May Wrap-up

May was a busy month for me. I had my end of semester exams from 9th to 20th and so most of my time in May was spent revising. However I still managed to read the following 6 books:

The Other Widow by Susan H. Crawford

The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison

The Girl in the ice by Robert Bryndza

After She Fell by Mary- Jane Riley

Don’t you Cry by May Kubica. You can read my review here.

Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers

I haven’t yet posted the other reviews but I hope to do so over the month of June. I also hope to take a little break from the psychological thrillers and read something a bit lighter.

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Some of the books on my June TBR list include;

Desert Flower by Waris Dirie

Five Days by Douglas Kennedy

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

I hope you enjoyed your month of May. Happy Reading.

Top Ten Tuesday: Beach Reads

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, bloggers get a topic which entails giving a list of ten things based on the topic.

I like today’s subject. However, while other people around the world are getting ready for summer, we are getting ready for our version of winter(although we really don’t have seasons here ). July is usually the coldest month in Kenya. Nevertheless, these are the books that I have lined up to read over the next few months while everyone else enjoys the sun.

 

I have been reading psychological thrillers over the past few months so my next reads will be something different but hopefully fun.

desert flower

I have been away on exam/annual leave and I just got back to the office today and on my desk was a books gift package. This is one of the books that I received. I am super excited about it since I have wanted to read it for a long time.

Classics

I have had these books on my TBR for ages now. I hope to read them in the next few months.

Have you read any of these books? Don’t be shy, share your TTT links in the comment section. I look forward to finding out what you have planned for summer.

 

 

Book Review: Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica

About the Book

Synopsis

In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew. 

Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.  

As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.

My Review(Spoiler Free)

This is my second book by Mary Kubica, she is turning out to be an auto-read author for me. The first book that I read by her is Pretty Baby which I absolutely loved. It was an interesting psychological thriller that kept me turning pages to the end.

Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica is a bit different from Pretty Baby. However, that doesn’t mean that it was any less intriguing. The story is narrated from two perspectives. Quinn was Esther’s roommate who woke up one day alone with her roommate gone. She then embarked on a mission to help solve the mystery of Esther’s disappearance. The second perspective is from Alex, an 18year old in a small town intrigued by a strange woman who shows up in town seemingly out of the blues.

The book had some good twists. I loved the fact that even half-way through it, I still had no idea about where it was going or who the bad guy was. I only figured it out in the final chapters. Interestingly, I wasn’t keen on the book cover before reading it. I think that may have given me some clues about the plot-line.

“Little does she know it, but she occupies ever spare moment of my time.”
Mary Kubica, Don’t You Cry

The only thing that I did not enjoy about the Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica was its slow pace. At some point I felt as if the story dragged on longer than necessary. One of the main characters, Quinn also bothered me at some point. Her paranoia seemed over the top in some instances. At first I was also confused by Alex’s role in the narrative although the dots did connect at the end.

love it

I enjoyed this book and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys reading thrillers/mystery novels. The themes of obsession, malice, deceit all made it a fascinating read. I really like Mary Kubica’s works and I hope to read all of her books especially The Good Girl. If you are  fan of psychological thrillers/mystery novels then you need to check out Kubica’s works.

Book Details 

Author: Mary Kubica

Pages: 312 (Hardcover)

Publisher: Mira

Release Date: May 17, 2016

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters I Defend

#T5W

It is that time of the week again  for Top 5 Wednesdays, created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to know how T5W works you can go to the Goodreads group by clicking here.

The instructions for this week were as follows: May 25th: Characters You Defend -These are characters you love, but no one else seems to so you are always defending them!

St. Claire Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

anigif_enhanced-buzz-28094-1369145975-3I know he seemed to string along Anna for quite some time and also got involved with her before really ending things with his girlfriend. However, I think that St. Clair was going through a lot at the time and he did breakup with his girlfriend before making things official with Anna. Come on, Etienne wasn’t that bad, was he?

Will from Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

willWill has been described as the worst boyfriend ever. I have also read comments about how he tried to get Louisa to live her life to the fullest while on the other hand, he gave up on his. His decision at the end has been criticized. Well, he was unhappy, didn’t want to live the rest of his life like that and depending on how you choose to look at it, I think his decision was brave.

 

indexRachel Watson in The Girl in the Train by Paula Hawkins

Why do people dislike Rachel so much? I know that she wasn’t a strong protagonist and readers felt that her character was quite weak.  I never had any issues with from the start. She was clearly troubled and just trying her best to do something right.

Silas from Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

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I know that he was the villain in the book but sometimes I sympathized with him. I think that he honestly thought that he was doing the right thing.

Marta from Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

She was really tough on Hildemara . However, I think Marta was just trying to do the best that she could as a mom. Hildemara was not as strong  this worried her mother. Really, I think that Hildemara did her best when it came to her family.

So, which characters do you always find yourself defending? Have you read the books on my list? What did you think about the characters? Don’t be shy, leave your T5W links.

WWW-Wednesday

This meme is currently hosted by Samantha @ https://samannelizabeth.wordpress.com-  Taking on a World of Words

To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

So here’s my 3 W’s for the week.

 

Recently Finished

Okay,since my last WWW,I have read the following books over the past two weeks:

After She Fell by Mary Jane Riley-Absolutely loved it.

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza-Enjoyed this one

The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison-This really wasn’t for me.Not sure why it was compared to Gone Girl.Seriously though people need to stop comparing all psychological thrillers to Gone Girl.

Typing this on phone but will post full reviews next week.

Currently reading

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Don’t you cry by Mary Kubica-Two chapters in and enjoying it so far.

Reading Next

Time for some African Literature

The Fisherman by Chigozie Obioma

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I have just heard good things about this book.It has been described as traumatizing,creepy,weird yet fascinating so definitely my kind of book plus I have missed reading African Lit.

I need to return this one to the library on May 30th

Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers

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So how about you, any interesting books that you have read lately? What are you reading now? What do you plan on reading next?

 

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PS:I have been away for two weeks for exams.This week I’m on my annual leave from work though only resting(I’m at home,sleeping,reading,watching a lot of TV) for 5 days.I will be back to my regular posting next week.Happy reading y’all.

Book Review:You don’t have to say you love me by Sarra Manning

Book Review
Title: You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
Author: Sarra Manning
Published: 2011
Pages: 555

About the Book

And the rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don’t get guys like gorgeous William, heir to Neve’s heart since University. But William’s been in LA for three years, and Neve’s been slimming down and reinventing herself so that when he returns, he’ll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her.
So she’s not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she’s an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she’d better get some, well, experience.
What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia’s colleagues Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And Since he’s such a man slut and so not Neve’s type, she certainly won’t fall for him…because William is the man for her…right?

You don’t to say you love me by Sarra Manning is undoubtedly a big book at 555 pages. However, it’s a good, easy read and I went through the pages pretty fast. It’s really well written with endearing, memorable characters.

 
8471815It is a good romance novel with quirky humor and interesting twists. It did have some steamy scenes though not too steamy.Readers get to go on a journey with Neve and watch her transform into a wonderful woman. Neve is such a lovable character and its easy to relate with her and sympathize with her struggles to be good enough for William while battling with poor self-image. I  enjoyed reading about her relationship with her sister and of course, Max. Neve starts out as an obsessed woman determined to lose weight. However, as her outward appearance changes, we get to see her work on the woman inside. The woman with low self-esteem and who is being bullied by her sister in-law.

 
I loved the part that Max played in Neve’s life, the fact that they were two were a very unlikely pair who end up becoming friends. Neve seemed disgusted by Max at first and on the other hand, Max was busy chasing his usual women that he never noticed Neve. The two make a pact whereby Max agrees to teach Neve how to be in a relationship in readiness to her meeting with William.

 
tangledsighI liked the fact that You don’t have to say you love me by Sarah Manning was unpredictable. It was a fun, interesting read with the perfect ending and an endearing heroine. I give this book 3.5 out 5 stars. If you are looking for a fun, fluffy read, then this is definitely your book.

Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a meme currently hosted by Books and a BeatThis is an opportunity to share the books that you have recently found and added to your TBR.

tumblr_muwzscDBG41sn9ovdo1_500I have added three more books to my shelf this week. As always, I got the books from a books street vendor in Nairobi. After weeks of reading psychological thrillers, I decided to get something different and went for some romance and generally fluffy reads.

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The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis

1 New York Times bestseller Nicholas Sparks turns his unrivaled talents to a new tale about love found and lost, and the choices we hope we’ll never have to make.

Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life – boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies — he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heart-wrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Five Days by Douglas Kennedy

Synopsis

Laura works in a small hospital on the Maine coast, scanning and x-raying many a scared patient. In a job where finding nothing is always the best result, she is well versed in the random unfairness of life, a truism that has started to affect her personally. Her husband Dan has become a stranger since losing his job. With a son in college and a daughter set to leave home, she wonders how the upcoming empty nest will affect the disconnected state of her marriage.

Still, Laura jumps at the opportunity to attend a conference in Boston where she meets a man as grey and uninspired as her drab hotel. His name is Richard. He’s a fifty-something salesman, also from Maine, also in Boston for the weekend. When a chance meeting brings them together again, Laura begins to discover a far more complex and thoughtful man behind the flat facade. Like herself, Richard ponders his own life and wonders if the time has come to choose desire over obligation.

Five Days is a moving love story that will have readers reflecting about the choices made that so shape all our destinies. Featuring Kennedy’s trademark evocative prose and his brilliant ability to delineate life the way it is truly lived today, it is a novel that speaks directly to the many contradictions of the human heart.

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Synopsis

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie-a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance-mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

So did you add any books to your bookshelf this week? Have you read of the three on my post? Let me know.

giphyHappy Friday!

Top 5 Wednesday: Summer Reads

#T5W

It is that time of the week again when I bring you the Top 5 Wednesdays, created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to know how T5W works you can go to the Goodreads group by clicking here.

The instructions for this week were as follows:

May 18th: Summer Reads
This can include beach reads, fun reads, or any book you associate with summer for whatever reason!

I decided to base my summer reads on books set in beach towns.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

Here is my review of the book.

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis

An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life–until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart.

But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else.

Dear John, the letter read… and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love—and face the hardest decision of his life.

How Stella got her Groove Back by Terry McMillan

Stella Payne is forty-two, divorced, a high-powered investment analyst, mother of eleven-year-old Quincy—and she does it all. In fact, if she doesn’t do it, it doesn’t get done, from Little League carpool duty to analyzing portfolios to folding the laundry and bringing home the bacon. She does it all well, too, if her chic house, personal trainer, BMW, and her loving son are any indication. So what if there’s been no one to share her bed with lately, let alone rock her world? Stella doesn’t mind it too much; she probably wouldn’t have the energy for love—and all of love’s nasty fallout—anyway. But when Stella takes a spur-of-the-moment vacation to Jamaica, her world gets rocked to the core—not just by the relaxing effects of the sun and sea and an island full of attractive men, but by one man in particular. He’s tall, lean, soft-spoken, Jamaican, smells of citrus and the ocean—and is half her age. The tropics have cast their spell and Stella soon realizes she has come to a cataclysmic juncture: not only must she confront her hopes and fears about love, she must question all of her expectations, passions, and ideas about life and the way she has lived it.

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That summer by Sarah Dessen

For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She’s nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister—the always perfect Ashley—is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley’s reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.

 

The Return Journey by Maeve Binchy

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In ‘The Return Journey’, Maeve Binchy creates powerful compelling stories of love, loss, revelation and reconciliation.You can read my review here.

 

 

Summer Hideaway by Susan Wiggs

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Synospis

Never get attached – Private nurse and protected witness Claire Turner lives by this motto. Fleeing a treacherous past, she knows no other way.

Never give up – In the twilight of his life, George Bellamy makes it his final wish to reconcile with an estranged brother. He and Claire journey to Willow Lake – where it all went wrong for him fifty years ago.

Never let go – George’s grandson Ross is ruled by a fierce devotion to family and a deep mistrust of the mysterious Claire … yet sparks fly whenever she’s near. In the face of a wrenching loss, amid the enchantment of Willow Lake, Ross and Claire dare to risk everything for love.

Have you read any of these books? What are your summer reads?let me know and please feel free to share the links to your T5w posts.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I picked up on a Whim

Top Ten Tuesday

May 17: Ten Books I picked up on a Whim

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, bloggers get a topic which entails giving a list of ten things based on the topic.

Random picks that I am extremely proud of:

Why I picked it: The blurb intrigued me. I had never heard of the book or the author but it turned out to be one of the best psychological thrillers that I have read in a while.

  • You By Caroline Kepnes

Why I picked it: I actually just Googled ‘Creepiest book’. Search results led me to this book. It was creepy but quite interesting.

I picked this book because of the size. It looked small and cute. Little did I know that I was in for an emotional roller coaster ride. Read the book in one seating. The next day,I went back to the library and borrowed all books by the author.

I was thirteen when I found this book left behind in a vacated house. There were a number of things thrown out and the book just lay there abandoned. Picked it up and discovered John Grisham. I have read all of his books since then. I never even check the blurbs, Grisham writes, I read.

The book cover had something on Oprah Bookclub. I bought it on a whim and ended up liking it so much. Definitely one of the most powerful books that I have ever read.

I am one of the few people who were not particularly moved by Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. I later read his other book, Adultery which I also didn’t like. I picked this book because it the only one remaining one at a sale. Ended up absolutely loving it. It’s the first story that I have ever read written from the perspective of a prostitute. It was quite thought-provoking.

I was going through my psychological thrillers phase when I picked this book. No prior knowledge about the book or author. It turned out to be quite a page turner.

Another lovely book that I picked on a whim. I don’t think that many people have read this one but I really enjoyed it.

I haven’t read the next two books but I bought them from a street vendor at only a dollar. I later checked Goodreads and they just happen to have very many great reviews. I hope to enjoy them.

Have you read any of these books? Do you usually get books on a whim or rely on reviews and recommendations? Don’t be shy, share your TTT links in the comment section.

Book Review:Luggage by Emily Barr

Book Review
Title: Luggage
Author: Emily Barr
Genre: Fiction
Published: 2002
Pages: 346

About the book:
She claims to be someone else. But you’d recognize her anywhere.
Back in England you tell your journalist boyfriend. While he never knew her, he always knew of her- her name is Daisy Fraser and she was awaiting trial over the death of four people when she jumped off the Severn Bridge.
He Says: Happy Christmas- I’m taking you to Australia to find Daisy.He thinks: This could be the scoop of the century.

In this suspense thriller, a backpacker in Australia meets fugitive. She discovers that this wanted woman now leads a new life. She is a wife, mother of a ten year old and is expecting her second child. In addition, the woman also has a new name. It’s evident that she has spent a lot of time and effort in burying her past. However, the backpacker is very sure that the woman is a fugitive from England and not the woman that she now claims to be. The backpacker goes back to England and tells her journalist boyfriend about the encounter. Her boyfriend knows that this is a big story, one that can make his career and so he plans on going back to Australia to find Daisy Fraser, the wanted woman.
Daisy is currently living a new life as Lina in a land far away from her past. Years back in London, Daisy had committed a crime that had sent her to trial. She faked her suicide and managed to get away to Australia. In the little town of Craggy Rock, Lina/Daisy is now living a comfortable life with her new family until her past finally catches up with her.
The woman who finds Lina is not just any other backpacker; she was once her best friend. Jessica knows that Lina is Daisy and is determined to find out about her old friend who everyone assumed committed suicide.
Emma Barr does a good job in creating a story that is suspenseful right from the start. The story is quite fast paced and I was captivated right from the start. The characters are easy to engage with especially the protagonist, Lina.
Baggage by Emma Barr is quite an enjoyable read that will keep you turning the pages up to the end.