Jane Anonymous (Laurie Faria Stolarz )

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2OgOdMM

Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.

Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?

The book as a whole was solid read, but I don’t feel like the book itself did what the author had intended it to do. Not for me anyways. But first lets start with this:


And honestly– I don’t mind when sentences are structured like that 80% of the time  (Marni Mann executes this type of sharp writing perfectly) but it was really repetitive throughout the entire book. Not just in important or meaningful parts. I just don’t think the writing Jane Anonymous was strong enough. Not only that, but the alternating timeline at times got confusing, and no real plot direction. All from the writing I think. So it was definitely a snowball effect on this one.

This was a quick read that had some really great parts in it. I enjoyed it for the most part and really found the small twists and turns and psychological aspects very interesting. I just didn’t love it.

Ghosted (Rosie Walsh)


Buy link: https://amzn.to/2QuY5Fq

When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it’s mutual: It’s as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn’t call.

Sarah’s friends tell her to forget about him, but she can’t. She knows something’s happened–there must be an explanation.

Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she’s right. There is a reason for Eddie’s disappearance, and it’s the one thing they didn’t share with each other: the truth.

Listen. First and foremost, my real big issue with this entire book will probably seem so small and immature to you. But to me, I was just let down. And that was the fact that I was promised (by the blurb on the front and the back, by other readers, friends, etc.) that this was a love story and you know what– IT WASN’T. I was in the mood for something to hit me in the feels and this was recommended to me. But I do not think this should  be classified as a love story. So please do not pick this book up when you’re wanting to finally sit down and indulge yourself in a nice romance novel because this is not it.

Other than that, I really enjoyed the writing of this author. And then to go on and find out that this was her debut novel, I was even more impressed. Her writing was excellent, which to me shows that she knows exactly was she is doing. The characters could have been better. But I feel like with how strong this author’s writing is she will have no problem in the future creating dynamic and three dimensional characters rather than flat and dull ones such as Sarah and Eddie.

I also did not love the plot of this story. I have read the concept of this type of story a million different times. Only this time, the roles were reversed. (if you read this book, you’ll know what I’m talking about) And honestly, I didn’t love it any more because of that. It was just sort of underwhelming plot wise. Just because it was switched around, I didn’t find it any more appealing or impressive. But that is on me.

The story as a whole was good. I read the entire book in one sitting. The writing was great but I just wanted to read a good love story, guys! That’s what I was in the mood for. That’s what I was wanting! When I had finished the book I felt conflicted. Because as much as I am NOT a fan of these types of tropes, I found the book impossible to put down. SO…. I will chalk this one up to me just not being in the right mood for it.

The Giver of Stars (Jojo Moyes)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2KmdOCY

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

I will admit, I was a little weary and intimidated by this one. Very much so, actually.

When I first read the blurb and saw the stunning cover, I was 100% skeptical on whether I should try it or not. Then I saw it as a BOTM selection and I didn’t hesitate to grab it. But I do have to admit: I am a historical fiction snob. These types of stories have to be written absolutely brilliantly for me to love it. I need to feel like I am IN the story to fully concentrate on these stories. (some good examples of this is any book by Paullina Simons, Amy Harmon). But now I guess I can add Jojo Moyes to that list of favorites for historical fictions.

The Giver of Stars was absolutely beautiful the whole way through. The imagery, the character’s depth, the setting and the time-frame— I loved it. I thought she did a fantastic job at writing this type of story and the female leads. I felt like I was riding along side of these strong, beautiful women the entire time.

Although the story itself was very slow in some parts, it was completely worth it. I felt like The Giver of Stars really showed just how much powerful women and books can change lives.

Rose Gold Darling (Stephanie Wrobel)

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Buy link–> https://amzn.to/2CrvQ2w

For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.

Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.

Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…

And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.

The premise of this book was super intriguing to me whenever I read it. However, the execution was extremely disappointing.

I expected to read a book that had been loaded up with some interesting information of Munchausen by proxy, but instead it was just a novel about a mother / daughter conflict and revenge that was strongly over-exaggerated.

I do really like how the story line was twisted up and then reversed but ultimately, it could have went about 2,395,423 different ways and been way better than what it ended up being.

The timeline structure just wasn’t that great IMO. The back and forth and the past and present didn’t end up being tightly put together, it was just kind of all over the place. The plot wasn’t strong enough. If the author wanted to make this out to be a vengeance story I feel like the vengeance and revenge could have been made to be much stronger and put together.

The Return (Rachel Harrison)


Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2K3jm5p

An edgy and haunting debut novel about a group of friends who reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.

Julie is missing, and the missing don’t often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there, and that one day she’ll come back. She’s right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she’s been or what happened to her.

This review won’t be a long one. Mainly because I just didn’t enjoy this book and I don’t want to be a negative Nancy. The Return wasn’t edgy and it wasn’t haunting. Sorry to ya, blurb. I really hate breaking it to you. Not only that, but the majority of the book is just three girls talking behind one girls back. That’s it. That’s not even a spoiler, it’s just hard facts.

The other part of the book is just the author telling us things. This is definitely a book of telling. It tells you literally everything. Tell, tell, tell. Less telling / more showing please.

Another thing I really struggled with was the setting of the book. So much was built up around the strangeness of this place they were visiting for absolutely no apparent reason whatsoever that I can figure out because it plays no actual part in the plot. None. Zilch. I felt really set up by the author and tricked with no treat.

There was no horror. There was no suspense. There was just no… nothing. I was underwhelmed and not satisfied in the least bit. Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.

The Turn of the Key (Ruth Ware)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/36vdqeR

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Ruth Ware seems to always be a go to author for me. I love her writing but sometimes the story-line itself doesn’t work for me. That is what happened with The Turn of the Key. I didn’t hate it but I also didn’t love it. It was eerie and the writing really worked for me, but as a whole it just wasn’t as creepy and eerie as I was hoping it to be. I know that she is great at creating a strong and atmosphere with a creepy ambiance and this book was no different from her others but I was just wanting more when it was all said and done.

To begin– I loved the atmosphere and the setting of the story as a whole. Absolutely ate it up. I feel like this was the strongest part of the book– when the author was describing the setting and the surroundings and the things that were occurring. It was attention grabbing. On top of that, the writing flow was nice. I really loved how it was all set up, in letter form. But if you are looking for a fast paced, action packed mystery / suspense I don’t think I can recommend this one to you. It was a very slow burn type of mystery. I wish I was exaggerating. Very. Slow.

The mystery aspect could have been stronger. I feel like the author was focusing on things that was taking away from other elements that could have made the story-line much stronger. The ending seemed rushed and unfinished but once again I loved how the story was framed out (the letter). After reading the entire story though, I wanted more.

Despite my feelings to this particular story, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another book by Ruth Ware. In fact, she will probably remain a go-to author for me. I like her writing, but the plot as a whole in The Turn of the Key just didn’t work for me.