The Sun Down Motel – Good Book, Bad Motel

How it was always girls who ended up stripped and dead like roadkill. How it didn’t seem to matter how afraid or how careful you were – it could always be you.

Simone St. James, The Sun Down Motel

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted on here, and my only valid excuse is that we live in a CRAZY world right now. With the election happening this week, I thought I’d distract my one audience member (me) from thinking about it. So, here I am. I’m back and ready to review a book that scared the shoot out of me.

I don’t think anyone really likes motels, but I really, really, really, don’t like motels. My main and, up until a few weeks ago, only reason for believing this was because of Bates Motel/Psycho. I mean you cannot watch that show/movie and not ever fear going to a motel.

After reading The Sun Down Motel, I’ve decided that the only thing motels are good for is as a setting to any horror-thriller book or movie. That’s it. I’m never staying at a motel ever.

Seeing as this book is a thriller, the whole creepy motel vibe really works.

Book Description

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.

(Brought to you by Goodreads)

I really did enjoy reading this book. Carly’s aunt’s disappearance is an Unsolved Mysteries dream episode that has never come close to being solved. Carly, who just so happens to love all things true crime has been obsessed with her aunt’s disappearance ever since she was told of it. When Carly’s mom passes away (cancer), she knows that it’s the perfect time to try and uncover a mystery that has long haunted (hehe) her family.

The true-crime aspect of this book is the best part of this book and my favorite part. In 2017 Carly is trying to investigate Viv’s disappearance, and in 1982, Viv is trying to uncover and connect a string of mysterious murders in Fell, that may or may not be committed by the same person. Seeing Carly and Viv investigate these crimes side by side, and ultimately discover all the answers to their questions, will have you feeling all kinds of excitement.

Along with true crime, we’ve got some ghosts. Now, the ghost scenes tended to be a little over the top for me. Like way over the top. In fact, I think the book could have been so much better if St. James had just removed the ghosts from the book altogether, or if she had just toned down the theatrics. Some people like that kind of stuff, but I just didn’t see how it was necessary.

Immediately after reading this book I gave it to my roommate to read, who is a huge thriller/horror movie and book fan. I was very curious to know what she thought of this book because while the ghost parts were over the top, there were a lot of parts in this book that had me sleeping with my light on. Turns out, she wasn’t a big fan of the ghosts either. She also didn’t feel that this book was “sleep with your lights on” scary. Obviously, our scared tolerances are vastly different.

For all you seasoned horror/thriller fans, like my roommate, just know that this book will not have you quaking with fear. At least there is a complexity to the plot, and two strong, bamf female leads.

What more do you really need in a good read?

Just Read It!

Have I ever told you not to read a book?! Nope. And I never will, so Just Read It already!

I want to know what other thriller fans think of this read – did it scare you, or were you unimpressed?

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In Need Of A Good Beach Read

Well, times are a little crazy, aren’t they?

You would think with the Stay at Home Order I’d have all the time in the world to write blog post after blog post. In actuality, I have found very little time to write. I’m fortunate enough to work from home, and while most people’s jobs aren’t as busy, my job has gotten crazier. It’s enough to make my time at home fly by, and I’m incredibly thankful for that. Being busy at work, and spending time with my family, I just haven’t had the motivation to write any posts.

It hasn’t stopped me from reading though. So far I’ve read The Two Lives of Lydia Bird (will review that soon) by Josie Silver and If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane. And of course, I’m re-reading the Harry Potter Series, because, why not? I got the time.

Another book that I’m really excited to read is called, Beach Read by Emily Henry. The day that I got Beach Read from BOTM I was going through some of my older paintings when I found this gem:

I painted this my senior year in high school when I was experimenting with watercolors. When I pulled this out of my portfolio all I could think about was reading Beach Read on a Beach with a Pina Colada in my hand. Ahhh, but alas, quarantine is preventing me from doing that. Instead, I’ll read it in my backyard, with a Pina Colada in my hand.

What books are you reading during this quarantine? Like always, I love getting book suggestions, so don’t be shy!

Happy reading, and stay safe!!!

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These 15 Book Covers Will Have You Excited To Read The Books

People always say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but let’s be real, we are all judging books by their covers. How could you not? It’s the first thing you see when you’re picking out your next read.

Book covers are your first introduction to the book, so in an ideal world, the cover should be some kind of snapshot of the story you’re about to delve into. I prefer book covers with some kind of scene, but if I can’t have that, then I love a classic title with a great font and background. The best book covers make the most sense after you’ve read the books. They add something to the story and vice versa.

Since I’m such a big book cover fan, I put together a list of 15 books that I’ve read or want to read solely based on the book covers. Let me know what your favorite book covers are in the comments 🙂

1 – Since You’ve Been Gone

2 – Dear Edward

You can check out my book review for Dear Edward here.

3 – Golden State

4 – If I’m Being Honest

5 – Bringing Down The Duke

6 – The Selection

7 – Well Met

8 – Where The Crawdads Sing

9 – A Woman Is No Man

10 – Long Bright River

You can check out my review for Long Bright River here.

11 – All The Bright Places

12 – Not If I Save You First

13 – The Sun Down Motel

14 – Save The Date

15 – The Silent Patient

There are many more books I wanted to add to this list, but I thought I’d keep it simple. There are a few books on this list that I’m either in the process of reading, or plan on reading: The Sun Down Motel, Save the Date, Not If I Save You First, A Woman is No Man, and All the Bright Places.

I am also currently working on book reviews for Bringing Down the Duke, Where the Crawdads Sing, and The Silent Patient, so stay tuned!

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Book of the Month: Yay or Nay?

About a year ago I discovered something magical and life-changing: An online book subscription. Can you believe I hadn’t discovered online book subscriptions until last year?!

I was bored one day just scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed when I came across an ad for something called Book of the Month (BOTM). I was immediately intrigued and clicked the link. All I had to see were the words “online book subscription” and I was already signed up. It was very impulsive, but I just couldn’t seem to help myself.

Feel free to comment your opinion on BOTM and other book subscription services below 🙂

What is Book of the Month (BOTM)?

It’s an online subscription service for books, which makes it so much more special than all the other subscription services.

This is how it works: BOTM features 5 different books each month for you to choose from, you select which book(s) you want to read, and then you get to read it. They do all of the research, so it’s easy breezy.

Some of the featured books are early releases or are highly anticipated novels from debut authors. No book is from the same genre, so you have a variety to choose from, which is nice. These aren’t just randomly chosen books either. The people at BOTM do all the research for which books to select each month. The only work you have to do is select the book and checkout.

The History of BOTM

Believe it or not, BOTM didn’t originally begin as an online subscription service. It originated in the 1920s and was known as Book of the Month Club. Subscribers would pay around $2 monthly for the book of the month. The book was chosen by a panel of judges, and whatever book that was chosen was usually a new release. The Book of Month Club became notorious for selecting books that were very well received by the public. For example, in 1950 the club chose Gone with the Wind as its book of the month, which as you know, has become a cult classic.

Everything changed for the Book of the Month Club when Amazon changed the way books were consumed. More and more people seemed to read their books using a Kindle. This new trend forced Book of the Month Club to temporarily close its doors in 2012, but thankfully they reestablished the club to be an online subscription service in 2015. They also changed the name to Book of the Month (BOTM). Much classier, eh? The man who relaunched BOTM figured since people (primarily women) were getting their clothes through online subscriptions, why not get their book that way too?

The sole purpose of the new BOTM was to stay true to its roots. A panel of judges would select not just one monthly book, but five monthly books for subscribers to choose from. BOTM didn’t want to just focus on highly anticipated books from well-known authors either, they also wanted to give new/debut authors a chance to get their books read.

Learn more about the BOTM’s history here.

How much does this cost?

Your first month is only $9.99 and after that, the subscription is $14.99 a month. Here’s the fun part: if you don’t like any of the book selections for the current month you can choose to skip your BOTM. When you skip a BOTM you will not be charged the subscription cost, and you can skip however many times you want. How neat is that?! Shipping is also included!

What Are Add-ons?

You have the option to add two additional books to your BOTM box each month. You can select from the current BOTM selection, or from the top books of any previous month. That means you can get up to 3 books for the price of $14.99 each month. As I mentioned before, you can also choose to skip the month if you don’t like any of the book options.

Is it worth it?

I’ve been subscribed to BOTM for almost a year now and I have loved every book I’ve gotten from them. I’ve skipped a few months here and there too, which is a nice perk of the service.

One thing I really like about BOTM is that it forces me to explore other genres besides my usual YA romcom or Fantasy Adventure books. I’m sure I’ve passed on a lot of good books at bookstores or on Amazon because the genre wasn’t something I’d usually read. You also get introduced to books by debut authors.

All in all, I like BOTM, and I don’t think it hurts to try it yourself. If you end up trying it and love it as much as I do, then you are welcome. If you end up hating it, then I’m sorry, and please don’t blame me.

Happy reading!

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5 Reasons You Should Read Long Bright River

This was the secret I learned that day: none of them want to be saved. They all want to sink backward toward the earth again, to be swallowed by the ground, to keep sleeping. There is hatred on their faces when they are roused from the dead.

Liz Moor, Long Bright River

I read this book in one day. I picked it up one Saturday morning and told myself I’d only spend a few hours reading it, then I would move on to something more productive. Lo and behold, a few hours come and go and I’m still reading Long Bright River. Once I hit the halfway point, I realized there was nothing I could do to stop myself from finishing this book. As someone who works full time, my weekends are very precious to me, so I would never sacrifice one of my days off on a book that was just mediocre.

This is the first book I’ve read from Liz Moore, and after finishing Long Bright River, I can guarantee you it won’t be the last.

If I still haven’t convinced you then please skip down to my 5 reasons I think you should just read Long Bright River. If that still doesn’t convince you, then I’m sorry, and I’ll work on my persuasion skills ASAP.

Book Description

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak to anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.

Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.

Brought to you by Goodreads

5 Reasons I think you should read Long Bright River

1 – You’ll learn about Philadelphia’s opioid crisis

Liz Moore did a ton of research in preparation for writing this book, and it shows. The Philadelphia neighborhood where most of the book takes place is in Kensington, which is an actual Philly neighborhood that is strongly affected by the opioid crisis. In fact, Moore got to see the crisis first hand when she moved to Philadelphia in the early 2000s. She even taught a creative writing class in the Kensington area that was open to all people. Some of her students were recovering addicts. In this article from The Gaurdian, Moore goes into a little more detail about how her research and experience aided this story.

2 – There’s family drama that doesn’t quit

The family drama in this book is insane, and it stays that way throughout the book. We learn early on that Mickey and Kacey’s mother passed away from an overdose when they were very little, and their father left them not long after that. They were left in the care of Gee, their grandmother, who wasn’t the kindest or most loving of caretakers the girls could have had.

It’s interesting to see how two little girls, who grew up in the same exact environment, grow to have two very different lives. Mickey becomes a police officer, much to her family’s surprise, and Kacey becomes an addict and sex worker. Obviously, these two very different paths the girls take make for a very complicated sister relationship.

3 – The alternating chapters between past and present will keep you captivated

Just to be clear, every chapter is in Mickey’s perspective, and each chapter alternates between present and past. These alternating chapters allow us to see the progression of Mickey and Kacey’s relationship. As young girls, the two were very close, but as they get older things change. We basically get to see Kacey’s transformation from a sweet naive little girl to a young adult whose life is controlled by addiction. We get a sense of what it’s like for Mickey to slowly lose the sister she knows and loves. We also get to see how Mickey ends up becoming a police officer, and how that decision impacts her relationship with not just Kacey, but the rest of the family too.

In all of the chapters set in the present time, we see Mickey fighting to find her sister with the help of a few key players.

4 – There are multiple twists that you’ll (probably) never see coming

There’s the big overall mystery of what happened to Kacey, but there are also a few other twists and turns that seem to come out of nowhere. I think I exclaimed, “What?!” way more than once while reading this book.

5 – There’s a host of complex characters

We have Mickey and Kacey, but wait there’s more!

  • Thomas – Mickey’s 4 year old son, who is ADORABLE. Mickey raises him by herself, so the two of them have a very close bond. Everything Mickey does is for Thomas.
  • Simon – Mickey’s weird ex-boyfriend. Not going to lie. Mickey’s relationship with this guy is all sorts of messed up.
  • Mrs. Powell – The quirky downstairs neighbor/landlord/sometimes watches Thomas. We don’t really get to know the real Mrs. Powell until halfway into the book, and when you do get to know her, you will love her. She’s kind of a surprising character.
  • Truman – Mickey’s hunky ex cop partner. The only reason he’s an ex partner is because of an injury he sustained when on the job. He tries to help Mickey find Kacey.
  • Gee – Mickey and Kacey’s grandma, but I have to say she’s not much of a grandmother, like I mentioned before. She was more of a roommate that Mickey and Kacey had to live with after their mother passed away and their father left.
  • Paula – Paula is Kacey’s childhood best friend, fellow addict, and sex worker. She also somewhat assists Mickey in finding her sister.

Just Read It

Need I say more?! Just read it already!

Let me know in the comments if you had a different reaction to Long Bright River. Just because I loved it, doesn’t mean everyone will. I always look forward to hearing what other people think, so don’t leave me hanging!

Enjoy this review? Make sure to also check out my review on Whisper Man!

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10 Romance Books I Can’t Bring Myself To Read

Happy day before Galentine’s Day!

Since Galentine’s Day is tomorrow I thought I should share with you 10 romance books that I just can’t bring myself to read. Some of these books I have attempted to read, but couldn’t finish because they were either too sappy or too sad. Also, when a book is really hyped up by the general public, I find myself struggling to read the book…but that could just be the wannabe hipster in me.

Are there any romance books that you can’t or refuse to read too? Let me know in the comments!

1 – The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

500 Pages

Release Date: July 5, 2003

Don’t go falling in love with someone who messes with time travel. I feel like you’re setting yourself up for a disaster.

2 – Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

328 Pages

Release Date: April 12, 2012

I love Rainbow Rowell, but for some reason, I can’t bring myself to read this one. I’ve had friends who have read it and loved it, and maybe that’s part of the reason I refuse to read it. I’m afraid it won’t be as good as everyone says. John Green also loved it, and he writes really sad books, which leads me to believe that this book is probably sad too.

3 – Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James

356 pages

Release Date: May 25, 2011

More like 50 Shades of yuck.

4 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

532 pages

Release Date: October 16, 1867

I wanted to love this book, but I couldn’t get through it 😦

5 – One Day by David Nicholls

435 pages

Release Date: January 1, 2009

First, this book doesn’t have the best reviews, and second, the movie was very depressing.

6 – The Fault in our Stars by John Green

313 pages

Release Date: January 10, 2012

If I’m being totally honest, I cried like a little baby when I watched this movie. It was SO sad, and I know if I read this book I’ll cry even harder because that’s just how it goes for me.

7 – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

964 pages

Release Date: 1877

I mentioned this earlier in my Reading List 2020 post; this book is almost 1,000 pages, so you could say that’s not a huge motivator for reading it.

8 – The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

227 pages

Release Date: January 5, 2000

I refuse to read the book, and I refuse to watch the movie, even though I love Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. They’re both awesome.

9 – The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

384 pages

Release Date: November 1, 2016

Haven’t seen the movie, and haven’t read the book. I’ve heard nothing but great things about the book, but again, I can’t bring myself to read it.

10 – Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

464 pages

Release Date: December 1847

I guess I’m not a big Bronte fan…because I’ve also tried reading Wuthering Heights…and I couldn’t get through it. I’m sorry Bronte sisters!

It’s probably obvious from this list that I’m not a huge fan of books with sad endings, specifically dramatic/romance books. Is there a fun term for that genre? I’m going to call them dramantic books. I tend to stay away from dramantic books, so you probably won’t see too many of those book reviews from me. Although I did add a dramantic book to my 2020 reading list, All The Bright Places, so we’ll see how that goes…

Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if there are any romance (or dramantic) books that you can’t bring yourself to read.

As always, happy reading!

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My 2020 Reading List

I am publicly posting my 2020 reading list so that I’m more motivated to actually read all of the books on my list. That can be a real struggle for me. Does anyone else feel that way, or is it just me?

Anyway, check out my list below, and feel free to add any other book suggestions in the comments section. I’m open to pretty much anything!

The Rest of the Story

By Sarah Dessen

440 pages

Release Date: June 2019

I don’t think it’s possible for Sarah Dessen to write a bad book, so I’m obviously going to read her newest release.

Things in Jars

By Jess Kidd

373 pages

Release Date: February 2020

A mysterious historical fantasy set in Victorian London, with a strong female protagonist?! Yassssss!

Anna K.

By Jenny Lee

448 pages

Release Date: March 3, 2020

I’ve never read Anna Karenina, and I’ve never seen the movie. All I know is the book is crazy long. So long, I have avoided reading it my whole life. Lucky for me, Jenny Lee has graced us with a retelling of the classic story, and this book is a lot shorter. I’m not kidding, this book is 500 pages shorter than Anna Karenina

The Killer Across The Table

By John Douglas

352 pages

Release Date: May 2019

After reading Mindhunter, how could I not read John Douglas’s newest true crime book? Since I’m still processing Mindhunter, I might have to wait a little bit before I get started on this one.

What You Wish For

By Katherine Center

320 pages

Release Date: July 14, 2020

I have read two of Katherine Center’s novels, Things You Save in a Fire and How to Walk Away, both are great books. Her next book, What You Wish For won’t be released until July 14, 2020, so you could say the anticipation is killing me.


By Courtney Summers

308 pages

Release Date: September 2018

Sadie’s just a girl who’s trying to uncover the truth behind her sister’s murder. Then there’s the guy following her journey on his true-crime podcast.

You Deserve Each Other

By Sarah Hogle

368 pages

Release Date: April 7, 2020

First, they like each other, so they get engaged. Then, they don’t like each other…then they like each other again? Talk about complicated, am I right?

A Woman is No Man

By Etaf Rum

336 pages

Release Date: March 2019

A 2019 release from debut author, Etaf Rum. This book peers into the conservative Arab culture through a woman’s point of view.

The Sun Down Motel

By Simone St. James

336 pages

Release Date: February 18, 2020

What do you get when you put a deep-seated family mystery, ghosts, murder, and a creepy old motel together? You get The Sun Down Motel…and you also get Psycho kind of.

Little Women

By Louisa May Alcott

449 pages

Release Date: September 1868

Believe it or not, this book isn’t about tiny women, it’s about sisterhood. I’m hoping I’ll understand the little part when I read the book.

All The Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven

378 pages

Release Date: January 2015

A teen drama/romance that’s soon to be a movie! I’m thinking this book is on The Fault in Our Stars level, which means I will be reading this with a tissue box and possibly lots of comfort food.

Before She Knew Him

By Peter Swanson

309 pages

Release Date: March 2019

I read the description of this book and immediately thought of Desperate Housewives. A suburban couple living in the suburbs, possibly living next door to a murderer? Sign me up!

Evvie Drake Starts Over

By Linda Holmes

289 pages

Release Date: June 2019

Evvie Drake starts over with the help of a hunky baseball player, so obviously I’m excited to read this book.

Harry Potter Series

By J.K. Rowling

309 pages

Release Date: June 1997

Have I already read this series multiple times? Yes. Does that matter? No, it does not.

A Discovery of Witches

By Deborah Harkness

579 pages

Release Date: February 2011

All I know is some witch opens an old book in a library and all hell breaks loose. There also may or may not be a vampire love interest…

Daisy Jones & the Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid

355 pages

Release Date: March 2019

Daisy Jones & the Six tells a raw and captivating tale of a fictional seventies band. Plus, Reese Witherspoon is making it into an Amazon series so…(hence Reese’s book club sticker).

That’s what I’ve got on my list so far! I’m equally excited to read all of these books, so I’m not sure where to start first. Obviously, I won’t be starting with the books that haven’t been released yet, unless I manage to get copies ahead of time.

If you’ve already read any of the books on my list, I want to know what you thought, so please comment 🙂

Happy Reading!!

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Mindhunter? More like Mindblown

But twenty-five years of observation has also told me that criminals are more ‘made’ than ‘born,’ which means that somewhere along the line, someone who provided a profound negative influence could have provided a profound positive one instead. So what I truly believe is that along with more money and police and prisons, what we need more of is love. This is not being simplistic; it’s at the very heart of the issue.

John Douglas, Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit

The other night I was on one of my daily walks just minding my own business, thinking about my life, and jamming out to some tunes, when out of nowhere I’m thinking about serial killers. I’m thinking about serial killers because at the time, I was walking by myself, in a park (not too far from my apartment), and I’m wearing headphones. I was in a park. At night. By myself. With headphones in. I felt like I put a target on my back that said, “Come and get me, crazy psycho murderers!”

This, of course, leads me to think about Mindhunter, and how John Douglas says everyone is vulnerable. Anyone could be a victim. For the crazy pants murderer, all it takes is the right person, at the right time, in the right place. Everyone is vulnerable. I’m vulnerable. You’re vulnerable. We are all vulnerable, and that’s scary. It’s scary knowing that there are people out there that want to hurt you. Maybe not you specifically, but people in general.

This had me rushing out of the park and heading to a busier part of the neighborhood for safety, but I still couldn’t push those thoughts out of my mind. I was instantly suspicious of any other pedestrian I walked past that night. I even cut my walk short because I could not stop thinking about it.

That’s the kind of effect Mindhunter had on me. It had me critically analyzing everyone and getting freaked out on walks, but it also fascinated me.

If you missed my post about how excited I was to read this book, then you can check out that post here.

Book Description

He has hunted some of the most notorious and sadistic criminals of our time: The Trailside Killer in San Francisco, the Atlanta Child murderer. He has confronted, interviewed, and researched dozens of serial killers and assassins, including Charles Manson, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, and James Earl Ray – for a landmark study to understand their motives. To get inside their minds. He is Special Agent John Douglas, the model for law enforcement legend Jack Crawford in Thomas Harris’s thrillers Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs, and the man who ushered in a new age in behavioral science and criminal profiling. Recently retired after twenty-five years of service, John Douglas can finally tell his unique and compelling story.

*Brought to you by Goodreads

My Reaction

The Interviews

The interviews are a big aspect of Mindhunter, and honestly one of my favorite parts of the book. It gave me the chills for sure.

The reason Douglas and Bob Ressler, his partner, started interviewing convicted killers was because they both felt they had so much to learn from them. What better way to catch killers than by getting inside their heads? Douglas even says throughout the book:

“If you want to understand the ‘artist,’ you must study his ‘art.’ If you want to understand the criminal mind, you must go directly to the source and learn to decipher what he tells you.”

John Douglas mentions that the key to conducting a good interview was to treat the interviews as casual conversation. Recording the interviews and taking notes made their interviewees nervous and often played into their paranoia, so Douglas and Ressler stopped that after the first few interviews.

Why were these interviews so beneficial? Essentially, these interviews helped Douglas and other agents understand criminals. In understanding the criminal, they began to get a better idea of what kind of person would commit a certain kind of crime.

Catching Serial Killers

The rest of the book focuses on how Douglas and other profilers use their deductive reasoning to create criminal profiles on active murder cases. Douglas talks about some of the cases he worked on like, Atlanta child murders, BTK, and the Green River killer, to name a few. The profiles created by the BSU in the FBI became really important when it was time to convict the killers. It used to be that in order to get a conviction in a murder case you needed conclusive forensic evidence, eyewitness accounts or a confession, or good, strong circumstantial evidence. But, now with profiling, there’s added evidence for a murder conviction. Of course, you can’t get a conviction on a criminal profile alone, it only works alongside other evidence. Still, that development was a pretty big deal. John Douglas and other profilers testified in a lot of cases, helping put away many killers.

John Douglas is a real-life hero. And it’s not just him, it’s all of the other agents, past and current, who are working in the Investigative Support Unit (previously the Behavioral Science Unit) at the FBI.

Nature Vs. Nurture

A big thing that stuck with me from reading this book is the quote I included at the beginning of this post, “What we need more of is love.” Douglas tells us towards the end of his book that many people ask him if it’s possible to prevent these serial crimes. Is there a way to prevent these killers from killing in the first place? What is needed to make this happen? Douglas tells us that he believes criminals are more than likely made than born. Almost all of the killers he interviewed had grown up in a dysfunctional environment, which Douglas believes is what led them to become violent offenders. He wonders if that would still be the case had they been treated with more love.

A book that causes a debate, in my opinion, is good. It wasn’t hard for Douglas to do this since he was writing about something that’s already a huge topic of discussion. The nature vs. nurture debate will never go away. People will always discuss this. Even after reading Douglas’ opinion on the matter, I still wonder about the validity of his argument. Maybe most criminals are made, but one also has to wonder if a small part of that person was born that way. I think it’s a little bit of both. Then again, I’m not the leading expert in criminal profiling.

Just Read It

If you are a true crime fan like myself, then you’ll probably love this book. If you’re a fan of the show then you will also love this book. So stop reading this and just read Mindhunter instead. You won’t regret it!

Happy reading!

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10 Harry Potter Book Quotes That Will Give You Hope

There was a time in my life, a dark time really when I refused to read the Harry Potter series. One of my best friends growing up was obsessed with the series and told me, almost on a daily basis, that I needed to read the books. I just waved her off because I didn’t feel like reading them. Little did I know that I was depriving myself of the most magical and wonderful book series in existence. I was young and naive then.

I’m not sure if it was my friend’s insistence that finally pushed me to read it, or I actually became genuinely curious. All I know is that one weekend I didn’t have a book to read and I was browsing through our little library at home when I saw Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone sitting towards the bottom of our bookshelf. I told myself if I didn’t like it, then I could just stop reading it. But, guess what? I LOVED it. After reading the first one, I read the second one, then the third, and so on. I’ve re-read the series multiple times, and now I even have a second edition of the first Harry Potter book that has become my most cherished possession.

The one thing I love most about books is that they have the ability to take you into a different world. I’m either reading to lose myself in someone else’s life, sometimes to escape my own, or I’m reading to remind myself that I’m not alone in whatever I’m struggling with in my life. I don’t just love Harry Potter because it’s a story about magic, I love Harry Potter because it’s shown me time and time again that I can beat the dragons in my life.

You should prepare yourself for more Harry Potter posts in the near future. I wrote a whole paper on this book in my Critical Analysis class in college. I could go on for days, but since this post isn’t meant to be a Harry Potter analysis post, I’m just going to shut myself up and get to the quotes I know you all are waiting to read.

Enjoy! And let me know which Harry Potter quote is your favorite!

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.

Albus Dumbledore, Chamber of secrets

Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?

Albus Dumbledore, Deathly Hallows

I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.”

Hagrid, Goblet of Fire

The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.

Ginny Weasly, Half-blood prince

We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.

Sirius Black, Order of Phoenix

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

Albus Dumbledore, Prisoner of Azkaban

It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.

Albus Dumbledore, Deathly Hallows

Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.

Luna lovegood, Order of Phoenix

It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

Albus Dumbledore, Sorcerer’s stone

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.

Albus Dumbledore, Deathly hallows

And there you have it! 10 Harry Potter quotes that will hopefully bring you hope. I know there are so many more quotes I could have included. I really just chose these ten because I love them the most. Don’t hesitate to share your favorite Harry Potter book quote in the comments.

Happy Reading!

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Just Read The Whisper Man and Never Sleep Again

If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken.

If you play outside alone, soon you won’t be going home.

If your window’s left unlatched, you’ll hear him tapping at the glass.

If you’re lonely, sad, and blue, the Whisper Man will come for you.

Alex North, The Whisper Man

Does that quote not just give you the shivers? I’m the kind of person who can’t watch a scary movie without a good pillow to hide my face. It’s kind of funny since I’m a big true crime fan, but put me in front of a scary movie or book and I’m a giant baby.

This book isn’t Conjuring scary, but it’s scary enough for me that I felt more comfortable reading it during the day. Totally worth it!

Book Description

In this dark, suspenseful thriller, Alex North weaves a multi-generational tale of a father and son caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town.

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears whispering at his window…

*Brought to you by GoodReads

My Thoughts

If you are a fan of suspense/thriller books then be ready to read this book from start to finish with no breaks. Unless you have a full-time job like myself, then you will be forced to spread the readout. In any case, this book kept me captivated on every page.

The most notable relationship from the book is Tom and Jake’s.

As you can probably imagine, Tom and Jake’s relationship is very complicated. Tom feels like he’s failing Jake, like he isn’t enough for him, since the loss of his wife. You can tell that Tom feels helpless. I think I would feel pretty helpless too if my spouse had passed away and I was left to raise our only child. You have to cope with your own grief and at the same time, you have to stay brave and strong for your kid. Tom copes with his loss the best way he can, by writing to his dead wife, and continuing to make life for Jake as normal as he can.

Meanwhile, Jake copes with his loss by getting lost in his drawings and talking with his imaginary friend.

Tom hints that Jake’s imaginary friend popped into his life after the mom dies. The imaginary friend, who is a little girl, is present throughout the book, and she often acts as a guardian to Jake. She continually asks Jake to repeat the rhyme, that’s quoted above, before Jake and his dad move to Featherbank, and after they move there. She also warns Jake to be careful and to always leave his windows shut.

There are a few other instances where you can’t decide if Jake has made this girl up as a coping mechanism, or if she’s actually a ghost. Tom believes the former, and struggles to see his son so isolated. Alex North does a good job of capturing the hardships in Tom and Jake’s relationship throughout the book. Tom struggles with wanting his son to be normal and remembering that Tom was a lot like Jake as a young boy, and that it’s okay if Jake isn’t normal. He doesn’t need to be like every other boy.

*Side, but also relevant rant below- read at your own risk*

I actually recently watched a digital short called Float, from Pixar, that reminded me a lot of Tom and Jake’s relationship. In the video, a father tries to hide his young son’s ability to float from everyone in their town. The father doesn’t like the way strangers look at his son for being different, so he eventually decides to hide his son in their house, away from prying eyes. As time goes on, the two eventually have to venture out in the public realm again. The father tries to hide his son’s ability by putting rocks in his backpack so he won’t float. When they’re out and about, the son gets excited when he sees other kids playing at the park. He loses the backpack and starts to float. Can you guess what happens next? Everyone stares at the little boy, shocked and scared by what’s happening. The father reacts in anger at the little boy and yells at him to stop, then asks the boy, “Why can’t you be normal?!” This comment garners total silence from everyone at the park. The little boy stops floating (this moment breaks my heart) and looks at his father with big sad eyes. Immediately you can tell his father hates himself for making his son feel this way. He hates himself for letting all those strangers’ opinions affect the way he viewed his own child, so he picks up his sobbing son and sits on a swing. He wipes the boy’s tears away and begins to swing. His son opens his eyes, and seeing the smile in his father’s eyes, stops crying. The father, not caring what anyone thinks now, tosses his son forward prompting him to float.

I didn’t make the connection until now, but throughout the book, Tom struggles between embracing his son’s quirkiness and trying to hide it from others in fear of how they will treat him because he’s so different. He obviously doesn’t hide his uniqueness to the extent of the dad in the Pixar Short, but the thought, why can’t he be normal, seems to run through Tom’s mind more than once.

*Side, but relevant rant over*

Tom becomes more and more patient with Jake as the book progresses, and their relationship strengthens just in time for some crazy shit to happen.

Along with Tom and Jake, we have a few other important characters: Detectives Pete Willis and Amanda Beck. The two detectives are vastly different. Pete’s a veteran detective who was the one responsible for catching Frank Carter, or as he’s better known as, “The Whisper Man,” twenty years prior. Pete’s always thinking about those missing kids from years past, and as a new boy disappears, he finds himself facing Frank Carter for the second time.

Amanda Beck is a younger detective facing her first big investigation involving a missing child, and she’s determined to find him alive. Pete and Amanda have a somewhat strained relationship in the beginning, since Amanda’s younger, she feels a lot of pressure to solve this case fast and she’s reluctant to have some old guy helping her. She wants to show that she’s a good detective, while Pete’s not at all excited to be on the case. Pete wants nothing to do with Frank Carter, but he knows he has to see the case through the end.

Just Read It

Please, I’m begging you, JUST READ IT. There is so much more in this book than I’ve discussed. I didn’t want to give any spoilers away, so I didn’t hit on every relationship, but please know there are unexpected twists in this book that will have you shocked and maybe a little excited.

If you have read it, then let me know what you thought in the comments!

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