Book Review Roundup: March

It’s time for another roundup of book reviews!  Here’s what I reviewed this month:

  1. My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier – (review here) (rating: 4 out of 5 stars)
  2. Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens – (review here) (rating: 4 out of 5 stars)
  3. The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – (review here) (rating: 5 out of 5 stars)

You can also see my February reviews here.

What did you read this month?  Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Genre: Mystery/Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

After Lane’s mother commits suicide, she is sent to live with her maternal grandparents and cousin, Allegra.  Lane’s grandparents are eager to make her part of the Roanoke family and she quickly settles into her new life.  She is entranced by their beautiful home, her new friendship with her cousin and the seemingly stable family dynamic; so different from the one she experienced growing up with her mom.  Lane’s new reality is shattered when she uncovers a horrific family secret – one that will change her view of both her new family and herself.

The story alternates between the summer Lane went to live with her grandparents and eleven years later when she is forced to return.  The secret is revealed pretty early on and the plot then focuses on what happened to both Lane and Allegra in the aftermath.

The plot isn’t graphic but it is disturbing.  It was sad to learn what happened to each of the Roanoke girls and what they all had in common.  It was also unsettling to find out that certain people had suspicions about what was happening to the Roanoke girls – and some down right knew – and did nothing to put a stop to it.  The author did a great job of bringing the characters to life and revealing how they were all affected by the sinister family secret.

If you are looking for a unique plot with compelling characters, I would highly recommend this book!  I flew through it and couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Lane and Allegra.  I will say, it was difficult to read at times, and may be a little too disturbing for some readers.

Have any of you read this one?  What did you think?

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

Book Review: Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

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Genre: Domestic Thriller

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Officially released a little over a week ago, Never Let You Go, has been popping up on tons of book blogs and on Goodreads.  I read Those Girls by Chevy Stevens and really liked it and was excited to read the author’s latest.

When Lindsey’s abusive ex-husband, Andrew, is released from prison, she fears he will stop at nothing to get revenge against her.  Eleven years earlier, Lindsey escaped in the middle of the night with her young daughter and Andrew never forgave her for leaving.  Alternating between the points of view of Lindsey and her daughter Sophie, the story follows the mother and daughter as they are confronted with their past and the man they hoped was gone from their lives forever.

I loved the bond Lindsey and Sophie had and how close they were.  After leaving Andrew, Lindsey worked hard to make a happy life for herself and Sophie.  Lindsey is an independent woman who has taken self defense classes, created a support group for other women leaving abusive situations and started her own housekeeping business.  I loved how she grew into such a strong person, following her traumatic relationship.  I also liked seeing how protective Sophie was of her mom.  Although she made a few choices that went against her mom’s rules, it was clear how much she loved her when she was put in difficult situations.

I really liked the plot and was completely surprised by a twist at the end.  I have read a few domestic thrillers recently and didn’t feel this book had quite the level of suspense that others had, but overall, it was still a good read.

Have any of you read this book?  What did you think?  Thank you for stopping by!

Book Review: My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier

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Genre: Young Adult/Thriller

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I stumbled across this book on Goodreads and once I read the summary, knew I had to check it out!

The story is told from the point of view of seventeen year old Che, who seems to be the only one aware of his little sister’s violent tendencies.  At ten years old, Rosa, appears on the outside to be a perfect angel.  With blonde curls and blue eyes, she easily charms her way into the hearts of those around her.  Che lives in a constant state of worry as he tries to stay one step ahead of his sister and keep her from harming – or even killing – someone who would never see it coming.

I really liked Che’s character and felt so bad for him as he struggled to keep Rosa in line.  Despite being seventeen, Che has looked after Rosa and attempted to teach her right from wrong from a young age.  Che and Rosa’s parents are often wrapped up in their work or each other and seem oblivious to Rosa’s true nature.  They rely on Che to take care of Rosa and essentially act as a third parent, which would be a huge amount of stress in itself for any teenager.  Despite believing Rosa is a psychopath, Che still loves his little sister and remembers how innocent she was when she was a baby.

I really liked the characters and plot of this book.  I gave the book a 4 out of 5 because it was a tad slow at times and I would have liked a bit of a happier ending for Che at the conclusion.

Thank you for stopping by the blog!

Favorite Finds: Home Edition

Today, I thought I’d do a different type of favorite finds post and share some of my favorite home items!  I try to buy items that are pretty affordable and like to compare prices between stores.  I usually either visit a couple different stores in person or check out their website to see if I’m getting the best deal possible.  If you have any affordable home item recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

  1. Sectional – My husband and I were recently on the hunt for a new couch and went to a few different furniture stores in our area.  We found a sectional we loved but it was a little pricey.  We ended up coming across another sectional that was almost $300 cheaper and actually seemed better quality!  Sectionals tend to run a little higher than couches so we were happy to order this one for only a little over $600!  There’s plenty of room to stretch out and it’s super comfy.  If you’re looking for a new couch/sectional, I would recommend visiting a few different stores.  It ended up saving us a lot of money and we got to  compare different styles.
  2. Throw Pillows – I’m not sure why but throw pillows tend to be pretty expensive!  After looking at a few different stores, I ended up ordering these pillows from Amazon and in addition to being affordable, they’re also my favorite print!  I also got an email from At Home the other day and they have a bunch of throw pillows on sale for only $4.99 each!
  3. Mirrors – I love how mirrors make a room look bigger and help tie everything together.  I’ve seen some affordable options at Gordman’s and T.J. Maxx that range from $30 – $45.  I couldn’t find the ones I saw in store, online, but I have my eye on something similar to this one.
  4. Rugs – Rugs can be pretty expensive depending on where you look but there are a couple places that offer affordable options.  Target has a great selection and I especially like their outdoor mats.  We recently picked up this one and have an older mat similar to this one.  Another place to look is Menard’s.  I couldn’t find the ones we bought, online, but we found a kitchen mat (similar to this one) on sale for $12.99 and an indoor rug for $6!

I hope everyone is having a great week!  Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂

Blog Feature: Clues and Reviews

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Happy Friday!  Today, I wanted to share another one of my favorite book blogs, Clues and Reviews.  (See my last blog feature here.)

Clues and Reviews features tons of great mystery/thriller book reviews and interviews with book bloggers and popular authors.  I’ve found more than a few books from the book reviews and love getting to know a little about other bloggers and authors behind books I’ve read.

Here are a few of my favorite posts:

  1. Book Review: The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer – I read The Girl in the Red Coat by this author so I was interested to read this review on the author’s latest book.
  2. Book Review: The Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil – After reading this review, I can’t wait to check this book out!
  3. Author Q&A with John Hunt – I’ve read a lot of good things about Doll House, so it was fun to read some background about the author.
  4. Behind the Blog: Lorraine from the Book Review Cafe @ReviewCafeThe Book Review Cafe is another one of my favorite book blogs so I was excited to read more about this blogger and some of her favorite books.

If you’re a fan of mysteries/thrillers, I recommend checking this blog out!

Beauty Review: NYX Matte Vs. Gloss

I love NYX makeup and how high quality it is for such an affordable price.  Recently, I tried two of their lip products and wanted to share a review, comparing the two.

First, I purchased the NYX Lingerie Lipstick, which is a matte liquid lipstick.  I picked “Baby Doll”; one of their lighter nude shades.  In the past, I was hesitant to try matte products because I was afraid they would make my lips look dried out.  Unfortunately, this product did exactly that.  Once the product dried, it was easy to see all the lines on my lips and it looked more like paint than lipstick.  I really wanted to like it but unfortunately it just wasn’t the product for me.  However, I have seen others wear it online and it looks really pretty.  It may just depend on the person!

I returned the Lingerie Lipstick and purchased the NYX Butter Gloss in “Fortune Cookie.”  This was a slightly lighter nude than the Lingerie Lipstick.  I’ve tried this gloss in other shades before so I was pretty sure this pick would be a hit – and it was!  This is my favorite lip gloss because it really is a buttery consistency like the name says.  It makes lips looks smooth and even smells good.  I really like the nude shade and how it goes with any makeup look or outfit.  If you’re looking for a new lip gloss to try, I definitely recommend this one!

Have any of you tried either of these products?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments!  Thanks for stopping by the blog.