Book Review – In A Dark, Dark Wood

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

In A Dark, Dark Wood follows Nora who has been invited to a Hen Weekend (Bridal Shower) for Clare. Nora hasn’t seen Clare since they were in school ten years ago. The party takes place at a house located deep in the woods. Clare’s fiance also happens to have had a relationship with Nora when they were in school all those years ago. A shooting takes place at the house over the weekend. Nora is named a suspect but isn’t able to remember what happened. We follow her on her journey as she tries to remember what took place and who is responsible. She also takes a journey through secrets she thought were buried long ago.

This was a great thriller! It was somewhat predictable; however, I still enjoyed the book a lot! I rated it a 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Winter Garden

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
GENRE: Historical Fiction

Winter Garden deals with the relationships between mothers and daughters and how the past shapes us into who we become in the present.

Meredith and Nina are sisters and pretty much have nothing in common. Meredith is living her life running the family business and pleasing everyone around her. Nina is a free spirit living her life traveling the world as a photographer. Their mother, Anya, has always been very cold towards them and they never understood why. Their father becomes ill and his last wish before he dies is that he wants Anya to tell Meredith and Nina a Russian Fairytale in hopes that this will bring the three women together after he is gone.

What Meredith and Nina don’t understand at first but eventually realize is that this fairytale is actually about Anya and the life she lived during WWII in Leningrad.

This was a heartbreakingly beautifully written story. There were some twists at the end that you will not see coming and yes, tissues will be needed! This is the fourth book I’ve read by Kristin Hannah and it did not disappoint at all! I rated this book a 5/5 stars!

Book Review – The Immortalists

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Genre: Fiction

This story is about 4 siblings (Simon, Klara, Daniel and Varya) who when they were younger pooled their money together and visited a psychic. Each of the children meets with the phychic individually and she tells them when they will die. The book then follows each of the children into adulthood and how they lived their lives knowing this information.

First, I just have to say that this is probably one of the most stunning book covers I’ve ever seen! The story was thought provoking and was beautifully written. This was the first book I read by Chloe Benjamin and I was not disappointed! I rated it 4/5 stars.

Book Review – The Silent Patient

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
Genre: Thriller

This is a psychological thriller about a woman who has been convicted of killing her husband and a therapist who is determined to find out why she did it.

Alicia Berenson is a famous artist who seems to have a perfect life until one night when she shoots her husband multiple times and then never speaks again. Instead of going to prison, she is committed to a psychiatric facility. Theo Faber is a psychotherapist who is obsessed with finding out why Alicia killed her husband. He is determined to get her to speak again so that he can unravel the mystery.

This book was beyond fantastic and a great debut novel by this author!!! The story kept me guessing throughout and the twists at the end of the book are what made me give it a rating of 5/5 stars!

Book Review – The Gown

The Gown by Jennifer Robson
Genre: Historical Fiction

The announcement of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding came in 1947. England was experiencing one of the harshest winters ever and food was in such short supply that rationing had to take place. The wedding announcement was thought to be a joyous event for the country.

The story surrounds the creating of the wedding gown for Princess Elizabeth and the women who were involved in bringing it to life. Two of those women were Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassen. Both of the women were embroiderers at the fashion house of Norman Hartnell. The story follows their friendship and the trials and tribulations they experience during the time that the gown is being created.

In 2016, Ann’s granddaughter, Heather, is left some embroidered squares after Ann’s passing. Heather is determined to find out the mystery behind these squares and why her grandmother thought it so important to leave them to her.

Anyone who knows me, knows that historical fiction is my favorite genre. The author did a great job of switching between 1947 and 2016. I loved the friendship that developed between Ann and Miriam. A beautifully told story that I rated a 4.5/5 stars! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of this genre!

Book Review – The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

This book is about a man (A.J. Fikry) who has lost his wife and his business (a bookstore) is failing. He isn’t the easiest person to be around either. His life changes when he discovers a small child has been abandoned in his bookstore with a note from the child’s mother wanting him to raise her daughter. The arrival of the girl gives AJ a new lease on life and allows him to see things in a more positive light. He also discovers love again when he meets a new book sales rep that is assigned to his store.

This was a fantastic book! It made me laugh out loud, and at the end it even made me cry. It was beautiful to see A.J. transform into such a loving father and husband and watch him turn his life, and his business, around. There were some twists towards the end that I didn’t see coming involving some of the characters too!

I gave this book a 4.5/5 stars!

Book Review – The Bear and the Nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

This story takes place in medieval Russia where the main character, Vasilisa, has grown up listening to fairy tales being told to her by her nurse. Vasilisa has powers but attempts to conceal them from her family (especially her stepmother). Danger is coming and her family is threatened so Vasilisa defies those that she loves to call upon those powers in hopes of saving those that she cares most for.

This is the first book in the Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden and I loved it! The book left me wanting more at the end and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. It’s a perfect book to read this time of year and I gave it a 4/5 stars.

Book Review – Notorious

Notorious – By Allison Brennan

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

This book centers around Maxine Revere, an investigative reporter who solves cold cases all over the country.

Maxine’s best friend was murdered when she was in high school. Another of Maxine’s friends, Kevin, was accused of that murder but was not convicted for it. Everyone in the community felt he was guilty of the crime except for Maxine. During that trial, Maxine found out that Kevin had lied to her about his alibi and while she still didn’t think he was guilty of the crime, their friendship suffered from the secrets and lies.

Several years have passed and Maxine is coming home to attend Kevin’s funeral. Through the years he abused drugs and ended up committing suicide. Kevin’s sister doesn’t believe that he took his own life and asked Maxine if she would look into it. At the same time she’s looking into Kevin’s death, she is also asked to take a look into another murder that recently happened at her old high school.

Maxine uncovers many dark secrets and lies that date back to her best friend’s murder and she discovers that both of these cases could be related.

This was the first book I’ve read by Allison Brennan and I really enjoyed it!! It was a fast read for me and kept me guessing until the end! I will definitely be picking up more books by this author to read in the future.

I am rating this a solid 4/5 stars.