Gretchen

by Shannon Kirk

Publication date: July 23 2019

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Oh. My. Stars! This is the first book I’ve read by Shannon Kirk and it will not be the last. I’m on hold right now for her first one In The Vines. I couldn’t stop reading this book I was walking around my house cleaning and cooking all one handed because my kindle was glued to my hand. There was so many plot twist and turns, I couldn’t figure it out and I loved that I was surprised through out the whole book. I some what figured out the cat angle but that was it. Gretchen was probably the most creepy person I’ve read about in a thriller fiction. My stars she has more than a screw loose she is beyond words. Lucy and her mom’s dynamic was believable and I liked Lucy. She was a strong girl who had a lot of questions, no friends till she meets Gretchen and she’s not to sure about her but happy they are staying put and laying down some roots. She is getting older and starting to question things and that’s when her whole life takes a huge detour.  This whole book is like that one thread that is hanging off a blanket or shirt and you pull it to tighten but the whole thing just falls in a puddle. In this case it’s totally a good thing!  This book is a creepy, get under your skin unnerving psychological thrill ride that I didn’t want to get off. I was so sad when I finished it but I will read it again in a year or so but it will be one I re-read and buy the physical copy of the book when it comes to have on my shelf. I am going pre-ordered 2 books one for me and  I’m gifting one to my mom to read during her chemo treatments. She is going to love it and it will defiantly make time fly by. Gretchen gets 5 stars from me and is right now number 1 on my best books I’ve read in 2019 (and I’ve read 45 so far this year!) Will it fall from number 1 I really don’t see that happening but I do still need to read In The Vines so we will see. 🙂

About the book: The new tenants have a terrible secret. So do the landlord and his daughter… Ever since Lucy was two, she’s been on the run alongside her mother. She’s never understood the reason for a lifetime of paranoia, aliases, and lies. All she understands are the rules: never lock eyes with strangers, never let down your guard, and always be ready to move on. Finally, after thirteen years and eleven states, their next hideaway seems perfect. An isolated, fortress like place in the New Hampshire woods is the new home they share with its owner, a gentlemanly pianist, and his lonely daughter, Gretchen. She’s Lucy’s age and soon becomes Lucy’s first real friend. But Gretchen and her father have secrets of their own—and an obsession with puzzles that draws Lucy into a terrifying new game of hide-and-seek. Lucy’s dark past is about to come calling. And this time, for her and her mother in the house on the hill, it might be too late to run.

Thank you Netgalley for allowing me to read Gretchen by Shannon Kirk. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

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The Scent Keeper

by Erica Bauermeister

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This is the first time I’ve read a book by this author. I’ve seen her one book Joy for Beginners displayed at bookshops before. So I didn’t not know what to expect with this book but I thought the summary sounded great. I have to say first off her writing style is beautiful – wordy and flowing with out be to overwhelming or descriptive that the reader is put off. This is a coming of age book where you follow the character Emmeline from living on the remote island with her dad, to living in the cove and exploring the big city while trying to find her mom and Fisher. This was a book that I enjoyed reading and found myself carving out times to read even if it was just a few minutes here and there on busy days. I plan to pass this one on to my mom, she is looking for a feel good book to read while she get’s her chemo treatments. I’m not going to say anymore just that I can’t recommend this book enough. This is one of those books that is best to go in not reading much about it. It is best to just open it up and dive into the richly scented world that Emmeline lives it. If you are looking a slow developing, beautifully written coming of age story to read this summer than grab a copy of The Scent Keeper. 

About the book: Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

Thank you St Martin Press for sending me a copy of The Scent Keeper. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

The Night Before

by Wendy Walker

Publication Date: May 14 2019

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The Night Before was really good and while I thought I might have figured out what was going on I was wrong about a few things. Once it started to unfold I couldn’t believe I missed some clues. I’m usually really good at figuring things out but not this time. I got about 80% of the mystery right so the author did a great job at keeping me in the dark. I was thrown but the curve balls within the story line that had some holes that I couldn’t figure out. As the ending was drawing near and everything was spelled out I saw it all and was like yes this makes perfect sense, now why didn’t I see that! This was non stop not sure I’d call it action but it was a non stop roller coaster ride with a lot of loops and turns. It was told in 3 story lines: What Laura was experiencing – What Rosie (Laura’s sister) was experiencing – and lastly Laura and Dr Brody’s transcripts.

The characters are fully developed and while they all grew up together they still have their own secrets that they don’t necessarily want to be exposed. I felt for Rosie she was in the dark most of the time throughout the book. She trusted her sister Laura and would do anything for her. She is trying to unravel what went on the night her sister didn’t come home but she might be the only one that really wants the whole truth.

This was a mystery suspense with both a past mystery that unravels the book progresses and the new mystery of where is Laura and what really happened the night of her first date in a long time. I won’t say much because anything more would start a spoiler. Overall I enjoyed every minute of this book and it was the first Wendy Walker book I’ve read. I do own Emma At Night and moving that one up my TBR stack so I can read it soon. If it is as good as The Night Before I know I won’t be disappointed!

About the book: The night before…and the nightmare after.

Rosie and Laura are as different as two sisters can be. One is stable and has the perfect family. The other struggles to break free from her troubled past. When Laura disappears after going on a blind date, Rosie takes matters into her own hands.

But as Rosie begins to search for her sister, her greatest fears come to the surface. Could Laura be more of a danger than the stranger she meets or is the night before her last night alive?

Told in dual timelines—the night before and the day after—The Night Before is a riveting thriller about family loyalty, obsession, and what happens when the desire for love spins out of control

Thank you Netgalley and St Martin Press for allowing me to read The Night Before. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The Stonewall Riots

Coming Out in the Streets

by Gayle E Pitman

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The Stonewall Riots is a very powerful book. This non fiction doesn’t hold back any punches. The author does an amazing job at placing the reader right in the center of the riots that happened in the late 60’s. Riots hold a key place in history through out the years but the 60’s were probably some of the most prominent years for riots. The Stonewall Riots were about fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. This middle grade non fiction tells the full story and includes artifacts: newspaper articles – pictures – arrest sheets and so much more. I had not heard of these riots till I read the book and I’m so glad Gayle Pitman wrote this book. We always hear about the anti-war riots but nothing about this riot. This non fiction was so well researched and presented in a manner that makes the reader feel like they are there. I’m not a non fiction fan. If all non fiction was written like this book I just might be a fan. If you don’t want to pick this up because you think non fiction reads slow and is a little boring. Please give this book a chance, you will not be disappointed! Because of Gayle E Pitman more people will now know about a time in history that you won’t learn about in school , or at least I hadn’t. I think this is an excellent addition to any school or home library.

 

About the book: This book is about the Stonewall Riots, a series of spontaneous, often violent demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBTQ+) community in reaction to a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The Riots are attributed as the spark that ignited the LGBTQ+ movement. The author describes American gay history leading up to the Riots, the Riots themselves, and the aftermath, and includes her interviews of people involved or witnesses, including a woman who was ten at the time. Profusely illustrated, the book includes contemporary photos, newspaper clippings, and other period objects. A timely and necessary read, The Stonewall Riots helps readers to understand the history and legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Thank you so much Abrams Books for Young Readers and Netgalley for allowing me to read The StoneWall Riots. I learned so much! All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

All buy it now links are not connected to me in any way and I will not receive any money if you click and buy from the links provided.

The Things She’s Seen

by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

Winner of Australia’s prestigious Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults

Shortlisted for Australia’s Indie Book Awards

 

This book looks slim and comes in at just 208 pages but it a packed through story that grabs the reader instantly. The story is told is written and in verse formats. When you are in the main part of the book you get regular written format. When you are listening to Catching’s story you get it in verse format. The story is told by many view points Catching and Beth Teller are the main characters but really the whole cast of characters are equally important. This story unfolds immediately.  The reader follows Beth, Beth’s dad, Catching and Allie through the small Australian town trying to solve the reason behind the fire, the murder of key figures and maybe the disappearance that happened 20 years ago. Could they all be connected? This ARC copy is full of wonderful quotes that I highlighted and hope they stay in the final copy.  The story highlights magical realism, true crime, the treatment of the Aboriginal people and heartbreaking pain a parent goes through after losing a child. A heavy hard hitting YA book that is perfect for readers from middle grade through adult.

 

About the book: This brilliantly written thriller explores the lives–and deaths–of two girls, and what they will do to win justice. Sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year!

Nothing’s been the same for Beth Teller since the day she died.

Her dad is drowning in grief. He’s also the only one who has been able to see and hear her since the accident. But now she’s got a mystery to solve, a mystery that will hopefully remind her detective father that he needs to reconnect with the living.

The case takes them to a remote Australian town, where there’s been a suspicious fire. All that remains are an unidentifiable body and an unreliable witness found wandering nearby. This witness speaks in riddles. Isobel Catching has a story to tell, and it’s a tale to haunt your dreams–but does it even connect to the case at hand?

As Beth and her father unravel the mystery, they find a shocking and heartbreaking story lurking beneath the surface of a small town.

Thank you Alfred A Knopf for sending me a copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

We Were Beautiful

by Heather Hepler

 

We Were Beautiful was really good and a fast book to read. I finished this one in about 24 hours, reading off and on every time I had a few minutes. I even downloaded the ebook from Hoopla so I could read before bed. This book made me wish I was part of a big Italian family living in Brooklyn and working in the family bakery/diner. I loved all of Mia’s NYC friends, Fig was such a great character I really would read a whole book about her. Sarah, Sebastian and Cooper were really likable as well and overall the dynamics were spot on and really has the reader wishing they were their friends as well. I well developed story about forgiveness, family, tragedy and moving on, allowing people in and sometimes we have to forgive ourselves before we can let that wall down.

About the book: It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in a car crash that killed her older sister, Rachel, and left her own face terribly scarred. The doctors tell her she was lucky to survive. Her therapist says it will take time to heal. The police reports claim there were trace amounts of alcohol in her bloodstream. But no matter how much she tries to reconstruct the events of that fateful night, Mia’s memory is spotty at best. She’s left with accusations, rumors, and guilt so powerful it is quickly consuming her.

As the rest of Mia’s family struggles with their own grief, Mia is sent to New York City to spend the summer with a grandmother she’s never met. All Mia wants to do is hide from the world, but instead she’s stuck with a summer job in the bustling kitchens of the café down the street. There she meets Fig—blue-haired, friendly, and vivacious—who takes Mia under her wing. As Mia gets to know Fig and her friends—including Cooper, the artistic boy who’s always on Mia’s mind—she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.

Over the summer, Mia starts to learn that redemption isn’t as impossible as she once thought, but her scars inside run deep and aren’t nearly so simple to heal … especially when Mia finally pieces together her memories of the awful night Rachel died.

Thank you Blink Publishing for sending me a copy of We Were Beautiful. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

 

Until The Day I Die

by Emily Carpenter

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This book did not disappoint. I discovered Emily Carpenter last year when I read her book Every Single Secret. I knew right then that I had to read any book she published. She creates such a fast moving story that instantly hooks you from page one. In Until The Day I Die you are swept up into the Erin a recent widow. She has a lot on her plate – she is grieving the death of her husband, the company they built is skyrocketing, her daughter is getting ready to go off to college and while she doesn’t know it someone very close to her wants her gone. I read this book is a day and a half and was sad when I finished it. This like all her books was so good you don’t want to put it down. My only complaint was the ending did seem more rushed that her other novels, but it didn’t take away from my rating it is still a solid 4 stars for me.

About the book: If there’s a healthy way to grieve, Erin Gaines hasn’t found it. After her husband’s sudden death, the runaway success of the tech company they built with their best friends has become overwhelming. Her nerves are frayed, she’s disengaged, and her frustrated daughter, Shorie, is pulling away from her. Maybe Erin’s friends and family are right. Maybe a few weeks at a spa resort in the Caribbean islands is just what she needs to hit the reset button…

Shorie is not only worried about her mother’s mental state but also for the future of her parents’ company. Especially when she begins to suspect that not all of Erin’s colleagues can be trusted. It seems someone is spinning an intricate web of deception—the foundation for a conspiracy that is putting everything, and everyone she loves, at risk. And she may be the only one who can stop it.

Now, thousands of miles away in a remote, and oftentimes menacing, tropical jungle, Erin is beginning to have similar fears. Things at the resort aren’t exactly how the brochure described, and unless she’s losing her mind, Erin’s pretty sure she wasn’t sent there to recover—she was sent to disappear.

Thank you Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for allowing me to read this great book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

All buy it now links are not connected to me in any way and I will not receive any money if you click and buy from the links provided.