2018 Book #11 – The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

51MbMthRSSLTitle: The Things We Wish Were True
Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Date finished: 1/29/18
Genre: Fiction, suspense, thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Pages in book: 290
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

My rating:  4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This is from my 2016 Backlog list, I read this for the 2018 Bookish Reading Challenge for the “a book whose title uses alliteration” category.

This book delved into the minds and lives of a number of different characters in a small town, including a child and a matron of the community. A boy is rescued from the pool one day during the summer, unconscious and unresponsive. The people there too witness the event seem to form a bond over the shared experience but all of them have significant secrets to hide. I think that’s one of the things that bothered me about this book, everyone seemed to be betraying someone and (while its naive) its sad to me to think that people are so deceptive and selfish. All of the characters were so downtrodden and unhappy at different points of the story, it was slightly frustrating to get involved with such flawed (but realistic I guess) characters. That being said, I thought this was such a great story and I love how everything was laid out in the end and all the loose ends got tied up neatly. There were some great plot twists, most of which the reader can see coming due to being able to tie together multiple view points but were still exciting. This was a really good read and I would recommend it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it even after I’d finished it!

 

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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Bookish 2018 Reading Challenge

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I came across this reading challenge the other day and I had a great idea for using it. While in the past I would have read whatever was next on my list and tried to have it fit into a particular category, I thought this reading challenge would be perfect this year for me to do exactly as described and #killyourTBR! I have a large backlog of books from 2016 and 2017 and I’m not always sure which ones to read next when I have the time. So I decided to use this list to help me slug my way through my backlog lists. Looking forward to a productive 2018!!

Bout of Books 21 Wrap Up Post

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So for one of my goals this year to help me focus more on reading and having concentrated time for reading, I decided to participate in all 3 Bout of Books reading challenges / read-a-thons this year! The first one was luckily scheduled for this past week which is before my busy season at work officially starts.

Below were the goals that I had set for the week and my assessment with how I did on them.

Time Devoted to Reading

I plan to read at least 2 hours each day during the week, with hopefully additional hours on Friday. Also the Saturday during Bout of Books I have Goal Day planned but then I have other family plans in the evening so I’m hoping for a good 4 hours of solid reading. And then Sunday I don’t have anything planned other than house work so hopefully a solid 4 hours that day as well.
Things didn’t go quite according to plan – Goal Day for Saturday got moved because of a family function and due to prep work and chores I barely got to read at all Saturday. Plus a couple social functions kept me away from reading during the week. Overall I ended up reading close to 16 hours this week though which I’ll call a success. 

My Goals

My goals for this read-a-thon are that I’d like to participate in as much as I can: the daily posts plus reading every day.

I did participate in 3 out of the 7 daily challenges and I did read every day. 

Books to Read

 

Overall this was a great week of concentrated reading for me and I am glad I was able to get so much accomplished! Looking forward to the next one in May!

 

Bout of Books 21 Update – Day 7

Sunday was a great reading day! We ended up staying home and not doing much, my favorite kind of Sunday plus I was able to spend most of my time reading. So my Sunday’s progress is below:

Update

Sunday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) I didn’t really track it exactly but I read off and on all day – I’d estimate about 5 hours total
Number of pages I’ve read today:  279 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 978 pages
Books read: Finished The Safest Lies, started The Rogue Is Back in Town
Challenges: Coincidentally I had to post a review today anyways, which was lucky since that was the challenge for Sunday! See my review of The Safest Lies here

Make sure to check out my wrap up of the challenge overall, had a great week of reading!!

2018 Book #5 – The Safest Lies by Megan Miranda

518u1R1zo6L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Safest Lies
Author: Megan Miranda
Date finished: 1/14/18
Genre: Young adult, thriller/suspense
Publisher: Ember
Publication Date: May 30, 2017 (Paperback; hardcover was released May 24, 2016)
Pages in book: 357
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: My friend Alex

Blurb from the cover:

Kelsey has lived most of her life in a shadow of suspicion, raised to see danger everywhere. Her mother hasn’t set foot outside their front door in seventeen years, since she escaped from her kidnappers with nothing but her attacker’s baby growing inside her—Kelsey.

Kelsey knows she’s supposed to keep a low profile and stay off the grid for their protection, but that plan is shattered when her dramatic car accident and rescue by volunteer firefighter and classmate Ryan Baker sparks media coverage.

A few days later, she arrives home to find her mother missing. Now, to have a chance at a future, Kelsey will have to face her darkest fears. Because someone is coming for her. And the truth about the past may end up being the most dangerous thing of all.

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:

What do you do when your worst fears are realized?

Kelsey’s whole life her mother has been subtly training her, giving her the knowledge that she would need to survive. Kelsey always believed that her mother was paranoid because of what she experienced when she was around Kelsey’s age – being abducted and held against her will. But after Kelsey’s mother disappears and Kelsey finds herself in danger, facts start to surface that don’t fit with this story. As Kelsey fought her way to freedom and in the days and interrogations that followed, I found the thought process for the police and for some of the other adults in charge to be a little unrealistic. Overall though I liked this book and found it to be an interesting read. I especially liked how Ryan and Kelsey’s relationship developed through the book, I thought it was really sweet. And I think the part where they were trying to escape the panic room was one of the best parts of the book, I only wished it had been closer to the end since it created such great tension in the story. I thought this was a good read though and I would recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Bout of Books 21 Update – Day 6

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Saturday did not go ok reading wise. I was able to read a little in the morning but then grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and parties took up the entire rest of my day! So my Saturday’s progress is below:

Update

Saturday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) Probably just about 1 hour, didn’t really track it exactly
Number of pages I’ve read today:  63 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 699 pages
Books read: Continued The Safest Lies
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Saturday, I wanted to but ran out of time

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on my Sunday update and my wrap up of the challenge overall, hoping for a day full of reading today!!

Bout of Books 21 Update – Day 5

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Friday went ok, I was able to read for awhile at night but I could barely keep my eyes open! So my Friday’s progress is below:

Update

Friday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) Probably around 2-2.5 hours, didn’t really track it exactly
Number of pages I’ve read today:  118 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 636 pages
Books read: Continued The Safest Lies
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Friday

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Saturday update, hoping for a day full of reading today!!