Tag Archives: literature

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Rachel Hawkins called The Wife Upstairs – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be putting a trigger warning on this book for general violence. Now, let’s get to it:


Jane is on the run from her old life after a not so desirable experience in the foster care system and one major incident. Desperate to start fresh, she winds up in the apartment of a skeezy friend in the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama. After a stint slinging coffees in a local cafe, she lands a gig as a dog walker in the posh Thornfield Estates, a gated community crawling with Stepford Wives, huge properties, and lots and lots of money.

Plain Jane has an eye for pretty things and is a chronic kleptomaniac. She feels right at home in the mansions she works in, although constantly feeling like she doesn’t belong from her lack of funds. This is all about to change drastically, though, after a chance encounter with a widower named Eddie.

Eddie is charming, handsome, filthy rich, and has been grieving the loss of his wife, Bea, and her best friend in a tragic boating accident. A whirlwind relationship between him and Jane begins and it is like a dream come true for her. In the blink of an eye, Jane has access to more money than she can imagine and can’t believe her good luck. What she doesn’t know is that Eddie is hiding a terrible secret in his own home.

While Jane is enjoying her newfound duties of live in girlfriend and fitting in with the neighborhood wives, a police investigation begins. The body of Bea’s best friend, Blanche, has been found and it appears that her death was no accident. This puts Eddie and Blanche’s husband at the forefront of the investigation and Jane begins to wonder if she ever knew Eddie at all. Will the body of Eddie’s wife be found? And is Jane next? Read The Wife Upstairs to find out!

When I first started reading this book, I admit that I wasn’t immediately sold on it. The first forty or so pages, I feared that The Wife Upstairs was a bit too cutesy for my liking but then the pace picked up drastically. I devoured this thriller in three days and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer. It. Was. SO. Good!

The Wife Upstairs is a far cry from the usual murder mysteries that I read and I think that’s why I liked it so much. With multiple narrators, there were twists and turns at every page and, for once, I didn’t see the final grand reveal coming at all. Believe you me, I’m just as surprised by that as all of you are.

This book is a true testament to the age old adage of “money can’t buy happiness” but, despite each character’s flaws, there were things that I liked about all of them. This made it difficult to determine whodoneit because my loyalty shifted each time there was a plot twist. I can’t give away some of these game changers without spoiling things right off the bat, but just know that this book is definitely worth the read.

I am going to award The Wife Upstairs with the coveted ten out of ten stars. I was so pleasantly surprised by it and loved being blindsided with every page. If, like me, you like to try and figure out the grand reveal of a book beforehand, I advise not making split decisions and viewing each character with a more discerning eye. I highly, highly recommend this book – especially if you are looking for a “lighter” thriller.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? 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: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a suspense novel by Shari Lapena called An Unwanted Guest – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on An Unwanted Guest for general violence. I devoured this book in less than a week and really enjoyed it so let’s get to it:


Mitchell’s Inn is a quaint mountain lodge that boasts beautiful scenery, lush furnishings, and the piece de resistance of no WiFi. It is the place to be for a romantic getaway or to unwind with friends for a long weekend. With attentive staff, gourmet meals, and an abundance of activities the guests arriving don’t think that anything could possibly go wrong. But, we all know in a thriller that that is never the case!

An Unwanted Guest features a wide array of players all at Mitchell’s for the weekend. However, thanks to a massive snow storm, the inn is fairly empty and devoid of staff other than the owner and his son who live on site. We have Lauren and Ian, Dana and Matthew, best friends Gwen and Riley, Beverly and Henry, Candice, and David. Despite the snow, all of the guests are trying to make the most of their visit. But, things take a dark turn both literally and metaphorically when the power goes out, plunging them into bitter cold and darkness.

The guests wake the following morning disappointed that the power is still out but their troubles are just beginning as Dana’s body is discovered at the foot of the stairs with a nasty head wound. The suspicions point to her fiance, Matthew, as the culprit but the murderer could be any one of them. And, as more bodies are discovered throughout the weekend, it turns into the ultimate whodoneit.Β 

Tensions are high and dark secrets come to light as each guest tries to plead their case of not guilty. But is it one of them or is someone lurking about Mitchell’s Inn who most definitely isn’t on the guest list? Who is the murderer and who will be left standing? Read An Unwanted Guest to find out!

Upon starting this book, I wasn’t so sure about it. But I am genuinely unsure why because I was hooked about thirty pages in. An Unwanted Guest is a fast paced murder mystery and goes back and forth between each guest every page or so. What would be a somewhat tired plot felt brand new with the addition of the power outage. It added such a spooky vibe to this read because the killer could be right behind any of the guests at any time and they would be none the wiser.

I was very impressed with An Unwanted Guest because, given the amount of people that were narrating, there was bound to be a dud in there somewhere. However, all of the characters added their own unique touches and stories to the mix and I was excited to read each of their takes on the events. The grand reveal was also nothing to sneeze at, either. Although I did figure it out prior to, my jaw still dropped as to the reason why and I think yours will too.

I am going to award An Unwanted Guest with a nine out of ten stars. This is a book that I highly recommend and I plan on reading more from Shari Lapena in the future. If you are a fan of a good old fashioned whodoneit, then this is the book for you.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? 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: Confessions On The 7:45 By Lisa Unger Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: Confessions On The 7:45 By Lisa Unger Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Last book club meeting, we discussed Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger and today we will be talking about another one of her books called Confessions On The 7:45 – without giving any spoilers away, of course! Before we begin, I’ll be placing a trigger warning on this book for general violence. Let’s get to it:


Selena Murphy is a hard working mother and wife with two beloved sons and a husband trying to get back on his feet after he was laid off. Between her husband, Graham’s, job hunt and her long hours, Selena decides to hire a nanny to help tend to the boys while they’re away. On the outside, the Murphys appear to be the picture perfect family. But, we all know that that’s never the case in a thriller!

After an unfortunate discovery at work of her husband’s infidelity with the nanny, Geneva, (such a cliche!) Selena finds herself stuck on the train home deciding what to do next. While maintenance to the train is happening, a beautiful stranger notices Selena’s less than sunny disposition and offers her a mini bottle of vodka.

Over drinks, Selena and her new friend, Martha, share their dark secrets. Martha’s being that she is having an affair with her married boss and Selena confessing of her husband’s infidelity. The conversation takes a dark turn when Martha asks Selena if she wishes that all of her problems could go away – stating that bad things happen all of the time. Then, the train begins to move and their chat ends.

Selena thinks that she will never see Martha again after their meeting but she ends up getting a lot more than she bargained for with strange texts from her. And, oh yeah, the nanny is now missing. In the ultimate game of cat and mouse, it is up to Selena to pick up the pieces because her and Graham are at the forefront of the missing person investigation. Will Geneva be found dead or alive? And what did Martha have to do with it? Read Confessions On The 7:45 to find out!

Although I didn’t enjoy Confessions On The 7:45 as much as Last Girl Ghosted, it was still pretty good. Maybe it’s because I figured out the grand reveal way before it was going to happen! However, I definitely consider it a book worth reading if you are a fan of suspense novels, like me.

As always, I love a book with multiple narrators which this one had in spades. Confessions On The 7:45 went between Selena, past and present day Martha, Geneva, a private investigator, one of Selena’s sons, and her mother. This interwoven tale kept me reading “one more chapter” for hours on end and it all blended together seamlessly.

I will admit that I didn’t think that the story line was the most original but it made for a good read all the same. How often have we read plots of a less than honest husband, a mysterious stranger, and a police investigation added to the mix? There were some fresh spins in the book, though, that held my interest and Selena was a powerful main character who I was rooting for.

I am going to rate Confessions On The 7:45 with a six out of ten stars. Was it something that we have all heard before? Yes. But, there was enough unique plot points that kept me turning the page and is worth a read. Or not. That’s your call!

Who is one of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading? 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: Last Girl Ghosted By Lisa Unger Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: Last Girl Ghosted By Lisa Unger Edition

Hello! We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of bonus pictures from my last OOTD for a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club. Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller called Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger – without giving any spoilers away, of course! Before beginning this review, I will be placing a trigger warning on this book for general violence and terror. Let’s get to it:

Wren Greenwood had lived a lifetime of trauma before she was even in the double digits. With lots of hard work, however, she has made a name for herself and a comfortable living as an advice columnist for “Dear Birdie”. Saying Wren is a workaholic is an understatement and her bestie, Jax, encourages her to sign up for the popular dating app called Torch to have some fun.

After a couple of Torch dates that Wren considered a bust, she decided to give it one more go before calling it quits. She matched with a man named Adam Harper who intrigued her through his panache for poetry and brooding image. After one date, Wren found herself head over heels and her and Adam were inseparable for the next three months. Until…

On the eve of Adam asking Wren a very important question, he disappears without a trace. Wren is completely heartbroken in the aftermath but things are about to get a lot more complicated than just a broken heart. Private Investigator, Bailey Kirk, knocks on Wren’s door to discuss Adam with her because he has been linked to the disappearance of three other young women.

In an ultimate game of cat and mouse, Bailey and Wren begin the search for Adam and his missing exes. Red herrings, possible sightings, and eerie text messages appear at every turn until, eventually, Wren and Bailey are led back to where it all began – her hometown. Will Wren and Bailey find the girls alive and well? And just who is Adam Harper? Read Last Girl Ghosted to find out!

Last Girl Ghosted is one of the best books that I have read in a while and I really enjoyed it. I read ravenously and finished this four hundred page thriller in about five sittings. I couldn’t put it down if you paid me! From multiple narrators, a back and forth timeline, and an urgent chase, Last Girl Ghosted incorporated everything I like and did it just right.

I will admit that at the beginning of this book, I found it to be a little cliche. But, as I continued to turn the pages, I was hooked. In fact, it kind of reminded me of You by Caroline Kepnes. I loved Wren’s strength and she was a character that I found myself rooting for because she truly deserved happiness. Her roots as a blogger also spoke to me!

Not only was Wren an exciting heroine but the supporting cast was just as likeable, as well. Her best friend, Jax, was someone that anyone would want in their corner and PI Bailey Kirk definitely fit that bill too. Even Adam Harper started out great until he did a one eighty really fast.

I am going to award Last Girl Ghosted with an eight out of ten stars. While I figured out the grand reveal fairly quickly, this was still an excellent thriller and I highly recommend it. I also have to say that this book would have earned an additional star from me, however, there was a considerable amount of typos in it which drove me nuts!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? 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: Sometimes I Lie By Alice Feeney Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: Sometimes I Lie By Alice Feeney Edition

Hi! Today, we are going to be discussing Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney – without giving any spoilers away, of course. If this author sounds familiar to you, it should! I recently finished another book by hers called His & Hers. Much like the last book of Feeney’s that I reviewed, I will be putting a massive trigger warning on Sometimes I Lie for graphic scenes of violence and sexual assault. Now, let’s get to it:

Sometimes I Lie opens with our main character, Amber Reynolds realizing that she is in the hospital in a coma after a horrible accident. She can hear what is going on around her, but she cannot move, see, or speak. As we embark on this reading journey, we learn that Amber is a broken woman and not just in terms of the current state of her body.

The chapters of Sometimes I Lie alternate between Amber in the hospital, the days leading up to her accident, and the diary of a young girl. From the diary entries, we learn that whomever wrote them had a difficult childhood due to neglectful, alcoholic parents and moving around constantly. Things haven’t been easy for Amber since the diaries have been written and she is riddled with OCD rituals, low self esteem, and the nagging idea that her husband is cheating on her.

Despite what could be considered a “dream job” of being a presenter on a popular radio show, Amber is chronically unhappy in her work and life in general. Tensions are high between Amber and the star of the radio show until she develops a plot with her friend to get the problematic host fired, and the metaphorical shit hits the fan from there.

Stresses at work, an overbearing sister, inattentive husband, and the return of an ex boyfriend push Amber to her breaking point until she finds herself in the coma. As the days blend together in her state of permanent sleep, Amber’s foggy mind tries to connect the dots of how she got there in the first place. How did she end up in a coma? And what has Amber been lying about? Read Sometimes I Lie to find out!

There were a lot of things that I liked about Sometimes I Lie but, unfortunately, the things that I didn’t enjoy about this book outweighed the good. We all know that Lil Red loves back and forth chapters as well as multiple story lines. However, there was way too many convoluted plot twists and I never thought that I would find myself saying that.

So many complex story lines in Sometimes I Lie made this book insanely difficult to follow and I honestly still don’t know if I understand it completely. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind when some things are left up to interpretation but not the entire story line! Amber begins this book by admitting that “sometimes I lie” which means that literally everything that she is saying could be false.

Knowing that there might not be an ounce of truth to what Amber says made for a muddled grand reveal and absolutely no closure once finishing the book. I did enjoy individual aspects of the story lines of Sometimes I Lie but when mixed all together into a relatively short book of two hundred and sixty pages, it made my final interpretation murky at best.

I am going to award Sometimes I Lie with a four out of ten stars. If you are looking for a vague but interesting enough read, give it a shot. However, if like me, you prefer not to second guess everything you read in a book, then you can definitely skip on this one. Trust me, you’re not missing much.

What did you think about Sometimes I Lie? What are you currently reading? 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: Treachery Times Two By Robert McCaw Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: Treachery Times Two By Robert McCaw Edition

Hello! Today on Lil Red’s Book Club, we are going to be discussing the fourth novel in the Koa Kane Hawaiian Mysteries called Treachery Times Two by Robert McCaw. Although this is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone title, which is what I did and I also think is very cool. As always, there will be no spoilers in this post so as not to ruin all of the insane twists and turns of this book! Let’s get to it:

Koa Kane is the Chief Detective of Hilo, Hawaii and it is his career to uncover dark secrets and put the bad guys away. However, his past offense of murdering his father’s nemesis and covering it up thirty years ago would definitely qualify himself as someone he should be tracking down. Although he is, indeed, a murderer, Koa worked hard to turn his life around through his time in the military, as a detective, in his community, and with the love of his life, Nalani.

A common saying is to leave the past in the past but that is awfully difficult for Koa when the grandson of his victim comes to the islands investigating his death, which had been ruled a suicide. On top of this, an earthquake had uncovered a makeshift burial ground with a fresh corpse of a Tiger Baldwin, who had been shot and killed as well as had her fingertips cut off. Needless to say, Koa has his hands full.

Tiger’s murder baffles Koa and his team and if they don’t solve the mystery fast, America as we know it could be at stake. Through his detective work, Koa discovers that Tiger works for an ultra high tech and ultra secret company located in Hawaii called X-CO. After much digging, we learn that the employees at X-CO are working on a new military weapon called Deimos – the most dangerous development since the atomic bomb.

When functioning properly, Deimos can withstand and protect soldiers against the terrors of war. But bad code in the programming can cause the machine to begin attacking those it was meant to protect. Was Tiger Baldwin behind this major breach in security or was she trying to fix it? And just how deep does the treason to our country go? Read Treachery Times Two to find out!

Robert McCaw’s Treachery Times Two was a wild ride and it felt like you were right alongside Koa in Hawaii sleuthing too. I loved how McCaw was able to immerse his readers in Hawaiian culture, language, traditions, and scenery. It wasn’t a book just set in Hawaii, because with a big enough imagination, you were in Hawaii. This was so neat to me and I can’t recall a book that I have read recently that included this much detail about the location through such vivid imagery.

If you know Lil Red, you know that she loves a book with multiple story lines and Treachery Times Two included this, as well. Not only were you reading about the secrets of Deimos being uncovered but you were also on the edge of your seat as the grandson of Koa’s victim tried to crack the thirty year old suicide. I, frankly, can’t remember ever hoping that a murderer would get away with his crime but I found myself rooting for Koa the entire book!

Treachery Times Two was a unique reading experience for me. While we all know that I love a mystery, I have never read too many books about government secrets before. This book was definitely one that you had to be careful with as you read because there were so many details that could be easily missed. However, I am pleased to say that I solved most of the grand reveal thanks to Koa’s handiwork. πŸ˜€

I am going to award Treachery Times Two with an eight out of ten star rating. I so enjoyed getting lost in this book and read it ravenously. It also made me really want to go back and read the first three books in the series. Highly recommend!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Love To Read? Start A Book Club!

Love To Read? Start A Book Club!

Hello! When I am not working, binging Criminal Minds, ice skating, or playing way too much Animal Crossing, I absolutely love to read. There is nothing better to me than cracking open a good book and reading “just one more chapter” for hours on end! While I don’t belong to an in person book club, I take a lot of pride in Lil Red’s Book Club on the ol’ blog and so enjoy sharing my latest reads with all of you.

If you and your friends are avid readers too, there is no better time to start a book club. The cold winter months means extra time at home and nothing says comfy cozy like curling up on the couch with a new book. It doesn’t take much to create a book club of your own and you can get started with these ideas:

Decide What To Read:

First and foremost, you have to decide what your book club will be reading and how these books are being chosen. Will each person take turns selecting a book? Will you be reading popular books from different genres? Or maybe going with authors in an alphabetical order? You could even make your book club exclusive to one genre like romance or true crime.

However you go about choosing your books, it is important that everyone agrees on it. If you are going the true crime or horror route, do screen the book ahead of time in case there is any subject matter that might be triggering to any of your club members.

How Often Are You Meeting?

Whether you’re meeting in person or virtually, make sure that you come up with a schedule and follow it. Should your members have a book finished in one month to discuss? Or, perhaps, they might read forty pages per week? Keep in mind that everyone’s schedules are different and you don’t want anyone to fall behind with their reading. It can be discouraging if one member is flying ahead in the book while everyone else is stuck on chapter three!

What Will You Talk About?

Some book clubs use an open discussion format when discussing their latest book while others might have a list of questions or topics that they want to talk about. Prior to hosting your book club session, come up with key talking points ahead of time to keep the conversation moving. Some books as well as author’s websites include book club questions which are all great starting points for inspiration.

Snacks & Drinks:

A five course meal is definitely not necessary for your book club meeting but some light snacks and drinks are a must. You could sample different teas, beers, wines, and finger foods popular in where the book is set. Or, you could have themed treats like button cookies if you read Coraline or endless supplies of chocolate if your club just finished Chocolat. If you are having virtual book club meetings, then fear not. You can leave treat bags at each member’s house.

Book clubs are an amazing way to bring fellow reading enthusiasts together for an evening of good company and conversation. Don’t forget that you can host movie nights too if the book you have read has been made into a movie! πŸ˜€

What is your favorite book turned movie? What is your book club currently reading? 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: His & Hers By Alice Feeney Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: His & Hers By Alice Feeney Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Alice Feeney called His & Hers – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we dive right in, I will be putting a massive trigger warning on this book for gruesome murders and a graphic scene of sexual assault. If this is something that would impact your mental health, please skip on reading His & Hers. Now, let’s get to it:

Anna started from the bottom of the BBC news and worked her way up to an anchor when the former went on maternity leave. For two years, Anna had her dream job but that’s not to say that everything was perfect due to her severe alcoholism. In fact, she describes herself in the beginning of the book as being the “unstable narrator” to her life. Despite this, her career is going accordingly to plan until her predecessor returns from leave and Anna gets kicked off the news and back into the correspondent’s corner.

Anna’s first task as a correspondent is to return back to her small hometown of Blackdown to report on a gruesome murder that might be the beginning of a spree. The thing is, she knows the victim personally as does the detective, Jack Harper. Both have a connection to the victim that would put them at the center of the investigation if found out so mum is definitely the word, especially as the murderer continues killing.

These serial killings have put sleepy, tight knit Blackdown in disarray and just being there stirs up a lifetime of bad memories for Anna and Jack alike. The reminders of a former life are almost worse than the insurmountable amount of stress as they do their jobs because evidence is being planted on Jack and Anna’s mom is suffering from dementia.

As more victims are found, the culprit feels like they are slipping through the fingers of the law and everyone turns into a suspect. Will Jack and his team be able to solve the case? And just what about Anna’s past caused all of this to happen in the first place? Read His & Hers to find out!

I have very mixed feelings about His & Hers and am actually still trying to digest it because I was loving the book until a very difficult to read chapter. His & Hers featured everything that I enjoy in a novel with three different narrators (Anna, Jack, and the killer) and a grand reveal that I so did not see coming. Similarly to when I read False Witness, the story line was excellent but it was hard to look past the graphic nature of some of the scenes.

The murderer’s unveiling was, indeed, a jaw dropping one and just when you thought you knew for sure who did it, the rug would get swept from under your feet. The short chapters of the killer’s thoughts really could have belonged to anyone in His & Hers and massive kudos to whomever figured out their identity because I never would have guessed it in a million years.

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around this read because I enjoyed everything but one part so much. The plot, narrators, and ending were all awesome and I have never read anything like it before. Needless to say, coming up with a star rating is difficult but I am going to award it with: five and a half out of ten stars. Without one chapter, I had already planned on rating His & Hers with a ten but some things just leave too bad of a taste in your mouth to overlook.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? 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: Not A Happy Family By Shari Lapena Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: Not A Happy Family By Shari Lapena Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, without giving any spoilers away, we will be discussing Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena. I got this book in large print from the library and, is it just me, or does reading a large print book go by way faster than a normal print? After a mere five reading sessions, I was done with this four hundred and twenty-two page thriller and it was one that I enjoyed a lot! Now, let’s get to it:

Sheila and Fred Merton are, for lack of better words, filthy rich. Fred made his fortune in robotics and they boast a sprawling estate and a net worth upwards of thirty million. Fred is proud of his life as a businessman but of his children… Not so much, and it all comes to light on a particularly awful Easter dinner when Catherine, Dan, and Jenna’s father screams his poison in a drunken rage. While his disappointment is nothing new, his extreme anger is a surprise but no one is ready for what happens next when Fred and Sheila are found murdered in their own home.

The bodies of the Merton parents are discovered by their long term nanny turned housekeeper and the police investigation begins immediately with the children as their prime suspects. First, we have the eldest sister named Catherine. She is a dermatologist and married to Ted, who both enjoy the finer things in life. Dan is the middle child who is married to Lisa and are currently in a desperate financial situation. Fred also happened to refuse and degrade him when he asked for a loan on Easter Sunday. And, finally, we have Jenna who is the baby of the family. She is a starving artist with a new fling every week, a violent streak, and is currently living off of a monthly allowance from her parents.

Any one of the Merton children could have committed the double murder but who? All of them have secrets to hide about the night of the murder and with their partners lying for them and siblings backing each other up, it sends the detectives on a wild goose chase with the possibility that the case could go cold. Each Merton child has a lot to lose and a fortune to gain from the wills of Sheila and Fred so whodoneit? Read Not A Happy Family to find out!

I have been pretty unimpressed with the books that I have read recently and Not A Happy Family kept me on my toes until the very last page. This was definitely a nice change of pace and, for once, I couldn’t figure out the grand reveal so I really liked it! Not A Happy Family was an unputdownable read with red herrings at every turn of the page, especially because the children weren’t the only players in the investigation. The housekeeper, aunt, and a family friend are all potential suspects too which added to the confusion and suspense of the case.

This book changed narrators either every chapter or paragraph between the children, their partners, or other suspects who all have a lot of money to gain from the murder of Fred and Sheila. I love this type of format and it added so much urgency because you couldn’t put each person’s puzzle pieces together consistently. Just when I thought that I knew who did it, I read another few paragraphs and my opinion would change drastically.

I can’t recommend Not A Happy Family enough if you are looking for a fast paced murder mystery and am awarding it with an eight out of ten stars. Although it wasn’t a groundbreaking story line, it had me hooked and happily reading for hours on end. If you like playing detective as much as I do, then you are going to love this book!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? 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: The Spires By Kate Moretti Edition

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Spires By Kate Moretti Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing The Spires by Kate Moretti – without giving any spoilers away, of course. πŸ™‚ The Spires was a fast paced read that I finished after a mere four reading sessions. Although it wasn’t my favorite, it definitely qualified as unputdownable as twists and turns seemed to happen with every short chapter. Now, let’s get to it:

Bland, rational, shy Penelope has been living her life on autopilot for the past year. With her unemployed husband not picking up any extra slack, Penelope has been forced to juggle absolutely everything – A demanding job, cooking, cleaning, and two children with tons of extra curriculars. She is run down, exhausted, and closer to reaching her breaking point with every passing day. But, with the arrival of a friend who she hasn’t seen in twenty years on her doorstep, her busy life becomes the least of her problems.

Willa and Penelope were best friends in college and lived with each other and three other roommates for a year after graduating. Willa was the resident life of the party in the renovated church that they lived in, which made her state at Penelope’s door startling. She was terrified of the abusive ex that she escaped from and needed a place to stay.

At first, Willa was a welcome guest in Penelope’s home. She cooked delicious meals, cleaned, and helped out with the kids. Then, things started turning very suspicious. Jewelry of Penelope’s began turning up missing, major boundaries in the home were being crossed, and photos of her life that she can’t recall anyone taking appeared in her bedroom. The worst part? No one believes Penelope, which leaves her questioning her own sanity and sinking further back into her history and the tragedy that took place in the church house.

With no one in her corner, Penelope goes at it alone and the secrets that she uncovers about Willa unravel her even more. In a shocking final stand off where it all began, the truth of the tragedy at the church house is revealed as well as one more grand reveal that will make your jaw drop. Will Penelope survive the show down? Read The Spires to find out!

What I liked the most about The Spires was its format. No one loves a back and forth setup more than Lil Red and this book alternated from Penelope in present and past day to present day Willa. The chapters were short and sweet which is what made it so hard to put down because just a few more pages would uncover even more game changers. And, we all know that just a few more pages means you end up reading fifty more!

While I enjoyed the story line of The Spires because it was different than anything I have read before, I wasn’t particularly fond of any of the characters. Penelope bored me, her husband drove me crazy, and Willa was SO annoying. Not feeling any type of connection to any of the main players made for a lackluster reading experience despite a riveting plot.

Overall, The Spires is one that you could take or leave and I am going to award it with five and a half out of ten stars. These stars were given for the unique plot and enjoyable format. Had I liked even one character, it would have been a much higher star rating. If you are looking for a quick read, give The Spires a try. If you are looking for something deeper than that, it is one that you can pass on.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah