The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Publisher: Corvus
Rating: ★★★

Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.

Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.

Review:

“This town convinces you’re better than you really are.” 

When I first read All the Missing Girls, I made it a point to get my hands on the next Megan Miranda novel to hit the bookshelves. It was so interesting and a completely different concept than what I have read before. I read The Perfect Stranger and I felt like it lacked the necessary oomph to make it into a fast-paced mystery. Again, unfortunately, I struggled with the newest Megan Miranda novel.

Just like the beginning of The Perfect Stranger, this book had so much promise of being a book that kept my attention. I was very interested in the plot and it seemed very suspicious/spooky/made you think. However, as I went on, I struggled with every page that I turned. Sometimes, I found myself saying, “I’m only how far along?!”

In my opinion, I think this novel would’ve been a real page-turner if there was some sort of development. There was no development in really any of the characters, not even the main character, Avery. It was a tale of something happened a little while ago and now that time has passed, we resurface everything and try to find new conclusions. If the storytelling was a little better and there was something bigger behind this story, it would’ve easily been a five-star novel.

I think that Megan Miranda had all of the necessary things she needed in this book, but just did not execute them properly. The foundation to have a five-star novel was there for me for sure. However, with a less-than-appealing development throughout the story, I had a really hard time.

Lessons in Love by Belinda Missen

Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: HQ Digital
Rating: ★★★★

Falling in love is never easy…

Eleanor Manning is finally leaving behind her glittering but empty life in the city (and her soon-to-be-ex-husband) to return to the comfort of her childhood home in Apollo Bay.

She’s landed a lovely new job in her old primary school library and a flatshare with her bubbly best friend, Penny. So yes, she’s well and truly learnt her lesson when it comes to love…

But then she meets gorgeous teacher Marcus Blair and Eleanor’s self-imposed rules fly out of the window! Surely she can resist him long enough to keep this fling no strings attached?

Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Review:
Thank you to Belinda Missen, HQ Digital and NetGalley for a copy of Lessons in Love in exchange for an honest review.

“Why don’t you, you know, stand up for yourself?” 

This was my first Belinda Missen novel, but surely not my last! She had a wonderful way of writing that had me swooning and laughing out loud. Also, the drama !!! had !!! me !!! going !!! crazy !!! The thing I liked the most about this book was the empowerment aspect as well as the plot as it is not really heard of.

Eleanor Manning moved after leaving her husband who cheated on her with her best friend. She moved in with her cousin to get a fresh start. She gets a job as a librarian at her childhood school and is ready to get things done. Here is where we cue *man enters and swooning commences*.

Eleanor and Marcus’ connection is unmistakable and the author really made sure of that. Their banter, insults and overall cuteness makes their connection evident. However, when she starts to see her ex-husband in him, she shies away, which is expected.

The only thing I had issues with in this book was how long it took for things to happen. Of course, I love a slow burn and when angsty things happen. However, I felt like I was already closer to the end of the book before things started to resolve itself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just wish it happened a little bit sooner.

Overall, I definitely will read Belinda’s other books. They are cute, fun, and laugh-out-loud funny. This is for sure a winning novel on my list.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Rating: ★★★★

“I believe we can change the world. But first, we’ve got to stop living in fear of being judged for who we are.”

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

Review:

“Grown women don’t need to ask permission.”

Rachel Hollis came out with Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be and I immediately got my hands on it. I was so in love with her positivity that when Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals was announced, I knew that I had to go for it.

There is something about the way that Rachel Hollis speaks. I listened to both of her books as an audiobook which were narrated by her. She speaks to your soul and there’s no doubt about it.

There were some things in Girl, Stop Apologizing that I loved, but also that I wasn’t a fan of. Some of these things range from self-love to bragging about her life (which I get, but it sometimes felt overdone).

I loved the fact that Rachel really discussed appreciation and support of others. Something that I always have struggled with is disappointment when it comes to people’s support/appreciation of me.

“Are you a shadow of who you’re meant to be because someone in your life doesn’t fully appreciate you?”

This quote especially resonated with me and it felt like she was speaking just to me. Letting yourself change and be in the shadows because of who supports/appreciates you is stupid and Rachel really lets you know it.

Now, to the thing I didn’t like. Rachel Hollis is a wealthy woman. We all know that. She is married to a wealthy man. That is also known. In her debut novel, we got to really see her life and what happened while she was growing up, getting married, becoming a mom, etc. In this book, I feel like there were many times where she discussed things relating to being rich and it made it unrelatable for me.

Girl, Stop Apologizing was not as good as her debut novel, but I really did love a lot of the content that Rachel Hollis discussed. In her next book, I hope she focuses more on motivational and spiritual things instead of her not-so-subtle gloating in her books.

Please Send Help by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: ★★★

In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).

Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin, and Wednesday Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Every day IS a day. Wow. Is this my next tattoo?”

Please Send Help is the second book of the I Hate Everyone But You Series by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin. These two ladies sure do know how to make you laugh.

Something that I loved about I Hate Everyone But You was that it was funny. Some of the stuff that was said in this one had me laughing out loud. It was a pretty unfortunate situation, but lead to hilarious quotes like this:

“I’m honestly not sure where to begin here. You know how there are certain moments and experiences that really stay with you forever? I REALLY hope today was not one of them.”

Their wit and sarcasm displayed throughout this book is A+. I feel like Gaby and Allison had to just be actually responding to each other and that’s how they are in real life.

There were a few things that I wasn’t so sure of in this sequel. I feel like in the first book, I was able to connect with the characters because we learned about them over their exchange of emails and instant messages. In this one, some time has passed, but I feel like there were some misleading signs of development.

Also, something in this book that was not shown in the first, there were a lot of manipulative tendencies throughout the characters. I know many people who fancy that in a book, however, I am not one of them. I understand that it’s a young adult novel, and they are …young …adults, but I feel like these problems were for sure older than they were.

I would definitely recommend reading this sequel if you read the first one. I feel like you could also read this book as a standalone, there’s not much that you miss.