The Escape Room

By Megan Goldin

The Escape Room: A Novel by [Goldin, Megan]

5 out of 5 stars

If you are looking for that perfect summer read, this is it. It will keep you riveted and I mean riveted! When the elevator doors open in the very beginning, you know that you are in for a wild ride. What happened?!

Four co-workers at a prestigious finance group meet up for what they think is a corporate team building exercise. They enter an elevator, which stops, and the clues begin. They think they are in an escape room, something one of them has done before. It should be a breeze only it’s not. (I am saying that in a Rod Serling kind of way) The clues are personal and the close quarters start to wear on each of them. Dog eat dog has a whole new meaning.

The chapters go back and forth between the elevator occupants and Sara Hall, a woman who used to work at Stanhope. She tells us her story of getting there and what happens to her. It really made the story flow in a very rich way. It lead you to where you needed to be as the reasons unfolded. It was the perfect way to tell the story. You could feel the desperation in the elevator. It was palpable. You feel the dread of something awful about to happen. It is so well written.

I loved this book and you will too. On a side note, the packaging that my advanced copy came in was genius. It was boxed in an elevator design that opened up into someone looking out of the elevator doors.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this wonderful book. You never disappoint.

 

The Chain

By Adrian McKinty

The Chain by [McKinty, Adrian]

4 out of 5 stars

I was in Florida visiting my daughter and grandson so I did not get much reading done these past two weeks. I did read this book and I was chilled. Everyone fears strangers kidnapping their children. What you don’t think about is that you might have to do it. To think that this was an actual thing in Mexico is so beyond frightening. Your child is kidnapped and you are called. They don’t ask for ransom. They ask that you kidnap another child in exchange for yours. You cannot break the chain. If you do, there are severe consequences.

They did not count on Rachel though. She is more of a threat than they could ever imagine. And she is not alone.

I was terrified reading this book. I think because I WAS with my daughter and grandson. Just the thought of the premise of the book gives me chills. Mr. McKinty did a great job of making sure those chills stayed put throughout the story. There is a lot of action to keep you turning the pages. It is fast paced and you will definitely not be disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and Mulholland Books for a copy.

Whisper Network

By Chandler Baker

Whisper Network: A Novel by [Baker, Chandler]

4 out of 5 stars

Welcome to the Whisper Network. That place at work where little asides are heard everywhere. A place where everyone thinks they know you.  Where women still have to fight against harassment, sexual and otherwise. A world where speaking out can cost you everything.

Sloane, Ardie and Grace have worked together for a while as lawyers at Truviv and have built a friendship and yet like most women do, they don’t tell each other everything. In comes Katherine, the new woman in the office who sparks something in all of them. When their boss dies unexpectedly, it means that Ames will be taking over but his past with all of these women might put an end to it all. And they are not alone, not just the lawyers have been harassed by Ames. They decide to take things into their own hands and change it once and for all.

We get a good look into their working lives and their homes lives. I loved the differences between all the women. The book was really good at showing different sides to a story, it was not all so black and white. I enjoyed their friendship and watching them all change and grow. There were parts that I wanted it to get on with it, it dragged a little, but the ending had me all revved up again.

Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron for a copy of this book.

 

Pretty Revenge

By Emily Liebert

Pretty Revenge by [Liebert, Emily]

4 out of 5 stars

Kerrie wants revenge on Jordan. She took away everything from her when they were young. It changed Kerrie but it also changed Jordan. Kerrie is now Olivia and she is going to work for Jordana (once Jordan) (Got it?) Jordana owns one of the biggest wedding planning companies for all the ritzy weddings. She is the go-to woman. Olivia makes herself indispensable to Jordana while she slowly starts to bring her down.

This was not at all what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be more of a psychological thriller but it was not a disappointment at all! I loved how we learned more about these two women and just what they would do to get what they needed out of life. I loved the progression we saw in their relationship and in their relationships with others. You could not hate Jordana and yet you could still feel sorry for Olivia. I absolutely loved the ending. It was perfect.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this book.

Evvie Drake Starts Over

By Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel by [Holmes, Linda]

4 out of 5 stars

This is one of those books you pick up and finish it in a very happy place. Everything about it is likable from the main characters, to the secondary ones, to the location, to the emotions. Evvie is a wonderful main character. Her relationship with Dean will just make you smile. The dialogue is whipsmart, perfect for a romantic comedy. I really can see this as a movie. You can see the way it is heading and you are perfectly fine with the view.

It is very funny. I was laughing out loud a lot throughout the book. The give and take between Evvie and Dean was adorable. They are adorable!

I think you could categorize this as a great summer read. It won’t tax your brain and it won’t leave you unsatisfied. (Maybe wanting a little more)

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

 

Dear Wife

By Kimberly Belle

Dear Wife: A Novel by [Belle, Kimberly]

5 out of 5 stars

Oh boy. This book is unputdownable with a capital UNPUTDOWNABLE! Yes, I know that is not a word but you will not want to stop reading until you turn that last page.

Beth Murphy has planned her escape from her abusive husband very meticulously.

Sabine Hardison is missing. As the story unfolds, we find out so much about Sabine, her husband, her secrets, and we follow the case with the lead detective Marcus Durand.

Things get uncovered, boy, do they and you will wonder just who is who and what is going on! This is the perfect mystery. All the pieces equal a very intriguing whole. I needed to know what the heck was going on! It is very well developed, every detail exact and so very well written.

You do NOT want to miss this one. It comes out this Tuesday. You can thank me later.

Thanks to Netgalley and Park Row for an advance copy of this great book.

Ask Again, Yes

By Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again, Yes: A Novel by [Keane, Mary Beth]

5 out of 5 stars

This one is on all of the lists of summer and deservedly so. I was pulled into the lives of the Gleeson and Stanhope families from the beginning and had a hard time closing the book on them in the end. They are two different families brought together by one tragedy that changes them in so many ways. It tackles the subject of mental illness and alcohol abuse with grace and dignity. It is written in such a way that even the most heinous thing that happens is not made to seem sensationalized or black and white. Through all of it, Kate and Peter know they belong together. It was hard to watch Peter throughout the book. His mother’s illness had shut him off so completely, even though he loved Kate, to showing any kind of emotion. It was the 70s and mental illness was not talked about. It seemed as if it was swept under the rug and everyone went about their merry way, pretending it wasn’t there. At least it wasn’t happening to them. In the beginning. I really felt no sympathy for Anne but as her story is told, my heart broke for her. Having lived with alcohol abuse in our family, I so understood Kate. I understood every nuance and every fear.

This is such a beautifully written book. They are messy families living in a messy world and they are oh so real. I loved the journey through the years and I always love a story with heartfelt redemption. The scene towards the end in the restaurant really touched my heart and everything made sense.

Thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for a copy of this wonderful book.