Throwback Thursday – The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley

throwbackthursday

Throwback Thursday is a meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk to share old favorite books rather than just the new shiny ones. This is a great idea to bring back to life some much-loved books. Please feel free to join in.

My choice for this week is:  The Things That Keep Us Here by Carla Buckley

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Goodreads Description

Everything seems quiet on Ann Brooks’s suburban cul-de-sac. Despite her impending divorce, she’s created a happy home and her daughters are adjusting to the change. She feels lucky to be in a supportive community and confident that she can handle any other hardship that life may throw her way. But then, right before Thanksgiving, a crisis strikes that turns everybody’s world upside down. Suddenly her estranged husband is forced back onto her doorstep, bringing with him his beautiful graduate assistant. Trapped inside the house she once called home, confronted by challenges she never could have imagined, Ann must make life-or-death decisions in an environment where the simple act of opening a door to a neighbor could jeopardize all she holds dear.

The choices she makes will impact the lives of those around her irrevocably and linger in the reader’s memory in this marvelous first novel, written with authority, grace, and wisdom.

 

I read THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE about four years ago and it’s another one of those books that has stuck with me. It was very different from books I’d previously read. Up until then I hadn’t read any books that dealt with pandemics. Of course this book is about a lot more than that, and I thought it was an excellent read.

A book that really makes you think. Some of the choices that the characters had to make were heartbreaking . Though highly entertaining, it also had me asking myself some very hard questions about what I would do in the face of some of the situations that came up in the story. Really had me wondering “what if?”

An awesome plot with well-written and believable characters. Some you will love and some you will love to hate. The picture of mankind in midst of devastation. There will definitely be some ugliness. The things we take for granted like water and power plus a million other things become so precious that people will fight..even kill for it. People who were once your neighbors and friends are now your enemies who may want to steal from you or worse. People who may also make you sick. I was honestly biting my nails (I know…nasty habit), wondering what was going to happen next to this family. 

Carla Buckley has written a fantastic novel. One that is entertaining but also makes you think about what’s important in life.  This was an emotional read that I powered through in one day. I couldn’t put it down.

THE THINGS THAT KEEP US HERE is another book I would read again in a heartbeat.

Highly recommended!

Review – The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta

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The Last Good Girl by Allison Leotta (Anna Curtis #5)

Published May 3,  2016

Touchstone

4 Stars!!

When I started reading this book, I didn’t realize it was a part of a series. I should know better as this has happened to me before. Had I checked Goodreads, I would have seen that it was in fact book #5 of the Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. However, the description intrigued me so I thought I’d give it a go……..and I’m really glad I did.

Prosecutor Anna Curtis is at home relaxing with her sister and niece when she sees the news that a university student is missing. When they play the grainy surveillance footage that shows the girl being pursued by a man the night she was last seen, Anna says a little prayer for her. What Anna doesn’t realize is that she will soon be at the center of this story, an integral part of the investigation into what has happened.

At the same time Anna is also trying to figure out a few things in her personal life.

Emily Shapiro (it does say Emma in the description but her name is Emily in the book) is a freshman at Michigan university who has gone missing. Emily recently filed rape charges against a member of the a popular fraternity, nicknamed “the rape factory.” Right away the boy in the tape is identified as Dylan Highsmith. Dylan is the student that Emily filed charges against.

Making the case even more sensitive is that Emily’s father is the president of Tower University. As well, Dylan Highsmith belongs to Beta Psi, a powerful college fraternity. His father is also a very powerful politician. Anna and her team are worried that Dylan’s father will impede the investigation.

Where is Emily?

Anna finds out that Emily was keeping a VLOG for one of her courses she hopes that it will help her learn more about Emily and Dylan.

The majority of the story is told from Anna’s point of view but with a few others mixed in. We are given more background into Anna’s life and some difficult choices that she’s facing. There are also chapters with Emily’s VLOG that really added to the story. I was gripped from the first page right through to the end of the book.

This book is inspired by real life stories and I have seen many of these cases in the news. It’s hard to believe that things that are portrayed in this book still go on, but the sad reality is that they do. There were a couple of parts in the book that upset me so much that I was literally shaking. Not only in regards to sexual assault but also college hazing. I wanted to think that what I was reading was fiction or an exaggeration but I know that’s unlikely.

I don’t understand how some Universities can care so little for their students. Some do seem to be about the big donors and making sure that they keep incidents out of the media. On top of that there are many cases where Universities have outright lied about how many actual assaults occurred on campus. When I came to a part of the book where a College Sexual Assault Disciplinary Hearing was taking place, I was horrified. I have a feeling that some of these hearings have definitely gone the way it was depicted in the book.

I found it interesting that the author was a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington, DC for twelve years before she decided to focus on writing full-time. I think her experience shows in her writing.

THE LAST GOOD GIRL is a well-written, entertaining novel with some very important messages. I read this book in just a few sittings. Some parts were very uncomfortable to read but I’m very glad that I stayed with it. I’m positive this won’t be the last book by Allison Leotta that I read.

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Goodreads Monday – Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense by Laurie R. King

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part,  simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog and link back to add your own links!

Today the book I’m going to show off is:  Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense by Laurie R. King

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Goodreads Description

A classroom is held hostage by someone with a thirst for revenge in this stunningly intricate, ripped-from-the-headlines novel of rich psychological suspense from the New York Times bestselling author of the Mary Russell mysteries.

Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School: a day given to innocent hopes and youthful dreams. A day no one in attendance will ever forget.

New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King is an award-winning master of combining rich atmospheric detail with riveting, keen-edged mystery. Now, in her newest standalone novel of psychological suspense, King turns her sharp eye to a moment torn from the headlines and a school under threat.

A year ago, Principal Linda McDonald arrived at Guadalupe determined to overturn the school’s reputation for truancy, gang violence, and neglect. One of her initiatives is Career Day–bringing together children, teachers, and community presenters in a celebration of the future. But there are some in attendance who reject McDonald’s bright vision.

A principal with a secret. A husband with a murky past. A cop with too many questions. A kid under pressure to prove himself. A girl struggling to escape a mother’s history. A young basketball player with an affection for guns.

Even the school janitor has a story he dare not reveal.

But no one at the gathering anticipates the shocking turn of events that will transform a day of possibilities into an explosive confrontation.

Tense, poignant, and brilliantly paced, Laurie R. King’s novel charts compelling characters on a collision course–a chain of interactions that locks together hidden lives, troubling secrets, and the bravest impulses of the human heart.

I haven’t had LOCKDOWN on my TBR for very long. I came across a friends review recently and was instantly intrigued. After reading the description and a few positive reviews I had to add it to my list.  It sounds like a suspenseful read with an interesting cast of characters.  It also seems like this may not be exactly what I’m expecting, which makes me want to read it even more.

LOCKDOWN will be released June 13, 2017 by Bantam

Is this book on your TBR yet?

 

Review – Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Until It FadesUntil It Fades by K.A. Tucker

Expected publication: June 27th 2017

Atria Books

 

 

 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really interested after reading the description for this book. “Until it Fades” is my first K.A. Tucker read. I have heard great things about her books. I also read that this book is nothing like her other books. So I wasn’t sure what to expect.

After being the “talk of the town” once in small town Balsam, Pennsylvania, twenty-four-year-old Catherine Wright isn’t eager for that to happen again. She just wants to blend into the background and live in peace with her five-year old daughter.

Unfortunately, if you save the life of a hockey star that everyone…especially the media loves? It’s not so easy keeping a low profile.

Catherine is heading home after a terrible first date. It’s a foggy night so she’s taking it slow, not like the red sports car that zips past her. But a few miles down the road she’s horrified to see that the car that just sped by her has crashed. She jumps out of her car to help and ends up saving the life of Philadelphia Flyers star hockey player, Brett Madden.

Suddenly everyone wants to talk to the small town heroine. But Catherine wants to remain anonymous. She wants no part of the media circus that surrounds her act of heroism.

Catherine hasn’t always made the best choices and has had some pretty crappy experiences which combined would understandably give anyone trust issues. And living in a small town where no one lets you forget your past is definitely not easy. Now that she has a child however, she is trying to move on with her life. However being alone can be very….lonely. And although she wants to be independent, somewhere in the back of her mind she hopes for a happily ever after.

We learn a lot about Catherine. Her history and present life. This takes up quite a bit of the book. Not that it’s not interesting because it is, but the rest of the story really took it’s time getting going. Sometimes I love a good slow burning read, but this one was quite a bit slower than normal. However, there was a lot about this book that I enjoyed. I really liked Catherine’s relationship with her daughter, Brenna and how focused she was on being a good mother. Brenna was such a sweet character. They way she spoke and her mannerisms made me smile and laugh aloud at times.

The book is well written and the story was easy to follow. I don’t read a lot of romance books, but I found Catherine and Brett interesting and enjoyed how they interacted with each other and other characters. So while it did take some time to get going and it was a bit predictable, it really was a sweet story with some surprises that made me glad I stuck with it.

I think that many people will love this book. Sometimes it’s nice escaping reality into a sweet and sexy romance novel.

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for providing an advanced readers copy of this book for me to read in exchange for my honest review.

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