Book Review: An Anonymous Girl

Title: An Anonymous Girl

Author: Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Format: Netgalley Advance Copy Ebook

Published: 2019

 

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this advance copy in exchange for my honest review!  This book officially comes out on January 8, 2019, pre-order it today!

As soon as I heard Hendricks and Pekkanen were penning another novel I could not wait to get my hands on it.  The Wife Between Us blew me away (by the way, go get that book NOW if you haven’t read it) and I could not wait to see what else could come out of their 2 minds.  I was not let down.

The story is about a young woman who ends up in a research study to make some extra money.  The research is all about morals and ethics and is put together by a professor at a local, well known university, who should probably have her own morals and ethics checked out.

This psychological thriller is told by Jessica, the young woman, and Dr. Shields, the professor.  They alternate chapters so it gives us a unique perspective and keeps up guessing throughout the novel.  Just when you think this is going to be a predictable read, it’s not.  There are not many twists and turns but enough to keep you interested.  As we get further in to the book the characters grow and show us sides to them you just cannot predict to see.  The book really picks up in the second half after the stage has been fully set.

I will say I was a little let down with the ending.  I expected it to end with some big bang and it just fell flat for me.  It felt rushed at the end and it just, ended.  I did not get the closure I would have liked; however, it does let you know what happens with the relationship Jessica and Dr. Shields have.  I would have like just a little bit more at the end to satisfy myself.

I am giving this book 4 stars.  It keeps you going and guessing.  I did think I had the book figured out before I got to the halfway point.  That’s where the book really picks up and has left you with enough little pieces you have to read to see how they all fit together.  I will say, Greer and Pekkanen sure do have some twisted minds!  I hope they collaborate yet again, these ladies know how to throw you for a loop!  Tune in next week for my review of my advance copy of The Au Pair by Emma Rous!

 

 

 

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Book Review: The Sisters

Title: The Sisters

Author: Rosalind Noonan

Format: Netgalley Advance Readers’ Copy Ebook

Published: 2018

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read The Sisters before its release on November 27, 2018 in exchange for an honest, impartial review.

I want to start out and say that this book may trigger more sensitive readers with regard to the topics of miscarriages and sexual abuse.  It does not delve in deep to these areas, however, they are here in the book.  What saddens me the most is that even though this is a work of fiction, there are innocent children out there today in this situation in this book.

This book is told through the story of 2 families that are connected to each other; Glory Noland and the McCullum family.  The book is broken down in to 3 parts; The Last Time I Saw You, The Shape Of Tea Leaves, and Glory’s Ghost.  Rosalind Noonan does a tremendous job alternating between the stories of Glory and the McCullum family.

Glory goes from the struggle of being in a biracial relationship to being a widow raising 2 biracial children on her own with no family willing to help her.  She meets a group of women at her local mall that call themselves The Sisters and ever so graciously end up taking her in.  On the other side, the McCullum family is secretly struggling to conceive and start a family, but, has all the family support in the world.

This book sucked me in and would not let me go.  I read this book with tears in my eyes so often, just wanting to jump in and help these women and children.  The character development in this book was remarkable and we watch Glory’s young children grow up to be beautiful young women, especially her eldest Ruby.  For a sixteen-year-old girl who has so much going on in her own life with her mother, she was certainly raised to do right in the world and is someone to be proud of.

This is a solid 4 star read for me.  I had to stop myself from reading at some points in time just so I could get some sleep.  I knew if I continued on, more would develop along in the story and the sun would be rising, as it would be time for me to get ready for work.  Noonan’s penmanship in this tale is heartbreakingly real and page turning.  While I would have wished for a different ending, Noonan does what is right and ends this book on realistic terms, which still please me.  Once you pick this book up, you will find it irresistible to put down.  Tune in next week for my review of The Hit by David Baldacci!

Book Review: Into The Hollow

Title: Into The Hollow

Author: Lynn Vroman

Format: Ebook (courtesy Netgalley advance read)

Published: 2018

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read Into The Hollow before its release date of November 6, 2018 (my birthday)!

This young adult novel is set in the town of Poplar Branch, West Virginia, in the holler.  We meet Freedom Paine, 17, who is living in a shack with her younger brother and father.  Neither Free nor her brother attend school or have any friends (in fact, it’s not allowed, it’s almost as if they are in hiding).  Her father goes out and tries to scheme money where he can and is promising them a better life.  There is so much mystery to her living situation and how her mother died. As the book progresses, we start to learn more and more.

We also meet Cole, a senior in high school.  He has been sucked in to the holler life and is desperate to get himself out of there.  His father and brother are in jail, his sister is a high school dropout with a child, and his mother is a junkie.  Freedom catches Cole’s eye and eventually they end up working together at the same grocery store.  They bond over being able to both take home stale food to fill their bare cupboards until Free’s father forbids her to see him anymore.

The characters develop as the story is told.  I also could not help but read this story in my head with a very Southern twang.  It sucked me in and I had to get to the bottom of every situation.  Fair warning, I cried ugly tears twice in this book.

Free’s dad gets involved in a sticky situation and ends up seriously injured.  Free turns to Cole for help and essentially her world falls apart.  Once Freedom has to seek medical attention for her father, the police get involved because there are 2 minor children he has been caring for.  I can’t say much more without ruining the book.  Just know Cole is her constant and is there for her, always waiting, always willing.  It turns out though, Cole needed Freedom just as much as she needed him.  I don’t think I could written a better ending to the journey that Cole and Freedom end up taking together.  I will say there is light for them at the end of the holler.

I am giving this book 4 stars.  It is a solid, fantastic read.  The character development is spot on and the way the story gives us bits and pieces into Cole’s and Free’s lives is delectable.  The author makes you feel like you are about to go on a soul crushing ride when at the right moment she picks you up and leaves you with a smile.  Absolutely terrific read.  Once I got into part 2 I could barely put the book down.  Don’t let the category of young adult fool you, this is a great read for anyone of any age.  Tune in next week for my review of We Were Mothers by Katie Sise!

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: Whisper Me This

Title: Whisper Me This

Author: Kerry Anne King

Format: Amazon First Reads Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

 

I love, love, love, LOVE, my Amazon Prime membership benefits!  This month I selection Whisper Me This which comes out on August 1st and I am telling you, it is priced right at either $4.99 Kindle edition or $9.99 hardcover, SO PRE-ORDER NOW.  Why?  This story actually had an ENDING.  Yes, the story satisfies you with not an open ended, wishy washy ending, but, a solid, you know what happens ending.  Thank you Ms. King!!

The story starts off a little iffy where we meet this wishy-washy woman who cannot make a decision to save her life, Maisey Addington.  Next to the word indecisive in the dictionary should be a picture of this character!  She has an estranged relationship from her parents which I blame on all the pressure her mother kept putting on her to do more with her life.

We find Maisey has a child and an ex-boyfriend (aka baby daddy) and gets along amicably.  There’s not much too exciting going on until her mother falls ill and she gets a call from the police telling her she should come right away.  Her and her daughter hop on a plane and travel all night to get to her mother to see what exactly is going on.

Her father is fraught and one would think he has Alzheimer’s from his sudden, erratic behavior.  What we find out is that the noisey neighbor noticed no one was going in or out of the house for a few days so she called the police.  What they ultimately found was Maisey’s mother laying unconscious in bed with a head injury. She had been there for 3 days.  Yeah.

Her father insists that she wanted to die at home but a living will can never be producted.  When Maisey makes it home she finds her father throwing papers into a fire in the living room and immediately calls 911 thinking the whole house is on fire and here we meet Tony.  The small town hero who is there and befriends Maisey and helps her with her mother’s sudden downfall.

Enter the twist.  Going through all of her mother’s things she stumbled upon the fact that she has a twin sister, Marley.  She used to play with an imaginary friend named Marley until her mother scolded her and told her to stop.  Was she imagining things?  Did she really have a sister?  Read to find out!

This book touches on a lot of abuse.  When they find her mother and examine her they discover she has had a lot of broken bones.  They accuse her husband of abusing her but Maisey defends her father and could never imagine him hurting her.  So how did she get all of the broken bones?  Tony does his best to stay away from Maisey as he himself is haunted from an abused past as well.  Although I absolutely love and adore Tony and his family, they are truly genuine, great people.

Maisey starts to learn to stand up for herself and grows a backbone and starts to make decisions.  I love this.  She truly grows throughout the book with the help of her daughter, Elle.  I don’t think Maisey would have been able to survive her trip without her daughter.  She is done with her ex-boyfriend controlling and ruining her life (he always seems to show up when she has a date, despite the fact that he’s married with a newborn baby now).

Overall, this book earned a solid 5.  It is rare to find a book that ends on a SOLID note and this one did just that.  I would classify this book as mystery with a touch of romance, not too much.  The mystery takes the fore front and honestly, I didn’t see the twist that came at the end with Marley.  But the book ends in the future and we can get closure on what happens to everyone, yay. Tune in next Thursday for my review of I Wish You Happy by Kerry Anne King (I told you I was blown away by the writing, I had to immediately read another one of hers)!

Book Review: Baby Teeth

Title: Baby Teeth

Author: Zjoe Stage

Format: Advance Reader’s Copy Paperback

Published: 2018

 

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press, for the advance reader’s copy of Baby Teeth which is out July 17th!!  It kept me entertained on the sad journey back from my amazing cruise to the United States.  After reading this though I feel like I should sleep with one eye open around my kids…

Baby Teeth starts out with the image of a perfect family.  We have the father, Alex, who works and has a great job with the mom, Suzette, who stays at home to take care of the baby, Hanna.  Let’s just say that Hanna makes Rosemary’s baby look like an angel.

Talk about a twisted, semi-horrific book.  Behind closed doors the perfect family is not so perfect.  Hanna doesn’t talk.  Hanna has been kicked out of any school she has gone to due to behaviors.  Around her father, Hanna is the perfect angel.  When her dad is gone, all hell breaks loose.

Hanna starts to say a few words to her mother.  This wouldn’t be bad except she’s out to kill her mom so she can live a happy life alone with her father.  She tells her mother that she isn’t Hanna, but she’s a witch that was burned at the stake.  Suzette starts to tell her husband about all the, let’s call it satanic things, that Hanna starts to do.  She doesn’t like to burden him with all of the negative things because that’s his angel.  Put it this way, he has blamed all of the schools for the reason why Hanna has been kicked out, not her one time.

Have I mentioned that this girl is only 7 years old?!?!

The book carries on and this devil child tries to take her mother out one day after her father left for work.  She came up with a plan and almost got away with it.  I won’t divulge how she tries to do it, but, dang Zjoe, what an idea the initial plan is!!  Yes, I said initial because there are multiple attempts at taking Suzette’s life!!

I think the scariest part of this book for me was how real I felt it could be.  As a special education teacher, I have seen children with many, many various disabilities and clearly this child has a few issues.  I have known some children who have been violent and do try to hurt their parents.  This book isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem to some!

Overall, I am giving Baby Teeth a rating of 4.  It kept me turning the pages nonstop and jumping a little when my daughter would need to grab my attention.  This is a true physiological read.  I am hoping with how it ended Zjoe explores the idea of a sequel set years later into the future.  At least my fingers are crossed for that!  You won’t be disappointed to put this on your to-read list!!  Next week I will be reviewing yet another advance read; The Boy At The Door by Alex Dahl, see you next Thursday!

Book Review: The Thinnest Air

Title: The Thinnest Air

Author: Minka Kent

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

I received this book for free by being an Amazon Prime member!  This is from their selection of Amazon First Reads and this book will officially be released on Sunday, July 1, 2018!  PRE-ORDER IT NOW!

So many different thoughts ran through my head during this book.  I hated some characters because I was convinced, CONVINCED they did something that turns out, they didn’t do.  My apologies to the fictional characters I hated for no reason, but, come on, we all make mistakes with our suspicions.  Minka Kent does an excellent job with the suspense!!

There are two main characters in this book, sisters Meredith and Greer.  Greer is the older, protective older sister who lives in the city and owns a few coffee shops with her now ex-boyfriend.  Meredith is her young sister who lives in a rich ski town with a husband double her age who also happens to be worth millions.

Meredith goes missing.  Her car is found, door open, purse and phone on the passenger seat, in the parking lot of a grocery store.  It is now a nationwide manhunt to find this missing woman.  Greer immediately flies in to help find her sister and suspects those closest to her.

What we do know is that Meredith and Greer are half-sisters, having the same mother.  Their mother was anything but a mother so when she makes an appearance to try and help find Meredith, you must know how Greer feels.  Greer raised Meredith and will stop at nothing to find her.  Meredith’s father is a wealthy man who had nothing to do with her life.  In fact, if word got out that he had Meredith, it would destroy him.  He did set up a five million dollar trust fund that was set to be given to her on her next birthday.  Does this have anything to do with her going missing?

There were twists and turns and I could not put this book down.  I read this book in 2 days and the only reason I put it down is because in my drowsy state at midnight my Kindle fell out of my hand and hit my sleeping husband in bed, whoops.  Don’t worry, he has no idea it ever happened.  I give this book a 5 because it has the perfect amount of twists and turns.  The ending happens fast but I am so, so satisfied with it.  It gave me all the happy feels.  Next week I will be reviewing Killer Dreams by Iris Johansen, stay tuned!

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