Starter House by Sonja Condit

Synopsis: When pregnant Lacey and her husband Eric move into their dream home, a little boy named Drew starts bothering Lacey–and she realizes that only she can see him. Review: I loved the depth of characterization in Starter House. I really felt like the author put a lot of work into fleshing out their back stories, like making Lacey’s mom more than just an aging hippie. She’s also a vegan dog psychic and you really get the sense that she has a life outside the…

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Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule

Synopsis: When a man is found murdered in a secluded neighborhood on an island, the investigation lasts decades and uncovers a treasure trove of family secrets and craziness. Review: I am a bit of an Ann Rule junkie, but Practice to Deceive just didn’t do it for me–so much so that when I was interrupted with only 15 pages to go, not only did I set the book aside but I forgot to come back to it. That’s how little suspense was created in the…

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Something Blue by Ann Hood

Synopsis: When Katherine leaves her fiancĂ© at the altar, she heads to New York City to crash with her ex-best friend, only to find a less-than-warm welcome from Lucy, who has man troubles of her own. Review: While the friendships in Something Blue were satisfyingly nuanced, I was left somewhat cold by the overall story. I loved visiting the New York City of the late 1980s/early 1990s, because some of the restaurants mentioned were places I went to when I moved to Manhattan in 1995.…

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Room by Emma Donoghue

Synopsis: Jack has never left Room, where he has lived with his mother since the day he was born 5 years ago, but now it might be time for them to attempt an escape into a world that Jack can’t even imagine. Review: I’m late in the game reading Room, and I confess I resisted it for a long time because the quotes I read seemed just too precious. What finally piqued my curiosity was learning that the novel depicted extended breastfeeding from the child’s…

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Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer (The Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1)

Synopsis: A biologist signs up for an expedition to discover the secrets of Area X, a mysterious place that has driven the members of 11 previous to madness, suicide, and murder. Review: I am really glad that all three installments of this trilogy will be released this year, because after finishing Annihilation I am itching for more and certain that Jeff VanderMeer can deliver. The mood here is sublimely creepy, with outstanding descriptive passages that bring to life Area X in all its fecund, biologically…

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