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

412656NDUuL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

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

Movie Review – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Wonderful Wednesday my amazing reader friends!!!

I hope your week is going awesome! Mine has been a little weird. I have not been feeling well but I’m pushing through! I have been reading and watching a lot of movies lately as I have been on the treadmill a lot and well that’s what I do, other than walk of course, on the treadmill.

One of the movies I watched recently was today’s review!

First, let me say isn’s Lily James just the best? I just think she is absolutely adorable and a wonderful actress. I reviewed the book a few weeks ago and you all know I really loved it! Here is the review in case you missed it!

The movie is different then the book. I will be honest and tell you up front I liked the book better. The movie jumps into the story so quickly and the book really develops the relationships between the characters. I prefer the more in-depth look at all the relationships.

As a book lover, I have to say the idea of the story and a book bringing people together makes my heart happy! I am also a big history buff so a movie based on this time in history is fascinating. One thing that was easier to recognize in the movie quicker than the book was the chemistry between the main characters. In the book I imagined Dawsey older as a fatherly figure until the end. With the movie, Dawsey is presented as a handsome potential love interest.

I’m going to give this a 🍿🍿🍿🍿 out of 5. Only 4 because I felt the character development was a little rushed in the movie. The story is still true to itself but definitely a little lacking. Lily James is worth watching alone but it’s a good movie if you need a heartwarming afternoon.

Love and 🍿,

Becky

Book Review – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

51zSWUuPdTL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_

Wonderful Wednesday reader friends! I hope that you are all having a fantastic week. I have been reading a lot lately and I will be spending a lot of time updating you all on some great reads over the next few weeks.

This week we are talking about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Have you heard about this book? Perhaps you have heard about or even seen the movie of the same name. It is currently on Netflix.

Here is the synopsis from Amazon:

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

My thoughts:

This story captured me in the first sentences. The style is a series of correspondence that takes you on a journey with the characters. I found it a very intriguing take on life after World War II. How each of the characters was affected by the horrible war, is told in such a unique and interesting way. Juliet is such a likable character. She leads this cast of unique individuals on a stunning journey of growth and love. Each of the different members of the Potato Peel Society brings their own special flair to the story. I can not tell you all how much I have loved this story. By use of the correspondence as the way to tell the story, everything flowed so easily. Each of these characters is searching for their own love and security. I found myself dreaming about writing letters more often as I read this story. Maybe this little blog is my way of writing a letter to each of you. Does that count? Now I need to find myself a pen pal.

Overall, this was an amazing read. Full of laughter, drama, tragedy and of course, love. I am giving this for sure ☕️☕️☕️☕️☕️ out of 5. If you would like to purchase the book here is a link on Amazon.

I am going to watch the movie and share my review of that as well very soon. Also, I need to seriously find a pen pal!

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

Thursday Story Telling – Update

I want to thank you all that have taken the time to follow along with the story, The Intervention. I want you to know that it means a lot to me that you would take the time to read and care about this work. I wrote this story many many years ago and it was my first and to date only “finished” work. Perhaps I will start another story and reveal it/publish it here on this blog in a similar format. If this is something that you would be interested in, please let me know.

To make it easy for future readers to check out my story in it’s entirety, I am going to link to each chapter in order below. Thank you again everyone for supporting me through this weird journey of putting my own words out there for all of you to read, critique and hopefully enjoy.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

I hope that if you are just finding this blog, you will take the time to check out the story chapter by chapter. It has been a scary and fun journey to reveal this personal work on this blog. For some reason, this work of fiction was more intimidating to publish here than all the times I have told about my personal life. I’m sure some psychologist would have a blast with an explanation for that weird part of me.

Thank you again my friends.

Lots of love,

Becky

Thursday Story-Telling The Intervention Chapter 10 (The Final Chapter)

Anthony walked into the room and sat beside her. She was so still, and she didn’t look like herself. Her body was lifeless as if her soul were not inside. No! He would not let himself think that way. She was just sleeping and everything was going to be fine. He would have her beside him forever. He had decided moments before in the waiting room that they would be married and have babies. They would grow old and grey together. He held her hand and watched her. How could he have ever thought that he could be without her? He knew that he had made mistakes, and today had shown him that he couldn’t risk losing her again. He would never go through this feeling again because in his heart he knew that this feeling he had would have been the same feeling if she had walked out of the door, left him, and moved on with her with life a part from him. He was dying inside not being able to hear her voice and see that beautiful smile that only she had.

Britney opened her eyes and saw him. She watched Anthony watching her, and she was scared. There were tubes and machines and she didn’t look like she was in very good shape. Watching him sit with her and the tears that were coming down his face, she couldn’t handle it anymore. She had to put him out of his misery and let him know that she was OK. She would find a way to do it. She put her hand to his shoulder, and he didn’t move. She knew that hadn’t felt her this time. He was too involved in his pain and worry for her that he couldn’t feel anything else. She kissed him on the top of his head and she moved towards her body. She had to get back inside. This was not a dream, and she wasn’t sure how she was going to do it but she had to get back in her body. She sat on the bed next to herself and lay down; her soul reentered her body like a soft cloud disappearing within itself.

As the tears continued to flow down Anthony’s cheeks, he couldn’t help but remember the early morning and the stupid fight that had led to yelling and tears. He couldn’t remember what the fight had been about; it couldn’t have been anything important. He would never make her cry again, and he would never shed tears about something stupid again. He held her hand as tightly as he could and just cried. He was going to help her no matter what happened when she woke up, because she would wake up. He held her hand, and suddenly felt as if she squeezed back. Was it possible? Was she waking up? He wiped the tears from his eyes and looked at her. She looked different then just a few moments ago. Her soul was there again. Anthony saw her color improve. Was she going to return to him? He spoke her name, “Britney, I am here. It is going to be ok.”

He watched her waiting for a response. Her eyes began to flutter open. She smiled at him and he began to cry again.

“Don’t cry.” She whispered.

“Oh Britney, I love you so much. You can never do this again.”
“Anthony, I love you too.” She smiled at him again and knew that everything was going to be OK. She had a man that loved her more than anything in this world, and she loved him, too. Of all the places she could have floated to, the only place she wanted to be was with him. She was ready for a future with him. She held his hand and felt him squeeze. She was suddenly very tired.

“Doctor,” Anthony was calling for the doctor. “She is awake. Hurry, she is awake.”
The nurses and doctors came rushing into the room to check the monitors and all of her functions.

“Wait,” She whispered. “Anthony, don’t leave me.” She was crying.

“Baby, I will never leave you.” He smiled knowing that she was going to be OK.

He hated that it had taken this event to make him realize the strength of their love but he would make sure that they never lost it again. As Britney relaxed, she became so tired. But she heard something very lightly. “Britney, just remember I am always here, and Anthony is really the one to stand beside you, he will take care of you when I can’t and hold your hand when you can’t feel mine. I love you darling. Rest and make sure that you never forget the power of your heart and the strength of your love for the man that sits beside you.”

“Thanks Mom for the intervention. I needed it.” Britney whispered as she let herself fall back asleep this time she would stay in her body and she would allow her body and her heart to heal.