Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

41837243. sy475 Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Published July 2nd 2019 by Dutton

384 Pages

Goodreads Summary: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Review: This is my first book by Riley Sager and after seeing all of the hype about the first two books he wrote, I was equal parts nervous and excited to get a review copy of Lock Every Door. I love mysteries so that won out in the end and I gave it a shot. The synopsis totally hooked me too.

Jules has had a rough life. First, her sister disappears without a trace. Then a couple years later, her parents pass away and she is left all alone in the world with a mountain of debt. Then she catches her live-in boyfriend cheating on her the same day she loses her job…. Talk about a tough break. So when she finds an ad for an apartment sitter in Manhattan, she jumps on the chance and finds herself interviewing at a building she never in a million years would have dreamed she would have the opportunity to live in. A book she grew up reading with her sister took place in this very building. Her first day there isn’t even over before things start to get a little weird. There are all of these weird rules including that they are not allowed to have visitors or spend a night outside of the apartment. She meets another apartment sitter named Ingrid and they make a plan to meet up every day to make the time go faster and get out of the building. That plan very quickly falls apart.

This book was very well written. I was gripped by the story and the characters. I really connected with Jules and empathized with her situation. The more the story goes on, the more twists there are. Once you think you have an idea of what is happening, something else happens that throws all your ideas out the window. The action continually builds until the last few chapters when things explode. I was really surprised by the big reveal. I will most definitely be reading Riley Sager’s other books, both past and future.

5 Stars

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

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa

41733208. sy475 Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa (Shadow of the Fox #2)

Published June 25th 2019 by Inkyard Press

304 Pages

Goodreads Summary: One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

Review: Last year when I read Shadow of the Fox, I was blown away. It was such a great, original fantasy and I loved all of the Japanese folklore and myths that Julie Kagawa tied in. So when I got a review copy of the sequel, Soul of the Sword, I was ecstatic.

Beware going forward if you haven’t read Shadow of the Fox. This is a review for book 2 so there will be some spoilers from the first book because that’s pretty unavoidable.

This was such a great sequel! There was so much action and adventure that picked up right where Shadow of the Fox left off. I was so nervous to see what was going to happen with Tatsumi after he was possessed completely by the evil Hakaimono. It was so nerve wracking following Tatsumi/Hakaimono traverse the countryside wreaking havoc in his effort to free Hakaimono from the curse of the sword altogether.

One thing that surprised me, in a good way, was how close Okame and Daisuke were becoming. There were some definite vibes going on between the ronin and the samurai that had me totally shipping them 100%.

I couldn’t believe the ending! It was so incredibly intense! I really can’t wait for the next book and it’s going to be really hard waiting an entire year for it. This series has it all. Humor, action, adventure, romance, you name it. If you haven’t read book one yet, I highly suggest you check it out.

5 Stars

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

 

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

33391463. sy475 Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Published May 15, 2018 by Ballantine Books

368 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed, other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

Review: So it took me a little while to get around to reading this one but better late than never, right? I really loved this author’s other book Black-Eyed Susans so was really looking forward to reading this one. I really love the whole vigilante kind of journey so this seemed like it was going to be great. While it did have it’s good moments that totally weirded me out like a good mystery should, the rest of it was a little bland. I felt like there was too much that Grace was internalizing and it got a little old after awhile. The story felt like it had a fast pace and I guess it did timeline-wise but it was still just slow for me. I did really enjoy how the author included photos that fit in with the story. That was a nice touch. I kind of went back and forth on what to rate this one but I’m going to go with a 3 because it did have it’s moments that got to me.

3 Stars

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

The Summer Country by Lauren Willig

41454042The Summer Country by Lauren Willig

Published June 4, 2019 by William Morrow

480 Pages

Goodreads Summary: The New York Times bestselling historical novelist delivers her biggest, boldest, and most ambitious novel yet—a sweeping, dramatic Victorian epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

1854. From Bristol to Barbados. . . .

Emily Dawson has always been the poor cousin in a prosperous merchant clan—merely a vicar’s daughter, and a reform-minded vicar’s daughter, at that. Everyone knows that the family’s lucrative shipping business will go to her cousin, Adam, one day. But when her grandfather dies, Emily receives an unexpected inheiritance: Peverills, a sugar plantation in Barbados—a plantation her grandfather never told anyone he owned.

When Emily accompanies her cousin and his new wife to Barbados, she finds Peverills a burnt-out shell, reduced to ruins in 1816, when a rising of enslaved people sent the island up in flames. Rumors swirl around the derelict plantation; people whisper of ghosts.

Why would her practical-minded grandfather leave her a property in ruins? Why are the neighboring plantation owners, the Davenants, so eager to acquire Peverills—so eager that they invite Emily and her cousins to stay with them indefinitely? Emily finds herself bewitched by the beauty of the island even as she’s drawn into the personalities and politics of forty years before: a tangled history of clandestine love, heartbreaking betrayal, and a bold bid for freedom.

When family secrets begin to unravel and the harsh truth of history becomes more and more plain, Emily must challenge everything she thought she knew about her family, their legacy . . . and herself.

Review: I read and really enjoyed Lauren Willig’s book The English Wife last year so I was excited that I got a review copy of her most recent novel, The Summer Country, from the publisher for review. I’ve really been in the mood for historical fiction this year so it came at the perfect time too. The book alternates between 1854 and 1812-1816. Emily arrives in Barbados in 1854 to claim the plantation her grandfather left her. While there, she meets Mrs. Davenant who grew up and owns the neighboring plantation. As Emily gets the lay of the land and learns more about her plantation, Peverills, we as readers learn more about the past and who Emily really is. As the story continues, more and more is revealed that tie the past in with Emily’s present. There were a few twists that I did not see coming but completely made the story great. The writing was incredibly vivid which made it really easy to envision everything from the scenery to the characters to the major events that occurred. There were some really great characters in this book. I loved the banter between Emily and Nathaniel. My heart broke for Charles and Jenny. Because of the setting and time, you may have already guessed but I will say that this book does involve slavery so be prepared for that. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and will definitely be on the lookout to read more from Lauren Willig in the future.

4 Stars

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

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

41592780Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

Published June 11, 2019 by Atria Books

416 Pages

Goodreads Summary: From Jennifer Weiner, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes, comes a smart, thoughtful, and timely exploration of two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the present as they struggle to find their places—and be true to themselves—in a rapidly evolving world. Mrs. Everything is an ambitious, richly textured journey through history—and herstory—as these two sisters navigate a changing America over the course of their lives.

Do we change or does the world change us?

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.

But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?

Review: I had never read a book by Jennifer Weiner before this but knew that she is a pretty popular author so I was pretty excited that the publisher asked me to review this one. The characters of Jo and Bethie felt like they were written in a way to represent all women. Each of them face individual struggles that break your heart as you read them. Jo isn’t your typical teenage girl. She has a secret that she is terrified of it getting out. But she also wants to be able to live the life she wants without people treating her differently. Bethie becomes a victim of abuse from a family member who should have been there to protect her. As both sisters grow up and experience various hardships, their biggest challenge is realizing who they are and figuring out what they want out of life. Are they going to settle for what’s easy or are they going to work for the life they want? Reading their journey, both individually and together as sisters, was really moving. One thing about this book that really impressed me was the whole scope of the book. The author managed to fit in so many issues including race, religion, and sexual assault. The characters participate in everything from the civil rights movement as Jo actively participates in weekly demonstrations for equality, all the way up to the current #metoo movement. The book spans several decades so there were times when it seemed to drag on a little too long but overall I really enjoyed this book. This story will stick with me for awhile.

4 Stars

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