Lightning Fast Reviews: 1/10

The first of my lightning fast reviews series of 2020!!!

If you’re new to my blog and lightning fast reviews it’s basically where I give a handful of books quick reviews. They are not lacking in quality however. I am a woman of integrity okay.

Let’s geddit.

The Chill by Scott Carson

Far upstate, in New York’s ancient forests, a drowned village lays beneath the dark, still waters of the Chilewaukee reservoir. Early in the 20th century, the town was destroyed for the greater good: bringing water to the millions living downstate. Or at least that’s what the politicians from Manhattan insisted at the time. The local families, settled there since America’s founding, were forced from their land, but they didn’t move far, and some didn’t move at all…

Now, a century later, the repercussions of human arrogance are finally making themselves known. An inspector assigned to oversee the dam, dangerously neglected for decades, witnesses something inexplicable. It turns out that more than the village was left behind in the waters of the Chill when it was abandoned. The townspeople didn’t evacuate without a fight. A dark prophecy remained, too, and the time has come for it to be fulfilled. Those who remember must ask themselves: who will be next? For sacrifices must be made. And as the dark waters begin to inexorably rise, the demand for a fresh sacrifice emerges from the deep…

Expected publication: February 11th 2020 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

My Review

I am all for tales of ancient evil. Sacrifices made to drowned gods, curses screeched at lesser demons.

I’ve heard my share of flooded towns. Man made lakes built OVER towns as reservoirs of water. Buildings, communities, people becoming watery graveyards. Haunts.

The most infamous one I know of is Lake Lanier that makes news every single time because of its infamy. Nobody comes out of its waters alive, it’s foolish to even deep a toe in it.

I have to say that this was quite disappointing. The premise is interesting enough. Drowned town, haunted people, sheriff’s son trying to do right. The plot is fine but that’s it. The characters are caricatures of themselves and I was lost, BEYOND lost, in all of the dam lore. There was just way too much of that. I was bored halfway through and honestly I’m still not quite sure what





I’m actually still quite confused about it all and while I enjoyed reading the first half, the second greatly floundered and was disappointing.

Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this copy of my ARC.

Rating: 💜💜✨ 2.5/5

Obit by Victoria Chang

After her mother died, poet Victoria Chang refused to write elegies. Rather, she distilled her grief during a feverish two weeks by writing scores of poetic obituaries for all she lost in the world. In Obit, Chang writes of “the way memory gets up after someone has died and starts walking.” These poems reinvent the form of newspaper obituary to both name what has died (“civility,” “language,” “the future,” “Mother’s blue dress”) and the cultural impact of death on the living. Whereas elegy attempts to immortalize the dead, an obituary expresses loss, and the love for the dead becomes a conduit for self-expression. In this unflinching and lyrical book, Chang meets her grief and creates a powerful testament for the living. 

Expected publication: April 14th 2020 by Copper Canyon Press

My Review

I don’t know if I should have read this in the state that I’m in currently.

I don’t regret it however.

This is different from any other book of poetry I’ve read before and was handled and written in such a lovely way.

Death and grief is something that unfortunately we all have to deal with in our lifetimes and there’s no guide on how to navigate through it.

Obit reflects not just on the life of Victoria Chang’s mother but on her family and herself as well. The motions of illness, inner turmoil, and battling morality.

We read as she says farewell to her parents mindset, bodily control, the blue dress…They all have obituaries.

This was a somber yet uplifting read and one of my first favorites of 2020. The people we love may leave us but the memories of them always linger, I believe it’s up to us to decide how to handle that.

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for this copy of my ARC.

Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜 5/5

Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau

The year is 1911 when twenty-year-old heiress Peggy Batternberg is invited to spend the summer in America’s Playground.

The invitation to the luxurious Oriental Hotel a mile from Coney Island is unwelcome. Despite hailing from one of America’s richest families, Peggy would much rather spend the summer working at the Moonrise Bookstore than keeping up appearances with New York City socialites and her snobbish, controlling family.

But soon it transpires that the hedonism of nearby Coney Island affords Peggy the freedom she has been yearning for, and it’s not long before she finds herself in love with a troubled pier-side artist of humble means, whom the Batternberg patriarchs would surely disapprove of.

Disapprove they may, but hidden behind their pomposity lurks a web of deceit, betrayal and deadly secrets. And as bodies begin to mount up amidst the sweltering clamour of Coney Island, it seems the powerful Batternbergs can get away with anything…even murder.

Extravagant, intoxicating and thumping with suspense, bestselling Nancy Bilyeau’s magnificent Dreamland is a story of corruption, class and dangerous obsession

Expected publication: January 16th 2020 by Endeavour Quill

My Review

1911. Meet Peggy. A 20 year old heiress who is spending her summer at Coney Island trying her damndest to escape as much as she can from the tight grip of her family and finds herself entangled in both smooches and corpses. Sounds like the ideal summer to me.

This is a conundrum for me.

There were many aspects about Dreamland that I enjoyed. I loved the atmosphere, the old New York feel and Peggy as a character was spit fire and take charge which I absolutely adored. In that time period and in her social status it GASP shocking and beyond frowned down upon. Mix that in with her falling in love with a “foreigner” of poor status and you have a very interesting story, yes?

Eh, somewhat.

I don’t know why but I found my mind drifting while reading this. Maybe it was the repeated reiterations of how important Peggy’s family is or some of the lackluster writing. This is a murder mystery but it just didn’t have that certain read or pull. Oftentimes I just felt really bored I’m sorry to say and I wanted to DNF. I’m also not a huge fan of ‘I saw him across the street and knew it was true love’. The characters were one dimensional and I confused them for one another more than once.

The big reveal at the end isn’t so much as a big reveal as you can pretty much figure out who the bad guy is from the start lol and the ending fizzles like a sparkler my sister tries to set fire to me with.

Can I make a pun? Just one small pun?

Sounds like this was no Dreamland. A-HA.

Thanks very much to the publisher and Netgalley for this copy of my ARC. All opinions are my own.

Rating: 💜💜✨ 2.5/5

And there you have it! I hope you all enjoyed reading my reviews as much as I enjoyed writing them. As always

Later days ❤

3 thoughts on “Lightning Fast Reviews: 1/10

  1. I saw the title and thought omg amanda is about to roast a book, 1 out of 10. 😀 x’D Then remembered it was 1/10/20 yesterday, lol. Nice short reviews, you’ve def sold me on Obit it sounds incredible and poetry is still a mysterious genre, know almost nothing about it so far.


  2. Oh damn, the blurbs make all of these books sound so freaking good and it’s so disappointing to see that all but one were enjoyable! Super sad panda 😒 Obit sounds like it’d be a pretty interesting read though. I’ve never heard of anyone doing something like that before actually! Will have to check it out. Hope your other reads are better, Amanda!


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