Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

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source: free review copy via the publisher
title: Pretty Girls
author: Karin Slaughter/ Twitter
pages: 573
genre: crime fiction/mystery/thriller/suspense
published: 2015
first line: When you first disappeared, your mother warned me that finding out exactly what happened to you would be worse than never knowing.
rated: 5 out of 5 for a thrill ride with twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat
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blurb:
Sisters. Strangers. Survivors.

More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed.

The disappearance of a teenage girl and the murder of a middle-aged man, almost a quarter-century apart: what could connect them? Forming a wary truce, the surviving sisters look to the past to find the truth, unearthing the secrets that destroyed their family all those years ago . . . and uncovering the possibility of redemption, and revenge, where they least expect it.

my thoughts:
Oh my goodness, this book! It has had me on the edge of my seat since last week. I could not read it fast enough, and when I did read it, I didn’t want to stop.

If there is a book that might make you faint while reading, it’s Pretty Girls. It was a thrill ride of emotions, truly. I finished reading it last night and at 573 pages there was not a dull moment.

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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source: purchased
title: Ugly Love
author: Colleen Hoover/ Twitter
published: Atria Books (August 5, 2014)
pages: 324
first line: “Somebody stabbed you in the neck, young lady.”
genre: new adult contemporary romance
rated: 4 out of 5 stars for angsty romance and second chances because love bites but it is worth it
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blurb:
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

my thoughts:

Ugly Love had me feeling a few different emotions while reading it, I laughed, I teared up a little and I got irritated with some of the characters actions. This was a quick read, and a sad one too.

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The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

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source: purchased
title: The Silver Linings Playbook
author: Matthew Quick {Twitter}
pages: 289
published: 2012
genre: fiction
first line:  I don’t have to look up now to know mom is making another surprise visit.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Meet Pat Peoples. Pat has a theory: his life is a movie produced by God. And his God-given mission is to become physically fit and emotionally literate, whereupon God will ensure him a happy ending―the return of his estranged wife, Nikki. (It might not come as a surprise to learn that Pat has spent several years in a mental health facility.) The problem is, Pat’s now home, and everything feels off. No one will talk to him about Nikki; his beloved Philadelphia Eagles keep losing; he’s being pursued by the deeply odd Tiffany; his new therapist seems to recommend adultery as a form of therapy. Plus, he’s being haunted by Kenny G!

David O. Russell’s adaptation of The Silver Linings Playbook features Bradley Cooper (People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive) in the role of Pat, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker, and Jacki Weaver. As the award-winning novelist Justin Cronin put it: “Tender, soulful, hilarious, and true, The Silver Linings Playbook is a wonderful debut.”-quoted from amazon.com

my thoughts:
Matthew Quick tugged at my heartstrings with The Silver Linings Playbook. We get the story through the eyes of thirty-something Patrick Peoples who as the story begins is finally going home after a few years stay in a mental hospital. Pat’s mom fought hard to get him out and as part of his release agreement he has to continue seeing a therapist and continue taking medications. When Pat gets home to New Jersey you see the dysfunction in his family. His father, his brother and himself are all die-hard Eagles fans. Football is a constant in Pat’s life and it is one of the few things that makes him happy and feel normal again. It is also the main thing that allows bonding time with him and his Dad.

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Destiny by Rochelle Wayne

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source: purchased
title: Destiny
author: Rochelle Wayne
published: 1998
genre: historical western romance
first line: James Rayfield, poised in front of his full length mirror, admired his naked physique.
pages: 412
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
Fleeing for her life, Sharla shamelessly embraced the role of a fallen woman. To escape town, she tricked Lance Slade into escorting her to Texas. But she learned the truth about the sexy bounty hunter too late. With Sharla, Lance found a searing passion that tested his resolve as a lawman. If only Sharla could convince him of her innocence–and Lance could learn to trust her. Only then could they find true love together.

my thoughts:
I read Destiny last week while on vacation by the cabin at the lake and it was the perfect quick, mindless summer read. I mean that in a good way. My daughter and I went into a used book shop in town and we found copies of Destiny and Beneath A Western Moon by the same author. We quickly co-read the former. The books are both in great condition for being published in the 90’s. I’ve tried finding out who author Rochelle Wayne is, but no luck. There is no website connected to her and I’m assuming she wrote under a pseudonym. Anyway, Destiny has everything good Harlequin romance should have. Hero and heroine who initially dislike each other but eventually fall in love, a few minor subplots in the mix, a couple of plot twists and turns and a nice dose of bodice ripping on top of it all. Plus, it is set in the 1800’s West which was nice.

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Listen to Me by Hannah Pittard

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source: free copy via AmazonVine
title: Listen to Me
author: Hannah Pittard
genre: psychological thriller
published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (July 5, 2016)
pages: 191
first line: They were on the road later than they intended.
rated: misleading

Blurb:

A modern gothic about a marriage and road trip gone hauntingly awry.

Mark and Maggie’s annual drive east to visit family has gotten off to a rocky start. By the time they’re on the road, it’s late, a storm is brewing, and they are no longer speaking to one another. Adding to the stress, Maggie — recently mugged at gunpoint — is lately not herself, and Mark is at a loss about what to make of the stranger he calls his wife. When they are forced to stop for the night at a remote inn, completely without power, Maggie’s paranoia reaches an all-time and terrifying high. But when Mark finds himself threatened in a dark parking lot, it’s Maggie who takes control.

My Thoughts:
Okay, so I am upset. When I grabbed a copy of Listen to Me I expected a thrilling story, one I could enjoy on a cool Fall evening while sipping a cup of tea. What I discovered was that I wanted to throw the book across the room when I was done reading.

On one hand this was a quiet, tense story about a married couple who are beginning to doubt one another. On the other hand, I found this book to be falsely marketed, the blurb is misleading: “When they are forced to stop for the night at a remote inn, completely without power, Maggie’s paranoia reaches an all-time and terrifying high. But when Mark finds himself threatened in a dark parking lot, it’s Maggie who takes control.” This one is supposed to be a psychological thriller, I found nothing really thrilling about it and was upset with the turn the book took towards the end. It certainly is not a “modern gothic” as the blurb suggests. Come on people.

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