• Filter by Genre

  • Sort

  • Book Lovers

    • A
    Book Lovers
    Grade: A

    Emily Henry is one of those authors who makes me think… “hmm, maybe I do like romance novels!?” And then I read something by someone am else and am back to murders the next day. Her books are just.. such treats. I loved this one because it poked fun of romance novels a bit, and also: the characters were so likable and relatable. You probably know this by now but one of the reasons I tend to stay away from reading romance is that the female characters are always a little bit pathetic/messy… and/or younger which is fine but I am 41 and just don’t want to read about a messy twenty-something who needs to be rescued. Our leading lady, Nora, is a book agent and a bit of a workaholic in her thirties. In her words, “the one who gets dumped” by her boyfriends who leave her to marry an innkeeper’s daughter or trade city living for the country. She is, as she puts it, the Christmas movie villain on the Peloton bike. When her younger sister Libby (who Nora has always watched out for after their mother died when they were younger) suggests they take a break to spend a month in Sunshine Falls (just outside of Asheville), all bets are off. Especially when Nora runs into her nemesis Charlie Lastra (an equally workaholic book editor). Maybe he’s not as bad as he seems. This book is the perfect romance. It was cheesy at times but in an enjoyable way. I got choked up at the end which is not something that usually happens. I couldn’t love it more!

  • Anon Pls.

    • A-
    Anon Pls.
    Grade: A-

    If you are a fan of the DeuxMoi account (who isn’t!) I think you will gobble this book right up! It’s such a fun read. It is a fictional telling of how the account may or may not have been founded, and I couldn’t put it down! Cricket Lopez is the assistant to one of the most notorious (mean, abusive) celebrity stylists. One night, she is a bit tipsy and decides to turn her old instagram account into a source for celebrity gossip. What happens next is amazing. The account takes off, nearly overnight. The account turns into a giant success and everyone is trying to figure out.. “Who exactly is DeuxMoi!?” She’s approached by investors who want to buy the account, she is terrified of losing her anonymity (as are her friends: they’re all in the same industry and if she’s “outed,” their jobs are at stake too!). Meanwhile, she’s spreading herself thin, disappearing at work, etc. I really enjoyed the book. It made me nostalgic for being young in New York… it was fun and fast paced and reminded me a bit of a Devil Wears Prada for the digital age!

  • Silver Girl

    • A
    Silver Girl
    Grade: A

    An older book (from 2011) but a good one. This had been sitting in my TBR pile for ages. I picked it up during the move because Elin Hilderbrand’s novels never disappoint, they are also always just so extremely satisfying! And heartwarming: I wanted heartwarming. This one surrounds a Ruth Madoff type of character. Meredith Delinn is the most hated woman in America. Her husband, Freddy, has been caught running a massive Ponzi scheme and thousands of people have lost everything because of him. Now, Meredith has absolutely nothing.. just one box of belongings. She heads to Nantucket to hide out at her childhood best friend Connie’s home in Nantucket. This book has everything. There is a redemption angle for Meredith as she works to prove that she didn’t know about her husband’s antics, there’s Connie and Meredith’s friendship, there’s a mother daughter thing, there is two romances, and so much more. I really loved this book. The ending felt like a warm hug. It’s up there with The Blue Bistro in terms of favorite Elin Hilderbrand books.

  • All Her Little Secrets

    • A
    All Her Little Secrets
    Grade: A

    I really loved this book… utterly unputdownable! Ellice Littlejohn has pulled herself up from a rough childhood (she grew up poor, in a small Georgia town with an alcoholic mother and an abusive stepfather). Now, she seemingly has it all: a gorgeous condo and a well-paying job as a corporate attorney. A bit complicated as she’s sleeping with her (married) boss Michael, but doing well overall. When she finds Michael shot dead in his office (and walks away like nothing has happened), her life is upended. First, she is promoted to his role. The dream… except it feels icky and too fast. Things continue to get weirder. The entire executive team misses Michael’s funeral for a party. The cops are investigating his death as a homicide. And Ellice’s secrets start to come out. (Like her brother Sam – who has done time in jail – what was he doing in Ellice’s office building the morning of Michael’s murder!?) This book is fast paced and twisty, but also an exploration of race + racist behavior in the workplace. I couldn’t put it down and would highly recommend it. I also can’t believe it is Wanda M. Morris’s debut novel – she just released her second book and I ordered it on the spot!

  • Mad Honey

    • A+
    Mad Honey
    Grade: A+

    This is a really important book but the annoying thing is that if I told you the secondary (and possibly most important) thing this book is about, it would ruin a big twist. This is exactly what my mom told me, which was annoying but I’m glad she didn’t tell me! There is a trigger warning for domestic abuse. Olivia McAfee is a beekeeper living in New Hampshire with her high school age son, Asher. They live a small but idyllic life. Asher is madly in love with his girlfriend Lily, Olivia has found happiness (after an abusive marriage) with her bees and small town life. Asher’s girlfriend Lily has secrets of her own. When the unthinkable happens (Lily has been found dead) and Asher is brought in for questioning, more secrets come out. The book alternates between the perspective of Olivia and Lily and is utterly unputdownable. Alternating between past and present and taking us through Asher’s court trial and the verdict, I was on the edge of my seat. I really loved it. I cried a few times… it’s very sad, but also suspenseful. As with everything Jodi Picoult writes, it’s impeccably researched, too. Highly recommend this one!

  • The Soulmate

    • B+
    The Soulmate
    Grade: B+

    I love Sally Hepworth’s books and was so excited when I received an an advance copy in the mail. Pippa is married to Gabe, the love of her life. Their marriage has had its ups and downs but they are happy, living in a beautiful coastal town, nestled atop the cliffs. Unfortunately, the cliffs have become a popular place for people to come to end their life. Gabe has developed something of a reputation for being a rescuer… literally, talking people off of a ledge. Then one day, it doesn’t work and a woman falls to her death. When Pippa realizes that Gabe actually knew the victim, questions arise and secrets come out. Pippa begins to wonder if she has been just turning a blind eye to her husband’s bad behavior… questioning if she ever really knew him at all. The book is told from both the perspective of Pippa and the dead woman. I enjoyed this but I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. But still, worth reading. Everything Sally Hepworth writes is excellent. (If you were curious/wondering, The Mother-in-Law and The Good Sister remain two of my favorites!!!)

  • Stay Awake

    • A-
    Stay Awake
    Grade: A-

    This book was torture to read at times as it felt like the story would/could never be resolved! This one is very complex, so be prepared to have to pay very good attention at all times. I had some bad airplane delays and was grateful to have this with me as it totally captured every ounce of my attention. Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi cab. She has blacked out and has no idea where she is. STAY AWAKE is written on her skin. She looks for her phone and that’s gone — replaced by a bloody knife. When she asks the taxi driver to take her home, a stranger answers and tells her that she no longer lives there. She’s disoriented and can’t remember anything. She knows she is a good person, but all signs point to her being the murderer. The book alternates between the present and two years ago where Liv was a successful magazine writer living with her good friend. But now she is on the run and can’t remember anything. This was really stressful to read but also so satisfying. I definitely recommend it.

  • The Cage

    • A
    The Cage
    Grade: A

    This is one of those thrillers that you think about for weeks after finishing it. It had me on the edge of my seat with my stomach tied in knots until the very last page. Here is the premise: two women at a glamorous New York fashion behemoth are in an elevator that gets stuck together. Only one walks out alive. Was it murder or was it suicide? The book then alternates between the perspective of the general counsel at the firm they work together and Shea: the women who got out alive. We get to know Shea and how down on her luck she is. In the 2008 recession both she and her husband lost their high-paying jobs and with that lost everything: their credit, their home, their wardrobes… their dignity. There is also a big mystery and a scandal at the company. I don’t want to say too much but this is definitely worth picking up… I really loved it!

  • Wrong Place, Wrong Time

    • B+
    Wrong Place, Wrong Time
    Grade: B+

    I am so conflicted on this one! On the one hand, it took me about a hundred and fifty pages to get into it (I came so close to DNFing it but had heard such rave reviews). On the other hand, once I got into it I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot and structure of the novel were both really creative and unique; it had some great twists and I LOVED the ending. Here is the premise. Kelly and Jen have a teenage son (Todd) together. Todd is, by all accounts, very sweet and a total rule follower/do-gooder. One night, Todd commits a terrible murder, which Kelly and Jen witness. It is gruesome and awful, and the end of the beautiful life their family has built together. The next day, Jen wakes up and it is the day before. The next day, it’s the day before that. She is stuck in some sort of wild time loop. Can she stop the murder? Can she figure out what happened to unravel her family’s secrets? Is anyone who she thought they were? I would definitely recommend this but just be prepared for it to take a bit to get into. Once you’re in, you’ll be hooked.

  • Burn Rate

    • B+
    Burn Rate
    Grade: B+

    I had been eagerly anticipating this one as I worked in the startup world during Bonobos’ peak era – we were watching everything they did. I had seen Andy Dunn speak a few times and knew quite a bit about him from mutual friends, and was really curious what his book would be like. This is his memoir – of founding (and building Bonobos) and his experiences as a person living with bipolar disorder. Entrepreneurship and mental health. I have to be honest, I like him more after reading this. It’s really vulnerable, raw, and honest — I think a lot of people will benefit from his experience. He isn’t afraid to admit where he makes mistakes and we also see the prevalence of mental health in the startup community. (It takes a very specific personality both when it comes to creativity, performance, drive, etc. to found a startup.) The book follows him from college where he had a scary manic episode through graduate school (where he sweeps it under the rug, seeing his diagnosis as an unspeakable shame) through founding and ultimately selling Bonobos. I enjoyed it. The startup/entrepreneurship parts and bits about living in New York were nostalgic for me and I appreciated his vulnerability.

  • When She Returned

    • B
    When She Returned
    Grade: B

    I cannot for the life of me remember who told me to read this but it sounded right up my alley: a woman (wife and mother Kate Bennett) vanishes into thin air one day; leaving behind her husband and 5 year old daughter. There are no signs of struggle, even her purse is just neatly left on the passenger seat of her car in a parking lot. Eleven years later she shows up at a Montana gas station: haggard, with scars all over her body, clutching a baby. Meanwhile, her husband Scott has moved on and remarried… and her daughter Abbi barely remembers her mother. The story alternates between then (told by Kate) and now (told by Abbi and Meredith – the new wife). As the family takes Kate in and attempts to reintegrate her into society, we learn more and more about what happened to Kate. Sinister secrets, abuse, etc. I felt that this started really strong but kind of fell apart. There are holes in the story and the ending felt a little bit lazy / off the rails to me. I still enjoyed it but was let down by the last twenty percent of the book. I would still recommend it (especially if you love thrillers about cults) but I only netted out medium on this one!

  • Gilt

    • A-
    Gilt
    Grade: A-

    My mom read this and told me that I had to read it because she knew I would love it. (She was right, as always!) Set between New York City and Cape Cod (my two homes/favorite places besides Charleston), it was just so good! The Pavlin family has built a jewelry empire based on love but (all thanks to a PR stunt years ago), its family is divided. Two sisters aren’t speaking to each other, one is dead, and the one grandchild is estranged from everyone and living in poverty. When Gemma Maybrook graduates from college she has one goal: to track down her mother’s famous engagement ring, the Electric Rose (a 30 karat pink diamond). Orphaned after a tragic accident, it is all she has left of her mother. Meanwhile, her aunt Elodie is trying to auction off the family’s most precious jewels and her other aunt, Celeste has escaped to Cape Cod. A series of events bring them together and secrets come out. This book is packed with twists and turns and a very satisfying ending. I loved it. It’s the perfect feel good read.

  • Beware That Girl

    • B
    Beware That Girl
    Grade: B

    This came recommended to me (actually in a funny way, a bookstagrammer tagged me saying thank you for the recommendation but I had not read or recommended it) and I only netted out medium. Kate O’Brien is a scholarship student at an elite New York City girls’ school with a singular goal: getting into Yale. She works two jobs and lives in a basement room in Chinatown. With a secretive past and no one to support her but herself, she has learned to take care of herself no matter what she has to do. She will lie and charm her way to the top. When she meets wealthy, damaged Olivia Sumner, she’s found her mark. Pretty soon, she is living with Olivia in her Upper East Side penthouse and the two are best friends… sisters they never had. Enter Mark Redkin, the handsome new head of fund-raising for their school. Olivia becomes smitten (and very fixated on Redkin) in a dangerous way. Redkin has the power to destroy everything that Kate has worked for, and that is when things get very dark (and start to go off the rails). I enjoyed reading this but I felt it went a little too far. It was entertaining but with so many great books out there, I’d say that you can probably skip this one!

  • Token Black Girl

    • A+
    Token Black Girl
    Grade: A+

    I absolutely loved this book. I read it in a single Sunday because I could not stop reading. If you are not familiar with Danielle Prescod, she has held some amazing jobs in fashion media and now runs her own consulting practice 2BG alongside Chrissy Rutherford. This is her memoir: of growing up Black in an all white environment, working in fashion (you know I gobble up a fashion girl memoir), tokenism, disordered eating, being too Black, not being Black enough, racism, sexism, and size-ism. It is heartbreaking and difficult to read at times, bitingly funny at others… and ultimately: extremely honest and vulnerable. She takes us all the way through her childhood (where so much of her identity is whitewashed as she tries to fit in with her white peers), through school where she felt that she had to make herself “perfect” by starving herself and getting painful chemical hair treatments every two months, through college (and finding herself turning into a mean girl), through her career in beauty and fashion. I really think that every person in fashion and media should read this book. Or any white person, really. I loved that besides being personal, it was also educational. I am not the best at keeping up with pop culture and there was some really racist shit I definitely missed. I loved this book. I will add that there is one trigger warning for eating disorders: Danielle is very honest about her eating disorder and the recovery process and know that can be triggering for some. (On a personal note, years and years ago I went to the same nutritionist that she did and I am still impacted by my experience: although rather than triggering I found a lot of comfort knowing that it wasn’t just me.)

  • The Prisoner

    • A-
    The Prisoner
    Grade: A-

    I really loved Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (and sadly haven’t loved anything else she’s written quite as much The Therapist was good, The Dilemma was not). And then this came along. This is a true “read it in a day” thriller. And if you liked Behind Closed Doors as much as I did, I think you will really like this! I started it on my flight from Charleston to Atlanta, and finished it on the second flight from Atlanta to LA. I couldn’t put it down. It’s fast-paced and not very long. Amelie has had a hard life but through determination and grit, pulled herself up from poverty into a comfortable life. Orphaned at age 17, she moves to London, determined to make it on her own and eventually go to college and study law. When she finds herself down on her luck and homeless, she meets a wealthy woman who takes her in and gives her a job and friendship. Four years later, she has a tight-knit group of friends and is working for a popular magazine. She’s also married to a handsome billionaire. A true rags to riches story. Until she is kidnapped. Kept in a pitch-black room, uncertain of who captured her (or why?). And maybe most perplexing: why does she feel safer there than with her husband? This is a fun, fast read. Not out til November but well worth the pre-order… just be sure to clear a whole day to read it!

  • Nothing More to Tell

    • A-
    Nothing More to Tell
    Grade: A-

    If you have followed a while, you probably know that I am a big fan of Karen M. McManus’s books. While I don’t read much YA these days, I feel like she writes YA for adults. Books about teenagers behaving badly that adults will still really enjoy. You get that high school nostalgia, but it’s not cutesy or saccharine: instead there is a complex mystery.. riddled with suspense (that will keep even the most sharp-witted adult on the edge of their seat!). This might be my favorite of all her books! Brynn left Saint Ambrose five years ago… just after the shocking murder of her favorite teacher. The story made headlines after the body was found by three students. Brynn has now moved home and has landed her dream internship for a true-crime show. She becomes fixated on the case and finding out what really happened to Mr. Larkin. But as she digs deeper (along with Tripp – her former close friend turned enemy turned maybe friend again – who was one of the students who found the body), secrets are unraveled. Was her favorite teacher who she thought he was? Is Tripp who he says he is? I loved this. Couldn’t put it down. The second half especially… I stayed up late to finish it which you know is a good sign!

  • A Hundred Summers

    • A-
    A Hundred Summers
    Grade: A-

    This is kind of like… Historical fiction Gossip Girl? It’s a very fun summer read and had sat in my to-read pile for way too long (I think since living in Brooklyn, maybe!) Sad as Beatriz Williams is a favorite of mine. This is set in the 1930’s. Lily Dane has headed to summer at her family home in Seaview, RI. Her family has been going for years and it’s a refuge for her from New York’s social scene. She’s still reeling from a devastating heartbreak 7 years ago; and has kind of (in her twenties, mind you) committed to the spinster life – taking care of her younger sister and spending time with her family. Her peaceful bliss is interrupted when her former best friend Budgie and her former fiancĂ© Nick (now married!) also return to Seaview… and chaos erupts. When a massive hurricane strikes, family secrets come out, and all bets are off. I loved this. It was juicy and salacious but also glamorous in that Gatsby-ish kind of way. Definitely a must-read, I’m ashamed that it took me so long to read it.

  • The Lion’s Den

    • A-
    The Lion’s Den
    Grade: A-

    This one came out in early 2021 and has been sitting in my TBR pile ever since. I don’t know why it took me so long to pick it up, but I’m glad I did! I’ll also flag that this book would be the perfect summer beach read (not all thrillers are beach reads but this one, set aboard yacht in the Mediterranean) is perrrrfect for the beach. Belle is a struggling actress/bartender living in LA. When her glamorous (but gold digging) best friend Summer invites her on an all expenses paid cruise on her wealthy, MUCH older boyfriend’s yacht, of course she says yes. But as soon as they board his private jet, she realizes things are amiss. Their passports are taken. John (Summer’s boyfriend) is extremely controlling. They realize they are being locked in their bedrooms at night. And Summer is not the friend she thought she was. Belle (and Summer’s other friends) begin to wonder if they will make it off this boat alive. This is fast paced and fun, I felt really lucky to have it with me when my flight was stuck on the runway for an extra two hours because of rain; it was the perfect distraction. I found it really enjoyable and I loved the ending!

  • Hidden Pictures

    • A+
    Hidden Pictures
    Grade: A+

    OK I loved this book. I usually reserve A+ ratings for more literary “good” books but this is my favorite thriller in a while. It was just… unputdownable! I stayed up all night as I needed to know what happened. It was twisty, it was dark, it even had a supernatural element. I don’t want to say too much more than that for fear of giving anything away (there are so many twists!) so here is a little plot synopsis. Mallory is twenty years old and a recovering addict. At one point, she had her whole life ahead of her but we know that something bad enough happened to get her addicted to heroin. Fresh out of rehab, her sponsor gets her a job babysitting for an affluent family outside of Philadelphia. She loves her job. The child, Teddy, is a delight and she quickly bonds with the family. Plus, she has the stability she craves and after work she can focus on her running. Things start to unravel as Teddy begins drawing very dark photos. A man dragging a woman’s body through the dirt. A woman being buried alive. As the stick figure drawings evolve into more elaborate drawings (that a 5 year old could never draw), Mallory is convinced that a spirit is channeling Teddy’s body to tell a story. But with her precarious background, will anyone believe her? This was SUCH a page turner. I loved it so much and want everyone to read it!

  • When We Were Bright and Beautiful

    • A
    When We Were Bright and Beautiful
    Grade: A

    First of all, I really loved this book. Loved might not be the right word: it is extremely dark. I read it in a single Sunday. Second, there is a pretty major content warning for sexual assault. But wow. This book. It was described to me as Gone Girl meets Gossip Girl which if you know me, makes for an absolute must read. The Quinn family is New York City royalty. Living in the historic Valmont building (described by the narrator as basically being ten mansions stacked on top of each other), the three kids want for nothing and have seemingly perfect lives. The best of everything… elite boarding schools and colleges, everything they could ever want. But when the youngest sibling, Billy is accused of sexual assault by his ex-girlfriend Diana, the perfect facade begins to crumble. The book is narrated by the middle child, Cassie, who has secrets of her own. The family knows that Billy must be innocent: he’s their golden boy, he’d never go that far. But Cassie can’t understand why Diana would go so far to ruin his life. Meanwhile, Cassie has secrets of her own: an affair with a powerful married man. As the case goes to court, Cassie and her family are determined to do everything they can to protect Billy. Even if it means taking the stand and exposing their own darkest secrets. This one is really, really dark. But unputdownable. I felt sick at times. But I could not stop reading. I think this would make a great book club book (if everyone is okay with the content warning) as it would make for some pretty intense conversations afterward.

  • The Paris Apartment

    • A-
    The Paris Apartment
    Grade: A-

    This book sat in my TBR pile for wayyyyy too long. I’m glad I finally picked it up and read it! Based on my DMs, this was a polarizing one. People either really loved it or just… hated it? I was of the camp of really loving it! I thought it was twisty and well written, and the plot felt really creative and fresh to me! I don’t want to tell you too much about it for fear of giving things away so I am going to keep the plot summary light. A young woman (Jess) is in need of a fresh start. She flees to Paris to crash with her half brother Ben for a bit, only to find that maybe he’s got some secrets of his own. First of all, the apartment building he’s been living in is stunning and huge: how could Ben possibly have afforded this on his journalist salary!? Second, he seems to have gone missing. He’s nowhere to be found and has left his wallet, keys, and Vespa behind. Third, his neighbors are… interesting… and want absolutely nothing to do with Jess. As she digs into his disappearance and tries to figure out what has happened to him, secrets about the building and its residents begin to unwind. I won’t tell you any more, but this book is a wild ride. I really enjoyed it and definitely did not see where it was going.

  • You’re Invited

    • A-
    You’re Invited
    Grade: A-

    This book was a wild ride. The book opens with Amaya being invited to her ex-best friend Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka. There are only a few hitches. Amaya and Kaavi haven’t spoken in years (we don’t know why but we know something bad happened) and the groom is Amaya’s ex-boyfriend. Kaavi is now a social media influencer (and the founder of a charity that helps underprivileged girls). Amaya becomes consumed with one thought: she must stop the wedding from happening. We have it all: an unreliable narrator, a glamorous locale, best friends turned enemies… I could go on. Things take a turn when Kaavi goes missing. The book alternates between past, present, plus police transcripts. Kaavi is presumed dead and Amaya is the man suspect. But as we see throughout the book, Kaavi has made some other enemies and Amaya (as unlikeable as she is throughout a large chunk of the book) may not be to blame after all. I guessed part of the ending but tore through this in 24 hours… I needed to know what happened! Absolutely loved it.

  • First Born

    • B+
    First Born
    Grade: B+

    Before I get into my full review of this, I need to say something. The plot is excellent. It gets an A+ for twists and turns and shocking the reader. It had a couple really good ones. But the writing was just not very good. So an A+ for plot but only a B- for writing, so I gave it a B+. But if you love a good twist you will really enjoy this. Molly Raven is extremely risk averse, living a quiet life in London. She loves structure and routine, travels infrequently, and weighs any decision over and over again. Meanwhile, her twin sister Katie is the opposite: she’s vivacious, fun, adventurous… living in New York City. They look exactly alike but couldn’t be more different. When Molly’s parents call her from New York to tell her that Katie is dead (and potentially murdered), Molly drops everything and heads to New York. As she tracks her twin’s last days (and meets her friends, boyfriend, and professors), she begins to uncover a web of lies. This one is extremely twisty. The writing is bad but the plot makes up for it.


  • NSFW

    • A-
    NSFW
    Grade: A-

    Woof. This book. I loved it, and I loved the narrator’s voice. Darkly funny + biting at times. There are content warnings for sexual assault and sexual harassment, and if you are an old millennial and started your career in the late nineties/early aughts you might be a little bit triggered regardless. I was. Our unnamed protagonist graduated from Harvard and has moved back to Los Angeles, hoping to get a job in television. She lands an entry-level position at a major TV network “XBC.” She is smart, hard working, resourceful… the daughter of a feminist attorney. At first, she loves her work environment. But as time goes on there are allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. At one point she experiences her own assault. The book is all to real; an exploration of the true cost of being a woman in a male-dominated workplace. The toll it takes to be successful. The idea that you can speak up (as we are so often told to do) and ruin your career or stay silent, be complicit, and move up the ranks. Is it ever worth it? This was at times very hard to read, but overall I really loved it. A spot on look at the me-too era, extremely sharp observations… the sort of book you think about for weeks after you put it down.