Book Review: Final Girls

Book Review: Final GirlsFinal Girls
by Riley Sager
Pages: 342
Published by Dutton
Genres: Mystery/Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

My Takeaway  This book is fairly good, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Now, now don’t get your undies in a bunch. There are heaps of readers who absolutely loved this book, I’m just kind of on the…

Book Review: The Secrets She Keeps

Book Review: The Secrets She KeepsThe Secrets She Keeps
by Michael Robotham
Pages: 352
Published by Scribner
Genres: Mystery/Crime, Suspense/Thriller
Goodreads

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

With its brilliant rendering of the secrets some women hold close and a shocking act that cannot be undone, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.

My Takeaway  “Anyone who says that honesty is the best policy is living in la-la land.” Michael Robotham, The Secrets She Keeps In the words of Foghorn Leghorn, “Ah say, Ah say” The Secrets She keeps is sinister, gripping and a heck of a ride…

Book Review: Commonwealth

Book Review: CommonwealthCommonwealth
by Ann Patchett
Pages: 322
Published by Harper
Genres: Literary Fiction
Goodreads

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

My Takeaway – Short & Sweet!  “He realized then what he had known from the first minute he saw her, from when she leaned out the kitchen door and called for her husband. This was the start of his life.” Ann Patchett, Commonwealth Although I’m aware of Ann…

Book Review: Hum If You Don’t Know the Words

Book Review: Hum If You Don’t Know the WordsHum If You Don't Know the Words
by Bianca Marais
Pages: 432
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Genres: Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Goodreads

Life under Apartheid has created a secure future for Robin Conrad, a nine-year-old white girl living with her parents in 1970s Johannesburg. In the same nation but worlds apart, Beauty Mbali, a Xhosa woman in a rural village in the Bantu homeland of the Transkei, struggles to raise her children alone after her husband's death. Both lives have been built upon the division of race, and their meeting should never have occurred... until the Soweto Uprising, in which a protest by black students ignites racial conflict, alters the fault lines on which their society is built, and shatters their worlds when Robin's parents are left dead and Beauty's daughter goes missing.

After Robin is sent to live with her loving but irresponsible aunt, Beauty is hired to care for Robin while continuing the search for her daughter. In Beauty, Robin finds the security and family that she craves, and the two forge an inextricable bond through their deep personal losses. But Robin knows that if Beauty finds her daughter, Robin could lose her new caretaker forever, so she makes a desperate decision with devastating consequences. Her quest to make amends and find redemption is a journey of self-discovery in which she learns the harsh truths of the society that once promised her protection.

Told through Beauty and Robin's alternating perspectives, the interwoven narratives create a rich and complex tapestry of the emotions and tensions at the heart of Apartheid-era South Africa. Hum if You Don't Know the Words is a beautifully rendered look at loss, racism, and the creation of family.

My Takeaway  “I didn’t know what to say in a world where people were hated and attacked for not being the right color, not speaking the right language, not worshipping the right god or not loving the right people; a world where hatred was the common language…

Book Review: Small Hours

Book Review: Small HoursSmall Hours
by Jennifer Kitses
Pages: 288
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Genres: Fiction
Goodreads

In a story that unfolds over the course of a single day, a husband and wife try to outrun the secrets that threaten their marriage, sending their lives spiraling out of control.

On the edge of the economic downturn, Helen and Tom fled New York for what they’d hoped would be a fresh start: a small home in a former mill town, where they could raise their twin daughters away from the pressures of the city. But two years later, their fragile equilibrium has hit a breaking point. One September morning, Helen begins to lose control. Exhausted from juggling ambitions, frustrations, and unrealistic expectations, she snaps — and finds herself drawn into a violent conflict with two local teenagers. Unaware of her danger, in a Manhattan office seventy miles away, Tom is facing a crisis of his own at his high-pressure newsroom job — and struggling to hide a second, secret life.

My Takeaway  Relationships cannot flourish without communication and it’s clear Tom and Helen missed the memo. The couple does not communicate and withholds important information from one another (they don’t appear to be compatible). Helen has serious anger issues and Tom has a secret life. It…