Category Archives: Reviewed by Selena

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

truly-madly-guitly

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Liane Moriarty is one of my favorite authors.  I love the way she writes, with a mixture of a good story and strong characters.  I was very much looking forward to reading this book when I heard of its release, and I was not disappointed.

Much of the story revolves around an afternoon neighborhood barbecue and the events that occurred there. The timeline switches between the day of the barbecue and several weeks afterward.  In the process, we see the points of view of Vid and Tiffany and their daughter Dakota, who are the owners of the home where the barbecue was held; Erica and Oliver, their neighbors; and Clementine and Sam (and their two young daughters), who are friends with Erica and Oliver.

What I enjoyed beyond the mystery of what happened that afternoon is the development of the characters.  Moriarty writes in such a way that you really get to know all of them, which leads to a better overall understanding of not only the events that happened that day, but the motivations of the characters.  It took me a few chapters to really get into the book, but once I did, I was hooked.  I look forward to reading Moriarty’s next novel.

The Ice Twins by S. K. Tremayne

The Ice Twins

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The Ice Twins is about a family that moves from London to a remote island in Scotland after the death of one of their twin daughters.  Shortly before the move, Sarah, the mother of the girls, begins to wonder if something is off about her surviving daughter, Kirstie.

After the family moves to the island, the feeling of isolation adds to the mystery of what is going on with Kirstie, whose behavior is becoming more and more erratic.  She begins to insist that she is her dead sister, Lydia, and that there has been a horrible case of mistaken identity.  As Sarah delves more deeply into what has happened, she wonders if they have in fact a horrible case of mistaken identity.  The novel is told in the alternating perspective of Sarah and of her husband, Angus, who is the father of the girls.

I found this novel very enjoyable and fast paced.  I’d recommend it to readers who enjoy a good mystery/thriller.  I’m looking forward to reading more of S. K. Tremayne’s books.

 

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Maybe in Another Life

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Have you ever wondered how one decision can change your life? If you decide to cross the street at a certain time, does that affect your life? There was a lot of pondering about destiny and fate and what is or isn’t meant to be in this novel. Hannah is at club one night. She meets up with Ethan, a guy she had dated in high school. The book splits into alternating sections: one timeline where she decided to stay at the club with Ethan and one where she leaves with her friend to go home.

I really liked the premise. I enjoy the author and have read all of her books. I was very excited for this one to come out, and I finished it quickly. I would’ve preferred it to be a little less chick-lit-centric, but other than that, I enjoyed it. I like the idea of alternate universes, how each decision we make in life creates a different universe and that there are billions of possible universes where we are living different lives.

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

SwerveSwerve is a dark and twisty novel.  We follow the story of Kristine, who is traveling across the desert with her fiance, Daniel, to a family gathering.  While stopped at an abandoned rest stop, Daniel is abducted.  Kristine must do whatever she can to get Daniel back, following the deranged kidnapper across the desert.

Swerve was definitely a page turner, and I finished it quickly.  It’s hard to say too much without giving away key plot points, but I found this to be well-written, engrossing, and hard to put down.  The characters were well written, and I look forward to reading more by Ms. Pettersson.

If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

If I Could Turn Back Time

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The night before her birthday, 38 year old Ramie hits her head and wakes up in her bedroom two days before the last day of her senior year of high school.  She navigates through life as an 18 year old, exploring an old relationship with her high school boyfriend and also interacting with her father, who passed away a few years later.

I’m a sucker for books like this and I enjoyed all the passages on time and fate and who we are and how we are affected by events in our lives.  I liked this more than I thought I would.  I love time travel stories, and I was excited when I heard about this one. Enjoyable read.

The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams

The Secret Life of Violet Grant

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This novel tells the alternating stories of Vivian in 1964 and Violet in 1914.  One morning, Vivian receives a strange parcel in the mail that leads her on a path to finding more about her family’s past and a mysterious aunt named Violet.

Violet is working in 1914 as a female physicist in prewar Germany under the watchful eye of Dr. Grant, whom she ends up marrying.  The summer that she meets Lionel Richardson, a captain in the British army, Violet’s life changes forever.

Vivian is working as a journalist in 1964 and begins researching more about Violet’s life for a newspaper article.  She learns some family secrets along the way.

I enjoyed this book.  I love books about family secrets, and I enjoy the format, the switching between the past and present.

You by Caroline Kepnes

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You is a crazy fun read.  We have Joe, who is obsessed with Beck.  Joe will do anything to be with Beck, even kill.

The book is told in the second person, which took a bit of getting used to, but really worked for telling the story.  Joe is absolutely crazy, a stalker in the 21st century, finding out everything about Beck by hacking into her email, reading her twitter feed and her Facebook posts.  Beck, the object of Joe’s obsession is a self-centered post-grad living in NYC.  It’s hard to say more without spoiling the plot.

I recommend this if you’re looking for a fun read about a crazy guy who will do anything for “love.”