Bookworm: 2018 So Far

The Luckiest Girl Alive 

516O2pMlB+L._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret. There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

THIS BOOK! Luckiest Girl Alive was my bookclubs first book and WOW was it twisted and dark and surprising. Off that bat I felt that Ani was every girl I went to college with, exploring the pressures of the need to ‘have it all’ … but then it completely shifts gears when she brings you into her story and has you thinking back to high school and stories you may or may not have heard or experiences you may or may not have experienced. Bullying, peer pressure, rape, murder, lies, truths and some psychological mind games. While I’m not sure this review would sell you on reading the book, I thought it was a great, but dark, mystery thriller. I look forward to her next book, out next month. 

The Couple Next Door couple_us_paperA domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors–a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

This was the first book that I was a little hesitant to read because I’m a Mom and what you learn in the first chapter would be any parents worst nightmare. That being said, I had no idea where each page was taking me next and I think that a great suspense writer will do that to you! The twists and turns Shari Lapena created will leave you not wanting to put this down until you finally figure out WHAT HAPPENED TO BABY CORA?! 

The Light We Lost

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Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

I first saw this recommendation from Reese’s Book Club and I’m so glad I was able read it. I felt very connected to the characters in this book and I think a lot of people struggle with the ‘what ifs’ in life. What if I took this job instead of that, moved here versus there, what if this never happened would I still be in this marriage? I’m glad that Lucy was able to explore her what ifs and take us on this journey of love, fate, and maybe some loss. 

The Hypnotists Love Story

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Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk. Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her. Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

Let me begin by saying I LOVE Liane Moriarty’s books. But I can’t say I love this one. I thought it was a good story line but I couldn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t believe them or understand their decisions. While I don’t want to compare one of her books to another, I felt with her other books I found myself relating to a character one way or another and this one made me feel flat. If you read this I would love to know what you thought! 

The Last Mrs. Parrish

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Amber Patterson is fed up. She’s tired of being a nobody: a plain, invisible woman who blends into the background. She deserves more—a life of money and power like the one blond-haired, blue-eyed goddess Daphne Parrish takes for granted. To everyone in the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Connecticut, Daphne and her husband, Jackson—the beautiful philanthropist and the confident real estate mogul—are a golden couple straight out of a fairy tale, blessed with two lovely young daughters.
Amber’s envy could eat her alive–if she didn’t have a plan. Amber uses Daphne’s compassion and caring to insinuate herself into the family’s life, the first step in a meticulous scheme to undermine her. Before long, Amber is Daphne’s closest confidante, traveling to Europe with the Parrish family, and growing closer to Jackson. But a skeleton from her past may undermine everything that Amber has worked towards, and if it is discovered, her well-laid plan may fall to pieces.

I loved this book. It’s a psychological thriller and I highly recommend it. Amber was the perfect villain and someone you’ll love to hate. Jackson and Daphne come off as the picture perfect couple… but you never know what goes on behind closed doors. You may figure out the general plot while reading it but the juicy details, twists and turns are worth reading it through. This would be a great vacation read! 

The Rules of Magic

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From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy.

I must start off by saying, Practical Magic was a real favorite of mine, this is the prequel. When Reese’s Bookclub recommended this I jumped on Amazon and bought it immediately. I’m not exactly sure why, but this took me longer than usual to get started, perhaps it was the kids schedules or mine but I finally got to it and all I can say is, it’s magical. It was everything I wanted it to be, I spent so much time visualizing EVERYTHING, the characters, the homes, the gardens, the MAGIC! If you love magical realism, this is the perfect read for you.

QUESTIONS:

Does anyone know if they’re making a movie out of The Rules of Magic?

Do you have any books to recommend?

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