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Monthly Book Report: August 2017

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So August was much busier than I anticipated. I knew it was going to be jammed packed with school starting mid-month and football games starting up. But holy cow, I haven’t had time to take a deep breath in weeks. I did manage to devour some great books this month though! This will be my last monthly book report. I’m going to start sharing the books I really enjoyed more often than just once a month. 

1. The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham– Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls. When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever.

I enjoyed this book. It was not truly a mystery because you know who did what very early on in the story. But it was suspenseful because I had to keep reading so I could find out what the ending was going to be. I read this in less than 48 hours. Definitely recommend if you liked The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl. 

2. All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda– It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing. Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

This one was different. In a good way but also in the way the story was told. It was written in reverse order of the events. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like this one before. It was intriguing but also a bit confusing at times. I enjoyed it and I definitely did not figure out the ending before it happened. Again, I recommend if you liked The Girl on the Train or Gone Girl. And make sure you have some time to dedicate to this one, you have to pay attention or you’ll be lost in the timeline. I had to re-read several chapters when I got distracted. 

3. The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon– Eli Crane is one tough bastard. After an explosion left him injured and honorably discharged from the Marines, all he wants is to be left alone. Yet his brothers insist he take a greater role in the family business. They’ve hired him ten personal assistants-and Eli sent each one packing as fast as possible. But when beautiful number eleven walks through the door, Eli will do anything to make her stay. Isabella Sawyer’s employment agency can’t afford to lose Eli Crane’s business. Her plan: to personally take on the role of his PA, and secure her reputation with the wealthy elite in Chicago. But this beauty and her hot billionaire bad boy soon find themselves mixing business with pleasure in the most delicious ways. And passionate, stubborn Isabella won’t rest until she tames this wicked beast.

This one was my light fluffy read of the month that ended up being really emotional and deep. It was a good storyline with likeable characters who had chemistry that was off the charts. It’s book 3 in a series but I haven’t read the others and I wasn’t lost or confused. If you like wounded alpha males and strong sassy women who take them on, then you’ll enjoy this book. 

4. Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy– When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The adults are lulled by the ship’s comfort and ease. The four children—ages six to eleven—love the nonstop buffet and their newfound independence. But when they all go ashore for an adventure in Central America, a series of minor misfortunes and miscalculations leads the families farther from the safety of the ship. One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone. The disintegration of the world the families knew—told from the perspectives of both the adults and the children—is both riveting and revealing. The parents, accustomed to security and control, turn on each other and blame themselves, while the seemingly helpless children discover resources they never knew they possessed. 

I enjoyed this story a lot. It was one of those stories that strikes you right in the heart because it’s every mother’s worst fear come to life. I read this one quick because I had to know how it ended. There are small storylines entwined in the bigger storyline which kept my interest the whole time. Warning: there is a rape scene involving a teenager but it’s not overly detailed. 

5. Bring Her Home by David Bell– Just a year and a half after the tragic death of his wife, Bill Price’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Summer, and her best friend, Haley, disappear. Days later, the girls are found in a city park. Haley is dead at the scene, while Summer is left beaten beyond recognition and clinging to life. As Bill holds vigil over Summer’s bandaged body, the only sound the unconscious girl can make is one cryptic and chilling word: No. And the more time Bill spends with Summer, the more he wonders what happened to her. Or if the injured girl in the hospital bed is really his daughter at all. When troubling new questions about Summer’s life surface, Bill is not prepared for the aftershocks. He’ll soon discover that both the living and the dead have secrets. And that searching for the truth will tear open old wounds that pierce straight to the heart of his family.

This book was fantastic. It was a tightly written story with multiple storylines happening underneath the main one. I had no idea who the villain was going to turn out to be and there were a couple of really big twists that I did not see coming at all. I thought I had it all figured out halfway through but I was so wrong. I read this one in less than 12 hours because I could not put it down! Highly recommend. I already reserved 3 more of his books at the library after reading this one. 

6. Class Mom by Laurie Gelman– Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom–or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max–this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the-wisest-candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree. From recording parents’ response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of-special-brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen’s methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen’s past, a hyper-sensitive -allergy mom,-a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.

Oh my gosh. This is hands down one of my favorite books of the entire year. It was AMAZING! It was hysterically funny, totally real, and I could not put it down. If you don’t read one other book I’ve recommended this year, read this one. If you have kids in school, if you’ve ever been the class mom, if you’ve ever deleted the emails from a class mom….read this book! It’s written by Laurie Gelman, who is the wife of the Gelman on Live with Kelly and Ryan! I hope she is writing another book right now because she is hugely talented at it. I’m the varsity football team mom AND the class mom for 1st grade this year so this book really had me laughing!

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