Saturday, July 13, 2019

The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

The Starter Wife
Release Date: June 11th, 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing | Hachette Canada
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: Honest Review
Find the Author: Website

Buy the Book


Local police have announced that they're closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found. The chief of police has stated that no concrete evidence of foul play has been discovered in the probe.


I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband's first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There's a big difference. My phone rings, jarring me away from my thoughts, and when I pick it up, it's an unknown number. The only answer to my slightly breathless hello is empty static. When the voice does finally come, it's female, low, muffled somehow. "Where is it, Claire? What did you do with it? Tell me where it is."A woman. A real flesh-and-blood woman on the other end of the phone. She's not just in my head.A wave of panic spreads under my skin like ice water. It's Colleen.

What a wild and morbidly fun ride! I have been on such a Thriller/Mystery suspense kick this year, and The Starter Wife definitely gave me everything I hoped for and more! 

The Starter Wife is a fast-paced thriller that will leave your head spinning! It's a quick read that packs a lot of punch in its 350 pages. I must say, I was left completely jaw-dropped by the twist. It was not what I was expecting at all. I had a completely different theory in place and it just got tossed to the wind. Well done! The author crafted fantastic characters. Each character was left with a bit of mystery to them. Leaving you to try and figure who each one truly is. 

Nina Laurin penned a riveting story that unfolded at the perfect pace. I am so glad that I have discovered yet another amazing author. I can't wait to check out her previous books and am excited to see what other thrills she has in store for us in the future! Exceptional writing paired with a completely unpredictable storyline made this book a gripping reading experience! 

If you're a fan of Gillian Flynn or you're looking for an epic page-turner, I highly recommend you check out this book! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Patron Saints of Nothing
Release Date: June 18th, 2019
Publisher: Kokila | Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 352 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.
Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it.

This was such a moving and poignant story. It's books like this that make me cherish the young adult genre. YA has been taking a major step forward when it comes to diversity and penning stories that make you think, make you wonder, and make you want to take action. Patron Saints of Nothing is one of those books!

Patron Saints of Nothing stirs up just about every emotion imaginable. There were moments that I seethed with anger while others had me reading through tears. Jay's storytelling felt so authentic. The author created such a powerful voice in Jay, his narrative transporting me, bringing to light current events that I, sadly, knew little about. It is shockingly eye-opening!

 Ribay's lyrical writing style makes the story flow in such a poetic way, unfolding at the perfect pace. Compelling, strong and effective, Patron Saints of Nothing is a book that all should read. It should land itself in the libraries of schools and in the hands of students. Knowledge is power. The more we get these stories out there, the more power we have for change. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

The Grief Keeper
Release Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: Exchange for Honest Review
Find the Author: Website | @Magpiewrites on Instragram and Twitter
Buy the Book

Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol's mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber's, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as "an illegal", but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi's, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn't be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn't have been caught crossing the border.
But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She's asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It's a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.
"You aren't an illegal. You're a person. You are a girl"

Firstly, can we address this absolutely stunning cover? It is the perfect representation of this story. Each time I'd pick the book up, I couldn't help but admire its beauty each time!

The Grief Keeper will sweep its arms around you and nestle itself right into your soul. The 2 main characters, Marisol and Rey will find a comfortable spot within your heart. You will be left completely changed by the time you are done with it.

Alexandra Villasante penned a heartbreaking tale that tackles immigration, grief, suicide and sexual orientation. She approaches each with such compassion and respect. The hardships of each matter were written with such authenticity; I feel that any person dealing with even just one of these issues would have felt greatly represented. The same goes for each character. Readers will relate to Marisol and Rey in some way or another.

The author's writing will transport you, as if you are alongside Marisol, Gabi, and Rey during their journey, rather than reading it. I was completely swept up in their worlds, invested. I had to suppress the urge to devour this book because I feel it is one that should be savoured, taking your time reading it. Not taking the risk of missing even one word. 

The Grief Keeper is such a unique concept. Unlike anything I have ever read. It begs the question: Would you be a grief keeper? Would you take the grief of a stranger to give yourself a chance at a better, safer life? Or a loved so they are no longer suffering? No longer in crippling pain? Or, on the other side, would you allow someone else to take your grief from you? Every painful emotion weighing you down, being given to someone else to bear?

The Grief Keeper is a touching story of the lengths one would go to for their loved ones. For a new chance at life. A life they are deserving of. It is about self-discovery and perseverance. It's books like this that make me a proud reader. I couldn't imagine missing out on this story! Though listed as a Young Adult, The Grief Keeper should find itself in the hands of all readers. You will not be sorry and will be forever changed after reading their story.

Monday, June 3, 2019

One More Lie by Amy Lloyd

One More Lie
Release Date: April 4th, 2019
Publisher: Century
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 400 Pages
Format: Ebook
Source: NetGalley
Reason: Honest Review

Charlotte wants to start fresh. She wants to forget her past, forget prison and, most of all, forget Sean. But old habits die hard. Despite the ankle monitor she must wear as part of her parole agreement and frequent visits to her therapist, she soon finds herself sliding back toward the type of behavior that sent her to prison in the first place. The further down that path she goes, however, the closer she gets to the crime that put her in prison all those years ago. And that's the one memory she can't face. Until, one day, Sean tracks her down.



One More Lie is a chilling and disturbing ride. This psychological thriller takes you through the past and present of 2 lives, Charlotte and Sean, and really happened on the day that changed everything.

This book is a very heavily character-driven novel. The character development builds up strongly throughout the entire novel. You will be lead through believing certain things, but do not underestimate a person, what you see is not always what you get!

Amy Lloyd does a spectacular job at the pacing of One More Lie. The story unfolds unhurriedly as we are taken between the past and the present. Trying to piece together Charlotte's memory that lead to that fateful day.

Charlotte is a character that you immediately empathize with. Even though she is now an adult, she still remains almost child-like. She suffered through some pretty traumatic events at such a young age that will make your heartache. Sean is just as in-depth. You almost immediately peg him as the trouble maker but something keeps hinting that there is more than meets the eye. Charlotte and Sean's lives intertwine at a young age, and they remain in a tangled web together. Their story is just as important as the main story at hand. You need a clean understand of their relationship together to understand what prompted the most horrific crimes in Britain.

One More Life is the whole package. Gripping and shocking, it will leave you wide-eyed and jaw-dropped until the very last sentence!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

My Lovely Wife
Release Date: March 26th, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 374 Pages
Format: Egalley
Source: Netgalley
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book

Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this wildly compulsive debut thriller about a couple whose fifteen-year marriage has finally gotten too interesting...
We look like a normal couple. We're your neighbors, the parents of your kid's friend, the acquaintances you keep meaning to get dinner with.
We all have secrets to keeping a marriage alive.
Ours just happens to be getting away with murder.

Our love story is simple. I met a gorgeous woman. We fell in love. We had kids. We moved to the suburbs. We told each other our biggest dreams, and our darkest secrets. And then we got bored.



Whoa, Nelly! What a sinfully delicious book this was! My Lovely Wife will satisfy your craving for a dark, psychological thriller! 

When this book was being described as Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I knew I had to give it a try! My Lovely Wife does not disappoint! It ticks all the boxes and so much more when it comes to a suspenseful thriller. In-depth characters, a masterful storyline that keeps you on the edge of your seat, risking papercuts because you are flying through the pages so fast, and a big bang of an ending. It was a wickedly good read. 

My Lovely Wife tells that story of Millicent, her husband, and their white picket fence family. From the outside, it looks like they have the perfect marriage, but their idea of a date night is far different than yours...at least I hope it is... Samatha Downing penned a brilliant and edgy story with characters that you'll come to both love and hate. Millicent was an outstanding character! Although the book isn't told from her perspective, she dominates the story. She is a very strong character. The author crafted a flawless plot that unfolds at a perfect pace. You will eagerly fly through this book, dying to know how it ends!

My Lovely Wife is an epic fast-paced thriller! I would love to see this hit the small or big screen! I couldn't help but picture Jessica Chastain as Millicent and would love to see these characters brought to life. This would make a fantastic, binge-worthy series!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Testimony from Your Perfect Girl by Kaui Hart Hemmings

Testimony from Your Perfect Girl
Release Date: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: Putnam | Penguin Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 272 Pages
Format: ARC
Source: From Publisher
Reason: For Honest Review
Find the Author: Instagram | Facebook
Buy the Book


Annie Tripp has everything she needs--Italian sweaters, vintage chandelier earrings, and elite ice skating lessons--but all that changes when her father is accused of scamming hundreds of people out of their investments. Annie knows her dad wasn't at fault, but she and her brother are exiled to their estranged aunt and uncle's house in a run-down part of Breckenridge--until the trial blows over.

Life with her new family isn't quite up to Annie's usual standard of living, but surprisingly, pretending to be someone else offers a freedom she's never known. As Annie starts to make real friends for the first time, she realizes she has more in common with her aunt and uncle than she ever wanted to know. As the family's lies begin to crumble and truths demand consequences, Annie must decide which secrets need to see the light of day . . . and which are worth keeping.

I am a HUGE fan of Kaui Hart Hemmings. I loved The Descendants and Juniors, so to say I was stoked to receive this in the mail would be an understatement! 

Testimony from Your Perfect Girl is a quick, easy read! I breezed right through it and enjoyed the reading experience. 

Kaui Hart Hemmings knows how to craft in-depth characters! This novel is a very character driven novel. This book has a great plotline but if the characters fall flat, the story would have as well. That is not the case with this book! Whether you love them or hate them, they stand out and carry the story!  Annie was not my most favourite character but I don't think she want meant to be adored. She is spoiled, and it comes off very strong throughout the book, which I believe was intentional for the author. I mean, what teenage girl who is used to having things her way would adjust well to her life being drastically changed? I think the author portrayed that character trait beautifully! I loved her brother Jay, he provided some comedic moments throughout the book.

 Testimony from Your Perfect Girl makes for a fantastic Summer read. It's quick but has a lot of heart. It that tackles the hardships of growing up, especially when your problems are now in the public eye. Looking forward to what else Kaui Hart Hemmings has in store for us in the future!

Monday, May 20, 2019

No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit
Release Date: January 15h, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Suspense | Mystery
Pages: 336 Pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Reason: Personal Interest
Find the Author: Website
Buy the Book: Amazon CA | Amazon

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.
Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.But who can she trust? 

What. A. Ride!! You're going to want to buckle up for this one because it's going to take you on one wild ride!

No Exit far exceeded my expectations. I've been hearing how great it is but I was not expecting just how intense and gripping this book was going to get! 

It was a bit of a busy week/weekend for me so I was squeezing in reading whenever I could, and I can tell you that it took so much effort to have to put the book down. It was painful, actually. When I couldn't be reading it, all I could do was think about it. Today, I had nothing to do so I knew I was going to relax out in the sun and devour this wild story. 

No Exit hurls twist after twist at you. Sending your mind down a deep spiral of theories and explanations, and debunking each one just as quick. The author penned such a sophisticated storyline. The twists and sudden developments left you in a delicious entanglement that leaves you flying through the pages hungrily. 

Each character adds so much value to the plot. It's a small character cast which offers the opportunity for each one to shine. Although this book is dark and chilling, it had a humorous undertone. Darby's quick wit and sarcastic charm provided some comedic relief throughout the entire novel. 

This book is a powerhouse! It packs so much punch that will leave your mind reeling. The flawless writing paired with the intense storyline seemed effortless for the author. What a storyteller Taylor Adams is! I loved every minute of this dark and bloody tale. If books were given standing ovations, this would get one that would make Quentin Tarantino jealous! 
 
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