One of my New Year’s resolutions this year was to read more. When I was younger, I seriously read all the time… but with a full time job, part-time job and freelance work on my plate, I stopped making reading a priority. I really made an effort to change that this year and started a book club with some of my friends and even read a few other books on my own. Below, I summarized some of my favorite books I have read so far this year.
Big Little Lies by: Liane Moriarty
Many of you may have heard this title from the mini-series of 7 episodes that ran on HBO this summer starring Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley. (It also won a few Emmys). I had read the book before the show came out, so it was interesting to see the details they kept and the ones they changed. I would obviously recommend reading the book before watching the show, but there are so many differences that even if you have already watched the show, the book would still be worth reading!
Big, Little Lies takes place in a small beach town and focuses on the lives of 3 women; Madeline –who is funny, passionate and blunt, Celeste –who is beautiful, quiet and flustered and Jane –who is new in town, and a young, single mother. All 3 women have children in the same kindergarten class and Madeline and Celeste quickly take Jane under their wings. However, Jane came to town looking for something and a few secrets from her past. She isn’t the only one with secrets though… it seems that the residents of this small town love to keep up appearances and are not who they seem. This book has everything I love in a novel; humor, drama, comedy, suspense and friendship. I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat, unable to put this book down and when I got to the climax, I actually gasped out loud! This is a definite MUST read!
What She Knew by: Gilly Macmillan
A parent’s worst nightmare comes true when Rachel’s 8-year-old son Ben goes missing in the park. When he asks to run ahead to their favorite spot, she feels that it’s an ordinary request on an ordinary day and has nothing to worry about –until Ben vanishes. Police are called, search parties organized and Rachel feels her world coming undone. Hours, then days pass as everyone Rachel knows is called into question. She is completely unprepared for the media circus and questions that follow. People quickly go from sympathy to suspicion as Rachel takes it into her own hands to uncover the clues. But the clock is ticking, will she find him?
While I really did enjoy this read, it is your typical thriller and wasn’t really any different from what I am used to reading. It was somewhat slow in the middle, but once I started getting towards the end I could not stop reading. The ultimate outcome did shock me – I never saw it coming and I love a good plot twist. However, some of the girls in my book club said they knew the ending all along. My suggestion, read for yourself and let me know!
All the Missing Girls by: Megan Miranda
This book had me captivated right away… like in the second chapter! The way this book was written is so different from what I am used to reading. The climax is introduced first, followed by each day over a two week period leading up to that moment. Each day you uncover more clues and subtle hints as to how the characters got to that point. I wouldn’t say that I am a huge fan of this format because I am extremely impatient and just wanted to know what happened, but it also helped me read the book in only 3 days!
The main character Nicolette (Nic) returns home after 10 years to help her ailing father. It’s also been 10 years since her best friend Corinne disappeared and upon Nic’s return, another girl (Annaleise) goes missing, reawakening Corrine’s case and uncovering long hidden secrets. As Nic begins to discover the truth about her neighbor’s disappearance, she also discovers hidden truths from a decade ago and what really happened the night Corinne went missing. There were so many twists and turns in this book, but you really have to keep up and pay close attention to the details –otherwise, you will likely get lost.
The Obsession by: Nora Roberts
This is the most recent book I’ve read… I just finished it a few days ago and it prompted me to write this review post because I loved it so much! Spoiler alert – it’s ANOTHER suspense, mystery, psychological thriller.
Naomi lost her childhood and her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods behind her home. There she discovered a girl trapped in a root cellar bound and badly beaten. When Naomi helps the girl escape, she uncovers her father’s terrible crimes which made him infamous. Even after moving and changing her name, she can never seem to let go and forget about her past.
Fast forward a few years and Naomi is a thriving photographer and has settled in a new small town. She enjoys the solitude, but the friendly residents slowly and surely get her to open up -especially a determined Xander. She fears to let anyone get too close because of her past and it becomes her obsession… but is there someone else out there who is just as obsessed? This one is a little long and a little slow in the middle, but Nora Roberts really builds the characters here. This one gets a five stars from me!
Outfit details: Coziest thermal top: Free People, comes in 5 other colors (almost identical, comes in 8 colors) | Leggings: H&M only $6 | Watch: Nixon (similar) | Necklace: Nordstrom, old (very similar) | Glasses: Vera Bradley frames
Have any of you read these books before? If so would love to hear what you thought. I would also love any suggestions/recommendations for similar books that you think you would like.