Recent Reads

What Alice Forgot by Laine Moriarty

Synopsis - Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.
So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes.
Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over.

Thoughts - This book has been sitting on my bookshelf for years. I keep on picking up the newer stuff to read and the older books just getting older. So earlier this year I let the kids pick out my next read so there is no bias. This was also my first time reading anything by Laine Moriarty. Though I have seen Big Little Lies.
I enjoyed this book. We start the book with a lovable, sweet Alice and when she comes to on the gym floor after hitting her head she is no longer a very sweet or lovable person. In fact she is everything she was sure she never would be. But that wasn't all the book focused on. It dealt with infertility, learning to let go and the ideas of perfection. All these bits interested me, each character, not just Alice going through their own thing. But what I wondered about most was, does a person really change that much in ten years? I look back at myself 10 years ago and I would have been a mother of a one year old. But if I woke up from that me to the me that I am now I don't think I would be so shocked with my life. Would you? 


Unseen by Karin Slaughter

Synopsis - Will Trent is a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent whose latest case has him posing as Bill Black, a scary ex-con who rides a motorcycle around Macon, Georgia, and trails an air of violence wherever he goes. The cover has worked and he has caught the eye of a wiry little drug dealer who thinks he might be a useful ally. But undercover and cut off from the support of the woman he loves, Sara Linton, Will finds his demons catching up with him.
Although she has no idea where Will has gone, or why, Sara herself has come to Macon because of a cop shooting: Her stepson, Jared, has been gunned down in his own home. Sara holds Lena, Jared’s wife, responsible: Lena, a detective, has been a magnet for trouble all her life, and Jared’s shooting is not the first time someone Sara loved got caught in the crossfire. Furious, Sara finds herself involved in the same case that Will is working without even knowing it, and soon danger is swirling around both of them.

Thoughts - I have said this before, I have read no author as much as I have read Karin Slaughter. She is a master a face paced, intense crime stories. She does not shy away from blood and gore, broken characters and twisted evil. 

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann

Synopsis - A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare. She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn’t their Lena.
The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn’t sharing, and Lena’s devastated father is trying to piece together details that don’t quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.

Thoughts - The book promised a dark and twisted tale, a thrilling mystery. And while many parts of it were thrilling and the twist as the end did catch me by surprise I found a lot of the middle part slow and boring. So not a must read for me. 

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Synopsis - Walk has never left the coastal California town where he grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released. Duchess is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Her mother, Star, grew up with Walk and Vincent. Walk is in overdrive trying to protect them, but Vincent and Star seem bent on sliding deeper into self-destruction. Star always burned bright, but recently that light has dimmed, leaving Duchess to parent not only her mother but her five-year-old brother. At school the other kids make fun of Duchess―her clothes are torn, her hair a mess. But let them throw their sticks, because she’ll throw stones. Rules are for other people. She’s just trying to survive and keep her family together.
A fortysomething-year-old sheriff and a thirteen-year-old girl may not seem to have a lot in common. But they both have come to expect that people will disappoint you, loved ones will leave you, and if you open your heart it will be broken. So when trouble arrives with Vincent King, Walk and Duchess find they will be unable to do anything but usher it in, arms wide closed.

Thoughts - Oh this was a heartbreaker.. it took me a while to touch another book after I read this one. It was so beautifully written, such beautiful characters each with their baggage. I am lucky to have never had to experience such poverty, I had the love of both parents and it led to my ability to create a loving and safe environment for my children. But there are so so many children who are not that lucky. The things they have to endure.. we can not even begin to imagine. I absolutely loved this book.. it had a slow start and I didn't know what to expect from it but there were pages where I had to stop reading because I could no longer see the words through my watery eyes. It's not for everyone.. there is also A LOT of cursing in it. But if you like a gut wrenching read this is the book for you. 

The Damage by Caitlin Wahrer

Synopsis - Tony has always looked out for his younger brother, Nick. So when he's called to a hospital bed where Nick is lying battered and bruised after a violent sexual assault, his protective instincts flare, and a white-hot rage begins to build.
As a small-town New England lawyer, Tony's wife, Julia, has cases involving kids all the time. When Detective Rice gets assigned to this one, Julia feels they're in good hands. Especially because she senses that Rice, too, understands how things can quickly get complicated. Very complicated.
After all, one moment Nick was having a drink with a handsome stranger; the next, he was at the center of an investigation threatening to tear not only him, but his entire family, apart. And now his attacker, out on bail, is disputing Nick's version of what happened.
As Julia tries to help her brother-in-law, she sees Tony's desire for revenge, to fix things for Nick, getting out of control. Tony is starting to scare her. And before long, she finds herself asking: does she really know what her husband is capable of? Or of what she herself is?

Thoughts - My kids have been picking out a lot of serious books for me. But then again I own all these serious book.. not a lot of light beach reads on my shelf. So can't really blame them. This was my second book about sexual assault this year. The first one being The Night Swim. But here the victim is male. The Night Swim focused more on the legal case. Here in The Damage it is more about the effects of a sexual assault on the assaulted (I am trying to stay away from the word victim) and their family. The role gender has to play.. we kind of gotta a taste of that in Disclosure for those of us old enough to remember that movie. Nick's family also has a large role to play in the book.. an unexpected twist with his brother and sister in law. If you are okay with reading about these tough topics then I recommend this one. 

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Angie's Recipes said…
I need to get my Kindle update! What Alice Forgot by Laine Moriarty and We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker sound something I would really enjoy!
Jennifer said…
These all sound good!

Curated By Jennifer
I always enjoy your book reviews. I really liked Bear Town (from a previous rec)! I will keep some of these in mind for my next book. I read What Alice Forgot awhile ago and I remember thinking it was a little "off". I hope you had a great weekend.
Kelly said…
You've made some good recommendations here and a couple may have to go on my list. Big Little Lies is the only Liane Moriarty I've read and my entire book club loved it. So, I'm definitely interested in What Alice Forgot.

I read Dear Child and enjoyed it overall, but will agree it's not the absolute best. I liked the twists throughout.
These sound really good. I definitely will add Unseen and The Damage to my list.
Abdel Ben said…
These all sound amazing!! Thanks for sharing.

Abdel | Infinitely Posh.
These all sound good. I still need to finish my last summer book! Aghh!! I am so not doing well with reading lately! I miss it!

Cindy said…
What Alice Forgot sounds good. I am not sure if I would be shocked with how much I have changed in 10 years, but my kiddos? For sure!
Some great reads there. Karin Slaughter is an excellent writer isn't she? A blogger I follow (who no longer posts) said that she was wonderful in person too.
Emmylou said…
Unseen sounds right up my alley! And We Begin At The End sounds interesting too! Thanks for the reviews of these books, Hena:)
Christine said…
Sounds good
I have read a few books by Liane Moriarty and like her style of writing. I will have to check out What Alice Forgot.
Wow. These look like fabulous reads. The only one I've read is What Alice Forgot, and I found it to be well written.
Oh, I always love your book reviews. I haven't been reading as much lately so my wish list is getting incredibly long. But thanks for adding to it.
These all sound good, but te the first one in particular. Very interesting idea.

Allie of
Veronica Lee said…
A great list you have here, Hena.

Happy Tuesday!
I really enjoyed that Liane Moriarty book too. It was such an interesting concept. All of the other books are new to me so thanks for the recs. :)
Liz A. said…
You've read quite a few books lately. Good for letting your kids pick. Sometimes it's hard to start books that have been sitting around for a while.
Lovely said…
Unseen is definitely up my alley!
Debbie said…
i am not a is so nice that you do these reviews for your readers!!
I loved We Begin at the End.

It's been a while since I checked in on Will Trent.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on your latest reads, Hena. I'll be on the lookout for both What Alice Forgot and We Begin at the End, both of which sound very much up my street! xxx
Rach said…
I've been going back and forth if I should read The Damage. I find it interesting that this is a change of gender. I read Night Swim and I thought it was good book. I'm also interested in What Alice Forgot. I've never heard of it but the synopsis got me hooked!
awhite said…
Unseen sounds like an amazing read!

Le Stylo Rouge
Janie Junebug said…
I read Big Little Lies after seeing the series and found I liked the series better--maybe because of its American-ness. I seldom prefer a series or movie to a book.

karen said…
the first book is on my radar but I have yet to read it! I need to bump it to the top of the list :)
Laura B said…
These all look like great books!
I loved Big Little Lies (on TV), so I'd probably like What Alice Forgot.
Mica said…
I've never read anything by Liane Moriarty although I know people really enjoy her books (especially the ones turned into movies and series!) I just don't like reading books that deal with such dark things, haha!

I think I'd be really surprised if 10 years ago me work up today forgetting everything, and really sad, as I wouldn't remember having my kids! they are both under 10!

Hope that you are having a great weekend :) Thankfully the rain has stopped here!

Away From The Blue
Amy Johnson said…
Thank you for reviewing these books for us!
Sugar Lane said…
I'm so curious about Alice now! Thanks for sharing,
have a great weekend,
Julia Shkvo said…
Great post! I like your blog, Dear ♥

I invite you to take a look at my blog
Shkvo Space | Instagram

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