Every adult in the world wakes up to a box at their door with this inscription. The boxes contain a string that is the full measure of their life. The world is thrown into chaos as some people look at their string and others don’t. We are observers in the journey of 8 people who all have unique experiences with the string.
💭 Wow. Just wow. I was riveted to every character and story presented. At one time or another, I could see myself within every character. The strength it would take to even decide to open the box is something I can’t even imagine. I have anxiety just thinking about it!
The relevance of the current world mirrored in the plight of the strings is astounding. The author addresses bias and unconscious bias, downright prejudice, and politics. However, she also illuminates the human spirit of support and love for those going through similar situations and empathy from those who aren’t.
It takes a lot from a book to invoke the kind of emotion in me that this one did. By the end I was wrecked and the characters have taken up residence in my head. I haven’t stopped thinking about them or this book since the minute I finished it. As always, Julia Whelan’s narration was absolute perfection!
My IRL book club is reading this now and I can not wait to dig into the discussion with them. Thank you, Nikki Erlick, for sharing this masterpiece with the world.
❓ Would you open your box if it meant knowing when your life would end?
Thank you to Penguin Teen and @netgalley for the complimentary book!
Addie accompanies her mom and new husband on their honeymoon to Eulalie Island. It’s not long before she realizes there is something special, and strange, about the island. The flowers change colors, the birds call her name, and she finds a little girl alone in the woods who wants to play. When Addie learns of the two girls who died on the island long ago, she wonders if the island is also trying to claim her.
💭 There is just enough realness and oddness combined in this one. I thought Addie’s back story was interesting and it helped to make sense of why the island would love her. The continued description of the sisters and their appearance as Addie sees them was enough to make me gag, but it added to the idea that something sinister was afoot. What was difficult for me was that I didn’t really love any of the characters, and I think it’s necessary to love Addie and Billy for this to work completely. This is definitely one that fantasy and horror readers would enjoy!
Turning 50 was a new beginning for Misty Murphy. Her youngest went off to college, she divorced her husband, and she purchased an old inn in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With the help of handyman Rocky, she turns the inn into a beautiful lodge ready for guests. The first renters are a yoga group wanting the lodge for a retreat. Expecting zen clients, Misty is in for a shock when the owner and head yoga instructor is found murdered.
💭 A cute start to a new cozy series, I loved that the main character was older and had some life experience. Misty and Rocky made a good team although Rocky also topped Misty’s suspect list at one point! I look forward to further character development as the series progresses.
Stuck on an island with a killer, would you survive?
The Darker family gathers on a tidal island to celebrate Nana’s 80th birthday knowing that until the tide comes in they will not be able to leave for 8 hours. Years before, a fortune teller predicted that Nana’s 80th birthday would be her last, so she reveals the contents of her will. Each member of the Darker family has a secret they hold close, and when they start dying one by one, the secrets come to light.
💭 I will admit to being annoyed at first with the similarity in plot to And Then There Were None, down to the island and the poem. After all, who can really top Christie in locked room story telling?
As the story progressed and the secrets started trickling out, I became more intrigued by where this mystery was going. What I did not see coming was the twist at the end. It erased any annoyance I had about the plot.
Feeney is not always a hit for me, but this one was for sure!
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the complimentary digital copy for review.
Cal Bennett wakes to a shotgun pointed at his face. He’s on the property of Dillon Young and does not know how he got there. Strange things have been happening on Dillon’s ranch, all designed to get her to sell her property. Makes sense that she’s immediately suspicious of Cal. Until someone shoots at Dillion and Cal rescues her. Is he in on it or is he someone she can trust?
Just the right amount of suspenseful, I enjoyed the story. As readers we knew right away who was behind all of Dillon’s troubles, but we didn’t know who was helping them or if Cal was on that list.Dillon was a strong woman who made it easy to cheer her on. I wanted her to overcome all the obstacles thrown her way and come out of it with love, if possible.
This was my first book by Donna Grant and I anticipate I’ll be seeking others out in the future!
Thank you Hachette Audio and @librofm for the complimentary audiobook!
When a box of original Nancy Drew books shows up at the vintage shop Maizy’s mom owns, she is intrigued. There is a photo on the top of her grandmother and two other women when they were young. When Maizy asks her grandmother about it, she denies that it’s her. Determined to find out the secret behind the photo and who left the books, Maizy and her friends Nell and Cam start their own mysterious adventure!
💭 I loved this story! Not only is it a story of discovery for Maizy herself; learning about her own friendships and that it’s okay to be exactly who are, it’s a story of past friendships.
The nostalgia surrounding the Nancy Drew books was like a warm hug. I remember reading those when I was Maziy’s age. Some of the references to all the things Nancy could flawlessly do, made me wonder if a reread of them would hold up for me.
The characters and the narration were perfect and fun! I would recommend this to any middle grade reader and to those who loved Nancy Drew as a child themselves!
Thank you to Wednesday Books and @netgalley for the complimentary digital copy for review.
In a twist on the Mamma Mia! story, Millie has big dreams for her future. She wants to star on Broadway, but when her dad refuses to let her skip her senior year in order to attend an acting school on the other side of the country, Millie decides to take matters into her own hands. She never knew her mother, but using some careful sleuthing, she narrows it down to three options. She is determined to find her mother and get her to allow her to attend the school of her dreams. The only thing standing in her way is her rival, Oliver. When they both apply for the same internship, things get a little tense.
This is a charming novel with great characters. Although Millie can be a little self-centered and selfish, being prone to her “Millie moods” it is easy to root for her. She has some big lows but also some soaring highs! Oliver is a great rival for Millie. He’s just the right amount of sarcastic. The witty banter between the two is engaging and fun!
As the search for her mother plays out, we get to know all of the side characters pretty well and it is a great group. I kind of wish I had all these people in my real life. While the ending was not a full surprise, it was satisfying and brought Millie’s whole experience full circle!
Thank you Penguin Random House Audio for the complimentary audiobook!
When Ginette’s doctors tell her she needs an environment with less excitement, she moves to a sleepy suburban New York town.
She manages to find her own enjoyment watching neighbors through the window and making up names and stories for them.
It doesn’t take long though for the enjoyment to turn to terror. She begins hearing noises in the basement and her agoraphobia causes her to be trapped with whatever is down there. Or is she just going crazy?
💭 This was my first book by this author. I enjoyed the writing style. Ginette came to life for me even with the shortness of the book.
This trope has been done before in the way of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Finn’s The Woman in the Window. However I enjoyed the twist of having the house as a character of its own.
True love is loving someone for who they are, not what they are. — Mad Honey
Thank you @prhaudio for the complimentary audiobook!
Olivia and her son Asher love a quiet life as beekeepers after Olivia leaves her abusive husband, Asher’s father. Meanwhile, Lily and her mother land in the same town after running from something in their past.
Asher and Lily find solace in each other until Lily ends up dead and Asher is arrested for her murder. Olivia can’t help but wonder if her son is more like his father than she realized. Or is the secret from Lily’s past the clue to her death?
💭 I went into this one knowing very little. I knew it would be twisty because that is what I have come to expect from Picoult books.
Told in alternating chapters, The story is revealed in pieces. Olivia’s chapters tell present day and also weave in the parts of her past that explain her relation with Asher’s father. Lily’s chapters are told in reverse and slowly reveal the secret that she has been hiding.
This is one that I can’t review without giving away major plot points. However I will say, as always, current, relevant and timely topics are addressed.
Plus, I can give props to any book that makes bees interested since they are a terror of mine!