Friday, May 25, 2018

The Tip of My Wish List: Summer Lovin'

If you're anything like me you've got a book wish list so long there is no way you will ever be able to read through it all. And, on top of that, it's never ending because you just can't stop adding more books to it! To try and organize myself I'm sharing 5 books from my wish list that I'm most excited to get to, usually with a common theme, on the last Friday of each month. I know a number of excellent bloggers who will be doing similar posts and I'll be sure to link to their posts as well so you can see all the goodies we're excited about and, hopefully, add a few new books to your own wish list. I'll also link the titles to Goodreads where you can read reviews and find the various ways to purchase a copy of the books if they sound like your style. I really hope you enjoy and let me know if you've read any of these or have others you would add to the list.
 
Now that May is almost over and I live in Florida I'm really feeling like it's officially Summer Season for me. Whenever it starts getting hot like this my mind starts wandering to "beach reads" - whether that means a page-turning thriller, fun chick lit, or a book with actual beach feels - and so I've decided to share 5 "beach reads" I'm now wanting to grab up and take to the shore this month. Does anyone else have these on their summer reading lists?
 
 
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One woman is about to discover everything she believes-knows-to be true about her life...isn't.


After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she's known and loved for years-the man she recently married-is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven't even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. The happily-ever-after she remembers in vivid detail-right down to the dress she wore to their wedding-is only one example of what her doctors call a false memory: recollections Lucy's mind made up to fill in the blanks from the coma.

Her psychologist explains the condition as honest lying, because while Lucy's memories are false, they still feel incredibly real. Now she has no idea which memories she can trust-a devastating experience not only for Lucy, but also for her family, friends and especially her devoted boyfriend, Matt, whom Lucy remembers merely as a work colleague.

When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she's been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is.



The Stranger


In the hushed hours of the night a woman is taken by the sea.


Was it a tragic accident? Or should the residents of Penhallow have been more careful about whom they invited in?

In the midst of war three women arrive seeking safety at Penhallow Hall.

Each is looking to escape her past.

But one of them is not there by choice.

As the threat of invasion mounts and the nightly blackouts feel longer and longer, tensions between the close-knit residents rise until dark secrets start to surface.

And no one can predict what their neighbour is capable of . . .

In a house full of strangers, who do you trust?



The Baby Plan


In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries creator Kate Rorick’s first adult fiction novel, we enter the wild, bewildering world of modern pregnancies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head as you wonder where everyone’s sanity went...


Meet the mothers…

Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more…

Lyndi Kneller: Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on—a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller…

Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rock’s hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way…

Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern day pregnancy. It’s a world of over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced and sonograms are Facebook-shared. And where nothing goes as planned...



Something in the Water


A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut--for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena.


If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman's enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we're tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.



 A Noise Downstairs


The New York Times bestselling author of No Time for Goodbye returns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.


College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s "normal" existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

 Check out these lovely blogs for more books to add to your wish list(updated as they become available):



Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Magdalena at A Bookish Swede
 
 
 
 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cover Crush: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
And we've got more flowers this week!! I promise I do enjoy covers with elements other than flowers, I just seem to be drawn to them lately. Anyways, this cover in particular...I really like how disjointed and hazy elements of the cover are as I'm sure they represent some sort of confusion or mystery within the story. I also like how the flowers seem to be cutting into this woman's profile. I have no idea what that could represent but I like it!
 
Let's read the synopsis to see what we can expect....
 
 
This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cover Crush: Life in the Garden by Penelope Lively

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I seem to have something for flowers against black backdrops as this has quite a lot in common with last week's Cover Crush pick, with the exception of this one being more about the growth of flowers and less about their destruction. I love the way the flowers and greenery on this cover actually look to be alive and growing and how they weave within the title and author's name. The bright mix of colors is also pleasing against the dark background and it's all quite pretty.
 
Let's take a peak to see what's inside the cover, shall we.....
 
 
The two central activities in my life - alongside writing - have been reading and gardening.

Penelope Lively has always been a keen gardener. This book is partly a memoir of her own life in gardens: the large garden at home in Cairo where she spent most of her childhood, her grandmother's garden in a sloping Somerset field, then two successive Oxfordshire gardens of her own, and the smaller urban garden in the North London home she lives in today.
It is also a wise, engaging and far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature, from Paradise Lost to Alice in Wonderland, and of writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin.
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Publisher: Phoenix Books, Inc.
Pub. Date: April 17th, 2007
Length: 6 hours

Genres: Horror / Fiction / Suspense


Synopsis



The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre


First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.


What Did I Think About the Story?



I've enjoyed the movie version of The Haunting of Hill House since it came out years ago, but somehow never got around to reading (or listening, in this case) to the actual story as written by the author. In the movie we see a mix of the paranormal and the psychological, wondering how much of what was occurring was a result of ghosts and evil spirits or more within the twisted minds of the characters. I found this audiobook to be very similar, at least where it comes to that key mystery, and to have much about it to enjoy, even as the ending left much to be desired.

The characters are very similar: shy, lonely Eleanor; vivacious and outgoing Theodora; charming and appeasing Luke; and the doctor at the center of it all, studying the others and pulling the strings somewhat. The house itself is even a character, being strangely constructed with off-kilter doors, strange hallways and rooms, and oddities that would leave anyone feeling slightly uncomfortable or slightly insane within it. It's an overall fun house even as it can also feel quite terrifying.

The narrator was great, having that classic posh English accent that you would expect and want from this sort of story. While each of the voices didn't necessarily sound distinct of and to themselves they were still varied enough that it wasn't difficult to figure out who was talking to whom and he definitely made up for any lack of distinction with his great skills at keeping the narration foreboding and sinister feeling.

I have to admit I'm either disappointed with the ending or somewhat confused on what actually  happened. I don't want to say too much in case anyone else hasn't read/listened to the story and wants to, but I was left feeling like not that much actually happened by the end of the story. Sort of a "this happened and now we are all moving on" situation. I might have completely missed something while listening to the audiobook...that happens sometimes when you listen while driving...but otherwise it ended up being something of a letdown.

The Haunting of Hill House is a good, classically sinister story that gets under your skin even as not that much really happens. It's more about what isn't happening and the bumps in the night that we cannot see. While this doesn't make me a lifetime fan of Shirley Jackson's I'm definitely interested to see what her other stories might have to offer.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



I'm not a big fan of this particular cover as it's just the movie tie-in photo and doesn't really represent, for me, the story as a whole. I've seen other covers that show a creepy old house, which is great, but even those don't seem to have much depth to them.



My Rating: 4.0/5.0


I borrowed a copy of The Haunting of Hill House from my library's Overdrive account. All opinions are mine alone. If you'd like to find out more about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, see Goodreads HERE.
 
 


Friday, May 11, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Pub. Date: May 16th, 2013
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Length: 15 hours, 54 minutes

Book Series: Cormoran Strike #1
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Mystery / Crime Fiction


Synopsis



The Cuckoo's Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J. K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.


What Did I Think About the Story?



I feel very late to the game with this series of contemporary mysteries by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling). I saw this first book in the series pop up on my library's Overdrive account and thought, why not give it a go? I'm been really enjoying mysteries this year and it sounded like a good premise. I'm glad I went with my gut because not only did I enjoy the story very much I also really enjoyed the narrator.

The main character - Cormoran Strike - is a gem. As the story began I pictured him as a classic sort of bumbling detective, kind of gritty and unkempt and seeming to be falling apart even when you know he's following all the clues. He's also got much about him that's very unique, having been in the military police and having been injured in the line of duty, as well as being the illegitimate son of a aging rockstar, something that put him in a very interesting predicament as he investigates the death of a supermodel that was surrounded by people who also know his father.

His (at first temporary) assistant, Robin Ellacott, is wonderful as well, serving as a great Girl Friday, keeping Cormoran in line and on target while also wrestling with whether she wanted to continue on assisting him in this unsteady detective business (something she very much enjoys much to the dismay of her fiancée) or move on to the next better paying and more secure position. I'm surprised that she isn't even named in the synopsis above as she plays a large part in the story and is just as enjoyable and fleshed out as Cormoran. I would definitely say I at least appreciated both of these characters equally.

The actual search into what happened to Lula Landry was fun to follow. The rich and vicious world Lula lived within was quite entertaining, if superficial, and I was constantly left feeling like these people who were supposed to care about Lula weren't telling the whole truth about what they knew about her or the events leading up to her death, whether that was because of secrets in their own lives or because of some sort of involvement. When the last shoe does drop and we find out exactly what happened to Lula - in great detail as Cormoran has figured out - I can honestly say I did not see it coming. I almost feel like I should have, given what we discover, but as it stands I was completely surprised.

The narrator of The Cuckoo's Calling was exceptional, varying the voices into distinct characterizations (and there are quite a few secondary characters) as well as keeping the narrative flowing evenly so as not to bog the listener down in all the details. He also perfectly expressed Cormoran's dry wit, making me connect with him as a character even more than I might have otherwise.

The Cuckoo's Calling was a fun audiobook to listen to on my commute. The story flowed, the characters and the mystery were interesting, and I'm left wanting more. I've now reserved the next book in the series and hope to be able to listen to it really soon! I'm also really excited to see the TV series that I read is being made based on the series.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



While I think this image represents the overall story well, I don't think the woman on the cover at all matches the image of Lula Landry that I had built up in my head while reading the story. I always prefer if the model on the cover matches the description of the character. Other than that, I love the blinding flashbulbs and the way the name is sort of scrawled within it. I also like that the author's name is quite small so as not to draw attention away from the rest of the cover.


My Rating: 4.0/5.0



I borrowed a copy of the audiobook version of The Cuckoo's Calling from my library's Overdrive account. All opinions are mine alone. You can find more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase a copy, on Goodreads HERE.
 
 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cover Crush: How to be Safe by Tom McAllister

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
There's something violently beautiful about this cover. That soft, pretty rose is just being smashed/shaken into destruction. You can almost see the vibrations of it! I mean, it almost looks like it's bleeding. With the off kilter placement of the title as well I'm thinking this story has got to be about something delicate being thrown into total disarray. It's even more vivid against that all black background and all together is quite a striking image.
 
What kind of destruction is happening within these pages? Hmm.....
 
 
Former Teacher Had Motive. Recently suspended for a so-called outburst, high school English teacher Anna Crawford is stewing over the injustice at home when she is shocked to see herself named on television as a suspect in a shooting at the school where she works. Though she is quickly exonerated, and the actual teenage murderer identified, her life is nevertheless held up for relentless scrutiny and judgment as this quiet town descends into media mania. Gun sales skyrocket, victims are transformed into martyrs, and the rules of public mourning are ruthlessly enforced. Anna decides to wholeheartedly reject the culpability she’s somehow been assigned, and the rampant sexism that comes with it, both in person and online.

A piercing feminist howl written in trenchant prose, How to Be Safe is a compulsively readable, darkly funny exposé of the hypocrisy that ensues when illusions of peace are shattered. 
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 
 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Cover Crush: The Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I absolutely love the texture of these feathers! They look so soft yet ribbed...I just want to reach out and rub them. The iridescent coloring is beautiful as well and I can hardly even imagine a bird with such beautiful plumage (other than maybe a peacock). Having the title sort of tucked amongst the feathers is also a great touch. Just a really cool cover.
 
Read the synopsis to find out what "heist" this book is going to teach us about....
 
 
A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin’s obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins–some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin’s, Alfred Russel Wallace, who’d risked everything to gather them–and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man’s relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
 
 
Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):


Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired



Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 
 
 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spotlight on SAVING BOBBY: Heroes and Heroin in One Small Community by Renée Hodges

Publisher: She Writes Press
Pub. Date: May 1, 2018
Pages: 349



In the face of the staggering statistics about opioid addiction in the United States, Renee Hodges’s memoir, SAVING BOBBY, is a beacon of hope—encouraging, uplifting and inspiring.


In her memoir, Renee documents how she, her husband, and their small community in Durham, North Carolina rallied to help her nephew, Bobby, manage his recovery from an addiction to prescription painkillers prescribed for his back pain. Their story is striking because it focuses entirely on handling recovery while assimilating back into society, describing life after Bobby left the structure and protection of multiple rehabilitation centers and half-way houses.

Told in part through journal entries and e-mails, this raw, moving memoir describes a naïve aunt’s deeply personal journey grappling with her own family’s history of addiction, the crippling ripple-down effect of the disease in other generations, and the resources and holistic process used to help Bobby reclaim his life. Bobby did make it—in part because recovery doesn’t happen in isolation, and he had support from a caring community willing to move past the shame and stigma of addiction. A riveting, hopeful, and heartrending story of survival, SAVING BOBBY is an essential, timely read for those concerned about America’s most pressing epidemic.


Praise for Saving Bobby



“…a very loud, clear wakeup call that we must heed…”—Claude T. Moorman, III, MD, Former Executive Director, Duke Sports Sciences Institute and Head Team Physician, Duke Athletics

“…This book is a must-read for all of us.”—Kim Leversedge MD, Board Certified Pediatrician


“…strikingly personal and lyrically told….A heartfelt, inspiring, and deeply moving chronology of substance abuse and enduring, unconditional familial love.”—Kirkus Reviews


“…Teachers and parents will benefit from reading this eye-opening account into what might be an unfamiliar reality.”—Denise E. Carr, junior high and middle school science teacher

“…this story, though it is so poignantly Bobby and Renée’s story, belongs to us all…. This is a book you cannot put down. This is a story you cannot forget—nor should you.”—Dee Mason, journalist, author, playwright, and public speaker
 
 

Buy the Book

  
 
 

About the Author

 
 
Although her Louisiana roots run deep, RENÉE HODGES and her husband have called North Carolina home for the past thirty years. She co-wrote and self-published the Best Kept Secrets series of guides in the 1980’s. Settling into motherhood and raising a family, however, has been her most satisfying work, and today she is a wife, mother of three, writer, investor, community volunteer, and avid tennis player. She is also a Shatterproof ambassador.


Renee Hodges is touring nationwide. Learn more about her book and her appearances by visiting www.ReneeHodgesAuthor.com.
 
 
 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Review: I Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pub. Date: January 16th, 2018
Pages: 384

Genre: Fiction / Suspense / Mystery


Synopsis



…But what if that’s the only thing you can remember?

Komméno Island, Greece: I don't know where I am, who I am. Help me.


A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.


Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.


Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?


The truth is found in these pages…


What Did I Think About the Story?



I Know My Name is mainly told through two shifting storylines - that of a woman who washes up on the shore of an uninhabited island (save four people supposedly staying on the island as a writers retreat) with a bad head injury and no memory of who she is, and that of an overworked husband left to try and figure out where his wife, Eloise, is after he gets the call that she is gone, leaving their two children home alone and seeming to have left everything behind. From the very beginning it wasn't hard to see how the two stories would most likely be related but became more about figuring out the why and how. Interspersed within the two storylines are short chapters detailing the horrific and abusive childhood that Eloise had with her mother and these snippets helped fill in some of the backstory of a woman who wasn't as perfect as she and her family let on.

I have to admit that this story dragged somewhat for me. While I did find much to enjoy within each separate storyline it felt like it took forever for the story to actually progress, especially on the island. While our mystery woman was trying to remember anything about who she was and how she ended up on the island the other four people kept acting strangely and asking her constantly if she remembered anything and I got to the point where I wanted something - anything - else to happen. It did eventually move on as the two storylines began to converge, but by that point I had already figured out what was happening and was just trying to figure out how the author was going to plausibly bring everything fully together. And then, once everything was revealed, I felt like it was wrapped up too quickly to satisfy the slow burn to get to that point. The pacing just felt off.

What I did very much enjoy was the family drama aspect of the story (as opposed to the mystery which wasn't overly hard to figure out). As Lochlan is desperately trying to figure out where his wife has gone and why, you see him realize that he doesn't know his wife very well and hasn't put much of an effort forward to help her. He's been so busy within his business bubble that he hasn't even noticed his wife's struggles finding herself within the roles of perfect mother and wife. He's been neglectful and, in turn, feels shame that he doesn't even know what his wife does all day long. It was great watching him come to grips with this and to see him change into a wholly different man. It was also quite heartbreaking learning of all the horrible things Eloise had to endure as a child - things Lochlan wasn't even aware of - as well as seeing how these things greatly effected the woman Eloise became.

All in all I would say that I Know My Name was an entertaining read even if not for the reasons I was expecting. It was different, which is always good, and I think the author did a great job of building the tension in both storylines as the reader and the characters work to put the pieces of this strange puzzle together. I'm interested to see what author C.J. Cooke tackles in the future.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



I think this is the perfect cover for this story. The sort of paneled/fractured nature of the cover makes me instantly think of the issues at the heart of the story, as does the shadowed nature of the woman. The blues also make me think of the ocean, which fits the setting of half of the story. Great cover!


My Rating: 3.0/5.0



Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for a free copy of I Know My Name in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone. For more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase your own copy, see Goodreads HERE.
 
 


Friday, April 27, 2018

The Tip of My Wish List: The Lady Darby Mysteries

If you're anything like me you've got a book wish list so long there is no way you will ever be able to read through it all. And, on top of that, it's never ending because you just can't stop adding more books to it! To try and organize myself I'm sharing 5 books from my wish list that I'm most excited to get to, usually with a common theme, on the last Friday of each month. I know a number of excellent bloggers who will be doing similar posts and I'll be sure to link to their posts as well so you can see all the goodies we're excited about and, hopefully, add a few new books to your own wish list. I'll also link the titles to Goodreads where you can read reviews and find the various ways to purchase a copy of the books if they sound like your style. I really hope you enjoy and let me know if you've read any of these or have others you would add to the list.
 
This month's list is actually inspired by a Cover Crush I ran a week or so ago. When I saw the cover of Anna Lee Huber's newest installment in her Lady Darby Mysteries I realized I hadn't read any of them, even though I've had them on my wish list for some time. There are actually six books already in the series, so you get a bonus book this month!
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
 

Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her husband, Lady Darby has taken refuge at her sister's estate, finding solace in her passion for painting. But when her hosts throw a house party for the cream of London society, Kiera is unable to hide from the ire of those who believe her to be as unnatural as her husband, an anatomist who used her artistic talents to suit his own macabre purposes.

Kiera wants to put her past aside, but when one of the house guests is murdered, her brother-in-law asks her to utilize her knowledge of human anatomy to aid the insufferable Sebastian Gage--a fellow guest with some experience as an inquiry agent. While Gage is clearly more competent than she first assumed, Kiera isn't about to let her guard down as accusations and rumors swirl.

When Kiera and Gage's search leads them to even more gruesome discoveries, a series of disturbing notes urges Lady Darby to give up the inquiry. But Kiera is determined to both protect her family and prove her innocence, even as she risks becoming the next victim...



Mortal Arts


Scotland, 1830. Lady Kiera Darby is no stranger to intrigue—in fact, it seems to follow wherever she goes. After her foray into murder investigation, Kiera must journey to Edinburgh with her family so that her pregnant sister can be close to proper medical care. But the city is full of many things Kiera isn’t quite ready to face: the society ladies keen on judging her, her fellow investigator—and romantic entanglement—Sebastian Gage, and ultimately, another deadly mystery.

Kiera’s old friend Michael Dalmay is about to be married, but the arrival of his older brother—and Kiera’s childhood art tutor—William, has thrown everything into chaos. For ten years Will has been missing, committed to an insane asylum by his own father. Kiera is sympathetic to her mentor’s plight, especially when rumors swirl about a local girl gone missing. Now Kiera must once again employ her knowledge of the macabre and join forces with Gage in order to prove the innocence of a beloved family friend—and save the marriage of another…



A Grave Matter


Scotland, 1830. Following the death of her dear friend, Lady Kiera Darby is in need of a safe haven. Returning to her childhood home, Kiera hopes her beloved brother Trevor and the merriment of the Hogmanay Ball will distract her. But when a caretaker is murdered and a grave is disturbed at nearby Dryburgh Abbey, Kiera is once more thrust into the cold grasp of death.

While Kiera knows that aiding in another inquiry will only further tarnish her reputation, her knowledge of anatomy could make the difference in solving the case. But agreeing to investigate means Kiera must deal with the complicated emotions aroused in her by inquiry agent Sebastian Gage.

When Gage arrives, he reveals that the incident at the Abbey was not the first—some fiend is digging up old bones and holding them for ransom. Now Kiera and Gage must catch the grave robber and put the case to rest…before another victim winds up six feet under.



A Study in Death


Scotland, 1831. After a tumultuous courtship complicated by three deadly inquiries, Lady Kiera Darby is thrilled to have found both an investigative partner and a fiancé in Sebastian Gage. But with her well-meaning—and very pregnant—sister planning on making their wedding the event of the season, Kiera could use a respite from the impending madness.

Commissioned to paint the portrait of Lady Drummond, Kiera is saddened when she recognizes the pain in the baroness’s eyes. Lord Drummond is a brute, and his brusque treatment of his wife forces Kiera to think of the torment caused by her own late husband.

Kiera isn’t sure how to help, but when she finds Lady Drummond prostrate on the floor, things take a fatal turn. The physician called to the house and Lord Drummond appear satisfied to rule her death natural, but Kiera is convinced that poison is the real culprit.

Now, armed only with her knowledge of the macabre and her convictions, Kiera intends to discover the truth behind the baroness’s death—no matter what, or who, stands in her way…

 

As Death Draws Near


June 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England’s Lake District, Kiera and Gage’s seclusion is soon interrupted by a missive from her new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that Kiera and Gage look into the matter.

Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travel to Rathfarnham Abbey school. Soon a second nun is slain in broad daylight near a classroom full of young girls. With the sinful killer growing bolder, the mother superior would like to send the students home, but the growing civil unrest in Ireland would make the journey treacherous.

Before long, Kiera starts to suspect that some of the girls may be hiding a sinister secret. With the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend, before their matrimonial bliss comes to an untimely end...



 
 
July 1831. It's been fifteen years since Sebastian Gage has set foot in Langstone Manor. Though he has shared little with his wife, Lady Kiera Darby, about his past, she knows that he planned never to return to the place of so many unhappy childhood memories. But when an urgent letter from his grandfather reaches them in Dublin, Ireland, and begs Gage to visit, Kiera convinces him to go.

All is not well at Langstone Manor. Gage's grandfather, the Viscount Tavistock, is gravely ill, and Gage's cousin Alfred has suddenly vanished. He wandered out into the moors and never returned. The Viscount is convinced someone or something other than the natural hazards of the moors is to blame for Alfred's disappearance. And when Alfred's brother Rory goes missing, Kiera and Gage must concede he may be right. Now, they must face the ghosts of Gage's past, discover the truth behind the local superstitions, and see beyond the tricks being played by their very own eyes to expose what has happened to Gage's family before the moors claim yet another victim...


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 

Check out these lovely blogs for more books to add to your wish list(updated as they become available):


Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court
Erin at Flashlight Commentary
Magdalena at A Bookish Swede
 
 
 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cover Crush: This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Hello, my name is Colleen and I am a cover slut. I know, I know....you aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover. I just can't help myself! A beautiful cover draws my eye every single time and I can't help but pick up the book it's dressing and see if the inside seems as intriguing as the outside. Sometimes it does, and sometimes a pretty cover is just a pretty cover. Either way, I love getting an eyeful!

One of my favorite bloggers, Erin at
Flashlight Commentary, created a weekly blog post called Cover Crush and she and some other blogger friends are sharing their favorite covers each Thursday. You'll find my Cover Crush selection below and I'll link to everyone else's at the end of the post.

So, without further ado, my Cover Crush this week is.....
 
 
 
 
I don't even know where I should start regarding what I love about this cover. And what's all the more amazing...it's quite simple! It's a massive swirl of creamy blues all melding together and flowing around the white stars. I just want to reach out and squish my hands right in the center! I like how the title seems to swirl within the background as well. Just really, really pretty!!
 
While this cover doesn't really give any hint about what the story is about I'm guessing the synopsis will.....
 
 
Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.  


Don't forget to check out what covers my blogger buddies are drooling over this week (updated as they become available):




Created by Magdalena of A Bookaholic Swede
 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

HFVBT Review: Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt + Tour-Wide Giveaway!!

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pub. Date: April 10, 2018
Pages: 400

Genre: Historical Fiction/Literary



Synopsis



In the glittering hotbed of turn-of-the-twentieth century Vienna, one woman’s life would define and defy an era.

Gustav Klimt gave Alma her first kiss. Gustav Mahler fell in love with her at first sight and proposed only a few weeks later. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Poet and novelist Franz Werfel described her as “one of the very few magical women that exist.” But who was this woman who brought these most eminent of men to their knees? In Ecstasy, Mary Sharratt finally gives one of the most controversial and complex women of her time center stage.

Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand new era of possibility for women is dawning and she is determined to make the most of it. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior. He demands that she give up her music as a condition for their marriage. Torn by her love and in awe of his genius, how will she remain true to herself and her artistic passion?

Part cautionary tale, part triumph of the feminist spirit, Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, daughter, sister, mother, wife, lover, and muse.


What Did I Think About the Story?



Ecstasy is my first experience with Mary Sharratt's novels, although I have a few others on my shelves, and I was blown away by the beauty and depth of the writing. I'm somewhat embarrassed to say that I wasn't familiar with Alma Mahler before picking up this book so had no preconceptions of how her story would unfold. What I found within the pages was a brilliant and passionate woman who, for years, put her own happiness on hold for a selfish husband until she was finally able to burst free to become the accomplished woman she was always meant to be.

My favorite aspect of the story would have to be the beauty with which it was written. It flows like music and Sharratt brings Alma's world to life with vivid color and dimension, painting this unique and colorful world with detailed strokes. This can be both good and bad as I really came to appreciate Alma's talents and became somewhat frustrated with what she put up with at the hands of her husband, Gustav Mahler, and the lack of support she received from her mother and stepfather.

It's been a while since I've read a work of historical fiction and yearned for the history to be different so a real life character would have a different life, but here we are. Sharratt  made me care for Alma in a way that made me feel like I wanted her, and other characters, to make different choices. For example, her parents raised her within this progressive artistic community but then forbade her from finding her own foothold within it, and then supported the notion of her giving up her own ambitions for a man who thought his own genius was more important than his wife's happiness and fulfillment. And Gustav...I apologize to any fans of his talent but, as a man, I found him to be just awful. The way he treated Alma was simply uncaring and cruel and, by the time he seemed to realize that he needed to support her, I personally thought it was too little too late. It made it worse for me that Alma even felt he was being selfish and hurtful but still supported it as a "dutiful wife" because his brilliance was so great. It was just so aggravating to me!

All this being said I was very happy to see that, with all the pain and loss she endured during her marriage to Mahler, she was able to eventually share her own talents with the world. The author includes a wonderful author's note at the end that fills the reader in on Alma's life after this story ends and I have to admit that I would love to read a novel about that part of her life (maybe a sequel? Hmm???). Either way I'll be on the hunt for more about Alma Mahler as Ecstasy has stirred me to need to learn more and I'm very excited to read more by Mary Sharratt!    


What Did I Think About the Cover?



This just so  happens to be one of my all-time favorite covers (I even picked it for a Cover Crush post)! Everything about it is simply stunning, take your pick!


My Rating: 4.5/5.0


Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a free copy of Ecstasy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone. Continue below for more information about the book and the HFVBT!
 
 

Praise for Ecstasy

 
 
“In ECSTASY, Mary Sharratt plunges the reader into the tumultuous and glamorous fin de siècle era, bringing to life its brilliant and beguiling leading lady. Finally, Alma Mahler takes center stage, surging to life as so much more than simply the female companion to the brilliant and famous men who loved her. Sharratt’s portrait is poignant and nuanced, her novel brimming with rich historic detail and lush, evocative language.” – Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress

“A tender, intimate exploration of a complicated woman, Mary Sharratt’s ECSTASY renders in exquisitely researched detail and fiercely imagined scenes the life of Alma Mahler — daughter, wife, mother, lover, and composer — and the early 20th Century Vienna and New York in which she came of age. I loved this inspiring story of an early feminist standing up for her art.” – Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Race for Paris

“Evocative and passionate, ECSTASY illuminates through its tempestuous and talented heroine a conundrum that resonates across the centuries: how a woman can fulfill her destiny by being both a lover and an artist.” – Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers

“Mary Sharratt makes a triumphant return to the page with this masterful portrait of Alma Mahler, the wife of the famous composer Gustav Mahler. Set in a time and place when a woman could only hope to be the power behind the throne, Sharratt brings a meticulously researched and richly illuminated account of a young woman who was a brilliant composer in her own right. Alma may have had to suppress her own talents to support Mahler; however, ECSTASY reveals that she was a woman who “contained multitudes.” ECSTASY is an important work of historical fiction, as well as a timely and topical addition to the canon of knowledge that needs to better represent important women and their contributions.” – Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books

“Alma Mahler’s unexpected, often heartbreaking journey from muse to independence comes to vivid, dramatic life in Mary Sharratt’s ECSTASY. Sharratt skillfully evokes turn-of-the-century Vienna and the musical genius of the era, returning Alma to her rightful place in history as both the inspiration to the men in her life and a gifted artist in her own right.” – C.W. Gortner, bestselling author of Mademoiselle Chanel

“Mary Sharratt has more than done justice to one of the most interesting, shocking, and passionate women of the 20th century. Overflowing with life and lust, ECSTASY explores this flawed but fascinating woman who was not only muse but a genius in her own right.” – New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose

“A deeply affecting portrait of the woman rumored to be the most notorious femme fatale of turn-of-the-century Vienna. Mary Sharratt’s ECSTASY is as heartbreaking and seductive as Alma Mahler herself.” —Kris Waldherr, author of Doomed Queens and Bad Princess


Buy the Book

 
 
 
 

Buy the Audiobook

 
 

About the Author



MARY SHARRATT is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also the co-editor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes, strong women who break all the rules.

Her novels include Summit Avenue, The Real Minera, The Vanishing Point, The Daughters of Witching Hill, Illuminations, and The Dark Lady’s Mask.

For more information, please visit Mary Sharratt’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

 

It's Giveaway Time!!



During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Ecstasy! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form HERE.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
 
Good Luck!!
 
 

HFVBT Schedule

 

Tuesday, April 10

Review at Broken Teepee

Wednesday, April 11

Feature at Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 12

Review at Bookfever
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, April 13

Interview at Unabridged Chick
Review at View From the Birdhouse

Saturday, April 14

Review at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, April 16

Review at Cup of Sensibility

Tuesday, April 17

Review at Based on a True Story

Wednesday, April 18

Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Thursday, April 19

Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Friday, April 20

Review at Linda’s Book Obsession

Sunday, April 22

Review at Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings

Monday, April 23

Review at A Bookaholic Swede

Tuesday, April 24

Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

Wednesday, April 25

Review at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 26

Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Friday, April 27

Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, April 30

Review at Caryn, the Book Whisperer

Tuesday, May 1

Review at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, May 3

Interview at The Writing Desk

Monday, May 7

Review at What Cathy Read Next

Wednesday, May 9

Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, May 10

Review at Writing the Renaissance

Friday, May 11

Interview at Writing the Renaissance

Monday, May 14

Interview at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, May 16

Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Thursday, May 17

Review at Nicole Evelina

Friday, May 18

Interview at Nicole Evelina



 
 
 

Friday, April 20, 2018

New Release Review: The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

Pub. Date: April 10th, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 349

Genres: Thriller / Suspense / Mystery / Contemporary Fiction


Synopsis



What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?


Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.

So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.

Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.


And now the police are watching them...


What Did I Think About the Story?



I actually finished reading The New Neighbors a few weeks ago but have been struggling somewhat with writing this review. I've been reading so many mystery/thrillers lately that I think I'm starting to develop a pretty high expectation for new ones I pick up. With the synopsis above I thought this was going to be a heart-stopping, fast-paced sort of thriller but I didn't find that to be the case. That isn't to say it wasn't enjoyable, it was. It just wasn't quite what I was expecting. Let me explain...

The beginning starts with the police outside Jack and Syd's new house and goes back in time to have them both, separately, tell the reader what happened from their own viewpoint. It's written almost as a confessional or diary, being somewhat informal and even funny at times. I loved this way of letting things unfold! However, as I neared the 50% mark and both characters were still being incredibly vague about absolutely everything, I began to get a little fed up and just wanted pieces to begin falling into place. And when those pieces did in fact fall I found the revelations to be somewhat anti-climatic and not that surprising. I just didn't find it all that "thrilling".

Something else I did enjoy, and which I wasn't expecting, was the more domestic drama aspect of the story. Both of these characters had incredibly hard childhoods, especially Syd, and seeing how those childhood traumas reached their ugly fingers into the characters' adult lives, influencing the kind of people they became and the actions they would take, was interesting. I think I might have enjoyed the story more if I went into the reading thinking this was more family drama then psychological thriller.

The New Neighbors, while definitely not what I would consider a "page turner", was still a quick and enjoyable read. There are still a few twists to satisfy a mystery reader, although I can't say they were all that hard to see coming. I love the way the author first presented the story, with the back and forth confessional style between Jack and Syd, and I would very much like to read other stories in this format as I think it could prove an excellent way to throw shocks and twists into a reading experience. While not a homerun for me I am still interested to see what else the author might have coming out next.


What Did I Think About the Cover?



This is a GREAT cover for a suspense/mystery novel! It's dark and hazy and you don't really know if the person in the window is trying to get out of that house or is possibly spying on someone on the outside. Are they friend or foe...who knows! I also enjoy the large title that let's you know what the story will be about (and gives you a hint about the person in the window). Really like this cover!


My Rating:3.0/5.0



I received a digital ARC copy of The New Neighbors from Netgalley and Berkley, Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine alone. For more information about the book, including other reviews and links to where you can purchase your own copy, see Goodreads HERE.