Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Synopsis

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

My Thoughts

 I am in love with Liane Moriarty’s books. So far she hasn’t disappointed me and I can’t wait to read more from her. This book kept me in suspense. You know how when you’re hooked on a television series and the episode ends at the point where you’re going crazy knowing that it’ll be another week before you actually find out what happens next? Well that’s how Moriarty ended each chapter, but with this book it was perfect because you knew that as long as you kept reading you were going to get to that satisfied feeling in just a few pages. I loved it! The reader gets to experience the point of view from each character, which allows you see the story unfold around you, I felt very present throughout the book. It’s incredible how the simplicity and easy flow of Moriarty’s words can create these novels. Simple, uncomplicated reads that grip you and keep you entertained from beginning til the end. A MUST READ!

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China Dolls by Lisa See

Synopsis

In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco’s exclusive “Oriental” nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco’s Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her?

My Thoughts

What a great book! I’ve read Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which I loved, so I knew that I’d move on to some of her other novels eventually. I’m so glad I read this book. It kind of reminded me of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, their writings are similar and both stories take you through years of friendship between women who are dealing the issues that most women of their time were forced to overcome being Asian. I highly recommend this book, I was hooked from the beginning til end.

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

Synopsis:

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love.

My Thoughts:

What a cute book! Teenage friends going on a road trip across America! This was a nice change from what I’ve been reading lately. A quick read for sure but enjoyable til the end. This book touches on love, loss, crushes, change and acceptance. I love that it focuses on women and how they choose to deal with situations, and how important it is that young women have strong women as roll models. If you want a quick feel-good read, this is a fun one!

Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews

Synopsis

Grace Stanton’s life as a rising media star and beloved lifestyle blogger takes a surprising turn when she catches her husband cheating and torpedoes his pricey sports car straight into the family swimming pool. Grace suddenly finds herself locked out of her palatial home, checking account, and even the blog she has worked so hard to develop in her signature style. Moving in with her widowed mother, who owns and lives above a rundown beach bar called The Sandbox, is less than ideal. So is attending court-mandated weekly “divorce recovery” therapy sessions with three other women and one man for whom betrayal seems to be the only commonality. When their “divorce coach” starts to act suspiciously, they decide to start having their own Wednesday “Ladies’ Night” sessions at The Sandbox, and the unanticipated bonds that develop lead the members of the group to try and find closure in ways they never imagined. Can Grace figure out a new way home and discover how strong she needs to be to get there?

My Thoughts

Cheating spouses, a dirty judge, divorcees being forced into group therapy with a flaky divorce coach, a stolen blog, the process of rebuilding and a few psychopaths and we’ve got ourselves Ladies’ Night. This was a pretty long read and there was a lot that I felt dragged but for the most part it was an enjoyable book. I love books about groups of women getting together and spilling tea and we got a lot of that here. And of course I love when the victim comes out on top and karma bites the assholes right in the ass. We got a lot of that too. And then… we get our happy ending. This is a great beach read.

We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

Synopsis:

Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. She sees her personal trainer, she gets weekly massages, and occasionally she visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she’ll never have a family of her own. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine’s parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer’s), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth’s old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: “We cannot trust anyone…” Is William lying about his past? And if so, is Catherine willing to sacrifice their beautiful life in order to find the truth?

My Thoughts:

I give this book 3 stars because it was a good story and well written. However, the characters, especially Catherine, were so annoying! It reminded me a little of the 50 shades characters- I read that book and the entire time telling myself “I wanna smack the characters upside the head” because they’re either idiots or they think that they’re so superior to everyone around them.

It wasn’t really a fast read either. What I thought would take me around 6-7 hours to finish took me 2 days because I’d get bored and didn’t mind putting the book down and getting back to it in no hurry. The twist in the book was a pretty juicy one, I must say- worth finishing for sure. I may just be really bored with this type of genre also, I think the next book I choose will have to be a chick-lit or even romance.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Synopsis

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kinnakee, Kansas. She survived—and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, the Kill Club—a secret secret society obsessed with notorious crimes—locates Libby and pumps her for details. They hope to discover proof that may free Ben. Libby hopes to turn a profit off her tragic history: She’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club—for a fee. As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started—on the run from a killer.

My Thoughts

Wow! First off, Gillian Flynn is an amazing author. I love her style, the way she keeps you on your toes guessing and constantly changing your mind about what the outcome will be. I also like how she adds just the right amount of action, drama and sex in a book so that you are not turned off in anyway by either having too little or too much of each. It was interesting that she let us get a taste of what actually happened from each characters point of view. I kept experiencing like and dislike for the characters throughout the story.  The end didn’t let me down, I was completely satisfied with the truth of what really happened to the Day family. It was definitely a nail biter for me. Read this book!!!!

The Pocket Wife by Susan H. Crawford

Synopsis:

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind—or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her… or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.

My Thoughts

I was a little apprehensive about starting this book, I’ve been reading so many psychological thrillers that I thought I’d be bored by it.  This wasn’t the case, I really enjoyed this book.  There were so many times that I changed my mind about who the killer was.  Crawford really did a good job of messing with my mind a bit.  I think that’s the main reason why I stayed invested til the end.  I just needed to know who did it!  For those who like psychological thrillers, I think you’ll enjoy this.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

Synopsis

Your neighbor told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.

You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

My thoughts

I have to say that this book was pretty predictable, however it did keep my attention and had me reading the entire thing in just a day.  First off, I can’t even be doing the dishes while my 6 month old is upstairs sleeping without wanting to pause and run up and check on her, even with a monitor in hand.  So the fact that she was next door checking every half and hour… I don’t know about that.  Anyway… I’ve read so many psychological thrillers and this one was… okay.  I felt like I just wanted to get through it to see what really happened.  I pretty much guessed from the beginning how it would all unfold and what really happened so not too much excitement there.  But I’d recommend it to someone who hasn’t read Gone Girl or the Girl on the Train, because if you’ve all ready read these I don’t think you’d be too impressed with this one. Still a good book though.