Monday, March 30, 2020

April NetGalley Releases (On My TBR 2020)

New books are always on my radar - that's just the truth of it!  I'm constantly adding books (both new and older titles) to my TBR list.  But I'm thinking about starting a new feature where each month I talk about a few of the upcoming releases that I've gotten from NetGalley or Edelweiss.  I get way too many books from those sites and wanted a way to share about them.  It's easier with print review copies where I can just snap a picture and post about here or on Instagram.  But I didn't want to leave out the e-books that I've gotten and want to squeal about with all of you either!  I may change this up but for now I'm going to give you the Goodread's summary and why I'm so excited to read each book.  Let me know in the comments if this is a type of post that you would like to see on a regular basis!

No Going Back by Sheena Kamal

"Nora Watts has a talent for seeing what lies beneath strangers’ surfaces, and for knowing what they’re working hard to keep hidden. Somehow, it’s the people closest to her she has trouble truly connecting with. In the case of Bonnie, the teenage daughter Nora gave up for adoption, she has to keep trying. For Bonnie has a target on her back—and it’s all because of Nora."

This is the 3rd book in what has become a favorite mystery series of mine!  I've been impatiently waiting for this book every since I finished the last page of the second book.  I shortened the Goodread's summary as it will spoil the earlier books if you haven't yet read them.  This IS a series that needs to be read in order but as there are currently only three books - I'm sure you can catch up easily.  And it will definitely be worth your time!  The first book is The Lost Ones if you are interested.  It's so good!

The Split by Sharon Bolton

"No matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you...

The remote Antarctic island of South Georgia is about to send off its last boat of the summer – which signifies safety to resident glaciologist Felicity Lloyd.

Felicity lives in fear – fear that her ex-husband Freddie will find her, even out here. She took a job on this isolated island to hide from him, but now that he's out of prison, having served a term for murder, she knows he won’t give up until he finds her.
But a doctor delving into the background of Felicity and Freddie's relationship, back in Cambridge, learns that Felicity has been on the edge for a long time. Heading to South Georgia himself to try and get to her first is the only way he can think of to help her."

I've yet to read a book by this author that I didn't love.  She is one of my absolute favorites so I was so excited to receive a e-copy of this one!  The premise of this one sounds intense and I cannot wait to see if it is going to be as good as it sounds!  If you haven't had the opportunity to try out this author's books yet, start with her Lacey Flint series.  The first book is titled Now You See Me (I think it is under S.J. Bolton rather than Sharon) but that entire series (4 books total) is SO GOOD!

Have You Seen Me? by Kate White

"On a cold, rainy morning, finance journalist Ally Linden arrives early to work in her Manhattan office, only to find that she’s forgotten her keycard and needs to have a colleague she’s never met let her in. When her boss finally arrives, he seems surprised to see her—because she hasn’t worked there in five years."

Kate White is another author whose books I've enjoyed previously.  She has a series as well (the Bailey Weggins series) and some standalones - I haven't read everything that she has written yet but I would definitely like to.  I cut the above summary short as well but it was all I needed to know that I wanted to read this book!

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce

  "Cassandra Tipp is dead...or is she?

After all, the notorious recluse and eccentric bestselling novelist has always been prone to flights of fancy--everyone in town remembers the shocking events leading up to Cassie's infamous trial (she may have been acquitted, but the insanity defense only stretches so far).
Cassandra Tipp has left behind no body--just her massive fortune, and one final manuscript."

This is a new to me author but this book has me SO intrigued!  It sounds kind of creepy and definitely right up my alley!  I also just adore that cover!  I just can't wait to see what this book is all about!

In Her Shadow by Kristin Miller 

"Once his secretary, Colleen is now pregnant with Michael's baby. When he brings her to his opulent estate, Ravenwood, she is abruptly thrust into a life of luxury she's never known. But Colleen finds the immense house suffused with the memory of Michael's beautiful wife, Joanna, who left months ago and who haunts her imagination. It quickly becomes apparent that there is little room for a new mistress of this house: The staff greets her with hostility, and there are entire wings and corridors from which she is prohibited to enter.
Then bones are unearthed in the grove across the street."

It sure feels like gothic novels are making a comeback in 2020 and I am HERE for it!  This cover...that premise...I am so excited to read this one!  It's kind of giving me some Rebecca vibes as well which makes me want to reread that one sometime in the near future.

Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia

"Nora Trier catches thieves. As a forensic accountant and partner in her downtown Minneapolis firm, she’s unearthed millions in every corner of the world. She prides herself on her independence, the most essential currency of accounting, until her firm is hired by Strike.

An anti-corporate, feminist athletic empire, Strike is owned by Logan Russo, a brash and legendary kickboxer, and her marketing genius husband, Gregg Abbott. They’re about to host a major kickboxing tournament with twenty million dollars in prize money, and the chance for the champion to become the new face of the company. Gregg suspects his wife already has a new face in mind—a young trainer named Aaden, for whom Logan feels an unexpected connection.
Days before the tournament begins, it’s discovered that the prize money is missing. Gregg hires Nora’s firm to find both the thief and the money but Nora has a secret connection to Strike that threatens her independence. Her partner pressures her into taking the case anyway, hinting he has information about Strike that could change the course of the investigation in a shocking and deadly way."

I read and really enjoyed this author's 1st book a few years back - Everything You Want Me To Be.  I've been wanting to read more by her every since!  I really like the sound of this one so I'm looking forward to reading this one soon!

There you have it - six of the books that I've gotten from NetGalley and Edelweiss that I'm super excited to read and that are coming out next month.  I'm actually planning on participating in a #Netgalleyspringclean challenge on Instagram next month.  That means I'm really going to focus on getting some of these books read in the very near future.  

Are there any April releases that you are excited about?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Return by Rachel Harrison (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"An edgy and haunting debut novel about a group of friends who reunite after one of them has returned from a mysterious two-year disappearance.

Julie is missing, and the missing don't often return. But Elise knows Julie better than anyone, and she feels in her bones that her best friend is out there, and that one day she'll come back. She's right. Two years to the day that Julie went missing, she reappears with no memory of where she's been or what happened to her."

My Thoughts:

The Return was a creepy and atmospheric read that I really enjoyed!  One of the things that I enjoyed the most about this book was the feeling of wrongness that was present throughout the entire book.  It was in the characters, the hotel where they were staying at, their history with one another....everything felt just slightly off and wrong.  It made for a very sinister and creepy feeling that was present the entire time while I was reading this one.  For me, it was like the characters could sense this feeling of wrongness as well even when they were doing their best to ignore it and pretend everything was okay.  I've seen some reviews that didn't care for the characters and how they interacted with one another. I thought it creepily fit with everything else that was going on in this book.  Nothing was right and the question lingered on if it ever had been.  I really don't want to say too much more in order not to spoil anything.  This book was creepy at points but not so much that I ever felt truly scared while reading.  I just enjoyed this book and everything that the author was doing with it.  It felt at times like it could be from an episode of America Horror story where you just kind of know that bad things are going to happen.  The wait can be the scariest part!

Overall, I enjoyed this book and am eager to read more by this author!  The fact that this is a debut just astounds me.  I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next (and I truly hope that she keeps to the horror/thriller type of genre because I would love to find more books like this)!  Horror readers should definitely check this one out!  I will say that this book slowly builds up with the creepiness factor so I wouldn't expect a fast paced page turner.  Instead, this is one where the atmosphere builds until it felt like I couldn't take it any more.  Then I rushed through the pages having to see how it would all end!  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  An atmospheric read that has me SO excited to read more by this author!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Sunday Post #63 (A Reading Update)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

What a weird time this has been.  I was going to post last week but my anxiety was a bit high and I just wasn't feeling up to it.  I just want to say that I'm here if any of you need to talk.  I'm an introvert who already works from home - honestly not a ton in my day to day life has changed besides my kids are home with me all day instead of being in school.  And I'm still experiencing anxiety so I'm sure it is that much harder for many of you.  I don't want to go on and on but if you need me, know that I am here and will listen.

My reading mood has been all over the place because of all of this.  I managed to grab a nice stack of books from my local library before it closed.  I've got more than enough books on my own shelves as well as on my e-reader.  But my reading mood has still been all over (evidenced by the fact that I'm currently in the middle of four separate books.  I've only finished one book this week as my husband and I have been rewatching The Walking Dead instead.  I think we are up to season three currently.  I forgot how much I loved the earlier seasons and being able to binge watch a bunch of episodes at once.  I'm participating this week in the #laidbackreadathon that is being hosted on Instagram.  I'm hoping to finish at least three of the books that I'm currently in the middle of before the month ends.

Last week I finished the following book:

Shatter the Night by Emily Littlejohn is the 4th book in one of my favorite mystery series.  It was another solid and atmospheric addition to this series.  The author has a way with words that I just love so much!  I'll be sharing my full thoughts soon but check this series out if you haven't already!

I'm currently reading the following four books:

Promises in Death by J.D. Robb is one of my current print reads and the 2nd book that I'm reading for the #20backlistin2020 reading challenge that I'm participating in.  This series is comfort reading for me which is why I picked it up.

You and Me and Us by Alison Hammer is also one of my current print reads and is a review copy.  This book is really good so far but VERY emotional.  It keeps making me tear up so I have to take a break while reading it.

To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters is one of my current e-reads and a review copy courtesy of NetGalley.  This has been a fun read so far and I've been enjoying it.  This one releases next month so I would love to finish it before that date.

What It Seems by Emily Bleeker is my 2nd read on my e-reader and is also courtesy of NetGalley.  I've just barely begun this one so I don't have much to report on it yet.

My goal this week is just to continue on and keep reading.  Reading is a stress reliever for me so I need to make sure that I'm making it a priority.  I would really, really love to finish three of these at least.  That would help finish out my reading month strong for sure!  I hope that you all are doing well.  Let me know what you are reading in the comments!

Happy Sunday!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Shape of Family by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"The Olanders embody the American dream in a globalized world. Jaya, the cultured daughter of an Indian diplomat and Keith, an ambitious banker from middle-class Philadelphia, meet in a London pub in 1988 and make a life together in suburban California. Their strong marriage is built on shared beliefs and love for their two children: headstrong teenager Karina and young son Prem, the light of their home.

But love and prosperity cannot protect them from sudden, unspeakable tragedy, and the family’s foundation cracks as each member struggles to seek a way forward. Jaya finds solace in spirituality. Keith wagers on his high-powered career. Karina focuses relentlessly on her future and independence. And Prem watches helplessly as his once close-knit family drifts apart.

When Karina heads off to college for a fresh start, her search for identity and belonging leads her down a dark path, forcing her and her family to reckon with the past, the secrets they’ve held and the weight of their choices.

The Shape of Family is an intimate portrayal of four individuals as they grapple with what it means to be a family and how to move from a painful past into a hopeful future. It is a profoundly moving exploration of the ways we all seek belonging — in our families, our communities and ultimately, within ourselves."

My Thoughts:

The Shape of Family is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time to come.  It was a heartbreaking and emotional read at times but also just SO GOOD!  This book made me feel all of the emotions at one point or another.  It made me happy in certain points, broke my heart in others, and even made me feel anger at others.  The characters were everything in this book!  They felt realistic and flawed but I wanted the best for them the entire time.  Even when I wasn't on board with the decisions they were making or felt frustrated by their choices, I wanted what was best for them.  I cared about them like they were real people because the author brought them to life for me.  It was an incredibly moving experience reading about their lives and seeing the choices that they made.  It's hard because I'm being very careful here in what I say because I don't want to spoil anything.  The above summary also did a good job with not giving too much away which I feel is important.  More than anything, this is a book to be experienced in my opinion!  The author has created characters that I couldn't help but care and want the best for.  I also enjoyed the fact that the author explored identity in this book and the struggles that the characters faced with this in different ways.  This book is about family and what that can mean.  The struggles that families can face, the things that can break a family apart, and what can bring them together.  It was a beautiful book that I'm not doing justice with this review so I will just say to read it.  This is a book that deserves to be read widely and found by so many other readers!  I'm so glad that stepped out of my comfort zone and read this book because it was just SO, SO good!  It's really as simple as that!

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and have the feeling it will end up on my top reads list for 2020!  I knew that I wanted to push my reading boundaries this year and books like this are exactly why!  What other amazing books have I missed by not pushing myself more?  I can say without doubt that I will be reading more by this author in the future.  It looks like I have at least two more of her books to look forward to which is very exciting.  I'm so excited to see what other readers have thought of this one and to discuss it.  Especially because there was a quote on the very last page that was breathtaking but I didn't share since it might be considered to be a bit spoiler-ey.  It was so gorgeous though that I want to talk about it with other readers!  I highly recommend this one!

Bottom Line:  An emotional and standout read for me!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Six Years by Harlan Coben (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. So when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for....

But she is not Natalie.

Soon Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart puts his very life at risk, as he uncovers the secrets and lies that love can hide..."

My Thoughts:

I picked this book up because I was in the mood for a fast paced read that I wouldn't be able to set down.  I've read books by Coben in the past and each one has met that criteria easily.  Happily, this book did exactly that and I flew through the pages of this one!  While it wasn't my favorite of his, I was just as sucked into this book as I have been with his others.  I was unable to set this one down as the short chapters and fast pace made this one addictive read!  I also really enjoy that this author isn't afraid to surprise the reader with the choices that he makes - I never know what to expect when I'm reading his books.  I don't know who to trust, what is going to happen next....basically everything that makes up a suspenseful read he has me guessing on.  I love it which is why I plan on eventually reading all of his books.  I don't think that I've read a bad book by him yet.  The only qualms I had with this book was that it was a bit unbelievable in parts.  I don't think that your average person would have made some of the choices that Jake makes in this book.  But...that's also what makes it such a fun read so I really can't complain too much!  I love that fact that I never know what to expect and that even if I think I know how the ending is going to turn out, I usually don't.

Overall, I really enjoyed this suspenseful read!  It was a great reminder of how much I enjoy this author's books.  I would love to read The Stranger by him next since they made a Netflix series on it that I want to watch.  But really, I will read anything and everything that he writes at this point.  There is a reason why his books are so popular honestly.  If you enjoy books that are fast paced and keep you guessing, he would be a really great author for you to try!  I read this book in two days which hardly ever happens anymore with our busy schedules.  I would recommend this book to fans of thrillers, suspense, and even mystery lovers.  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A fast paced page turner which was exactly what I was in the mood for!

Disclosure:  I bought my copy of this one from my local used bookstore.  Apparently twice as I found two copies on my shelves....this isn't the first time that has happened.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers."

My Thoughts:

I really love how little that summary tells you of what this book is really about.  It means that unless you really dig for more details you have to go into this one not knowing all that much which is perfect in my opinion.  I started reading this one and was hooked from the very beginning.  I enjoyed the fact that I didn't know where the story was going which meant that I just enjoyed the ride that the authors were taking me on.  There were things that I thought I knew - like the fact that maybe the sisters didn't have the best of intentions from the summary but that was about it.  Instead, I spend the majority of my time reading this book just reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next.  I didn't even find myself guessing all that much because I was just enjoying the entire experience so much.  I will say that there was a certain point where I absolutely couldn't set this book down.  I ended up staying up way past my bed time to finish this one because I just HAD to see how it was going to end.  This book was both suspenseful and thrilling - basically everything that I enjoy in a good thriller.  This is my second book by these authors (I read and also enjoyed An Anonymous Girl last year) and it won't be my last!  I need to grab their first book sometime soon!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and how suspenseful it was!  It kept me reading and turning the pages long after I should have been in bed.  After enjoying two of the books by these authors, I will be reading everything and anything they write in the future.  This was a solid thriller and one that I would recommend to fans of both thrillers and suspense.  I've been pretty vague on my thoughts on this book but I would just hate to spoil anything for other readers.  This is an easy book for me to recommend!

Bottom Line:  Another really great read by these authors!  Just be warned that you won't want to set this book down!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Thin Ice by Paige Shelton (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Beth Rivers is on the run - she's doing the only thing she could think of to keep herself safe. Known to the world as thriller author Elizabeth Fairchild, she had become the subject of a fanatic's obsession. After being held in a van for three days by her kidnapper, Levi Brooks, Beth managed to escape, and until he is captured, she's got to get away. Cold and remote, Alaska seems tailor-made for her to hideout.

Beth's new home in Alaska is sparsely populated with people who all seem to be running or hiding from something, and though she accidentally booked a room at a halfway house, she feels safer than she's felt since Levi took her. That is, until she's told about a local death that's a suspected murder. Could the death of Linda Rafferty have anything to do with her horror at the hands of Levi Brooks?

As Beth navigates her way through the wilds of her new home, her memories of her time in the van are coming back, replaying the terror and the fear--and threatening to keep her from healing, from reclaiming her old life again. Can she get back to normal, will she ever truly feel safe, and can she help solve the local mystery, if only so she doesn't have to think about her own?"

My Thoughts:

Thin Ice was a really great beginning to this new mystery series that I'm really excited to read more of!  I have a fascination with all things Alaska so when I realized that this book was a mystery set in Alaska I knew that I had to read it.  It didn't disappoint in the slightest!  Besides the Alaskan setting, I really enjoyed Beth's character and the mystery behind everything that happened to her.  It is almost like there are two separate mysteries in this book - the one that is currently happening with Linda Rafferty and the one with Beth and everything that previously happened to her which brought her to Alaska in the first place.  I was intrigued by both and it helped keep me turning the pages as fast as I could.  This is a book that has left me itching to get my hands on the next book in the series.  It is going to be a LONG wait for that second book.  The book itself has really great characters though and the Alaskan setting is just icing on the cake.  I'm going to leave my thoughts on this one really brief as I don't want to spoil anything.  Just know that this is a mystery that is definitely worth reading!  I will be continuing on with the series as soon as the 2nd book releases.  And I'll probably end up checking out the other books this author has written since I enjoyed this one so much.  I would recommend this book to fans of mysteries, suspense, and cozy mysteries as well.  I wouldn't necessarily classify this one as a cozy mystery but I can see it appealing to fans of cozies as well.  An easy book to recommend!

Bottom Line:  A great beginning to this new mystery series that has me seriously pining for the 2nd book!

Disclosure:  I originally received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and courtesy of NetGalley.  I ended up grabbing a print copy from my local library and read that.  Honest thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

In The Dark by Loreth Anne White (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"A secluded mountain lodge. The perfect getaway. So remote no one will ever find you.

The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.

Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.

Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game."

My Thoughts:

You guys - I absolutely LOVED this book!  It is SO my type of read!  I can't even put into words how much this one is in my wheelhouse.  Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None is my favorite of all her books that I've read so far (I have a personal goal to read everything she has written eventually).  Basically any book that is compared to And Then There Were None or follows a similar type of trope is one that is instantly going on to my radar to check out.  What I loved so much about this book was the fact that it paid homage to Christie's work while putting its' own twist on it!  And the author did this SO WELL!  I found myself instantly drawn into this book from the very beginning.  A secluded lodge set in the remote wilderness of Canada, a storm bearing down, and a murder mystery....what else could you want in a thriller?!  The thing about this book that also made it stand out for me was that it was told in two different parts that it goes back and forth between.  The first is with the guests at the lodge and the second storyline is featuring the cop who is leading the searching for them.  I really liked both Mason and Callie's characters!  I liked them both enough that I'm kind of curious if there is the possibility that we will see their characters in future books?  I would be ALL over it if that happened...just saying!  I also have to say how much I loved that the author threw in a nod to Christie's book directly in this one.  I won't say how or anything but it made my readerly heart sing when I saw it.  This is honestly such a great book and I cannot seem to say enough good things about it!

Overall, I loved this one which is should be completely apparent by now.  I really haven't seen enough readers finding this one which is an absolute shame!  Books like this are why I love the mystery/thriller genre so much!  This book had me guessing the entire time while turning the pages as fast as I could.  I loved both the similarities and the differences that made this book stand out from Christie's original work.  I'm honestly so excited to have found this author and cannot wait to checkout her other books.  Highly, highly recommended and my first five star read of 2020!

Bottom Line:  My first five star read of 2020 - enough said!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  I ended up reading a copy that I picked up from my local library.