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

40950983.jpg

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!

Mini Reviews: November Road & Two Can Keep A Secret

my most

It’s been ages since I’ve published a mini reviews post, so I guess it’s high time. I finally decided on reviewing two novels that have literally nothing in common, but I don’t think you will mind… (?) The two books featured on this post are a YA mystery and a historical fiction “romance”. But not quite. One I found entertaining yet predictable, the other was a quiet and delightful story.

Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus

38225791.jpgI decided to read this book because it was the first book in the ScaredSuspenseBookClub and I kinda wanted to read something light yet  suspenseful. I thought this would perfect for that and I wasn’t wrong. Reading this book was like watching an episode of Pretty Little Liars or Riverdale and while I’m not always in the mood for those kind of shows, YA mysteries are consistently entertaining. However, from what I’ve seen, they’re not really shocking or surprising or maybe I’m just not reading the right ones. I admit I haven’t still read ONE OF US IS LYING, but I might in the future. TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET was super entertaining and I devoured it in practically a day, but it was nothing more than a fun and entertaining mystery that doesn’t really stand out among other similar books. While the twists were predictable if you’ve read other thrillers, I loved Ellery and Malcolm and the double point of view. I wish Ezra hadn’t been such a secondary character, though. I liked him. PS: I hate this cover.

November Road by Lou Berney

35430011

I read THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE about five years ago and I really liked it. Two of my favorite bloggers (Renee & Steph) raved about his new novel, so of course I decided to read NOVEMBER ROAD, a book about the improbable relationship between a mobster and a bored housewife. First of all, I want to say that the cover is strikingly beautiful and I wish I had bought the physical edition instead. This is a weird book, in the sense that I don’t really know how to define it. It’s historical fiction, yes, because it’s set in the 60s, and I guess it’s also a romance, but not the cheesy and melodramatic kind. I guess NOVEMBER ROAD falls also in the literary fiction category, which is one that I admit I don’t usually read. Nevertheless, this was a quiet and beautiful novel whose characters were complex and interesting to read about. In addition, I found this book even more enjoyable because this next April I’m planning a road trip across the south and Frank and Charlotte visit some of the places that I’m dying to see. So much fun!

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

 

 

 

Review: What Lies Below by Barbara Taylor Sissel

36439330.jpg

Release: 2018
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

I remember requesting this book because I liked the “psychic” angle when I read the blurb. Having absolutely loved The Gates of Evangeline & The Shimmering Road, I thought this could be a great story too. And What Lies Below was definitely an addictive and emotional book. However, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

I loved Gilly, the main character of this book. She hasn’t had it easy because of her “gift” and she’s suffered a lot, but she’s still determined to help other people with her visions. At one point, there were so many villains looking for Gilly that I lost count. Her ex-husband’s killer, the baby’s father, Zoe’s abductor… What a dangerous life you’re living, Gilly!

I liked the small town setting for this story, as I thought Wyatt was rather lovely and the perfect place to start a new life. I would certainly move there as well if I had experienced a trauma like Gilly’s! The story gave me a bit of Practical Magic mixed with Sleeping With The Enemy vibes and that’s what kept me glued to the pages. This is the perfect book to read with a cup of hot chocolate beside you. Especially if it’s raining outside.

In the end, though, my main issue with What Lies Below was that I found the story super predictable. There were no shocking reveals and I ended up feeling a bit disappointed when I realized I had been able to guess the why and the who and there were no surprises left. Sometimes I don’t mind it that much, but this time I really wanted to be wrong.

However, if you read the blurb and decide this looks ideal for you, don’t let my review prevent you from reading this book. If you check out Goodreads, What Lies Below has stellar reviews all around.

Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review

BUY HERE

Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo @tjenkinsreid

32620332

Buy Here

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Last year, I saw that a lot of blogger friends were reading a book called The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (x. x, x). I don’t know why, but I wasn’t really interested until I started reading the reviews, perhaps because of the title. However, you all know I’m a big Hollywood fan and every review I read made me more excited about this novel. And it was definitely not what I expected at all. It was better.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was one of my favorite books that I’ve read recently. I hadn’t been so addicted to a non-mystery book in a long time. This was a compulsive read, one of those you can’t put down because it’s so fun, dramatic and completely captivating. A well-written soap-opera that you don’t ever want to finish.

This is the story of famous actress Evelyn Hugo and the relationship between her and her seven husbands. Who was Evelyn’s true love? The narration is told in a pretty unique way, which was one of my favorite aspects of the book. Evelyn Hugo, after decades of silence, decides to give Monique Grant the truth about her life. Monique is a relatively unknown journalist and doesn’t know why Evelyn chose her. Thus begins the story of Evelyn Hugo, who narrates every chapter of her life story, beginning with her first husband.

I loved the structure because you got to judge every one of Evelyn’s husbands and decide who was your favorite. She was a fascinating character, albeit she made some terrible mistakes. Hers seems like an easy life at first sight, but it wasn’t, not really. I loved how every character in this novel (even the ones you hate with all your heart) has virtues and flaws. No one is perfect, and that makes them more realistic in my opinion. This was a book where both the plot and the characters were fantastically crafted.

After finishing the book, I realized I didn’t want it to end. When a great story like this one spans so many years, you can’t help but fall in love with the characters and it’s sad to see them go. This book touched many themes that I didn’t expect… and it tackled them beautifully.

Atria Books, 2017

Review: The Secrets on Chicory Lane by @RaymondBenson @skyhorsepub

34138363

Buy Here

Sixty-one-year-old Shelby Truman, a romance novelist, has received a request to visit her childhood friend, Eddie, who is on Death Row. Though mentally ill, Eddie is scheduled to be executed for the disturbing, brutal murders of his wife and unborn child. As Shelby travels home to Texas for the unnerving reunion, she steps back into memories of her past, recalling her five-decade-long relationship with Eddie in order to understand what led the beautiful but troubled boy who lived across the street to become a murderer. Shelby and Eddie used to visit an abandoned fallout shelter in his backyard, their “secret hiding place” where they could escape Eddie’s abusive father, enjoy innocent playtime, and, later, adolescent explorations. As they grow increasingly close, a tragedy occurs one July fourth, an event that sets in motion a lifelong struggle against an Evil–with a capital “E”–that has corrupted their all-American neighborhood. With only a few days left for Eddie to live, Shelby braces herself for a reunion that promises to shed light on the traumatic events that transpired on her street, changing everything Shelby thought she knew about the boy on Chicory Lane.

I don’t know what I expected from The Secrets on Chicory Lane but it was definitely not what I got. And I don’t really know how to describe this book. Is it a mystery? Not really. But it’s definitely suspenseful. And it’s also sad and memorable and it won’t leave anyone indifferent.

I admit I wasn’t sure I would like it when I started reading. The writing was not what I expected and at first, I didn’t feel I’d enjoy the novel’s structure. This was a weird one. The narration was told entirely from Shelby’s point of view, only she tells us her life story instead of focusing on the present matters. I thought the present would be important, but it was not. Yes, we know that Shelby is traveling to Texas, but what actually matters are her thoughts, as she recalls her relationship with Eddie during five decades, from the time when they were kids until the last time she saw him during the trial.

While I didn’t think much of it during the first chapter, as soon as I started reading about Eddie and Shelby’s relationship, I was hooked. Theirs was one unforgettable tale and I was so immersed in their story that I almost didn’t want to finish the book. Shelby was a character that grew on me as I got to know her better. I definitely thought she made some mistakes (who hasn’t?) but she was a good person overall. Eddie… truthfully, I didn’t like him from the very first moment he was introduced, but I felt sad for him anyway.

As much as I liked The Secrets On Chicory Lane, I can’t say I was surprised by how the story progressed. I thought I knew what had happened and eventually, I was right. It was still heartbreaking and it definitely made me feel uneasy, but I believe it was the right way to finish the story.

This is not a happy book by any means and it touches several themes that make it a tough read sometimes. This book makes you reflect on how childhood experiences can affect our life paths, and how easily things could’ve been different.

Netgalley, Skyhorse Publishing, 2017