Reading

Stolen Things – R.H. Herron | A Book Review

Stolen Things - R.H. Herron

Title: Stolen Things

Author: R.H. Herron

Genre: Mystery Thriller

About the book: It’s a standalone about Laurie Ahmadi, a 911 police dispatcher, who gets a call from her teenage daughter. Jojo is drugged and disoriented, having been sexually assaulted in the home of Kevin Leeds, a pro football player. As Laurie and Jojo look for Jojo’s best friend who is missing, they realize they can’t trust anyone, not even the police.

First impressions: The title and cover intrigued me. After reading the premise, I was curious to see how the story would play out. The beginning starts off at a good pace.

Characters: I enjoyed the main characters and their development throughout the novel. They make mistakes, but they’re easy to root for. I could relate to Laurie and Jojo, seeing parts of myself in both of them. I also appreciate the representation of different communities.

Quote:

“Do you know how it feels to grieve the person you love the most in the whole world?”

Writing: It’s almost 350 pages long with short, suspenseful chapters. The story is told in alternating third person perspectives between Laurie and Jojo. Some events are easier to predict, but several twists and turns surprised me. The book explores many sensitive topics like sexual assault, police brutality, and much more.

Final thoughts: Everything is revealed at the end. I’m glad that loose ends are tied up. I would recommend Stolen Things if you’re looking for a book that touches upon contemporary political and racial issues. In my opinion, it’s a heavy but worthwhile read.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

The Half Sister – Sandie Jones | A Book Review

The Half Sister - Sandie Jones

Title: The Half Sister

Author: Sandie Jones

Genre: Mystery Thriller

About the book: It’s a standalone that follows Kate and Lauren, two sisters who recently lost their father. One day, a young woman named Jess knocks on the door, claiming to be their half sister. The family is far as perfect as all of their secrets come to light.

First impressions: I was looking forward to reading this novel. The premise had potential for a suspenseful story.

Characters: The main characters and some of the secondary characters aren’t that likeable. I wish Kate and Lauren were more relatable. I didn’t feel as invested in them as I wanted to, especially at the start. It helped to learn more about them and their backstory. There book revolves around a lot of family drama it focuses on the relationships between the sisters, their mom, and their late father.

Quote:

“You might discover something you don’t want to find.”

Writing: The book is about 325 pages long with short chapters. It’s told in alternating viewpoints between Kate and Lauren. The plot is a little predictable, so I saw some things coming. I think it would’ve been interesting if the author included flashbacks to the past instead of just having the characters talk about what happened before in the present moment.

Final thoughts: The pacing slows down in the middle, but it picks up near the end. Many of the secrets are finally revealed. As with many mystery thrillers, readers will have to suspend disbelief at times to enjoy the plot. If you’re looking to read about family secrets, you might enjoy The Half Sister.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

The Birthday Girl – Melissa de la Cruz | A Book Review

The Birthday Girl - Melissa de la Cruz

Title: The Birthday Girl

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Genre: Mystery Thriller

About the book: It’s a standalone following Ellie de Florent-Stinson who appears to have everything she’s ever wanted. She’s turning 40 years old with a great family and a glamorous career. But she has tried hard to forget her 16th birthday where everything went wrong. Everyone who matters in Ellie’s life show up at her birthday party, and the secrets from her past finally come to light.

First impressions: I like the title and cover. After reading the premise, I wanted to see how the story would play out. Not much happens at the beginning, so it starts off slow.

Characters: I didn’t find Ellie and her family all that likeable. The book is also about what happened to Ellie and her friends when they were teenagers. I wish I was more invested in the characters and their backstory, but their development fell a little flat for me.

Quote:

“And even if you earned everything you had, life was still hard.”

Writing: It’s about 275 pages with short chapters. The story alternates between Ellie’s 40th birthday party in the present and her 16th birthday in the past. Some events are easy to predict, but other elements were a little more surprising. The end of the book contains more mature and sensitive scenes.

Final thoughts: Near the end, the pacing picks up. The ending answers lingering questions about what happened to Ellie. I thought the premise had a lot of potential, but the plot wasn’t what I expected. The book is more of a dramatic mystery than a fast-paced thriller. Some parts felt like watching a reality TV show. I didn’t love The Birthday Girl, but if you’re looking to read about rich people and their problems, you might like it.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Things You Save in a Fire – Katherine Center | A Book Review

Things You Save in a Fire - Katherine Center

Title: Things You Save in a Fire

Author: Katherine Center

Genre: Contemporary Romance

About the book: It’s a standalone that follows Cassie Hanwell, a firefighter in a Texas firehouse. who has seen her share of emergencies. When Cassie’s estranged mother asks her for help, Cassie moves to Boston. Although the other firemen aren’t thrilled about having her join the crew, the new rookie doesn’t seem to mind. Despite the fact Cassie’s old captain told her never to date firefighters, she starts to fall for the rookie.

First impressions: The title and cover piqued my interest. I’m not a big romance reader, but I was looking forward to seeing this story play out because the premise sounded promising.

Characters: I enjoyed Cassie’s character arc and found myself rooting for her. It was easy to relate to many of the characters. I adore Cassie and the rookie as individuals, which made it even fun to watch their relationship develop.

Quote:

“It was always the moments you didn’t expect that haunted you the most.”

Writing: It’s a little under 350 pages with short chapters. I enjoyed how Center explores different themes like courage, forgiveness, and love. The novel also looks at important issues like abandonment and addiction.

Final thoughts: There are some interesting twists along the way. The ending and epilogue provide closure as they answer lingering questions. The book is about a love story, but it’s also so much more than that. If you’re a fan of romantic stories about strength and vulnerability, I’d highly recommend Things You Save in a Fire.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

The Yellow Bird Sings – Jennifer Rosner | A Book Review

The Yellow Bird Sings - Jennifer Rosner

Title: The Yellow Bird Sings

Author: Jennifer Rosner

Genre: Historical Fiction

About the book: It’s a standalone set in Poland during the Holocaust. Róza and her five-year-old daughter, Shira, seek shelter in a barn to hide from Nazi soldiers rounding up Jews. Shira is a musical prodigy, but she has to stay silent because any sound could cost them their lives. When it’s no longer safe to stay in the barn, Róza must let Shira survive apart from her.

First impressions: I’m a fan of historical fiction, especially WWII stories, so I felt excited reading this novel. I was curious to see what would happen. The pace at the beginning starts off slower, but the pacing picks up as the plot unfolds.

Characters: The book mainly revolves around Róza and Shira as they navigate life during the war. I enjoyed following their difficult journeys and watching them overcome different obstacles. In my opinion, the main and secondary characters make this novel that much more memorable.

 Quote:

“As if he understood life itself to be the holding together of small broken pieces.”

Writing: It’s about 300 pages long with short chapters and scenes. On one hand, the subject matter is heartbreaking. On the other, the writing is beautiful.

Final thoughts: I wasn’t sure how Rosner would end the book. That said, I found the ending fitting. A lot happens quickly in the best way possible. I love the exploration of silence and sound, love and loss, as well as other themes. If you like reading historical fiction stories with a focus on music, I would recommend checking out The Yellow Bird Sings.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Bring Me Back – B. A. Paris | A Book Review

Bring Me Back - B. A. Paris

Title: Bring Me Back

Author: B. A. Paris

Genre: Mystery Thriller

About the book: It’s a standalone about Finn and Layla, a couple on vacation. Finn stops at a service station but returns to find Layla has disappeared. Twelve years later, he is about to get married to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Everything changes when someone from his past calls to tell him that Layla might still be alive.

First impressions: I thought the premise had a lot of potential for an interesting read. The pacing at the beginning is good, but it slows down afterwards before picking up again.

Characters: The story doesn’t have too many characters, so it mainly revolves around Finn, Layla, and Ellen. They lack depth and didn’t develop much. As such, I didn’t find them likeable or relatable.

Quote:

“That’s the thing about losing someone; you tend to remember every careless remark, even those made in jest.”

Writing: The book felt a little repetitive at times. I was hoping the plot would be more unpredictable with different twists and turns. The ending didn’t take me by surprise as I saw some things coming before they happened. The author explores dark themes that are quite mature in nature.

Final thoughts: Everything is revealed at the end and loose ends are tied up. The events aren’t very realistic, so I had to suspend disbelief while reading this novel. Even though I’m a big fan of psychological thrillers, Bring Me Back wasn’t really for me. It’s still an easy read with short chapters that might entertain some readers.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

Vortex – Catherine Coulter | A Book Review

Vortex - Catherine Coulter

Title: Vortex

Author: Catherine Coulter

Genre: Mystery Thriller

About the book: It’s the 25th book in the FBI Thriller series that follows FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich. Mia Briscoe, a political journalist, attended a college party seven years ago where her best friend was never seen or heard from again. Olivia Hildebrandt, a CIA operative, is nearly killed on a mission in Iran and attacked at her home later. Mia and Sherlock unravel secrets that some powerful figures will do anything to keep hidden. Olivia and Savich work together to find out who compromised her mission.

First impressions: Although I haven’t read the previous books in the series, I was able to follow along easily enough. The premise piqued my interest, and the beginning sets the stage for the rest of the story. There are different mysteries and many characters involved.

Characters: I liked learning more about Mia, Sherlock, Olivia, and Savich. I was more invested in the storyline revolving around Mia and Sherlock than the others.

Quote:

“I’ve always believed each of us has infinite value, no one individual more than any other.”

Writing: It’s about 400 pages with short chapters. The plot isn’t too hard to predict, but I still enjoyed seeing the story unfold. I think the pacing isn’t too slow. Also, the novel explores some dark and serious issues.

Final thoughts: The ending ties up loose ends, and the epilogue provides even more closure. If you’re a fan of thrillers with many moving parts about politics and power, you can pick up Vortex.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Reading

When No One is Watching – Alyssa Cole | A Book Review

When No One is Watching - Alyssa Cole

Title: When No One is Watching

Author: Alyssa Cole

Genre: Thriller

About the book: It’s a standalone that follows Sydney Green who lives in Brooklyn, but her neighbourhood is changing and people are disappearing. As she works on a walking tour with her new neighbour Theo, they learn that the gentrification of their community might be more sinister than anyone realizes.

First impressions: The title, cover, and premise made me curious, so I was looking forward to seeing what would happen. I feel like the pacing is slower at the start, but it picks up as the story unfolds.

Characters: The main protagonists are Sydney and Theo. I wasn’t invested in them right away, but they grew on me. Both characters have their own problems from the past that they work through individually and together. I enjoyed the conversations they had with each other.

Quote:

“Not thinking too deeply before I act has led me down some pretty bizarre paths in life.”

Writing: It’s almost 350 pages with longer chapters that alternate between the perspectives of Sydney and Theo. The language and themes are mature, so the book is more suitable for an adult audience instead of young readers. Cole explores issues such as racism, class, and inequality in an eye-opening and thought-provoking way.

Final thoughts: A lot of events happen at the end. I liked the ending more than the beginning of this novel because it was more interesting. If you’re looking for an eerie thriller about gentrification and revitalization, check out When No One is Watching.


You can add me as a friend on Goodreads to see what I’m reading.

This post contains affiliate links to Book Depository. If you make a purchase through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks!