Good Neighbors

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Let’s start with the title. These people are NOT good neighbors. Unless what you need in a neighbor is someone who is willing to follow the mob and do some crazy sh*t.

A crazy woman (could be called clinically insane) created a false story (that even she believed) and destroyed other people’s lives. I’m not exaggerating at all.

The writing is great. The structure is good (a mix of current day, multiple viewpoints, and future newspaper articles). The story is INSANE.

I’m so irritated at Rhea for what she did to Arlo, Shelly, Gertie, Fitz, Fitz Jr, Ella, Julia, Larry … and the world when this crazy reporter got it in her head that Rhea was right about everything.

She wasn’t. She was crazy. She made everything up. Not really a spoiler, the insanity starts in the first few chapters!!

“These people are the kind you leave behind. Take the high road.” (If only they had taken that advice earlier)


Love and Other Mistakes

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My sweet friend Elisabeth sent me this for my birthday. Christian love stories are right up my alley so I was excited to start it.

A review called it the “Christian version of Love Actually” which is a horrible description, it’s nothing like that. There are a lot of really great elements and also some plot holes that get tied up rather quickly at the end. They need more time, like the 10 year rift between the Jem and John. One “I forgive you” and everything’s fine again … a little more time would be have been helpful.



On Rue Tatin

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Lisa chose this as our buddy read for this month from the recommendation of Claire, a woman we both follow online. It’s sweet and delightful.

Susan spends a semester in France and falls in love with the country. She and her husband intend to go back for a year and stay a good long while! The book is the story of her and for all things French.

It’s filled with recipes which sound amazing, I marked a few I’d definitely try. The timeline hops all over the place as the book is arranged more thematically than chronologically.

It was also published 20 years years ago and describes her life there in the mid-80s and early 90s. I appreciated finding a book that seems to bear the test of time!

“The other day while I was walking home from taking Joe to school – a 10 minute trip each way through the center of Louviers – I became completely lost in the sky. It was a mosaic of mottled gray with pockets of pale blue, shadows of rose, pillows of billowy white, wavy edges of what I have to call yellow but was really simply pure, almost liquid, light. It was a sky that demands attention – once I started looking at it I couldn’t look away. If fascinated me as I tried to figure out how to describe it, what to call its colors.“


For Better and Worse

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This is the third sexual assault/murder book I’ve read in the last two weeks. I need a new genre for a while.

Kids are being hurt, a defense attorney takes things into her own hands, and her husband gets in deep. The story is fast paced and definitely a page turner, there are multiple perspectives presented too. I like hearing her version before the incident and his after. Then she comes back in the end.

This is definitely a triggering topic though for sexual assault and children, so be warned.

“No one should put their trust in the criminal justice system. It’s broken beyond repair. Guilty people get off, innocent people go to jail and no one’s life is ever improved in any way.” (And so she took matters in to her own hands.)


They Never Learn

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This was one of the favorites of a recent guest on What Should I Read Next and I couldn’t put it on hold fast enough after she described it. It’s the story of a serial killer. And you’re on her side.

I can’t even believe I wrote that … but I really am. There are two interweaving timelines of Scarlett and Carly. The story opens with a kill, so that’s not a spoiler – but the way it ends is surprising. And satisfying.

Except for all the hunting and killing of people … something I’m only okay reading about in fiction.

“It’s risky for me to be here. I know that. I could’ve left the tainted drink in the fridge for him and slipped away while he was still out running. But the truth is, I enjoy this too much to miss it. It’s my reward for all the hard work.”


Dear Mr. Knightly

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A book in letters, what a treat. This is a retelling of a classic so I shouldn’t have been surprised by the end, but I don’t know the original so it was a delight.

I loved the classic setting. Sam, Alex, Father John (a Catholic priest portrayed well is always a treat), Kyle, the Muirs … they were a delight.

I loved Sam’s love for the classics and wish I shared them, but alas I love a good modern retelling!! I also loved the connection and stories from children in foster care. They felt real and honest.

“You’re know and loved, my dear girl. You always were.”


Strike Me Down

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Mindy Mejia was on What Should I Read Next with Anne Bogel this week. Her book and one of her favorites when right on my TBR at the top!

I love mysteries but don’t read enough of them … this one is good. About a gym and an accountant, which I didn’t realize was such a dangerous job!

It’s witty, smart, twisty, and full of angst – the best kind of thriller!

“I’m done putting up walls. I’m done hiding behind my job. I’m not letting anyone cast me aside and make me believe I deserve it.”


Mother, May I

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This book is just might be full of triggers if you’ve got a young child – so beware. One moment she’s watching her teenage daughter’s rehearsal with her baby son in the carrier next to her on the floor, the next she looks down and he’s replaced with a note. Her whole work shifts off the axis. The following few days Bree moves between being “Bree” and “Elizabeth” as she begins the fight for her son’s life.

There are so many things to talk about with this book. Consent, consequences, family, and whatnot all means 30 years later when only one party has paid the price.

I listened to this on audio because I almost exclusively listen to Joshilyn’s books because she reads them herself and she’s an amazing vocal performance.

Note: “If you ever want to see your baby again, you’ll do as I say.”


People We Meet on Vacation

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What a delight! Alex and Poppy are a delight in this book. I loved following their friendship over the previous 12 years through their summer trips.

The chapters alternate between the current summer trip and their previous 12 years. I loved hearing their story this way and it was easy to follow.

It was also nice to read a book about vacations when we can’t go on too many!

“What’s the point? I mean, don’t you ever feel like that? Like, I worked so hard, did every single thing right – so I could get my dream job. And I actually got it. I work at one of the top travel magazines! I have a nice apartment! And I can take cabs without worrying too much about what that money should go to, and despite all that – I’m not happy.”


Is It Any Wonder

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This is the second in Courtney Walsh’s “Nantucket” series that’s not really a series – the characters in the previous book make two small appearances that if they’d been left out the book would be just the same. These just take place in the same place. Still a delightful book though!

I was a little skeptical when they kissed only 60% of the way through and seemed so happy for the next 25% of the book! Cody and Louisa have known each other since they were babies – and even share the same birth day (wrote it out like that since they have the same birth day and year) – their parents were best friends until they were 18 and their whole world changed.

The story is about love and redemption and forgiveness. At first they all forgive too slowly – and then in the end one person is forgiven so quickly. I think that’s how the Lord wants it to be, but it unsettled me a bit. Probably good that it did – it means I’ve still got room to grow in the way I forgive others.

“It was as if Louisa needed to be successful on behalf of all women who weren’t being taken seriously in the professional world. Women who were deemed too funny or cute or quirky or whimsical. Women with their heads in the clouds, who loved adventure. Women with boyfriends who didn’t believe in them.”