Title: No One Saw
Author: Beverly Long
**Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for the opportunity of an advanced reader in exchange for an honest review. No One Saw is out June 30th.
A.L. McKrittridge and Rena Morgan are at it again when they need to solve crime of a missing 5 year old girl named Emma Whitman. Emma’s grandmother dropped her off at daycare and left her with a teacher. At the end of the day Emma is gone and all the teachers and staff say Emma was never there. With little evidence they must try to find Emma before its to late.
I really enjoyed 10 Days Gone and was excited to see Beverly Long had a new novel. I absolutely love these two detectives. I find their friendship and banter towards each other both funny and relatable. If you are into detectives solving crimes then this novel is definitely for you. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as her first novel but it was still pretty good. The storyline was not super exciting and I was underwhelmed with the ending but I like I said its a typical crime/whodunit type of story. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping the characters straight. At the end of the day it kept me engaged and I was curious to find out what happened in the end.
Title: Descent: The Demon Chronicles
Author: Diana Miller
Type: Young Adult, Fantasy
This was a pretty quick read for me. Descent follows Sera who gets invited to attend a boarding school called St Michaels. Not much is known about St Michaels other than it appears to be a very prestigious and secretive school. Once there, Sera finds that she, like some of the other students, possesses secret powers. Theres a good guys and bad guys. There’s adventure and magic. There’s friendship and romance. Theres everything you could want in a young adult novel. I would have liked to see a little bit more development of St Michaels, the boarding school as well as some of the characters. That being said, the book did leave me wanting more and I look forward to seeing what happens in series.
Author: Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Type: Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
I love Neal Shusterman. His books always manage to pull me in almost right away. Dry did not disappoint. California has been in drought for years when suddenly the water is completely turned off. Now it’s every person for themselves as everyone tries to survive. Alyssa’s parents go on a hunt to find water and don’t return. Alyssa and her brother Garrett’s team up with Kelton, a neighbor and whose family have always been doomsday preppers (you might be wondering why doomsday prepares don’t have water… well I’m not going to tell you why. Read the book and you’ll have to find out) on a hunt to find water. They meet people along the way and they must do unthinkable things in order to survive.
I loved everything about this book, the characters, the storyline and the ending. Shusterman has this unique ability to make the reader feel as if they are along for the ride in all of his stories. I will say, it was… interesting to read this fictional catastrophic event while we are in the middle of our own global pandemic. I also love when stories contain resilent teenage characters.
Title: The Patient
Author: Jasper DeWitt
Type: Horror, Thriller
Thank you NetGalley and Houghton Miffin Harcourt for the advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The Patient is out July 7th!
What the heck did I just read?! I finished this book in less than 24 hours. It was definitely a fast paced book that left me feeling a little (ok a lot) creeped out. I might need to start sleeping with the light on! Parker is a psychiatrist that wants to solve the mystery of patient Joe who has been admitted for 30 years. No one has been able to diagnose Joe and many of the people that have worked with him have either committed/attempted suicide or gone mad. It’s not often I read a book that actually scares me.
Parker writes on an internet message board about a patient he treated and I feel in the age of social media that style of writing really draws the reader in. Such a clever way to write the story. Some of the sections were pretty long but it didn’t even bother me because I couldn’t put the book down. Plus the book is short so its a fast read.
This is a debut novel for Jasper and this isn’t my typical genre of choice but I look forward to more books by him. I feel he’s a new age Stephen King.
Title: Happy & You Know It
Author: Laura Hankin
Type: Chick Lit, Contemporary
These characters are certainly relatable to a degree. As a mother myself, I constantly feel pressure to be the perfect parent/mother often time worry if others are judging the choices I am make. These mothers are rich privileged ladies who invite struggling musician, Claire, into their playgroup to aid in their children’s development through music. Claire, motherless herself, is accepted into their clique but quickly finds out all their dirty secrets. The book definitely gave off a Big Little Lies vibe and is also told in multiple viewpoints. The storyline and plots are good enough to keep you guessing and wondering what’s going on. I definitely didn’t see the plot twist coming. Great read that explores female relationships and talks about the struggles and happy times of motherhood.
Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Type: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Male/Male Romance
Alex, son of the first female President of the United States and Henry, a Prince in England have always seemed to be enemies. Then a situation happens between them and both England and the US need to do damage control. Henry and Alex must pretend to be friends for the press but the more the act like friends the more their relationship blossoms. Theres silly banter, there’s flirting, both are crushing each other hard and then they fall in love. They feel they must hid their relationship for fear of disrupting their countries. I loved how Henry and Alex’s relationship progressed throughout the book. It wasn’t an “instant love” or “instant lust” type of situation. It was cute, funny and sweet. One of my favorite parts of the story was how Alex and Henry brought out the best in each other and how they were there for each other during difficult times. The development of both of these characters and their relationship was amazing! I don’t want to share to much more but I’m definitely happy I read this. The only thing that bothered me was that the chapters were kind of long. Not a deal breaker but I found it hard at times to pick up and read it because I knew I didn’t have enough time to read 30 pages and I hate stopping in the middle of a chapter and try to avoid that at all costs.
Title: The Ex-Wife
Author: Jess Ryder
Type: Thriller, Mystery, Psychological Thriller
This book has been on my to be read list for awhile. After not being able to find it at my library or on audio, I decided to buy it from Thriftbooks. I thought it was a pretty good thriller.
Natasha has an affair with Nick and gets pregnant. He leaves his wife, Jen, and marries Natasha. Jen keeps hanging around though and seems to be having a hard time letting go and moving on. Then one day, Natasha wakes up to find her daughter Emily and Nick gone. It seems they took off. Jen is wanting to help Natasha but can she really be trusted?
It’s not a plot you see very often and I felt like it was pretty suspenseful throughout the whole thing. This certainly had me on the edge of my seat. The story flows pretty easily, especially since you are not only going between three different points of view but also two different timelines. The ending wasn’t super exciting but at the same time I really loved the ending. I wish I could say more about why I love it without spoiling it.
I’ll end with saying that there were some really strong female characters in the novel and I love when that happens in a thriller!
Title: Writers & Lovers
Author: Lily King
Type: Literary Fiction, Contemporary
I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to read this book because the cover wasn’t super appealing to me and the synopsis wasn’t super exciting but this was a pick for Jenna Hager’s book club a few months back and while I have not participated in her online book clubs, I have enjoyed quite a few of the books she has picked in the past. I decided to give it a go.
This book did not disappoint me at all! I am so glad I read it. Casey is a struggling writer who has tons of student debt. Her mother has recently passed away and she isn’t super close to her father. She has a few close friendships and is in and out of romantic relationships. She wants nothing more than to write her own novel and be a successful writer. She feels like she will never get there.
I absolutely loved the development of Casey’s character throughout this entire book. I loved the relationships she built with those that came in and out of her life as she worked hard to make her dream become a reality. I feel like Casey’s story is one that many can relate to. If you are looking for a book about not giving up on your dream then this is a book for you.
Title: The Boyfriend Project
Author: Farrah Rochon
Type: Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Chick Lit
I want to start with what I liked about this novel. I liked that there were some strong female characters. I liked that this book represented people of color. The story was easy to follow and could easily be adapted into a film.
All that being said, I feel like thing story had so much potential and it fell short. The first few chapters started out strong for me but I was underwhelmed with the rest of the novel. There were so many good ideas in this novel but I feel like the author struggled to tie it all together. The big thing it lacked was the relationship building between Samiah and Daniel and it’s a romance book. They went from meeting when Daniel started working for the same company as Samiah to being in a relationship really quickly which didn’t fit her character at all. Samiah’s newly formed friendships with Taylor and London followed the same pattern. Theres the secret Daniel is hiding and Samiah working on an ap she’s been dreaming about for years. All great ideas but poor delivery on bringing it all together. I wish I could share more about the last few points but don’t want to spoil the story for anyone who would like to read it.
I struggled with what to rate this. I kept going between 2 and 3 stars. I decided to bump it to a 3 because the book did have potential and I feel like I am an early reviewer.
Title: The Knockout Queen
Author: Rufi Thorpe
Type: Coming of Age, Contemporary,
A beautiful and heartbreaking story about friendship, platonic love and finding out who you are. Michael comes to live with his aunt after his mother was convicted for attempting to murder his abusive father. Michael is lonely and sad. Michael is also gay. He finds friendship with Bunny, his next-door neighbor. Bunny is also sad and looking for acceptance. The become fast friends but their friendship is tested when rumors begin circulating about Michael and Bunny takes matter into her own hands. A tragedy occurs that will shape and define both of their lives forever.
This story is beautifully written. Rufi Thrope did such a wonderful job developing her characters. I felt like I was a fly in the wall within this story. Such a captivating story about not only finding yourself but also accepting who you are. While this story didn’t follow a traditional pattern of storytelling, I still couldn’t put it down and found myself wishing I could continue to follow these characters after long after it was finished. I highly recommend it and I look forward to reading more by this author.
**Story does contain some difficult topics: alcoholism, violence/abuse, bullying and homophobia