Source: Penguin Random House

#BookReview
Find Her by Lisa Gardner
@LisaGarnderBks @DuttonBooks

#BookReview Find Her by Lisa Gardner @LisaGarnderBks @DuttonBooksTitle: Find Her

Author: Lisa Gardner

Series: Detective D.D. Warren #8

Published by: Dutton Books on October 18, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 464

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

Flora Dane is a victim.

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless.

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.


Review:

Thrilling, dark, and downright spine-chilling!

This is a gritty, police procedural that takes us on a hunt for a sadist and highlights the enduring psychological effects experienced by those who manage to survive.

The writing is fluid. The characterization is well done with the usual gang back including the stubborn, resilient, determined D. D. Warren whose greatest struggle is accepting and adhering to restricted duty when the clock is ticking and two women are missing. And the plot is an adrenaline-rushing mixture of disturbing violence, gruesome murder as well as some nice twists and turns that definitely keep you guessing.

Once again, Gardner has written a gripping, highly entertaining novel that showcases her exceptional ability to not only delve into the psychological and behavioural actions of the most depraved of society but also those of the victims who suffer by their hands.

 

This book is available now in Trade Paperback

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                           

 

 

Thank you to Dutton Books (Penguin Random House) for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Gardner

New York Times bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of eleven bestselling suspense novels.

Lisa lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family, as well as two highly spoiled dogs and one extremely neurotic three-legged cat. Lisa graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in international relations.

#BookReview
Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
@LizStrout @randomhouse

#BookReview Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout @LizStrout @randomhouseTitle: Anything Is Possible

Author: Elizabeth Strout

Published by: Random House on April 25, 2017

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 254

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout comes a brilliant latticework of fiction that recalls Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity. Written in tandem with My Name Is Lucy Barton and drawing on the small-town characters evoked there, these pages reverberate with the themes of love, loss, and hope that have drawn millions of readers to Strout’s work.

“As I was writing My Name Is Lucy Barton,” Strout says, “it came to me that all the characters Lucy and her mother talked about had their own stories—of course!—and so the unfolding of their lives became tremendously important to me.”

Here, among others, are the “Pretty Nicely Girls,” now adults: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband, the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. Tommy, the janitor at the local high school, has his faith tested in an encounter with an emotionally isolated man he has come to help; a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD discovers unexpected solace in the company of a lonely innkeeper; and Lucy Barton’s sister, Vicky, struggling with feelings of abandonment and jealousy, nonetheless comes to Lucy’s aid, ratifying the deepest bonds of family.

With the stylistic brilliance and subtle power that distinguish the work of this great writer, Elizabeth Strout has created another transcendent work of fiction, with characters who will live in readers’ imaginations long after the final page is turned.


Review:

Powerful, compelling and extremely thought-provoking!

In this latest novel by Strout she delves into the enduring emotional and psychological effects that socioeconomic differences, gossip and war has on some of the people we were introduced to in her previous novel “My Name is Lucy Barton” from the small town of Amgash, and highlights that every family has its struggles and life is never easy.

The characters are raw, troubled and vulnerable. The prose is sophisticated and smooth. And the plot is written in the form of nine linking stories that are full of familial drama, introspection, anger, shame, remorse, disappointment, abandonment, forgiveness, survival, support and love.

This is certainly a deeply moving novel that emphasizes just how much our childhood experiences shape us and reminds us of the importance to always believe that anything is truly possible!

 

This novel is due to be published on April 25, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is the author of several novels, including: Abide with Me, a national bestseller and BookSense pick, and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize, and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. In 2009 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Olive Kitteridge. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker. She teaches at the Master of Fine Arts program at Queens University of Charlotte.

#BookReview
My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
@KinsellaSophie @randomhouse

#BookReview My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella @KinsellaSophie @randomhouseTitle: My Not So Perfect Life

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Published by: Bantam Press on February 7, 2017

Genres: Contemporary Romance, General Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Part love story, part workplace dramedy, part witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world, this is New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s most timely and sharply observed novel yet.

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. The final, demeaning straw comes when Demeter makes Katie dye her roots in the office. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the image.


Review:

Humorous, amusing and heartwarming!

Departing slightly from her usual fanciful romantic comedies, in this latest novel Kinsella writes a story that is rich in character development and touches on the pitfalls of pretense, unrealistic perception, social media fallacies, and finding one’s true self all in a plot laced with humour, lightheartedness and a touch of romance.

The writing is crisp and witty. And the characters are a quirky, unique bunch that are likeable, flawed and genuine.

Overall, this is an enjoyable, thought-provoking story filled with cheeky banter and spirited hijinks that will definitely make you laugh and entertain you for hours.

 

This book is due to be published on February 7, 2017.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoKoboBook DepositoryB&N

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella is a writer and former financial journalist. She is the number one bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number and Wedding Night, the hugely popular Shopaholic novels and the Young Adult novel Finding Audrey. She lives in London with her husband and family. She is also the author of several bestselling novels under the name of Madeleine Wickham.

#BookReview
Always by Sarah Jio
@sarahjio

#BookReview Always by Sarah Jio  @sarahjioTitle: Always

Author: Sarah Jio

Published by: Ballantine Books on February 7, 2017

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A gripping novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember, from the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March

Enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiancé, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crain can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a journalist and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As she and Ryan leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense—everything connected and felt right. But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what—and whom—she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.


Review:

Captivating, thought-provoking, and deeply moving!

Always is a poignant novel that delves into the emotional, physical and mental anguish suffered by those inflicted with brain trauma and touches on the hardships, prejudices and struggles experienced by those who find themselves homeless.

The prose is polished and precise. The characters are consumed, troubled and genuine. And the story which contains a subtle element of mystery is written in a back and forth, past/present style that gives a wonderful appreciation and depth to all the situations, personalities and relationships within it.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel about friendship, loss, jealousy, compassion, life and enduring love, but I have to say I still prefer Jio’s historical fiction novels, particularly “The Bungalow” which is still one of my all-time favourites.

 

 This novel is due to be published on February 7, 2017. 

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CanadaIndigoBook DepositoryKoboB&N

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Ballantine for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sarah Jio

Sarah Jio is the New York Times bestselling author of ALWAYS, published by Random House (Ballantine), as well as seven other novels from Penguin Books, including, THE VIOLETS OF MARCH, THE BUNGALOW, BLACKBERRY WINTER, THE LAST CAMELLIA, MORNING GLORY, GOODNIGHT JUNE, and THE LOOK OF LOVE. Sarah is also a journalist who has contributed to The New York Times, Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, SELF, Real Simple, Fitness, Marie Claire, and many others. She has appeared as a commentator on NPR’s Morning Edition. Her novels are translated into more than 25 languages. Sarah lives in Seattle with her three young boys.

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