Psychological Thrillers, Uncategorized

Into the Light

Into the Light (The Light Series Book 1)

A friend of mine recommended I check out this book.  She raved about it so I was sold.  I figured it would be a great kick off to my beach reading this week.

I’m the type of reader who hates being left hanging.  I like to wrap things up and read furiously until all is revealed to me.  For this reason I tend to avoid series, unless all the books in it have been completed.  I’m truly not a patient person.

Enter this book, Into The Light.  As I’m sitting on the beach reading, I’m patiently waiting to know exactly who Sarah is.  I have my suspicions but am anxious for the big reveal.  Suddenly, I notice I’m at 95% and nowhere close to it happening.  I start to get suspicious about this whole read.  I immediately go on Amazon to look and sure enough it’s the first book in a series. No fair!!

I didn’t want to like it now.  I didn’t want to have to do the whole waiting for the sequel.  But, alas as all good series books do, Ms. Romig left me hanging big time.  The mother of all cliff hangers was exposed.  Yes, I found out who Sarah really was.  But oh my was my mind blown up.  What just happened here.

I am purposefully not summarizing this one at the risk of revealing too much.  You’ll just have to trust me and get it.  I will, though, warn you upfront it’s a SERIES and the other books are not yet released.

Quick read with awesome mind twists.  Thanks Caroline.

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fiction, Young Adult Fiction

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

What a delightful, quirky book this was.  The narration by Hawthorne was hilarious at times and really deep at others.

This book is about the high school experience, as told by nerdy Hawthorne.   She’s not enjoying her time there and truly let’s you know why.   The quirkiness of the characters in this book reminded me of those in The Fault in Our Stars .  When the book opens we soon find out that Lizzie Lovett is missing.  Hawthorne becomes obsessed with this fact as Lizzie is somewhat of an obsession to her already.  She embarks on a mission to find Lizzie through no plan of her own.  It just kind of happens.  All of the characters in this book have a slight oddness about them.  Putting them together in one book is sheer genius.  I laughed out loud often in this book, yet was deeply touched by it as well.  As the editor’s note in the beginning said, I didn’t really want it to end and I highlighted many passages to reread and savor.

Two passages I highlighted speak to the deep emotions that can be found lurking in the pages of this book.  First, early in the book we get a sense of Hawthorne’s feelings about Lizzie,

“The thing is, Emily is right.  I was jealous of Lizzie, but not of how pretty and popular and perfect she was.  I envied Lizzie’s happiness.  It seemed unfair that she should have so much of it when other people had so little.”  

This passage really keyed us in to the depth of Hawthorne’s personal unhappiness.  It also gives us another way to think about what is happening in the minds of many high school geeks.  How many suffer in silence, sitting on the sidelines.

Second, toward the end of the book,

“”It’s weird.  After all this time searching for her and trying to understand her life, I still don’t feel like I know her.  Everyone I talked to saw her as a totally different person.  And I thought it was intentional.  Like Lizzie changed personalities depending on who she was with.  But now, I don’t know.”  Emily thought about it for a moment.  “Maybe people saw her the way they wanted to see her.  Maybe that’s how it always is.” If that was the case, I wondered how people saw me.  How many different versions of Hawthorn Creely were out there in the world, living in people’s heads?  How close were any of them to the actual me?”  

I mean I could go on and on and just share so many highlighted pieces.  Yes, it feels like a coined messages about life on some pages, but others like these two show just how much truly can be learned from these pages.

The book is a young adult read, but does have a sensitive topic, so more for middle school and up.  I highly recommend reading the book when it is released.  It’s not due out until January and I’ll surely remind you when that happens.  I even love the cover of this book, don’t you?

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an early copy of the book to read and review.

 

fiction, historical fiction, Uncategorized

Remember the Ladies

Remember the Ladies

This fast paced, well written debut novel by Gina Mulligan came to me by surprise from the publisher.  I had missed the preview window, but they graciously sent me a copy anyway.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to future undertakings by Ms. Mulligan.

The book opens with a tragic wagon accident that leaves the main character, Amelia, orphaned.  She spends her youth living in an orphanage and becomes disillusioned with the limitations society places on her as a woman.  She is often caught stealing books that are not meant for the girls.  She exhibits a strong desire to learn more than “girl” life skills.  Fast forward to her release into adult life.  A chance meeting on a train will change the course of her life.  A simple act of kindness, coupled with a powerful mentor opens a whole new path for Amelia.

The book has a great flow with the strength and drive of Amelia driving the plot admirably.    Amelia is determined to make it in a man’s world, but at what cost.  The book is set around the time of the suffrage movement and Amelia becomes a lobbyist who works tirelessly to get this amendment passed.  Her life and her struggles were fascinating to me.  She had tenacity in a time when most women were not permitted to engage outside their roles as housewives.

I enjoyed reading about the inner workings of politics that unfortunately sound a lot like today’s political climate.  I guess things haven’t changed all that much.  Lot’s of deal making and backstabbing add excitement to the story. I believe this book will be a best seller for those who love the genre of historical fiction, but the plot and characters would interest fiction lovers as well.  A must read for the summer, so add it to your ever growing list.

Available now.  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book.

 

 

 

fiction, Uncategorized, Women's Fiction

In Twenty Years

In Twenty Years: A Novel

I really liked the premise of this book.  It opens on graduation eve from college.  Five college roommates, who are extremely close gather for their last night.  They write letters to their older selves and place them in a time capsule.

Fast forward twenty years and the five are now pretty much estranged.  They each receive a letter from the lawyer of one of the five who is now deceased.   They are to meet at the old college home on her 40th birthday.

Most of us have those long ago friends.  Some stayed in touch, others didn’t.  Many of us wonder if things might have been different, if only….

I enjoyed this book and the characters.  There were parts that felt dragged out and some that felt predictable.  But, I loved the idea of it and kept reading.

By the end, I felt connected to the group, even dear sweet Leon.  A light, easy read that would work well on a plane or beach.

Available now.  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a copy to read and review.

fiction, Uncategorized, Women's Fiction

Broken Pieces

Broken Pieces: A Novel

Enjoyed reading this one.  It was a quick, yet powerful read.  I started it last night and just finished.  It wasn’t at all what I expected when I first started.  I kept sensing a foreshadowing of what was to be, but each time I was wrong.

The book opens with January getting an unexpected visit from her estranged dad, Albert.  Bit by bit we learn the sadness behind their estranged relationship which followed the death of her mother.  Bit by bit the author unravels a story of finding one’s family and possibly getting what is wanted.  Things in life are not what January ever expected them to be and she has the opportunity to really rethink her long held anger.

The book is not a thriller, or a sappy love story.  It’s a story of a women who has to come to terms with her painful past.  The manner in which she does that was interesting and kept me engaged.  The author has created strong characters and the plot has a few twists thrown in just to keep it different.  Albert, Sydney and Ella will stay with you long after you stop reading.  It’s a quick read, but it’s not light.  It also has an important message to readers and I for one have a new appreciation for the color teal.

Book will be out July 19th.  Available for preorder now.  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a copy to read and review.

 

 

 

fiction, Uncategorized, Women's Fiction

Love Alice

Love, Alice, by Barbara Davis

It took me two weeks and six books to finally find one that held my attention.  A very sweet, unassuming book that will surprise you how readable it is.  Truly a simple story about a young girl forced to give up her baby in a convent home for unwed mothers.  The main character Alice’s story is told through a series of letters she wrote to her unborn child.

The story was really anything but simple.  There were so many layers to the plot.  On the surface you read about the mistreatment of young women in these unwed mother homes.  They were literally treated like slaves and abused, their babies sold to wealthy families in the United States.  On another level you have the main character, Dovie, trying to put her life together following the suicide of her fiancé.  Her relationship with Austin really had enough sexual tension to get your attention.  All of the characters really were well developed and likable.  It was Alice though, who grabs you by the heart strings and never lets go.  Not even at the bitter end.  She is still orchestrating the plot and quite masterfully at that.

I’ve not heard of this author, but will definitely be checking out any other books she has written.  Her attention to detail was not lost on me.  I truly enjoyed Alice’s story as sad as it was.  Due out in December 2016, this will make a wonderful gift for the readers on your list.  Available for preorder now.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me a copy to read and review.

 

 

Psychological Thrillers

All the Missing Girls

**Available now for great summer read.  Don’t miss it.

All the Missing Girls: A Novel

I am an avid reader who spends time searching for that book.  You know the one I mean.  The one that keeps me up at night, gets inside my head and stays with me long after I’ve finished it.   It’s often hard to find it and when I do I want to ring some bell and shout it out to everyone, “I’ve got a winner here!”

All the Missing Girls really was one of those books.  When I read the description, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to read it.  Of course they said it’s the next Gone Girl.  I’ve got to admit I’m tired of hearing that said about a book   Seriously, how many next Gone Girls can there be.  But, something about it made me read it.  I was extremely worried about the idea of reading a story backwards.  How could that work and how would I keep track of events like that .  Well it worked!  Somehow Ms. Miranda pulled it all together.  She did such a great job that I contemplated staying home from work just to finish it!

For me, this book met all my criteria for a best seller, must read.   It had strong, well developed characters, who I felt like I had an intimate relationship with.  I felt what they felt and connected to them on many levels.   It had an interesting plot, full of twists and turns. I never really figured it out until the author revealed the full story, which is admirable in a thriller.   And, to top it off it had this uniquely developed plot presentation  – written chronologically backward.

I’ve read so many books.  Many of them I skim through parts to just get back to the meat.   This book was one that I savored every word.  No skimming at all and I actually dreaded it ending, yet I desperately wanted answers.   The story opens with Nic returning home to get her father’s affairs in order.  We meet Daniel, her brother and Tyler, her ex.  There is a ten year old missing girl case, Nic’s best friend Corrine.  Once the stage is set, we are off on a thrilling ride to the unexpected conclusion.

Put this on your must read list for the summer.  It’s available to order now.  I know this will be on the best seller list and definitely a movie.   You will not be disappointed.  Enjoy and let me know how you like it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review a copy of this book.

 

Psychological Thrillers, Uncategorized

Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden

Totally creepy read.  I really can’t imagine how an author can think this stuff up.  Maya, as she’s named is being held hostage in a “garden”, tended by a gardener.  She’s not alone and soon comes to realize the full horror of her situation.  Trapped and thought of as butterflies the girls are branded and raped.

Maya is fighting for survival for like butterflies, her time, as well as the other girls, is limited.

Creepy, creepy, creepy.  I feel like this a Criminal Minds episode in the making.  Definitely should check this one out.  It’s a quick read and definitely grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. On sale now at Amazon.

fiction, Uncategorized, Women's Fiction

Blame

This book is hard to put down. I was actually annoyed that I had plans and wasn’t going to be home to read.  I just finished it tonight and I believe you need to put this on your summer reading list.  Not sure of the release date as it’s not available yet for preorder.  But the good news is I discovered this author’s other books and can’t wait to dig in.  She’s got at least three others that look awesome. Three Hours Late is the one I just purchased.

In Blame, we meet two best friends, Caro and Anna.  The book alternates between the two and we get their perspective around the death of Anna’s daughter Maya.  The story unfolds gradually during simultaneous police interrogations.  Trope uses a lot of flashbacks to unravel and develop the story.   There was such depth to both of these women and their flaws made them perfectly imperfect.  The author truly captured their pain and anguish on a deep level.  The book has that disturbing characteristic reminiscent of We Need to Talk About Kevin: A Novel.  The emotional toll of autism and parental bonding are explored on a collision course with death.  I was left saddened for everyone involved and felt there were no true winners.

If you’re looking for a book that packs a punch, pulls you in and makes you think long after you are done, then Blame is your book. Five stars from me and a reminder when it’s released.  In the meantime, check out the author’s other books.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book.

fiction, Uncategorized, Women's Fiction

Faithful

Faithful: A Novel

Alice Hoffman’s newest book will not disappoint her fans.  A meaty read, full of emotion and depth will be hard to put down.

Shelby is driving when a crash on an icy road changes the trajectory of her life. Her best friend lies in a vegetative state and the guilt is to large a burden for her to manage.  Emotionally shot, she withdraws from life.

This is Shelby’s story and it will touch your heart.  You will root for her and wish you could wrap your arms around her, or slap her and say, “Snap out of it!”   But, if you’ve never experienced survivor’s guilt it’s hard to say how you’d handle it differently.

I totally was engrossed in this book and hate that it’s ended.  I say add this to the long summer reading list.  Could be a great rainy day vacation read because you won’t want to put it down.

Strong character development and a story that will allow you to emotionally connect.  Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an advance copy to read and review. 5 stars for this one.