Reviews

Posted in Suspense

Leave No Trace

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Title: Leave No Trace
Author: Mindy Mejia
Publisher: Emily Bestler Books/Atria
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Released: September, 4, 2018

purchase LEAVE NO TRACE (Amazon)

***PDL’s Rating: 3.5 Punches (Okay )***

Leave No Trace started off really strong for me but somehow tapered off holding my complete interest somewhere in the middle and I found myself placing it in my “for later” pile. It did leave me wondering how it will end so I found myself picking it back up much sooner than expected. For this, I am glad because toward the middle end, the story really picked back up and became a very quick read. However, there is one part in the end that didn’t quite feel right for me. It felt as if that incident alone should not have fared well for the characters, yet it was wrapped up not so much as “happily ever after” but along the lines of “life goes on without another hitch”. In my eyes, the way I have gotten to know and understood the characters, this incident should have caused an emotional turmoil, possibly another traumatized experience. Maybe I am just overthinking it… what do I know, right?

Overall, it was an okay read for me. The plot was original which was why I was so excited for it but at the same time I had set my expectations high which may have ruined the reading experience for me. Leave No Trace was rated pretty high overall compared to my own rating. So I encourage you to read it for yourself. With this said, if you have not yet read this author’s previous novel, Everything You Want Me to Be, you need to get on that – I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Posted in Romance, Young Adult (YA)

One Small Thing

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Title: One Small Thing
Author: Erin Watt
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Genre: YA, Romance
Released: June 28, 2018

purchase ONE SMALL THING (Amazon)

***PDL’s Rating: 4.5 Punches (Really Liked)***

I think One Small Thing is supposed to be a sad book but throughout all I felt was anger. I was engrossed and found myself whole-heartedly mad at the world because I can see this happening as I was reading. It made me sit back and think so hard because I can easily relate to why each character was behaving and reacting to each situation the way they did. To be honest, I think I was most angry with myself because no matter which way I dissected it I can see myself in each one of these characters, for the good AND the bad (okay maybe not one particular character). One Small Thing truly opened my eyes and reminded me to never judge or ridicule until you have walked in another’s shoes.

I usually find myself bored as soon as I figure out the plot and how it most likely will wrap up. However, with One Small Thing – it’s completely beside the point. With this story it’s more of knowing but your heart needs the confirmation in order for it to continue to beat.

One Small Thing covered a few tough topics and covered it well. It gives us light at the end of the tunnel.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s not a light-hearted book yet not a heavy read either. I really hope you all give it a go!

Posted in Suspense

Cross Her Heart

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Title: Cross Her Heart
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Suspense
Released: September 4, 2018

purchase CROSS HER HEART (Amazon)

***PDL’s Rating: 3.5 to 4 Punches (Okay to Liked)***

I have been in a reading rut for months on end and I can honestly say this has been the first book in months that I completed and not just toss aside for a later time.

Cross Her Heart is broken up into three different Parts. The first chapter pulled me in quickly and as I started on Part 1, I felt as if it slowed down quite a bit… I thought it will be another predictable suspense but the plot was interesting enough for me to keep moving forward. By Part 2, I am wholly invested. There were a few things that were foreseeable but a great amount that had my head spinning into Part 3.

Overall, I have mix emotions with this one. I started questioning if the plot would truly be considered as a twist since it felt more like withheld information. It’s a tough call for me on this one. I did enjoy it enough to read it from the beginning to the end, so there’s that… not much, I know. I did love the format it was written it – POVs and Before and After.

For fans of this genre – go ahead and give it a go. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Posted in Suspense

The Other Woman

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Title: The Other Woman
Author: Sandie Jones
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Suspense
Released: August 21, 2018

***PDL’s Rating:  Punches ( 3.5 Punches, It was Okay)***

The Other Woman would have received a higher rating from me if I didn’t already figure out the twist from the beginning of the book. I didn’t experience the shock factor that this book was aiming for but overall it was an okay read for me. I can relate to the characters in some ways but there was a disconnection that I cannot pinpoint. Maybe, just maybe I watch too much movies on Lifetime which kind of ruined the book for me – HA! There is a possibility I would have enjoyed it more and be able to relate to the characters on a deeper level if it was written in different point of views (POV) but that could just be because I am biased in this writing style to begin with.

If you had your eyes on this book, please don’t let my short review sway you. I encourage you with all my heart to read it. I have a feeling I am in the minority with my thoughts on this and absolutely believe most of you will LOVE it.

 

Posted in Romance

The Kiss Quotient

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Title: The Kiss Quotient
Author: Helen Hoang
Publisher: June 5, 2018
Genre: Romance
Released: June 5, 2018

purchase THE KISS QUOTIENT (Amazon)

***PDL’s Rating:  Punches ( 4.5 Punches, Really Liked)***

The Kiss Quotient is a cute, sweet and steamy romance with a splash of quirkiness that you will fall hard for. It’s not your typical romance – it’s a refreshing read and exactly what I needed since I took a big break from reading this genre for quite some time for reasons unbeknownst.

If you are a romance reader, it’s a MUST READ and if you are not so much of a reader for this genre – I encourage you to give The Kiss Quotient a try. The characters alone will captivate your heart. Both characters are far from perfect but you will find yourself turning over completely to them.

It reminded me of Pretty Woman, with the gender-reversed and all the extra toppings – simply because the characters are so much more (not that I am belittling one of my favorite movies).

Overall, it’s categorized as a romance but I think the characters charmed me more than the romance itself and the cherry on top is the cultural background that are scattered throughout the book – maybe its personal bias because I am Vietnamese but it’s pretty amazing to be able to embrace whatever was given by the author as I was reading (very rare especially in this genre).

I am very excited for the next release. It’s definitely a feel-good read if you need a picker-upper.

 

Posted in Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

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Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Publisher: Viking
Genre: Fiction – Women’s
Released: May 9, 2017

purchase ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE (Amazon)

***PDL’s Rating:  Punches ( 5 Punches, LOVED )***

I haven’t been in a book slump for a while now and no thanks to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, I am finding myself in one. Every book I have picked up so far, have put down just because my mind is still with Ms. Oliphant.

It’s one of those books that dug its way into a special place in my heart and will remain there. It’s an unforgettable read, one that stays with you. If you have read, Me Before You or A Man Called Ove and loved it – you will definitely love Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. They are similar in the aspect that their main characters are seen as odd to the world but you find yourself embracing them wholeheartedly from page one.

This book truly has it all, I felt so much for Eleanor that I find myself sitting back just staring at the wall trying to pace my heart. Yes it’s true, while reading this book you will definitely find yourself laughing but at the same time your heart is heavy from seeing the world through Eleanor’s eyes.

I love pretty much everything about this book but I do have to point out how much I appreciate that the author kept the story realistic. I am big on this genre not always having to have the perfect ending because it may be categorized as a fiction but to pack a punch, it doesn’t always need to end with a “happily ever after.”

 

 

Posted in Fiction

How to Walk Away

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Title: How to Walk Away
Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction – Women’s
Released: May 15, 2018

purchase HOW TO WALK AWAY (Amazon)

***PDL’s Rating: 5 Punches (Loved )***

How to Walk Away became my top 2018 read quickly. I was captivated from the beginning to the very end. I am not sure if it’s the background of work I use to be in, but I don’t think it makes a difference with how incredible this read truly is. This book is full of hope for a second chance at life in profound ways on different spectrum of life. It truly isn’t what happens to you that define you but how you choose to react to it.

What I love with what this author chose to do with a story like this is not wrapping it up  with a fairy-tale ending. Even though it’s a fiction, it’s a realistic one which I have always found to make a much bigger impact on me personally. It’s emotional and raw and even though it sounds like a heavy read somehow it’s not quite that either because you will find lots of uplifting moments and find yourself laughing or smiling. I don’t want to give too much away but it is definitely one read I highly recommend this year.