Andi escaped the corporate world and found her dream job of selling/talking about/being around books all day. She's born and raised in RVA and reads most anything, with particular favorites being chick lit, mysteries, YA, and most any contemporary fiction. When she's not reading she can be found relaxing with her husband, her cats, and a nice cold beer in her speakeasy home.
I started this one because I needed a break from YA Feels and twisty the-husband-did-it murders. I LOVED it. Owens writes beautifully and descriptively without being overly flowery in her prose. We follow Kya, our main character from age 6 on. Abandoned by her entire family in their North Carolina swamp shack. she learns to fend for herself and fly under the radar of truant officers and social workers in her small town. When the body of local hero Chase Andrews is found mysteriously dead, Kya is suspected from the start. The subsequent trial is reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird and the story of Kya's life that leads up to the current day events will break your heart. The visuals of Kya's marsh home put the reader solidly into the setting and Owens' love of southern nature really shines through. Great read for fans of Harper Lee.
In the vein of Clue, this book gathers guests at an upstate New York hotel during a bad storm. Each from different backgrounds and reasons for being on the trip, they start dying off one by one. With no internet and the power and phone lines out, no one can get in or out and the tension grows as the group tries to determine who the killer is. Everyone is a suspect and no one is safe as the story unfolds. I blazed through this in just a few hours because I couldn't wait to get to the end. Super fast, super engaging read for fans of Agatha Christie. Lapena never disappoints.
I'll read anything by Shari Lapena, and loved this one as much as the others. Karen Krupp turns up in the hospital after a car accident, and she remembers nothing after leaving her house in a frantic rush. She was in a part of town where she had no business being, and the police are suspicious. As she fights to recover her memory she discovers that someone has been in her house uninvited. Things are further complicated when a nosy neighbor with ill intentions stirs up more trouble for Karen with the police. This is a super fast page-turner and you'll devour it until you find out what really happened.
As you all know, I love a memoir, especially a funny one. Ramsey turned activist by accident after her S^&% White Girls say...To Black Girls youtube video went viral and I loved reading about the lessons she learned along the way. Some were learned the hard way and they're as entertaining to read as they are agonizing. I may not agree with all of her opinions but I learned a lot about how to be a good ally and what NOT to do online (hint - if you aren't sure if you should post it, DON'T POST IT).
So creepy and good! This intrigued me initially because Gillian Flynn has a great blurb on the cover but I was drawn in immediately once I started reading. Mike and Verity used to be a hot and heavy couple but time and infidelity broke them up, much to Mike's dismay. To put it mildly, he takes the breakup hard and continues to email Verity to let her know how much he still loves her despite her lack of interest. Verity marries another and Mike takes that as a sign that she's still playing their old game, The Crave. Things take a violent turn and the former couple has to defend themselves against some shocking allegations.
This hit home to me as a woman, as it really shows how women and men are treated differently in our justice system and how two people can have similar pasts yet be judged so vastly differently. Anyone with a jealous or abusive ex is going to be triggered and every female that reads this is going to feel a bit uncomfortable at the realities of being a woman in a man's world.
If you guys can't tell, I love a good murder mystery and this one is super suspenseful! Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny are lifelong BFFs despite their differences in brains, money, husbands, and ambitions. After twenty years of being as close as sisters, one of these ladies ends up standing on a bridge with another urging her to jump. Whose fault is it? The husband per usual, the stress of daily life, or a not-so-bestie-bestie? Told from the viewpoints of all three friends, this book keeps you guessing. If you're like me, you're just SURE that you've figured it out, until you start the next chapter.
Fans of Stevens' previous thrillers will love this one! Lindsey has started a new life after escaping Andrew, her abusive ex. Her teenage daughter remembers little of the family's turbulent past and doesn't understand the need for Lindsey's secrecy. When Andrew is released from prison, small but terrifying things start to happen to Lindsey, her daughter, and Lindsey's new boyfriend. Andrew swears he's changed but we all know a leopard doesn't change his spots - or does he? This is a nail biter, y'all.
I want every single young girl ever to read this book.
This book is a must-have for kids! It helps show them that the best thing to be is yourself, no matter what others around them may do or say. Adorable and a great message.
Kaling's follow up to Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? is just as good as the first book. She shows vulnerability when describing a cool new friend who ditches her for a "younger model" and makes us all feel better about ourselves by letting us all know what it takes to look camera ready. She's endearing, honest, and hilarious throughout.
This will make you laugh, cry, and call your mom to tell her how much you love her. Written during production of the first season of Baskets, where Anderson plays the Emmy-winning role of Christine Baskets, it's a collection of letters. Mainly from Anderson to his later mother, but a few from his siblings (he's the 10th of 11!). Touching, funny, and encouraging, this will make a wonderful mother's day gift. It will also make you want to watch Baskets if you haven't already started!
I recently saw a video of Taylor speaking at a conference I was attending. Her voice, her poetry, and her determination bowled over every single person in the room and I'd be willing to bet that I was not alone in running out to buy this pretty much the second I left. From talking about why women apologize as an instinct to providing the toolkit to love yourself and your body in a world that judges by appearance, this book is a must read inspirational trip for anyone, of any gender.
Amoruso starts out as an unlikely role model - in her early years she stole, lied, and dumpster-dove for food. While working in a job she took solely for the health insurance, she was struck with the idea of re-selling vintage clothes online. Just like that, Nasty Gal was born. Her online business blew up (with perhaps a less than fabulous final outcome) and in the last few years, she has become a poster child for making it on your own, no matter what.
Since RVA is now one of the #1 beer destinations in the country, this is an important read for anyone that's into the local brewery scene. Whether you're a die hard home brewer or just one who enjoys the occasional cold beverage from one of the many places around town this is a great pick. Starting with the history of Virginia brewing and working up to the modern day scene, it features photos of local people, places, and beers. This would be a great read on the patio of your favorite brewery on a pretty spring day - with a beer in hand, of course!
As Aza struggles with her own mental illness, she's drawn in to a mystery involving a wealthy local man. Aza and the man's son are old friends and that adds a touch of conscience to her search for missing information. Joined by her enthusiastic best friend Daisy, Aza learns that some things are better left alone, for the sake of those involved that never chose to be in the spotlight. Green once again weaves a tale of teenage angst and humor, with the twist of tragedy that he's known for. I waited eagerly for this book to come out after I'd finished his others, and was not disappointed.
I recently went through all of Mom on TV and that warmed me to Faris enough to want to read this book. Her self deprecation makes her just one of the girls and if you're like me, that makes it a winner right off. As one who enjoys celeb gossip, this also has just enough about her prior marriages to satisfy my curiosity. I'm sure most of you out there have crushes on Chris Pratt and trust me, that will only increase after you read this. Faris is endearing and her love for her son really shines through in this book.
Liane Moriarty doesn't disappoint with this story about what happens to friendships and relationships when the unthinkable occurs. Flashbacks mixed with present day tell us about a fateful night when three couples get together for a casual night in with the kids. Longtime friendships and marriages are tested by guilt, blame, and secrets. Moriarty creates characters with depth and likeability, even when they may not be on their best behavior. It was a fast read - largely because I couldn't put it down once I started!
Schumer shows the humor you expect mixed in with some touching personal stories from her life. There are enough serious parts to keep this from being a fluffy memoir. I already wanted to be best pals with her, but after reading this I feel even stronger about it. She inspires me to do whatever I want to do and reminds me that I have to work hard to accomplish it. You can't help but identify with her during the shenanigans of her twenties and the excerpts from her personal diary (complete with footnotes!) had me laughing tears.
Heidi is a working mom and wife who is always a good person. When she takes in a young single mom she finds on the street, it just seems to be another good deed. As Willow and her infant daughter settle in - against the wishes of Heidi's husband and daughter - things take a darker turn. Fans of Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will love this one. Kubica keeps the suspense going in each chapter and every time you think you've figured out the secret, something new pops up to make you doubt yourself.
I was drawn into this book immediately and couldn't stop reading. Jeanette Walls grew up in a nomadic existence with free wheeling parents Rex and Rosemary, who move their four children around the country. Often relocating in the cover of night, the children all struggle with the lack of roots in different ways. The characters and scenes come to life through her descriptions and the story of how she overcame her unusual upbringing to become a stable, well-off adult is captivating. As soon as I finished this book I got her other two and devoured them just as fast. I would read this woman's grocery list.
Jack and Grace are the perfect couple - gorgeous, wealthy, and so in love you can hardly stand to be near them. Jack provides not only for Grace but for her disabled sister. Surely, they have the perfect life. Unless you notice the little things. Like why Grace never really has close friends, a cell phone, or even any writing tools in her handbag. I read this on a plane trip and I think I scared my fellow passengers with the faces I was making. I was so into this book I wasn't thinking about anything else and it's possible I made actual noises out loud at the chilling final chapters.