Review: The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

I’ve read books by this author before and really enjoyed them, so I decided to give this one a shot,
but after the first few pages, I found myself questioning my decision. There was an instant disconnect. I wasn’t really feeling the characters. Then, all hell broke loose.

What I feared was going to be a humdrum book centering on a boring girl turned into a super fast paced page turner featuring a kick ass heroine (or two). The characters came alive and the stakes rose higher and higher as I raced through the pages. My only complaint would be that there were certain events referenced in the book that made me wonder if there was a prequel, and that were never explained to my satisfaction. So . . . maybe a sequel?!?!

Overall, engaging and enthralling!

From Goodreads: A deliciously commercial YA page-turner about the daughter of a con artist who is taken hostage in a bank heist.

Nora O’Malley is a lot of things. A sister. An ex. A secret girlfriend. Kind of crooked, but reformed… somewhat.

Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up her mother’s protege. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

For five years she’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:

#1: her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’ve all been inseparable for months, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.

#2: The morning after, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised together. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly.

Because #3: right after they get in the bank, two guys start robbing it.

But they have no idea who they’re really holding hostage.

The robbers are trouble. Nora’s something else entirely. 

Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness: Lisa Unger’s House Of Crows Novella Series

This week I read:

This novella series is about 4 adults who were friends as teenagers, a dark secret that they share, and the past that’s come back to haunt them.

This was a good introduction to the novella series. In this book we’re introduced to the major characters and we get a glimpse of their troubled pasts as well as the creepy house at the center of the mystery.

In the 2nd part of the series, we learn more about the dynamics of the characters’ childhood friendships, their adult relationships, and the darkness that followed them from their past into their present.

In the 3rd part of the series, we learn that things aren’t always as they seem. Danger lurks around every corner, and no one is safe.

The conclusion to the series packs a wallop with enough tension, suspense and unexpected twists to keep the reader on the edge of their seats! All in all a creepy, atmospheric series.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Gifted teens in Vegas? What’s the worst that could happen? The 3rd installment of The Naturals series presents a tightly plotted, super smart mystery that deepens the arc that connects all the books. We get to know the characters, their backgrounds, and their motivations better as the author teases the reader with answers they so desperately want, all while deftly laying clues for them to solve the case at hand.

This final installment wraps the series up nicely. I’m sad that it’s over, but now maybe I can finally get some sleep! 🙂 Barnes is a master of creating tension and suspense even as the events teased throughout the series finally come to fruition. The stakes are high – not just because they’re life or death, but because it feels like you’ve come to know the characters and are invested in their fates. There you are, holding your breath, hoping for the best, and then whammy! What an emotional rollercoaster!

This novella picks up 6 years after the novels leave off. I was eager to read more about the characters I had come to know over the course of the series, and to discover how they had evolved as they aged. The case presented in this one was interesting and had a nice twist, but there was something missing. It felt a bit rushed, not just because there was a clock ticking down, creating a sense of urgency and suspense, but because the time usually spent with the characters and their development was missing. This was like a 2 hour movie paring down to a 1/2 hour show with half the cast. Good but not great.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

I LOVED this book! And I stayed up WAY too late reading it! Some people have a natural gift for reading people . . . what happens when the FBI recruits them while they’re still teenagers? In full disclosure I did guess who the villain was, but I didn’t care. I loved the characters, the storyline, everything. Every once in a while a book comes along where I have to pick the sequel up immediately – and this was one of those books!

Barnes is officially to blame for my sleep deficit! This is the 4th book I’ve read by her this year, the 2nd in this series, and she’s quickly become one of my YA favorite authors. The stakes are no less serious in this sequel, the characters no less likeable, the storyline no less suspenseful! Teenage angst and twisty plots? I’m addicted! I just broke my book buying diet to buy the next installment!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

Three friends who share a mysterious secret from their past find themselves treading water as their lives start to unravel. Has the past come back to haunt them? Or is the threat a reality? This was good, but not my favorite by this author. A bit predictable and unbelievable at times. I enjoyed the dynamics of the friendship and the character development more than the suspense, which is rare for me.

Four college friends – or are they frienemies – meet up for a reunion. When the secrets come out, so do the claws, but some will pay more than others. Who do you trust when everybody’s a suspect? I enjoyed my time with this twisty mystery but wish I hadn’t pegged the culprit as early as I did.

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book was spooky and creepy and seriously messed up! What begins with a teenage girl who has a supernatural ability to find things using her power to locate and end the reign or terror of a man who ‘feeds’ on the souls of children ends with the same girl – now a woman – trying to save her own son from the same man. At it’s core it’s a book about people with special powers who use them for good or evil, but it’s so much more than that. The character development and atmosphere are downright literary coupled with a sense of dread that makes your toes curl!

Take a remote setting, add plenty of secrets, and trap a group of people with someone who wants revenge and you have the recipe for success! This suspenseful story took me on a sleighride to thriller land! Plenty of atmosphere and a cast of characters who all had something to hide kept me glued to this book until the end – best of all, it kept me guessing! Hard to believe it’s a debut!

I just started:

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book was awesome! It was fast paced, suspenseful, and had a couple of nice surprises in store for the reader. The main character is in her senior year of high school – and the witness protection program. She just wants to keep her head down, blend in, and make it through the last 6 weeks of school so she can attend college and leave the program forever. But as long forgotten memories start to resurface, other demons from her past come back as well. A perfect thriller for your summer reading list!

Four college friends go to a remote Alaskan island to spend the summer working on their art – but they aren’t the only ones who show up! This was a gripping, fast paced story that kept me turning the pages. Plenty of suspense, but with a few minor plot hiccups that I would have missed entirely had I not been so intent on solving the mystery! The writing was a little rough in places, and it wasn’t completely unpredictable, but it was enjoyable, easy reading.

I just started:

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My Top 10 Books Of 2020

I had to wait for the last minute to make this list because I’ve read SO MANY good books this year and they just keep coming! I wish I could include them all, but unfortunately, that’s not how these lists work! These are the top 10 books I read this year that I’d recommend adding to your TBR pile:

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

1) Hollow Kingdom

This one was a HUGE departure from what I normally read, but I loved it so much! It made me laugh, cry, and think.

In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

2) In An Instant

This is one of those books that breaks you, then puts you back together again. Keep tissues handy.

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

3) Heroine

Readers of Mindy McGinnis know that she doesn’t pull any punches. This book was raw and brutal and should be required reading for high schoolers.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

4) The Sun Down Motel

This book had all the atmosphere! It also gave me ghost story fever and influenced what I read quite a bit in the months after I finished it.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

5) Anna Dressed In Blood

You wouldn’t expect a YA horror book to be so good, but this one really was. It was deep and poignant and much more than I ever expected.

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

6) The Hand On The Wall

This entire trilogy was just so perfect, from the dual mystery, modern day and historical, to the characters. It was an absolute pleasure to read! (And I hear there’s a fourth book in the works!)

#NoEscape (Volume 3) by Gretchen McNeil

7) #NoEscape

I’m a big Gretchen McNeil fan, and this one did not disappoint! Plenty of suspense, horror, and so, so smart!

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

8) With The Fire On High

This book didn’t have a lot of suspense, it had zero horror, but it had a lot of heart. It had me cheering for the main character because I cared about her future.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

9) Home Before Dark

For some reason I got the biggest kick out of this book. It was a good balance of humor and horror, fact and fiction, and I really had fun reading it.

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly   Jones

10) I’m Not Dying With You Tonight

This wasn’t the best written or the most emotional, but it kept me on the edge of my seat! Incredibly suspenseful because it was such a pertinent book for our times, 2020 in particular.

Have you read any of these? Where did they rank with what you read this year?

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Monday (Mini #BookReview) Madness

This week I read:

This book was engaging and kept me up late reading. Blake’s writing draws you in and keeps you in the story’s grasp. Good ghost scenes and action. Not as haunting as the first, but a good sequel.
This one was crafty. I thought I knew what I was in for, then it took a turn that had me worried I was mistaken, then *pow* it was back on track, hunting the characters down through the pages and delivering exactly what I wanted!

I just started:

Click the links to friend me on Litsy or Goodreads and unite our bookish communities!

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