Book Review – The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn

Wonderful Wednesday friends! I have been going non-stop for the last week it has been very rewarding though. Sometimes those busy times are the best times, am I right?

I want to tell you about the book I just finished listening to. Have I told you all how much I love audio books? They are truly amazing and make my commute not terrible. The latest book I listened to was The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. This book brings to mind the old school Hitchcock thrillers we have all come to know and love.

Here is the summary from Amazon.

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble―and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock—an unforgettable thriller that Gillian Flynn calls “amazing.”

My review:

This story had so many twists. I loved the way the author revealed the story. It is clear as the story starts that Anna is not in a good place. The way that unfolds is a great ride.

I did not anticipate the ending at all. This was a surprise for me because usually I always guess the ending.

The general plot of the story was not new. This did not feel like anything new and exciting. It was told well but I couldn’t help feeling it had been told before.

Overall, I’m going to give this one a 📚📚📚 out of 5. If you are a super thriller fan go for it. If you are looking for something original perhaps you should pass.

What are you reading my friends?

Love and 📚,

Becky

Book Review – A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

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This Wednesday, we are talking about A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. Here is the summary from Amazon.

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes.  Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

My review:

This story took me on twists and turns like I didn’t expect. As you start to sympathize with a character, you learn something new and no longer even like the character. Then, something else happens you are sympathetic to them again. I have to hand it to the author is so difficult to write characters that are likeable and unlikeable all at the same time. The flow of the story did feel very natural. As you are learning things along with Karen, there is some memory sequence but for the most part it is all unfolding in order for the reader along with the characters in the story.

You will enjoy the take on this one if you enjoy mystery novels that are pretty quick reads. I did feel like I just wanted to keep turning the page. This is one of those stories that makes me glad I like to read!

I am going to say that this one was a 📚📚📚📚📚 out of 5, for me! I enjoyed every twist and turn. I didn’t feel like the author took too many over the top liberties which I appreciate. I highly recommend this one!

Love and 📚,

Becky

Book Review – The Murder House James Patterson and David Ellis

The Murder House

Wonderful Wednesday Reader Friends,

So here is a little secret, I don’t always “read” these books. I have a decent commute every day (around 45 minutes each way) so I will often listen to audio books. I do not subscribe to Audible or anything like that, I use an app called OverDrive. This app is connected to my local library and I can “check-out” books to read through my Kindle or audio books to listen to through the OverDrive app on my cell phone, hands free of course people. I know this app is available via iTunes, not sure about other services like GooglePlay, etc.

Sometimes, I start to listen to a book and a stop for whatever reason. Maybe I didn’t get through it and the borrowing period ended, there is always a reason something didn’t get done. Anyway, as I started to listen to this story, it was very familiar. I was about a chapter in and realized I had started this before. I didn’t however, remember enough to make me want to stop listening and I am so glad that I didn’t. I never finished because the ending was a complete surprise to me.

The book I am talking about is of course The Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis.

Summary (via James Patterson’s website)

Detective Jenna Murphy comes to the Hamptons to solve a murder-but what she finds is more deadly than she could ever imagine.

Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, former New York City cop Jenna Murphy hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker than even the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined.

As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth-before the Murder House claims another victim. Full of the twists and turns that have made James Patterson the world’s #1 bestselling writer, The Murder House is a chilling, page-turning story of murder, money, and revenge.

My take:

This story starts off from the very first sentence with action. You are pulled along for the ride whether you want to be or not. If I were reading this book physically, I have no doubt it would be a page turner. I know that I struggled to stop the audio when I would get to the office each morning or when I got home each evening. The characters are all flawed enough to be very believable. One character that we are introduced to, rather quickly is Noah Walker. The ups and downs of this character are enough to be a novel in itself. Jenna is one of those characters that you feel for, but at the same time you have moments where you want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.

I enjoyed this story from start to finish. The town in the Hamptons is as much a character as the people in the story. You learn about the area and how it affects the comings and goings of all of the characters. I think that with this one James Patterson has outdone himself. I was very impressed by the speed of the action as well. For a novel that is 451 pages, you truly get 451 pages of interest. There did not appear to be a lull to me. Also, while I will not give spoilers, I will say that the ending left me satisfied. There were no holes that were left to annoy me when I  finished. It was a good wrapped up story.

I am going to give this read 🥐🥐🥐🥐🥐 out of 5 croissants. This is a grab a cup of coffee with a croissant, that turns into a glass of tea with your lunch, and a glass of wine after dinner kind of read. You won’t be able to put it down.

Sadly, I don’t have an author interview to go along with this review. I do have some things in the works though, so please keep checking back with me friends!

Love and 📚,

Becky

Book Review – It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

Some of you may not know this, but the real girl behind RealGirlReviews (me!) has an online Facebook book club. The book club reads different books every month that are selected by the members. We then enjoy some discussion about the books at the end of the month/beginning of the following month.

We select our books by vote, there are always three books to choose from, fiction, non-fiction and classic. If you are interested in joining our club, please drop me a line. We are 65 members strong and growing. We have members all over the country and would invite anyone that loves to read to join us.

For June the book selection was the fiction selection It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell. This is a story of three women that meet in college as freshman. The girls are all very different. Kate is the rich beauty that doesn’t necessarily have a lot of time for classes. Jenny is the smart local girl that wants to go places. Aubrey is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks that is on financial aid and considers herself lucky to meet these other girls. Twenty years later, when one of these girls ends up standing on a bridge in a desperate situation, how do they all move forward with their lives and current situations. When one of them ends up dead, where will the fingers point. Is it always the husband?

Have you ever had a frenemy? This novel took me on a journey of friendship and enemy loathing like I could never have imagined. You want to like all of the girls. You want to hate all of the girls. The story grips you in a way that I honestly wasn’t expecting. As you learn more about each of these woman, you finds pieces of yourself in each of them. The insecurities and struggles. The book does a great job of going back and forth between the past and the present. Sometimes when I read a book that does that, I get frustrated or can’t understand the purpose of the “flashbacks”. With this story, I felt like every part of the past and present was relevant. Michele Campbell created a world where although you didn’t fully like everyone or maybe even anyone, you can’t put it down. You have to know what happened to these people and all of the details.

I will not give any spoilers away about the book, but I will say you are left in suspense and guessing right up until the very last minute, which I absolutely love. This is an excellent beach read. I would highly recommend you check it out. Check back next week when we have an interview with the author. The following is a link to this book on Amazon, I do not get anything from this but wanted to provide a quick way for you to check out and/or purchase this excellent novel.

 

Overall I am going to give this one 🥐🥐🥐🥐 out of 5 croissants.

Love 📚 and 🥐,

Becky

Notice – Storytelling

Hello my friends and readers!

I wanted to post a quick update and let you know that I plan to finish posting the fiction story I wrote so that they can read it completely. I love writing fiction and I love writing this blog. We shall see what comes in the future. I am not sure this will be a regular feature of the blog but I didn’t want to leave anyone hanging.

We shall see what comes of the future!

Lots of love and reading my friends,

Becky

Troublemaker Review

Leah Remini

Some of us are just born loud. We are loud from the moment we take that first breath. We are constantly having to be moved to a different seat in class because they think that will help but guess what, we will talk to anyone, even ourselves if that’s how we have to survive. And many of us that are loud are often drawn to others that are loud. It is like a secret club, and volume and persistence is the secret knock to open the door. This is my explanation for being drawn to reading actress Leah Remini’s book Troublemaker – Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. I have been drawn to the actress since the first moment she appeared on Who’s the Boss back in the 80s and when news broke that she was releasing a book, I couldn’t wait to read it. Due to my time management and schedule I didn’t end up getting to “read” this book but listened to it on audio book.

The first thing I will say in my review is that the audio book is read by Leah Remini and well that’s a requirement. Her voice and inflection and her true personality come through in every single word. It is clear that she knows who she is and she’s good with it. Her book is really her story.

Her experiences are clear and she provides an honest reflection of what she witnessed in her life. Her truth as she knows it draws you in and makes you feel like you know her and you experienced it with her. I found it interesting that this was not an attack on Scientology at all. This story was hers and it was honest in that she had a religion she completely believed in and was committed to including in her life and when she didn’t like things that were happening she had to really step back and make some very hard decisions for herself and for her family. Are there things that some of us would have found unbelievable and horrible and couldn’t understand because it’s not how we were raised, sure. But again each religion/denomination has their special practices and beliefs that are foreign to others. She shows how for her this was normal and then when it became something she had to question, she did. She used her voice and she was afraid to be a “troublemaker”. And that is in my opinion what makes her so special.

If you want to experience an inside look at life, Scientology and a little taste of Hollywood, I highly recommend you check out this book. If you have the time and can listen to the audio version I would recommend that even more. Leah’s voice will draw you in and make you feel a part of her story. I have decided that if I ever get to meet her, I would just like to hug her and say “Well Done!”. She would probably hate that, but well I’m a hugger. She impressed me and I wish she was one of my friends. So if you have a chance in your own life to be a Troublemaker, I would have to say go for it. And when that moment comes just know, you can do it too.

For more information please find Leah Remini’s website: here  and to order your own copy of the book please go here.

Favorite Childhood Books 

Oh books!! So I feel like I was a late reader. It was almost 2nd grade before I really figured it out. But once I got it, I read everything! 

My favorites- 

   
    
 Honestly I loved reading everything as a child. And I love reading today. Books can take you all over the world and through time and space. One of the greatest things about books is that they were around. If you get a chance to pick up a book and read it do it! Take the time. You will be glad you did. 

What did you read as a child? 

Love 

Becky