Blog Tour: The Last Act by Brad Parks @Brad_Parks @FaberBooks

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Former Broadway star Tommy Jump isn’t getting the roles he once did; as his final run as Sancho Panza draws to a close, Tommy is getting ready to give up the stage, find a steady paycheck, and settle down with his fiancée. Cue Special Agent Danny Ruiz. An old school friend of Tommy’s, now with the FBI, Ruiz makes Tommy an offer that sounds too good to refuse. All Tommy has to do is spend six months in prison, acting as failed bank robber ‘Pete Goodrich’. Inside, he must find and befriend Mitchell Dupree, who has hidden a secret cache of documents incriminating enough to take down New Colima, one of Mexico’s largest drug cartels. If Tommy can get Dupree to reveal where the documents are hidden, the FBI will give him $300,000. More than enough to jumpstart a new life. But does he have what it takes to pull off this one final role?

My review:

As soon as I read the blurb, I knew this book and I would instantly become best friends. How awesome does the plot sound? I would buy tickets for a movie based on this plot right now. As you can see, my expectations were quite high, which most of the time is pretty dangerous, as over-hyped books tend to end up disappointing me. However, THE LAST ACT was the exception to that rule. This book was simply amazing and will be among my favorite thrillers this year, for sure.

Although the beginning part was kind of slow-paced, I was still dying to know what would happen when Tommy accepted the FBI’s deal and went to prison as an undercover agent. What a dangerous idea… would you guys accept it? Once he was in prison, I literally couldn’t stop reading and ended up devouring the rest of the book in a sitting. And what a thrilling experience…

First of all, plot-wise, THE LAST ACT was fantastic. It doesn’t only start with an intriguing premise, but the storyline develops as realistically as you would expect (after all, this is a thriller!) and it features some of the most shocking twists I’ve read this year. I believe my jaw dropped more than once and you know how much I love to be surprised.

Some of you would assume that just because this is a thriller, that characters are not that important. Well, then you would be absolutely wrong. Actually, what surprised me the most about THE LAST ACT was how attached I became to Tommy and how much I wanted his plan to end well. He was a great character, super likable and smart. His fiancé Amanda was also fantastic and I LOVED how feminist this book was. I’m not going to say much more about this, but you’ll know what I mean once you read it.

This is the kind of thriller that I would recommend to everyone. I honestly can’t see anyone not enjoying this fast-paced, thrilling and shocking adventure. If you read it, please DM so we can discuss all the crazy stuff that happened!

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Review: The Buried Girl by Richard Montanari @RRMontanari @LittleBrownUK

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When New York psychologist Will Hardy’s wife is killed, he and his teenage daughter Bernadette move into Godwin Hall, a dusty, shut-up mansion in the small town of Abbeville, Ohio. Meanwhile, Abbeville Chief of Police Ivy Holgrave is investigating the death of a local girl, convinced this may only be the latest in a long line of murders dating back decades – including her own long-missing sister. But what place does Will’s new home have in the story of the missing girls? And what links the killings to the diary of a young woman written over a century earlier?

 

 

My review:

I read the first book in the Byrne & Balzano series a few years ago and I loved it, although I haven’t continued reading it (I’m planning to!). When I found out that Richard Montanari had released a standalone book and I read the blurb, I knew I couldn’t miss this one. In the end, THE BURIED GIRL was an amazing mystery and a deeply atmospheric novel set in New York and rural Ohio.

The book is divided into different parts and the story spans maaaaaaaany years, from the 1600s to 2019. At first, I was hooked because of the many intriguing elements: a spree of crimes happening every 25 years… 7 vices 7 virtues…. Ritualistic killings… Fires… It had me at the prologue. And another ingredient I love: it’s one of those books where everything is linked and nothing happens by chance.

THE BURIED GIRL is a complex book: there are many storylines and characters to keep track of, which I usually enjoy. But somehow, this time it wasn’t hard to follow at all. I loved Will Hardy and Detta, but my favorite character was probably Ivy, she was brave and fierce and I love this kind of characters who are willing to do anything for the case.

Let me warn you: this is not a whodunnit, you know from the beginning who the killer is. Still, there’s something quite intriguing in here, and I read this in barely two days, dying to learn what the hell was going on and how everything was going to connect in the end. That Will Hardy was a massive movie geek, like me, was another great addition.

THE BURIED GIRL was such a creepy story… and a damn good one! It kind of gave me The Craftsman vibes.

Did you know of this book? I feel like THE BURIED GIRL has gone unnoticed and it’s a pity… totally recommended. 💙

Review: Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid @tjenkinsreid @HutchinsonBooks

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They sold out arenas from coast to coast. Their music defined an era and every girl in America idolised Daisy. But on July 12 1979, on the night of the final concert of the Aurora tour, they split. Nobody ever knew why. Until now. This is the whole story, right from the beginning: the sun-bleached streets, the grimy bars on the Sunset Strip, knowing Daisy’s moment was coming. Relive the euphoria of success and experience the terror that nothing will ever be as good again. Take the uppers so you can keep on believing, take the downers so you can sleep, eventually. Wonder who you are without the drugs or the music or the fans or the family that prop you up. Make decisions that will forever feel tough. Find beauty where you least expect it. Most of all, love like your life depends on it and believe in whatever it is you’re fighting for. It’s a true story, though everyone remembers the truth differently.

My review:

Last year, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo became one of my favorite books. Not of that year. Ever. I was super excited to read Taylor Jenkins Reid’s new book DAISY JONES AND THE SIX. And I devoured like I was addicted to a drug, which is kind of fitting, now that I think about it. This one was a buddy read with lovely Steph (here’s her review) and we both LOVED it so much! It was a great book to discuss together 🤗

Disclaimer: I love 60s and 70s music. It’s my favorite musical era and I love many bands from those years. When I found out DAISY JONES was about a music band, I was super excited. I had a feeling I would love it as much as Evelyn. And I did. I still can’t decide which one I love better. But if there’s one thing that I’m sure about is that DAISY JONES AND THE SIX will be among my favorite books of 2019.

I don’t really want to say too much because I wouldn’t want to ruin the experience for anyone, but this is quite a unique book. The structure is strange: there are not chapters and everything is told in interview-biography format. I think that’s what made it so compulsively readable. It was such a delightful book, so easy to read and it was also so easy to become immersed in Daisy and Billy’s story.

I know I’ve said other times how much I love stories spanning many years. And this, like Evelyn Hugo, was one of those. You get to see the characters grow and evolve and you are witness to their relationships growing as well. I’m not a fan of romance books (loved chick-lit when I was younger, but never romantic dramas) and I usually find it annoying when an author tries to pair up the main characters when it’s not necessary at all. BUT let me say this: I love how Taylor Jenkins Reid writes love stories.

Without entering into much detail, I have never been a fan of love triangles. But when they’re written in such an honest, realistic and beautiful way like this one was… well, I WAS DYING to know what would happen. And, most importantly, I could feel for every character, as there were no villains in this story.

A wonderful, unique and epic story that I’m still thinking about today.

Do you enjoy Taylor Jenkins Reid books? Who was your favorite character? Mine was Camilla and I was totally rooting for them 💙 Don’t miss the Spotify soundtrack!

Review: The Forgiving Kind by Donna Everhart

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For twelve-year-old Martha “Sonny” Creech, there is no place more beautiful than her family’s cotton farm. She, her two brothers, and her parents work hard on their land—hoeing, planting, picking—but only Sonny loves the rich, dark earth the way her father does. When a tragic accident claims his life, her stricken family struggles to fend off ruin—until their rich, reclusive neighbor offers to help finance that year’s cotton crop. Sonny is dismayed when her mama accepts Frank Fowler’s offer; even more so when Sonny’s best friend, Daniel, points out that the man has ulterior motives. Sonny has a talent for divining water—an ability she shared with her father and earns her the hated nickname “water witch” in school. But uncanny as that skill may be, it won’t be enough to offset Mr. Fowler’s disturbing influence in her world. Even her bond with Daniel begins to collapse under the weight of Mr. Fowler’s bigoted taunts. Though she tries to bury her misgivings for the sake of her mama’s happiness, Sonny doesn’t need a willow branch to divine that a reckoning is coming, bringing with it heartache, violence—and perhaps, a fitting and surprising measure of justice.

My review:

As I said in my My Most Anticipated Books post, Donna Everhart books are always a priority. I requested this one as soon as I saw it on Netgalley, because her other two books had been favorites of mine. And while THE FORGIVING KIND was a different experience for me, I still believe Donna Everhart is a wonderful writer and this is a great and important book.

While I loved reading the first chapter and getting to know Sonny and her father, I admit I lost some interest when he died and the family had to continue with the business. I found the first half of the book rather slow, but I kept on going because I knew it wouldn’t disappoint me. And I’m so glad I did! This is a touching story about a family, about grief, love, racism, and friendship. And the importance of loyalty and never losng hope.

From one particular event on, I found this book unputdownable, and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. This is not a thriller or a fast-paced aventure, but I was so consumed by the story that I needed to know what would happen next. My favorite storyline was the one involving Sonny’s friend, Daniel. There were some scenes that broke my heart and the ending almost made me cry… it’s not a happy story, but it remains hopeful.

This is a book that talks about many important themes and even though it’s set in the 50s, it’s still relevant today. Also, I have never heard of divining water (I’m sorry!), and I found it fascinating. I believe that, like all three books by Everhart, this novel would translate beautifully to the big screen (picture something like The Secret Life of Bees).

Have you read any of Donna Everhart books? 💙

Mini Reviews: Verses For The Dead & Beartown

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Hello and welcome to the new mini-review post! Today I’m writing, again, about two books that have nothing in common. I guess this is the theme now. Read them both and enjoyed them, although Beartown was a better story hands down. Verses For The Dead was quite entertaining, though.

Verses For The Dead by Preston & Child

40697525.jpgI had never read a book by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child before, but a friend asked me to join him, so I started this book not knowing who Pendergast really was. It was also the 18th book in the series, so I was quite worried I wouldn’t get anything. Turns out, VERSES FOR THE DEAD can easily be read as a standalone. Except for a couple scenes involving some recurring characters I didn’t know about, the book features Pendergast with a new colleague, so their dynamic as detectives was new for everyone. I found this novel to be a decent mystery that kept my attention and I was never bored. However, it wasn’t super unforgettable or fascinating in any way.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

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I’ve been trying to catch up with books that have been in my TBR forever and BEARTOWN was one of them. Everyone I’ve come across here loved it, so I figured I had to read it as soon as possible. I admit the novel captivated me from the very beginning because Fredrik Backman writes in such a particular way. I really loved his meaningful prose and the way he introduced all the characters and thoughts. The story told here is important (no spoilers), but there were some moments when I just wanted them to stop talking about hockey. Beartown is a small town where the only thing that matters is hockey, they don’t really talk about anything else. And even though this reminded me of Friday Night Lights in the best possible way, I didn’t fall in love with it as much as my favorite bloggers. However, I still think this is a sad yet compelling book.

Have you read any of these books? What do you think of them? 💙