Book Review – Rapid Falls

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“It’s been twenty years since Cara’s boyfriend died in a horrible accident and her sister, Anna, went to prison. The tragedy has become a local legend, but Cara has moved past her grief to have a successful career and a happy family. Pity about Anna. Recently released from incarceration, she’s struggling with addiction, guilt, and shame—a shattered life. Cara’s forgiveness seems to be the only thing that helps her pick up the pieces.

But as Anna pulls herself together, her memories of that night on the bridge start to come into focus. And few of them match her sister’s.

As past secrets unfold and nothing is what it seems anymore, Anna desperately searches for the truth. But what if Cara doesn’t want her to find it?”

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4.25 stars

I chose this book as my Amazon First Reads book for November and I LOVED it. This story was so good! I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this.

This book alternates between the past & present day. During the “past” chapters, the reader is taken back to the night of prom and the accident that changed everything. Bit by bit, the night unfolds and the reader sees what happened firsthand. In the “present day” chapters, Cara narrates the story as the older sister who overcame a tragedy and a rocky past to live a (seemingly) happy and successful life.

As a reader, you know something isn’t quite adding up, but you’re not sure what. Which sister do you trust? What actually happened that night?  This book kept me intrigued throughout as I felt (and hoped) a build-up was coming. No spoilers here, but this one was worth the read! Ruthless, cunning, manipulative, vengeful- all adjectives used to describe certain characters and the events that transpired. I hate to root for the villain, but if they’re a bad b*tch that handles their shit, I’m here for it.

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Book Review – An Anonymous Girl

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4 stars

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This one releases January 2019.

The premise of this one sounded really interesting and unlike anything I’ve read. This was a quick read that kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the novel.

This one might’ve been a little slow to start out, but once it picked up, I did not want to put it down. The authors did a great job building suspense and evoking a sense of fear/anxiety at several different points in the book. Jess gets herself into some situations that definitely had my heart pounding.  It was refreshing to read about a take-charge protagonist in this mind-blowing game of cat & mouse. I (loosely) buddy-read this with a friend and a lot of our exchanges were “OMG. This is crazy.” “She’s nuts! I can’t believe it”, etc – definitely a good one for a buddy read.

I don’t want to reveal too much, but this is a twisty, creepy thriller. A lot of feelings of foreboding/dread as I was reading, which kept me engaged. I thought I was going to finish this one and be like “What the HELL just happened?”, but I didn’t. That’s not bad, it was just a little bit different than I thought.  However, I was definitely satisfied and would recommend adding this one to your TBR!

Book Review – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.”

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5 stars

TJR IS QUEEN! This was the only book of hers that I hadn’t read and I am kicking myself for waiting so long!

Initially, I was like “How can we like a character who has had 7 husbands?!” I judged her way too soon. Evelyn Hugo is amazing, and this story was SO SO SO much different than I thought it was going to be.  I don’t want to give anything away, you really just need to read this for yourself.

TJR just proves what an astounding writer she is, sweeping you into this old-time Hollywood scene, and I found myself rooting for Evelyn in spite of her flaws. She continues to create these amazing characters that I am continually entranced with.  I was riveted by this book, and would definitely recommend it. It’s a story that will stick with me for a long time.

Book Review – The Proposal

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…”

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I thought was Wedding Date was a decent rom-com, but this one really fell flat for me. I chose it as my BOTM pick because I had high hopes for it too!

The premise was AWESOME and I thought it had a lot of potential. Overall, a few big things just made this one not work for me:

-The chemistry was not there/felt very forced. These people are late 20s/early 30s and they’re jokey-sarcastic banter got old QUICK. That is like, the middle school version of flirting. At a few points, I was like, “Is she serious with this dialogue?” The sex scenes were non-existent (i.e. she skipped over all the good stuff) and it just didn’t feel like there was a solid foundation to their relationship.

-I noticed it in The Wedding Date too, but it seems like she makes race such an issue. Maybe it’s me (and if it is, call me out), but it felt like she needs to explicitly say that someone is white/black/Korean, etc.  I think she’s trying to be inclusive (and have each character check a certain box) but it just feels again, very forced.

-The writing quality was not great. I don’t think it flowed very well.

I wanted to love this one but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you LOVED The Proposal and are a huge rom-com fan.

Book Review – Freefall

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Thanks to the publisher for the free e-ARC of this book.

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Surviving the plane crash is only the beginning for Allison.

The life that she’s built for herself – her perfect fiancé, their world of luxury – has disappeared in the blink of an eye. Now she must run, not only to escape the dark secrets in her past, but to outwit the man who is stalking her every move.

On the other side of the country, Allison’s mother is desperate for news of her daughter, who is missing, presumed dead. Maggie refuses to accept that she could have lost her only child and sets out to discover the truth.

Mother and daughter must fight – for survival and to find their way through a dark web of lies and back to one another, before it’s too late…”

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4.5 stars – I loved it.

I flew through this one. Short, quick chapters that alternate POV. I thought this was fresh, original concept that was easy to follow. Although she wasn’t perfect, Allison was a bad-ass protagonist, which I always appreciate. I also reading enjoyed Maggie’s chapters as well. I didn’t see certain parts of the plot coming – I had suspicions, but either way I don’t think it’d detract from the story if you guessed certain things. I would add this one to your TBR if you’re a suspense fan. Releases January 2019.

Book Review – The Great Alone

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“Alaska, 1974.
Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.”

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5/5 stars. This was one of my favorite books this year. I thought it was phenomenal.  I cannot say enough good things about this book!

I’m a little embarrassed to admit, I was reluctant at first to pick this up – it just didn’t seem like something I’d be into (set in the 1970s, in Alaska….?) but I’m so glad I proved myself wrong.

I won’t be able to do this book justice with my review, but Kristin Hannah’s writing evoked such incredible emotions throughout this novel. I flew through it, all the while rooting for Leni to overcome the countless obstacles she faced. So many tears and so many feelings. Outrage, shock, fear, pride, sadness, euphoria, etc – you name it, I felt it.

Definitely, definitely add this to your list.

Book Review – A Thousand Doors

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Thank you to the publisher for the free e-ARC.

Goodreads Synopsis:


The day Mia Jensen died, she finally got to live.

WHAT IF…

We’ve all played the “what if” game. For Mia Jensen, “what if” is a fact of life. Dissatisfied with her choices, she often dreams about what could have been. Now she has the chance to know. But that knowledge is going to cost her dearly. Only through death can she fully realize the value of her life.

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Forty-year-old Mia Jensen is home after a terrible day, trying to figure out how she’s come to this point in her life, when she hears a strange noise from the kitchen. She investigates, only to be brutally attacked and left for dead. As she dies, she experiences some of the lives that could have been hers had she only made a different choice.

Can one woman can find peace with the path she’s chosen before it slips through her fingers forever? ”

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4.5 stars

JT Ellison is QUEEN. She put together a KILLER lineup of authors. This was a great story – definitely not something that I’d usually read (the anthology) but it worked! I wish I had been able to read more than just 1 chapter per “life” – there were definitely chapters where I was like, “Wow, I could read a whole book about this character”. Such a unique and clever concept – I would definitely recommend. It wasn’t necessarily a “thriller” but it kept my attention and I really enjoyed the different perspectives. Add this one to your list!