Review: The Mother-In-Law

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

Publication: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: 4/23/19

Disclaimer: I received a free finished copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder…
From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.
That was five years ago.
Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.
But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?
With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.

Review: The Mother-In-Law is the first book I read from Sally Hepworth. I was surprised to discover that this was more of a contemporary mystery than a thriller. The writing style reminded me of Liane Moriarty books filled with mystery and family drama. The story alternates between Lucy (daughter-in-law) and Diane (mother-in-law). Overall, it was a decent read. I really liked Diane’s character, however, I found that there wasn’t much about the male characters in this story. The storyline was intriguing, but I found the mystery to be lackluster. If you’re a fan of Liane Moriarty novels, then this may be right up your alley.

Rating: 3/5

How I Rate Books

Rating books is subjective. There isn’t really a right or wrong way, but there are some topics to consider when rating a book. Here are some of the questions I ask myself to help me determine my rating:

  • Did the plot match the summary or teaser?
  • Did this book resonate me?
  • What did I think of the characters?
  • What were my favorite parts of the novel?
  • What were my least favorite parts? Why?
  • Was the book overall entertaining?

As for the actual rating, I usually base my rating from the standard 1 to 5 stars. I don’t do half star reviews as you can’t leave half star reviews on GoodReads or Amazon. Personally, I don’t find them to be very helpful either.

Down below is my rating scale I go by.

Do you agree with how I rate books? How do you rate books your read? Share in the comments below!

Love or Hate Audiobooks?

Do you listen to audiobooks? I started listening to audiobooks a couple of years ago (back in 2017). At first, I had mixed feelings about them, but now, I like them! I still prefer reading physical books and ebooks over listening to audiobooks, but nowadays, I do like to look into audiobooks as an option too.

If you’re on the fence about listening to audiobooks, here are some pros and cons to help you decide if they’re right for you to try out!

Do you like audiobooks? Why or why not?

Review: The Arrangement

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Publication: Gallery / Scout Press

Publication Date: 7/30/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favours are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Review: This was the first book I’ve read from Robyn Harding. The whole concept of sugar daddy / sugar baby relationships in this book was truly fascinating to read. Robyn’s writing style intrigues you from page one and you can’t put it down. However, half way through, the book did feel a bit predictable to me. I liked how we were able to see the perspectives of Natalie (sugar baby) and Gabe (sugar daddy), but I was craving more of the first person alternative narrations in this novel. I was also curious to learn more of Celeste (Gabe’s wife) perspective more in the book instead. If you like domestic thrillers, then you should check this one out.

Rating: 3/5

Review: Lies

Lies by T.M. Logan

Publication: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: 1/17/17

Disclaimer: I received a free finished book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?

When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message…

Review: This is the first book I’ve read from T.M. Logan. Overall, this was a decent domestic thriller. The book had a great premise and the beginning pulled me in by being fast-paced. I didn’t see the twists coming and I liked the ending. However, I did feel that the middle part of the story did drag on for a bit. There were a few cheesy parts in the book I didn’t care for and there were times I didn’t like the main character, but that didn’t hinder me to continue reading as it was fast-paced. If you like domestic thrillers, then I’d recommend checking this one out.

Rating: 3/5

2018 Wrap Up & 2019 Goals

2018 was a wonderful reading year for me! Here are some positive things that happened:

  • Not only did I surpass my original goal of reading 50 books, but I surpassed my revised goal of reading over 100 books (I netted out to 105 books)
  • I met some really great people on bookstagram both online and in person
  • I received my first physical ARC book this year (It was An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen)

Some things I learned this past year:

  • It’s okay to DNF a book so I can read something else that’s better.
  • Be picky about the books I decide to read and put on my TBR list
  • It’s more of quality of books I’ve read versus the quantity

Going into 2019, here are my reading goals:

  • GoodReads Reading Goal: Putting the goal at zero so I focus on books I truly want to read and not stress about getting to a specific number (updated as 1/8/19)
  • Join a book club I will enjoy and to meet new friends
  • Buy less books for myself – buy books for book swaps and utilize the library more

How was your 2018 reading year? What are your goals for 2019?