The Girl Before by JP Delaney



Title: The Girl Before

Author: JP Delaney

Pages: 320

Publication Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Goodreads Rating: 3.7

My Rating: 5/5

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.


I really loved how this story was told. Alternating every chapter between each girl and their stories added to the suspense so much. What adds even more to the suspense is that Jane tells her story from the past and Emma is in the present. Having their lives intertwine so much was at times a bit creepy and really helped me to fall in love with this book. I loved the mystery element of Jane trying to figure out what happened to Emma and how it is the plot of the story, but it didn’t take over the story.

There were many parts of this book that I found myself surprised that the author was a male. Usually, I don’t think it matters who is writing because this is fiction and the author is using their imagination to tell a story so I judge the book based on their writing and depth of story.  In this case though, JP Delaney wrote so vividly about things that only a woman can go through that I was very impressed with his writing. He also did a wonderful job keeping me guessing the whole story and this book had so many twists and turns that it was a hard book to put down.

Both Emma and Jane felt so real to me that I was invested in both of their stories from the get go. Jane has just been through a home invasion and is looking for somewhere new to live with her boyfriend because she, understandably, doesn’t feel safe anymore where she is living. Emma has recently suffered a stillbirth and is trying to recover from the loss of her child. Both of these events are the motivation behind each girl’s choices and behaviors.  Even though both of their stories are taking place at different times many of the side characters are the same for both narratives, which just further entwines their stories. Both Emma and Jane were messy and relatable women and I found myself so caught up in each of their stories that I wasn’t even trying to look for clues to the mystery. Also, knowing that something is going to eventually happen to Emma kept the suspense level high throughout the whole story.

The Girl Before was way more dark and twisted than I thought it would be. I’m not really sure what I was expecting but it was definitely more rated R than PG13. I love how dark it was and it was a great addition to all the other elements in the book. This story has a lot of sexual content which may make some readers uncomfortable or may even be triggering so please keep that in mind if you’re deciding to read this book or not. JP Delaney balanced everything in this book so well and it was a very enthralling read.

Earlier in the month I posted about a challenge I was doing, where I’m wanted to read 15 thrillers before the end of the year. This was one of the books on the list and I’m so happy that I was finally pushed to read this because I loved it so much. I was also happy to find out that The Girl Before is being turned into a movie.  It is going to be such a great movie if done right and I will definitely be seeing it in theaters.


Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

*Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to read this book early in exchange for my honest review


Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Author: Melissa Bashardout

Pages: 400

Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: Flat Iron Books

Genre: YA Fantasy, Fantasy Retelling, Magical Realism

My Rating: 4.5/5

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.


I enjoyed this story so much. It was such a refreshing take on a story we have all heard before. The author had such an amazing way of writing that I really felt that I was there inside the story.  For most of the story the pacing worked really well for me. There were slow moments and then it would really pick up and then it would be back to slow moments which helped to really build up the suspense. I did find the beginning to be a bit rushed though which is why I took of half a star.

The author did such an amazing job with really developing the characters throughout the whole story and giving them such well thought out motivations for the actions. I love how strong both main characters, Lynet and Mina, were. They both came from such different places in life but their lives and stories are so entwined in such a beautiful way. This book did such an amazing job of showing the complexities of relationships, not only with others, but with ourselves.

I also thought that the romances were really well done. There was no insta love, instead everything really built up organically and nothing was over the top. In fact, all the relationships were so realistic and believable. For it being a Snow White, retelling everything felt fresh and new, which I wasn’t expecting at all.

Another plus to the story was the format the author chose for the story. The whole story was told from both Mina and Lynet’s perspectives. The majority of Mina’s part was  in the past and told us the story of how Mina came to be where she was. There were a few times when Lynet and Mina’s parts concided and I thought those times really showcased what a brilliant writer Melissa Bashardout is.

As you can tell, I really loved this story. I loved it so much I preordered my own copy. I was going to get the hardcover but when I imagine myself rereading this I picture a nice floppy paperback so that’s the one I ordered. There is no date for that copy, but I will keep you updated on it when I find out. Also, I hope it is actually a floppy paperback, but now that I’ve said that it probably isn’t haha.

Order your own copy here: Amazon Or here: Barnes and Noble Or here: Book Depository


Friday Faves #4


This week has been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to get much blogging done. I only had one post (besides this one) go up this week. I’m almost done with a review for an ARC I received so hopefully that will be up tomorrow. Please bear with me as I figure out a new routine now that my older boys are back in school.

  1. Wednesday was the first day of school and it was so much fun seeing how excited my kids were and hearing all about their day.
  2. I didn’t have time to write any posts this week but I did plan out my next 10 posts.
  3. My husband surprised me with another book case which was so thoughtful and it’s a smaller one that fits all my little paperbacks perfectly.
  4. My one post this week that I did get up I was so happy with because I love the idea of telling you all my most anticipated books for the month. I think it’s another way for you to get to know me and my taste in books better.
  5. I got a couple of books in the mail from Amazon this week that I can’t wait to read. I actually have a huge stack of books that I want to read asap but I keep adding to it so it’s just getting longer haha #readerproblems #bookbuyingproblems

I hope your week was more productive than mine, although I do keep three humans alive and thriving while my husband works crazy hours, so I guess I’m always being productive lol Let me know some of your faves in the comments!


Most Anticipated Books: August 2017

I thought it would be fun to share what books I’m looking forward to every month. I will probably not be buying all of these right when they come out, but they are books that I am definitely keeping my eye open for. In the future I will be posting this at the beginning of each month. Since I’m doing this so late into the month there is only one book I’m looking forward to that hasn’t already come out.


31116293 *This is my most anticipated book of the year

Title: Y is for Yesterday

Author: Sue Grafton

Pages: 496

Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Publisher: Marian Wood Books/ Putnam

Genre: Mystery

The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate—and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents—until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

Goodreads          Amazon

Here are the ones that have already come out this month.


Title: The Last Tudor

Author: Philippa Gregory

Pages: 528

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Publisher: Touchstone

Genre: Historical Fiction

The latest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory features one of the most famous girls in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters, each of whom dared to defy her queen.
Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days, dying on the scaffold for her faith. But few people know about her two sisters, cousins to Elizabeth I who also faced imprisonment and death sentences for treason.
Katherine Grey was the beauty of the family who earned the lifelong hatred of her cousin Elizabeth I when she married for love. Mary Grey was an extraordinary little person known as a dwarf in Tudor times, who defied convention to marry the tallest man at court in her own secret love match.
The fascinating story of three idiosyncratic Tudor girls and their challenges to the most powerful Tudor woman of all is the subject of the next novel from the author who defines what it means to be a writer of historical fiction (RT Book Reviews).”

Goodreads           Amazon


Title: A Stranger In The House

Author: Shari Lapena

Pages: 320

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, a new thriller featuring a suspicious accident, a wife who can’t account for herself and unsettling questions that threaten to tear a couple apart.

You come home after a long day at work, excited to have dinner with your beautiful wife.
But when you walk through the door, you quickly realize that she’s not there.
In the kitchen, there is a pot on the stove, and vegetables on the counter, abandoned.
Her cellphone and her purse are still in the house, in the bedroom, exactly where she keeps them.
It looks like she’s left in a blind panic.
You fear the worst, so you call her friends to see if they know where she is.
Then you call the police.
The police tell you that your wife’s been in an accident. They found her in the worst part of town, after she lost control of the car while speeding through the streets. But why would she go to that neighbourhood? And why was she driving so fast? Was she running toward something? Or away from something?
The police think your wife was up to no good.
You refuse to believe it, at first.
Then, as the stories and facts don’t line up, and your wife can’t remember what happened that evening, you start to wonder. You’ve been married for two years and you thought you knew her better than anyone else in the world . . .
. . . but maybe you don’t

Goodreads          Amazon


Title: The Good Daughter

Author: Karin Slaughter

Pages: 528

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Publisher: William Morrow

Genre: Mystery Thriller

The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author — a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

Goodreads          Amazon


Title: Girls in Snow

Author: Danya Kukafka

Pages: 368

Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster


Who Are You When No One Is Watching?

When a beloved high schooler named Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched—not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the officer assigned to investigate her murder. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters—Cameron, Jade, and Russ—must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.

In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka offers a brilliant exploration of identity and of the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between truth and memory. Compulsively readable and powerfully moving, Girl in Snow offers an unforgettable reading experience and introduces a singular new talent in Danya Kukafka.

Goodreads           Amazon


Title: Emma In The Night

Author: Wendy Walker

Pages: 320

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Mystery Thriller

From the bestselling author of All Is Not Forgotten comes a thriller about two missing sisters, a twisted family, and what happens when one girl comes back…

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

Goodreads            Amazon


Title: Are You Sleeping

Author: Kathleen Barber

Pages: 336

Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Serial meets Ruth Ware’s In A Dark, Dark Wood in this inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter.

The only thing more dangerous than a lie…is the truth.

Josie Buhrman has spent the last ten years trying to escape her family’s reputation and with good reason. After her father’s murder thirteen years prior, her mother ran away to join a cult and her twin sister Lanie, once Josie’s closest friend and confidant, betrayed her in an unimaginable way. Now, Josie has finally put down roots in New York, settling into domestic life with her partner Caleb, and that’s where she intends to stay. The only problem is that she has lied to Caleb about every detail of her past—starting with her last name.

When investigative reporter Poppy Parnell sets off a media firestorm with a mega-hit podcast that reopens the long-closed case of Josie’s father’s murder, Josie’s world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, the unexpected death of Josie’s long-absent mother forces her to return to her Midwestern hometown where she must confront the demons from her past—and the lies on which she has staked her future.

Goodreads            Amazon

Do any of these books sound good to you? What books have been on your radar this month?


The Newbie Tag


A couple of days ago, The Introverted Book Nerd, posted this tag and I thought it would fun to answer.

  1. Why did you start this blog? I wanted a place to share all my thoughts and feelings about the books I read. It’s also nice to talk about books with other people who enjoy it as much as me.
  2. What are some fun and unique things that you can bring to book blogging? I think that the best part of this community is how everyone has their own ideas, thoughts and opinions. It would be boring if we all thought the same about every single book. So, I bring my own views on things and I think that is pretty unique.
  3. What are you most excited about with this new blog? My favorite thing has been not only the excitement of starting my own blog but also getting to read and follow so many other blogs. I’ve gotten so many great book recommendations and once again, I really love this community.
  4. Why do you love reading? I love getting to know different worlds, characters, and ideas. I love when a book is so good that it comes to life in my head. I think that even when a book isn’t the best there is still something that can be taken away from it.
  5. What book or series got you into reading? I have been reading for as long as I can remember so I’m not really sure haha But I do remember reading a lot of Nancy Drew in elementary school.
  6. What questions would you ask your favorite authors? I would ask them what their favorite part of the writing process is. Oh or maybe I would ask them what their writing process is.
  7. What challenges do you think starting a blog will be the hardest to overcome? I think for me it will be having enough time to devote to reading and blogging with everything else that I need to do everyday.
  8. When did you start reading? Like I mentioned earlier, I can’t remember ever not reading. I wish I remembered learning how to because I think it would help me more when it comes to helping my kids. They learn words phonetically (other than sight words which they have to memorize) but I had to learn along with my oldest because it was so foreign to me.
  9.  Where do you read? I always read in my living room on my couch or the chair.
  10. What kinds of books do you like to read? Right now I’m loving reading thrillers. They are so fast paced and I can get through them pretty quickly. I enjoy reading pretty much anything though. Before kids I read a lot of classics, which I love and I hope to get back to reading a lot of them when my kids are older.

I hope you enjoyed my first tag! I tag anyone who wants to do this. If you do, leave a link in the comments below so I can check it out 🙂


Friday Faves #3


This week went by so fast. I hope you all had a great week as well! This was our last full week of summer vacation and we spent it lounging around at home and hanging out at the park.

  1. The most exciting thing to happen to me this week was that two publishers got in contact with me about reviewing books. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be able to share my thoughts about both with you all.
  2. The weather has been perfect all week long. My absolute favorite weather is low to mid 80’s and that is what is has been here( I live in the California). I feel like I’m always in an amazing mood when the weather is so nice.
  3. Going along with favorite thing number 1, I have been getting approved for quite a few ARCS on Netgalley. So thank you Netgalley and publishers for that.
  4. I’m really enjoying spending as much time with all my boys before school starts next week.  My mama heart is the happiest when I’m surrounded by my little people. Even though some of them aren’t that little anymore haha
  5. I finished 3 books this week and I would love to finish 2 more in the next couple of days.
  6. I have been staying a day ahead when it come to blog posts, except for today’s, I want these Friday Fave posts to be as authentic as possible. It has really allowed me to take my time with each post and I found that I have missed writing after all these years out of school. Which, I never realized when I was younger, but 31 is 13 years out of school!!! When I think of my age like that, I definitely feel old haha

Let me know some of your faves from this week. Also, what is the weather like where you live?


Right Behind You (Quincey and Rainie #7) by Lisa Gardner


Is he a hero?

Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.

Is he a killer?

Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.

All she knows for sure: He’s back.

As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.


Title: Right Behind You (Quincey and Rainie #7)

Author: Lisa Gardner

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Pages: 389

Publisher: Dutton

Publication Date: January 31, 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4.17

My Rating: 4/5

This was a multiple perspective book with all the characters but one telling their story in the present. It was so smart of the author to tell the story this way because it really added to the suspense of the novel.

I loved all the characters. They all felt so real and complex which made the story that much more enjoyable to read.  I also really liked the plot. The premise was good and there were multiple twists this book took. I loved all the twists and the care that the author took to weave the ending together.

I took a star off because I felt like some of the story dragged a little. Although, I also really liked all the details. But there were also times I felt the book was lecturing a very tiny bit which is always a turn off for me.

Another plus to this book, was the acknowledgments at the end, where the author, Lisa Gardner, tells us how and why she came up with the story. I thought that was so fun and I wish more authors would add that. Also, on her website, you can enter someone to be killed off in one of her upcoming books.  How funny is that?!

I also want to add that even though this is number 7 in a series I never felt like I was missing out by not reading the previous 6.  If Goodreads hadn’t told me that this was #7, I never would have guessed this was part of a series. If you like crime novels, then I 100% recommend this book to you. I plan on reading as many Lisa Gardner books as I can.


The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder


Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).

Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.

As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness.

An unforgettable read from the acclaimed author of The Probability of Miracles, The Museum of Intangible Things sparkles with the humor and heartbreak of true friendship and first love.


Title: The Museum of Intangible Things

Author: Wendy Wunder

Genre: YA Contemporary

Page Amount: 304

Publisher: Razorbill

Publication Date: April 10, 2014

Goodreads Rating: 3.62

My Rating: 2/5

There are so many parts of this book that I seriously dislike. I would never recommend this book to anyone because that’s just how bad it is. I heard someone say once that a book character was too stupid to live and that describes the main character, Hannah, in this book so much.   I could easily give you a list of twenty things that were so completely unrealistic it was actually offensive. But I still rated it two stars because the first 100-150 pages were so promising.

Honestly, if you want a story about how to be the worst best friend than this is the story for you. Hannah’s best friend, Zoe, is bipolar and is suffering a breakdown following an incident with a boy at a party.  Instead of getting her best friend help, or even telling someone that something happened with the boy, she decides that Zoe’s idea of running away is a good idea. From there things only get more and more unrealistic.

Another thing that majorly frustrated me with the story is the romance. My biggest problem with YA books is how they portray romances and this one was just terrible. Like the story, it started out so promising and quickly got more and more unbelievable. I don’t want to give any spoilers away but like the story, I could easily give you twenty reasons I hated the romance.

Despite all that, this is a book that will sit on my shelves forever because it is freaking pretty. Which makes me happy I bought it even though I didn’t like the story. Do you have any pretty books that you kept even though the story wasn’t good?

Also, I wanted to add that I’m not sure how well the author portrayed bipolar disorder. I looked at probably ten reviews and none mentioned that there was an issue about it. I just wanted to mention it because while, I don’t recommend this book at all, I still want to be aware of not taking the issue of mental health lightly. Which does raise an interesting point of view; maybe this book could be taken as a cautionary tale of what could go wrong by not taking the symptoms of bipolar disorder seriously.

If the plot of this book sounds good to you then please check out Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone. It has the same premise of a best friend trying to help her bestie get more out of life and has the same adventure feel. Also, the romance in Since You’ve Been Gone is so much better.  However, this book does not deal with any mental health issues.


The Art Of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

*Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for allowing me to read this book early. 


What would you do if you learned that the life you lived was a lie?

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.


Title: The Art of Hiding

Author: Amanda Prowse

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Goodreads Rating: 4.2

My Rating: 4/5

I just want to start off by saying how bizarre some aspects of this book mirrored my life.  It sounds so weird but I am a stay at home mom of boys (although 3 not 2 like the story) and my oldest boy is named Connor as well. Also, I identified so much with the social anxiety the main character, Nina, has when it comes to school activities and interacting with other parents.

Nina, is a rich mom of 2 who spends her days cleaning her humongous house and cooking and taking care of her husband and sons. She is very happy with her life when all of sudden her husband dies in a car accident.  After his death, she is confronted with the betrayal of a husband who hid their severe money problems from her. The book does such a good job of detailing this and making us really feel the loss of not only her husband but also of the life they lived together.

Since Nina is now broke and nowhere to live she brings her two boys back to her hometown and rents a flat (apartment) from her cousin.  It is a very rundown apartment in a not that great area of town.  Nina’s sister, Tiggy, lives in the same town and they are able to start building their relationship back up after years of drifting apart. Nina obviously doesn’t have much money so she spends a good chunk of the story trying to find a job.  Which, was so nice to see her struggle with this instead of the author having her find a job quickly.

My favorite thing about this book was how realistic it all felt. Amanda Prowse really understands how to write about the complexity of emotions in a such a beautiful way. From dealing with her unexpected loss of money, to her relationships with her kids, to her healing relationship with her sister and in so many more ways.

I took a star off of my rating for two reasons. One, is that her oldest son, Connor, is understandably very unhappy with the recent developments in his life and spends most of the book angry at his mom and their new circumstances.  However, their is a moment in the book when the Nina is forced to confront some truths about her past, which Connor overhears and then for the rest of the book is pretty mild mannered and sweet.  His behavior is also explained by a couple of other events in his own life that happen but I still wish it hadn’t been such a stark contrast in his behavior.  The other reason I couldn’t give this book five stars is because I think the author could have done a better job in how she handled the job of stay at home moms. The last half of the book, being a stay at home mom is portrayed as something weak and negative.  Nina did take things to the next level by pretty much being a servant for her family and just doing whatever her husband wanted all the time. Which I completely agree is a huge negative and she should have been a complete partner in her life with her husband.  But a woman can have a job outside the home and still let her husband have complete control of the finances and be submissive to him. In fact, Nina was quite happy with her life, so had Finn not died she would have never been upset with how unbalanced their relationship was. Being a stay at home mom was never the problem, it was Nina allowing her husband to take complete control over their life and relationship.

Overall, The Art of Hiding, is a great story about a woman who finds the strength within herself to overcome the immense loss she is dealing with and really rises to the challenge.  It is also a great story about a mom and her kids.  I love how her kids really motivated her to be strong and keep it together, even when she just wanted to hide in bed.


Thrift Store Haul #1

I unhauled 12 books today at the thrift store and I found 10 more to replace them.  There were about 5 more that I wanted but I thought I would show some restraint for once haha

9200000010138811 The Wicked Girls by Alex Marwood

book_cover-sara_gruen-water_for_elephants-800x1200-85 Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

cvr9781451673319_9781451673319_hr Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

the-pearl The Pearl by John Steinbeck

vintage-28544palahniukinvisiblemonsters Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk

the-joy-luck-club-by-amy-tan The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

kept-woman-karin-slaughter The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

girl_online_front_noncomp_rgb Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

e8fdfaeabcf3566fe00836a6f982c815 Sweet Valley High #110 Death Threat

saga-patman-outer Sweet Valley Saga The Patmans of Sweet Valley

I’m most excited to read The Wicked Girls.  All I read was the first two lines on the back of the book and I was totally hooked. On a fateful summer morning in 1986, two eleven-year-old girls meet for the first time. By the end of the day, they will both be charged with murder. Sounds so good right?

One of my goals in life is to collect and read all the Sweet Valley books so I was super excited to add two more to my collection.

Have you read any of the books I just bought? If so, what did you think of them?