Until We Are Gone (Gia Riley)


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I wanted a family with Cash.
We had dreams –building a house, kids, a dog, and, yes, even the white picket fence.
Or so I’m told.
I don’t remember anything about my husband. Not the wedding or the vows we shared.
The past ten years were erased and with time, they’re supposed to come back.
But this isn’t your typical case of amnesia
What if I’m not supposed to remember?
What if I was meant to forget?
Maybe I don’t want my old life back.
Because if the accident hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have uncovered the truth.
Losing my memory wasn’t tragic.
Losing my memory was fate.

“Our house is as dark as her mind.”

I chose not to rate this book, for a lot of reasons. It wasn’t because I hated it or loved it, it was simply because it had hints of a trope that I do not care to read about and I was caught off guard with that. When I seen the cover to this story and then read the blurb, I had high hopes that it would be about something else entirely or taken more seriously (the topic, I mean). I don’t like how the author romanticized it and I don’t like how this story line as a whole, turned out.

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Up until about 60% I was semi-enjoying where this book was going. I thought this was about a husband, wanting the best for his wife who had suffered tremendously. But I felt like I was blind-sided throughout the whole thing. Or maybe the author was just showing me what she wanted me to see and then flashing the worst parts in front of me at the last second, when I was already invested.

The pacing was…all over the place because as I would be enjoying what was happening and find myself getting pulled in finally, I would turn the page and the momentum I had finally gained would be lost because of the next chapter. The ending was rushed and not what this story needed. Not to mention the way the incident is explained to us was very lack luster and didn’t have a lot of emotion. For a book building up on the grounds of “emotional” I feel like it should have been presented better to the reader.

“Sometimes, you don’t need words to hear a person; you just feel them through a look or a smile.” 

Although the premise of this book was interesting and caught my attention, as well as the cover, it didn’t play out how I would have liked for it to and I think the characters were to blame for that. They weren’t attractive and they never really grabbed my attention. I had a hard time understanding the concept this book was portraying and the reasoning for the actions the characters were giving us. It was just all rather odd for me.

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*If you read this review and are interested in what was in there that I don’t particularly care to read for I will explain below and mark as *SPOILER*. 

I do not do cheating tropes. I just don’t particularly care to read them. Although I felt like it wouldn’t be fair for to lowly rate this book because of what happened, I decided to still discuss the book without a rating. I don’t like the reasoning for the cheating and maybe it wasn’t even “cheating” and I say that because the character’s POVs each tell us a different thing and we only know what they want us to. And up until the end of the story, we basically only think of it as infidelity.


The Night Olivia Fell (Christina McDonald)


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A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

Ultimately, The Night Olivia Fell had everything that I look for in a book: it was emotional, suspenseful, difficult to put down, it had a small amount of romance but nothing that over powered the story line as a whole, and it had secondary characters that hit the mark every time they were present. Wam, bam, thank ya ma’am!

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From what I have researched, this is the author’s debut book and with me saying that, I have to in turn say this: I read this in one sitting. Nonstop. I loved this story, I loved that topic that the author tackled, and I am just in awe as I sit here and type up this review of how delicately she handled it all. For a debut novel, it knocked the socks off of almost everything that I have read this year.

There was so much that I wanted to discuss and talk about in my review and I was ready to get it all out but by the time I typed it all up the first time, I realized that so much of it would be given away if I did that. So I erased it all and instead I wanted to talk about the main thing that I LOVED about this book and that was how the author evoked authentic and raw feelings from me. It’s almost difficult for me to explain, maybe it was my mood, maybe it was Olivia or even Abi or the story-line, but this book hit me in a soft spot in my heart that I had long forgotten about and for that, I am always grateful.

The characters, WOW! They were amazing. And not one of them was as good as what they were portrayed as and as the story goes on you can see them crack more and more. They were all mixed with mysteries and they kept me guessing the entire time. By the time it was all said and done, I was suspicious of every one at least three different times. The author did a fantastic job at pulling my feelings and accusations in all different types of directions.

The plot holes were all filled. Just when I was making mental note of something that needed to be touched on, bam, it was covered. And when I say that, I mean it. That is a huge pet-peeve for me when I am reading a story. But with this book, the story-line stayed open so long that you were able to cast all sorts of allegations but then when you got to the next chapter, you would have more and the previous ones would all be gone.

I really feel like The Night Olivia Fell is so much more than the typical suspense story that we keep seeing promoted day after day. While it does include the typical “cliches” such as secrets, lies, nothing appearing as it seems, and even conflicts and similarities between characters that you never would have expected, but the relatable characters and the raw emotions that this book evoked from me was in a department all in it’s own.

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Forget You Know Me (Jessica Strawser)


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Liza and Molly are life-long best friends—or at least they used to be. Ever since Liza moved to Chicago to pursue her career, leaving Molly behind in Cincinnati with a husband and two kids, the distance between their two lives has grown more and more insurmountable. In a last-ditch effort to save their friendship, they arrange a “girls night” over webcam, wine in hand, catching up like they used to. But when Molly runs upstairs to check on a crying toddler, Liza watches, horror-struck, as a masked man enters the home of her best friend.

After calling the police, Liza frantically tries to reach Molly, but when she finally responds, her message is icy and terse, insisting that everything is fine. Liza is still convinced something is wrong—that her friend is in danger. But after an all-night drive to rescue her ends in a brutal confrontation, Liza is sure their friendship is over.

Meanwhile, Molly finds herself wondering whether she’s dodged one ruinous mistake only to make another in its place. Did she sacrifice her oldest friendship to save her marriage? Or has she inadvertently sacrificed both? 

Liza and Molly can’t avoid each other forever, and soon, they’ll face a reckoning that will force them to decide just how much weight a shared history can carry.

Forget You Know Me reminded me of Jessica’s last novel that I read, Not That I Could Tell. There was a lot of foreplay and excitement, but not much for a climax. Not a lot of bang, IMO. The story-line built up to so much with each page that you turned and it could have went so many ways but ultimately fell flat for me. .

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The plot was weak at best. Not to mention the many sub-plots that were just as weak. The author made it to where every character had something going on and then didn’t give us time and reasoning to fully understand just what was going on. I know that may not make sense to you, but I promise in my head it does.

I do want to say that Jessica’s writing is very easy to read (for me) but I can see where others may not enjoy it. I tend to flow through her stories effortlessly because her writing makes it so easy. But for some reason, her writing didn’t work this go around in the sense of developing any kind of “connection” with these characters. It’s almost hard for me to put into words how hard it was for me to understand what was going on with them or even why.

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And then…it all just falls down. I didn’t like the way the story was wrapped up. I wish I could give you the reasons why but I think we all know that I don’t believe in spoilers. I can appreciate good writing when I see it and every time I pick up one of Jessica’s books I know that her writing will be such a treat. For You Know Me was a book that held so much potential but once it was all said and done, I was left unsatisfied.

The Leading Edge of Now (Marci Lyn Curtis)


Buy link: https://amzn.to/2CtB0xH

Just when Grace is beginning to get used to being an orphan, her estranged uncle suddenly comes forward to claim her. That might have been okay if he’d spoken to her even once since her father died. Or if moving in with Uncle Rusty didn’t mean returning to New Harbor.

Grace once spent the best summers of her life in New Harbor. Now the place just reminds her of all she’s lost: her best friend, her boyfriend and any memory of the night that changed her forever.

People say the truth will set you free, but Grace isn’t sure about that. Once she starts looking for it, the truth about that night is hard to find — and what happens when her healing hurts the people she cares about the most?

I won’t touch on much in this review and sadly I couldn’t find one thing about this book that I liked besides the cover. So here goes nothing…


The main two things that just did not work for me was the overall construction of the story and the characters. I couldn’t get myself to latch onto these characters, any of them if we are being honest. I felt like they were all very short lived in the story and not introduced to you in a great manner. They just weren’t memorable. And then every single page that I turned felt like there were just random occurrences being bunched together. There was no plot or even a purpose. The story went absolutely nowhere. But don’t worry! Every time you turn the page, a new revelation is discovered! But then another and then another…

(Spoiler-ish) and really? The main character steals wallets? REALLY?! That’s cool and all but I feel like the author could have done a better job at elaborating WHY she did this. What was the purpose or the symbolism? So random…


The execution of the entire story was so quickly paced that a lot of the storyline gets jumbled and confusing. It gets harder and harder to piece together what is actually happening through out the book because the author doesn’t slow down the events taking place. 

I appreciated the topic that the author was trying to tackle but I just don’t feel like they executed it in a way that flowed well for the reader. I didn’t appreciate how the author made the main character’s love of Owen outshine the sexual assault. Like, it was just on the back burner and I don’t like that. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. 

An Anonymous Girl (Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen)


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Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed. 

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

“We all have reasons for our actions. Even if we hide the reason from those who think they know us best. Even if the reasons are so deeply buried we can’t recognize them ourselves.”

I am a really huge sucker for a great, twisty, and thrilling, well…thriller! And although An Anonymous Girl wasn’t necessarily “twisty” it was thrilling and got my anxiety peaked a few times and I really enjoy that in a book. I would pick up the book and have a hard time putting it down because the authors did so well at presenting to us two women, with two stories, that seem to collide in the most bizarre way.

An Anonymous Girl was a thought-provoking read. Plain and simple. I really enjoyed the logic behind this book and coincidentally enough… the morality of it. The way these characters were tested and came together but also came apart really piqued my interest in the best way. As a whole- it pulled me in from the beginning and wouldn’t let go until I was finished.

“I don’t fear strangers, though. I’ve learned more harm can come from familiar faces.”

The writing, the alternate POV’s, the way the authors slowly peeled back Dr. Shields for us and how she was behind the facade really caught my attention. Are people ever really what they seem? I love wondering about the possibilities and I wondered the entire time about her. What was her catch? When will we find out who she really is?

These two authors are an incredible team. If you even kind of liked The Wife Between Us, you’ll really love An Anonymous Girl. I think they went to a level where most authors haven’t went yet and I can really dig that. I was surprised with how original this book was as a whole, something that hasn’t been done for and for that, I am grateful. I love opening a new book each time and reading something that hasn’t been read by myself yet. And with this one, I felt that the entire way through.

“A secret is only safe if one person holds it, I think. But when two share a confidence, and both have self-preservation as their main motive, one of them is going to give.”

I Like You, I Love Her (J. R. Rogue)


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In a lot of ways, I was one of the lucky ones. My high school crush liked me back. It should have been magic and fire, but it was tragic and brutal. I wrote it that way, anyways.

His name was Bryan Winthrop. He was our high school basketball star. The prom king. The most beautiful boy I had ever laid eyes on. He liked me — the theatre geek who never should have caught his eye — but he loved her.

It’s been more than 10 years since the homecoming dance. Since the night he kissed me, breaking both of our hearts for the first time.

After the scandal, after graduation, I left our small town and made a name for myself on Broadway, then in Hollywood. I didn’t mean for the play I wrote about our high school affair to blow up. I didn’t mean for it to reach all the way back to my roots, wreaking havoc, wrecking families.

Bryan Winthrop and I were not friends, not lovers.

But I’m back. And for one summer — if she lets us — maybe we can be.

“I’m playing with fire here; this is the truest thing I know. But I always was with him, the break in time and miles hasn’t lessened this need.”

So, I went back and forth with my rating. 4 stars or 5 stars? What do I do? What will truly justify this book for the people who read my reviews? But the more I discussed the book, mainly with Jen, and the more I focused on writing my review and getting my feelings down, this book deserves five stars. Probably more than that.

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Jen showed us a different side of her as an author, she went there for us. ILYILH was not poetic. Not to me anyways. It was not based around beautiful prose and lyrical writing. It was sharp, poignant, and jarring in all of the right ways. Which to me showed how dynamic Jen can write. Which in turn shows me how talented she truly is. Going from KMLYMI to ILYILH was a huge jump for her to take and to me she landed that jump flawlessly and stuck it like a pro.

Severin is life. Her snark, wittiness and down right charming self was radiant and cutthroat and I really liked that about her. She knew what she wanted and she knew what she had to do with her life to get there. To me, she was a strong woman, the type you don’t read about in most books. The type that more books should have.

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The alternating POVs of the past and the present add such a build to the story that I didn’t even know I needed. It gave me LIFE. Seeing how the tension of the characters build and build in their high school years and then going to present time to see how the characters are still teetering around each other brought a whole new meaning to this story. The worlds colliding was magical. Not to mention the end left me so satisfied. I was so thrilled to know I would get to interpret things my own way with Severin. I know what she would want for herself and so does she.

“My art is mine. I can take my past and do whatever I wish with it. I just forgot that there are consequences to my actions, to my words and the way my stories are told.”

I love how the title fits in and plays a huge role into the story. Period. End of story. When an author does that I get the goosebumps and I smile real cheesy-hard like. Jen did that to me.

Ben. Ben Ben Ben. The almighty philosopher Ben. I love you. My moth flutters are forever yours, I don’t have to make love such a tragedy for you! I promise!

“His hair is soft under my finders, shorn close to his head, autumn brown and not long enough for me to pull. I desperately want to make him hurt a little. Just a little, something to match the ache he always pours into my chest with that voice of his.”

I can’t wait to share my favorite quotes with you guys. My favorite lines and the meanings I took from them. I can’t wait for you to read this book that Jen poured her heart out for US. And I can’t wait for you to experience that feeling of reading it for it the first time.

Dare Me (Megan Abbott)


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Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives.

Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself.

Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.

The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

“That’s what people never understand: They see us as hard little pretty things, brightly lacquered and sequin-studded, and they laugh, they mock, they arouse themselves. They miss everything.
You see, these glitters are war paint, it’s feathers and claws, it’s blood sacrifice.”

I did not think Dare Me was a terrible book. I do not think cheer leading books are my forte (this was no Bring It On), and I do not think this was at all what I thought it was going to be. What I did think though, was that it focused so much on these girls within the story that it lost complete focus of the story-line and plot at hand. In turn, the book got sloppy and the story line inconsistent.

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“There’s something dangerous about the boredom of teenage girls.”

I do want to start out by saying that Megan Abbott knows how to write girls. More specifically, high school and teenage girls. I feel like Dare Me really encompasses these girls fragility, innocence, power, their influence on others, and their ability to make someone do absolutely anything for them. I never once questioned the things that these girls were capable of and I have Megan’s writing to thank for that. These girls are vicious and cunning and they do not fail in making that known to the reader.

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But with me saying that I have to add how much I didn’t like reading this book from Addy’s POV. I feel like Megan tried way too hard to have an unreliable narrator but Addy was just…a mess. Not only that, but Beth was all over the place. Maybe if we had some POV’s of her’s it wouldn’t of been too bad but from the way Beth was presented to me, all erratic and such, I could’ve cared less if she was in the story or not. And the coach? Um, I must have missed something. The Coach’s relationship with the girls wasn’t developed and it was completely rushed from the get go. I don’t understand what the draw was that hooked these girls to their coach and Megan didn’t do too great of a job giving that to us either.

These girls are vicious and mean and cruel and I in no way enjoyed their dialogue or the way they talked to each other and their peers.

And speaking of peers…WHERE WERE THE PARENTS?! That drove me mad the entire time. But back to what I was saying…

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The topic that the author is trying to introduce us to with these teenage girls was not done in an intelligent or caring way, in my opinion. I can’t touch on that any more because it’s a huge spoiler. But you’ll see.

“When you have nothing inside of you, you feel everything more, and feel you can control all of it.”

If you’re looking for a story about the things that happen when teenage girls become bored or even a story with decent twists, Dare Me is for you. To me, there was entirely too much going on with the story line mixed with a sloppy narrator with inconsistencies mixed throughout the entire book but as a whole I really enjoyed how well Megan wrote these characters and the way she evoked them throughout the book as whole.