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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Jane’s Melody and Jane’s Harmony by Ryan Winfield

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source: purchased
title: Jane’s Melody
author: Ryan WinfieldTwitter
pages: 232
published: 2013
rated: 4 out of 5
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genre: Contemporary Romance
first line: The day after the funeral, Jane came back to the island cemetery and sat in her car, watching rain fall on her daughter’s grave.

Blurb:
WHAT BOUNDARIES WOULD YOU CROSS FOR TRUE LOVE?

That’s the question a grieving mother must answer when she takes in a young street musician she believes can shed light on her daughter’s death—only to find herself falling for him. A sexy but touching love story that will leave you both tantalized and in tears, Jane’s Melody follows a forty-year-old woman on a romantic journey of rediscovery after years of struggling alone.

Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest pain. And now Jane must decide if it’s too late for her to start over, or if true love really knows no limits.

My Thoughts:
Jane’s Melody is actually a re-read for me as I first read this one in 2014. I have been meaning to read the sequel, Jane’s Harmony, so I decided to read the first book again since it has been a while.

In this story, Jane is a forty year old grieving mother. She lost her only daughter Melody to drug abuse.
What stood out again in this one was Jane’s pain and feelings of helplessness at the loss of her child. The drug abuse took hold of Melody at a young age and spiraled out of control until Jane got the phone call that her daughter had passed away.
Throughout the story, Jane’s grief is real and jumps off these pages. She goes to group therapy and is trying to work through her pain. There is substance abuse in her family so Jane is familiar with the struggle of loving an addict. The author tackles this sensitive subject with heartfelt compassion.

She let herself weep. In a way she was crying more for that little five-year-old girl who had died long ago than she was for her twenty-year-old daughter who had died just recently.
p.55, Jane’s Melody by Ryan Winfield

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A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

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source: Free review copy via AmazonVine
title: A Bad Character
author: Deepti Kapoor
published: Knopf (January 20, 2015)
pages: 243
first line: My boyfriend died when I was twenty-one.

Blurb:
A highly charged debut novel about a young woman in India, and the love that both shatters and transforms her.

She is twenty and restless in New Delhi. Her mother has died; her father has left for Singapore.
He is a few years older, just back to India from New York.
When they meet in a café one afternoon, she–lonely, hungry for experience, yearning to break free of tradition–casts aside her fears and throws herself headlong into a love affair, one that takes her where she has never been before.

Told in a voice at once gritty and lyrical, mournful and frank, A Bad Character is an unforgettable hymn to an exhilarating, dangerous city, and a portrait of desire and its consequences as timeless as it is universal.

My thoughts:
I found A Bad Character to be a unique read. The storyline follows a young woman living in New Delhi. Her mother died when she was just seventeen and she is left with her Auntie who is trying to secure a good marriage for her. The story flips back and forth to her past and present at age twenty when she meets a man and begins a love affair. He has visited New York and has experienced so much more than she has, which she envies him for.

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