Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewel

I’m torn on this one…somewhere around four stars but not really if that makes sense. It’s sufficiently creepy, suspenseful, intriguing, and all that.

When Libby turns 25, she discovers that she’s now the owner of an abandoned mansion. Along with this newfound knowledge comes the revelation of the true identity of her birth parents. As if that’s not enough, she begins to discover the sordid secret of who she truly is.

I liked this book. I really did. But something about the ending didn’t satisfy me. Still, I kept coming back to it whenever I had time to read a few pages so that says a lot.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Family Upstairs

Review: After the End by Clare Mackintosh

This was such a great story, and so very different from what you’d expect.

The illness of a child, something that parents don’t even want to imagine. But here it is, Max and Pip dealing with the harsh reality of Dylan’s cancer. And even when things are very bad, they still believe that it has to get better.

It doesn’t get better, though. And if the doctors are to be believed, it won’t ever get better. So Max and Pip are faced with a decision that no parent should ever have to make. What happens if they decide differently?

This much alone makes this such a deeply compelling story. But the author does something unexpected. We are presented with two different endings, two different paths the story could have taken. And the most intriguing part is, we never truly find out which was the actual outcome. It leaves you wondering, which in this case is a great thing!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: After the End

Review: Just Lucky by Melanie Florence

I’ve been accused by some of being overly generous with my five-star ratings. What can I say? If a book grabs me enough to keep me reading, not wanting to put the book down, picking it up as soon as I wake up in the morning, then I deem it worthy of five stars.

Lucky has a somewhat untraditional family. Her mom skipped out on her when she was very young, but she has the love of her grandparents as they raise her. All that changes, however, when her grandpa dies and grandma is no longer able to live alone. Lucky finds herself in the foster care system. She just tries to survive, knowing that each home she lands in is only temporary.

This was a great little book. I say little because I finished it in less than one day. It’s a quick, easy read that’s well-suited for younger and older adults alike.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Just Lucky

Review: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

I don’t know how this one slipped by me. I love Karin Slaughter and always greedily snatch up her latest books. And yet I missed this one…

A shocking crime. A mother and her two daughters are held at gunpoint, victims of a revenge crime. Some escape, one does not. But nobody comes out of this tragedy unscathed.

Flash forward twenty plus years. Another shocking crime, and Charlie finds herself involved yet again. This time, not so much a victim. Still, old memories come rushing to the surface.

Once again, the author has written a can’t-put-it-down kind of story. It’s fast-paced, has great characters, and includes a few little twists and turns. Everything you’d want in a thriller!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Good Daughter

Review: The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

Preschoolers become the best of friends, along with their parents. Preschoolers grow up and go through a multitude of dramas and changes along the way to becoming high schoolers. No longer friends, but not enemies either. Just casualties of life happening.

And then tragedy strikes. When a plane carrying all, actually almost all, of their parents crashes they find themselves thrown together to deal with the aftermath.

A good story, delves deeply into teenage emotions. Be prepared to suspend your disbelief for part of it, but overall enjoyable.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Year They Fell

Review: All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio

So much love for this one. It has everything I enjoy in a historical tale…World War II era, secrets, romance, danger, and a meshing of old and new.

It starts with Caroline waking up in the hospital. She has no memory of her past life, so she’s left to piece together what she can. What she discovers is, she wasn’t a very happy person. Along the way, she begins to uncover the story of another.

Celine is a young window in Nazi occupied Germany. Her only concern is keeping her father and young daughter safe. The letters she leaves behind tell her sad story.

This is an outstanding addition to the genre of historical fiction. Five stars for me!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: All the Flowers in Paris

Review: The Wolf Wants In by Laura McHugh

What a richly woven, compelling story this one was. It starts off with a death, an unexpected one for sure, but still a suspicious death to Shane’s family. From there it spirals into a complex tale of family loyalty, secrets, suspicions, and bonds too strong to be broken. Bouncing back and forth between two time periods, the author gives us a glimpse into the events right before Shane’s death. Because Sadie just can’t let it go, she’s drawn deeper and deeper into a part of her brother’s life that she wasn’t a part of. It’s a mystery, yes, and a bit of a detective story as well. But the story is so well-written, the characters so fully developed, that it reads nothing like the procedural pieces we’ve come to expect from the genre. Definitely five stars!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: The Wolf Wants In