I really enjoyed the thrill ride that Rachel brought us in her last book “The Wife Upstairs”, so let’s see if it can happen again!
Thank you St Martin’s Press for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape. Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace. But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared. When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.
While this wasn’t as big of a hit for me as her previous novel, I’m not mad that I read it. On the other hand, this novel is a little out there. There are a lot of situations in this story that just don’t seem possible or don’t make sense. It’s not enough for me to have walked away from it, but not something I would read again.
The greatest thing about being plugged in the book community is being exposed to books I would never read ever before.
Thank you Atria Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: Though Owen Tanner has never met anyone else who has a chatty bird in their chest, medical forums would call him a Terror. From the moment Gail emerged between Owen’s ribs, his mother knew that she had to hide him away from the world. After a decade spent in hiding, Owen takes a brazen trip outdoors in the middle of a forest fire, and his life is upended forever. Suddenly, Owen is forced to flee the home that had once felt so confining and hide in plain sight with his uncle and cousin in Washington. There, he feels the joy of finding a family among friends; of sharing the bird in his chest and being embraced fully; of falling in love and feeling the devastating heartbreak of rejection before finding a spark of happiness in the most unexpected place; of living his truth regardless of how hard the thieves of joy may try to tear him down. But the threat of the Army of Acronyms is a constant, looming presence, making Owen wonder if he’ll ever find a way out of the cycle of fear. A heartbreaking yet hopeful novel about the things that make us unique and lovable, The Boy with a Bird in His Chest grapples with the fear, depression, and feelings of isolation that come with believing that we will never be loved, let alone accepted, for who we truly are, and learning to live fully and openly regardless.
Yes, I normally read mysteries and thrillers, but the premise of this book just captivated me immediately. This was absolutely beautiful! Fair warning – this book covers a lot of sensitive topics such as gender identity, bullying, and family drama. I loved the magic realism touch to this story, and honestly was so impressed that this was a debut novel by the author. I cannot wait for more to come!
One of the greatest things to come with diving into the social world of the love of reading is discovering new authors. I discovered Diane about 3 years ago, and have loved her books ever since. I wish I had known about her for much longer!
Thank you St Martin’s Press for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: When Kayla Carter’s husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. But when she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It’s clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area…and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla’s elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it’s clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key? Told in dual time periods, The Last House on the Street is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, the search for justice, and the tangled vines of two families.
Diane’s books are just some of the most wonderful stories I’ve read that stick with you for the rest of time. This is one of those stories. While many of my readers know that I’m not a huge fan of alternating timelines, I get so excited when I find authors that do it well. This is one of those authors. The historical context was captivating and impeccable. I found myself wanting to know more outside of the book. I highly recommend this book for you to read.
If you’ve been following the book world on social media accounts, you’ve probably noticed the huge hype that Colleen has stumbled upon. Everyone is obsessed with her work, and it’s easy to tell why!
Thank you Montlake for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself. The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them. The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.
I’ve read quite a few “CoHo” books, so I went into this one with some expectations. They definitely lived up to them. As per usual, once I start one of her books, I can’t stop. I can devour them in 2 hours, much like I did this one. Cue the emotional roller coaster! I loved everything about this book, except there was a romance scene in the beginning that I felt was completely rushed and unrealistic. Even though it was necessary for the rest of the story, I still couldn’t seem to shake it. Regardless, it’s a book I can see myself reading again. I will forever read a Colleen Hoover book.
Have you ever watched “Black Swan”? It was such an interesting movie, and I’ve been on a kick of books related to such topics lately.
Thank you St Martins Press for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: Fourteen years ago, Delphine abandoned her prestigious soloist spot at the Paris Opera Ballet for a new life in St. Petersburg––taking with her a secret that could upend the lives of her best friends, fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux. Now 36 years old, Delphine has returned to her former home and to the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House, to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career––and, she hopes, finally make things right with her former friends. But Delphine quickly discovers that things have changed while she’s been away…and some secrets can’t stay buried forever.
I think I went into it with this whole “Black Swan” mantra, and soon realized it wouldn’t live up to those expectations. It’s a slow burn, a bit too slow for what I wanted. I think the author did an amazing job delving into the art and world of dance. I honestly haven’t read a book that did so well in putting the reader in some ballet shoes of their own. I didn’t really get a mystery-vibe from this book. I think this author has extreme potential and I am ready and willing for her next read. I think this book would be appreciated more by those who have a background in dance, but it’s not something I would pick up again.
Do you ever come across a book that just calls after you despite already seemingly have an idea that this may just shatter your heart into pieces? No? Just me?
Thank you Simon and Schuster for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. What’s worse is she can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with their angelic daughter Harriet does Frida finally feel she’s attained the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she’s just enough. Until Frida has a horrible day. The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida — ones who check their phones while their kids are on the playground; who let their children walk home alone; in other words, mothers who only have one lapse of judgement. Now, a host of government officials will determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion. Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that she can live up to the standards set for mothers — that she can learn to be good.
Of course, this story really will break your heart into a million pieces. While it’s advertised as a dystopian novel, I felt like it lacked descriptive elements of the world Frida lived in. We only hear and see her side of things which got to be repetitive throughout the novel. It was a slow-paced story-line that became really dark and twisted. Was it entertaining? I would say it was captivating and gripping! Did I really get immersed into the struggle of social injustice? Not really….While I wouldn’t read this again, I think it’s a great book club novel and a story that will be on my mind for quite some time.
The holidays are upon us, so what better timing for a romantic comedy?!
Thank you Putnam Books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t exactly off to a great start. After unceremoniously dumping everything in her bag in front of the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel only to realize she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation? The irresistibly appealing contents of the case: a copy of her favorite book; piano music; and a rugged, heavy knit fisherman sweater only a Ryan Gosling lookalike could pull off. The owner of this suitcase is Laura’s dream man–she’s sure of it. Now, all she has to do is find him. The mix-up seems written in the stars. After all, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same remote island where her mom and dad had first fallen in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their epic romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. And if beneath Ted’s gruffness lies a wit that makes their cab rides strangely entertaining, so much the better. But as Laura’s long-lost luggage soulmate proves difficult to find–and as she realizes that the love story she’s held on a pedestal all her life might not have been that perfect–she’ll have to rethink her whole outlook on love to discover what she really wants.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It kind of gave me some Mamma Mia vibes for some reason – I think it was the traveling plus the remembrance of parents falling in love. It’s such a light-hearted rom-com that also gives you such great character development and depth in their growth as a person. This is such a heart-warming story, I could easily find myself reading it over again! A true delight.
I was really moved by the last book I had read from Tracey, so I’m excited to be back in her world of writing.
Thank you St Martin’s Press for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: Layla Hilding is thirty-five and recently divorced. Struggling to break free from the past—her glory days as the lead singer in a band and a ten-year marriage to a man who never put her first—Layla’s newly found independence feels a lot like loneliness. Then there’s Josh, the single dad whose daughter attends the elementary school where Layla teaches music. Recently separated, he’s still processing the end of his twenty-year marriage to his high school sweetheart. He chats with Layla every morning at school and finds himself thinking about her more and more. Equally cautious and confused about dating in a world that favors apps over meeting organically, Layla and Josh decide to be friends with the potential for something more. Sounds sensible and way too simple—but when two people are on the rebound, is it heartbreak or happiness that’s a love song away?
Oh man, this kind of story is my favorite trope. I love me a good second chance at love. I feel like those are the most authentic love stories, and Tracey did not disappoint with that in this book. Just like her previous book I read, “The Girl He Used To Know”, he characters are so well developed and multi-layered. It’s always such a joy to read her books because of that. While their love story was a slow burn, I felt it completely necessary in this book. What I did struggle with, and tend to do so in many other books, is the alternating chapters between the character’s viewpoints. It wasn’t as seamless as I had hoped it would be. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this book.
I fell in love with Patti’s writing of CS Lewis-type stories when I read Becoming Mrs. Lewis, and I’m excited to read her newest novel, out today!
Thank you Tandem Literary and Harper Muse for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: Megs Devonshire is brilliant with numbers and equations, on a scholarship at Oxford, and dreams of solving the greatest mysteries of physics. She prefers the dependability of facts—except for one: the younger brother she loves with all her heart doesn’t have long to live. When George becomes captivated by a copy of a brand-new book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and begs her to find out where Narnia came from, there’s no way she can refuse. Despite her timidity about approaching the famous author, Megs soon finds herself taking tea with the Oxford don and his own brother, imploring them for answers. What she receives instead are more stories . . . stories of Jack Lewis’s life, which she takes home to George. Why won’t Mr. Lewis just tell her plainly what George wants to know? The answer will reveal to Meg many truths that science and math cannot, and the gift she thought she was giving to her brother—the story behind Narnia—turns out to be his gift to her, instead: hope.
This book is also just as beautiful as Becoming Mrs. Lewis. It’s sad, but she did a great job discussing how to heal and cope with sadness in life and the good that comes out of it. It’s a warming, feel good novel even with the sadness in it. I LOVE the Chronicles of Narnia, so this was such a cool way to talk about those stories again in a different breath. Beautiful!
Christina Dalcher is not a new author to me, so I’m excited to be able to dive into her latest novel! I enjoyed her book “Vox” and am looking forward to seeing what this one is about.
Thank you Berkley for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.
Synopsis: Miranda Reynolds always thought she would rather die than live in Femlandia. But that was before the country sank into total economic collapse and her husband walked out in the harshest, most permanent way, leaving her and her sixteen-year-old daughter with nothing. The streets are full of looting, robbing, and killing, and Miranda and Emma no longer have much choice—either starve and risk getting murdered, or find safety. And so they set off to Femlandia, the women-only colony Miranda’s mother, Win Somers, established decades ago. Although Win is no longer in the spotlight, her protégé Jen Jones has taken Femlandia to new heights: The off-grid colonies are secluded, self-sufficient, and thriving—and Emma is instantly enchanted by this idea of a safe haven. But something is not right. There are no men allowed in the colony, but babies are being born—and they’re all girls. Miranda discovers just how the all-women community is capable of enduring, and it leads her to question how far her mother went to create this perfect, thriving, horrifying society.
I liked Vox and I think about that book often, but I literally felt like I just read the exact same thing. Okay, maybe not the same thing, but not far from it. I feel like the author was trying to get the exact same message across, with just slightly different characters. I feel like Vox was a strong enough book on this topic that another book so similar made it redundant? I’m not sure…maybe it’s just my feelings. I went into this book understanding that yes, it had similar vibes. I’m leaving with being shocked at HOW similar these two books really were. I think this book had way more intense characters. This book is not for the faint of heart as the characters just come off as really intense in their actions and dialogue. I’d stick with reading Vox instead.