Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

  • Published: July 2, 2019 by Penguin Random House Audio
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Edition: Audiobook
  • Time length: 10 hours
  • Rating: 2 stars

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings.

Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story…until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

At the start of this book, the readers are introduced to Jules Larson. Her life has not been an easy one; her sister, Jane, went missing at the age of seventeen has yet to be found and her parents died when she was nineteen. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and is currently crashing at her best friend’s house until she can find a job that will allow her to have her own living space. This makes it easier to understand why Jules acts quickly when she sees an ad seeking an “apartment sitter” for the luxury building named the Bartholomew. The protagonist meets the employer for an interview and is offered the position; she will stay in the apartment for three months and receive twelve thousand dollars after the entirety of her stay. However, the position comes with certain rules that must not be broken; at the beginning, the rules do not seem to be an issue until her next door neighbor, Ingrid, goes missing.

Ingrid and Jules had made plans to meet up at a nearby park when Ingrid turns out to be a no-show. After several texts go unanswered, Jules confronts the employer on her whereabouts. The employer of the building provides little explanation to her sudden disappearance, but does tell Jules that Ingrid left in the middle of the night and the apartment was left the way she found it. Jules, unable to accept this news, decides to start an investigation and questions the other residents hoping to uncover clues that will aid in finding her neighbor. Sadly, the other inhabitants provide little to no information that is helpful; this leaves Jules on her own to uncover the truth and it lands her in the fight for her life.

It is at this point in the book that the plot falls flat for me. I do not want to give too much away, so I will just state that the “twist” the author introduces as an explanation to the disappearance(s) comes out of nowhere. Sager does not lay down any sort of foundation that serves as a build-up to this development, which made it hard to follow and leaves quite a bit of loose-ends that I feel needed tied-up. I also found it frustrating that the author provided no resolution for Jane’s disappearance as it seems she was prominent in the protagonist’s character development. This is the first book that I have read by this author and even though it was not the book for me, I will look into reading other works by him.

*I listened this book on Scribd. If you would like to have ONE FREE MONTH of this book subscription service then click this link: https://www.scribd.com/g/7ovkvo

The Whisper Man by Alex North

  • Published: August 20, 2019 by Celadon Books
  • Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Edition: Kindle
  • Pages: 368
  • Rating: 3 stars

After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

Everyday, I would log onto my “bookstagram” and see several fellow readers currently reading this book, or giving it a five star review. The hype made me eager to get my hands on a copy of this book; I tried NetGalley and Edelweiss+ to no avail. I finally obtained a Kindle copy once the book was released and sadly, it missed the mark for me.

From other reviews, this book was supposedly creepy and not the type of read for late nights; however, I found it not creepy at all. Maybe I have a higher threshold hold for all things creepy since I love the works of Stephen King and other authors of horror? Aside from that, I found myself having a hard time getting into the story. The author throws in a lot of subplots without a clear explanation; for example: Jake’s ghost friend, or Pete’s connection to Jake and Tom.

Even though this book wasn’t a five star read for me like it was for many others, I would still recommend this book to those who enjoy reading books in this category because it’s still a quick and enjoyable read. Who knows? You may find that your opinion is different from mine! That’s the beauty of reading; everyone reacts differently to what they read.

*I read this book via a buddy read hosted by the lovely Hannah, a.k.a. @girlsturnpages. She’s such a sweetheart and her account features several beautiful bookish posts. Go give her a follow at: https://www.instagram.com/girlsturnpages/

Book Review: Cicada Spring by Christian Galacar


Published: March 18, 2015
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 368
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Description: On a warm May evening in the spring of 1979, the people of Heartsridge, Massachusetts, are living the American dream. Families are gathered for barbecues. Kids are playing in front yards. Gardens are being kept. 


Meanwhile, Kara Price stumbles home through the woods, raped and beaten, her life shattered by a wicked act of violence, perpetrated by one of the town’s most beloved and public figures. 

Surrounding Kara is a cast of compelling and nefarious characters—a violent-tempered mayor who can do no wrong in the eyes of the town, a sheriff bound by the rules and plagued by a guilty conscience, a father bent on revenge, a serial killer in the midst of an identity crisis. 

And at the center of it all there’s Kara, who just wants to move on with her life and forget everything that happened to her. But how can she do that when everyone thinks she is a liar who is only out for attention? 

With plot and emotion braided together by a careful hand, this haunted group of people all acting on behalf of their own interests begs the question: How far would you go to protect your own?

This was my first read by this author and Galacar did not disappoint. I feel like this author took the risk of addressing sensitive topics into his novel that most authors would decide to leave out. This story starts off with the main character, Kara Price, heading home after being a victim of sexual assault. At first, she believes that she is going to keep her attack secret but by the time she makes it home she breaks down and confides in the authorities the details of her assault. Kara’s courage to acknowledge her assault and identify the perpetrator should be a huge relief for law enforcement, but that is not the case considering whose name it is that is mentioned. 

Kara’s revelation leaves everyone shocked and doubtful: the sheriff, the deputy, the doctor, and other prominent figures of the town. It doesn’t take too long before word gets around about what has happened to Kara and citizens start to label her as a liar. As a result, Kara becomes a target for bullying and cruel comments. As Kara’s world continues to crumble, she does gain an ally in a female deputy who refuses to let Kara’s case go without justice; with her help, lies and alibis begin to unravel and the truth is brought to light by an unlikely source in an ending that won’t want to miss!

A Serial Killer’s Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming by Kerri Rawson

  • Published: January 29, 2019 by Thomas Nelson Audio
  • Edition: Audiobook
  • Time length: 9 hours
  • Rating: 2 stars

What is it like to learn that your ordinary, loving father is a serial killer? Kerri Rawson, the daughter of the notorious serial killer known as BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill), tells the nightmarish story of that discovery and of her long journey of faith and healing.

Kerri Rawson was living a happy, normal life until one day when the cops showed up at her front door with news that would destroy the image that she had painted of her father over the years. It would be unveiled that Kerri’s father, Dennis Rader, was the serial killer dubbed BTK, which stood for bind, torture, kill. The news stunned Rawson and in this book, she shares the side of her father that his victims did not get to see while also sharing with readers what the conviction meant for her and her family and how they coped with the aftermath.

The book’s opening begins during the time that Kerri is informed her father is a serial killer and all emotions that immediately hit her: denial, shock, and other emotions appropriate for the occasion. Rawson goes through the book sharing memories that she had created with her father while growing up: a hiking trip she took with him and her brother, a father’s concern when she was doing poorly in college, and other moments meant to bond families together.

However, the more the author uncovers about the crimes committed by her father she starts to connect dots to the timeline of the murders and that of her childhood. Kerri makes no excuses for her father; she openly expresses sadness for the victims and guilt for not realizing that danger was so close to home the entire time. With her dad’s crimes exposed, Rawson and her family had to be there for one another and help pick up the pieces of the mess left behind. Most people would believe they would “cut all ties” with a loved one if they found out they committed such horrid crimes, but the author is only human and at the end of the day Rader is her father. As she felt her way through her emotions, which was difficult to say the least, she begins the process of forgiving her father and slowly begins re-establishing a connection with him while he is behind bars.

Originally, I was excited to finally read this book, as I’m a huge fan of true crime shows and books. However, this book just could not hold my interest for too long and did not leave me with any lingering feelings after I finished it. I would still recommend this book, though, for lovers of crime shows/books and memoirs; it may not have been the book for me, but it could be for you!

*I read this book on Scribd. If you would be interested in ONE FREE MONTH of this book subscription service, be sure to click this link: https://www.scribd.com/g/7ovkvo

Book Review: A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell


Published: July 23, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Thriller
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 346
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Description: Caroline Stark’s beach house was supposed to be her crowning achievement: a lavish, expensive space to showcase what she thought was her perfect family. But after a very public fight with her husband, she realizes things may not be as perfect as they seem: her husband is lying to her, the money is disappearing, and there’s a stranger on the beach outside her house.


As Caroline’s marriage and her carefully constructed lifestyle begin to collapse around her, she turns to Aidan, the stranger, for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s infatuation with Caroline, her family, and her house becomes more and more destructive. But who is manipulating whom in this deadly game of obsession and control? Who will take the blame when someone ends up dead…and what is Caroline hiding?

As those that follow my blog know, it is rare for me to reward a book with a five star rating. When it comes to books, there are certain factors that must be present in order to be bestowed a five star rating and here is the list:

  1. Reading speed-Did I finish this book in one sitting or less than three days?
  2. Content-Was the content engaging enough to keep me reeled in until completion?
  3. Predictability-Did I catch onto where the plot was heading?
  4. Re-Read-Would I be able to reread this book at another date?
  5. Purchase-If reading on my Kindle, would I go out and buy a physical copy because it needs to be on my shelf?

This is the first book that I have read from Michele Campbell and I know it will not be the last for me; I finished it in one sitting! This book was the perfect combination of psychological thriller and “whodunit?” The author tells the story from two perspectives: Aidan, a twenty-seven year old man who falls head over heels with a married woman after a one night stand and Caroline: a forty-two year old married woman whose marriage is falling apart and suspects that Aidan is stalking her after their brief sexual encounter. The readers are taking on the journey of hearing both characters recount memories differently from the other, which will leave readers constantly wondering who could be the true culprit when both are accused of murdering someone. Although I caught onto a part of the storyline towards the end, it still didn’t prepare me for what I would discover!

➤ I would like to take a moment and thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Philipps

  • Published: October 16, 2018 by Gallery Books
  • Edition: E-book
  • Pages: 320
  • Rating: 3 stars

There’s no stopping Busy Philipps. From the time she was two and “aced out in her nudes” to explore the neighborhood (as her mom famously described her toddler jailbreak), Busy has always been headstrong, defiant, and determined not to miss out on all the fun. These qualities led her to leave Scottsdale, Arizona, at the age of nineteen to pursue her passion for acting in Hollywood. But much like her painful and painfully funny teenage years, chasing her dreams wasn’t always easy and sometimes hurt more than a little.

In this stunningly candid memoir, Busy opens up about chafing against a sexist system rife with on-set bullying and body shaming, being there when friends face shattering loss, enduring devastating personal and professional betrayals from those she loved best, and struggling with postpartum anxiety and the challenges of motherhood.

But Busy also brings to the page her sly sense of humor and the unshakeable sense that disappointment shouldn’t stand in her way—even when she’s knocked down both figuratively and literally (from a knee injury at her seventh-grade dance to a violent encounter on the set of Freaks and Geeks). The rough patches in her life are tempered by times of hilarity and joy: leveraging a flawless impression of Cher from Clueless into her first paid acting gig, helping reinvent a genre with cult classic Freaks and Geeks, becoming fast friends with Dawson’s Creek castmate Michelle Williams, staging her own surprise wedding, conquering natural childbirth with the help of a Mad Men–themed hallucination, and more.

Busy is the rare entertainer whose impressive arsenal of talents as an actress is equally matched by her storytelling ability, sense of humor, and sharp observations about life, love, and motherhood. Her conversational writing reminds us what we love about her on screens large and small. From film to television to Instagram and now to the page, Busy delightfully showcases her wry humor and her willingness to bare it all.

I adore Busy and was eager to finally get my hands on this book and read the stories she would include, but was disappointed by most. I applaud her for sharing some heartfelt stories such as: her unexpected pregnancy that led her to a difficult decision, her battle with postpartum depression, and the endless rejections that comes with the entertainment industry. On the other hand, I felt like other stories she was sharing came across as her narrating a script for an upcoming movie. She’d constantly mention going out with friends for drinks or hanging out and smoking endless cigarettes. I just couldn’t find myself always engaged in the book or like I could relate to her as much as I would’ve liked.

*I read this book on Scribd. If you would like to have ONE FREE MONTH of this book subscription service then click this link: https://www.scribd.com/g/7ovkvo

Stronger: Forty Days of Metal and Spirituality by Brian “Head” Welch

  • Published: November 30, 2010 by HarperCollins
  • Edition: E-book
  • Pages: 208
  • Rating: 2 stars

This 40-Day devotional from Brian “Head” Welch, former lead guitarist of Korn and the New York Times bestselling author of Save Me From Myself, is an intimate tour through the Bible passages that have meant the most to him on his trying journey from substance abuse to salvation. Save Me From Myself, Welch’s self-effacing story his against addiction and his reawakening to divine love, has made the metal band icon into a hero of Christian rock. Uncompromisingly honest about his demons, and equally fervent about his faith, Head and his impassioned devotional offer a uniquely voiced guiding light perfect for young Christians and rock music fans everywhere.

Brian “Head” Welch co-founded the highly successful metal band named Korn and had everything he could have asked for: nice vehicles and houses, loads of cash, and let’s not forget the most important, fame. It came as a huge shock to everyone when in 2005, the musician made the decision to give his life over to Christ and walk away from his band and all the luxuries attached to it. In this book, Welch carries his readers into spiritual discussions for the span of forty days that he will compare this journey to that of the biblical Moses. Each day, the author shares a few biblical verses that have meaning to him and shares stories of times throughout his relationship with Christ that he needed to apply those specific ones.

This book is not my typical read; I am not familiar with many scriptures of the Bible and don’t practice the religion frequently, so it made it hard to connect with the book. It is for that reason that I decided to rate this one a two star read for me. Although in his defense, I did find that Welch breaks down the verses he shares in a way that is easy to understand. This book is the perfect read for those seeking spiritual guidance, those who love hearing more on Welch’s life after seeking Christ, or those that are looking for a light, uplifting read.

*I read this book on Scribd. If you would be interested in ONE FREE MONTH of this book subscription service, be sure to click this link: https://www.scribd.com/g/7ovkvo

Save Me From Myself by Brian “Head” Welch

Description:

The amazing true story of an out-of-control rock star, his devastating addiction to drugs, and his miraculous redemption through Jesus Christ.

In February 2005, more than ten thousand people in Bakersfield, California, watched as Brian “Head” Welch—the former lead guitarist of the controversial rock band Korn—was saved by Jesus Christ. The event set off a media frenzy as observers from around the world sought to understand what led this rock star out of the darkness and into the light.

Now, in this courageous memoir, Head talks for the first time about his shocking embrace of God and the tumultuous decade that led him into the arms of Jesus Christ. Offering a backstage pass to his time with Korn, Head tells the inside story of his years in the band and explains how his rock star lifestyle resulted in an all-consuming addiction to methamphetamines. Writing openly about the tour bus mayhem of Ozzfest and The Family Values tour, he provides a candid look at how the routine of recording, traveling, and partying placed him in a cycle of addiction that he could not break on his own.

Speaking honestly about his addiction, Head details his struggles with the drug that ultimately led him to seek a higher power. Despite his numerous attempts to free himself from meth, nothing—not even the birth of his daughter—could spur him to kick it for good. Here Head addresses how, with the help of God, he emerged from his dangerous lifestyle and found a path that was not only right for his daughter, it was right for him.

Discussing the chaotic end to his time in Korn and how his newfound faith has influenced his relationship with his daughter, his life, and his music, Head describes the challenging but rewarding events of the last two years, exposing the truth about how his moments of doubt and his hardships have only deepened his faith.

The readers are taken on a journey with the author in Welch’s debut memoir. Welch’s success with Korn did not happen overnight like most would believe. Before the stardom, Brian “Head” Welch was just an ordinary teenager in Bakersfield, California trying to make his dreams of being a musician a reality. He spent hours practicing his guitar skills and starting up several bands that ended after one live show. It seemed like no matter what he did, the dream was not any closer to being within his reach.

Then one night after having recently established a new band that was in need of a lead singer, Welch and another member decided to scout local clubs in hopes of finding the right person for the position. The night was not looking hopeful and they were in the middle of calling it a night when the last band took the stage and the band’s lead singer had not even sung a single note yet and the duo already knew this guy was the man they were looking for. Who would that be you ask? Jonathan Davis.

With their band formed, they started creating beats and writing lyrics. It was not too long afterwards that Korn was deemed the band’s name despite reluctance from their manager about the name not being ideal on landing them a record deal. Welch’s dreams had finally came true, but unknown to him at the time it was to be the beginning of some dark and troubling times.

Welch is very honest with his readers about his addiction to meth, pills, and alcohol. He talks about using drugs with fellow members and while writing, recording, and touring. He tried quitting on his own and with the help of rehab, but to no avail. His last option was to trying placing the situation in God’s hands.

The world was shocked when “Head” announced that he was leaving Korn and had been saved. The decision was a tough one, but ultimately saved his life. With the help of Christ, he was able to become a better father, friend, and son. By finding Christ, he was able to finally ditch the drugs and become sober for good. The decision to walk away from everything was not one made lightly, but Welch is making the most of it and taking it one day at a time.

This memoir is a must read for those that enjoy the band’s music, want insight on why “Head” turned to Christ and has pursued the journey to walk beside Him, or for anyone like me that enjoys a memoir that is personal, honest, and unbiased. I give this book 3 stars.

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Book Review: The One by John Marrs

Published: February 20, 2018 by Hanover Square Press

Genres: Science fiction, Suspense

Edition: E-book

Pages: 416

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Description: A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.


That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…



Five reasons to read this book:


  1. This book is filled with unexpected twists; I’m not lying when I say there is a surprise within each chapter of this book. 
  2. I love how the author gives readers perspectives from five different characters. I find it rare to read a book where multiple points of views are highlighted, I personally wish there were more books like this! By allowing different insights, the readers are less likely to become bored while reading and have a better chance at coming across a character they enjoy and can relate to.
  3. This book reminded me of the episode titled Hang the DJ from the Netflix Original show, Black Mirror. In the episode, a dating system is responsible for pairing up couples and providing them with the knowledge of when their relationships will expire. If you have seen the show or this episode in particular and enjoyed it, then you should definitely give this book a read!
  4. If you are a person who likes to read the book before a show is created based off it, then you will want to be putting this book on your “to be read” list because it’s being adapted into a television series by Netflix and is expected to make its debut in January 2020.
  5. The One is the type of book that you will find impossible to put down! If you are looking for a book that is fairly short with an interesting concept that will keep you turning the pages, then this is the book for you. I rarely award books with a five star rating, so I think it’s safe to say this book definitely deserves this review and praise.

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Book Review: A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold

Published: February 15, 2016 by Broadway Books
Genre: Memoir
Edition: E-book
Pages: 319
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
If viewers have not noticed, I have a thing for memoirs. I personally love memoirs where the author is completely vulnerable with his/her readers and does not seem to lean towards a good or bad only perspective. For those that are unaware of the author, Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold; he is one half of the shooting duo responsible for the April 20, 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. In A Mother’s Reckoning, Sue Klebold does an exceptional job at chronicling the events from her son’s childhood up until the events of Columbine that ultimately ended with the suicide of her son. Although she is the perpetrator’s mother, she does not condone the actions of her son that resulted in the loss of thirteen lives or try to make excuses as to what may have caused him to make the decision to commit this heinous act. However, she also showcases the wonderful aspects of her son that have completely come undone due to that one fatal decision.

Sue Klebold has always kept a diary, which is the source for all the recollections she provides throughout this book. Growing up, Dylan was a normal, well-behaved child that presented no warning signs that he would mature into a person that would be capable of any act of violence upon himself or others. He always did his homework, maintained good grades, never argued with his parents, or even used profanity; he gave his parents no reason to worry. It is often that individuals assume that parents are aware that something is going on with their child and refuse to accept the signs being presented, while others seem to feel as if it is the parents who are at fault when their child demonstrates harmful, deadly behavior. Klebold shines light on the errors of this thinking; in her raw and honest style of writing, she lets readers know that it is impossible to truly know everything about your child and that you can do everything right as a parent and at the end of the day still fail.

During the last few months of Dylan’s life, he exhibited no signs of the horror that lied ahead. He maintained his usual, content self; he was partaking in normal senior activities: prom, college applications, as well as even declaring to his parents the college he wanted to attend and they even took him there for a tour! Life in the Klebold household could not have seemed happier and bright, but that quickly came crashing down on that fateful April day. Sue was at work when her husband called to let her know about the school shooting; as would any mother, she immediately thought of Dylan and how to deliver him to safety. It would only be a few hours until everything in her world came crashing down when she discovered her son was one of the members responsible. By the end of the shooting, thirteen lives were loss including Sue’s son, Dylan who ultimately committed suicide in the school’s library by gunshot wound to the left temple. 

In the aftermath of the tragedy, everything for the Klebolds started to fall apart. The community that once welcomed them with open arms now turned their backs in disgust and anguish. The public outrage led to the family’s decision to not have a funeral, but instead a small, private viewing among close family before having the body cremated. The grieving process took a toll on Klebold and her husband, which sadly led to their divorce. This experience has shaped her life into what it is today and she has spent the last two decades sharing her personal story with others in hopes to bring about more awareness towards mental health. 

In conclusion, I must say this read is definitely worth it. I rarely give books a five star rating, but this one absolutely deserves it. I hope by reading this review, you feel encouraged to give the book a chance.

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