My March Reads

Wow, did March really just fly by? I swear I was just writing up the February book review post. I guess that’s what I get for having my head filled with all things Planner & Paper and not paying much attention to my book shelf. I had planned on reading more, much more, than what actually got read. I managed to read 4 books, although really one shouldn’t count as it’s a children’s picture book. All books are linked to Amazon through affiliate links, should you chose to pick up any of these books for yourself.

All three of the reads this month were advanced readers copies from NetGalley, which explains the picture book, right? You’re right. But I have kids and I am a SUCKER for a good picture book and the cover, just look at it, how can you pass that up?

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There’s no need to Squeal

While it was a Monday, it was one that I have to say was a squeal worthy day. Maybe not to some people *cough* Hubs *cough*, but for me.. There were definitely some moments to squeal over!

First, Becky Higgins, who created Project Life, LIKED one of my pictures on Instagram. I know.. not a HUGE deal to some, but to me it was HUGE! I have followed Becky since she launched Project Life and love, love her products. I’m TRYING to play catch up with my Project Life album for this year (more on that to come), but it wasn’t even a Project Life page that I posted! I have a few of my favorite Project Life cards on my fridge and I snapped a picture of the meal plan on the fridge once I was done with it. Granted, I tagged Becky in the picture more so because there were her products in it, not an attempt to get her to like it.

Here’s what I posted..

Sidenote: you now know I have toilet bowl cleaner and dog treats on the grocery list. Hey, doesn’t everyone one?!? So Fangirl-ness aside (kinda).. now onto the other squeal worthy moment!

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Dead Letters – Advanced Copy Review

** A Copy of Dead Letters was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **

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Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach 

2 out of 5 Stars

*Synopsis below is from Good Reads*

A missing woman leads her twin sister on a twisted scavenger hunt in this clever debut novel of suspense for readers of Luckiest Girl Alive and Reconstructing Amelia.

Ahoy, Ava! Welcome home, my sweet jet-setting twin! So glad you were able to wrest yourself away from your dazzling life in the City of Light; I hope my death hasn’t interrupted anything too crucial.

Ava Antipova has her reasons for running away: a failing family vineyard, a romantic betrayal, a mercurial sister, an absent father, a mother slipping into dementia. In Paris, Ava renounces her terribly practical undergraduate degree, acquires a French boyfriend and a taste for much better wine, and erases her past. Two years later, she must return to upstate New York. Her twin sister, Zelda, is dead.

Featuring a colorful, raucous cast of characters, Caite Dolan-Leach’s debut thriller takes readers on a literary scavenger hunt for clues concealed throughout the seemingly idyllic wine country, hidden in plain sight on social media, and buried at the heart of one tremendously dysfunctional, utterly unforgettable family.


Just a quick browse of the reviews on Good Reads before I post mine makes me wonder if we even read the same book. I found that this book was slow to start, the use of big “uncommon” words made it some work to read and the plot didn’t make me want to keep picking up my Kindle.

I’m well read, but the use of the larger words made it that I had to keep pausing to define to make sense of the sentence; then re-reading the sentence to figure out the context of what was going on, was a put-off for me. It felt like at times there was a larger word used when really the simpleness of using “family” (for example) would’ve sufficed. When I read I like to enjoy it, I make sure I carve out time during my busy schedule to read, and I felt like with the beginning of this book I had to work to read it.

The plot really didn’t start to get interesting to me until the 80% in mark. Then I wanted to know what Zelda was really up to, how this was all going to pan out and have some dramatic twist that I REALLY didn’t see coming.. and then it didn’t. I’m not sure I felt/saw the suspense during the entire book, it wasn’t a huge climax at the end, it was rather lack luster and kind of how I saw it ending.

I hate giving books a 2, because I feel like there are always good things you can find in a book, something you enjoyed, but for me this one fell flat. I also hate that this is the first book I received from NetGalley and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I was hoping to. Maybe I’m missing something.. If I did, let me know!

 

My February Reads and Reviews

Once a month, hopefully closer to the first of each month, I’m going to try and review the books I’ve read over the course of the month. Some months I read A LOT, and others not so much. I have just started reviewing advanced copies of books through Net Galley, which I’m excited about, so there will be times when a few of the books I review will be advanced copies – I’ll be sure to note the publishing date; if you’re interested in the book. I’ve noticed in some online arenas that Advanced Reader Copies are abbreviated to ARC’s. I’m not sure I’ll be using the term, but just a heads up if you see it around Good Reads or Amazon, that’s what it means.

Now that I’ve explained my plan to review books monthly,  let’s take a look at the ones I read for February, shall we? I have linked all of the books to amazon via an affiliate link, if you’d like to pick up a copy of any of these books.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

4 out of 5 stars

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows, a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

For me, this book was better than Gone Girl (I know.. boo, hiss and all that). While I enjoyed Gone Girl, this for me was more gripping, more of a page turner and I couldn’t put it down. It’s a fast paced, twisted story that held me from the first page to the very last. If you’re into psychological thrillers, add this to your book stack, you’ll thank me later.

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You Will Know Me: A Novel by Megan Abbott

3 out of 5 stars

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl,” (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless roller coaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition.

This started out slow and then picked up the pace. I have to say that I feel as though the accident where Devon gets hurt is regurgitated a little more than it needs to be. I get that it explains why Devon started in gymnastics, but the book references the injury way more than I felt was necessary. This wasn’t a bad book, it was an easy, quick read that was a little predictable and repeated itself about the accident.

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The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

4 out of 5 stars

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time. With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.

I read this in a day. Yes, I may have ignored my family for most of the day, but I couldn’t put this down. From the first paragraph in the book until the end, I couldn’t stop reading. All I wanted to know was what is Tanya running from and why did she feel the need to run? I really liked the story line and how fast paced this book was. If I say anything more, I feel I’ll reveal too much.. just read it… trust me!

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What She Knew: A Novel by Gilly Macmillan

2 out of 5 stars

This is a debut novel by Gilly Macmillan, which has been compared to The Girl on the Train. I for one do not see the comparison being similar at all.

The book is about Ben, an 8 year-old boy, goes missing from the woods while on a walk with his Mom, Rachel Jenner, and the search for him over the course of 9 days. The books perspective “flickers” between Rachel Jenner and Jim Clemo, a Detective for the Bristol Police Department. The suspicion/suspect changes several times during the book, which psychological thriller doesn’t do this?, but it also wasn’t a huge twist. It seemed as though the ending wasn’t planned out as well as it could’ve been. I wish there had been an underlying story line that would’ve made more sense with the big reveal of who actually had Ben at the end of this book.

I don’t think I’ve ever given a book a 2 star rating; well, there’s those that I haven’t finished, but I don’t rate those anyway.

This wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t poorly written, but I felt like the story was drawn out and slow paced. I typically read fast, but this was a book that I just didn’t want to pick back up and finish – it’s taken me over a month to read this. I’m sitting here thinking “what?” It’s not even a book with a huge plot twist that has thrown me off or made me wonder where that came from; it’s just left me with a lot of “what happened” questions.

Maybe I’ve read some really stellar reads recently and this didn’t hold up to them, but I was hoping since I’d heard great things about this book, that this was going to be a stellar read for me as well.

That’s it for this month. I’m hoping to read a little bit more next month, as I currently have 2 advanced copy books to read and review.