All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Rating: ★★★★★

“Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse. It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched. The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing. Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago. Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.”

Review: There was so much going on in this book. It grabbed me right from the beginning. What I liked most about this book is that it works backwards from what happened so it moved from the current day back to the first day that Nicolette arrives back in her hometown of Cooley Ridge. You won’t be able to put this book down. It’s truly a thriller that makes you think of all different possibilities.

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

Published: January 24th, 2017

Find this book here:

Rating: ★★★★★

A psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception—and the hottest title at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair.

A damaged young woman gets the unique opportunity to rent a one-of-a-kind house. When she falls in love with the sexy, enigmatic architect who designed it, she has no idea she is following in the footsteps of the girl who came before: the house’s former tenant.

The eerie parallels in the two girls’ lives lay bare an enthralling story…and make this novel the must-read thriller of the season.”

Review:

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite reads of the year. This was super twisty and I couldn’t put this one down.

1 Folgate Street scared me right from the beginning. The thought of living in such a house was freaky to me even though I know it would never happen. It gave me a little bit of anxiety wondering what was going to happen in that house. Most importantly, who was making these things happen? I had to keep reading to find out. JP Delaney did a magnificent job of catching the reader’s attention and creating this curiosity of what’s to come.

The characters. THE CHARACTERS. I was interested in them right from the beginning. Emma and Jane stole my heart. It was insane to read and see the differences and similarities between each character. I loved the fact that I could watch the rise and downfall of the characters and what happened to them in the end. Edward was just as gripping. I was super interested in finding his story and what he does for 1 Folgate Street. These characters really made this book for me.

The ending was absolutely insane. Leading up to the ending, I had an idea of what I thought it was going to be. I wasn’t even close. It definitely switched it up on me and I was thoroughly surprised. I had to find out what was going to happen. I read this book in a day. I was not disappointed in the slightest.

Overall, this book won me over from the first few sentences. J.P. Delaney did a phenomenal job with everything. I can’t wait to hear more from her because this one was a knockout.

 

The Corner Shop Of Whispers by Debbie Viggiano

Publication Date: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★★

Romantic Florrie, scatty Daisy and snobby Alison are neighbours, living their married lives in the tiny English village of Lower Amblegate where everyone knows everybody. Together the three friends share laughter, tears, and things they wouldn’t want anybody else knowing. But unbeknownst to them, a scandal is brewing. As rumours circulate, the gossips go into overdrive, rocking marriages and revealing the women have much more in common than just neighbourly bonds…”

Review:

First, I would like to thank NetGalley, Gingersnap Books, and Debbie Viggiano for providing me with a copy of this book early so I could provide an honest review.

If you like watching your favorite tv drama/comedy every week and don’t feel like waiting for the next episode, read. this. book. I remember growing up watching Desperate Housewives every Sunday at 9 P.M. and being glued to the TV until the credits rolled. This was like all of the seasons wrapped into one book. There were so many twists and turns in this book, I couldn’t put it down! I read this book in two days because there were so many things going on that I just wanted to know what was going to happen next! This book was the perfect mix between romance, suspense, and drama! It was a quick read and is perfect for Valentine’s Day!

The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Publication Date: September 1st, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Rating: ★★★

“From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house. Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel. During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?”

Review:

This book was very emotionally charged. It kind of reminded me of a TV Drama like Desperate Housewives.

There were a lot of different things going on with a lot of different characters. The amount of characters actually confused me a little in the beginning. I couldn’t tell which character belonged to which family, who that character was married to, etc. I think that the confusion turned me off a little towards this book. It took me a few days to read it because I had to keep closing it, coming back to it, and trying again to figure out who was who.

Once I got past the initial confusion, the book really did seem to pick up. It all started when “Cailey’s” brother nearly drowned in the neighborhood pool and had to be taken to the hospital unsure if he would survive or not. After this moment, there were many loaded things that occurred. Like a crazy amount of things for this little town of Sycamore Glen, North Carolina. I would recommend this book to others, just make sure to pay close attention to who is who because if you don’t, nothing will make sense at the end.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: ★★★★★

Two misfits. One extraordinary love. Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor. Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park. Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Review:

This book is extremely important for a young reader to have. I’m kind of sad it came out when I was graduating high school. If there’s one lesson I learned in life, kids can be mean. All through middle school, kids will gang up on you for the simplest yet stupidest thing in the world. For Eleanor, it was hair. Big, curly, fiery red hair. I feel Eleanor’s pain in this book because the thing in middle school kids made fun of me for was…my hair. Too frizzy, too curly, too thick. Eleanor took it much better than I did. She came to a new school while returning home with her mom, stepfather, and four siblings after being kicked out by her stepfather a year ago. She wasn’t the best looking girl, and she got made fun of on her first day. That’s when she met Park. She rode next to him on the bus to and from school. It started when Park noticed that Eleanor was reading the same comics as him, and it blossomed into this beautiful relationship. However, Eleanor wasn’t just living a rough life at school, it was a rough life at home too. Richie, her stepfather, was abusive physically to Eleanor’s mom, but also emotionally and verbally to Eleanor. He’s a real scumbag. I really, really hated him. Park and his parents come to the rescue many times when Eleanor just needs somewhere to be for a few hours…until it becomes to be too much for her. Park helps her out of Omaha and takes her somewhere safe. Thank God for Park.

I would like to say to all young-adult readers: This book will change the outlook on a lot of things. It is written beautifully and really could help a child that is getting bullied that isn’t sure of what to do. I would recommend this book to any parent that is struggling with a child getting bullied. Help them. They need it.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Published: January 6th, 2015

“Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.”

All I can say is wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I did not expect this book to be the way it was. I thought it was going to be a funny, young-adult quick read that I would easily forget about. Jennifer Niven makes it so that the reader will never forget this book. It is so serious, yet comical and romantic. It was truly beautiful. It’s gripping and intense right from the beginning, and you will not be able to put it down. Violet is an ex-cheerleader/popular girl that survives a car crash that kills her sister. Theodore Finch is a kid that doesn’t have the best home life but tries to make the best out of every situation. Violet is scared to drive and bikes/walks everywhere. Finch is unstable to say the least. They meet on a bell tower where Violet doesn’t know where she is, and Finch wonders what it would be like to jump. Finch ends up saving Violet’s life, but as word spreads around school, it seems that people think it’s the other way around. Theodore Finch is also known as ‘Freak’, so Violet knows that they both have baggage. They find love, and find the power over fear. This book grabbed my attention from the start, and I would recommend this book to a young-adult that is looking for a quick read with a fascinating story.

Rating: ★★★★★

Faithful By Alice Hoffman

Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Rating: ★★★

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night. Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Review:

This book was pretty heavy. You learn in the beginning that two friends, Shelby and Helene, are in a car accident. Helene’s life is pretty much over, bedridden and unable to move or speak. Shelby has a lot of survivor’s guilt and treats her life like it’s the worst thing in the world. She wishes it were her instead of Helene, and tries to show everyone, including her parents, that. This book does have a few triggers in it, so be careful of that.

Alice Hoffman wrote a wonderful tale about luck running out, just to be found again. Faithful takes you through Shelby’s life as she learns to how to take care of herself. Sure, there’s a few bumps on the way, but it’s Shelby’s obligation to figure out how to overcome them. The ending of this book was the best part. I didn’t like how slow this book was in the beginning, but it did provide a moving feeling to the reader at the end. This was a powerful book to show how to rise up through tragedy.

 

The Five People You Meet In Heaven Series by Mitch Albom


#1: The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2003
Publisher: Hyperion
Rating: ★★★★

“Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer. In heaven, five people explain your life to you. Some you knew, others may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”

Review:

I had to read this book in my freshman year of high school. When I read it for the first time, I feel like I was a little too young to understand what was going on in The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I reread this book my senior year of college. I was 22 and I feel like that age gap of 14-22 really was able to change my perspective on how I read this book. I understood so much more about Eddie and what was happening when I was older because the older you are, the more about life and death you start to understand.

Rereading this book, I was able to see the spirituality that this book provided instead of just “having to read it for a grade”. I was able to see the connection with Eddie and spirituality. The ability to grasp that was almost life-changing for me in that moment. Being so stressed with finals and needing a book to really open my eyes, this novel was able to do that for me.

Mitch Albom has a way with words and does with every book he writes. After reading this novel, you hope to see what is going to happen in your “afterlife”, whatever that may be. The Five People You Meet in Heaven really makes you think and I enjoyed that.

The final thing that I really enjoyed about this novel were the very memorable quotes. Like I said, there were a lot of spiritual moments in this book, and the quotes made it that much better. Mitch Albom was teaching life lessons along with telling his story. It’s very rare when an author can really touch a person’s soul and he did just that.

“Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”

 

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven


#2: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Harper
Rating: ★★★★

In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells 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.

Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story.

The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally  found happiness.

As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.

Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning—we only need to open our eyes to see it.

Review:

In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, we meet Eddie who dies saving a young girl from a certain death from a ferris wheel. We looked at Eddie’s spiritual journey throughout the book to see who he meets in heaven when he gets there.

In The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, we meet Annie who is the little girl that Eddie saved all of those years ago. We learn about Annie, her childhood, her growth and her love-life. When Paulo enters, we learn that Annie and Paulo were childhood sweethearts that reconnected and found themselves getting married. When Paulo and Annie are in a bad accident on their wedding night, we see Annie’s journey through her eyes like we did with Eddie in the first novel of this series.

Just like The Five People You Meet in Heaven, you feel the spirituality running through each page. The stages of life that you feel everyday were definitely felt throughout this book. Again, just like the first in this series, there were many memorable quotes, especially about death and what happens in your afterlife.

“At certain moments, when death is close, the veils pull back between this world and the next. Heaven and Earth overlay. When they do, it is possible to glimpse certain souls already departed. You can see them awaiting your arrival. And they can see you coming.” 

The characters and their development were both incredible throughout both books. Learning about Eddie’s life and why he helped little Annie that day was the perfect set up for a sequel without even realizing it. The sequel did come out 15 years later, but I feel as though there was no time in between. It felt as though one story ran beautifully into the next without any time in between.

Like I stated before, I loved the quotes in the first novel in this series, but I liked them even more in this book. There were so many quotes that I highlighted that I thought I would get bored, but I read them and enjoy them every single time. Mitch Albom really does have a way with words and I hope he keeps blessing us with his wisdom.

“No act done for someone else is ever wasted.”

 

 

Save The Date By Mary Kay Andrews

Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: ★★★★

A wedding florist finds love and trouble in this delightful new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Ladies’ Night. A Savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime—one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn’t believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate them. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in. Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all. Told with Mary Kay Andrew’s trademark wit and keen eye for detail, mark your calendars for Save the Date!

Review:

I absolutely adore the premise of this story. It’s something you never really hear of, something that hasn’t been done that much. Cara Kryzik is a florist in downtown Savannah with a cute little flower shop. There’s one thing about Cara to remember: she doesn’t believe in love. She creates these beautiful arrangements for weddings, and it’s the one thing she’s absolutely against.

When her dog Poppy goes missing, she searches around Savannah trying to find him. That’s when she meets Jack, who insists that his dog is actually his dog, Shaz, and not Poppy. Their relationship starts out rough, not liking each other the least bit, but of course (like always), their enemy relationship turns to a loving one. Does Jack change Cara’s mind about love? I loved this book. Absolutely love. Would recommend 100%.