Monday Reading Update

 

Hi All! Hope you had a good weekend. We’re still waiting for warmer weather here in Ohio, so in the meantime I’ve been taking advantage of reading under my favorite cozy blanket. I had a SUPER productive reading week last week, finishing 3 books, 2 of which I really liked although none were 5 star reads…close but not quite.

RECENTLY READ…

The River   was way more literary than I expected. I don’t mean that in a bad way because the writing was excellent but I thought it would be more thriller like and it really wasn’t. I appreciated the author’s obvious knowledge of canoeing on a river and wilderness survival along with his ability to create extremely realistic scenes. I wanted to read this book because I love nature and stories about wilderness survival because I would never ever want to go camping or rafting on a river…ever. I felt like I was there while reading this story though. However, I thought there was something lacking. I’m not sure if it was the third person narration which made me feel less connected to either Wynn or Jack but I was left feeling underwhelmed when I should’ve felt several other emotions.

Before She Knew Him was one of my most anticipated winter reads and it definitely ended up being addictive reading. I love how Swanson writes characters who are wacky and completely in your face about it! BUT, I ended up having thoughts…many thoughts…I’ll have a review up soon.

The Last Act was a such a fast paced, action filled read. The blurb for this contained so many of my favorite buzz words (FBI, prison, undercover, ) I knew I would love it…and I did. Review up (hopefully) tomorrow for pub day

 

TRIED BUT WASN’T FEELING…

American Spy also had so many of my favorite buzz words in the publisher blurb…espionage, spy thriller, FBI, passionate romance and betrayal…yes please! After the opening scene, however, the plot quickly fizzled for me with WAY too much telling and a second person narrative structure I didn’t like.

 

CURRENTLY READING…

The Devil Aspect  came on my radar after I saw Katie’s review at Basicbsguide  on Instagram. This creepy story centering around the “criminally insane” sounds like something I’ll love. I’ve just started it but I can say it’s drawn me in from the first page. Let’s hope my luck with quality thriller reads continues!

POSSIBLE NEXT READS…

    OR  

I think I’m about ready for a thriller break before I start having nightmares about all the psychopaths I’ve been reading about! Both of these sound promising and would be much lighter reads.

Did you read anything great last week? Have anything that sounds amazing coming up? Let me know in the comments!

Have a Great Week!!

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Monday Reading Update: What I’ve been reading and listening to lately

Hi All! I’ve fallen a little behind in my postings on the blog lately due to the busyness of life along with a personal loss that left me feeling like I needed to read more to keep my mind occupied which led to less time for blog writing etc. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things because I need to tell you about some of the awesome reads I’ve come across lately. Of course, there’s some duds (for me) in the list as well. I hope you’ve been able to find reading time in the busyness of the holiday season, I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading and loving lately. I’ve been busy filling up my Book Buddy App  with all of the books I want to read, along with the advanced copies I need to read, and can I just say this app is the best $5 I’ve spent in a long time! In case you missed me talking about this app, you can find it here . Well, let me get to it…

 

RECENT READS…

 

The Nowhere Man  is the second book in the Orphan X series by Greg Hurwitz and of the 3 I’ve now read, my least favorite. While I absolutely love this series, especially the main character Evan Smoak (AKA Orphan X), this book started off super strong and then hit a major lull in the middle to the almost end when it finally picked up again. Still, it’s a cut above most thrillers and Evan is a character I love rooting for as he’s very similar to Jason Bourne. Next up is Hellbent  , the third book in the Orphan X series and a step above both Orphan X as well as The Nowhere Man. I loved this one! Hurwitz really upped his game and Evan’s story with this third novel and I can’t wait to get to the upcoming fourth book in the series, Out of the Dark (Jan 29 by Minotaur Books). If you like thrillers, you should really give this series a try but make sure to read them in order!

I don’t have much to say about Bluebird Bluebird honestly. This mystery was on my tbr for so long, so I’m glad I read it but there was a significant lack of connection for me with all the characters.  The mystery of who killed a black man and white woman who were seemingly not connected and why is what drove me to keep on reading but by about 60% I didn’t really care anymore. The resolution felt underwhelming to me but I did enjoy the last paragraph and the little twist the author threw in the last scene. In Cold Blood  was part of my NonFiction November reading (also on my tbr for years) and it was much better than I expected. I wondered how Capote would tell a story when we already knew who did it but not only was it chilling, it was structured in a way that read like a suspense novel.

My Sister The Serial Killer  was a “looks good on paper” read for me. It pushed all my must read buttons with a snappy title and intriguing cover; however, once I really got into the story, I found both sisters annoying, the dark humor sub par, and the ending disappointing. A positive: super short chapters and length (240 pages). Overall, a big miss for me though. On to the book that has slipped into my world and most likely shot to the very top of my favorite reads for this year…I Am Pilgrim I’m working on a full review but let me say that this book was brilliant. This thriller does it all…a sweeping, globe trotting plot, flawless characterization, and enough mini cliffhangers to keep me up hours past when I should’ve been asleep. Just one more chapter became my mantra until 2:00am!  I can’t believe I haven’t read this sooner, especially since I love Homeland. P.S I listened to quite a bit of this on audio and it was fantastic.

RECENT AUDIOBOOKS…

I’ll Be There For You  brought back so many college memories and was just plain fun to listen to. I loved hearing about how each of the cast got their big breaks on the show as well as how the show would hold up today from a cultural standpoint. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. This Will Only Hurt a Little  had it’s strong points, the biggest one being Busy Philipps narrates it herself and she was really funny in parts. I’ll admit I fast forwarded through a lot of her childhood…I was bored…but devoured all the behind the scenes details of auditions and not so nice directors and actors. Overall, this is worth a listen.

CURRENTLY READING… 

Although I’m still thinking about I Am Pilgrim, I’m going to pick up one of these next….

        OR       

Any thoughts on which one I should choose? 

 

What have you been reading & loving lately? 

 

 

 

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain: Book Review

The Dream Daughter  by Diane Chamberlain
Publication: October 2, 2018 by St.Martin’s Press
384 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon

From Publisher: A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable.

My Thoughts: Would you be upset if my review consisted of: you need to read this, it’s amazing…get your hands on it somehow?  I’ve been trying to figure out a way to write a review that gives none of the plot away because I want you to go into this story like I did, knowing basically nothing. That might make for a questionable review but I think you’ll thank me after you read this.

This is actually my first Diane Chamberlain book which now that I’ve read The Dream Daughter  I’m pretty mad at myself for not paying closer attention to her previous books. Rather than go into lengthy plot details I want to just share with you what I loved about this book. To start…time travel…I love this element. I know some people read that and may immediately think no, not for me. The time travel in this book is essential to the story and it’s subtle, a small piece of a much larger plot picture but without it, there’s no story. With it, the story comes alive. But, there’s no science fiction “out there-ness” to the time travel, it just is and I was on board with it from the beginning.

Another thing I loved – the characters! Carly, whose unborn daughter needs a life saving fetal surgery to survive, is one of my favorite characters in fiction this year. I connected with her immediately and I never stopped rooting for her and boy did the author throw some unexpected twists her way. The suspense of not knowing what would happen to Carly and her baby was so on point. Hunter, her brother in law and Myra his mom were other characters that felt like real people to me. Really, that sums up my overall feelings about this book. Distinctive, tension filled, realistic writing that caused me to stay up super late because I had to know what was going to happen next. There are so many surprises in this story and I’ll finish by saying…have tissues ready when you pick this one up.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley for my copy 

Two on One: The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle and Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner

       vs          

I’ve been waiting for the right book selections to feature this fun take on my favorite guilty pleasure TV shows The Bachelor/Bachelorette. I got this idea from Tara at Runningnreading when she posted her own two on one earlier this summer. If you watch The Bachelor & Bachelorette, you know there’s always as least one date in which the lead has to take 2 people out on one date. It can be awkward and angst filled but basically by the end…one stays and one goes in a dramatic fashion.

Read on to see who gets my rose for itsbooktalk’s first two on one…and can I just say Jordan vs David was a no brainer for Becca!

Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner
Publication: Sept 4, 2018 by Minotaur Books
352 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon 

This story pits young NYPD detective, Lourdes Robles, against not only a serial killer but also an entire police department that’s awash in lies, scandals and secrets galore. The prologue pulled me in immediately as we meet a young girl banging on the door of a house in the middle of a deserted neighborhood during Hurricane Sandy. She’s got handcuffs hanging from her wrists and she’s begging and pleading for help before “someone” tracks her back down and kills her. Is she saved? Well, of course you’ll have to read because the story jumps to a different time and we slowly begin to meet the key players involved in a story that’s laid out as an intricate web of conspiracies, bad guys everywhere you turn, and lots of secrets.

What I loved about this book was the fact that Blauner didn’t mess around with manipulations, we know who the bad guys are but what we don’t know is just who exactly is involved with all the murders and how (if at all) they’ll be taken down. The shining character for me was definitely Lourdes. She was tough, authentic and never intimidated by the good ol boys club she was up against. The story is told in alternating timelines starting in 1977 and shifting to 2017 until, by the end, the past storyline coincides with present day. I’m so on board with this type of structure and have to say Blauner kept me on my reading toes because I had no idea how this was going to end. Overall, this was a dark, gritty read.

Thanks to Minotaur Books via Netgalley for my copy

 

The Dinner List  by Rebecca Serle
Publication: Sept 11, 2018 by Flatiron Books
288 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon

For Sabrina’s 30th birthday, she finds herself having dinner with five significant people: her best friend, three very important people from her past and Audrey Hepburn. I love this premise and found the dinner scenes themselves very charming for the most part. Besides her best friend and Audrey, Sabrina found herself sitting down with her deceased father, her college professor and her one true love, Tobias. Needless to say, Sabrina has baggage along with past issues to reconcile with everyone at the table except Audrey who, honestly, seemed a little blasé most of the story. I was engaged with these dinner scenes, particularly the conversations between Sabrina and Tobias and Sabrina and her best friend…much tension could be felt.

However, and this is a big however for me, the dinner scenes were interspersed with something I often have issues with…flashbacks. Just when it felt like we were at a crucial part of the dinner discussion or when tension between people was high, we were taken back in time to retrace the love affair of Sabrina and Tobias. I will admit…this led to skimming on my part because I wanted to return to the dinner scenes. There was an underlying hint that there was more to the dinner interactions than meets the eye. Was I surprised by what that turned out to be? Unfortunately no, it ended up being as I predicted which really bummed me out because I love to be surprised. Overall, this was a light, easy read.

Thanks to Flatiron Books via Netgalley for my copy

 

SOOOO… MY ROSE🌹 GOES TO…

Sunrise Highway

While I won’t say this was a perfect read for me, I found this to be an unexpectedly well plotted cat and mouse story that also had a little bit of mystery to it. Blauner excels at authentic dialogue which I loved as well as pitting good versus evil. At its core, this is a gritty serial killer story so there ARE some gruesome details in parts so just beware. If you enjoy crime fiction with a relatable, strong detective this one’s for you. I’m really hoping I haven’t seen the last of Lourdes!

Thoughts on which book got my rose for my first two on one? Are you a Bachelor fan?(If so, WHAT do you think of Colton as the choice?)  Feel free to drop me a line in the comment section below and let’s discuss! 

 

Fall 2018 Book Preview

 

Fall is here and with it brings a whole new crop of books that sound so good, I don’t know where to start! I’m ready for cooler temps, reading by the fire under a cozy blanket and yes, the occasional Pumpkin Spice Latte. Fall always seems like a great time to sneak in extra reading as the days get shorter and the weather (where I live) gets colder.  With so many fantastic books being published over the next few months, I had a hard time narrowing down my list! With that being said, grab a pen and settle in with your favorite drink because you just might see a few books here that you’ll also need for your fall reading list.

***All quotes are from publishers via Goodreads***

SEPTEMBER

The Sunrise Highway by Peter Blauner
Publisher: Minotaur Books (Sept.4)
352 Pages, Mystery/Thriller
A thriller about a lone young cop on the trail of a powerful killer determined not just to stop her, but to make her pay.”

Why I want to read:
*Loved his book Slipping Into Darkness (My Review)
*Possible innocent man convicted of murder
* Female detective up against web of conspiracy

 

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (Sept 18th)
512 Pages, Mystery/Thriller
How do you stop a murder that’s already happened?”

Why I want to read:
*Very original sounding debut
*Being billed as a complex, clever murder mystery
*Seems to have some elements of 11/22/63 by Stephen King which I loved

 

OCTOBER

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Oct.2)
384 Pages, Women’s Fiction
A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother’s quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable.”

Why I want to read:
*New to me author & I’ve heard this is one of her best
*I like the idea of a time travel element
*1970s time period & early reviews say it’s unputdownable and dramatic

 

 The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory
Publisher: Gallery Books (Oct 9)
304 Pages, Women’s Fiction/Romantic Comedy
A fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar”
Why I want to read:
*Hyped as ‘For fans of The Royal We’…enough said, loved that book! (My Review)
*I can’t resist the word “spy” in any book description
*This sounds like a lighter read with substance

 

The Witch Elm by Tana French
Publisher: Viking Books (Oct 9)
464 pages, Mystery/Thriller
“Toby is a happy-go-lucky charmer who’s dodged a scrape at work and is celebrating with friends when the night takes a turn that will change his life”
Why I want to read:
*Favorite author, I loved her last book The Trespasser (My Review)
*I always find her books very suspenseful with hard to figure out mysteries
*Standalone – all new characters although I do like The Dublin Murder Squad from past books

 

November Road by Lou Berney
Publisher: William Morrow (Oct 9)
336 Pages, Literary Crime Fiction
“Set against the assassination of JFK, a poignant and evocative crime novel that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America”
Why I want to read:
*I loved Berney’s previous book The Long and Faraway Gone My Review
* The Kennedy Assassination as a backdrop
*Has elements of the mob, fugitives on the run, and a possible love story

 

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Publisher: Harper (Oct 9)
224 Pages, Visionary & Metaphysical
“The story of Eddie’s heavenly reunion with Annie, the little girl he saved on earth, in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect.”
Why I want to read:
*I loved The Five People You Meet in Heaven ( it’s been 15 years since that came out!)
*In Five People we got Eddie’s story, this is Annie’s story
* Mitch Albom’s writing is engaging and contemplative but also highly readable

 

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
Publisher: Atria Books (Oct 9)
496 Pages, Historical Fiction/Mystery
“The story of a love affair and a mysterious murder that cast their shadow across generations, set in England from the 1860’s until the present day.”
Why I want to read:
*I’ve never read Kate Morton but everyone seems to rave about her books
*I love books with secrets that span generations
*Combines art theft with a love affair & murder

 

 

The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
Publisher: Minotaur Books (Oct 16)
432 Pages, Mystery
“A young cop trying to trace the disappearances of a small town’s teenagers.”
Why I want to read:
*Sharon Bolton is an auto buy author for me, I don’t care what she writes I’ll read it
*Female detective, possibility she put the wrong man in jail for murder years ago
*Early buzz is this one is VERY creepy!

 

 

NOVEMBER 

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
Publisher: Hogarth Press (Nov 13)
368 Pages
“A seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame”
Why I want to read:
*Boyne’s last book, The Heart’s Invisible Furies (My review) was my favorite book of 2017
*His characterization is outstanding
*This has a thriller type feel to it

 

The Shadows We Hide by Allen Eskins
Publisher: Mulholland Books (Nov 13)
352 Pages, Mystery/Detective
“Joe Talbert returns to investigate the murder of the father he never knew, and to reckon with his own family’s past.”
Why I want to read:
*Sequel to The Life We Bury (My Review) which was a 5 star read for me
*Joe is a character I really rooted for and can’t wait to reconnect with
*Esken plots layered mysteries I can’t figure out, which I love!

 

 

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Publisher: Doubleday Books (Nov 20)
240 Pages, Dark Humor/Suspense
“Satire meets slasher in this short, darkly funny hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends.”
Why I want to read:
*Come on, the title and cover alone is enough to make this a must read for me
*Short Debut that’s billed as fun and frightening
* Dark humor, a serial killer, & 2 sisters with very different agendas

 

 

So what do you think? Are any of these on your TBR? What are you looking forward to this fall? Drop me a line in the comment section below and let me know!

 

HAPPY FALL READING!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger: book review

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger
Published July 3, 2018 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
341 Pages
Affiliate Link : Buy From Amazon

From PublisherOn an early morning in November, a couple boards a private plane bound for Geneva, flying into a storm. Soon after, it simply drops off the radar. Among the disappeared is Matthew Lerner, a banking insider at Swiss United, a powerful offshore bank. His young widow, Annabel, is left grappling with the secrets he left behind. Ambitious society journalist Marina Tourneau is engaged to Grant Ellis whose father is set to run for President of the US. While looking into Swiss United, Marina uncovers information that implicates some of the most powerful men in the financial world, including some who are too close to home…

**********

I’ll admit, when I first came across this title I assumed it was another domestic psychological “wife” thriller (although one with a great cover). The Banker’s Wife , however, was not at all what I expected. I knew from the opening scene in the London airport that this financial thriller was not only going to keep me on my toes, but it had such an international flair and hint of conspiracy and secrets to come that I couldn’t wait to find out more. 

We first meet Marina, an investigative journalist for Press magazine, whose fiancé’s father is close to securing the bid for the next US Presidential election. Although she’s been contemplating quitting the further immersed she gets in the upper echelon of New York society, she’s enticed by her editor to help gather secret evidence from a source in Paris. What follows propels Marina into an investigation of a top Swiss Bank, Swiss United, which may or may not have close US ties. From there we get to be flies on the wall, immersed in the secrets and scandals that cross the globe.

The story alternates perspectives between Marina and Annabel, whose husband Matthew is missing after his plane goes down in the Swiss Alps. Matthew is a banking executive with Swiss United (can you start to see the threads?) and it’s not long before Annabel is questioning not only what happened to her husband’s plane but also if she really knew her husband. 

I was equally invested in both these smart, sophisticated, take control women and the way Alger structured the novel, with lightening paced chapters that combined phenomenal dialogue with increasing tension, was just brilliant. Seriously, I felt like I was watching a movie while reading this book, if that makes sense? It is one of the most cinematic, globe trotting novels I’ve ever read, taking us to Switzerland, Paris, London, and New York.  I could picture each place and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out how all the little threads were connected…or not. Some advice though, this is a close reading type of story where details can be missed, especially in the second half where a few more characters were introduced. I had to really pay attention so as to not feel confused. I highly recommend this intelligent, tightly plotted thriller if you’re looking for something original and fast paced. 

Many thanks to G. P. Putnam’s Sons via Netgalley for my copy

 

 

Wednesday Update: It’s Book Talk is moving, plus a Waiting on Wednesday that I’m SO excited about

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Hi all, so I know I’ve barely been back from my LONG hiatus but I’d been thinking about making some changes on the blog since last winter and I’ve decided, now’s the time. I’ve officially moved It’s Book Talk to a web host, the awesome Ashley at Nose Graze will now be hosting my blog. I wanted to let everyone know because by the end of August, if not before, my blog will no longer be in the WordPress feeds so if you follow me through WordPress and not email, you won’t be seeing my posts in your feeds. If you already follow me by email, you should continue to receive notifications when I post. If you’re unsure you can resubscribe on my new site here. For my WordPress followers, if you’d like to continue receiving my posts, here’s a link for my new site which is still under the same name, itsbooktalk.com . There’s an email sign up on the right hand side. Feel free to leave me a comment on the new site, or message me on twitter if you have questions or problems.

You may also notice that I’ve given the new site a makeover! I’m very excited to redesign the blog and start making it MUCH more user friendly and easier to navigate. I hope you’ll find it a welcome change over the next couple weeks. I’m still working behind the scenes to configure it but I’ll try my best to keep my book updates and reviews coming. I’m also going to be bringing back my Throwback Thursday so stay tuned for that post soon!

I don’t want to leave without sharing a Waiting on Wednesday that I’m SO excited to read… images

I don’t know how this book missed my radar but thanks to my friend Susie at Novel Visits       I now know that John Boyne, author of MY FAVORITE BOOK OF 2017, The Heart’s Invisible Furies (My Review) has a new book coming Nov 13th!! Mark your calendars:)

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Happy reading!! 

Bookreview: Ghosted By Rosie Walsh

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Published July 24, 2018 by Pamela Dorman Books 

Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.

Book Quote – “I wondered how it was that you could spend weeks, months – years, even – just chugging on, nothing really changing, and then, in the space of a few hours, the script of your life could be completely rewritten.”

 

*******

I feel very conflicted about this review! I was dying to read this book, not only because I feel like everyone has been ghosted at some point in their lives, but I was also really intrigued about why he ghosted her. If they were in love as we’re pretty much told right from the start that they are, did he (Eddie) get killed? Was he kidnapped? Was he really a criminal? Did he have a secret family somewhere and got cold feet? Or was she (Sarah) reading the whole thing wrong and perhaps a little off? So many questions and I was completely on board with finding out the answers.

For all the above questions, I was initially very pulled into the beginning of the story but it wasn’t long before I realized the structure wasn’t quite what I expected. We’re basically told in shorter vignettes…Day 1, Day 2…etc (interspersed with present day & letters to someone?) about how Eddie and Sarah met and the development of their insta-love. I have to say, I’m ok with insta-love BUT I need to feel invested and connected with the characters and I just didn’t with these two. For me, the short time we spend with them in each section felt forced, I didn’t believe in their connection let alone the fact they were supposed to be in love so quickly; therefore, I had a very hard time with Sarah’s complete obsession and basic meltdown when he never called.

But here’s the weird thing….I read this straight through, staying up super late to find out what happened. So on the one hand it’s compulsively readable; on the other, I also did quite a bit of skimming…of the abundance of scenery details as well as the side characters’ stories because I just really wanted to know WHAT HAPPENED TO EDDIE!! I won’t say more about whether I was satisfied with the outcome as I’m still figuring out what I think about a few of the twists the author surprised me with. Rosie Walsh is definitely a talented author who can weave interesting surprises in her story.

If your interest is piqued, I highly encourage you to not read a bunch of reviews or even any more of the blurb, just jump right in and see for yourself what you think….and then come back here or send me a message on Twitter or Instagram and let’s discuss!!

 

 

Summer Reading Update: books that have been my hits & misses lately

 

SUMMER READING UPDATE

Hi Reading Friends! I’m back with a summer update of books I consider my hits & misses these last few months. It seems my blogging hiatus lasted quite a bit longer than I expected. My reading life has been on such a roller coaster of ups, downs, and one major slump lasting over a month that I wondered if I’d ever get my reading mojo back. Good news, it’s back and I’m very excited to get back into the blogging world and catch up on all things books and reading! I do think it’s important to share that even avid readers which I consider myself to be can occasionally find themselves hitting a wall and sometimes the best thing to do is to take a step back, relax and regroup. I’m very happy to be back and sharing some of the books I’ve loved over the last few months. I’ve also got a few average reads that were either disappointing or just didn’t blow me away as well as some DNF’s (Did Not Finish). I’ve decided to make it a priority to put down any book I’m just not enjoying which is actually pretty freeing and has led me to really enjoy my reading life again.

A Few of My Must Read Books

36249638How To Walk Away

Published May 15th by St. Martin’s Press

I wish I could break my rating up for the first 85% of the book…5 stars…and the last 15% 3.5 stars because I really enjoyed almost the whole story. Almost. This love story that starts with a plane crash had me completely engrossed until the last 15% which I felt completely left the rails. Maggie and Ian, the main characters, did some things I just can’t believe based on what we already knew about them and I spent the majority of my time eye rolling and wishing the author wouldn’t have taken that path. If that last part would’ve played out differently this would’ve been a 5 star read for me. But, I do still recommend it and a final positive thought, I’m so glad we got an epilogue.

 

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Summer Wives

Published July 10th By William Morrow

I really enjoyed this book! Told in alternating time periods between 2 women, I really feel that Beatriz Williams is one of the few authors who can pull this type of narrative off SO well. I loved the setting…a little island…and how she was able to evoke the details of time and place so that I felt I was there, sipping one of MANY cocktails with the characters in the story. I thought she weaved a fantastic story and although I may have had a tiny issue with an event at the end, it wasn’t enough to influence my enjoyment of the way the story unfolded. Definitely a summer must read that I highly recommend! 

 

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Tiger Woods

Published March 27th By Simon & Schuster

Hear me out on this one! This was SO much better than I expected. In fact, I couldn’t put it down which believe me was a total surprise to me. I’m not a huge golf fan but my husband and son play. I’ve seen Tiger play in person and I’m familiar with many of the other players on Tour which did help with my enjoyment.  I’ve never actually been all that interested in Tiger as a person but as a parent and someone who’s always loved to study human behavior, I was very interested in how he rose and fell so greatly. The authors did not disappoint, providing a riveting, well balanced, often depressing, yet fascinating, look at the creation of Tiger Woods the golfer which eclipsed Tiger Woods the person by leaps and bounds. There were many juicy details I’d never heard before and the writing and narrative was extremely well paced. I listened to about half on audio and it was also fantastic. An unlikely summer must read in my opinion!!

 

36315374Jar of Hearts

Published June 12th by Minotaur Books

Murder, drama, revenge…yes please. I loved this book! I read this in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed myself. This was the perfect read to get me out of my month long reading slump. Bizarre, crazy and with enough turns to keep me guessing the entire time. There’s mystery, suspense and some fantastic writing to be found here. This book saved my summer reading and was just SO good!

My Disappointing Reads

You might be surprised to see these popular bestsellers on my list of disappointments and actually I am too because they were all on my highly anticipated list. I’m convinced, however, that these big hitters led to my reading slump. The Outsider , at almost 600 pages, was a huge investment of time and while I absolutely loved the first half of the book, the second completely fell apart for me. Also, I felt like this could’ve had about 200 pages cut and the story would’ve been better for it. Us Against You ended up being just ok for me. I thought it lacked the tension, drama and suspense of Beartown (My Review) and felt bogged down by the political aspects of the story. The Perfect Couple seemed like it would be the perfect beach read, especially since it involved a mystery but overall it didn’t work for me. While I loved the setting and her writing which is always fast paced, the story itself didn’t wow me and I thought there were many holes in the plot of the mystery.

My Summer DNF’s (Did Not Finish) 

Visible EmpireAll We Ever WantedThe Kiss Quotient, and Little Disasters are some of my surprising DNF’s because based on the blurbs and early reviews, I thought I’d really like all of these. Whether it was the narrative structure (Visible Empire & Little Disasters) or the story (All We Ever Wanted & The Kiss Quotient), I couldn’t get into these books and happily made the choice to put them down. The only one I feel like I might give another try to at some point is All We Ever Wanted because I do love Emily Giffin’s writing and most of her past books.

So that’s it for now, I do have some other must reads I’ll share with you soon but in the meantime, I’d love to hear which books have made YOUR summer hits & misses lists so feel free to leave a comment below.   Have a great reading week everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL YOUR PERFECTS By Colleen Hoover: REVIEW

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Published July 17th by Atria Books

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people

*****

Hi Everyone, I know it’s been awhile and I’ll be back soon with a summer update on what I’ve been reading but for now I wanted to share my review for this fantastic new release by one of my new favorite authors…

Back in April I had gushed about Colleen Hoover’s books and I have to say, I still feel that there’s something so quietly addictive to the way she tells a story. You just know you’re going to become immersed in the character’s lives and for better or worse she’s going to put those characters through the ringer and perhaps break your heart in the process. All Your Perfects is no exception. In it, she takes a long, intricate look at marriage and what happens when people and circumstances change over the course of time. We meet Quinn and Graham who’re brought together in the unlikeliest of circumstances when their lives just so happen to take unexpected turns at the same time. Fate seems to have intervened for them and we get to watch their story unfold with a Then and Now narrative. I’m not always a fan of this type of back and forth narrative but in Hoover’s hands it works and it works well. I actually think this style of narrative works so well for this particular story because we get to see how their love began (Then) along with how it’s falling apart (Now) and this created so much emotional suspense for me that I had to keep turning the pages to see how it all turned out.

Hoover tackles some serious subjects in this story…infertility, infidelity, the evolution of love, sex…all within a marriage that at times seems on the brink of destruction with two people so often in despair. It was compelling storytelling to say the least. What I also found so fascinating was Hoover’s ability to create characters who could at times be so frustrating while also pulling at your heartstrings. Needless to say, I read this in one sitting and I won’t be giving away any plot details because what I’ve discovered about reading Colleen Hoover’s books is half the fun is going into her stories blind. You know you’re going to be surprised in some way and she certainly doesn’t disappoint with this new novel. I still feel like It Ends With Us is my favorite of those I’ve read by her but this is definitely right up there with it. 

Many thanks to Atria Books via Netgalley for my copy