Review: The End of Her

Title: The End of Her
Author: Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 28, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The new domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door and Someone We Know

In upstate New York, Stephanie and Patrick are adjusting to life with their colicky twin babies. The girls are a handful, but Stephanie doesn’t mind being a stay-at-home mom, taking care of them while Patrick does the nine to five to pay the bills.

When a woman from Patrick’s past drops in on them unexpectedly, raising questions about his late first wife, Stephanie supports her husband wholeheartedly. She knows the car accident all those many years ago was just that–an accident. But Erica is persistent, and now she’s threatening to go to the police.

Patrick is afraid his job–and his reputation–will be at risk if he doesn’t put an end to Erica’s questioning immediately. And when the police start digging, Stephanie’s trust in her husband begins to falter and Patrick is primed to lose everything he loves. As their marriage crumbles, Stephanie feels herself coming unglued, and soon she isn’t sure what–or who–to believe. Now the most important thing is to protect her girls, but at what cost?

Review:

Stephanie and Patrick are new parents to twin girls. They are both severely sleep deprived, which is making Stephanie forgetful. One day, a woman enters their life with a shocking accusation that Patrick murdered his first wife when she was pregnant. Stephanie knew that Patrick’s first wife died in an accident, but when she hears the details, she can’t help but wonder if Patrick is guilty.

This is another great thriller from Shari Lapena. Her books are so fast paced and difficult to put down. I had to stop reading it one evening because I knew if I continued, I wouldn’t be able to put it down to go to sleep. The short chapters with cliffhanger endings make the pages fly by.

There were a lot of characters introduced in the first couple of chapters. It was a little confusing to keep straight at first because there were so many different people. I actually thought I had the story figured out right away. However, there were some shocking twists that kept me surprised right until the last page.

I really enjoyed this fast paced thriller!

Thank you Penguin Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

Have you read The End of Her? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a Books I Loved But Never Reviewed. These are books I read before I started reviewing, but hopefully I’ll be able to review them one day. Here’s my list:

1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

2. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

3. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

4. Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

7. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

8. Emma by Jane Austen

9. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

10. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

(All photos from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Blog Tour Review: Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1)

Title: Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1)
Author: Romina Garber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.

Review:

Manuela Azul has spent her life hiding with her mother in Miami. They are undocumented immigrants, and they have to hide until they get their citizenship papers. Manu’s mother has also hidden her because of her unique eyes. Manu wears sunglasses everywhere to disguise her golden eyes with stars in the pupils. When the woman who Manu and her mother lives with is attacked, Manu has to escape, so she runs to her mother’s work. However, she learns that her mother has actually been lying. Everything Manu thought she knew about their lives is a lie. She runs away to find the real place she belongs.

This story tells an uncomfortable truth about illegal immigrants. Manu lived in fear because of the lies her mother told her, even though she had no say in the matter. The secrets behind Manu’s background added another layer to her immigrant story.

I liked how the story talked about Manu’s body in a realistic and honest way. Her menstrual cycle was related to the lunar cycle, in a way that is described in the book. I’ve often heard readers complain, and I’ve noticed myself, how so many characters in novels, particularly fantasy novels, don’t have to deal with their bodily functions. Sometimes this is explained as the characters being malnourished or stressed and therefore changing the way their body works. The honest way it was talked about in this book makes it relatable for young female readers.

There were a lot of Harry Potter references in this book, which I loved. Though J.K. Rowling has said many offensive things which has lead to people boycotting her, I can’t deny that her books had a great influence on mine and many other people’s childhoods. She may not be the creator we thought she was, but Harry Potter is imbedded in our culture as a way of sharing our stories. Harry Potter has a special meaning to the author, which was mentioned in the author’s note at the end. These references made me relate to and understand the story in a way that wouldn’t have been the same without them.

This is a fabulous story! I can’t wait to read the next story!

Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

About the author:

ROMINA GARBER (pen name Romina Russell) is a New York Times and international bestselling author. Originally from Argentina, she landed her first writing gig as a teen—a weekly column for the Miami Herald that was later nationally syndicated—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her books include Lobizona. When she’s not working on a novel, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

Have you read Lobizona? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – August 10

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished Lobizona by Romina Garber.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The End of Her by Shari Lapena.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – August 9

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Lobizona

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading Lobizona by Romina Garber.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Some people ARE illegal.

Lobizonas do NOT exist.

Both of these statements are false.

Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.

Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.

Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.

As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – Spring Covers

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Spring Colours, so I chose some Spring Covers. Here’s my list:

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

2. The Secrets of Love Story Bridge by Phaedra Patrick

3. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

4. Well Met by Jen DeLuca

5. Kristy’s Big Day by Gale Galligan, Ann M. Martin

6. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a Six for Sunday list?

Review: No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1)

Title: No Judgments (Little Bridge Island #1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: William Morrow
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 24, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life…

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too. 

Review:

Bree Beckham moved to Little Bridge Island in the Florida Keys after a bad break up and some startling discoveries about her family. A hurricane is due to arrive on the island, which is causing many residents to evacuate, but Bree thinks she can wait it out. She goes to her boss’s home, where an extended family lives in a mansion high above sea level and safe from the storm. The storm is much worse than expected, leading to power outages and destroying the bridge that connects the island to the mainland. Bree volunteers to help look after the pets that were left behind, but she needs the help of Drew Hartwell, who has the reputation of being the island’s sexy heartbreaker.

I haven’t read many books about hurricanes, and I have never experienced one. It seems like a scary experience, that can bring unexpected destruction. The hurricane in this story added some extra tension that isn’t usually seen in a romance novel. Bree is naive in thinking the storm won’t affect her very much, since it ends up taking out the power and destroying the only way on and off the island. This storm made the stakes much higher for the characters, but it also threw Bree and Drew together in a way that wouldn’t be possible without it.

I liked how the title “no judgments” was woven through the story. People made many misguided judgments throughout the story. Drew was judged as staying with many different women on the island because his truck was parked at various houses every night. Bree kept saying that the pet owners who left their pets behind when they evacuated shouldn’t be judged for their decision. Bree’s mother was also a famous judge. Despite these reminders not to judge others, characters still made judgments that weren’t necessary.

There are a couple of content warnings for this story. There was a brief scene of animal abuse and a sexual assault was described. These warnings can often make me dislike a book, but these were mild scenes that weren’t offensive. These scenes were short and resolved quickly.

I really enjoyed this romance!

What to read next:

Bridal Boot Camp (Little Bridge Island #0.5) by Meg Cabot

Well Met (Well Met #1) by Jen DeLuca

Other books in the series:

  • Bridal Boot Camp
  • No Offense

Have you read No Judgments? What did you think of it?

Top 5 Saturday – Hidden Gems

This is a weekly meme hosted Devouring Books. This week’s prompt is Hidden Gems. Here’s my list:

1. The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

2. Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

3. The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari

4. Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein

5. Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley

(All book covers from Goodreads)

If you’d like to do this list too, consider yourself tagged!

Did you make a Top 5 Saturday list?