Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley

Catherine West is forty-two and rich. From her father’s estate Catherine receives a huge monthly allowance, so money is never an issue. But she very much wants to be in love and get married. She meets William at an art show and can’t believe that he actually knows her family from when he was a kid. He had lived in Switzerland for years and is now back in New York. They start seeing each other and Catherine couldn’t be happier. He soon moves in with her and life is perfect. Except for Catherine’s family. Her dad died years ago, her mom has dementia and her sister is too needy.

When they become engaged, Catherine wants her mom to meet him. But every time Catherine mentions William, her mom doesn’t want to talk about him and when she does it is negative. Catherine tries to find out why her mom doesn’t like William, but she just won’t tell. And then Catherine finds out that the money from the estate has run out and she is about to lose it all. William assures her they will be fine but Catherine is still upset. And then she starts noticing things about William that are making her second guess this whole relationship. If only she can get her mom to tell her why she dislikes William. Is he her future or should she let him go?

This was just okay for me. I figured out the twist about halfway through so it was not a shocking ending for me. And I was not a big fan of the characters. I will try her next book, The Goddesses. Hope the characters are more likable and I don’t guess the ending.




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My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Katie Brenner works for a glamorous company in London. She is only slightly better than an intern but she doesn’t care. Her dream was always to get out of her little farming town and live in London. Her dream has come true. So what if she has to share a flat with two other people and her room is super tiny? Or that her commute is complicated and long. She is living her dream.

But before she knows it she is fired for something she didn’t do. She is forced to move back to Somerset and help her dad start his glamping business. He thinks she is just on a sabbatical to help him. When the glamping business become a big hit, Katie is surprised since none of her dad’s ideas every work out. While helping her dad, her ex-boss, Demeter,  shows up. Now she has to act happy in front of  Demeter and keep her dad from finding out her secret. As Katie continues her charade she realizes maybe Demeter doesn’t have the perfect life and that maybe Katie doesn’t have it so bad.

I love Sophie Kinsella books! This was a another great one with funny, cringe worthy moments and awkward but lovable characters. Can’t wait for her next one, Surprise Me, out in 2018.


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The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner

Sarah hasn’t been married that long and is very much in love with her husband, Johnny. They have a beautiful home and live in a great neighborhood.  While Johnny is away at a conference, a fire starts at the house next door. Her house ends up catching on fire too. While watching all this happen, the neighbors soon realize that the baby next door is still in the house. Sarah is able to save her but nothing can be done about the two houses.

Now Johnny and Sarah are homeless and end up living in a rental. They stay in touch with the neighbors but Sarah soon realizes maybe the fire wasn’t an accident. She starts to question how well does she really know her neighbors. She even starts to grow suspicious of Johnny. Now Sarah doesn’t know who to believe or who to trust. Will she be able to trust the right person or will it cost Sarah her life?

This book was just okay for me.  I have been reading a lot of psychological thrillers lately and this one just wasn’t as good as some of the other ones. The story was good and I didn’t mind the characters but something was just missing. I will try reading her next book, The Twilight Wifeand hope for the best.

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The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Irene Glasson is on the run. After finding her boss’s body she flees to Hollywood. There she starts a new life as a reporter hoping the murderer never finds her.  She gets a tip about a famous actor and heads to the famous Burning Cove Hotel to meet her source. What she finds is her source dead.

Oliver Ward owns the Burning Cove hotel and values privacy, for himself and his famous clientele. Once a famous magician, Oliver stopped after a trick went wrong. He has never told anyone what really happened and wants to keep it that way. He allows Irene on the premises even though she is a reporter. He is intrigued by her and is going to keep a close eye on her.

Together they team up, not really trusting each other. But when there is a second victim, they are determined to find out who the murderer is before it is too late. And on top of that murderer, Irene’s past has caught up with her. Will she be able to stay in Hollywood and start a new life or will her life end before it really begins?

This a departure from Amanda Quick’s usual time period. It is set in the 1930’s instead of the normal 1800’s. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the change, but I should have known better. Anything Amanda Quick writes I am going to love. She always has great characters and stories.

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The Mountain Between Us By Charles Martin

Dr. Ben Payne is trying to get home. His flight is delayed and then canceled because of the weather. He needs to get home because he has surgeries to perform the next day. Journalist Ashley Knox also needs to get home. She is getting married. Ben finds a small charter plane that is willing to fly in this weather. Ben having met Ashley and hearing her dilemma, invites her to share the plane.  Soon they are in the air, making small talk, when the pilot has a heart attack and the plane crashes.

Ben and Ashley survive but Ashley’s leg is broken. And they are in the middle of a mountain in the wilderness. Luckily, Ben is a doctor and a mountain climber. In the beginning, they stay close to the plane but soon realize that help isn’t coming. The only way out is to walk. As they make there way out of the wilderness, they grow close. If they make it out alive, how will this experience change them?

The main reason I picked up this book is because it is being made into a movie starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet. I am glad I read it. It was exciting to find out how they would survive. I definitely recommend this one and you should read it before the movie comes out in October.

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All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Nicolette Farrell has returned home to help sell the house she grew up in. While there a local woman goes missing. This brings back the memories from when Nic’s best friend, Corinne, went missing ten years ago. As she is packing up the house, memories and new clues about Corinne come up. Could her dad have had something to do with the disappearance?

This is a short review because I don’t want to give anything away! I listened to this book and the way it is written it was a little confusing to follow. The author starts in the present but then goes to day fifteen of Nicolette’s visit and then goes backwards. It is a neat concept but it is probably better to read then to listen! This was a good mystery and one I recommend.

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen finds a box on his doorstep with his name on it. He cautiously opens it to find a bunch of audio cassettes inside. Confused he pulls them out and sees that they are labeled on each side with a number. Thirteen numbers in total. What he hears  when he plays them shocks him. Hannah Baker’s voice. Hannah had killed herself a couple of weeks ago. As she talks she explains that if you are listening to the tapes then you are one of the reasons why she did it.

Clay is shocked. He continues to listen and is told to follow the map that was included and that whoever is mentioned after him on the tapes is the next person who gets the tapes. If these instructions aren’t followed someone who is watching will know and release a second set of tapes to everyone. Clay ends up staying up all night wandering around town listening, waiting to hear his name. Because he has no idea why he is on the tapes. And he can’t believe what Hannah is revealing about their classmates.

This was a very difficult book. It had a lot of serious material like suicide, date rape, and bullying. And unfortunately it is very relevant in today’s schools. Netflix made it into a thirteen episode series. It has had a lot of backlash and support. Thirteen Reasons Why is the book you need to read especially if you have teenagers.