Review: Little Fires Everywhere

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4/5 stars from me!  I was really hoping this would be my first 5 star read of 2018 but it just didn’t get there from me, I think I set my hopes too high based on how many recommended this book to me.  That being said, I really did enjoy this read.  Part neighborhood drama, part time capsule; Celeste Ng managed to delicately weave in generations of stories for multiple characters and perfectly preserve and capture life in 90’s America.  I loved that this book was really an examination of how one person’s choices can affect another’s and how so many people are a sum of their history and past experiences that we will never fully understand, the best we can do is try to be compassionate.  I have learned to truly appreciate a book that can remind me to practice empathy and consider where other’s may be coming from while interacting in my own world.  Little Fires Everywhere was captivating, relatable and well-written.  I’d recommend picking this one up if you’re in a reading slump or need a fairly easy read that still has some substance!

Continue reading Review: Little Fires Everywhere

January Reading Wrap-Up

Lilian BoxfishLilian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney:

3/5 Stars.  Lilian Boxfish was the perfect NYE companion for me this year. While this book truly felt like a stroll more than a walk, Lilian is a character I won’t soon forget and plan to channel within myself from time to time. This book is reflective in all the right ways for the new year and a great taste of a city we will never quite be able to go visit as it doesn’t really exist any longer. This book was like a nice cup of coffee with a friend, not particularly exciting or life changing, but necessary and refreshing nonetheless.

Into the Black Nowhere

Into the Black Nowhere, by Meg Gardiner

4/5 Stars WOW! Suspenseful, terrifying and hard to put down: Into the Black Nowhere is a heart thumping standalone thriller on its own and a fantastic sequel to Unsub.  I couldn’t get through this one fast enough!  I devoured Unsub and eagerly awaited it’s follow up in Into the Black Nowhere, sure that my high hopes could only lead to disappointment and boy was I wrong! Into the Black Nowhere is the perfect serial killer guilty pleasure read for anyone who loves a good murder (that’s me!).  Read my full review here.

Brutal Telling

The Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny

4/5 Stars. Another month, another Penny with the #pennypushers! We return to Three Pines in The Brutal Telling and for quite the emotional roller coaster! I was so glad to be back with all of our old favorites – Ruth, Myrna, Olivier and Gabri! This story centers around Olivier and the Bistro more than others and our loyalty and allegiance is called in to question when Olivier becomes the center of the investigation of what appears to be a selfish murder motive. I won’t post any spoilers, but I will say that this was the first book of this series that really rocked me and I can’t wait to dive in to the next book in the series. Penny went dark on this one, and it was thrilling to go there with her!

Girl UnknownGirl Unknown, by Karen Perry

4/5 ⭐ from me! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one: equal parts family drama and psychological suspense, this beautiful domestic noir takes us on a tour of what may or may not be the ruins of a marriage and the events leading up to a life changing night for the Connolly’s.  Both Caroline and David are written purely and thoroughly with different takes on Zoe, the newly found long lost daughter of David, and her intentions for their family.  What this novel lacked in shock and awe it made up for in insight and tension.  I plan on picking up more Karen Perry novels soon!  Read my full review here.

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

4 1/2 stars . This book doesn’t need me to say it is amazing, I was late to the party on this one, but I’ll say it anyways: The Hate U Give was intense, engaging and last but not least important. I started this book on a Friday night planning to read it over the weekend and didn’t put it down – finished it in one night! YA isn’t my preferred genre but this is so much more than a fictitious look in to the current events of a generation; it is eye-opening, gut-wrenching, heartbreaking and motivating and it should be (if it isn’t already) on high school required reading lists.

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How to Behave in a Crowd, by Camille Bordas

2/5 Stars. How To Behave in a Crowd is beautifully written and told through the eyes of 11 year old Isidore (Dory) Mazal. Set in a small French town, we observe a story of grief coupled with a coming of age experience and all through the eyes of a boy attempting to adjust to it all. I got about 120 pages in and I just don’t think the dealing-with-adult-issues-through-the-eyes-of-a-child thing is my cup of tea, what I didn’t like the most is that most of the observations we get from Dory are about his family, all of whom are downright unlikeable. The jacket synopsis describes a “comedic build toward a heartbreaking conclusion” and maybe this book picks up, but it didn’t seem to be going anywhere to me. 2/5 ⭐️ from me, and the 2 ⭐️ are for how well Isidore was written and how utterly insightful yet realistic author Camille Bordas managed to make him.

ADSOM

A Darker Shade of Magic, by V. E. Schwab

3.5 ⭐️ /5 from me! Fantasy isn’t really my thing in general, but A Darker Shade of Magic was a classic good vs. evil story: magic, black magic, multiple Londons, a pick pocketing wannabe pirate and a time traveling (kind of) prince… I’m still trying to wrap my head around some of this book and this whole universe I was just introduced to. This was an exercise for my imagination to say the least and for that reason I’m really glad I stepped out of my comfort zone here, but I think overall it was just a little too out there for me to rate any higher. Maybe it’s just my lazy imagination but I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the next book in this series but I can safely say that if there were a screen adaptation this would be on my list because I still can’t picture everything I just read, but I want to! If you love fantasy and you haven’t read this book yet you should probably check it out.

TalkingTalking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham

4/5 Stars from the Gilmore Girl in me.  Perfect for any Gilmore Girls fan: the audio version of this book features Lauren Graham’s narration and is a great way to travel back to Stars Hollow just one more time!

Lauren is the epitome of our beloved Lorelei, and while we get some great insight in to how she earned her stripes and paid her dues in Hollywood and beyond the true gift of this book was finding out that GG meant as much to Lauren and we would hope that it would and that the show was as special as Stars Hollow always seemed to its fans.

You get to watch the CW series right along with Lauren (for the first time 🤔); you revisit plot lines, fashion trends and crazy scenes with Lauren in your ear and then mourn the lack of closure we all felt at the show’s end. As we find our way back to Stars Hollow along with Lorelei for A Year In the Life, the netflix season, you’ll learn to truly appreciate how serendipitous the revival actually was which will probably make you love it that much more.

Whether you are Gilmore Girl for life or the show just held a special place in your heart for a small time you will probably love this as a companion and trip down memory lane. I highly recommend the audio version since we all know it isn’t about the lines, it’s how they were delivered! If you don’t like Gilmore Girls or don’t know what I’m talking about you will probably not like this book at all = not for you.

Thank you to Lauren Graham for letting me continue to live in a world where there is still hope for a re-revival ☺️ Oy with the poodles already!

Review: Girl Unknown

Girl Unknown

4/5 ⭐️ from me! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one: equal parts family drama and psychological suspense, this beautiful domestic noir takes us on a tour of what may or may not be the ruins of a marriage and the events leading up to a life changing night for the Connolly’s.  Both Caroline and David are written purely and thoroughly with different takes on Zoe, the newly found long lost daughter of David, and her intentions for their family.  What this novel lacked in shock and awe it made up for in insight and tension.  I plan on picking up more Karen Perry novels soon!

Continue reading Review: Girl Unknown

Review: Into the Black Nowhere

Into the Black Nowhere

WOW! Suspenseful, terrifying and hard to put down: Into the Black Nowhere is a heart thumping standalone thriller on its own and a fantastic sequel to Unsub.  I couldn’t get through this one fast enough!  I devoured Unsub and eagerly awaited it’s follow up in Into the Black Nowhere, sure that my high hopes could only lead to disappointment and boy was I wrong! Into the Black Nowhere is the perfect serial killer guilty pleasure read for anyone who loves a good murder (that’s me!). Continue reading Review: Into the Black Nowhere

Review: The Heart’s Invisible Furies

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My Rating: 5/5 – There are very few characters that you really become attached to and feel like you’ve witnessed grow up in front of your very eyes.  Those characters stick with you like childhood friends; you think of them from time to time, things that happen in your everyday life remind you of them and make you smile to yourself.  For me those characters are Anne (Anne with an E!), the Sweet Valley twins (maybe not brag-worthy, but I don’t gotta lie to kick it!) Laura from Little House on the Prairie, the sisters from Little Women and of course Harry, Ron and Hermione – and now Cyril Avery falls in those ranks.  This book was charming and heart breaking and timely and classic and endearing and everything you need from a book all rolled up in one.  I won’t forget this book any time soon, and for that it deserves my highest rating. Continue reading Review: The Heart’s Invisible Furies

Still Life and the Chief Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny

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I’ll be brief because I know Still Life is not new news: I’m late to this party and I feel like I’ve only just started my journey with Louise Penny in to Three Pines and beyond, but I just had to share my delight with this book and my excitement to read the rest of this series!  This might be the first murder mystery that has prompted me to use the word “cozy” when describing it to my friends.  This was a great whodunnit without a lot of disturbing gore or horror added in to the mix which seems to have been just enough of a mystery for me mixed with homey vibes to keep me coming back for more – I’ve now committed to reading the entire series which is 13 books (so far!) so no small feat.  Join me, won’t you? Continue reading Still Life and the Chief Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny