What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

What Alice Forgot centers on Alice (shocker!) a 39 year old woman who falls during her spin class, hits her head, and forgets the past decade of her life. Imagine her shock when she wakes up in a hospital and learns that she is getting divorced, has three kids, and is about to turn 40 years old. Alice must navigate this new life, while trying to figure out where everything went wrong and why her life now seems so lonely. Throughout the novel, Alice gets back pieces of her memory that help her to understand why things have turned out they way they have. But is it possible to fix everything?

Sorry if that description sounds incredibly cheesy, summaries are not my strong suit. What Alice Forgot was a very entertaining read, especially because I am a big fan of amnesia redemption stories. I love the idea of getting a new perspective of your life and making you think about what is really important. Liane Moriarty does a great job of creating mystery about Alice’s past, so as a reader you want to keep reading to figure out what really happened. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about in this novel was the letters from Frannie (you’ll understand if you read) because they felt superfluous and I didn’t find them particularly engaging.

Definitely worth a read if you’re in the market for an easy-to-follow yet interesting novel.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

So good. I was glued to this book and read it in 4 hours. It was that gripping. If you are a fan of Gone Girl or Hitchcockian thrillers, this is a must read.

The Girl on the Train is written from a few different perspectives, but focuses mostly on Rachel. To put it delicately, Rachel is having a tough time sorting out her life. Every day, Rachel’s commuter train stops at a signal, which gives Rachel the perfect view of a seemingly happy suburban couple, who she names “Jess and Jason.” Rachel dreams up a magical life for this unsuspecting couple, imagining them as a perfect couple, with a perfect life. However, one day Rachel sees something that shatters the illusion and cannot keep it to herself. Soon, Rachel becomes entwined in the life of this couple in dangerous and thrilling ways.

If I haven’t made it clear above, you should definitely read this book. It is enthralling, engaging, and intriguing. It’s not a happy, fluffy novel, so don’t read it expecting any of that. But it is well-written and full of mystery.

If you read it, let me know what you think in the comments below!

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

I had really high hopes for this book, which may be why I finished it slightly disappointed. Another factor may be that it took me a while to read, since it’s a very long book and I was short on time. Maybe my disjointed reading of it contributed to the fact that I didn’t feel particularly engrossed in the novel. However, I also think that this book did not live up to the hype it generated.

The Paying Guests is set in a town outside London, just after the end of World War I. Because of economic turmoil following the War, Francis Wray and her mother are forced to take in boarders. In enter, Leonard and Lillian Barber, a young married couple, who are to be the Wray’s tenants. As the novel progresses, friendships are formed, limits are pushed, and the entire household changes forever. This is a book meant to ignite passion and invite intrigue.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Sarah Waters is a good author. This book, albeit at times slow, was wonderfully written. The images and scenery described really gave me a good understanding of the time this novel was set in. I’m trying to pinpoint why I didn’t exactly like this book and I have to say I am not entirely sure what it is. It could be that the plot seemed to be drawn out or that the climax of the book wasn’t as shocking as I thought it would be. I think I wanted to be more enthralled in this book than I was.

This is not one of those books where I will say – don’t waste your time, it’s not worth the read. What I’ll say is this: this book is beautifully written, but the plot is not as gripping as you may expect, so read at your own risk.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book will take you on one crazy ride. Be prepared to be confused, to be lied to, to be on edge, and to be a little freaked out when reading this book. Now, that may not seem like a glowing recommendation, but I swear it is. This book was great.

We Were Liars transports you into the mind of Cadence Sinclair, a teenage girl who spends the summer months with her wealthy family on a private island near Cape Cod. However, one summer Cadence mysteriously suffers a head trauma and can no longer recall the events of that summer. This novel takes us through Cadence’s thoughts, as she struggles with depression, pain, and confusion surrounding the events of that summer. We Were Liars explores the relationships between Cadence, Mirren, Johnny, and Gat (aka the Liars) and how all of their stories lead to the discovery of what caused Cadence’s amnesia.

E. Lockhart writes a very compelling and intricate story that will keep you guessing until the last page. Definitely check it out, but also I want to make sure that everyone knows there may be triggers in this book in regards to depression and harmful thoughts/behavior.

The Lunar Chronicles (Books 1-4) by Marissa Meyer

This series is one that you just won’t be able to put down. I reread them all in less than a week, every spare moment I had was spent on my nook reading, even though I already knew what was going to happen. These books are just that good.

Book one is called Cinder – a play on the fairy tale Cinderella, where our main character (Cinder) is a cyborg mechanic who lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters in New Beijing. A plague outbreak, a visit from the prince, and a crazed queen on the Moon throw Cinder into the midst of what might turn out to be an intergalactic (I love that word) war.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: cyborgs and moon queens – sounds a little too sci-fi for my tastes. I promise you that this book gives you the perfect dose of futuristic sci-fi action mixed with an incredibly intriguing plot line and wrapped up with just enough romance to make you feel that special spark. It’s a book for anyone who loves YA dystopian-esque or action novels. It’s awesome.

Scarlet and Cress are the subsequent novels in the series, both of which focus on another character mentioned in the previous books. These novels show a distinct progression in time, meaning it is not the same story told from three different viewpoints. I don’t want to give a lot away, so I won’t go into detail about them here, but feel free to ask me any questions you may have about them in the comments!

Fairest is the fourth book in the series, which gives us the back story of Queen Levana, a central character in all of the other novels. It’s a short story, less than 200 pages, but necessary to read in order to fully grasp how Levana came to be. It also gives you a great insight into the central character of the fifth and final novel called Winter.

All I can say is that these novels will keep you captivated and I cannot wait for Fall 2015, when the final book comes out!