Tuesday, October 8, 2019

You've Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman, 304 pages

You've Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel
This is the follow-up book to Gelman's debut, Class Mom. As a class mom myself, I found both of these books hilarious. Main character Jen's take on surviving the school year as a parent had me actually laughing out loud. If you need a light-hearted, easy read- these are the books for you!

The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger, 384 pages

The Stranger Inside
The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger is a psychological thriller about Rain Winter, a former journalist turned stay-at-home mom. Rain was almost abducted as a twelve-year-old but managed to escape- her friend's weren't so lucky. Rain has locked away the pain and trauma that she survived, but is forced to face the demons of her past when recent murders seem eerily connected to her friends. 
I really enjoyed this book and thought it was fast paced and a great introduction to my spooky reads that I'm planning on finishing this fall. 

Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff,304 pages

Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide
Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered is a memoir by the creators and hosts of the podcast My Favorite Murder. I recently became addicted to the podcast so I knew I had to read their book. Georgia and Karen are really interesting, hilarious people and the book was a great mixture of being both hilarious but also extremely deep. I don't think that you'd enjoy this book if you weren't a fan of the podcast, so I definitely recommend reading it if you are!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson, 336 pages

I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson

I received an Advanced Reader Copy of I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own! Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy. I Know You Remember is scheduled to be published Oct. 2019.

I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. I was sucked in from the first few pages and unable to put it down. This book had an intense plot that has you reading as quickly as you can to figure it all out. And, just when I thought I had figured it out... boy was I wrong! This is an instant read for people who love a good YA thriller because I don't think it gets much better than this one in regards to that genre.

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, 464 pages

The Family Upstairs
This is the newest book by Lisa Jewell. I've recently became a fan on Jewell so I was excited for a new book. Compared to her other work, this fell a little flat for me but was still a good read. My main complaint with The Family Upstairs was that it was almost too much. It was hard for me to follow which character was who at the beginning and I felt a little lost. This was relatively fast paced and packed full with twists and turns. Definitely not my favorite by Jewell but will be a good read for her fans. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell & Faith Erin Hicks, 209 pages

Pumpkinheads is a new graphic novel that is perfect to get you in the mood for Fall! The story takes place in an adorable pumpkin patch and has tons of food puns. If you're looking for something fast-paced, cute and cozy- this is your book! The illustrations are also great. I read the e-book version and loved it, when I normally struggle to like e-editions better in regard to graphic novels! This was the perfect way to start Fall and get me in the mood for the spooky season!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin, 384 Pages

Never Look Back
Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin is a book that falls in the thriller/suspense genres. I've read one of Gaylin's books before and struggled to get into it- I'm pretty sure I even had to come back to it at a different time to really enjoy it and finish it. I was surprised at how hooked I was from page one of this one. It's a very intense story with many twists- one of my main complaints being that it seemed like Gaylin tried to add too many in there, making it confusing and overwhelming towards the end. I also found it hard to follow due to the amount of characters and their different identities. I think most avid thriller readers will be able to guess a lot of what is going to happen, but I was caught off guard with one of the main twists at the end, which I appreciated! Overall, I enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fast-paced thriller!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn, 281 pages

You'd Be Mine
You'd Be Mine is a debut novel for Erin Hahn and man oh man... I loved it. I'm not sure if I loved it because it was centered around music, which is a huge part of my life, or because it was just a great contemporary YA read in general. (I'm going to say a little of both.) This story ripped out my heart but then put it back together again, only to rip it out a little more. I fell in love with the characters and felt like I could feel the heartaches they were experiencing. I thought that Annie was such a great main character and I really am hoping that Hahn ends up writing a sequel to this someday. It's not very often that I feel so connected to a set of characters that it's hard to give them up, but that's exactly how I felt at the end of this book. 

The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson, 384 pages

The Dead Girl in 2A
I found The Dead Girl in 2A to be a really confusing read. I wanted to like it so bad, and at some points I really did, but I spent a lot of my time reading it having to go back and reread different parts so that they would hopefully make more sense. I feel like the author tried to pack too much into this, and if they would have left it a little simpler, it could have been something great. I also found a majority of the story so unbelievable that it was hard for me to enjoy it to it's full potential. Overall, this was a decent and fast-paced thriller that I'd recommend to someone who is looking for a quick read. 

Saturday, August 31, 2019

#Murderfunding by Gretchen McNeil, 336 pages

#Murderfunding (MurderTrending, #2)
#MurderFunding is the second book is this series, following #MurderTrending. I was really excited to read this because of how much I loved the first book. #MurderTrending is based around a prison, where the worst criminals are sent to be murdered by people dressed up in costumes, portraying a character that they had created. The prison was monitored by cameras and streamed live online for fans of the show, with each murder receiving a certain amount of points. Eventually, the show was shut down (for obvious reasons,) but that hasn't stopped fans of the show from talking about it constantly online. #MurderFunding follows Becca, after the loss of her mom. Speculation begins on whether or not her mom was one of the original Paniacs, the killers from the show.

I really liked the first book, and while I liked this one... I felt like the hype was too much for what it was. #MurderFunding was extremely politically driven, and I tend to stay away from that in my fictional reading as much as I can. I did think that this book had a good plot, politics aside. If you like Young Adult thrillers or The Purge movies... these are good books for you!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy, 384 pages

Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy is a cute, contemporary Young Adult novel. It's also been made into a Netflix movie. After how much I loved "To All the Boys I've Loved Before", I really wanted to give this one a try so I could watch the movie, too. I honestly didn't expect to love this book as much as I did! It was fast-paced, quirky, and I found myself relating to the main character, Willow, so much. Willow feels like she's an outcast and knows that she'll never be stick thin like the girls that she sees in the movies and on TV, even in the hallways of her school. I also really felt for Willow, watching her navigate high school and feeling so different from everyone else. It's really nice to see some representation of someone who isn't what everyone thinks of as a "normal" body type, and it's nice to see her accept that and figure out how to love herself. I really loved this book and I'm already reading the second book in the series, Puddin'. 

Monday, August 26, 2019

The Haunted by Danielle Vega, 304 pages

The Haunted
The Haunted was frequently referred to as "YA's answer to Stephen King" which made me really excited to read it. I also love anything paranormal, especially a good haunted house book, which is exactly what this was. My opinion of this book was that it was just okay. It wasn't anything great and it's laughable that it was compared to King in any way, but I did find elements of this story really creepy and it was fun to read with Fall right around the corner. This book has been on my radar for quite a while, so I had a lot of hype built up around it, which I think made my overall impression of the book worse than what it could have been. This was a fast read and there was action right from the get-go, which is always a plus. I think this is definitely a good read for someone who doesn't read many thrillers or horror novels and wants to dabble in the genres, but if you're an avid thriller/horror reader for myself, this one will be pretty bland.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker, 373 pages

Say You Still Love Me
I've been on such a romance-kick lately that I had to read this book after reading the synopsis. Not only did this book sound great, the beautiful cover really caught my eye, too! The type of romance novel that I can't stand is one where the main character is a female who seems to be waiting around for a man to come swoop in and save her. Say You Still Love Me is the complete opposite. Main character, Piper, is an intelligent, driven and independent woman who knows what she wants. I loved that she realized her worth even before the story started, breaking off an engagement that seemed to be picture-perfect to everyone around them. It was so refreshing to read a love story starring a character who didn't need a companion. It made the entire thing more realistic to me, and I really loved this book. 

*Thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for my copy of this book in return for an honest review!*

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, 483 pages

Fangirl is a YA contemporary novel, based around a college-bound teen who is addicted to writing fan-fiction. This has been on my to-read list for as long as I can remember, and since I've been into YA contemporary lately, I decided to finally read it. I know so many people that really love this book, but unfortunately, I didn't. There wasn't a single character that I truly enjoyed and found the characters extremely immature for the age group that Rowell was trying to portray. I did enjoy Levi  & Cath's relationship, so that made me stick it out until the end. I have other novels by Rowell on my to read list and hopefully they'll be a better fit for me!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, 316 pages

Twenty Boy Summer
Anna and Frankie are leaving for California and have only a few things on their agenda- spend every day at the beach, get a good tan and meet twenty boys. This seems like an easy task, until they meet Jake and Sam a couple days in, which puts a halt on adding any more boys to their list. Anna finds herself falling for Sam, but is dealing with the guilt that comes along with that. 

Twenty Boy Summer was a quick, feel-good, summer read for me. I needed a break from another book that I've working on and was able to knock this one out in less than 3 hours. There was nothing "special" about this book by any means, but if you're looking for an easy, cute read, this is one I'd recommend. It was more emotional than I thought it would be and I even connected to the characters more than I expected. Twenty Boy Summer deals a lot with grief and the anger that can come hand-in-hand when you lose someone close to you. I do wish that there had been more closure with the character Frankie, but overall this was a 3 out of 5 star read for me!

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Lost by Natasha Preston, 304 pages

The Lost
Anytime that I want to read something in the thriller genre that doesn't require a lot of thought, I always go to Natasha Preston's books. Everything I've read by Preston has been in the YA thriller/horror genre and they've all been super fast paced and jam-packed with tons of twist and turns. I flew through this in a couple of hours which doesn't necessarily make it a great book but it was a nice break from what I've been reading recently. 
The Lost follows best friends Piper and Luna, who take it upon themselves to investigate the recent disappearances of teens in their town. During the investigation, the girls meet three handsome guys who are in college somewhere near where they live. They're quickly horrified to realize that the guys were not who they seemed to originally be, and have kidnapped both of the girls. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem like the kidnapper's first time abducting someone. The girls are taken and left in a building with other kidnapped teens, forced to fight for their lives.
None of the characters were great by any means and I found a lot of them to be annoying, but I let a lot of that slide when it comes to YA, especially YA thrillers. The ending was disappointing but overall, this was a fun one!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody, 417 pages

The Chaos of Standing Still
The Chaos of Standing Still is a YA contemporary romance that centers around two teens who are stranded at the Denver Airport during a severe snow storm. Ryn & Xander don't know each other, but are thrown together when they cross paths while stuck at the airport. Both teens are dealing with hardship in their personal lives and are struggling to overcome the hardships they're faced with. They both end up leaning on each other in more ways than they originally thought they would. 

I was looking for something that was a cutesy, feel-good read and this was certainly that. This book fell flat for me in regards to the characters because none of the main characters had much depth and there was plenty of room for it. This was fast paced and held my attention enough, but it doesn't stand out in it's genre. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay, 446 pages

Elevator Pitch
Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay takes place in New York City. The entire city is in a full-blown panic due to elevator accidents happening in random buildings throughout the city. I found this book actually pretty scary because it was relatively realistic and felt like something that could happen. I was disappointed in the ending because it was so intense and built up to what I thought was going to be some dramatic twist, and after it happened I had more of a "Oh, that's it?" reaction. Overall, this was another solid read from Barclay and if you normally like his novels, you'll enjoy this one. Elevator Pitch is scheduled to be published September 17, 2019

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han, 352 pages

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)
Always and Forever, Lara Jean is the last book of the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series. I had a couple people tell me that they didn't like this book as much as the other two, but I loved it just as much. Lara Jean and Peter have grown so much as not only a couple but individuals and it was a great goodbye seeing them venture into adulthood. I was so glad that Han ended the series with LJ and Peter together and it was hard for me to finish this one knowing that it was the last of the books. Han says that she won't write another book starring Lara Jean but I'm holding out hope that she will change her mind. The only plus side of not having another book is that Lara Jean and Peter will live on together forever in my mind!

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, 352 pages

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2)
P.S. I Love You was the sequel to To All the Boys I've Loved Before and I was a little nervous that I wouldn't love it as much as I loved the first one and was happy that I did. Lara Jean had even more development in this book and it was once again centered around her relationship with Peter, which I LOVE! This is another quick but good read for anyone who loves contemporary romance. My only complaint is that it may be difficult for older readers to connect with the characters due to the age gap. 

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, 369 pages

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)
I've been on a YA/Romance kick for a couple of weeks now so I thought it was a good time to finally read To All the Boys I've Loved Before. I really wanted to read this after the Netflix movie came out. I was surprised with how much I loved this book. I fell in love with the characters instantly, especially Lara Jean and Peter. I was impressed with main character Lara Jean's character development and emotional growth throughout the book and the entire series overall. I did find LJ's character to be a little immature for the age that Han was trying to portray her as, but I'm not sure that my maturity level was any better at 16. This is a quick and easy read with a ton of feel-good moments packed in it.

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena, 304 pages

Someone We Know
I received an advanced copy of Shari Lapena's newest domestic thriller, Someone We Know. This book is scheduled to be published on July 30, 2019. I overall enjoyed this book and found it to be fast paced, although I do get the "been there, done that" feeling from a lot of Lapena's latest work. I wish she would branch out of the domestic thriller genre but I also understand sticking to what you're good at! This wasn't my favorite Lapena novel, but I did enjoy it and recommend it to anyone who likes a good quick and drama-filled read. I'm sure this will be another hit for Lapena.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen, 440 Pages

The Rest of the Story
When I was younger, Sarah Dessen was always one of my favorite authors. I've strayed away from the romance genre as a whole but I decided to give Dessen's newest novel, The Rest of the Story, a shot and I'm so glad I did. This was such a sweet story of young love, heartbreak and how magical summer is when you're young. I really enjoyed this book and was so sad when it was over. I'll apparently always have a soft spot for anything written by Dessen and I look forward to reading more from her in the future. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill, 692 pages

NOS4A2 is a horror novel written by Joe Hill, who happens to be Stephen King's son. I've read some other stuff by Hill and enjoyed it. I've seen a ton of good reviews about NOS4A2 so I was really anxious to dive in. Unfortunately, I found myself pretty unimpressed overall. A lot of this book involves a lot of Fantasy, which is a genre that I really struggle with. I like my thrillers and horror novels to be as realistic as possible, so I struggled to connect to this. I did find a lot of it creepy but it felt really long-winded so I found myself getting bored. I decided to read this now because there is currently a show based off the novel on cable and I've been waiting to start watching it until I had read the book first. I still would recommend this to anyone who enjoys horror, but not my favorite of the genre!

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman, 324 pages

This is a psychological thriller that would be perfect for a vacation read.  It's a quick read, but as the tension builds it would be nice to finish it in one fell swoop instead of having to put it down and come back to it.

This is Catherine Steadman's first novel, and while her characters aren't totally lovable, it is a good story.  Somewhere beyond the midpoint in the book I began getting tired of it, but it redeemed itself in the end with a twist I wasn't expecting.  That is always a bonus for me.

I would definitely put this on the "not too deep but fun" recommendation list.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf, 354 Pages

This book was so addicting, I couldn't put it down. It hits on so many different topics including betrayal, friendship and the unconditional love a parent has for their child. What really made me love this book was how realistic it all is in today's society and the twist at the end really shocked me. I've been recommending this book to everyone I can since I read it and I'm looking forward to reading more by Gudenkauf.

Cora, Jordyn and Violet are supposed to be having a typical sleepover at Cora's house, but plans quickly change when they decide to venture out in the middle of the night to the old rail yard, all because of a local urban legend they've been reading about at school. When Cora is found on the verge of death and the other two are missing, their small town is flipped upside down. Everyone around them quickly becomes a suspect and it's hard to determine who could have done something like this to a child.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis, 481 Pages

Before reading The Murder House, I had never read anything by Patterson. He is obviously one of the most popular authors that we have in circulation so I figured I should eventually give one of his books a try. I came across The Murder House and it seemed like something I would generally read and thought this was a perfect opportunity. The book definitely held my interest and I was able to easily finish it but I didn't particularly love it and found most of the characters unlikable. I guess I expected more from Mr. Patterson from all the hype I've heard from everyone!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Catch Me by Lisa Gardner, 466 pages

Catch me is the 6th book in the Detective D.D. Warren series. This is probably one of my favorites that I've read so far, and the twist at the end was so surprising to me. I've really come to love D.D. and she's a character that I'll be sad to let go when the series ends. It's also really fun to read about a female detective that kicks butt.

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay, 341 pages

Paul Tremblay is my favorite author, and I'd been saving this book to read because it's one of the only ones that he's written that I hadn't read yet. Disappearance at Devil's Rock is about a group of young boys who venture out to the woods one night, and only 2 of the 3 return. There is a lot of mystery around Devil's Rock and it is a fictional urban legend. I really enjoyed this read, although I didn't enjoy it as much as his other books. I still would recommend this for thriller/horror lovers like myself!

Love You More by Lisa Gardner, 418 pages

Love You More was the 5th book in the Detective D.D. Warren series. I'm really enjoying this series and it's just the right amount of suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. This book also introduced Tessa who later becomes a frequent character.

Friday, June 21, 2019

The Big Kahuna by Janet Evanovich and Peter Evanovich, 303 pages

"The Big Kahuna" is book #6 in the Fox and O'Hare series by Evanovich.  As far as I am aware this is the first time Peter Evanovich, the son of Janet  Evanovich, has gotten a writing credit.

The story has the same zany, mad cap feeling of the rest of Janet Evanovich's books but the characters have changed from past books.  Kate O'Hare, straight arrow FBI agent, has been the lead on the adventures in the past while ex-con man, turned FBI helper Nicholas Fox has been her sidekick.  Their leading and supporting roles were switched in "The Big Kahuna."

It was still a fun, yet forgettable, crazy ride of a story but I missed have Kate in the lead and the role reversal was a little strange.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Dracula by Bram Stoker, 454 pages

First published in 1897, Dracula is gothic horror at its best.  The story is told through the letters and diary entries of several of the characters.

The novel begins when a young English lawyer, Jonathan Harker, visits Count Dracula at his castle in Transylvania in order to complete a real estate transaction.  While there he discovers the diabolical intent of the Count.

Back in England, it falls to Professor Van Helsing, along with a handful of other heroes, including Jonathon and his fiancée, Mina, to stop the vampire.

I listened to the book and enjoyed this very proper Victorian horror story.  I am not typically of fan of horror but the story is told in such flowery and proper English that I couldn't help but get a kick out of it.

The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve, 272 pages

This is a fiction book based on a real event, the largest fire in Maine's history.  Set in 1947, Grace is a young wife with a toddler and a baby.  She is struggling in her marriage to a WWII veteran when a fire destroys her home and devastates her hometown.

The story begins in earnest in the aftermath of the fire as Grace works to rebuild her life.  This was an engrossing story that shed light on what it would have been like to be an American woman in the late 1940's.

Redemption by David Baldacci, 432 pages

Redemption is book #5 in Baldacci's Amos Decker series.  Amos, who has a perfect memory due to a brain injury, is a consultant for the FBI.  In this book, he has returned to his hometown to visit family graves.  While in the cemetery he is confronted by the first murder suspect of his career.  The man asks Decker to look at the case again.  Decker begins digging into the old case and more people start to die.

This was a typical David Baldacci suspense thriller.  And there is not one thing wrong with that.

Shell Game by Sara Paretsky, 304 pages

Shell Game is #19 in Sara Paretsky's  V.I. Warshawski series.  Victoria, VI Warshwaski, is a no nonsense private investigator based in Chicago.

In this story she is back in Chicago and trying to find a missing niece, Reno, she didn't even know was in Chicago, along with trying to keep Felix, the great nephew of a dear friend out of jail.

Sara Paretsky comes through once again with a smart, fast paced, and gritty mystery.  I enjoyed every minute of it.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner, 449 pages

Live to Tell was the 4th book in the Detective D.D. Warren series and thankfully, I liked it better than the last one. This book had a really creepy feel to it, which I love. I've really started to like main character D.D. and like the little hints of humor in the writing which breaks up the heavy topics that Gardner seems to include in this series.

This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Philipps, 321 pages

I know Busy Philipps from her talk show that was previously airing on E!, although it's since been cancelled. I really fell in love with her honest, witty and too the point attitude. Busy was recently very outspoken in regards to some things that I felt strongly about, which made me admire her more. I picked up her book and honestly, it's the best book I've read so far this year. This Will Only Hurt a Little was heartbreaking, hilarious and honest. I feel that Busy is a celebrity that you can relate with even just on paper. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good memoir.

The Neigbor by Lisa Gardner, 434 pages

The Neighbor is the 3rd book in Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series. So far, this has been my least favorite of the series. I found it to be a little too unrealistic and something about the plot just didn't do it for me. I'm hoping the rest of the series holds up like the first two did.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Three Little Lies by Laura Marshall, 352 pages

Three Little Lies alternates between 2005 and 2018. In 2005, Ellen and her neighbor become enchanted with the new girl on the street, Sasha, and her exotic family. Sasha's family throws parties, allowing the teens to mingle with adults. Everything comes to a screeching halt when a sexual assault takes place during one of the parties, requiring both Ellen and Sasha to serve as prime witnesses against the family Sasha had been living with. Now it's 2018, and both girls are living together in an apartment, when they hear the news that the man they put behind bars for the assault is now out on the streets .When Sasha goes missing, Ellen fears the worst, but realizes everything isn't how it seems now, or how it seemed back then.

I was really excited to read this because I loved Marshall's other novel, Friend Request. I liked this book okay but definitely didn't love it. I had a hard time keeping all the character's straight, but was appreciative of the ending that I didn't see coming. I still would recommend this to readers who enjoy a fast-paced thriller.

Hide by Lisa Gardner, 466 pages

Hide is the second book in the Detective D.D. Warren series by Lisa Gardner. I really enjoyed this book and was very happy that it was more focused on Detective Warren than the first book. I'm really liking this series so far and have already started the third. I recommend this series to anyone who loves a good crime/cop thriller, although they have covered some sad/hard to read topics in the ones I've read so far.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, 288 pages

My favorite nerdy-librarian genre is books about books and this book delivers.  It's a fast-paced, upbeat, witty, slightly wacky mystery and adventure.  I loved it!

We don't have this book at the library. . . yet.  I borrowed the audiobook via interlibrary loan but we will be adding a print copy soon.

In the meantime, check out Robin Sloan's second book "Sourdough."  We have that book in print and audio already and that's what lead me to Penumbra. 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Alone by Lisa Gardner, 480 pages

A few months back, I read a book by Lisa Gardner without realizing it was part of a series. Thankfully, I was able to read it without reading the rest but I liked it so much that I decided to start the series from the beginning. Alone is the first book in Detective D.D. Warren series, and is based around Boston State Trooper Bobby Dodge. The story begins with Dodge being called to a hostage situation involving a married couple and their four-year-old son. When the situation quickly takes a turn for the worse, Bobby makes the decision to end someones life in order to save two others. He's now dealing with the consequences of his actions, and realizing that there is way more to the story than what was originally let on.

I really enjoyed this book and have already started on the second one in the series! I was a little disappointed that we didn't hear more from or about Detective D.D. Warren, as I was excited that this is a series based around a female detective who kicks butt, but I'm sure there will be more on her later!

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin, 368 pages

I received an advanced copy of The Escape Room by Megan Golding in exchange for an honest review. The Escape Room is a psychological thriller due for publication on May 28,2019. I'm still not entirely sure how I felt about this book. On one hand, I enjoyed it because it was an easy read and was extremely fast paced. On the other hand, the ending is so utterly unrealistic that I found myself almost laughing out loud at it all. I do appreciate a book that requires little to no thought involved, and that's exactly what this book was. This is a good one to read if you have time to kill and enjoy something fast paced.

All The Rage by Courtney Summers, 336 pages

All The Rage by Courtney Summers is a contemporary young adult novel. It'd been on my to-read list ever since I read Summers' other book, Sadie, which I loved. All The Rage tackles a lot of tough topics, and the entire story is based around the aftermath of a young woman being raped. This is definitely not an easy read, and a lot of the book is hard to digest due to the intensity of the topics. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was an eye-opening read. I thought that the writing was absolutely beautiful, and Summers really projects her writing on to you, making you feel every single gut-wrenching feeling that the main character, Romy, is feeling.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng, 338 pages

The story begins with a house burning down and then details backward, explaining what happened in a seemingly serene suburban community.  Set mostly in the late 1990's, the book is an emotional thriller about being a woman and motherhood.

I listened to 3/4 of this book and then read the last 1/4 because I was desperate to finish it.  The story was so emotionally fraught I just wanted to finish it as quickly as possible.

I wasn't really sure if I liked the book and then it ended and I thought, oh wow, that was good.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis, 432 pages

This book is powerful, heartbreaking, raw, gut-wrenching... so many things. Heroine tackles the tough subject of addiction, and really puts it into perspective that addiction doesn't target just one type of person. The main character of this book is Mickey, a successful high-school softball player who is aspiring to play in college. Those dreams seemingly fly out the window when Mickey is injured in a car accident. Prescribed Oxycontin for her pain, Mickey realizes that she can get back to her normal life quicker if she takes an extra pill here and there. But, she's not an addict- she's just doing what's best for her recovery path. When the pills run out, Mickey runs into a woman who sells Oxycontin on the side. She decides to buy from her, just so that she can hopefully heal in time for softball season. Mickey is aware of the opioid epidemic in her small town, but that's not her. Her doctor prescribed her Oxy, so it's completely fine if she's still taking it. As the book goes on, you slowly, painfully watch as Mickey becomes addicted to drugs, unaware of what's happening to herself. I'm always looking for books that scare me, and this book truly did. It is horrifying to me how easily someone can become addicted to something that was originally prescribed by a doctor. I think this book is such a great read, and so eye-opening.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Fallout by Sara Paretsky, 304 pages

I have no good excuse as to why it took me so long to read "Fallout."  This is book #18 in Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski mystery series.  V.I. is a tough and smart female private investigator based in Chicago.  In this outing she travels to Lawrence, KS to find an aging actress and her young biographer who have disappeared from Chicago.

As usual Paretsky delivers smart writing, an engaging fast-paced story and plenty (but not too much) grit.  Happily, in the time it took me to get around to reading this one Sara Paretsky has published another V.I. Warshawski novel.  "Shell Game" is on deck to be read darned soon!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, 336 pages

I was surprised by how much I liked this book at the end, because I was about to give it up about half-way through. The Silent Patient is a slow-burner, with a very explosive, twisty ending, so I'm glad I stuck with it. This is the type of thriller that really doesn't have much going on until that major twist in the end, which I feel is so risky because if you consider yourself an armchair detective like myself, you risk spoiling the entire story if you figure it out early on. I, thankfully, didn't figure it out like that with this one, and was genuinely surprised and shocked by the ending.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Drowning by J.P. Smith, 336 pages

This book was so creepy! I think this would be a great summer read, as it's based around a creepy old summer camp that has a dark, sinister history surrounding it. I really liked this book and haven't been able to put it down for the last two days. The main character, Alex, was horrible, but that's intentional on the author's part. I do wish that the ending gave more closure, but that's my only complaint! There were lots of twists in the story that made me think I was on the right path, and then another twist would come in and completely throw me off.

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson, 352 pages

Never Have I Ever is a domestic thriller that is scheduled to be published in July 2019. I decently enjoyed this book, but I did find it a little too unrealistic for my liking. There is a major twist, though, that saved the whole thing for me! Unfortunately, I found the characters really unlikable and frustrating to no end. My main issue with this book was that the plot had such potential, and the author went an entirely wrong direction with it, in my opinion.