Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Book Review - Volume Five

I'm so excited to share this book review with you. Not only have I gotten the chance to read these four books over the past few weeks, but I've thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. That doesn't happen often! 

All the books are perfect summer reads - fun, interesting, page turners that don't take long to get through. Below I've included a summary of the book, as well as my rating, 1 through 5. 

Her sister has been dead for fifteen years when she sees her on the TV news…

Josie Bianci was killed years ago on a train during a terrorist attack. Gone forever. It’s what her sister, Kit, an ER doctor in Santa Cruz, has always believed. Yet all it takes is a few heart-wrenching seconds to upend Kit’s world. Live coverage of a club fire in Auckland has captured the image of a woman stumbling through the smoke and debris. Her resemblance to Josie is unbelievable. And unmistakable. With it comes a flood of emotions—grief, loss, and anger—that Kit finally has a chance to put to rest: by finding the sister who’s been living a lie.

After arriving in New Zealand, Kit begins her journey with the memories of the past: of days spent on the beach with Josie. Of a lost teenage boy who’d become part of their family. And of a trauma that has haunted Kit and Josie their entire lives.

Now, if two sisters are to reunite, it can only be by unearthing long-buried secrets and facing a devastating truth that has kept them apart far too long. To regain their relationship, they may have to lose everything.

Rating: 4/5. This book kept me intrigued start to finish. The story line was different, and I was guessing what would happen next along the way. It's relatable in that no one ever really knows 'what goes on behind closed doors,' even when it comes to your siblings or a family member. It shows the strength of the bond you have with your family, but also your willingness to accept them for who they are. My only complaint was that the ending was a little too picture perfect, but you know me, I always complain about that! 

When Leah Stevens’ career implodes, a chance meeting with her old friend Emmy Grey offers her the perfect opportunity to start over. Emmy, just out of a bad relationship, convinces Leah to come live with her in rural Pennsylvania, where there are teaching positions available and no one knows Leah’s past.

Or Emmy’s.

When the town sees a spate of vicious crimes and Emmy Grey disappears, Leah begins to realize how very little she knows about her friend and roommate. Unable to find friends, family, a paper trail or a digital footprint, the police question whether Emmy Grey existed at all. And mark Leah as a prime suspect.

Fighting the doubts of the police and her own sanity, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Rating: 4/5. Oh my word this book kept me on the edge of my seat. My mom read it before me and each day I'd tell her how I was speculating the story would end. It was definitely a page turner. 

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away.

Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

Rating: 5/5. I know, the synopsis reads like a total Hallmark movie, but trust me, it was even better!;) This book was charming and a wonderful read. Although I'm sure many of us can guess the ending, the path to how they get there has a lot of unexpected twists and turns. A perfect summer read. It would also be a perfect book club read, as well. 

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Rating: 5/5. I guarantee most of you have heard of this book, or read it already. Truth be told, I've picked  it up and started it at least 3x and only got about 20 pages in before switching to another book. I don't know why, but the first two chapters just didn't garner my attention. I brought the book home with me to WI determined to finish it, if only to see what all the 'hype' was about. Let me tell you, I am so happy I finally sat down and read it. Like I said, I found it a bit slow/hard to get into at first, but once I did, I was completely enthralled. The author shares her memoir in such a unique way that you have to keep reminding yourself that this is true, and not just an incredible story.  Although mind blowing, it is also relatable, and interesting. An incredible story of transformation. Highly recommend! 


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