Book Reviews by Rating

Rating


5 Stars

From the Jump

Lacie Waldon

Liv Bakersfield lives her life according to what she should do, as dictated by her beloved self-help manuals. At the urging of a coworker, Liv throws all her rules out the window and sets off on a the yearly vacation with her college friends that she has always missed. Without her rules, will Liv flounder or find the life and love interests she has always wanted?

Upgrade

Blake Crouch

Logan Ramsay works for the Genetic Protection Agency in an effort to tamper his guilt from an incident 20 years ago. After a raid turned wrong, Logan begins to feel himself changing. And he finds himself asking what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?

The Bodyguard

Katherine Center

Hannah Brooks is looks like a kindergarten teacher but is actually a bodyguard. When superstar actor Jack Stapleton’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch and needs protection from a stalker. But Jack does not want to alarm his family and enlists Hannah to be both his security and his fake girlfriend.

Corrections in Ink

Keri Blakinger

Corrections in Ink is a memoir about a young woman’s journey – from the ice rink to addiction and prison to the newsroom – and how she emerged with determination to expose the broken criminal (in)justice system.⁣

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4.5 Stars

I’m Glad My Mom Died

Jennette McCurdy

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.

It Had to Be You

Georgia Clark

It Had to Be You is a witty and heartfelt romantic comedy featuring a wedding planner, her unexpected business partner, and their coworkers in a series of linked love stories.

The Change

Kirsten Miller

Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick—a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers—putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.

The Sign for Home

Blair Fell

When Arlo Dilly, a sheltered young DeafBlind man, decides to take a writing course at the local community college, he hires a new tactile ASL interpreter who exposes him to much more than English.

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4 Stars

Good Neighbors

Sarah Langan

Celeste Ng’s enthralling dissection of suburbia meets Shirley Jackson’s creeping dread in this propulsive literary noir, when a sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburb—pitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger.

Alias Emma

Ava Glass

In this breakneck, race-against-the-clock thriller, a British spy has twelve hours to deliver her asset across London after Russia hacks the city’s security cameras. Can she make it without being spotted . . . or killed?

Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships

Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Jo who lives a fairly boring life outside of her job as a yacht stewardess. For her 29th birthday, Jo’s best friend encourages her to make a list of 30 things she would like to do before turning 30. But unexpected life events may prevent Jo from crossing every adventure off her list.

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3.5 Stars

The Unhoneymooners

Christina Lauren

When food poisoning strikes everyone but Olive and her sworn enemy, who happens to be her new brother-in-law, she ends up on a dream vacation where sparks fly.

Old Country

Matt Query & Harrison Query

Harry and Sasha move into their dream house in Teton Valley having bought it sight unseen. The couple could not be happier until their neighbors bring warnings of a malevolent spirit that lives in the valley, one which, with every season, will haunt them in fresh, evermore diabolical ways.

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How I Rate Books

I provide an overall star rating at the end of reviews. I also conclude reviews with my thoughts on the book in totality.

All star ratings are broken down into the components I consider. These components are different for fiction and nonfiction.
– For fiction: writing, plot, and character development.
– For nonfiction: writing, cohesiveness, and storyline (for narrative nonfiction and memoirs) or organization (for more subject-matter focused nonfiction).

My Star Ratings

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I loved this book. It made me think AND feel. I will highly recommend this book to everyone and urge them to read it pronto.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. It made me think OR feel, not both. I would highly recommend this book to nearly everyone.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is your average book, which I enjoyed. I would recommend it, possible with some caveats.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I thought this book was okay. My overall thoughts can be summed up as meh. I may recommend this book to certain people.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I actively disliked this book or it was highly problematic. I am unlikely to recommend it.


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3 Stars

Thief of Souls

Brian Klingborg

The brutal murder of a young woman in a rural village in Northern China sends shockwaves all the way to Beijing—but seemingly only Inspector Lu Fei, living in exile in the small town, is interested in justice for the victim.

Portrait of a Thief

Grace D. Li

Five Chinese American college students try to steal priceless works of art from major museums in order to return them to the homeland from which they were pillaged.

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2.5 Stars

Fresh

Margot Wood

A vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new experiences––and missteps––of a girl’s freshman year of college.

Breathless

Amy McCulloch

Journalist Cecily Wong is on her most dangerous climb yet, Manaslu. But the elements are nothing compared to one chilling truth: There’s a killer on the mountain.

The Honey Don’t List

Christina Lauren

A love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own.

Taking Down Backpage

Maggy Krell

In Taking Down Backpage, veteran California prosecutor Maggy Krell tells the story of the battle against Backpage. Through a combination of memoir and legal insight, Krell reveals how she and her team started with the prosecution of street pimps and ultimately ended with the takedown of the largest purveyor of human trafficking in the world.

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2 Stars

The Other Dr. Gilmer

Benjamin Gilmer

A rural physician learns that a former doctor at his clinic committed a shocking crime, leading him to uncover an undiagnosed mental health crisis in our broken prison system–a powerful true story expanding on one of the most popular This American Life episodes of all time.

The Verifiers

Jane Pek

Claudia Lin is a lifelong mystery reader and a new employee at a company that verifies the identities of its clients’ online love interests. When Claudia’s newest client ends up dead, she takes it upon herself to solve the mystery of her suspicious death.

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1.5 Stars

The Tourist Attraction

Sarah Morgenthaler

Nothing is going as planned on Zoey’s dream vacation to Alaska. But a grumpy local may be able to both turn her vacation around and bring some much needed romance into Zoey’s life.

Harlem Shuffle

Colson Whitehead

Ray Carney is trying to establish himself as a business and family man. With cash tight and a baby on the way, Ray is convinced to help his cousin Freddie do one last heist. But can Ray keep himself straight or will this heist get him back in the game or killed?

1 Star