web analytics

Book Review: When You Read This

36300682

When You Read This by Mary Adkins– For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three. Adrift without his friend and colleague, Smith is surprised to discover that in her last six months, Iris created a blog filled with sharp and often funny musings on the end of a life not quite fulfilled. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her posts published as a book. With the help of his charmingly eager, if overbearingly forthright, new intern Carl, Smith tackles the task of fulfilling Iris’s last wish.

Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris’ big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who’s been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other.

Told in a series of e-mails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, text messages, legal correspondence, home-rental bookings, and other snippets of our virtual lives, When You Read This is a deft, captivating romantic comedy—funny, tragic, surprising, and bittersweet—that candidly reveals how we find new beginnings after loss.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: February 5, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: Standalone

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I’m a big fan of books written in epistolary form and this book was comprised solely of emails, texts, and blog posts. It feels very intimate and personal to be reading those things and appeals to the admittedly nosy side of my personality. I think my favorite character was Carl, the inept and strange assistant/intern to Smith. He added a layer of comedy to an otherwise heavy story which is full of love, loss, grief, and healing. Jane was probably my least favorite character- she was really a neurotic mess that made everything much harder than it needed to be. But the personalities of all the characters together came together in a really amazing way to form a story with a lot of depth. 



Book Review: Never Tell

40579386

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner– A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun. D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman—Evie Carter—from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many. Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim—a hostage—and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder. But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Published: February 19, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: #10 in Detective D.D. Warren Series

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I’m a huge fan of the D.D. Warren and Flora Dane series. This is book 10 but I haven’t read them all. I didn’t read any of the books before Flora was introduced as a character in book 8. I love her character. She’s a street smart, emotionally distant, bad-ass vigilante who colors outside the lines. And she’s the perfect counterpart to D.D. Warren- who I always feel is alternating between feelings of exasperation and maternal instinct when she deals with Flora. The mystery in this book was great and I didn’t figure out who was the mastermind until it was revealed. I enjoyed the addition of Evie to the cast of characters and I hope we see her more books!



Book Review: Missing Daughter

39685186

Missing Daughter by Rick Mofina– Life can change in an instant. For Ryan and Karen Lane, it happens on the morning they discover their twelve-year-old daughter’s window open, their beloved Maddie missing from her bed. Police investigate. Suspicions swirl. A teenage boy admits he was outside her bedroom window the night she disappeared. A halfway house for convicts recently opened in the neighborhood. The Lane family is thrown into turmoil, then detectives turn their sights on them. No one is ruled out. Not Karen, with her tragic past, who argued with her daughter. Not Ryan, with his violent streak. Not Maddie’s thirteen-year-old brother, Tyler, who heard voices in her room the night she vanished. Days, weeks, months, then agonizing years go by without answers, the Lanes fearing that Maddie is gone forever…until a stunning twist shocks everyone, plunging the family deeper into a world of buried secrets whose revelations threaten the very foundation of their lives.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: February 19, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: Standalone

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: I wasn’t sure about this book when I borrowed it from the library but the blurb just caught my attention. Having a teen daughter makes me hesitant to read books with this type of premise because it spirals my anxiety. I’m so glad I decided to read this one thought! I was captured from the very first chapter and sucked right into the story. There were enough twists and turns to keep me guessing the entire time. Every member of the family had secrets. I didn’t know who to believe. This was almost a 5 star read for me but I found the sequence of events at the end to be a bit implausible. Still a great read and I highly recommend it!



Book Review: As Long As We Both Shall Live

37638016

As Long As We Both Shall Live by Joann Chaney– “My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident. But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt. Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free. So what happens when you’re done making it work? 

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: January 15, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: Standalone

My Rating: 3 Stars

My Thoughts: I was excited for this book but it was a hard read for me. I figured out the big twist very early on so the reveal was anticlimactic for me. I also strongly disliked both main characters- Matt and Marie. I have a hard time with books where I don’t have someone to root for as I read. The subplot that was running throughout the book didn’t seem to really impact the main story and I was confused why it was included because it disrupted the flow of the main story for me. Overall, the story was pretty hard to follow for me. Additionally, none of the relationships seemed to be well developed so it was hard to get a sense of why certain characters made certain choices for much of the story. If you like domestic thrillers and have a few free hours then you might give this one a try. 



Book Review: The Night Olivia Fell

40964815

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald– In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists. When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister? Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you? 

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: February 5, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: Standalone

My Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts: I think this is one of those books that as a mother of a teenage girl just felt like a punch in the gut. I could feel Abi’s pain and desperation jumping off the pages at me. I could easily place myself in her shoes. The reality of her daughter having a whole other side of her life that Abi knew nothing about was enough to give any mother of a teenage girl cringing. The story is told from dual points of view- Abi in the present and Olivia in the past- which I felt really added a lot of depth to the story that would have been missing if it had only been told from one perspective. I identified with both of them for very different reasons and that made the story incredibly engaging for me. I had to know what happened to Olivia and I was surprised by the twists and turns the story took to get to the truth.