Favorite Reads of 2017

Asking a bookworm to choose her favorite book is like asking a cat lady to pick her favorite feline, or asking a hoarder to pick his favorite box of antique bobble heads. It's just nearly impossible. But I can try and narrow it down for you so that you can at least pick from a variety. This year was probably my favorite year of reading. There were so many moving, well-written, thought-provoking and thrilling stories. I read 65 books, including print, e-books and audiobooks. My goal was 60 so I was so happy about surpassing my goal! Check out the complete list of reads on my Goodreads Account)

There is just no way to choose favorites so I am just going to highlight the books that stood out to me the most and link to them so you can read more about them on either my past reviews or Goodreads. I am not saying these books were the only good ones I read. There are literally tons of amazing books but I just wanted to give you a quick round up.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall 
Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed 
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks 
Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart 
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker 
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green 
One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus 
The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo 
(Not Pictured) 
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 
The Salt House by Lisa Duffy 

 Another thing I wanted to share about 2017 was the pure joy that my bookstagram family brings me. Here is a collection of the top posts that helped me reach thousands of other bookworms who I have so many things in common with. I absolutely love taking photos of books and sharing them with you. It gives me such a great creative outlet but it also connects with me with others who are reading and reviewing as well. The fact that publishers and authors trust me with their books and send me copies in the mail is a dream come true and an honor! Here are the Instagram photos that were my tops posts this year: 

For more great books of 2017, check out these articles: 

NPR's awesome round up on their Book Concierge post! 

One of my favorite book 'grammers, Crime By The Book's Best Thrillers of 2017

Happy Reading in 2018, bookworms! 

A Very Bookish Christmas

It was a very bookish Christmas around here this year....

Book Review: Little Broken Things

Book Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart 

There is nothing better than a thriller that really makes you think. You're not just reading it, you feel like you are right there with the characters, trying to figure it along with them. 

Nora and Quinn are estranged sisters with secrets that they are both trying everything they can to keep hidden. Across the lake Quinn and her husband are living, their mother is secretly watching them through the telescope of her deceased husband. She's trying to figure out why Quinn is acting so strange, coming and going in the middle of the night 

When Nora shows up after a year, asking Quinn to take care of something for her, Quinn is floored when she realized that "Something" is a 6 year old little girl. Without giving any answers, Nora disappears again without any explanation. So not only must Quinn figure out how to take care of this silent, helpless child, she must also come to terms with the fact that she looks unmistakably like her sister or at least someone else in their family. The same eyes... but whose child is she? 

This is twisted, with unreliable characters, hidden secrets, shame and still, the undeniable bond that holds families together even when they want nothing but to be apart. 

Best Day Ever Makes The BEST GIFT Ever!

Do you love giving books as gifts as much as I do? Right now, there are at least 10 books wrapped up under the tree for my friends and family and I can't wait for them to be opened! I am partnering with #BESTDAYEVER to give you a chance to give a great thriller as a present too! Check out the link below!

I absolutely love giving books as gifts and #BestDayEver by @kairarouda makes the best gift ever! Right now you can win a copy of this awesome thriller plus a $25 @amazon gift card! You can enter here: BEST DAY EVER Giveaway link

Contest is open to US and Canada entrants until 12/17

Book Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish

Book Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Don't you love a good ol' fashioned "Who's the real bad guy" thriller? Well, in this case, it's rather "who is the bad woman?" because even though Amber, our first narrator, would like you to think she's the alpha-female who deserves what everyone else has, there are more sinister plans going on in the minds of the other characters.

The first Mrs. Parrish, Daphne, is impeccably dressed, refined and living in the lap of luxury. Amber nestled herself next to her, under the pretense of friendship, all the while planning to rip the Parrish thrown right out from underneath her. 

But beyond the mansions, the cars, the luxurious vacations, Mr. & Mrs. Parrish have secrets of their own and Amber may find out too late that their facade is anything but grand.

There is a major plot twist and a shift of power in this thriller that will make you start reading with a quicker pace because you won't be able to put it down until you figure it all out.

Amber's plan to mimic Daphne and steal her husband may come with a much higher price that she bargained for. Who's the real loser in this game? Lovers of grit lit, you will hate to love this book.

For more books like this one, check out my "Grit Lit" reading list on Goodreads! 

Book Review: The Wife Between Us

Book Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen 

The premise of this book is captivating.

At first I think it's clear: A man left his wife for his assistant and the ex-wife is left devastated. The new bride is carried away in the new lavish lifestyle her husband-to-be is creating for her and she barely notices the subtle clues that someone is stalking her, watching her every move.

Nellie is cute, bubbly and everything that Vanessa used to be. The ex wife, Vanessa, is a recovering alcoholic living with her aunt, wondering how Richard could leave her. So she sets up on a mission to find out what Nellie has that she doesn't and to find a way to seek revenge.

If the book would have wrapped up after the first major twist in the middle of the book, I would have been impressed but the hits and twists just kept coming so it was impossible to put down.  

I think the twists and turns, plus the creepy narration from an unreliable character who is clearly losing her mind were all great. I was really hooked at first. But by the end, there was just too much going on.

It's fast-paced, creepy and so vivid that you may start to think you're even being stalked too...

It's very much like The Couple Next Door, My Husband's Wife and Lie to Me and and similar thrillers. Twisted, interesting and really great characters but just a little too drag towards the end. Still recommend it though!

Book Recommendation: The Thing With Feathers by McCall Hoyle

Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s home-schooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim.
Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy.
Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.”
From Golden Heart award-winning author McCall Hoyle comes The Thing with Feathers, a story of overcoming fears, forging new friendships, and finding a first love, perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Robyn Schneider, and Sharon M. Draper.

My thoughts: 

Following along with Emilie on her journey as she learns how to cope with epilepsy and its impact on her life is heartbreaking but also hopeful. Can you imagine trying to keep such a major part of your life a secret? 

At it's core, The Thing With Feathers is a thoughtful YA book with complex characters and feel good relationships. But it also tackles some tough topics about health, insecurities and overcoming obstacles young kids shouldn't have to face alone. 

The characters are well-developed, even Emilie's dog and friends shine as secondary characters. 

This book talks about some really tough subjects but Hoyle writes with a reassurance and grace that made me want to keep reading. It's comforting knowing that YA books like exist out there to help younger generations learn how to cope and handle themselves in difficult situations. This story will surely give anyone reassurance that even in the worst of times, there is always someone, or something, to hold on, to work for and to better yourself for. 

This journey from despair to hope will definitely stick with you. 

Pick up a copy on Amazon or save it to your Goodreads List!  

Thank You HarperCollins for my copy! 

Book Review: The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall

"A timely novel about an accusation against a beloved schoolteacher and the repercussions on his loved ones, exploring issues of loyalty, truth, and the meaning of happiness through the lens of an all-American family on the brink of collapse."

This story, told from the perspectives of the family members of a man accused of sexual abuse of numerous teenage girls, gives a new side of all too familiar story. Unfortunately, this topic is something we have to face every day but this book really dives into what happens to the family structure of those who are left behind in the midst of the accusations and subsequent trial against their father, husband and friend. 

I really got into the family's feelings. I got it. I empathized with all of them, which I feel is sometimes difficult with multiple narrators but the author does a great job writing distinct voices for each: the mother, the daughter and the son of George Woodbury. 

The Woodburys are a well known family in a prominent part of town. George is a well known teacher and a community hero who once saved students from a school shooter. So people are beyond shocked when several girls from the high school accuse him of misconduct during a school sponsored ski trip. 

The struggles that his daughter, wife and son go through during the months leading up to his trial are heart wrenching. Who should they believe? Is George really capable of such crimes? When the seeds of doubt start the creep in, I didn't even know who I should believe either. You can feel the thousands of emotions pretty heavily as they experience the betrayal, shock, misunderstanding and confusion that they all feel. You'll be sad and get mad at the characters as they go up and down in their reactions to what is unraveling around them.

Well written and definitely recommended. 

I received this review from Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Book Review: Kitchens of the Great Midwest

It seemed to me that this book has been chasing me around for the past 2 years. I kept seeing it on all the blogs, bookshelves and lists for great reads but for some reason, I never added it to my reading list .

Today I wanted to tell you how happy I am that I finally picked it up... My local library has a limited choice of audio books but I was between my audible credits so I grabbed it off the shelf and before I knew it, I was laughing out loud as I listened to it on my way to work. The first chapter is about a father trying to feed his daughter pureed pork shoulder. He literally has no idea what he's doing and it was funny, endearing and so engaging.

I just finished it today. I find a really great joy in immersing myself in the novels I read, and that is especially easy to do when they give recipes as part of the story. I absolutely love that  opportunity to really experience whatever it is that that character themselves get to experience. This morning is a Saturday so since I wasn't going to be driving to work and able to listen to it in my car, I dusted off an old c.d. player I found in the basement and continued listening. I brought it into the kitchen and baked the peanut bar recipe that appears in the book. Pat Prager, I hope I made you proud. The recipe was simple and easy to make. In the story, it had one several blue ribbons in county fairs, beating out several other church going wives who dream of taking home the blue ribbon for themselves.

The book starts with Lars Thorvald and is centered around the life of his daughter, Eva. When Eva was just a baby, her mother Cynthia leaves them  both behind to chase her dreams of becoming a sommelier in California. She never wanted to be a mother and once she left, she never looked back. What happens next sets the ball rolling on the rest of the story- how Eva grows up and how her father's love for food shaped her palate as well. Her unique and powerful taste gives her something to focus on and she finds solace and confidence in food and creating dishes and ingredients that open doors for her in restaurants for her to perfect her craft as a chef.

As she grows up and seeks success, she meets people along the way that have a lasting impact on her life. Those people all introduce Eva to a specific dish or ingredient that leave an impression and you get to know those people in the chapters, so there are several stories all intertwined that are all unique but very special. 

Towards the end of the book, I began to realize how all of these experiences and people were going to connect and how they all threaded together. All the ingredients of Eva's life were finally coming together. It was magical. 

The food, the details, the funny stories, the quirky characters, this story was served just as Eva would serve one of her famous dinners: course by course, with each chapter giving a unique experience that compliments the next course. 

It was truly a treat and one that I will definitely recommend to others! 

Book Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Happy Pub Day to Colleen Hoover! 
Without Merit is my favorite of her books so far. 

You will never meet a family more unique than the Voss family. You will never meet more quirky characters.
There's a ton of kids, an agoraphobic mother who lives in the basement, a step-mom that lives upstairs and a bunch of kids who really just don't know what the hell is going on. 

There is Merit and her twin sister, Honor and their brothers and father who round out the story. There's also a really pissed off neighbor and a couple terminally ill people in the mix as well. 

I think my favorite part of this book was the very beginning (even though whole book is one great scene after another) when Merit is browsing an antique shop for her next trophy to add to her collection (see what I mean about quirky?) when she unexpectedly ends up kissing a stranger out on the street.  That escalated quickly, I bet you're thinking. And you're right. That's how this book goes. Just one quick, funny, interesting, "Wait, what?!" moment after another. 

With the siblings all trying to hide secrets of their own (sexuality, a penance for loving sick people and a list of other serious topics) Merit is left to her own devices. She can't understand why she can't have a normal family but there are things in her past that not only must she keep hidden, but her secrets are effecting her relationships with her family and even the mysterious boy that kissed her out on the street that day. You'll quickly find out who that boy is but you'll be flipping through the pages, reading as fast as you can to finally figure out why each person in this book is acting the strange way that they are. 

This book is like an onion. Not only did it make me cry, but just when you think you've discovered all you need to know, the characters reveal another layer about themselves. 

It's rich with details, emotions, hard topics, but all of it comes out in a compassionate and deeply moving story. 

It's out today, so grab a copy and tell me what you think! 

You're Invited to Book Chat with Paperless Post

Have you heard of Paperless Post?

It's a super fun and easy way to surprise guests with a classic invitation just like the old days- along with the convenience of doing it right from your phone or email. 

When Paperless Post offered to partner with me, I knew the perfect event I could use my invitations for. Recently, I invited fellow bookworms over to my house for a "Book Chat" night. I've been wanting to have a book club for years but could never get people together, let alone think of a book we would all enjoy reading. On top of that, it was hard to imagine finding the time to read another book on top of all the others I read for reviews. So instead, I decided we could just get together to talk about whatever book we are currently reading. And the night turned out to be everything I was hoping for, and more. 

I of course wanted to use a bookish theme for the invite and Paperless Post came through with the perfect one. They have so many to choose from but I fell in love with this one right away: 

Paperless Post  offers beautiful templates and there are fun choices for colors and patterns for the envelopes too- plus they are animated which just adds a really fun touch for the recipients. They are so easy to customize for your event so every invite is truly unique.

The app allowed me to upload a guest list and send out the invitation to multiple people and then kept track of RSVPs, so I knew who was coming. It was so convenient and easy to build, send and manage the invitation! 

This was the mess that was my shelves as I prepared for Book Chat- picking out what books I thought others would like to borrow was so fun! 

My tips for a no-pressure, relaxed book "club" would just be to offer a comfy setting for your fellow book-loving friends to gather and share what they are reading. I told guests that there was no pressure to talk to the group, they were welcome to just sit back and listen. You didn't have to bring a book to trade but if you wanted to borrow, there were others who brought plenty to it worked out great. I had light snacks and drinks laid out-it was later in the evening so I knew most everyone would have already eaten. Snack foods like pretzels and popcorn are always a good idea! 

I set the books out that I thought people might want to borrow and arranged them in genres- thrillers, non-fiction, historical fiction, family dramas and even made a pile of my husband's personal favorites because he has fantastic taste in books too! 

I bought blank library slips on Amazon for people to use as book marks or, if they were lending out their books to others, they could write their name on the library slip so that others would remember who to return it to. 

I wanted to make sure everyone was comfortable and had a great time. We talked about books we loved, hated, remembered reading from our childhoods and swapped tons of books with each other. It was a bookworm's dream come true! 

Everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves and we all left with a list of books to read based on others' reviews. It was so fun to listen to others talk about their favorites. It helped me realized that I would enjoy reading something out of my usual genre and I love that! 

The best part was the difference of all the books and preferences. Some of us love e-books, others swear by physical copies. One of the ladies admitted to reading the ends of the books when she can't wait to find out what happens and that made others gasp in shock. It was so funny! We all can't wait to get together again!

If you are planning an event or get together, definitely check out Paperless Post's invitations. They have everything from baby showers, baby announcements and more. So fun! 

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng

This story about family took so much patience and understanding to read, so don't go into this lightly. And I mean that in the most positive of ways. I loved this novel. I read it slowly, like a decadent dessert because I wanted to savor every detail. 

Mrs. Richardson, Mia, Mrs. McCullough, BeBe, these are all women who try and illustrate what it means to be a mother and the sacrifices that we make to take care of our children. 

The book opens with a literal fire and so immediately the title makes sense but the more I read, the more I realized that it was merely a metaphor for the internal fires that burned inside so many of the characters. Every one of them were wrestling with secrets, decisions, fights and emotions that made me truly think about what it would be like to be in their shoes. 

There are too many narratives for me to put it all into a nutshell of a review so I will try and explain here why you should read it instead of give a synopsis. 

Read this book because of the intricate details of lives that are so entangled, it's addicting to find out how they will ever make sense.

Read this because you must find out the answers to so many questions:

Where did Mia come from and what is she always running away from? 

What is wrong with Izzy? 

What happened before the fire? 

Who took that photo of Mia and baby Pearl? 

I think that the story of motherhood-each woman's journey into it, around it, through it- is so intimate that it must have been an arduous task for Celeste Ng to write so authentically about so many different mothers' experiences. 

Read it because it's rich, beautifully written, honest and thought-provoking. 

This was my Book of the Month pick. You can get your own monthly books sent to you for just $10 a month.  These books are so well chosen that  you will always have a great selection. Check out the link here:

Show Us Your Books: August

Show Us Your Books:

I promised myself I would not forget to link up with Steph and Jana today so I listed all my books weeks ago and guess what? I still forgot to come back and write more about the books! So for now, I am just going to list them for the sake of time. 

Short summary: Gather The Daughters and Fierce Kingdom were my favorite. See What I Have Done was meh. 

Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed

One of Us is Lying by Karen MacManus 
Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta 
Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman 
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber 
The Necklace by Claire McMillan 
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman  
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt 
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Book Review: Lie to Me

Lovers of grit lit, take notice. You must put Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison on your list: 

There have been so many gritty, heart stopping thrillers out lately and I can't get enough of them. This one didn't disappoint. If you loved Gone Girl, The Girl on The Train, The Breakdown, The Couple Next Door and All is Not Forgotten then you will love this one too. 

This is domestic noir at its best. It's about the disintegration of a marriage with everything that goes with that: grief, jealousy, betrayal... they all lead to a tragedy that destroys the facade of the perfect literary couple. 

Here's the synopsis from the publisher: 

Sutton and Ethan Montclair's idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her. 
Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

Are you hooked yet? If that description doesn't seal the deal, I'll tell you a little more. I loved the writing style because it's short and to the point. The pace may seem a little frantic but that's what gives the story a frenzied feel that makes you desperate to keep reading. There are so many questions that you need answers to. And just when you think you've found the answers, there's a twist that you won't see coming. I love the characters because Ellison makes it hard to love them, let alone trust them. But you still can't help but hang on their every word. 

4 Stars- Pick up a copy today! 
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for my copy of Lie To Me. 

16 Books for Your Fall Reading List

Here's What I WISH I could read in the next 2 months. I read 13 books in August so I am hoping to keep up the pace! 

Instead of a synopsis, I am simply listing what made me want to read each book. Click on the title to read more about the books on Goodreads! I've also received most of these books through the publishers or Netgalley, so I'm also giving shout outs because I am so thankful for all of the review copies! 

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo - I've heard about this book on the All The Books podcast from Book Riot and so many of my fellow bookstagrammers are raving about it. (Amazon)

Without Merit by Colleen Hoover - I hear about Colleen Hoover all the time and everyone LOVED It Ends With Us, but I didn't at all. So when I was contacted by the publisher asking if I would like a copy of her newest book, I decided to give her another try. We shall see! (ARC, Atria Books) 

Something Like Happy by Eva Woods - This book was on a list of recommendations from Netgalley, who gave me the e-book. Sounds like something I will enjoy. 

George & Lizzie by Nancy Pearl-also another recommendation based on my reviews from Netgalley. 

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah- I am a huge fan of Hannah (The Nightengale) You just can't go wrong. Thanks to St. Martin's Press! 

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin- Anyone else weirdly fascinated by Monica Lewinsky? Bueller? Sorry, but I am and I can't help it, so when I heard that this campy little book mimics the biggest sex scandal of the 90s, I couldn't help it. Just received a beautiful hardback from Algonquin Books! 

Shadow of the Lions by Christopher Swann- Thanks to bookstagram, here's another one I heard about through the bookworm grapevine and received a hardback review copy from Algonquin Books. 

Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent- Honestly, this book caught my attention because of the cover. Thinking this may be a good one to use my September Audible credit on. 

The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper- The March Sisters were some of the first characters I fell in love with so when I heard about this book, a nonfiction account of the author's own sister, I knew I had to read it. Thanks for the copy, William Morrow! 

How to Behave in a Crowd by Camille Bordas-Another must read because of bookstagram. So many of the gals I follow on Instagram have been posting about this book. The title alone is something I have been trying to figure out on my own my whole life so I know I have to read it. (Thanks for the copy, Blogging for Books)

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas- This book is just everywhere and getting great reviews. 

The It Girls by Karen Harper- I was browsing through the Fall catalog of upcoming releases from HarperCollins and this one caught my attention immediately. I am so excited they offered to send me an advanced reader's copy. 

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas - I think this is an important book to read in today's culture of fast judgements and racial issues. I just think it's going to be a really good dose of perspective. 

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley- This book piqued my interest a couple months ago and it kept getting pushed down on my list. BUT, thanks to my friend Steph at Life According to Steph, who raved about it on her Show Us Your Books, August post, I was reminded and back in the pile it goes! 

The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne - I have never heard the gals on All The Books podcast rave about a book as much as this one, so on to the pile it automatically goes. (Amazon, hardback) 

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (My BOTM pick for September) Lots of buzz, plus being a pick from Book of the Month Club automatically gets you a spot on my TBR list. 

So there you have it- the list of books that will be keeping me busy this Fall. Bring on the hot coffee, the blankets  and the open windows, because it's my favorite time of year to curl up on the couch with great books! 

Book Review: Gather the Daughters

I am so excited to talk about Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed. 

This book can not be compared to any book I've read before. It's gritty and takes a lot of bravery to read, and I can't even imagine the bravery it took to write it. It tackles major topics like abuse, politics, leadership and gender roles. 

When a group of "leaders" start a colony and convince their families that there is no one else left in the world, they think they can control everything. But a generation of brave young girls start to wonder: "What is the wasteland and why can't they go?" and they start a revolution to find the why that is behind years of strict rules, abuse and lies.

The wasteland is apparently where the elders go to gather goods. I took it as the place that used to be civilization. The people in the colony are told that the outside world was destroyed by a massive fire but the wasteland still has items left over that they are able to collect. 

In the colony, young girls are forced into marriage at a very young age, usually with men much older. But a few of the girls start  to question all of these rituals. They start to resist the futures that are pressed onto them and a revolt arises, one that is both awe inspiring but at the same time, terrifying. The men that should be protecting their daughters are the very men these girls want to run from. 

Many of the girls try and run from their fathers and the leaders of the colony an in those moments I was so proud of them but then, realizing they were so young, ranging from 8 to 17, I was also very scared. They are on an isolated island with only each other for protection. Their mothers are part of the generation before them that do exactly what the men tell them and are pretty much too brainwashed to help their own daughters. 

You'll want to put down the book out of frustration but your love for the characters will keep you going to the very last page. (There are some very dark details here so this book isn't for the faint of heart). 

I have been recommending this a lot- it's a great read that evokes strong emotions. Major kudos to the author for tackling such heavy topics but doing it in such a beautifully-written way. 

I have read that this book was originally compared to "The Giver" with the same type of dystopian culture, but that was a YA book and this is definitely not for young readers. 

Book Review: Emma In the Night

Isn't there a great sense of relief when an author you love comes out with a new book and you know without even reading the synposis that you're going to love it? That's how I feel about Wendy Walker. I loved All Is Not Forgotten so much. Christopher and I both read it and it was so great to talk about it together.

I was thrilled when I heard that Wendy published a new book, Emma in the Night. If you follow me on Instagram, you know by now that I read it non-stop and found it just as thrilling as AINF. The greatest element of these two thrillers is that Wendy's narrators are unreliable, yet you find yourself hanging on their every word. It's unnerving but addicting. 

The tension had me literally hanging on every word, even when those word didn't quite match up. 

Before I tell you more about Emma in the Night, check out this awesome book trailer from St. Martins Press:

Cass Tanner arrives home, three years after she and her sister Emma disappear. Everyone- her parents, her stepfather, siblings and the investigators on her case are all riveted by the story that she tells. They listen as she tells a tale that her sister is alive, there is a baby being held captive on an isolated island and many other torrid details.

But the scariest things that Cass knows are what she isn't telling them. There are family secrets that you will have a hard time believing, only because by the time Cass gets around to telling them, every one in the story seems to be lying to cover up their own dark sides.

It's thrilling, riveting and super twisted. Pick up a copy now! 

Book Review: The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

If you are looking for a great summer read that is light and airy but still intriguing enough to be a page-turner, this is it. Take a vacation to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard in this family saga. 

Tabitha and Harper Frost are estranged identical twins who have lived separate lives in an unconventional way: upon their parents' divorce, Harper went to one island with her father and Tabitha went to the other with their mother.  When their father passes away and Tabitha's teenage daughter heads down a dangerous path, the two sisters must come together to help each other, even though this means facing painful pasts and potentially uncovering secrets, they both know what they have to do.

That part of the story- the estrangement, the past, their parents lives...that is all just one layer. On top of that you also get glorious details about life on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. The descriptions of the weather, the elaborate homes, the majestic islanders, the clothes, the food... it was like reading from a rich cookbook with recipes on how to live the good life.

Did I mention there is also steamy secret affairs, drool worthy fashion, home remodeling and lots of cocktails mixed in? See what I mean?! 

It's a must for your summer reading list! If you've read it, tell me what you think! If you want more beachy reads, check out The Forever Summer, The Sunshine Sisters, Hello, Sunshine and The Arrangement