Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sneak Peek Into What I've Been Reading!

It's always fun to see what girls in our book club are reading outside of the books we've selected for the year. Today I'm going to share some of the books I've read recently and dish on my favs!

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Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.

This  book was not what it seemed at first glance! I was kind of plugging away at it since it had been highly recommended. I was moderately interested but then there was a big shift in the middle that changes everything. then it became a very intriguing read. The characters and the way each of them viewed the world keeps popping into my mind-even a few weeks after reading it.

August 30, 1975: the day fifteen-year-old Nola Kellergan is glimpsed fleeing through the woods, never to be heard from again; the day Somerset, New Hampshire, lost its innocence.

Thirty-three years later, Marcus Goldman, a successful young novelist, visits Somerset to see his mentor, Harry Quebert, one of the country’s most respected writers, and to find a cure for his writer’s block as his publisher’s deadline looms. But Marcus’s plans are violently upended when Harry is suddenly and sensationally implicated in the cold-case murder of Nola Kellergan—whom, he admits, he had an affair with. As the national media convicts Harry, Marcus launches his own investigation, following a trail of clues through his mentor’s books, the backwoods and isolated beaches of New Hampshire, and the hidden history of Somerset’s citizens and the man they hold most dear. To save Harry, his own writing career, and eventually even himself, Marcus must answer three questions, all of which are mysteriously connected: Who killed Nola Kellergan? What happened one misty morning in Somerset in the summer of 1975? And how do you write a book to save someone’s life?

I listened to the audio version of this book, which was fantastic! I couldn't stop listening. I did tons of laundry and my house was crazy clean just so I could listen longer. I was totally enthralled by this layered and complex mystery. I loved the way everything unraveled and the interesting character line up. It's a very well thought out plot that kept me guessing until the very end. 

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A missing little girl named Maggie Rose . . . a family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C. . . . the thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher . . . a psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him - even after he's been captured.

Gary Soneji wants to commit the crime of the century. Alex Cross is the brilliant homicide detective pitted against him. Jezzie Flanagan is the first female supervisor of the Secret Service who completes one of the most unusual suspense triangles in any thriller you have ever read. 

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair--at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji is playing at the top of his game. The latest of the unspeakable crimes happens in Alex Cross's precinct. It happens under the noses of Jezzie Flanagan's men. Now Alex Cross must face the ultimate test: How do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath?

I read this book because I took the new Masterclass by James Patterson online (which was FANTASTIC). I hadn't read this book, which launched the #1 Detective Series with Alex Cross over the last 25 years. This book was also made into a movie with Morgan Freeman. The book was fast paced and gripping, showcasing a true master of the thriller and mystery genre. Even though it's older, I really enjoyed it!

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As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

I read this book a little while ago but I loved it! The writing was snappy and engaging right from the start. You knew there was more to Ani's story and I couldn't wait to unravel what really happened. This book kind of reminded me of Big Little Lies with the way it's both lighthearted and funny but then also had very serious topic matter. I enjoyed the back and forth between present day and her remembering back to the night of the mysterious event and waiting for the two times to converge on one another. Jessica Knoll's writing was so sharp and witty. I really enjoyed her writing style and can't wait to read more from her.  I couldn't put this book down. It's a perfect summer read! 

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(This is the third book in the Mortality Doctrine Series- possible spoilers in the summary)

Michael used to live to game. Now the games he was playing have become all too real. Only weeks ago, Sinking into the Sleep was fun. The VirtNet combined the most cutting-edge technology and the most sophisticated gaming for a full mind-body experience. And it was Michael’s passion. But now every time Michael Sinks, he risks his life.

The games are over. The VirtNet has become a world of deadly consequences, and Kaine grows stronger by the day. The Mortality Doctrine—Kaine’s master plan—has nearly been realized, and little by little the line separating the virtual from the real is blurring. If Kaine succeeds, it will mean worldwide cyber domination. And it looks like Michael and his friends are the only ones who can put the monster back in the box—ifMichael can figure out who his friends really are.

This series is great for teenagers and anyone who loves a good YA novel. It's written by the same author as the Maze Runner series by local Utah author James Dasher. In case you missed it, The Maze Runner and Scorch Trials have are also movies. This series plays with some really intriguing ideas about just how far reality stretches until you're questioning what's real and what's not. If you're looking for something for your teens to read this summer, here's your series!

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Former special ops pilot Maya, home from the war, sees an unthinkable image captured by her nanny cam while she is at work: her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s husband, Joe—who had been brutally murdered two weeks earlier. The provocative question at the heart of the mystery: Can you believe everything you see with your own eyes, even when you desperately want to? To find the answer, Maya must finally come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past before she can face the unbelievable truth about her husband—and herself.

This book was awesome! I loved it! Once again Harlan Coben delivers. I seriously couldn't put it down. There's a reason Coben is known for his fast-paced writing and cliff-hanger chapters! I kept trying to guess what was going to happen, but then he'd be one step ahead of me with a twist! This is a gripping ride that will keep you riveted the whole way through. 

Right now I'm loving our book this month, The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. It's got me hooked and feeling all the feels! 

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The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.

Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.

Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both.

Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are. 

Two books I'm really looking forward to are:

Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty turns her unique, razor-sharp eye towards three seemingly happy families.

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm. 

I love all her books! I think I've read them all! Here's our recap of the book club we did for Liane Moriarty The Husband's Secret: Part I, Part II 

The other book I'm really excited about is the third book in Stephen King's Bill Hodge's thriller series. I have really enjoyed reading something by him that is outside the horror genre. The first two books were fantastic, as you would expect. AND . . . drumroll . . .  he is coming to Salt Lake on his End of Watch Tour! Don't get too excited because the tickets are already sold out, as I understand it. But luckily I got my ticket the day they went on sale, so I'm really excited to see the master writer! Along with my ticket, I get the new book, which MIGHT be signed by Mr King himself! Pretty cool if you ask me! 
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I hope that something piqued your interest! Let me know what else you're reading! 
What should be next on my list??

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