Stories I only tell my Friends- Rob Lowe

I love non fiction, especially autobiography style books. I always find it interesting to be able to take a peek inside of someone else’s world and learn about their story.

Rob Lowe’s autobiography, Stories I only tell my Friends, was entertaining and enjoyable. It was a good read. Not my favorite ever, mostly because I couldn’t relate to all of the movies and time period he spoke of. Overall, I would definitely recommend it though!

Here is the description from Amazon:

A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood’s top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.

The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.

Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

Advertisements

The Lost Man- Jane Harper

This novel was superbly written. The detail and characters were excellent. The story itself was sort of a “Who dunnit”, with a death early on and the remaining characters left to figure out what happened. I was intrigued to read and find out what happened to the brother who died, but I had trouble connecting with the story because the wild outback and Australian desert didn’t peak my interest as a reader as it would for some others.

I thoroughly enjoyed the ending and felt like it tied the entire story together very well.

Overall, it was an extremely well written book, the characters were developed perfectly, and it’s definitely worth reading. It felt like the outback and place where the story occurred was it’s own character. Those that like the outback and nature would definitely enjoy this book more than city folk like myself.

Here is the book description from Amazon:

The Australian outback has never looked as bleak and dangerous as it does in Jane Harper’s latest, The Lost Man. The stockman’s grave is a dark local landmark, the origin of urban legends, and now the site of another mysterious death. There is no detective chasing a killer in The Lost Man; only Nathan, the dead man’s brother, trying to work out how his sibling ended up where and how he did. Family history plays an important role in the story: Nathan, his brother Bub, and their now-dead brother Cam were raised in a house beset by violence. Their father is deceased, but all three brothers have stayed on to work and live in the incredibly harsh surroundings. Cam was the solid one, always responsible, the brother everyone liked. So how did he, of all people, end up dead? Deceptive twists sneak up on the reader, and with The Lost Man Harper has crafted another slow burn mystery that catches the reader unaware right up to the surprise ending

 

The Bride Test & The Two Lila Bennetts

I paired these two books together as one review, but I can’t say I loved either novel. Since both were chosen off of recommendations from other readers, I have to say I’m disappointed.
The Bride Test started out as what I thought would be a cute story, but just never picked up steam. They focused a lot on the loss of the man characters friend and his grief… but really seemed to just tiptoe around the story line of dealing with the grief and the impact of what happened. Overall, I just felt the story line was far fetched and almost sad for the two characters that were being set up together. Sad for the woman who felt compelled to make this man fall in love with her and sad for the man who was being forced into a relationship with a stranger because of his mothers wishes. Just couldn’t get the feels from this one.

The Two Lila Bennetts also started out great. I loved the alternating story lines and felt like I was getting two books in one. Sadly, it felt like we had this great story buildup to a super mediocre ending. Sigh… it was well written but there’s really not much more to say about this one other than I felt like the story was a let down.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

My first Kristin Hannah novel and it won’t be my last! I enjoyed this book, I wouldn’t say it was my favorite that I’ve read lately, but I felt super involved in the story and wanted to know what would happen between the two women. The novel really explores friendship and how far we will go for those friends that we love like family. My struggle with the characters was that one character was all give and one was all take. I never felt like the giving character was able to take from any of the other characters.

Here is the description from Amazon:
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

My only complaint with the story was that from the beginning, we knew that an event occurs that hurts their friendship. However, that event doesn’t happen until almost the end of the book. I wish it happened sooner so we could explore more of the after story. I felt like the book took it’s time covering their lives and their friendship, but then felt it rushed to the end. I really did enjoy it, it made me cry and want to read and write more.
Overall, I would definitely recommend it.

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan

WOW!!! This is my favorite book I’ve read all Summer!

I picked it up after a recommendation and only lightly glanced over the description. So I did not see the story going in the direction it did.

However, without giving anything away, I thought the actual writing was better than the story itself. There was a chapter in the book where the author describes the type of love and infatuation the main character has for her love interest and WOW. Her writing and description is just the definition of beautiful writing.

I highly recommend this book!

Description and blurb from Amazon:

Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future.

Lock every Door- Riley Sager

I really loved this book and especially liked the way the story was formatted.

Definitely a thriller, with suspense. I was able to figure out who the “bad guy” was fairly early on, however I did not see the overall twist and bigger picture of what was happening until the end. At first I wanted to think it was a far fetched story, something that could never happen… but then again, knowing the depths of how far some people will go and how selfish some people are, it could happen.

My only gripe with this novel is that it did leave a few unanswered questions.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. 

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story…until the next day, when Ingrid disappears. 

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

The Last Time I saw you

Something about this novel just never clicked for me. I wanted to like it and the story had great potential at the beginning, but I felt like it never picked up speed and became overly predictable. It was so predictable that I thought there HAD to be a big twist … but no. It was really just that predictable. The ending also kind of wafed away and the story just ended without feeling like there was a strong finale.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .

The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel after starting it with low expectations.

I feel like it is the ultimate break up book, if you have a friend in need of a pick up- I would highly recommend it. It truly is a full circle, coming of age novel where the main character takes back her power and realizes her ability to be “unbreakable”.

Here is the summary from amazon:

It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret on-line dating site for married and committed couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed…including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town. 

Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers her essence with painful honesty and humor, reawakening both her sensuality and ambitions as a sculptor.

Your second life begins when you realize you only have one

The best way I could sum up this book is that it’s a strategic self help book written as a fiction story.

Here is the description from Amazon:

The feel-good #1 bestselling French novel about a woman whose mission to cure her “routine-itis” leads her to lasting joy and true fulfillment, for fans of The Alchemist and Hector and the Search for Happiness. 

At thirty-eight and a quarter years old, Paris native Camille has everything she needs to be happy, or so it seems: a good job, a loving husband, a wonderful son. Why then does she feel as if happiness has slipped through her fingers? All she wants is to find the path to joy. 

When Claude, a French Sean Connery look-alike and routinologist, offers his unique advice to help get her there, she seizes the opportunity with both hands. Camille’s journey is full of surprising escapades, creative capers, and deep meaning, as she sets out to transform her life and realize her dreams one step at a time…

I did like the story, however I was under the impression if would read as more of a fictional tale of a heroine not as a fictional story that guides you through self help techniques.

The Woman in the Window

Fabulous! A really great read!

I will say the novel started a bit slow, I understand it was to really build and shape the character, but I still felt a bit of a struggle to get through the first 25% of the book because I felt like I was just waiting for something to happen.

So when the story started to pick up, it got very interesting! The layers to the characters and intricate details that build the story are fabulous.

The premise of the novel is this:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book as a fun fiction thriller. It is also coming out as a movie towards the end of 2019!