Tell Me Lies

Author: Carola Lovering
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Source:  Stephanie at Simon & Schuster

 

Goodreads:  A thrilling, sexy coming-of-age story exploring toxic love, ruthless ambition, and shocking betrayal, Tell Me Lies is about that one person who still haunts you—the other one. The wrong one. The one you couldn’t let go of. The one you’ll never forget.

Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.

Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. Deep down, Lucy knows she has to acknowledge the truth about Stephen. But before she can free herself from this addicting entanglement, she must confront and heal her relationship with her mother—or risk losing herself in a delusion about what it truly means to love.

With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.

Ope’s Opinion: Getting past the constant use of the “f” word was the first stumbling block in this book.  Stephen has no redeeming qualities – he is self centered, abusive and toxic.  Lucy is the definition of insanity – she keeps doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. 

This story is told from each of their perspectives.  It hops from present to past and back, but is well marked. They had a train wreck of a relationship.  You wanted to read it to see where it was going,  but it was not enjoyable.

The ending brought this book from a two chair to a three chair.

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Finding Jake

 

Author: Bryan Reardon
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery
Source:  William Morrow

Goodreads:  A heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of psychological suspense in which a parent is forced to confront what he does—and does not—know about his teenage son, in the vein of Reconstructing Amelia, Defending Jacob, and We Need to Talk about Kevin.

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn’t. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.

Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?

Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, Finding Jake is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.

Ope’s Opinion: Start this book with plenty of time and no interruptions.  Once you start reading you will not want to put it down.  It is a very intense story.  You know from reading the synopsis that there is a school shooting, but this is told from a completely different perspective.  Each chapter is labeled – they flip from Jake’s childhood to the day of the shooting.  It is mostly told from Jake’s father’s point of view.

There are some twists in the story that I didn’t see coming – as a matter of fact I thought I had it all figured out early in the book – I was wrong and loved where it went.

The ending was wonderful.  It answered a lot of questions, but still felt realistic.

Out Now

Do you want to look at a family in a different way?
Do you enjoy reading about relationships?
Pick up this Susan Mallery book today.

Goodreads:  Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

Thank you Emer at Harper Collins for sending
some of the best books I have read – this
was one of them!

When We Found Home

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Emer at HarperCollins

 

Goodreads:  Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story line was interesting and unique. The family relationships felt real and moved at a good pace. The steamy parts will make romance readers happy ( were unnecessary for me ).  The romantic relationships moved a little too fast into the intimate parts.  It made me look at “family” in a different way.

The ending came a little too abrupt and it was tied into a perfect bow.

It would have been a five in my book, but I am not crazy about the steamy parts and it did repeat itself.

Everything We Give

Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Mystery
Source: Ashley at Amazon

 

Goodreads:  Award-winning photographer Ian Collins made only one mistake in life, but it cost his mother her freedom and destroyed their family, leaving Ian to practically raise himself. For years he’s been estranged from his father, and his mother has lived off the grid. For just as long, he has searched for her.

Now, Ian seemingly has it all—national recognition for his photographs; his loving wife, Aimee; and their adoring daughter, Caty. Only two things elude him: a feature in National Geographic and finding his mother. When the prized magazine offers him his dream project on the same day that Aimee’s ex-fiancé, James, returns bearing a message for Ian but putting a strain on his marriage, Ian must make a choice: chase after a coveted assignment or reconnect with a mysterious woman who might hold the key to putting his past to rest. But the stakes are high, because Ian could lose the one thing he holds most dear: his family.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is another good Kerry Lonsdale book.  She writes amazing stories with a lot of emotion and wonderful characters.  Starting with book one is definitely recommended. The story will have so much more meaning, if you start from the beginning.

There were a lot of twists in this book.  I did feel like people “accidentally” ran into each other more then would really happen.  After a while it just got to be too much for me to believe.

The ending really brought all the relationships together.  Your questions will be answered – some with surprises.

 

Three Days Missing

Author: Kimberly Belle
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Suspense
Source:  Emer at Harper Collins

Goodreads: Those closest to us are often the most dangerous…

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare: the call that comes in the middle of the night.

When Kat Jenkins awakens to the police on her doorstep, her greatest fear is realized. Her nine-year-old son, Ethan, is missing—vanished from the cabin where he’d been on an overnight field trip with his class. Shocked and distraught, Kat rushes to the campground where he was last seen. But she’s too late; the authorities have returned from their search empty-handed after losing Ethan’s trail in the mountain forest.

Another mother from the school, Stef Huntington, seems like she has it all: money, prominence in the community, a popular son and a loving husband. She hardly knows Kat, except for the vicious gossip that swirls around Kat’s traumatic past. But as the police investigation unfolds, Ethan’s disappearance will have earth-shattering consequences in Stef’s own life—and the paths of these two mothers are about to cross in ways no one could have anticipated.

Racing against the clock, their desperate search for answers begins—one where the greatest danger could lie behind the everyday smiles of those they trust the most.

Ope’s Opinion: This is not your average missing kid book.  It is a slow build of tension.  As it starts out you are introduced to all the characters through Stef’s and Kat’s perspectives.   It is interesting how and why these two women’s paths cross and how it effects their sons.

The further I got into the book, the faster I read.  At one point, I did not want to put it down until I was finished – we went to dinner late because I was reading!

The ending was wonderful and satisfying.  I definitely recommend this book to any suspense reader – look up her other books too – all the ones I have read are great!

The Grown Ups

Author: Robin Antalek
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads: From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella – and force her to confront her past and her friends.

After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.

Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story line was really well done.  I liked the family drama, the characters were interesting and it was easy to read.  All the chapters are clearly  marked as to whose perspective is moving the story along. 
At times it felt like a soap opera.  Everyone was involved with someone else who had secrets they shared with someone else!  Eventually. the relationships worked themselves out.  The ending was well done, but a bit sad.
Side Note: The foul language was annoying and abundant.  At times, it seemed it was just thrown in there without making sense at all.