Welcome to my non-fiction Shelf Addiction podcast feature! Once a month I feature a non-fiction title that I've read during the current month. If you enjoy this episode and want to see what non-fiction title I'll be discussing next month, please subscribe on your pod catcher of choice.
In this episode, I'm sharing my thoughts on I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara.
If you read this book, let me know what you thought about it by dropping me a comment below!
Publisher: Atria Books/Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: June 12, 2018
Format: Hardcover/MP3 Download
Pages: Hardcover: 352 | Audio Length: 13 hrs 6 mins
Narrator: Corey Brill, Rebekkah Ross
Source: Booksparks/Audiobook Publisher
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.
Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.
Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. Deep down, Lucy knows she has to acknowledge the truth about Stephen. But before she can free herself from this addicting entanglement, she must confront and heal her relationship with her mother—or risk losing herself in a delusion about what it truly means to love.
*This audiobook was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is not a love story. This book is not romantic. This is a story about dangerous and obsessive love with a strong statement about mental health. From lack of empathy to low self-esteem and eating disorders, there is a lot of internal conflicts that feed into this unhealthy relationship from both sides. I'm sure the ongoing drug use didn't help things. Consider this story more a cautionary tale of young and dumb love.
The characters are so realistic that when bad things happened, it promoted an audible reaction from me. Lucy and Stephan have the type of relationship that I wouldn't wish on anyone. Very dysfunctional. If you've ever dated even a mild sociopath, then you will be jarred by some of the things that Stephen does and that Lucy accepts.
Joining me to discuss audiobook version of The Favorite Sister is Brad and Britney from the Audio Shelf podcast! Listen to the podcast episode here. After you listen to the episode, hop on over to their podcast and check out the audiobook discussion that I joined in on there, The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor!
Heads up. This is a #SpoilerAlert for you! If you don't want spoilers, read the book quickly and then come back!
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Format: MP3 Download/Hardcover
Pages: Hardcover: 384 | Audio Length: 15 hours 36 mins
Narrators: Ashlie Atkinson, Jenni Barber, Aja Naomi King
Source: Audible/Book Sparks
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…
Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.
Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.
Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.
Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story.
And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off.
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: Becca Meister Fitzpatrick--wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community--is the dutiful steward of her family's iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter's boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel--with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship--will react.
Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca's family--her parents' beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother's own secret struggles in the grand home her father named "Eden."
*This book was provided by the publicist/publisher in exchange for a honest review.
Eden is a house that is built on Long Harbor, and Becca is the current caretaker of the property. The home has been passed down through her family for generations after her up and coming grandfather built it for his family. The story revolves around not just Becca, but all of Eden’s inhabitants. Chapters are told in alternating time periods; 1940’s when Bunny and Sadie owned the house, and the year 2000, when the house is owned by the family as a whole (but Becca lives there). The dual timeline provides an interesting look at the workings of this family as it grows, ages, and changes.
I will say that there are a LOT of characters in this book. A LOT. I was struggling trying to remember who was who, and how they were related to one another throughout the entirety of the book. The dynamics of the family also naturally changed between the alternating timelines which didn’t help me with trying to remember just how everybody added up in the familial equation.
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Genre: Womens Fiction, Chick Lit
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis:Letting go after her abrupt break-up with Samson is harder than Julene thought it would be, especially since her ex has wasted no time in burying himself in the local dating scene. But during an extended visit to her parents overseas, Julene rediscovers her love of art, and a burgeoning career develops. Samson, on the other hand, after trying valiantly--and unsuccessfully--to forget Julene, has settled instead on his own new career.
When Julene returns home to Australia, a coincidental meeting leads to an emotional reunion--but her love and patience will be tested when she finds out just how busy Samson has been in her absence. Yes, they have both made mistakes they can work through and move past--but when a specter from Samson's past looms, Julene wonders: Can she trust him again?
* This book was provided by BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.
Micayla Lally really knows how to draw you into her book! Told by back and forth perspectives of the two main characters, Julene and Samson, you get a great view of how their lives have shaped them post-breakup. The characters start out in a Yin and Yang-type fashion, one doing amazingly with a new, optimistic start to their life, and the other in a downward-spiral that made them a hard character to like. The juicy plot gets to a great start and I couldn’t put it down for the first few chapters.
… However, that’s where my interest peaked. The next 150 pages were spent forcing myself through unrealistic character interaction, awkward dialogue and not too much actual plot development. The chapters started out with colorful detail, but quickly turned into choppy descriptions that read more like a list of their daily activities. There were so many opportunities to develop scenes, slow down the pace, and create compelling interaction with secondary characters; but every time Lally got close, it would cut to the next scene. The only thing keeping me going was the thought that “there HAS to be a climax coming at some point.”
Today I'm sharing a special book review post. I teamed up with Erica Watkins from book blog The Literary Apothecary to share a dual review. Let me tell you how this works. We both read the same title and posted reviews on each others blogs. If you'd like to read my review of Every Last Lie, head on over to Erica's blog to read it.
Without further ado, read on and find out what Erica thought of Every Last Lie. Connect with Erica on Twitter to see whenever she posts new content!
Publisher: Park Row Books
Release Date: June 27, 2017
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Synopsis: "The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us."
Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.
Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick's death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.
Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara's investigation and Nick's last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.
Sometimes a book receives so much hype and praise that you feel inclined to read it, WEll, that is what happened with Every Last Lie. What I was led to believe was a psychological thriller, was more a schizophrenic gallop through the minds of a suicidal dentist and his hair-brained (albeit realistic) wife as she resolves to accept the reason for his death.
Clara Solberg and her husband Nick have just welcomed a new addition to their family -- Felix. Along with his sister Maisie, these two innocent children have no idea who is raising them. The story opens with news of Nick’s accident and escalates as Clara slowly spirals out of control. The ending was smooth, though I was expecting an epic plot twist to warrant the marketing of the book as a “psychological thriller.”
Publisher: Delacorte Press | Listening Library
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Format: Audio MP3
Pages: Hardcover: 256 pages | Audio Length: 6 hours 32 mins
Narrator: Tara Sands
Source: Audiobook Publisher
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 3 bookmarks
Synopsis: Alexandria Prep is about to be exposed.
Senior spring was supposed to mean sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her perfect basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.
But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.
Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives:
Sometimes we share too much.
*This audiobook was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review.
While this book is young adult, I believe it would cater to a variety of audiences. I enjoyed this book, and like a lot of my fellow social-media addicts, I enjoyed hearing all the drama that unfolded. However, this book teaches a very big lesson: once something (a picture, video, or text) is posted on the Internet, it can’t be taken back. I grew up when technology was first becoming really popular, to date me back a few years, my high school cell phone flipped and social media sites were only accessed with a college e-mail address. Anti-social not only gave me a clear description of how social media has taken over our youth, but it also made me glad I graduated when I did.
Book & Audiobook