What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarity

Originally Published: 2009

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.

Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.”

I feel like this book took me a while to read. It starts out with Alice waking up from sustaining an injury from hitting her head on a pair of handlebars during cycling class. She’s dreaming of this scene, but she can’t put her finger on where she’s seen it before. When she fully wakes up, she’s in the hospital, shocking everyone by thinking it is 1998 and not 2008. She believes she is pregnant with her first child, and has a wonderful husband named Nick. She was in for the shock of her life when she found out she was actually a mother of 3, and getting a divorce from her loving husband. She has a boyfriend named Dominic that happens to be the principal at her children’s school. Alice can’t believe this is her life, and tries to do everything in her power to change it. I had a hard time pushing through the slow parts, but the ending was awesome. Definitely a good read. This book is in the works to become a movie, so you should read it before it comes out!

Rating: ★★★★

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Published: January 5th, 2016

“10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.”

I should start by saying that this book definitely has some trigger warnings that should be mentioned before reading this. It was a very quick read for me, but it was definitely very hard to get through. The small town of Opportunity, Alabama is shook to the core when an ex-student locks all students and teachers in the auditorium after an assembly and opens fire. The four perspectives that this story is told by is the brother of the girl trapped inside, the girl who is frantically looking for a way out (the sister of the brother mentioned), a track runner who was outside running when she heard the first shot, and lastly, the sister of the shooter. This book shows what is going through the head of a student who needs help, but was never given any by his teachers, friends, or family. It is a very, VERY sad story, so take caution when reading.

Rating: ★★★★★

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Published: July 8th, 2014

“Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?”

I finished this book in a day. I couldn’t put it down. Rainbow Rowell switched from her usual young adult type and went to a more adult route. I honestly think this book was one of the best she’s written. Georgie McCool deals with a lot of problems that many adults deal with on a daily basis. This particular story shows the problem of when a person has to choose between work and their home life. Georgie’s husband and children are going to Nebraska for Christmas…without her! As a comedic writer, Georgie wants to hit the deal of a lifetime, but she misses her family. After missing each other on the phone, Georgie tried to call her family from her mom’s landline.  That’s where the story gets interesting. She finally gets a hold of her husband, but not from present day..but from 1998 (the last time he went home for Christmas). The plot of this story is something I’ve personally never heard of before and I think that’s why it made it as good as it was. It was completely unique and had be laughing, but tearing up at the end. Such a great story. I would love to reread this story again and again.

Rating: ★★★★★

Simon Snow Series by Rainbow Rowell

Book #1: Carry On


Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher: MacMillan
Rating: ★★★★★

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

Review:

I just want to say to Rainbow Rowell: thank you. You are definitely becoming my favorite author with the way you write. It’s magic. Everything about this book was perfect. I didn’t want it to end. At all.

When I closed the book, I definitely pouted for a good while. Simon was my favorite character. I loved that he was so strong while having this internal battle with himself. In a very close second, Baz was the best. Strong, sarcastic, and witty: the perfect combination. Penny was the smart one that could get them out of any situation.

I couldn’t help compare this book with Harry Potter, and I can gladly say that it held it’s own. Carry On was the perfect book. To the people reading this review: I would say to read Rainbow Rowell’s book Fangirl first. It is about a girl who writes fanfiction based off of a book series about the one and only Simon Snow. This is her fanfiction. It will make more sense. It’s not mandatory, but it might make more sense.

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Book #2: Wayward Son

Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: ★★★★

The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…

With Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell has written a book for everyone who ever wondered what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day. And a book for everyone who was ever more curious about the second kiss than the first. It’s another helping of sour cherry scones with an absolutely decadent amount of butter.

Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero’s journey might be over – but your life has just begun.

Review: 

The second installment of the Simon Snow series was a fantastic addition to the first. I really enjoyed being able to connect with Penny, Simon and Baz again as I loved them so much in the first book, Carry On.

My favorite thing about Wayward Son was the setting. Watching the three of them take on Western America was hilarious and made me laugh-out-loud multiple times. They get lost and honestly, that probably was my favorite part of this book. I really enjoyed watching them trying to get back to where they needed to be and their dialogue was truly friendship based. How they handled being on foreign land in a crisis is exactly how I would think it would go.

The stories of Penny, Simon and Baz was just another fantastic job done by Rainbow Rowell. I really felt for them, especially for Simon and Baz. You root and root for them to make it through whatever it is that they’re going through and it is definite that Rainbow really pulls on your heart strings. I love when a book can make me feel that type of emotion.

The ending is what got me the most. I was so shocked that there was going to even be a second book. When I reached the end, I actually gasped out loud and could NOT believe my eyes. Any Way the Wind Blows is going to be the third installment of this series and let me just say I cannot wait!

 

The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Rating: ★

I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.” When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true. Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything. For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced and nail-biting psychological thriller about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.

Review:

First, I would like to say thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for sending me a copy of this book early!

I’m sorry to say but I barely could get through this book. I got stuck multiple times, especially before 50% completed. This book is described as a thriller. I don’t see where or why this could be a thriller.

There are some parts in the beginning that were interesting, but going through I kept dragging and dragging. This book could’ve easily taken me a few days to read, maybe even less. It took me weeks to finish because I couldn’t find the motivation to complete this book with this story line. I didn’t like really any of the characters and it was hard to connect with any of them. I’m sure that if I didn’t have to complete a review of this book, I probably would’ve labeled it as did not finish.

 

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.