In several attempts to get over my two-book hangover, I actually finished and started a few books over the last few days. These “palate cleansers” took a few days for me to get through but as we’re starting a brand new week, I think my being is finally ready to move on from the outback!
The Lost Man by Jane Harper – ★★★★.5☆
Honestly, this deserves more than a mini-review and I’ll probably post my full review later on in the week, but to cut to the chase: Jane Harper also stole my heart with this story (hence the two-book hangover). This was another slow burn mystery set in the outback and that was just as atmospheric as her debut–the rich imagery put me right back in the unforgiving heat where I lost myself completely to this story. CW: physical and sexual abuse. The Bright family was full of complex characters that were endearing, frustrating and terrifying. My theories about whodunit were (of course) dead wrong but it only served to make the reveals a surprising whirlwind that delighted me when it all finally clicked. I also found myself delighted to stumble across a connection between the characters in The Dry and for a short flashback, we got to revisit Kiewarra and learn more about a family there. Harper did a fantastic job bringing all the elements together and the final scene, although maybe a little too easily resolved, left me feeling hopeful about second chances and a fresh start for the Bright family.
The Goodbye Summer (ARC) by Sarah Van Name – ★★★☆☆
I will be posting my full review later this week closer to the publication date (01 May 2019). I think this is the first YA novel I’ve read in a while where I can say that I get people who say they no longer read YA because it’s just not targeted to them. While I didn’t dislike it, I know I would’ve enjoyed the story much more had I read this in middle/high school. This was very character driven but I unfortunately found myself feeling frustrated with Caroline, the MC, more than anything else. I did enjoy the blossoming summer turned lifetime friendship between Caroline and Georgia. It was a solid, supporting and positive relationship that changed the MC for the better, and her obvious growth as a result was satisfying to witness. That said, the pace was slow and I thought how it was written made this better suited to be a TV show rather than a book. Despite the pace, this was a fairly short read that I’m sure many young adults will be able to enjoy and perhaps relate to!
The Naughty Princess Club (Series) by Tara Sivec – ★★★★☆ (Overall)
At the Stroke of Midnight (Book 1) was the first book I picked up after finishing both Jane Harper’s novel and I honestly couldn’t have picked a more different book if I tried! 😂 It really took awhile for me to get into the story and I almost stopped at one point, but I’m so glad that I pushed through because I ended up loving this series! The books were super sexy, romantic, funny and actually very empowering. It was great to read about Cindy, Ariel and Belle, as they worked hard to get themselves out of their “men-made funks” by starting a home stripping business called The Naughty Princess Club. I loved their friendship and how they supported each other throughout the series and their close bond reminded me of what I have with my besties. Sure, it was a bit cheesy at times but it had me breaking out in belly-aching laughs so often and made me feel lighter after each book ended! If I had to pick a favorite of the three it’d have to be Kiss the Girl (Book 3) about Ariel (obviously), even though she was actually my least favorite character at the start. I related the most with her issues, but I also really loved the sweet, easy-going and supportive relationship between her and Eric! Fair warning though: if you’re into steamy reads, this series isn’t for you!
Hope you enjoyed my mini-reviews! Have you read any of these? I hope you’re having a great/good Monday wherever you are in the world!