Wednesday, May 23, 2018

All The Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

My rating: 4.5

Harry gets a call from his step-mother Alice that his father is dead. Harry leaves college before graduation to go home for the funeral and to see what he can find out about his fathers death.  Soon, Harry has reason to suspect foul play but there is a lot more going on than Harry suspects.


Twists and turns galore with lots of suspense and you feel distrustful of everyone!  I can see why this has been compared to Girl on A Train. Not as good as Swanson's previous The Kind Worth Killing but still very enjoyable.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Identicals by Erin Hildenbrand

My rating: 2.7

Forty year old twins, Tabatha and Harper have been estranged for years but their father's death and their mother's poor health brings them together.


This was a cheezy version of the Parent Trap.  Definitely way too fluffy for my tastes and I am embarrassed I finished it. Definitely not my cup of tea

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My rating: 4.8

This short novel is a somber fairytale. It is about 13 year old Conor dealing with his mum having cancer.



This extremely well done, inventive book makes you feel vulnerable, afraid, sad and so much more. It made me want to hug sweet Conor. Very haunting and one I will remember.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Faithful Place by Tana French

My Rating: 4.6

When Frank Mackey was 19, he was going to run away with his girl Rosey Daley. Rosey never showed. Frank assumed it was due to his dysfunctional family. Frank never went home and neither did Rosey. They never heard from each other again. Now, 22 years later, Detective Frank Mackey gets a call that they have discovered Rosey's suitcase. Frank returns home to the whole sordid dysfunctional mess to try to sort out what happened.



I absolutely loved how much Frank loved his daughter Hollie. The dysfunctional family was quite uncomfortable (which was the point) so just for that reason this wasn't as enjoyable for me as her previous books but I can't wait to read the next in this fabulous series.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman

My rating: 4.6

Maggy is a struggling single mother who cleans homes for wealthy New Yorkers. When a former client dies and leaves her a home in Sag Harbor, she soon finds out it also comes with taking care of Edith, the deceased's 82 year old mother who has Alzheimers. Neither Maggie nor Edith are thrilled with the arrangement but soon come to understand each other and find they may even be good for each other.


Despite the heavy topic, this felt light and was so enjoyable. All of the characters rang true and were relate-able. Very enjoyable light read.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bookmarks Magazine May/June 2018

The only thing that makes getting coming home any more glorious is my Bookmarks magazine waiting for me in the mailbox - WOOHOO!  There were some unusual books in this edition that I am intrigued to read (The Friend is at the top of my list!) Here are my picks from this edition.


      
      


Already on my kindle:



Please share what your picks were so I can see which ones I missed and add them to my queue!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

My rating: 4.6

Aviva Grossman is a congressional intern who has an affair with the married congressman. When the affair comes to light it is a social media frenzy. She can't get a job or rebuild her life. Aviva quickly realizes she is a household name and the stigma will follow her.




This is a funny, sharp novel that captures women and their relationships. I really enjoyed the light easy writing style.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs

My rating: 4.8

Women need love and men need respect. If you fight giving your spouse what they need, they won't give what you need. If you know what they need, give it and see what happens. I did and was pretty amazed at the results.


Although this is very Christian based, I feel that anyone of any religious or non-religious belief could benefit from this book. It is the type of book that is easy to skim over the scriptural sections if you wish and still glean the message of the book.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

My Rating: 4.7

A Corporate team building event of hiking in the wilderness ends with one of the women not returning and the other women all telling a slightly different version of what happened. This flashes back and forth between the detectives interviewing the women and trying to piece together what happened and flashbacks to the events that unfolded of the women's hike. All the while, searchers are in the woods trying to find the missing woman.

This was phenomenal at capturing the emotional baggage of each woman and how the corporate boardroom dynamics don't translate out to the wilderness. If I had any doubt, this book has confirmed I don't want to do a hiking team building event with my co-workers!  Will definitely read more by Harper.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

My rating: 3.5

After the recent loss of their baby son, Pauline, her husband and their daughters take an offer from an uncle to move to Philadelphia and become partners in the funeral business. While they are adjusting to their new life, they also have to deal with the outbreak of the Spanish flu. One day, while mother and daughter are delivering food to the sick, the daughter finds a young baby, his mother dead from the flu. They decide to keep him and he gives them all a purpose to hold on to in their chaotic world.


I enjoyed the alternating POV of the mother and the daughters. While I enjoyed the portion about the Spanish flu immensely the light fluffiness characters that were lacking in depth didn't seem to fit. There were also a LOT of coincidences at the end that allowed everything to be tied up in such a pretty neat bow it felt like a script for Hallmark Weekly Movie (hate that!) Definitely enjoyed the first portion more than the ending which is too bad as it had promise to be better.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Likeness by Tana French

My Rating: 4.9

Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder squad but an urgent phone call tells her to come to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks EXACTLY like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as "Alexandra Madison", which is an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl?


Wow. Tana French hits it out of the park. With perfect pitch she captures every note of how it would feel to see your doppelganger dead before you, to have to go undercover and take on her life and be Cassie playing Lexie. I loved the audio version which captured hte Irish accents. You don't need to read the first book in this series Into the Woods to enjoy this book but, it was also excellent so, why not :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 5.0

It is 1974 and former POW Ernt Allbright comes home a changed man. He thinks that inheriting some land with a house on it in Alaska could be the new lease on life that he and his family so desperately need.  He takes his wife Clara and 13 year old daughter Leni to live off the grid in the wilds of Alaska. This is about love, coming of age story, family and about Alaska....and Hannah captures all of it flawlessly.

There wasn't one thing that I didn't love about this book.  WOW! Every character, even the unlikable ones, were so well done. I was in Maui and Arizona while reading this and with Hannah's descriptions of Alaska, I felt cold! You understand how hard and unforgiving Alaska is and how this family wasn't prepared to deal with it and so many other things. I also loved The Nightingale. She could be my new favorite author.

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapene

My Rating: 3.9

Tom comes home to find his wife Karen has vanished and yet didn't lock the door, left behind her cell phone, purse and ID. A knock from the police tells him that she was in an accident in a very bad part of town and is in the hospital. Karen's concussion leaves her with no memory of the events.


This had lots of twists and turns. Some of the characters felt cheezy but if you go with it, it was a fun read. IMO, this wasn't as good as her previous book A Couple Next Door but still a fun read.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Final Girls by Riley Sagar

My rating: 4.7

Final girls is named for the girl who is left alive at the end of a horror movie. This thriller is about three girls who have each survived horrific mass murder sprees. It starts 10 years after 5 of Quincy Carpenter's friends were murdered and she was the lone survivor. She is trying desperately to put it behind her and have a 'normal' life.


This was a great beach read full of suspense and twists. It definitely had me guessing until the end and I enjoyed the final twist and ending.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Taster by V.S. Alexander

My Rating: 4.5

In 1943, Magda finds herself working as a food taster for Hitler at the Berghof mountain retreat. Magda gets drawn into a plot that tests her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and ultimately, vengeance.


This was very interesting in terms of the story but also understanding some of the things with Hitler. The circumstances of Hitler's death has been disputed and Alexander weaves a fascinating plausible historical fiction novel around this. The characters could have had more depth and the story dragged at times but overall, it was a good read.