Book Review: The Lies We Told

Title: The Lies We Told

Author: Camilla Way

Format: Netgalley Advancer Reader Copy Ebook

Published: 2018

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read The Lies We Told in exchange for my honest review.  If you have ever wanted to read a true, honest, and textbook definition psychological thriller, this is the book for you.

The first line in this book talks about a decapitated head.  Don’t worry, it’s only a bird’s head, but still, a decapitated head on the pillow next to a sleeping mother.  If you like stories about psychopaths, pick this one up.

The story is told from 2 perspectives; Clara, a woman whose boyfriend just disappears one night, and Beth, the mother of a psychopath.  I know what you are thinking, how on Earth could these two stories be related?  I did at first.  I thought this must be some crazy story where we get two stories for the price of one and then slowly they start to intertwine until they are so mashed together they are one.  We get some background on both Clara’s boyfriend and Beth’s daughter, especially her childhood, where everything starts to make sense and puzzle pieces start to come together.

As the story goes on there are so many sick twists and turns, it is unreal.  Just when you think you have the story figured out, boom, there goes another twist.  Any other details other than what I have already told would ruin this book for you, so just go read it!

If you have read Baby Teeth, I feel like this is Hannah all grown up, in fact, the psychopath child’s name in this book in Hannah (that added a little more of a creep factor for me).   This was such a deep, dark read.  It really makes you wonder what exactly is going on in the author’s head.  I finished it in 2 days, it is definitely a quick read, and more so because you need to see what happens next.

I am giving The Lies We Told a 4 star rating.  You know I personally am a huge fan of solid endings and I felt this one kind of left us hanging a little.  We know where Clara ends up, at least for the time being.  Beth has told us all about Hannah and has left it open a little, maybe there will be a sequel?  If there is, put me on the pre-order list today, I am dying to see what else this psychopath could do.  Tune in next week for my review of Bad Blood by John Carreyrou!

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Book Review: The Elephant In The Room

Title: The Elephant in the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America

Author: Tommy Tomlinson

Format: Netgalley Ebook Advance Copy

Published: 2019

 

I came across this on Netgalley one day and immediately became interested.  Once I started this book I could not put it down.

I have struggled with my weight all my life.  I am nowhere near the size of Tomlinson, however, I am no size 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc (just what size I won’t disclose now, come on guys).  The words he spoke in this story hit so, so close to home that they brought tears to my eyes.

This story was uniquely told.  He takes us on a year-long journey where he decides it is time to lose weight.  At the beginning of each chapter he tells us a story about his life and how he became the weight he is today.  At the end of each chapter we are introduced to the month and what he has been doing to try and lose weight.  He keeps us up to date with a total calculation on how much weight he’s lost or gained in the month and his current weight total.

If you have never struggled with your weight, congratulations.  It is to you I highly recommend you read this book to gain some insight on what it is like and the struggle that those face when trying to lose weight.  It sucks.  I am so happy that Tomlinson points out how diets essentially set you up for failure (read to see why his opinion is this) and cause you to gain weight back.  I appreciate the way he is losing weight and applaud him.

I loved the journey of his life as a journalist and found myself rooting for him.  You cannot help but root for him and if you can’t then you are just a monster.  I would love to grab a beer with Tomlinson and just talk life, that is the kind of story teller he is.  He is real, down to earth, and does not try to get you to feel bad for him at all; no, just for one to understand, that is all.

I am going on a limb and giving this book 5 stars.  The fact that he could move me to tears when he described what it was like to try and lose weight and all that goes on around us, yes sir, preach.  He gets it and expresses it in such a way that is astounding.  He is my voice and I am damn proud to say that.  Pick this book up whether you are skinny or fat and trust me, you will enjoy it.  Tune in next week for my review of The Suspect by Fiona Barton.

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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!

 

 

 

Book Review: We Were Mothers

Title: We Were Mothers

Author: Katie Sise

Format: Kindle Edition (Amazon First Reads Edition)

Published: 2018

I am starting this review off with my overall rating.  5 stars.  This book was jaw dropping with its twists and turns.  Just when you thought the book was going in one direction it did a complete 180 and left you reeling in what was happening.  I reached out to the author on Facebook just raving about this book and stating what I just did.  I want to share with you her reply; “I’m so glad you liked it 😊 that’s what made it so fun to write – I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next 😊 this book really was so much fun to do!”

You can absolutely tell that Sise wrote this book and did not force anything.  Some books you can tell the author penned the novel with the twist in mind.  You can clearly tell that Sise let her creative juices flow with this novel.  If you can predict what happens next then you are a psychic and I would like to know what lottery numbers to play this week.

We Were Mothers is an intricate story which houses the story of two families that live across the street from each other.  The main family (and their best friend) is dealing with the loss of a daughter/sister in a drunk driving accident in which she was the driver.  It was the night of the living daughter’s engagement party.  This family is carrying a lot of baggage with this loss and this development within the characters with respect to this is absolutely amazing.

Now we have the family across the street that has been married since college and have two grown daughters.  The husband is a successful doctor in town and the mother dropped out of medical school when she became pregnant and has been a stay at home.  What deep, hidden, and dark secrets this family has.

The eldest daughter from across the street disappears and all I will say is that you will think that this book is about, but, it’s a far cry from it.  We go on a journey through each character and when you think you understand what is happening, Sise takes the wheel and jerks you around (in a good way).  I was left with my mouth wide open for the last quarter of this book.  I am still in shock!

So again, this master mind of a twisty, turny novel has earned a 5 star badge of honor from me.  This was just one of the best books I have read in a long time and makes any book I recently rated 5 stars seem like a 3 star novel now.  If you read this PLEASE let me know and comment here, I am DYING to talk about this book with someone! Tune in next week for my advance copy review of The Sisters by Rosalind Noonan.

Book Review: The Truth Waits

Title: The Truth Waits

Author: Susanna Beard

Format: Netgalley Advance Readers’ Copy Ebook

Published: 2018

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Legend Press for the opportunity to read The Truth Waits before its release on November 1, 2018 in exchange for an honest review.  Please make sure you come back HERE to Book In The Bag on November 9th for an exclusive stop on Susanna Beard’s blog tour!

We meet our protagonist Anna, who appears to be a depressed workaholic.  She resides in England, but, decided to take an extended work trip to Lithuania, where her factory that makes her clothing line is located.  She unfortunately gets stuck in Lithuania due to the volcano that erupted in Iceland and ends up having to extend her stay.  She goes out for a walk on the beach and ends up discovering the body of a dead girl washed ashore, with whom she becomes obsessed with.

Through all the chaos, she hesitantly meets a friendly couple, Gavin and Charlotte, at the hotel bar and ends up talking to them.  Through sitting and talking with this couple she also gets introduced to Will, whom she takes a liking to.  They end up spending a week together while stranded in Lithuania and continue to see each other in England, where they both reside.  Will ends up moving in with her and we see a strange, distant relationship blossom.

It ends up that both Anna and Will have some deep, dark secrets.  In the end both are innocent enough, however, as you are reading your mind takes you to crazy places with what is going on.  I was upset in the beginning of the book because it seemed too predictable and that the book was going down a path of a substandard thriller.  I was so wrong.

This book kept me hooked and became a quick read for me.  I had to know what was going on and I became as obsessed with the dead girl Anna found on the beach as she did in the book.  This was a captivating thriller that I got swept away in.  I appreciated the closure at the end of the book and through all the darkness, we were given a happy ending.

This is a solid 4 star read for me.  It comes out next week so pre-order it now, you won’t be disappointed.  Beard does not disappoint in this fast-paced thriller.  Be warned, if you are looking for a book that you will be able to put down to go to bed at night, this is not the book for you.  She captivates you and makes you believe that you don’t need to sleep for the night, you need to find out what is going on with Anna and Will.  Tune in next week for my review Into The Hollow by Lynn Vroman.  But more importantly don’t forget to come back in 2 weeks on Friday, November 9th for Beard’s stop HERE on her blog tour!

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Book Review: The Diagnosis Is Murder

Title: The Diagnosis Is Murder

Author: Steven Gossington

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2017

Thank you to Hidden Gems for the free copy of The Diagnosis Is Murder in exchange for my honest book review!

What an interesting book.  We meet Laura Valorian, an ER doctor, who seems to be carrying some baggage with her.  When it comes to child abuse cases, Dr. Valorian tends to lose her cool and go overboard.  This all stems from her once missing a case of child abuse in the ER and that child goes on to later die.  As the story progresses she works through her issues with this.

The characters throughout this mystery get introduced to us one at a time.  This is much appreciated so you are not overwhelmed at the beginning with a ton of characters to remember.  Gossington builds the characters slowly, but, does not neglect their development.

A fellow colleague at the hospital comes in unresponsive to the ER.  It is a conceited surgeon and he unfortunately succumbs to his “heart attack” and dies.  Dr. Valorian has a gut feeling that he did not die of natural causes and ends up doing some gutsy private investigation work.  Along the way she connects with Alec, a private investigator, who decides to help her out free of charge.  They set forth together and narrow down the potential list of suspects and look for possible motives.

Throughout the story I felt like there were mini stories taking place as well.  Dr. Valorian had a medical student intern in the ER and he came with his own baggage and story.  Alec also comes with baggage and his own story too.  They all intertwined nicely and just when I thought the story was over, it wasn’t.  The little stories ended up combining to fill in the larger story and kept the book going.  I was glad because I was not quite ready end to see the end of Dr. Valorian.

This is book one and I am disappointed there is no book two yet, Dr. Valorian is a very enjoyable character.  It was a fun, light read and kept my attention with the twists and turns.  I also could tell that Gossington has experience working in the ER as those little details shined through in this book.  I also appreciated that this book was not overrun with medical terminology that a common person, such as myself, would have a hard time understanding.  Sometimes doctors get a little ahead of themselves (and show off with fancy words) when they write a book, however, Gossington does not and this attributes to the book being a great read!

I am giving this book 4 stars.  I enjoyed the plot and the ending was satisfying.  I am hoping that there will be a book two and we will see even more character development with Dr. Valorian and Alec, and I will be the first in line to buy book two, you can bet your bottom dollar on that one!  Tune in next Thursday for my review of Lifeline by Abbey Lee Nash!

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!

eBook Newsletters: A Review

Change of pace this week!!  I will be blogging all about my FAVORITE eBook newsletters!  There are SO many out there and I am so happy to have discovered them!  Many authors apply to be on these newsletters and offer their books for free or at a heavily discounted price for the exposure!  I have found out that I enjoy so many more authors and more genres that I ever knew I did!!  And yes, I broke down and purchased a Kindle Paperweight.  I can hold 1,100 books in my hand at once now.  My husband tells me I need to stop downloading eBooks but I can’t help it!  Now I can read whatever I’m in the mood for because I have the selection at my fingertips!  So let’s get into the meat of the post!

Newsletter: Voracious Readers Only

Web Address: http://voraciousreadersonly.com/

Donna’s Thoughts:  This is my newest discovery.  You sign up with your e-mail and mark off the genres you enjoy (you can always change these later).  The send out individual e-mails when they get a new book and you can click on the link and then get the free eBook.  Many times when you click the link you are also signing up for the author’s mailing list.  I’m currently reading a book I got from here called New Detroit by Gerard de Marigny.  I don’t feel they send out too many e-mails and they offer different ones I haven’t seen on any other newsletters.

 

Newsletter: Freebooksy

Web Address: https://www.freebooksy.com/

Donna’s Thoughts: This is my favorite newsletter.  This newsletter is always filled with 100% free books.  You just need to make sure you read it on the same day because the books are usually only free for one day!

 

Newsletter: Book Bub

Web Address: https://www.bookbub.com/welcome

Donna’s Thoughts: This was the first eBook newsletter I was exposed to.  They offer a few free ones here and there, but have many offerings from 99 cents to $3.99, great deals!

 

Newsletter: Ereader News Today

Web Address: https://ereadernewstoday.com/

Donna’s Thoughts: Again, you sign up with your e-mail address and select the genres you wish to receive.  Remember, don’t limit yourself, maybe you’ll find a book in a new genre you’ll fall in love with!  They offer free and heavily discounted priced books!

 

Newsletter: Early Bird Books

Web Address: https://earlybirdbooks.com/

Donna’s Thoughts: Early Bird Books offers great discounts on popular reads!  For example, they just had an offer on a Michael Crichton book for $1.99!  If you’re looking for a deal, this is the newsletter for you.  This will have more bestsellers priced usually from $1.99 to $3.99 (and occasionally free).

 

Newsletter: Many Books

Web Address: http://manybooks.net/

Donna’s Thoughts: Many Books offers a website filled with free eBooks, as well as a newsletter, which highlights free and discounted eBooks. I am not really a fan of this newsletter and I’m not sure why.  It would be the layout or that I don’t find many eBooks I’m interested in. But it is still something to take a look at.

 

Newsletter: Book Adrenaline

Web Address: https://bookadrenaline.com/

Donna’s Thoughts: Book Adrenaline offers free and discounted mystery and thriller books.  You will not find any other genres here.  I love mysteries and thrillers so this is right up my alley.  I have put so many books from here on my amazon wish list I have yet to figure out when I will read all these books!

 

Newsletter: The Fussy Librarian

Web Address: http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/

Donna’s Thoughts: The Fussy Librarian makes sure you sign up and get the books YOU want. They also have 2 lists; one list is for bargain eBooks and the other is for mainly free eBooks.  Pick the genres you like, the days you want to receive e-mails, and away you go!

 

I would like to note that many of these offer their books on multiple platforms (Kindle, Nook, Apple, Kobo, Google, etc) so don’t worry about how you’re reading an eBook, there will be books for you within these newsletters!!  Do you know of another newsletter?  Let me know about it in the comments!  Are you a member of any of these?  Tell me how much you love them and which one YOUR favorite is!  Next week I will be back to book reviews with a review of New Detroit!  Catch you next Thursday!

Book Review: Neighborly

Title: Neighborly

Author: Ellie Monago

Format: eBook

Published: 2018

 

I just discovered that if one subscribes to Amazon Prime that you have access to free books within the Amazon Kindle app under the prime reading category.  I have never read an eBook so I wanted to take a stab at it.  I actually did not mind reading it and found it convenient to carry around this book with me wherever I went. So for my first stab at e-reading, I chose Neighborly (because who doesn’t become intrigued when they see a grill on fire on the cover).

I was drawn in to this book thanks to our protagonist Kat.  Her and her husband have scored a house (albeit the smallest) in the Trans-Urban world of the “AV” (Aurora Village).  This is one of the most highly sought after neighborhoods and they were one of the lucky ones to be moving in.

They throw a huge welcome party and Kat, her husband Doug, and baby get to meet everyone on the block.  On her way in to take a break from the party and feed her baby she finds a note on her doorstep which is semi-threatening in nature.  This is where I really got in to the book; someone does not want them there, so who is it and why?

Kat gets invited to a girl’s night and subsequently a second girl’s night.  There is where the book started to lose me.  The block has a list.  The block apparently encourages and enjoys sexual partners outside of their marriages.  They keep the list a secret and let you know who may be interested and you go from there.  Kat was propositioned to join.  Mind you, the sexual aspect of this book was very vanilla, but also very farfetched and seemingly came out of left field.

The notes are still going on and now she must deal with how to bring this up to her husband, if she does at all.  Mind you, she makes her marriage into a train wreck of a relationship.  Scratch that, she herself is just a plain train wreck.  The fact that I was about two-thirds in to this book is the reason why I kept going.

Now she starts to get threatening e-mails on top of notes and her daughter suddenly becomes catastrophically ill.  They end up in the hospital and this is where her past starts to tie together with the present.  Her daughter gets released from the hospital and Kat finally figures out who has been sending the notes and why so she confronts this person during a night out.

This was the worst part of the book.  The issue gets resolved within about five minutes.  There’s a huge fight and people apologize.  It was very unrealistic as this has been an issue for YEARS and within two minutes this person just suddenly forgives.

Overall, I give this book a 2.  If you happen to stumble across it, just know you were warned.  Are you reading anything through Amazon Kindle Prime Reading?  If so let me know what books I should be checking out in the comments!  Next week I will be reviewing a Kindle Single so stay tuned!

Book Review – Lucifer’s Fall

Book Title: Lucifer’s Fall (Celestial Downfall, Vol 0)
Author: AJ Flowers
Format: Kindle
Published: 2017

 

So, this is a short story that goes along with the Celestial Downfall (I think) series by AJ Flowers.  I have never read the series, but the book popped up in an email about free ebooks and I saw it was a short story, so I decided to give it a go and jumped in blindly.

The story starts with an angel speaking.  “Another malformed embryo.”  Angels, apparently, hatch from eggs.  These angels are tasked with checking the eggs for imperfections.

This is a short story.  Really short.  So I don’t want to go any more into the story because I don’t want to give it away.  But I loved this.  It showed Lucifer in a light that we don’t normally see him.

And I want to read the whole series, which is the point of short tie in stories.

I will say this.  The short is really short, and 75% of the e-download is actually chapter one for one of her other books, so I’ll leave it up to you to decide how much money it’s worth.  I got it free and it was worth reading it.

A solid 4/5.

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