Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

32336395Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Expected publication: June 20th 2017 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)

304 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother’s desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.. It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something with them… Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

Review: As soon as I read the summary, I knew I wanted to read this book.  I’ve been in the mood for mysteries and thrillers this year and this one sounded right up my alley.  Unlike most of the thrillers that I’ve read, this story is told in multiple POVs.  I think the most interesting POV was Audra’s son Sean.  He’s only 11 and yet has this great intuition that something just isn’t right about the sheriff.  The chapters from Audra’s POV are heartbreaking.  She’s been through so much with her abusive husband, and then her kids get taken?!  That is what I would assume to be every mother’s worst nightmare!  A few chapters are formatted as emails and those give an eerie picture of what is really going on.  I don’t want to say anything else about the plot because the best part of these kind of books is the surprise.  I really liked the author’s writing style.  She wrote the main characters in a way to really allow the reader to connect with them and form a bond.  I had a hard time putting this book down because it was very well written and the story was so gripping.

4 Stars

I received a copy of this book through Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolscer

31450960Song of the Current by Sarah Tolscer

Expected publication: June 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books

373 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. For generations, her family has been called by the river god, who has guided their wherries on countless voyages throughout the Riverlands. At seventeen, Caro has spent years listening to the water, ready to meet her fate. But the river god hasn’t spoken her name yet—and if he hasn’t by now, there’s a chance he never will.

Caro decides to take her future into her own hands when her father is arrested for refusing to transport a mysterious crate. By agreeing to deliver it in exchange for his release, Caro finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies, with dangerous pirates after the cargo—an arrogant courier with a secret—and without the river god to help her. With so much at stake, Caro must choose between the life she always wanted and the one she never could have imagined for herself.

From debut author Sarah Tolcser comes an immersive and romantic fantasy set along the waterways of a magical world with a headstrong heroine determined to make her mark.

Review: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Wow, such a strong debut! This book was definitely one of the most adventurous pirate stories I have ever read. I loved that Caro was such a strong female lead in a roll that is usually fulfilled by a male character. She was so fierce and spunky which made her really endearing. I also loved Fee, the frogman who worked for Caro and her father. When Caro and Fee set off on their journey, there were some heart pounding moments, along with some comedic moments. The writing was fantastic and the world building was on point even though some of the names felt a little hard to pronounce.  There were moments that felt as though I had already read them in other books but sometimes that is hard to get away from in fantasy novels.  Overall this book was very enjoyable complete with thrilling adventures and lovable characters.

4 Stars

Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

23616719Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

320 Pages

Published May 9th 2017 by Hogarth

Goodreads Summary: A sinister, sexy noir about art, motherhood, and the intensity of female friendships, set in the posh hills above Los Angeles, from the New York Times bestselling author of California.

High in the Hollywood Hills, writer Lady Daniels has decided to take a break from her husband. She’s going to need a hand with her young son if she’s ever going to finish her memoir. In comes S., a magnetic young artist, who will live in the secluded guest house out back, care for Lady’s young toddler son, and keep a watchful eye on her older, teenage, one. S. performs her day job beautifully, quickly drawing the entire family into her orbit, and becoming a confidante for Lady. But as the summer wears on, S.’s connection to Lady’s older son takes a disturbing, and possibly destructive, turn. Lady and S. will move closer to one another as they both threaten to harm the things they hold most dear.

Darkly comic, twisty and tense, this mesmerizing new novel defies expectation and proves Edan Lepucki to be one of the most talented and exciting voices of her generation.

Review: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hmm what to say about this book. I really enjoyed the author’s first book, California, but this one was completely different. The two main characters were both pretty unlikable and some of the scenarios described seemed a little far fetched but then again, I grew up in Minnesota, far from the Hollywood lifestyle so what do I know. I didn’t feel emotionally connected to any of the characters. More often than not I just wanted to ask them wtf they were doing. I think this was an interesting look at motherhood and how one child can be so different from another. If you are offended by some language, excessive drinking, and sex scenes, I would hesitate before picking this one up.  I was hoping for something I enjoyed a little more.  It was good but I don’t think I will read it again.

3 Stars

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

31393997He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

Published April 20th 2017 by Hodder & Stoughton

416 Pages

Goodreads Summary: In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear, and while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something, and someone, is always in the dark.

 

Review: I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book frustrated me to no end. I really don’t understand all of the 4 & 5 star reviews on this one. I mean, to each their own but man. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to DNF this book @68% so I feel like I gave it enough of a shot. I’m really not even sure what to rate this one so I’m not going to. Some minor spoilers ahead here so proceed at your own risk if you’re interested in reading this one. I do seem to be in the minority in my opinion so take my review with a grain of salt.
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The two main characters, especially Laura was just so naive and stubborn to the point of stupidity. Beth obviously had some issues and Kit could see that but for whatever reason Laura just refused to see it, which ended up putting both she and Kit in danger. There were so many clues that Laura did not pick on up that Beth was on the fast train to crazy town. And yet she continued to let her stay at their flat and hang out with her, feeling the need to apologize if they had a quarrel…. Not to mention that having her around has made Kit extremely uncomfortable and considering it’s his flat too it’s insane to me that she wouldn’t take his feelings into consideration until something dire happened. I also didn’t really get the whole eclipse chasing thing… Where on earth are these two getting the money to traipse all over the world chasing total eclipses? Just unrealistic. According to others’ reviews, there is a pretty epic twist towards the end but I found myself not even caring anymore to find out.

Manderley Forever by Tatiana de Rosnay

29958991Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay

Published April 18th 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

448 Pages

Goodreads Summary: As a bilingual bestselling novelist with a mixed Franco-British bloodline and a host of eminent forebears, Tatiana de Rosnay is the perfect candidate to write a biography of Daphne du Maurier. As an eleven-year-old de Rosnay read and reread Rebecca, becoming a lifelong devotee of Du Maurier’s fiction. Now de Rosnay pays homage to the writer who influenced her so deeply, following Du Maurier from a shy seven-year-old, a rebellious sixteen-year-old, a twenty-something newlywed, and finally a cantankerous old lady. With a rhythm and intimacy to its prose characteristic of all de Rosnay’s works, Manderley Forever is a vividly compelling portrait and celebration of an intriguing, hugely popular and (at the time) critically underrated writer.

“It’s impressive how Tatiana was able to recreate the personality of my mother, including her sense of humor. It is very well written and very moving. I’m sure my mother would have loved this book.” ― Tessa Montgomery d’Alamein, daughter of Daphné du Maurier, as told to Pauline Sommelet in Point de Vue

Review: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Admittedly I have never read a book written by Daphne du Maurier even though Rebecca has been on my TBR forever. So I was a little nervous going in to this biography of her. The few biographies I have read in the past of other people have been kind of hard for me to get through. This book couldn’t have been more different. Almost from the beginning I was hooked onto the way the author decided to write the bio. It felt more like a novel than the standard repetition of names, places, dates, etc. The book is divided into sections based on where Daphne’s main place of residence was. Because Daphne put so much stock into the places she stayed and went I thought this was the perfect way to go about it. The author did a marvelous job of transporting me to the time and place she was writing about so I felt very close to Daphne throughout the book. I loved seeing all of the connections that I never knew about. For example, the du Maurier’s are cousins of the Llewellyn-Davies brothers that J.M. Barrie based Peter Pan on. I also did not know that Daphne is the original author of The Birds, which Alfred Hitchcock appeared to take several liberties with along with a few other pieces of Daphne’s work that he had adapted for the screen. There were so many things about this book that I loved that its hard to write about them all in one review. There were only a few times I found it to be a bit slow but overall I very much enjoyed reading this biography. I have since added many of Daphne’s works to my never ending TBR.

4 Stars