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Celebrate the end of the work week with a little book humor.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List.

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1.  There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

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2. Blind Spot (Chesapeake Valor #3) by Dani Pettrey

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3. All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

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4. Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe my Melissa De La Cruz

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5. If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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6. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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7. In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

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8. Killing Kate by Alex Lake

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9. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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10. Shoot the Moon (Seeking Mansfield #2) by Kate Watson

What books are on your Fall TBR?

Review: Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

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I received a copy of this title via Penguin’s First to Read and NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn’t been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother’s death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he’s been looking for.

When Maura’s fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

I’ve read a lot of Suspense this year and Don’t Let Go has definitely made it’s way onto my Favorites list. It was fast paced and highly entertaining.

I loved Nap. He was sarcastic, morally gray, and totally unapologetic. The story is mostly told through his 1st Person POV and I loved being in his head. He narrated events to his dead twin brother, which is not my favorite type of narrative style, but it worked ok. I thought the story was pretty fast paced, with something happening every chapter. We get the necessary background information and character development, but it wasn’t an over the top amount of detail that slows things down like in so many other books. Coben seamlessly worked it all in to the current timeline and the mystery Nap was trying to solve.

I liked the supporting characters a lot, too. I loved Nap’s relationship with his best friend, Ellie, and how it was completely platonic. I also really liked Augie, Nap’s mentor. The two grew close after the death of Nap’s brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana, who was also Augie’s daughter. The plot revolves around the unanswered questions surrounding Leo and Diana’s deaths fifteen years ago, the recent deaths of a couple of Nap’s old classmates, and the conspiracy theories of the old missile base in their small town. I thought there were some things that seemed a little too unrealistic at times, but they made a little more sense by the end and it was all pretty entertaining, so I can let it go.

Overall,  I really enjoyed Don’t Let Go. I loved Nap and his humor. I loved how fast paced the story was and that each scene seemed important. I have only read a couple of books by Coben, but this one convinces me that I definitely need to read more from him. I highly recommend this one to Suspense fans.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

Review: Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Marissa Meyer, comes a high-stakes world of adventure, passion, danger, and betrayal.

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

I received a copy of this title via a giveaway from the publisher. It does not impact my review.

I am a big fan of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series and despite not being a big superhero fan have been really looking forward to Renegades. I was very excited to win an advanced copy through a giveaway from the publisher.

Renegades tells the story of a world where prodigies exist. Prodigies are people with special abilities. They had been persecuted for a long time until a very powerful prodigy, Ace Anarchy, staged a rebellion against the powers that be. During this Age of Anarchy when crime was running rampant, a small group of prodigies formed to try and restore justice, calling themselves the Renegades. Now the Renegades rule the land. Nova, one of the few anarchists left and one with a very personal grudge, wants to take the Renegades down and plans to “become” a Renegade to take them down from the inside.

Renegades appears to be very heavily inspired by X-Men. Most of the plot and characters reminded me of the movies (I’ve never read the comics). The story was pretty predictable, but it was still fun and I enjoyed it. I did think the book was far too long for what little happened, though. There was a lot of world building and an over-the-top amount of description (for me, anyways). This book really just seemed like it was more concerned with setting up the series then anything else. I remember not loving Cinder (the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series), but thought all the rest of the series was fantastic, so I have high hopes for the following books.

I liked Nova and the morally gray ground she walked. She is smart and funny. She’s on a mission for vengeance, but she also thinks that society would be better off without the renegades. She feels like people rely too heavily on them instead of providing for themselves and non-prodigies should be able to form their own government again. Adrian is part of a superhero dynasty and leader of the team that Nova joins when she becomes a Renegade. He believes in the renegade’s mission, but also thinks there is some room for improvement. Adrian is a very lovable character and I enjoyed all of his POV chapters. The romance between Nova and Adrian is very slow burn and is still in very early stages by the end of the book. There wasn’t a whole lot of development on the other characters and I hope they all become a little easier to keep straight in the coming books.

Overall, I enjoyed Renegades. It was a fun story with likable characters. I did feel like it was a little too long, though, and the pace was pretty slow for most of it. Not a whole lot really happened and because of this I can’t quite give this 4 stars. I do have very high hopes for the rest of the series, though.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

Review: Lies She Told by Cate Holahan

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I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Lies She Told will be available September 12, 2017. 

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Jones has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing down in both her professional and her personal life, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone providing for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, Beth sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the river.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the Hudson and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

 

I loved this book! It was such a well done psychological suspense and I did not want to put it down.

Lies She Told is about Liza, a once best selling author who has struggled with her last few books. Her editor doesn’t seem to be very impressed with her newest idea, but she gets him to agree to give her 30 days to submit a first draft. As she writes, she is distracted by her relationship with her increasingly distant husband, David, who’s best friend and business partner, Nick, has gone missing. She is also on an experimental fertility hormone that has some difficult side effects. She starts to write her new book about Beth, a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her and goes to drastic measure to keep him.

“To be a writer is to be a life thief. Every day, I rob myself blind.”

The story is told in alternating chapters of Liza’s life and her book. I really loved this! There are definitely parallels between Liza’s book and her life. However, I also thought that Beth’s story, while inspired by Liza, still felt like it’s own plot. It was almost like reading two different books that gave clues to each other. Including a story within a story is not a new narrative device, but I thought it was done really excellently here.

While I don’t think the conclusion to the mystery of what happened to Nick is really that surprising, there were still enough little twists to keep me guessing. We don’t know if Liza’s hormones are making her forgetful or if there are other things going on. On the other hand, we see exactly how crazy and manipulative Beth can be. While neither of these two characters were particularly likable, I thought both of them to be sympathetic and compelling.

Overall, I really enjoyed Lies She Told. I loved the writing style and the alternating chapters made me never want to stop reading. I definitely recommend this one to fans of psychological suspense. This is my first book by Cate Holahan and I am now anxious to try out what else she’s done.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars