#Classicsathon

August is the start of the #Classicsathon and I am happy to be participating this year. This is a super chill readathon meant to give some love to classics. This readathon was started by lucythereader over on Youtube and I will leave the link to her announcement video right here if you want some more information. The only challenge is to read at least one book. I feel like this couldn’t have come at a better time for me because of my current slump. I’m also currently reading a classic as part of my Fox Book Club so I know that I will for sure win this readathon.  I did go through and pick some books off my shelf and from my library that I hope to read this month and I will be sharing them below. Most of them are on the smaller side so I hope I can knock a few of these off my list.

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Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.

The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

*This is the book that I am currently reading. I am almost half way through and really enjoying it. Unfortunately this is an abridged edition which I didn’t know when I bought it. I do appreciate the added notes and essays that give a better understanding of Dumas as well as what was happening historically during his life. I have decided that I won’t be rating this version since it is not the complete book and will hopefully pick up a beautiful edition sometime in the future to read.

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Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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‘In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop… There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth, stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white’

The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright’s eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter becomes embroiled in the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his ‘charming’ friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons, and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security…

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man’s nature, greed, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

~Cassie

 

Update and July Wrap Up

This has been such an odd month for me. I have been slumping hard on reading and blogging. I actually had planned this whole month of blog posts out but when it came time to sit down and write them I just wasn’t feeling it. I still have not been reading much but I have been feeling the itch to blog. So I am optimistically here with hopes that August will be a much more productive month for me.

I actually started a few blog posts but never finished writing them. I will probably just scrap my June wrap up since that ship has long since sailed. The other one is my 2nd quarter stats and I definitely want to finish that and post it. I compared my first and second quarter numbers and I find reading stats so interesting and I think a lot of other people do to. The other post is a book review so I will put that finishing touches on that as well.

As far as reading goes I only have read two books. I am currently in the middle of two other books but I don’t think I’m going to finish them before the month is over. There are so many good books coming out in August that I can’t wait to read so I’m hoping that will help pull me out of my slump. I also went to the library and got a bunch of graphic novels that I also hope will help me.

Now we are on to the two books that I finished this month. I did attempt to read a third but I dnf’d pretty early on because I just found myself getting so annoyed while reading it. Those books are as follows:

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The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

I really liked this book. It was a really good YA thriller that kept me guessing the whole way through. There was of course a romance thrown in but I didn’t mind it too much and actually think it added a nice element to the story. It was way too instalove for me especially given the history of the two characters but it also had its really cute moments. I also loved the ending and didn’t see it coming. It was dark and twisted which is exactly what I want in a thriller.

Rating: 4/5

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Friend Request by Laura Marshall

This is the book I dnf’d. I made it 20% through and nothing had really happened. Also the main character seemed so obsessed with old high school friends finally accepting her and it was just annoying me. The plot sounds so intriguing but it was way too slow with a character who I didn’t really care what happened to her.

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

This was also a really good YA thriller. I absolutely loved the setting of the book. It takes place near a horror themed amusement park and I wish more of the book had taken place there because it sounds so fun. I would love to visit a place like that. I love the way the mystery unfolded in this one and again I didn’t see the end coming. Unlike The Creeping though I didn’t really like the romance in this book. I enjoyed both of the characters but I didn’t really like them as a couple.

Rating: 4/5

I hope that you had a much better July than me and here is hoping that we have an awesome August!

~Cassie

ARC Review: Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Thank you to Netgalley and Dutton for allowing me to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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Title: Lock Every Door

Author: Riley Sager

Pages: 384

Publisher: Dutton

Publication Date: July 2, 2019

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Horror

Rating: 5/5

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

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The two things I loved the most about this book are the pacing and the creepiness level. Out of all three of Sager’s books this is the one that legitimately creeped me out the most. The whole premise of this story is so genius and it kept me guessing the entire time. I could never have figured out the ending and I loved how dark and twisted it was. The atmosphere of the story really added to the creepiness factor. I love how everything was described and I was able to clearly imagine everything that was happening. Lock Every Door takes place over six days. I love this because it really amped up the suspense knowing that things were going to happen quickly. But at the same time nothing ever felt rushed.

My only complaint about this book is that out of all three of his books I felt the least connected to Jules. You know how in some movies you are yelling at a character that they shouldn’t do what they are about to do because it’s obviously not going to turn out good. Well, that was me with this character. She had a couple of moments where I was like what the hell are you doing/thinking?! But at the same time I think that it adds to the fun of it all. Think Scream when Stu is watching the movie and Ghostface is behind him. We are all yelling (or thinking) look behind you! Those kinds of things are what can make horror fun (or maybe that’s just my perverse love of horror) and I liked the element that it brought to the book.

This book cemented my belief that Riley Sager is one of my top favorite authors of all time. Sager’s books are the exact type of horror/mystery that I absolutely love. I will forever read his books and I honestly can’t ever picture myself giving anything he writes less than five stars. I feel confident that anyone who loves thrillers/mysteries will love them as well.

~Cassie