Funny Friday

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

I want to hang this up in my house. And never dust it…

Review: You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.

You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.

Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.

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

You Are Not Alone publishes March 3, 2020. 

Since loving this author duo’s debut, The Wife Between Us, their books have become auto-reads for me. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to think they’re a bit of a one book wonder for me.

I was bored for about the first 90% of You Are Not Alone. There was some mild intrigue with Cassandra and Jane, the Moore sisters, and figuring out what exactly they’re up to, but it didn’t really take long to figure things out. I kept hoping there was a lot more to them and their group of friends, but there wasn’t. While I did like reading the multiple perspectives, getting the others just made Shay’s perspective more frustrating. I just wanted to yell at her to stop being so stupid all the time, which isn’t necessarily fair since I was privy to more information than she was. Still, though, for how intelligent she was supposed to be, I felt like it took her way too long to become suspicious.

I found the writing between the two authors to be seamless, as always. They have very compatible writing styles and I do find that impressive. I was just underwhelmed with the story. I thought much of it was very obvious and thought things drug out for too long. There was one surprise towards the end that I hadn’t guessed, but it wasn’t exactly a game changing twist like I have come to expect.

Overall, You Are Not Alone, just wasn’t for me. While there was initially some intrigue, I felt like things become obvious way too early in the story and I kept waiting for things to get really crazy, but they never did. I found myself just trying to get through the story, rather than enjoying it. While I still think these authors are talented, this story missed the mark for me.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.5 Stars

Review: No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Packed with the electrifying pacing and pulse-pounding suspense of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner, a thrilling debut about a mother desperate to find the connections between her missing husband and a deadly stalker who knows too much about her own dark family history.

Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and woman fighting on the side of the road. After calling 911, the veterinarian makes a split-second decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos. Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her minivan and chases after the violent man, trying to help his victim. When Cassie physically tries to stop him, he suddenly turns on her and spits out an ominous threat: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live.”

A veterinarian trained to heal, Cassie can’t let the woman die. But while she’s examining the unconscious victim, the attacker steals her car. Now he has her name. Her address. And he knows about her children. Though they warn her to be careful, the police assure her that the perpetrator—a criminal named Carver Sweet—won’t get near her. Cassie isn’t so sure.

The next day—Halloween—her husband disappears while trick-or-treating with their six-year-old daughter. Are these disturbing events a coincidence or the beginning of a horrifying nightmare? Her husband has been growing distant—is it possible he’s become involved with another woman? Is Cassie’s confrontation with the road-side attacker connected to her husband’s disappearance? With all these questions swirling in her mind Cassie can trust no one, maybe not even herself. The only thing she knows for sure is that she can’t sit back while the people she loves are in danger.

As she desperately searches for answers, Cassie discovers that nothing is as random as it seems, and that she is more than willing to fight—to go the most terrifying extremes—to save her family and her marriage.

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

No Bad Deed will be available February 18, 2020. 

This is a hard one to review without giving too much away, so I’m going to keep it short. I did like that it was pretty fast paced and even when the plot seemed to drag a bit, the pace kept me reading. Small reveals came quickly and frequently and that also helped move the story along. That’s kind of the end of the good things I can say about No Bad Deed, though. Cassie was a confusing character. Nothing she did really made that much sense to me. One of my biggest pet peeves in this type of book is when the main character decides to investigate themselves and everything they do just makes them look guilty. There was a lot of that in this story and I found it frustrating. I also think the actual development of the mystery was kind of ridiculous. By the time we get to the reveal of who is behind everything and why, the only reaction I had was a hard eye roll. It was a promising premise, but I found the ending really underwhelming.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

WWW Wednesday: February 12, 2020

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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You are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen and Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel. Both books were 2.5 stars, unfortunately.

What did you recently DNF?

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(Since I just finished a book and haven’t started a next one yet, I’m changing the “Currently Reading” prompt to what I just DNF-ed.)

My Best Friend’s Royal Wedding by Romy Sommer. I thought this looked cute, but just couldn’t get into it. DNF-ed at 15%.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Anyone’s guess at this point. I feel like I’m in a bit of a slump after my last two reads and I’m not sure where to go next.

What are you reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Turned my Cold, Black Heart to Mush

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is a “Love freebie”. I decided to go to with Books that Turned my Black Heart to Mush. I don’t generally consider myself a “romantic” person, but there are some books that have such shippable, cute romance that it makes my cold, black heart melt a little.

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1. Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata

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2. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

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3. Making Faces by Amy Harmon

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4. The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

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5.  Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne

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6. On the Fence by Kasie West

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7. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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8. Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

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9. Just One of the Groomsmen by Cindi Madsen

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10.  When It’s Real by Erin Watt

Review: Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the author of Truth Be Told (formerly titled Are You Sleeping)—now an Apple TV series of the same name—comes a cautionary tale of oversharing in the social media age for fans of Jessica Knoll and Caroline Kepnes’s You.

Everyone wants new followers…until they follow you home.

Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates, an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can’t stay away from and a sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.

But Audrey’s faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her move has brought her within striking distance of someone who’s obsessively followed her social media presence for years—from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is off-limits—and nothing is private.

With “compelling, suspenseful” (Liz Nugent) prose, Kathleen Barber’s electrifying new thriller will have you scrambling to cover your webcam and digital footprints.

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

Follow Me will available February 25, 2020. 

If there is one thing that freaks me out more than anything else, it is the thought of someone watching me. I’ve always been that person that closes the blinds as soon as it gets dark (if I open them at all). I refuse to buy any of those Alexa type of devices, even though I know my phone listens to me all the time anyways. It was only in the last couple years that I even turned the location services on on my phone and that’s only because I need to use the GPS so often. As a blogger, there’s definitely a balancing act between wanting to share some personal details, while not sharing too much.

That’s definitely not a balancing act that Audrey Miller cares about, though. In her desire to be an “authentic” Instagram influencer, she has no problem sharing the intimate details of her life to her million followers – in a curated, aesthetically pleasing way, of course. When she gets a new job and moves to DC, she comes within striking distance to one of her biggest fans. He does things like follow her around town, peep in her windows, and download scary, spyware on her computer. Though Audrey does become paranoid and frightened, the thought to chill out on Instagram never really seems to cross her mind.

I found the writing pretty addictive. It’s told through three POVs – Audrey, her friend Cat, and the mysterious “Him”. I thought the multiple POVs were used well and it helped move the story along, from an otherwise kind of slow pace. Audrey is completely self-absorbed and not the most likable person, but I found her kind of compelling to read about. Cat was the straight man to Audrey’s craziness and for awhile I found her kind of relatable. She did frustrate me, though, with how obsessed she was with Audrey’s friendship. She was a successful lawyer with a promising career, but she let herself get caught up in Aundrey’s whims and drama. She has a shady past alluded to a lot that she’s desperate to keep hidden from everyone, but when it was finally revealed, it didn’t really seem like that big of a deal to me. It’s something she didn’t really get in trouble for before, so it would have been easy for her to spin as an adult. The Him POV showed how truly crazy the stalker was and I enjoyed his chapters. I think that Barber did a pretty good job of giving us several characters to suspect. While I did figure out his identity awhile before it was revealed, I debated between him and another character for several chapters and I liked that it wasn’t completely obvious from the start.

Overall, I enjoyed Follow Me. Though I expected it to be a little creepier and suspenseful than it was, the subject matter alone was enough to creep me out. I wish the pacing had been a little faster, but the writing was addictive enough that it kept my attention the whole time. I definitely am interested in checking out more from this author.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars