Book Reviews

Blog Tour: Without Merit (Colleen Hoover) @colleenhoover @AtriaBooks

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Welcome to my stop on the Without Merit blog tour! I am so excited to be participating in my first blog tour today for an amazing author that I adore so much. I fell in love with her writing when I first read Confess. I have been under Colleen Hoover’s spell ever since!

So let’s start off with the synopsis of her new novel!

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Synopsis:

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Poignant and powerful, WITHOUT MERIT explores the layers of lies that tie a family together and the power of love.

My Thoughts: 

After reading strictly crime thrilling novels for a whole year, this was such a REFRESHING read that I needed. I have been a Colleen Hoover fan for last 2 1/2 years. Her first novel I read was Confess. Upon reading that book, she put me under her spell. I spent the next several days, weeks, and months binge reading all of her novels she had published back then. Along the way I have purchased every physical copy and have my own shelf dedicated to her.

I was so excited to read Without Merit when I found out she wrote a new novel. But I was not as excited as when I finished it. This book guys and ladies is hands down my most favorite one she has written. I have never felt so many emotions in any other books than a Colleen Hoover book and this book hit all my feels. I laughed, I became angry, I sympathized, I cried, and I was thankful. This will be a book I will recommend over and over again.

I do want to warn readers though, without giving anything away, you will read about depression, you will read about anxiety and you will read about attempted suicide. I personally have never had depression symptoms but I’ve definitely have had bursts of anxiety. This book does not come across as dark and dismal. This is a book about a family coming together when they learn that secrets and lack of communication are not the key to life. I loved the way the book referenced each of these mental health issues and how they handled it as a family. It broke my heart in so many good ways.

I know some of you may now be thinking that this is going to be a dark read that may put off readers. I’m here to tell you now that it’s not. Even though it touches on some dark issues, it is a light read that will have you falling in love with the Voss family.

Without Merit was a fast paced, captivating read and I encourage any Colleen Hoover fan to buy this book NOW! If you have not read a book by her yet, please choose this one to be your first. You will not regret it and if you do, well this will be a subject we disagree on! 🙂

It is so hard for me to sit here and talk about a novel that I am going to deem as my most favorite of 2017 and not talk about the characters and give away spoilers. This is a book I wished characters were real life because I would surround myself with these people to not only learn from them, but to learn how to love with them.

Well done Hoover. (5 Stars)

Thank you to Atria Publishing for providing me with this advanced readers copy, and thank you to Colleen Hoover for bringing out the ugly cry in me once again! It was an absolute joy to provide my honest thoughts on this novel. 

About the Author:

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Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9, and It Ends with Us. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance twice – for Confess in 2015 and It Ends with Us in 2016. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Please visit ColleenHoover.com.

FIND COLLEEN ONLINE:

Website: www.ColleenHoover.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ColleenHoover

Twitter: @ColleenHoover

Instagram: @ColleenHoover

WITHOUT MERIT

BY COLLEEN HOOVER

http://www.withoutmeritbook.com

Atria Books Paperback | 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170621 | October 3, 2017 | $16.00

eBook: 384 pages | ISBN: 9781501170638 | $7.99

  

ORDER WITHOUT MERIT:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wiVRyr

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2vtqsL8

Books-a-Million: http://bit.ly/2wTAhCc

iBooks: http://apple.co/2xrD7ie

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/2gqKTBG

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xgXDBh

Google: http://bit.ly/2eRebFr

Nook: http://bit.ly/2gXsDA2

 

Now for the fun….the #WithoutMerit Contest!

Enter the Rafflecopter to win a limited edition signed hardcover copy of WITHOUT MERIT! (5 winners in total) Contest is open until October 30th!


Thanks for stopping by! I had an amazing time writing this review and I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did! Don’t forget to let me know how you enjoy this book when you read it!

 

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Throwback Thursday (September 21, 2017)

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It feels so good to finally have the school year a little less hectic so I can start being a part of the book community again! I have missed blogging so much!

The Throwback Thursday meme was created by Rene over at It’s Book Talk. She made this meme to share some of our old favorites as well as sharing books that we want to read that were published over a year ago. Lord knows we all have a big enough TBR pile, but this is such a great way to share recommendations!

My Pick This Week:

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Published: April 7, 2015

From the internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels – a fast, tight, darkly lyrical stand-alone novel that has at its center the perfectly sympathetic antihero: an Oslo contract killer who draws us into an unexpected meditation on death and love. This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He is our straightforward, calm-in-the-face-of-crisis narrator with a storyteller’s hypnotic knack for fantasy. He has an “innate talent for subordination” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake…


After reading The Snowman by Joe Nesbø, I cannot wait to read another of his books!

Happy Reading! xx

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Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

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“Top Ten Tuesday” is an original feature that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For each week, the list is a new topic and the feature was created to share lists with other bookish people! These are a great way to get to know other bloggers and they provide a sense of fun to our blogs!

This weeks theme is Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR. I am so excited to make up my list right now that hopefully will get followed through the fall season!

The Missing Girls by Carol E. Wyer

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Close to Me by Amanda Reynolds

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3. The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer

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4. Local Missing Girl by Claire Douglas

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Penpal by Dathan Auerbach

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Baby Doll by Holli Overton

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The Trunk Key by Carolyn Nash

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Safe With Me by K.L. Slater

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The Stepmother by Claire Seeber

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

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There you have it! My Top Ten Fall TBR! I am so excited to get this list started and so excited for this fall season to begin!

Happy Reading! xx

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Dead Woman Walking (Sharon Bolton) @AuthorSJBolton @MinotaurBooks

Author: Sharon Bolton
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆ (4.12)
Pages:
352
Published:
September 5, 2017 | Minotaur Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor. She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime. Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all…

My Thoughts (4 Stars)

I’m pretty positive I held my breath through half of this book! 

People. If you have not read this book, you need to! This might be one of my favorites book this year! Even though I went through a reading slump from being so busy at work, it was by far a very face paced book for someone who can just sit down to read in a setting. Dead Woman Walking was a brilliant novel and an exciting story to get sucked into.

This is a novel that I cannot go too in depth about because plain and simple, I’d give the important parts away. This is also a book that you really need to pay close attention to. There are many parts inside the pages that made me go back a few to double check information. It’s so hard to discuss any of these parts because I don’t want to spoil anything. So what I am going to do is talk about some of my favorite things about book and a couple of things that I didn’t find interesting.

The first thing I absolutely loved about this book was the fact it opened with a hot air balloon crash and there were nuns throughout the story. I have never laughed so hard at nuns before in my life than I did within the 352 pages of this book. That was an unexpected turn I was not ready for. My favorite part about the nuns, they watched the Big Bang Theory on their recreational time.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the bond Jessica and Isabelle shared. After Isabelle being in the convent for 20 some years, Jessica always visited her and knew how to break all the rules together. It is something I could see my sister and I doing if we ever ended up in their shoes.

I’ve talked to a few other bloggers and readers about this book and everyone has told me that easily predicted what was going to happen. I must have been off my game during this book because I didn’t see any of it coming.

One thing I wasn’t a fan of though was a little lag in the story right before part two. It just started to drag out with nothing exciting happening for me and I almost gave up. Glad I have my book besties to keep me going strong because it definitely turned out to be one of the best novels I’ve read.

To end on a positive note, for the readers that have read the story. That ending was perfect. I was in tears and all I could think of was the quote “Be still my heart.”


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Goodreads Monday: Labor Day 2017: The Ex by Alafair Burke

Hey Bloggers!

All I can say right now is wow. It has been two weeks since I’ve been on my blog and I’m so sorry for being absent. Starting the new teaching position has been more work after hours than I thought. Walking into this position, I follow someone who never liked changed and was a person who never got rid of anything. So I’ve been doing so much work just to be able to be ready for the first day of school. This weekend has been the first three days I have not felt rushed for time or have felt extremely stressed to finish something up.

With that being said, I’m hoping I can be more apart of the blog now and that things at work start to slow down a bit!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To take part, simply choose a random book from you TBR and show it off. Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog and link back to add your own links!

Today the book I’m going to show off is: The Ex by Alafair Burke.

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Publication Date: January 26, 2016

Publisher: Harper

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Twenty years ago so ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it. Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a fifteen-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart. Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide – and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder – there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him – and why? For Olivia, representing jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for twenty years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?

My Thoughts: 

This is another book that has been on my book shelf for a while now and reading the synopsis again as I typed it make me want to put this up farther on my to read list! I love the idea of this book and its premise. A widowed husband possibly of to avenge and get justice for his dead wife only to be framed? WHAT! I hope this book is as good as I have just amped it up in my brain!


Have you read this novel? What were you thoughts on it!? Just remember… no spoilers! 🙂

Happy Reading! xx

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Goodreads Eclipse Monday: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

Hey bloggers!

Did you see that eclipse today!? We were out and about today and actually got to borrow a pair of eclipse glasses to watch it. I’ve heard a lot of people voice their opinions on how stupid it was or how unimpressed they were but I thought it was really wild. I’m not a big science person but I do love to see how science works. And I’m not afraid to say that it was one of the coolest things I’ve been a part of to see!

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To take part, simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Be sure to check out Laruen’s blog and link back to add your own links!

Today the book I’m going to show off is: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton.

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Publication Date: July 12, 2016

Publisher: Redhook

Goodreads Synopsis:

Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked. This is what happens next … to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter … and to her captor.

My Thoughts: 

This book has been on my book shelf for a while now. Every time I look for a new book to read, I take this one off the shelf and as I  continue scanning, I always find something more interesting or more talked about. I am going to make this book a priority though. I remember hearing such great things about this novel that I feel like I’d be silly not to pick up this book soon!


What are your thoughts on the novel? Have you read it? What did you rate it?

Book Reviews

How I Lost You (Jenny Blackhurst) @JennyBlackhurst

Author: Jenny Blackhurst
Goodreads Rating: 
★★★★☆ (3.89)
Pages:
384
Published:
October 10, 2017 | Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don’t you? My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address, and a chance to rebuild my tattered life. This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he’s dead? If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?

My Review (4 Stars):

This was a novel that had me on the edge of my seat asking for more!

Starting off this story we meet the main character Susan Webster whose name is now Emma Cartwright. She has been in a Psychiatric Institute for the past four years. Now she is out and has the chance to start over. She has done a great job so far. She’s made new friends, kept an old friend from the institute, Cassie, and is well on her way to living a new life. Until it all goes wrong, or maybe I should say right. Inside an envelope that has been dropped off on a Sunday there is a handsome picture of a 4 year old boy. On the back of that picture is the name of her son who she killed almost 3 years ago.

The first person Emma calls is Cassie. Cassie reassures her that this is just a nasty prank. Even though she has a new identity, if a person wanted to, they could figure out your past. People don’t like child killers, do they? There is completely no way possible that her son is still alive. Or is there?

One day, as Emma is sitting at home trying to convince herself that her son is not alive, a man comes to the door. His name is Nick and he knows exactly who she is and she knows exactly who he is. A reporter. Not feeling at all comfortable she slams the door in his face.

Emma starts experiencing the feeling of being watched. She has had her house trashed and she even came home to her cat murdered. Who could be tormenting her like this? Turning to her new found friend, Nick, and her dearest friend Cassie, they set out to find the perpetrator behind the tormenting. But more importantly to find out if Dylan is still alive.

Deep within these pages you see a woman go from confidently believing in the fact that she killed her child, to not knowing who she can trust, digging up her husbands past secrets and fighting for her life. Then to realize that she spent the last four years in a place she might not have deserved to be at.

I really enjoyed Emma/Susan’s character. Not having children of my own, I could still very easily put myself in her shoes. I mourned the loss of her eleven-month-old son. I was terrified with her as she was getting harassed and attacked. I even fell in love with her when it came to the characters of her past and her present. She was very easy to get long with it which is something that wins me over in a novel!

Throughout this novel, I always thought I had the answer. I always thought I had the characters figured out, only to be side-railed with another twist to remind me not to judge too soon. This book was absolutely clever and can easily be read in one sitting

This was a novel that had me on the edge of my seat asking for more! There were twists, there were turns and then there were shocking moments that had me saying “oh sh*t!” The characters are developed perfectly and are charming. But while you’re reading, I must warn you: trust at your own risk!

Thank you tremendously to Atria Books, NetGalley and Jenny Blackhurst for allowing me to read this novel for my honest review!


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