Where the Lost Wander (Amy Harmon)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2Ps2gkt

The Overland Trail, 1853: Naomi May never expected to be widowed at twenty. Eager to leave her grief behind, she sets off with her family for a life out West. On the trail, she forms an instant connection with John Lowry, a half-Pawnee man straddling two worlds and a stranger in both.

But life in a wagon train is fraught with hardship, fear, and death. Even as John and Naomi are drawn to each other, the trials of the journey and their disparate pasts work to keep them apart. John’s heritage gains them safe passage through hostile territory only to come between them as they seek to build a life together.

When a horrific tragedy strikes, decimating Naomi’s family and separating her from John, the promises they made are all they have left. Ripped apart, they can’t turn back, they can’t go on, and they can’t let go. Both will have to make terrible sacrifices to find each other, save each other, and eventually…make peace with who they are.

He’s a man straddling two worlds; she’s a woman trying to keep her family alive.

Plain and simple, straight to the point: This book was STUNNING. Absolutely 100% stunning. All of it. Every single page. Every single word.

While reading Where the Lost Wander, Amy broke my heart. Absolutely shattered it. But when it was all said and done, she healed me so completely in a way that only she can– a beautiful way. Not only that but Amy has such a way with creating worlds and settings and bringing them to life. I know I have said that a thousand times before but I mean it. It’s all so vivid and real to me. When you’re reading her books prepare to be transported inside of it. Also be prepared to not want to leave it.

I was captivated the entire way through. There were no lulls, no slow parts, and certainly no parts that I felt the need to skim. In fact– the characters in this book might just be my new favorite Amy Harmon characters to date! She spent a lot of time tending and caring and building these characters and it certainly shows. They will each find their way into your heart. I promise.

With Amy’s delicate story telling and her caring writing it really makes this story what it is. Whether you like to read about history or not, you’ll appreciate everything that Amy Harmon offers to you. She writes historical fictions like no one else I have ever read and I stand by that for the rest of time.

Insolent (Cynthia A Rodriguez)

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

There’s a girl screaming at the top of a hill,
Burdened by a duty she was born to fulfill.
There’s a quiet killer lurking nearby,
Watching as she wishes only to die.
She’s tasked by her mother to marry a man,
Until the demon from hell puts a wrench in the plan.
Their fates will twine in inconceivable ways.
But where one goes, the other cannot stay.
How could she fall for such a man, you ask?
For the girl with no heart, it was the easiest task.

“I was not stolen. 
I was saved.”

I don’t even have to hesitate for one second when I say this: Insolent is Cynthia’s best writing to date. I don’t know if it’s because of the genre or if it’s because of the POV that it’s written in, but the writing flowed so poetically and sharply I couldn’t help but love it. With good writing comes vivid settings. And with vivid settings comes characters with depth. Check, check, and check!

This isn’t a book that I would typically read but when it was all said and done, I was so glad I took the time to read it in all of it’s beauty. The characters were vigilant and strong but also heartbreaking. You couldn’t help but to FEEL them and feel for them. I think that speaks volumes about an authors writing.

If you’re a fan of incredibly haunting third person writing (seriously, I am so impressed by this), vivid and poignant characters, and falling in love when you least expect it (swoon!), then you need to pick up Insolent. Whether you know story the retelling is of, I can promise that you will have a great experience reading this one and it will be different from anything you have read before.

Landon & Shay: Part II (Brittainy Cherry)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/344J6Fw

Once upon a time, I fell in love with a boy.
A beautiful, broken boy who had his own world of struggles.

People warned me against our love, but I didn’t listen.
We looked weak, young, and foolish.
Dangerously in love.
We didn’t care.

In order to keep our hearts protected from the opinions of others, we became each other’s secret.
We shared stolen moments. Tender touches. Secretive embraces.

It was our twisted love story, and it worked for us up until our lives changed forever.

The boy I loved became Hollywood’s newest golden boy.
His career blossomed as mine stalled.
He found massive success as I discovered multiple failures.
He made something of himself, while my dreams never came true.

We moved into different realms where our pieces no longer fit together.

In the fairy tales, love conquered all.
In reality, love was the main reason empires began to fall.

I always knew Landon belonged in my story.
He was my beginning, middle, and end.
The only problem? I wasn’t certain I still belonged in his.

Our love wasn’t traditional, but it was ours. And I’d vowed to do whatever it took to keep our story alive forever.

I think the first thing that I want to touch on is how much I really, really loved how Brittainy tied in the characters from Eleanor & Greyson’s story into part two of this story. I think it really made it that much more special for me. I won’t spoil anything, I wont mention any names or incidents but I really appreciated how she blended the two different stories together in a way that you could still understand and follow. Especially in a way that helped Landon and Shay both grow as characters.

But!! I do have something that I want to touch on. I do think there were a lot of slow parts that could have been filtered out and even some unnecessary characters in part two. A lot of new characters were added but none of the older ones were mentioned. I think that is the only thing that didn’t mesh well with me on this one.

I’m so glad Landon and Shay turned out the way they did and experienced the things that they did. It was quite the ride that I wasn’t expecting to go on but in the end– I am glad that I did. With that being said, I don’t think that this was Brittainy’s strongest love story (not the second part anyways) but I do know that it’s some of her strongest character development that I have read in a long time. These two characters experience some great growth, separately. Not together. And it was beautiful.

The Silent Patient (Alex Michaelides)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2DN8mFo

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

As you will see, it’s an incredible story—of that there is no doubt.
Whether you believe it or not is up to you.

My absolute most favorite thing in this entire world is when you read a book, enjoy it, and then discover that this book that just readis the author’s DEBUT BOOK OMG. That feeling of awe is indescribable. And this author wrote a kick-ass debut novel. I bet they are so proud of this one, as they should be.

I did three-star this book but that doesn’t mean that I hated it. I overall really enjoyed it actually. But, it took me quite a few days to read and that is not because I was busy doing other things. It was simply because in parts it was really rather slow.

This is a character driven novel and I think that is very obvious. If you know me, you know I love those types of books. However, I felt like these characters were great for the story but just weren’t great for me. They were written well, but they weren’t very three dimensional nor were they very interesting to me. I was hoping with a “silent patient” she would be more interesting to me but she wasn’t. I think had this been written in third person POV, that would have helped it A LOT. But I can also understand why it’s not written in that POV. So, ultimately I am torn on the characters and their development.

Did I see the twist coming? NO I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT. So, 5 stars for that part alone. It grabbed me by complete surprise and I was even more surprised (again) that a debut author created this ending. I read A LOT of thrillers. And a lot of those authors have multiple books out and create very lackluster endings but Alex Michaelides straight up KILLED this one!

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Stuart Turton)


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Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

“So many memories and secrets, so many burdens. Every life has such weight. I don’t know how anybody carries even one.”

I didn’t expect to love this one. I opened it up and purely thought I was just going to be reading another book for my Popsugar Challenge but I was completely shocked at how much I actually enjoyed it. The entire concept of this story was different and chilling. The writing was sharp, the setting was electrifying and vivid, and the characters were so fascinating.

I haven’t read a mystery like this one in quite some time. It was refreshing and new to me and I just know it has something to do with the writing from this author. He diligently took his time with a risky plot / story-line and absolutely killed it in my opinion! The writing was well thought out and well planned and I think that was a huge help to creating a world that was nice to escape to for a while.

The format and the timeline of this story is what makes the book what it was. I can’t imagine sitting down to write this story and putting together the puzzle pieces the way that the author did. I see the entire book so perfectly in my head. I loved that. I have a huge amount of respect for that.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle was intriguing, thought provoking, and 100% original from the get go. I can’t think of another book that is even remotely similar to this one.