Book Review: To All The Boys I’ve Love Before Trilogy

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, & Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Author: Jenny Han

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2014, 2015, 2017


I read this, ok, these books because the movie is now out on Netflix.  I love reading a book and then watching the movie, but, I don’t know if I want to taint this series with the movie quite yet.  This was SUCH a GREAT and AMAZING series.  Let me just begin by saying that if I read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before when it first came out I would be so mad at Jenny Han.  The lesson to take away here is you don’t read her books if they are part of a series until they’re all out!

I read all three books in a matter of three days.  Yes, they were that good.

Lara Jean is a high school junior who is a tad bit quirky.  As a teenage girl she as multiple crushes during her middle school and high school years and when she gets over them, she writes them a letter.  Lara Jean keeps these letters hidden in a hat box until one day when her younger sister mails them out.  Whoops.

The big blunder is that she once had a crush on her neighbor, the neighbor her sister was dating.  So she enlists the help of another former crush so her neighbor does not suspect she still likes him.  So now Lara Jean is pretending to date the great Peter Kavinsky (who just broke up with one of the most popular girls at school).  They make a contract which lets both Peter and Lara Jean know what they are supposed to do for each other (Peter must write Lara Jean one note a day, Lara Jean must call Peter at least once a day, preferably her last call of the night, Lara Jean must go to Peter’s lacrosse games, etc).  Peter decides to go for it so maybe he can make his ex-girlfriend jealous.

I know what you are assuming, they fall in love, but, I won’t tell you if they do or don’t.  I will tell you that at the end of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Lara Jean and Peter have a falling out and the book ends with Lara Jean writing him a letter.  Yes, it literally ends with, “Dear Peter.”  Oh, the cliffhanger!  You will be so hooked you will have to finish all three of the books.  P.S. I Still Love You takes us through the end of Lara Jean’s junior year and the start of her senior year (and finishes that letter!!!).  Always & Forever, Lara Jean takes us through the remainder of her senior year and the beginning of college.

Through the journey of these books her past crushes make appearances.  It appears that each of her crushes also had a little thing for Lara Jean too.  Some try to make moves and become an item with Lara Jean and some will fail.  One will succeed.  Which one will that be?  Read them all to find out!  We also go on a journey with her father, a widow, and a new love that Lara Jean’s younger sister sets him up with.

This is a 5-star book series.  It was such a fun and light read.  I forget how much I can love young adult novels.  The ending was very satisfying and I felt like it left us at a good place with Lara Jean.  Take my word for it when I say to buy all three books before you start reading one.  Tune in next week for my review of The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand.


Book Review: The Woman In The Window

Title: The Woman In The Window

Author: A. J. Finn

Format: Hardcover

Published: 2018

I am so upset with myself.  I have had this book in my possession since MARCH.  MARCH!  I ordered party supplies for my son on Amazon and I had to increase my order by $15 to get free shipping (or I’d pay an extra $15 for shipping) so I quickly browsed around and thought, hey, that book looks good.  Guys…………………….

I thought I had this book figured out a few times.  I thought I saw how it would all play out.  Nope.   Not even close.

Anna Fox, Dr. Anna Fox, lives by herself in New York City and stares out her window all day long.  We’re talking, next level spying on your neighbors.  She knows all of their routines and everything that is going on in their lives, without ever talking to them.

She hasn’t left her home in a year.  She gets her groceries delivered and therapy sessions take place inside her home.  She tries to go outside but has full-fledged anxiety attacks; she’s an agoraphobic (fear of places and situations that may cause panic or anxiety).  She also over medicates and drinks multiple bottles of wine every day.  Did I mention that on occasion as she watches her neighbors she also takes their pictures?

So, by all accounts you could call her a psycho.  You really can’t believe a word she says yet now she thinks she has witnessed a murder.  She sees the wife of her new neighbors get stabbed, but, she doesn’t see who does it.  Or did she even see it at all?  What is really going on?

A little background information on her may help you.  She used to be a child psychiatrist and now spends her time at an on-line forum helping others with their problems (remember, she cannot go outside).  Her family no longer lives with her but she speaks to them every day.  It seems she is going through a divorce and is in the separation stage.  She has a tenant in her basement and he helps around the house.  When she asks him about the neighbors he seems a little suspect, maybe he was involved?

Ultimately the police get involved and her neighbors deny anything has ever happened.  Now, who would you believe in this case; a woman who hasn’t left her house in a year and is drunk and on meds that cause more side effects (such as hallucinations) or the people who feel like they’re being harassed and have done nothing wrong.  I can’t say anything else without giving the book away and you really need to read this one!

This is a 5-star book.  I read it within 2 days and that was only because I needed sleep.  It was a great read with a wonderful flow.  I gasped a few times reading this and my jaw hit the floor.  Not once, but, twice.  I cannot believe that this is Finn’s debut novel.  I look forward to many more from him in the future!  Tune in next Thursday for my review of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy (yes, THREE books in ONE review) by Jenny Han.

Book Review: Vegas Girls

Title: Vegas Girls

Author: Heather Skyler

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2016

For those of you who may or may not know, I live in Las Vegas.  Obviously I was attracted to a book called Vegas Girls.  This story is about three best friends who come back together in their hometown, Las Vegas.

Quick personal note.  Dear Heather Skyler, Thank you for portraying Vegas as…Vegas.  The Vegas as locals see it, breathe it, and feel it.  I love it.  Love, Me.  Ok, now for the rest of you who may not be from Las Vegas PLEASE read this.  Especially if you think everyone who lives here lives on the Strip.  I appreciated every detail in this book because it was ALL real!  Now I must eat at the Mexican restaurant mentioned in the book (Ricardo’s) because I’m intrigued.

So the story.  Ivy is married and moved back to Las Vegas with her husband and son who is turning one.  Ramona and Jane both live out of state now and come back to town to celebrate.  It is the first time they have all been together in Vegas since they graduated high school.

Each woman is struggling with something in her life.  Ivy just ran into her ex-boyfriend at the grocery store and started a friendship with him.  She’s also worried to death that somehow she will just up and leave like her mother did to her when she was in high school.  Ramona is a bit of a wild child whose career in music just never quite took off.  She’s dealing with pain of the loss of her brother, mother, and a child she put up for adoption when she was in high school.  Jane has two children in tow and wants to leave her husband of eleven years.  She happens to meet a single neighbor while on her vacation and it helps her to see what she wants out of her relationship with her husband.

Every woman in this book is facing a tough spot in their life.  They are there to help each other and work through it and I am happy to report that each of these women gets what they need to move on with their lives.  The ending is very anti-climactic although someone does get shoved into a pool.  At first this disappointed me but after thinking about it, this book ended perfectly.  This felt like a real story with real people and this is how I would hope it would end for them.

I fell in love with these characters and I want more, so much more.  I will say it was a bit odd that the friends would just take off and leave without saying anything to anyone, but, I guess some friendships work like that.

I am giving this book 4 stars.  I am happy to have stumbled across the ad for this book on Facebook one day and bite the bullet and bought it.  It is a well written novel that will have you thinking about your life and how you are going through it.  Tune in next Thursday for my review of The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn!

Book Review: Sadie

Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Format: Advance Readers’ Edition Paperback

Published: 2018


Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books for the advance readers’ copy of Sadie! This book is officially on sale everywhere on September 4, 2018!

If I am brutally honest, this book came with a lot of hype and I felt let down.  The book started out slow, but, picked up.  The ending fell flat and just left me disappointed that I stayed up late to finish the book.

Meet Sadie.  She’s a high school dropout who decides to run away from home to kill the man that killed her thirteen-year-old little sister.  Their mother walked out on them, leaving Sadie to raise herself and her sister, Mattie.

Their foster grandmother, May Beth, calls West McCray as she was told he was someone who may give a damn about Sadie.  McCray runs a Podcast and decides to do a bit on Sadie and Mattie called The Girls.  The book goes between his podcasts and what he is uncovering and then Sadie telling us where her road trip is taking her.

Sadie knows all along who killed her sister, she is just on a mission to find him and kill him herself.  It takes us awhile to figure out who the killer is but eventually Sadie clues us in.  She goes on a journey across the country and does a better job at finding this person than the police ever could (if they knew or had a lead with who committed the crime).  In fact, it’s the lack of faith in the police for the reason why May Beth calls McCray in the first place.

It is a very real and sad story.  I felt for Sadie and wanted her to be successful on her journey.  I did feel some parts of the story came out of nowhere.  There is a scene with McCray interviewing Javi, a boy she met on her road trip, and what he says just didn’t seem to fit into Sadie’s description of what happened.  How the timing came in to play I don’t know.  I guess we would assume she just left that part out, but, it felt off.

I am giving this book 3 stars.  I am a fan of books with a solid ending and this left with me questions.  I don’t like to assume endings and this is one of those books.  If that’s your cup of tea, you will love this book and probably rate it 5 stars and call me crazy.  I guess you could call the ending a realistic missing person’s case ending, however, this is a work of fiction and darn it, I want answers!  Tune in next Thursday for my review of Vegas Girls by Heather Skyler!

Book Review: Stray: Memoir of a Runaway

Title: Stray: Memoir of a Runaway

Author: Tanya Marquardt

Format: Amazon First Reads Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

This was my pick for the month of August with Amazon First Reads.  Stray comes out officially on September 1, 2018.

Raw.  Powerful.  Emotional.  Heart wrenching.  These are all the feelings I felt reading Stray.  In this memoir Tanya Marquardt takes us on her journey when she was a teenager finishing up high school.  She decided to run away from home when she was 16 because the police in Canada could not do anything about it.

Her childhood left me so sad.  Marquardt has overcome a lot in her life.  She survived through abuse, a rough relationship with her divorced parents, and poverty only to relive it by writing about it.  This book reads a lot like a general non-fiction novel and I had to remind myself that this was in fact a true story.  My heart kept breaking with every turn of the page.

The ending is anti-climactic but again, it is a memoir.  I would have liked more closure at the end of the book, but, that is my opinion.  Overall this book was a powerful, insightful read.  I really commend Marquardt for staying focused on her education throughout her rough spot in her life.  Any more details about this book and it would be giving it all away.

I am giving this book 3 stars.  This book was well written and kept my interest.  It saddened me to think that there are children, innocent children, out there that live this life.  The ending just lacked and I would have appreciated to know the outcome of her transition from high school to college.  Obviously, she became successful as she wrote a book but the book just ends with her at an interview for college.  I felt like I went on this journey with her for a better life and she left me hanging.  It was a bit of a letdown after such a tremendous, powerful read.  Tune in next Thursday for my review of my advance reader copy of Sadie by Courtney Summers!

Book Review: The Other Woman

Title: The Other Woman

Author: Sandie Jones

Format: Advancer Readers’ Edition Paperback

Published: 2018

Thank you Minotaur Book for the advance readers’ copy of The Other Woman.  This book is out on August 21st and I am here to tell you to read it.  I am going to try my best to give a review without giving anything away.  This was such a captivating and page turning read.  My favorite feature of this book were the short chapters so if I had 3 minutes to read I could get a chapter read quickly (and with 2 kids at home I was reading at any chance I got, so being able to stop at a chapter is key for me).

Emily meets Adam.  Emily falls in love with Adam.  Emily meets his mother.  There’s a hashtag for this book out there that is #BewareOfPammie.  Pammie is Adam’s mother.  Talk about a psychopath.  Wow.

Pammie is out to make Emily’s life a living hell.  No one else seems to see what Pammie does to Emily.  Is Emily crazy?  Is Emily taking things out of context?  Adam always takes his mother’s side and Emily is determined not to let Pammie win.

Let me interject that if I was Emily I probably would have left.  I probably would have moved to a new state and changed my name.  This woman is just nuts and honestly, Adam just wouldn’t be worth it for me.  I didn’t see what Emily sees in him, but, that’s love I guess.  Emily is having doubts that Pammie really doing everything she is.  She tells everyone how much she loves Emily and how great they get along so is she really doing things on purpose?  Is Emily just making something out of nothing?

On the front of the book it says there’s a, “fiendishly clever with a twist you will not see coming.”  Ok, so I’m reading, dying to know how everything turns out, and I’m almost at the end of the book.  How could there possibly be a twist?  Wait.  Oh!  OH!  WHAT?!?!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  WHAT?!  Yeah, there’s a twist.

I had to take to twitter and search #TheOtherWoman and #BewareOfPammie to talk about this book with others.  Twitter loves the book.  If the Twitterverse loves something, you know it’s good.

This is a 5-star book.  You all know I enjoy a good ending and we get that in this book as well.  It gives you a glimpse into the future.  I can’t say much more or there would be no point in you reading this book.  Let me know if you plan on reading this book or if you received an advance copy too.  I am DYING to talk about this book to others!!  Tune in next Thursday for my review of Stray: Memoir of a Runaway by Tanya Marquardt!

Book Review: All Summer Long

Title: All Summer Long

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank

Format: Paperback

Published: 2016

I loved my first visit to a local Little Free Library and highly suggest that everyone check them out at  Find a local library in your area and pay it a visit (and leave it a book or two)!

So three chapters in to this book and nothing was happening.  There is a lovely older couple, Olivia and Nick, and they are embarking on a move.  Nick is retiring and Olivia promised him when he retires they would move from New York City to Sullivan’s Island.  You would think this book would be about them, however, it’s mostly about the travels they have with Olivia’s billionaire clients, Maritza and Bob.

Now Olivia is struggling financially and Nick is clueless.  Olivia has been struggling with clients and Bob is really her only client she has going for her now.  She’s been working with him for years so they have more of a brother/sister relationship.  The move to Sullivan’s Island has been stressful because she knows what they can and can’t afford and they really shouldn’t be buying what they are.  Earth to Olivia, TALK TO NICK!  BE HONEST!!  Thankfully her assistant Roni helps keep her grounded and is able to work things out for her.

So back to the worldly travels.  I cannot stand the circle of friends that Bob has.  They are rude and ignorant and I don’t know why Bob keeps them around.  Bob isn’t so innocent himself but when he realizes that he has the love of his life, he starts to change his ways, but, is it too late?  The crap that goes on will have your jaw drop.  It will leave you thinking Maritza is only with him for his money but you’ll see how that all unravels.

Short review because there really isn’t much here. If you pick this book up and open it at the halfway point and read the second half, that’s the only part where action happens.  So, because there is some witty, wait, what just happened writing in the second part of this book, I’m giving it a 3.  I’m glad I stuck it out and honestly when I got to the last quarter of the book I couldn’t put it down.  I’ll let you in on a secret…one of the wives decides to leave her husband and it’s an adventure to figure out where she went, how she did it, and if they would stay together.  It just took a lot of reading to get to the point of the story where there was a climax (this book could be turned into a GREAT short story).  Tune in next Thursday for my review of The Other Woman by Sandie Jones!

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