Posted in Personal Blogs

My Go-To Book Recommendations

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com & edited by Elisha’s Book Review

Since I have been trying to get more social on apps like TikTok and Twitter, I usually get a lot of book recommendations that get added to the never ending “To Be Read” list. However, when I can I try and recommend a book in return.

I have a short list of books that come to mind when someone is looking for a new read. So I guess I’ll now share mine.

  • The Color of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris this is an adult mystery novel about a boy with Synesthesia and is on the Autism spectrum. His neighbor is murdered and he’s an unlikely witness.
  • Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt this is a middle grade coming-of-age story about Delsie who lives with her grandmother in Cape Cod. This is an emotional story about growing up, losing and gaining friends, and what it’s like realizing you’re economic status affects how others see you.
  • The Last One by Alexandra Oliva this is an adult survivor story about a woman nicknamed Zoo who enters to be on a reality TV show. Things quickly go awry when a superbug wipes out a majority of the TV crew. However, Zoo thinks the cameras are still rolling. Can she survive in the wilderness without the sparse resources the crew provides?
  • The Troop by Nick Cutter I see this book somewhat frequently amongst book communities, so I don’t recommend this very often unless you’re brand new or wanting to branch out to the horror genre. This is basically a modern, higher-stakes Lord of the Flies.
  • My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George is the story about a boy who runs away from home and goes to carve a way of life in the Catskill Mountains. This reminded me of The Hatchet series, and I found it to be more relaxing and not as intense.

Some of these I have reviews for and others I either read before I started the blog, or felt like I couldn’t do the book justice. If any of these catch you eye or fancy, I hope you read them and let me know what you think about them!

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Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

*No Spoilers*

She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it human-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

I joined TikTok to find more book recommendations (like I need more books). And this was one of them. I wish I could remember which BookTok I saw talking about it. However, I’m glad I dove straight to this dark adventure! Let’s hop into The Last One.

I listened to this one as an audiobook, and I believe this is the best way to enjoy this novel. You have two distinct voices narrating; the present from Zoo’s perspective and another narrating what happened once the filming for the TV show began. The TV show perspective is more of a third person point of view. Often referring to the contestants by stereotypical nicknames such as ‘black doctor’ and ‘cheerleader boy’.

I’ve heard believers speak of the coldness of science and the warmth of their faith. But my life has been warm too, and I have faith. Faith in love, and faith in the inherent beauty of a world that formed itself.

Alexandra Oliva, The Last One

The Last One tapped into my irrational fear of coming back from a long night shift at work and not knowing that the world is actively falling apart around you. The atmosphere is portrayed beautifully. I was actually waiting for Zoo to come across her first zombie and how she’d handle that scenario. Thankfully there’s no zombies here.

When Zoo breaks her glasses after getting attacked, that made me feel even more nervous and on edge since I wear glasses and I am like Velma when she loses her glasses. I couldn’t imagine having to survive in the wilderness without the ability to see clearly.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Last One. It’s full of suspense and a relatable main character you can really root for. I would recommend this novel for people who enjoyed Bird Box by Josh Malerman and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. If you haven’t read those novels, that’s okay. If you like Survival Fiction, Dystopian Fiction, or stories with strong female leads. Then I would check out The Last One by Alexandra Oliva.

Posted in Book Reviews, Novels

REVIEW: Shark Island by Chris Jameson

Shark Island

*NO SPOILERS*

Naomi Cardiff is not one to give up without a fight and now, after learning about a series of shark attacks in Cape Cod, she s joined a team of scientists to put a stop to the terror. The plan: to lure the sharks to a remote island far from the populated coastline. Meanwhile, a fierce Nor Easter is underway. . .

In the midst of the storm, an alarming number of Great Whites have come to slaughter the seals in a vicious feeding frenzy. When sharks ram and breach the hull, Naomi and her team must jump ship and swim desperately through a sea of circling fins and gaping jaws to the tiny island. But as the swells from the storm begin to swallow their rocky refuge, how will they manage to make it out alive?


Rating: 5 out of 5.

When I was at the library this book caught my eye. The stormy skies and the shark fins the dark waters reminded me of when the Discovery Channel runs Shark Week. The impending fear of there being a predator bigger than humans is terrifying in and of itself. This book has this in spades.

The story begins with Naomi who gets attacked by a shark while she was attempting to photograph a herd of seals that were living on the beach. A summer later, she will be traveling with a group of scientists to try and move the seal herd away from the mainland and onto a small island closer to Maine. Armed with her camera and her prosthetic leg, she makes this trek to prove to herself that she is no longer terrified of the ocean.

However, things go terribly wrong when a nor’easter threatens to postpone their trek. Not only are there troubles in the skies, but even more trouble in the waters as not only the seals follow the signal the scientist’s experiment is emitting, but the sharks are following the herds.

Now they have to survive on a rapidly flooding island when their boat crashes, and until help arrives. In the meantime,  can they survive the rabid sharks? Read this book to find out!

I enjoyed this epic, thrilling novel. The characters were fully fleshed out and when one of them died I felt sad along with the other characters. In Hollywood, you knew who was going to be monster food based on the fact they were cardboard stereotypes of people. At first, I was worried about how many characters were being introduced in the beginning, I was worried I was going to lose track of “who’s who”. I had no problems keeping up with the characters because they felt like real human beings being trapped in this horrible situation with death surrounding them on all sides.

Even though, I didn’t like the way the book ended (I predicted everyone was going to die or that it was all just a dream) I still loved how my favorite characters survived such a horrific event.

This is one of the more memorable books that I’ve read in a long time, so that’s why I’m giving this my Choice Award. The characters felt real and I could sense the tension and felt the fear that was written on each page.

Check out some other horror books I’ve reviewed!