Book Reviews

Book Lovers by Emily Henry- After The Last Page Book Review

It’s August, which is the slow season for cutthroat literary agent Nora Stephens. She spends every day around books, from reading her client’s work to cutting them enormous deals. Yet, when her younger sister, Libby, begs her to take a month off in a town she thought her biggest client had made up, she follows her sister into what she hopes will be the literary meet-cute of her dreams.
When Nora and Libby get to Sunshine Falls, it’s not exactly what they expected. With oddly named restaurants and small town characters, Nora thought it would be a little….more. Yet, she’s determined to have the Hallmark movie meet cute she deserves, so the two sisters make a vacation to-do list pact to achieve their goals, including #6—go on two dates with local men. The only problem? Instead of run-ins with a cute country doctor or picnics in a meadow, she keeps running into her long-time work nemesis Charlie Lastra, a book editor from back in the city.

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez–After The Last Page Review

Inspired by true events, Take My Hand is the story of Civil Townsend, a young woman working for a family planning clinic in Montgomery, Alabama in the 1970s. Shortly after receiving her nursing degree, Civil goes to work for a local clinic, which specializes in reaching the impoverished women in the community. Civil comes from a middle-class background and she is often shocked by the conditions of her home visits. She has big plans to make a difference, but when Civil is given the case of 11- and 13-year-old India and Erica, she is shocked to learn that she is required to inject them with a birth control drug that has not been regulated by the FDA.
Stuck between her ethics as a nurse and keeping her hard-to-find job at the clinic, Civil begins a journey to help the Williams sisters on a journey to receive better welfare and government help. Hoping to better their lives, Civil is shocked when one day she arrives at the family’s apartment to find the unthinkable has happened to the girls—they have been sterilized without their consent.

Darling Girl by Liz Michalski–After The Last Page Review

In this dark retelling of Peter Pan, Liz Michalski crafts the story of Holly Darling, granddaughter of the famous Wendy Darling. Holly is a scientist and runs a successful skin care company in the US. Hailing from the UK, Holly has left much of her past behind other than her accent and her son, Jack, of course. Jack has health issues that Holly has hidden from everyone, including her own son, and the secret remedy keeping him alive? Blood donations from her daughter, Eden.
No one knows about Eden. After all, she’s been in a coma for a decade and why cause more gossip for the tabloids? Holly is certain that no one knows Eden’s alive. In fact, she’s taken great care to hide her at the family estate under the 24-hour care of specialty nurses. But, when Eden mysteriously disappears from her bed, Holly’s life begins to fall apart and the past she’s taken so much care to avoid begins to unfold right in front of her and Jack—who knows nothing about his family’s tragic history.
Desperate to find Eden, keep her son alive, and continue to hold the secret of her family, Holly sets on a journey to finding the only man who could have caused this mess—the infamous Peter Pan. The only problem? Peter is nothing like the stories portray him. He’s dark and dangerous.

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover–After The Last Page Review

Lily has spent her life trying to leave the small town she grew up in. Coming from a broken family that has somehow stuck together more years than they should have, she wishes to leave everything behind and start over. Graduating college and moving to Boston sounds like just the way to do that.
When Lily has a meet-cute with a drop-dead-gorgeous neurosurgeon resident on the roof-top of a building, she’s ready for a one-night-stand and that’s it—after all, the last thing she needs is to end up like her mother. But, for some reason, she can’t get the man she meets off her mind. When a hookup moves into something more, Lily is reminded of her first love and links to the past that she’s long tried to forget, but can’t seem to escape.

When Stars Rain Down by Angela Jackson-Brown–After The Last Page Review

Opal knows that the world is more separated than it should be, and in 1936 skin color has more to do with it than anyone would like. Though slavery has long been abolished, African Americans are still doing laborious work for whites and the town of Parsons is as segregated as it comes.
Opal has lived a quiet life, tucked away in “Colored Town” with her Granny Birdie. She hopes to live up to her grandmother’s expectations and that means working hard and keeping her head down. But, when the Ku Klux Klan unexpectedly descends on Opal’s neighborhood, the entire community is shaken. The entire town finds it hard to ignore the complicated racial inequities Parsons is home to, with Opal at the center of the story.

Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic–After The Last Page Review

Roan Montgomery has spent her entire life surrounded by horses. A 15-year old equestrian prodigy from a long line of Olympic equestrians, Roan has to live up to a certain level of expectation. After all, it’s her job to carry on the family legacy and the future of Rosemont Farms. Coached by her father, Olympic champion Monty Montgomery, Roan has the ability to make her mark—should she follow his rules. Governed by strict obedience, Roan has no choice but to see the multiple sides of her father she will never escape. Though her relationship with her father is strained, and inappropriate, she has no choice but to follow his rules or she risks losing the legacy and her beloved animals.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James–After The Last Page Book Review

No one would ever believe a small-town woman could be a murderer in 1977, let alone a serial killer. And then, there’s Beth Greer.

Shaken by two seemingly random murders, the town of Claire Lake, Oregon needs someone to blame. Who would bring such terrible violence into a safe, small town like Claire Lake? That’s why Beth Greer is the perfect suspect. She’s pretty, rich, a bit unconventional, and young. At just twenty-three, she’s the perfect scapegoat and the town is sure she had to do it. After all, she was seen fleeing one of the crime scenes. But when Beth is acquitted, it seems the murders will go unsolved, and the town will have no one will to blame.

Circe by Madeline Miller–After The Last Page Book Review

“In the reimagining of characters from The Odyssey, Madeline Miller brings to life Circe, a goddess born to the Titan god of the sun, Helios. From the minute of her birth, Circe is a disappointment to her father. She is the most unattractive of his children, powerless, and disobedient. He finds her to have qualities of the mortal world and claims that she will amount to nothing.
As Circe grows in her father’s kingdom, on the island of Colchis, she comes to realize that she is completely forgotten. No one pays attention to her or what she does, so long as she doesn’t offend anyone. Circe quickly learns to turn to the world of mortals for companionship, where there are no rules or intimidation tactics. As Circe is thrown into relationships with mortals, she learns she does have powers after all—the power of witchcraft, where she can transform men into gods or swine.”

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez–After The Last Page Book Review

“It’s been two years since Sloan Monroe lost her fiancé, but she knows grief doesn’t have a time limit. Struggling with her emotions, Sloan seems to have given up all things important in her life, including her painting. But, on her way to visit her fiancé’s grave, something strange happens. A dog runs out in front of her car, barks at her, and then jumps straight through her sunroof. Unsure what to do, Sloan takes him home to find his owner. After weeks of unanswered calls to the number on his tag, Sloan decides the dog is now hers. With Tucker by her side, she starts feeling more like herself than she has in years—until Tucker’s owner actually calls back. He’s on tour in Australia and he wants Tucker back.”

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry–After The Last Page Book Review

Poppy has the life she always wanted. She’s not a small-town girl anymore, she lives in the big city, works for a serious professional magazine, and she even has a city apartment to herself. Yet, she can’t seem to get out of a rut. When a friend asks her when she was last truly happy, she realizes it was on her last summer trip with Alex, two years ago; except the trip didn’t end the way Poppy and Alex had both hoped. Hoping to make everything right again, Poppy reaches out to Alex and plans one last trip together. She has just one week to fix their friendship and her own happiness. What could go wrong?

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle–After The Last Page Book Review

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Dannie Kohan, a lawyer in New York City, has a plan. In her mid-twenties, she lives her life by numbers. She knows exactly how long it will take her to make junior partner, how many years until she is married to her partner, David, and how many minutes it will take her to get to work from her future Gramercy Park apartment. When Dannie’s asked the age-old question at the most important interview of her entire career (and future), she knows exactly what she’ll say.
Yet, hours later, after the most impactful day of her life so far, she goes to sleep, ready to dream of a big bright future. Instead, she awakens in a different apartment, with a strange ring on her finger, to a stranger. She quickly learns, she is five years into her future and it’s nothing like she expected.

We Are All The Same In The Dark by Julia Heaberlin–After The Last Page Review

Wyatt Branson is driving along the Texas highway when he sees a dog on the side of the road, dumped in a field of dandelions—except, she isn’t a dog—she’s a kid. Is it a sign? It’s been a decade since his sister, Trumanell, disappeared, leaving nothing but a bloody handprint on their front door. Wyatt is haunted by her presence, her famously pretty face hanging on posters in the town’s church, police station, and high school. He even believes he sees her ghost living in his house. It’s no secret that the town thinks he’s liable of the crime, though he’s been cleared of innocence for years.

The Roughest Draft by Emily Wibberly–After The Last Page Book Review

Forced to reunite through their shared love of writing, Katrina and Nathan are secluded in only each other’s company as they hole up in their Florida cottage writing retreat, where they wrote their last novel. Both writers awkwardly must face each other, and their shared resentment over past misgivings. Together, they work through their issues on the page, creating characters that undoubtedly appear as versions of themselves. While the prose of a new romance novel push them together, Katrina and Nathan learn that just like a good book, relationships sometimes need editing, too.

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd–After The Last Page Book Review

When Nell gets a phone call at work from the New York Police Department, the last thing she expects to hear is her father’s unexpected passing. After all, she hasn’t talked to her father in years—not since an incident at the New York Public Library, shortly after her she began working as an intern there, years ago—the very scene that destroyed her relationship, her budding cartography career, and any affiliation with her famous cartographer father. Yet, even with her unfortunate history with the highway map, Nell can’t help but investigate. If her father hated this map so much, why was it hidden from sight in his desk all these years later?

Just Haven’t Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens–After The Last Page Book Review

Sophie Cousen’s latest novel, following her bestseller, This Time Next Year, is a romance following the story of Laura Le Quesne as the 20-something lifestyle reporter from London jets off to the Channel Islands off of the coast of France, specifically Jersey. She is tasked with writing a feel-good love story following the nature of how her parent’s met—yet, she learns not everything her mother told her is true. As Laura follows the story of her own parents, she is determined to have a meet cute of her own. Will it be the attractive man she switches her luggage with at the airport? Or has she begun developing feelings for the surly cab-driver she’s commissioned to help her track down suitcase man and the locations of her parent’s footsteps?