The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter {Review}

 

This was my first Will Trent book and what a great read for me. Karin Slaughter captured me again.

When a dead body is found in an abandoned building Will Trent and his team go on a hunt to find out who killed this person, why there is so much other blood in the building and who that belongs to, and what other people may be involved.

Will, Will, Will… bless his heart. I was rooting for him throughout this whole novel and shouting at him at some points to just pull it together!

The book takes a turn in the middle that was completely unexpected (for me) and we find that this case hits close to home for Will. With many relatable characters and quite a few characters that you’ll love to hate, this book is captivating. Slaughter has included mystery, love, loyalty, friendship, secrets and more in this great read.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti {Review}

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-2-07-36-pm

 

When Lizzie Lovett goes missing, the whole town is in shock and everyone is talking about it. Hawthorn Creely? Couldn’t care less (or so she says). Hawthorn is your average teenager full of angst, she’s sassy, has an opinion on everything, and is mostly a loaner except for her best friend Emily. Chelsea Sedoti is able to capture that awkward time in high school where all you really want to do is belong– even if you pretend that you don’t. Her writing puts you right in Hawthorn’s shoes. For a girl with such a tough exterior and extremely witty one-liner comebacks, Hawthorn has a soft inside, is lonely and can be hurt easily.

This book kind of reminded me of Paper Towns. Someone disappears. There are theories about where she went. Someone tries to solve the mystery.

Even though Hawthorn tries to pretend like she doesn’t care, she really does. She becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of Lizzie’s disappearance, conjuring up a number of theories in her head. Things get a little weird when she goes in “too deep” by getting a job at Lizzie’s old place of work and getting acquainted with Lizzie’s boyfriend. Creepy, much Hawthorn? This part of the storyline can be a bit drawn out (as in Paper Towns), but stick with it. It’s worth it. Sedoti has an amazing voice. She writes really well and has the capability to draw the readers in.

Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity by Sil Lai Abrams {Review}

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-2-29-04-pm

I wanted to love this book, I did.

I chose it because my own children are bi-racial and I just wanted to hear someone else’s story as I often wonder if they will struggle with racial identity at all.

Sil Lai’s story is unique. She was raised to believe that she was 1/2 Chinese and 1/2 white American, though she was darker than everyone in her family and always had her doubts. Her mom left the family when she was young, leaving her and 2 siblings with their dad. She later learns that dad is actually her stepfather in a drunken fit of his where he tells her that she is “one of them” (them being black people). Turns out that her mom had an affair just before she married her dad and they kept that information from her until later in life.

You can hear her wanting to belong when she’s young, she’s got some anger, which could all stem from her mom leaving and her drunk/angry step dad and her identity crisis of being darker than everyone else. She drops people faster than you can blink whether it’s her stepmom, her friends, or her whole family (she picks up and moves across country at one point).

In New York she struggles to fit in and make ends meet. She learns to use her looks to get some of the things that she wants and at some points her memoirs become a tabloid story. She has a “thing” with Eddie Murphy and the narrative seemed more like “look who I got to make out with” more than anything else. I kept just wanting her to get it together, it was really frustrating.

I am not sure if some of her stories truly correlate to other interracial children as she had a difficult life. This just reads as a “girl in crisis” book. She drinks too much. Parties too hard. Has to learn some things the very hard way. It wasn’t my favorite read, but it was interesting to read her stories. It wasn’t what I had hoped it would be, but still, you root for her, want her to do the right thing, and you want her to win.

Fast Food Maniac by Jon Hein {Review}

Fast Food Maniac

 

I love food. I think I have made that abundantly clear. I also love fast food. Really, there’s no shame in my fast food game. I love chicken sandwiches and milkshakes from Chick Fil A. I love the fries at McDonald’s. I will shove a Whopper Jr. from Burger King in my mouth with no problem.

Five Guys.
Arby’s.
Chipotle.
Sonic.

My list runneth over, really.

I was excited to read this book especially because they mentioned that Jon would be revealing secret menu items at the various locations. I wanted to know what they were so that I could decide if it was worth getting.

Let me tell you a secret- once upon a time McDonald’s used to make a Big Mac Snack Wrap. It’s like any of their other snack wraps- it’s basically a Big Mac in a tortilla… and it was genius! I didn’t have to feel guilty for eating two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese- you know where I’m going with this.

OH NO! I could just eat one all beef patty and on a tortilla nonetheless. Clearly this was much more healthier for me, but still just as delicious! (Let’s be clear, it’s all about the “special sauce”). Anywho. They took it off the menu- except they really didn’t. You have to go inside and request it and sometimes if the cashier is feeling extra sassy, you may have to ask for a manager, but they’ll still make it for you. Order that with a small fry and down some water? De-li-cious. And I lick my fingers every. single. time.

You’re welcome.

I was looking for all of this in Jon Hein’s book. I was kind of disappointed. He gave us some history on all of the restaurants he covered, which was okay, but I kind of didn’t care. TELL ME ABOUT THE FOOD. He lists specialty, seasonal, and must-have items and (dun-dun-duuuuuuuun) the secret menu items except he doesn’t really tell us about them. For example, if I go to Fatburger and want to order the Hypocrite- can I know beforehand what I’m ordering? That’s what I was looking for. I wanna know the juicy details of what is in these secret menu items.

While I am a self-proclaimed hungry girl. I am a take-precautions kind of hungry girl. I wanna know what I’m getting myself into before I eat something.

The book takes us through all of his favorite restaurants from across the country, which gave me a road map for places that I may want to visit when I go to different states, but it read more like a fast food encyclopedia and at times was dry (to me). Good read, but I don’t know if I would’ve bought this book. This seems more like a check-out-of-the-library kind of read.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge from Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was given. 

Where We Fall by Rochelle Weinstein {Review}

WhereWeFallcover79468-medium

 

This book was every single thing that I needed it to be. As someone who suffers from a mental illness I felt every part of this.

Rochelle has created likable and relatable characters in Ryan, Abby, Lauren and Juliana. A woman struggling terribly with her depression. A husband holding on for dear life trying to hard to love a wife who isn’t ready to a. get help or b. love herself. A daughter who holds some resentment towards her mom since her illness has pretty much dictated her entire life and a friend who was betrayed in the worst way by the people she loved.

So believable. Those are the best two words that I can describe. There’s love, betrayal, friendship, parenting, marriage- so many things all here. I took my time reading this soaking in every single page because I wanted to make sure that her depiction of depression wasn’t stereotypical, but rather- real. It was… at least to me.

The ending of the novel left me heartbroken, yet hopeful. Such a good read and one that I would highly recommend.

Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book free of charge in exchange for my review from NetGalley. No other compensation was given.