Review: Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong


I finished this one a few days ago and I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s not my usual genre, but I’ve had the Kindle version for a while so it was time to finally read it. As I normally do, I paired it with the audiobook so I could finish it quicker. The audiobook was great because I couldn’t pronounce any of those Polish names and cities without it. The content was heavy and I went through a few different emotions while reading it — anger, sadness, and disbelief. I still don’t understand how people could be treated that way! It’s not even something I should have to understand because it should have never happened in the first place.

Based on a true story, the story revolves around Halina Shore, a forensic dentist who has been chosen to take part in a war crimes investigation in Poland. The investigation brings up many questions and makes her question everything she knew about her childhood and her own mother . Born in Poland, she emigrated with her mother to Australia when she was a young girl  but whenever she would ask her mother about any family members or what life was like back in Poland, her mother would either change the subject or just not answer the question. Many secrets were revealed and disgusting crimes were uncovered. Although some of the story was obviously made up, I did enjoy the different side stories that developed because they eventually all tied back into the main story.



Review: Behind her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Louise, a divorced, single mother, meets David in a bar and is instantly smitten. Unfortunately, it turns out David is married and her new boss. By some odd chance, Louise becomes friends with David’s wife, Adele. The affair with David continues but little does Louise know how far Adele will go to keep her husband. 

Wow, what a book! This whole story was full of mind games and I didn’t expect it to end the way it did. If you have the chance, I highly recommend the audiobook. I have this weird fascination with accents and the British accents in this story were just lovely. If you like suspense mixed with a large dose of crazy, this book is for you. 

My Book Jar and Review of Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life by Shannon Kopp

I am terrible about reading ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) in a timely manner. I usually get them at library conferences and have accumulated way too many over the last few years. This year I decided to make a book jar. I wrote down all of the ARC titles plus all of my unread Kindle books on small pieces of paper and put them all in a jar. I made the jar because I wanted to just pull titles randomly. I normally read more than one book at a time and this year I’m making sure to make a dent in the unread books I actually own.

First title I chose was Pound for Pound: A Story of One Woman’s Recovery and the Shelter Dogs Who Loved Her Back to Life, by Shannon Kopp. I remember originally picking up this book at a library conference in either 2014 or 2015 because of the animal connection. I am a huge dog person but usually avoid books about animals since I usually start crying when an animal character dies. Sounds silly but that’s just me.

Anyway, once I started the book I was hooked. Shannon talked about how her struggle with Bulimia started and how it affected her life both personally and professionally. What really touched me were the stories she told about specific dogs who helped her see what she was doing to herself. I’ve never battled an eating disorder but I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her to recover. Even though I did have some crying moments, I really enjoyed this book.  

Review: You: a novel by Caroline Kepnes


Guys, this book was innnnntense! When I first read the synopsis I wasn’t sure I’d be into it because it was basically about this guy stalking someone, but once I started I was hooked. I’m pretty sure the reason I was sucked in so fast was due to the fact that the narrator for the audiobook had the creep factor perfected. Santino Fontana, you did a great job of creeping me the hell out.

The story is about a man who becomes obsessed with a woman when she comes into his bookstore. He then rationalizes every step of his stalking madness, it’s crazy. I told my friend Keren to check out the book and it’s been hard to hold back my thoughts because I want to discuss it! She isn’t finished with the book yet so I have to keep my mouth shut.

After I finished the book, I wasn’t sure how to feel. I don’t want to give anything away, but the stuff this guy did was not normal. However, the way he talked about it so casually, made what he was doing almost seem ok. Keyword there is almost. As soon as I can get a copy of the sequel, Hidden Bodies, I’m shutting myself off from the world and reading to my heart’s content.

Review: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

It’s been a bit since I did any type of review, even though I’ve been reading like crazy. 

I recently finished The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney and while it was supposed to be  funny and heartwarming, I didn’t feel it was either one of those. Maybe I read too much drama and suspense but the story itself was not very entertaining.

The story revolves around the Plumb siblings and their expected inheritance, The Nest. When Leo Plumb, the oldest, gets into a major trouble, his mother has to dip into The Nest.  That is the beginning of numerous problems for the rest of the siblings since they’d all pretty much spent the money before receiving it. 

One sibling secretly took out lines of credit on a property owned by him and his partner while another planned on using the money to send her daughters to prestigious universities. While Leo promised to pay back the money owed, this just caused more stress between the family members. 

There are four siblings and the majority of the story is told from their points of view. I think one of the reasons I wasn’t really satisfied with this book is I felt like there were questions left unanswered. 

It was a fairly short read, less than 400 pages. My rating for the book on Goodreads was 3 stars. If half stars were available I probably would have given it 3.5

Review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts


I haven’t read too many of Nora Roberts’ standalone books but I must say I think I prefer them over the trilogies she writes. Her latest one, The Obsession, was so good! I couldn’t put it down and when I did have to put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again. It was a mixture of suspense, drama, romance, and humor and I enjoyed every bit of it. An added plus was the dog character. Books are even more enjoyable to when they have pets in the story. As long as the dog doesn’t die, of course.

Naomi Bowes’ childhood was interrupted when she discovered a woman her father had kidnapped, locked in a cellar on their property. While that was the beginning of the end for him, it was also an event that never left her while growing up (obviously). Reminders, new stories, book deals, there was always something that connected her to her father’s crimes.

The first half of the book details what happens after she finds the young woman and how life changes for her, her brother Mason, and their mother. I found the second half of the story moved at a quicker pace. She’s an adult now and settling down in a new city with new people. Of course the love interest is there too and that relationship alone was pretty electric.

Now that I’ve read a few of her standalone books, I may just try to read them all. Don’t get me wrong, the trilogies I have read were good, but sometimes I don’t want to commit to reading all of the books. It’s hard for me to start a series and not finish it. This morning I added a bunch of her other novels to my TBR list and I’ll probably add more when I get off work today.

Happy Saturday!


Review: Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín


I liked this book, but didn’t love it. The main character, Eilis (pronounced Aye-lish), lives in Ireland with her mom and her sister, Rose. Eilis is taking bookkeeping courses and Rose works at an office and plays golf whenever she has the opportunity. Eilis eventually gets a part-time job with one of the local shopkeepers and while it is better than nothing, it isn’t her ideal job, especially since the shopkeeper is an unpleasant woman.

When the opportunity to go to America comes up, Rose helps get everything together so Eilis can go. Rose will stay in Ireland to help take care of their mother. Eilis’ trip is sponsored by a priest from her town, Father Flood. Once she arrives in America, she is guaranteed a job at one of the local department stores in Brooklyn.

The story is mostly about Eilis’ time in Brooklyn and the life she starts there. Loneliness, homesickness, love, and sadness are all part of the story. At first I thought I wasn’t going to like it because it started out super slow but then there was a point in the book when everything turned around. Once that happened, the actions of Eilis really started to annoy me. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending, but you can’t please everyone.

Now that I read the book, it’s only natural that I see the movie. A friend told me the movie was better than the book, which doesn’t happen often. I hope in this case it is true.