Friend Request by Laura Marshall

friend request

2/5 stars


Fiction – Thriller

Goodreads Summary

Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston is dead. Isn’t she?

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything the girls Louise hangs out with aren’t. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.

Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria’s sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone she’d severed ties with to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there’s more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what’s known to Maria–or whoever’s pretending to be her–is known to all.


I really wanted to like this book. I mean, it is my book club’s first book we are reading and discussing, and I had high hopes for it. However, it fell way short for me.

I think I was expecting more of the book to be about social media but it seemed to be a minimal aspect of the whole story. I really did not feel invested in the characters at all and, therefore, didn’t care much about the story. It took way too long to get to anything truly interesting or worth reading but then ended up being anti-climatic. While the twist took me by surprise, it just felt odd. Almost like the whole point was just the shock factor perhaps but nothing else about it made sense.

I’ve seen a lot of great reviews on Goodreads for this book so, while it wasn’t for me, please don’t let this review stop you from reading it. I’ve read tons of thrillers and have pretty high standards for them now. You could probably say I’m picky. 🙂

Have you read Friend Request? Let me know your thoughts!

Author Laura Marshall’s website

Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

say you're sorry

4/5 stars


Fiction – Romantic Suspense

Goodreads Summary

Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried hard to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of his cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a petite blonde woman crashes into his life, he begins to realize that a little bit of chaos might not be so bad.

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain too—but she’s done being a victim. Daisy’s determined to explore every new experience she can—including getting to know the dark and serious FBI investigator she meets when she fights off a masked attacker one night.

It soon becomes clear that Daisy’s attack was just the beginning. Now the bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California, and, as Gideon tries to find the killer, it’s clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realized… 


I’m going to be honest and say that I was initially super intimidated by the length of this book! Most books I read are about 400 pages maximum and this book was a solid 614 pages. I decided I was going to space it out so as to not stress myself out. That may sound silly but I tend to get anxious when I read longer books. Anyhow, I didn’t need to space it out for long because, before I knew it, I was flying through it!

I haven’t read a romantic suspense book in quite some time, so it was enjoyable to read a book from this genre again. This book is packed full of action and definitely kept my attention! The book covers a span of approximately a week and is thus very detailed. It is a bit gruesome and disturbing but it wasn’t more than I could handle overall. There is some decently steamy sexual content but the occurrence of it is pretty minimal.

I would highly recommend Say You’re Sorry for its action-packed plot that will keep you reading for hours. Since it also has romance, family dynamics, and friendship interspersed, it really makes for a well-rounded story. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I really did enjoy this book, and I look forward to reading some other Karen Rose books in the future.


This title will be published on February 12, 2019.

Thank you to Berkeley Publishing and Karen Rose for my free Advance Reader’s Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Karen Rose’s website

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

piecing me together

I hope one day my family gets to a place where we can be thankful just to be thankful and not because we’ve compared ourselves to someone who has less than we do.

4/5 stars


Fiction – Young Adult

Goodreads Summary

A timely and powerful story about a teen girl from a poor neighborhood striving for success, from acclaimed author Renée Watson.

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.


This beautifully written book tells the coming-of-age story of Jade, a high school student living in a poverty-stricken neighborhood while attending a prestigious school across town. As much as Jade wishes she could stay at her previous school with her existing friends, it’s clear that her scholarship allowing her to attend a school that could potentially provide so many more opportunities to her—both personal and educational—is where she needs to be. As she looks forward to her future, Jade tries to discern what it is she is really looking for in life. She wonders what it takes to be a successful woman of color in this society.

Through her mentor, she ends up learning more about herself than she could have imagined. Her eyes are opened to both her weakness and strengths and what she can do with those. The things that Jade struggles with personally are so relatable. I think we can all, in some way, relate to not feeling good enough. Feeling judged. Feeling like we can’t figure out where we quite fit in in this world. And this story does an exceptional job exploring these issues.

As a white woman, I know I cannot personally relate to the stereotypes and discrimination Jade faces on a daily basis. However, it was such a great reminder to me that these are things that people of color are dealing with often. I want to be aware of and empathetic to that. I also want to do what I can to protect the rights of minorities so that one day, hopefully, this isn’t an issue any longer.

Honestly, I highly recommend this book! It is a quick read; it is eye-opening and honest. I plan to read some other books by this author soon! Let me know what you thought if you’ve read this!

Author Renée Watson’s website

Husbands and Other Sharp Objects by Marilyn Simon Rothstein

husbands and other sharp objects

3.5/5 stars


Fiction – Chick Lit

Goodreads Summary

After a lifetime of marriage, Marcy Hammer is ready to get herself unhitched—just as everyone else in her life is looking for a commitment. Her new boyfriend, Jon, wants to get serious, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Harvey, is desperate to get back together. When her headstrong daughter announces a secret engagement to Harvey’s attorney, Marcy finds herself planning her daughter’s wedding as she plans her own divorce.

Now with two huge events on the horizon, the indomitable Marcy soon realizes that there’s nothing like a wedding to bring out the worst in everybody. From petty skirmishes over an ever-growing guest list to awkward confrontations with her sticky-fingered new in-laws, pulling off the wedding is going to be a challenge; seeing her divorce through is going to be a trial. And trying to make everyone happy might prove to be impossible—because in the end, Marcy alone must make a choice between something old and something new.


Husbands and Other Sharp Objects is filled with witty humor and a light-hearted storyline. Recently separated Marcy is sassy, hysterical, and straightforward, making her a very likable character for me. Some of the supporting characters were a little over the top, but I think that’s what the author was aiming for. With a plot filled with family drama and antics as well as laugh out loud humor, I think you will find this story both entertaining and relatable. This book would be a great one to pick up in between more intense reads when you just need a little break from some heavy content. After reading this, I have no doubt that I would get along with and love Marilyn Simon Rothstein because I have to imagine she is one hilarious woman!

Additionally, I did not realize that this is a sequel to Rothstein’s Lift and Separate. While I wasn’t confused by plot or characters even though I did not read the first book, I’d recommend reading Lift and Separate first if you would like to gain more insight into the life of Marcy and her family.

Thank you to Suzy Approved Book Tours and Marilyn Simon Rothstein for my copy of Husbands and Other Sharp Objects. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Anticipated 2019 Releases

Hey there! I just wanted to highlight some 2019 book releases that I am really looking forward to! Check them out and don’t forget to add them to your TBR list! 🙂


more than words

More than Words by Jill Santopolo

Pub Date: February 5, 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost comes a tender and moving new novel about a woman at a crossroads after the death of her father, and caught between the love of two men.

Nina Gregory has always been a good daughter, a good girlfriend. Raised by her father, owner of New York City’s glamorous Gregory Hotels, after her mother’s death, Nina was taught that family, reputation, and legacy are what matter most. And her boyfriend Tim, thoughtful, kind, and honest, not to mention her best friend since childhood, feels the same. But after Nina’s father passes away, she learns he may not have practiced what he preached. 

As her world falls apart, Nina begins to question everything she thought she knew and to see the men in her life–her father, her boyfriend, and unexpectedly, her handsome and attentive boss, Rafael–in a new light. Soon Nina finds herself caught between the world she knows and loves, and a passion that could upend everything.

More than Words is a heartbreaking and romantic novel about grief, loss, love, and self-discovery, and how we choose which life we are meant to live.

the night olivia fell

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

Pub Date: February 5, 2019

In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

before she knew him

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

From the hugely talented author of The Kind Worth Killing comes an exquisitely chilling tale of a young suburban wife with a history of psychological instability whose fears about her new neighbor could lead them both to murder . . .

Hen and her husband Lloyd have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator and works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Finally, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder—an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor, Matthew, be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face to face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him. And that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape. . . 

daisy jones & the siz

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice. 

the editor

The Editor by Steven Rowley

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.

After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript. 

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page… 

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a funny, poignant, and highly original novel about an author whose relationship with his very famous book editor will change him forever–both as a writer and a son.

saving meghan

Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer

Pub Date: April 9, 2019

Can you love someone to death? 

Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she’s obsessed and can’t stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter’s expense. 

Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what’s going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand?

the mother-in-law

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into and the one you choose. Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t choose your mother-in-law. The cackling mercenaries of fate determine it all.

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

From the bestselling author of The Family Next Door comes a new page-turner about that trickiest of relationships.

the last time i saw you

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

The internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .

In The Last Time I Saw You, Liv Constantine takes the lightning pace of The Last Mrs. Parrish and raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

the bookish life of nina hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.
Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book. 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

the first mistake

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

From Sandie Jones, the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller The Other Woman, comes an addictively readable new domestic suspense about a wife, her husband, and the woman who is supposedly her best friend.

THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: When Alice met Beth, her best friend, it was the icing on the cake. A friend without judgement, to celebrate with, commiserate with, Beth is the most trustworthy and loyal person that Alice knows. So when Nathan starts disappearing for stretches of time, Alice turns to Beth. But soon, she begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced…

a stranger on the beach

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

From the bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband comes a novel about a love triangle that begins on a fateful night… 

There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aiden, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aiden’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

A Stranger on the Beach is Strangers on a Train meets Fatal Attraction in Michele Campbell’s edge-of your-seat story of passion and intrigue.

the floating feldmans

The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland

Pub Date: July 23, 2019

Sink or swim
Too bad her kids didn’t get the memo. 

Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, Annette’s birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they’ve been ignoring–and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.

things you save in a fire

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Pub Date: August 13, 2019

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about courage, hope, and learning to love against all odds.

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew—even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all—the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt and healing tour-de-force about the strength of vulnerability, the nourishing magic of forgiveness, and the life-changing power of defining courage, at last, for yourself.

the turn of the key

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Pub Date: September 5, 2019

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unraveling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

the nanny

The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan

Pub Date: September 10, 2019

Seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt loves her nanny more than her own mother.
When her nanny disappears one summer night, Jo never gets over the loss.

Thirty years on, now a young widow with a daughter of her own, Jo is forced to return to her family home and confront her troubled relationship with her mother.

When human remains are discovered in the grounds of the house, Jo begins to question everything. Why did her nanny disappear without saying goodbye? What secrets was she hiding – and what was she running away from?

Then an unexpected visitor knocks at the door and Jo’s world is destroyed yet again as, one by one, she discovers her childhood memories aren’t what they seemed. And each disorientating revelation draws her closer to what really happened on that hot summer night.

Sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.


Are there any on this list that you are looking forward to reading? 2019 is definitely going to be a great year of books! 

Cheers & happy reading!

♥ The Oxford Comma Momma

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

the silent patient

4/5 stars


Fiction – Thriller

Goodreads Summary

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….


The Silent Patient is a brand new debut thriller that will be hitting shelves February 5th! It is currently being talked about among the bookstagram community hugely and is likely to be a top thriller in 2019!

I had a hard time getting into this book to begin with, but I’ve seriously considered that it may have been my mood more than the book. I read about fifty pages in and then decided to take a break for a few weeks. When I picked it back up, I seriously burned through it so quickly. The story is fast-paced, the chapters are short, and the ending took me by surprise! All of these things put together make for a great thriller in my mind.

I thought I had a couple ideas of how this book was going to pan out, but it turns out I was completely wrong! The ending had a huge twist that I couldn’t have seen coming from a mile away. I’ll keep this review short and sweet with leaving it by saying that I think you should definitely check this one out! Preorder it, get on the wait list at the library, whatever it is you do for new releases! But I don’t think you’ll want to miss out on this once because everyone will be talking about it!

Thank you to Calderon Books and Alex Michaelides for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed in this review are my own. This title will be published on February 5, 2019.

Author Alex Michaelides’s website

Before We Were Strangers by Renée Carlino

before we were strangers

“We memorialize our past. Everything seems better in a memory.”

4/5 stars


Fiction – Romance

Goodreads Summary

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?


Before We Were Strangers was one of the first books I put on my Goodreads list when I started reading again last March. I first heard about it from Spivey’s Book Club on Facebook, a book page dedicated to discovering and discussing new books. I couldn’t find the book at my library or Half Price Books so I finally caved and bought it off of Amazon a couple of months ago.
I really enjoyed this book! It is a romance and has quite a bit of sexual content. I could have done with a little less of that but, overall, it was a great story! I loved that the book was split into sections of the past and present. I find that it adds a whole new dynamic when the past is told as present. I feel like I really get to know the characters and relationships best that way.
I was invested in Grace & Matt’s relationship and story. The ending wasn’t bad, but I wished it had ended a bit differently. I think I just had different hopes and expectations for the characters. If you enjoy reading romances, I’d recommend this one! I definitely plan on reading more by Renée Carlino!

Author Renée Carlino’s website