Review: A Map of the Dark (Karen Ellis)

Publication date: January 2018
Amazon price: $13.99 USD (Kindle)
Thank you to Negalley and Mulholland Books for the opportunity to review this book

Rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis: FBI Agent Elsa Myers is called away from her dying father’s bedside when a teenager, Ruby, goes missing. Working with Detective Lex Cole, she tries to piece together the story of the girl’s disappearance and discovers that Ruby is far from the first teenage girl that this man has taken. While dealing with her own personal demons rooted in her father’s terminal illness and the selling of her childhood home, Elsa is driven to solve the case in time to find Ruby alive.

How can you make sense of a person who confuses suffering and love, with such devastating results?

Trigger warnings: domestic violence, self injury

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Marvel TV: The Punisher

No doubt planned to coincide with the release of their competitor’s new Justice League film, Netflix’s new show Punisher debuted this past Friday on the popular screening platform and yes, I binged all 13 episodes in one day. Gritty and grisly, The Punisher gives even the bloodiest Tarantino movie a run for its money. It is not for the faint of heart or weak stomached. I’m talking eye … Continue reading Marvel TV: The Punisher

Review: The Dry (Jane Harper)

Publication date: January 2017
Amazon price: $12.99 USD (Kindle)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Short synopsis: Twenty years ago, Aaron Falk and his father were driven out of town after being suspected in the death of Aaron’s friend, 17-year-old Ellie. Aaron returns to his hometown for the first time since then for the funerals of his best friend, Luke, and his wife and daughter in a gruesome murder-suicide. He wouldn’t have, except that Luke’s father knows a secret – Luke and Aaron lied about their alibis for the night that Ellie died. In the aftermath of the funeral, Luke’s mother asks Aaron to take a closer look at the deaths to see if anything will exonerate her son. With the help of the new cop in town, an old friend who’s always been convinced of his innocence in Ellie’s death, the local principal, and a gruff but kindly bartender, Aaron faces the ghosts of the past convinced of his guilt in Ellie’s death and the reality of Luke’s untimely death.

Trigger warnings for domestic violence, sexual abuse of a minor, somewhat graphic descriptions of corpses (including a child), mention of self-harm, and suicide


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Review: Bonfire (Krysten Ritter)

Publication date: November 2017
 Book of the Month Hardcover
Amazon price: $14.74 (Hardcover)

Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis: Abby Williams, an environmental lawyer, returns to her hometown of Barrens, Indiana to investigate possible waste disposal violations by Optimal, the plastics company that swooped in to save the town by offering high-paying jobs and scholarships for students. Abby can’t shake the feeling that the company’s wrongdoing is related to the disappearance of her former best friend, Kaycee, ten years previous, after Kaycee and her friends faked an illness to get attention. As she uncovers the truth about Optimal, Abby find herself pulled back in to the town and people she’s tried so hard to leave behind. Can she find out the truth without losing herself?

Trigger warnings for sexual assault of minors, child abuse, substance abuse, suicide

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Review: The Secret Mother (Shalini Boland)

Publication date: November 2017
 Netgalley e-book
Amazon price: $0.99 (Kindle)

Rating: 2/5 stars

Synopsis: Still grieving the death of her son more than two years previous, the death of her daughter when she was born, and being left by her husband after her son’s death, Tessa returns home to find a young boy in her kitchen who insists on calling her mummy. He says he was brought there by an angel. Tessa calls the police who return the young boy to his father, and then begin suspecting Tessa of kidnapping. Tessa tries to juggle the guilty verdict piled upon her by the press, the realization that she and her ex-husband will never reconcile, and finding out the truth about how exactly this young boy came to be in her house.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

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Top 5 Wednesday – Nostalgic Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends

It’s Top 5 Wednesday! This week’s theme is Nostalgic Book Boyfriends and Girlfriends. Poor teenage (and young adult) me read her share of romantic YA novels and pined over them endlessly, so allow me to outline a few of my favorites: (note: I think the original intent of this prompt is for you to pick out your own favorite love interests that you wish were … Continue reading Top 5 Wednesday – Nostalgic Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends

Review: Start Without Me (Joshua Max Feldman)

Publication date: October 2017
Amazon price: 
$12.99 (Kindle)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Adam, a former musician who is nine months and four days sober, sneaks out of his parents’ house on Thanksgiving morning – his first time being invited back in years – unable to handle the pressure of staying sober and happy with a family he’s only beginning to reconnect with. Marissa, a flight attendant pregnant with the child of her high school boyfriend, throws up in a hotel bathroom and works up the courage to spend the day with her in-laws at their lavish mansion. Their paths cross in an airport restaurant and spend most of the day together through a series of misadventures in which Marissa confronts her infidelity and her own alcoholic mother, and Adam the pain of his broken heart and the overwhelming urge to relapse.

Trigger warnings for substance abuse, discussion of the suicide of another character, mental illness, sexual content, discussion of abortion (Marissa spends most of the book thinking about whether or not it’s the right choice for her).

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Alzheimer’s Month Reads

November is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month in the United States. My paternal grandmother growing up had dementia and my maternal grandmother has some memory issues associated with strokes, so I think it is very important that everyone understand how to best cope with memory issues in their loved ones. Early-onset Alzheimer’s affects approximately 200,000 Americans younger than 65, and worsens as time goes on. There is no cure at this time, but research is ongoing. To learn more click here, and see if any of the books below might pertain to you (and don’t worry, none of them are The Notebook).

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Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 – I Finished!

Date you finished: 11/10/2017 Regular List and Advanced List Favorite prompt: A book with an unreliable narrator – this one introduced me to Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot via The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and I’m glad to have gotten in a Christie read before reading Murder on the Orient Express so that I knew what to expect from her writing. I also really liked A book you bought … Continue reading Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge 2017 – I Finished!