The Couple Next Door Spoiler Free Review 

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena is a mystery thriller about a couple who go to a dinner party at the house next door and leave their baby alone when their sitter falls through at the last minute. They bring the baby monitor with them and take turns going back home to check on her every half hour, but when they return home at the end of the night their front door is open and their baby daughter is gone from her crib.

I’m going to start with the issues I had with the book. First, who would leave their infant child alone to go to a dinner party? Yes they were right next door and yes they were checking on her and brought the monitor, but why??? I know they give their reasons in the book but it’s just something that I can’t wrap my head around. The only other issue I had was with the ending. It’s not really a bad thing, it just left off on a sort of cliffhanger and made me want more!

That being said I really enjoyed this book a lot. I loved the mystery and suspense. I kept thinking that I had it figured out and then the author threw another curveball and kept me guessing. I was really shocked by how it all ended and was so glad that I didn’t predict it early on like I thought I did. I also surprisingly liked all the characters. The good and the bad, besides everyone loves a good villain.

This novel was such a fast paced read for me and I had a hard time putting it down. I love when a book has me so hooked that I can’t wait to see what happens next. I gave The Couple Next Door 5 stars on Goodreads and I recommend anyone who likes mysteries or thrillers to read this book.

Keep reading…Lola

The Woman In Cabin 10 Spoiler Free Review

The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware is a mystery thriller about a travel journalist who believes she has witnessed a murder on the maiden voyage of a cruise ship.

The novel starts out with Lo waking up after a night of drinking to find that a man is in her flat robbing her. She is obviously shaken up and goes to stay at her boyfriends apartment before heading off on a week long cruise for work.

On the ship, Lo’s cabin is number 9, she borrows some mascara from a woman in the cabin next door, cabin 10 and then goes for dinner where she has quite a bit to drink. Later that night she wakes up thinking that she heard a woman scream. She believes that she hears the sound of something hitting the water and when she looks over her balcony, she sees what she thinks is a hand going under the water.

The next morning she is told that all passengers are accounted for and that there was nobody in cabin 10. Lo’s ex boyfriend Ben is also on the trip and they start to piece together what could have happened since nobody seems to believe her, especially after finding out that she is on medication for anxiety/depression and frequently drinking, also the fact that she was robbed right before boarding the ship.

I’ve read some mixed reviews for this book and a lot of people didn’t seem to like it but I really did. I loved the suspense and mystery. I enjoyed the parts with Lo’s back story and how it sometimes made me question her as a narrator. I loved the twists and turns towards the end. At one point I would think I had it figured out and then another twist and it turned into something else entirely. I also loved the ending. It wasn’t so much a cliffhanger but it definitely made me want more. And I did not see it coming.

The one thing that I didn’t really care for were the emails and newspaper articles throughout the chapters. I think that they gave away too much of what was going to happen later on with Lo. I feel like they would have been better at the end of the chapters after the things took place rather than at the beginning or end of a previous chapter before it happens.

I’m really beginning to enjoy Ruth Ware as an author and I’m looking forward to reading other books by her in the future. I gave The Woman In Cabin 10 5 stars on Goodreads and I highly recommend it.

Keep reading…Lola

March Bookcase.Club Unboxing

These are the books that I got in the March YA BookCase.Club box.

Blythewood by Carol Goodman. This follows Ava as she starts going to a boarding school to uncover her family’s past and find the boy who once saved her life. The further she digs the more dangerous her life becomes.

Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl. This follows Link, a wannabe rocker and his girlfriend Ridley, a Siren as they head to New York City so that Link can follow his dreams. When he takes up with a group of Dark Casters, Ridley realizes that they are not being honest with them. This is a companion series to the Beautiful Creatures series. Link is Ethan’s friend and Ridley is Lena’s cousin. Ethan and Lena are both from the Beautiful Creatures series.

The covers for both of these books are so beautiful. Although I have not been interested in reading the Beautiful Creatures series since I didn’t care for the movie, I might give this a try in the future. 

Keep reading…Lola

March Book Of The Month 

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach was my March book pick. 

It’s about twin sisters Ava and Zelda.Ava is living in Paris but must return to upstate New York when Zelda dies. Then she receives a cryptic message, it’s from Zelda. Realizing she isn’t dead, Ava finds herself playing one of Zelda’s games, following the clues she left about her own disappearance. 

I also chose two other books from previous months that I have been wanting to read.

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott. This is about a close-knit gymnastics community that is rocked by a violent death.

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. In this novel Ingrid writes letters to her husband that she never gives to him, instead she hides them in the books that he owns. After writing her final letter she disappears and it is believed that she drowned. Twelve years later, her husband thinks he sees her through a window but thinks that it may just be his age playing tricks on him. One of their daughters return’s home to care for her father and wants to finally figure out what happened to her mother.

I can’t wait to dive into each of these novels. I highly recommend checking out Book Of The Month if you haven’t already.

Keep readin…Lola

Beauty And The Beast Book Tag

I love Disney movies and the live action Beauty And The Beast movie is coming out this week. I saw this tag on YouTube and just had to do it, it was the perfect time to stumble upon it. The original tag was created by BooksAndJams on YouTube.

1. Belle~ She just wants more than this provincial life. Tell about a book that takes you to another place.

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Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen. It literally takes you to another time and place!

2. Beast~ He can be a bit scary, but inside he’s a softie. Choose a book whose cover doesn’t meet the story.

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Borrowed And Blue by Emily Giffin. I had a hard time with this question but in the end chose Something Borrowed and Something Blue. This is two books in one and the cover shows two women in a pool. I think it would have been better to either split the cover in half and do one side for each book or put aspects of both books into one cover. Although I haven’t read the books yet so maybe once I do it will make more sense.

3. Maurice~ Belle’s eccentric but loveable father. Choose a book that is out of your comfort zone or your normal reads, but you ended up loving.

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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. This is a political memoir and was such an amazing read. I have a full review up if anyone is interested.

4. Mrs. Potts~ Nurturing and motherly character. Choose a character who takes care of others like a mother might.

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Cassie from The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I chose Cassie because I loved the relationship she had with her little brother. She would do anything for him and was his primary caregiver after losing their parents.

5. Chip~ Adorable and makes us smile. Choose your favorite children’s book.

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Matilda by Roald Dahl. By far the best book from my childhood. I love the movie just as much!

6. Gaston~ Smarmy and arrogant. Choose a character who’s over the top with his (her) arrogance.

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Kimberlee from Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike. She was this rich and beautiful girl who thought the world revolved around her. She did what she wanted and didn’t care about how it affected other people.

7. Lumiere~ Smooth-talking, swoon-worthy Casanova. Choose a character with these characteristics.

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Thorne from Cress by Marissa Meyer. I don’t think any other character in a book is more smooth-talking than Thorne 🙂

8. Cogsworth~ He was a bossy, no-nonsense leader of the household. Choose a character who takes charge and is the voice of reason for those around them.

Uncle Jeb from The Host by Stephanie Meyer. He takes charge when everyone wants Wanda killed and reasons with them. He believes that Melanie is still in there somewhere and wants everyone else to see it too.

That’s the Beauty And The Beast Book Tag. I tag everyone who wants to do it too!

Keep reading…Lola

Towering Spoiler Free Review

Towering by Alex Flinn is a young adult retelling of the fairy tale Rapunzel.

I love retellings in general because it is always interesting to see how different authors put different spins on the classics, but my favorite fairy tale is Rapunzel so anytime I find out that there is a retelling, I have to pick it up for my collection.

Towering follows Wyatt, a teenage boy who goes to live with the mother of one of his mothers old friends, Danielle who disappeared when they were teenagers. While living in her house, he finds Danielle’s diary describing her mother as overprotective and at one point even writes about her being locked in her bedroom. He also starts to hear someone singing in the distant woods. One day while at the hardware store, an old local man tells him about a rumor of a tower in the woods, curiosity gets the better of him and he goes in search of this tower. While wandering in the woods he starts to cross a frozen over lake and falls in. Someone witnesses Wyatt falling through the ice and comes to his rescue. When he’s out of the water he wants to know who she is, she tells him that her name is Rachel and she points to where she lives, in a tower a little further in the woods.

This retelling of Rapunzel is part romance and part mystery. At the start of the novel there are many questions, what happened to Danielle all those years ago? Why is Rachel living alone in a tower in the woods? Who is Mama, the woman who cares for her? What brought Wyatt to live with Mrs. Greenwood? All of these questions are answered by the end of the book. Some came as a surprise, others were a little predictable but it was still a fun read.

I was happy to see that along with using aspects of the original fairy tale, Alex Flinn also threw in some things from the Disney version, Tangled. I loved that Rachel had some special powers and that she and Wyatt had a sort of psychic connection even before they met for the first time. I enjoyed the romance between Rachel and Wyatt although I think they moved a little fast; they were passionately making out after knowing each other for twenty minutes! I really enjoyed learning about Wyatt’s past and why he needed to move from home for a fresh start, even though towards the end of him telling Rachel the whole story, I knew what was coming. The mystery part of the story was played out really well. I don’t want to spoil anything so I will just say that it was something I didn’t think that I would see in a fairy tale retelling, it was definitely a different way to spin the story. I also really liked finding out the mystery woman’s identity. I was surprised to find out who it was, but looking back I probably should have known all along.

I was satisfied with the way Towering ended. Everything was answered and it all came together for the perfect conclusion. The one thing that I wish is that Danielle’s diary was longer. I really enjoyed reading it and getting to know her through her own voice. Although, I understand why it had to end where it did, I just wish there were a few more entries at least. I gave Towering 4 stars on Goodreads and highly recommend it for anyone who loves fairytale retellings.

This is the second retelling by Alex Flinn that I have read, the first being Beastly. I think the books are very well written and I love the balance between the original story and the freshness that she brings to them. I am looking forward to reading all her other retellings in the future.

Keep reading…Lola

Promise Bridge Spoiler Free Review

Promise Bridge by Eileen Clymer Schwab is an adult novel that follows Hannah, a plantation mistress and Livie, a slave girl who develop an unlikely friendship during the time of the early underground railroad.

Hannah from the start of the novel is a caring individual that doesn’t conform to the norm. Her parents died when she was young and she grew up with her aunt Augusta on her plantation, Hillcrest. 

In the beginning of the novel, while in town Hannah makes the mistake of thanking one of her aunts slaves for helping her in front of her aunt as well as the heartless slave catcher Twitch, who in return brings him to be whipped. Hannah being unable to stand by and listen runs into the meadow where she is met by Colt, a childhood friend who has been trying to win her heart for years. While in the meadow Cole thinks he hears an animal and he shoots his gun. Upon approaching they realize that he has actually shot a slave girl in the hip. She and her brother Marcus are found to be runaway slaves. Hannah and Colt end up taking them up the mountain to hide in a cave so that they will not be found. A group of more runaways show up and they all decide that it’s unsafe for them to all hide in the cave but Livie is too weak to leave. Marcus is the only one who knows the way north, where they can be free so he leaves Livie in the care of Hannah with the promise that he will come back for her.

Eventually Hannah and Colt come up with a plan to make it look like Livie was a gift for Colt, after helping a group of slave owners and he has decided to gift her to Hannah. This is when an incredible friendship begins to develop.

I have never read a novel about slavery like this one. The friendship between Hannah and Livie was so sweet and beautiful. I loved watching them grow together. They were both from very different places and had different things that were expected of them but they didn’t let any of that get in the way of their friendship for the most part. One of my favorite parts is when they exchange Christmas gifts. I cried so hard! There were a couple of times I thought something was going to happen that I wasn’t going to like but I was really happy with the place they were at in the end.

I enjoyed the relationship between Colt and Hannah and how it played out. I thought it was a good choice on the authors part to not have their relationship be the focal point of the story. Their relationship progressed slowly and I liked that because it gave more to the serious topic of the novel.

Along with the sweet and beautiful, of course there had to be the hateful and hard to digest parts. We have all heard what it was like during slavery times and we’ve watched movies or seen interviews. We’ve probably for the most part studied it in school and read books, but I don’t think that it ever gets easy to hear about. Even reading a work of fiction based on a true event is sometimes just as hard as hearing the true accounts of the people who actually lived through it. Reading this novel made me feel like I was living the lives of these characters. I felt the love between Hannah and Livie and between Cole and Hannah. I felt the growing friendship between Hannah and Livie and the growing feelings between Colt and Hannah. I felt the heartache and despair of the slaves. I felt each cut every time a whip was snapped against a back. I felt the joy and hope at the prospect of freedom. I felt the loss. I was right there with the characters through everything and I love when that happens while I’m reading a book.

I laughed and cried. I felt despair and hope. I hated and I loved. Most of all, I enjoyed.

This novel was so beautifully written. It has definitely become one of my favorites of the year so far.

Keep reading…Lola

March TBR

These are the books that I am hoping to get to in March…

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The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. I have been wanting to read this book for a while so when I saw that it was a past BOTM selection, I grabbed it up and can’t wait to read it. This will definitely be my first March read. (I have probably already finished it by the time this gets published).

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. This is a book that I have been hearing mixed reviews about but I wanted to pick it up and read it for myself so I also grabbed this from BOTM.

Janie Face To Face by Caroline B. Cooney. It was only recently that I found out there was another book in the Janie Johnson series. I always wanted to know what happened after the last book but thought that was the final one. I am so glad that she wrote one more and I hope that it wraps everything up for good.

The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West. I really wanted to try a Kasie West book and thought that I would really like this one to start out.

The House by Simon Lelic. This is an ARC that I received from Netgalley. It is scheduled to be published in November 2017.

If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss. This is also an ARC from Netgalley and it is being published in August 2017.

I really can’t wait to read any of these books so I’m hoping that I will get to them all this month!

Keep reading…Lola