Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

This book follows the lives of two sisters, Jo and Bethie, from their youth through adulthood. The book started a bit slow for more but progressively gained steam. I really enjoyed the last half of the book and thought all of the characters were wonderfully developed. The writing was excellent and purposely wove a great story. I chose this book based on reviews, many of which hated the ending. I liked the way the story culminated and ended and felt like it matched the overall story and theme.

I liked that the book didn’t necessarily have a “happy” ending, but more of a “hopeful” ending.

Where the Crawdads sing

Okay, woah. This book is a yes.

At the start of this book, I almost put it down because I really wasn’t into the swamp/nature theme and intense descriptions of the wildlife. The writing was excellent, just swamp wildlife isn’t my vibe. However, the story picked up and I decided to keep reading… and now, I get it.

I totally get why this book is a bestseller and I totally get the hype. I really feel the need to talk to people about the ending and the book. My only complaint is that I feel the ending was too quick. I wanted to know more about her writing, etc.

The book is truly an excellent piece of literature and written in an extraordinary way. The background setting wasn’t my cup of tea, but I appreciate great work. I wish the trial had started a tad bit earlier in the book giving us a little more of life after the trial as opposed just going to the end.

Without spoiling anything, I won’t say anymore, other than that I highly recommend this book.

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.

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!

The Last Mrs. Parrish

Loved this book, but it totally reminded me of The Wife Between Us. I don’t know which book came out first, but they are similar.

I really enjoyed this story and the character development. Basically, a woman moves to a small town to try to steal another woman’s husband away from her. The way the story builds is great and keeps you wanting more without giving too much away.

I would definitely recommend!!

The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

This was a fun poolside read. I didn’t love it, but it held my interest enough to want to know what happened.

The story follows a group of women who are a part of a Mom’s group who go out one night to let loose. On the night out, one of the women’s babies go missing. The multiple storylines and perspectives kept the book interesting but overall I just didn’t find the plot drawing me in to want more. There were too many characters to have deeper character development and the details we did learn about the characters weren’t expanded on enough to make me want to dive deeper into the story.

The ending seemed rushed and also like an obvious oversight that wouldn’t have actually ever happened in real life. But hey, who knows? Stranger things have happened!

The Wife between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Wow! This book gets a 10/10 from me!

If the book Luckiest Girl Alive and the movie, Enough, had a baby- this would be it.

There are so many layers to this novel and I absolutely love how none of the twists were revealed early on or even hinted. They were actual surprises!

I don’t want to give much away but the novel follows two women through their tangled past and current relationships. Lots of different layers flow throughout the past and current day story to create suspense and surprises. Very well written and the story was extremely well thought out.

I highly recommend picking this book up!

Spoiler alert- spoiler alert:

The one question I have about the book is about the sister. I really wanted that storyline to develop more and more details about her plotting against the main character (canceling photos, etc). For those who have read the book, did you also want to see more closure from this character?