Book Club

Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris is a twisted psychological thriller about a couple that is seemingly perfect. Living a life of luxury and filled with love and admiration for one another, Jack and Grace seem to have it all. But not every couple, or person for that matter, is perfect.

Jack is an extremely handsome, successful and wealthy prosecutor that fights against one of the worst types of criminals, abusive men. He has the manners of royalty to boot. It is no wonder that when Grace meets him she is extremely taken by him. He sweeps her off her feet and caters to her, surprising her with trips and houses. He is wealthy enough that Grace no longer needs to work, even though she’d like to stay busy. But he insists on taking over all of the breadwinning.

To their friends eyes, Grace has it so easy and has the most attentive husband. But is he too attentive, too controlling? Grace soon finds that the man she married is not the man she thought he was. And in reality, the work he does has a twisted meaning to him.

Grace has a disabled younger sister that will soon be coming to live with them and Jack could not be more happy. The plans he has are much less than loving.

Will Grace be able to save herself and her sister? Will she get away? Or is she as crazy as he makes her out to be, and imagining it all?

This book will make you second guess those “perfect” relationships you see in others. Everyone has their own secrets and issues behind their doors.

Book Club

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

 

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng is a dramatic book about a family with a Chinese background that tries to fit in to a predominantly white American community. The father in the family is of full Chinese heritage and the mother is fully Caucasian. The story will tap into the struggle of a mixed race marriage as well as that of growing up biracial.

This book tells the story of a young girl, Lydia, who is faced with a lot of pressure from both her father and her mother. This young girl has a lot of struggles being of a biracial minority within her school, trying to fit in and also trying to live up to her father and mothers completely different expectations.
She is not an only child and while each child within the family has completely different roles, hers holds the most pressure.

When Lydia goes missing and is found no longer alive there are many questions: did the young boy down the street with a troubled upbringing, who has she had been hanging out with every day for the past several months, do something? There’s no way she could have done this to herself, right? She was the perfect daughter, well liked, social, smart, or was that all a facade?

The family struggles to discover what happened while secrets come out. In the end they will be stronger than they were before, even if they never do find out why exactly this tragedy happened.

Book Club

Not That I Could Tell – Jessica Strawser

 

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser is a mystery regarding a missing woman and her children. Where did they go? What happened? Are they alive? These are all questions that her friends and neighbors asked internally and to one another.

She was last seen at a quaint backyard get together with her friends and neighbors. This small neighborhood, located in small town Yellow Springs, Ohio, is full of a handful of strong, close women and mothers. But in this small town, how is it that her friends could know so little about her?

One of her neighbors gets a little too close for comfort while another has been too close to a situation like this before. Even the children of this small little cul-de-sac are affected, one digging around for her self-created “neighborhood newspaper” that will create issues for more than a couple people on the street.

Place yourself within this small community to help figure out what happened and why. Strawser did a great job of telling this story and connecting dots between several relationships and characters.

 

Side Note: Yellow Springs, Ohio has recently come up on my radar, prior to reading this book, and I intend to take a day trip here to document it for the blog under my Fun With The Fam category. It is a small “hippie town” in which the comedian Dave Chappelle lives. It is home to lots of natural springs and hiking, as well as some awesome small owned shops and cafes. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was based out of that small little town. Look for my blog post on this small town soon!

Book Club

The Woman In the Window – A.J. Finn

The woman in the window by A.J. Finn is a thrilling and mysterious story about Dr. Anna Fox and her many neighbors.

Dr. Fox is a psychologist who has had a trauma that left her with many life-altering issues of her own, one of which is the inability to leave the comforts of her home.

A lover of black and white movies and a good game of chess, Dr. Fox is often left alone with her thoughts and memories. When her life becomes it’s very own version of a Hitchcock movie everyone, including herself, begins to wonder if she’s living in reality or a horrific made up drama.

This story will have you guessing until the final few pages how damaged Dr. Fox’s mental state may be. Who is real? What is real? Has she just been a lonesome spy? Is she looking out for the protection of her neighbors? Find out for yourself in this psychological thriller.

Book Club

The Family Next Door – Sally Hepworth

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth was captivating tale about 3 women who are neighbors on a cul-de-sac. Fran, Ange and Essie are all mothers and wives but that is the only things they have in common. Each of these women are a little bit different in personality but vastly different in the secrets they each keep.

A new woman, Isabelle, comes into the picture and shakes things up – especially for Essie. Barbara, Essie’s mother and yet another neighbor on the cul-de-sac might hold the biggest secret of all, which Isabelle is ready to share with the world.

Between infidelity, sexuality and paternity questions, these women all have a lot to filter through and deal with. The underlying tone of this book is to be content with the life that you are given. Some of these women have taken or are taking their blessings or lives for advantage. Some have been dealt an extremely rough hand. But in the end, this book makes you want to appreciate what you have. But also stand up for yourself and be appreciated in return.

Secrets are all out in the open in the end. Families are united, reunited or maybe even divided for the best.

This book was unlike our normal psychological thrillers, but it was full of drama, much like a daytime soap opera. It was definitely well received and we intend to read more from this author. Hope you all enjoyed something a little different!

 

Book Club

Two Girls Down – Louisa Luna

Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna is a story about sisters that go missing from their mother’s car while she runs a quick shopping errand, basically every mother’s worst nightmare. With the help of two private investigators that combine their efforts, and the local police department and the FBI, every lead is investigated to attempt to find these two girls.

Two other open missing girls cases from several years prior end up giving clues to what may have happened, what tied these cases together and who may have been at hand. Private Investigators Alice Vega and Max Caplan team up in this terrifying tale in an effort to save these two girls, while also solving the mystery of the other missing girl cases.

Vega and Cap’s relationship is a strange one that develops into something a bit more in time. Vega is a strong, fierce character that doesn’t put up with any bull****. Even though, she has soft spots that crack her from time to time and she comes to find she doesn’t mind being vulnerable with “Cap”. Cap is an ex-officer whose marriage crumbled after he took the fall for another officer years ago and lost his job. Vega ends up fitting in quite nicely to Cap’s family picture with his teenage daughter, Nell.

There are many key characters in this book that each give important bits of information, leading Cap and Vega down the path for answers. But Vega also remarkably can read characters well to know when someone is lying or holding something back.

This book was a great one and well worth the read. It was fun to read from the perspective of the private investigators and follow the case leads rather than from the perspective of the victims. It left you in the dark as to what was going on, why they were taken and by whom.

Book Club

Losing Brave – Bailee Madison & Stefne Miller

This story involves twin sisters, Payton and Dylan, in a small town. Everyone knows everyone, so when one of the Brave twins goes mysteriously missing – someone has to know something, right? The one who knows the most might be closer than the Braves think.

Once you get into this book you realize that the Brave twin isn’t the first, or the last, local girl to go missing near this town. Is she still alive or has she been killed? What is the motive? Who could do such a thing?

The trauma caused her to forget but, as the first year goes by, the remaining sister gets closer and closer to figuring out what happened in that bus station bathroom. She also gets closer to finding out who she really is. Taking on a new persona and collecting all the information on the missing girls cases, she leaves behind her Bubblegum-Barbie lifestyle to get down to the facts and help solve her sister’s case.

Losing Brave by Bailee Madison and Stefne Miller will leave you second guessing even your closest friend or neighbor.

Book Club

Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

There have been very few novels that I have read that required me to map out the characters on a separate paper to keep track of the relations and story line, past and present. But this was one of the few. There were so many characters introduced in the first handful of pages that I would have been completely lost without mapping them out. Having the paper helped me to reference the who and the why for the first several chapters until I had memorized the relationships.

That being said, having so many characters within this book is exactly what made it so good. There were so many players involved that it was unclear which motive would be the one to explain the end result.

The town in this book had a history of mysterious deaths or potential suicides, all revolving around one specific area of the town, named the Drowning Pool. Initially charged by the death/drowning of a witch many moons before, there was something about this body of water that drew people to it. But no worries, there is no hocus pocus in this story. Just the stories of several lives intertwined until a tangle happens and disaster strikes. Or several tangles.

Follow the story of Jules and Lena as they try to discover why their loved one killed herself OR who killed her and why. And as they discover the answer, answers for two other deaths are uncovered as well.

Book Club

The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

“Welcome to Oz” because this Kansas home is nothing normal, where all the girls have either passed away or ran away. In this book, The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel, there is a house with a name, Roanoke, like a living, breathing person. And ticking off the family members by memory that lived here, they are gone, dead, dead, gone…but what caused these ‘Roanoke girls’ to all leave one way or another?

Lane Roanoke comes to this home, after a tragedy, and finds the truth about her family. It’s enough to make her run too, after only one summer. But her cousin, Allegra -who she befriended instantly during that summer stay, has grown up in that home and always stayed, no matter how bad the damage.

Upon receiving a call from dearest grandpa that Allegra too has now gone missing, a decade later, Lane is drawn back to this town and the Roanoke house to deal with her past, the summer she left behind like a bad dream, and her cousin’s mysterious clues. Lane refuses to allow herself to be the next ‘Roanoke girl’ to get sucked into this nightmarish setup.

Book Club

The Lying Game – Ruth Ware

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware is a story about 4 women, living separate lives, that have one thread that strings them all back together.

As teens they lived one wild summer together at a boarding school on the coast, escaping on the weekends to one of their homes where anything was allowed. One night they all took part in an act that would change the course of their lives and create the 4 women they are today.

As their past cannot stay hidden, Kate, Fatima, Thea and Isa all end up back at the Salten Arms to deal with the mistakes they made and face reality. But who’s mistake are they really dealing with? The whole town seems to think that they are still the young, reckless girls of their past. As the walls all come crashing down around them, the story comes out and the women realize what it is that really happened during their youth. Although – one of them knew the truth all along.