Final Girls

by Riley Sager

I got a copy of Final Girl as the BOTM (Book of the Month) July book selection. I joined 3 months ago when they were running a special 3 months for 30 bucks and a copy of Into The Water by Paula Hawkins for free. I love that you pay for 3, 6 or 12 months up front so that amount of months is paid for in advance. You get to pick your book and can skip 1 month each membership time-table. I’m doing another 3 months to see if it’s something I want to keep up and maybe sign up for a longer period. OK on to this 5 star book…

 

 

Final Girls was so good I’m not sure where to begin. I knew I wanted to read this a long time ago when I first heard about it. I love horror movies and in all there is that final girl who is the sole survivor to an unthinkable act. This book was dubbed as a must read for fans of those movies. This book was so good. I was hooked from page one and was even reading while cooking  – which is hard to do when it involves making burgers and fries. The writing style was good and I liked the way the story flowed. The characters and there were a lot were well developed and I didn’t get confused by who was who and what back story did they belong to like some other books. There were a lot of backstories within the main story and I liked reading about all of them. I will say I figured out the who was behind everything fairly early on in the book but still enjoyed it so much. I didn’t have the why and back story of the character so I had to keep reading to see just what was wrong with that character. Final Girls are strong girls and survivors and Quincy had some issues of being the sole survivor. She blocked out everything which was her coping mechanism. She also had trust issues, I mean who can blame her right? Overall I think the author portrayed her well-rounded for having been through something that horrible. I really think Final Girls would make for a great movie or 1 season TV show. The ended kinda seemed like it could continue but I’m not thinking that is the case. Maybe the author left it open for us to decide or for them to return to if they ever want to.  Overall I would say this by far is my favorite book I’ve read this summer and will be top 3 for 2017. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a great well-rounded page turning book that keeps you up at night or in my case getting up at 4 am because you can’t sleep another wink till you finish the book.

about the book: Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life-like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

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Jane in Austin

A Novel of Sweet Tea and Sensibility

by Hillary Manton Lodge

 

Oh my gosh I fell hard for this book it was such a sweet – charming – heartwarming tale. Usually Jane Austen retelling’s don’t grab me but this one sure did. The cast of characters were all very real feeling. Jane, Celia, and Margot were the sweetest sisters and I loved their closeness even when they were starting to drift a little apart due to strain and stress they still looked out for each other and had each other’s back. Jane and Celia have guardianship of Margot after their dad broke a lot of laws and went into hiding. To stay afloat and start over new they opened a Tea Shop! Oh my how I love my tea so I loved the idea of having a cute little tea shop that offered tea and pastries. My tea shop would also have used books so I could combine my love of tea – books and yummy treats (especially macarons!) They lose everything yet again and pack up to stay with family in Texas. Oh the cast of characters in Texas all have such big personalities. Some are great and have big hearts to go with the saying everything is bigger in Texas. However there is one in particular that I knew was just a little to good to be true from the very beginning. I really wanted someone else to capture Jane’s heart. Retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett was shattered and picking up the pieces not only from his injury but from losing the last member of his family. He had lost his mom when he was young, his brother while he was a Marine and his dad at the very moment he also lost a lot of his Marine team and his leg. I can’t even imagine how someone could lose all so much and still be standing. He was a strong guy that was working through a lot. Jane was that quirky girl who captured his heart with her bold – blunt – a bit odd in her love of tea plants more than people personality. I’ll leave the review at that, since I don’t want to spoil anything. If you’ve read and remember Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility than you know how it ends. The author really has a wonderfully fun writing style and I’ll be checking out her other books very soon. Oh I forgot to mention the best part – the book has recipes! I love books about food that include yummy recipes. There are a few I will be trying very soon. Most of the recipes are sweet treats but there are a few savory ones as well. You probably already guessed it but the sweet treats have a tea twist in the fact that tea is incorporated into the recipe somehow – LOVE it! Oh I almost forgot the rating: I give this book a 100% A+ no actually this one gets over 100% because I’m giving it extra credit for being such a sweet (clean) romance! so A++ this one will be a top 10 of 2017.

about the book: This hip contemporary romance combines Jane Austen-inspiration and foodie fiction in a witty and engaging tale of two sisters who are forced to uproot to unfamiliar Austin, Texas, after high rent and broken relationships force them away from their San Francisco life.  Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop.The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again. But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper. While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected–Texas. In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn’t so far away.

Thank you Waterbrook Press and Blogging for Books for the copy of Jane in Austin. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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.

Lethal Lies {spotlight}

by Rebecca Zanetti

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A deadly secret can’t stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It’s the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind barseven use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can’t do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones’s job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it’s personal. He knew the Copper Killer’s latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he’s all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath’s identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath’s every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they’ll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

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Catching the Wind

by Melanie Dobson

 

 

I loved every minute of reading this book. It had it all family, love, mystery, survival and is split between 1940 and present day 2017. I haven’t read any book by Melanie Dobson but this book has changed that I really want to read more by her. She is a wonderful author and writes such a magical tale. She captures the reader from the first page and hold your interest till the end. I still think about Brigitte and Daniel even after finishing the book. I grabbed this book since I really seem to read a lot of WWII novels. Catching the Wind will be one of my top 10 favorites of 2017. She transports you back in time and flows back to present day very well. You don’t feel lost or that you’re a ping-pong ball reader. I loved that Daniel never lost hope on finding Brigitte. So many people lost track of loved one during WWII and this book really captures that moment in time. This book was full of hope and really had me capturing reading moments since I didn’t want to stop reading. I had to know what happened and if all was alright. However I also didn’t want the story to end. This is a great historical fiction book even if you’re not a historical fiction reader. Add Catching the Wind to you Summer Reading list! This book gets a A+ from me and even gets extra credit for being such a wonderful tug at your heart-strings book!

about the book: 

What happened to Brigitte Berthold?

That question has haunted Daniel Knight since he was thirteen, when he and ten-year-old Brigitte escaped the Gestapo agents who arrested both their parents. They survived a harrowing journey from Germany to England, only to be separated upon their arrival. Daniel vowed to find Brigitte after the war, a promise he has fought to fulfill for more than seventy years.

Now a wealthy old man, Daniel’s final hope in finding Brigitte rests with Quenby Vaughn, an American journalist working in London. He believes Quenby’s tenacity to find missing people and her personal investment in a related WWII espionage story will help her succeed where previous investigators have failed. Though Quenby is wrestling her own demons—and wary at the idea of teaming up with Daniel’s lawyer, Lucas Hough—the lure of Brigitte’s story is too much to resist. Together, Quenby and Lucas delve deep into the past, following a trail of deception, sacrifice, and healing that could change all of their futures.

Thank you Tyndale Publishing and Melanie Dobson for allowing me to read Catching the Wind. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Orbiting Jupiter

by Gary D Schmidt

 

 

I’ve been seeing this book at my library for a few years now, and I’ve grabbed it many times but never read it before returning it. Well I finally grabbed it and sat down and read it in one sitting. Oh my gosh this book wrecked me! I had so many feels while reading this heartwarming and heartbreaking book!! I hope it wins many book awards because they would all be very well deserved. I was immediately drawn into the characters and felt like I had known them for a long time. Jack telling the story of his foster-brother Joseph and how Joseph’s only real goal was to find his daughter Jupiter was what intrigued me about this book. It is told by a 12-year-old boy  about a 14-year-old boy. That right there I’m not sure has ever been done, add the fact that they are just babies themselves. Joseph had a bad home life, heck he had the worse home life and got put into foster care. After a few tumbles he ended up with a loving opening family that ended up being his forever home. He wasn’t going to settle down till he got Jupiter back even if it meant doing it on his own. The book takes a drastic turn and I pretty much bawled through the last half of the book. Grab a copy of Orbiting Jupiter you will not be disappointed!!

About the Book: 

Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he’ll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice.

Awards & Honors: Capitol Choices 2016
Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of 2015, Middle Grade
Booklist Best Young Adult Books of 2015
ALA Notable Books for Children 2016, Older Readers
VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2015; 2016 Winner, Notable Books for a Global Society
CCBC Choices 2016, Fiction for Young Adults
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Fiction
ILA Young Adults’ Choices, 2016 Reading List
YALSA 2017 Best Fiction for Young Adults
Children’s Book Committee Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of 2016, Coming of Age

Lethal Lies {book teaser}

by Rebecca Zanetti

Series: Blood Brothers book 2

Publication Date: May 16th 2017

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A deadly secret can’t stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It’s the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind barseven use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can’t do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones’s job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it’s personal. He knew the Copper Killer’s latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he’s all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath’s identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath’s every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they’ll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

 

 

Excerpt: 

“All the more reason to get you out of town,” Heath said quietly.

She shook her head. “No. I’m staying.” Her words were brave, but her chest hurt. No way could she deal with a serial killer all on her own. She could train every day for the rest of her life and not end up as practiced or as deadly as Heath already was, and she knew it. “I understand you have other cases and people after you. So leave, and I’ll handle this myself.”

“Those are big words, baby,” he said softly.

Her lip quivered, and she bit down on it. “I know. I promised her, Heath. It’s all I have left to give to her.”

He paused, understanding crossing his expression. “Ah, sweetheart. Your sister wouldn’t want that for you.” His voice turned velvety and soft. Soothing.

Anya nodded. “I know. But she was my sister. We shared blood and part of a childhood. She took me trick-or-treating when I was five, and it’s one of my best memories. Then when I needed help as an adult, she didn’t hesitate. She came to me right away, like family. She was the first person I really cared about in far too long, and it hurts like hell that I got her killed.”

He breathed out, the emotion in his eyes deepening.

She swallowed. “I have to do this for her. Either you understand that or you don’t.”

“Why don’t you just let us handle it?”

She pressed her point. “I could, but you need me. I’m the bait.” Inwardly, she winced at the description. That wouldn’t help her to convince him. “Also, here’s the deal. This could be a long op. At some point, you have to leave and deal with whatever is haunting you from your past. When you do, I’ll just challenge him again, and next time you won’t be around to assist.”

“That’s extortion,” Heath said, amusement curving his lip.

She grinned. “Apparently I’m getting quite good at it.”

Heath shook his head. “You’re putting me in an untenable position, baby.”

“No, I’m not.” She shrugged out of his hold. Finally. “I’m not yours to protect, Heath. We’re not together, and we’re not responsible for each other.” The words sliced through her even as she said them. “You’ve been more than clear on that score.”

“There’s something here, Anya. Maybe something real and lasting, if I get everything done I need to do.”

She blinked. “What’s that?”