#HeStartedIt by #SamanthaDowning

***** out of 5 *s
#HeStartedIt by #SamanthaDowning
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Holy cow, this book! The word #propulsive was invented to describe this book, I swear.
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Grandpa has died, leaving his 3 grandchildren a whopping bunch of money. The catch? They have to re-create a road trip they took with him 20 years before, and they have to do so EXACTLY.
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Absolutely nobody is who they seem, and absolutely nothing is as it seems to be. Densely plotted, this book is one to devour whole and then immediately, and slowly, re-read for all the things you didn’t notice the first time. My FAVORITE book so far this year.
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#readersofinstsgram #bookishness #bookstagram

#HomeBeforeDark by #RileySager

***** out of 5 *s
#HomeBeforeDark by #rileysager
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The best novel by #RileySager so far, hands down! This is a very brief review because there’s no way I can do a longer one without spoilers.
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Maggie Holt was a child when her parents took her and fled from a home they’d moved into 20 days before, never to return and leaving all of their belongings behind. 25 years later, she inherits the house, Baneberry Hall, and goes back intending to renovate it and sell it.
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The Holts fled a haunted house, according to a book written by Maggie’s father. Maggie, as an adult, believes the entire story was pure fiction invented by her father. But events at the house soon have her doubting everything.
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Shades of #AmityvilleHorror? Check. Things that literally go bump in the night? Check. A book that you won’t be able to put down, and will read with every light in your house on? CHECK.
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#bookstagram #bookishness #scary #horror #creepy #librarylabellove

#SummerDarlings by #BrookeLeaFoster

*** out of 5 *s
#SummerDarlings by #BrookeLeaFoster
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#ARC received from @netgalley.
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This debut is a perfect little #beachread and I highly recommend snapping it up when it publishes in May! That said, though, I did find it jarring in places. My mind kept tripping over idiosyncrasies that stood out pretty glaringly. Inserted throughout this book set in 1962 were speech patterns and word usages straight from today.
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Heddy is a scholarship student at Wellesley who gets offered the job of a lifetime. A budding screenwriter, she becomes a live-in nanny for a wealthy couple on Martha’s Vineyard. She becomes quickly and, in my opinion, naively swept up in their world. She comes to realize that all that glitters is not gold.
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I do recommend this book, as I said, but to be honest it just wasn’t quite for me.
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#readersofinstagram #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #ARC #beachread #maynewreleases #debutnovel #marthasvineyard #1962 #1960s

#MinorDramasAndOtherCatastrophes by #KathleenWest

***** out of 5 *s
#MinorDramasAndOtherCatastrophes by #KathleenWest



A propulsive read that’s a cross between #BigLittleLies and #GossipGirl, this is one heck of a read.



Liston Heights High School is one of those schools privileged kids on their way to the Ivys attend. We get intimate glimpses into the worlds of Julia Abbott, one of the moms, and Isobel Johnson, one of the teachers. As I read, I kept wishing for more to be told from the POV of Tracy, Julia’s daughter at the school.



The book opens with Julia’s son Andrew trying out for the school play. Things escalate quickly from there, as Julia’s victory dance when reading the posted cast list ends with her elbowing, hard, one of the other students. This is caught on a cell phone camera, which quickly goes viral.



Meanwhile, very left-wing teacher Isobel is rapidly shooting her teaching career in the foot as she teaches increasingly controversial things to her students. She’s definitely a #socialjusticewarrior, and in my opinion could have been much more effective at a college level. Isobel finds herself fighting to keep her job.



Things become increasingly worse as the already claustrophobic world of these people shrinks ever inward. Taut and tense, and perfectly plotted, this book seriously needs to become a film or tv series.



#readersofinstagram #librarylabellove #bookstagram #booklove #bookstagrammer

#NothingToSeeHere by #KevinWilson

***** out of 5 *s
#NothingToSeeHere by #KevinWilson
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This book could have been one of those overly-precious, overly-righteous tomes that are, pun intended, a mere flash in the literary pan. However, it manages to skillfully avoid any remote hint of any of that.
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Two 10 year old children, Bessie and Roland, of a US Senator are fire children. Literally. They burst into flames but are physically unharmed. Their stepmother Madison hires an old friend from high school, Lillian, to become their live-in caretaker so that the kids can be out of sight as the Senator is being vetted to become Secretary of State.

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Told with incredible charm and wit, the story follows the ensuing (mis)adventures of the kids and their governess. In this age where the very real anxieties of children goes virtually unnoticed, this age where we have young kids killing themselves because they are invisible and their pain is invisible, Bessie and Roland are literally beacons of hope. And Lillian, from a dirt-poor background, is the voice of people who struggle to raise themselves up.
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I can’t recommend this book highly enough. A choice of @readwithjenna, it’s an incredible read. I read it in one day because I had to find out what happened next. I pictured @awkwafina as Lillian, with her trademark acerbic wit. Perfect book in every way.
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#bookstagram #librarylabellove #readersofinstagram #bookishness #bookstagrammer #anxiety #mentalhealth #poverty

#FridaInAmerica by #CeliaSStahr

*** out of 5 *s
#FridaInAmerica by #CeliaSStahr
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I received a digital ARC of this book via @netgalley in return for an honest review.
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I’ll begin by saying that I know very little about #FridaKahlo and I was thrilled at the chance to learn about her through this book. By the end, I was left dizzy and feeling as if I had wandered through a maze in search of the elusive Frida, who I never found.
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Other reviews praise this book as “well researched” but in my honest opinion, any book with over 30 (!) footnotes per chapter is anything but well researched, and is instead chock full of cribbed notes. The book is very shoddily put together, and jumps around so much and so quickly that, as I said, I felt dizzy.
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To sum up, I think I could easily have learned as much, and more linearly, from Wikipedia. I will be getting the #HaydenHerrera biography of Kahlo.
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#bookstagram #readersofinstagram #bookishness #bookstagrammer #fridakahlo #arc #netgalley

#TheSunDownMotel by #SimoneStJames

***** out of 5 *s
#TheSunDownMotel by #SimoneStJames
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This book is amazing. One of the most intricately and tightly plotted books I’ve ever read! The author does not slip up once as she races through time and between characters.
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It’s not a spoiler when I say that this is also one of the most haunted books I’ve ever read. Ghosts are positively coming out of the woodwork. The story hinges on the tale of Vivian Delaney, who vanished in the 1980s from the Sun Down Motel, and her niece Carly, trying to solve the disappearance in 2017.
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I literally cannot give more details without spoilers, so I’ll stop there. I got this as my January 2020 selection from @bookofthemonth and I am so so glad I picked it.
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#bookstagram #readersofinstagram #bookishness #bookstagrammer #ghosts #mystery #hauntedmotel #botmc #bookofthemonthclub

#LadyClementine by #MarieBenedict

3 out of 5 stars
#LadyClementine by #MarieBenedict



Honestly I almost didn’t finish this one. It’s the fictionalized first-person account of the life of Clementine Churchill, wife of #WinstonChurchill.



The entire book consists of the fictionalized Clementine singing ONLY her own praises, belittling her husband, and severely downplaying Winston’s intelligence and abilities. In short, bleh. No thank you.



#bookstagram #librarylabellove #readersofinstagram #englishhistory #worldwartwo

#Prognosis by #SarahVallance

❄❄❄❄ out of 5 ❄s
#Prognosis by #SarahVallance



This will be a short review as there really isn’t much to say. Sarah Vallance sustained a traumatic brain injury and this book is the story of her decades of struggle after that event. Uplifting, hopeful, brutally honest, this is simply an amazing memoir.



#bookstagram #readersofinstagram #bookishness #bookstagrammer #traumaticbraininjury #memoir

#DarlingRoseGold by #StephanieWrobel

👩‍⚕️👩‍⚕️👩‍⚕️👩‍⚕️👩‍⚕️ out of 5 👩‍⚕️s
#DarlingRoseGold by #StephanieWrobel
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Oh my goodness this is an incredible novel. I received an ARC on @netgalley in return for an honest review.
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With what happened to #gypsyroseblancharde through her mother’s #munchausenbyproxy made international headlines, and this brilliant novel is a clever riff on their story. If you’re not familiar with the case, please do look it up. You’ll be horrified.
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In the novel, Rose Gold Watts is the victim of her mother Patty Watts’ Munchausen syndrome by proxy, meaning that the parent has a vested interest in keeping the child as sick as possible. The parent draws adoration and praise for their endless efforts to get to the root of the child’s illness, though in fact the parent is causing the illness. The parent controls every facet of the child’s life, and Patty Watts does so here.
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None of that is a spoiler as we are dropped into the middle of the story from the start. Patty Watts is getting out of prison, having served 5 years for the abuse of Rose Gold. Rose Gold is an adult, and testified at the trial. In a twist, Rose Gold and her newborn son welcome Patty into their home upon her release.
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And I will end my review there, because any further info would be chock full of spoilers. This book is scheduled to be published in March 2020 and I urge you to add it to your #tbr!
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#bookstagram #readersofinstagram #bookishness #bookstagrammer #munchausenbyproxy #deedeeblancharde #gypsyroseblancharde