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Monday, August 7, 2017

ANNOUNCEMENT: Taking a Blog Break

Greetings Friends!

As many of you are quite aware, I will be giving birth to my third child, a little girl, in August, so I will be taking a blog break during that month.  I want to spend as much time prepping the boys and our home as well as giving myself time to enjoy and embrace all the chaos without feeling pressure or stress to post new content.  I may have some pre-planned posts that pop up now and then, but for the most part, I anticipate very little writing happening until after September.

If you are a fellow blogger and would be interested in providing guest posts, please email me at thatswhatshesreading@gmail.com with a date and topic and I will be in touch.  

I can't wait to share pictures and lots of reviews when I return since I tend to get a lot more reading done when nursing!

As always, thank you for your support and readership!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

BOOK REVIEW: Final Girls by Riley Sager (Thriller)

Greetings Friends!

Today, I have a review of perhaps one of the year's most highly anticipated thrillers, Final Girls, by Riley Sager.  When Stephen King blurbs for the cover, saying, "The first great thriller of 2017," you know it has to be read!


Genre:  Thriller
Release Date:  July 2017


Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancĂ©, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past. 

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

About the Author:

Riley Sager is a pseudonym for an author who has been previously published under another name. A native of Pennsylvania, Riley is a writer, editor and graphic designer who now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

You can connect with her on:


I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

Back in January, I spotlighted in a Top 5 Wednesday post that this book was one of my most highly anticipated reads for this year.  There was a lot of hype surrounding it and that didn't seem to dissipate once it was finally released in July.  I was super excited to receive an advanced copy and tried to dive into this one as quickly as I could; however, this did not turn into the thrilling, page-turner that I had believed it to be.  I don't think that this is the book's fault, but rather a case of my expectations being a lot higher going into it.  The story was ultimately an enjoyable read given the subject matter and would be a great place to start for those looking to get into the thriller or horror genres.  It's dark, but not dark enough to turn off curious readers. 

I'm not a huge horror fan much less horror films, so I was not familiar with the "final girl" archetype.  This idea of the last girl standing still having to fight years later after surviving her ordeal was really intriguing to me.  Quincy tries to present herself to family and the outside world as the perfect survivor despite having obvious internal conflict with her past.  She's now a baking blogger and everything about her life appears "cute" and "sweet."  She doesn't make a big deal about the massacre, largely because she can't remember what happened, and no one else around her brings it up.  It's only when another final girl, Sam, comes knocking that Quincy begins to really confront what happened to her all those years ago as well as what it means to be the only survivor.

While the story is largely happening in the present, there are small flashbacks throughout that gradually reveal what happened that night to Quincy and her friends.  I enjoyed reading these scenes, and interestingly, they aren't written to reflect Quincy's memory returning, but rather, as a true account of what happened.  It was very subtle and gripping, which definitely helps to keep the story going because I had such a difficult time staying invested in the present situation.  Everything began to drag and feel repetitive with so much unnecessary drama, especially for a character who had steered clear of such turmoil for so long.  Surprisingly, in the end, there is more than one big reveal, but everything happens so fast that it wasn't exactly a satisfying or complete conclusion.  I enjoyed all the red herrings and never saw the ending coming even if it was incredibly disappointing.  

I think the atmosphere of this story lends itself greatly to being read in the fall as we get closer to Halloween.  I have no doubt that this will be a book that many will lose themselves in, but in the end, it was just a good read for me.  Nothing mind-blowing, but definitely worth the time.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Group Dutton, and Riley Sager.  It was a pleasure reading this book and providing a review!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

READATHON: Tome Topple Round 4 Announcement and TBR!

Greetings Friends!

Back in April, I participated in the Tome Topple readathon and Round 4 will be happening from August 4 to August 17.  This readathon focuses on reading those big books on our TBR that keep getting pushed aside because of their size! Now's your chance to dedicate two weeks to one or some of those books and topple those tomes!

The only rule for this readathon is that the books have to be over 500 pages.  Check out Sam over on Thoughts on Tomes for more information.

She will be hosting along with a few others in the book community across formats such as YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr, so pick your poison and join us!  Additional co-hosts include:
Sarah-Jane - https://goo.gl/yqV5xA Caz - https://goo.gl/o75CWD Emma - https://goo.gl/5fh2d3 Sian - https://goo.gl/yaawhX Ish - https://goo.gl/tCq6Ln
There is also a Goodreads group you can join for book suggestions as well as discussion boards featuring the most widely chosen books that you can participate in.  Also follow @tome_topple for updates and use #tometopple to stay involved on Twitter.

There are also a few challenges associated with the readathon that you can keep in mind when selecting your book(s):

  • Read more than 1 tome
  • Read a graphic novel
  • Read a tome that's part of a series
  • Buddy read a tome (use the Goodreads group and Twitter to find buddies)
  • Read an adult novel
  • ** Bonus Challenges: check out Sam's IG for IG challenges! **

Feel free to combine challenges using one book to meet more targets!

The only book I will be spending my time on is It by Stephen King.  And considering I'll have a newborn during this time, if I can get through any length of this massive brick, it will be amazing!

I hope that you will join me in Tome Topple!  Let me know in the comments if you plan to participate, what books you'd like to get read, or whether you'd like to buddy read It with me!