The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Guest List had so many questionable characters and it made it impossible for me to figure out who the killer was. I loved that suspenseful feeling the story gave me! Every chapter brought new information, building a motive for each character!

How I Felt:

The story is told through the point-of-view of multiple characters as well as an omniscient narrator. The narrator’s story is told in the present, during the discovery of the murder. The other POV’s sort of rewind to the beginning of the weekend and progress in time to the wedding night and murder. I thought that the author found a way to write these different views in a way that was easy to follow, which was much appreciated! Each chapter started with the character’s name as well as their character title, such as “Wedding Planner”, “Plus One”, and “Bridesmaid”. These labels helped to keep everyone straight throughout the story.

Everyone has traveled to a secluded Ireland island for the wedding of Jules and Will. Each character has something to hide. The book starts with an “event” that has happened at the wedding, but you don’t quite know what it is. You do know that it’s not good. There’s clearly chaos and confusion, but it’s a mystery. As the story progresses, you learn about each character and their connections to other characters. More details about the “event” are revealed and you begin to suspect everyone of everything!

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The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Wives had an awesome premise that had me so excited to pick this book up. I loved all the secrets that surrounded the intricacies of this relationship!

My Synopsis:

Thursday is married to Seth. Seth is married to Thursday…and two other women, sort of.

Thursday went into her marriage fully aware that Seth had two other wives, but she was okay with the arrangement because she loved him so much. She’s happy with their arrangement. She gets to see him once a week, and that makes her content.

Until she accidentally finds the identity of one of his other wives and a receipt for a prenatal doctor’s visit. One thing leads to another and Thursday finds herself on the doorstep of this wife to see what she’s like.

Thursday’s life begins to spiral out of control from there as she suspects Seth of abusing this other wife. Except that her Seth is nothing like that…is he?

How I Felt:

This story did not go where I thought it was going to go and it threw me for a loop! I was really hooked on the whole plot until about halfway through. Then everything kind of got turned upside down, and I felt like I was reading a different book. The story completely changed and it felt less like a thriller and more like an odd domestic fiction.

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Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I really enjoyed the mystery of this story. Roux is this mysterious woman with a secret story that Amy has to understand so that she can beat Roux at her own game.

My Synopsis:

Amy is the mother of an adorable infant boy, the stepmom of a lovely teenage girl, and married to a wonderful husband. Her life feels picture-perfect.

Then, a bookclub meeting is taken over by new-to-the-group Angelica Roux. A dominant woman who starts a game of “Never have I ever” where the women share the worst thing they have done today, this week, this month, this year . . . ever. Amy immediately dislikes Roux and knows that she’s playing dirty for some reason.

Then, Angelica Roux confronts Amy revealing that she knows what Amy did. It turns out Amy has a secret and she’d like to keep it buried. Roux blackmails Amy, but Amy isn’t just giving in. Now, she’s on a dangerous path to find out who Roux is and just what she knows.

How I Felt:

The characters were extremely interesting, but I didn’t really connect with Amy as I would have liked. As the MC, I wanted to care a bit more about her. Angelica Roux was definitely a character I loved to hate. She always seemed to be one step ahead of Amy, and I couldn’t wait to see what it would take for Amy to outsmart her.

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Eden’s Echo by Lynn Veevers

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the idea of this teen girl’s body absorbing her mother’s soul. It was a unique plot, and one that I have not read before!

How I Felt:

Eden’s Echo does an amazing job of starting off with a bang. I felt like the first chapter had me hooked, and I couldn’t put it down from there! The pace is fast, but slows enough to let the reader understand the world and the situation.

I really liked that Eden was written as this super normal teenage girl. She’s got all the normal problems to deal with, but then she gets this huge weight of her mother added into the mix. She felt like a very relatable person, and made the entire story completely enjoyable.

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The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires had this mixture of Steel Magnolias type characters with a vampire plot and I really enjoyed it! I think that overall, it was the southern-style ladies that saved this book for me. Their gentle, southern charm softened the horror enough that I wasn’t terrified throughout the story!

How I Felt:

I don’t do horror well. I get scared, like read with the lights on and my back to a wall creeped out super easily. I couldn’t even pick a super scary image for my “Horror” genre image above. So, let me first of all say that this book was more horror-lite than full-on horror.

While The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires is a story about a group of book club ladies that think there is a vampire living in the neighborhood, it is also about so much more. I was surprised by the additional pieces of this story. There is a focus on family, sacrifice, love, poor choices, and relationships. It was, all-around, a well-written story that I really enjoyed.

The story begins with an introduction of the main character, Patricia Campbell, that really gave me a good feel for who she was as a person. Patricia is supposed to lead her book club’s discussion of this month’s book, but she hasn’t read it yet. She tries and fails to discuss the book by posing questions to the group, but it turns out that most of the women also didn’t read the book. After being called out by the head of the book club, the group disbands. Patricia is invited to join a new group, but they “aren’t a book club” as the leader likes to say.

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The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This is my first book by Megan Miranda and it WILL NOT be my last! I was blown away by her writing and story-telling. I found myself unable to put this book down!

How I Felt:

Olivia tries to keep her past a secret from everyone around her. As a young child, she was Arden Maynor. She suffered from sleepwalking and was swept away during a rainstorm and trapped for three days in a storm drain. Those three days are locked away in her brain and she cannot remember any of it. The media storm that followed her disappearance and eventual discovery and recovery followed her for years. Finally, she chose to move away and change her name.

Olivia is now an adult. She owns a home, a bit out of the way, but has a friendly neighbor that keeps her company. She’s happy until she receives a box filled with her mother’s belongings and the information that her mother has died. The sleepwalking returns and Olivia wakes one night to find a dead body at her feet.

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Death Donor by Matt Ward

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

A kick-A** female lead will always get me excited about a book, and Death Donor absolutely had that!! Samantha Jones was this interesting, amazing woman.

How I Felt:

The story drops the reader into a world where humans donate their bodies to extend the life of others. It’s the ultimate rich versus poor view of the world. Only the wealthy can afford these procedures, while the poor exchange their lives for the payout to keep the rest of their family alive and fed.

Samantha Jones is a bodyguard for Ethan Anderson, one of the wealthiest men in the world, and an owner of one of the life-extension companies. Her job provides “death insurance” so she considers herself lucky.

Then her daughter goes missing. Ugh, this broke my heart! Sam and her husband search for their daughter and soon find out that she was sold on the black market to an underground lab for body parts to extend someone else’s life.

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Killer Deadline by Lauren Carr

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I have so enjoyed this book! I loved the mix of humor and mystery. It has a wonderful collection of characters that make you feel right at home with the story!

How I Felt:

Killer Deadline introduces Nikki our strong, confident heroine, as she is leaving behind her successful career to return to her hometown and take over the family TV station. With her return to her hometown, Nikki is determined to uncover the mystery around her father’s unsolved murder. Just when she thinks another reporter is about to reveal valuable information about her father’s death, that reporter is murdered too! Nikki must solve this murder before she becomes the next target!

This story was filled with fabulous twists and turns that I’ve come to love from Lauren Carr. I was pulled into Killer Deadline from the first page and couldn’t put it down until the last. Carr has written an excellent, captivating cozy mystery that is the start of a great-looking series!

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The Nightjar’s Promise by Barbara Casey

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Nightjar’s Promise features Jennifer, one of the F.I.G.s. As she is leaving her practice, she swears she sees her mother and father, but that can’t be! They were killed in a car crash 15 years ago! She messages the other F.I.G.s their codeword, THURGOOD, to be used only when they are in trouble or have something terrible to discuss.

The F.I.G.s genius powers start working immediately and they each envision something that will give them clues. They are warned to beware the nightjar, setting off a chain of events that lead them to one danger after another.

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Van Helsing Academy by Stacey O’Neale

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I really enjoyed that this story was set in our everyday world, but dropped in vampires, shape-shifters, witches, and the humans that hunt them.

How I Felt:

Van Helsing Academy is like an alternative prison for supernatural beings that have broken the law but are not sentenced to death. I wasn’t quite sure about this, but it must also be for only young supernatural beings because it is a school too. There are dorm rooms and classes, and a principle.

Mina Van Helsing a descendant of the original Van Helsing, wakes up in the hospital after being lost for weeks and then in a coma. Her parents, at her hospital bedside, inform her that she was caught on video killing two vampires, but she doesn’t remember anything. Her dad asks her to plead guilty so that she can to into Van Helsing Academy to uncover what really happened.

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Hunting November by Adriana Mather

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Wow! This sequel was an exciting next step in the November story! I loved this story took us all over the place! I liked the scavenger hunt mixed with Mission Impossible feel that this plot gave the reader!

Hunting November picks right up where Killing November stops. All November wants now is to find her father. She sets off with her friends on a scavenger hunt, going from clue to clue. The hunt takes the group from November’s home town to Europe where they bounce around the country in search of their next answer. The final clue lands them in enemy territory and is filled with betrayal, secrets, and deceit.

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Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

There were a lot of secrets in this story. I really enjoyed all the unraveling that had to be done to get to what was really going on.

How I Felt:

The story starts with a murder. That’s always an exciting place to start with a thriller! The main character Eva is standing over her mother’s body holding a bloody knife… Eva wakes up in a hospital after being struck by lightning. A detective comes to her hospital room to inform her of her mother’s murder. Eva doesn’t remember or know anything. As the day progresses, she remembers standing over her mother holding the knife. What really happened? Can Eva trust her memory of events when they keep changing?

Behind Every Lie is told through alternating views. Eva’s story is told in present-day, but she is constantly thinking, analyzing, and reliving the past as she tries to figure out what is going on. The second POV is Eva’s mother, Kat. Kat’s view starts 25 years ago and gets closer to the present day as the story progresses. I really liked this storytelling choice. It offered secrets to the reader and I found the best reveals were told through Kat’s story.

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