Fall 2018 Book Reviews

Title: The Pretty Mess

Author: Erika Jayne

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 6/10

Comments: I’m a huge Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fan and Erika Giradi might be one of my fav housewives ever out of all the cities. It isn’t very well written and it is very back and forth. However, every chapter focuses on a different point in her life, each describing the evolution of her alter ego, Erika Jayne. I respect Erika so much as a mom, a friend, a performer, and a wife. She is strong, honest, matter-of-fact, and always stays true to herself. It was really fun to learn things I didn’t know about her and to follow the journey that lead to becoming a Housewife.

Title: Before We Were Yours

Author: Lisa Wingate

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 7/10

Comments: This was the first Bad Bitch Book Club book of the fall! And it did NOT disappoint. I liked it a lot! At first, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get into it because I was a little confused in the beginning. But it is good. I didn’t know anything about the Tennessee Children’s Home Society so it was really interesting to learn about it. I am actually eager to do more research about the society and Georgia Tan. A part of me wishes the ending wasn’t so cliche and happy. I wanted just a little bit of turmoil- maybe some family disagreements or negative media press. The ending is very rainbows and butterflies but obviously it is cool that everyone ends up happy and at peace.

Title: Girl Last Seen

Author: Nina Laurin

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 6/10

Comments: This it the first book I listened to on Audible that I really, really wish I read myself. I really didn’t like the narrator at all. I didn’t mind the text or the writing style but I think I would have read the words in different tones and interpreted the wording differently. The narrator sounds way too sophisticated and proper to be the struggling, pill-addicted 23-year-old main character. It was almost torture to listen to and if given the chance, I think I would read the book myself even though I already know what happens. As far as the story goes, it felt like the author was trying to have us fill in the holes ourselves. It is a tad bit hard to follow and I felt like I was supposed to assume a lot of things but I wasn’t sure exactly which assumptions to make. Much of it is very vague. Maybe if I had read it, I would have filled those holes more easily. I am satisfied with the ending but because I disliked the narrator so much, I felt like I rushed through the book and didn’t appreciate the ending as much as I could’ve if I read it myself. I really really believe I would have enjoyed this book so much more if I read it instead. I’m also not exactly sure what the title means… The book doesn’t touch on who saw the girl last or which girl was last seen. Unless I missed it. Which is totally possible.

Title: What She Knew

Author: Gilly Macmillan

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 8/10

Comments: I really enjoyed it!! There are some really cool perspectives which is always fun. It is really well written and I was eager to get to every chapter. The ending isn’t a huge shock but it isn’t predictable either. I was kind of waiting for one more shocking thing just because of the mother’s tone throughout the novel, but overall I was super satisfied and would recommend it.

Title: Jar of Hearts

Author: Jennifer Hillier

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 9/10

Comments: This was October’s book club book! At first, I was having a lot of trouble adjusting to the third person point of view. I don’t know if I just haven’t read/listened to a lot of books lately with this P.O.V. but it was really throwing me off. Anyway, IT WAS SO GOOD. SO GOOD. I had so many questions that I was afraid wouldn’t be answered but they all were – to my complete satisfaction. It was thrilling.

Title: The Woman in Cabin 10

Author: Ruth Ware

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 8/10

Comments: People have been recommending this book to me for two years and now I know why. It is really good! The setting, a small cruise ship, is a nice change of scenery. My interest was steady the entire time and I would definitely consider it a page-turner. It was also nice to read something chronological and not so back-and-forth like a lot of recent novels. I really enjoyed the main character. Something happens right in the beginning of the novel that I really thought would connect to the rest of the story somehow, but it didn’t. I am really pleased with the ending though.

Title: The Last Time I Lied 

Author: Riley Sager

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 9/10

Comments: THE ENDING IS SO GOOD. I liked the book a lot! There are several plot twists that made my jaw literally drop, including the ending. Both the beginning of the novel and the end of the novel are told in second person point-of-view which I thought was so strange because I haven’t a novel in that P.O.V. ever. I really enjoyed it though. It had me excited to get back into my car to pick up where I left off. I usually only listen while I drive but I actually finished this one while sitting in my room because I was so excited to hear the ending. I would highly recommend this book.

Title: Tell Me Lies

Author: Carola Lovering

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 8/10

Comments: It is really good! Some parts are super predictable but I really enjoyed it. It’s a great look into toxic relationships and toxic people in general. There is a major f***boy character who I wanted to punch through my speakers. He is an unapologetic, narcissistic liar. However, he is charming and tells girls what they want to hear. He is a great example of the asshole some girls tend to fall for. The main character, Lucy, is an unfortunate victim of his behavior and the book is an honest reality of their relationship. I would highly recommend!

Title: Troublemaker

Author: Leah Remini

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 8/10

Comments: Ever since Leah started her show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, I’ve been fascinated with Scientology. What a crazy “religion”. I barely believe in Christianity so it’s real hard for me to believe in something based on “clearing the planet” and reaching levels by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in order for one’s “truth to be revealed.” Leah seems like such a smart person. It’s hard to believe she was a devoted Scientologist for several decades and succumbed to their level of brainwashing. It fascinates me how she had her moment of realization that it was all bullshit after so long. She is so brave and strong for outing the secrets of the “Church” and making the choice to be what the “Church” calls a “SP” (suppressive person) for speaking out against it. The book is informative, honest, and written in the tone I’ve always pictured Leah to have. I laughed out loud just as many times as I shook my head and dropped my jaw. I hadn’t known about this book until I watch an episode of Red Table Talk, a Facebook series by Jada Pinkett Smith, where Leah was a guest. Leah had mentioned Jada and Will in the book which, in context, understandably upset the Smiths. The talk ended in forgiveness and hugs and sparked my curiosity in the book.

Title: Broken Ice

Author: Matt Goldman

Format: Physical book

Personal rating: 8/10

Comments: I read Goldman’s first novel, Gone to Dust, over the summer and really enjoyed it. I was eager to get my hands on this one and read about another Nils Shapiro case. This one is just as good as the first one. Goldman made Shap such an interesting detective and his methods of solving cases are admirable and almost unbelievable. I finished it really quickly because that’s how good it is. I would definitely recommend it (after reading Gone to Dust)!

Title: If You Knew Her

Author: Emily Elgar

Format: Audible

Personal rating: 7/10

Comments: I wanted it to be better. I was hooked the whole time because the perspectives are awesome. But the ending is awful. Okay maybe not awful. But definitely not what I wanted or anticipated. The writing is good and it was a quick listen but I’m just really disappointed in the ending. I see why the author did it but it doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.

 

Don’t forget about the books I read over the summer, too!

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