The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker: Book Review

 

The Dreamers  by Karen Thompson Walker
Published Jan 15, 2019 by Random House
320 Pages
Affiliate linkBuy on Amazon 

From Publisher: In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

My Thoughts: In an effort to read a little more widely and outside of my mystery/thriller/romance genres, I decided to give this book a try based on the many positive reviews from blogging friends and on Goodreads. I’ve enjoyed science fiction in the past (Dark Matter) but I’m more unsure about dystopian stories. Overall, I liked this one for reasons I wasn’t anticipating when I began.

The premise of the story was fascinating and pulled me in right away. What was this mysterious phenomenon where people were falling into a deep sleep and not waking? How is it spreading? How can it be prevented if at all? So many questions are examined through the lens of wonderful storytelling. The author doesn’t use any gimmicks with this story; rather, she tells it in such a way that I was drawn into not only the characters but the writing itself. There are many characters and the chapters  alternate between several over the span of the book. I had no trouble keeping the characters straight and of course had my favorites…Sara and Libby and Nathanial are at the top of my list.

Along with excellent characterization, I really enjoyed the entire aspect of dreams which came as a surprise to me. The author delves into the intricacies of dreaming, and ties it into the story in ways that hint to an almost alternate reality for many of the characters. It really made me think about those dreams that FEEL SO REAL and how when we’re in the midst of those dreams they ARE real to us. It’s fascinating to me and I thoroughly enjoyed how the author weaved this concept into the story.

There were a few things, however, that didn’t work for me. With so many characters, I became less invested in a few of them and found myself rushing to get back to those I really cared about. Also, somewhere around the 60% mark I found myself getting impatient with the story and wanting things to happen, to move faster. I may have even done a little skimming. As for the ending, I found it a little anti-climatic as others have mentioned but I felt that the author did give us as many answers as  possible for the story. I wasn’t blown away by how it ended but I was satisfied.

Have you read this or want to? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments 

Thanks to Random House via Netgalley for my copy

 

Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2019

 

Happy Monday everyone! Are you as excited as I am about the crop of books coming this winter? SO many sound amazing, actually too many for me to include in this post but I had fun picking out my MOST anticipated.  I think I’ve got a variety so hopefully some are also on your lists or you’ll find some new ones to add to your TBR’s. If you have time, feel free to share your thoughts on my choices as well as YOUR most anticipated upcoming book(s) in the comments below

 

JANUARY

Out of the Dark  (Jan 29) When darkness closes in―he’s your last, best hope. Evan Smoak returns in Gregg Hurwitz’s #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.
**This is the 4th book in the Orphan X series by Greg Hurwitz and from early reviews, apparently his best yet. This series is well written and action packed with a main character you can really root for. I recommend reading the books in order, starting with Orphan X

Here and Now and Then  (Jan 29) A uniquely emotional genre-bending debut, this book captures the perfect balance of heart, playfulness, and imagination, offering an intimate glimpse into the crevices of a father’s heart, and its capacity to stretch across both space and time to protect the people that mean the most.
**I love books with time travel elements and when I see emotional and genre bending added to the mix I’m all in

99 Percent Mine (Jan 29) Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend.
**I loved The Hating Game and feel confident that this new romantic comedy with its seemingly star-crossed lovers will be right up my alley

 

FEBRUARY

The Winter Sister (Feb 5) In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.
**Another debut that sounds intriguing. I love unsolved murders and early Instagram reviews are very positive for this one

The Unwinding of the Miracle  (Feb 5) A rare and inspiring memoir by a young mother with Stage IV metastatic cancer that challenges the pieties with which we usually write and talk about death, and serves as a guide not just through the ordeal of disease, but through the universal experience of struggle.
**I”m always on the look out for thought provoking nonfiction along the lines of past favorites like The Bright Hour  and When Breath Becomes Air  (yes, both serious tearjerkers) and this memoir sounds just as good

The Lost Man (Feb 5) Two brothers meet at the border of their vast cattle properties under the unrelenting sun of outback Queensland but only one returns
**
I loved Harper’s first book, The Dry but didn’t care for her second novel Force of Nature so I’m looking forward to finding out where I fall with her new one. This is a standalone which I like and the mystery seems to be more on the lines of The Dry

The Last Romantics  (Feb 5) A sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family. An unforgettable exploration of the ties that bind us together, the responsibilities we embrace and the duties we resent, and how we can lose—and sometimes rescue—the ones we love
**I love stories described as sweeping and epic so those buzzwords caught my eye right away. This is a book about 4 siblings and I really enjoy those types of family stories

American Spy (Feb 12) What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love? One woman struggles to choose between her honor and her heart in this enthralling espionage drama set against an unforgettable historical backdrop.
**I love every part of what this book is about…part spy thriller, part heartbreaking family drama, part passionate romance…inspired by true events! Yes please!!

MARCH 

When All is Said  (March 5) If you had to pick five people to sum up your life, who would they be? If you were to raise a glass to each of them, what would you say? And what would you learn about yourself, when all is said and done?
**I think the success of this story, for me, will hinge on the main character Maurice. I really hope I connect with him as he spends an evening alone at a bar, toasting to 5 people in his life who left him behind

The Mastermind  (March 5) The incredible true story of the decade-long quest to bring down Paul Le Roux—the creator of a frighteningly powerful Internet-enabled cartel who merged the ruthlessness of a drug lord with the technological savvy of a Silicon Valley entrepreneur
**I LOVE thrilling true crime and this sounds like it will be suspenseful yet fascinating. Am I the only one who has never heard of an internet cartel? If the writing holds up, I predict I’m going to love this one!

Before She Knew Him (March 5) Catching a killer is dangerous—especially if he lives next door. An exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .
**I loved The Kind Worth Killing  and have been waiting on Swanson to write something similar to that one and this sounds like it could be just as chilling and creepy. I always enjoy some suburban chaos and maybe a little murder thrown in for good suspense!

Grace After Henry (March 12) Grace sees her boyfriend Henry everywhere. In the supermarket, on the street, at the graveyard. Only Henry is dead. He died two months earlier, leaving a huge hole in Grace’s life and in her heart. But then Henry turns up to fix the boiler one evening, and Grace can’t decide if she’s hallucinating or has suddenly developed psychic powers. Grace isn’t going mad – the man in front of her is not Henry at all, but someone else who looks uncannily like him.
**I’m very curious about this love story…will it be sad or humorous? More rom-commish?  I don’t know but I’m looking forward to finding out. I’m feeling like suspension of disbelief might be needed but I’m ok with that if I connect with the story and characters…we”ll see.

I hope I’ve expanded your TBR’s! An added note if you’re interested, I will be randomly posting other books I’m excited about throughout the winter in my Instagram Stories which you can access here as well as on my Twitter (here) and Goodreads (here

Happy Reading!

 

5 On Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

 

**Click on purple for links**

Summer Thriller Hyped By Bustle That I’ve Added to the Top of My Summer Must Read List 
The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone  I love the sound of this missing children/coming-of-age thriller. Set in Australia, it involves the disappearance of 3 sisters at the same time. Intriguing. Releases June 25 by Algonquin

Article I Found Interesting
Can Reading Make You Happier? I think most of us book people know the answer to this but I really enjoyed reading the scientific evidence for bibliotherapy

Some Fun 2019 Book Preview Lists I Came Across  
10 Debut Books to Watch for in 2019 , Books Being Made Into Movies in 2019 , 10 of the Most Anticipated 2019 Books by Female AuthorsThe Real Book Spy’s Every Thriller We Know About So FarThe Millions: the great first-half 2019 book previewHello Giggle’s 50 most anticipated books of 2019

A Small but Great Invention I’m Loving
Every Drop Lip Spatula  This is exactly what it sounds like, a little rubber spatula on a longish wand to scrape the bottom of all those bottles, tubes, and containers our fingers can’t reach. This is genius. I also bought the larger version called Beauty Spatula for bigger bottles like shampoos etc. I’ve linked with Amazon but I got mine at The Container Store where they’re actually cheaper! 

Tea I’m Loving This Week
Fireside Mocha from David’s Tea I love coffee in the mornings but in the afternoons I go for tea. I’m usually an Earl Gray or English Breakfast drinker but I got a Christmas gift from a friend with an awesome mug and tea diffuser from David’s Tea, along with a holiday tin of loose leaf teas. The are YUMMY! Fireside Mocha is my favorite so far and I made a run this week to my local David’s Tea to stock up while it’s on sale. It’s seasonal apparently and will vanish until next year. Boo! If you have favorite tea suggestions, leave them in the comments!

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen: Book Review

An Anonymous Girl  by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Published: January 8, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
384 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon 

From Publisher: When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.  Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

My Thoughts: I’ll admit, every now and then I really let myself get swayed by all the hype surrounding a book as was the case with this one. It’s everywhere.  Going against my instincts and the fact that I don’t really enjoy psychological thrillers, I decided to give this a try. The verdict: I’m glad I read it so I don’t have to wonder if I’m missing out BUT my instincts were correct – this wasn’t the book for me.

The blurb tells you all you need to know about how Jessica gets involved with Dr Lydia Shields. From the get go, I wasn’t really into the psychological study aspect. I found it strange and unbelievable. I have no problem suspending my disbelief, but for me, this entire plot was just TOO unbelievable. Maybe it’s because I have a background in psychology but the Dr’s in this book were so far out of the realm of realistic, I just couldn’t be on board with most of the plot.

As for Jessica, I would say she was the most developed character but I would’ve liked more character development with everyone overall. Around the 50% mark I started to enjoy the cat & mouse that developed when Jessica finally started to take matters into her own hands and stopped being so passive when it came to Dr Shields and another character. The story is told through alternating perspectives of Jessica and Dr Shields; however, Dr Shields speaks in the second person for her sections – as if she’s talking directly to Jessica – I wasn’t crazy about this technique.   This very much boiled down to a story of  manipulations, lies upon lies, and who’s really the dangerous one. For me, I found it to be too drawn out (I skimmed here and there) and ultimately predictable.  However, the very reasons this wasn’t for me are the reasons so many are loving this (especially if you love psychological thrillers), so I highly encourage you to head to Goodreads and check out some of the many 5 star reviews for an alternate opinion.

Thanks To St Martin’s Press via Netgalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review

 

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

Some of My Favorite 2018 Best Books Lists by Fellow Bloggers & Instagrammers…your TBRs are about to get longer:)
NovelVisitsTheMisstery TBRetc RunningNReadingSarahsBookshelves Spivey’s Picks by Ashley Spivey(IG) , GilmoreGuidetoBooks NovelGossip BuzzedAboutBooks(IG), Jordys.book.club (IG), MindJoggle, Keeperofpages ItsEitherSadnessorEuphoria AnnieBJones, The Real Book SpyCrime By the Book

Easy All Natural Snack I’m Loving
No Bake Peanut Butter Power Balls I was looking for a healthy, quick yet filling snack to have before or after a workout that includes chocolate and these peanut butter power balls are so good. They’re also quick and easy to make

Movie I’ve Loved Recently
The Mule  starring Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. Bradley Cooper can do no movie making wrong in my book. Clint Eastwood is the focus of this slow burn thriller, however, and I thought the whole thing just worked. There’s plenty of dark humor, suspense, and bad guys to go around. Could I have done without a couple scenes involving Eastwood & MUCH younger women….ummm yes, otherwise I have no complaints. Highly enjoyable!

Recent Sample I Got at Sephora That I’m Liking So Much I Might Purchase the Full Size 
Tatcha Eye Illuminating Treatment  You may recall that I recently posted about my favorite eye creme (Algenist Eye Renewal Balm)  which I love but doesn’t do as much for dark circles. I recently got a sample of this Tatcha eye treatment which I use after the eye balm and I LOVE it. It’s light and isn’t drying like I find many concealers to be. Plus the sample has lasted a few weeks so a little goes a long way.

Podcast I’m Loving
SarahsBookshelvesLive with Sarah Dickenson. You guys know I love podcasts and I’ve been so excited that fellow blogger and friend Sarah is starting her own. It debuted on Jan 2 and you can find it on iTunes or go to Sarah’s blog SarahsBookshelves for details and links about where to listen. I love the format and I think you will too!

 

Are any of these also on your favorites list? 

Have a Great Weekend!

2 Backlist Bingeworthy Books for Your 2019 TBR’s

The Idea of You  by Robinne Lee
Published: June 13, 2017 By St Martin’s Griffin
368 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon 

From Publisher: Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things

 

My Thoughts: Ok, so I read this blurb when the book first came out and I was seeing it everywhere and I thought it wasn’t for me because of the large age difference. Earlier this week, however, I saw this on someone’s Instagram top 2018 books of the year post and decided to take a closer look after reading that she had had the same reservations but then loved it. Well, this effectively busted me out of my DNF pattern and I read it in one day! This story was such a fun surprise. There’s some serious globetrotting travel going on which I loved as well as a high level of cultural detail into the art world as the main character Solene owns her own gallery. I found her to be very likable although she made some  questionable parenting decisions along the way. I also really liked Hayes who was levels above his age, maturity wise.

There are SO many themes explored in this book….love of course, ageism, sexism, the downside of fame, our society’s obsession with celebrities, women & aging, double standards, etc. I think this would make a great book club pick because there’s quite a lot to discuss but know that the romance is often quite steamy and explicit so…know your book club is what I’m saying. I’m dying to discuss this – especially that ending which I’m still thinking about days later –  so if you’ve read it and want to chat send me an email or DM me on Twitter or Instagram. Ultimately, I loved this and found it to be a smart, sophisticated love story. Bingeworthy indeed!

 

 

Forever is the Worst Long Time  by Camille Pagan
Published: Feb 7, 2017 by Lake Union
284 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon 

From Publisher: When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.

My Thoughts: My 2019 has started with a bang with this couldn’t-put-it-down story. One of my favorite storylines is a love triangle so right off the bat I had high hopes for this book. The story is narrated by James from a time in the future which I thought was a perfect way to not only get to know (and like) him but to also get to know Lou and Rob through his eyes. James and Rob had been friends since they were kids and I loved how Pagan incorporated the sentimentality of that type of friendship along with growing up in a small town. If you’re James, what do you DO when you’ve fallen in love with your best friend’s fiancé?

What I especially loved about the way Pagan told the story is that everyone felt like real people making what often ended up being stupid decisions. They were flawed in just the right ways that what they did or didn’t do made sense even if I didn’t agree with them.  I have to say, throughout the story, I had no idea what was going to happen with these characters because twists happened early on.  Plus, it takes place over a time period of about 18 years so we really get involved and invested in the drama of their lives. And the drama was good! And perfectly paced. In the end, things happened I never anticipated and there may have been crying on my part. Seriously, I wasn’t prepared for how emotional this story ended up being and I loved every bit of this surprising one sit read! This is my first book by this author but it definitely won’t be my last.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this or want to!

Monday Reading Update & Feedback Please!

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! I can’t believe 2018 is almost over. Has anyone else been super busy this holiday season? I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been traveling but I haven’t, just a lot of busyness after Christmas. I feel like I’m finally slowing down but yes, my reading has suffered. I’ve read 1 book over the past 2 weeks and I’m starting to get frustrated by not having a book to look forward to reading at the end of the day. I’ve picked up so many books over the last few days and haven’t been able to get into ANY!  I’m sure I’m not alone in that feeling that happens when you can’t get into anything…like oh no, I’m never going to find another book I love! Irrational I know but I start to feel like that. This is also the curse of being a mood reader; I’m only in the mood for certain types of reads lately, namely thrillers or quality romance. P.S. Before I came back to finish writing this post I started a book …read on to find out what has FINALLY got my attention.

That being said I’ve also been thinking about blog postings for the new year and would love your quick feedback in the comment section. What would you like to see more of on the blog…book lists, Monday Updates, Top Ten Tuesdays, Throwback Thursdays, more reviews, mini reviews, discussions, etc? I’d really like to hear what you’d like to read more (or less) of on the blog. I’m trying to come up with a more consistent posting schedule so please share any thoughts you have. I’m looking forward to talking books with you in 2019…

RECENTLY READ…

 

The Sandman  by Lars Kepler
Published: March 6, 2018 by Knopf
464 pages

My Thoughts: This was a fantastic, creepy thriller that also had a good mystery to it. I jumped right into the series with this book (book 4) and didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I love the main character, Joona, and the Scandi setting is perfect for a winter read. Plus, book 5, Stalker is coming out in Feb. If you love intelligent, plot driven thrillers give this a try

 

 

 

TRIED BUT COULDN’T GET INTO…

Scrublands  publishes in January and was a book I was really looking forward to. The marketing blurb said it was The Dry meets Before the Fall but while it was set in Australia like The Dry that’s where the similarities ended for me. I gave this one 40% but found it to be very repetitive and to have way too much going on. The Paragon Hotel  is another January release that sounded right up my alley. Set in the era of Prohibition there’s a single woman with a gun shot wound running from someone on a train bound for Oregon. The blurb says a good mystery involving a missing child comes up but I didn’t get past 10%. The writing and dialogue felt stilted to me and by 10% I had to admit I had no idea who was who or what was going on. If trusted reading friends love it I may give it another try. The premise ( a Serial like documentary with a convicted murderer) and introduction of Don’t Believe It intrigued me and I think I’ll revisit this one another time, it just wasn’t compelling enough to hold my interest right now (DNF 15%). I’ve had She Rides Shotgun  on my TBR for so long. It won the Edgar award for best debut novel which usually is a surefire sign I’ll like a book but while I know the dad in the story was an outlaw and “bad” person, I just found him annoying and didn’t care about the little girl. This is one instance I think if the author would’ve allowed me to get to know either of them before diving right into the action I might’ve been connected enough with at least the little girl to keep going (DNF 8%).

CURRENTLY READING…(as of about 2 hours ago)

Forever is the Worst Long Time  was on my radar in the past but I forgot about it unfortunately. When I saw it on an Instagram favorite books of 2018 post today I immediately downloaded a sample, loved it and promptly bought it! So far it’s reminding me of One Day in December  (My Review) with what seems like an interesting love triangle developing. I’m loving the dialogue and pace, so far so good which makes me really happy.

What have you been reading & loving lately? I’d love to know and don’t forget, if you have an extra minute, leave me a comment letting me know what you’d like to see more of on the blog for 2019! 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

 

 

 

 

Best Books of 2018

I hope you all had a relaxing Christmas if you celebrated it and got in lots of reading! I didn’t get quite as much in as I’d like but I hope to get more done this weekend. It’s that time of year again when the best of lists are hitting the online waves. I love reading everyone’s top books of the year and comparing how much I do (or don’t) line up with everyone’s picks. I tend to not have anything in common with the book critics’ lists and usually much more in common with other bloggers. This year I’ve noticed I’ve strayed down my own path much more than usual, having only 1 or 2 books in common with my favorite bloggers. That’s what makes sharing books so fun, we all have a wide variety of reading tastes! This year wasn’t a great reading year for me, I had a TON of 3 star reads and DNF’s as well. Coming up with this list was easy because not many books stood out to me as stellar reads that I keep recommending to others. That being said, I don’t limit my choices to books published only in 2018 as you’ll soon see, they just have to be books I’ve read in 2018.  So grab some coffee, tea, or wine and check out my favorite books of the year, I hope you’ll find something you agree with or want to add to your own TBR pile.

 

 

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance  By Ruth Emmie Lang

Why I Loved It
*The Main Character Weylan Gray
*It took me out of my mystery/thriller comfort zone
*Spans years
*A charming story, excellent writing, and a little bit of magic and animals
(My Review)

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark  By Michelle McNamara

Why I Loved It
*I love a well written true crime story
*The way she writes is so realistic, my heart was racing while reading
*The story is terrifying and creepy
*It’s a true good vs evil story

(My Review ) 

 

 

 

 

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Why I Loved It
*Addictive writing
*Characters that feel like real people in good ways and bad
*A storyline that makes you wonder what you would do
*One of my favorite tropes…a love triangle

 

 

 

 

 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Why I Loved It
*It’s Part Mystery, Part Love Story
*Atmospheric nature writing at its best
*Coming of age story
*A flawless second ending with an ending that wowed me

(My Review

 

 

 

 

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Why I Loved It
*Murder mystery
*A did they/didn’t they & why plot
*Fast Paced
*Plenty of twists, turns and an ending I didn’t see coming

 

 

 

 

 

The Dream Daughter  by Diane Chamberlain

Why I Loved It
*Time Travel
*A main character you can root for
*Explores the 1970s and 2000s
*Filled with suspense and tension
*A tearjerker

(My Review )

 

 

 

 

November Road  By Lou Berney

Why I Loved It
*Set in 1960s during time of Kennedy Assassination
*The thrill & suspense of a cat & mouse chase
*Very flawed yet likable characters
*Explores theme of redemption
*Has a love story

(My Review)

 

 

 

 

One Day in December  by Josie Silver

Why I Loved It
*Star crossed lovers
*Female friendship
*Set over a decade
*London setting
*All the emotions

(My Review)

 

 

 

 

The Wife  by Alafair Burke

Why I Loved It
*Subtle suspense that builds
*Unreliable characters done right
* Mystery element
*That ending

 

 

 

 

And My Top Book of the Year……

 

 

I Am Pilgrim By Terry Hayes

Why I Loved It
*Globetrotting spy thriller
*Outstanding character development
*Murder mystery
*Spies, Espionage, More Spies
*One of my favorite main characters of this year
*Suspense, drama, intrigue, thrills: this one had it all right up till the end!

 

 

So that’s it, another year of books has come and gone. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my top reads, have you read any of these or want to? I’m looking forward to sharing my book thoughts with you in 2019 which I have to say is looking like it will be a stellar publishing year, I’ve already added tons of books to my wish list. I hope to have my Winter Reading Preview up for you all soon!  

5 on Friday: 5 Things I’m Loving Lately

Welcome to 5 on Friday, a little list of things I’m enjoying lately.  I got this idea from Tim Ferris who sends out his 5 Bullet Friday posts to all his email subscribers and Laura Tremaine’s Secret Posts. If you’re interested you can check out Tim’s website at Tim.blog and Laura’s at 10thingstotellyou.com . I thought it would be fun to do a short and simple posts of things I’m enjoying lately. Every week you’ll find different content…could be books I’m reading, movies, tv, recipes, quotes, articles, household items etc….anything I’m enjoying to pass along in the hope that you might also find something you’d like.

Movie I Loved 
Green Book  Both my husband and I gave this movie a big thumbs up. In fact, it’s probably one of my favorites of the year (side note: nothing will top A Star Is Born this year). I wasn’t all that sure what to expect so it really exceeded my expectations. And it’s based on a true story which always adds a little something extra

App I’m Using A Ton
Anylist  available for free from Apple. If you’ve been reading these posts, you might remember that I talked about an article that touted the value of making lists which I love to do (past post here). The problem I run into is that I write what I need from the store on post its and then leave the house and forget them. This app has completely solved that problem, it’s quick, keeps everything stored so I don’t have to rewrite things and sorts the items by categories at the grocery. I love when something small makes such a big difference!

Book I Ordered for Myself for Christmas 
The 52 Lists Project  : A Year of Weekly Journaling Inspiration by Moorea Seal. Keeping on topic, as I just mentioned, I love making lists and I’m really curious about what type of list’s projects are in this book. I thought it would be fun to incorporate more list type posts on the blog in 2019.

Eye Creme I’m Loving 
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm  So I’ve tried a gazillion eye cremes over the years and as I’m getting older, dark circles, fine lines and puffiness have become my biggest issues. It’s hard to find an eye creme that tackles all 3 AND actually works…until now! I went through 2 or 3 Sephora samples of this before deciding that yes I liked it and I wanted to buy the full  size. It took about 6 weeks of daily use twice a day but I notice a huge difference in the lessening of the fine lines and puffiness, the dark circles not as much but they’re a little better. Come back next week for the product I’m using to tackle the dark circles:) P.S I’m not an affiliate for Algenist ( I wish) I just love their products. P.S.S This line is vegan and cruelty free which is an added bonus 

Quote I Enjoyed
Either Write Something Worth Reading or Do Something Worth Writing. Ben Franklin.

I’d love your thoughts on any of my favorites this week!

Have a Great Weekend 

Verity by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

Verity  By Colleen Hoover
Publication: Dec 7, 2018
250 Pages
Affiliate Link Buy On Amazon

Short Summary : Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. However, it’s not long before Lowen realizes things with the Crawfords aren’t as they seem…in more ways than one.

My Thoughts: You may remember that this year I’ve jumped on the CoHo fan train (better late than never, right?) and have loved many of her books….Ugly Love, It Ends with Us, and All Your Perfects being my favorites. Verity is a totally different type of read and I’m so impressed with Hoover for taking a leap outside of her normal genre and writing something so psychologically dark and suspenseful. And bravo for such an impactful opening scene. Try putting the book down after that harrowing, slightly gruesome opening scene…I know I couldn’t.

We are first introduced to Lowen, getting a feel for her and her life which includes a recently deceased mother, an upcoming eviction, and a loss for where to go next in her writing career. Enter handsome, somewhat sorrowful Jeremy Crawford who, along with his wife’s publishing team, gives Lowen an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up – finish writing his wife’s (the bestselling novelist Verity Crawford) remaining books in her popular series. She accepts and when she begins researching the series and getting to know the family better, things begin to feel off kilter and just wrong in so many ways. Cue the tension and suspense that Hoover manifests throughout the story.

That’s all I want to say on the plot because I loved not knowing anything about it. The tension in the Crawford house felt palpable to me and when Hoover introduced a book within a book subplot I knew I was in for a late night of reading. It’s not often that plot device works for me but in this story it was brilliant. I zoomed through this book, all the while not really sure I knew who to trust, who was mentally off, or who was just outright lying.  I thought I did, but my feelings changed throughout which I loved. My only critique is that I felt the ending was too abrupt. It felt very rushed to me. Overall, I really enjoyed this and hope this isn’t the last we see of Colleen Hoover’s foray into romantic suspense.

Have you read this or plan to?