It is absolutely downright cold here in NY to start this third week off in May, as a cold wind and rain came in on late Saturday evening cooling it down to almost late winter like temperatures, plus wind, too.
But still summer and nicer weather has tried to show it’s face here a few times so far and I believe sooner or later it will come and stay for a bit (fingers crossed).
That said, I am using this space and time to share a few of my more recent Goodreads’ that I have recently read (mostly chick lit and mystery/thrillers) to hopefully give some lazy day great summer, beach reading offerings for all who are also looking forward to summer and beach days, too now.
*I am including NetGalley reads and will state so which ones are before those reviews.
1. All the Missing Girls by Miranda Megan
*I received an ARC from Net Galley, but all opinions here are my own.
Ten years later and Nicolette Farrell returns home to try and help tie up loose ends with her childhood home as her father is now in a home for having pretty much lost his mind.
However in the 10 years previous, Nic’s best friend Corinne went missing and a murder case was opened with all in Nic’s life being suspect, including her brother, father, ex-boyfriend and more.
But now, in the two days she has been home, Annalise Carter, who was actually recently dating Nic’s ex (Tyler) also goes missing.
So not only has one missing girl case gone unsolved for over 10 years, but now a new one is added to the mix. Once again, all the usual suspects are thought to have possible involvement.
So, we are treated to a turbulent ride told backwards from Day 15 to Day 1 before actually finding out the truth behind both girls disappearances.
I was skeptical about the story being told I reverse, but it seriously worked. I truly didn’t see the end coming and was sideswiped by the actual culprit and the reasoning behind it. I have heard the comparisons to Gone Girl, but honestly I didn’t feel like the same tale at all and this story most definitely stood on its own merit. For that and more had to give it 5 stars.
2. Saving Abby by Steena Holmes
*I also received ARC of this from Net Galley and just can’t thank them enough for that.
Should be noted that I have been a Steena Holmes fan for a few years since first reading Finding Emma. So, was excited to read her latest book offering.
At the beginning of the story, Claire and Josh Turner are traveling and have all but given up the idea of having a child of their own.
But fate has a way of intervening and when the couple returns home from their adventures, Claire finds out she is indeed pregnant. However, their excitement is short-lived as Claire is extremely tired and also experiencing very debilitating headaches.
The doctors are hopeful that it is just from the pregnancy, but soon they find out that isn’t just the pregnancy causing these headaches, but a brain tumor.
Now, during a time where the couple should be enjoying the impending birth of their first child, they are both living a nightmare, where they may soon have to decide between saving Claire’ life and ending their baby’s short-lived life or even let Claire continue the pregnancy as planned and lose her life in the process.
This book truly had me so very emotional as it unfolded and as a mom was truly torn with Claire’s decision. By the way, I have also read other books in the past from this author and once again her writing didn’t disappoint. So, yes I would recommend this tragic, yet highly emotional tale to those who were contemplating.
3. Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen
I honestly just happened upon Miller’s Valley at a recent trip to my local Barnes and Nobles as it was one of their picks for newer novels.
I couldn’t resist and glad I didn’t as I devoured Anna Quindlen’s novel in less than 2 days time.
As the story opens, it is told in third person by Mary Margaret (Mimi) Miller apparently years in the future from the 1960s starting point, where Mimi is an innocent pre-teen, who takes us on her own world win ride through these formative years of her family life.
We experience it all through her young girl’s eyes as she begins to slowly, but surely come into her own and grows up literally before our very own eyes by dealing with her first love, the gradual demise of her family, as well as her childhood life as she knew it.
As I read, I truly couldn’t help feeling all sorts of emotions for all the life altering changes that Mimi experiences as the book and years do unfold.
This book, in my humble opinion, is honestly fraught with many life lessons that most could relate to and yet a unique story nonetheless that makes for a compelling and poignant tale to be read.
4. The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
I was also equally drawn to this book on a recent Barnes and Noble visit from the cover and description. However, I was expecting a sensational thriller from the description, but got more of an emotional rollercoaster as this is much more of a mother-daughter connection at the heart of it.
Beth and her daughter, Carmel visit a local fair, where this mom’s worst fears are realized when her girl goes missing.
Over and over, Beth blames herself, while in reality Carmel has been kidnapped and abducted by a man claiming to be her grandfather. He lies to Carmel telling that her mother has been in a terrible accident. However, this man is most definitely deluded and definitely not any relation to her and even gets this young girl at only the age of 8 involved in religious and cult-like behavior, where he believes that she can heal the sick and ailing so that he can benefit and make money off of her.
It is a bit of a strange and twisted tale that was told with chapters going back and forth between the mother, who lost her world with her daughter’s abduction, as well as through the eyes of the young daughter, who also feels as though her world has ceased now that her mother is gone.
Somehow both this mother and daughter duo do manage to survive for over 5 years that this book spans this unthinkable act that befell them.
While I did enjoy this book overall, I still felt at times that the story was a bit muddled and even slightly missing a beat, so therefore even though I’d still recommend would say that it is definitely not a nail-biting thriller that keeps you on the edge of our seat by any means, but still a story worth checking out.
5. First Comes Love by Emily Giffin
*Also a NetGalley read and big thanks to them for supplying me with an ARC.
What can I say, but that I have been a huge fan of Emily Giffin and her writing for years having read most of her earlier novels, including Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Love the One You’re With and so many more.
So, I was excited to see that she had a brand new novel being released this year and couldn’t wait to read, as well as that it was available for early reading/reviewing on NetGalley.
First Comes Love is another hit in my eyes by her and was able to read in less than 2 days time.
The main story revolves around the Garland family, who lost their oldest child, Daniel, 15 years earlier and the aftermath for their family unit, especially Daniel’s two remaining siblings (sisters), Meredith and Josie.
To say these two women are like oil and vinegar, would be an understatement as they truly are as different as night and day and are sisters that hardly ever see eye-to-eye with Josie being more of a free spirit and Meredith being the model daughter with the perfect life to the outside eyes.
But as the anniversary of Daniel’s death nears, these two sisters lives are still in emotional upheaval so many years later and the past has a way of rearing its ugly head still for them.
As different as these two sisters are they are still family and as the story unfolds this reader hoped that they could find some common ground, a bit of understanding for each other, as well as some peace in their lives after all these years after losing their brother.
Without giving too much of the actual story away here, the one thing that I will share is that while I could see both points of view for these ladies, I tended to feel more empathy for Josie than for Meredith as she just seemed to be the more likable all-around, while Meredith was more closed off and even very critical of not only her sister, but her husband and family in general. Other reviews, i read even went so far to say they just didn’t like her character at all, but not sure if I disliked her or just couldn’t relate to her. In the end, I did soften to Meredith, but still she clearly wasn’t one of my favorite characters.
Overall, Love Comes First is most definitely a worthy beach/summer read and highly recommend for all Giffin fans, as well as those who are women’s/chick-lit genre readers, too. By the way, it also now one of my own favorites by Emily Giffin, as well.
What am I reading now?
I am about 1/3 of the way done with I Let You Go by Clare Macintosh and also have Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld in the reserves.
Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama says
Omg thank you so much for this all 5 look great but I had no idea there was a new Emily Giffin book coming out!! So exciting!! I’m adding all of these books to my list now, thank you!!
You are so welcome and so happy you are adding all these books, too. Oh and the new Emily Giffin book totally worth the read as if you are a fan I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in the least 🙂
I’m a huge fan of Emily Giffin — I think I read several of her novels when I was traveling in South America. These all sounds like great reads — will have to add them to my list!
Bev, if you read her other books, then I think you are going to love her new book, too!! 😉
Was just saying yesterday I need a good beach read–perfect timing! Thanks, Janine!
My pleasure and you know just how much I love to read, too!! 🙂
Seana Turner says
Love to see what other people are reading, and especially what they like! I’m looking forward to sitting on the beach in the sun this summer and soaking in some great reads:)
Me too, Seana and I love sharing my book suggestions, as well (as you already knew though)! 🙂
I have Saving Abby here to read soon and I’m glad to see you liked it! I added All The Missing Girls and First Comes Love to my to be read list!
I can’t wait to hear what you think of all three now and think you are going to quit enjoy them though 😉
William Holland says
I’m a thriller and mystery kind of guy, so I’ll take a look at the first on your list. Thanks for the recommendation, Janine, and Happy Wednesday to you.
My pleasure and I also love a good mystery and All the Missing Girls was truly right up there as one of the best I have read this year so far. Happy Wednesday to you, too now!! 🙂
I just downloaded First Comes Love last week. I can’t wait to read it and I’m relieved to learn you liked it. I’m a huge Giffin fan – but really did not like her last book. The one about the football coach…
I felt the same way about her last one, too, but totally enjoyed her latest though. So glad though to know that last one just wasn’t me!!
Diane Roark says
I always love seeing your recommendations for books. You are the best at recommending great reads!!
Have a great Day!!
Thank you Diane and truly my pleasure to recommend books to read here always!! 🙂
Kenya G. Johnson says
#1 is definitely my favorite genre – so I’m intrigued about mystery told in reverse. Definitely can’t do the second one but I’ll check out her other stuff. Thanks for the recommendations.
The fact that it’s cold in NY means that we’ve had a wonderful Spring down her in NC. I guess we can’t all be happy at one time 😉
Kenya, please send some of that spring weather from NC up here now as I am seriously so over the chilly, rain weather we have had more often than not! That said, the first one is seriously one of the best thriller/mysteries I have read in a while and hope you give it a try soon! 🙂
I’m jealous! I love Emily Giffin! I have to get my hands on that.
I also am a woman in a red coat, with a girl in a red coat, so the Kate Hamer book will be good for me.
You are so the woman in the red coat as is Scarlet, too the girl in the red coat. So think you may need to read that and Emily Giffin’s, too now 😉
Janine you are my reading hero! Seriously. I love when you do book reviews! I now have a full list to take and put on my Kindle. Thank you. Summer just got a lot brighter around here. I hope it warms up for you guys soon 🙂
Aw, thank you Jen and you just made me smile more than you know. Hugs and cannot wait for more summer-like weather indeed now 😉
I am so adding some of these books to my list. I love reading. I did read The Girl In The Red Coat and enjoyed it a lot.
So glad you can add a few and happy to share, Amber 😉
Amanda || Growing Up Madison says
All the missing girls sounds like my kind of book. I’m adding that one to my Kindle list but will more than likely read it before the summer. The girl in the red coat sounds fascinating too. You gave some great selections and I’ll be checking them all out!
Thanks for sharing by the way, too and so happy to share some good reading suggestions here for you, too 😉
lisacng @ expandng.com says
The Red Coat sounds intriguing!
It totally is and hope you get to read, too now!! 🙂
Mother & Daughter says
I love a good book. I have so many downloaded to my Kindle and looks like I will add to that. lol Thanks for the great reviews.
My pleasure and hope you can read a few on my list soon now!! 🙂
Elizabeth @ Guilty Chocoholic Mama says
Oh my word, I am SO hoping to read a book this summer. At least one. If I can just survive the rest of the school year with one stressed tween and one stressed teen, maybe something on this lovely list will be my reward. Pinning! Stopping by from the #SHINEBlogHop!
I got my fingers crossed for you and I know we still have another month of school here, but still know I will have some crazy days in store for me, too! Hugs and thank you for stopping by 🙂
Cascia Talbert says
I wish I had more time to read. All of those books sound excellent.
Love to read, but even I have times where I can’t read as much as I’d like. So, get this completely still, Cascia.
Chris Carter says
Janine, you truly have a gift in writing book reviews. Seriously, I just loved LOVED your summary of each and every one of these books- and now I want to read every single one. They all sound SO GOOD.
Pinning for future reference. THANK YOU!
Aw, thank you so much always, Chris and seriously you made me smile more than you know. Also truly appreciate you pinning, too 🙂
Great Recommendations! I just need a beach to find now to bring a great book. I’m visiting today from #shinebloghop.
Thanks Bonnie so much and hope you get to check a few of these out soon!! 🙂
I *always* have books that I’m reading and books in my queue to read. 🙂
And I remember…you belong to a club that sends you books, yes? Perfect beach reads! I love your suggestions.
Can I ask a question? What is an “ARC” – I noticed after several of these you got one of those. Just curious. 🙂
I hope you have a wonderful day!
Thank you so much, Cyndi always and wishing you a wonderful Friday ahead now, too!! Btw, ARC means advanced reader copy as I received a free copy in advance through Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
Bianca S says
Hooray! I love summer TBR lists! Thanks for sharing all these fantastic recommendations and there are quite a few that have been added to my reading pile. I recently finished a hilarious and heartfelt memoir called “Where’s My Award? How to Get Baby Barf Out of a Red Carpet & Other Tales from a Working Mom in Hollywood” (http://margotblack.com/). I think it is a fun and enjoyable summer read (whether you’re near the beach or not!) The book is written by Margot Black, a celebrity publicist with a new family and a new life. The struggle is very real but she injects humor into the mix which makes it a really light and enjoyable read. I have bought it for my mommy friends and they all love it. The book really does provide a very unique insight at the extraordinary demands placed on working moms in America today. I hope as you continue to add more books to your summer collection you will consider giving this a read. Thanks again!
Thanks for your suggestion, too Bianca and will have to check it out now! 😉
Ahhh, how do you manage to read those many books? LOL. I feel like I’m too behind with my reading. I hope to catch up soon. I haven’t touched a book in 4 months. Sob. Saving Abby sounds really emotional!
Rea, I have slowed a bit with nicer weather to be honest, but still try to read at least for a bit before bed at night as much as possible. So trust me get this myself, but do hope you get to check out Saving Abby soon, too!!
Oooh, First Comes Love sounds so interesting, and I love Emily Giffin novels. Though the thought of reading something so emotional about a family structured so similarly to ours might get a bit emotional. Off to our library’s website to see if I can reserve it yet!
I hope you can find it at your library and let me know what you think when you did read it, Leslie 😉
Aunt Gloria says
I am always impressed by the number of books you manage to read! We have a book club here where I live but I don’t get involved as reading is not on my “to do” list! I am without TV for a few days so I listen to the radio (yes, I still like that pre-TV form of entertainment!). The books you review and recommend sounds interesting and worth the read. Love xxoo
I can’t wait to read First Comes Love!
Hope you can read soon now, too!!
Hi Janine, I would happily read any of the books you’ve reviewed. I am coming to the end of reading The Four Street sTrilogy, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, so will be in need of a new book to read very soon. I do believe I bought Th Girl In The Red Coat back along, so may try that one next.
Definitely recommend The Girl in the Red Coat. Hope you enjoy and would love to hear when you do read what you think of ti, Debbie!! 🙂
Thanks for the recommendations, Janine – I haven’t read any of these. I’ve been reading less these days, but I look forward to getting more books in this summer!
I definitely slowed up a bit myself with the warmer weather, but still so happy to share with you what I have read here 🙂
Love this list. Thanks for the info and creating it. I’m more of a non-fiction reader. Right now I’m finished Radical Remission and about to start The Confidence Effect.
Thanks Karyn and will have to take a look at the two you mentioned, as well!! 😉
I have been looking for some books for summer reading and this list is perfect! Appreciate the recommendations.
My pleasure and so happy to recommend to you, too!! 🙂