Review Time: All the Missing Girls

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All the Missing Girls was a book I was super excited about reading. I mean… What mystery lover isn’t going to be stoked to dive into a book touted as the next Girl on the Train?! Count me in.

The premise of the book was intriguing on it’s own — a small-town is reeling after the disappearance of a second young woman in the span of 10 years. Nicolette Farrell’s best friend Corinne went missing after a day out at the local fair and Nic left a devastated town behind in an attempt to move on from that tragic day. Ten years later, Nic is forced to return to her hometown to deal with with her ailing father and the past is drudged up when another young woman, Nic’s neighbor Annaleise, goes missing. The kicker of the story though? It’s told in reverse. From Day 15 to Day 1. Which took my excitement about it from a regular 7 to an overwhelming 12.

Telling the story backwards, though, turned out to be the reason I didn’t much care for the book as a whole. The story was interesting — family drama, shady characters, lies, deceit, secrets. But the format of the story made it hard to follow along with the dual mystery of Anneleise’s new disappearance and Corinne’s unsolved one. I didn’t hate it then, though. It took a little bit more back-and-forth than usual to remember where I was and what had just happened, but I was still intrigued. The end though, that Day 1 chapter, was where it lost me. As it turns out, Nicolette had known the answer to the mystery since her first day in town. And once you learn that, you can think back to everything else that happened in Cooley Ridge over the past two weeks and feel duped. Why was she questioning so much when she already knew what happened? What was the point of documenting the following two weeks if the mystery was already solved? What the heck?

I think the book had the potential to be stellar — an intriguing plot with an interesting style twist. But the lackluster plot development and the difficult arrangement just made All the Missing Girls fall a little flat for this mystery lover. Womp womp.

Grade:★★☆☆☆

 

To Read: June Edition

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This month, this first month of “summer,” is really where the temptations and nostalgia lie. The skies are sunny. The wind is brutal. And we’re stuck inside all. day. long. It really is heartbreaking. These are the days when I reminisce about the days of old when I used to drag my blanket and pillow into the backyard, set up my own little reading corner and work on my suntan. But now, no more reading corner and definitely no more suntan. Though I’m not sure there ever was much tanning to begin with… I’m pretty sure I could give Snow White a run for her money these days. Though my hair is less perfectly coifed and wild animals don’t like me that much…

BUT. Back to the important things. Even if there are fewer hours to devote to diving into new reads, that doesn’t mean I won’t try my darnedest. So let’s get reading.

Daisy in Chains: A serial killer. A defense attorney turned writer. A claim of a wrongful conviction. A recipe for a page-turner.

Find Her: This one is yet another installment of the D.D. Warren series, the kick-ass Boston detective who don’t take no shit from nobody. This time, a kidnap victim goes missing again and it’s a race against the clock to find her before her demons do. You can do it, D.D.

All the Missing Girls: A decade after one girl’s heartbreaking disappearance, another has gone missing in a sleepy North Carolina town (can you sense a theme here?). And one person seems to be connected to them both. Dun, dun, dun.

Perfect Husband: Because I can’t get enough, I’m diving into yet another Lisa Gardner detective series. And it looks like it’s going to be awesome. In this first installment, a hardened killer has escaped from prison and is coming after the woman who helped put him there — his wife. And she’s going to be ready for him when he gets there.

Maybe next month I’ll pick something that isn’t a murder mystery. Maybe.

To Read: March Edition

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It’s March. Which means March Madness. Which means my boyfriend will be glued to the television for an insane amount of time watching college kids play with basketballs. Which means that I will have SO MUCH TIME for book reading this month. Which means I’m doing my happy dance over here.

And this month I’ve got some books that I’ve been really looking forward to cracking open. Another from my new favorite Mary Kubica. Another from my other new favorite Lisa Gardner. And another World War II saga. Because I can’t get enough of any of those. And also because the library finally decided they would loan each of them to me after a stupid long time. Po-tate-oh, po-taht-oh. Let’s get to it.

Pretty Baby: Heidi Wood spots a seemingly homeless girl and her infant daughter on Chicago’s “El” and can’t shake them from her mind. She works to befriend the girl, but what she learns as their relationship grows could put her and her family in danger. Mystery and intrigue, FTW.

Lilac Girls: This story follows three girls from three very different walks of life as they navigate through Hitler’s tumultuous Germany. The ad copy for the book likens it to The Nightengale, another WWII-era novel that I think I’ve decided is my favorite book of all time. So, I’m a little excited about this one, to say the very least.

Fear Nothing: It’s taken me almost 11 weeks to get this 8th installment of the D.D. Warren series and I’m beyond excited to break into it. A new serial killer is roaming around Boston and it’s up to D.D. to make sense of everything. But, as per usual, the obstacles are stacked against her and it isn’t going to be easy. I can’t wait to see you soon, D.D.!

Happy reading!

To Read: February Edition

 

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We’re in the throes of winter up here in Chicago. The days are getting longer, but they’re not long yet. You can still see a sliver of sunshine when you leave the office, but night will have fallen before your bus completes the 20-minute journey home. The sun manages to peek through the clouds some days, but the snow still has a mind of its own. (I love the snow though, so I won’t complain about that one.) You’ve worn out your entire collection of sweaters, but you can’t fathom walking outside with any sliver of skin exposed. Despite all of the less than glamorous aspects of the late-January (almost-February) Chicago winter, there’s nothing better than hanging around the house in your not-for-public-viewing (aka kind of grungy) grandma sweats with a book in hand and the snow making a scene outside the window. And maybe some hot chocolate with the tiny marshmallows. Because the tiny marshmallows are the best.

For February, I’ve got a few more books from my long-term Holds lists in my queue and I’m excited to finally get to dive into these beauties. So grab your own book and mug of hot chocolate and let’s get to this. Happy reading, folks!

The Dollhouse: This is one of the “days of yore” novels that I love to dive into–getting lost in the golden days when life was a little slower and fashion was a little fancier. This is a two-part story about a young girl’s life in an NYC hotel in 1952 and a current-day reporter trying to uncover just what happened inside those walls so many years ago. Mystery, intrigue and a little bit of glamour? I’m sold!

Don’t You Cry: I placed a hold on this thriller the minute I finished Mary Kubica’s second novel, The Good Girl. This is a story of a young woman vanished, a young man crushing and a best friend left wondering. If it’s anything like The Good Girl, I know I’m in for quite a treat.

You Are a Badass: Because sometimes you just need to be reminded that you are, indeed, a badass. This one was recommended to me by a friend who just finished it (and subsequently landed quite the dream job). I ponied up and bought it (shocking, I know!) so I can notate the heck out of it and be the best badass I can be.

That’s all for this month, folks. Until next time!

To Read: January Edition

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Hey guys! Finally back on the bandwagon! After a shamingly long time (and one forgotten password later), we are back to rocking and rolling! This month (or really these last two weeks of the month), I’m finally hoping to tackle two books that I’ve had on my library Holds list since before Christmas. And the weather is looking promisingly awful this weekend, so I’m hoping for lots of cozy couch time. And lots of reading snacks. Because those are sometimes definitely the best part. Happy reading, folks!

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica: I’ve been on a massive mystery kick lately, so I’m excited to dive into this thriller about a girl who goes missing and the family secrets that begin to emerge in her absence. It looks dark and twisted and right up my alley.

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett: In a stark contrast to the grisly murder mysteries I’ve been enthralled with over the past few months, this crazy convoluted story of two families forced to merge and mingle after a fateful christening party promises to be both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Until next time!

To Read: September Edition

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Confession: I didn’t make it through July’s list. That’s the problem with relying on the public library to supply your e-books… It takes a while. And as it tends to happen, I’ve been on the waiting list for these books for three months and all of them have become available in the past two weeks. Needless to say… I’ve got some work to do. Happy reading!

The Girls by Emma Cline :  This novel, loosely based on the Charles Manson phenomenon, promises to be creepy yet seductive, a lot like Manson himself. As someone who listens to probably too many true crime podcasts, I can’t wait to dive into this one.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub : A story about college friends moving through life together, this one hits home for all of us that are watching our adolescent relationships blossom and change as get older.

Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler : Another “coming of age” novel, this one follows one girl’s journey into terrifying and exhilarating adulthood in NYC. I’m excited to break into this one as I try to navigate an adulthood journey of my own in Chicago.

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani : This is story of friendship, money and love, not in any particular order. The setting is the rich and elusive world of 1950s Texas socialites and the mystery is the secrets that everyone carries with them – a promising premise indeed.

To Read: July Edition

It’s officially summertime here in Chicago. The days are long and the heat is up and I’m going to be filling my July with fun, easy beach reads. I’ve never lived this close to a beach before (hey Lake Michigan!), so I’m excited to pack up some snacks, a mini bottle of wine (shhh) and a good book and spend a few hours each week lounging in the sun. If I’m being honest, I’ll read the majority of these on my iPad because 1) my bookshelves are stuffed to the gills and I’m being threatened with divorce if I try to cram any more in them and 2) e-checking out library books is MUCH more convenient than actually trudging all the way to the library. Plus, it’s a little bit like Christmas when you wake up to an email that one of your “On-Hold” books is ready for download! However you plan on reading your books this summer, make sure you check out (or buy or borrow) these four titles. Continue reading →