The Girls- Emma Cline


“It was just a heart, like any lovesick girl might doodle.”

I have been wanting to read this book since I read about it in Time magazine. Then a couple months back I joined the book of the month club and to my surprise this was one of the choices!!!

I loved this book! It reminded me of another favorite book of mine  Anthropology of an American Girl. The way Ms. Cline writes is poetic and reminds you of the feelings of being a young girl growing up too quickly. Evie is trying to deal with growing up in the late sixties, her parents divorce, and starting to back away from her childhood friend. This is when she meets Suzanne, a girl who is running with Russel (a Manson-esqe character).

Through out the book you can feel the tides changing with Russel’s group and when you finally get to the pinnacle of the story you are not disappointed. I even found the, very few, chapters that are told from the point of view of older Evie enjoyable. Different, but enjoyable.

This is a quick read and I wish it was longer. I think Ms. Cline could have gone deeper into the the madness unraveling at the ranch, or even the trial. Quick or not this has a place on my favorites shelf now.

The Invasion of the Tearling -Erika Johansen


None of us escape,

None of us is clean.

It took me a while to get in to this book. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that I hope are answered in the third and final book.

The themes in this book are not for the faint. There is much rape and a lot of spousal abuse. I was happy to get more answers about what the sapphires are and what they do. I was also happy to see Kelsea come in to her own and manage truly rule her kingdom. Though there were things that I didn’t agree with (the flaying of a man with her mind powers for one), I tend to side with Mace on most issues, she’s still a bad ass.

For the longest time I was confused about the Lily Mayhew segments, but I found myself enjoying those the most. With their fast paced dialogue and just the intrigue to what happened with our society to make it go so wrong. She lives in a society where wives are never seen in public without their husbands and everyone is “tagged”. So “Security” can track your every move. I hope she goes a little more in to what happened to make that society so corrupt. But I would be happy with more backstory on how the Tear came to be.

Another bit I enjoyed was the fact that they FINALLY tell you what the hell the Tear is! The thing that really peeved me was that it was staring me right in the face and I didn’t see it!

We have to wait until November for the conclusion of the trilogy, I hope it’s a good one. I just want answers. There’s a lot of lead up for this book and I hope the last book delivers.

Wreckage- Emily Bleeker


“Lies, good one at least, are smooth and well thought out. It’s the truth that’s sloppy.”

Is it me or have I been reading really quickly these days? I told my fiance it’s because of the kindle and maybe it is. Either way it’s been nice to be on a reading binge.

Wreckage tells the tale of Lillian and David two people who find themselves stranded on an island somewhere in the South Pacific after a messy jet plane crash. They are accompanied by Kent, the pilot, and Lillian’s mother-in-law Margaret. It is told in varying chapters from David’s point of view and then Lillian’s and it also goes a step further and goes from present day, where the two are being interviewed separately, and back when they were stranded.

I don’t like reading other reviews before I start a book because I want the experience to be all my own. I do sometimes skim through the first few lines of them on goodreads though. One person said that the dialogue was lacking substance and I would agree and disagree. There were times that I thought the dialogue, mostly between Lilian and her husband Jerry, was just not believable. Then there were other times that I felt the author was speaking from the heart.

The twists in this book were gut wrenching, from death and betrayal to touching on the subject of “two men and one woman stranded on an island together”. The last couple chapters are just a roller coaster ride of emotion; and while I was satisfied with the ending I did always hold out hope for Lily and David. The love they have for each other oozes of the page and you just wish that you had someone in your life that thinks about you the way that they think about each other. Without the plane crash and all.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am excited to see where this author’s career takes her.

Little Mercies- Heather Gudenkauf


“You have to look for the little mercies, the small kindnesses and good that come from the terrible.”

For those playing the home game, you know that I love Heather Gudenkauf! I won’t bore you with what I said in my latest post about Little Lies, if you’re interested you can pop back a couple posts and check it out.

Once I figured out how to borrow ebooks from the library I quickly put all of Ms. Gudenkauf’s books on my wishlist and was alerted that Little Mercies was available. The problem was that I had already committed to finishing The Big Library Read, which didn’t take me that long to finish. I sometimes feel like I’m cheating on my goodreads reading challenge because I’ve been reading shorter books, but reading is reading I suppose.

Little Mercies is about Ellen Moore, a mother of three who is also a social worker taking care of the kids who don’t have a voice in unstable homes. One day everything turns around when Ellen is in a rush and doesn’t hear her husband yell from the porch an important detail that will plague her for the rest of her days. It is also about Jenny a ten year old girl who is living with her father paycheck to paycheck, and sometimes not even that.

Ultimately this book is about what we do for children; not only our flesh and blood but every child. Like the rest of her books that I have blogged about it is hard to discuss this book without spoiling the jaw dropping twists and turns that I have come to love from Ms. Gudenkauf. I’m waiting for her other books to become available on my library network so stay tunes for more blogs about this author. I hope she keeps at it because I will always pick up her books. You truly have a die hard fan over here Ms. Gudenkauf. Keep ’em coming!

A Murder in Time- Julie McElwain


“Little twists and turns.”

I picked up this book after finally figuring out how to borrow ebooks from my local library. While trying to do that the first thing that popped up is “Join the Big Library Read”. Being the book nerd that I am I clicked on the link and was taken to, which is where I saw a synopsis and cover of Julie McElwain’s book  A Murder in Time.

First I should explain what  The Big Library Read is, eh? It is the first ever global eBook club! I’m not sure what the timeline is for the books, is it every month or not, but it seems like it is picking up steam since it started back in 2014. All you need is a library card or a student id. When I read the synopsis for the book I didn’t think it would be for me. Time travel…murder mystery… Then I thought; didn’t I just read a book kind of like that? 11/22/63 !!! So, I gave it a shot.

There are no holds on Big Library Read books and you get them for two weeks. I picked this book up on Friday and flew through it so I’m not quite sure what happens to books if you don’t finish them. Maybe they just disappear. How sad.

Anyway, back to the book. I loved this book! I never thought I was one for murder mysteries; which is strange because my Netflix queue is filled with murder mystery documentaries. This book was a joy to read and kept me guessing right up until the end. The language is easy to read and the chapters are short, which I enjoy because it makes it seem like things go by quicker.

Kendra Donovan is an FBI agent who goes on a mission to destroy the man who changed her life and the lives of her fellow agents. When she falls in to a “wormhole” and is transported to the same castle she happens to be standing in but in the year 1815. She quickly realizes this is no dream and sets out trying to blend in. Which is hard when you don’t know the lingo. People didn’t really go around taking the Lord’s name in vain and calling people “son’s a bitches” back then.

She also meets the people who live at Aldrich Castle and the people who are there for a sort of dinner party weekend. When a girl is found in the nearby river dead Kendra quickly snaps back in to FBI mode and sets up shop in the castle to try and find out who did it and when he will strike again.

A Murder in Time had everything! Fantasy, mystery, and a bit of romance. I could not put it down and was startled a few times when my cat jumped up on the couch next to me. Once I got to the end my jaw was on the floor and I was craving more! I want to know more about her scientist parents and the “experiments”. I want to know how she has been the only person to find this “wormhole” to 1815. And gosh darn it, I want to know what happens with her and her 1815 love interest Alec!!!

Ms. McElwain is writing a sequel and it is slated to come out in 2017. Now I wait…

Little Lies- Heather Gudenkauf


“As much as I would like to protect the children I work with from the truth, I learned very early on that lies, big or little, eventually destroy, or at the very least, erode their faith in the world.”

Ms. Gudenkauf does it again! Those of you who have been following me for a while know that she is hands down one of my favorite authors. Starting with The Weight of Silence which left me so speechless I didn’t know what to read next for about a month. Then with These Things Hidden which also left in a kind of “book readers euphoria” for a few weeks.

Her writing is so real and fluid you feel like you are a peeping-tom, quietly looming in the bushes of the lives of her characters. Not to mention the twists and turns she has always placed in the perfect points in her books. Little Lies is no different! A novella prequel to Little Mercies, it gives you a backstory in to the work relationship of Ellen and Joe; a social worker and a police officer who seem to be a little more than friends.

It deals with a case that we have seen before. A woman is found dead by the side of her young child who is very much alive. What ensues is a who-dun-it and why that is so gripping to read, I couldn’t it down. At 44 pages (Kindle) it’s a short read. But it being summer I was sitting outside enjoying a beverage and baking in the heat and even though I could barely stand the heat from the sun I stayed until I was finished.

She never disappoints me and I can’t wait to pick up Little Mercies. Unfortunately, before I read this book I had already made a commitment, to myself, that I would read the worldwide “Big Library Read”,  A Murder in Time. I just discovered that I can borrow ebooks from my library. Game changer. So, until then, Ellen and Joe are going to have to be put on hold and; as always, Thanks, Ms. Gudenkauf!


American Gods- Neil Gaiman


“So, none of this is happening. Such things could not occur in this day and age. Never a word of it is literally true, although it all happened, and the next thing that happened, happened like this…”

I had picked up this book ages ago and put it down shortly after finishing the first chapter. I wasn’t in the right mindset and I, surprisingly, hadn’t met anyone who had read it. Fast forward to about a month ago and everyone I talk to has read it and loved it! So, after finishing Into the Wild I went in the completely opposite direction and picked up the epic fantasy that is American Gods.

Let me start out by saying, I liked it. I really did. Do I think the middle lagged a little bit? Yes. All in all though it was a great story and the characters in it were endearing; well, most of them anyway. I felt like Gaiman had too many stories in his head and tried to make them all fit together, come hell or high water (no pun intended).

The story focuses on Shadow Moon a man who is imprisoned for robbing a bank. He’s quiet. He does his time and he is about to be released in to the loving arms of his wife. When the warden calls him in to his office he knows it’s bad news, maybe they’ve decided to keep him in longer and parole was just a huge joke. He’s wrong. The warden informs him that he will be getting out early because his wife was killed in a car accident the night before. So starts the journey. On his way to her funeral Shadow meets a man named Mr. Wednesday who promptly asks Shadow to be his right hand man. After some mead and a bout with a leprechaun Shadow agrees.

After this Shadow meets all kinds of gods, demi-gods, spooks, and haunts. None of which seems to phase him in the slightest. Not even when one of them bets him his life at a game of checkers. Nope. All of this seems perfectly normal to good ol’ Shadow. The only “normal” part of the book, and Shadow’s life it seems, is when his hiding out in a town called Lakeside in Wisconsin. He lives in a decent apartment, meets his neighbors, befriends the old guy whom everyone knows, and even gets in good with the local police. That’s when he hears about the child disappearances. Not so normal now.

It’s hard to describe what happens next. A lot happens. No, I mean a lot happens and doesn’t happen. When I finally made it to the end, which I loved (no spoilers here), I thought he could’ve achieved the same effect in a short story or a couple of short stories. Enter Fragile Things. It’s a short story collection by Neil Gaiman and there are a few in there about Mr. Wednesday and the whole AG crew. Maybe I will get more answers in there.

All in all I did enjoy it. A little long and a little sweeping in my opinion but I did enjoy being with Mr. Wednesday and his band of gods. I’m interested to see how they’ll pull this off as a mini-series next year. I still refuse to watch The Magician’s.