Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins

Rating
4.5/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Women’s

Summary
When their dear friend Emerson passes away, best friends Georgia and Marley are heartbroken. They find that Emerson left behind a list that the three of them created long ago detailing the things they would do once they lost weight. Challenged and ready for a change, they slowly begin to work on checking items off and soon both embark on their own journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Along the way, they deal with deep-rooted issues from childhood, adolescence, and the present. Georgia has a strained relationship with her family and is still recovering from the demise of her marriage. Marley lost her twin sister as a young child and has felt a missing piece ever since. They begin to realize that both of them have issues that need addressing and that what they always assumed would leave them feeling happy and fulfilled seems to fall completely short.

Review
This was my first Kristan Higgins book, and it was a joy to read! It took me on a beautiful journey through the lives of Emerson, Georgia, and Marley and their unique but similar stories. Each character was so real and relatable, and their stories were inspiring. This story continuously captured my attention with the details of these women’s lives—family issues, dating, body image issues, loss, etc. My heart was with these sweet friends as they went through some really hard and trying times. While this book had some deep and difficult topics, it was balanced nicely with hysterical commentary in between that had me giggling. Not only are these women struggling, they are also trying their best to have fun and make light of things along the way. Their friendship was uplifting and left me feeling encouraged! Overall, this book was really clean—very limited swearing and sexual content. I would highly recommend it!

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones


Rating

4.5/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Suspense

Summary
She looks beautiful in her wedding dress. It fits her perfectly and is exactly what I’d imagined she’d go for: elegant, understated, and unique—just like her. My heart breaks that her days will never come, but she doesn’t need to know that yet. I think about the guests who won’t attend, the picture frames with no photographs, the first dance that will be silent, the cake that won’t get eaten, and I feel my resolve weakening. I pull myself up. This is not a time for doubt. There is still so much work to do, so much more pain to inflict, but I will not be deterred. I failed once before, but this time, I’ll get it right. There’s too much at stake to get it wrong.
(from the Prologue of The Other Woman by Sandie Jones)
When Emily meets Adam, they quickly fall for each other and make plans for their future together. All appears fine and dandy until Emily meets her future mother-in-law, Pammie, and is left wondering why it seems as if she is always trying to undermine her and leave her out. But what once bothered her soon seems trivial compared to what she is about to endure because it seems as if Pammie will stop at nothing to make sure Emily doesn’t end up with her son.

Review
This book was excellent! It makes the stereotypical mother-in-law look tame! I just finished it and am still trying to process everything. I really appreciate the time the author put in to establishing Emily and Adam’s relationship, as well as Adam and his mother’s relationship. It helped me connect with the characters and their reasons for doing the things they did. I had tons of emotions going on throughout—sympathy, frustration, fury, and everything in between. At different parts of the books, I had a thorough dislike for each character. They were each awful while also being super likable at other points, and I mean this as a positive. This book had some serious twists that left me going “WHAT?!” I pretty much could not have guessed any of the things that ended up happening in the end. I love when a book sucks me in like that and leaves me wondering what in the world I just read! I highly suggest adding this one to your list if it’s not already on there. I think this will be one that people will be talking about for the rest of 2018!

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Rating
4/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Chick Lit

Summary
Days away from marrying the man of her dreams, Poppy Wyatt loses both her engagement ring and her cell phone. Amidst the panic, she stumbles upon a cell phone in a garbage can and quickly claims it as her own. After all, finders keepers, right? It turns out that the actual owner of the phone, businessman Sam, is none too happy about her claiming. Soon Poppy is playing assistant to Sam—without his knowledge—while also trying to find her ring, gain the approval of her fiance’s family, and make last minute preparations for her wedding. Follow Poppy’s hysterical, witty story as she learns to love herself, flaws and all.

Review
What a fun read this was! It was a nice little break from the types of books I normally read. Poppy is amusing, clever and dramatic, and I loved every bit of it! Maybe that is because I can relate to her crazy ways! Her antics and the way she handles awkward, less-than-ideal situations will leave you laughing out loud. Underneath all of that, however, is a sweet, insecure 29-year old woman who just wants to be loved and accepted by people. Can’t we all relate to that? This book read quick overall and was entertaining from start to finish. It’s a great choice if you are looking for a light-hearted, silly read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading more of Sophie Kinsella’s books in the future!

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Suspense

Summary
Amber Patterson arrives in Bishops Harbor, Connecticut with a plan to turn her life around. With a painful childhood and rocky past behind her, she is determined to create the life she deserves. Her eyes are set on affluent millionaire Jackson Parrish, knowing that she will have all that she wants in no time. First, Amber asserts herself into the life of the Parrish family through Jackson’s wife, Daphne. Once the two bond over their similarities, they form a friendship that Daphne has been longing for. Before she knows it, Amber is—more or less—considered a part of the Parrish family. She has family dinners with them, vacations with them, helps with their children. Soon, her manipulation starts to touch every area of Daphne’s life, and her past begins to unfold. But nothing will stop Amber from getting what she thinks is rightfully hers.

Review
I can now understand why people were talking about this book so much! Wow! I loved it! After I finished reading it, two words kept popping into my head to describe it—scandalous and riveting! This book is a bit dark and, without a doubt, has some disturbing aspects that some people may not like. But it is unputdownable! (And yes, that is a word. I checked! 😊) Both Amber’s and Daphne’s stories sucked me in and always kept me wanting more. Their two viewpoints are crazy different and offer such contrasting perspectives that really left me in awe! There was some definite shock factor! If you are looking for a fast, suspenseful read that pulls you in from the very beginning, this is it! I flew through it and didn’t want it to end. I highly recommend this book!

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle

Rating
4/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Metaphysical/Romance

Summary
If you could choose five people—dead or alive—to have dinner with, who would you choose? At Sabrina’s thirtieth birthday dinner, she is accompanied by five individuals of her choosing. Sitting with her are her absent father, her favorite college professor, her best friend, the love of her life, and Audrey Hepburn. Each is there for a particular reason, which they will soon learn, as Sabrina recalls the past and looks ahead to the future.

Review
This book had it all: love, friendship, abandonment, coming of age, and more! It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The beautiful love story that unfolded really captured my heart. I could relate to the ups and downs, and I felt like part of my own story was being shared. The struggles that Sabrina faced are real and relatable—things we have all gone through in one way or another. I enjoyed the interweaving of the past and present that told a larger story as a whole. One without the other left questions but, when put together, things slowly began to connect and make more sense until it was clear why each person was chosen to be at the dinner. An interesting twist on the classic love story, this book is one I would suggest to anyone! The ending shook me—I will just leave it at that. Pick this one up ASAP, and let me know what you think of it!

Author Rebecca Serle’s website

Thanks to Flatiron Books for a free copy of this novel.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Suspense

Summary

Jessica is a young makeup artist trying to find her footing in New York City. Struggling to make ends meet and help her family out back home, she joins a study on morality and ethics to earn some extra money. After the session, she leaves feeling a bit exposed and vulnerable. When the professor of the study—Dr. Shields—contacts her for further participation, and thus money, Jessica accepts. After all, everything is confidential. But as the requirements for the study grow stranger and more demanding, Jessica starts to wonder what type of study she got herself into. Is she being paranoid or being manipulated?

 

Review
This was a fantastic book! The whole premise was intriguing to me since it is rather unique and original. I love when a book can keep me on my toes and guessing throughout, and this book did exactly that! Any time I thought I knew what was going on, I started to question myself. The plot twists were so fascinating and unexpected, and there were many times I could not put this book down because I was dying to know what was going to happen next. I felt like I was trying to put a puzzle together and would not be content until all the pieces fit. I found this to have a good amount of suspense without being overly disturbing or gruesome. Overall, I appreciated the original and enticing writing, and I would highly recommend this book to fans of suspense!


Author Greer Hendricks’s website

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review.
This title will be published in January 2019.

The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton & James Patterson

Rating
2/5 stars

Genre
Fiction – Thriller

Summary
When the president of the United States learns of a significant threat through an unlikely source, he’s forced to put his recent personal loss and health issues to the side in order to save what could destroy his country. The most dangerous and daunting kind of cyberterrorism that the world has ever seen causes the president to make some choices that leave even his closest White House staff wondering what he could possibly be thinking. And with a possible traitor in his own cabinet, not a single person can really be trusted. How far will the president go to protect the country he has been appointed to put above all else?

Review
I was so excited to read this book! I’ve always enjoyed James Patterson’s books in the past, and adding Bill Clinton into the mix sounded super intriguing! I don’t know if it was my mood, the book, or a combination of both, but I could not get into this book at all. It was way more of a political thriller than I was anticipating—I was thinking it would be more just a typical suspense//thriller like most of James Patterson’s others. I guess I wasn’t expecting the book to dive into the aspects of war, government structure, and the dynamics of other countries to the extent in which it did. As someone who is not into politics in the least bit, I felt like a lot of the story was boring and over my head. I can completely see why a lot of people loved this book though! It contained some great content and twists. However, it fell very short for me, and I struggled to even finish it. So, take my opinion with a grain of salt and read it if you think it’s a topic you may enjoy!