Sandie Jones is back with another engaging tale in The Guilt Trip! Rachel and her husband Jack travel to Jack’s brother’s destination wedding, and there the drama begins. As if emotions don’t already run high at weddings, Rachel comes to think that her husband may be having an affair. However, the tides keep turning and she isn’t sure whom to believe - the resplendent bride that denies ever sleeping with Jack? Her husband of 20 years that is accusing the bride of blackmail? Her best friend that accuses the bride? Or even her best friend’s husband, with whom Rachel shares a significant secret that threatens to tear about both their marriages? Events continue to climax until the wedding reception, when everything comes to a final, appalling halt.
Although I eagerly read this book and found it tough to put down, several of the characters were seemingly too cliched for me to find them believable and really invest in them. The bride, Ali, is portrayed by Rachel as strikingly beautiful but quite self absorbed and childish; others paint a picture of her inner beauty matching her outer beauty. Rachel is quick to believe whomever has spoken with her more recently, but does make critical moves to get to the bottom of the mystery. Overall, this was a quick read that I enjoyed and didn’t want to put down - good for a rainy day or a day at the beach.
The Guilt Trip comes out on May 31, and you can pre-order using the link below. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Sandie Jones for the advance copy!!
Jacob Bonner - a promising young novelist, who struggles after his first book and turns to teaching writing.
Evan Parker - a student of Bonner’s, who claims he has a plot idea that would sell, no matter the skill of the writer.
Jake is skeptical of Evan’s confidence, until he hears the plot of Evan‘s work in progress, and realizes what a unique storyline it presents. Envious of Evan’s unique idea, Jake continues to try to come up with another novel idea of his own. After a few years, Jake remembers Evan’s idea, and searches for the book...surely it’s been published by now. However, he can’t find it anywhere. When he discovers Evan has passed away, Jake wrestles with himself - can he really write this story now that Evan is dead? Or does that cross an ethical boundary? And after
Jake writes the story - what will the consequences be? Is it truly plagiarism if all the words are his?
The Plot takes a unique perspective on storytelling and authorship, and was quite the page turner! Full of twists and turns, this one will keep you on your toes and up late at night to finish! Pub day is May 11 - this is one to pre-order!!!
Thank you to Celadon Books and Jean Hanff Korelitz for e early copy! You may be able to snag an early copy at a Little Free Library near you: http://bit.ly/theplotmap
The Good Sister is an engaging story about the love 2 sisters have for each other, and the lengths that they will go to for each other’s happiness and well-being.
Fern is a sweet, quirky gal with sensory issues, who struggles to function in many social situations. Her sister, Rose, is always looking out for her, albeit from a distance now that they are adults. When Fern finds out that Rose is struggling to get pregnant, she decides to surprise her sister by getting pregnant and then giving the baby to her sister to raise. After all, Fern feels like she owes Rose, and Rose is the safe, smart sister that keeps Fern on the right path....except for that one time when they were kids. After all, sisters always look out for each other, right?
The story is told in alternating sections from Fern’s point of view and Rose’s journal to give you the perspective of both sisters. I felt sorry for Fern and her struggles, but she has such a bright outlook on life in spite of what she did when she was a child, and tries to be a kind person. The Good Sister explores the complex relationship of sisters, both positive and negative, and delves into the issues of the perspective of reality and that sometimes the people you love the most are also the ones you despise.
The Good Sister comes out April 13, preorder your copy now!
Such a Quiet Place is about a close knit neighborhood that has experienced a tragic double murder. Ruby, one of the neighbors, is arrested, tried, and convicted of the double murder. However, after 14 months, she’s released on a technicality. Ruby then returns to the neighborhood, saying she’s determined to get revenge on the people there that put her behind bars. Harper, her roommate, works to try to contain Ruby’s antics, but the neighborhood is scared and things spiral out of control. Was Ruby wrongfully convicted? Did the neighborhood conspire to put her behind bars? Is anybody safe with Ruby back?
Another great storyline by Megan Miranda! I have enjoyed all of her books, and this was one of my favorites of hers! Such a Quiet Place was a page turner - I read it in one day because I was so engaged with the characters and the plot. Definitely a must read for fans of Megan Miranda’s thrillers, or anybody that loves psychological thrillers with good twists.
Favorite part of this book (besides the intriguing story line) - definitely the quirky chapter titles! It’s been so long since I read a book where the chapters weren’t simply numbered, or named for the character that was narrating them. This book had chapter titles like “if you answer the door for strangers...” and “don’t ask a question you don’t want the answer to.” You get the idea. Loved how clever these were!!!
The Last Thing He Told Me is about Hannah’s search for who her husband really is. Hannah and Owen have been married for several years, and Hannah has a somewhat rocky relationship with Owen’s 16 year daughter, Bailey. One day, the company that Owen works for is raided by the FBI, and Owen disappears. All that he leaves behind is a note for Hannah, “protect her.”
Hannah and Bailey are devastated, and each struggles to piece together the few clues they have to find out what happened to Owen and where he may have gone. Hannah has several mysterious visitors that lead her to question her husband’s honesty with her, and she begins to investigate on her own to try to find out if she knows the truth about her husband.
Was Owen who he said he was? Why did he run and where did he go?
This book was unputdownable and unique!! I’ve already ordered some other books by Laura Dave and can’t wait for them to arrive!! This gem will be available on May 4th, 2021. Preorder!!!!!
DJ Palmer does not disappoint! I have enjoyed all of his books so far, but this one is my favorite!
The Perfect Daughter is about Penny, an adopted teen that is suspected to have dissociative identity disorder and is suspected to have murdered her birth mother. Penny’s adoptive mother works with both Penny’s psychologist and lawyer to build a case for their plea of not guilty, due to her mental illness. Things are complicated even more as Penny has no memory of what happened that night- it’s suspected that another one of her alters took over, which explains why Penny cannot access the memory. Does Penny really have dissociative identity disorder? Or is Penny a brilliant psychopath?
As I said, this is my favorite of DJ Palmer’s books thus far. I couldn’t put it down! I was fascinated by Penny’s various alters and the triggers that caused her to switch between them. The pacing of this kept me on the edge of my seat, and little clues were given throughout that kept me trying to put together the pieces, but I was still surprised by the final verdict! A must read for thriller fans!! The Perfect Daughter will be published on April 20 - preorder now!!
Do No Harm is heart wrenching! How far would you go to save your child? When Emma’s young son, Josh, is diagnosed with a often fatal type of leukemia, she is faced with this question. How far will Emma go to save Josh?
Emma is a doctor, married to a police detective. She seemingly has the perfect life, but underneath this facade is a history of drugs and lies that threatens to surface. As she fights to get her son the necessary treatment for his leukemia, things begin to unravel for her both personally and professionally. And for the first time, Emma and her husband aren’t on the same page. Emma is in a race to save her son while her husband strives to solve his case - and things keep circling back too close to home for both of them.
Do No Harm uses the unconditional and limitless love of a parent for their child to explore the opioid crisis, and repeatedly asks the question, “does the end justify the means?” That’s for the reader to decide.
A must read for Christina McDonald and thriller fans!! In her typical style, Christina McDonald keeps you turning pages. Do No Harm is one you won’t want to put down!
The Wife Upstairs grips you from the beginning and propels you through the story to the end!
Jane is a young 20 something fresh out of school and foster care, trying to make ends meet. One of her jobs is walking dogs in a very posh neighborhood. While walking a neighborhood dog one day, she nearly gets run over by Eddie, whose wife recently died in a boating accident. Eddie invites Jane in for coffee, and they begin to fall for each other. However, they both have their secrets, which will lead to rocky moments along the way. As Jane runs from her past and learns more about Eddie’s deceased wife, she isn’t always sure where to turn or whom to trust. Can she live up to the legacy of Eddie’s wife? Has her luck really changed for the better or is this all too good to be true?
The Wife Upstairs is an edge of your seat thriller, told in multiple viewpoints at different times The story alternates mostly with Jane as narrator, but also we hear from Eddie’s deceased wife and Eddie. Neither Eddie nor Jane are completely honest with each other, and this leads to several pivotal moments in the book. This thriller was a clever twist on a love triangle, and a definitely must read for lovers of domestic suspense.
Migrations is the tragic tale of our planet after humans have driven most animals to extinction. Franny is a young woman obsessively and desperately searching for the last of the wild terns and attempting to follow them on their migration. Many obstacles are in her way - she must get trackers on the birds, she has to find a boat to follow them, and the journey itself is perilous.
As we travel with Franny on her quest to follow the tern migration, the storyline alternates between present, and the past from where she seeks redemption. Franny has always been a wanderer and had a hard life; she’s made her fair share of mistakes along the way. However, she has a good heart and wants to make things right, for the people in her life as well as for the animals of our planet. The mystery revolves around what happened in Franny’s past to set her life on this course - and will Franny be able to complete her self imposed penance?
I loved how the author’s descriptive prose matched the situation throughout the book. For example, when Franny was anxious, sentences became more run on and paragraphs became longer, which really helped me identify with Franny’s emotions. The word choice helped set the tone, and the descriptions were so vivid! I really felt like I was in the Arctic or on the boat next to Franny.
A tragic story with beautifully descriptive writing, Migrations is a good read for adventure and mystery lovers. Beautifully written!! Thank you to Flatiron Books, NetGalley, and Charlotte McConaghy for the advance copy!
Pub day is August 4th - here’s a link to pre-order.
Loves: books (hello, book blog), my kiddos, Golden doodles, icecream, classical music, and exploring.