You Will Know Me (Megan Abbott)

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Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl,” (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.


So, this wasn’t an “OMG I loved it book” and it wasn’t an “OMG why did I even read this” book. It was just…decent. Quick and painless read.

Murder mysteries are usually really dull for me but this one played out really well. Until the end. But up until the last portion of the book I was turning pages very quickly! Especially once the 40% mark came up, I was glued.

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But, I had a really hard time jumping onto the narrative and following along with it. The POV was just too complicated for me. It would have almost been a better story if one of the characters were telling it themselves. Plus, the story was all over the place. I really struggled with knowing what was happening and when it was, timeframe wise. Chapter after chapter I kept saying “okay, was this before or after the incident?”

Um HELLO! 1,492 unanswered questions. No matter how many spoilers I seek out, I’ll never know. How frustrating is that! It’s my pet peeves. Take you plot holes and unanswered questions away from. I’m not smart enough for that!

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Basically, the only thing that kept me sucked into this book was the “WHO DID IT!?” But then you find out who did it and I was bummed. I could have probably guessed it but I couldn’t find the energy to do so. After I found out what happened, I skimmed. I have no shame. The author should have executed the big reveal and the ending a whole lot better than what she did.

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Bad Romance (Heather Demetrios)

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Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.

Deeply affecting and unflinchingly honest, this is a story about spiraling into darkness—and emerging into the light again.

Sucker punched. That is what I am feeling right now. I’m shook. Bad Romance is a book that shows you how domestic abuse begins. And let me just say, it nails it. Every tiny detail, action, THIS is how it happens and Heather gets it ALL right.

“I gave you my heart on a silver fucking platter and you ate it, piece by bloody piece.”

The best part about this whole book? You get to watch it all form and begin. You get to see what’s it like and how it happens. You will have no excuse anymore to say “she’s stupid for staying” because this is real, guys. And this book lays it all out for you. The emotional effect it had on me was no joke at all.

I really love the way the author constructed the story line. The writing, the build up, the anxiety, and tension. It was so real to me. It was so overwhelming in a way that I needed.

“You’re building a wall around us, keeping out every one I know and love. Soon, that wall will be too hard to climb back over.”

My absolute favorite part of the whole book? The narrative. Just like Caroline Kepnes’ book YOU, the second person (past tense) narrative brings light and perspective to the reader that you might now get in a first or third person POV. Brilliant choice, Heather.

Heather wrote this book to open eyes. To show people the things they don’t want to see. And I am 100% behind it. This is what it’s like and it happens before you even know it.

This is real, you guys. And it’s happening every single day. There are Grace’s out there. There are Gavin’s out there. Every. Single. Day.

“When you’re a stupid girl in love, it’s almost impossible to see the red flags. It’s so easy to pretend they’re not there, to pretend that everything is perfect.”

I want to hug Heather for writing this. I want to hug her for showing so much light on issues that don’t get enough light. Because im this book she got it right. She didn’t romanticize it. She made it real and hurtful. Just like real life.

Bad Romance is an important and powerful read that every one needs to experience.

Wish You Were Here (Renee Carlino)

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Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, floating from interest to interest, job to job, and guy to guy, searching for a spark but never quite finding it. All she knows is that she won’t discover it working as a waitress at a pies-and-fries joint in Los Angeles or living with her fun but aimless best friend in a tiny apartment in the Arts District.

Then Charlotte collides with Adam, a gorgeous and soulful painter who seems just as lost as she feels. Their instant connection turns into a midnight drink… and a whirlwind night of champagne, Chinese food, and the kind of conversation that only happens in romantic comedies. But the next morning, Adam gives Charlotte the cold shoulder, leaving her confused and hurt—and wondering if the few odd moments between them the night before were red flags in disguise.

Months later, Charlotte hasn’t been able to shake Adam, so she decides to find out what happened the morning after their magical night together. This fateful decision rewrites their wild love story, but what Charlotte doesn’t know yet is that the ending has already been written.


Why do I feel as if I’m the only person three starring this book? Did I read it wrong? What’s wrong with me? What made you love this book?

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First of all, I want to be sure to point out how much I respect Renee as not only a writer but a person as well. She is a very special person to me. But…I have never read a Renee Carlino book that I didn’t just absolutely LOVE. So this is a little tricky for me to write.

“I promise to love you forever. As long as there is love in this world, we will be a part of it.”

I feel like the way Renee wanted this story to go could have been executed wonderfully and a huge hit with a lot of readers if it wasn’t for Charlotte. I couldn’t get on board with her or find the reasons that Adam and Seth did to even like her. I wanted to see the Charlotte that Seth and Adam seen. The way they described her, I wanted to see that but I didn’t. Another thing was how all over the place the entire book was. I guess maybe it wasn’t so much that the book was all over the place but Charlotte was all over the place and I really had to sit back and realize that because of that, the story is going to jump all over the place.

*cough* Insta-love. *cough*

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Also, I really wanted to see more growth throughout the book in Charlotte and I didn’t get that. A lot of the others book I have read that are like Wish You Were Here showed tremendous character growth (i.e. Me Before You) but Charlotte was stuck I feel like for 80% of the book and then it was like Renee just wrote in a whole different character at the beginning of the next chapter to show some sort of transition for Charlotte.

So lets talk about the good and when I say the good I mean Adam. His characteristic and mannerisms are the type that I cling to in real people that I seek friendships with every day. His spunk and his wit had my eyes glued on the page and I just wanted to keep reading more and more about him. But I will say that I didn’t get the history and backstory that I wanted on him. It was vaguely spoken about here and there but I feel like a huge part of the story could have been brought to life with the “history of Adam”.

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I don’t consider 3 stars to be bad. I enjoyed the book, I truly did. I just couldn’t get on the same level with Charlotte that Seth and Adam were on. As much as I tried to get into her head and understand from her POV I just couldn’t and to me that is where a reader struggles. If you don’t connect with the main character or like them in the least bit then you will have a hard time enjoying the book you are reading.

 

Fallen Heir (Erin Watt)

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These Royals will ruin you.

Easton Royal has it all: looks, money, intelligence. His goal in life is to have as much fun as possible. He never thinks about the consequences because he doesn’t have to.

Until Hartley Wright appears, shaking up his easy life. She’s the one girl who’s said no, despite being attracted to him. Easton can’t figure her out and that makes her all the more irresistible.

Hartley doesn’t want him. She says he needs to grow up.

She might be right.

Rivals. Rules. Regrets. For the first time in Easton’s life, wearing a Royal crown isn’t enough. He’s about to learn that the higher you start, the harder you fall.

I love these books. I do. I will admit that at any time and any place. I will yell it from rooftops. Skyscrapers. Anything. You name it, I’ll yell it. The Royals are my guilty pleasure and I don’t care what any one thinks or says about it.

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And Fallen Heir was no exception. It was incredible. With just enough drama, angst, and humor I was grossly hooked and I read it all in less than 12 hours. I couldn’t put the book down, as per usual when it comes to the The Royal Series. I could not look away. What was going to happen next?

Easton was one of my favorites in the first three books so having a book about him all to myself was the cherry on top of an already yummy Royal cake. Seeing him deal with the internal struggle of having actual feelings was everything that I had hoped it would be. And his struggles with Hartley was even better. I was drooling. Where was this all going to go?

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I don’t know Erin Watt does it, but they do it. And they bring it every time. And they leave me wanting more and more. And now I have to wait until January for the next one. And how is that even fair?

Everything You Want Me to Be (Mindy Mejia)

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No one knows who she really is…

Hattie Hoffman has spent her whole life playing many parts: the good student, the good daughter, the good girlfriend. But Hattie wants something more, something bigger, and ultimately something that turns out to be exceedingly dangerous. When she’s found brutally stabbed to death, the tragedy rips right through the fabric of her small-town community.

It soon comes to light that Hattie was engaged in a highly compromising and potentially explosive secret online relationship. The question is: Did anyone else know? And to what lengths might they have gone to end it? Hattie’s boyfriend seems distraught over her death, but had he fallen so deeply in love with her that she had become an obsession? Or did Hattie’s impulsive, daredevil nature simply put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, leading her to a violent death at the hands of a stranger?

Full of twists and turns, Everything You Want Me to Be reconstructs a year in the life of a dangerously mesmerizing young woman, during which a small town’s darkest secrets come to the forefront…and she inches closer and closer to death.

Evocative and razor-sharp, Everything You Want Me to Be challenges you to test the lines between innocence and culpability, identity and deception. Does love lead to self-discovery—or destruction?


Fan-freaking-tastic read! I say that with the most seriousness that I have in my body. It may not be a lot, but I 100% mean it this time. Also, can we talk about the fact that this is a debut author author? That just completely blows me away. The writing, the story, the characters, and the structure of the book. Just wonderful. Very satisfying.

“You say you’re just acting, but you’re fracturing yourself into a thousand pieces, and every time I see another piece, you’re gone again. You turn into someone else, a crowd of someone elses, and it makes me wonder if there’s any such thing as Hattie Hoffman.”

What Mindy did in this book was mask every ounce of truth until the very last minute. To me, that makes it such an incredible journey from the get go. Full of guessing and ideas that I couldn’t wait to see if I was right or wrong. It was misleading and suspenseful and to me, that’s exactly what I was hoping would come from reading this book. When a book lives up to my expectations: I’m happy.

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Character wise, Hattie’s character was my favorite. She was so manipulative, unreliable, and a chameleon. She was a “just a teenager” but so smart and wise beyond her years. She knew what she was doing, when she was doing it, and why she was doing it. She was the most dynamic and well thought out character I have read this year. And one of the most unreliable. That tricky, tricky girl.

I could NOT put this book down, so why the four stars? One of the POV’s we constantly receive just wasn’t doing it for me. He was boring. I wanted to skim those chapters. And the truth is, I probably could have.

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I loved the pace and build of the story. No lulls and not a single gap. Every page I turned was something new and exciting. Plus, it contained a personal favorite (of mine) aspect of story line of mine. Everything You Want Me to Be is a win from me. I highly recommend it to any type of reader and I look forward to what Mindy puts out in the future, I’m definitely a fan.

 

Maldeamores (Lovesick) by Mara White

IMG_1332Belen: I’ve loved Luciano ever since I can remember, desired him before I even knew what it meant. He’s always been the only man in my life—my constant protector, and his rejection only intensifies my need.

Luciano: I’ve never known a love more fierce than the one I feel for Belén. But I force myself to deny her no matter how much it hurts.

Our love is a sickness and both of us are infected.

Because there’s no cure for being from the same family.

Oh man, I know I’m not supposed to like books like this. I KNOW IM NOT but damn if I can’t help it. The angst was real with this one. And the writing was every bit of fantastic.

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“She is raw. Pure emotion. Savagely in love with me and willing to sacrifice whatever it takes.”

I’m obsessed with Mara’s writing in this book. LOVED it! I’d love to pick up her others to see where they take me as well. The story line itself didn’t hurt my heart, it was Mara’s writing alone. The way she intricately entwined these two people’s lives together for me I just couldn’t get enough. By far the best prose I have read in a long while.

I loved this story because we grow up with Belen and Lucky from the day their brought together as babies. Every step of the way we are there. To me, that’s how connections are formed, not just with the characters but to me as the reader. I need to have that connection they have so I can feel what they feel and Mara did a wonderful job letting me into their world.

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Three stars though because the ending was the worst. Like, “hey! All of this happened in like three of four years but nope, here’s what you get!” I spent all this time reading your book and that’s the ending you stick me with!

Basically, when you read this book you’re getting a real raw and dirty and gritty story with taboo and WOW. I can’t even begin to describe. This book has almost every form of taboo in it. But had the ending executed and met my exceptions, I would have enjoyed the book so much more. Now I just feel…empty and confused. Do you have like, an in between book or something?!

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Crown of Lies (Pepper Winters)

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THREE YEARS
Since I ran away for the night, danced in New York streets, and almost got killed in an alley by two thieves. Until he showed up and saved me.

THREE DAYS
Since I threw a drink at the man my father expected me to marry, then found myself slammed against a wall with Penn Everett’s seductive voice whispering a proposal I couldn’t refuse.

THREE HOURS
To fall into hate with the man who reminded me of so many things and hid so much behind his lies. He couldn’t be the man who saved me three years ago…but there’s something so familiar…

THREE MINUTES
For our relationship to switch from no-strings to marriage. He announced it to my father—he’s ecstatic. He told my friends—they’re shocked. But he didn’t ask me, he commanded me—and I’m livid.

THREE SECONDS
For his lies to slowly steal my heart and make me believe, hope…trust.

THREE BREATHS
For his truth to destroy me.


The coolest thing about Pepper Winters is that she is a damn good writer. I have read a few of her other books and I have been utterly blown away by the how she can not only tell a story but WRITE the story. Crown of Lies was no exception. She makes this pacing a craft and turns it into a black hole we all fall down and want more and more and more but HAHA LOL cliffy because yep…this is a duet. I started this book Monday night and before I knew it, I had 72% of the book already read! Time flies when the book is good.

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Let’s talk story-line. So, the story isn’t phenomenal or anything. You’ve probably read the same story before but I feel like it’s typical Pepper Winter’s. There was actually a small percentage of the book where I felt like it was drastically going to go downhill but ultimately Pepper saved the book with Stewie and an accident. That’s all I will say. That’s when I got suckered right back in.

The characters in Crown of Lies were honestly not what I expected. Especially a couple of them, they completely blindsided me. I also didn’t think I would give two turds about Elle and even Penn but in the end, I really did. I was right there with her trying to figure this insane puzzle out. 

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So….there is sex in this book. A L O T. But it’s Pepper Winters so I feel like I need to make an exception for her. And I did…three times. After that I was good on the dirty talk and obscenities. You can skim it, you’ve probably read it all before. Multiple times.

All in all, Crown of Lies was a wonderfully written and mysterious story that will actually probably surprise you with its well-developed plot, captivating story-line and very dynamic characters as well as secondary characters. I actually can’t wait to get my mitts on the second part of the duet. I’m eager to see just how far Penn has gone or if he is even “gone”. Who is he? Where is he from? WHO ARE YOU?