book blog

Never Look Back

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As I sit and listen to my 37th episode of my new favorite podcast, My Favorite Murder, I can’t help but see the parallels between it and this novel, Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin. There have been a couple of other books that have introduced the idea of podcasts within the plot, and I have to say, it’s probably one of my favorite things ever. I love that podcasts are becoming so popular, especially ones about true crime.

Quentin Garrison has his own podcast where he talks about a murder that happened forty years ago. Why does he have such an obsession with the murder? Quentin feels that the murders are the reason his life has been so difficult. You see, forty years ago there were two teenagers, April and Gabriel, who went on a killing spree and them decided to set themselves on fire. The thing is, no one knows if the two actually perished or if they ran off never to be seen again.

Quentin has lived most of his life wondering about the whereabouts of these two, especially after he receives some news that claims April isn’t dead. Now he’s on a mission to find her, and but he may have stumbled upon her unsuspecting daughter, Robin. Robin has no idea if her mother is the April that murdered all those people many years ago, but now that Quentin is in her life, she’s bound to find out the truth.

I love the flipping back and forth in time, and between perspectives of all the characters in this book. The story unfolds so organically, where it makes you feel like everything is falling into place at the right time. Though Quentin can be a little pushy at times, I did like his character, and wonder how he’d do as a detective haha. This book is great, I adored reading it, and I give it 4 out of 5 stars. Perfect for fans of thrillers and podcasts :).

book blog

The Islanders

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The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore (ooh I love that alliteration), is a summer smash hit. Set on Block Island, you’ll feel all the gorgeous sun on your skin and the sand between your toes as you flip the pages of this masterpiece.

Anthony is set out to find solace after he has been accused of plagiarizing his second novel. His first book was a best seller, but since then, he’s been disgraced by everyone. Including his famous writer father.

Lu is a stay at home mom who isn’t really happy with how her life is going. She’s started a blog, to write about all of her feelings that she can’t tell anyone about, but no one in her real life knows about what she speaks of online.

Then, there’s Joy. She runs the local bakery on the island. All of these character’s lives intertwine in interesting ways. The lives of Anthony, Lu, and Joy will never be the same after the summer on the island.

If you like books that immerse you one hundred percent and leave you begging for more once you flip that last page, then you are going to adore this novel. I love how each character has a different feel throughout each chapter, the voices of each person are unique to their story, and how they all merge together to create a huge story arc is a pleasant surprise.

This book was wonderful. I believe it will be one of the biggest books of 2019. It’s got reminds me of a Elin Hildebrand book, but even better! I give this one 5 out of 5 stars.

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book blog

The Cutting Room

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I have been on a creepy serial killer fix lately. Well, for one thing, I’ve been listening to the My Favorite Murder podcast, like literally non-stop. So, that may be why I’m all about this genre right now. The Cutting Room is a sequel to another book called Splinter in the Blood both by Ashley Dyer, these are those detective type books that you don’t need to read in any particular order to get the flow of the story. Which is good, because lord knows I can’t get anything straight now a days!

The one thing that I can get straight is this incredible plot. It’s just…well, let me tell you! Ruth and her partner Greg are on the prowl for this serial killer who has decided to make an art piece out of his victims. To make it even more cutting edge, the killer, dubbed the Ferryman, uses social media to get more people interested in his work, and his murders.

I love how this book is so up on the times, the use of social media, the internet, and television shows to give us a birds eye view of whats going on in the world is a real treat. This book will creep you out to the core, and the relationship between Greg and Ruth is very intriguing as well.

I honestly believe that this is totally something that could happen in the real world (let’s get this straight, I hope it doesn’t!), but the way this book is written it just feels so vivid, like it’s cut from the headlines. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean! I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, really good!

book blog

Pretty Revenge

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In the vain of The Wife Between Us comes a witty and unconventional thriller. Pretty Revenge by Emily Liebert was a book that I finished quickly, the characters were so consuming that I had to know what was going to happen. I haven’t seen any books in this genre from Emily before, so when I saw that she was writing a crazy stalker type of thriller, I knew it was going on my TBR, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Kerrie O’Malley (oh yeah, I must add, I think this was the first time that I have ever seen a book character have the same spelling in their name as me! Maybe that’s why I liked her so much haha) finds herself with out a job and in a pretty mediocre relationship. The guy isn’t even technically her boyfriend, just a roommate that she sleeps with, so when she hears a voice from her past that sends chills down her spine, not in a good way, she knows her next move. The girl who ruined her entire life is on television talking about a very infamous couple who are getting married soon, and she’s looking for an assistant to help. Kerrie has nothing to lose, everything has already been taken away by this girl, so Kerrie decides to head to New York to get some revenge.

Jordana, who used to be Jordan when Kerrie knew her, left everything behind and started a new life, even changed her name and practically everything anyone knows about her. She’s successful, her husband is rich as can be, and though she’s not really happy, she can say she’s getting there. The only thing that would be better is having an assistant to help deal with all of the drama from these high-profile weddings. That’s when Olivia Lewis shows up, Olivia who is actually Kerrie, hasn’t seen Jordana since she was twelve years old, so there’s no way Jordana will recognize her. She’s right, Jordana is clueless about what’s going to happen, and Olivia fits right in, helping out right away.

That is until Olivia starts to mess things up on purpose, and basically exploit Jordana, as the story unfolds, you see what happened in the past between these two girls, but is it all just a huge misunderstanding? Or is Jordana a horrible, greedy, person who only cares about herself?

You won’t know until you read this book! It’s so good you guys, pick it up as soon as you can, it was one of my favorites this year so far. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Perfect!

book blog

Expecting Sunshine

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EXPECTING SUNSHINE: A Journey of Grief, Healing, and Pregnancy After LossAfter her son, Zachary, dies in her arms at birth, visual artist and author Alexis Marie Chute disappears into her “Year of Distraction.” She cannot paint or write or tap into the heart of who she used to be—too caught up in mourning not only for Zachary but also for the future they might have had together. It is only when Chute learns she is pregnant again that she sets out to find healing and rediscover her identity—just in time, she hopes, to welcome her next child.

In the forty weeks of her pregnancy, Chute grapples with her strained marriage, shaken faith, and medical diagnosis, with profound results. Glowing with riveting and gorgeous prose, Expecting Sunshine chronicles the anticipation and anxiety of expecting a baby while still grieving for the child that came before—enveloping readers with insightful observations on grief and healing, life and death, and the incredible power of a mother’s love.


Alexis was nice enough to answer some questions about her book and life!:

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child, I always wanted to be an artist and author—exactly what I am doing right now. I also wanted to be an actress and big business woman. I’ve always had many dreams and still think it would be a great challenge to be a lawyer or a firefighter. I don’t subscribe to the idea that we have to pick one career and stick with it. Life is more fun with adventure, change and challenge.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?
I have been writing since as far back as I can remember—and even before I could hold a pen. As a child, I was very creative and cerebral. I was always coming up with stories and adventures. Fortunately, I didn’t lose that trait as I grew up. I find writing inspiration everywhere, at all times. My brain is a sponge for my environment and stimuli. Sometimes this is overwhelming, but most often I use this hyper-awareness to my advantage.
When you are struggling to write/have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?
Free writing is the best tool I have found to break out of writer’s block. I sit down and simply start typing, no matter what it is. Getting my fingers moving and the mental juices flowing always opens the floodgate eventually.
What inspired your story?
My memoir, Expecting Sunshine, arose out of the anxiety and introspection of my own life. I wanted to survive my pregnancy after loss and not go crazy in the process. Coming out of it on the other side, sane and with a living baby gave me hope that perhaps I had done something right. I wanted to share that hope with others who struggle with loss and growing their family in the midst of grief.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I learned that books are so hard to make and yet so rewarding and fulfilling. Creating books, for me, is akin to getting tattoos. I am terrified of needles, and thus do not have a tattoo of my own (One day!!), but my friends who get tattoos always tell me it’s addictive. You can never only get one.
What person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?
My mom has been a relentless force in teaching me business and determination. My husband, Aaron, has taught me self-care.My children have taught me to shut off and be present.
What was your favorite book as a child?
Too many to count! I was always reading. I loved the Sweet Valley Twins series. And Goosebumps
How do your spouse/significant other/friends/family feel about your writing career?
All the close family and friends in my life have realized I am quite eccentric and am going to do what I want no matter how they object, so they have defaulted to being amazing cheerleaders instead—which I am beyond grateful for!

 

This is a beautiful story about love and loss that I think everyone will enjoy. If you are interested in buying the book, check it out on Amazon.