ARC Review: Mind Like a Diamond by Amanda Pavlov

Thirteen Realms of Hell, make it through the haunted house and win $10,000, but you have to make it through, alive.

Title: Mind Like a Diamond
Author: Amanda Pavlov
Series: None, Standalone
Expected to be Published: December 14, 2021

After Lisette falls from a balcony her mom takes her to a creepy ‘doctor’ where he does what seems to be some sort of magic on her stuffed bear to take the pain away. She soon after discovers that they are about to be evicted from their apartment. Luckily she hears about a haunted house where you have to go through a sort of obstacle course known as the Thirteen Realms of Hell. If you make it to the end you receive $10,000 in prize money. Money Lisette desperately needs. But she soon discovers that the real prize is making it out alive.

So first off, let’s talk about that cover. Absolutely gorgeous, definitely the first thing that caught my attention. I absolutely loved the whole obstacle course from hell thing. It was so much fun finding out what each of the thirteen realms held. Some were super scary, while others were about facing personal demons. The book has a lot of twists and turns that keep you guessing throughout the book.

I didn’t like the MC at all though. She was seriously selfish, entitled, and very ungrateful. I just didn’t like her as a person, daughter, or friend. I think that was the point. I think she was meant to be unlikeable, but for me, it made it hard to relate to her and to really root for her.

I thought the book to be a bit scattered. I feel like the thing with the bear, the realms, and the pirate thing, all could have been split into three separate books, but as one book, it feels a bit out of place. The beginning part with the bear I found unnecessary. Everything that we needed it for could have been tweaked for the ring to do. Then the pages spent on that could have been used for more detail into the realms, which is the best part of the book. Same with the ending. It just feels so out of place.

I just think the author tried to do too much with this book. There is a lot of untapped potential with it. The beginning with the bear could have turned into a seriously creepy horror, and the ending would have been a fun adventure. That would have left the room to expand on the already awesomeness of the haunted house story.

I would recommend that readers for this book be 16+ with a love of horror, fantasy, and adventure.

Content Warnings
Mild drug use, swearing, and some violence.

3 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

I received an ARC copy of this book through Netgalley. This does not in any way influence my honest opinion or review.

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