I know it’s much later than “tomorrow” as mentioned in the previous post. I took a little trip over the weekend and one of my crazy writer idiosyncrasies: I prefer writing on my own laptop. (It’s weird, I know). Then I got sick, but I’m much better now. And finally, I forgot to schedule it to automatically post. So without further delay, here are the remaining reviews of my Autumn book list. Enjoy!
- The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica (Libby Audiobook): Synopsis – Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard (Goodreads). Sadie is the prime suspect in Morgan’s murder and works to find out the truth, which could be more than what she bargained for. The story and plot of this one was good; however, I did not care for the narration AT ALL. I found the voice and inflections unpleasant. If I wasn’t so invested in finding out what happened, I would have put this one in the DNF–did not finish–pile. Other than that, it was a good read with an interesting twist. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Ghosting: A Love Story by Tash Skilton (Kindle): An enemy-to-lover story inspired by The Shop Around the Corner/You’ve Got Mail, this is the story of Zoey and Miles who are ghost writers for competing dating websites. Zoey, a Californian, thrust into the throngs of New York struggles with anxiety, making ends meet, and finishing her screenplay. Miles, a true New Yorker, is trying to get over being dumped by his ex while couch surfing. Both find solace at a coveted table in Café Crudité and slowly the enemies become friends and eventually lovers. But when the relationship hits a bump, Zoe and Miles have to decide if it’s worth the risk.
- Gilded by Marissa Meyer (Libby Audiobook): This is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin (and you all know how much I love a fairytale remake). Serilda, the miller’s daughter was cursed by the god of lies and has a talent for telling lavish tales. One tales she tells–her ability to spin straw into gold thread–puts her in the cross hairs of the evil Erlking and his undead hunters. Serilda, in her desperation and facing death, summons a boy who can make her lie the true. Instead of being free of the Erlking, she is just more indebted to him. Once she is forced to be a part of the evil king’s dark world, she will stop at nothing to break the curse. This one had me on the edge of my seat and I’ve already placed book two on hold for when it comes out later in November. I hate when I get drawn into a story and it’s the first in a series. But this one, I think will be worth the wait. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- The Half Life of Ruby Fielding by Lydia Kang (Kindle): Synopsis – Brooklyn, 1942. War rages overseas as brother and sister Will and Maggie Scripps contribute to the war effort stateside. Ambitious Will secretly scouts for the Manhattan Project while grief-stricken Maggie works at the Navy Yard, writing letters to her dead mother between shifts. But the siblings’ quiet lives change when they discover a beautiful woman hiding under their back stairs. This stranger harbors an obsession with poison, an affection for fine things, and a singular talent for killing small creatures. As she draws Will and Maggie deeper into her mysterious past, they both begin to suspect she’s quite dangerous–all while falling helplessly under her spell. (Goodreads) This was very difficult to read. I didn’t like Ruby or Maggie; the plot twist didn’t make sense, and there were a couple of scenes that could have been omitted because they didn’t relate at all to the to the overall story. I read some of the reviews and many of the readers say Kang has some good historical fiction. Unfortunately, isn’t one of them. ⭐⭐
- Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Libby Audiobook): Seventeen-year-old Charlie Reade is a good kid. While grieving his mother who was killed in a hit and run accident, he manages to take care of himself and his alcoholic father during most of his childhood. When Charlie comes to the aid of his reclusive neighbor, Howard Bowditch and his dog Radar, and they become friends, he finds out that the recluse is hiding more than just himself from the rest of the world. Mr. Bowditch dies and leaves Charlie his estate–which includes a portal to a parallel universe and the burden of maintaining the secret. This was, by far, my favorite read of the month. Stephen King is a master storyteller and I was immediately sucked into this magical world where the road to “happily ever after” was rough and perilous. I enjoyed every minute. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- The Golden Couple by Green Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (Libby Audiobook): Told from the perspectives of a woman desperate to repair her marriage after one indiscretion and the counselor who promises to fix her issue in ten sessions or less, this story weaves doubt and suspicion in the mind of the reader until – wham, a plot twist you don’t see coming slams into you. I absolutely loved this book. It is well written and well told. The writers leaves loose ends that–at the perfect time–come together in a perfect knot. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie Garber (Libby Audiobook): Synopsis – The fiercely-anticipated sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller…starring Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts on a new journey of magic, mystery, and heartbreak. Not every love is meant to be. After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away. But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of,. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him. (Goodreads). I have a love/hate relationship with this series. The story is so good and engaging, but so far, both series have ended on gut-wrenching cliff hangers–and I don’t think I’m exaggerating. The writer publicly stated that yes, there is a third book in the works. This book is the reason I’ve given fantasy a chance in the last year. If you want to try that genre, I recommend this series. I also recommend you wait until book three is available because (insert dramatic sigh) waiting is the worst. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult (Libby Audiobook): Diana O’Toole has everything in her life mapped out: marriage by 30, children by 35, a career at Sotheby’s on track… and it all starts with a trip to the Galápagos with her boyfriend, surgical resident, Finn. When the pandemic reaches New York and Finn has to stay put, he encourages Diana to take the trip. From the beginning things are a disaster then the world shuts down, leaving Diana stranded with no luggage, no hotel accommodations, and spotty Wi-Fi. But being disconnected forces her to question her goals and what she really wants out of life. This was a good one. I love how Jodi Picoult always sneaks in the element of surprise, like it’s no big deal; except it is. While I want to forgot 2020, 2021, and part of 2022 ever happened, it’s nice to see the pandemic translated into literature without it being apocalyptic. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Something Wilder by Christina Lauren (Libby Audiobook): Lily Wilder is left holding the bag after her famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) father sells the family ranch but not before leaving her to chase gold in the wilderness. Lily, who has inherited her father’s wit and his journals, ekes out a living offering tours to find fake treasure. When her ex Leo and his friends show up as her next group, Lily puts up a wall that Leo is desperate to break through. When things go wrong, Leo and Lily are forced to spend time alone to talk about the past, and maybe take another chance to have a future. There were several things in this book that were unexpected, but in a good way. It was a good read–a delightful mental vacation from real life–and I if it ever became a movie, I would watch. I laughed out loud, I teared up, but didn’t quite cry. This was one of those random choices, I look forward to reading more by the author. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐