Book Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

The Good Daughter, by Karin Slaughter (book cover image)

Synopsis:

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint.
One runs for her life. One is left behind . . .

The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author—a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again— and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized—Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever . . .

My Thoughts:

*WARNING* This book may be triggering.  The description of physical and sexual violence is extensive. Readers beware.

Could you imagine, as a child, witnessing first hand your mother’s violent death? This event impacts each and every day of Charlotte and Samantha’s life.  This book is told through 2 different perspectives, both Charlotte’s and Samantha’s.

Are things really as they seem?

Which one is the good daughter?

You will know in the end.

I wanted to give this book 5 hearts, however after reflection I can only give it 4 hearts.  For me, the graphic events that were described that led to the above warning, left me feeling physically ill. Had I known of the described sexual violence, especially against a child, there is no way I would have started reading this book. That is something I just can not stomach.

With that said, the rest of the book I found to be a great, but an emotional read.  It is a well-written book with many twists and turns. As for the characters, they  are well-developed. They seemed to jump off the page.  My favorite aspect of a book is always the idea that these books play out as a movie in my mind.

In the end, my last thought was that this book broke my heart.

I've got to figure out before I die whether I want to be happy or I want to be right. - Karin Slaughter, The Good Daughter

Rating:

4-stars

About the Author:

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 37 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her novels Cop TownThe Good Daughterand Pieces of Her are all in development for film and television.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Product Details:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (April 17, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062430254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062430250

Link to Purchase The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter 

Book Review: The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

The book cover for The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

Synopsis:

Four days later, Louise Rick still has no answers. An unidentified woman’s body has been discovered in a local forest.  The large scar on her face should have made the identification easy, but strangely nobody has reported her missing.

Louise, a new commander of the Missing Persons Department, takes a chance by releasing a photo of the victim to the media. Her gamble pays off when an older woman recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution.  But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin and both girls were issued death certificates more than thirty years ago.

The investigation takes Louise back to her childhood home… where she uncovers more crimes that were committed – and hidden – in the forest.

My Thoughts:

This is the first book, by Sara Braedel, that I have read and there was no messing around.  Right out of the gate, the book starts with a woman’s dead body, Louise Rick, who has a new position as the commander of the Missing Persons Department, and her new partner, Eik. Eik, who on his first day of work is passed out in a bar and needs to be picked up. From the word go, Louise has her hands full.

This book will tear at your heart-strings. It addresses just how the mentally ill were encouraged to be “discarded” and “forgotten” by families, the deplorable treatment of patients at a state mental institution, and the corruption that can be found in leadership positions within the facility.

Unknown to me when I started this book, it is not a stand-alone story.  This is the 1st in the Missing Persons Trilogy by Sara Braedel and 4th in the Louise Rick series.  With that said, I didn’t feel I was missing anything in the story to enjoy it.  However, I will certainly be checking into the other books in this trilogy/series.

“Something like that haunts you for the rest of your life.” Sara Blaedel, The Forgotten Girls

Rating:

4-stars

 

 

About the Author:

Sara Blaedel is the author of the #1 international bestselling series featuring Detective Louise Rick. Her books are published in thirty-seven countries. In 2014 Sara was voted Denmark’s most popular novelist for the fourth time. She is also a recipient of the Golden Laurel, Denmark’s most prestigious literary award. She lives in New York City.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Product Details:

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reissue edition (August 30, 2016)
  • ISBN-10: 1455541141
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455541140

You can buy The Forgotten Girls here. 

Book Review: Oola Find Balance in an Unbalanced World

Oola by Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl

 

Authors: Dave Braun and Troy Amdahl

Hardcover: 241 pages

Publisher: OM Publishing; 1st Edition (November 15, 2012)

ISBN-10: 0985869402

ISBN-13: 978-0985869403

Buy it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

Oola is not your typical self-help book. Oola is a “state of awesomeness,” it’s when your life is balanced and growing in the 7 key areas of life (Fitness, Finance, Family, Field, Faith, Friends, and Fun). Oola reads more like a collection of kick-butt anecdotes and sincere stories that just happen to have meaningful messages. Co-authors Dave Braun (The OolaSeeker) and Troy Amdahl (The OolaGuru) have been there and done that. Kurt Warner, NFL MVP, wrote the foreword. “What I have been seeking, and what I believe everyone is seeking … is an OolaLife.” Mark Victor Hansen (the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” co-author) says, “Oola is happy inspiration!” Oola has received glowing reviews from top authors, pro athletes, musicians, industry leaders, and Olympians. Need 7 more reasons to read this book: 1. Learn the three simple steps to balance and grow your life in an unbalanced world. 2. Uncover what blocks you from the life of your dreams and what can get you there faster. 3. Find out what you can learn from a drunken Thai monkey, a black Ninja, and zebra-striped underwear. 4. Why no matter what you have done or have failed to do, you deserve a better life. 5. Become inspired to take the steps, reach your milestones, and achieve your OolaLife. 6. Discover the 7 key areas of life you must balance and grow. 7. Unlock the secrets to taking your life to the next level.

My Thoughts:

I’ve just started reading my way through some personal development books that I have picked up along the way, and I have to say, this one started out a bit slow for me.  I wasn’t interested in reading all the personal stories about these two authors that was in every single chapter. I understand that they were just expanding on the 7 F’s of Oola and how it applied to their lives. But, I was like, I get it, your life is great now because you followed this plan. The reading started to pick up a bit more once I got to the Oola Accelerators and Blockers.  But, that came half way through the book and the personal stories continued.  However, I appreciated that they didn’t try to sell a separate workbook, they INCLUDED it in the book.  They gave you all the tools that they thought you would need to personally find the Oola balance in your life.

If you’re a person that loves to read about other people’s experiences, how the choices they made affected their lives, and then can relate that back to your own life and experiences, this is a perfect book for you. For me personally, a brief overview of the contents would have been enough. Then, spending the time to dive into the workbook pages and work through the Oola plan. That is where I think the value, for me personally, is in this book.

Quote from the book Oola Find Balance in an Unbalanced World

 

Rating:

3-stars

 

 

About the AuthorS:

The OolaGuys are co-authors of the International Best Selling book series that started with Oola: Find Balance in an Unbalanced World. Dr. Dave (OolaSeeker) and Dr. Troy (OolaGuru) are renowned experts in a proper work-life balance. They travel the world helping people find balance and growth in the 7 key areas of life (the 7 F’s of Oola) – Fitness, Finance, Family, Field (career), Faith, Friends, and Fun. By revealing how to remove the stress related to a life out of balance, they unlock the greatness that is inside all of us. A better “you”, makes a better family, a better community, and ultimately a better world. The OolaGuys are committed to changing the world with this word (#Oola) and with their simple yet life-changing message.

The OolaGuys can be found collecting dreams across America in the form of handwritten goals on the side of a 1970 VW Surf Bus. They remain committed to changing the world with a word, one dream at a time, one person at a time, one sticker at a time.

Oola:  Website | Facebook | Twitter

Dave Braun Facebook | Twitter

Troy Amdahl Facebook | Twitter

 

Book Review: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Author: Gillian Flynn

Paperback: 254 pages

Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (July 31, 2007)

ISBN-10: 0307341550

ISBN-13: 978-0307341556

Buy Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

 

Sometimes if you let people do things to you, you're really doing it to them. ~Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects

My Thoughts:

Gillian Flynn is one of my many favorite authors. Gone Girl, AMAZING! So, I couldn’t help but read another one of her books and I wasn’t disappointed. Sharp Objects was a book that sucked me in from the beginning. Flynn takes us on a journey with Camille Preaker, the main character in Sharp Objects. Camille has to go back to her home town, face her past, her family, and at the same time do her job as a reporter. Throughout the book, Camille struggles to keep per personal demons at bay while trying to get the latest scoop on the murders of 2 girls. Who could have done this? What was the motive? Just when you think you’ve figured it out, it throws you for a loop. Will Camille even survive this trip?

If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers or of Gillian’s other books, you will love this one too.

Rating:

4-stars

About the Author:

Gillian Flynn is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Gone Girl and Dark Places, which was A New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice.  She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

Book Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

The Other Woman By Sandie Jones

 

Author: Sandie Jones

Hardcover:304 pages

Publisher: Minotaur Books (August 21, 2018)

ISBN-10:125019198X

ISBN-13:978-1250191984

Buy Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review

Synopsis:

HE LOVES YOU.

Adam adores Emily. Emily thinks Adam is perfect. The man she thought she’d never meet.

BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT.

Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man Emily loves.

AND SHE’LL STOP AT NOTHING.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother, Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

Quote from The Other Woman, by Sandie Jones

My Thoughts:

I couldn’t wait to dive in to this psychological thriller. Upon starting the book, I was drawn to Emily. Within the first few pages, she finds the love of her life, Adam. In her eyes, he’s perfect. However, Emily quickly finds out that his mother, Pammie, isn’t so perfect. I quickly became concerned for Emily, as Pammie’s behavior towards her was less than desirable. It was frustrating to me as a reader that she allowed herself to be treated in such a manner by her future mother-in-law.  There were SO many red flags that she let slide. I guess when you’re planning to marry the perfect man, you also marry his not-so-perfect family. BEWARE OF PAMMIE! I look forward to reading more of Sandie Jones books in the future.

I want to thank St. Martin’s Press for sending me an ARC copy of Sandie Jones’s debut novel, “The Other Woman”.

Rating:

3-stars

About the Author:

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for more than twenty years and has written for The Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail, among other publications. She lives in London with her husband and three children.  The Other Woman is her debut novel.

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20 Books of Summer 2018

Cathy over at 746Books has a yearly challenge to read 20 books over the summer months. This year’s challenge is starting on June 1st, 2018 and running until September 3, 2018. This year I’m looking forward to joining her on this journey. This is a great opportunity to work on making a little dent in my TBR list.

The 20 books that I’ve chosen are:

(Each are linked to the specific books goodreads review)

That’s 20 Books, 95 Days, 6,597 Pages, which equals to 69 pages per day.

 Do you think I can do it?  

There are many blogs participating in this challenge. If you would like to follow along, we will all be using the hashtag #20BooksofSummer.  Personally, I will be documenting my journey through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and also writing reviews for each of the books along the way.

Are you participating in any challenges this summer?