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.
My reading goal for 2019 is diversity! This book was an incredible way to end the year and gear up for that. Thomas knocks it out of the park again with her tale of Bri, an up and coming rapper in a depressed neighborhood. Bri fights to overcome her late father's legacy, her surroundings, her family's poverty, and the security guards at her high school who target black and brown kids more than any others. When she gets attention for an altercation with those guards around the same time she wins a very public rap battle, her struggles intensify and pressure mounts. Thomas put me squarely in Bri's head and helped me understand how kids in those situations can feel and it struck a chord with me, hard. This book is touching and real and heartbreaking and inspiring.
Melanie and Abi were best friends in college but drifted apart when Mel became a young mom and Abi married her college sweetheart, then went on to become a star. Years late Abi contacts Mel out of the blue for support after her marriage has failed. Melanie is only too happy to have Abi come stay with her family and revive their old bonds over late night wine-fueled chats. Abi loses all boundaries and becomes far too entrenched into Mel's family, but poor Mel doesn't find out until it's far too late.
A stark reminder that we can choose our partners, but we can't choose our in laws. Emily is madly in love with Adam, but less so with his mother Pammie. Pammie is rude, overbearing, and heartily disapproves of Emily for her beloved son and will do anything to keep them apart. Health scares and snarky comments over dinner are just the start of her attempts to separate the two. Emily is almost driven over the edge before she realizes the truth behind her crazy mother in law in a surprising turn of events.
This is an idea that's been done several times before but Jones keeps it fresh with an unexpected twist at the end that makes for a wonderful debut. I can't wait to read more by this author!
I always love a celeb memoir and Busy Philipps is just a couple of years younger than I am so I figured I'd enjoy her take on the 90s. I identified with her in her teen years SO MUCH and felt like we probably would have been friends growing up. I love her honesty and her willingness to share mistakes and embarrassments during her journey. You may not always agree with what she thinks but you'll always appreciate her telling it like it was.
Whoa, y'all. Mary Kubica always has awesome twisty endings but when i finished this one, I actually said aloud "what the...". Jessie and Eden share narration in this book about mothers and daughters, and how far they will go out of love for each other. I don't want to say too much and give anything away, so I'll just say that if you like Kubica, Gillan Flynn, Paula Hawkins and their ilk, you will love this book.
When this ARC came in, I squealed out loud and claimed it for my own before I'd even finished opening the package. Taking place during an active shooter situation in a women's clinic, each chapter is told from a different character's point of view. Every viewpoint is represented so no matter where you stand on women's health care issues, you'll find a connection. Hugh McElroy is the police negotiator that's trying to talk the shooter out of the building and his fear is amplified when he discovers his daughter Wren is one of the hostages. Picoult never fails to keep me on the edge of my seat and this might be her best book yet. I had a book hangover for days after I finished this and I'm probably going to read it again immediately. There are some detailed descriptions of medical procedures towards the end but they're fitting with the topics and more educational than graphic. I truly can't recommend this book enough.
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.
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.
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.
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.