This is my first Colleen Hoover book, and with all the hype surrounding this author, I will admit I was expecting a lot. I wanted to read “Verity” mostly because it’s a romantic thriller and I wanted to read something that was meant to be a bit unsettling. And the premise of “Verity” is definitely that! This book very much has “Gone Girl” and “Jane Eyre” vibes where you have a relatively unknown author coming in to finish a very successful author’s series. Verity cannot finish her series being confined to a near vegetative state in her home, so never one to let a good series go to waste, her publishers bring in Lowen to finish out the series. Lowen is a thriller writer herself, so that’s kind of the justification for her being qualified to take over Verity’s work, who writes her books from the villains POV. As Lowen tries to figure out how to write this series, she stumbles across Verity’s autobiography and uncovers not just the depth of this family’s tragedy, but how deranged this successful author is, all while falling in love with Verity’s husband. There are definitely some creepy elements but ultimately, the longer I sat with this book and thought about it, the more I disliked both the story and the way it was written.
I am not an “experienced” horror reader. I read a lot of true crime and violent thrillers, but when it comes to books that are traditionally classified as “horror”, well, then I believe “The Only Good Indians” is my first foray into that. And the jury is still out on if I like this genre, but I don’t think that’s the book’s fault? “The Only Good Indians” follows four young men after an upsetting event of their childhood comes back to haunt them (literally) on the ten-year anniversary of the event. Mixed in with the horror of being hunted by a force you don’t see coming, the author weaves in a seamless social commentary on what it’s like for American Indians both on and off the reservation. I really enjoyed those aspects, even though I can’t speak to the cultural representation. I thought they added a unique level to an already disturbing story. But I did have a hard time getting through this book, and not because I was too upset to read it, either.
Yes, hello, I’d like Talia Hibbert to write all fictional men from now on, that is all. Thank you. Honestly that could be my entire review for “Take a Hint, Dani Brown”, but I promise to go into more depth. The Brown Sisters books do not have to be read in order, each a delicious little standalone, and Dani’s book was no different. I did start with “Get a Life, Chloe Brown” as my first introduction into this author and the Brown sisters, and I fell HARD for these fierce women, and the author’s fun writing style that still packs a punch when it comes to mental health and recovering from past trauma. We focus on Danika Brown in this book, a dedicated PhD student who has sworn off all romance in favor of friends with benefits and focusing solely on her research. Then, after an emergency drill gone wrong, decides to enter into a fake relationship with the big, sensitive, ex-rugby player turned security guard, Zafir, in order to use the publicity from that failed drill to help his charity, in which he teaches young boys healthy ways to deal with their emotions (I’m already swooning for Zafir at this point). Of course, Dani doesn’t want anything from Zafir other than sexual release, but romance novel addict Zafir struggles the whole time with not falling head over heels for Dani. This book was lovely in all ways, but after reading Chloe’s story, my expectations were set very high for Danika…
If you have spent any time looking at my reading history and book reviews, you know that I’m a big YA reader, and I also have a huge interest in reading thrillers and true crime (yeah it’s odd but whatever). So, of course, “Stalking Jack the Ripper” sounds like it should tick every single one of my boxes. Just ignore the fact that I was so late to start reading this. We have Audrey Rose, a young woman of wealth and society that leads a double life assisting her uncle in his morgue. She assists in autopsying the recent corpses that come to his lab, until a slew of horrific murders begins in the Whitechapel area, and the first victim of Jack the Ripper makes it to her uncle’s laboratory, with a startling connection to Audrey Rose’s family. It’s a race to discover who Jack is and put an end to these awful murders; and how could Audrey not win that race when the brilliant, Sherlock Holmes-like love interest is there to help? So, tell me then: why did I not like this book?
Just kidding, I’ll tell you.
On the surface, “The Little French Bistro” has all the makings of a Hallmark-like romance. You have a 60-year-old woman rediscovering her life and passion after an event has her running away from her loveless, controlling husband, and making a new life for herself in Brittany. It sounds super idyllic and charming, except that the synopsis is misleading. Especially about what that “event” is, which inspires her to run away, but I’ll get into that in a second. This story is populated with a ton of people all like our main character, Marianne, too. All of them are floundering in their romantic relationships in some capacity and need something—or someone—to help push them toward living their lives full of love and passion. Again, another concept that I love and was super here for, except there were too many characters and they all sort of ended up blending together by the end of the book.
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