The Look-Alike

By Erica Spindler

The Look-Alike: A Novel by [Spindler, Erica]

4 out of 5 stars

This was my very first book by Erica Spindler and I have to say, I enjoyed it quite a bit. It won’t be the last one I read.

There is something about a death in the snow at night that already leads itself into something you want to uncover. When you add an eerie suspicion that it might be you that was the target, you want to uncover more. Sienna Scott stumbled upon a murdered girl in college one night, who happened to be wearing almost the exact same jacket and gloves. When no murderer has been arrested, she begins to wonder that maybe she was the target. Take into account that her mother has a mental disorder that leads her to paranoia and fear that someone is trying to get her, you begin to wonder if she is right or she is like her mother. We travel back and forth between the past and the present where Sienna has come back home after years abroad. Not only does she have to deal with memories, the case has been reopened and Sienna is getting phone calls that have her on edge.

You will feel the mounting fear rising in your chest as the story stretches out. You start to second guess everyone and everything. There is a great group of characters lead by Sienna that has you hoping you are right about some things and wrong about some things. The mystery didn’t last throughout the whole book, I pretty much figured out the killer pretty quickly, but that didn’t take away from the story at all. Sienna is someone you will want to root for.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for a review copy of this book.

The Jetsetters

By Amanda Eyre Ward

The Jetsetters: A Novel by [Eyre Ward, Amanda]

5 out of 5 stars

I have read every single one of Amanda Eyre Ward’s books and have loved them all. Again, I have fallen in love. The very dysfunctional Perkins family has gathered together for a cruise in Europe that the matriarch Charlotte has won. She hopes that it will be a means of getting her family all together and around her more. Charlotte is a rather distant type of person. She longs for love and joy again, apart from her chardonnay and Triscuits and cheese, yet she was raised to not really show emotion. Lee is an actress with no job and carries a big family secret on her shoulders.  Cord is gay and has not come out to his family. Regan is unhappily married. Against the backdrop of Europe, so beautifully described in the book, can they find some kind of peace and family relationship?

I love how this was not all tied up in a nice little bow. It was messy and chaotic and loving and sad. It was exactly what a family is. A few times I wanted to shake a few of them and that to me is the perfect book, I become so involved in these fictional characters that they become very real to me. Amanda Eyre Ward does that to me every time.

If you have never read Amanda Eyre Ward (firstly, what is wrong with you?), you would not go wrong to read this gem. It comes out March 3.

Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for a copy of this wonderful book for my reading enjoyment.

The Better Liar

By Tanen Jones

 

The Better Liar: A Novel by [Jones, Tanen]

4 out of 5 stars

This is really quite an amazing debut novel by Tanen Jones. It is dark and twisty and perfect for reading when you are huddled in your bed with a cold. My addled cold brain was messed up enough and then I get further into this book and my head was swimming.

Leslie is looking for her sister because she needs her to collect her father’s inheritance. When she goes looking for her, she finds her dead and ends up with a young actress named Mary, who will fill the bill nicely. You can already tell that this is not going to go any which way you think it is. I do have to say that part way through I had a big “What if” question mark and I am not going to give anything away but cold be damned! I loved how it was told in the voices of Mary, Leslie, and her sister Robin. It gave a depth to the backstory and made you understand just who they were.

I loved where this book took me and I look forward to wherever Tanen Jones takes me next book.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Ballantine for a copy of this book.

 

Such a Fun Age

By Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by [Reid, Kiley]

4 out of 5 stars

I am so glad that I picked this book up for my last book of 2019. It lived up to all the hype I had read beforehand. It felt like I breezed through it even though the storyline had so many different layers. The two main characters of Alix and Emira were at such different stages in their lives but the combination made the reader want to know more. They are connected through something that I didn’t see coming, that was a great twist. It makes you think about how you would handle situations and just how politically and racially woke you are.  Emira with little Briar, Alix’s daughter, was both touching and heartbreaking. The ending had me saying Wow. That added a layer all in it’s own.

Such a Fun Age is such a great book. It is an incredible debut from someone I know I will read again.

Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Group Putnam for a copy of this wonderful book.

 

The Wives

By Tarryn Fisher

The Wives: A Novel by [Fisher, Tarryn]

4 out of 5 stars

I am always fascinated by books about plural marriage and as we follow Thursday, the day of the week her husband shares with her, we start to see just how jealousy and curiosity can get the better of you. Thursday finds out that things are not exactly as they seem but guess what? This book is not exactly what it seems! You are reading along, watching the cracks form and then suddenly, the mirror explodes! I swear you will shout What?! I did not see the ending coming at all and boy, that shows you how well this is written. It makes you think that what you see is not always what the truth is. Thursday is a very complicated character and I will be thinking about her for a while. If you like delusional characters, shocking twists and complicated characters, this is definitely the book for you. Well done, Ms. Fisher.

Thanks to Graydon House and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

By Kim Michele Richardson

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel by [Richardson, Kim Michele]

4 out of 5 stars

This story really touched me and made me think of how much reading and books can change anyone’s life. Cussy Mary is one of my favorite characters that I have read this year. She is not going to let anything stop her from delivering books along her route as a Pack Horse Librarian. Her clients are all poor people in Kentucky who don’t have enough to eat, let alone read. Cussy is called Bluet by most people because she is the color blue. (I honestly had to look up the blue people of Kentucky and it is fascinating.) You will be rooting for her to find her happily ever after because she is the kindest person. She will give up food for herself to help others. I love how she could convince even the most stubborn person to get into reading something. There really is something for everyone. My hats are off to all those people who rode their horse, their donkey, or a stubborn mule like the delightful Junia, to deliver books, magazines. They expanded the minds of those who would otherwise not have it.

I was in tears throughout the book. You will feel everything that Cussy feels. There were a few stories that really got to me, especially Angelica and little Henry. The poverty and racism will hit you right in your soul.

Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for a copy of this lovely book.

Nothing To See Here

By Kevin Wilson

Nothing to See Here by [Wilson, Kevin]

5 out of 5 stars

I loved this book! I mean what’s not to love about a woman who finds herself while taking care of two children who spontaneously combust ?!

When Lillian’s friend from school calls her and offers her a job, she is skeptic but she is really in nowhere land in her life so she accepts. Lillian and Melissa have a complicated past. Melissa is now the wife of a politician with big plans. What those plans probably don’t include are the two children, Bessie and Roland, from his previous marriage. The two kids catch fire when their emotions get away from them. Lillian’s job is to keep them occupied, away from the public eye and keep them from burning everything down. What Lillian doesn’t expect is to become attached to  these two kids.

I loved the relationship between Lillian and the kids. It was wonderful watching the three of them blossom into a family. They slowly figured each other out. They were more observant than they realized. It is a very quick read, hard to put down and totally different from anything I have read before.