Thursday, June 30, 2016

June Reading Wrap Up ~ Mid Year Progress and Top Picks

June was a beautiful month, weather-wise and a great reading month as well. We're now half' way through 2016, so I thought I'd pick a few of my favorites read in 2016.  Do you have a few favorites?


  1. The Fireman; Joe Hill 4/5 (eGalley & audio) (June)
  2. A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles; Mary Beth Williams (NF) - 4.5/5 (library) (June)
  3. Nobody's Fool; Richard Russo - 4.5/5 (my shelves) (June)
  4. The Weekenders; Mary Kay Andrews - 3.5/5 (audio) (June)
  5. The Woman in Cabin 10; Ruth Ware - 4/5 (arc) (June)
  6. The Stranger; Harlan Coben - 1.5/5 (audio) (June)
  7. If You Left; Ashley Prentice Norton - 3.5/5 (arc) (June)
  8. Founding Mothers; Cokie Roberts (NF) (DNF-bookgroup) (June)
  9. What Was Mine; Helen Klein Ross - 4/5 (library) (June)
  10. Wreck and Order; Hannah Tennant-Moore - 3/5 (audio) (June)
  11. The Girls; Emma Cline - 4.5/5 (audio) (June)
  12. The Nest; Cynthia D'Aprix-Sweeney - 4/5 (eGalley) (June)
  13. Fates and Furies; Lauren Groff - 4.5/5 (library) (June)


Books Read - 72
(10) NF
(62) Fiction
(5) translated works
(19) debut
(29) Library Books
(37) print
(15) audio books
(13) ARCS
(19) eGalleys
(7) my shelf


June has slipped by and so has another Blogging Milestone
(I never expected to still be posting today)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Girls; Emma Cline

The Girls; Emma Cline
Random House Audio - 2016
Cady McClain - Narrator

The Girls is a well written work of fiction that is loosely based on the Charles Manson cult of the late 1960s.

The protagonist, Evie Boyd looks back on the summer of 1969 when she fourteen years old and lived in California with her newly divorced mother.  Although the family was relatively well off, her grandmother was a famous actress, Evie's mother was busy finding herself and in search of a new man in her life to feel complete. Evie was bored and restless riding bikes with her friend Connie and not looking forward to going away to boarding school in the fall.  Evie was looking for more excitement to the boredom she was experiencing.

One day sees a group of footloose and fancy free young girls with long flowing hair and oversized dresses in the park.  She later sees a couple of the girls, including the sexy and alluring Suzanne, dumpster diving for dinner.  She finds herself enthralled and attracted to Suzanne and after pretending to shoplift for them, she begins hanging out with them.  She is introduced to Russell, who the girls worship. A wanna be rock star who lives on a run down ranch along with the girls and some of their sickly children. Russell is a powerful force over the girls and he uses and abuses the women.

The Girls was and eye opening look at how at how easy it sometimes is to lure young, impressionable youth who are looking for excitement and acceptance. The way Evie describes the way she found herself part of a cult that eventually committed murder was chilling. The story begins in the present with Evie looking back decades to the horrific murders Russell and his followers committed. I thought the writing was very good and in no way did this seem like a debut novel.  Cline captures the restlessness, raging hormones and longing for acceptance of these young women perfectly, making this a deeply affecting coming of age story.  The audio version was very well done. Highly recommended.

4.5/5 stars
(audio file sent by publisher for review)

Wreck and Order; Hannah Tennant-Moore

Wreck and Order; Hannah Tennant-Moore
(Hogarth) Brilliance Audio - 2016
Nicol Zanzarella (narrator)

In this coming of age story, Elise is a young woman who is trying to find herself. In lieu of pursuing a college degree she decides to travel abroad with the $40,000 her father has given her. When that money is gone she uses trust fund money and gets an occasional menial job here and there.

Elise is a train wreck: impulsive, self destructive. She goes from one relationship to another while she tries to find herself and her life purpose.  She comes across as rather lost and pathetic and, as someone trying to avoid responsibility and commitment.

I love coming of age stories and had high hopes for this one but, in the end I had a lot of issues with the story. The audio book narrator, Nicol Zanzarella, was pretty good and, although this really wasn't my cup of tea, like a sinking ship, I had a hard time bailing on this one. The author does a terrific job getting into the psyche of Elise. I liked reading about her travels to Sri Lanka which helped me learn a bit about the culture.

If you are looking for a book with a character you can connect with, this probably isn't the book for you. However, it is very different story and the writing is good and even funny at times.

3/5 stars
(library audio)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Life of Elves; Muriel Barbery

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where I share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  

(I loved this author's book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog but, I'm probably not going to get too far with this book based on the intro and the fact there are (2) pages of characters listed on the pages following the Table of Contents.) Has anyone read this book yet?

The Life of Elves; Muriel Barbery
Europa Editions - 2015



" The little girl spent most of her hours of leisure in the branches. When her family did not know where to find her, they would go to the trees, the tall beech to start with, the one that stood to the north above the lean-to, for that was where she liked to daydream while observing the activity on the farm; then it was the old linden in the priest's garden below the wall of cool stone; and finally--most often in winter--among the oaks in the combe to the west of the adjacent field, a refluence of terrain planted with three of the most majestic specimens in all the region.  The little girl would nestle in the trees, all the hours she could steal from the village life made of book-learning, meals, and mass, and not infrequently she would invite a few friends to come along, and they would marvel at the airy esplanades she had arranged there, and together they would spend glorious days in laughter and chat."

What do you think -- keep reading or pass? 
(Feel free to join in this week by posting your intro below?

Friday, June 24, 2016

What Was Mine; Helen Klein Ross

What Was Mine; Helen Klein Ross
Gallery Books - 2016

Lucy Wakefield was a good person with a good job. She was also a woman who desperately wanted to be a mother.  When she and her husband were not able to have a child of their own, he divorced her, remarried and had a family with his new wife.  So immediately, I felt bad for Lucy and her situation.

One day while Lucy is shopping in IKEA Lucy sees a young infant slumped over in a shopping cart and no adult is in site.  She gently props the baby up straight and notices the baby smile at her. She decides to push the cart up to the customer service desk but as she approaches the desk, pushes the cart outside the store to her car and off they go.  For the next 21 years she raises the girl she names, Mia, as her own.

The story is told from the POV of Lucy, Mia and Marilyn, the birth mother as well as a few minor characters.  Both Lucy and Marilyn came across as sympathetic characters. One lonely and desperate for a child, the other distracted by an important work call on her cell phone.

The first half of the book was very compelling and had me anxiously turning the pages.  As the story progressed I thought things happened a bit too conveniently but, I still enjoyed the story very much.  There aren't a lot of surprises in this novel but, I loved how the author rationalized Lucy's decision to take the infant and raise her as her own.  This is one of those stories that will leave readers torn. Definitely, a good choice for book club conversation.

4/5 stars

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A Book Our Book Group Hated

Harper - 2004

Our book group has been reading quite a bit of non fiction about women the last few months: The Bell Jar, Z: Zelda, and now this month, Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation.  Although The Bell Jar and Z were well received, only one person in our group enjoyed Founding Mothers.  In fact many didn't even finish the whole book.


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts comes New York Timesbestseller Founding Mothers, an intimate and illuminating look at the fervently patriotic and passionate women whose tireless pursuits on behalf of their families–and their country–proved just as crucial to the forging of a new nation as the rebellion that established it.
While much has been written about the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, battled the British, and framed the Constitution, the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters they left behind have been little noticed by history. #1 New York Times bestselling author Cokie Roberts brings us women who fought the Revolution as valiantly as the men, often defending their very doorsteps. Drawing upon personal correspondence, private journals, and even favored recipes, Roberts reveals the often surprising stories of these fascinating women, bringing to life the everyday trials and extraordinary triumphs of individuals like Abigail Adams, Mercy Otis Warren, Deborah Read Franklin, Eliza Pinckney, Catherine Littlefield Green, Esther DeBerdt Reed and Martha Washington–proving that without our exemplary women, the new country might have never survived.

Here's some of the reasons we didn't like the book:

  • Although the research and historical points raised were excellent, the author had an annoying habit of frequently adding commentary of her own. Her male-bashing got to be a bit much.
  • The book felt disjointed, there was no smooth flow. The story jumped from one woman to another and back and forth in time.
  • It was difficult to follow the time period and relationships based on how the material was presented. There were too many names and time periods covered.
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

If You Left; Ashley Prentice Norton

If You Left; Ashley Prentice Norton
Mariner Books - 2016

If You Left is the story of a marriage, a marriage that begins with promise until mental illness surfaces.  Oliver and Althea Willows seem to have a good marriage, at least to some outsiders. They live in Manhattan and have a summer home at the beach but, Althea has suffered from mental illness, bipolar disorder, for most of their marriage.  Throughout each suicide attempt, and hospitalization, her husband has been her rock.  Despite her illness, Oliver wants to have a child but, Althea's daily cocktail of mood meds would likely affect a fetus.  Although Althea isn't sure she could handle motherhood, she wants to please her husband so they decide to adopt a child.

Clem (Clementine) enters their lives and as Althea suspected, mothering does not come naturally to her and she finds the role extremely difficult. Oliver thinks she needs to bond with their daughter so suggests that the two of them spend the summer at their beach house.  Things don't go exactly as planned as Clem has already learned to amuse herself.   Mother and daughter's relationship remains strained, causing more difficulties in an already shaky marriage.

Without saying too much more, I'll just say that at times both of these adults made me mad. I felt sorry for the daughter they adopted.  The author did a great job revealing what living with manic depression might be like and the toll it takes on a relationship.  I must say I wasn't a fan of the writing style, First, there weren't any chapters and the story sometimes felt like one long conversation, yet quotation marks weren't used. In addition, the POV changed quiet a bit.

Overall, I think this story had a lot of potential but, left me a bit disappointed.

3.5/5 starts
(review copy)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph - Tuesday Intros; End of Watch; Stephen King

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where I share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  

End of Watch; Stephen King
(Book 3 of the Mr. Mercedes Trilogy)
(Scribner - 2016)

April 10, 2009
Martine Stover

"It's always darkest before the dawn.

This elderly chestnut occurred to Rob Martin as the ambulance he drove rolled slowly along Upper Marlborough Street toward home base, which was Firehouse 3.  It seemed to him that whoever thought that one up really got hold of something, because it was darker than a woodchuck's asshole this morning, and dawn wasn't far away."

What do you think -- keep reading or pass? 
(Feel free to join in this week by posting your intro below?

Monday, June 20, 2016

Where did the Weekend Go? and New Books!

Yesterday was a long tiring day as we headed to New York City for Father's Day (just for the day). My husband's sons live in Manhattan and Philadelphia so they invited us to the city for brunch.  It was a fun day with perfect weather but, it made for a very long 12 hour day. I hope you all had a nice weekend as well.

The publishers were very generous last week, several new books arrived in my mailbox.  They all look really good but, I am especially looking forward to the new Allen Esken's book, The Heavens May Fall. (I've read his first two books, The Life We Bury and The Guise of Another. I  enjoyed them both.

Friday, June 17, 2016

New Books for June that caught my eye

A few June releases that I hope to read.
(descriptions below)

A grand hotel in the center of 1920s Berlin serves as a microcosm of the modern world in Vicki Baum’s celebrated novel, a Weimar-era best seller that retains all its verve and luster today. Among the guests of the hotel is Doctor Otternschlag, a World War I veteran whose face has been sliced in half by a shell. Day after day he emerges to read the paper in the lobby, discreetly inquiring at the desk if the letter he’s been awaiting for years has arrived. Then there is Grusinskaya, a great ballerina now fighting a losing battle not so much against age as against her fear of it, who may or may not be made for Gaigern, a sleek professional thief. Herr Preysing also checks in, the director of a family firm that isn’t as flourishing as it appears, who would never imagine that Kringelein, his underling, a timorous petty clerk he’s bullied for years, has also come to Berlin, determined to live at last now that he’s received a medical death sentence. All these characters and more, with all their secrets and aspirations, come together and come alive in the pages of Baum’s delicious and disturbing masterpiece.

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny? Plus, she’s always in trouble at work – her pre-school charges adore her, but their parents don’t always appreciate her unusual opinions and forthright manner.  

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. His research could help millions. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost.

When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.
Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - If You Left; Ashley Prentice Norton

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where I share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  

If You Left; Ashley Prentice Norton
Mariner Books - 2016


"IT MUST HAVE been the first or second week of October by then, or maybe even the third, she didn't know and hadn't really cared.  But on that day, time --or, rather, timing--suddenly mattered.  Oliver had left only ten minutes earlier to drop Clem at school, but not before kissing Althea on the head and gently pulling the bedroom door closed, thinking she was still asleep.  Afterward, he was going to a breakfast meeting at the W Hotel for Spectacle, the company he had started right out of graduate school and that now made millions selling eight-hundred-dollar sunglasses.  But Oliver often forgot something and he could easily return to the loft and catch her.  She decided to wait another five minutes, which, for her, was an eternity."

What do you think -- keep reading or pass? 
(Feel free to join in this week by posting your intro below?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Stranger; Harlan Coben

The Stranger; Harlan Coben
Brilliance Audio - 2015
(George Newborn - narrator)

We listened to this audio book on a recent road trip and, although we've enjoyed this author in the past, this thriller left us really disappointed after the first few hours.

Adam Price is a family man from New Jersey with an attractive wife and two teenaged sons.  Adam's life has been happy. One day a "stranger" approaches him and whispers a few words in his ear indicating that his wife Corrine might have faked her pregnancy.  Who is this "stranger" and what is his motive for dropping this bombshell? Could what he's been told be true?  

Adam does a little digging and finds some troubling concealed business expenses of Corrines that need explaining.  When he confronts his wife, his happy life soon begins to spiral out of control.

The story then veers off with other people getting similar visits from the "stranger". They are also told defamatory things about a loved one.  This departure from the original story caused our interest to wane. In addition, the narrative droned on and on with insignificant fillers about the Prices teenaged sons -- info about their sports gear, practices, homework, the fact they took too many showers, what types of pizza and junk food they liked and on and on.

It almost felt like Coben didn't write this novel himself, his thrillers are generally very good. Perhaps if the story was focused just on the Price family and the motives behind the "stranger" it might have been more enjoyable.  The ending was disappointing as well. The narrator, George Newborn was good but not great so I'm sorry to say we just can't recommend this one.

1.5/5 stars
(library audio)

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Woman in Cabin 10; Ruth Ware

Scout Press- Simon & Schuster
July 2016

Lo Blacklock is a journalist for Velocity, a travel magazine.  She's been given the work opportunity of a lifetime, a week on the Aurora, a luxury cruise ship.  Lo thinks that this assignment may be just what she needs to calm her nerves, as a few days earlier her London flat was broken into while she was at home.  Although she never got a good look at the masked crook and she wasn't physically harmed, emotionally she's a wreck and has been unable to sleep.

She boards the ship, destination Norway, but smooth sailing and calm nerves are not to be. Lo's first evening aboard she sleep deprived and spends a few hours dining with the small intimate group and drinking a bit too much.  Then she returns to her cabin she thinks she has witnessed the woman in the cabin next to hers (Cabin 10) being tossed overboard. She's pretty sure it was the woman whom she had borrowed mascara from earlier in the evening.

When Lo reports what she's seen to the crew member in charge, no one believes her. She is told that all the passengers are accounted for, and that cabin 10 is unoccupied. Determined to prove she's not going mad, Lo begins asking questions, perhaps too many questions for her own good.

The Woman in Cabin 10 is one of those mysteries that hooked me early on and kept me eagerly turning the pages.  The story is not perfect but, the characters are interesting and diverse and the setting awesome for the way this story played out. The sometimes paranoid protagonist, who at times had more guts than brains helped to make this a fun summer read.

4/5 stars
(review copy)

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Few New Books

A few new books arrived last week which sound really good to me. I'm particularly interested in Never a Dull Moment 1971: The Year that Rock Exploded (Henry Holt & Co), since I do know a thing or two about that time period - it's the year I graduated from high school (and didn't we think we knew it all when we were teens?)

The other two which I am also anxious to try are:

Have you tried any of these yet?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Weekenders; Mary Kay Andrews

The Weekenders; Mary Kay Andrews
McMillan Audio - 2016 
( St. Martin's Press)
Kathleen McInnerney - Narrator (decent)

Coastal Belle Isle, NC is the ideal setting for this beach read. As the story begins, it's Memorial Day weekend and Riley Griggs and her obnoxious preteen daughter Maggy, are waiting for Mr. Griggs (Wendell) to arrive by ferry to open up their summer beach home but, he never arrives.  Instead Riley is served with papers. She's thinking it's divorce papers she has been served with but, she later realizes that their beach house is being foreclosed.  How can this be?  She and her family have been islanders here for years and years. 

Little did Riley know but her husband was involved in some shady business dealings and there'a a reason he was a no-show, he's dead! Riley is left to pick up the pieces and figure out what Wendell was up to. In addition she must deal with the humiliation of all that has happened and raise her difficult daughter alone.

This novel has a little bit of everything to keep the story interesting enough -  romance, mystery, quirky and annoying characters and even an angst filled preteen girl. The audio was decent but, overall, I didn't find the story all that believable.  

My husband couldn't handle listening to this one on our road trip so I had to listen to this one solo.

3.5/5 stars
(library audio) 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - What Was Mine; Helen Klein Ross

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where I share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that I'm reading or plan to read soon.  

What Was Mine; Helen Klein Ross
Gallery Books - 2016


"Kidnap. Parse the word.  It ought to mean lying down with baby goats. Words can be misleading.

I can't tell my story straight.  I have to tell it in circles, like rings of a tree that signify the passage of time.

Shall I start with how badly I wanted a child?"

What do you think -- keep reading or pass? 
(Feel free to join in this week by posting your intro below?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Nobody's Fool; Richard Russo

Nobody's Fool; Richard Russo
Vintage 1994

I've probably owned this book for 10 years and it's remained on my shelf unread until I learned Russo released a sequel and THEN I had to read it.  Why did I wait so long?  It's wonderful.

Nobody's Fool is Donald "Sully" Sullivan is a 60 year old unemployed construction worker.  Sully is one of those guys who seems to be their own worst enemy, yet you feel for him as the story progresses. He's got a bad knee, an ex-wife and an adult son he's never really gotten to know. The couple separated when his son was very young.

Set in rural North Bath, New York, this novel is full of small town charm and large as life characters who you really get to know.  The dialogue made me laugh and the conversations seemed just as I'd imagine everyday people to be having.  The people meet at the diner and secrets are hard to keep in a small town like this.

Sully's son, Pete is going through a difficult time as well. His marriage is on the rocks and he has been denied tenure at the college where he teaches. He has two sometimes difficult young boys and, of course, the strained relationship with Sully.

There were touching moments in the story when Sully seems to bond with his grandson who has some insecurity issues much like his dad did as a young boy.  The interactions between Sully, the young boy and key characters made me smile. Sully is just so genuine -- warts and all.

The story is filled with small town charm and characters who will feel like some people you've met along the way. Like Russo's Pulitzer Prize winning Empire Falls, Nobody's Fool was a rewarding read. Russo is one author who can capture blue-collar people. Read this if you want a great story complete with quirky and memorable characters. I can't wait to read the sequel, Everybody's Fool.

4.5/5 stars
(personal copy)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles: A True Story of Love Science and Cancer; Mary Elizabeth Williams

 Mary Elizabeth Williams - National Geographic Partners - 2016

"A wry, witty account of what it is like to face death—and be restored to life."

"August 15, 2010 - My last Sunday with an intact head is a glorious one for the family to go to Govenor's Island"

Mary Beth Williams is a journalist, married with two young daughters, she was forced for deal with the fact she had Stage 4 Melanoma. In her book she shares her two year battle and her participation in a new immunotherapy treatment which stopped her cancer in its tracks.

Although the author is clearly a survivor, she shares other stories of loved ones and friends who were not as lucky as she was. The author's story pulls you in quickly and, although a story about someone battling cancer should not be enjoyable, this one was  The author is skilled at using humor at just the right times and her writing is honest and down to earth. She has a way of turning her personal medical crisis experience into a compulsively readable story.  I learned a lot about new cutting edge process and treatments as well.

If you tend to shy away from stories about illness and cancer, don't let this one slip by.  This is a story to be embraced, it's a story I'll remember.

4.5/5 stars

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Fireman; Joe Hill

The Fireman; Joe Hill
William Morrow - 2016

Set in the not too distant future, The Fireman, is a 700+ novel that has already been optioned for a movie.

The premise of the story involves a new plague -- origin unknown -- which has been striking US cities beginning in the Northeast. Referred to as "dragon scale" it's a highly contagious and deadly spore that attacks the body and leaves black and gold tattoo like marks on the skin. No cure has been found and its victims eventually combust.

Harper Grayson is a nurse who has treated slews of victims before the place where she had worked burned to the ground.  Now she too has been infected and is pregnant, however, she seems convinced her baby will be born healthy.  Harper's husband has also developed the dragon scale and has become completely irrational and unhinged.

As the plague and mass hysteria spreads causing victims and cities to burn, quarantine and cremation crews do what they can to contain the plague even if it means burning the victims alive before they self-combust.  And, just who is "the Fireman" who tries to save Harper after her husband goes off the deep end?

Joe Hill has created an at times heart pumping story with well developed characters that had me quickly turning the pages. The set up was great, mostly fast paced but, there were a few twists that I did see coming. In addition to the eBook, I borrowed the audio version from the library so this one was never too far from my side.  The audio is read by Kate Mulgrew who did a great job.

4/5 stars
(eGalley and library audio)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Sunshine Away; M.O. Walsh

My Sunshine Away; M.O. Walsh
Penguin Audio-2015
(Kirby Heyborne - narrator)

I finished this book almost a month ago and, I really loved it.  Although I had both the audio and the eGalley, I especially loved the audio as the Kirby Heyborne was an excellent narrator.

The story begins in 1989, Baton Rouge, LA, where a popular, fifteen year old girl named Lindy Simpson is raped as she is returning home on her bike one evening.  Attacked from behind, she's unable to identify an attacker, however there are four possible suspects.

Told from the POV of one of the suspects, we get a well drawn look into the background of each suspect.  To make the story all the more interesting, the narrator also has an unhealthy crush on Lindy, almost to the point of an obsession. He seems to monitor her every move, often from the privacy of his bedroom since they are neighbors.  I don't want to say much more because I don't want to spoil the story -- just read it.

It's hard to believe that this is a debut novel. The writing is so good and very atmospheric and the characters finely tuned. The story hooked me from the very beginning. Readers who love coming of age stories, especially ones told through memory and reflection will enjoy this one.  Highly recommended.

5/5 stars
(audio and eGalley)