She’s Not There

by Joy Fielding

You can’t go wrong when it’s a Joy Fielding book. There are a few authors that I know no matter what the books will be great and she is one of those authors. She’s Not There reminds me a lot of the Madeleine McCann case in the beginning. That case I remember so well since I had a 2.5 year old at the time. I couldn’t even imagine what that family went through and still goes through on a day to day basis.

She’s Not There I think did a good job at portraying how the family dynamics fall apart when a tragedy falls on them. I thought each character was developed very well and while I can say I didn’t like some of them I did enjoy reading their stories and how they unfolded. The oldest daughter is exactly how I see a child that is left would act. The story was a page turner and I liked how it kept shifting from present day to year past as the whole story developed. I saw a small part of the ending that happened but I didn’t really see the whole curve ball that was thrown. In all I should have but Joy Fielding did a great job at keeping the reader guessing how they missed some of those clues.  I give this one a A  and would recommend it for any reader. There is no gore or violence – just a good old suspense story that while might not be exactly ripped from the headlines, most of us will see some similarities.

summary:  “I think my real name is Samantha. I think I’m your daughter.”
Carole Shipley’s heart nearly stops when she hears those words from the voice on the other end of the phone. Instantly, she’s thrust fifteen years into the past, to a posh resort in Baja, Mexico—and the fateful night her world collapsed.
The trip is supposed to be a celebration. Carole’s husband, Hunter, convinces her to leave their two young daughters, Michelle and Samantha, alone in their hotel suite while the couple enjoys an anniversary dinner in the restaurant downstairs. But returning afterward, Carole and Hunter make a horrifying discovery: Two-year-old Samantha has vanished without a trace.
What follows are days, weeks, and years of anguish for Carole. She’s tormented by media attention that has branded her a cold, incompetent mother, while she struggles to save her marriage. Carole also has to deal with the demands of her needy elder daughter, Michelle, who is driven to cope in dangerous ways. Through it all, Carole desperately clings to the hope that Samantha will someday be found—only to be stung again and again by cruel reality.
Plunged back into the still-raw heartbreak of her daughter’s disappearance, and the suspicions and inconsistencies surrounding a case long gone cold, Carole doesn’t know whom or what to believe. The only thing she can be sure of is that someone is fiercely determined to hide the truth of what happened to Samantha.
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First Comes Love

by Emily Giffin

I’m a big fan of Emily Giffin and have enjoyed her books so much. First Comes Love is told in alternating views and lives of the characters Josie and Meredith. You will see someone you know or know of in these characters. At times you will get frustrated and think come on girls let it go, move forward. The girls have a love/hate relationship like so many sister’s have. They are as different as night and day so that makes it hard to have a common ground they can build on. Instead they have drifted so far apart I’m not sure they will ever get back together and have a strong sister bond.  Theirs is a bit more strained since their brother died tragically 15 years earlier and I just don’t think they can get past it and be there for each other. Over all the characters were very well developed and the story was very easy to read. I enjoyed this sweet chick lit book and it is perfect for light summer reading. The ending is slightly predictable, but that’s OK sometimes. This book while wasn’t my favorite Emily Giffin it is still a great book that I’m so happy I got to read and have on my bookshelf. If you haven’t read any Emily Giffin this would be a great first book, my first book by her I read was gifted to my by a friend: Something Blue. I’ve read all her books now and my hand’s down favorite is the Darcy and Rachel series books. I gift her books a lot and First Comes Love would be a wonderful gift to your bookworm friends.

summary: Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.


On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. 

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew—and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first.

thank you BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge, Ballatine Books for allowing me to read and review First Comes Love. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.