Tag Archives: books

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Lying Game Edition

Howdy! I recently finished another Ruth Ware novel called The Lying Game and have read The Woman In Cabin 10 and In A Dark, Dark Wood by her this summer, too. I have to say, I wasn’t overly impressed with either of those books but The Lying Game was a great read and I am happy that I chose to give Ware one more try before calling it quits and finding another author to read. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

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The Lying Game revolves around new mother, Isa, and her three best girlfriends from high school, Kate, Thea (Whose name I’m still not sure how to pronounce!), and Fatima. At their boarding school, the girls reveled in what they called “The Lying Game” and would keep a scoreboard to record the points from the tall tales that they would spin based on the quality and if people actually believed them. The game was supposed to be all in good fun and the rules were simple, including “never lie to your friends” and “know when to stop the lie”.

The girls spent one year at the boarding school together, which came to an abrupt halt when they were asked to leave quietly in the wakes of a possible scandal that directly involved them. And, although it’s a rarity that they talk now as they are all in their thirties, when a friend texts the three words of “I need you” the now women drop their responsibilities immediately and flock to the one in distress.

So, when Kate sends Isa the call to action, she packs up her belongings with her six month old daughter in tow and makes the journey to her, near the old boarding school. The text was indeed an urgent one because once the ladies arrive to Kate’s, it is revealed that a human bone was found in the sea – a result of their “game” being taken too far. With a police investigation nipping at their heals, the once best friends have to come up with a plan and unravel the truth behind their lies before an arrest is made. Were they murderers? Covering something up? Or just plain stupid? Read the book and find out!

I absolutely adored The Lying Game and devoured it in a matter of days. It was so refreshing to read a book with a tangible plot and told from the perspective of someone with a sound mind. Because, let’s be honest, the unstable narrator shtick has been hopelessly drawn out. The Lying Game was filled with twists and turns that actually seemed plausible and I really had no idea what the end result was going to be.

It was interesting to see how a mistake that happened in their teenage years has haunted each woman in the almost two decades since it happened. Each one dealt with the trauma in a different way and it made for fascinating characters with realistic flaws and personalities. The Lying Game was a wild ride and I am now ready to tuck into another Ruth Ware novel ASAFP!

And, now for the star rating…. I award The Lying Game with an eight out of ten. The plot was riveting, the characters were all likeable in their own ways, and I genuinely enjoyed myself while reading it. Highly recommend.

Has anyone read The Lying Game? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Woman In Cabin 10 Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Woman In Cabin 10 Edition

Salutations! In the newest edition of Lil Red’s Book Club, we are going to be discussing the mystery thriller, The Woman In Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware. This author might sound a bit familiar to you, as I just recently reviewed another one of her books, In A Dark, Dark Wood. And, similarly to it, The Woman In Cabin 10 is another one that revolves around an unreliable narrator. Let’s discuss, without giving any spoilers away!

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Lo Blacklock, a writer for a travel magazine is your classic “can we trust everything she sees” narrator. Following the usual formula of a heavy drinker while on medication, sleep deprived, as well as recently traumatized by a break in, Lo is… well, at a low point. Ba dum chhhhh. Anyways, very shortly after the break in happened, Lo sets sail aboard a luxury “cruise ship” that’s more like a yacht as a fill in for her boss on maternity leave.

The Aurora is welcoming a select few in the travel industry to board for a week, sailing around Norway, to get the hype built for their launch. The surroundings are swanky and the guests are even more posh – ranging from photographers to heiresses as well as journalists and models. This is a big break for Lo and, while she should be networking her little butt off, she ends up investigating a murder that she only heard, instead.

Enter The Woman In Cabin 10, a cabin that was supposed to be empty.  Lo spoke with the tenant one time after knocking on her door to borrow a tube of mascara and didn’t see her again that night at dinner. A dinner that she ended up getting WASTED at, by the way. So, who’s to say that what she saw was accurate when she claimed she saw a bloody smear on the glass divider on her balcony once she was back in her room? Or heard a huge splash that sounded like a body falling overboard?

The whodoneit begins, as Lo questions all of the staff with the help of the head of security and prying into just what the guests were up to after the dinner party. No one has seen the woman who she saw in the cabin and absolutely no one is ruled out as a suspect. Filled with red herrings and hidden intentions, will the murder get solved or remain a mystery at sea? Read The Woman In Cabin Ten to find out!

I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of In A Dark, Dark Wood and wasn’t expecting much better from The Woman In Cabin 10. But, I ended up enjoying it a fair amount. If I’m being honest, I am SO. Freaking. Sick. of the unreliable narrator angle. However, this murder mystery set at sea was too dishy and fun to not be a total page turner. The grand reveal at the end was also one that I wasn’t expecting at all and, normally, I am very quick to solve it on my own.

While I couldn’t stand any of the characters from In A Dark, Dark Wood, I quite liked the cast of players in this one. They all held my interest because all of their personalities were so different and it made for a fun reading experience to watch and study their interactions with each other. The finger pointing and guessing games between them kept me on my feet till the very end.

I didn’t love The Woman In Cabin 10 by any means but, I finished it in three days so that has to count for something, right? I’m going to give it a six out of ten rating and would recommend it for a quick summer read, if nothing else.

Who else has read The Woman In Cabin 10? What did you think about it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tattoo You: Death From Sandman Edition

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Tattoo You: Death From Sandman Edition

Helloooo! I am a huge graphic novel fan and my all time favorite is the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. I have read and reread the fantastic saga countless times and it still manages to surprise and intrigue me every time. I have several tattoos from the Sandman series featuring my favorite characters like Dream, Delirium, and Destiny, but the one I love most of all is probably of Death. Check out this beaut:

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Death is probably the most beloved Sandman character to anyone you will ask. She’s this darling little goth girl who is the human personification of, you guessed it, death. But, instead of having a grim outlook on life, she loves it and is always up for an adventure. Death is a protector and meets every single person in their final moments to ease the transition from the living to the dead.

Although I enjoy each character from Sandman in their own right, I have always been drawn to death. I adore her spunky, sassy attitude and her sleek sense of style. She’s bubbly and cheerful and I think that that teaches people to find the joy in the not so great situations because it’s always there if you know where to look.

Who else is a fan of the Sandman series? What is your favorite comic book series? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Those People Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Those People Edition

Hello, hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing the whodoneit thriller called Those People, written by Louise Candlish. I have been going through books left and right during my free time, and out of the past handful that I’ve finished, Those People has definitely been my favorite. It leaves you questioning how far you would go to stand up to a bully or, in this case, a neighbor from hell. Without revealing spoilers, let’s discuss:

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Lowland Way is the suburban dream street. Beautiful homes, posh neighbors, and a quiet peacefulness that makes it the ideal neighborhood for the families living there. That is, until Darren and Jodie move in, wreaking havoc on the once “family friendly” street. Loud music, parties, swearing, foul attitudes, a used car business ran from the front yard, and noisy as can be home renovations make the new neighbors on the block less than popular. Especially considering that their business and construction make them a massive eyesore on the picture perfect community.

What’s worse is, the more that Jodie and Darren’s neighbors like Tess, Sissy, Naomi, Em, Ant, and Ralph plea for the noise levels to be kept down, the more intense everything seems to get on their property. And, Darren and Jodie often scoff at any of the uptight neighbors coming to their yard with requests. As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, someone died on Darren and Jodie’s property as the result of an accident on their construction scaffolding.

Once this misfortune happens, the neighbors begin banding together to put an end to Darren and Jodie’s reign of terror. Even if that means committing a murder themselves. However, the scaffolding accident wasn’t so clear cut and while the neighbors are plotting murder, they are being investigated for one as the screws on the structure were tampered with. So, who committed the deed that made the “wrong” person die and can the neighbors work up the nerve to attempt murder again to get it right? Read Those People to find out!

This book was such a quick read for me because it was simply riveting. I loved how the chapters were presented from a different neighbor’s point of view each time and it kept me turning the page because I wanted to see how situations were seen in the other character’s eyes. There were two whodoneit scenarios in the book and I enjoyed piecing together the information from each neighbor to try and figure out what their role was in the crimes committed.

Those People was a nice break from the unstable female narrator books that I have been drawn to lately and it was well worth the read. I don’t think any of you will be able to put it down! I am going to rate it with a 7.5 out of ten and highly recommend it.

Has anyone else read Those People? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Necessary People Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Necessary People Edition

Greetings! There are times in my life when I am without a book or graphic novel to read, but those are certainly rare. I have been enjoying quite a few suspenseful thrillers as of late revolving around seemingly “good” girls with dark secrets and motives. The most recent one I finished was called Necessary People by Anna Pitoniak. Although this book wasn’t my favorite by any means, I read it in a matter of days and found myself itching to get back to it when it wasn’t in my hands. So, without any spoilers to those who plan on giving this book a try, let’s discuss:

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Necessary People spins a tale around a toxic friendship between Violet and Stella. And, when I say that these girls are polar opposites, I mean that in absolutely every sense. Violet suffered from a traumatic upbringing, is a Plain Jane, and prefers to be behind the scenes instead of in the spotlight. All the while, Stella is filthy rich, flashy, and performs best for an audience.

The girls met in college and quickly became inseparable, although a lot of their friendship revolved around Violet getting Stella out of sticky drunken situations, thus making Violet feel like she was important and needed. Because of Violet’s abusive parents, she ended up with Stella’s family for the holidays and was rewarded to the ultimate prize upon graduation: To be able to live with Stella in a lavish apartment in New York City for rent that was dirt cheap, compliments of Stella’s parents.

Post graduation, Stella traveled the world and Violet buckled down as an intern at a news company called KCN. Violet pulled herself up by her bootstraps and quickly began to climb the ladder of success at the network, ultimately landing the gig of an associate producer. And, upon Stella’s return home she was left to her own devices because her BFF turned into a workaholic.

Then, things changed rather abruptly when Violet informed Stella that her head boss was at the party they were attending for the wedding anniversary of Stella’s parents. And, just like that, Stella was on and began as an intern at the news network the following week. She began to move up in her own right – by being in front of the camera and reporting the news that Violet worked hard to investigate.

Despite Violet’s lack of desire to be an anchorwoman, seeing her somewhat lazy other half get the glory for her labor began to take its toll. And, once again, Violet was left in Stella’s shadow. What happens when jealousy begins to eat away between two “best friends”? Read the book and find out!

Although I wasn’t a huge fan of either of the main characters in this book, it proved for a good, fast paced read. I wouldn’t want to be friends with Stella or Violet but I loved their dynamic between each other that was filled with back handed compliments and snide remarks.

It was interesting, because they were both “mean girls” in their own way but Stella was just more forthright about it. So, seeing things from the perspective of Violet, the girl who shied away from all eyes being on her was a nice spin on things. She definitely had the brains of the operation between her and Stella and used her wits to her advantage throughout the book to try and ensure that she would land on top. Ambitious or just a bitch? Lol, you decide!

Like I said, this book wasn’t my favorite but I do think that it was worth a read and I’ll rate it with a 6.5 out of ten stars.

Has anyone else read Necessary People? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: In A Dark, Dark Wood Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: In A Dark, Dark Wood Edition

Hiii everyone! Today, we are going to be discussing Ruth Ware’s debut novel entitled In A Dark, Dark Wood. Miss Reese Witherspoon actually just bought the rights to this book to be made into a movie so be on the lookout for a Gone Girl-esque, twist and turny murder mystery flick on the horizon. And, *without spoilers* let’s discuss:

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In A Dark, Dark Wood tells the back and forth tale of an adorably British term “hen do” AKA bachelorette party gone horribly wrong. Our story is told from the point of view of Leonora, Lee, Nora, or Leo depending on who she’s talking to and saying she’s not the most reliable narrator is an understatement. Especially considering that she found herself waking up in a hospital after a murder that she can’t quite remember the details to.

The hen do gathering is for Leonora’s high school best friend, Clare, but – the trick is that she hasn’t spoken to her in ten years. So why did she receive an email from Clare’s extremely passionate bridesmaid, Flo, in the first place? Reluctant at best to go, Leonora and another high school friend, Nina, make a pact to go together but leave if they see fit.

Surrounded by strangers at the bachelorette bash in a house made of all glass in the middle of the forest, Leonora finds herself trapped for a long weekend. Tensions build, secrets are spilled, and someone gets shot with a gun that was supposed to be filled with blanks. And, the question now is, whodoneit?

This is actually my second time reading In A Dark, Dark Wood because my mom thought it might be something that I would like. By the time I was about twenty pages in, I had realized that I read it before so that kind of shows you how memorable the book was to me, despite it’s grand reveal at the end.

Was this book entertaining? Quite. Was it just like Every. Other. Gone. Girl. Style. Book.? Abso-freaking-lutely. I won’t say I hated it, because that’s not true. I wouldn’t have reread it if I didn’t. However, it wasn’t the best thing that I’ve ever read and none of the characters were particularly likeable, which made it hard to get really into it.

Overall, I’d give this book a 5.5 out of ten. It was readable and a nice page turner to spend an afternoon with. But, I think you will find the superficial characters over the top and the narrator to be a bit of a bore. Read it, maybe. Or, better yet, just wait for the movie to come out, instead.

Has anyone else read In A Dark, Dark Wood? What were your thoughts on it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Hide By Lisa Gardner Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Hide By Lisa Gardner Edition

Hi! I love visiting the local libraries in my area because you never know what kind of events are taking place or good stuff that they’re giving away. At the library in North Hill that I go to with one of my clients, there are always a few boxes of books that are free for the taking and we always enjoy looking through those. The last time that we were there, I had a massive haul of thriller, horror, and suspense books including Hide by Lisa Gardner.

I just finished this suspense filled whodoneit a few days ago and I LOVED it. Normally, I am very good at figuring out the outcome of a book or movie well before the grand reveal but, for once, this one kept me guessing the entire time. I hate to brag, but this honestly never happens.

Hide revolves around Tanya or Annabelle or whatever her name is because, sometimes, she doesn’t even know. Her life has been on the run nonstop since her youth and, just as she thought that things were finally settling down, an underground chamber containing the mummified remains of six little girls was found on the grounds of an abandoned mental hospital.

The story is told from the perspectives of Bobby Dodge, a new detective and Annabelle and it switches back and forth every few chapters. Both the detective and Annabelle are trying to solve the mystery of who committed such an atrocious crime and fast. Because, somehow, Annabelle is the missing key and she very well could be next.

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Although this book was just about four hundred and fifty pages, it felt like a quick read and I definitely recommend it for fans of crime related psychological thrillers. My only qualm is that a cheap bottle of window cleaner from the Dollar Tree managed to open in my car and spill all over my book, which made it look pretty gross! Thankfully, I was still able to read it despite the water logged pages and now I am really interested in reading more of Lisa Gardner’s work!

What is your favorite genre to read? What are you reading right now (Other than my blog, of course!)? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah