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Monday, April 24, 2017

Someone Else's Summer by Rachel Bateman

Setting: Iowa to North Carolina
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Running Press
Release Date: May 9, 2017



Anna and her sister Storm were as close as could be. When Storm is killed in a car accident shortly after graduation, Anna's world implodes. She's lost without Storm. Finding Storm's bucket list, Anna decides to enlist the help of their neighbor, Cameron, who also happens to be a long-time family friend. Together, Cameron and Anna head off on a road trip to the coast to live out everything Storm wanted to do.

Someone Else's Summer caught me from two angles. One, the parent in me shakes to think of a teen heading off halfway across the country. There were times I cringed. Two, the dreamer in me that fell for the characters and their goals. I loved the book for that.

The emotional pull in this book came off as so real. Anna's grief was so realistic, and her disillusion with her parents' protectiveness struck me as true. There are parts of her parents within me, and I've heard my kids say some of the same things. I also remember wishing my own parents in my teen years would loosen restrictions, so I got Anna's viewpoint.

Rachel Bateman has a great beach read here. I definitely am glad I picked it up.






I Found You by Lisa Jewell

Setting: England
Genre: Women's Fiction/Mystery
Publisher: Atria
Release Date: April 25, 2017



Lily Monrose should be having the time of her life. She's newly married to the man of her dreams. However, he never arrives home one night. She knows something is horribly wrong, but police don't seem as concerned. When they finally do investigate, she learns an awful truth. Her husband never existed. Everything he told her was a lie.

Alice Lake's never had great taste in men. The single mom does her best to raise her kids in their quiet seaside cottage. Finding a man on the beach isn't what she'd planned, especially when that man has no idea who he is or how he got there.

Travel back more than two decades to a popular vacation spot. Teenagers Gray and Kirsty enjoy their family summers at the beach, but this year is taking a dark turn. A local teen has taken a shine to 15-year-old Kirsty. Gray's gut feeling is that nothing good is going to come of this infatuation the teen seems to have, but Gray's having a hard time convincing others that something's wrong.

Separated by time and location, these four people's lives are more connected than they could ever imagine. It's up to the reader to learn how a man who never existed, an amnesia victim, and two teenagers could end up so entwined.

I Found You takes more turns than you might imagine. I thought the mysteries would be incredibly predictable, but they're not. I found myself hooked as the clues paint a full picture of a story that goes from obsession, to romance, and back again multiple times. Discover the truth in this very addicting and very detailed novel.




Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Sunbaked by Junie Coffey

Setting: Pineapple Cay
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: May 9, 2017



After finding her husband in bed with another woman, Nina Spark does the unexpected. She ditches her NYC apartment and buys a cottage in Pineapple Cay. She's trading dreary NY winters for sun, sand, and surf.

As she settles in Pineapple Cay, Nina quickly makes some friends, and perhaps an enemy or two. A greedy developer planned to buy the cottage she just bought, and he's not happy about it. He's determined to focus his attentions on driving her out, even pushing aside any worries when his trophy wife disappears. Nina has her suspicions and soon starts snooping with the help of her friends. Proving he murdered his wife would be one way to get the developer off the island and out of her life.

I've loved many Lake Union Publishing novels. It always surprises me when I like rather than love one of them. However, I found myself only liking this novel.

Sunbaked was a bit predictable, and I think that's my biggest issue with it. The characters were certainly colorful, but I'd solved the mystery just after it started. There was no huge surprise reveal for me. It almost came off as cliched. Had the author focused more on the romantic interest than on turning it into a mystery, I am certain I would have really enjoyed it. As was, it was okay but nothing special.