Party Girls Die in Pearls- Plum Sykes

I feel like this book should immediately be turned into a Lifetime movie. It started a little slow, but had a lot of fun characters and ended up being a fun read! This is the first book in what is soon to be a series of novels, which makes a lot of sense as to why there are SO many characters with tons of different backgrounds and stories. It has a lot of potential to build over the next few books.

The story takes our main character, Ursula, into her freshman year at Oxford where she stumbles upon another student’s dead body. After finding the body, she decides there’s more to the story than what meets the eye. She digs around and tries to figure out who the killer on campus could be.

The novel has a great twist ending, but I wish it had moved a little quicker. Also, it was a bit difficult to follow the multiple different characters, but I also understand the need for them since this book is the first in a series.

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In a dark, dark wood- Ruth Ware

I decided to pick up In a dark, dark wood after I read Ruth Ware’s other novel, The Woman in Cabin 10.

Dark, dark wood seemed to have even better reviews that The Woman in Cabin 10 BUT I must say, I was underwhelmed.

The story follows a woman, Nora, who is invited to bachelorette/hen party of a friend she has lost contact with. She is baffled why she is invited, but decides to attend the party- which is a weekend at a house in the woods. After a shocking death, Nora must piece together what actually happened over the weekend while also trying to cope with her past.

Similar to The Woman in Cabin 10- I just didn’t like the main character! Why does Ruth Ware create emotionally weak, semi- alcoholic main female characters? Why couldn’t it be a strong woman that was still thrown into a scary, dangerous situation? I found Nora, the 26 year old main character, hard to relate to considering she was still holding on to a breakup that happened when she was 16.

The overall story and suspense of the novel picked up and peaked my interest to find out the background of what had happened- but I just really didn’t love this story as much as I hoped.

Little Fires Everywhere

I saw this book pop up as the book of the month for the Reese Witherspoon book club and immediately ordered it. It’s a great look inside the inner workings (and unworkings) of suburbia. The storyline takes us inside the lives of a few different families that live in the same time but live in very different ways.

I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t really get page turning excited for what was happening with the story until over 100 pages in. I think this book would be more enjoyable to those who have children and actually live in the suburbs. However, I still find its entertainment value and relatable-ness high- because it’s always entertaining to learn about the lives of others compared to what they actually portray.

I liked the storyline but almost wanted it to dive deeper into some of the issues that bubbled up throughout the novel. By the end I wanted more; so if there is a sequel, I’ll definitely be interested to see what happens next for the characters!

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Splashed across the front of this book is a positive review from Stephen King and so immediately I ranked this book as a read that could potentially be a great thriller scary movie one day. I was expecting the book to read more as a scary edge of your seat type of book that built up to another murder/mystery/crime but it read as more of a psychological development book where you’re just trying to piece together what actually happened and who the characters are now. The book tells the story of a girl named Quincy who is the sole survivor of a college massacre. Her, along with two other unrelated girls, are dubbed “The final girls” because they all went through mass traumas and were the final and only people who survived. The book takes us to present day where Quincy is trying to live a normal life outside of the media spotlight– until one of the other “Final Girls” commits suicide. This suicide puts Quincy back into the spotlight and brings up many unresolved issues from her past trauma. The book follows her as she tries to remember back to the night of the massacre and cope with remembering what really happened. Did she get all the details right? Or did she miss something? You’ll have to read it to find out! I liked this book and found it to be a quick read, but I didn’t like the character development and struggled with the main character making idiotic decisions as certain points of the novel. Regardless- it’s fun and worth the read. Fun fact- the back of the book states that this book was written by Riley Sager which is a ghost name for another writer. I’m super curious who it is and why they felt the need to publish under a different name.

The Glass Castle

WOW. This is a hard review to write, just because this book was so well written and it is a story that is so worth telling.

I truly feel this book should be required reading for high school or college students, it can give everyone perspective. Perspective on what it’s like to really have a rough childhood, perspective on overcoming obstacles, and most of all perspective on how important it really is to share your story.

This is a must read memoir and a reminder that our pasts our intended to make us and shape us- not break us.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel

I ordered this novel immediately after reading a great review about it! However, it sat on my shelf for awhile and I kind of forgot what it was supposed to be about. I grabbed it prior to heading out for a flight, threw it in my bag, and started it once I got on the plane.

And let me tell you, I am so glad I brought it and read it! It way exceeded my expectations and I absolutely loved the style of the writing, the characters, and the story it told.

The book follows a young journalist who is requested to write the Biography of a super famous Hollywood glamorous film star, Evelyn Hugo.

Personally, I love autobiographies and non fiction- so the fact that this book was written fictionally as an autobiography style story that told of Evelyn Hugo’s life- made me LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!

It’s an amazing read with layers of depth, loads of love stories, and a great insight into a life behind a camera versus what you see on screen!

Read this now!!!

Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

This book follows the story of a travel journalist who goes on board a small luxury yacht to write a story about the inaugural voyage of the swanky Dreamliner.

However, in the middle of the night, she hears someone in the cabin next to her being thrown overboard! She immediately calls security… but is told the cabin next to her is empty. Was it all a bad dream?

The next week onboard takes the reader through the twists and turns of her trying to figure out the truth!

I really enjoyed this read! I went in with low expectations and about halfway through the book, I thought I had it figured out– but I didn’t! I really liked the twist and couldn’t wait to get to the end of the book to find out what really happened!

I did not think the very beginning of the book tied in as well as it could’ve to the overall story and I wasn’t in love with the main character, but overall I would definitely recommend this as a weekend fiction read.

Anything Is Possible

Let me start this review by saying that I did not finish this book… which I hate!

I loved the title of this book and thought the description would make it a great read!

“An unforgettable cast of small town characters that cope with love and loss…

Two sisters with different lives, a janitor at a local school, a grown daughter looking for her Mother’s love…”

I couldn’t get into the storyline or the jump around in characters. I read about 50% of the book and kept waiting for the sister storyline to come into play.

I have heard great things about this author and I think it would’ve helped if I read her previous novel, My Name is Lucy Barton, because the stories weave together- but I just couldn’t enjoy this one.

Has anyone else read this? Did I throw in the towel too soon?

Good to Great

Okay, wow! Talk about a book packed to the max with interesting content backed up by actual statistics and years on years of business studies.

Good to Great by Jim Collins is not a quick read and it really took me awhile to absorb all of the information this book possesses. It is a must read for anyone in strategic development or looking to develop a holistic, long term business strategy.

I wish I had read this in college!

Into the water 

Overall I would give this book a “mehhh” rating.

The story follows a woman, Jules, who returns to a small town after the death of her sister. The death is ruled a suicide, but Jules is convinced that there’s more to the story. At the time of her death, the sister had been writing about an infamous body of water where multiple women had been found dead and was piecing together a manuscript about their pasts. Jules believes that this ties in to the reason her sister is no longer alive.

The storyline wasn’t overly entertaining to me and I was pretty sure I had the mystery figured out about halfway through the book. I wasn’t exactly on target with my prediction, but close enough that I wasn’t surprised either.

Living Forward

I was expecting this book to be more broad goal planning advice mixed with motivation, but it’s actually a very specific plan for creating a structured life plan with a specific end goal.

This would be a great read for someone who knows exactly what they want to do and just needs a play by play on how to make it happen. 

For those that are still trying to nail down exactly what they want their end goal to look like, this book is better saved for a later time.