Book Review: Confess

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Synopsis from Amazon:

At age twenty-one, Auburn Reed has already lost everything important to her. In her fight to rebuild her shattered life, she has her goals in sight and there is no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is keeping a major secret from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

To save their relationship, all Owen needs to do is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin.

Even though I’ve only read two books by her so far, I feel confident in saying Confess is my favorite Colleen Hoover novel. It’s just so incredibly complex, filled with twists and turns that kept me on my toes the whole time.

The novel is told in alternating point of views between Auburn and Owen. Auburn’s first love, Adam, died when she was only 15 and Auburn hasn’t had the best life since then. Meanwhile, Owen has his own struggles. His relationship with his father is strained at best as they’re both still reeling from the car accident that killed Owen’s mother and brother years ago.

Whether you believe in fate or not this book will at least make you question the idea. Auburn and Owen are brought together when Owen needs help running his art gallery for the night and that spurs a chain reaction of events that ultimately change Auburn and Owen’s lives forever.

Honestly, I highly recommend this book. I cried, laughed, and I just really need this book on my shelf so I can read it again and again. If Auburn and Owen’s story doesn’t tug at your heart strings I don’t know what will. Seriously, this is a must read.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.”

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Book Review: November 9

Hey friends! Once again this obviously isn’t a Woman Crush Wednesday post. It’s a bonus book review! Yay! I’m switching up the schedule right now (hence why there was no WCW last week either). Please bear with me during this time of change. 🙂


 

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Honestly, I’d never even heard of Colleen Hoover until I joined #bookstagram. But literally almost every person I follow on Instagram was reading one of her books so I got curious and requested a bunch of her books from the library.

Well now I get the hype. I instantly fell in love with Ben, kind of like Fallon does. Ben is cute, funny, honest, and so genuine. He’s pretty unbelievable but in the best possible way. I also really like that he’s a writer and Fallon loves romance novels because they constantly talk about fiction and typical cliches that occur in romance novels.

It was interesting reading a novel about a guy who was trying to write a novel about what was happening in his life. It was very meta and also funny. The story is told in Fallon and Ben’s point of views, which is perfect because they not only keep things from each other but also from the reader, making the novel pretty surprising. I was definitely shocked by some twists although there were some things I suspected.

Still, this book kept me on my toes and Fallon and Ben’s chemistry and wit made me laugh and swoon. They’re so incredibly cute together and the use of November 9 as the focal point for this book was really interesting. The date has different meanings to both Ben and Fallon and the way Hoover uses that to drive the plot is fantastic.

I am now fully on board the CoHo train and have no intention of getting off anytime soon. Now I get to dive in and read all her books and I can’t wait. If you haven’t read any of her books yet definitely give her a try. She’s a phenomenal writer.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it and reread it multiple times. I need this on my shelf permanently.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“I thought I was tougher than a word. But I just discovered that having to say goodbye to you is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”

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Book Review: Making Her His

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Synopsis from Amazon:

For almost five years, Alex has had one obsession. Her name is Elynn.

Alex Hanas couldn’t believe that after so many years as a widower, his father was getting remarried. To make matters worse, the American gold digger had a kid—a daughter named Elynn. After months of avoiding it, Alex goes to brunch with every intention of giving his father’s new family the deep freeze. But he can’t pull it off with Elynn’s anxious green-grey eyes locked on him.

That was the day his life changed.

Four years later, Alex is as close to Elynn as a stepbrother can be. But that’s not enough for him. He wants more…and he’s done waiting.

I blame BookBub for my dive back into erotica.

Making Her His by Lucy Leroux was in my daily deals email from BookBub and ordinarily I may not have purchased it if it wasn’t for the fact that the Kindle version was free that day. Intrigued by the low low price of zero dollars and zero cents I took the bite and “bought” it.

And let me just say that was a great decision. This relatively short novel follows Alex, a 31-year-old control freak business man, and his stepsister Elynn, a quiet, shy 21-year-old. I’m never sure how to feel about the step siblings thing but in this novel it worked since Alex and Elynn’s parents didn’t get together until Elynn was 17 so Alex and Elynn never even lived together.

Alex reminded me a little bit of the infamous Christian Grey from Fifty Shades. Alex is a successful business man who likes to be in control and often tells Elynn what to do. What makes Alex a more likable character to me, however, is his controlling tendencies are just enough to be considered pushy and not abusive. When Elynn puts her foot down Alex respects that and always makes sure Elynn’s comfortable in their relationship, no matter what they were doing. He doesn’t push her to do anything she’s not ready for and is very conscious of keeping her safe, which I liked a lot.

I also really liked Elynn’s character. She has this interesting fascination with mushrooms that I thought was a little weird but also such a funny and quirky trait, especially in comparison to Alex. Elynn and Alex are the definition of opposites attract. I do think they get over the step siblings issue way too easily. The fact that Alex doesn’t see any issue with it at all and Elynn is easily persuaded seems a bit unrealistic.

Even so, I thought Alex and Elynn were really cute together and the erotica aspects were very steamy. The novel is very fast paced, which made their relationship seem a bit rushed but overall I really enjoyed this novel. It was a quick read and has now made be curious about Leroux’s other novels.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I already got what I wanted. What I’ve always wanted.”

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Book Review: The Steep & Thorny Way

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Synopsis from Amazon:

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Amulet Books. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on March 8, 2016.*

In all honesty I’m always hesitant to read books about a person of color written by a white person and historical fiction isn’t really my genre but this book interested me so I gave it a try.

It was slow in the beginning and it took me a little while to get into but I’d say about 40 pages in the pace picked up. I either forgot or skipped over the part of the blurb that mentioned this was inspired by Hamlet but I immediately got that vibe and because of that I thought I knew what was going to happen. I was worried this book would be very predictable but as the book went along the author, Cat Winters, hit me with more twists and surprises. Some I began to suspect as I read but others really took me by surprise.

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Hannalee and Joe, the suspected murderer of Hannalee’s father. Their relationship, at least to me, seems to teeter the line between just friends and more than friends, which is interesting once you learn more about Joe.

Over all, I think Winters did well with this novel. She definitely did her research and I liked how she touched on a lot of issues in just one book. One thing I could’ve done without was the pictures between chapters. If there were just a few photos at the end to show the history of everything that would’ve been cool but having the images between every few chapters didn’t really add anything for me.

I’d say this book is definitely worth a read. The ghost story and mystery aspect made this book way more interesting, as did the relationship between Joe and Hannalee. Although I’m not sure how it’d be done I’d be interested in a sequel to this novel. I want to know what happens to the characters next. Even so, I think this book had a satisfying ending so I’m fine with this being a stand alone. But if Winters wants to throw us another book and make this a series I wouldn’t mind.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

3 stars

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Book Review: Love Lies Beneath

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Source: Atria Books

Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:

Tara is gorgeous, affluent, and forty. She lives in an impeccably restored Russian Hill mansion in San Francisco. Once a widow, twice divorced, she’s a woman with a past she prefers keeping to herself.

Enter Cavin Lattimore. He’s handsome, kind, charming, and the surgeon assigned to Tara following a ski accident in Lake Tahoe. In the weeks it takes her to recover, Cavin sweeps her off her feet and their relationship blossoms into something Tara had never imagined possible. But then she begins to notice some strange things: a van parked outside her home at odd times, a break-in, threatening text messages and emails. She also starts to notice cracks in Cavin’s seemingly perfect personality, like the suppressed rage his conniving teenage son brings out in him, and the discovery that Cavin hired a detective to investigate her immediately after they met.

Now on crutches and housebound, Tara finds herself dependent on the new man in her life—perhaps too much so. She’s handling rocky relationships with her sister and best friend, who are envious of her glamour and freedom; her prickly brother-in-law, who is intimidated by her wealth and power; and her estranged mother. However perfect Tara’s life appears, things are beginning to get messy.

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

I absolutely love Ellen Hopkins and there’s only one book of hers I haven’t read yet but I’m hoping to change that soon. Anyway, the point it, when I discovered she had a new book out that was written in prose instead of her typical poetic style was over the moon.

I’m a big fan of Hopkin’s poetic style of writing, which is why when I discovered Love Lies Beneath was written in prose I was shocked but also intrigued because it’s new. And although the book is mainly written in prose we do get a poem every couple of chapters. But if I’m being honest, which I always am, I could’ve done without them because I felt like they took me out the story and didn’t really add anything.

If you don’t know anything about this book (because truthfully I didn’t until I stumbled upon it in the library) it’s Hopkin’s third adult novel and follows Tara, a forty year old woman who’s been divorced three times. And she’s filthy rich.

Tara also comes a pretty tough background. She grew up with just her sister, mom, and whatever boyfriend her mother had the time. Her mother wasn’t the best, to say the least, and all Tara ever wanted to do was leave her mother and past behind, which is exactly what she did.

I really liked this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end. I never knew what to expect or who to trust. Everyone was suspicious to be and Hopkins still somehow managed to hit me with a big surprise in the end. Unbelievable. Seriously, Hopkins is one of the greatest storytellers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and if you haven’t read any books by her yet I definitely recommend this one (and all the others!).

Really, though, this novel was excellent. It was mysterious, sexy, and I couldn’t put it down. Definitely give it a read!

Borrow or Buy: Buy!!!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Even as a kid I had to be the adult.”

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Book Review: The DUFF

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Synopsis from Amazon:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff–the designated ugly fat friend–of her crew.

But things aren’t so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I watched The DUFF movie a while back and I absolutely loved it and I’ve been dying to get my hands on the book ever since. Therefore when I went to an indie bookstore the other day and saw it there I had to buy it.

I don’t know if I’d say the book was better than the movie but I will say the book definitely had a lot more going on. I hate that the film changed the relationship between Bianca’s parents because I really liked her dad in the book and we don’t even see her dad in the movie.

Also, I really loved the relationship between Wesley and Bianca in the book. I like that they start out as kind of like friends with benefits but not really because Bianca hates him. I also found it very cute when they got to know each other and started opening up to each other.

Okay, the more I think about it the more I realize the book is definitely better than the movie but isn’t that always the case? The book was just so much deeper than the film made it out to be. The film kind of just recreated She’s All That (a great film, by the way, if you haven’t seen it) and threw in the term DUFF. Otherwise the movie is way off base from the book.

I’m definitely glad I saw the movie before I read the book because I can see now why so many people were upset about the movie. The book was so much more complex and I liked the characters way more in the book. Also, I don’t understand why the movie felt the need to add a mean girl when there was no mean girl in the novel. At least, not one that bullied Bianca.

Anyway, my point is this book is amazing and you should definitely read it. I totally have a huge crush on Wesley Rush and I just want to reread this book so I can fall in love with him again. So cute and funny and perfect!

Borrow or Buy: Buy it! Buy it now!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you.”

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Book Review: Enter Title Here

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.

What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.

But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she’s already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.

Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)

In this wholly unique, wickedly funny debut novel, Rahul Kanakia consciously uses the rules of storytelling—and then breaks them to pieces.

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Disney Hyperion. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be on sale on August 2, 2016.*

What’s great about this novel is from the beginning you’re told the protagonist, Reshma Kapoor, is unlikeable. This at least makes a little less surprising when you discover that she’s really unlikeable. She has a few redeeming qualities but for the most part Reshma’s that girl in high school that always raised her hand in class even though she’d answered the last five questions correctly. In other words, she’s the girl you couldn’t stand.

But that didn’t stop me from loving this novel. In fact, I’d say it helped. Rahul Kanakia writes this novel in a meta way that makes you feel like Reshma is a real person trying to write her own novel. It’s written in diary style so we get all of Reshma’s real thoughts but just as I think anyone does in real life there’s a lot Reshma keeps hidden from the reader until she has to tell us the truth.

What I liked most about this novel is that it kept surprising me. Because it’s written as if Reshma is trying to write her own novel she discusses all the tropes of a typical young adult novel and what she believes her story needs to succeed. She then proceeds to do all these things in her day to day life so her novel will be good. For example she believes her novel will need a love interest, friends, a party scene, and other life experiences so she sets out to do these things.

Based on many YA novels I expected this novel to go one way and then it went totally left. Nothing about this book was predictable and although I wanted to be on Reshma’s side, I just couldn’t but I also don’t think Kankia expects you to be. I felt sympathetic towards Reshma but mostly I just wanted her to get help because she obviously has some issues she needs to work through.

There were two characters I ended up really liking though: George, the boy who lives in Reshma’s house illegally and Alex, the girl Reshma decides to make her friend. They both had interesting influences on Reshma. I won’t spoil it but I like how Reshma interacts with both of them.

Overall, I’d say this book is worth a read. It’s different than a lot of other YA novels I’ve read in the past and I’m always in support of a YA novel that has a person of color as the protagonist. I also appreciated the discussion of race, privilege, and culture in this novel and how they all played a role in the plot of this story but weren’t the main focus. Definitely check it out!

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

3 stars

 

Book Review: Big Rock

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Source: Lauren Blakely Books

Synopsis from Amazon:

It’s not just the motion of the ocean, ladies. It’s definitely the SIZE of the boat too.
And I’ve got both firing on all cylinders. In fact, I have ALL the right assets. Looks, brains, my own money, and a big c&$k.

You might think I’m an as%*$le. I sound like one, don’t I? I’m hot as sin, rich as heaven, smart as hell and hung like a horse.
Guess what? You haven’t heard my story before. Sure, I might be a playboy, like the NY gossip rags call me. But I’m the playboy who’s actually a great guy. Which makes me one of a kind.

The only trouble is, my dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy. Fine. I can do this for Dad. After all, I’ve got him to thank for the family jewels. So I ask my best friend and business partner to be my fiancée for the next week. Charlotte’s up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock.

And pretty soon all this playing pretend in public leads to no pretending whatsoever in the bedroom, because she just can’t fake the kind of toe-curling, window-shattering orgasmic cries she makes as I take her to new heights between the sheets.

But I can’t seem to fake that I might be feeling something real for her.

What the hell have I gotten myself into with this…big rock?

After reading a lot of YA, which I love, I decided to step out of my regular reading zone and jump into some erotica. The last romance/erotic novel I read was Fall With Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout in May, so it’s been a while.

I don’t remember how this book crossed my radar but I do remember reading the description and being intrigued. Give me a best friend relationship that turns into something more and I’m automatically hooked.

This book was everything I wanted (and expected) it to be. Lauren Blakely chose to tell this story from the guy’s, Spencer, point of view and I liked that a lot. This is the first erotic novel I read from the guy’s point of view and I liked it. I don’t know if this is true of all guys so I don’t want to say it is but in this case Spencer didn’t spend too much time dissecting what everything meant. He keeps things pretty straight forward and I liked that a lot.

He was attracted to Charlotte, they started hooking up, and then he starts to think maybe they should be more than friends. It’s that simple. Of course he questions whether being more than friends with her is the right thing to do but we don’t get chapters and chapters of him worrying about it, which I appreciated.

Also, I liked Spencer as a person. I think it was a little much that Blakely basically made him into the perfect guy who’s rich, hot, and well mannered, but this is fiction so I went along with it. Besides, it was nice to read about a guy who didn’t need to be fixed or had some crazy, dark secret that his love interest would have to get past in order for them to be together.

Instead, Spencer is just a regular guy who is a bit cocky but besides that is funny, kind, and loves his parents and younger sister, Harper, which I found to be cute and endearing. And I really liked his relationship with Charlotte. They play well off each other and although I think the pacing of the novel was a little fast and I found Charlotte’s quick preposition to be “friends with benefits” with Spencer a little unbelievable, I still enjoyed the novel.

As far as the erotic parts go, they were good and steamy as well. This is probably the best erotic novel I’ve read so far. The erotic scenes weren’t too much and I actually liked the plot too. Plus, Spencer and Charlotte are really cute together. Definitely check out this book if you want to dip your toe in erotic fiction. It’s a good gateway book into the genre.

Also, if you read this and love it there’s a sequel coming out this summer! It’s titled Mister Orgasm, which will make more sense once you read Big Rock (although, let’s be real, it’s already kind of self explanatory). I’ll probably read the next one because I’d like to enter this world again and it stars Spencer’s best friend, Nick, and Spencer’s sister, Harper, and I could already sense the sparks between them in this novel. Plus, the “dating the sister of my best friend” trope is also a favorite of mine.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“My heart trips over itself in a race to get closer to her. Something is happening. Something strange and completely foreign. My heart is speaking a language I don’t understand as it tries to fling itself at Charlotte. Great. Now, that’s two organs I have to do battle with every day.”

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Book Review: Seven Ways We Lie

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Source: Amulet Books

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Amulet Books. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be on sale on March 8, 2016.*

Synopsis from Amazon:

In Seven Ways We Lie, a chance encounter tangles the lives of seven high school students, each resisting the allure of one of the seven deadly sins, and each telling their story from their seven distinct points of view.

The juniors at Paloma High School all have their secrets, whether it’s the thespian who hides her trust issues onstage, the closeted pansexual who only cares about his drug-dealing profits, or the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal. But it’s Juniper Kipling who has the furthest to fall. No one would argue that Juniper—obedient daughter, salutatorian, natural beauty, and loyal friend—is anything but perfect. Everyone knows she’s a saint, not a sinner; but when love is involved, who is Juniper to resist temptation? When she begins to crave more and more of the one person she can’t have, her charmed life starts to unravel.

Then rumors of a student–teacher affair hit the fan. After Juniper accidentally exposes her secret at a party, her fate falls into the hands of the other six sinners, bringing them into one another’s orbits. All seven are guilty of something. Together, they could save one another from their temptations—or be ruined by them.

When I was first told about this book I was very interested in the concept. Add in the fact that the author, Riley Redgate, is still in college and this book instantly became a must read for me.

Why does the author’s age matter, you ask. It’s simply because I love YA novels that are written by people who are young adults themselves. Don’t get me wrong, adults are great YA authors, obviously. But there’s something so open and genuine about someone who’s a young adult themselves writing about young adults.

Going into this book I didn’t have any expectations other than I liked the concept and I was excited to read it. Therefore when I did read it I got so sucked in that I finished the whole novel in a day.

The novel follows seven high school students: Olivia, Juniper, Matt, Valentine, Lucas, Kate, and Claire. Each of these students represent one of the seven deadly sins in some way. First, I just want to share who I think each one represents and I’d love to hear your opinions once you read the book.

  1. Olivia = Lust
  2. Juniper = Gluttony
  3. Matt = Sloth
  4. Claire = Envy
  5. Kate = Wrath
  6. Lucas = Greed
  7. Valentine = Pride

Honestly, I have no idea if these are correct. Valentine threw me off a bit because he doesn’t seem to represent any of the sins to me. Still, this is my best guess.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the novel. I really enjoyed this story. I liked the mystery of the whole teacher-student sex scandal (you don’t discover who the teacher is until close to the end). Although I guessed correctly pretty early on who it was but it wasn’t so blatantly obvious to me that I was 100 percent sure  and the story behind the scandal was unexpected.

Additionally, I really liked that this book wasn’t all about the scandal. Don’t let the synopsis fool you. For one thing all these characters don’t really come all together until closer to the end of the book. There’s so many things going on before they end up keeping a shared secret.

Olivia, Juniper, and Claire’s friendship is on the rocks because they all have issues and secrets they’re not sharing with each other. Olivia and Kat are twins who are barely speaking and have serious familial troubles. Speaking of familial troubles, Matt’s household isn’t fairing that well either. Lucas has a big secret that could change his whole world if it comes out. And Valentine…well, he was probably my favorite character but he has his own issues as well.

The plot of this novel was well driven and the changing of point of view between the seven characters was very well done. Redgate skillfully changes the voice of each character so they all stand out. This is especially seen in the way she writes Juniper’s POV, which to me read kind of like an Ellen Hopkin’s novel, in that it was less prose and more poetry.

As much as I did enjoy this book, I still had some issues with it. First, unless I missed it, we don’t discover Valentine’s gender until page 110. Up to that point in my head I thought Valentine was a woman and so when it became evident he wasn’t I was a little shocked and had to change my whole perspective.

Secondly, although I liked that each character had their own voice I couldn’t stand the overuse of “like” in Matt’s POV. Also, in his sections all conversations were said in whole paragraphs. For example, rather than splitting up lines of dialogue someone would say, “Hi,” and then I was like, “Hi,” and then he says,”What’s up,” and I’m like, “Nothing. You?”

I don’t know why but that infuriated me. Especially the “likes.” I know we use it in normal conversation but I hated reading it in a book when it wasn’t part of the dialogue. Speaking of dialogue, Matt and Olivia’s use of “Yo,” didn’t sit right with me. It always seemed out of place every time they said it.

Lastly, Claire does something in the novel and we don’t really know if she gets punished for it or not. I wish that could’ve been resolved more. Also, I just genuinely didn’t like Claire as a character and couldn’t muster any sympathy for her.

Still, despite these very small things, I was totally sucked into this novel and couldn’t put it down. I’d say it’s a must read!

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

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Book Review: What Was Mine

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be on sale on Jan. 5, 2016.*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: she takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It’s a secret she manages to keep for over two decades—from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends.

When Lucy’s now-grown daughter Mia discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her. She reaches out to her birth mother for a tearful reunion, and Lucy is forced to flee to China to avoid prosecution. What follows is a ripple effect that alters the lives of many and challenges our understanding of the very meaning of motherhood.

Honestly I requested this book on a whim and when I got it I had forgotten what it was about. Despite this I immediately dived in and I was hooked from the very first page.

Told in various point of views, including Lucy’s, the baby girl she kidnaps, and the woman she stole the baby from, Marilyn, you get every angle of this story. There was one quote I loved from this novel about how Lucy doesn’t see things black and white and constantly lives in a gray area. That’s how I felt about this book.

Helen Klein Ross doesn’t choose a side in the novel. She doesn’t tell you who’s right and who’s wrong. She let’s you decide that for yourself. For me, I couldn’t decide. There’s so many aspects to this story and although obviously kidnapping is wrong and doing it was a terrible thing, Lucy was still a good mom who loved her child, and how she came to have her didn’t change that fact.

I really appreciated the little stories and side notes we got in this book as well. Because we’re given so many point of views you really get to see how this kidnapping affects everyone, not just Lucy, Marilyn, and their daughter. Ross also shows us the girl’s nanny’s backstory and both Lucy and Marilyn’s husbands get a chapter or two. We even get a little tidbit from the detective on the case and some chapters from Lucy’s sister, Cheryl.

Although at first I was worried that having all these point of views would make this story confusing and hard to follow it actually did the opposite. By changing the point of view Ross added to the story, filling in blanks the reader didn’t even know needed to be filled. Ross could’ve written this story in third person but instead she gives a first person view of characters that readers may have otherwise ignored but now see how they play a role, whether it’s big or small, in the bigger story.

What Was Mine is definitely a must read. It’ll keep you hooked until the very end and you may even find yourself wanting to know more. Make sure to pick a copy when it’s released on Jan. 5, 2016.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

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