Review: Before She Was Found

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

Publication Date: 4/16/19

Publisher: Park Row Books (Harper Collins)

Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book from TLC Book Tours & Harper Collins in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: Before She Was Found is the first book I’ve read from Heather Gudenkauf. This thriller follows three preteen girls involved in attempted murder investigation in a small quiet town in Iowa. One girl is severely injured, another is in a shock state, and the last one refuses to help the authorities. Wow what a twisted and mind f*** of a book! This deserves all the stars and it’s the third book this year that I gave a 5 star review. I loved the format and the various perspectives in this novel. The story kept me engaged and on my toes from page one. I really loved Heather’s writing style and how she was able to create such depth with multiple characters. Her way of being able to write adult and child perspectives is captivating. Also just when I thought I was figuring out the ending, another twist I didn’t expect comes in. Overall, I highly recommend anyone who loves thrillers to pick up this book. You don’t want to miss out!

Review: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Publishing Date: 4/30/19

Publisher: Harper Collins

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Harper Collins in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters is the second book I’ve read from Balli Kaur Jaswal. This contemporary novel is a heartwarming story of three estranged sisters who go on a pilgrimage to India to fulfill their mother’s dying wish. Overall, this was a great read. The book started off slow, but started picking up momentum towards the middle. I love that the author was able to combine serious issues along with implementing the culture of India and adding some humor in some areas. I also really liked how all the sisters were complex characters and how the reader learns about the strained relationships and secrets. If you loved Erotic Stories of Punjabi Widows, then you’ll definitely want to read this one!

Reviews: Queenie & Before She Knew Him

I decided to choose 3 books from Book of the Month in March. I only got to reading around 2 of them this month, but I’m hoping to read The Mastermind within the next month or so. Here are the ones I chose:

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson
The Mastermind by Evan Ratliff

Down below are quick reviews / verdicts of Queenie & Before She Knew Him.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Genre: Contemporary
Themes: relationships, politics, mental health, self realization
Rating: 2/5

Quick Review: I chose this book based off the all the hype on bookstagram and let me tell you straight up that it is not worth the hype. I hated this book. The writing was all over place and it seemed to read more of a first draft than a polished book. The main character is extremely unlikable. She puts herself in situations which could have been avoided which I couldn’t emphasize and she has a terrible attitude throughout the whole book. The only good thing about this book is that the author sheds light on sensitive and important topics in realistic ways. Overall, I don’t recommend reading this book as they are other great contempories to read.

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Genre: Thriller
Themes: neighbors, mental health, marriage, Massachusetts
Rating: 3/5

Quick Review: This was my main pick for BOTM. I can’t resist a good thriller! Overall, this was a decent read. It wasn’t the best thriller I’ve read, but I didn’t completely hate it either. The premise of the story is very intriguing and it pulls you in. However, I did find the writing to be a bit flat. I noticed that the author alternated the perspectives of the characters which I appreciated, but I wish the chapters were from first person narration versus third person narration. I feel like this is what could have made the book a bit stronger. I didn’t see the twists coming in this book and loved the idea of unreliable narrators. If you love thrillers or suspense, I’d recommend checking this one out, but just don’t go in with high hopes.

Review: I’ll Be Watching You

I’ll Be Waching You by Courtney Evan Tate

Publication Date: 3/26/19
Publisher: Harlequin Books (Harper Collins)
Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book from TLC Book Tours & Harlequin Books (Harper Collins) in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: Courtney Evan Tate’s latest novel, I’ll Be Watching You, follows the story of Emmy who is grieving over the loss of her fifteen-year-old Leah, who supposedly drowned close to shore one summer night according to police. Emmy discovers that Leah has been secretly involved with someone who was possibly older and has a dark appetite. I thought this was a mediocre thriller. The alternating perspectives of the mother and daughter were interesting to read. I did prefer the daughter’s perspective as I found the mother’s perspective to be a bit immature and unbelievable. I found the writing style to be gripping and interesting, but I felt that the story was a bit too formulaic for thriller which I found to be a bit dull. On a somewhat unrelated note, I usually don’t comment on cover art, but I think a better image could have taken its place. Overall, it’s a decent read, but there are better thrillers out there.

Christina Lauren Novels

This past year I discovered Christina Lauren and they have now become one of my favorite authors. They are a best friend duo who write contemporary romance novels. I’ve finally caught up with all of their stand alone novels and made a quick infographic if you’re trying to decide which one of their books would fit your romantic tastes 🙂

I can’t wait for their new novel to come out in October 2019!

Review: When Polly Met Olly

When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May

Publication Date: 1/7/19
Publisher: HQ Digital
Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from HQ Digital in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: When Polly Met Olly is the second book I’ve read from Zoe May. This lighthearted romance read follows how New York matchmakers, Polly and Olly, working for competing firms meet and fall for each other. Overall, it was a decent read. I loved the concept of the story. However, I found myself a bit surprised with the amount of British terms used for someone who was supposedly living in New York for several years and the dialogue from other characters used British term as well. Aside from that, I do like Zoe’s writing style as it kept it me interested throughout the story. I wasn’t a big fan of the chemistry between the two main characters. It seemed a bit too far fetched, but the story came together and had a cute ending. Overall, I’d recommend reading Zoe’s other book, Perfect Match, over this one, but I am looking forward to more of her future work.

Review: A Woman Is No Man

A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

Publication Date: 3/5/19
Publisher: Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5

Review: I decided to choose A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum as my February BOTM pick. This contemporary novel follows three generations of Palestinian women living in Brooklyn: Fareeda who moves to America from the refugee camps in Palestine, Isra who has an arranged marriage with one of the sons and faces motherhood, and Deya who is the daughter of Isra and faces whether to enter into an arranged marriage of her own or take control of her future. Overall, this debut is extremely empowering and tragic. It shows the resilience and strength of women, the oppression of culture, and the choices that affect others. I took my time with this one because the content was so heavy and emotional. The beginning started a bit slow for me, but I didn’t mind due to the intriguing plot line. Etaf’s writing style can be described as raw and beautifully tragic This book gave me into a bit more insight about the culture of Palestine. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read a book that sheds light on a culture that isn’t discussed much in fiction and that will resonate with you.