Tag: 3.5 stars

You Will Know Me

Author: Megan Abbott

Published: July 26, 2016
Dates Read: January 30- February 10, 2017

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

How far will you go to achieve a dream? That’s the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits–until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk.

As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers–about her daughter’s fears, her own marriage, and herself–forces Katie to consider whether there’s any price she isn’t willing to pay to achieve Devon’s dream.

My Review:

You Will Know Me is my first book by Megan Abbott. She does a great job of pulling the reader into the very cliquish and highly competitive world of gymnastics. Katie and Eric Knox’s daughter Devon is a gymnastics prodigy. They bring Devon and their whole family into this world and it overtakes them. Their whole lives become about gymnastics. They pay exorbitant gym membership fees and take out a second mortgage on their home that they can’t afford. For them, Devon, and her coach it becomes about one thing: Olympic gold. And they will do whatever it takes to get there.

The Knox’s also have a young son, Drew, who is smart, yet left to his own for the most part. Eric and Katie’s focus is solely on Devon. I listened to the audio book and had some issues with the voice of Drew in the narration. The narrator gave him a bit of a lisp, which I did not like. I could understand him with no problem, I just did not like that part of the narration.

Things seem to be going fine until there is a death that stuns everyone at the gym where Devon is training. It appears to not be an accident and this is the mystery of the book. I was not in suspense while listening to the book. It was more of a mystery for me. I had an idea of who I thought the killer was, and I am glad to report I was wrong. The book did go in a direction I did not see coming, which Megan Abbot did a great job with. I was shocked as one character was with a few twists that occurred. She expertly revealed the passion, jealousy, and merciless ambition these girls and their families have in this world.

(**SPOILER**: Ultimately I was not satisfied with the ending as the killer is not caught or punished for the death. I do see why Megan Abbot wrote the ending the way she did. But I can not go into this without giving away who the killer is. **END SPOILER**)

I have mixed feelings with recommending this book. I did enjoy getting a look at the world of gymnastics, but with the unsatisfying ending, it keeps me from saying, read this book. This will be one I will leave to you if you choose to read.

The Second First Time

Author: Elisa Lorello
224 pages in Kindle

Published: November 15, 2016
Dates Read: December 5-11, 2016

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

Novelists Jonathan Moss and Sage Merriweather should be a perfect match. They share not only the same publisher but also a deep friendship full of mutual respect and encouragement. But when an ill-fated attempt at taking their relationship to the next level fails in spectacular fashion, it appears as though that once-treasured bond is doomed for good.

One year later, however, the duo gets a chance to salvage their relationship when Jonathan invites Sage on a do-over road trip from Phoenix to Tacoma—the same trip that ended before it began the year before.

Reeling from the sudden death of her estranged father, Sage finally agrees, and the two embark on a journey that will change their lives forever. As the pair moves ever closer to the truth about their feelings, both Jonathan and Sage have to decide what they really mean to each other…or risk losing it all.

My Review:

Jonathan and Sage are best friends who both happen to be authors and share the same publisher. After Jonathan’s marriage falls apart, they decide to take a road trip to see what could possibly happen. This doesn’t work out, the road trip does not happen and Sage ends up with a broken heart. They stop speaking and a year has gone by. This is where The Second First Time begins.

Sage’s estranged father passes away and she needs someone to talk to and she decides to call Jonathan. It is almost like nothing has happened and they begin talking again and Jonathan suggests they actually go on that road trip they planned a year ago. Sage debates this but she does decide to go. This changes everything for Sage and Jonathan and they have to decide what they really want.

The Second First Time is a journey for Sage as she comes to terms with loss on several levels: Dealing with her father leaving her, her sister and mother when she was ten years old, then his death and the loss of the closure she can never get, and losing her best friend Jonathan the year before. We experience her thoughts and are torn with her as she tries to decide what she should do and how she feels about Jonathan. Should she take a chance on love again and possibly be hurt again? More importantly, what are Jonathan’s feelings about Sage? Can they salvage the relationship they had and realize what could have been a year ago, or are the decisions that were made then permanent?

While on their road trip they learn more about each other. You can see Sage debating with herself and we can see how Jonathan feels about Sage. Sage just needs to see it herself. At times I found myself saying, “Hurry up and get together!”.

The book is like a When Harry Met Sally story: Can a man and a woman just be friends or will romance eventually happen? The Second First Time was just okay for me, but it was well written. I did not find myself really attached to the characters. The first chapter does pull you into the story. I can’t really recommend The Second First Time, but I would give Elisa Lorello another chance and read another of her books.

I received a copy of The Second First Time from NetGalley.


Most Wanted


Author: Lisa Scottoline
448 Pages in Hardback
Listened to Audiobook

Published: April 12, 2016
Dates Read: July 30- August 11, 2016

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

Donor 3319 Profile:
Tall. Blonde. Blue eyes.
Medical Student.
Wanted for Serial Murder.

Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.

Two months pass, and Christine is happily pregnant. But one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders―and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.

Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?

My review:

**Some spoilers- I am not giving away any huge spoilers in this review- but beware still!

This was my first book by Lisa Scottoline. The premise of the book made me want to read it. Luckily, my local library was offering it on audiobook so I requested it. There was a small wait list, so I had to wait about three months to read it.

If you choose to read this you need to put your sense of reality out the door. Try and enjoy it for the suspense/thriller it is. There is a lot of things with the book that are far from reality. Christine sees the picture of Zachary Jeffcoat on the news after his arrest and is all but convinced that he is the donor. Forget the fact that people do look alike; we all have a doppelganger out there somewhere. Christine and her husband Marcus (who is not supportive at all and he is put on the back burner for most of the book) find a lawyer and go about suing the fertility center to find out if their donor is Jeffcoat or not. This first part of the book seemed well researched in regard to fertility centers and infertility.

Here is where the book really goes out there and you HAVE to let go of reality. Christine decides that the prison where Jeffcoat is being held isn’t that far away, so she goes there with her best friend! They pretend to be freelance reporters to get in to see him. This would not happen in the real world!! And they meet him! She interviews him and finds a way to find out if he is Donor 3319. (I will not give this away). He also asks for help in finding an attorney as he only has a public defender. And guess what??? She does find an attorney for him!…. Now the attorney, Griff- I loved him!! He is the best character in this book. He is a “tell them like it is” guy. Then guess what crazy thing Christine does… She stays out of town away from her husband and very strained and troubled marriage and… works for Griff…. For free!! She also does not tell Griff who she is and what her real motives are.

It all comes down to is Jeffcoat a serial murderer or not? Is he donor 3319 or not?? You will have to read the book to find out. The second half of the book does become the thriller type book. And the last 2 discs got really good. I enjoyed the ending as well.

I almost rated the book 4 stars, but with the “believe-ability” issues I had with the book, I had to rate it 3.5 stars. I do recommend it if you enjoy thrillers.