Netgalley Review: The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for my review of this book, all opinions are 100% my own.

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The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

Pages: 432

Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: August 6, 2019

Rating: 5/5

This is a fast paced thriller where the main character, Abbie, is an AI replica of a tech owner’s wife. The original Abbie went missing after a surfing accident and her husband was so devastated at the loss of her that he used his company and their background of building robots to create the first AI person. This book is told in two different perspectives. The first one being the robot Abbie and the second being an employee of her husband Tim’s tech company. I loved the way the two perspectives shaped the story and worked so well together. I found myself really looking forward to what was going to happen next on both sides of the story.

I read this book so quickly because the suspense stayed pretty consistent throughout the entire read. There are a lot of twist and turns during the story and most of them worked really well. A couple of them felt out of place but overall this is another fantastic thriller from J.P. Delaney. Also, for all the people who are like me and thought that this is a far fetched sci fi thriller, Delaney lets us know that this technology is currently being developed and talked about. So if we think about it, this has the potential of being labelled as a domestic thriller.

If you are a fan of Delaney’s previous books than I definitely think you would like this one as well. I think his books are consistently good and I will forever read anything he writes.  If you are in the mood for a fast paced thriller that will constantly keep you on your toes I highly recommend this on to you.

~Cassie

Friday Reads: 8/2

I thought I would start a Friday reads series on my blog for the weeks when I really want to share what I am reading before I review it. I am always reading a few books at once so I do have a few things to talk about. I do only read about fifty or so pages of the bigger books I’m reading (Seveneves and The Count of Monte Cristo) and I have been reading a short story from the manga every time I read a chunk of the other two. I always have an ebook that I’m reading and I use that to have something to read while I’m out and about. Usually at night I read from my Kindle before bed so that’s when I get most of my ebook read. I also have tried experimenting with listening to audiobooks but I don’t really think they are from me. The ones I have tried are really good but I prefer listening to music or a podcast. I do however have one to share that I have been listening to on and off for months.

 

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What would happen if the world were ending?

A catastrophic event renders the earth a ticking time bomb. In a feverish race against the inevitable, nations around the globe band together to devise an ambitious plan to ensure the survival of humanity far beyond our atmosphere, in outer space.

But the complexities and unpredictability of human nature coupled with unforeseen challenges and dangers threaten the intrepid pioneers, until only a handful of survivors remain . . .

Five thousand years later, their progeny—seven distinct races now three billion strong—embark on yet another audacious journey into the unknown . . . to an alien world utterly transformed by cataclysm and time: Earth.

A writer of dazzling genius and imaginative vision, Neal Stephenson combines science, philosophy, technology, psychology, and literature in a magnificent work of speculative fiction that offers a portrait of a future that is both extraordinary and eerily recognizable. As he did in Anathem, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, and Reamde, Stephenson explores some of our biggest ideas and perplexing challenges in a breathtaking saga that is daring, engrossing, and altogether brilliant.

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

I started this yesterday and I am absolutely loving it. It is very fast paced and I was hooked on the first page. If you are into sci fi I highly recommend this to you. Fifty pages in and I am getting a lot of The 100 vibes from it. I love that show and so far this book is reminding me so much of season 4 where we got a lot of backstory into the origins of the Ark.

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Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.

The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I have been reading this since last month and I am just over 300 pages. That is roughly half way through and my goal is to read at least another 100 pages of this over the weekend.

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A best-of story selection by the master of horror manga.

This volume includes nine of Junji Ito’s best short stories, as selected by the author himself and presented with accompanying notes and commentary. An arm peppered with tiny holes dangles from a sick girl’s window… After an idol hangs herself, balloons bearing faces appear in the sky, some even featuring your own face… An amateur film crew hires an extremely individualistic fashion model and faces a real bloody ending… An offering of nine fresh nightmares for the delight of horror fans.

Shiver: Selected Stories by Junji Ito

This is my first manga! I have read two of the nine stories in here and I am liking these fun horror short stories. I’m also absolutely in love with the art. I don’t have a lot of experience with comics or manga and I also can’t even draw a straight line so I’m not the best person to comment on the art. He is the master of horror manga’s though so I feel confident that he is actually as amazing as I think he is.

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For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

This book is so fascinating to me because a lot of the crimes that take place happened in four different areas of California and I have lived very close to three of the four. These crimes all happened before I was born but it interesting to hear about the history of these places. I have been listening to the audiobook for about two months and I am finally under the two hour mark. Which means I have listened to about eight hours. As I said earlier, I’m just not an audiobook person but this is a very engaging story. It might be a bit overhyped but they have also found the killer since the book was released so a lot of the mystery of the book has been taken away.

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Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I am on a mission to read everything she has ever written. This book has some similarities to Life After Life because they are both female characters who are narrating their entire lives. Behind the Scenes at the Museum the main character, Ruby, only has one life though and she tells it in such an amusing way. The book starts off with her talking about her conception which was hilarious. I am exactly half way through this one and things would have to go majorly off the rails for me to give it lower than five stars. If you love character driven books I highly recommend you give this book a chance.

~Cassie

August TBR

Happy August everyone!! My kids go back to school in exactly two weeks which is so crazy to think that our “summer” is practically over. This month I want to catch up all the books I planned to read over the summer and of course read my #classicsathon books. I will share all those specific TBR’s below. I also have a couple of comics and a manga from the library that I hope to get the chance to read.

June TBR

July TBR

#Classicsathon

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Archie, Vol. 2 by Mark Waid

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Vol. 1: The Crucible by Roberto Agurrie-Sacasa

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Shiver: Selected Stories by Junji Ito

I also have quite a few Netgalley arc’s that I need to get too. I was doing a good job at staying on top of all of them but then this slump happened and now I have fallen behind. I will be happy to make a little dent in this list by the end of this month.

I also realize that this is quite the ambitious list for someone currently in the middle of a terrible slump. If I still feel behind when it gets to the end of the month then I will just make this my September TBR as well. My ultimate goal is just to be significantly caught up with all these books before fall begins.

Let me know how your reading is going this summer. Also, how many other people are in the back to school prep for either themselves or their kids?

#Classicsathon

August is the start of the #Classicsathon and I am happy to be participating this year. This is a super chill readathon meant to give some love to classics. This readathon was started by lucythereader over on Youtube and I will leave the link to her announcement video right here if you want some more information. The only challenge is to read at least one book. I feel like this couldn’t have come at a better time for me because of my current slump. I’m also currently reading a classic as part of my Fox Book Club so I know that I will for sure win this readathon.  I did go through and pick some books off my shelf and from my library that I hope to read this month and I will be sharing them below. Most of them are on the smaller side so I hope I can knock a few of these off my list.

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Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.

The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

*This is the book that I am currently reading. I am almost half way through and really enjoying it. Unfortunately this is an abridged edition which I didn’t know when I bought it. I do appreciate the added notes and essays that give a better understanding of Dumas as well as what was happening historically during his life. I have decided that I won’t be rating this version since it is not the complete book and will hopefully pick up a beautiful edition sometime in the future to read.

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Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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‘In one moment, every drop of blood in my body was brought to a stop… There, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth, stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white’

The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright’s eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter becomes embroiled in the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his ‘charming’ friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons, and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the first and most influential of the Victorian genre that combined Gothic horror with psychological realism.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a “haunting”; Theodora, the lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers—and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

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Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security…

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man’s nature, greed, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

~Cassie

 

Update and July Wrap Up

This has been such an odd month for me. I have been slumping hard on reading and blogging. I actually had planned this whole month of blog posts out but when it came time to sit down and write them I just wasn’t feeling it. I still have not been reading much but I have been feeling the itch to blog. So I am optimistically here with hopes that August will be a much more productive month for me.

I actually started a few blog posts but never finished writing them. I will probably just scrap my June wrap up since that ship has long since sailed. The other one is my 2nd quarter stats and I definitely want to finish that and post it. I compared my first and second quarter numbers and I find reading stats so interesting and I think a lot of other people do to. The other post is a book review so I will put that finishing touches on that as well.

As far as reading goes I only have read two books. I am currently in the middle of two other books but I don’t think I’m going to finish them before the month is over. There are so many good books coming out in August that I can’t wait to read so I’m hoping that will help pull me out of my slump. I also went to the library and got a bunch of graphic novels that I also hope will help me.

Now we are on to the two books that I finished this month. I did attempt to read a third but I dnf’d pretty early on because I just found myself getting so annoyed while reading it. Those books are as follows:

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The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

I really liked this book. It was a really good YA thriller that kept me guessing the whole way through. There was of course a romance thrown in but I didn’t mind it too much and actually think it added a nice element to the story. It was way too instalove for me especially given the history of the two characters but it also had its really cute moments. I also loved the ending and didn’t see it coming. It was dark and twisted which is exactly what I want in a thriller.

Rating: 4/5

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Friend Request by Laura Marshall

This is the book I dnf’d. I made it 20% through and nothing had really happened. Also the main character seemed so obsessed with old high school friends finally accepting her and it was just annoying me. The plot sounds so intriguing but it was way too slow with a character who I didn’t really care what happened to her.

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

This was also a really good YA thriller. I absolutely loved the setting of the book. It takes place near a horror themed amusement park and I wish more of the book had taken place there because it sounds so fun. I would love to visit a place like that. I love the way the mystery unfolded in this one and again I didn’t see the end coming. Unlike The Creeping though I didn’t really like the romance in this book. I enjoyed both of the characters but I didn’t really like them as a couple.

Rating: 4/5

I hope that you had a much better July than me and here is hoping that we have an awesome August!

~Cassie

July TBR

I’m back with all the books I want to read in July. I didn’t do too great with my June TBR, mostly because I was focusing on the two readathons I participated in. I will link my June  TBR here if you want to check it out because I plan on reading those next month as well as the other books I’m about to share with you. I am currently reading two of the five on that list but I haven’t actually finished any of them. I’m hoping since I’m not doing any readathons next month that I will be able to finish all the books on my July TBR. Also like before, I have broken my book picks into different categories.

Book of the Month

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Recursion by Blake Crouch

Memory makes reality. 

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. 

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

Fox Book Club

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The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor who has just recently been granted the succession of his erstwhile captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his Catalan fiancée Mercédès. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.

Ebook

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The Honeymoon Cottage by Barbara Cool Lee

Camilla Stewart’s ex-fiance ripped her off and disappeared, leaving her to care for his eight-year-old son alone. But when she arrives in Pajaro Bay, she finds a village full of cute cottages, quirky characters… and a killer on the loose who’s somehow linked to her, the young boy, and the darling little house known as The Honeymoon Cottage.

Physical 

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Grave Surprise by Charlaine Harris

When I was fifteen, I was struck by a bolt of lightning through an open window of the trailer where we lived…I recovered, mostly. I have a strange spiderweb pattern of red on my torso and right leg, which has episodes of weakness. Sometimes my right hand shakes. I have headaches. I have many fears. And I can find dead people. That was the part that interested the professor…

At the request of anthropology professor Dr. Clyde Nunley, Harper Connelly and her stepbrother Tolliver come to Memphis to give a demonstration of Harper’s unique talent. And what better place to have that demonstration than in a very old cemetery?

Dr. Nunley doesn’t bother to hide his skepticism, especially when Harper stands atop a grave and senses two bodies beneath her – one of a centuries-dead man and the other of a young girl, recently deceased. When the grave is opened, Harper’s claim is proven true. The dead girl is Tabitha Morgenstern, an eleven-year-old abducted from Nashville two years previously – a child whom Harper had tried, and failed, to find. The coincidence raises suspicions about her among the police – so she and Tolliver undertake their own hunt to find the killer. They make a nocturnal visit to the cemetery, hoping that Harper can sense something further about the murder.

And then, the next morning, a third dead body is found in the grave…

Most want to read physical book

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The Dinner by Herman Koch

On a summer evening in Amsterdam, two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. At first, the conversation is a gentle hum of polite small talk – the banality of work, the latest movies they’ve seen. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.

Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act – an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. When the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple shows just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner is an internationally bestselling phenomenon that will leave you breathless.

Most want to read ebook

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The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot #6) by Agatha Christie

A mysterious woman, a legendary cursed jewel, and a night train to the French riviera — ingredients for the perfect romance or the perfect crime? When the train stops, the jewel is missing, and the woman is found dead in her compartment. It’s the perfect mystery, filled with passion, greed, deceit. And Hercule Poirot is the perfect detective to solve it…

Library Books

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Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets.

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

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Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

~Cassie

June Book Haul

I can’t believe this year is already half over! June also happens to be my birthday month so I did treat myself to a few more books than usual. Other than my book of the month books I spent the rest of the month adding to my thriller collection.

Book of the Month

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With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

Goodreads

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Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.

So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

Goodreads

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Memory makes reality. 

That’s what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome—a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.

Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It’s why she’s dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent. 

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease—a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

But how can they make a stand when reality itself is shifting and crumbling all around them?

Goodreads

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A devious tale of psychological suspense so irresistible that it prompts Entertainment Weekly to ask, “Is The Kind Worth Killing the next Gone Girl?” From one of the hottest new thriller writers, Peter Swanson, a name you may not know yet (but soon will), this is his breakout novel in the bestselling tradition of Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train—and is soon to be a major movie directed by Agnieszka Holland.

In a tantalizing set-up reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train… On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

Goodreads

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When a fourteen-year-old runs away, her parents turn to social media to find her—launching a public campaign that will expose their darkest secrets and change their family forever, in this suspenseful and gripping debut for fans of Reconstructing Ameliaand Gone Girl.

Don’t try to find me. Though the message on the kitchen white board is written in Marley’s hand, her mother Rachel knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.

As the days pass and it sinks in that the impossible has occurred, Rachel and her husband Paul are informed that the police have “limited resources.” If they want their fourteen-year-old daughter back, they will have to find her themselves. Desperation becomes determination when Paul turns to Facebook and Twitter, and launches FindMarley.com.

But Marley isn’t the only one with secrets.

With public exposure comes scrutiny, and when Rachel blows a television interview, the dirty speculation begins. Now, the blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It’s not what they think; Rachel would never hurt Marley. Not intentionally, anyway. But when it’s discovered that she’s lied, even to the police, the devoted mother becomes a suspect in Marley’s disappearance.

Is Marley out there somewhere, watching it all happen, or is the truth something far worse?

Goodreads

A sensational debut thriller featuring an unforgettable heroine who just might have murdered her mother
 
Former “It Girl” Janie Jenkins is sly, stunning, and fresh out of prison. Ten years ago, at the height of her fame, she was incarcerated for the murder of her mother, a high-society beauty known for her good works and rich husbands. Now, released on a technicality, Janie makes herself over and goes undercover, determined to chase down the one lead she has on her mother’s killer. The only problem? Janie doesn’t know if she’s the killer she’s looking for.

Janie makes her way to an isolated South Dakota town whose mysteries rival her own. Enlisting the help of some new friends (and the town’s wary police chief), Janie follows a series of clues—an old photograph, an abandoned house, a forgotten diary—and begins to piece together her mother’s seemingly improbable connection to the town. When new evidence from Janie’s own past surfaces, she’s forced to consider the possibility that she and her mother were more alike than either of them would ever have imagined.

As she digs tantalizingly deeper, and as suspicious locals begin to see through her increasingly fragile facade, Janie discovers that even the sleepiest towns hide sinister secrets—and will stop at nothing to guard them. On the run from the press, the police, and maybe even a murderer, Janie must choose between the anonymity she craves and the truth she so desperately needs.

A gripping, electrifying debut novel with an ingenious and like-it-or-not sexy protagonist, Dear Daughter follows every twist and turn as Janie unravels the mystery of what happened the night her mother died—whatever the cost.

Goodreads

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An amazing talent makes her debut with this stylish psychological thriller—with the compelling intrigue of The Silent Wife and Turn of Mind and the white-knuckle pacing of Before I Go to Sleep —in which a woman suffering from bipolar disorder cannot remember if she murdered her friend during a breakdown.

Dana Catrell is horrified to learn she was the last person to see her neighbor Celia alive. Suffering from a devastating mania, a result of her bipolar disorder, Dana finds that there are troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death. As evidence starts to point in her direction, Dana struggles to clear her name before her own demons win out.

Is murder on her mind – or is it all in her head?

The closer she comes to piecing together shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her . . . or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again? A story of marriage, murder and madness, The Pocket Wife explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.

Goodreads

~Cassie

Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie

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Title: Ordeal By Innocence

Author: Agatha Christie

Pages: 198 (The edition shown above has 288 pages. The book I read has a plain hardcover and I thought the show tie in version was more appealing.)

Publisher: Bantam Books

Publication Date: November 3, 1958 (first published)

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4.5/5

Accused of bludgeoning his mother to death with a poker, Jacko Argyle had maintained his innocence throughout his trial, claiming he was hitchhiking on the night of the murder and had been picked up by a middle-aged man in a dark car. The police were never able to locate this mystery man—until he shows up a year later. But Dr. Arthur Calgary arrives too late to substantiate Jacko’s alibi. For after serving just six months of his life sentence, Jacko dies behind bars following a bout of pneumonia.

Feeling a sense of duty to the Argyles, Calgary is surprised when his revelations reopen old wounds in the family, leaving him to wonder if one of them is the real murderer….  

Goodreads

Every time I read an Agatha Christie novel I am blown away by how well she could weave a story together. She wrote such interesting characters and such compelling plots. I read this book in two days because I was so engrossed in the mystery. I was slightly disappointed with this one though because this is the first Christie novel that I have read where I figured out the killer pretty early on. The journey to the reveal was so good though and I was constantly second guessing myself. I didn’t see the motive coming at all either so that was still surprising.

This book was written in the late 1950’s so a lot of the thinking on certain topics is pretty outdated. The main two being how a mixed race character was talked about/described and also adoption. If you are someone who stays away from classics that don’t age well (aka problematic) then I would suggest you try a different Christie novel. If you can look past it, this is a well done mystery that any fan of the genre will enjoy. Also, there is a miniseries based on this book on Amazon Prime. I haven’t had a chance to watch it but I plan to do so soon.

~Cassie

Review: The Seven and a half deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

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Title: The Seven and a half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

Author: Stuart Turton

Pages: 512

Publisher: Raven Books

Publication Date: February 8, 2018

Genre: Mystery

Rating: 4/5

At a gala party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed–again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day, Aiden Bishop is too late to save her. Doomed to repeat the same day over and over, Aiden’s only escape is to solve Evelyn Hardcastle’s murder and conquer the shadows of an enemy he struggles to even comprehend–but nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

Deeply atmospheric and ingeniously plotted, The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a highly original debut that will appeal to fans of Kate Atkinson and Agatha Christie.

Stuart Turton has woven together an incredibly complex and well thought out mystery that I am in awe of. I can’t even imagine how long it took him to put all the pieces of this puzzle together. I am excited to re read this knowing the ending going in. I really think it will add a whole other layer to the story.

One of my only criticisms of this book is that there are just too many characters. I kept having to refer back to the invitation at the beginning to see who was who and what their profession was. I think there were too many side characters and it made getting to know the main characters more difficult. However, I think that the story is so big that taking away from it might make it fall flat.

The reveals were perfectly paced out and I love how twisty this story is. Even the broader reveals about the world this book is set in were well done. The science fiction aspect of this mystery is one of the reasons that this book is so compelling. I was so intrigued how time is used as a plot device to help solve the murder. The ending of this book was fantastic and I loved how everything came together. I gave this book four stars but I can see myself rating this higher upon a reread.

I think that this book is a perfect bridge between science fiction and mystery. I would also strongly encourage anyone who finds the synopsis compelling to pick this book up. You will not be let down.

~Cassie

Buzzwordathon Round 4 Wrap Up

Yesterday was the last day of the buzzwordathon so here I am today to tell you all about the books I read. The first book that I read and finished has kind of put me into a bit of a reading slump. Which is not something any reader wants to happen but especially not at the beginning of a readathon. Because of this I only finished two books the whole week. I did start two others so I with also share those with you and give you my initial thoughts on them.

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All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

This book really messed me up emotionally. I knew going into it that this book was heartbreaking but I was not prepared at all for how emotionally invested I would get in these characters. I’m sure by now that you can guess that this is the book that put me into a slump. I have never dealt with infertility but I did get the smallest of glimpses into what that must feel like while we were trying to have our youngest. The last few months of trying I would cry every single time I got my period and all I wanted was to be pregnant. My experience is barely a drop in the ocean of what women with infertility go through and I think this book does an amazing job of showing how devastating it can be. I also loved the relationship in this book. It isn’t perfect and they both make mistakes (some more serious than others) but I couldn’t help but love them together. Another reason that this book messed with me so much is because a lot of how Quinn describes her feelings for Graham is exactly how I feel about my husband. Although, thankfully we have never had to deal with some of the more serious issues that Quinn and Graham do. I also really loved how Hoover tells this story. It is told in alternating chapters of then and now and I really feel like it made the devastating parts that much more painful. Such a beautiful and heartbreaking story.

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This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

This is the only other book that I finished for the readathon. Unfortunately this also happened to be the worst book that I have read this year. The premise sounded so perfect for me and it started off ok but it quickly turned into a nonsensical mess. The book spent way too much time in the past and not enough time with the actual mystery. All of the characters made no sense with their thoughts or actions. The ending just kept getting worse and worse and I couldn’t wait for this book to end.

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Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

I am on page 67 and I am really liking this. So far I am thinking that this will be a five star read. The writing in this is really good and I can see why everyone raves about this book. I can’t wait to see how the relationship between the main character and Oliver plays out.

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Everything You Want Me to Be by Mindy Mejia

29% in and this is progressing like a basic thriller. I am excited to keep reading this though because I have a feeling something shocking is going to happen or be revealed.

~Cassie