A.OK Book Review

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I love it when people ask for book recommendations on Facebook or when my favorite bloggers do book reviews! I always look up the books on Amazon or download the sample in iBooks, read a few pages, and add the ones I like to my reading list. I put "read more for fun" on my 30 Before 30 list and have been thoroughly enjoying it. I planned on reading a book a month in 2017, but I'm already a few ahead of schedule!

I know everyone has different taste in books, so first let me tell you what appeals to me. I have a reeeeally hard time getting into books....like, the first few chapters might take me a week or two to get through. But once I'm hooked, I can't put it down! My favorite genre is Murder/Mystery or Psychological Thrillers (think: Gone Girl, Girl On The Train). I also like a little love story thrown in there from time to time!

Below are my reviews.....enjoy!

1. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
If we're being honest, this wasn't my favorite read. The writing was very short and choppy so it didn't flow very well. It was a serious page turner and it made your mind work, but the ending was terrible! It was one of those "what the heck??!" moments that makes you regret taking the time to read it. The story begins when a couple is at their neighbor's house for dinner - they left their baby at home next door with a monitor and are checking on her regularly throughout the evening as she sleeps. When they return home at the end of the night, the baby is missing. Secrets and lies unravel as the search for the baby takes place. You will be trying to figure out who took the baby throughout the whole story. 

2. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
I read this book while in Belize! It was a great beach reach because it didn't take a lot of concentration and it was easy to put down whenever I wanted to jump in the water. It's not a Psychological Thriller or a page turner like I normally prefer, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it! There are few mysterious secrets + a murder that you are stuck trying to figure out throughout the whole book - when you do, it's shocking! I found myself laughing regularly because so many things in the book correlated to real life. I loved the book so much that I immediately came home and watched the HBO series starring Reese Witherspoon! I was a little disappointed in the show (I mean, that's what happens when you read the book first, amirite?) because they changed a little bit of the dynamic and added/took out some things, but it was still good overall. The story revolves around three very different women whose kids are starting kindergarten together. It focuses on parents acting like children (drama, drama!) but underneath it all, there are a lot of deep, dark secrets revealed.

3. The Steel Brother's Saga (9 books in all) by Helen Hardt
Let me start by saying, these books are not for everyone!! They are similar to the 50 Shades series and R-rated, if you catch my drift, but WAY better written than 50 Shades, in my opinion. The story is brilliant and filled with unexpected twists, turns and levels. I purchased them in the iBooks app because they were pretty inexpensive. I've only read the first six so far, but I LOVE them! I've had to space them all out because I will literally read them for hours at a time, I just get lost inside! I often find myself caught up in the storyline throughout the day, thinking about the characters and the plot. The chapters are really short, though, so it's easy to just read a few chapters if you only have a few minutes of free time! The story as a whole starts off when Jade moves to Colorado after she was stood up at the alter. She moves in with her best friend and ends up falling for her bestie's brother, Talon Steel. Talon has a lot of secrets that cause him to be extremely dark, brooding, and mysterious. The rest of the series uncovers the darkness as Jade and Talon fall in love. The first three books are about Jade and Talon, books 4-6 are about Jonah, Talon's older brother, and his love interest, and the last three are about Ryan, the youngest Steel brother and his love story. I can't wait to finish the series and get some closure! Ah! There is love, passion, mystery, abuse, murder, kidnapping....everything that makes a good book IMO!

4.  Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Alright you guys...I hated this book. Not for me. I knew this wasn't my usual Mystery book, but it had decent reviews so I thought I'd give it a try anyway. I tried and tried and tried, ya'll. I got through the first five chapters or so and finally gave up. The chapters are reeeeeeeallly long; I'm super busy throughout the week and only have a little bit of free time here and there to pick up a book...I could never even finish a chapter in one sitting! The worst, though, was the story line. I still don't know what it was even about? It tells the story of Lotto's childhood as he grows into himself and meets Mathilde, who he marries. That's about all I got. The book is so pretentious and very over-written, it's like the author is trying way too hard to create a literary masterpiece (and failing). It's worse than the books I was forced to read in high school English. 

5. The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
This book didn't really suck me in until the last few chapters. It wasn't the best thriller ever, but it was still enjoyable. The protagonist, Bryn, was recently in a terrible car wreck and has spent all summer recovering with the help of her new husband, Guy. Bryn is still haunted by terrible dreams of the accident and believes that her nightmares are trying to tell her something. Guy hosts a work dinner party at their home, and the next day, the caterer is found dead. From that point on, disturbing incidents occur and Guy becomes very secretive and standoffish. Bryn feels as if their marriage is collapsing and she knows, somehow or another, that it has to do with the murder. Throughout the book, she pieces everything together from the cause of the wreck, to discovering the killer. 

6. The Breakdown by B.A. Paris
If you read any book on this list, pick this one! I read my first B.A. Paris book, Behind Closed Doors, at the beginning of the year and LOVED it. I've been anxiously awaiting on The Breakdown to be released ever since. This was another book that stuck with me all day; I thought about it constantly while I was at work and tried to figure it all out. And guess what? I got it right!!! This was the first mystery book that I ever solved before the protagonist did and I was so incredibly pleased with myself! The story begins with Cass on her way home in the middle of a storm. She sees a car on the side of the road in the woods and contemplates stopping to help - but she keeps driving. The next day, she discovers that the women in the car was killed. From then on, Cass is terrified that the murderer is after her. You are left wondering if she is actually in danger or if she is imagining it all. It is such a good read; it really sucks you in! I cannot recommend it enough. 

Have you read any good books recently? I have a very long flight coming up next month, so I'd love some suggestions! So far, I have The Perfect Stranger, Dark Places and The Husband's Secret on my reading list. 

On another note, how cute is this tank? My friend Claire found it and we both ordered it immediately. We are both crazy dog ladies so it described us to a T! Coffee and dogs are without a doubt two of my most favorite things in life. I love the simplicity of the shirt; the text is nothing too over the top so I can wear it over and over again! It works as a PJ top, with cut-offs and sneakers on Saturday, or under a cardi! I linked a couple of other similar tanks in the widget below.

If you like this type of post, be sure to let me know in the comments so I can keep it in the rotation. Have an incredible weekend everyone!

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