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Book Review: The Girl Before

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The Girl Before

Author: Rena Olsen
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 314
Format: Softcover
Source: Library
My rating: 3/5

Clara Lawson is torn from her life in an instant. Without warning, her home is invaded by armed men, and she finds herself separated from her beloved husband and daughters. The last thing her husband yells to her is to say nothing.

In chapters that alternate between past and present, the novel slowly unpeels the layers of Clara’s fractured life. We see her growing up, raised with her sisters by the stern Mama and Papa G, becoming a poised and educated young woman, falling desperately in love with the forbidden son of her adoptive parents. We see her now, sequestered in an institution, questioned by men and women who call her a different name — Diana — and who accuse her husband of unspeakable crimes. As recollections of her past collide with new revelations, Clara must question everything she thought she knew, to come to terms with the truth of her history and to summon the strength to navigate her future.


Book Review: Never Let You Go

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Never Let You Go

Author: Chevy Stevens
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 406
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
My rating: 5/5

Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

 


2017 Reading Goal & 2016 Reading Recap

On January 1st, 2015, I set a Goodreads Reading Challenge to read 16 books in 2016. I surpassed my goal and ended up reading 23 (27 if you count DNF) books! Last year, I read 13 books so I’m happy I doubled my amount! You can see my 2015 list here.

New Year’s quests to diet and exercise usually crash and burn in about a month. Rather than making vague promises to eat right or work out, how about turning to books as a method of self-betterment instead?


Book Review: The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Friend
My rating: 3/5

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

 

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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