author: Sheryl Browne
Nicole deserves a life better than the one she had. An abusive husband and a mother who treated her like garbage. When she finds the handsome and kind Richard, what more could she ever want? Tragically, life wasn’t kind to Nicole any more than it had been as she took her own life not all too long after she and Richard were married. Becky, Nicole’s best friend, tries to understand what happened surrounding her friend’s death as so many details just don’t add up. What follows next is a tail of lies, mystery, lust and forgiveness.
I gave this book 3 stars because for one, it was so hard for me to keep everyone straight at first. When you have so many characters like this, I don’t feel its a good idea to have a narrator. I feel like the chapters labeled by their names should be in first person, in THEIR voice. It’s way too confusing when you have so many “she” characters. The pronouns just get confusing.
Another reason is the story had a lot of potential but just felt like a debut read when this author has several others. Its a good read, a quick read, and one I really did enjoy. But it wasn’t amazing. I could read this book alongside another one rather easily (so long as I kept track of who was who lol)
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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author: Marissa Stapley
publisher: Graydon House
Miles and Grace. A celebrity couple that has it all. Perfect life. Perfect marriage. Booming company. But how much of what you see is real? A group of couples are at their ends in their marriages, seeking a “last resort”. They come to The Harmony Resort in search of a last ditch effort to help fix their marriage, but what they find instead are a lot of dark secrets and pure evil. Walking through the gates of hell can either ruin them or it can save them and they are all about to find out which.
I gave this book 3.5 stars rounded down. It had points where it was gripping and it certainly was a thrilling read at times. However there were holes in the story where details about someone would just suddenly emerge, when this is something that should’ve been building all throughout. There was not enough depth to each character and it felt like a very simple story that had the potential to be a 4-star book with a little more effort.
I would recommend as a good library book or a cheap kindle to read as a light read on the beach or if you’re wanting to read a couple books at once. This is a great book for that. Hope you all enjoy!
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author: Andrea Dunlop
Andrea Dunlop takes you off on an adventure many can only dream about; a new life in the beautiful world of Buenos Aires. The circumstances leading up to this new life are all but haunting and the harder Liz tries to run from this, the quicker it seems to catch back up. Can she escape the monster in her past? Can those that knew her in the “before” ever accept her and love her again?
It took me a bit to decide on what to rate this novel. I loved that it wasn’t a slow burn before you ever even saw a glimpse of what was to come, yet it didn’t divulge the exciting details all at once. Dunlop gives us a side-by-side narrative of both the lives of one girl, Katie Cleary and Liz Sullivan, fine-tuning her ability to give you just enough excitement to keep you moving along but also a slow enough pace to let you enjoy the new lifestyle Liz created and to immerse yourself into her new world. It was a beautiful cat-and-mouse game that most authors do not play with.
I gave this book 3.5 stars due to the fact that I feel like this book could have had a lot more depth in the characters. I feel like towards the end the plot got thinner and the characters got more glossed over in order to finish the story.
I would still recommend this book as it was an enjoyable read, and I feel like it is a good book to read another book along side of if you are that kind of reader.
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author: Katherine Center
publisher: St. Martins Press
A book with a story to tell that hasn’t settled on what type it wants to be is a little how I felt about How to Walk Away. If I had to pick, I would say it was a combination of Contemporary Fiction (aka Family Drama-lite-) meets Women’s Fiction meets Chick-Lit and it truly doesn’t know who it wants to be.
I toyed back and forth with giving this a 4 star review, a 3 star, or somewhere in the middle and landed on 3 stars. Here’s why..
The 4 stars of this book
There were a LOT of goosebumps going on. There were truly some good, deep moments where I genuinely appreciated the author’s writing. She didn’t always tie a neat bow at the end of everything (almost, but not always and certainly not on the most important part). She, many times, made me feel like this was true to life in some ways. SOME ways.
The 3 stars
I could technically claim 2.5 stars on some of this stuff but I’ll give it 3 because this IS chick-lit(ish) and so I need to be fair and judge off that. But there were too many times, in my opinion, where the author made it far too simple. A lot of glossing over of emotions, accepting things for what they are, and certain unemotional responses to where there should be something. She always made sure to throw it in there, it wasn’t just some emotional empty hole, but it was like “oh yeah and I was pissed. See me throw this. Okay we’re good now .I told you I was angry , let’s move on.” And She didn’t seem to stay consistent within that.
Overall, for the first time ever, I think I understand now when people say an author manipulated their emotions. I don’t feel like Katherine Center necessarily manipulated me but I do feel like instead of making this a great story just by excellent writing (which I know she is no doubt capable of), it was a good story based mostly off all the feels the book gave you. That was the heart of it. I don’t want that in a book. I want it to be real.
All this to say I will still pick up the next book Katherine Center writes. She is a good writer and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what she has to offer. Thank you for the work you do!
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author: Fredrick Backman
publisher: Atria Books
Fredrik Backman writes a short on all the hilarious, anxiety-ridden, fearful and confusing moments of being a parent. He starts off with the lightest of humors and morphs along the way, carrying with him a plethora of “been there” and “what were you thinking” stories, some of which that will have you surprising yourself in fits of laughter. True to the Backman way.
“Maybe you don’t even want to do a sport. You might want to play golf instead! And that’s all right too!”
(haha. Sorry to all you golfers reading this…)
He points out the less thought of but oh so true nature of humanity…
“Sometimes we have to get rid of stuff to make room for new stuff, and then we start to miss the old stuff so much that we have to build new stuff that pretends to be the old stuff.”
…highlights the confusion of illogical ideas behind children toys…
“The worst crap is actually the crap we bought before you were even born. Like a toy sheep containing a speaker that was meant to simulate “whale song” and help you sleep better. Why wasn’t that crap shaped like a whale? Huh? That still bothers me.”
…has a few hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments that I absolutely will not spoil… you just have to read the book…
…and then manages to end with a twist of a story that might have you in tears, especially if you have ever experienced anything remotely like what he experienced. Again, I will not spoil this moment. You have to read it for yourself…
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books and Fredrik Backman for this ARC.
“Your mother loves nothing in this life as much as she loves dancing, and she chose to share her time on Earth with a man she can’t dance with without seriously fearing for her safety. She chose me. And then you came along. And you love music. And when you dance, you and she… If I could only choose one single moment to live inside for all eternity, it would be that. I can’t tell you anything about love. Nothing more than that.”
(my only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was because the beginning of the book was very repetitive. It felt like fillers. But the book truly grew and he did a fantastic job showing us the Fredrik Backman we know and love in all his books. Thankful for such a talented writer and for his family, supporting him for all the world to get to enjoy.)
author: Nathan Ripley
Blanche Potter grew up as Blanche Varner, daughter and heiress if you will to the cult Your Life is Mine, lead by cult leader – and father – Chuck Varner. While Blanche escaped the brainwashing and sociopathic tendencies of both her mother and father, she was in no way protected from her past when she decided to hide her identity forever. No one knows she was there the day her father carried out his mass shooting. Nor do they know of all the random killings she was there for as well, and as far as she is concerned, no one ever will. Little does she know, her past, her family history, will hurt so many people, including the ones closest to her. And are these mass shootings over? Or were they in the making all along?
This book had a lot of potential and it was certainly a good read. A book I breezed through and didn’t want to put down. But I really wish we would’ve heard so much more in depth about Chuck Varner and his cult. There is such a huge group of readers that love a good cult-driven book so that would’ve greatly added to this story. I think too this book would have been so creepy and amazing having heard the narrative from Chuck and from Blanche’s mother. There was SO much potential in just those two characters alone. Could’ve possible made a good series, too. Looking forward to more by this author.
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for the ARC.
Leave a note in the comments what thriller you think I should read and review next!
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Author: Anna Pitoniak
To be selfish. To be cruel, at times.
To harden your heart so that you need no one else.
When you realize how powerful this makes you,
you keep it to yourself.
Stella Bradley and Violet Trapp have been inseparable most of their lives. The stunning beauty, Stella is a traveler, though that is putting is loosely. With no direction in life, she wanders from place to place, living the life so many dream of without a care in the world. But is she happy? And when she sees life for what it is, is it enough living in the shadows of a family name?
Violet Trapp is exactly what her name leads you to believe. Trapped in a world for so long that was aggressive, perhaps even violent. Her parents were an awful sort, the kind you leave behind and never turn back. Violet is a beautiful girl with nothing to lose. Aren’t they the most dangerous, after all?
These two girls have a specific dynamic that, when kept perfectly in sync, works flawlessly. But when times change and the dynamics shift, trouble looms and in the end, whoever has the most ambition wins.
But what is the cost?
I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I feel that the author (or the editor) could’ve made some transitions a bit more fluid. Below are just my thoughts but I did really enjoy the book. I liked the author’s writing style and would gladly read another.