Book Review: My Daughter’s Mistake

My Daughter’s Mistake by Kate Hewitt is a novel that challenged how I think about different things and my judgement on people. As soon as I read what it was about I was immediately drawn in. This is my third book by Kate Hewitt and I look forward to reading more.

This book takes place in a small college town in New Hampshire. It is a safe place to live. Everyone seems to know each other, or at least know of each other. One day Jenna’s six year old daughter, Amy Rose, is hit by a car that is being driven by seventeen year old Maddie. Maddie’s mom, Ellen, a college professor insists the whole thing must be an accident because her daughter is super careful and never distracted while driving. Both mothers seem to be hiding something though, as well as Maddie.

I read this book in about a day. I thought all of the characters were well written and I liked that the novel was told from the perspective of both Jenna and Ellen. I do kind of wish that we got to see Maddie’s perspective of everything as well, but I get that the story was supposed to mainly be about the two mothers. I felt the character development throughout the novel was also well done. This book really reminded me of a lot of Jodi Picoult’s novels.

I gave this book 3/5 stars. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. My biggest issue is that there were a lot of typos and editing mistakes throughout the book and it did make it hard for me to get through the book at times because I felt like I was just constantly editing it in my head. Overall though, I felt it was a good read and I would recommend it to people who enjoy contemporary fiction and realistic fiction.

Book Review: Her Final Words

I am still at a loss of words for the book Her Final Words by Brianna Labuskes. It was a thriller, but it had other elements to it. I found the whole concept to be fascinating and really different from other books.

17 year old Eliza Cook seeks out FBI special agent Lucy Thorne to confess to a murder of a twelve year old boy. This seems like an open and shut case, but Lucy believes there is more to this. After Eliza confesses to the murder she refuses to share anymore details, or even talk. This forces Lucy to go to the scene of the crime, so she can uncover what really is going on in the small town Eliza has come from.

I love a book that is centered around a small town. This small town is not unlike others, there are a lot of secrets, people have a hard time accepting outsiders, and this one is also super religious. I really enjoyed this novel. It moved quickly, there were a lot of different elements to the story, and the characters were really strong. Like I mentioned earlier, I found this book to be really different from other books and I really liked that. As someone who reads a lot, sometimes books can all start to feel the same, but this one did not make me feel like that.

I gave this book 4/5 stars. I would highly recommend it. Especially to people who enjoy thrillers, or small town mysteries. I also enjoyed the authors writing style. I have read two books by Labuskes and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them and I look forward to reading more books by her!

Book Review: Girls of Glass

Girls of Glass by Brianna Labuskes had such an unexpected ending to me, I can’t stop thinking about it. I love a thriller that at the end completely twists another way and surprises me. A lot of times I can figure out the ending before I get there, but this one I had no idea what was to come.

Sterling Burke is a powerful Judge in Florida. When his granddaughter goes missing it is all hands on deck to find her. For Detective Alice Garner, this case brings up a past trauma from her own life, the kidnapping and murder of her own daughter. Alice is reluctant to cast any blame on Charlotte Burke, the little girls mother, because she knows her position in this all too well. As detectives are working on the case they begin to pull up secrets from the family that they have buried from years. As time goes on they realize this family is not as perfect as it seems, but would one of them go as far as kidnapping a little girl to keep the secrets from coming out? And Alice’s own life is becoming tangled within this case and secrets and lies from her are beginning to surface.

I thought this book was well executed and well written. It was very different from so many thrillers I have read before. Even though most of the characters had a lot of characteristics that were unlikable, ultimately they were still likable. That can be super hard to achieve as an author, but Labuskes had no issues with that. As mentioned previously, the twist at the end ultimately really surprised me.

I gave this book 3.5/5 stars. I know some people really did not like it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t find it to be unrealistic or that the ending was too much. I thought it was well thought out and something different from how these books typically go. I can understand where other people are coming from, but I really enjoyed it. I have read one other book by this author and I really enjoyed that as well. I definitely look forward to reading more books by her!

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid is a book that I have seen everywhere. It feels like everyone has been talking about it and honestly it took me a while to actually read it because when a book gets that much hype it makes me nervous. I was worried that it was not going to be that good. After reading this book though, it deserves all of the praise it has received. This book was so good. It was honestly unlike anything I have ever read before.

Evelyn Hugo was a Hollywood movie icon from the 1950s to the 80s, when she made the decision to leave the industry. She has not done any interviews since she has left the industry. Suddenly she chooses to tell her story to an unknown magazine reporter, Monique Grant. Monique has no idea why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, but she wants to use this opportunity to jump-start her career. Throughout the novel Evelyn tells Monique the story of her life and answers all of the questions everyone is dying to know the answers to. Why was she married seven times? Who did she love the most? Why did she suddenly leave the industry? Why now is she choosing to do an interview? And the biggest question for Monique, why did Evelyn choose her to write her biography?

I cannot give enough praise to this book. I felt every possible emotion while reading this novel. The story was beautiful and unlike anything I have ever read. This was one of the first books I read this year and I have no idea if I am going to be able to top it. I loved the old Hollywood feel the book had, I loved the characters, and I loved the unexpected story-lines throughout. I honestly could see this book one day becoming a movie.

I give this book 5/5 stars. I would honestly give it more if I could. I cannot stop thinking about this novel. I wish I could read it again for the first time. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. If you only read one book this year, make it this one.

Be sure to check out my Instagram: @bookswithmadelyn for more Updates!

Book Review: Reminders of Him

Reminders of Him is Colleen Hoover’s newest release. The novel was one of her best yet. It was real, it was raw, and it was beautiful. This is hands down one of my favorite Colleen Hoover books. If you are looking for a book to get you back in to reading, this is it!

This novel was about Kenna Rowan who has just been released from prison for a tragic mistake. She has spent the past five years in prison and now that she is out all she wants is to get her four year old daughter back. No one in her daughter’s life wants Kenna to get her back and she is determined to do whatever she has to do. Kenna ends up falling for Ledger Ward, a local bar owner, but he is the last person she should be falling for. They have to decide if it is worth seeing each other and potentially losing the trust of everyone who is important in their lives.

I found this book to be beautifully written and very moving. After reading this I was wishing for another book with these characters because I did not want to let them go. Nothing super surprising happened in this book, but I felt that it did not need to. I think this book did a good job of showing that some people may make terrible mistakes, but that does not make them a bad person. Kenna’s journey was inspiring and eye opening. You should never judge someone for past mistakes and this book portrayed that beautifully.

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars. I would love to read this book again later on down the line at some point. I wish I hadn’t read it yet, so that I could experience it all over for the first time again.

Be sure to check out my Instagram: @bookswithmadelyn for more updates!

Book Review: It Ends With Us

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover is a tear-jerker for sure. It is realistic, beautiful, painful, and just overall a very important book. This for sure is one of my favorite Colleen Hoover books. After I finished the book I kept thinking about it. It is also one of those books I plan to read again in a few years.

In this novel Lily has just graduated from college and moved to Boston. One night she meets Ryle Kincaid, who is a neurosurgeon. She finds herself immediately drawn to him and he feels the same way. Ryle Usually has a very strict no dating rule, but he is willing to make an exception for Lily. Not long after Ryle and Lily get together, Atlas Corrigan suddenly reappears. With Atlas back in the picture, it threatens everything Lily has built with Ryle.

If you do read this book I would like to add a trigger warning because this book does talk about domestic violence. With that said, I think this book does an excellent job at depicting domestic violence and all of the feelings that come with it. All of the characters in this book are likeable, despite the bad stuff they may do, or have done. I think that is why this book is so important. It provides a first look into the question, “why didn’t you just leave?”. That question is so simple for such a complicated situation. There are many layers to the answer to that question and this book helps to break apart those layers.

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars. It was beautifully written and it handled a hard topic in such a graceful way. I also want to add as a quick side note, I always love the names of the characters in Colleen Hoover’s books. They are always so cool and different.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. If you like Colleen Hoover’s books I believe you will enjoy this one as well. Stay tuned for Friday’s post where I will be doing a review of her newest novel, Reminders of Him.

Be sure to check out my Instagram: @bookswithmadelyn to see more of what I am reading!

Book Review: Layla

Layla by Colleen Hoover was definitely an interesting read. This week all of my blog posts will be dedicated to Colleen Hoover. Last month I read three of her books. I have read a couple of her books before as well. Usually, I really like her novels, but this one just didn’t do it for me.

Leeds meets Layla and he believes he will spend the rest of his life with her. But then, an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After Layla gets out of the hospital Leeds decides to take her back to the bed and breakfast they met at. He believes taking her back there will help recover her memories and help get their relationship back to what it once was. Leeds still feels distant from her though and finds comfort in Willow, another guest at the bed and breakfast.

The plot of this book sounded interesting to me, but then I started reading it. I was not prepared at all for what was going to happen in this book. I don’t think I have ever rolled my eyes so many times during a book. This book was like a car accident. As much as I hated it and wanted to stop reading it, I just couldn’t put it down. I needed to know what would happen, no matter how much it hurt me to read it. There is definitely an audience for this book, I am just not it.

I gave this book 2/5 stars. I would have given it 1 star, but I guess there were some good moments throughout the book. I usually really enjoy Colleen Hoover’s novels, but I just couldn’t get behind this one. I think if I knew more going in to it I may have been able to enjoy it more, but I am not positive about that.

I would never hesitate to recommend a Colleen Hoover book, but I don’t know if I would recommend this one. This one is hard to write about as well because I don’t want to give too much away. I guess I will leave it at this: read this book at your own risk.

As always be sure to check out my Instagram: @bookswithmadelyn to keep up to date on what I am currently reading!

Book Review: Libertie

My first book of the year was Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge. I found this novel to be wholesome and inspiring. I enjoy historical fiction novels, but I sometimes struggle with them because they are not fast paced and I find myself having to be in the right mindset in order to fully enjoy the book. I read a couple thrillers before this so I was definitely ready for a more slow-paced, coming of age novel.

This novel follows Libertie, who is a freeborn black girl in Reconstruction-ere Brooklyn. Her mother is a doctor and has dreams of Libertie following in her footsteps and the two of them being able to practice alongside each other. Libertie on the other hand, is more interested in the arts, and has no interest in science or becoming a doctor. Libertie ends up meeting a man from Haiti and he promises to bring her back to Haiti with him to live together and that she will always be his equal. Quickly though, Libertie realizes she will always be subordinate to him, and all men for that matter. Now she is questioning and trying to figure out what does it truly mean to be a free black woman.

I found this book to be really eye opening and the character of Libertie was written well. She was raw and real and sympathetic. Following her through her life and her struggles almost felt like an honor in a way. She was able to make you feel her frustrations, her hopes, her dreams, and her love. She was just trying to figure herself out, but also the meaning of freedom.

I gave this book 4.5/5 stars. I highly recommend the novel. I was able to learn a lot from it and I am sure others are as well. If you are looking for a good historical fiction, coming of age novel, with a strong female character, this one is for you.

Be sure to follow my instagram for book updates: @bookswithmadelyn

And be sure to stay tuned for next weeks posts which I am super excited for! I am dedicating all of next weeks posts to Colleen Hoover and will be reviewing three of her books. My posts go up at 10:00 AM eastern time, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so be on the look out for those!

Book Review: A Flicker in the Dark

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham was just released on January 11th. As a member of Book of the Month I was able to get it in my December box, and because of the hype, I was super excited to read it. Unfortunately, this book kind of fell flat for me. At times I really enjoyed it, but I spent most of the time being really annoyed with the main character, which just made it a difficult read.

When Chloe Davis was twelve, six girls in her small town go missing in the beginning of summer. By the end of the summer Chloe’s father confesses to the crimes and is put in prison for life. Now it is twenty years later and Chloe is working as a psychologist and getting prepared for her wedding. She feels like she finally has her life together when suddenly local teenage girls start to go missing again.

I so wanted to love this book, but I just didn’t. I’m glad I read it, it just wasn’t my favorite. Honestly I would have enjoyed it a lot more if Chloe didn’t get on my nerves so much. I thought the plot twist was interesting, but at the same time I actually predicted it pretty early on in the book. I also wish it moved a little bit faster. There were also times where I felt there were unnecessary details included.

Overall, I would give this book 3/5 stars. It was good I just felt it was missing something. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews on this book, so it really just comes down to personal taste and what type of writing style you prefer. Like I said earlier, I am glad I read it and I think the plot was super interesting, it was just lacking something for me.

Make sure to follow my instagram: @bookswithmadelyn

I post a ton a lot of updates about what I am currently reading on there, as well as shorter reviews of books, so give it a follow if you want to be more up to date on what I am reading!

January Reading Wrap-up

January felt literally like the longest month ever, but at the same time I am surprised it is already February. With the end of January, this post is dedicated to my January reading wrap-up! I read 12 books in January and honestly this was a great reading month for me. I read some of the best books I have ever read.

The twelve books I read this month were:

  1. Libertie by Kaitlyn Greenidge
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  3. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  4. No Time to Say Goodbye by Kate Hewitt
  5. When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
  6. A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham
  7. Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin
  8. Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman
  9. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  10. Layla by Colleen Hoover
  11. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover
  12. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Clearly, I went on a little bit of a Colleen Hoover binge towards the end. My least favorite on this list was definitely Layla by Colleen Hoover. Honestly, I don’t even know what to say about that book. I really did not like it. There is definitely an audience for it, but I’m definitely not it. I gave it 2/5 stars because I think there might be some redeemable qualities? But honestly, I don’t know. The book kind of broke my brain temporarily and I’m still trying to sort my thoughts from that book.

My favorite book was hands down The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Going into this my expectations were actually kind of low. I had been seeing the book everywhere and just kind of assumed the book was being over hyped, but that is definitely not the case. I would read that book over and over again if I could. If you do read it, I am just warning you now, be prepared to cry. I don’t cry a lot at books, but I sobbed at the end of this one. I can’t praise this book enough, so just do yourself a favor and read it.

There are some honorable mentions on this list as well. Reminders of Him was also really good and I sobbed at this book as well to be honest. I also cried at It Ends With Us so it was a big month of tears for me. If you are looking for a good historical fiction, coming of age novel, I would recommend Libertie I have not seen a lot about the book, but it deserves praise. I really enjoyed it and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.

I am excited to see what February brings and how many books I read this month. Especially with it being a shorter month. Let me know what you read this month! as always be sure to check out my instagram: @bookswithmadelyn to keep up to date with my current reads!

Book Review: Family Happiness

Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin was such a good read. It is one of those books where once you finish it you cannot stop thinking about it. The more I read literary fiction and contemporary fiction the more I fall in love with it. There is simplicity to the stories, yet the feelings you get from them is so much more than simplistic.

This book follows Polly who seems to come from the picture perfect family. She is married to a great guy who has built a wonderful life for himself and his family, she has two perfect children, her parents are successful and well-known in her community, and her siblings are also successful in their own ways. In so many ways Polly appears to have the perfect life, except for one big thing: she is in the midst of a love affair with a painter named Lincoln.

Throughout the entire book as a reader I could just feel everything Polly was feeling and going through. Polly was relatable and her pain was palpable. I loved the connection I felt with Polly even though I have never actually been through what she was experiencing. The question that kept coming up for me throughout the entire book was, is it possible for good people to have an affair? Obviously everyone will answer that question differently, but I do not think the answer is as simple as it would appear.

Based on the reviews I have read I know not everyone loves this book, but I have to say I really loved it. This book looked at the role of women as daughters, mothers, wives, and siblings and showed the pressure that can be created for these women to always have it together and to care about everyone else’s feelings whilst no one else really seems to care about theirs. At the end of the book I was actually sad to see Polly go and to no longer be apart of her journey.

I would highly recommend this book. It is a quick read, there are a lot of funny, dry humor moments, and the writing was beautiful. I give this book 4/5 stars and I definitely want to read more of Laurie Colwin’s books in the future.