Book Review | July Edition

I'm back with my four most recent reads! 

Bring Me Back
My Rating: 3.6
Amazon: 3.8

B.A. Paris has written my very favorite recent novel, Behind Closed Doors. Behind Closed Doors was well written, super dark and twist, and I just couldn’t put it down. The entire story was flawless and I loved very bit (including the ending). Her second novel, The Breakdown, impressed me almost as much, so I was super excited for Paris’ most recent release, Bring Me Back. I put in a library request months and months before it was ever released. My hold was interrupted somehow so I ended up just purchasing the book because I just couldn’t wait! But, y’all. It was such a letdown. It was like an entirely different author wrote this one. Here’s the Amazon synopsis:

Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone―never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.
Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla―hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive―and on Finn’s trail―what does she want? And how much does she know?
A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.

Most of the book was slow and just a bit boring. I honestly just did not enjoy the story line. At one point, I think I said out loud: enough with the Russian dolls! (Which you will understand if you read this book, though I just honestly cannot recommend it.) The ending seemed like a hail Mary type try to make everything come together and make sense (reminiscent of The Girl in Cabin 10 which I actually enjoyed). Overall verdict: pick up Behind Closed Doors and The Breakdown, pass on Bring Me Back.

My Rating: 4.3
Amazon: 3.2

My real-life and blogger friend Christina recommended this book to me, as it’s being made into a movie with Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick right now! (I love them both!)

Christina told me the story was about a Mommy blogger so I was hooked right away. The Amazon synopsis says this:

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. 
But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.
Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems. 
A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.
What’s funny is that the actual “blog entry” parts of the book were my least favorite 😂 Once the story got going, though, I couldn’t put it down. It was very clever, and I was satisfied with the ending, though I can see how some people might not be, which is perhaps why the Amazon rating is so low? I thought the reviews were a bit harsh, as I truly enjoyed the novel (and cannot wait for the movie!).

My Rating: 4.4
Amazon: 3.9

This novel is super different from my go-to dark and twisty, psychological thriller genre. The Wonder is set in southern Ireland in 1859, and the story takes place over the course of two weeks. Here’s what Amazon says:

In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels--a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, and a story of love pitted against evil.

I feel going into the book I knew what to expect, so while it wasn’t action packed, I still enjoyed the (rather morose and morbid) slow-as-molasses story. It’s not a feel-good read; it brings up topics such as ethics and morality, that you'll still be pondering long after you've finished the book. 

My Rating: 3.7
Amazon: 4.1

This was another new release that I was excitedly anticipating. Sadly, it ended up being my least favorite of all of Ruth Ware's books. I do recommend her other three (The Woman in Cabin 10In a Dark, Dark Wood, and The Lying Game: A Novel) but this one is a pass. Amazon has a short synopsis of the novel that makes it seem more interesting than it really is:

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Unfortunately, the book was drawn-out and slow, and I found myself not really caring one way or another about the outcome or turnout. The actual writing was fine, but if you're searching for a Ruth Ware book, definitely start with one of her first three.

Any recommendations for my library list?


  1. I have A Simple Favor on hold at the library!! Can't wait to read it & then see the movie!

  2. The movie looks like it will be soooo good!!

  3. I'm adding A Simple Favor to my list! I just finished listening to Something in the Water which I think you would like--it falls into the dark and twisty, psychological thriller genre :)

  4. I HATED Behind Closed Doors (way too dark for my new-mama heart), LOVED The Breakdown, and have heard mixed reviews on Bring Me Back so I'm torn on trying it. No review I've read of The Death of Mrs. Westaway has been positive which is such a bummer because TWIC10 and Dark Wood were two of my favorite books ever (Lying Game, not so much). Definitely skipping this newest one! I had no idea A Simple Favor was a book! Going to have to squeeze that in before the movie comes out!!


Powered by Blogger.