Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Girl From Yesterday by Kathryn Miller Haines | Review

The Girl From Yesterday by Kathryn Miller Haines
Published: April 17, 2017
Publiser: Pocket Star
Pages: 304
Received: from publisher for honest review
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon

In the fast-paced psychological thriller traditions of Gillian Flynn, Jessica Knoll, and Liane Moriarty, Edgar Award nominated-author Kathryn Haines Miller (The Girl Is Murder) spins an engrossing tale of what might be the worst birthday ever.

Helen’s life is simple. She has a job. She has a boyfriend. She has her weekly NA meetings. No drugs, no drinking, no sex, not even any caffeine—not anymore. Because Helen knows this: once you’re an addict, you’re always an addict. There is no such thing as recovered.

And on her thirtieth birthday, the stability she’s cobbled together for herself will vanish. A call from the police, a body found, a dead woman with Helen’s name in her back pocket—it’s all so hard to believe. But then when Helen finds out the victim was her childhood best friend, a girl who went missing in high school, it’s too much.

Helen knows she has to stick to the routine that keeps her in control, and with the way the police are eyeing her for this, she’s worried about looking suspicious. But the unfortunate reemergence of her old friend—and the mysteries that always surrounded her—means Helen can trust no one, not even herself.

This was such an intense thriller. Helen is a great main character - she's determined to figure out what is going on despite her mental health, drug addiction recovery and possible arrest for a murder she's not sure if she committed. From the get go you see how much she wants this new life of hers to work - her NA meetings, her new boyfriend, a job with her family's business (that she's surprisingly good at it), but one phone call makes her world turn upside down.

The story lets us see into Helen's past as a teen with her friend Carrie, who happens to be the deceased. It shows you how her best friend went missing and how that affected Helen's life. You see the drug addiction up close and you see her fighting hard to keep from relapsing. That's not to say she doesn't make some stupid choices along the way to uncovering the truth, but considering what hell she is going through, I'd say they may have been the lesser of two evils.

Carrie's family leaving didn't only affect Helen's life, but many other characters as well. It was interesting to see how one person could do so much just by not being around anymore. Perhaps it wasn't in the going away, but in how it all played out. The feeling of hope and then it being gone.

The story is written in a way that you are never quite sure what the truth will be - who did this to Carrie, why now and is Helen really involved? I was rooting for Helen the whole time though because there was just something about her that made me want to see her make it and prove people wrong.She works so hard to try and figure out what has happened to clear her name, because "no one could save you but you."

The entire book is filled with twists and crazy things keep happening. I loved every little detail that Helen uncovers. Honestly, twist after twist kept coming and many I hadn't figured out which is how I know I'm reading a great book. I bet you won't see the twists coming or the ending - I sure didn't.

What would you do if you were sure you weren't losing time, but the facts are making it seem as though you were? Is Helen back to drugs again, is she mentally unwell, or is someone framing her?

About the Author:
Kathryn Miller Haines is an actor, mystery writer, and award-winning playwright. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and received her BA in English and Theatre from Trinity University in San Antonio and her MFA in English from the University of Pittsburgh. She's a member of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Chapter of Sisters in Crime and has been a board member of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Kathryn is an adjunct faculty member for Seton Hill's MFA in writing popular fiction. She lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband, son, daughter and their two dogs. -source

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Intimidating TBR Tag

I found the Intimidating TBR Tag over at Dreaming of Happy Endings. If you want to participate too then I tag you! Leave your link in the comments so I can come see your answers.

1. A book on your TBR that you haven't been able to finish?

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron - it's one I keep picking up from time to time that I will one day finish.

2. A book you haven't had the time for?

George Lucas: A Life by Brian Jay Jones - I was so excited when this came out, but just haven't been able to pick it up yet. I bet my hubby reads it before I get to it.

3. A book you haven't read because it's a sequel?

Through the Zombie Glass by Gena Showalter - I traded for this one, but then realized I didn't own the first book yet and only just bought the ebook version of the first book the other day.

4. A book you haven't read because it's brand new?

The Gypsy Moth Summer by Julia Fierro (it releases June 6, 2017)

5. A book by an author you previously read and didn't like?

I honestly can't think of one. 

6. A book you just haven't been in the mood for?

Wild by Chery Strayed = it was so hyped up, then the movie came out and now I'm just not sure I want to read it. Maybe I'll just watch the movie?

7. A book you haven't read because it's humungous?

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell - it's a really long book at over 1000 pages so I find it  daunting. And it was my mother's favourite - for some reason I keep putting it off.

8. A book you bought because of the cover?

The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle - it looked magical to me.

9. The book on your TBR you find the most intimidating?     

Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee - I think I'm worried about not liking this one since I loved To Kill A Mockingbird so much.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Spell Your Name...

I saw a few fun tags on Instagram the other day and thought I'd do a post about them and then post them to my own Instagram account too. They are both about spelling your name - one with character names and one with book titles. It seemed pretty fun to do. If you want to play along, feel free to leave a link in the comments so I can check out your post!

#SpellYourNameInFictionalCharacters (no idea who started it)
C - Cather Avery [Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell]
H - Hermione Granger [Harry Potter series by JK Rowling]
R - Rishi [Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova]
Y -Yelena Zaltana [Poison Study by Maria V Snyder]
S - Simon Snow [Carry On by Rainbow Rowell]
T - Temperance Brennan [Temperance Brennan series by  Kathy Reichs]
A - Ashley Keller [Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan]
L - Luna Lovegood [Harry Potter series by JK Rowling]
posted to my Instagram account a few days ago
#SpellYourNameInBookTitles (again not sure who started this tag)
C - Carrie Pilby by Caren Lissner
R - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
S - Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
T - Ten Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker
A - After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid
L - Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

What characters and books would you pick to spell your name with?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Spencer Loves Baby Wombats & Playing I Spy With Fairy Tale Characters

I realized that this post was written in December, but never posted for some reason, so the pictures of Spencer are from when she was about six months old. 

When we visit my sister's family, we always love to play with their toys and read their books as they are different from what we have at home. In the months of November and December, Spencer and I were there daily to watch her cousins. We read a lot of books, but here are two of Spencer's favourites!

Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
This sweet little classic board book has the most beautiful illustrations that I remember reading when I was younger. The cute little fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters are so fun to find in each picture, it's like playing I Spy with your little one. I think we'll be adding this one to her wishlist so we can read it again and again.

Sometimes I Like To Curl Up In A Ball by Vicki Churchill & Charles Fuge
This story features a cute little wombat doing his favourite things from making funny faves to curling up in a ball. Your little one can play along and copy the little wombat. I loved the illustrations and was pointing out all of the adorable little Australian animals and birds to my little one. It's a fun read as the rhyming story is almost lyrical.

As you can see from the pictures, Spencer loves checking out the illustrations and enjoys the rhythmic narrations that she falls asleep shortly after.

Keep an eye out for more book reviews from Spencer and I. We'll be writing up a bunch more based on the books we get from the library.

Have you read either of these books? Do you have any recommendations for Spencer and I?
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