Great Reads

The Last Time I Lied —ARC Review


Publish Date : 7/3/18
Author: Riley Sager
Started: 6/26/18
Finished: 6/27/18
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

First? a big shoutout to a foodie friend of mine, Chef Cherryl. She knows how much I love books and is a friend of the author. She recommended I read this. As soon as she told me, I started seeing the book pop up allllll over the place with awesome reviews and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I moved this to the front of my to be read pile and started as soon as I had finished the one I was reading when she suggested it. So thanks again, Cherryl! Check out her Instagram here for some amazing food adventures!

Also big thanks to Netgalley, Riley Sager, and Dutton Publishing for sending me a copy of the book to review. All thoughts on this book are my own.

Summary from Goodreads:

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees.

Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager, but soon discovers a security camera–the only one on the property–pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.

My Review:

Ohmygosh, hooked right away. With all of the mediocre thrillers and mysteries I’ve read lately, I welcomed this with open arms. I haven’t read a thriller that has engrossed me so much since The Broken Girls (which my review is linked here if you’re interested).

Unlike many of the recent thrillers I’ve read, this is strong with character development. Another strong suit of this book is that it gives out just enough information regarding the mystery at a great pace. There’s always something happening and it’s all connected to what we’re reading to find out about. It’s not overly filled with fluff and unnecessary info. Even when things seem small, they’re connected and Sager does a fine job giving a little at a time to continue reeling in the reader.

I didn’t want to put this down. I was finding myself reading pages while waiting for the kitchen timer to go off, my boyfriend to leave the bathroom, commercial breaks, any time I had a free second when I wasn’t actually in reading mode. One thing that I noticed that is very important at least for me is that I was interested in every section. Many times when a book is broken into the past and present, I find myself more interested in one section more than the other which leads to a frustrating read for me. This novel is broken into present times and fifteen years prior. No matter what section I was reading, there was important information and all of it was interesting. One small issue that could be confusing to some is that when the book switches from the past to the present chapters, it does not always notify you that it’s doing so. It’s not that difficult though because you can tell which period it is based on the characters around so remembering characters is very important for this particular read. There are not too many to find it confusing however and it was relatively simple for me to differentiate the chapters quickly. Even so, there were times where it stated fifteen years prior. It was definitely intentional when the chapters were flipping without notification and I can see why.

Every chapter was important and continued to bring pertinent information to the story which is refreshing as I feel like I’ve recently read many books that contained information that I did not feel quite necessary. This was a literal page turner for me.

The ending was so unexpected and if you read the book, you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s a double shock and I’m a little twisted in the head from it at the moment as I literally just put the book down.

As a thriller, I cannot review any more without giving away details, surprises, and ultimately the joy of actually reading a thriller/mystery but I do 100% suggest reading this. I’d be very surprised if you left this book disappointed in any way. I will definitely be picking up Sager’s previous book in the near future.

Now, I want to play a game with you. Two truths and a Lie: 1) I didn’t see that coming 2) The book is wonderful and 3)  You’ll regret reading this.

Okay, I suck at this game. You know what the lie is… now, put this on your “to be read” list and go get it on July 3rd!!


Great Recipes

Mexican Fried Rice

I love this recipe. It is fast and I almost always have the ingredients. It can be on the table in 30 or less and you can save time by making the rice the previous night or earlier in the day if you would like to save even more time or hassle.

Continue reading “Mexican Fried Rice”

Great Reads

The Way of Beauty








Publish Date 
: 5/1/18
Author: Camille Di Maio
Started: 6/2/18
Finished: 6/8/18
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary from Goodreads: 

Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.

Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.

Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.

Continue reading “The Way of Beauty”

Great Reads

The Theory of Happily Ever After

Publish Date : 5/1/18
Author: Kristin Billerbeck
Started: 5/28/18
Finished: 6/1/18
Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thanks to Netgalley, the author, Kristin Billerbeck, and Revell for sending me a copy of the book to review. All opinions are my own.

Summary from Goodreads: 

According to Dr. Maggie Maguire, happiness is serious science, as serious as Maggie takes herself. But science can’t always account for life’s anomalies–for instance, why her fiancé dumped her for a silk-scarf acrobat and how the breakup sent Maggie spiraling into an extended ice cream-fueled chick flick binge.

Concerned that she might never pull herself out of this nosedive, Maggie’s friends book her as a speaker on a “New Year, New You” cruise in the Gulf of Mexico. Maggie wonders if she’s qualified to teach others about happiness when she can’t muster up any for herself. But when a handsome stranger on board insists that smart women can’t ever be happy, Maggie sets out to prove him wrong. Along the way she may discover that happiness has far less to do with the head than with the heart.

Filled with memorable characters, snappy dialogue, and touching romance, Kristin Billerbeck’s The Theory of Happily Ever After shows that the search for happiness may be futile–because sometimes happiness is already out there searching for you.

Continue reading “The Theory of Happily Ever After”