April Reads

April has been a month of many rainy days and some great reads. Here’s my top reads this month:

The Perfect Stranger: A Novel

If you haven’t read Megan Miranda’s book All the Missing Girls: A Novel then you absolutely must do that right now!  It was one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.  I loved the unique style of the book.  You can read my review on that book here – All the Missing Girls .

This one is a good read too, though not as good as her first.  The characters are well developed and you truly feel a sense of madness throughout the book that leaves you guessing and wondering.  I was slightly disappointed with the ending, as what I imagined was coming would have been far more intense than what she wrote.  If you are a fan of suspense, then I think the book is well worth your time and you will be turning the pages long into the night.  I gave this a 3.5 star review on Goodreads.

And Then There Was Me: A Novel of Friendship, Secrets and Lies

This was a great read about a woman named Bea.  The character is one that you will love on many levels.  I truly enjoyed the book and read it in one sitting.  There were many things that spoke to me as Bea was wrestling through the issues of her life and there were many.   I enjoyed the friendship she shared with Awilda, one that spanned their life from childhood to present day.  The raw honesty portrayed by Bea as she struggled felt real.  I didn’t enjoy the betrayal that Bea endured.  As I read those parts, I became disappointed along with her.  At its core, this book is a story of friendship, personal struggle and the ultimate betrayal.  But for me, it was a story of perseverance and strength.  This book reminded me somewhat of those written by Terry Macmillan, so if you’re a fan of her work, give it a shot.

Always: A Novel

This is a love story that speaks to the power of true love.  Told in alternating chapters between past and present, we read Kailey and Cade’s love story.  This is a story about the one who got away, the one you never forgot.

Ten years earlier, Kailey and Cade were deeply in love.  One day, Cade disappears from Kailey’s life leaving her heartbroken and confused.  She goes on to put her life back together and is now engaged and deeply in love with Ryan.  As the story unfolds, we see just how deeply Kailey felt about Cade.  Can she be honest with Ryan about Cade?  Will their love endure Cade’s return?  Why did Cade leave in the first place?   This book was really good read.   It reminded me of Colleen Hoover’s style.  If you are fan of Hoover, then check out this book.  I think you’ll see some similarities and enjoy a real good read.  But, be sure to start it on a day when you have nowhere to be.

The Memory of Things: A Novel

I saved the best for last!  I bought this Young Adult, coming of age book, several months back.  It sat on my kindle for a long while before I was brave enough to start it.  The thing is September 11 is seared in my memory.  I don’t often read books on this topic as it was a traumatic event for me and many that I know.  I am so happy I finally opened it and read it.  What a unique and truly interesting read this was and I literally didn’t move until I finished it.  The book captures the emotions of that day quite well.  Written in a unique style of narrative with poetic text included that I felt truly captured the uncertainty and feeling of the day.

This book is special and Gae Polisher captured that day with honesty and sensitivity.  Told in alternating chapters by two teenagers personally affected by the tragedy that unfolded that day we are reminded of the heroic efforts of everyday people.  Kyle is a student who has to walk home from school after watching the events unfold from his school.  Along the way he sees something on the bridge, a girl who intends to jump.  He manages to get her to come home with him.  Kyle is left alone at home with a father who is a first responder, whereabouts unknown, and a mom who was flying home from California, whereabouts unknown.  You really feel inside these characters as you go through three days with them.  Beautifully written and deeply engaging, this is one you don’t wan to miss.

The author includes text at the end with her personal reflection on the day.   I knew just form the way she captured the story that she was a New Yorker.  This was my first book by this author and I plan to check out her others.

Lately, two series are getting a lot of buzz.   Recently, Thirteen Reasons has been trending on Facebook and the news.  Surprisingly, many don’t realize this series is based on the best selling book, Thirteen Reasons Why a truly great read.   If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend you do.  Also, the series Big Little Lies has been trending.  This too, is based on a best selling book.  If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it – Big Little Lies .  Both series were good and I binge watched them over a weekend, but neither one holds a candle to the books they were based on.

What books did you read this month?  Please share some titles below as I’m always looking for my next great read!  If you check out any of these titles, please post to let me know what you thought.

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.