Review: The Liar’s Girl

image1 (4)Title: The Liar’s Girl

Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Publication Date: February 27, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)


Will Hurley was an attractive, charming, and impressive student at Dublin’s elite St. John’s College — and Ireland’s most prolific serial killer. Having stalked his five young victims, he drowned them in the muddy waters of the Grand Canal. Sentenced to life imprisonment when he was just nineteen, Will is locked away in the city’s Central Psychiatric Hospital.

Freshman Alison Smith moved to the Big Smoke to enroll in St. John’s and soon fell hard for Will Hurley. Her world bloomed . . . and then imploded when Liz, her best friend, became the latest victim of the Canal Killer — and the Canal Killer turned out to be the boy who’d been sleeping in her bed. Alison fled to the Netherlands and, in ten years, has never once looked back.

When a young woman’s body is found in the Grand Canal, Garda detectives visit Will to see if he can assist them in solving what looks like a copycat killing. Instead, Will tells them he has something new to confess — but there’s only one person he’s prepared to confess it to.

The last thing Alison wants is to be pulled back into the past she’s worked so hard to leave behind. Reluctantly, she returns to the city she hasn’t set foot in for more than a decade to face the man who murdered the woman she was supposed to become.

Only to discover that, until now, Will has left out the worst part of all . . . Continue reading “Review: The Liar’s Girl”

Review: I See You

image1 (3)Title: I See You

Author: Clare Mackintosh

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Publication Date: July 28, 2016

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ (3.5 stars)


It all starts during her commute home one night. Zoe Walker glances through her local paper and sees her own face staring back at her in a classified ad. With the grainy photo is a phone number and a listing for a website called FindTheOne.com.

In the following days, she sees other women in the same ad, a different one every day, and nearly all of them show up in the newspapers as victims of increasingly violent crimes–including murder.

With the help of a determined cop, Zoe uncovers the ad’s twisted purpose…And suddenly, the man on the train sitting across the car–the one smiling at Zoe–could be more than just a friendly stranger. He could be someone who has deliberately chosen her and is ready to make his next move…

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Review: All the Things We Never Knew

image1 (2)Title: All the Things We Never Knew

Author: Sheila Hamilton

Genre: Non Fiction, Mental Health, Memoir

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)


I missed much of the unfolding of my husband’s mental illness. By the time I’d pieced together the puzzle of who David actually was, he was falling apart.

All the Things We Never Knew is the powerful true tale of Sheila Hamilton’s struggle to understand and cope with her husband’s mental illness and suicide and its effect on her family. With the brutal benefit of hindsight, Hamilton walks you through their tumultuous relationship in its entirety and into the difficult years following David’s choice to end his life.

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Popsugar Reading Challenge: 2018

I’m a tad late to the game in posting, but this year, I’m tackling the popular Popsugar Reading Challenge, which offers a varied 40 prompts, as well as 10 advanced prompts for overachievers. Even though I managed to sneak in a bunch of titles already in my TBR, I can tell that some of these are going to force me to stretch myself outside my reading comfort zone – and I couldn’t be happier!

If you’re anything like me, there’s an immense sense of satisfaction that comes from ticking off check boxes. I thought I’d turn that aspect of the challenge into something fun, too. I’ve been getting into the concept of bullet journaling lately because I wanted a less daunting way of tracking my fitness and diet routines as I prepare for fights. It’s a lot of fun and strangely relaxing, and if you haven’t heard of it before, I definitely recommend you check it out!

For the Popsugar challenge, I’ll be coloring the book spines as I go, so at the end of the year, I’ll have a unique souvenir of all the varied reading I did 🙂

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Review: This Is How It Always Is

This Is How It Always IsTitle: This Is How It Always Is

Author: Laurie Frankel

Genre: Fiction

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)


“So these kids just get to pick who they are?” Frank searched for an apt metaphor and finally settled on, “It’s like a video game.”

“No, it’s like a fairy tale,” said Penn. Rosie rolled her eyes at him. “Maybe you look like a filthy scullery maid, but inside, you’re really a princess, and if you’re good, you find the right grave to cry on or the right lamp to rub, and you become a princess on the outside too.”

This Is How It Always Is is, without a doubt, one of the most emotional and important books I’ve ever read, and it’s going to resonate with me for a long, long time.

At its core, this is a story about family, about learning to embrace and celebrate change, and about fairy tales and how happily ever after might not exist … but that’s okay because it isn’t a happy ending you should be striving for, but a happy now.

There’s something instantly recognizable in the hectic Walsh-Adams family. The anecdotal nature of the storyline makes it easy to find something to connect with, whether it’s the challenges of parenthood or the endless frenzy of a bunch of siblings. Aspiring novelist Penn and resourceful doctor Rosie already bring diverse personalities to the table as parents, and the chaos of having four boys in the household creates an loving environment equal parts open and unpredictable. There’s surly Roo, precocious Ben, and the wild twins Orion and Rigel. And then, of course, there’s Claude.

When Claude begins to express his desire to grow up to be a girl, it’s refreshing how willingly his family embraces the idea and allows him to become Poppy. But the safe haven of their household can’t blanket the entire world, and closed minds and brushes with violence prompt the family to relocate to more liberal Seattle. Suddenly, the promise of a fresh start and the question of whose business is Poppy’s history anyways has the Walsh-Adams unintentionally keeping a secret that feels weightier and riskier with every year that passes. Until suddenly it’s not a secret anymore.

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Review: Two Girls Down

Title: Two Girls Down

Author: Louisa Luna

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction

Publication Date: January 9, 2018

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)


Two Girls Down is a fun, page-turning read littered with twists, turns, and red herrings that will keep you guessing all the way till the end.

When Jamie Brandt’s two daughters disappear from a mall parking lot, bounty hunter Alice Vega teams up with ex-cop Max Caplan on the case. Together, they work with and against local law enforcement and the Feds to peel back the layers of the Brandt family and the Denville community – and there’s definitely plenty to unearth.

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Review: UNSUB (UNSUB #1)

Unsub

Title: UNSUB

Author: Meg Gardiner

Series: UNSUB, #1

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Fiction

Publication Date: June 27, 2017

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)


She looked at the darkening sky, the lights sparkling on the distant Berkeley Hills. There were seven million lives around her. And a ghost was loose among them, hunting.

It’s a rare occurrence that I fall in love with a thriller as immediately as I did with UNSUB, but I learned within the first few chapters that the hype over the past year has not been overrated. UNSUB is dark and wild and twisty and terrifying, and I loved every. Single. Moment.

When the unsub (AKA the Prophet) began his sadistic killing spree, the Bay Area was shrouded in death and terror for months on end. Caitlin Hendrix’s childhood was marked by his reign more than most – her father couldn’t help but bring the horrors home as one of the lead investigators on the case. And then, just as suddenly as it all began, the Prophet disappeared into the wind, seeming to take her father’s sanity with him.

Twenty years later, Caitlin has become a narcotics detective, following in her father’s footsteps yet at the same time trying to break free of his shadow. But when two bodies are discovered in a corn field bearing the nightmarish signature she’s far too well acquainted with, Caitlin knows there’s no one better suited to finding the answers that have eluded the police for decades. She was born for this.

The Prophet has her number, though, and the stakes get personal – quick. In a heart-pounding race against the clock, Caitlin must unravel the brain of a brilliant psychopath before history repeats itself and the darkness drags her down, too.

Continue reading “Review: UNSUB (UNSUB #1)”