Tag: 2017

I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found You by Lisa Jewell

Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books

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Rating:

“A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Paula Hawkins.

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel, filled with the “beautiful writing, believable characters, pacey narrative, and dark secrets” (London Daily Mail) that make Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Review:

I had a hard time with this one. This novel is classified as a mystery, thriller, and suspense. I couldn’t really get into the fact that it was classified that way because I personally didn’t feel like it was a mystery, thriller, or suspense.

This book was hard to get started. I read and read, but there just wasn’t that “oomph” to push it over the edge. Lisa Jewell wrote this book in hopes of holding the mystery until the end. I usually enjoy that, but I couldn’t really figure this one out. It had me kind of hating the fact that I had to wait until the end. I wanted some sort of clue of what was happening, but I got nothing.

I felt pretty disconnected from the story and from the characters. I found myself reading and not being able to associate myself with anyone or anything. I can usually connect with at least one element from a story, but unfortunately, with this one I didn’t.

Lastly, the ending is what did it for me to give this a 3-star rating. The ending gave me some answers to my questions. However, I found it to be extremely unrealistic. There was this desperation and need, I couldn’t get over it. I couldn’t understand the fact that there were times of “love” after 5 days.

This book wasn’t anything special for me. I would like to try Lisa Jewell’s other books to see if there were differences in the writing style. I think there were times in this book where I was confused and bored. However, there was a constant underlining of understanding.

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn

Publication Date: June 1, 2017

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Rating: ★★★★★

“When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson.

Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn’t be that big of a deal Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he’s still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I’m trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last semester an easy one to conquer.

Boy, was I wrong.

Rules are set, dinners are made, conversations are had, and a shirtless, swoony roommate walks around in nothing but a pair of black briefs, ruining me for every other man.

Before I know it, I turn into a panting, lust-filled woman begging for Tucker to kiss me, touch me, and show me exactly what is hiding under those briefs.

But with great orgasms, comes great consequences.

Tucker might be my friend and roommate but he’s also my best friend’s ex-boyfriend, making him completely off-limits. At least that’s what my brain is telling me, my heart is speaking an entirely different language.”

Review:

Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god.

This book was absolutely phenomenal. My Best Friend’s Ex is listed as #2 in the Binghamton Series, but I read it at as a standalone and it didn’t make a difference. Everything was explained very well from the first book, so I don’t see the need to read it if you so please. However, after reading this one, I absolutely will read the first one in the series as well as Meghan Quinn’s other books.

I have heard great things about Meghan Quinn’s books, so I had a bit of high expectations when it came to reading my first book of hers. She did not disappoint me at all. There were so many great things about this book. I’ve been struggling with romance novels lately, and I think that this contemporary romance just put me right back into the genre.

This book had everything that I needed/wanted. The chemistry was outstanding. I felt like the relationships in this book were absolutely perfect. I wouldn’t change them in the slightest. The way that the relationships progressed…sheesh! My Best Friend’s Ex really sold me on the romance. I was feeling like recent romance novels that I were reading were a little far fetched, but this, this, took me back into the world of romance.

The fact that this book had it’s fair share of heartbreak as well made this a five star read for me. Most of the time, a romance novel will have some sort of heartbreak involved. It is rare that I can feel the pain of the characters, but with this one, I felt myself tearing up at the words. It was moving and beautiful. It really showed how a person who has been through a tough heartbreak would be, and it was incredibly relatable.

Also, my other favorite thing about this book were the friendships. These friendships were everything. There were so many times where I stopped and thought, “wow, I need a friend like Emma has with her friends”. The friendships showed true tests and how exactly to talk through things. They were all there for each other through all of their problems, and that’s exactly how a friendship should be.

Overall, this book rocked. I am so happy I picked it because it might be the book that gets me out of my romance slump. Meghan Quinn surely did not disappoint me. I can’t wait to read another of hers.

 

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books

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Rating: ★★★★

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.”

Review:

This book has a lot of different conversations about mental health, so if you struggle with depression, etc., I would take care of yourself when reading this book.  

Colleen Hoover has definitely become one of my favorite authors. Every book I’ve read by her is fantastic and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on “Without Merit”. Since I’ve read her before, I know that her books always deal with tough topics and it’s one of the many reasons I love her. This book was not an exception. I honestly think this book had more tough topics than the others that I’ve read by her. There were times where my heart broke for the characters because of what they were dealing with. It wasn’t just one character dealing with issues either, it was every single character in this book.

The main thing that I noticed about Without Merit was the fact that I wouldn’t say this book is classified as romantic. Every single book I’ve read by Colleen Hoover has been a heartbreaking romance. This book was absolutely a switch up from her usual. This is a great thing as an author to surprise their readers, but I’m not sure I fell in love with this story as much as her others because of this. Was there romance in this book? Definitely. It was more mixed-in than the main plot. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s good to switch it up, but personally, I love Colleen Hoover’s angsty romance and I’m sad there wasn’t really any.

The characters were probably my favorite thing about this book. There were so many different point of views because it is about a family through the eyes of the main character, Merit. It was really interesting to see which family member had which problem and how they were currently dealing with it. The characters through the end were pretty crazy. They each had their own troubles and when it all comes to a head, it was great to see who reacts which way.

I think what was different about this book for me was the fact that this book didn’t grasp me right away like her others did. Usually by the first paragraph, I’m hooked on what will happen next which makes me interested in the entire book. I noticed that I had a hard time grasping right away with this one, and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just different than what I was used to with her. Colleen Hoover gives so much information in the first few chapters. With her other books, the story starts right away and we find out who the characters are throughout the narrative. This book told us a lot right away.

Overall, I liked this book, but it wasn’t my favorite CoHo. I gave it four stars because once I got started, I really couldn’t put it down. After the first few chapters, the story really gets going and it was an interesting twist on Colleen Hoover’s usual narrative. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us in the future.

 

 

Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan

Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan

Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

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Rating: ★★★★

“No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.

Twelve-year-old Shayna― talented, persistent, and adorable―persuaded “Aunt Tee” to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it’s been six years since Shay’s mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend’s husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.

Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she’s caused and―maybe―how to fix it.

After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she’ll finally see what she overlooked all along in Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan.”

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Amy Sue Nathan, and St. Martin’s Griffin for allowing me to read this book before the publication date in exchange for an honest review. 

Teddi Learner returns to Chance, Ohio after six years to photograph her best friend’s husband’s wedding. Miles is the groom and he’s getting remarried after his first wife, Celia, passed. Teddi is returning as a promise to Miles and Celia’s twelve-year old daughter, Shayna. Now that Teddi has returned, she sees everything that has changed and who she missed.

There were many things about this book that grabbed me right away and there were things that left me hanging. The synopsis intrigued me because I love the forbidden romance and the mystery of why a girl left her old town to find a new life. It was like a Lifetime series and I was very interested.

The characters were awesome. I absolutely adored Teddi and Shay. Shay was probably one of my favorite characters I’ve read. As someone who is extremely close to her mother, Shay’s character resonated with me in a sense of how I would be if I lost her. I could feel the connection and the heartbreak through Shay. Teddi had a lot of great moments too. Her dialogue was probably my favorite thing about this book.

One of my favorite narratives are the “small town” stories. I think the author did a phenomenal job when giving the reader a feel of just how small the town was. There were characters introduced like the childhood best friend and other family members. I felt like I was in the small town of Chance and I was meeting these individuals through the eyes of Teddi.

There were times that this book slowed down for me. I had to push through because I knew it would pick back up. I had to put it down sometimes, and do something else before picking it back up because it just got boring. However, when pushing through, it got much better and I had a good time reading this one. I am very interested in giving another book by Amy Sue Nathan a try.

 

 

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

Publication Date: September 26th, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books (Simon & Schuster) 

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Rating: ★★★

“Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.”

Review: 

Thank you to NetGalley, Kate Moretti, and Atria Books for allowing to read this before the publication date in exchange for an honest review.

I will be completely honest, I picked this book solely from the cover. The spooky and mysterious cover dragged me to it right away. I had a feeling that this would be a good one.

The beginning of this book will leave you with a sense of “what is going to happen next”. From the last page of the prologue, I was hooked. There was something fishy going on, and there is a wonder of what will go on in the following chapters. Or will you have to wait until the end?

The characters were interesting to say the least. My favorite character had to be Alecia. My mother is a special education teacher so I see the struggles that an autistic child and their mother has to go through. I feel like the author did a phenomenal job with making both characters real and relatable. All of the characters really developed, especially Bridget. Bridget was another character that I really felt that connected well with the reader. There were times where I feel like I would have to go back and read because there are four different characters going on at the same time, but that’s okay sometimes. Each character gave more to this story.

There was a lot of book that was answered, but there was a lot also left unanswered. There were interesting things about this because I liked the fact that I could think about what could’ve happened. This is where Kate Moretti did a great job making this not only a mystery, but a psychological thriller as well.

Overall, this book was very good. Kate Moretti’s writing style is absolutely something I can get into with other stories of hers. I think I will take the time to pick another one of hers up!

 

 

St. Luke’s Docuseries by Max Monroe (Dr. OB, Dr. ER, & Dr. Neuro)

OB

Dr. OB (#1)
Publication Date: April 25th, 2017

It’s just a docuseries about your career as an OB/GYN, they said.
It won’t interrupt your life during or after filming, they said.
It is a great opportunity for the hospital and your practice, they said.

Well, they—the television executives who seem intent on ruining my career and personal life with a fair number of creative liberties—lied.
Now I’m stuck dealing with the consequences of believing them.

Instead of being known as Dr. Will Cummings, Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m now being called Dr. Obscene.

What devotion I’d hoped to earn in respect, I’ve instead received in patients flashing me seductive smiles and flirtatious winks during their exams.

How’s a guy supposed to convince the most perfect woman he’s ever met that he’s not as much of an idiot in real life as he appears to be on camera?

With all of the show’s side effects taking root like parasites, it’s going to take a lot to persuade Melody Marco to be anything more than my new nurse.
But I can’t get her out of my head.

want her.

Good thing I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge…

Get ready, Melody.

The doctor is in.”

Review:

This book was definitely the best out of the series.

There were many things that this book had going on, and I loved all of them. The characters were great and developed very nicely. It had the right amount of angst and different topics through out the entire book. I liked the fact that it was a TV show being filmed as well. It was like I was watching a reality show.

However, like some reality shows, there are times where it just slows down. This book also had that effect on me. When I hit about halfway through, I noticed that it slowed down considerably. It was unfortunate because I really wanted to get through it, but not for a good reason.

The characters started to get a little bit too much for me towards the end. Everything had slowed down and I think that the characters were slowed as well.

The second half of this book is the reason why I dropped it down to four stars. Otherwise, I think that this book was very good and I would try and read the next in the series!

Rating: 4/5 stars. 

er

Dr. ER (#2)
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017

Dr. Erotic.
That’s what they’ve decided to call me, Scott Shepard, the head of St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department.
Just thinking about it makes me smile.
As the new face of the reality docuseries, The Doctor Is In, I plan to take his power and recognition right to the streets of New York City and into the pants of willing women.

Well, that was my plan.

Until her—feisty, beautiful, and addictively sexy Harlow Paige.
A gossip columnist that just loves writing about yours truly, she’s everything I thought I never wanted and then some.
She drives me crazy.
Problem is, she doesn’t want to be anything when it comes to me—not friends, not lovers, not even adversaries.
God, I love a good challenge.
Get ready, Harlow. Love is contagious. “

Review:

This one didn’t really do as much for me as the first one. I did like the premise, and the characters, just like the first. However, this one took me a while to read because it was slow and pretty much exactly like the first one.

There should’ve been differences from the first book. I really liked how they tied some of the first book into the second book, but there were too many similarities for me to thoroughly enjoy it. It felt like I was reading the exact same book as the first, just with different characters.

I think I had a hard time enjoying the characters as well. For some reason, I couldn’t get into this one. Scott wasn’t one of my favorites. There was something about Scott and Harlow that seemed a little off to me.

This book would’ve been a 4 or 5 star rating if the book was different. I liked the fact that they brought some of the characters from the first book and made it into a series. However, there are too many similarities for me to enjoy it. Overall, I’d give this one a chance, but don’t expect too much.

Rating: 3/5 stars. 

neuro

Dr. Neuro (#3)
Publication Date: August 29th, 2017

“I’m Dr. Nick Raines.
Brain surgeon and notorious over-thinker, I take the analytical approach with everything, until I can determine the best, carefully calculated plan of action. It’s no shock the producers of the popular reality series The Doctor Is In have decided to call me Dr. Neurotic.

Besides my more than full-time job as Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m a single dad and my number one priority is my daughter.

But life had plans to add another priority to my list.
Charlotte Hollis. Outspoken, impulsive, and beautiful, she’s everything I didn’t know I was craving.

She makes me wonder What if?

What if I don’t have to be alone for the rest of my life to give my little girl the father she deserves?

It’s a battle—my battle: Head vs. Heart. “

Review:

I think this one was much better than Dr. ER. There were some key differences that made this book into an entirely different thing. I liked the fact there were differences, but some things still tied in from Dr. OB, and Dr. ER. You should read these one right after the other because if you don’t, you might forget these previous things.

These characters might be my favorite. The chemistry between Nick and Charlotte really takes off in this book. The chemistry in Dr. OB was great, but I think this couple takes the cake.

I liked a lot about this book, but I feel like Max Monroe had the same problem in all three. The interest was lost after halfway through. Each book was great, then hit a wall.

I think if you are a steamy romance lover, these books would be fantastic. I am a lover of steamy romances, and I would recommend this series!

Rating: 4/5 stars. 

 

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic

Find this book here:

Rating: ★★★

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?”

Review:

Lucky in Love starts out with a girl Maddie who wins the lottery by buying her first ticket on her 18th birthday. What is a teen supposed to do with $50 million dollars? After she wins, everyone changes. They all want money and Maddie doesn’t know who she is, who her friends are, and who she can trust. Family included.

This book really flew by for me. I read it in a day. Half of me thinks the fact that I read it so quickly is a good thing and the other half wasn’t really impressed. I wanted to find out what was going to happen in the end, but I felt like the reason was because I wanted to get to the end.

The story was pretty typical. I feel like when reading the synopsis, I had a vision of what this story was going to be like. Teen wins lottery, people try to use her for money, she meets a boy, everything is fine, the rest is history. Unfortunately, I was pretty spot on. I was hoping for some twist. This book seemed pretty vanilla.

I think that this book was neutral for me. Everything seemed flat-lined. It wasn’t terrible, but there wasn’t a stand out moment that made this book phenomenal. This is my third Kasie West novel that I read, so I enjoy her as an author.