My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella’s-5/5 star review!

Katie (“Cat”) Brenner is a country bumpkin trying to find herself in the big City, London. She has a decent job at Cooper Clemmow with the hopes of moving up in the company now that she has the foot in the door. 
Her boss, Demeter, has everything that Cat wants: great job, great house, great husband, and great kids. What is actual perfection and what is an illusion? 
I have read almost all of Sophie Kinsella’s standalone books, with the only exception being Finding Audrey. I get excited for each new release because I know it is going to take me right to my happy place. The same applies for My (Not So) Perfect Life. I forced myself to slow down reading this book because I wanted to savor it. It was romantic, a bit silly at times, and yet there was a lot of character development amongst multiple characters. It gets deep yet some characters are shallow. There are misconceptions that get out of hand yet there is empathy. It is modern yet It comes back to the age-old question: is the grass always greener on the other side? 
I highly recommend this book, as well as Sophie Kinsella’s other books, for anyone looking for a relatable and humorous light read. 
I would not recommend this book for any reader that is offended by foul language, bullying, or sexually suggestive scenarios. 
Please note: an electronic copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. 

The Girl Before by JP Delaney-5/5 Star Review!

Emma Matthews has been through a traumatic experience. She has been burglarized and attacked in the safety of her own home. She doesn’t feel safe there anymore so she and her boyfriend, Simon, are on a seemingly endless hunt for a new, safer, place. They come a cross One Folgate Street where the application process is grueling but the home is an architectural and technological masterpiece. Rarely does anyone get accepted and even more rarely do those accepted actually stay.

Jane Cavendish has been through a traumatic experience. She has just lost her baby at birth and she is looking for a new start. She comes across a place called One Folgate Street and decides that it is the only place that she could consider home. The architect, Edward Monkford, has outlandish demands for the tenants of his home and his obsession with minimalism and perfection are difficult to accommodate. However, he thinks Jane is the perfect match for the home. After she is accepted, that is when things become very strange and she sets out to find the truth. Is the truth better off hidden?

I am 2/2 on 5-star books so far in 2017! This book was hard to put down.  The chapters were short with the narration switching from Emma to Jane and from the past to present, respectively. This book kept me guessing throughout the book and until the last few chapters, it is very hard to figure out the actual identity of the villain. It is not a flat plotline, rather, there are so many twists and turns that it is almost dizzying. Lastly, this book covers many topics but they blend together so well that it did not seem overwhelming to read.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys plot twists. I also recommend this book for any reader who enjoys sifting through red herrings.

However, I do not think this book would be for any reader that is offended by violence, foul language, sexually suggestive scenarios, stillbirth, mild drug use, stalking, rape, burglary, infidelity, murder, and conversations about abortion.

Please note: an electronic copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker-5/5 Star Review

Sharon Kisses crept into New York City from her small hometown in Kentucky and tried not to look back. But then something happens that forces her to go back and see her childhood in a new light.

Mel Vaught attracts attention wherever she goes. Bold, enigmatic, and often reckless, she and Sharon’s opposite personalities attract and balance in their personal and work life. They meet in college and start their careers as partners in an animation project that gained unexpected fame.

Their work life and their personal lives are consistently intertwined in a complicated friendship firmly set on a foundation of loyalty-and partying. The ebb and flow of luck and misfortune hit each of them yet it springboards their creativity and a large animation project seems to be a result.

Initially, I was growing a bit bored with this book. However, a plot twist emerged and I jumped back in. After this point, it was difficult to put down. Not only do the main characters develop throughout the story, but even the smaller side characters.

The story is told solely from Sharon’s perspective and the timeline spans a few decades. In my opinion, this provided depth and built connection between the characters and the reader. The author did a fantastic job of incorporating multiple plot twists that enriched the story (which was partly why I was amazed to find that this is the author’s debut novel). Towards the end of the book, I was entrenched in Sharon and Mel’s lives. I felt their frustrations. I felt their bond. I felt their grief.

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to be able to feel a connection to characters. Also for anyone who enjoys books focusing on honest friendship and the strength required to maintain it.

Conversely, this book would not be for anyone who is offended by alcohol abuse, substance abuse, suggestions of sexual abuse, sexually suggestive scenarios, and foul language.

Please note: an electronic copy of this book was generously provided by Penguin Random House through their First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.