I have a confession to make. The books I am about to review were not all read in January. I would love to be able to read this many books in a month, but my ‘me time’ is limited these days as a mom of two young little ones and I am totally ok with that. Babies don’t keep; am I right?! I know I could probably read more during my evening quiet time when the babies have gone to bed and my husband has fallen asleep. I’m sure some of you moms can relate. We have big plans to get all the things accomplished during nap time and then boom — someone is awake. Then in the evenings during this said quiet time, you have to decide between catching up on the DVR, folding the clothes laid out on the end of the bed (You can only spin them so many times before it’s time to pull them out. Typically because a new load needs to be dried. It’s a never-ending cycle, no pun intended.), curling up with a good book, rinsing the dishes in the sink, taking a bubble bath or any other activity that strikes you as appealing at the moment. I personally am guilty of the first option. I love to make a glass of chocolate milk and peruse my DVR … mostly filled with my husband’s favorites like The Bachelor or anything that airs on Bravo. How obvious was my sarcasm,? 😉
Ok, here we go:
A Simple Favor
A Simple Favor was the one book I did actually read during January. I initially became interested in this book after seeing the previews for the movie. I’m the type of person who prefers to read the book prior to seeing the movie. A mom-blogger, Stephanie, recently lost her half-brother and husband in a car accident. She is left to raise her son, Miles, on her own and longs for friendship and adult interaction. She finds it with Emily, a fashion icon fixer, wife and mom to a little boy, Nicky, who is friends with Miles. Through their growing friendship, Stephanie steps in to help by picking up both boys from school when Emily has to work late. One day, Emily fails to show up to get Nicky. Panic ensues and Stephanie and Emily’s husband file a missing persons report. The plot thickens when a body is found and everyone’s true past comes to light. Let’s just say everyone has skeletons in their closet. To not ruin the few twists that the book does have, I’ll leave it there. This book is filled with deceit, fraud and manipulation. Part 1 moved a little slow for my liking but it did keep my interest once the story got going; however, it did not have a shocking ending that I typically look forward to when reading psychological thrillers. Long story short, I’m not as excited to see the movie like I originally was. Unfortunately, this one was underwhelming.
The Last Mrs. Parrish
Though not a shocking thriller, The Last Mrs. Parrish gets two thumbs up. I love a book that puts its foot to the accelerator from the start and keeps it moving. Amber Patterson is tired of being a nobody and is annoyed by women like Daphne Parrish who have both power and money. Amber does her research and figures out how she can work her way into Daphne’s social circle via a ‘shared passion’ for philanthropy. Daphne and her husband, Jackson, appear to be the picture perfect fairy tale. As Amber begins to get closer to the family and their two young girls she decides she would like to be even closer to Jackson. However, as the story unfolds it’s clear that everything is not always as it seems. I really enjoyed the plot twists and recommend giving this one a read!
The Wife Between Us
The Wife Between Us was hands down my favorite book I have read in awhile! The unexpected connections between the characters is amazing as each truth is unraveled and they gave me several ‘oh snap!’ moments. It’s a story so intricate that in order to give you a summary on this one, I would be here all day listing out a play by play, which would then ruin some the said ‘oh snap!’ moments. Basically this book will cause you to make many assumptions. Is it really about a jealous ex-wife? Should you assume she is obsessed with her replacement? Once you think you have started to figure things out, you get tangled right back up into the love triangle. Assume nothing people, assume nothing! Two thumbs way up on this one.
The Good Girl
Mia makes plans to meet up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend at a bar; however, he never shows. She strikes up a conversation with another guy at the bar, Colin, and decides he seems like he would be a safe one-night stand. Wrong. What Mia thought would be a night of fun, turned into her being kidnapped. Colin forces her into his car where she learns that he has been sent to abduct her for ransom. But just before he is to reach the drop off location, he decides not to hand her over and drives them to a secluded cabin in the woods. Meanwhile back home, Mia’s worried mother, Eve, can’t seem to understand why her father isn’t taking the news of his daughter’s disappearance seriously. Gabe, the detective who gets assigned to the case wonders the same thing. The story is told from four different perspectives: Mia, Colin, Eve and Gabe each in alternating chapters that also bounce between ‘Before’ and ‘After’ the abduction. At times, The Good Girl can get a little confusing until you understand the pattern of the book, but it definitely keeps you guessing until the end! I never saw that coming!
A Stranger in the House
A Stranger in the House is set in Upstate New York. Karen and Tom are living the picture-perfect storybook life as newlyweds. One day, Tom returns home from work to find that Karen isn’t there and it appears that she left in a hurry leaving behind her purse, phone and the front door unlocked. Surprisingly, the police arrive to share the news that there has been an accident. Karen lost control of her car and was being admitted to the hospital. The accident gave her temporary memory loss, which the police find convenient considering she was in the worst part of town when all of this happened. Once Karen is able to return home, she is determined to get on with her life. That is until she notices that something has been moved and things just don’t feel quite right; like there’s been a stranger in the house. This book is full of secrets that turn people into strangers, nosy neighbors into people who can’t seem to keep their mouth shut, police who won’t stop asking questions and the conclusion that everyone has something they would rather just keep hidden. Lots of twists and turns in this one; some you can piece together on your own as you go but entertaining nonetheless.
So there you have it, my January Book Review. As mentioned before, The Wife Between Us was definitely my favorite out of all of these recent reads. And as you can see, I have been on quite the psychological thriller kick lately. I love the unpredictable twists at the end! However for February, I will be reading a couple of books that were given as Christmas gifts, two of which are on the story and philosophy of Chick-fil-a as written by the man himself, S. Truett Cathy. Can’t wait to dive in! Happy reading!
What books have you read recently that you loved?