Spare — Prince Harry Penguin Random House Audio Memoir January 10, 2023 15 hrs 30 min
Thank you to @prhaudio for the #gifted audiobook.
Summary: Prince Harry’s story in his own words. The book is broken into three parts: (1) Childhood and Diana’s death (2) Military service (3) The Meghan years
💭 I am not one to be overly obsessed with the Royal family but I have a passing interest in Diana and her kids. Obviously Harry and Meghan have made headlines and The British press vs. The US press has been vastly different. So I was interested to read Harry’s story, in his own words. While none of this was salacious as I anticipated, there were some very interesting stories specifically regarding William and the relationship between the brothers. I was so in love with Harry’s narration and I think he could have a career in audiobook narration if he wants. Overall, I’m glad I read this.
Lie, Lie Again — Stacy Wise Lake Union Publishing Domestic Fiction, Suspense January 1, 2021 369 pages 4.1 ⭐️
Thank you to @amazonpublishing and @netgalley for the #gifted book.
Summary: Sylvia, Riki, and Embry all live at 1054 Mockingbird Lane. The women lead separate yet connected lives behind the doors of each of their apartments. Sylvia believes she has met the man for her only to find out he’s been keeping secrets. Riki is crushing hard on Embry’s husband and struggling to make the parents at her private school happy. Embry is hiding a big secret from her husband.
💭 This novel starts with a bang… a body at the bottom of the stairs. But unfortunately that part goes nowhere until the very end. It seems that was used to market this book as a mystery/suspense when it is really a contemporary fiction book.
That being said, I enjoyed each of the separate stories of the woman and how they all intertwined. I didn’t especially love the characters, but I don’t think we were supposed to. The story moved along at a great pace and I found myself wishing I had more time to read so I didn’t have to put it down. At the end, we finally did find out about the body at the bottom of the stairs. But I don’t feel it added to or changed the story much.
I would definitely recommend picking this one up if you enjoy domestic fiction!
As You Walk On By — Julian Winters Penguin Group Viking Penguin Random House Audio — André Santana LGBTQIA, Young Adult January 17, 2023 336 pages — 9 hrs 49 min 5 ⭐️
Thank you to @prhaudio and @vikingbooks and @netgalley for the #gifted audiobook.
Summary: Theo’s friends dare him to ask his crush to prom. What can go wrong? At a party, Theo finally gets up his nerve only to find out his crush has a boyfriend. He takes refuge in an empty bedroom and slowly, others who are also avoiding the party join him. They make a misfit group but they are just what Theo needs.
💭 This immediately reminded me of The Breakfast Club so the book blurb was spot on! In that movie I loved all the quirky characters and it was exactly the same here. It was hard not to fall in love with Theo. He is a layered, dynamic character who is trying to find his place with his family and his friends. This new group is just what he needs. All are struggling with something of their own and the support they show each other is what we all should strive for in our relationships.
The dialogue was fun and relevant and the representation and lessons in this book are not to be missed. The characters stayed with me a long time after I finished reading.
Why Do Cats Do That? — Peter Scottsdale BooksGoSocial November 19, 2019 122 pages 3 ⭐️
Thank you to @netgalley for the #gifted book.
Summary: For every cat enthusiast, all your questions can be answered. Some of these things I already knew, but others were interesting. For example, I did not know that cats convey emotion with the shape of their tail. This was a quick, informative read.
All the Dangerous Things — Stacy Willingham Macmillan Audio — Karissa Vacker January 10, 2023 9 hrs 59 min Thriller, Mystery 4.5 ⭐️
Thank you to @macmillan.audio and @librofm for the #gifted audiobook.
Summary: One year after Isabelle’s son, Mason, is kidnapped from his crib in the middle of night, she is still relentlessly looking for answers. She doesn’t sleep, she loses time, and she wonders how she could have let this happen. In a quest for answers, she agrees to be interviewed by a true crime podcaster who digs further into her life than she could imagine. It makes her start questioning herself and her memories of that night.
💭 Having not read A Flicker in the Dark, this was my first experience with Stacy Willingham’s writing. The pacing of this story started slow as all the characters were identified, but it moved at lightning pace once it got going. The flashback scenes, while important, slowed the story.
Isabelle’s insomnia being introduced at the very beginning set the stage for a possible unreliable narrator situation. As the story progressed, it was hard not to want her to succeed in finding all the answers. As she started to trust Waylon, his motive for telling her true crime story in his podcast became suspect to me.
There were several great twists, only one of which I figured out before it hit the story. I love being surprised when the plot takes a turn I don’t expect.
Overall, this was a captivating read that kept me guessing to the end.
Mistakes Were Made — Meryl Wilsner St. Martin’s Press — Macmillan Audio 352 pages — 12 hours Romance, LGBTQIA October 11, 2022 2.5 ⭐️
Thank you to @stmartinspress and @netgalley for the #gifted digital ARC.
Summary: Cassie met an older woman, Erin, at a bar and they had a frisky encounter. What Cassie didn’t know was that Erin was her friend’s mom. They both knew that they needed to stay away from each other, but the pull was too strong, and they ended up sneaking around hoping Parker didn’t find out.
💭 The opening scenes were hot. Very hot. I was excited to see how this forbidden relationship played out. I was disappointed. For more than half the book, all we knew was how much Cassie and Erin missed/wanted each other and how worried they both were about Parker finding out. Interspersed with this was one sex scene after another. Don’t get me wrong, sex scenes can be fun, but when there is no depth to the characters, no character development at all, it just makes it… porn.
The only thing that semi-saved this book for me was the last quarter after Parker did find out. It was only then that we got to learn a little bit about Erin and Cassie, apart from their carnal desires. I really liked what we learned about both characters, but I wish we had gotten that insight earlier.
This book is for you if you love open door romance and don’t care about the characters.