Two Girls Down

You. Guys.

I just finished Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna. It was my January pick for Book of the Month. I was having some remorse about not picking The Woman in the Window because I am seeing it allllllll over Instagram, but once I started Two Girls Down, I was hooked. Initially, I thought it would take me a bit of time to get through because of how fast my last few books went, but I read it in only a few sittings. I stayed up late, read before work, and thought all day about how I couldn’t wait to get home to wrap up this read!

Two Girls Down is about a pair of sisters who disappear from a parking lot when their mother runs an errand. The police start to search, but find nothing, so the family of the girls hires Alice Vega. Alice is known to find missing kids. She teams up with an ex-cop to find the girls before it’s too late.

I’ve talked before about how I really enjoy mystery/thriller shows and movies, but do not tend to read many books in the same genre. This book may have turned me into a mystery/thriller fanatic. I loved Luna’s writing, I thought the story was great, and the book avoided two components of this genre that bother me. Both of those things would be spoilers, though, so I’m choosing not to elaborate!

This was the best book that I have read in a while, and I will be keeping my eye out for a similar read.


Into the Water

I was gifted a Nook for Christmas a few years ago, and have only read a few books on it, mostly when I am traveling, or cannot find a book that I want to read locally. My local library was reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins for their monthly adult book club in January. I had decided I was going to start attending, so I purchased the book on my Nook (thanks to my brother for the B & N Giftcard for Christmas!) and got reading. Unfortunately, I had forgotten about a work event on the night of book club, and I was unable to attend. However, I did still finish the book.

*I just had to pause writing this because my dog projectile vomited across my living room. I live a glamorous life.*

I liked Girl on the Train, but had been told by many people that I shouldn’t think of Into the Water as the same type of book. I didn’t know what that meant, and went in with a really open mind, and no expectations. However, I found some similarities between the books. Both were a bit suspenseful, mysterious, made me really consider what I knew (and didn’t know) about the characters, and left me relatively satisfied. I don’t think Hawkins is creating incredible works of fiction that will be read in classrooms for years into the future, but damn, they are entertaining.

After Nel Abbott is found dead in a local swimming spot, her sister comes back to their hometown to look after her daughter, and dive into the mystery surrounding her family, while learning more about her relationship with her sister. I will say that the list of characters felt long in this book. It was difficult for me to keep them all straight at the beginning, especially while reading in e-book format because it was not as simple to page back and get my head aligned.

This book was an entertaining read, but not as suspenseful or as much of a thriller as I had hoped.

Love Her Madly

I’m still blogging about my vacation reads from one month ago! I need to get these done and get reading!

Lover Her Madly by M. Elizabeth Lee is about two girls who quickly become best friends in college. They are drastically different – Cyn introduces Glo to a world of drugs and care-free living, and Cyn accepts Glo as she is. They fall for the same guy, and the situation explodes while they are on a trip together in Costa Rica. After one night of partying Cyn disappears.

I had mixed feelings about this book. Working in Higher Education, I always have an interested in fiction set on campus or about relationships between college students – it’s exciting to watch them grow, figure out who they are, and learn about others around them. However, I did not like Cyn. I found her manipulative and extremely frustrating. I also found parts of the story over the top and unrealistic. However, I really liked the writing and Cyn didn’t annoy me enough to put the book down (probably because I was waiting for Glo to get rid of her!), and once the mystery of Cyn’s disappearance picked up, I was hooked.

Happy Reading!

Still Mine

My next vacation read that I need to feature is Still Mine by Amy Stuart. First of all, I really liked her writing! I thought this book had lovely prose, and I was engaged with the book. This book is about Clare, a woman who is moonlighting as a photographer in a small mining town in the mountains. You quickly learn that Clare is there to investigate the disappearance of a woman who is her age. She finds many similarities between the two. Clare herself has disappeared from her home, and knows that when someone disappears, it can mean a whole lot of things. Through the book Clare immerses herself in the roughest parts of this small and crumbling community to try to solve this mystery and sort through the life she just left behind.

This book was easy to read in that it held my attention, and had a great pace. That combined with the writing style made the perfect read through one of the rainy vacation days. Still Mine was not the most fast-paced-twisty mystery novel I have ever read, but it was certainly enjoyable and I look forward to the sequel!

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Under the Harrow

Under the Harrow is Flynn Berry’s first novel, and I’ll be looking to read anything else she publishes. I do not usually talk to people about what I’m reading, but this week I said at least ten times, “I’m reading a book that is really effing with me.”

This book really got into my head. It stuck with me. It took me one week to read, but I could have read it much faster if it hadn’t freaked me out so much. This story is about a young woman named Nora who goes to visit her sister for the weekend. She expects her sister to be in the kitchen of her house in the countryside making dinner, but Nora finds her brutally murdered. Through the book Nora tries to sort out who killed her sister, while telling us about how her sister had been attacked when they were teenagers.

Nora’s search for her sister’s murderer, coupled with her pain keeps this book moving quickly. We get glimpses into Nora’s history with her sister, her current life, and the struggles that every family faces. Nora learns that she does not know every aspect of her sister’s life as she thought she did.

The Killing Forest

A few months ago I had a realization that there is a vast difference in the books that I read versus the shows that I binge on Netflix. I am Netflix-obsessed with shows that contain an whodunnit component. Give me a show where someone is murdered and we have to figure out what happened over the course of a season, and I am hooked! I love the suspense, and I love trying to sort it all out before the detectives do. If you’re into this, be sure to watch: The Killing and Broadchurch. Actually, I should just give you my Netflix password so you can see the whole list of these.

I had the realization, however, that I have not ever really read a truly suspenseful novel. So, I picked up The Killing Forest by Sara Blaedel. And it sat on my shelf for ages. Until two weeks ago!

I really liked the story of a 15-year-old boy who has gone missing coupled with other mysteries that are revealed as the book moves on. I jumped into this series of Louise Rick novels, and I think that I should have started at the beginning, or at least I should have read a few of the earlier books first. This one had so much hype, though!

While I liked the story and the mystery, I was not impressed with Blaedel’s writing. However, it may have been the translator? If I do read another of her novels I will be looking for one with a different translator, and at the start of a series.

Everything I Never Told You

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The perfect Sunday night

On Sunday night I was able to sit outside with a glass of wine while the sun was setting and finish Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng while the puppy played in the yard.

I could hardly put this book down. The book opens with the death of Lydia, a teenager in the Lee family. Ng allows each family member the opportunity to reflect on how their history, how major events impacted their relationships, and their last interactions with Lydia. The book follows as the police try to sort out what happened, and how each member of the family attempts to cope with Lydia’s death.

If you have followed the blog at all, you know that I am a sucker for books with multiple perspectives and time lapses, so I was eating this up! I also like when there is some mystery to a book (or movie, or TV show), so I spent the entire book trying to sort out how Lydia turned up dead. I was worried for quite a few pages that Ng would not reveal what had happened, but thankfully she allows Lydia some reflections, as well.

I would recommend reading this book. It will not take you long, it will keep you guessing, and remind you that all families are complicated.

Happy reading!