Posted in Reviews

Review: Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Leave No TraceLeave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This novel was a great sophomore effort from Mindy Mejia, so filled with the nuance and excitement we’ve come to expect from her, but with a completely different type of set-up from “Everything You Want Me To Be.”

Maya is a speech therapist at a psychiatric facility with a dark past to match many of her patients, but who is working to stabilize her life in Duluth, MN. Then, she is assigned to help Lucas Blackthorn, who disappeared 10 years ago with his father during a camping trip in the boundary Waters, a remote wilderness filled with trees and lakes, stretching to the Canadian border. Suddenly, Lucas, who won’t communicate with anyone, speaks to Maya, sparking a chain of events that will change the course of the community.

The great thing about this book is that it makes you question so many things – what is madness? Who is mad; is Lucas? Maya? Neither? I was totally sucked in and completely invested in the characters.

There were also some great twists that I didn’t see coming. And they made total sense in the context of the book, which is what makes a really good twist work.

Mejia is fast becoming one of my favorite authors and I really am looking forward to what she comes up with next. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.

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Review: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Let Me LieLet Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m of two minds about this book: It really did keep my attention and I was totally invested in how it turned out, but there were some significant things that I didn’t really like about it.

The main character is Anna Johnson, who lost both parents to copycat suicides a year ago, and now lives with her partner and newborn daughter in her family home. On the anniversary of her mother’s death, she receives a card that implies that not everything about the deaths is what they seem. With the help of a retired police detective, Anna finds that what looks like straightforward suicides, might not be so straightforward after all.

The mystery itself is super intriguing, because at first it’s not entirely clear if something odd is going on or if Anna, in her grief, is losing her mind, so to speak. Then things get really intense, really quickly. I was excited to see how everything worked out. (I’m trying for no spoilers here). I wish some of the details had been adjusted somewhat.

Overall, I would say that I did enjoy this book. I was invested in it until the very end and have to say that the ending is very good. But I did have some problems with it, so read with caution. If you like things tied up nicely and paced evenly – maybe try another book.

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Posted in Book Extras, For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

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Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. The meme is hosted by The Purple Booker!
It is very easy to play along:
Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

This week I’m looking forward to digging into “Let Me Lie,” which has a really intriguing summary. I’m looking forward to reading a good psychological thriller, so hopefully this fits the bill!

Here we go:

Too late I bite my tongue. Billy turns away, but not before I’ve seen the hurt on his face. I stand helplessly for a while, looking at the back of his head and trying to say sorry, but the words won’t come.

 

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About the Book

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They’re both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

 

Posted in Reviews

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise MeSurprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

I’m generally a big fan of Sophie Kinsella’s books. And this one was good, make no mistake; it just wasn’t my favorite of hers. At parts, as I was laughing out loud, howling with laughter; at other points, it’s actually very serious and even a bit dark.

Sylvie and Dan are happily married, if in a little bit of a rut. But when their doctor suggests they may have 68 more years of wedded bliss ahead of them, they decide to shake things up by surprising each other. However, as can be the case with surprises, sometimes things are revealed that make you question everything.

This book had some of the great “I Love Lucy”-type moments that Kinsella is so good at writing. I was howling with laughter at some parts. But like I said, toward the end things get very serious. Which is a nice blend, because it gives balance to the book and makes you think.

But I can’t say that there was anything super surprising or twisty in the plot, which made it kind of predictable, ironically. I didn’t guess the exact details, but I got the general outline. The characters were also a little predictable.

But I liked their growth in the end of the novel. They didn’t stay stagnant like so many characters can, and that’s good.

Like I said, if you enjoy Sophie Kinsella’s work, you’ll also like this one. It’s funny, a quick read and features delightful characters, although they may be predictable. But for brand new readers, maybe start with a different standalone and work your way into this one.

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Review: How It Happened by Michael Koryta

How It HappenedHow It Happened by Michael Koryta

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You might think that a book which starts out with a confession and explanation would be devoid of mystery and suspense, but in this case – you’d be so wrong! This book begins with a double murder confession, but manages to keep you guessing until the very end.

Kimberly Crepeaux is a local ne’er-do-well, but when she confesses to the double murder of two local “golden children,” FBI agent Rob Barrett believes her. However, when parts of her story begin to unravel, like the bodies being found 200 miles away from where she swore they were located, Barrett loses control of the case and is ostracized for screwing up majorly. But he can’t let the case go, and he continues to search for the truth, no matter what he has to do to find it.

Like I said, the book is chock full of suspense, even though the first chapter reveals the confession. Koryta weaves a story that works backwards and manages to keep you guessing as he slowly reveals pieces of the puzzle which build back to that main picture. It’s really quite a suspenseful tale.

The setting is also really great, because Koryta manages to perfectly capture the essence of life in a small town and how things work when everyone knows everyone’s business – or at least, they think they do. Being from a small town, I totally related to a lot of those things.

The ending was a little convoluted, though. I’m still trying to piece it together in my mind. But I guess it couldn’t be too straightforward, or the story would be too simple.

Overall, this was a great high-suspense tale, with plenty of action. Fans of police procedurals will really enjoy it.

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Posted in Book Extras, For Fun

Teaser Tuesday: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

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Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. The meme is hosted by The Purple Booker!
It is very easy to play along:
Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.

After several intense thrillers, I decided to try something lighter in tone. I am a huge an of Sophie Kinsella, so I am excited to get to read her latest! Here’s a little peak:

I’m baffled. Isn’t she even going to try to sell me the chopper thing? She seems to have been utterly derailed, and I can’t work out why.

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About the Book

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

 

Posted in Reviews

Review: One Last Breath by Lisa Jackson

One Last BreathOne Last Breath by Lisa Jackson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love both Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush. But I didn’t love this book, I’m sorry to say.

The book begins with two simultaneous attacks on the wedding of Liam Bastian and Rory Abernathy, a mismatched pair of lovers from opposite sides of the tracks. Rory runs, taking the couple’s unborn child with her, vowing to disappear forever. But five years later, Liam finally tracks Rory down … and then people start turning up dead. Who was behind the attacks five years earlier, and are they back to finish the job?

The book starts out great – it’s action-packed and very mysterious. But then, things lose steam. The Rory-Liam chase goes on too long, and the cat-and-mouse game they play is too dragged out. I would have liked more focus on the mystery and the characters themselves, rather than that melodrama.

Also, I didn’t really like either Liam or Rory. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them and I quickly became annoyed by Rory’s insistence that she had to stay hidden – it’s never entirely clear why exactly she thinks that, especially when everyone around her agrees that she needs to stop running.

There are some nice twists in there that kept me entertained toward the end and like I said, the mystery itself is pretty good – it proves that Jackson and Bush still have what it takes. This book itself is just a miss.

I’d skip this one in favor of another by these ladies.

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