Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Simon Lelic's "The New Neighbors"

What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?

Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door. ~taken from Goodreads

Jack and Syd think they've hit the jackpot when they buy their first home together. From the first few days they move in, weird things start happening...

This story is told from alternating perspectives in the form of journal entries from each couple. It was a unique writing style I didn't quite like at the beginning, but it seemed to grow non me and worked out for the best by the end of the book. 

The characters are unique and intriguing and kept me engaged. There are plenty of plot twists to keep me wanting to read more. While this wasn't the most compelling and riveting psychological thriller I have read, I did enjoy it and it did keep me guessing. 

The ending was a bit rushed, and I had a hard time following as all the questions i had throughout reading unraveled so quickly. The weird happenings throughout the story were explained, but it was a bit too neatly wrapped up. 

This book is due to be released here in the U.S. in April 2018. If you are looking for a quick read, you can pre-order now! I give this book a 3.5 star rating! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group to allow me the eARC to read and give my honest review.

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

"The Broken Girls" by Simone St James

Vermont, 1950. There's a place for the girls whom no one wants--the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It's called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it's located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming--until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . . 

Vermont, 2014. As much as she's tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister's death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister's boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can't shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past--and a voice that won't be silenced. ~taken from Goodreads

"Mary Hand, Mary Hand, dead and buried under land.... Faster, faster. Don't let her catch you. She'll say she wants to be your friend...." 

Author Simone St. James does a brilliant and seamless job at blending a mystery/thriller with a bit of paranormal/ghost story! That aspect alone kept my read chilling, mysterious, and hard to put down. 

This book alternates time periods and main characters to tell the stories and myths surrounding the all girls boarding school of Idlewild Hall. Fiona is a journalist who's sister was murdered and placed in the old field on Idlewild's grounds. She learns that a rich benefactor has bought it to restore the school, she can't help but wonder who and why.

We also follow a group of girls who are roommates and attend the school in the 1950's. They are all girls who, in some way, have been discarded by both their families and the world. One goes missing on weekend, and the course of the remaining girls' lives change forever. 

There is also a myth that a ghost named Mary wanders the grounds in a black dress and veil and has been around since the school was built. She has a supernatural way to get into people's minds to whisper exactly what people fear most about their lives. 

Are all these stories connected? Who killed Fiona's sister? What happened to the missing roommate? Is Mary real or just a myth?

The one thing I can say about this book is READ IT!!!
It was my first read by the author, but I have already added his other books to my TBR pile! 

The Broken Girls is due to be released here in the USA on March 20, 2018. Preorder it now because the second it is released you will want to stay up all night to finish it! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for allowing me an egalley to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Lisa Jewell's "Then She Was Gone"

Ten years after her teenage daughter disappears, a woman crosses paths with a charming single father whose young child feels eerily familiar, in this evocative, suspenseful drama from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell—perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Liane Moriarty.

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafĂ©, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl? ~taken from Amazon

It's no secret that Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors. She has a way of writing that draws me in, keeps me hooked, and leaves me breathless at the end. I was almost in tears when I was approved to read the egalley of her latest novel, Then She Was Gone available on Amazon now for pre-order and due to be released on April 24, 2018 here in the U.S.

This book was cleverly plotted. When we first meet each character I wondered how exactly they would fit into this story. By the book's end, they had blended seamlessly. Each character was unique in their own way. Some started off lovable and by the end I hated them. Others visa versa. Each was relatable in their own little way. 

This story was a non-stop page turner. I can't remember the last time I wanted to finish a book so fast, yet didn't want it to end. I knew, somewhat, where the story was going but couldn't figure out how it all played out. The ending was a surprise and absolutely satisfying. 

I don't think it's a shock that I give this book a 5 star rating. I look forward to the next book by Lisa Jewell, as she always finds a way to keep readers on their toes. She is on my short list of authors I adore. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me the egalley to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Little Broken Things" by Nicole Baart

An engrossing and suspenseful novel for fans of Liane Moriarty and Amy Hatvany about an affluent suburban family whose carefully constructed facade starts to come apart with the unexpected arrival of an endangered young girl.

I have something for you. When Quinn Cruz receives that cryptic text message from her older sister Nora, she doesn’t think much of it. They haven’t seen each other in nearly a year and thanks to Nora’s fierce aloofness, their relationship consists mostly of infrequent phone calls and an occasional email or text. But when a haunted Nora shows up at the lake near Quinn's house just hours later, a chain reaction is set into motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Nora’s “something” is more shocking than Quinn could have ever imagined: a little girl, cowering, wide-eyed, and tight-lipped. Nora hands her over to Quinn with instructions to keep her safe, and not to utter a word about the child to anyone, especially not their buttoned-up mother who seems determined to pretend everything is perfect. But before Quinn can ask even one of the million questions swirling around her head, Nora disappears, and Quinn finds herself the unlikely caretaker of a girl introduced simply as Lucy.

While Quinn struggles to honor her sister’s desperate request and care for the lost, scared Lucy, she fears that Nora may have gotten involved in something way over her head—something that will threaten them all. But Quinn’s worries are nothing compared to the firestorm that Nora is facing. It’s a matter of life and death, of family and freedom, and ultimately, about the lengths a woman will go to protect the ones she loves. ~taken from Amazon

"I have something for you" is the text message Quinn receives from her older sister, Nora, who she rarely talks to and hasn't seen in quite some time. She thinks nothing of it, until Nora wants to meet, and delivers a wide-eye, scared little girl and asks Quinn to keep her safe and tell no one. 

No Quinn and her husband must care for this strange girl, all while trying to figure out why.

I have to say it was an enjoyable, quick read. I loved the small town setting and the characters were mostly believable. 

The first 2/3 of the book kept my attention, however the last 1/3 seemed to drag on and I just wanted the story to hurry up and end. The conclusion was something I suspected, I just wasn't sure how it would come full circle. 

Little Broken Things  is the story of a troubled family with strained relationships and secrets. It was worth reading, though it wasn't a stand out novel in my eyes. 

3.5 out of 5 star read for me! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me the egalley to read and give my honest review. This novel is due to be released in the U.S. on November 21, 2017. Add it to your TBR list by pre-ordering it now!

Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Emma In The Night" by Wendy Walker

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn't add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister's return might just be the beginning of the crime. ~taken from Amazon

This was my first book From author Wendy Walker. While browsing Netgalley I came across Emma In The Night. I was immediately drawn to the cover art. Clicking the cover I read the description and knew I had to read it. It sounded intriguing. I wasn't disappointed. 

Cass return home after vanishing years ago with her sister, Emma. Cass is all alone. The questions begin. Where is Emma? What happened? Where have the girls been this entire time?

Chapter by chapter Cass tells the story. Each revelation brings even more questions from her parents and from investigators. With each chapter we learn more about the secrets to the girls' past. Not everything in this well-to-do family is how it seemed to the outside world. Right away, FBI agent and forensic psychologist Abby Winter can see through Cass' story and pokes holes in it. 

This story is well written. The plot twists come a the perfect time and kept me interested and engaged throughout the entire book. The ending was not something I imagined or saw coming. A beautifully disturbing read!

This is a solid 5 star read for me! I look forward to reading Wendy Walker's other books, as they have already been added to my TBR pile! 

You can get your ebook, hardcover or paperback copy of Emma In The Night now! While you are there, check out the author's other books.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for allowing me a free copy to read and review.  

Happy Reading! 

"The Roses of May" by Dot Hutchison

Four months after the explosion at the Garden, a place where young women known as the Butterflies were kept captive, FBI agents Brandon Eddison, Victor Hanoverian, and Mercedes Ramirez are still entrenched in the aftermath, helping survivors in the process of adjusting to life on the outside. With winter coming to an end, the Butterflies have longer, warmer days of healing ahead. But for the agents, the impending thaw means one gruesome thing: a chilling guarantee that somewhere in the country, another young woman will turn up dead in a church with her throat slit and her body surrounded by flowers.
Priya Sravasti’s sister fell victim to the killer years ago. Now she and her mother move every few months, hoping for a new beginning. But when she ends up in the madman’s crosshairs, the hunt takes on new urgency. Only with Priya’s help can the killer be found—but will her desperate hope for closure compel her to put her very life on the line? ~taken from Amazon

If you have been following my blog for awhile you should know how much I loved the first book in this trilogy. It was the perfect physiological thriller. I raved about The Butterfly Garden and all it's glory for those who could stomach to read it. I was ecstatic when I learned that it was part of a trilogy and two more books would be released. I checked Netgalley daily to see when the ARC was available for request. Luckily, my request was excepted. 

This will be a short review, mainly because I would never think of spoiling this book. If you haven't read the first book GO HERE NOW and get it. 

The Roses Of May picks up a few months where The Butterfly Garden left off. We are introduced in more detail to the FBI agents who rescued the girls. We are also introduced to a mother and daughter who have been through an ordeal of their own. They too have dealt with the FBI agents and become close friends with each other. 

Priya and her mother have moved to a new town after her sister was murdered and her father commits suicide. They are trying to escape the horrors and sadness of their past. However, the serial killer responsible for her sister's death may have found her and is stalking her in this small new town.

Meanwhile, the trial for The Gardener is underway. The Butterflies are having a hard time dealing with life outside the garden and cling to each other for support and guidance. 

Then there is the FBI team. They are here for support and guidance to both Priya and her mom and the Butterflies. They are the ones trying to piece the mysteries together while providing friendship. They believe Priya meeting the Butterflies could help both heal the wounds of the past.

This second book I wanted to constantly compare to the first. I don't think that is fair. They are actually two separate stories that simply have the FBI agents in common. That being said, I think that blend from one book to the next was fabulous. I got to find out what happened after the big reveal in The Butterfly Garden, but I also was introduced to a wonderful, new set of characters.

This book was a solid 4 star read for me. I really think readers will enjoy this story!

Thanks to Netgalley and publishers Thomas & Mercer for allowing me a free copy to read and review. 

*** I will add that although I received egalley copies for both books, I have also bought both physical copies to add to my shelf at home. That's how good these are!*** 

Happy Reading!

Susan Rieger's "The Heirs: A Novel"

Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, leaving a grieving widow and five adult sons, an unknown woman sues his estate, claiming she had two sons by him.  The Falkes brothers are pitched into turmoil, at once missing their father and feeling betrayed by him.  In disconcerting contrast, their mother, Eleanor, is cool and calm, showing preternatural composure.  
Eleanor and Rupert had made an admirable life together -- Eleanor with her sly wit and generosity, Rupert with his ambition and English charm -- and they were proud of their handsome, talented sons: Harry, a brash law professor; Will, a savvy Hollywood agent; Sam, an astute doctor and scientific researcher; Jack, a jazz trumpet prodigy; Tom, a public-spirited federal prosecutor. The brothers see their identity and success as inextricably tied to family loyalty – a loyalty they always believed their father shared. Struggling to reclaim their identity, the brothers find Eleanor’s sympathy toward the woman and her sons confounding. Widowhood has let her cast off the rigid propriety of her stifling upbringing, and the brothers begin to question whether they knew either of their parents at all. 
A riveting portrait of a family, told with compassion, insight, and wit, The Heirs wrestles with the tangled nature of inheritance and legacy for one unforgettable, patrician New York family. Moving seamlessly through a constellation of rich, arresting voices, The Heirs is a tale out Edith Wharton for the 21st century. ~taken from Amazon

Hey all! I'm back! I know it's been awhile since I reviewed. My youngest has major spine surgery and it's been a tough few months. He is doing great now and I have books to share with you!

The Heirs seemed like just my kind of book. An upper class NYC family with secrets! From reading the description I was so excited to receive an egalley from Netgalley to read and review.

This story opens with the death of a beloved father and husband. Each chapter is told by a different family member or close family friend, and secrets about his life are unraveled, showing that the perfect upper-class New York family weren't all that they seemed to be.  

I had some pretty high expectations going into this read. I was quickly disappointed. Reading was very detailed and made for slow reading. There were so many characters to learn about and remember that I got confused and lost in the shuffle of a new character each chapter. Instead of revealing twists and turns I seemed to just read a typical soap opera about a privileged family. 

What struck me was that although each chapter was dedicated to a specific character, I not once actually connected with a single one. While each character's layer made the overall story intriguing, it was very predictable. 

I am somewhat torn on how to rate this. Though it was a predictable plot and pretty unrelatable on all levels, I did find some instances enjoyable. I would say this is a 3.5 to 4 star read for me. I did get this read in a span of a couple days also, so that has to count for something. 

Susan Rieger's "The Heirs" is available now for purchase in ebook, hardcover, and paperback format. If you need a quick summer read that takes you away from reality, this is a great book to add to your stack! 

Once again, I would like to thank Netgalley and Crown Publishing for providing me a copy to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading and I hope you have had a wonderful summer!  

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Roanoke Girls: A Novel by Amy Engel

“Roanoke girls never last long around here. In the end, we either run or we die.”

After her mother's suicide, fifteen year-old Lane Roanoke came to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, on their vast estate in rural Kansas. Lane knew little of her mother's mysterious family, but she quickly embraced life as one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But when she discovered the dark truth at the heart of the family, she ran…fast and far away.
Eleven years later, Lane is adrift in Los Angeles when her grandfather calls to tell her Allegra has gone missing. Did she run too? Or something worse? Unable to resist his pleas, Lane returns to help search, and to ease her guilt at having left Allegra behind. Her homecoming may mean a second chance with the boyfriend whose heart she broke that long ago summer. But it also means facing the devastating secret that made her flee, one she may not be strong enough to run from again.
As it weaves between Lane’s first Roanoke summer and her return, The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart. ~taken from Amazon

Wow! This was an emotionally charged book written about a very taboo subject. I have to just say that I LOVED this book! Somehow this book manages to his every emotion. This is a coming of age, dark and twisted, powerful story of love. It hit every emotion cover to cover.

Every character in this book has some sort of flaw. A damage done to them that has scared them and made them even more interesting. There wasn't a single character that didn't fascinate me. 

The Roanoke Secret is revealed pretty early on. It isn't hard to figure it out, yet it isn't a secret that is flat out revealed. You know what the secret is yet the story keeps going. This books switched back and forth between present day and the summer of secrets. I finished this book in about 3 days.

There is no BIG REVEAL at the end of this twisted, messy story. Rather, all the pieces seem to fall into place letting the reader see the entire picture all at once instead of bits and pieces. The end of the story left my mouth hanging open in awe. 

I highly recommend this. I am so thankful for Netgalley and Crown Publishing for allowing me a copy to read and review! 

Get your copy now and start reading! 

A 5+ star read for me!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

"I Was A Bitch" by Emily Ruben

When Lacey Jones wakes up after a horrific accident, she realizes that she’s lost all memory of the last two years. In this time, she has turned from a wallflower into the gorgeous and popular Queen Bee of her high school. Adding to the confusion, she is confronted with two guys who claim to love her; her football star boyfriend and the mysterious and attractive Finn.

Now Lacey has to figure out who she can trust as she starts to put her life back together and slowly discovers what really happened on the night of the accident.

Will she be able to resist her developing feelings for Finn and stay loyal to her boyfriend? ~taken from Amazon

What a fun read! I was gifted this ebook by the author to read and give my honest review. I was told to read it when I could fit it into my reading lineup... and then completely forgotten about it! Horrible on my part, I know. I have since reformatted my organizational ways! I started this book one evening and was finished by the next. It was a fast read!

Despite what my children think, it wasn't that long ago I too was a high school student. I remember how it felt to be a teenage girl, zigzagging my way through the halls, worrying about what everyone thought of me. Wondering what clique I actually fit in to. 

Lacey, the main character, wakes from a coma. Although she was only unconscious for a few months, her memory has been reeled back to 2 years prior. She has no memory of her current friends. She has no idea how she became the queen bee, or queen bitch, at school. She is not sure she likes what she has turned in to.

Then there is Finn. Sexy, funny Finn. She has no idea who is he or what the relationship between them is. Friends? Best friends? Gay best friend? Boyfriend? His entire existence in her life is a mystery to her.

As Lacy starts to unravel the bits and pieces of her past she realizes she was, no IS a bitch. She doesn't like it, but isn't sure how to change it. Her amnesia seems like a way to start new again, but for some reason she feels she must keep her amnesia a secret from all except her immediate family. 

Will Lacy ever remember how she ended up having a horrific accident that left her memories in pieces? Will she revert back to her old ways, or change her attitude towards her friends and life? Will Finn be more than a friend?

This was the perfect mix of mystery and romance, all wrapped up into a delightful YA story line. 

Thanks to author Emily Ruben for allowing me a copy of "I Was A Bitch" . It was a 4 star read! 

Happy Reading!

My Husband's Wife: A Novel by Jane Corry

When young lawyer Lily marries Ed, she’s determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But then she takes on her first murder case and meets Joe. A convicted murderer whom Lily is strangely drawn to. For whom she will soon be willing to risk almost anything. 

But Lily is not the only one with secrets. Her next-door neighbor Carla may be only nine, but she has already learned that secrets are powerful things. That they can get her whatever she wants. 

When Lily finds Carla on her doorstep sixteen years later, a chain of events is set in motion that can end only one way. ~taken from Amazon

Lily and Ed's marriage starts out exactly how new marriages should never start- shrouded in secrets and lies. They married quick, after just a brief dating period and are still trying to get the hang to life together. They agree to watch the neighbor's little girl, Carla, while her mother works on the weekends. At first it seems like a blessing, distracting them from the issues going on between the couple, but soon turns into an annoyance. Little do they know Carla will influence their futures more than they ever imagined.

Meanwhile, Lily has taken on her first big case. A man who is in prison for murdering his girlfriend has new evidence to offer to the case, stating it proves he is innocent. Against her better judgement, Lily gets too personally involved in the case. This involvement will change her life forever. 

This book is wonderfully written. I enjoyed the authors alternating points of view, giving me a first account glimpse into the different plots of the story. 

The pace was perfect, leaving me engulfed in the story line and hinting at just enough mystery to keep me turning the pages with utter intrigue. It is a novel full of suspense, sadness, spite, jealousy, hatred, and at times, twisted. 

I really enjoyed reading My Husband's Wife. It was a book that has been on my TBR list for quite some time. I am glad I finally sat down to read it! It is a quick read that took me about 3 or 4 days to finish. 

I give it a solid 4 stars!

Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

"My Last Lament" by James William Brown

A poignant and evocative novel of one Greek woman's story of her own and her nation's epic struggle in the aftermath of World War II.

Aliki is one of the last of her kind, a lamenter who mourns and celebrates the passing of life. She is part of an evolving Greece, one moving steadily away from its rural traditions. To capture the fading folk art of lamenting, an American researcher asks Aliki to record her laments, but in response, Aliki sings her own story...

It begins in a village in northeast Greece, where Aliki witnesses the occupying Nazi soldiers execute her father for stealing squash. Taken in by her friend Takis's mother, Aliki is joined by a Jewish refugee and her son, Stelios. When the village is torched and its people massacred, Aliki, Takis and Stelios are able to escape just as the war is ending.

Fleeing across the chaotic landscape of a post-war Greece, the three become a makeshift family. They are bound by friendship and grief, but torn apart by betrayal, madness and heartbreak.

Through Aliki's powerful voice, an unforgettable one that blends light and dark with wry humor, My Last Lament delivers a fitting eulogy to a way of life and provides a vivid portrait of a timeless Greek woman, whose story of love and loss is an eternal one. ~taken from Goodreads

This was such a heart wrenching story. I LOVE LOVE LOVE historical fiction, which all my blog followers probably know by now. This was by far the most emotionally draining piece I've read lately. 

As a young girl, Aliki, witnesses her father's murder during WWII. From there she tells her story about the struggles of war. Death, poverty, hunger, and time of pure fear gripped me with every page I turned. 

The author does an amazing job at making it feel like the story is being told directly to the reader. This story is told via "cassette tapes" which gave it a real feel of being captured for historical purposes. Very descriptive writing. I had no problem imagining every little detail of the story. I liked the little bits of dark humor added throughout the storytelling. 

The characters are very unique and quite interesting, though appealing is not a word I would use to describe most. You definitely will not forget them. This is a book to be read slowly so that you can take in every little word. It is a view of WWII from Greece, a point of view not often seen in historical fiction writing, which I enjoyed. 

My Last Lament is available now. It is not for light reading. Be ready to be overwhelmed with emotions. A 4 star read for me! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for allowing me to read and give my honest review.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sana Krasikov's "The Patriots"

When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow—and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can’t escape. Many years later, Florence’s son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence’s KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country.

The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence’s and Julian’s perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations, The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another. ~taken from Goodreads

Historical Fiction. My favorite book genre of all time. Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. The author does a splendid job setting scenes, I felt like I was there in the story watching it unfold before my eyes. The characters are well developed, complex and believable. 

This story switches back and forth between modern day Russia and the Soviet Union of the 1930s and 1950s. It is an impressive, fearful look at day to day lives of Russians living under the reign of both Stalin and Putin. 

There were times in the story that I felt dragged on a bit much. I think the author could have gotten the point across with fewer words. There were instates that certain parts of the story seemed repetitive or just not relevant to the overall plot. I found myself skimming over entire pages.

I felt Krasikov did an amazing job showing the both the immediate and long term aftermath that a single decision can make. It is amazing to be able to look at a family and see the different mind sets between generations based on the society a person grows up in and how they are raised. 

This was a 4 star read for me! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read and give my honest review. 

This book is available now. Buy it here, you will not be disappointed! 

Happy Reading!

"The Perfect Stranger" by Megan Miranda

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own? ~taken from Amazon

I have so many mixed feeling about this book. The overall plot was interesting and unique. I think that was the only thing that kept me reading. Otherwise, I would have quit not even half way through. 

There is just too many things going on in this book, it got confusing. Add to the fact that some plot lines didn't even seem relevant to the story. I was confused and bored during most of the book. Willing myself to keep reading. Hoping that the ending would bring it all full circle and I would have that "ah-ha!" moment where it would all make sense. 

The author does a wonderful job of writing. Scene and character descriptions were not lacking and it was easy for the story to play out in my head. The problem for me was too many characters. I didn't feel loyal to a single one. They were all just a flit in my head depending on what scene I was reading. 

The ending was very anticlimactic. There was no "Oh my goodness" moment when everything came together and it all made sense. It actually left me confused and wanting to know more. All the loose ends didn't get tied up. 

The Perfect Stranger will be available in the U.S. April 11, 2017. It was a 3 star read for me. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for allowing me the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Happy Reading!

"Everything You Want Me To Be" by Mindy Mejia

No one knows who she really is…

Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it? Hattie’s boyfriend seems distraught over her death, but had he fallen so deeply in love with her that she had become an obsession? Or did Hattie’s impulsive, daredevil nature simply put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her to a violent death at the hands of a stranger?

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction? ~taken from Goodreads

This book starts with the murder of Hattie Hoffman. She is a high school senior in a very small town where everyone knows everyone. This murder shakes the town, as no one believes anyone a part of the community could have done such a thing. 

Switching characters and time periods we are introduced to characters in this small town and start to get a glimpse into the real life of Hattie. Who is she exactly? depending on who she is talking to, she transforms into exactly who that person expects her to be. Does anyone actually know the real girl inside? 

We also get flashbacks from Hattie's points of view. How she acted, what she said, and what she thought about her life leading up to the murder. What secrets she kept, and who she shared them with, if she shared them at all. 

It was a very unique and interesting way to tell the story. I really enjoyed the multiple points of view. To be honest, this mystery kept me guessing right up to the end! It was very engaging and kept me intrigued. Usually, a reader thinks they have figured it "who done it" mid-story. I thought I had too, but I was wrong!

"Everything You Want Me to Be:A Novel" is a fast paced, thriller that I recommend. It is available on Amazon now. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me to read and give my honest review. 

Happy Reading!  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Lisa Jewell's "I Found You"

I know, it's been awhile since I have posted a review. Life has been crazy busy, especially with the holidays, but I am back! I hope you all had a wonderful winter holiday season! Our family was blessed and had a fantastic month of December! 

I was so excited Netgalley and Atria Books approved me to read this ARC! I loved Lisa Jewell's last book, The Girls In the Garden (see my review here) so I was so excited to read her latest book, not only because it sounded like an amazing plot, but because I truly love Jewell's writing style.

A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Paula Hawkins.

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel, filled with the “beautiful writing, believable characters, pacey narrative, and dark secrets” (London Daily Mail) that make Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.  ~taken from Goodreads

This story shifts from different points of views, different times, and even different locations. Every character I was introduced to I could perfectly imagine knowing in real life. They were all completely realistic and relatable. 

We begin with a man sitting on the beach in the cold rain in front of Alice's house. He has no idea where he's at or who he is. Though she is a complete chaotic mess with kids, work and life in general, she decides to take him in and help him. Her best friend and kids are less than impressed with her choice to help.

Newlywed Lily sits at home waiting for her husband to return from work. She is a Russian immigrant in a foreign country and knows no one but her husband. He never comes home. Desperate that her loving, devoted husband is missing she goes to the police, but after they look into his disappearance Lily is told that her husband never even existed. It is up to her to find out the truth so she can bring her husband home.

Then we are taken back to 1993 in a quaint seaside holiday town where 17 year old Gray and 15 year old Christina's parents have rented a cottage for the summer. Gray realizes for the first time that his little sister is growing up and getting noticed by boys. He becomes a protective big brother, but Christina has already been noticed by a local older boy...

These 3 different stories slowly come together to form what I thought was a spectacular ending! The twists and turns throughout the plot were unexpected and intriguing. I wanted to read faster to get to the end, but didn't want the ending to come. 

"I Found You" is due to be released in the U.S. April 25, 2017. Add it to your TBR list now. You don't want to miss it. A 5 star read for me! Once again, Lisa Jewell did not disappoint. 

Again, thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for allowing me the eARC to read and give my honest review. 

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!