"I am not alone at the party. You are at this miserable party with me. And it brings a smile to my face to be standing next to you."
Evidence of the Affair is a story told through a series of letters between two strangers who are linked by betrayal and heartbreak. I love reading books with this format and Taylor Jenkins Reid's execution was flawless as we watch the emotional relationship between these two strangers evolve. A quick reading experience that can be easily enjoyed in one sitting with an oh so clever title...and even a shout out to Reid's fictional musician: Daisy Jones. Check it out.
My favorite quote: "You underestimate your strength. You always have."...more
Muse of Nightmares is the second installment in Laini Taylor's young-adult fantasy duology titled Strange the Dreamer. This series is original, uniqueMuse of Nightmares is the second installment in Laini Taylor's young-adult fantasy duology titled Strange the Dreamer. This series is original, unique, highly complex, and it features Taylor's gorgeous writing style. Admittedly, I enjoyed the first book more than this second, but it was still good and a must read for fans of this ongoing story. I highlighted many relevant and lovely quotes, and I continue to be in awe of Taylor's imagination. However, in my opinion, this second book feels very long-winded in sections, filled with words and not a whole lot of scenes that move the story forward. Laini Taylor fans already know this is not necessarily a bad thing. Afterall, Taylor's words are her talent, but in this case, I felt the drag big time. It is my genuine hope that this is my isolated experience and that other readers fully enjoy this much anticipated sequel from one of the world's greatest storytellers of all time. ♥
My favorite quote: “For an instant, at least, they seemed one and the same, as though all anguish exists in the same deep well, no matter what loss or misfortune leads us to it. We might be at odds, hate each other, and desired each others destruction, but in our despair, we are lost in the same darkness, breathing the same air as we choke on our grief.” ...more
Shopaholic to the Rescue is the eighth and final (I hope) installment in Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series. It's been a long, funny, and annoying journey and I have to admit I'm glad it's over. Not a bad series at all but one can only handle so much Becky Bloomwood. Kinsella ended with a story that felt much different than all the predecessors but one where Becky finally found some surprising but welcomed peace with her excessive shopping. Lots of family issues in this one to allow the spotlight to be shared which I personally liked. Overall, a fair but likable finale.
Peace out, Becky.
My favorite quote: “The other person always has a point, Listen to each other, and you'll hear it.” ...more
When it girl Daisy Jones is paired with rising rock band The Six, the result is a level of talent and chemistry never before witnessed in the music inWhen it girl Daisy Jones is paired with rising rock band The Six, the result is a level of talent and chemistry never before witnessed in the music industry. But with all success stories, there are challenges hidden behind the scenes. The complicated relationship between band mates, the precarious balance of group dynamics, respect for the interdependent and connected artistic process, and everyone's personal demons that choose the perfect moments to come out and play.
Daisy Jones and The Six is organized into a flawlessly arranged compilation of interview responses from band members, crew, family, and industry elite, allowing readers to follow most everyone's point of view while reflecting on what led to this fictional band's infamous split in 1979. The author excels at showing how perspectives can differ so greatly it's almost comical. But it's painful too. The culture of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll was running rampant, but it doesn't mean everyone was having fun. Addiction was a well-explored element in this story, showing how it touches every part of the human condition, creating lies, crossing boundaries, and damaging self-control. Another memorable element was the bold strength of the women featured. The 1970's setting was the time of second wave feminism, and subtle and not so subtle shout outs to this movement were threaded throughout this book. Full of impressive depth, a fun writing style, and the palpable feeling of “making the greatest f@cking music in the world”, Daisy Jones and The Six was an incredible reading experience. You'll have to keep reminding yourself it's fiction. I can't wait for you to read it!
Note: Based on multiple online reports in July 2018, Daisy Jones and The Six is being developed into a limited TV series (13 episodes), co-produced between Amazon Studios and Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine. Music will be available as well. The author Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote full lyrics to this fictional band's album which are all available in the back of the book.
Thank you to the following for permitting me access to a digital review copy (DRC) of Daisy Jones and The Six. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing. Source: Edelweiss Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid Publisher: Ballantine Books - Random House On Sale Date: March 5, 2019
9/6/18: Yes, I know I'm a lucky, lucky girl. So thankful ❤...more
Thirty-one year old Andrea “Andy” Cooper and her mother Laura Oliver are at the mall celebrating Andy's birthday. Fatal violence ensues and Andy and LThirty-one year old Andrea “Andy” Cooper and her mother Laura Oliver are at the mall celebrating Andy's birthday. Fatal violence ensues and Andy and Laura get caught up in it. While Andy processes the event as a victim likely would, her mother acts with authority and experience and it's all captured on film. Now, the investigation focuses on Laura, and the dominoes begin to fall as Laura's life hangs in the balance, literally. Another crisis prompts Andy to run at Laura's instruction. Escape has been prepared for years. Why? Andy discovers that her mother is not who she thought she was. Not even close.
With Karin Slaughter's meticulous attention to character detail, Andy and Laura's characters are talentedly developed and convincingly explored through alternating timelines from Andy in present-day 2018 and Laura in 1986. One may think that finding out your mother had a secret life once upon a time would be quite glamorous. If you are familiar with Slaughter, then you already know that is not the case in this book. It is ugly and flawed and manipulative. It is violent in every sense of the word. It's about more than mothers and daughters. It's about what dysfunctional love can do to a person, deadly secrets, and what it means to destroy the world. I absolutely love everything Slaughter writes. Pieces of Her may be different than what she has had published in the past but it's just as good. Check it out!...more
World champion bull-rider Jason Waters gets roped into posing buck naked for a charity calendar photo shoot. Simone Levine is the lucky lady who getsWorld champion bull-rider Jason Waters gets roped into posing buck naked for a charity calendar photo shoot. Simone Levine is the lucky lady who gets to snap the shots of his world-renowned derriere. Jason is quiet and country. Simone is bubbly and pure city. One would think the two of them have absolutely nothing in common. As Simone tries to ease his nerves with conversation, it's quickly revealed they have more in common than once thought. In addition to her photography, Simone works at a kink club, and Jason just so happens to have a kink he has been eager but very hesitant to explore. If anyone is gentle enough to help Jason accept and process his deeply hidden side, it's her. It's a match made in kink heaven.
Picture Perfect Cowboy features elements of western romance and erotica. It has wit, humor, tons of sweetness, complicated emotions, gorgeous settings, and even a bit of education. The reader gets to learn right along with Jason as he explores a world he has only dreamed of. As some readers may be able to relate, Jason struggles with a strong sense of guilt and shame that stems from a conservative and punitive upbringing. Watching him process this internally with such a patient and supportive partner was lovely, and it showed how beautiful and therapeutic consensual kink can be. Picture Perfect Cowboy references and features characters that fans of Tiffany Reisz's Original Sinners series will be well-familiar with. However, this full-length novel serves as a successful standalone for Reisz newbies as well. It's followed by a bonus short-story: "Flogging 101 with Professor S" which again features this couple (and encompassed 8% of the ARC edition via Kindle). It's a two-for-one!!! ...and it's a winner!
Note: There’s an added bonus in the short-story so be sure to read it! You’ll learn how to correctly pronounce Søren’s name if you didn't already know. I can’t remember if this tidbit is in any of her other books but it felt new to me.
Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of Picture Perfect Cowboy. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing. Source: NetGalley Author: Tiffany Reisz Publisher: 8th Circle Press, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Genres: Erotica, Romance Pub Date: November 5, 2018...more
You know when your coworker gets a promotion at work and all of a sudden they're super important, walking around strutting their peacock feathers? (yeYou know when your coworker gets a promotion at work and all of a sudden they're super important, walking around strutting their peacock feathers? (yeah, I'm totally not jaded.) Well, this is what happens to Becky when she and Suze get attention from some of L.A.'s famed celebrities. Suddenly, she has a new career, her own (unjustified) security team, and a very self-centered outlook. She needs, she needs, she needs. Still with quite the obsessive personality, everything becomes about her and her new life in Hollywood. Becky's character did not come across as her sweet, good-intention self in this book. It's not been since Shopaholic on Honeymoon that I felt this bad for Luke. However, I can't deny that Shopaholic to the Stars did have some great humor moments and fortunately Becky was able to somewhat redeem herself (a tiny bit) by the end. Unfortunately, and as you can probably tell, this is my least favorite of the series to date.
My favorite quote: "But life can't be about holding on to the bad things. It has to be about grabbing on to good things and letting the bad things go."...more
A cute introduction to two-year-old Minnie Bloomwood who appears to be developing similar traits of her sweet but "I want all the things" mother. BeckA cute introduction to two-year-old Minnie Bloomwood who appears to be developing similar traits of her sweet but "I want all the things" mother. Becky (and Luke) must confront how their issues may impact Minnie moving forward, and of course Becky gets herself into a jam although her intentions are the absolute best. The misunderstandings that come up as a result of secretive event planning are pretty funny, and I enjoyed that Kinsella revisited an extended family member who manages to surprise everyone in the literal and emotional sense. Overall, an enjoyable addition to the Shopaholic series.
My favorite quote: "...an unconditional act does not require reward."...more
Indelible is the fourth installment in Karin Slaughter's crime thriller series titled Grant County. While this series has focused on developing the feIndelible is the fourth installment in Karin Slaughter's crime thriller series titled Grant County. While this series has focused on developing the female leads up to this point, Indelible adds extra emphasis on the male characters as well as the dynamics of a small town's law enforcement team.
In my opinion, Indelible isn't as dark and gritty as the other Grant County books have been which allows it to be a much appreciated reprieve for some, but makes it my least favorite installment to date (because the darker the better where Slaughter is concerned), but make no mistake: it is excellent. Slaughter continues to skillfully build these characters and I just can't get enough. Such a great series.
My favorite quote: "You never know what some people are capable of." ...more
I'm enjoying the Shopaholic series more and more the deeper I get. It has finally segued from her spending addiction to the root of her problem whichI'm enjoying the Shopaholic series more and more the deeper I get. It has finally segued from her spending addiction to the root of her problem which is poor impulse control. And when someone has minimal self-control, we all know the messes they can get themselves into lol. Becky's impulses always get the best of her but her happy attitude, out-of-the-box thinking, and sheer determination never fail to get her out every time. And I absolutely loved Luke in this one. We don't see enough of him in this series but I thoroughly enjoyed getting a few more glimpses of his character.
My star ratings are increasing and I am officially excited to continue the series!
My favorite quote: “Make-up artists should hereby get the Nobel prize for adding to human happiness. And so should hairdressers. And so should Luke.”...more
Karin Slaughter can use this series to teach a class on character development. With every book in this series, these characters grow increasingly compKarin Slaughter can use this series to teach a class on character development. With every book in this series, these characters grow increasingly complex. With every punch, their resilience builds but not without considerable scarring which makes them oh so human. Slaughter's characters suffer so much. I can't even fathom it. But her lead characters are women and you all know we can overcome a lot. Well-done, Ms. Slaughter on another 5-star crime thriller. Grant County is a dark and graphic series, but if you can handle it, it's a winner. Check it out!
My favorite quote: “Everybody had something horrible happen to them at one time or another in their life; it was part of the human condition. How they struggled through adversity proved what kind of people they were.”
Note: The crimes involved in Kisscut are perpetrated against children. It's not my intention to spoil the plot in any way but I know some readers haveNote: The crimes involved in Kisscut are perpetrated against children. It's not my intention to spoil the plot in any way but I know some readers have hard limits and it's best you are aware up front.
Kisscut is the second installment in Karin Slaughter's thriller series titled: Grant County. In my opinion, it's just as good as her epic debut, but I had to take off a star based on personal enjoyment. Don't misunderstand, this book is still stellar, but it was damned hard to read. The subject matter is dark and graphic, and my God, I can't even begin to imagine how Slaughter coped while this story took shape in her head. The crimes and the manipulation that goes along with them are horrific, the perpetrators are plentiful, and the insight into how a sexual predator may rationalize his/her actions put it all over the edge.
In my opinion, Kisscut serves the admirable purpose of bringing awareness to cycles of abuse, how victimization can alter vulnerable young minds in terms of how healthy relationships are viewed/processed, and how a perpetrator can indeed be someone other than "the dirty old man" across the street.
Thoroughly engaging, heartbreaking, palpable even when you don't want to feel it, and with characters that may conflict you down to your very core. A 5-star written story, but a 4-star reading experience for me personally. It was intense but well-worth the read if you enjoy thrillers without the need for trigger warnings.
My favorite quote: "Adam never thought to eat of the forbidden fruit until Eve tempted him." "Seems to me Adam's snake had something to do with that."
Karin Slaughter can write some dark thrillers, and I can't help but love every disturbingly graphic worI’m always in the mood for some Slaughterhouse!
Karin Slaughter can write some dark thrillers, and I can't help but love every disturbingly graphic word. Her talent is in her characters, the story's flow and pace, and the magical ability to keep her readers grasping for the next word. In terms of mystery, I knew who the perp was at around the 50% mark. Did that stop my enjoyment? Not even a little bit. Slaughter writes books that you can't put down, because the storyline is so involved. It's not just a crime to be solved (although the forensic element is fantastically gruesome in my opinion). It's family, town, and workplace dynamics. It's a history of events. It's the skillful development of characters that you can effortlessly connect with, and every action they take makes complete sense to you.
Blindsighted was Slaughter's debut novel (and what a debut!!), and I still kick myself for not finding her sooner. I started my "slaughterhouse" bookshelf with Pretty Girls and have been hooked ever since. I am making a slow but heartfelt effort to play catch up, and with every title, I'm astounded by this woman's work. Better late than never!
It was OK. Super short kindle freebie on Amazon USA. Followers of the Shopohlic series won’t miss out on anything significant by not reading this noveIt was OK. Super short kindle freebie on Amazon USA. Followers of the Shopohlic series won’t miss out on anything significant by not reading this novella, and it certainly doesn’t show Becky in a positive light IMO. There was some humor but I was disappointed in her little tantrum. Poor Luke......more
Shopaholic and Sister is the fourth installment in Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series and is my favorite to date. Becky Bloomwood just tries so, so hShopaholic and Sister is the fourth installment in Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series and is my favorite to date. Becky Bloomwood just tries so, so hard and it all just bites her in the end. This installment focuses on more than just her spending addiction so I think it was the perfect reprieve in that regard. I enjoyed it so much!...more
Double Down is the second installment in Alessandra Torre's romantic/suspense duet titled: All In. The first book ended on an epic cliffhanger that haDouble Down is the second installment in Alessandra Torre's romantic/suspense duet titled: All In. The first book ended on an epic cliffhanger that had me bumping up my rating a whole star and eager to continue on to this book even though I had initially considered dropping the series. The cliffhanger was a game changer! It's what took this duet from an adult romance to adult romantic suspense/potential thriller territory. Unfortunately, Double Down did not satisfy my cliffhanger jawdrop...at all. In my opinion, this installment felt incredibly one dimensional and a bit disjointed with characters introduced for no real reason (view spoiler)[to be honest I was rooting for a threesome with Laurent, that would have been reason enough for me...but I'm not a fan of reading accents so maybe it was for the best (hide spoiler)], convenient deaths with minimal closure, dramatic revelations that weren't expanded on, and an ending that didn't make up for any of it.
On the other hand, this book/duet is fast-paced which may be a positive for readers who don't care for long, drawn out series. Having a female villain is fun and shows sexism in play when many of the characters dismiss a woman as a potential threat. Torre took a risk with a certain bedroom scene in this book (view spoiler)[air play (hide spoiler)], and authors that take risks are awesome.
In summary, this is not a duet I would personally re-read, but I think there may be readers who connect more with the characters/storyline than I did. If you're an Alessandra Torre fan, you know you're going to read it regardless. ;)
Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of Double Down. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing. Source: NetGalley Author: Alessandra Torre Publisher: Select Publishing Genres: Erotica, Romance Pub Date: June 18, 2018...more
Even Money is the first installment in Alessandra Torre's adult romance duet titled: All In. It introduces the characters, develops the various relatiEven Money is the first installment in Alessandra Torre's adult romance duet titled: All In. It introduces the characters, develops the various relationships, sets the insta-love in full swing, and ends on an epic cliffhanger that had my jaw dropped. The ending took what was initially a 3-star read (IMO) and bumped it up to 4 for me personally. I'm excited to see where Torre decides to take this story.
Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of Even Money. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing. Source: NetGalley Author: Alessandra Torre Publisher: Select Publishing Genres: Erotica, Romance Pub Date: June 4, 2018...more
I know a 2-star rating is typically an automatic: "she didn't like it", but I am using the formal goodreads definition for the rating here. It was OK.I know a 2-star rating is typically an automatic: "she didn't like it", but I am using the formal goodreads definition for the rating here. It was OK. To be honest, I am playing catch-up on this series now that my library has finally added the audiobooks, and reading about Becky's epic avoidance-laden screw ups back-to-back was not the brightest idea. The cute is quickly turning to annoying, so I'll wait a few weeks before continuing to the next installment.
Overall, it's a great series, but I wouldn't recommend a Shopaholic bingefest. Everything in moderation, right Becky?...more
It’s like leading an alcoholic to all the best hidden bars. Oh, Becky. I liked this one even more than the first. A funny, engaging series with a heroIt’s like leading an alcoholic to all the best hidden bars. Oh, Becky. I liked this one even more than the first. A funny, engaging series with a heroine who has zero self-control when it comes to spending money she doesn’t have. Cringe-worthy at times but written with entertainment in mind and well-meaning underlying themes....more
I've been wanting to read this series for forever but was waiting for my library to finally add it. They did, then there was a crazy wait list for it.I've been wanting to read this series for forever but was waiting for my library to finally add it. They did, then there was a crazy wait list for it... yes, in 2018 lol. I guess I wasn't the only one waiting to read it.
My impressions: Not at all like the movie, but I read somewhere that the movie was actually a mashup of books 1-3 so I guess I'll have to read some more. I found Becky to be funny and extremely likable, but with a very sad and cringe-worthy problem. Like the title suggests, she's a shopaholic. But she's the real deal. Deep spirals of debt don't touch her very real compulsion because of the avoidance and rationalizations that come so easily to her. I was so excited for her when she found her intellectual and profitable calling in the media, and I thought it was a great way to end the book, only it wasn't the end and I was sad for her again. Addiction isn't solved that easily.
Quirky and funny, Too Good to Be True is another Kristan Higgins winner. The heroine is a character easy to understand and empathize with, even if sheQuirky and funny, Too Good to Be True is another Kristan Higgins winner. The heroine is a character easy to understand and empathize with, even if she does present herself as a major doormat at times. The admirable theme that runs throughout this novel and its main characters is the loyalty and protectiveness of family, even when loved ones don't deserve or return it. Overall, I found this adult romance standalone to be an easy and enjoyable reading experience. If you're a Kristan Higgins fan, definitely add it to your list!
My favorite quote: “Because when you meet The One, you just know.”...more
★★★ Fools Rush in is a sweet but complicated story about a girl who thinks she knows what she wants. She just has to get "what she wants" to notice her★★★½ Fools Rush in is a sweet but complicated story about a girl who thinks she knows what she wants. She just has to get "what she wants" to notice her. And sometimes when we want something for too long, the reality just doesn't live up to the dream we've stored on that very attractive pedestal.
This Kristan Higgins standalone romance features a likable heroine that you can't help but want to shake sometimes. The storyline is full of internal conflict and decision making that doesn't quite seem to fit with our very educated and professional heroine's persona IMO. It's predictable and a bit confusing at times due to the aforementioned contradiction. Regardless, I found Fools Rush in an extremely pleasant way to spend a rainy afternoon. Romantic, funny, and thoughtful, Kristan Higgins' fans will want to add this one to their list.
My favorite quote: "Busy is when you need to do your grocery shopping, clean the bathroom and go to work all on the same day. Raising two children, especially without a husband, was a holy mission."...more
Alright folks, get ready for a dark tale that'll drag you down into the land of human suffering. You won't be alone. All of David Joy's characters livAlright folks, get ready for a dark tale that'll drag you down into the land of human suffering. You won't be alone. All of David Joy's characters live there. Get ready to be conflicted beyond measure. Based on this story's theme, there are no villains and there are no victims...there is simply fate and survival and sacrifice.
The Line That Held Us is sorrowful and full of rage and consequence, with ample threads of beauty that appear at the most unexpected times. Dark, raw, pure, and philosophically psychotic, this is a must read! David Joy knows what he’s doing.
My favorite quote: To be announced upon publication if I can choose between my 71 kindle highlights...
Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of The Line That Held Us. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing. Source: NetGalley Author: David Joy Publisher: Penguin Group Putnam - G.P. Putnam's Sons Genres: General Fiction (Adult) Pub Date: August 14, 2018...more
Madeline Miller has again skillfully and gorgeously provided readers with a broadened perspective of a character
"You do not know what I can do."
Madeline Miller has again skillfully and gorgeously provided readers with a broadened perspective of a character from Homer's works of Greek literature. This time, a minor side character: Circe, goddess of magic. Ms. Miller was a genius with imagining the relationships and chain of events that led to Circe's infamous feast where she waved her wand and transformed her guests into pigs. In Ms. Miller's perspective, Circe was not an unprovoked villain. She was a woman who had simply had enough. From childhood to adulthood, she was a female who was consistently underestimated. After a particular episode of abuse, she finally let her nonthreatening exterior work to her advantage and allowed her magic-filled rage to soar. It's what every woman dreams of.
Circe shows its heroine grow from a passive child to a passionate and dangerous woman as all the best women are. Her character is developed to be strong, independent, hard-working, nurturing, and deeply protective. My favorite role she is given in this novel is that of motherhood.
"When he was a child I used to make lists of all the things I would do to keep him safe. It was not much of a game, because the answer was always the same. Anything."
I absolutely loved this book and am in awe of Madeline Miller and her respectful talent. The writing is stunning, deeply palpable, and enables women everywhere to do whatever it takes. If you feel isolated, embrace your solitude and take that time to grow. If you feel invisible, strengthen your skills until your confidence makes you impossible to ignore. If you feel underestimated, shake the world and give them something to talk about. Read it!
My favorite quote: "I did not care. I thought: give me the blade. Some things are worth spilling blood for."
4/10/2018: I've been waiting for this release day for months. My triple denied ARC requests did nothing but make my heavy anticipation fifty times worse! ...which now that I think about it was probably a very strategic marketing tactic lol. So it releases, I download it ASAP, and of course finish it in one day. It was audio so it didn't cause me to neglect many of my daily tasks. Well maybe it did because I was so glued to the lovely narration and the author's incredible talent with words. This is just book high talking right now. I'll write a proper review in a bit. Well, after I listen to the audio once more. I HAVE TO!!!! It's so good ya'll....more
Detective fiction is far from my favorite genre but this is Karin f’ing Slaughter and she can make an ingredients list complex and suspenseful. TheseDetective fiction is far from my favorite genre but this is Karin f’ing Slaughter and she can make an ingredients list complex and suspenseful. These characters are flawed, complicated, and have more layers than the triple decker cake I cut at my wedding. They elicit all the feels and I need more of Will Trent (and Angie!) in my life!
My favorite quote: “It didn't take a Harvard economist to figure out that it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper spending money on helping keep kids safe when they were younger than it was to put them in jail when they were older. That was the American way, though. Spend a million dollars rescuing some kid who's fallen down a well, but God forbid you spend a hundred bucks up front to cap the well so the kid never falls down it in the first place.”...more
The Next Best Thing is the second installment in Kristan Higgins's adult contemporary romance series: Gideon's Cove. This was a heartbreaking, conflicThe Next Best Thing is the second installment in Kristan Higgins's adult contemporary romance series: Gideon's Cove. This was a heartbreaking, conflicted, and healing novel. As a reader, in my opinion, the heroine is not easy to love because she's "stuck" and can't quite see what's right in front of her but don't give up on her because grief can be a frustrating and long process that sometimes doesn't make sense to bystanders much less to the person actually going through it. I connected with the emotions that were running strong in this story: the guilt, fear, panic, and all the other very human responses to trying to resume life after half of you is torn away. I loved this book which makes total sense because the fabulous Kristan Higgins wrote it. If you haven't experienced this author yet then grab any title and get started!! Series or not, they all can be read as standalones. Enjoy!
My favorite quote: "...a good father loves his daughter like no one else. He adores her, protects her, bails her out when she gets in trouble, defends her from her mother's chastisement. He urges her to be whatever she wants (president, astronaut, princess), and later in life, advises on which boy is good enough for her (none) and when she can start dating (never)."
There is a lot going on in this book, and I really, really wish the author Caroline Kepnes had an interview already released somewhere that reveals heThere is a lot going on in this book, and I really, really wish the author Caroline Kepnes had an interview already released somewhere that reveals her inspiration or intended message. Is this a reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft's short story: The Dunwich Horror? It is the creation of a character meant to reflect H.P. Lovecraft's own personal demons? Or is it simply an involved thriller that originated from the very imaginative mind of its author? Very likely, it's a mixture of all three things.
Providence follows three characters who each have their own alternating POV's: Jon, Chloe, and Eggs. Jon is our focal character who is kidnapped as a child and returns years later changed to his core. Chloe is his childhood best friend who knows him better than anyone. Eggs is a detective who is borderline OCD, and his current target of rumination is finding the connection in a string of heart attacks that have been occurring to seemingly healthy people. That connection is Jon. Jon was indeed changed...down to his core...down to his very life force.
Full of necessary isolation, unrequited love, and intense guilt, Jon was my favorite character as I'm sure he was intended to be. Emotionally speaking, his character is the epitome of all the tragedy that creates superheros...and villains. Chloe's storyline becomes quite involved as she finds a place among all the grief and confusion, and Eggs comes out of the blue and pretty much has his own separate book in this novel. All this plus the H.P. Lovecraft element that is all over this story (literally) and I'll say it again, there's a lot going on. Did it work? I'd have to say yes, but in a small doses kinda way. I read this novel slowly, consuming between five to ten percent a day. Sometimes it was mysterious and engaging, sometimes it was boring, sometimes I was sure I was missing the key to the universe for never having read The Dunwich Horror... so I paused to read it. In my opinion, reading it isn't entirely necessary because Kepnes made sure all the key components are laid out for readers. If interested, I would recommend glancing over random biographical information about H.P. Lovecraft, as I saw some similarities between him and Jon. Is it a coincidence that Lovecraft lived his life from birth to death in Providence, Rhode Island? I think not. Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about though. Only Caroline Kepnes truly knows what this book is about and I will be eagerly awaiting her first interview.
You might love it, you might hate it, you might be like me and feel a bit meh about it. It's Caroline Kepnes so you know you're going to read it regardless. Check it out!
Thank you to the following for permitting me access to an advance reader's copy (ARC) of Providence. This generosity did not impact my honesty when rating/reviewing. Source: NetGalley Author: Caroline Kepnes Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Lenny Genres: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date: June 19, 2018...more
★★★★ Anything for You is the fifth installment in Kristan Higgins's adult contemporary romance series titled Blue Heron. This book shows that the stron★★★★½ Anything for You is the fifth installment in Kristan Higgins's adult contemporary romance series titled Blue Heron. This book shows that the strong can still be incredibly fragile inside and the most patient and understanding person will eventually draw a line in the sand. Themes include alcoholism, absentee parenting, special needs, doing what it takes, and putting yourself dead last. Higgins brings a contrast of humor and heartbreak to a very real story of a girl trying the best she knows how and a boy who will do absolutely anything for her. Check it out ❤
My favorite quote: "To be a good chef, you had to understand food, let it speak to you, inhale its scents, watch it cook. You had to feel the pasta, assess its stick against the wooden spoon, taste it, to know when it was done. You couldn’t just look at a clock. You just had to know when it was right. Cooking was a way to stop time. To make a family take a half an hour and sit, relax, eat and taste. There was a Zen sense to it, a way of making a dozen separate ingredients into something transformative and new and special, something that would sustain and nourish and bring happiness to those who experienced it, at least for a little while."