Book Reviews, Books I Read

What I Read | Fall 2017

What I Read

Well, friends, I haven’t shared any books I’ve read at all this fall! I started to put together the books I read in September (I read a lot!) but then I got sick and not only never finished the post… I hardly read any other books. When I’m sick and pregnant reading does not sound good to me at all (weird, right?) but I’m finally coming out of that stage and hoping to start to actually read again. I do have a lot of great books on my bookshelf (both literal and digital) to read and I’m excited to dig in to them again after a few months of reading nothing.

*The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

Synopsis: Thirteen years ago Olivia Adams went missing. Now she’s back… or is she? When six-year-old Olivia Adams disappeared from her back garden, the small community of Stoneridge was thrown into turmoil. How could a child vanish in the middle of a cosy English village? Thirteen years on and Olivia is back. Her mother is convinced it’s her but not everyone is sure. If this is the missing girl, then where has she been – and what happened to her on that sunny afternoon? If she’s an imposter, then who would be bold enough to try to fool a child’s own mother – and why? Then there are those who would rather Olivia stayed missing. The past is the past and some secrets must remain buried. 

This book was a fun one to read. The whole time you’re reading you know that something is off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it. The plot was a little different than most thrillers, and I would recommend it to any who enjoy the mystery/thriller genre.

4 stars.

**Remarkable Faith by Shauna Letellier

Synopsis: Remarkable Faith tells the stories of people whose faith was of such quality that Jesus himself marveled at it-people who were broken, needy, and dependent. These eight inspiring vignettes weave history, theology, and fictional detail into their biblical accounts to bring relief and a new perspective to those whose faith feels unremarkable. Written to encourage and relieve discouraged Christians who wonder if their faith is a disappointment to God, this book will demonstrate that remarkable faith-the kind Jesus marveled about-isn’t about achieving or performing. Readers will discover they can exchange their performance-based evaluation of their faith with a fresh, life-giving intimacy with the Jesus who delights in transforming inadequacies into irrepressible affection. 

This book was an interesting read. Shauna Letellier weaves Bible stories with researched facts from the time period and a little bit of fiction, to make those stories of persons who interacted with Jesus more personal in a way that we can all related too. It won’t be going on my favorites list, but was/is worth the read, and made me think and ponder a little bit more on the life of Christ and my own life — never a bad thing!

3 stars.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

All fanstastic, obviously. I think that the Half-Blood Prince is officially my favorite book of the series. I think 😉

5 stars.

*Just Another Week in Suburbia by Les Zig

Synopsis: Casper Gray goes to bed a happily married man. He wakes up questioning whether everything is a lie. Life in suburbia holds few surprises for Casper. He and his wife Jane are still trying for a baby after seven years. His neighbours have their quirks to be navigated. And his job as a high school teacher, while satisfying, comes with its challenges. Every day is much like the one before that is, until Casper makes a discovery that threatens everything he knows… As Casper ‘s fears grows into obsessions, his world starts to unravel. Just Another Week in Suburbia is a story about love, trust, and insecurity, and the question of whether you can ever really know another person. 

The premise of this story was interesting enough, about a week in the suburbs, a week in someone’s ordinary life and how little things can all of a sudden happen and life can unravel. But there was too much sexual content for me. Now, I’m not a prude by any means and can handle sexual content if it furthers the plot and/or is necessary. But this was just all sorts of crude for seemingly no reason. Not a fan.

2 stars.

*You Can Run by Steve Mosby

Synopsis: When a stolen car crashes into a house on a suburban street, the police are shocked to discover a woman being held captive inside the building. As the remains of many more victims are found in the house, it seems that the Red River Killer – who has been abducting women for twenty years and taunting the police with letters about his crimes – has finally been identified. As the hunt for the killer intensifies, DI Will Turner finds the investigation edging dangerously close to uncovering his own demons. He must be the one to catch the killer while keeping his own past buried. The clock is ticking, and there are lives at stake… A page-turning psychological thriller and a dark police procedural, the new novel from CWA Dagger winner Steve Mosby, explores the blurred lines between truth and fiction.

This book took a little bit to get into it, especially with all the different characters, but a few chapters in I was hooked. It was an intricate story with many characters and Mosby did a great job of weaving them all together into a great story.

4 stars.

*Trust Me by Zosia Wand

Synopsis: Lizzie is twenty-seven, and she has a great relationship with her seventeen-year-old stepson, Sam, even though they could pass for brother and sister. When Sam becomes sullen and withdrawn, Lizzie starts to suspect that something sinister is going on at school. She thinks an older woman is grooming him, trying to turn him against his family. But nobody believes her – and then suspicion falls on Lizzie herself…

I had a hard time with this one. While the plot was something different than what I’ve read before, I didn’t love it, and I wasn’t a fan of how it ended, either. I suppose that the subject of grooming and teachers taking advantage of kids is something that I am not comfortable with (obviously) and I didn’t enjoy reading about it.

2 stars.

*The Mistake by KL Slater

Synopsis: You think you know the truth about the people you love. But one discovery can change everything… Eight-year-old Billy goes missing one day, out flying his kite with his sister Rose. Two days later, he is found dead. Sixteen years on, Rose still blames herself for Billy’s death. How could she have failed to protect her little brother? Rose has never fully recovered from the trauma, and one of the few people she trusts is her neighbour Ronnie, who she has known all her life. But one day Ronnie falls ill, and Rose goes next door to help him… and what she finds in his attic room turns her world upside down. Rose thought she knew the truth about what happened to Billy. She thought she knew her neighbour. Now the only thing she knows is that she is in danger…

I think the summary is misleading, because this book is less about Billy’s disappearance and more about the abusive relationship Rose was in 16 years ago, and the way it affected her family and friends, and how it relates to Billy’s kidnapping. The story itself was fairly interesting, and it’s told in two time periods – the present and 16 years ago – but the ending fell kind of flat to me, and the culprit came a bit out of left field, it seemed. Rose’s character was interesting – very flawed – and I enjoyed reading the book from her perspective.

3 stars.

*The Visitors by Catherine Burns

Synopsis: Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother, John in a decaying Georgian townhouse on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties who still sleeps with teddy bears, Marion does her best to shut out the shocking secret that John keeps in the cellar. Until, suddenly, John has a heart attack and Marion is forced to go down to the cellar herself and face the gruesome truth that her brother has kept hidden. As questions are asked and secrets unravel, maybe John isn’t the only one with a dark side.

What even was this book? This book was perfectly creepy and strange, and very well written. I’m not even sure how to review this book because it was so …. different. The Visitors is mostly a look at the life of our main character Marion and her dysfunctional family, and a look at the dark secrets that linger in their home. Not much happens, but you are pulled in immediately and leaves you feeling a little unsettled. If you’re looking for something new, different, and creepy, try this one on for size.

3 stars.

Currently Reading: None right now!

On My Bookshelf: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

*I received free product from NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.
**I received free product from Faith Words in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. 

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