Book Review: The Perfect Couple

Title: The Perfect Couple

Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Format: Hardcover

Published: 2018

 

 

This book landed on my lap thanks to a co-worker at work.  Her exact words to me were, “Do you want to read a book about a wedding where the maid of honor ends up dead on the day of the wedding?”  How can you say no to that?!

It is extremely difficult to be reading a book that someone else has read and you see them every day.  Each day I would walk in to her office and make some crazy exclamation and she would laugh.  When I finished the book, I walked in to her office and went, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! REALLY?” and all she could do was say that was why she kept her mouth shut and just laughed at me each time.

This book had some great twists and turns.  Just when I thought it was going one way, and I was convinced I knew who did it, something else would happen and I would think something else.  I truly never guessed the ending.  I was never remotely even close to thinking it.

So let’s delve in to the meat of the story shall we?  Celeste Otis, plain Jane, college educated, modest living girl is engaged to be married to Benji Winbury, trust fund baby, silver spoon fed, wealthy man on Nantucket Island.  Celeste has allowed Benji’s mother, acclaimed author and trust fund baby herself, to plan the entire wedding.  As the wedding fast approaches she starts to develop a stutter that is attributed to stress.

Celeste’s mother is battling cancer and does not have very long to live so Celeste is adamant on being married soon so her mother can be there.  On the morning of the wedding Celeste discovers her only true friend, her best friend, and maid of honor, floating in the water on the shoreline.  The wedding is cancelled and a full-on investigation is launched.

The book takes us on twists and turns and we get to see how the romance started between Celeste and Benji.  The Winbury family also has some dark secrets that start to come out of the woodwork.  Just because you seemingly have it all does not mean you have it all together.  This set of issues the family has are none that I would want if that is what came with having all the money in the world.

I am giving this book 5 stars simply for the fact that I could not put this book down.  It captivated me and had me intrigued at what was happening.  I had fun coming up with some pretty elaborate theories of whodunit throughout reading this book.  I was satisfied with how Hilderbrand chose to end this book and even happier that we find out exactly how the maid of honor died.  There was no assuming of how her circumstances came to be and for that, I applaud Hilderbrand.  Tune in next week for my review of The Diagnosis Is Murder by Steven Gossington!

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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!

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