I’ve had my first cold since having my sinus surgery (in March). Yuck! I am not 100% yet, and crossing my fingers it doesn’t move into my chest next. But since I’ve been sick for the last week, I had some time to catch up on some reading.
#1 I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan
Oh man this book was good! If I could give it 10 out of 5 stars I would! I liked it so much. It’s well written, the characters all seem very real, the story is engrossing and relateable.
Penelope is a middle-age mother of two kids, the primary bread-winner and her husband, who dropped out of medical school to be a writer is just kind of coasting through life.
“I loved my husband. I loved my kids. I mostly liked my life. But I was so damn tired.”
She’s overwhelmed, unhappy and feeling stuck and lost and kinda like she wants to escape all at the same time.
“Change was a privilege reserved for people whose families didn’t rely on them for food, shelter, and health insurance.”
“But something between us had shifted over the course of our marriage, particularly the last two to three years. We had gone from being lovers to best friends to . . . roommates who routinely irritated each other. If I was honest with myself, that was what it felt like most of the time.”
Then her life is hit by a tragic event that makes her reevaluate things. She realizes she needs to make some changes in her life, her career, her marriage, in order to survive.
It’s weird because the reviews are mixed about this book. Seems like people weren’t a fan of the audio version. Or they felt like “nothing” happened and I wonder–did they read the same book I did? Because a lot happened! Anyway, I liked it a lot and thought it was an interesting, thoughtful look at friendship, marriage, grief and life.
#2 Land of Shadows (Detective Elouise Norton #1) by Rachel Howzell Hall
Excellent! Loved this book. What a great start to a new series. Lou is a homicide detective in LA. She gets a case that at first glance looked like a suicide, but she knows in her gut it’s not. She was right. And the murder hits a little too close to home for her, bringing up a lot of ghosts from her past.
Lou is an AWESOME character. Multi-dimensional, feisty, smart, strong. The book is engrossing and fast moving. I totally pictured it as a movie and could not wait to read the rest of the series.
Highly recommend this book. The second I finished it, I downloaded the second book!
#3 Skies of Ash (Detective Elouise Norton #2) by Rachel Howzell Hall
The sequel. It’s just as good, although I guessed whodunit pretty early on in the story. I love the character so much, it didn’t matter.
In this book, Lou is called to a fire where three bodies are found. Juliet Chatman and her two kids have died in the fire and her husband, Christopher, was injured trying to save them. But Lou doesn’t buy it. Partially because she’s going through a rough spot in her marriage and doesn’t really like men much right now, but she doesn’t think the husband’s story pans out. And as she starts to investigate deeper, she discovers that the perfect couple wasn’t that perfect behind closed doors.
It was another fast, good read. I couldn’t put it down and downloaded book 3 immediately!
#4 Trail of Echoes (Detective Elouise Norton #3) by Rachel Howzell Hall
Another good book in the series. In this one, Lou and her partner Colin are investigating what turns out to be a serial killer who is kidnapping and murdering young, gifted, African American girls from the housing projects known as “The Jungle.”
Lou’s personal life is kind of a mess and she’s struggling to keep it out of her professional life. Lou’s dad is also trying to get back in her life. I didn’t find this storyline quite as compelling, but the investigation of the murders was great.
Fast-paced, witty writing, smart and funny. Lou if a great character–tough but emotional and you can relate to her. Again, I kind of guessed the killer pretty early on but that didn’t ruin the wild ride of the book. I still enjoyed it!
#5 Shamed (Kate Burkholder #11) by Linda Castillo
The newest book in the series about Chief of Police Kate Burkholder in Amish country. In this book, a child is missing. It starts with a brutal murder and kidnapping of an Amish child with special needs. Kate is running against the clock because she knows as each hour passes, the likelihood of finding a kidnapped child goes down.
The book is a super quick read and a non-stop roller-coaster ride. It was very engrossing and another great read in the series.
#6 An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Jessica Farris is a single girl in New York, struggling to make ends meet as a makeup artist. To make some extra money, she signs up for a psychological study for Dr. Shields. But the study grows more and more invasive and intense and soon Jessica is doing things she never thought she’d do. She starts to realize that Dr. Shields has other motives for her “study.”
It was a good book, a slow burn with “twists” throughout the book instead of one big twist at the end. The story switches back and forth between the narrator being Jessica and narrator being Dr. Shields. Dr. Shields is fascinating and twisted. The ending was slightly disappointing but overall the book was a good read.
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