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review 2017-11-05 22:53
Pretty Girls
Pretty Girls - Karin Slaughter,Kathleen Early

 

 

I almost knocked this down to two stars because of some fairly graphic depictions of sadistic torture and the implausibility of certain nefarious goings-on that involved a wide-ranging conspiracy of well-connected people being involved in something very disturbing and complicit in covering that thing up.

 

However--I kept wanting to move forward to find out how the story resolved, and I cared about the main characters.  Proceed with caution, though, especially if the first part of my opening sentence sounds like something you feel you need to avoid.

 

More than 20 years before, a 19-year-old college student named Julia Carroll disappeared.  Her case was never solved, and local law enforcement seemed to be satisfied with the assumption that she left of her own accord, to quietly begin a life in some other part of the world, without notifying her parents, sisters, or friends.

 

Julia's disappearance shattered her family.  Her father Sam became entirely focused on solving the case, while her mother Helen moved between checking out altogether and deciding that moving on was the only way to fulfill the needs of their surviving daughters, Lydia and Claire.  Lydia drifted into drug addiction, while Claire became a people pleaser, focused on being popular but not standing out too much.  Lydia has been estranged from Helen and Claire since she made an accusation about Claire's then-boyfriend (later husband), Paul Scott.

 

As the book opens, Claire has just had removed the ankle monitor she has had to wear following an assault charge and plea bargain.  She and Paul, a ridiculously successful architect, are meeting in a bar to celebrate, but after he is uncharacteristically late, they are attacked in an alley, where he has exhibited unfamiliar behavior, and they experience an attack that leaves Paul dying as Claire watches helplessly.

 

Soon after the incident, Claire begins to discover clues that Paul had another side she'd been unaware of, and which aligns with Lydia's accusations years before.  As she begins to rethink everything she thought she knew, she contacts Lydia, who has a teenage daughter of her own, and has turned her life around since her drug-using days.  Neither is initially sure they can trust the other, but soon their sibling loyalty is reestablished. 

 

What might Julia's disappearance have to do with the recent disappearance of 16-year-old Anna Kilpatrick?  Are there clues to be found in the journals that Sam Carroll left behind?  What secrets about Paul will the sisters uncover?

 

As suggested above, this book had me hooked on finding out what happens.  Although I started with the audiobook, I ended up switching to the Kindle version to progress faster.  I will say there is a twist I didn't see coming, and then I almost smacked myself on the head, because I've read enough thrillers where that kind of twist occurs.  But I won't say anything further about that (working to keep this spoiler-free).

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text 2017-10-30 00:31
Books I Read in August and September 2017
Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation - Damian Duffy,John Jennings,Octavia E. Butler
Breakfast in Bed (The Innkeepers) - Rochelle Alers
Surrender to Me (The Lawsons of Louisiana) - Donna Hill
Seeking Sarah: A Novel - ReShonda Tate Billingsley
To Wager Her Heart (A Belle Meade Plantation Novel) - Tamera Alexander
Pretty, Nasty, Lovely - Rosalind Noonan
Stay with Me: A novel - Adebayo Ayobami
The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett
Gravel Heart - Abdulrazak Gurnah
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi

I will list the rating and to the side add commentary. 

 

 

5 Stars

 

 None

 

 

4 Stars

 

Breakfast in Bed by Rochelle Alers (solid read)

 

Seeking Sarah by Reshonda Tate Billingsley (solid read)

 

To Wager Her Heart by Tamera Alexander (fantastic story, pleasantly surprised)

 

Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebeyo (unforgettable stand out read)

 

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy (Liked this, LOVE book) 

 

 

3 Stars

 

Surrender to Me by Donna Hill (solid read)

 

Pretty, Nast, Lovely by Rosalind Noonin (interesting story)

 

Gravel Heart by Abdulrazak Gurnah (good story)

 

 

2.5 Stars

 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett 

 

I've been thinking what to say about my displeasure with this book. It was an okay read for me. Such a hyped book that I did everything possible to get my hands on it for months; giveaways, egalleys and such. To only be disappointed. There's nothing new here for me. It definitely wasn't what I expected in terms of the storyline. Maybe it's my age. I've read a lot of books and many heavy hitters at a young age. It takes a lot to impress me in story and writing. However, both don't have to be great. I'll take a good story with subpar writing or a well written book with just okay plot. Many love this one. It just wasn't for me. Beautiful cover and great publicity with a new up and coming author, I do believe Ms. Bennett is definitely one to watch!

 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-05 00:51
Pretty, Nasty, Lovely - Rosalind Noonan

This book kept me guessing right from the start. A baby is born and someone disposes of it, however, you don't know who it is. You know that it happens in a sorority house, but not if it's in the past or something that is yet to come.

Little pieces of the puzzle are given to us throughout the book. However, I could not complete it myself until the character spoke up about what happened. And, it's not what you think. Well, maybe not, it certainly wasn't what I thought.

A book that I could put down and did. It has your usual characters in a sorority house. Some friendly, some not and some horrible. However, I think the ending more than made up for some of the extra wording I had to plow through to get to the finale.

I found this book to be a good read, although sometimes some of the unnecessary additions bogged me down a little.

Thanks to Kensington Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-09-06 01:28
DNF...
Please Pretty Lights - Ina Zajac

You ever have that, where you start reading a book and it's going okay-ish for the first couple of chapters.  Then, poof, just like that...it's like the author stopped editing after that point and the whole story just falls apart...that's what this book did.  The whole damn book just fell apart for me.  I had to stop.

 

No Rating...I only read about 20%.

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review 2017-09-03 07:59
Gripping and Terrifying
Pretty Wicked - Kelly Charron

Pretty Wicked is, hands down, one of the best thrillers that I've read in quite some time. It's a bit different from most thrillers since we know who the killer is from the start, so the suspense lies in just how far young Ryann will go before getting caught. Like most teenagers, fifteen year old Ryann thinks she's smarter than everyone else, especially the adults that she so easily manipulates. Where the story gets utterly creepy is when you add the thoughts and mindset of a psychopath to that teenage attitude. As if her thoughts aren't scary enough, when she follows through with her heinous plans, the story gets absolutely bone-chilling. The very idea of what appears to be a wholesome, sweet girl on the outside being so monstrous on the inside is both disturbing and terrifying. I found myself holding my breath as Ryann escalates and begins to take greater risks with each action. Some scenes are quite graphic and may be triggers for some, but what I found in the pages of this book was a gripping story that I couldn't put down. 

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