Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Someone Like Me by M.R. Carey

Someone Like MeSomeone Like Me by M.R. Carey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Won this book in a Goodreads giveaway! Thank you to Orbit Books for the giveaway copy. If you don’t read and review books you win in giveaways, you should. Do the right thing. End rant.

I’m going to give this book 3.5 stars which I’ll round up to 4 stars on Goodreads because… well… no half stars allowed. Come on Goodreads… give a girl some options please!

Any who.. back to Someone Like Me. I really enjoyed the first half of this book. It sucked me in instantly with a concept that was really interesting. Action packed from the start, the book begins with Liz being attacked by her ex-husband when an unexplained force comes over her that allows her to fight back with a strength and anger unlike anything she’s ever experienced. Can you say split personality? Meanwhile, Liz’s son has befriended a girl from school named Fran who has a dark and disturbed past. Liz and Fran’s stories come colliding together in a suspenseful novel by M.R. Carey.

What did I like about this book? One of my favorite things about the book was how the chapters were “numbered” with illustrations that coincided with the character whose story was being told. I thought it was a very clever way to identify the character whose story line was being told via pictures rather than words. I also really enjoyed the characters and felt like they were well developed. And the relationships between the characters were fun to see unfold.

What didn’t I like?

1. It was a tad too long and could have benefited from some editing.
2. The dialogue at times felt a tad juvenile and unrealistic. I had a hard time imagining real life people actually saying the sentences that were presented as dialogue between characters.
3. It took a little bit of a paranormal turn that I didn’t expect. And while it was an interesting turn, I felt there were a lot of questions left unanswered. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if it stuck with a mental health angle rather than a paranormal angle.

Overall, a good book with some intriguing content. Definitely has some unexpected turns that are exciting but at the end of the day, not my favorite book in the world. I’ll put this in the “just okay” camp.

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Audiobook Review, Romance

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

Every BreathEvery Breath by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We have all read/seen The Notebook and fallen in love with the romantic writing of Nicholas Sparks (if you haven’t seen the movie, just do it…. Ryan Gosling… that is all). So of course when I saw he was coming out with a new book, I added it to the list at the library.

Every Breath is a romantic and heartwarming love story about two people who have an instant connection, but are plagued by life’s unfortunate circumstances and poor timing. When Tru and Hope happen upon each other on a quiet North Carolina beach they are immediately drawn to each other. But, when they must part ways, their lives will never be the same. Nicholas Sparks dares to ask, “Can you ever really move on from the love of a soulmate?”

While I found this book an easy read with a very charming plot, it was inevitably pretty predictable (dare I say, cheesy?). But, it’s a romance so what did I really expect, right? I adored both of the main characters and appreciated their flaws and internal struggles. The North Carolina setting was the perfect location to set this novel, with its relaxed, beachy feel. Overall, it was a success, and while it was a nice enough story, I didn’t find it to be anything Earth shattering.

The two fabulous things about this book were the introduction and epilogue. I loved that the inspiration for this novel was based on real events discovered by Nicholas Sparks on the very beach in North Carolina he writes about. And while I sometimes found the events in the novel a tad unrealistic, I had to keep reminding myself that it was at least somewhat based in fact. I think the information provided by Sparks added a wealth of charm to this book.

The audiobook was a super fast listen, if you’re looking for something light and fresh on a shorter car ride. Listening on double speed, I got through it in about four and a half hours.

Will I be raving about this one in the months to come? Probably not. It is honestly a tad forgettable. But it was still an enjoyable read, particularly for avid romance readers.

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Audiobook Review, General Fiction (Adult)

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

The Book of EssieThe Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After seeing some rave reviews for this book I decided to give it a try. The Book of Essie is the story of a teenager named Esther Hicks who ends up pregnant. But, that’s not the end of Essie’s story. Essie just happens to be a reality TV star, her parents famous religious and social figures. And they have a reputation to uphold. Cue the pregnancy scandal cover up!

If you have ever seen the TV show UnREAL (which basically reveals the sneaky, behind the scenes things that producers do to steer certain reality TV storylines the way they want them to go), this book has a super similar vibe. So many times I wanted to punch Essie’s mom in the face for putting on a false facade in the name of celebrity.

The Book of Essie (cleverly named given its religious undertones) dives into some difficult subject matter and explores a ton of difficult family-centered issues. One things is for sure. I adored Essie’s character and several other main characters as well. And while I couldn’t relate to Essie personally, I applauded the way she handled the situation she found herself in. What a firecracker.

The audiobook version of this book was pretty good. There were times when there may have been a few lulls by overall it held my attention.

It’s definitely worth the read.

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Audiobook Review, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller

The One by John Marrs

The OneThe One by John Marrs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You guys! I absolutely adored this book! And this isn’t one I’ve seen blasted across the internet on various social media platforms. I just kind of stumbled upon it through recommendations of friends.

The premise of the book was super interesting. What if you could take 23&Me and and put them together into one mega dating app? Submit your DNA and be matched with your one and only soulmate. Would you do it? Follow the stories of four people who took the plunge. Experience the good, the bad, and the ugly.

As a woman who met her husband on seven years ago, the content of this book really tickled my fancy. I thought the concept was such an interesting idea and enjoyed the variety of plots that evolved from it. Each story had an original spin and each had a super exciting twist or two.

This was a great audiobook with a lot of excitement that held my attention. I couldn’t get enough and found myself walking around the house with headphones on waiting to see what happened next (not the first time…).

If you haven’t checked this one out, I would highly recommend it. It is certainly unique and entertaining.

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Mystery, Thriller

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

Our Little SecretOur Little Secret by Roz Nay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Looking for a binge-worthy book? Here it is! This was such a quick read that I read it in one sitting.

So how did I get this book? Funny you should ask. I belong to a group of influencers called BookSharks which is supported by BookSparks (confusing, right?). BookSparks did a holiday book-gram program around Christmas where participants picked a genre and a surprise book was wrapped and sent to them. This happened to be one of my surprises. Good picking BookSparks! You must know I adore virtually everything from St. Martin’s Press.

Our Little Secret was the perfect breath of fresh air after some lengthy novels. At a little over 250 pages I breezed right through it. Beginning with the main character in an interrogation room being interviewed for her suspected participation in the disappearance of a young woman, the story moves back in time to tell the story of what happened leading up to the disappearance.

I really enjoyed this book. As a thriller, it had just the right amount of suspense and intrigue without being too convoluted or over the top. The plot was believable and kept me on my toes the entire time.

If you’re looking for a quick weekend read to give you some reprieve from your TBR, this is it. Bravo Roz Nay!

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