Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Reputation by Sara Shepard

Reputation Reputation by Sara Shepard
⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY TO REPUTATION


In this fast-paced new novel from Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, a tight-knit college town scrambles for answers when an e-mail hack reveals life-changing secrets and scandals.

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people's e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning's handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit's sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn't right about the night Greg was killed, and she's determined to find the truth. What she doesn't expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It's a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.



Paperback384 pages
Expected publication: December 3rd 2019
Publisher: Dutton
ISBN: 1524742902


REVIEW

First Paragraph:

Maybe you got it at birth. Maybe you gained it through hard work. Perhaps you have yours because you’re charitable, or ambitious, or an asshole. It’s your reputation. Everyone’s got one. And if you think reputations don’t matter, you’re wrong.

Reputation by Sara Shepard is one heck of a soap opera read! While it isn’t a deeply thought-provoking book, it is certainly entertaining with trifling characters that I loved to hate – sometimes those are the best ones! AND … a hacker exposing everyone’s secret emails? Yes, please! It has all the hallmarks of a page turner – murder, mystery, indiscretions, juicy gossip, and red-herrings-a-go-go. Since I’m a fan of the Pretty Little Liars series, I was expecting the lies, the many twists, and cover-ups to be a tad over the top but this just made the book all that much more compelling to me. I didn’t go into Reputation with the expectation that it would be life-changing and deep; I read it for pure and unadulterated entertainment and I was not disappointed!

Reputation is an engaging page-turner with a thrilling mystery at its heart!

A big thank you to NetGalley, Penguin Group Dutton, and Sara Shepard for providing Reputation for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Monday, December 2, 2019

The Other People by C.J. Tudor

The Other People The Other People by C.J. Tudor
⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

She sleeps, a pale girl in a white room . . .

Three years ago, Gabe saw his daughter taken. In the back of a rusty old car, covered in bumper stickers. He was driving behind the car. He watched her disappear. But no one believes him. Most people believe that his daughter, and wife, are dead. For a while, people believed that Gabe was responsible.

Three years later and Gabe cannot give up hope. Even though he has given up everything else. His home, his job, his old life. He spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, sleeping in his camper van in service stations, searching for the car that took her. Searching for his daughter.

Katie spends a lot of her life in service stations, working as a waitress. She often sees Gabriel, or 'the thin man' as she has nicknamed him. She knows his story. She feels for him, because Katie understands what it's like to lose a loved one. Nine years ago, her father was murdered. It broke her family apart. She hasn't seen her oldest sister since the day of the funeral; the day she did something terrible.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people that want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe's daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows that if they ever find them, they're dead.


Kindle Edition400 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020
Publisher: Penguin

REVIEW

First compelling paragraph:

He noticed the stickers first, surrounding the car’s rear window and lining the bumper: Honk if you’re horny.Don’t follow me, I’m lost. When you drive like I do, you’d better believe in God. Horn broken – watch for finger.Real men love Jesus.



The Other People by C.J. Tudor opens with an eerie setting and the tension just keeps building.
This is a complex and compelling story told from multiple characters; emitting a pervasively creepy atmosphere that carries all the way until the end. It is a story of grief and loss, murder and revenge and explores the lengths of just how far some will go to avenge the wrongs done to those they love. Enter The Other People, who call it justice but beware, the favor they ask in return could cost you more than you’re willing to pay. From the Dark Web:

Q: What if I don’t repay the Favor?A: We always try to ensure that the Favor is one you are able to complete, happily and willingly. Failure to complete your Favor threatens the very integrity of our site. That is why we have measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen.


The Other People is a haunting psychological thriller with supernatural elements but it also offers a unique insight into one man’s grief and unrelenting pursuit of his child; a heart-wrenching exploration of the power and despair of love and hope:

“People say hate and bitterness will destroy you. They’re wrong. It’s hope. Hope will devour you from the inside like a parasite.”


This is a stunning read that will stay with me for a while. I highly recommend this psychological thriller to any fan of the genre. It’s a fantastic read!

A big thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine Books and C.J. Tudor for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.


View all my reviews

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Losing You by Nicci French

Losing You Losing You by Nicci French
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐/5

It's Nina Landry's birthday, and she's supposed to have her kids ready to leave in a few hours for a Christmas holiday in Florida with her new boyfriend, but her fifteen-year-old daughter Charlie spent the night at a friend's and hasn't come home yet. Not by ten a.m., not by eleven. Nina is getting angry---they have a plane to catch, and Charlie hasn't even bothered to pack. As time passes, though slower and slower by the minute, Nina becomes uneasy. Her anger gives way to worry, and that worry quickly builds into panic.
By one p.m., she's wondering, has Charlie run away, or has something far worse happened? And why won't anyone---not the cops, not Charlie's friends, not Charlie's father---take her disappearance seriously?
As day turns to night on their home of Sandling Island sixty miles from London, and a series of ominous secrets leads Nina from sickening suspicion to deadly certainty, the question becomes less whether she and her daughter will leave the island in time and more whether they'll ever leave it again.
In "Losing You," the newest thriller from the long-acclaimed master of psychological suspense, Nicci French unravels one mother's life and replaces it with every mother's worst nightmare.


Paperback: 368 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2020 (first published March 2005)  
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks 

REVIEW

I am a big fan of Nicci French but Losing You wasn’t a favorite. To begin with, some of the things happening prior to Nina’s discovery of her daughter Charlie missing were almost comical and I don’t mean this in a good way. The entire island *popping* over for a surprise birthday party on the day she’s leaving out of the country for vacation seemed a bit outrageous to me, not to mention that nobody was packed ...so, yeah, there's that.
There are some other things, too, but I can’t really point them out without revealing spoilers so I’ll leave my statement at that. Another thing was that I had a strong suspicion of just who took Charlie, it was basically a blinking neon sign and this made it a bit hard to push through. I felt like there was a lot of clutter and a ‘look here, not there’ attempt at giving the abductor and excuse to be around.

What I did like is the actual story-line and how well-developed the characters are. I am a fan of any book that can make me have a strong feeling for any of its characters and Losing You was able to do that. I felt emotionally drained at certain points throughout the story because I was having intense feelings towards certain characters and events. While I was 99% sure who the abductor was, the revelation of why was intriguing. I am a mother and the thought of one of my children going missing is the worst thing I can imagine so while I thought Nina acted a bit rashly, I understand that Ms. French is conveying the absolute panic a mother would feel and the absolute certainty that there is nothing you wouldn’t do to protect your children.

This wasn’t the best book I’ve read by Ms. French but it was still good and I’d still recommend it to any fan of the genre.

A big thank you to Edelwiess and William Morrow Paperbacks for providing me with a copy of Losing You to read and review.


View all my reviews

Monday, November 25, 2019

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw Owl Crate Exclusive Cover


Anyone a subscriber to bookish boxes? Currently I do Book of the Month, Owl Crate, and just recently received my first Shelf Love crate. I must confess, Owl Crate is my absolute favorite! Just look at this beauty! The exclusive cover on Shea Ernshaw's Winterwood is absolutely gorgeous! 

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw


๐˜ฝ๐™š ๐™˜๐™–๐™ง๐™š๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™™๐™–๐™ง๐™ , ๐™™๐™–๐™ง๐™  ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ค๐™™ . . .

Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.

Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.

But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.

Have you read Winterwood? It's next on my TBR list!

Friday, November 22, 2019

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The Only Good Indians The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hardcover320 pages
Publisher: Gallery / Saga Press
Expected publication: May 19th 2020

Peter Straub’s Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.

Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.
 




REVIEW

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones is a wickedly well written horror story that went far above my expectations! It is an eerily creepy tale about a supernatural force of nature seeking revenge; honestly, this is not what I was expecting and I mean this in the most awesome way possible!

Mr. Jones wrote the characters so deeply fleshed which made for a really affecting reading experience; Fear, guilt, sadness, compassion, pity, anxiety, heart-break … There were a few times that I needed to break away to digest what I was reading and then I was right back in to the story, it’s that compelling. Along with the intensely written characters is Mr. Jones ability to draw the reader in slowly with vibrant descriptive narration and haunting prose that just drew me in deeper to the story. The Only Good Indian explores the culture of the Blackfeet Nation and I was fascinated with this story that is deeply rooted in Native American culture. This is one of the best horror stories that I’ve ever read!

A big thank you to NetGalley, Gallery/Saga Press, and Mr. Stephen Graham Jones for providing me with this book to read and review! It was a true pleasure!

View all my reviews

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The Arc of a Scythe by Neal Schusterman

Happiest of Thursdays! 


I seriously don't know what took me so long to start this absolutely amazing series! I'm almost done with Scythe and already eagerly anticipating Thunderhead and The Toll!

Have you read this series yet? Did you like it? 



Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Stars We Steal



Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself failing for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.


REVIEW

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Stars We Steal is a love story set in the future and is based loosely on Jane Austin’s Persuasion. Instead of country estates and mansions, though, the wooing, heartache, and revenge takes place on space ships.

Because Earth is uninhabitable due to an environmental disaster, each continent has their own ship. Princess Leo is heir to a bankrupt and somewhat decrepit ship, the Scandinavian, and the burden of marrying for wealth is falling on her. Enter her ex-fiancรฉ, Elliot who has a bone to pick with Leo and isn’t afraid to take his revenge on her in some pretty despicable ways.

Alexa Donne has taken the well-known story of Persuasion and given it a unique futuristic twist that is an enjoyable read for any fan of romance with a heavy dose of sci-fi.
3.5 ⭐⭐⭐'s rounded up to 4

A big thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Childrens Book Group for providing this book for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 18, 2019

The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung

The Eighth Girl The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Beautiful. Damaged. Destructive. Meet Alexa Wรบ, a brilliant yet darkly self-aware young woman whose chaotic life is manipulated and controlled by a series of alternate personalities. Only three people know about their existence: her shrink Daniel; her stepmother Anna; and her enigmatic best friend Ella. The perfect trio of trust.

When Ella gets a job at a high-end gentleman’s club, she catches the attention of its shark-like owner and is gradually drawn into his inner circle. As Alexa’s world becomes intimately entangled with Ella’s, she soon finds herself the unwitting keeper of a nightmarish secret. With no one to turn to and lives at stake, she follows Ella into London’s cruel underbelly on a daring rescue mission. Threatened and vulnerable, Alexa will discover whether her multiple personalities are her greatest asset, or her most dangerous obstacle.

Electrifying and breathlessly compulsive, The Eighth Girl is an omnivorous examination of life with mental illness and the acute trauma of life in a misogynist world. With bingeable prose and a clinician’s expertise, Chung’s psychological debut deftly navigates the swirling confluence of identity, innocence, and the impossible fracturing weights that young women are forced to carry, causing us to question: Does the truth lead to self-discovery, or self-destruction?
 

ebook, 480 pages
Publication Date: March 17th 2020
Publisher: William Morrow
ISBN:0062931148



REVIEW
Epigraph:

“The girl would see, in the locking of her mind with Freud’s, how cruelly her own understanding had deceived her.”
-Philip Rieff, Introduction to Dora: An Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, by Sigmund Freud


The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung takes a perceptive look into the heart of mental illness and even more so into Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). While I was expecting more of an in-your-face psychological thriller, I was captivated with the way the story progressed.
The Eighth Girl is most definitely a suspenseful thriller but the underlying issues of Alexa’s DID makes for a more compelling read and although Alexa’s ‘flock’ of personalities makes her an unreliable narrator, it really worked for this story. I was fascinated by the interactions between Alexa and her new therapist, Daniel along with the past history Alexa had of trauma and abuse that lead to her dissociative disorder. It’s absolutely heart-breaking and as the author points out in the book there are many in the world that will take advantage of someone in this scenario.

I think this is an eye-opener of a book that explores the pain of mental illness in a setting that could be all too real.

A big thank you to Netgalley, Harper Collins Publishers, and William Morrow for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest review.


View all my reviews

Thursday, November 14, 2019

TBT-Laini Taylor Style๐Ÿ’–

TBT LAINI TAYLOR STYLE

HAPPY THURSDAY!


I just started re-reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, I haven't read it since 2012 and although it stuck with me, as her writing always does. I never went back and re-read the series until now. 




Have you re-read a beloved novel or series? More than once? If you don't re-read, why?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Playground by Jane Shemilt

The Playground The Playground by Jane Shemilt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Big Little Lies meets Lord of The Flies in this electrifyingly twisty follow-up to Jane Shemilt’s breakout debut The Daughter.

Over the course of a long, hot summer in London, the lives of three very different married couples collide when their children join the same tutoring circle, resulting in illicit relationships, shocking violence, and unimaginable fallout.

There’s Eve, a bougie earth mother with a well-stocked trust fund; she has three little ones, a blue-collar husband and is obsessed with her Instagrammable recipes and lifestyle. And Melissa, a successful interior designer whose casually cruel banker husband is careful not to leave visible bruises; she curates her perfectly thin body so closely she misses everything their teenage daughter is hiding. Then there’s Grace, a young Zimbabwean immigrant, who lives in high-rise housing project with her two children and their English father Martin, an award-winning but chronically broke novelist; she does far more for her family than she should have to.

As the weeks go by, the couples become very close; there are barbecues, garden parties, a holiday at a country villa in Greece. Resentments flare. An affair begins. Unnoticed, the children run wild. The couples are busily watching each other, so distracted and self-absorbed that they forget to watch their children. No one sees the five children at their secret games or realize how much their family dynamics are changing until tragedy strikes.

The story twists and then twists again while the three families desperately search for answers. It’s only as they begin to unravel the truth of what happened over the summer that they realize evil has crept quietly into their world.

But has this knowledge come too late?



  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperback
  • Publish Date:December 30, 2019
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062939424

REVIEW

First Sentence:

It was surprising how quickly things took off in the end, like a bonfire, one of those big ones the children loved so much."

The Playground by Jane Shemilt is an insightful story that explores how engrossed some can become in their own needs and desires, and what is perceived as happiness that they ignore the glaring signs that all is not what it should be with those closest to them.

The story centers around three couples that form an unlikely yet close friendship when their children are part of the same Sunday tutoring group. Over the course of a few months, they are soon eating weekday meals together, ferrying each other’s children around and going on vacations together. It’s not long before fractures occur in each family, the fracture lines always there but now becoming more visible as their new friendships develop; each family has some level of dysfunction but some are far worse than others. When a tragic series of events occur, it leads to questions and suspicion but this is where Ms. Shemilt has mastered the art of the Red-herring!

The characters are well-rounded, flawed, and at times despicable. There are times when I thought it wasn’t possible to be that oblivious but it’s always easy on the outside looking in. One thing becomes obvious, someone is paying attention to the dalliances and weaknesses of others and will use this knowledge to manipulate and destroy until they get what they want.

This is a page-turner and I think a great read for any fan of the genre. I know I’ll be reading more from Ms. Shemilt.

A big thank you to Edelweiss, Harper Collins Publishers, and William Morrow for providing me with a copy of The Playground to read and review.


View all my reviews

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Woman in the Mirror by Rebecca James

The Woman in the Mirror: A NovelThe Woman in the Mirror: A Novel by Rebecca  James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Hardcover: 368 pages
Expected publication: March 17th 2020 
Publisher: Minotaur Books 
ISBN 1250230055


For more than two centuries, Winterbourne Hall has stood atop a bluff overseeing the English countryside of Cornwall and the sea beyond.
In 1947, Londoner Alice Miller accepts a post as governess at Winterbourne, looking after Captain Jonathan de Grey’s twin children. Falling under the de Greys’ spell, Alice believes the family will heal her own past sorrows. But then the twins’ adoration becomes deceitful and taunting. Their father, ever distant, turns spiteful and cruel. The manor itself seems to lash out. Alice finds her surroundings subtly altered, her air slightly chilled. Something malicious resents her presence, something clouding her senses and threatening her very sanity.
In present day New York, art gallery curator Rachel Wright has learned she is a descendant of the de Greys and heir to Winterbourne. Adopted as an infant, she never knew her birth parents or her lineage. At long last, Rachel will find answers to questions about her identity that have haunted her entire life. But what she finds in Cornwall is a devastating tragic legacy that has afflicted generations of de Greys. A legacy borne from greed and deceit, twisted by madness, and suffused with unrequited love and unequivocal rage.

REVIEW

First gripping sentence:

๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’! ๐‘ช๐’‚๐’ ๐’š๐’๐’– ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’“ ๐’Š๐’•?

๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜”๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ by Rebecca James is an unnerving gothic tale with an insidious creepy atmosphere that drew me in to the book very quickly.

A dark tale told in several narrative’s, past and present, it centers around the Winterbourne mansion and those that lived there. In 1947, Alice Miller takes a governess position for Captain De Grey, looking after his twins. Winterbourne seems to feed on the grief and loneliness of its inhabitants, causing problems and a scandal for Alice who left under mysterious circumstances. Rachel, an orphan, inherits Winterbourne in present day and feels the echo of the women past and is drawn in to the mystery of Alice as she searches for answers about her mother and why she gave her up for adoption.

This is a haunting tale, reminiscent of some of the Gothic classics and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has all the ear-marks of what I look for in a good book; red-herrings that keep me guessing and characters that are flawed and sometimes unlikable. The ending gives satisfaction and surprise. ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ž๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜”๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ is a fantastic read for any fan of the genre.

Thank you NetGalley, St. Martins Press, and Minotaur Books for providing me with this galley to read and review!


View all my reviews

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Happy Throwback Thursday!



Happy Throw-back Thursday! I'm dedicating this lovely snowy day to Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan! Much #coverlove to this amazing #yafantasy ๐Ÿ’Ÿ
.
“๐‘พ๐’†'๐’“๐’† ๐’‚๐’๐’ ๐’Ž๐’๐’๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’“๐’”, ๐‘ต๐’‚๐’…๐’š๐’‚, ๐’”๐’๐’Ž๐’† ๐’๐’‡ ๐’–๐’” ๐’‹๐’–๐’”๐’• ๐’‰๐’Š๐’…๐’† ๐’Š๐’• ๐’ƒ๐’†๐’•๐’•๐’†๐’“ ๐’•๐’‰๐’‚๐’ ๐’๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’”." ― ๐‘ฌ๐’Ž๐’Š๐’๐’š ๐‘จ. ๐‘ซ๐’–๐’๐’„๐’‚๐’, ๐‘พ๐’Š๐’„๐’Œ๐’†๐’… ๐‘บ๐’‚๐’Š๐’๐’•๐’”

#somethingdarkandholy #throwbackthursday

What's your throwback favorite?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Moonglow Sisters by Lori Wilde

The Moonglow SistersThe Moonglow Sisters by Lori Wilde
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Paperback400 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
ISBN: 0062953095


Welcome to Moonglow Cove, Texas, a place where your neighbors know your name and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico lap lazily against the sands. It’s a magical spot, especially in the summertime…

Once the town was the home of the Clark sisters—brought up by their grandmother at the Moonglow Inn. Nicknamed “The Moonglow Sisters”, as children they were inseparable.  Then, a wedding-day betrayal tore them apart and they scattered across the globe and away from each other.  But the sisters have at last come home…

There’s Maddie: smart, sensible, and stubborn. Shelley, who ran off to find her bliss. And Gia, a free-spirit determined to keep the peace. It’s her impending wedding that keeps them together…but Gia has a secret, and when her sisters find out all heck is going to break lose!

The Moonglow Sisters continues Lori Wilde’s trademark storytelling to create an unforgettable novel of family, betrayal, love, and second chances.



                                                      REVIEW

The Moonglow Sisters by Lori Wilde is everything I hoped it would be and more. The cover drew me in first, next the description but it is the story within that kept me happily turning pages and discovering a new favorite author!

“๐™๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™›๐™ค๐™ก๐™  ๐™˜๐™–๐™ก๐™ก๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ข ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ˆ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™จ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ. ๐™„๐™ฃ ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™˜๐™–๐™ช๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ’๐™™ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ˆ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™„๐™ฃ๐™ฃ, ๐™„๐™ฃ ๐™ˆ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š, ๐™๐™š๐™ญ๐™–๐™จ, ๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ˆ๐™ค๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐˜ฝ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™š๐™ซ๐™–๐™ง๐™™ …”

Madison, Shelly, and Gia are the Moonglow sisters, orphaned at a young age and sent to live with their Grammy Chapman at the Moonglow Inn, a Bed and Breakfast in Moonglow Cove right on the Gulf of Mexico. They are as close as sisters can be, beautiful, talented, and inseparable until one tragic betrayal tears the sisters apart, each of them finding a different life in different parts of the world. Five years later they are reunited by another tragedy and must navigate all the feelings that led to their estrangement.

What a wonderful story this is! All the ups and downs of complex relationships, especially those of sisters, is explored in a heart-warming and at times, heart-rending tale. Ms. Wilde’s Moonglow Cove is such a beautiful place and her descriptive writing makes it so easy to visualize. What really made the story hard to put down is the well-written characters! I really liked the sisters and their intricate and complicated relationship; Maddie hardened by her drive and anger, Shelly doing all she can to escape the middle child syndrome, and Gia doing her best to always smooth things over and play peace-maker. Grammy and Darynda are amazing secondary characters and I loved reading their story. Such well-developed characters always stay with me.
I’m looking forward to reading more by Lori Wilde.

A big thank you to NetGalley, Harper Collins Publishers, and William Morrow Paperbacks for providing me with this galley to read and review.


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Monday, November 4, 2019

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

Behind Every Lie Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you can’t remember it, how do you prove you didn’t do it?

Eva Hansen wakes in the hospital after being struck by lightning and discovers her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street. She can’t remember what happened but the police are highly suspicious of her.

Determined to clear her name, Eva heads from Seattle to London—Kat’s former home—for answers. But as she unravels her mother’s carefully held secrets, Eva soon realizes that someone doesn’t want her to know the truth. And with violent memories beginning to emerge, Eva doesn’t know who to trust. Least of all herself.

Told in alternating perspectives from Eva’s search for answers and Kat’s mysterious past, Christina McDonald has crafted another “complex, emotionally intense” (Publishers Weekly) domestic thriller. Behind Every Lie explores the complicated nature of mother-daughter relationships, family trauma, and the danger behind long-held secrets.


  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (February 4, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1501184032


                                                                Review

First Gripping Sentence:

What have I done?

Christina McDonald is quickly becoming one of my favorite thriller/suspense/mystery writers. I couldn’t put down the first novel I read by this fabulous author, The Night Olivia Fell, and it’s been the same experience with Behind Every Lie.

Eva wakes up in the hospital after being struck by lightning just a few blocks from her mother’s house. She has no recollection of events or how she came to be there but her mother has been murdered and Eva is the main suspect. Eva is a wonderful main character, she is flawed, traumatized and insecure.

The plot moves quickly and alternates between past and present effortlessly. I must admit, I had a pretty good idea that a certain someone in Eva’s life was there for nefarious reasons but I wasn’t *entirely* sure until the end. The twist is there with just enough red herrings to make me question myself. Love a book that keeps me turning pages to see if I’m right!

Such a great book and I would recommend this to any fan of the genre!

Thank you to NetGalley and Pocket books for providing Behind Every Lie for me to read and review.


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Sunday, November 3, 2019

November Re-read

My next November re-read is The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. Aaaaannnddd ....again, in not so patient anticipation of the next in the series!



LOOK AT THIS COVER!


I am really looking forward to The Night Country and I love how symbolic Melissa Albert's covers are!

Are you doing any re-reads this year? Are you anticipating any new books in a favorite series?

Saturday, November 2, 2019

November Re-reads and Saturday Series

So, this November I'm hoping to do some re-reading of favorites. Mostly in anticipation of new books in my favorite series coming out!

First up:

Libba Bray and The Diviner Series:

I absolutely LOVED this series and I'm so incredibly excited for the next in the series to come out!


Look at this beautiful cover ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ˜

Anything you're looking forward to?

Friday, November 1, 2019

The Secrets They Left Behind by Lissa Marie Redmond

The Secrets They Left Behind The Secrets They Left Behind by Lissa Marie Redmond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three missing girls, no leads, a vault of dark secrets, and a case that's getting chillier by the minute, set the stage for this nail-biting procedural from former cold case homicide detective and acclaimed author Lissa Marie Redmond.

Three college freshmen go missing from their rural hometown of Kelly's Falls while on Christmas break. Their cell phones, coats, and purses are left behind, but the girls have disappeared without a trace. As the days turn into weeks and the investigation grows cold, twenty-three year old Buffalo police officer Shea O'Connor is called on to dig up leads undercover.

Still bearing the emotional and physical scars of a previous case, O'Connor infiltrates as eighteen-year-old Shea Anderson, a college freshman and the "niece" of the town's police chief. As she begins to immerse herself in the missing girls' world, befriending their friends and family, and doing whatever it takes to maintain her cover, O'Connor realizes the track is far colder than she initially thought. But whoever was behind the girls' disappearance was only warming up, and they have set their crosshairs directly on her.

The heat is on for O'Connor as she closes in on the shocking truth about what really happened the night the girls vanished.


  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books 
  • Publish Date: April 7, 2020
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 164385299X

                                                            REVIEW:

“If I had known the best thing that was going to happen to me that day was a black eye, I would have called in sick.”
-Shea O’Connor

First sentence:

Christmas Break - Skyler slammed the front door behind them as they rushed in against the biting winter wind.

When three college girls disappear over Christmas break, Boston police officer, Shea O’Connor is asked by the FBI to go undercover and infiltrate the college. Purposely involving herself in the lives and friendships of the three missing girls, Shea struggles to keep up with her undercover persona and the lies she has to tell to people she’s beginning to like and see as friends.

Shea is not a stranger to undercover work; she’s still suffering the trauma of the first case that FBI agent Bill Walters assigned her to. Nobody, including her fellow officers, know that Shea was the turning point in the arrest of a brutal serial killer in her first undercover case. Shea is a wonderful protagonist. She’s witty and clever with just enough snark to keep her interestingly likeable!

The Secrets They Left Behind is great suspenseful mystery with a complex story-line and just enough red herrings to keep me guessing and ultimately, surprised at the ending. I’ll be reading Ms. Redmond past and future work from now on.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing me with this title to read and review!

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

Where the World Ends Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books (December 3, 2019)
  • Publication Date: December 3, 2019
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B07LF6BYK8

Every time a lad came fowling on the St Kilda stacs, he went home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is...

In the summer of 1727, a group of men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stac to harvest birds for food. No one returns to collect them. Why? Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain why they have been abandoned to endure storms, starvation and terror. And how can they survive, housed in stone and imprisoned on every side by the ocean?


Review

“Cold laid clammy hands on their necks and kidneys, their hands and feet. It twanged on their muscles like a harpist.”
                       -Geraldine McCaughrean, Author, Where the World Ends

First sentence:

His mother gave him a new pair of socks, a puffin to eat on the voyage and a kiss on the cheek.

Where the World Ends is a gorgeously written book by Geraldine McCaughrean set in the 18th century and is a fictional account based on a true story. It centers around a group of three men and nine boys that are put ashore on the Warrior stac in the archipelago of St. Kilda to go fowling; the harvesting of “bird -meat, eggs, feathers, oil …” What is supposed to be a few weeks turns into much longer when the ship that is supposed to pick them up, never arrives.

The story explores the hardship that is faced on this remote rocky stac as those that are abandoned face starvation, the harsh winter elements, and some of their own base natures along with the fear that the only way their loved ones would abandon them is if the world had ended. Despite this, there is the ever-present hope that they’ll see a ship on the horizon and remarkably, a continuing sense of unity among most present.

Told from the astute perspective of Quill, I felt very aware of each hardship, of each character’s personality - faults and kindnesses - and the absolute misery wondering why they’ve been abandoned. With little more than a cave for shelter and hunger nipping at their bellies, true natures are soon exposed; Some good, some not so much. One thing is undeniable, each boy and each man will be forever changed by their experience.

It’s a tale of survival and tragedy but also one of hope, community and friendship and ultimately, resilience and bravery. This is a story that will stay with me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the opportunity to read and review this title!


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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Blood Countess by Lana Popovic

Blood CountessBlood Countess by Lana Popoviฤ‡
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 17th century Hungary, Anna Darvulia has just begun working as a scullery maid for the young and glamorous Countess Elizabeth Bรกthory. When Elizabeth takes a liking to Anna, she’s vaulted to the dream role of chambermaid, a far cry from the filthy servants’ quarters below. She receives wages generous enough to provide for her family, and the Countess begins to groom Anna as her friend and confidante. It’s not long before Anna falls completely under the Countess’s spell—and the Countess takes full advantage. Isolated from her former friends, family, and fiancรฉ, Anna realizes she’s not a friend but a prisoner of the increasingly cruel Elizabeth. Then come the murders, and Anna knows it’s only a matter of time before the Blood Countess turns on her, too. 


  • Series: Lady Slayers
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • Publication Date:January 28, 2020
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419738860

REVIEW

“For all the gold and silver in her coffers, in some ways the countess is just like me. A woman, with a man’s cruel hand around her wrist.”
                                   -Lana Popovic, Author of Blood Countess

First Sentence:

Sarvar, Hungary – May 8, 1575 The day our Lord Nadasdy weds the countess, the sky above us is the color of bleached bone.

It’s the late 1500’s and Anna Darvulia is a highly skilled healer in her Hungarian village, learning by her mother’s side how to tend to the ill with herbs gathered by moonlight. Anna has far exceeded even her mother’s great talent and comes to the attention of The Countess Elizabeth Bathory who has the uncanny talent of seeing into another’s soul and playing on their weakness and their secrets. All for her own despicable gain.

It’s no secret that Countess Elizabeth Bathory is known for her cruelty and unending quest for youth; she is known as the most vicious female serial killer in recorded history for a reason. Ms. Popovic takes this true account and weaves an emotionally taut story with Anna as the main character and explores a fictional version of one girls experience with the cruel and murderous Countess. Anna is a great protagonist, she is so clever and gifted but most of all, she loves her family beyond all things. The love of her family is what drives her to go work at the castle. At first, she is a lowly scullery maid, sleeping with the spiders and rats but when she strives to become more useful to Elizabeth her rank is elevated to the coveted role of chambermaid. As Anna becomes closer to Elizabeth it becomes harder to make excuses for her harsh and merciless treatment of others. Elizabeth is extremely well written, she is cruel and devious, yes, but there are glimpses of her that made me understand why Anna found it hard to find fault with her in the beginning.

The story is one of hope and despair but ultimately, it shows the strength of a young woman and her desire to care for her family and ultimately, herself. It is gorgeously written, incredibly rich and descriptive and it was an absolute joy to read.

A big thank you to NetGalley, Abrams Kids and Pique Beyond for providing me with Blood Countess by Lana Popovic to read and review!


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Monday, October 28, 2019

The Whisper Man by Alex North

The Whisper Man The Whisper Man by Alex North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Celadon Books (August 20, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250317991

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 a whispering at his window...


REVIEW:

First Sentence:

The abduction of a child by a stranger is every parent’s worst nightmare.

The Whisper Man by Alex North is everything I thought it would be and a bit more. It had some of the terrifying elements that I was expecting but there was a lot of psychological and emotional qualities that I wasn’t quite anticipating.

Unless you live under a rock and hey, rocks are great – I have a favorite I like to hide under when I’ve had enough - you’ve probably heard the buzz about The Whisper Man. I’ve seen the book all over the book stores and various social media outlets and have refrained from reading any reviews past the stars that were given because I didn’t want them to shape my opinion. I do this a lot with really popular books. It seems most people really liked it and some, not so much. I fall on the side that liked it. There were some things about the book that maybe I didn’t ‘love’; one thing was that I didn’t really feel a connection with the main character, Tom, he just seemed off to me and I also didn’t care for how the author would write a dialogue and then put in italics what the character was actually wanting to say. I don’t mind this occasionally but Mr. North did this more than what I care for and it became a bit tedious for me to keep reading what the character wanted to say or was actually thinking, blah!
What made The Whisper Man a 4-star book for me was the plot! The eerie element to it is undeniable; starting with the creepy house they move in to and the overwhelming sense of not being alone pretty much had me a little freaked out. Not to mention some of the secondary characters are just downright evil and creepy. Jake, Toms son, also had imaginary friends *wink, wink* and to be honest, that was really well written and equally as eerie. There are a lot of hideous people in this book which really threw me off, in a good way because halfway through the book, I was sure I knew who the bad guy was and I was way off. I like when a book can surprise me like this.

I think that it’s important if you read The Whisper Man, do so with an open mind and no expectations. You just may love it. Or not.


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