My Favorite Books of 2019

There were a lot of great books that I read last year.  However, here is a list of a few of my favorites.  If you’re interested in reading the blurbs, I have linked them below.

2019 Favorite Books

  • Winters in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand (Amazon)
  • Little Darlings by Melanie Golding (Amazon)
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama (Amazon)
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christia Lauren (Amazon)
  • No Exit by Taylor Adams (Amazon)
  • The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (Amazon)
  • Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter (Amazon)
  • Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (Amazon)
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (Amazon)

 

 

What were your favorite reads of 2019?

 

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Winters in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand

Spend the coldest days of winter on a Caribbean beach with New York Times Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand.

Join New York Times Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand on the stunning beaches of St. John for the beginning of her thrilling new winter series-The Paradise. Welcome to Paradise, the first book in the Paradise series, has everything that readers have come to know and love about an Elin Hilderbrand novel, plus a healthy dose of intrigue. Irene Steele’s idyllic life-house, husband, family-is shattered when she is woken up by a late-night phone call. Her beloved husband has been found dead, but before Irene can process this tragic news, she must confront the perplexing details of her husband’s death. He was found on St. John island, a tropical paradise far removed from their suburban life. Leaving the cold winter behind, Irene flies down to the beautiful Caribbean beaches of St. John only to make another shocking discovery: her husband had a secret second family. As Irene investigates the mysterious circumstances of her husband’s death, she is plunged into a web of intrigue and deceit belied by the pristine white sand beaches of St. John’s. This exciting first book in the Paradise series will transport readers to a new beach locale-another world that Elin knows as well as her beloved Nantucket-and have them longing for winter (Blurb from GoodReads)

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Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe. (Blurb from GoodReads)

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Becoming by Michelle Obama

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same. (Blurb from GoodReads)

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The Unhoneymooners by Christia Lauren

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.(Blurb from GoodReads)

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No Exit by Taylor Adams

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside, are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust? (Blurb from GoodReads)

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The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Set on the Korean island of Jeju, The Island of Sea Women follows Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls from very different backgrounds, as they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective. Over many decades—through the Japanese colonialism of the 1930s and 1940s, World War II, the Korean War, and the era of cellphones and wet suits for the women divers—Mi-ja and Young-sook develop the closest of bonds. Nevertheless, their differences are impossible to ignore: Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, forever marking her, and Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers. After hundreds of dives and years of friendship, forces outside their control will push their relationship to the breaking point.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a unique and unforgettable culture, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives. (Blurb from GoodReads)

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Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

Andrea Oliver’s mother, Laura, is the perfect small-town mum. Laura lives a quiet but happy life in sleepy beachside Belle Isle. She’s a pillar of the community: a speech therapist, business owner and everybody’s friend. And she’s never kept a secret from anyone. Or so Andrea thinks.

When Andrea is caught in a random violent attack at a shopping mall, Laura intervenes and acts in a way that is unrecognisable to her daughter. It’s like Laura is a completely different person – and that’s because she was. Thirty years ago. Before Andrea. Before Belle Isle.

Laura is hailed as a hero for her actions at the mall but 24 hours later she is in hospital, shot by an intruder, who’s spent decades trying to track her down.

What is Andrea’s mother trying to hide? As elements of the past return and put them both in danger, Andrea is left to piece together Laura’s former identity and discover the truth – for better or worse – about her mother. Is the gentle, loving woman who raised her also a violent killer?(Blurb from GoodReads)

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Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar with her boardinghouse roommate stretching three dollars as far as it will go when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker with royal blue eyes and a tempered smile, happens to sit at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a yearlong journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool toward the upper echelons of New York society and the executive suites of Condé Nast–rarefied environs where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

Wooed in turn by a shy, principled multi-millionaire, and an irrepressible Upper East Side ne’er-do-well, befriended by a single-minded widow who is ahead of her time, and challenged by an imperious mentor, Katey experiences firsthand the poise secured by wealth and station and the failed aspirations that reside just below the surface. Even as she waits for circumstances to bring Tinker back into her life, she begins to realize how our most promising choices inevitably lay the groundwork for our regrets. (Blurb from GoodReads)

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The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him… (Blurb from GoodReads)

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March Recap

Blog Update

The meaning of bibliovert

This year seems to be flying by! I don’t know how it can possibly be April already! Thank you to those of you that follow, read, comment and like posts on The Bibliovert.  I appreciate it!  This blog started as a way to keep track of the books I’ve read and to share my thoughts. It has become so much more than that because of you. I want to thank you for that support! ❤

Monthly Recap

Reading

In the month of March, I completed six books and didn’t finish one.

Readathon

This last weekend ( 3/30-3/31 ) I participated in a mini-readathon called #8inTwo.  This was coordinated through @25in5 on Instagram.  It was great fun! Saturday I was able to complete 4 hours and 20 minutes.  However, Sunday, when I went to pause my timer, I realized I had cleared it out. So, in all honesty, I’m not sure how much reading was completed on Sunday.  I do know that I didn’t make the full 8 hours. But, it was fun anyway. It was a great chance to interact with others that were completing this readathon and a good excuse to curl up with a book and read.

Reading Challenge Status (*through 3/2019)

Goodreads Reading Challenge *Click here for details on the challenge

  • My goal for this challenge is: 40Goodreads
  • Number of books completed this year: 14
  • Number of books completed this month: 6
    • Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward
    • The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
    • How Not To Write Bad by Ben Yagoda
    • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
    • The Night Before by Wendy Walker
    • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  • Number of books left to complete the challenge: 26

Beat The Backlist hosted by The Novel Knight (Any book published in 2018 or before  *Click here for more details on this challenge.)Button for the 2019 Beat The Backlist hosted by Novel Knight

  • My goal for this challenge is: 30
  • Number of books completed this year: 9
  • Number of books completed this month: 3
    • How Not To Write Bad by Ben Yagoda
    • The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
    • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  • Number of books left to complete the challenge: 21

Library Love Challenge by Angels Guilty Pleasures (Any book borrowed from the library in  any format *Click here for details on the challenge)

  • Library Love 2019My goal for this challenge is: 12
  • Number of books completed this year: 6
  • Number of books completed this month: 1
    • How Not To Write Bad by Ben Yagoda
  • Number of Books Left to Complete: 6

Goals for April

  • Read 4 books
  • Continue with WWW Wednesday posts *hosted by Taking on a World of Words
  • Continue with First Line Friday Posts *hosted by It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books
  • Work to be more interactive on Twitter and Instagram
  • I am going to attend my first book club! This is exciting, yet nerve-wracking.
  • I am jumping back into blog tours! I’m currently scheduled for one at this time, but there may be more depending on openings and availability that fit the niche of The Bibliovert.
  • Bookending Spring 2019 Event: I will be participating in this event that is put on by Sam and Clo, with the collaboration of some other amazing bloggers.  If you’re interested in learning more about this event, visit Fictionally Sam.

 

How are you doing on your reading goals for 2019?

What are your goals for April?

 

LET’S CONNECT!

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Book Review: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Cover Image of the book, The Perfect Girlfriend, by Karen Hamilton

Author: Karen Hamilton

Print Length: 352 pages

Publisher: Graydon House; Original edition

Publication Date: March 26th, 2019

ISBN-10: 152583150X

ISBN-13: 978-1525831508

Pre-Order it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

 Source: I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb

A “twisted page-turner that should appeal to fans of You”.—Entertainment Weekly.com

YOU’VE NEVER READ A LOVE STORY AS TWISTED AS THIS.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

Quote

“If you love someone, set them free.
If they come back, they’re yours.
If they don’t, make them.”

My Thoughts

Highly Recommended!  This has been my favorite read this year!

Juliette appears to be a sweet, intelligent and a “normal” young lady, but she is delusional and obsessive! Even though Nate has broken off the relationship with her, she just knows that their love for each other was meant to be and she has a plan to get him back. He is everything she could ever want and she is the only one that could ever make him happy. Her infatuation with Nate is over the top, crazy and the level of deception is beyond imaginable. This book will leave you with a feeling of uneasiness.

Juliette is driven with a plan that she will see through to the very end.

Rating

Pace: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Plot / Conflict: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Characters: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ (*I would have liked to see some more fight in Nate.)

Setting: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Enjoyability: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Ease of Reading: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Overall Rating:

5-stars

I could not put it down! I LOVED it. This book was amazing and can be counted among my favorites. Highly Recommended!

About the Author

Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect GirlfriendKaren Hamilton caught the travel bug after an early childhood spent abroad (Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Belgium, and Italy) and having worked as cabin crew for a major airline.
In 2006, she and her husband put down roots in Hampshire UK and four years ago, she later gave up flying to raise their three sons and concentrate on her writing.
In 2009, she decided to ‘become a writer.’

Website | GoodReadsTwitter

 

January and February Recap

Blog Update

The meaning of bibliovert

This year seems to be flying by! I don’t know how it can possibly be March already! Thank you to those of you that follow, read, comment and like posts on The Bibliovert.  I appreciate it!  This blog started as a way to keep track of the books I’ve read and to share my thoughts on books. It has become so much more than that because of you. I want to thank you for that support! ❤

Going forward I will be posting recaps at the end of each month.  This will be the first one of the year. So, this post will encompass the monthly reading recaps from January and February, an update on reading challenges to date, and goals for March.

Monthly Reading Recap

In the month of January, I completed 2 books.

In the month of February, I completed six books.

Reading Challenge Status *Through 2/2019

Goodreads Reading Challenge *Click here for details on the challenge

Beat The Backlist hosted by The Novel Knight (Any book published in 2018 or before  *Click here for more details on this challenge.)Button for the 2019 Beat The Backlist hosted by Novel Knight

Library Love Challenge by Angels Guilty Pleasures (Any book borrowed from the library in  any format *Click here for details on the challenge)

Goals for March

  • Read 4 books *2 that are ARCs due to be reviewed in March
  • Get ahead of my ARCs so that I have them read, reviewed and scheduled to post a month in advance.
  • Continue on with WWW Wednesday posts *hosted by Taking on a World of Words
  • Continue with First Line Friday Posts *hosted by It’s Not Hoarding If It’s Books
  • Work to be more interactive on Twitter and Instagram

 

How are you doing on your reading goals?

What are your goals for March?

 

LET’S CONNECT!

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First Line Friday | Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

First Line Fridays
If you are interested in participating, stop over at Hoarding Books and check it out.  The premise of it is simple.  You simply share the first line of a book so that it may inspire other readers.

 

This weeks choice for First Line Friday is:

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

 

pieces of her

 

“For years, even while she’d loved him, part of her had hated him in that childish way that you hate something you can’t control.”

*On a side note, this book was fabulous!  My review will be posted on Tuesday, February 19th.  Stop back by and check it out! 🙂 

Now it’s your turn!  Grab the book you are currently reading, open to chapter one, and post the first sentence (or the second sentence) in the comments below.  Then head over to Hoarding Books to see all of the First Line Friday pages this week (Just click on the FLF button below.

 

First Line Friday Hosted by Hoarding Books

 

Let’s Connect!

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Book Review: The Outsider by Stephen King

Cover Image of The Outsider by Stephen KingAuthor: Stephen King

Print Length: 560 pages

 ISBN-10: 1501180983

 ISBN-13: 9781501180989

Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

Buy it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Source:  This is a book that I purchased.

Blurb

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

My Thoughts

Spooky and Chilling

This book starts with a boy murdered in an unfathomable, disturbing way. The book goes through the attempts to catch the perpetrator.  Will they catch him?  After hearing what he had done, I crossed my fingers throughout the book hoping the “Outsider” would be caught.

As I read this book, I felt anger, frustration, and heartache.  Heart-ache because of the way the boy was murdered (The descriptive language that is used made me a bit sick to my stomach.) as well as the impact that this murder has on a particular family in the book.   Anger because of the behavior that this “Outsider” was exhibiting was just unacceptable. Which is an understatement, to say the least. Lastly, I felt frustrated finishing this book because of the lackluster ending.  I was honestly kinda bummed there wasn’t more too it than there was. How I felt about the ending of the book is the reason for the 4-star review, instead of giving it a full 5-stars.

Have you read The Outsider?

If so, what were your thoughts on this book?

Quote

“And I believe in A. Conan Doyle, who had Sherlock Holmes say, ‘Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.’

Rating

4-stars

About the Author

Author Stephen KingWebsite | GoodReads Twitter

Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father’s family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen’s grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men’s magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale (“The Glass Floor”) to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men’s magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

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Book Review: She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

Cover Image of She Lies in Wait by Gytha LodgeAuthor: Gytha Lodge

File Size: 2678 KB

Print Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Random House (January 8, 2019)

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Sold by: Random House LLC

ISBN: 9781984817358

Buy it here: Amazon

Source: I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust? A teen girl is missing after a night of partying; thirty years later, the discovery of her body reopens a cold case in an absorbing novel featuring a small-town cop determined to finally get to the truth—for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson.

On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.

My Thoughts

She Lies in Wait is a book of who did it.  A group of friends goes camping and one disappears, not to be found until many years later.  Who is responsible? Will she be found and if so, will she be alive?  Each person is telling a different story yet with each story, a snippet of truth is revealed.

The premise of the book is great and I enjoyed it.  The only hesitation is that it felt slow moving.  A lot of the book was an explanation of the investigation.   It didn’t include much action.

Quote

“There’s nothing out there that isn’t for you. You just need to give the world a chance.”

Rating

3-stars

About the Author

Gytha Lodge, author of She Lies in WaitGytha Lodge is a multi-award-winning playwright, novelist and writer for video games and screen. She is also a single parent who blogs about the ridiculousness of bringing up a mega-nerd small boy.

She has a profound addiction to tea, crosswords and awful puns. When not writing, she heads up a copywriting team at a global translation firm, where she generally tries to keep all the video-game writing to herself.

She studied English at Cambridge, where she became known quite quickly for her brand of twisty, dark yet entertaining drama. She later took the Creative Writing MA at UEA.

She has signed with Penguin Random House worldwide for the first three books in her crime series featuring DCI Jonah Sheens. She Lies in Wait will be released in January 2019 and can be preordered in the US and the UK here:

Website GoodReadsTwitter

 

Beat the Backlist Reading Challenge

Beat the Black List Reading CHallenge - 2019

Is your TBR out of control? Need help catching up on all the books you’ve missed the last few years? Then the Beat the Backlist reading challenge might be for you! It is a reading challenged to help those with ever-growing TBR lists. The challenge runs from January 1st, 2019 through December 31, 2019. It is hosted by Austine over at NovelKnight.com. 

This year I am joining her, and many others, in this challenge hoping it will help me knock a few of my books on my ever TBR list.  If you’re interested in finding out more about Austine, who is running Beat the Backlist challenge, you check out her social media sites below.

Blog | Twitter | Instagram

In trying to break down my reading challenges for 2019, I have set a Goodreads goal of 40 books this year, and a minimum of 12 books need to be from the library (I’m also participating in the Library Love Challenge. hosted by Angela at Angel’s Guilty Pleasures). So,  for this challenge, I’m setting a goal of reading 20 books from my TBR pile.  That leaves an opening for 8 books that I may want to purchase/read throughout the year.

My goal for this challenge is to read 20 books that are currently on my TBR list. Just a few of those books are reflected below.

 

 

 

Have you read any of these books?

 

Are you participating in a reading challenge this year?

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Button for the 2019 Beat The Backlist hosted by Novel Knight

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Blogmas #10: Book Review | Pigeon – Blood Red by Ed Duncan

Cover of Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed DuncanAuthor: Ed Duncan

Series: Pigeon-Blood Red (Book 1)

Print Length: 214 pages

Publisher: Creativia; 2 edition (August 23, 2016)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ISBN-10: 9781973443711

Buy it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Source: I received Pigeon – Blood Red from the author, Ed Duncan, at the request of his publicist, Kelsey Butts of Book Publicity Services. In return, I will provide a fair and honest review.

Blurb

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job: retrieve his gangster boss’s stolen goods, and teach the person responsible a lesson.

But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu. There, the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory, when innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in a crime.

As Rico pursues his new targets, hunter and prey develop an unlikely respect for one another.

Soon, he is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the very people who have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

My Thoughts

This the first book of two. I actually read them in reverse order.  If you are interested in reading the review of the second book, “The Last Straw” you can check it out here (Review of The Last Straw, by Ed Duncan).

In both of Duncan’s books, I enjoy his articulate and concise writing style.

Pigeon – Blood Red is a modern gangster, crime thriller. There was suspense from start to finish. It was a fast-paced read at only 203 pages. I would recommend this book just as much as I recommended “The Last Straw.”

Entertaining, Gritty and Nailbiting

Rating

4-stars

About the Author

Image of Ed Duncan, author of Pigeon Blood Red and THe Last Straw

Ed is a graduate of Oberlin College and Northwestern University Law School. He was a partner at a national law firm in Cleveland, Ohio for many years. He is the original author of a highly regarded legal treatise entitled “Ohio Insurance Coverage,” for which he provided annual editions from 2008 through 2012.

Ed currently lives outside of Cleveland, OH.

Website | Twitter

 

Blogmas #5: Goodreads Choice Awards

Yesterday Goodreads released the results of the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards.  It’s “the only major book awards decided by readers.”(Goodreads)  There were a total of 5,027,741 votes cast!

I was so excited to see Stephen King’s book, The Outsider, as one of the winners! I bought the book as soon as it came out and it has been on my list to read since. It is such a large book that it seems a bit overwhelming when I have a bunch of other books that I need to read before their publication dates.  I want to be able to sit down and enjoy reading it and not feel rushed.  So, for now, it will stay on my TBR list, but I can’t wait to read it!

Below you will find some of the winners.  If you would like to see the complete list of winners and all the nominees, stop on over to Goodreads (click here)

The Outsider by Stephen KingCategory: Best Mystery & Thriller

The Winner: The Outsider by Stephen King

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

The Great Alone by Kristin HannahCategory: Best Historical Fiction

The Winner: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangCategory: Romance

The Winner: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

Elevation by Stephen KingCategory: Best Horror

The Winner: Elevation by Stephen King

The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences. 

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

I'll Be Gone In the Dark by Michelle McNamaraCategory: Best Nonfiction

The Winner: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

The haunting true story of the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California during the 70s and 80s, and of the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case—which was solved in April 2018.

Introduction by Gillian Flynn • Afterword by Patton Oswalt

“A brilliant genre-buster…. Propulsive, can’t-stop-now reading.”   —Stephen King

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

Educated, A Memoir by Tara WestoverCategory: Best Memoir & Autobiography

The Winner: Educated by Tara Westover

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

(Summary & Image from Amazon)

Congratulations to all the winners!  

Did your favorites win?