#18 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

asdasdasderewThe description from Goodreads:
Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?
Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.
Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

I did the cliché thing and bought this book for the cover. Then it kept popping up on my Instagram feed and on the women’s platform websites I visit troll all day long like Popsugar.com etc.

I loved everything about this book, I was hooked from the first page. The story was fabulously written, I felt glamorous just reading it. The author does a great job at capturing the eras the book takes place in without being campy. The characters are likable and so well developed that it was almost like reading a memoir. I really fell in love with the character of Evelyn Hugo, I kept wanting to Google her and watch her films only to remember, multiple times, she wasn’t real. The many themes in this book shone through, interracial relationships (and more than the stereotypical 1 that we’re used to), tons of LGBTQ representation and the author depicts ageism in classic Hollywood really well.

This book was such an emotional read for me, I cried many times throughout.

I loved reading it so much, I was sad to finish it.

I give this book 5 sensational stars!

 

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#17 The Hatching

asdasdasdThe Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

The descriptions from Goodreads:
Deep in the jungle of Peru, where so much remains unknown, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist whole. Thousands of miles away, an FBI agent investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns register in a Kanpur, India earthquake lab, confounding the scientists there. During the same week, the Chinese government “accidentally” drops a nuclear bomb in an isolated region of its own country. As these incidents begin to sweep the globe, a mysterious package from South America arrives at a Washington, D.C. laboratory. Something wants out.
The world is on the brink of an apocalyptic disaster. An ancient species, long dormant, is now very much awake.

I picked up this book at the right time, I needed a break from the typical thrillers I’ve been reading.

The Hatching is told from multiple perspectives, some with more content than others, that join together to tell the story. The writing style is scientific enough to sound believable but not too scientific that it loses you. Also, I’m not a queasy person but there were times that I had to put the book down because it was turning my stomach.

I’ll definitely be picking up the next book in this series, Skitter.

I give this book 4 stars!

 

#16 The Lying Game

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

32895291The description from Goodreads:
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel.
On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…
The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”
The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).
Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

I was excited to read this because it’s been all over social media or months but a little apprehensive because I didn’t love The Woman in Cabin 10.

I liked the main character Isa, I’ve come to the very apparent conclusion that if you don’t like (or love the hate) the main character, it’s really tough to like the book. The setting and the other characters were really well developed. The dynamic of the four friends reuniting after many years was interesting. The amount of suspense lands this book right in the middle between thriller and mystery. There was a couple different story lines in the book that I felt bulked the story up to avoid any boring lulls.

Because you don’t find out the sinister thing until towards the end, I spent the whole book thinking of the most disgusting and perverse thing had happened, because that’s just where my mind goes. Turns out it’s not thaaaaaat bad (but still pretty bad).

I enjoyed this a touch more than In a Dark, Dark Wood and a lot more than The Woman in Cabin 10. I’m looking forward to Ruth Ware’s next one.

I give The Lying Game 4 stars.

#15 The Breakdown

The Breakdown by B.A Paris

31450633The description from Goodreads:
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

I was so excited to read this book because I loved Behind Closed Doors so much.

I thought The Breakdown started off with a bang, then it slowed down and finally picked up at the half way mark.

I think part of the reason I didn’t love this book as much as Behind Closed Doors was the fact that the main character annoyed me and the middle dragged. I thought her reactions were over the top and it seemed like a huge portion of the middle of the book was her forgetting something, getting eerie anonymous calls, and sleeping. That lost me a bit.

The twist was predictable but well done so I didn’t mind, I thought the ending could have wrapped things up a bit tighter.

I give The Breakdown 4 stars. I’m looking forward to the author’s next book.

 

 

#14 Every Last Lie

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

32735394The description from Goodreads:
New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche.
“The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us.” 

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon. 
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit. 
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

I was excited to see this book at Chapters after reading some really good reviews on it.

The characters in this book are relatable and well written, Mary Kubica does a really good job at setting a scene and describing emotions. That tied with a well done dual perspective made it a quick and easy read.

There’s a ton of suspense, maybe even too much, towards the end of the book I was starting to get a little weary with the whodunits.

I didn’t enjoy the ending, I felt there was way too many elements unresolved.

I liked it but didn’t love it, I give it 3.5 stars.

 

#13 The Circle

The Circle by Dave Eggers

18302455The description from Goodreads:
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. 

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. 

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

I really wanted to like this book but I’m just not sure what I think of it. I liked certain parts of it, but as a whole I wasn’t that impressed. I finished it thinking, was this book just okay or did it go completely over my head?

I really liked certain aspects, like how detailed Eggers describes the campus. However, I found that in-depth detail to be tedious when describing other things, like the different projects the main character Mae is working on. The premise of the book is great, but I think it got bogged down in a lot of supporting story for example, the water/sea symbolisms. While I understood why they were used,  I don’t think they added more to be the story.

There are some very eerie parts of the book but they fall flat on the 2 dimensional characters. I think that’s what made this book so hard for me to really get into because I kept doubting myself. Are the characters supposed to be distant seeming and submissive or is this book just lacking character development and interaction?

There were a lot of WTF elements for me, Kalden’s appeal to Mae, Francis, where did the parents go? That list got longer and longer the more I read.

The end was what I thought and didn’t disappoint or excite me.

Overall, the dislikes outweighed the likes. I’m excited to watch the movie, which also has very mixed reviews just like the book.

I give this book 3 stars.

 

 

 

#12 Fierce Kingdom

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

33155777The description from Goodreads:
An electrifying novel about the primal and unyielding bond between a mother and her son, and the lengths she’ll go to protect him.
The zoo is nearly empty as Joan and her four-year-old son soak up the last few moments of playtime. They are happy, and the day has been close to perfect. But what Joan sees as she hustles her son toward the exit gate minutes before closing time sends her sprinting back into the zoo, her child in her arms. And for the next three hours—the entire scope of the novel—she keeps on running.
Joan’s intimate knowledge of her son and of the zoo itself—the hidden pathways and under-renovation exhibits, the best spots on the carousel and overstocked snack machines—is all that keeps them a step ahead of danger.
A masterful thrill ride and an exploration of motherhood itself—from its tender moments of grace to its savage power—Fierce Kingdom asks where the boundary is between our animal instinct to survive and our human duty to protect one another. For whom should a mother risk her life?

My worst nightmares are kidnappings and mass shootings so of course I fed into my own neurosis and bought this book.

Fierce Kingdom is very well written, you can picture yourself right there, the atmosphere is described so well. I really enjoyed that the book only took place over the course of a couple hours.

I found the pace was odd at times, there were parts that seemed to drag on then other parts that I felt more could have been added. It was also a little wordy in spots, but usually that was attributed to the little bit of character development there was.

I spent the whole book agreeing and disagreeing with Joan’s choices, when to run, when to hide, and I couldn’t stop thinking if that were me, what would I do? Where would I go? Clearly I was really into it because after reading for a couple hours two nights ago, I dreamt of swimming with polar beers and being really scared but really excited.

Fiona Barton is quoted on the book jacket as saying “It tore at every maternal fiber in my body. I couldn’t put it down.” and it’s true, this book fills you up with maternal feelings of survival, you can relate to the main character Joan, who does all she can to keep her son safe.

KINDA SORTA SPOILER ALERT BELOW…

I felt there was a lot of ends that weren’t tied up. I would have liked the ending to include the husband (but maybe that would have been to cliche). Also, what happened to Robby? The baby? Mrs.Powell?

OK, SPOILERS ARE DONE

I think a book like this could have had more of a grand, heroic end and it just kind of ended all the sudden, which disappointed me a bit.

I give this book 4 stars.