Mini Review Monday: When No One Is Watching & Mexican Gothic

Hey there, book nerds!

2020 has been straight up wild, and I know you’re all aware of that fact.

And while I haven’t had a great blogging year, I have made big strides on my bookish IG account and on my personal reading challenges. In fact, I started my 92nd book of the year last night, a personal best!

The best part about reading so much is finding books to share with y’all that demand attention and discussion. Today’s edition of Mini Review Monday is devoted to two books that fit the bill! Check them out below!Screen Shot 2020-01-01 at 9.33.04 PM

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FIRST UP? WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING! Click the links for the full synopsis below!

Goodreads/Amazon/Interabang Books ⬅️ my local indie!

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Title & Author: When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow 
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 368 pages
Rating : 🌟🌟🌟🌟 STARS

Thank you so much to for providing me with an ALC in exchange for an honest review!

“𝐏𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐡𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞.”

I finished this eerie mystery back in September and have been struggling ever since to find the words to describe the journey that was this book. And while I’d encourage you diving in blind, I’ll leave the TWs below.

Like its opening line (“𝘏𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘧**𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘥.“), this book — and its twists — were effing wild. Seriously, y’all this novel straight up sent me.Screen Shot 2020-11-08 at 7.38.44 PM

It made me laugh, cringe, tear up, and cheer. It also made me feel drained, disappointed, and defeated. I honestly had to put the book down at one point because the constant build up of trauma was truly too exhausting. Cole’s ability to make Sydney’s (the MC) grief almost tangible not only proves what an incredible writer she is, but also provides a glimpse into the real-life anxiety POCs battle in everyday life. Whether it’s from policies steeped in racist ideologies or from daily microaggressions, POCs like Sydney are trying to heal a wound that never truly closes. And this gut-wrenching book toggles that pain with a sinister plot, a cast of evil characters, and an unpredictable shock ending that many are comparing to a 𝐉𝐨𝐫𝐝𝐚𝐧 𝐏𝐞𝐞𝐥𝐞 movie. A comparison that further proves Cole’s fierce & unique story is worthy of your time.

Some reviews are docking points because the book takes some peculiar twists and turns & breaks away from traditional tropes, but I’ll take the metaphors & layers featured throughout this title over the predictability of a “typical thriller” novel any day.

At the end of the day, this suspenseful story is educational, emotional, & basically essential reading for 2020. You might not agree, but I hope you’ll give it a chance!

TW: Racism, violence, murder, death, gun violence, hate crimes, police brutality, abduction/kidnapping, & abuse.

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NEXT UP? MEXICAN GOTHIC! Click the links for the full synopsis below!

Goodreads/Amazon/Interabang Books ⬅️ my local indie!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Title & Author: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno – Garcia 
Genre: Horror/Gothic Mystery
Release Date: June 30, 2020  
Publisher: Del Rey 
Series Details: Standalone
Page Count: 301 pages
Rating : 🌟🌟🌟🌟 STARS

“𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡 𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐬.”

I’ve read a lot of hyped books in 2020 and one of those was 𝐒𝐢𝐥𝐯𝐢𝐚 𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐨-𝐆𝐚𝐫𝐜𝐢𝐚’𝐬 historical horror novel 𝐌𝐞𝐱𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐆𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐜. This atmospheric tale pulled me in with the mystery and didn’t release me until 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 after completing the story. Screen Shot 2020-11-08 at 7.39.16 PMTruly, I wasn’t prepared for the reveals featured in this spooky book.

As you’ve probably seen, the reviews for this one are mixed and I think it’s because this isn’t your typical ghost story. Don’t get me wrong, there is a house that will leave you haunted, and a cast of creeptastic characters, but this mind-bending narrative is rooted more in the psychological twists rather than stereotypical jump scares. Moreno-Garcia makes a bold choice and runs with it, and the outcome yields a frightening story that won’t be easily digestible for all readers.

I cannot say more without delving into spoiler territory, but if you’re looking for a book guaranteed to send chills down your spine, 𝐌𝐞𝐱𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐆𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐜 and the residents of High Place will be waiting for you.

TW: murder, depression, miscarriages, suicide, assault, death of a parent, death of a child, death of a spouse, poisoning, incest, cannibalism.

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Okay, y’all that completes another round of Mini Review Monday. Have y’all read either of these spooky stories?  If so, what did you think about their twits? Do you enjoy the inclusion of Bookstagram photos? Let me know below!   

And, as always: Happy Reading!Screen Shot 2020-01-01 at 9.33.04 PM



4 thoughts on “Mini Review Monday: When No One Is Watching & Mexican Gothic

  1. Bex says:

    Love the inclusion of Bookstagram pics! ♥

    Alsoooo, I’ve read When No One is Watching & enjoyed it! The build-up felt slow but that ending was WILD. I already want to reread it!

    & I’m currently reading Mexican Gothic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nerd Narration says:

      Thanks, Bex!! I appreciate the feedback!!

      Also I’m glad you enjoyed WNOIW and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the ending of MG!! I’ve been thinking about that one for a while now!!

      Also happy starting Rebecca day!! 💚

      Liked by 1 person

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