Book Review: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

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My Rating: 3 Stars

Title: Not That I Could Tell

Author: Jessica Strawser

Pub Date: March 27th, 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 320

For People Who Like: Domestic Thrillers, Small/Midwestern Towns, Female Friendships

Bri’s Thoughts

I’d like to start off by saying that I think this is a very good book for people who either love domestic thrillers in general or are just reading one for the first time. However, for me, this one just didn’t remain very memorable because I have already read stories that I like better such as The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy or Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read that had some interesting characters. It dealt with female friendships well and each character developed as they handled their own unique problems.

The writing style was nice and I found myself picking the story up fairly often, however, it was definitely not full of surprising twists and turns. In fact, the ending was quite obvious from the middle of the book onward.

I would recommend this book to someone looking for a domestic thriller that isn’t too wild.

Synopsis

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

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Book Review: The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs

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My Rating: 3.5 stars

Title: The Hamilton Affair

Author: Elizabeth Cobbs

Pub Date: August 2, 2016

Length: 408 pages

For People Who Like: Historical Fiction, Romance, Hamilton the broadway musical

Bri’s Thoughts:

Well, I now finally know a little about who in the world Hamilton is, so that’s good. I’m not kidding you when I say that I had no idea about anything Hamilton before reading this book. I realize that the broadway musical is such a big hit that this doesn’t sound possible, but it was.

Nonetheless, I can definitely see where all the craze is coming from– Hamilton had a crazy interesting life. He is the ultimate witty and noble protagonist that readers look for and he was a real life person.

This book alternates perspectives between Hamilton and Eliza, which is what makes this book special. We are able to see both points of view on the relationship and get the full story.

The reason this book got 3.5 stars from me (still a pretty good rating) largely had to do with the middle portion of the book. It seemed to drag on for me and I just kept waiting to get to the actual affair. The beginning and ending were the strong parts of this book as the beginning pulls you into the incredible lives of these characters and the ending leaves you shook (maybe more so for me because I genuinely didn’t know how things ended).

I really enjoyed reading The Hamilton Affair and would recommend it to anyone caught in the Hamilton craze. It felt like the author, Elizabeth Cobbs, tried to stay very true to historical facts while still making the story a fun historical fiction read. I can’t lie, this book was oozing with wit from the two humorous protagonists and it was impossible not to love Alex and Eliza. After reading this, I just wanted to go see the musical in person, but for now the soundtrack will have to do.

Synopsis:

Set against the dramatic backdrop of the American Revolution, and featuring a cast of iconic characters such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette, The Hamilton Affair tells the sweeping, tumultuous, true love story of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, from tremulous beginning to bittersweet ending—his at a dueling ground on the shores of the Hudson River, hers more than half a century later after a brave, successful life.

Hamilton was a bastard son, raised on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. He went to America to pursue his education. Along the way he became one of the American Revolution’s most dashing—and unlikely—heroes. Adored by Washington, hated by Jefferson, Hamilton was a lightning rod: the most controversial leader of the American Revolution.

She was the well-to-do daughter of one of New York’s most exalted families—feisty, adventurous, and loyal to a fault. When she met Alexander, she fell head over heels. She pursued him despite his illegitimacy, and loved him despite his infidelity. In 1816 (two centuries ago), she shamed Congress into supporting his seven orphaned children. Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton started New York’s first orphanage. The only “founding mother” to truly embrace public service, she raised 160 children in addition to her own.

Book Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

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My Rating: 5 Stars

Title: Dark Matter

Author: Blake Crouch

Pub Date: July 26, 2016

Length: 342 pages

For People Who Like: Science Fiction, Thrillers, Fast Paced Reads, Dystopian-esque novels

Bri’s Thoughts:

This book was an intense science fiction thrill ride and was without a doubt a 5 star read for me. I did go into this book expecting to enjoy it (I had heard only good things), but I did not expect to be as amazed as I was. Everything in this book was so well thought out and realistic that it had my mind spinning with ideas and questions about the universe that only a physicist like Jason, the main character, can answer.

I don’t usually read science fiction and was originally quite wary about the fact that a lot of the technical stuff would go right over my head, but thankfully, this was not the case. Crouch managed to write this story in a way that almost anyone can comprehend. This is even more impressive due to the fact that Jason is traveling through different time dimensions- meaning that it could be easy to confuse the reader- yet at no point in the story did I ever have to go back and try to figure out what was going on. It was a smooth read that keeps you hooked and trying to figure out how Jason’s situation could possibly be resolved.

Overall, the thing that really sets this book apart and makes it so compelling is the way that it keeps you emotionally invested. While we are on the journey through the dimensions with Jason, we are able to feel his worry, anxiety, and loss of his wife and son. He begins to realize all the complexities of life and just how slim the odds were for his happy life and family. This is something that everyone can relate to and the book leaves the reader with a feeling of gratitude for the good in the everyday.

Goodreads Synopsis:

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

 

10 Reasons Why I Started This Book Blog

   So apparently it is National Book Lovers Day! I didn’t even know that was a thing, but since it is, I thought it would be fun to do a post in honor of it. I just recently started this book blog and I can’t believe I didn’t start doing this earlier (it is so fun). Here are some of my reasonings for why I decided to take the plunge and join the book loving community on the internet….

  1. I have been watching booktube, reading book blogs, and following bookstagrams for probably 3 years now and I figured that I might as well join in
  2.  I thought that it would be nice to get to know other people who post about books and love them just as much as me!
  3. I wanted to be able to share my book recommendations, so that I could help other people find something good to read. I found a lot of my favorite books from the people that I follow and that really inspired me to do the same
  4. I wanted a place where I could write book reviews/share my thoughts and hear other people’s opinions
  5. I find it really fun to take pictures of books…. this could be weird to some people, but I’m glad it’s not weird in the book blog world
  6. This blog encourages me to write more
  7. This blog encourages me to read more
  8. I like the fact that I am able to be creative with the things I post
  9. I wanted to challenge myself to learn new things about blogging and think critically about what I’m reading
  10. I still can’t get over the excitement of having other people read what I write. So if you are reading this post, please know that you have made my day:)

Are any of these reasons why you started your blog? If not, what were your reasonings? Let me know in the comments!

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