book reviews

What I read in November

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1. The Girls Are All So Nice Here – Meh. It starts off like it will be an interesting mystery, but it was just ok for me. Ambrosia and Sloane are old college friends who have dark secrets that they want to forget. But when their 10 year college reunion comes up, they both receive anonymous messages threatening that their secrets will be revealed. Rating: 6.5

2. The Music of Bees – This story was very predictable but I don’t care because I absolutely loved it and it made me feel all the warm fuzzies inside! Alice is a middle aged widow feeling lost in her new life after the death of her husband. Jake is a rebellious teen boy who suffers a horrific accident that leaves him paralyzed. Jake and Alice have an unexpected encounter that brings them together and they forge a bond over caring for the thousands of bees Alice tends to on her farm. The entire story is heartwarming and I loved the entire story. Rating: 8.5

3. Who is Maud Dixon – This book really took me on a journey that I was not expecting. Florence is an assistant to an editor at a major publishing house. But when she has an affair with her boss’ boss and then threatens him to gain leverage, she finds herself unemployed with no prospects. Then she receives the opportunity of a lifetime – to become the assistant to Maud Dixon, a psedounymn for the elusive and anonymous writer with a best selling novel that took the literary world by storm. No one knows who Maud Dixon really is but Florence is about to find out. When “Maud” invites Florence on a trip to Morrocco to research her next novel, Florence thinks she has truly landed the opportunity of a lifetime. Until Florence wakes up in a hospital room in Morrocco with no memory of what happened the night before, and a possible crime on her hands. Rating: 8

4. The Butcher and the Wren – I am a HUGE fan of the Morbid podcast and have been a loyal listener for years. This novel is one of the Morbid podcast host’s debut novel which I was interested to read. To be honest, it was good but not great and found it was not as developed as I would have liked. Wren Muller is a medical examiner that finds herself in the middle of serial killer investigation. Bodies keep turning up but Wren is unable to piece it all together. Then some evidence comes to light that makes Wren think she knows who the killer could be and she could be his next victim. Rating: 7

5. My Sunshine Away – This book has a ton of depth to it and would be great to analyze for a literary class but I found it a bit tedious at times. A sleepy suburban neighborhood in Baton Rouge is rocked by the rape of a young teenage girl right outside her home. There is no suspect and the ripple effect that this crime has on the entire neighborhood is devastating. Neighbors suspect each other and secrets are revealed that could possibly ruin some people’s lives. I was a bit frustrated because you don’t find out who really committed the crime until the last pages of the book, but at least there is some closure. Rating: 6

6. Mad Honey – I was hooked from the very beginning of this book and it captivated me through the entire story! Olivia is a single mom living with her teenage son after escaping an abusive relationship with her successful cardiothoracic surgeon husband. Olivia’s son Asher seems to be adjusting well after all these years and is in a loving relationship with his girlfriend Lily. Unfortunately Lily is found dead at her home and Asher becomes the prime suspect and is put on trial for first degree murder. Olivia must do everything she can to save her son but is terrified that maybe he is more like his father than she wants to admit. Rating: 9

The Books I Read in October

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1. Black Cake – So much buzz surrounding this one but I found it painfully slow and tedious to get through. Byron and Benny are brother and sister that have not seen each other in years but come back together for their mother’s death. Her mother leaves them a voice recording that shocks them with family secrets they never knew. Rating: 5

2. Wrong Place, Wrong Time – Ok, you will need to accept the fact that this book is completely implausible which took me a few chapters to get over. Once I did, I DEVOURED this book! It was soooo good. Jen is waiting for her teenage son to get home after a night out, yet she can’t shake the feeling that something is not right. She looks outside and sees him walking down the street towards their home and then a man comes out of nowhere and her son stabs him to death right in the street. Jen is horrified and has no idea why her son just did that. She accompanies him to the police station and then finally goes home to get some sleep and figure out next steps to help her son. When she wakes up, it’s the day before and the event hasn’t happened yet. And each day after this, she continuously wakes up in the past and decides that she is going to try and prevent this murder from even happening. What she learns threatens to ruin her entire life and possibly her family, but she knows she must get to the answer. Rating: 9

3. The Lies I Tell – I enjoyed this book though it moved along at a slightly slow yet consistent pace. Meg has been running from her past her entire life and reinventing herself every chance she gets. Kat is a reporter that has been trying to expose Meg’s scams for years but never has enough evidence to bring it to print. Kat decides to befriend Meg to see if she can get information out of her and uncover her dark secrets. However, Kat quickly realizes that Meg is not the villian she thought she was and actually begins to like her. While the book moves along a bit slowly, the last 25% of the book made me LOVE IT! In fact, I loved the ending and it was so good that it made me look back over the entire book and like it so much more. Rating: 8.5

4. The Paper Palace – I wanted to like this book and tried to get into it, but it fell flat for me. Elle is a married mom of 3 who mistakenly decides to have a one time affair with her long time best friend Jonas. Jonas and Elle have known each other since they were kids and have a life altering secret between the two of them. Elle tries to decide if her feelings for Jonas are real or just trauma from the past that has never been resolved. There is definitely some depth to this book but it wasn’t a favorite for me. Rating: 7

5. The It Girl – Hannah and April are roommates at Oxford together and couldn’t be more different. Hannah is quiet, reserved and comes from a simple middle class family. April is bold, daring and very wealthy. Though they are complete opposites they become best friends and enjoy their time at Oxford together. Until one night when Hannah finds April strangled in their dorm room. A suspect is named and arrested for the murder, but years later there are questions as to whether he is really the guy. Hannah decides to revisit that horrible night and go back to Oxford to see if she can get answers. What she finds out completely shocks her and maybe even puts her own life in jeopardy. Rating: 8.5

6. Get a Life, Chloe Brown – I couldn’t even finish this one, it was such a letdown. Chloe Brown lives a very sheltered life because of her myriad of health issues. She longs for a most exciting life and vows that she will try to make a list of things she wants to do. When Chloe meets Red, the landlord of her apartment building she thinks maybe she found someone to help her get a life. I love a cute rom/com but this was boring and frankly a bit too racy with little substance. Rating: 4

Past Posts

All the books I read in September

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1. Summer of ’69 – I really enjoy Elin Hilderbrand books and this one was no exception. The story is told from the various perspectives of the

All the books I read in August

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1. The Boys’ Club – I could not stop listening to this book from the moment I started it! Alex Vogel just graduated from Harvard and is

All the books I read in July

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1. One Italian Summer – I really wanted to love this book more than I did. I enjoyed it but I kept hoping for more. Katy’s mother

All the Books I read in May/June

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1. Big Summer – I was kind of hoping this was going to be a cutesy type beach read but I found it a bit too slow

What I Read in April

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1. Girl Gone Mad – I love a good twisty murder mystery and this one was really enjoyable. Emily Bennett was part of a middle school clique

What I Read in March

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1. Malibu Rising – I am a huge fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid as she wrote one of the best books I’ve ever read “The Seven Husbands

The Books I Read in February

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1. Call Your Daughter Home – While I did love Where the Crawdads Sing which many liken this book to as it has a similar feel, I

All the Books I’ve Finished this Month

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1. Local Woman Missing – I love a good mystery thriller that doesn’t make me think too much. LOL There were so many twists and turns in