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Book Review: Before We Were Yours

My Rating: 5
It has been about a month since I finished this book and it honestly took me that long to recover enough in order to write a review.
Before We Were Yours is one of the best books I have ever read, and if you know me at all, you would realize I don’t toss that statement around lightly. By saying that, however, in no way am I saying that this is a happy read, because it is also one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful books I have ever read in my life, as well.
Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals (although the main characters are fictional), the story is that of Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, who would kidnap poor children and then sell them to wealthy families all over the country from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four siblings are the victims of this type of crime, and half of the book is their journey and fight to get back home. The other half is that of present-day Avery, a prose…
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Book Review: American Radical

My Rating: 4
My latest book review is something I don’t typically read, but when I saw a recent interview with the author/undercover FBI agent on tv, I knew I had to check this one out.
American Radical is the story of Tamer Elnoury (not his real name), a Muslim American working undercover in the FBI’s counterterrorism unit. Originally from Egypt and able to speak Arabic, he was recruited by the FBI after 9/11 to join their elite group and gain the trust of known terrorists who are plotting to take out as many innocent lives as possible. It is his duty in the beginning to simply portray a radical to suspected jihadists and see what their reaction is, but his unique background and superior experience quickly requires much more.
The agency soon puts him on the case of a suspected Canadian radical, Chiheb. Chiheb is plotting an attack and Elnoury must try to find out details about his plans, but first, he has to get him to trust him. I found the entire process fascinating as the author sh…

Book Review: Little Fires Everywhere

My Rating: 4
I stayed up waaaaay past my bedtime to finish this one last night, but once I got about 40% in, I literally couldn’t put it down.
Voted as the best book of 2017 by Goodreads, I knew that I was going to have to check this one out as soon as I could. Pushing it to the top of my list thanks to the raving reviews, I didn’t really know what to expect when going in, but honestly, that’s just fine with this one.
On the surface Little Fires Everywhere is the story of a suburb in Cleveland, Shaker Heights, that was founded on very strict and planned principles which trickled down to the society and residents who currently lived there, including the Richardsons and their four kids. All of that would change, however, once Mia and her daughter Pearl moved to town, disrupting the order of everything.
Deeper down, the book is a complex character portrait that displays the intricacies and gray areas we all have, no matter how hard we try to hide them. It brings forth tons of questions ab…

Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

My Rating: 5
Ugh. My heart is happy even just thinking about this book.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a book that wasn’t even on my radar until my virtual book club (major nerd status) chose it for a monthly pick. Although slightly hesitant at first as it didn’t fit into the psychological thriller binge I’ve been on, I saw the raving reviews by seemingly everyone who read it and knew I needed to see for myself what it was all about.
And I already want to read it again.
Eleanor Oliphant is one of the best characters I have ever read, and she is so quirky and honest that you can’t help but love her. She always says what’s on her mind and is completely socially clueless, but that makes her all the more endearing and you just want to tuck her under your wing and take care of her.
The book goes over some good days, and bad days, in her life as she meets new people, gets in interesting predicaments, and finds herself slowly figuring out life along with some of her past that she has …

Book Review: Love Warrior

My Rating: 4
If you are looking for raw and honest- read this book.
Part of my 2018 resolution was to continue sharing more of my authentic self with my friends and the world, and Glennon Doyle is one of the best people to follow when trying to achieve this goal. First famous for her blog Momastery and her collection-of-posts-turned-book Carry On, Warrior, Glennon switched it up a little with this one and just offered a true memoir regarding her marriage journey, roles as a mother and author, and all of the struggles that come with it.
Glennon dives into the beginning of everything, including her entire ordeals with bulimia, alcohol, sex, and drugs, leaving nothing off the table and being brutally honest in sharing her story. This leads up into her surprise pregnancy and quick wedding, then continues on through their marriage problems and how she deals with her husband’s infidelity.
While it is a memoir at its core, Glennon puts forth plenty of wisdom and reflection, sharing what she l…

Book Review: Pretty Girls

My Rating: 4
Have you ever read a book that was so dark and twisted that you literally felt like you lost a piece of your innocence after finishing it? Yeah, that’s what I felt as I was reading Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter.
Needless to say, this book threw me for quite the loop. I was expecting a story about missing girls (which I got), what I wasn’t expecting, however, was an extremely graphic tale of violence and gore full of shocking scenarios and senseless acts that would leave me slightly traumatized and lying awake at night thinking about (which is what I also got).
I’m not trying to be dramatic with this review, but honestly, this book will seriously mess you up. It is not at all for the faint of heart and it will exhaust you every time you finish a chapter. Still with me? Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Pretty Girls was a crazy psychological thriller that continued to throw plot twists and mysteries at me until I didn’t think I could handle it anymore, then it took a sharp left…

Book Review: The Last Mrs. Parrish

My Rating: 4
The Last Mrs. Parrish is a story of lies and revenge, jealousy and manipulation. It is lavish, shocking, and completely over-the-top. And I loved it.
Amber is from a small town and grew up with nothing. She is sick of always being the underdog and is ready for her turn at the privileged life she deserves. Planning her every move, she targets Daphne Parrish, wife of billionaire Jackson Parrish, in order to slip into their lives and tear the power couple apart, in turn becoming the next Mrs. Parrish.
This story is filled with more twists and turns than you could ever see coming, and it has plenty of parts that will leave your jaw dropped. However, it takes a little while to get there. I would say the first 40 pages of the book were a little slow for me as the authors spend a lot of time glamorizing the lifestyle of the rich and showing off all of the wealth. I understand it's necessary background and buildup, but I did almost completely stop the book a few times during t…