged it with a hammer. I like how with the Cricut I can design the phrase in one go and I can add color with the different types of adhesive vinyl available to me. Hand stamping is basically metal and black ink but it has it’s charm too.

I miss hand stamping because I loved pounding with the hammer. 😆 It was a stress reliever I think, but the pounding can wear on your joints. One time I had an order of 300+ metal tags! I was pregnant at the time doing it and I remember my wrists hurt so much after that week. With the Cricut, it does the cutting work, all I have to do is stick it on acrylic blanks. I love both mediums but for now with my daughter still not in kindergarten, I think the Cricut machine is the way to go. So I am excited! I’d love to add some bookish accessories to my Etsy shop. 😍

So these are my main things for 2020:

  • Disney Cruise Trip
  • Open Etsy shop again
  • Maintain book review blog

Of course it sounds simple and in between these main things are all my kids activities, holiday parties/events, birthdays, a few concerts and broadway shows (got tickets to Mariah Carey and Jersey Boys already haha) – basically life happens. 🤷🏻‍♀️

New Year’s Eve in Hawaii is a BIG thing. So many people light fireworks and as a kid, I loved it, but now that I’m older, my allergies cannot handle all the smoke the fireworks give up. It’s like the whole island is on fire that night. I’m staying in and going to wait until midnight when the whole island goes off with fireworks and watch through my window. How do you celebrate the New Year in your town, city, country?

I hope ALL of you have had an awesome decade, a good 2019 and let’s have an AMAZING 2020! Happy New Year everyone! 🎉🍾🎊 And as we say in Hawaii, Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

Unboxing | ShelfLove Crate | November Box 2019

It came in! My November box from Shelflove Crate, that I totally forgot about – came in today. So this was my first box from Shelflove Crate and probably my last unless that have some amazing book I want in 2020. This box is clearly very late – according to their instagram page, they’ve had a lot of problems with shipping. Instead of getting mad or annoyed, I basically forgot about it. Today when I checked the mail, I was like…what did I order?

Unlike the other book crate boxes I have subscribed from, this one came in a plain white box which left me even more confused. It was a pleasant surprise to see if was my Shelflove Crate order. So let’s see what’s in it!

The theme for the November box is called Reading the Restricted Section. I wanted this box mostly because of the book selection, plus I had never tried Shelflove Crate and wanted to see how good their boxes were.

Here is a Moste Potente Potions storage book. It’s from Harry Potter and I think it’s cool because it’s a storage book and you can put things in it. Not sure what I’d slip in there, but I’ll think of something.

Here is a Banned Books Bin which is collapsible because it is made from fabric. But it’s a cool design with the spines of banned books displayed.

In this photo is the leaflet that comes with the box explaining what all the items are plus a few bookmarks.

The Handmaid’s Tale Inspired Grocery Bag is a nice size reusable bag. Not sure if I’ll keep this or give it away but I always love a good reusable bag.

I see you Edward! Haha – this is a Twilight inspired pocket mirror. I think the design is cute and I can’t believe I don’t already have a pocket mirror in my purse.

Since this is my first Shelflove Crate, I will admit these acrylic chess pieces are SO super cute! This is Lazlo and Sarai from Strange the Dreamer. It makes me want to collect all the chess pieces from Shelflove Crate!

Here is the November BOTM – Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao. I look forward to reading this book very soon!

And I think this might be a bonus item because the boxes were late? Not sure, but this wasn’t listed in the leaflet. It’s a mini poster for A Court of Mist and Fury.

You know despite all the shipping problems and the wait, this was a really cute box with useful items like the bag and the bin. I really love the chess pieces.

And that’s all the boxes I’ve been waiting on for 2019! I think it was fun subscribing to different boxes but I don’t have the space to really collect and store this stuff. So in 2020 I’ll pick and chose which boxes to get based on the book. If you are a book crate subscriber – what is your favorite company?

Unboxing | LitJoy Crate | December 2019 Box

Here we have my final unboxing for this year and it is from LitJoy Crate. The theme was called Lost in Austen and since I love Jane Austen, I knew I had to get it.

Here’s a very cute tray! I love the design with the book spines showing us the titles of Jane Austen books. 😍

This is such a beautiful teacup with the matching plate. Unfortunately and it was bound to happen, the teacup came broken. But it’s totally okay because I emailed LitJoy Crate right away and then took care of the situation and I’m awaiting a brand new cup in the mail. Hopefully it ships intact!

And check out these cozy, soft socks! They say “Talk Darcy to Me”. 😂 I absolutely love it.

And here are some wax seal stickers which I don’t know if I’d use since I don’t write letters anymore. But we shall see maybe I’ll write someone a letter just to use these stickers. 😅

I have calendars all over my house, so I’ll find a place for this somewhere on my…messy…desk. Or maybe it can find a home on my bookshelf. It’s a desk calendar with quotes by authors. I love it!

More cards for the LitJoy Crate collection. These cards are always so well done – they have great detail.

This is the book! Look at the color of that cover – I love it!

And look at the inside of the dust jacket. Just gorgeous!

And that was the box (minus the teacup in the photo because I couldn’t hold it together while photographing). It was a lovely box and I look forward to reading the book.

So…I said this was my last unboxing BUT…I have been waiting – FOREVER – for my box from ShelfLove Crate. I wanted to try it, saw a book I liked they were doing for the November box and wow…nothing yet. I’ve been following their ig account and it looks like they’ve had lots of problems with shipment this month. Sad. Oh well supposedly all November boxes will ship this week? If I get it next week then THAT will be my last unboxing of the year.

Top 5 Tuesday | 12/10/19

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm. Check out her blog for more Top 5 Tuesday topics and other bookish content. Here is this week’s topic:

Top 5 Books I Didn’t Get To In 2019

There are so many I didn’t get to, but I’m not going to try and fit them in at this point. I have arcs to get to first!

She’s still sitting on my shelf all pretty but…I will maybe get to it in January!

I found a discounted copy of this on Bookoutlet and it finally arrived! I made a big order during their Black Friday sale – maybe it’s a good thing it almost takes a month for their shipment to get to me. I have so many books lined up for 2020. 😂 But this title will have to wait until next year for me to get to.

Another discounted find from Bookoutlet! I heard so many good things about this and look at that cover. 😍

I really thought I’d get to this in December, but I have arcs to finish up that are due in a few weeks! So hopefully I’ll finish this in January.

I won this arc on Bookishfirst and it finally came in yesterday so it will have to wait in line.

I have definitely slowed down on reading and blogging this month but I’ll try to pick it up again once my son goes on winter break. Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monthly Wrap-Up | November 2019

Hi everyone, so yes I almost forgot about my monthly wrap-up post! I read much more than what reviews got posted in November. I decided to post later publication titles closer to when they will be released because when I post them right away, I think they get forgotten.

Thanksgiving weekend was wild! I had lots of fun and took a break from reading really – I had a weekend filled with socializing and lots of food. So I need to get back in gear, stop eating desserts, and get some exercise in. I can’t believe Christmas and Hanukkah (because we celebrate both) will be here in about twenty days! Then it’s the New Year and my daughter turns 3! Where does time go? Really…

Anyway here is what I reviewed in November!

If you want to check out the reviews for these books please check out my archives or do a search.

How did you do in November?

Top Ten Tuesday | 12/3/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out their blogs for more awesome bookish content!

Holiday Reads

(Books You Love Reading During the Holidays)

I haven’t done one of these TTTs in awhile! This week’s topic is Holiday Reads-Books You Love Reading During the Holidays. I’m usually in the mood to read romance books during the holidays but not necessarily Christmas holiday romance. A few here and there is good for me. And of course I still read my young adult fantasy books. But because I slowed down in November, it feels like I’m playing catch up in December already, so I’m just going to list what I’m reading.

I posted about this title in last week’s WWW Wednesday but I gotta be honest…it’s been slow going. So far there is insta-love and a major heartbreak, and the couple reuniting which you can guess is not going so well. This book so far has been kinda depressing and I don’t know if it’s one I want to finish in December. 😞

I have the eARC of this book and it publishes in January so I’m reading a little but each day. It’s fascinating…a female version of Shakespeare’s Henry IV but whatever…I don’t even REMEMBER Henry IV, did I even have to read that in high school? There are lady knights!! Lady knights having sex with other lady knights! It’s a pretty amazing undertaking storewide because there are so man characters to follow. I finally hit 20% of the book (it took me all weekend). I’m determined to finish this by this week!

I really need to get a move on this story, I think I’m a fourth in. It’s a good story so far, I just was in the mood for romance and put this down to read the romance novels in my NetGalley shelf haha.

I just finished Wintersong, the first book in this series and I’m going to jump into this one before another book sucks up all my attention.

And yes because I need romance this month, I also started another NetGalley eARC. I’m on chapter two with this one but honestly, I think I’ll finish this one first out of the titles I just listed. 😅

Another eARC on NetGalley that I got started on and I’m at 30%. This is the second book in the Crown of Feathers series and I’m not feeling it as much as the first book in the series. Maybe I’m just not in the mood because it is the holidays? Not sure but I have some time to finish this one, it publishes in February 2020.

There you have it, 6 books I am reading when I feel like it! Haha…I don’t usually have that many open at once, but it is what it is. 🤷🏻‍♀️ It’s December, I’m not in a rush to read anything really unless it’s an arc that’s about to be published soon. I’m just going to try and just chill for the rest of the year. ☺️ Thanks for reading!

Liebster Award

Thank you to Emer at A Little Haze Book Blog for my first nomination for The Lobster Award! If you don’t know who she is, click on the link to check out her blog, she is genuine, real and her posts are fun to read.

What is The Liebster Award?

(and yes this info is all copied from Emer’s post since she always does an amazing job researching these awards and I have no patience hahaha)

I found all this information on The Global Aussie‘s page.

“The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the Award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions

Questions from Emer:

What is your favourite all time music video? Share a link.

Honestly…I’m a kid of the 80’s and I was glued to MTV when music videos started being a “thing” and I’m sure I could go scour youtube for more recent music videos of current songs but THIS video…brings me back to being a kid, and I thought it was so innovative when I first saw it.

If you could spend a year living in another country where would you choose and why?

Italy because of the food and history.

If you could switch places with any character (book, TV show, or film) for a day, who would you switch with and what would you do?

Seriously? So hard…I’ll say Elizabeth Bennett in the Pride & Prejudice version with Keira Knightley. Haha, I want to be in THAT exact movie though, like I want Darcy to meet me across the field at sunrise and say “I love, I love, I love you…”. Yes just like that, sigh.

What is the best snack food in your opinion?

Potato chips.

Do you like to read the book before you watch its film adaptation?

If I read the book first, then sometimes I will watch the film. But if I watch the film first, most likely I will not read the book.

What’s on your list of top three books that you have read so far in 2019?

Queen of Nothing by. Holly Black

Vow of Thieves by. Mary E. Pearson

Patron Saints of Nothing by. Randy Ribay

What are three things you love most about being a member of the online book community (blogs, book twitter, bookstagram, Goodreads etc.)?

Making new reader friends and finding books I’ve never heard of!

Do you have a bucket list? If yes, what are the top five items on your list? If not, what do you think would be in your top five?

  1. write a book
  2. travel bucket list: Greece, Iceland, China, Japan
  3. Britney Spears concert (yes…I love her. I don’t care if she lip-syncs, I just want to dance my booty off and her music makes me do that.)
  4. Take my kids to the Philippines one day
  5. ??? gosh…I better make add some things to my bucket list – I used to have things like see Prince in concert (but he passed away before I could! 😢)

If they were making a film of your life who would you like to cast as yourself?

Hmm, it would have to be a short filipino actress, I just don’t know many in Hollywood. Vanessa Hudgens? I don’t know, I know she’s half filipino and she’d make me look gorgeous right? LOL

What would you do if you were invisible for a day?

Muahaha, follow my son around at school maybe, just to see how he acts with his friends and teacher. And not in a way where I hope he’s behaving (I know he is), I just want to see his face when he and his friends are laughing or the interesting things he tells his teacher, etc…he’s a good kid.

If you could pick someone to write and perform a song inspired by you, who would you pick?

HARD question!! I’ll say Bruno Mars, because I love him. He’s from Hawaii too so I think he would get me. 😍

I am nominating (and no you are not obligated to do this!):

The Library Looter

Nicole

Floras Musings

Yna the Mood Reader

Joanna

Blair

AceReader

Storme Reads

My Reading Escape

Pop of Geek

L.M. Durand

My Questions for You:

  1. What’s your most anticipated read for 2020?
  2. What’s your favorite holiday?
  3. Name three other things you like to do other than read?
  4. Do you make New Year’s resolutions? And if you do, what is your 2020 New Year’s resolution?
  5. What is your guilty pleasure?
  6. Vampire or Werewolf?
  7. At the top of your head – what is your favorite book that you read this year?
  8. Are you a list minute Christmas shopper or do you get everything done way before the Christmas rush?
  9. Has your reading preferences changed over the years? Are you more into a genre now that you weren’t interested in before?
  10. Disney + or Nah?? And if you do have Disney +…what was the first thing you watched?
  11. What movie or book do you want to see or read before the end of 2019?

Unboxing | YA Book of the Month

Hi everyone! Okay, I have a combined unboxing, meaning this is the unboxing for September, October and November and that’s it. Because I cancelled my subscription to YA Book of the Month. So quick, I know!

If you don’t know about the Book of the Month club, every month they feature five books you can choose from. The monthly subscription is $14.99 with shipping already included, so you get charged on a designated date, then you have a credit in your account. The first week of the month, they show the books you can choose from and then you make your choice and use up your credit. It repeats every month until you cancel, like me. But I do believe you can skip months as well.

This is the cute hot pink box the YA books come in. I think the adult fiction books comes in blue? Anyway, it’s a little bit beat up because I assume this box takes quite a journey to get to me. It takes almost a month to get to me and it’s the main reason I cancelled my subscription. 😞

My November book choice was When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis. Every box I’ve received had a blue bookmark that says Book of the Month, which is nice since I always need bookmarks.

All of the BOTM books have smilier characteristics. They all have the logo on the cover and when you take off the dust cover, the naked cover is embossed with the logo, month and year the book was featured as choices.

The books are a certain size, they are larger than the books from the publisher companies and the print I feel is larger too, which is nice!

These are the three books I have from BOTM. My first book was The Ten Thousand Doors of January which I haven’t read yet. I just finished The Beautiful this month and my newest book is Where the Stars Lead to You.

I think it’s a nice subscription if you live on the mainland USA. I think shipping out to me in Hawaii (still part of the USA but in the middle of the Pacific Ocean), shipping just takes too long. For other box subscriptions, especially the crates I’ve tried so far, it comes with priority shipping so it gets to me so quick. Shipping is included with BOTM and $14.99 for shipping and book is really good! But I’m just impatient waiting for it – so it’s not for me.

To cancel my membership for the subscription there is no feature on their website to do that – there is a number to call to cancel.

Anyway, it was cool to try it out! Are you a BOTM subscriber? How do you like it?