The Last Time She Died by Zöe Sharp

The Last Time She Died by Zöe Sharp is a good start to a new suspenseful thriller series.

Synopsis of The Last Time She Died

In the town of Derbyshire, Blake Claremont disappeared ten years ago. Many thought she ran away, while others were certain she was dead because they most definitely buried her body. Fast forward to the present, Blake returns to her family home, shocking everyone with her sudden reappearance. A few people seem happy to see her, while others think she is an imposter and desperately want to prove it.

So just who is this young woman claiming to be Blake?

Enter Detective John Byron, who is sent in an unofficial capacity to investigate the suspicious manner of death of Blake’s father, Gideon Fitzroy, a former member of Parliament. Byron quickly discovers that the situation is more convoluted than he previously supposed.

This story has multiple POVs, many of which I thought were unnecessary. The three main perspectives are Blake, Byron and Blake’s stepsister, Lily; however, nearly every character gets a few chapters from their perspective.


The chapters themselves are short, but rather than feeling like this was a propulsive read, I thought it was distracting. Just when I became invested, the chapter would end on a cliffhanger, and the next would be told from a different character, making the wait longer to find out what happened, which became frustrating after a while.

The last 100 pages, or so, picked up, and there were plenty of twists. Most were obvious, some were surprising. It was readily apparent who the antagonists were from reading the opening scene, but it was likely purposefully done that way.

The final quarter is when I became fully invested and wanted to know how everything would turn out. Byron’s character was the most well-developed out of all of them. I don’t know if that’s enough to make me want to continue with the series, but we shall see.

CW: child abuse.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5

Publication Date: 20 October 2021

Thank you to Bookoutre for providing me with an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

For past book reviews, check out the blog.

For current reads, see my Goodreads profile.

Oh William by Elizabeth Strout

Oh William by Elizabeth Strout is a short novel that packs a big punch.

Oh William Synopsis

In this third novel, we follow Lucy Barton, later in her life, as she reflects on her relationships with her family and her first husband, William.

Not long after the passing of Lucy’s second husband, Lucy ends up offering her support to William when he receives some surprising news. William discovers he has a long-lost relative that his mother had never previously mentioned. The pair go on a trip to try to reconnect with this newly found relative.


This book is a short one – it’s comprised of two chapters and is told entirely from Lucy’s perspective. It’s easy to finish in one sitting. There is not much plot, but it was nice to float along with Lucy’s narrative.

I thought there were some great insights on childhood trauma and how the effects of that can carry on into adulthood. One example is how Lucy’s abusive upbringing left her uncertain on how she was supposed to behave “correctly” in her new social sphere as an adult.

The second half of the novel is when I became invested in Lucy’s story. Lucy’s relationship with William after their divorce was both sweet, funny, and slightly painful.

Overall, I enjoyed this conclusion to the Amgash series. I only wish there was more of it!

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for the arc in exchange for my honest opinions.

For regular reading updates, see my Goodreads profile.

For past reviews, check out the blog page.

The Brightest Star in Paris by Diana Biller

The Brightest Star in Paris is a magical love story. 


It’s 1878, and Amelie St. James is the prima ballerina at the Paris Opera Ballet. Her adoring fans call her St. Amie because they only see her as the pious and darling ballerina they know and love. However, Amelie wasn’t always this adored. She felt she had to put on this amiable exterior to create a stable life for her and her sister after experiencing hardships. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Benedict Moore, Amelie’s first love, has returned to Paris from America and is on a mission to present at a conference and recruit some new colleagues. But it’s all mostly just an excuse to see Amelie again. 

The two meet under strained circumstances. And this is where murder and ghosts enter and start to thicken the plot. 

Thoughts on The Brightest Star in Paris

The synopsis mentions ghosts of Amelie’s past, but I didn’t think they meant actual ghosts. Even though I wasn’t expecting them, I thought they added an entertaining element to this story. They were the perfect amount of funny and snarky, but also, their stories were heartbreaking. 

This novel was a bit darker than I thought it would be. Some of the themes deal with grief, pain, and loss. 

I think I’ll be in the minority with this one – I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The plot dragged on and could use some editing to par it down a smidge. At one point, the ghost element dropped off and was picked up again later in the book. 

I think other readers will love this; it’s just not for me. There are a lot of other positive reviews, so maybe you’ll want to check those out. 

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the arc in exchange for my honest opinions.

See my Goodreads for regular book updates.

For past blog posts, click here.

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker is a YA fantasy novel inspired by Japanese folklore that hooked me from the very first page.


Ren Scarborough is half British Reaper and half Japanese Shinigami. For most of her life, Ren has, at best, felt like she hasn’t belonged, and at worst, hated because of her mixed heritage.

One fateful night, Ren loses control over her powers and accidentally injures three High Reapers. Rather than suffer severe punishment, Ren decides to flee to Japan with her brother Neven, where Ren hopes to find her identity. In Japan, things do not come as naturally as Ren had hoped, and she ends up going on a quest to carve a place for herself among the Shinigami of her birth country.

Thoughts on The Keeper of Night

This novel incorporates plenty of dark and fantastical elements of Japanese folklore, including Shinigami (death spirits), yōkai (supernatural spirits), Yomi (the Underworld), the nine-tailed fox, and much more. Before reading this, I knew relatively little about Japanese folklore and mythology, but now I am very excited to learn more.

This novel is set in the late 1800s and due to that fact, Ren endures a lot of racism and Othering. There are discussions on belonging, white fragility, identity, and family.

As I mentioned, this book hooked me from the first page. My one critique would be the insta-love relationship, although I will say that it goes to very unexpected places, places that were shocking and wickedly delightful.

I cannot wait for book two in this incredible duology.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

Thank you to Inkyard Press for the ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

See my Goodreads profile for regular book updates.

For past reviews, click here.

Review: The Weekend Escape by Rakie Bennett

A Weekend Escape on a secluded island. What could go wrong?

A group of six friends who haven’t been close since school decide to go on a weekend trip to a remote island. They have the whole weekend planned with climbing, coasteering, and other outdoorsy activities. But since this is a thriller, their plans go up in flames almost as soon as they arrive. As things start going wrong, these once close-knit friends begin turning on each other, suspicious that someone among them is sabotaging their weekend escape.

The last quarter of the book is when I began to feel the tension spike. The group’s unlikely theories about who the saboteur was and their half-baked plans had me rolling my eyes more than a few times. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose. None of the characters were that likeable either, which I don’t usually mind. But if they are unlikeable, then they must be interesting, which these characters were not. The constant snapping at each other and frequently throwing around accusations ended up being tiresome to me.

I will say that this is very atmospheric. I could feel the cold and sense of isolation through the pages. It was also great to read a thriller with some LGBTQIA representation. And, while I correctly predicted who was behind it all, I was still compelled to find out how everything would turn out.

3/5 Stars

Publication Date: October 8, 2021

Thank you to One More Chapter for inviting me to read this arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

The Death of Jane Lawrence both delighted and terrified me, in equal measure. A marriage of convenience trope? An old, crumbling and isolated manor? Yes, please. 


Jane Shorefield wants to marry, and as quick as she can, to maintain her independence. She chooses Augustine Lawrence, the beloved and mysterious town doctor. Augustine hesitatingly agrees on the condition that Jane should never set foot in his family home. But, of course, that plan falls apart as soon as the pair wed. Jane soon discovers inexplicable horrors within the walls of Lindridge Hall and the reason why her new husband wanted to hide it from her. 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this book thoroughly. Books don’t usually scare me, but this one did. I’ve never watched Crimson Peak, so I don’t know if it compares to that, but I can say I noticed Bluebeard similarities. I loved Jane; she’s a smart, practical woman who goes on a journey in this book, facing things that she never would have considered possible before meeting Augustine. 

I will have to check out Caitlin Starling’s other works post-haste. 

See Goodreads for current reads!

Thank you Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

The Trouble With White Women: A Counterhistory of Feminism by Kyla Schuller

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

The Trouble With White Women: A Counterhistory of Feminism is an important read for anyone interested in the history of feminism.

Feminism vs. Intersectional Feminism

Kyla Schuller traces the beginnings of white feminism along with its counterhistory of intersectional feminism, something which has been around for as long as white feminism. Each chapter examines a white feminist, as well as an intersectional feminist. Schuller begins with the original white feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and goes all the way to Sheryl Sandberg. Some intersectional feminists discussed are Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a leading abolitionist-feminist, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, politician and activist.

Schuller explains how white feminism tends to prioritize white women’s needs and concerns, while neglecting the struggles that women of colour face. While white feminism is self-serving, intersectional feminism supports racial, economic, disability, and sexual justice, in addition to gender justice.

Thoughts on The Trouble with White Women

White feminism is not something that needs to be made more inclusive, but rather it needs to be trashed and begun anew.

I am a huge fan of AOC, but before reading this, I did not consider how much pressure she is under to represent her constituents around the clock, to fight for equality, and to look good while doing it all. It’s a lot for just one person.

For regular reading updates, see Goodreads.

Thank you to Bold Type Books/ Perseus Books for providing me with an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

This is a hard book to read, but it is an important one that realistically renders the current divisions in society.

Jen is six months pregnant and is sitting at a bar waiting for her best friend Riley to show up so the pair can catch up on each other’s lives. As the two friends are chatting, Jen gets a string of urgent texts from her husband Kevin, a police officer, that instantly alarms her and causes her to gather her belongings and leave, only telling Riley that “something happened. To Kevin.”

Riley, a news reporter, learns very quickly that Kevin and his partner shot an unarmed Black teenager named Justin Dwyer. Riley is put on the case and struggles to compartmentalize between doing her job, feeling the anguish of another Black member of her community harmed by police, and balancing her now rocky friendship with Jen.

Before all this happened Riley and Jen never spoke about race, but now the subject is unavoidable, and the stark differences of their life experiences put them at odds with each other. As a Black woman, Riley feels the hurt of another Black man suffering because of lethal police brutality. Meanwhile, Jen struggles to balance between supporting her husband and dealing with the horrible knowledge of his actions. Jen frequently fails to comprehend that the problem lies in racism and too often makes it about herself.

This novel sadly plays out true-to-life. It echoes what happened in the aftermath of when Derek Chauvin and his accomplices murdered George Floyd and everyone before and after him. It is a heartbreaking story of one too many BIPOC who suffer at the hands of police brutality.

We Are Not Like Them is a brilliantly written novel. This author duo did a superb job of getting to the heart of each character. Usually I’m iffy about co-authored books, but I cannot imagine this book written any other way. It highlights the obvious need for change, for police reform.

Thank you to Atria Books/Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with an arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

See my Goodreads profile for more reviews.

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson

My rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

Publication Date: October 5, 2021

This is a fun start to a new fantasy series about a young introverted nun who gets pushed out of her comfort zone and must take down an unknown force.

Since the age of ten, Artemisia has been a Gray Sister, tending to dead bodies lest they become corrupted and a danger to the living. Artemisia understands the dead, the living, not so much. When it’s time for her class of nuns to be tested to determine their futures, Artemisia plans to fail in order to remain at the convent and continue looking after the dead and avoid human interaction. However, when the convent suddenly comes under attack, Artemisia becomes half-possessed by an ancient revenant and has to contend with sharing her headspace with the snarky spirit. Together, they must unravel a mystery involving saints, nuns, Old Magic, and deception.

I’ve read and loved Margaret Rogerson’s past novels, so I thought this would be no different. While I enjoyed this, I didn’t love it as much as the previous two standalone books; it was still a solid read.

There’s the right amount of atmospheric writing with a couple of heart-pounding action scenes. I took off 1.5 stars because the narration was a tad slow and aimless at times (I read somewhere that the author started another round of editing after e-galleys became available, so the final copy might be less rambling). Overall, I felt that the author introduced the world in easily digestible amounts.

The revenant and Artemisia are the dynamic duo I didn’t know I needed. Their endless banter had me chuckling more than a few times.

I am excited for the sequel.

Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Canada for the arc via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

See my Goodreads profile for more reviews.


I’ve been a book lover since the moment I learned to read. I typically read 100 books per year, give or take. I read across a broad range of genres, including Fantasy, Literary, Thrillers, Mystery/Suspense, Own Voices, LGBTQIA2S+, Horror, Historical Fiction, YA, Nonfiction (preferably social issues), Women’s Fiction, and the occasional Romance or Sci-Fi. 

I will inhale anything to do with the Classical World. My undergrad was in Classical Languages, and I am still obsessed. 

I began reviewing books in March 2021 and have built a sizeable community of book friends in that short period. I have an addiction to Netgalley.

When I’m not reading, I’m travelling, not right now, of course. See The Globe on Wheels for wheelchair-accessible travel content.