Review: The Good Daughter

Book Title: The Good Daughter
Author: Karin Slaughter
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: None
Genres: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Goodreads
Pub Date: 08/08/17
5 STARS

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a Grade-A, Karin Slaughter junkie. I can’t get enough of her stuff; it’s like crack for nerds who like all the dark things in their reading repertoire. I began devouring her books right around my 18th birthday and have continued to do so for almost 10 years. She’s the only living author that I have continued to read for such an extended period of time; I tell you all this so that you are aware just how good these books truly are. I’m going to keep my review spoiler free for The Good Daughter, but the following paragraphs will have some spoilers for her previous series, mainly the Grant County books. If you haven’t read them and are planning to, or if you’d rather skip the backstory, I’d recommend skipping the section between the stars.

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If I may I would like to share my journey (so far) with Karin Slaughter, as I have had so many people ask me on Goodreads why I am obsessed with her books and how I fell in to reading them.  I was lucky enough to grow up with an aunt who’s a librarian in Georgia and has continually connected me with authors she knew are just phenomenal. She was the first person who understood my need for consuming mysteries, thrillers, and all-around dark themed novels; the fact that I was able to pick up Blindsighted right as my mother was going through a scary breast cancer diagnosis and treatment was not lost on me. The Grant County series wasn’t just another set of books to teenage Chelsea; they were a “real” place that I could escape to when my mom’s tumors were being cut out of her body or while the chemo ravaged her body. I could go someplace else where all that wasn’t happening, but also where these people understood darkness, suffering, and pain. This is why I think it’s so important that people write books containing such dark content.

I blew threw the Grant County series; I literally read them all back to back and couldn’t get enough. I grew up in Atlanta and went to Auburn University, so if there has been a more relatable series written for myself I can’t think of what it might be. When I turned the last page of Beyond Reach and I saw what Slaughter had done, I’ll be honest, I was ready to rage and rant and throw books and cuss people out. HOW COULD YOU KILL MY BELOVED?!?!?!?! When I was ready to make the transition into the Will Trent series, I thought I would be done. No way could this woman make me love another man with Sarah. How dare she? I’ll admit, it took me a bit of warming up to Will but then it hit me; the reason I had so many feelings about these books was due to the dang characters! Finally, I blew threw the remaining Will Trent novels with ease and care for this new family I’d accumulated. I also loved her standalone novels of late and thought they were a fantastic way for new fans to dip their toes in the great expanse of the Slaughter kingdom. So that brings us up to speed for The Good Daughter.

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If I’m being honest, it’s always nerve wracking to pick up a new book by your favorite author, especially once they’ve been writing long term. What if it isn’t as good as those before? It’s a real fear; so many authors burn out or try to keep writing the same story over and over while losing their viewers. That fear was unnecessary here; you heard me, this one gets Chelsea’s “Holy Guacamole” stamp of approval! Being another standalone, I wasn’t really sure what the feel would be here, as each of her solitary novels are all quite different. Cop Town had the feel of historical crime fiction that was heavily character driven and tied in to the past of some familiar previous characters, while Pretty Girls was a highly disturbing thriller wrought with tension and graphic content. I believe the reason I was so drawn in by The Good Daughter was due to the nostalgic vibe it gave off.

As a massive Grant County fan I was delighted to discover that TGD had such similar structure to Grant County and it’s characters while simultaneously establishing it’s own groove. We are presented with an estranged couple we desire to reconcile set in a small town off of Atlanta with major drama that is kept within that close circle. I did really enjoy that we were able to follow a family of lawyers this time; it gave a fresh spin on the procedural formula that seems to work so well for the author. This story did have a little more action than some in the past, but as we all know the reason to read any book by KS is due to her master characterization skills. The lady can write some relatable, intriguing, and empathetic characters! Once again, this aspect was portrayed at it’s best and I can’t applaud how well the different personalities shined through in the writing.

Speaking of, THIS is how you develop the people telling your story. THIS is how you write inclusive, diverse crime fiction. THIS is how you incorporate graphic content in a respectful manner that furthers the story and emotionally ties the reader to the characters. There was no awkward writing in of a few diverse characters to cover the writer’s backside. Characters covering various forms of minorities are present here, but it’s done so in a way that feels right. It feels like real life and what we all desire from mainstream fiction. Tough, timely issues are covered here, such as the life of a transgender woman in the deep south, the using and abuse of a child with diminished mental capacities, and the long, seemingly impossible journey to healing and restoration after such a brutal incident as described in the prologue were all just pieces of what made this book such a strong contender for my Top 10 reads of 2017.

I’ll shut up now, as I’ve done enough damage, but my hope is that you’ll give this book a chance, even if it doesn’t sound like your typical read. To answer many folks question, I felt this one wasn’t quite as gratuitously graphic and violent as Pretty Girls, but it definitely is founded on a highly disturbing, brutal attack. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys a procedural that makes you feel things that we, as humans, should never grow numb to. I apologize for the lengthy review and hope you enjoy this read as much as I did. You won’t find characters written quite like this anywhere else.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here. 

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Weekly Wrap-Up: 8/18

Today is a very special Friday; it’s my mom’s 30th birthday! (Hehe) It truly is her birthday though, and I love her to pieces! We are celebrating next week while all going on vacation together, so I’m not planning on posting anything beyond the end of day today until Monday, August 28. I’ve been feeling a little overloaded and burnt out lately, so I’m hoping by taking next week off I can catch up on some reading and take some time to recharge. Not much happening on the e-book front over here, but I did mange to post quite a bit and also get some bookstagram pictures up. I’m experimenting with some new settings and places so bare with me as I get things looking good. ❤ I can’t wait to share it with you! I’m also hoping to keep featuring my giveaways via my Instagram account, so check back regularly for new ones listed 1-2 times per week! Tell me, what’s going on in your world?

E-BOOKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTS FROM LAST WEEK

Review: The Treatment

Review: Jek/Hyde

Discussion: 5 Facts About Me

Discussion: Bring Her Home

Excerpt: The Good Mother

BOOKSTAGRAM

GIVEAWAY

Congratulations @laceyslibrary on winning the copy of Lisa Scottoline’s latest book EXPOSED. Be sure to check in today for another giveaway @suspensethrill on Instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for this week! Feel free to follow me on InstagramTwitter, and Goodreads. Until next week, have a great weekend and happy reading! ❤

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Book Discussion Part II: Bring Her Home (David Bell) @DavidBellNovels @suspensethrill

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Originally posted on Clues and Reviews:
Welcome to the second day of the Suspenseful Clues and Thrilling Reviews book club discussion! If you’re new to Clues and Reviews, I’d like to welcome you!  I am so glad you are here. This month’s…

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Excerpt: The Good Mother

I’m so excited to bring you an excerpt from Bookouture! Today I’m sharing a passage from one of their latest women’s fiction selections titled The Good Mother. I’ve included the book summary below as well as the excerpt. If you’re in the US and would like to order the book you can do so HERE! This one looks fantastic; I know I’ll be checking it out immediately!

 

When a mother’s love means doing the unthinkable …

Left devastated by her husband’s affair and the break-up of their family, Kate is struggling to keep it together for the sake of her three children. Though times are still tough, she’s finally beginning to move on with her life in Dublin.

But when twelve-year-old Jessica is diagnosed with cancer, Kate’s resilience is put to the ultimate test. She has an eighteen-year-old son consumed with hatred of his father, a seven-year-old who is bewildered and acting up and an ex-husband who won’t face up to his responsibilities. And in the middle of it a beloved child who is trying to be brave but is getting sicker by the day.

Kate knows she must put her own fear and heartbreak to one side and do right by her children, particularly Jessica. But maybe doing the right thing means making a decision that no mother should ever want to make.

An emotionally gripping tearjerker, The Good Mother is perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.


THE GOOD MOTHER

by Sinead Moriarty

Summer

Chapter 1

Kate stood in the empty hall and looked around. Nothing left but memories. She remembered moving in around ten years ago. Nick had carried her over the threshold, even though it was a long time since she’d been a blushing bride. He’d been like an excited little kid, running around, showing her the fancy fridge that churned out ice cubes, the Jacuzzi and the big garden where the kids could play football.

It was his dream house. Nick felt as if he’d ‘arrived’. Big house, big garden, fancy car. Things were good, really good. Nick was doing well and finally able to have the life he’d always dreamed of living.

They’d been happy then. Luke was eight and Jess was two when they’d moved in. Jess had taken her time to arrive. After three miscarriages and years of disappointment they had almost given up, but then Kate had got pregnant and gone full-term. The longed-for and beloved Jess had arrived, like a ray of sunshine, in their lives. She had been worth the wait. Gazing at her adoringly in the hospital, Nick said they now had the perfect family.

The house had been full of laughter and fun. They’d had lots of birthday celebrations and good times there. Kate had enjoyed it all, every minute.

She knew buying the house had been a stretch for them financially. She just hadn’t realized how much of a stretch. Nick had been vague about the deposit and repayments, and she’d been too wrapped up in the kids and the daily chores, and too naive to ask questions.

Or maybe she hadn’t wanted to know. The truth was, she’d stuck her head in the sand on purpose. Life was good, and Kate hadn’t wanted to know the details. Nick had said he had it under control and she’d gladly left him to it.

When the economic downturn had badly affected the big estate agent Nick worked for, Kate had just hoped for the best. She’d redoubled her efforts to create the perfect home, always having a meal prepared for Nick when he came in at the end of the day. She’d become a regular domestic goddess, trying to smooth over the cracks.

She’d wanted to make their home a haven for Nick, but it hadn’t been enough. And then, instead of bringing them closer, Bobby’s birth had pushed Nick even further away. When Nick had started to work late all the time and come home smelling of someone else’s perfume, Kate had ignored it … until it was too late.

She looked around at her home and bit her lip to prevent herself crying. Everything was so messed up. What the hell would her life be like from now on?

Muuuuuuum!’ Bobby shouted from the front door, hands on his hips. ‘I want to go now. It’s hot and sweaty in the car.’

Kate went over and kissed his hot little face. ‘I just need to get Jess. She’s upstairs.’

She found Jess in her bedroom. Her daughter had her back to her. Kate knew by the hunch of her shoulders and the quiet sniffles that she was crying. She went over and put her arms around her. Jess stiffened. ‘I’m sorry, pet.’

I’m fine, Mum.’

Kate turned her daughter to face her. Jess wiped away her tears roughly with the sleeve of her shirt. ‘I know this is hard, Jess, but I think living with Granddad will be fun.’ She tried to sound convincing.

Jess nodded. ‘It’s just … it’s just all so final. I thought that maybe Dad would come home, but now I guess I know he won’t. Will he?’

Kate hugged her. Poor Jess. She was the optimist in the family. The boys knew Nick was never coming back. Even at seven years old, Bobby knew. But here was Jess, the middle child, still hoping for the happy ending that could never be. ‘Your dad’s with Jenny now, pet. They have a new baby and a new life, and that’s not going to change. But he still loves you all very much,’ she added hastily.

Yeah, which is why he never comes to see us,’ Luke drawled from the doorway.

Luke,’ Kate said, in a warning voice. ‘Your sister’s upset.’

Luke came in and put a big muscly arm around his little sister’s shoulders. ‘Come on, Jess. I know Granddad’s house is a lot smaller and he’s a bit mad, but we’ll be fine.’

You don’t have to share a room with Bobby,’ Jess reminded him.

Luke grinned. ‘Yeah, it sucks for you. But I have to study for my Leaving Cert so I can’t have Bobby droning on about his facts all day long. Besides, I’ll probably move out next year and live close to whatever university I end up going to, so you can have my room then.’

But I don’t want you to move out. I’d miss you.’

Luke kissed the top of her head. ‘You’re too soft, Jess. You need to toughen up.’

She’s perfect just the way she is.’ Kate smiled at them.

They both rolled their eyes.

You always say that, Mum,’ Jess said, grinning at her brother.

It’s true. You three kids are my proudest achievement. And I know the last few months have been awful and I wish … well, I just wish that …’ Kate was choking up.

Luke put his hand on her arm. ‘It’s okay, Mum. You did everything you could. Dad’s just a selfish dickhead.’

Luke, don’t speak about your father like that.’

Daddy’s a dickhead,’ Bobby shouted from the door, giggling.

Kate glared at Luke.

He shrugged. ‘I speak the truth.’

You’re eighteen, Luke. You should know when to zip it. And as for you, Bobby, you’re supposed to be waiting in the car.’

Luke flung his arm around her and pulled her in for a hug. ‘Chill, Mum.’ To Bobby he said, ‘Don’t use bad words. It’s not cool.’

But you said it and you’re cool.’ Bobby frowned, trying to make sense of these conflicting statements.

Kate bent down to look her youngest in the eye. ‘Bad language is not okay. You know that and so does Luke. Now, come on, all of you, Granddad’s waiting for us.’ She ushered them downstairs and out of the front door, telling them to get into the car and buckle up.

Once they’d left, she allowed herself a few minutes for a final walkabout. It was stupid: she should just walk out of the door and not look back, but it was so hard to leave the place. You spent all your time creating a home, but you never really knew just how much it meant to you until it was taken away. This had been her sanctuary from the world, the place she most enjoyed being, an extension of herself and her hopes for the future. Now, it wasn’t hers any more, and she had no idea what her future held – stress, loneliness and financial worry, probably. Nick had taken everything from her, home, security and, most of all, her self-esteem. Leaving her for a younger model was so clichéd it should make her laugh. But it wasn’t funny. It hurt like hell. The pain of it kept looping out and around her, drowning her sense of self and self-worth.

Slowly, she forced herself to walk towards the front door. She didn’t want to go. She had a brief, crazy thought of staging a sit-in protest and forcing the bank to let her keep it, but she knew that was daft. Besides, this home and that future were gone now: the place was stripped bare, back to how it was when they’d first bought it. Just like me, Kate thought sadly. Right back to square one.

Her phone pinged and she pulled it out of her pocket. A message from Maggie. She opened it and smiled. Trust Maggie and her perfect timing! Today must be hell for you. Chin up! I’ll be over at the weekend to help you unpack and put manners on George! I’ll bring wine. Lots and lots of wine! You’ll be okay. Love you. M.

She pushed back her shoulders, took a deep breath and stepped outside onto the step. As she pulled the front door shut behind her, the finality of the lock’s click almost made her sink to her knees and cry. Instead, she waved to her waiting children, swallowed her grief and took her place in the driver’s seat.

Kate eased her battered old car down the driveway. She saw Jess’s lip quivering in the rear-view mirror and her heart ached. This was not the life she’d planned for her children. She’d never wanted them to come from a broken home. How had everything gone so wrong?

I’m a forty-two-year-old woman with three kids moving back in with my dad because I’m broke and homeless, she thought. She gripped the steering-wheel and tried to control her breathing. Now that Nick was preoccupied with Jenny and Jaden, the baby, Kate had to be even more mindful of the kids. She had to be more loving and patient and giving … but she was exhausted. All she wanted to do was lie down, pull the duvet over her head and cry.

*

George was standing at the gate when they arrived, wearing his navy apron with ‘The Village Café’ on it. His cheeks were flushed.

Uh-oh, Granddad has a cross face,’ Bobby said.

They climbed out of the car.

Lookit, Kate, I’m happy for you to move in, you know I am, but your removal men have left boxes all over the kitchen and I’m trying to run a business here. Besides, Sarah just called to say she’s not coming in today and that she’s found another job. The new French girl, Nathalie, is useless, so I’m pretty much on my own. I need a hand.’

Kate took charge. ‘Right. Luke, you and the others tidy up the boxes while I help Granddad in the café. Put all the boxes upstairs in my bedroom. Pile them up in the corner out of the way and I’ll sort them out later. When you’ve finished, come down and help. We’ll be busy for lunch.’

Kate followed her father through the hall into the big kitchen that served the café.

I’ll sort these out if you go and serve coffees,’ George said, as he began firing homemade quiches into the big oven.

Kate went through the kitchen door that led to the café. There were two tables waiting to be served. At the other three occupied tables, people were busy drinking coffee and eating scones. Five tables were empty, but not for long. The lunchtime rush would start soon.

Kate took the orders for the two tables and went back into the kitchen. She inhaled the scent of the fresh coffee beans and closed her eyes. The familiar scent of her childhood always calmed her. Kate knew the place like the back of her hand. She’d grown up behind the counter. As far back as she could remember she’d helped her mum and dad run the Village Café. Her mum had always been more front-of-house while her dad did a lot of the cooking. But after her mother’s death six years ago, that had changed. George had had to engage more with the customers and he had grown used to it. It didn’t come naturally to him, but he was much better at it than he had been.

Throughout her married life Kate had often received urgent calls whenever a staff member had called in sick or a big party was booked in. She liked helping her parents – as an only child she was close to both and the café was her home from home.

After her mother died, she had called in every day to make sure her father was coping. He had been utterly shattered by Nancy’s death, but with Kate’s help and the café needing to be run, he had muddled through. Having to get up and open it every day had kept him going, given him a purpose. Kate often wondered what he would have done if he hadn’t had the business. It had been a life-saver and kept him active and busy.

Her dad had been a rock to Kate when Nick had left her two years ago. He’d stepped in and given her money to get her through, and when the bank had repossessed the house, he had immediately suggested they all move in with him. Kate had wanted to weep with relief.

She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, given that her father was used to living alone, but they’d get through somehow. She’d make it work. She had to – she had nowhere else to go and the kids needed stability. As a new customer came to the counter, Kate put a smile on her face. She willed herself to be positive and hopeful for the future. Things would get better – for sure they couldn’t get worse. This was the lowest she had ever fallen. The only way was up. It was a new beginning.

 

 

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Discussion: Bring Her Home

Yay! It’s our very first Suspenseful Clues and Thrilling Reviews book club discussion! If you’re new to the blog, I’d like to extend a big, warm welcome. This month’s pick was Bring Her Home by David Bell, a suspenseful mystery surrounding the disappearance of two teenage girls and the havoc it wreaks on one widower in particular. If you missed it, you can find my review HERESam and I both were blown away by the detail and emotion laid bare in the narrative; even though I don’t have teenagers myself, I could feel what Bill was experiencing in the many ups and downs while searching for his daughter Summer. We’ve chosen to use the official book club questions provided via the publisher for this book, and I’m going to lay out what to expect below.

First, if you haven’t read the book yet, go ahead and stop here. There will be spoilers below and you can always join in at a later date once you’ve completed the novel. We won’t be closing these threads and would love to have you join in anytime you feel ready. With this being our very first month, we aren’t set on a format or formula for these discussions yet, so please bare with us as we try a few different ways of doing this. For the first month, we’ve decided to spread this out over two days; we will each host a post with 6 different questions as to not take up too much time for each reader and allow you the chance to visit both our blogs. We’ll answer a handful of questions and also be posting some blank as well; you are welcome to answer any of the questions you see in the comments below (dictating which number in your answer if possible) or feel free to post your own inspired comments and questions! Finally, David has generously offered up a copy of his successful previous novel Cemetery Girl to one lucky winner! To be considered for the giveaway, you must participate in the discussion via both blog posts, whether it be a thought you had on the book, an answer to a discussion question, etc. We have to keep it to US entrants only, but the discussion is open to everyone worldwide! We’ll be closing the giveaway Friday, August 18 at midnight, so make sure and leave your comments by then. Enough blabbing from me; let’s talk about the book!

ONE) Bill alludes to difficulties he had with Summer before she disappeared. Do you think this was typical teenage rebellion, or was it exacerbated by her mother’s death?

– This was a detail I thought extensively about while reading the story and I felt it was a bit of both. While yes, any young adult would have extensive struggles after losing a parent, and most fall into a rut of rebellion and acting out, I also felt she had a bit of personality that made her a leader and an influencer. We saw multiple examples in the book where she had taken the lead and encouraged others to resort to her level of behavior, some of which were before the loss of her mother. Would Summer have been a model adolescent if fate were different and Julia’s life hadn’t ended so abruptly? Probably not, but I do feel it played a role in defining who she became in the time following her mother’s death.

TWO) The reader learns that Bill once grabbed Summer, leading her to call the police. Do you think the police made the right decision when they chose not to press charges? Did finding this out about Bill make you feel differently about him?

– I found the scene where Bill grabbed Summer to be one of the most excruciating in the book. As a parent, I have experienced what he felt many times and can see it happening easily in a tense moment. While I feel the police made the right decision (based on the information provided in the narrative), I have to admit it did slightly change how I viewed Bill as a parent and a human in general. My view? I wanted to keep as open a mind as possible to what that family endured. Between Summer’s many manipulations and the grief Bill was working through, I felt what happened wasn’t something the law was required to intervene in. The extra lumps of guilt and fear seemed retribution enough; eventually a person has to stop punishing themselves for past transgressions. This scene and how the remainder of the book played out felt like an example of forgiveness and second chances at it’s finest.

THREE) Bill thinks of Adam as one of his closest friends. Why do you think Bill was so drawn to Adam?

– I love this question! I thought about Bill and Adam’s relationship quite frequently throughout the book, and I felt this was the classic case of a psychopath being exactly what they are- charismatic and manipulative. We see more of Adam’s true nature as the story progresses; it was eery and unnerving just how much he changes in those 400 pages. He appeared completely trustworthy and dependable in the beginning, but by the end of the story he’s completely broken and exposed for the monster he has become. Honestly though, I think a part of why Bill was so drawn to Adam is because we all tend to be drawn to those who appear to have all the qualities we lack. Adam was youthful and good looking in appearance, and seemed to be without many of the responsibilities Bill had. Add on the athletic talents and choice of women to date, and I could see why Bill would want to spend time with him and, in a sense, want to be him.

FOUR) Bill turns to his sister, Paige, in times of crisis, even though their relationship is sometimes contentious. Do you think their sibling relationship is typical? 

FIVE) Taylor has a difficult time turning over her daughter’s dental x-rays to the police. Do you understand why she hesitated to learn the truth?

SIX) Candy seems to imply that Summer was a bad influence on her daughter, Haley. Do you think this is true? Is it normal in a teenage friendship for one kid to be more of a leader than the other?

*Thanks so much for participating in this month’s discussion and please be sure to find the second half of the questions on Sam’s blog Clues and Reviews tomorrow! Best of luck to those entering the giveaway and I look forward to chatting with you below! ❤

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5 Bookish Facts About Me

It’s a new week, and I was thinking about how little we really know about each other here on the internet, so I thought I would share some book related facts about me in an attempt to feel more transparent. I’d love to learn some bookish facts about you as well; if you feel comfortable sharing, what’s one little known fact about yourself? It doesn’t even have to be book related, but with the rapid growth over the past couple of months here on the blog I’m really excited to get to know all of you as well! Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite blogger in the comments below. ❤

 

 

 

 

I STRONGLY PREFER PHSYCIAL BOOKS TO E-BOOKS

I know most readers have made the switch to consuming all of their reading materials via e-reader, and I do have one that I use for NetGalley arcs and any books that are just stupidly cheap compared to their physical format, but given the choice I am all about holding paper in my hands. I keep hearing how many people read so much faster on their kindle device, so I guess I’m the oddball out as the opposite is true for me. Maybe it’s something about the backlight on the screen or the fact that it’s a tiny computer, but I find myself treating it like my phone and becoming distracted quickly with the need to check the kindle store, check all my social media on there, etc. With an old fashioned book, I get the full experience (i.e. smelling the book, flipping through the pages, etc) while also getting to display the titles I own on my bookshelves! 🙂 Honestly I have nothing against e-books, as I read them quite often, but I will always prefer to hold a paper book in my hands. Now if I could only figure out how to store them as easily as e-books; perhaps a Mary Poppins bag?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MR. HUMPHREY IS THE STAR BEHIND MY BLOG

It’s true! This blog wouldn’t exist without my hubby; that man is the most patient saint alive and I’m so grateful for him. He is the one who initially set up my website, and he has done everything from being sounding board, punching bag, design professional, and proofreader. The man even takes the kids on outings so that I have alone time to work on my blogging and reviews so that I’m not up all night after the kids go to bed. I know, I told you he was a saint! Some of my most popular ideas have come from his inspiration and I would be lost without him; for someone who doesn’t enjoy reading or books in any way, shape, or form, he sure has gone above and beyond to ensure the success of The Suspense Is Thrilling Me and is crucial to it’s day to day happenings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I HAVE TO READ MULTIPLE BOOKS AT ONCE

You read that correctly; I am a book polygamist. Most people ask how I get through books so quickly, and while part of it is due to the ability to read quickly and just about anywhere, it’s also because I typically read 2-4 books at one time. The brain My brain is a funny thing, man; I’ve found if I try to focus on just one book at a time, it really slows my reading down. I find myself getting distracted and starting to lag after about 100 pages, so when this first started happening I decided to just put the book down and pick up another for a change of pace. I also prefer for the books I’m reading at the same time to be of varying genres, as this helps me keep each story straight since they hopefully aren’t too similar. What kind of reader are you? Do you like to keep your options open, or are you loyal to one at a time?

 

 

 

 

 


I’M ADDICTED TO GOODREADS

Most people know that I got my start reviewing books via Goodreads and that I actually built my initial following there as opposed to through a traditional blog. I think this is why Goodreads will always have a special place in my heart; I love the discussions, the comparison of books, and how most times people treat each other with respect regardless of difference in genre preference. I have so many close friends whom I have never met in “real life”, friends whom I talk to on a daily basis (I’m looking at you Laura, Sam, Bentley, and Amy) and share all aspects of my life with. You could almost say that Goodreads was my first bookish love, and because of that it will likely continue to be the first social media I check in on daily and most frequently. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOGGING STILL TERRIFIES ME

Even though I started my blog over a year ago and have been reviewing on Goodreads for 2 years in September, I still feel incredibly new to this world and constantly worry about screwing up. Obviously we all feel like this from time to time, but there are still itty bitty butterflies in my tummy every single time I post a review, or a new discussion post, or share a weekly wrap up. Why? Who knows! I guess it all comes down to perspective and how none of us can see ourselves as clearly as through the eyes of others. I’m so grateful for such a supportive community that shares each other’s posts, gives uplifting comments and advice, and treats each other as companions rather than competition.

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully this let you in on a few of my secrets traits and what fuels my bookish opinions. I would love to hear if any of these felt familiar for you as well as if you do things differently! Cheers to you all; I cherish each and every one of my bookish friends, whether you are an author, publisher, blogger, or reader. ❤

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Review: Jek/Hyde

Book Title: Jek/Hyde
Author: Amy Ross
REVIEWED BY: CHELSEA
Series: None
Genres: Young Adult, Retellings
Goodreads
Pub Date: 10/03/17
3 STARS

Lulu and Jek are science nerds, and have been best friends since they were young…or at least they used to be. Lately Jek has been pulling away from Lulu, just as she’s coming to terms with how she really feels about him. Just as she was ready to see if there could be something more between them. 

But Lulu’s thoughts are derailed by a mysterious new guy who’s showing up at local parties. Hyde is the definition of a bad boy, and everybody knows it…but no one can seem to resist his charms. Girls can’t stay away from him, and guys all want to be him. And even though Lulu’s heart belongs to Jek, she can’t deny Hyde’s attraction either. 

She also knows that there’s something not quite right about Hyde. That the rumors of his backwoods parties make them sound a little more dangerous than what any of her friends are accustomed to. And she doesn’t like the fact that Hyde seems to be cozying up to Jek, and that they seem to be intertwined in ways that have Lulu worrying for Jek’s safety. 

If Hyde has a dark secret, Lulu is determined to find out what it is, and to help Jek…before it’s too late for both of them.

Ah yes, the dreaded 3 star review. The “It wasn’t a bad read but it didn’t blow me away” regurgitation. This will likely be a brief summary of my thoughts, as I don’t have much I can add past the description, but I’m hoping to at least make the reader aware of what my expectations were and where the book leads us so that other readers can adjust their own thoughts according to what they are hoping for when they read this one. Again, this wasn’t a bad book by any means; while the beginning was a little slow, this was overall a quick read that kept me interested and was fully entertaining. I will point out that, due to the amount of “mature” content (meaning drugs, alcohol, and sex), this is recommended for older teens as this is a clear case of the “absent adulting” narrative.

I think the reason why I was slightly disappointed here was that this was pretty much just a re-writing of the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I was hoping for some sort of originality here, maybe a new twist or spin on an old classic, but I guess the fact that this retelling featured characters of a different age was supposed to be the unique aspect? I feel like readers going in knowing this will enjoy the story much more than if they are blindsided by this plot device; if you can take this story at face value for what it is, you’ll have a great time reading it. My favorite part was the science behind what was happening; there was a side plot that I would have loved to see further developed and was really intriguing, along with the sheer fact that the author did a great job of making the science feel believable and realistic. If you’re looking for an entertaining read that’s a retelling of an old classic, this may be for you. Recommended to readers looking for a YA version of an old classic that is simply straight-forward.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my copy; it was a pleasure to provide my honest thoughts here.

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