Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Artsy Reader. This week’s topic is (First Ten) Books I Reviewed. I don’t talk about it a lot, but this actually isn’t my first book blog. Back in 2010 I started a blog (with the same name over on Blogger) and blogged through to 2012. During that time I wrote plenty of reviews, and here are my first ten:

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Book Review

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Katie West

Lately I’ve been getting more and more into audiobooks (shout out to my local library who has an amazing audiobook platform and collection!) and at this point I’m almost listening to one a day. At the rate I’m listening, I often just have to pick from any title that doesn’t have a waitlist, and Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss fit the bill. When I read the description, it reminded me a lot of Famous in Love (which was not one of my favorite books) so I hoped I had found a better version of that story. Unfortunately, this book is even poorer in its execution of the ‘small-time teen actress gets a major role across from a major teen heart throb’ story.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss follows Lacey Barnes as she begins to work on her first ever major motion picture. She’s got it set: it’s an adaptation of a popular book, she’s in a leading role, and her costar is one of the biggest actors on the planet. There’s only one problem: her dad is overbearing and has set her up with a tutor to help her balance shooting and school. Things start to go sideways when she finds herself getting framed for mishaps on set, putting her job on the line. As she tries to figure out who is setting her up, she has to also evaluate the importance of the people in her life and how they fit into her big screen aspirations.

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Book Review

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell


She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.


Continuing on my current stream of mystery/thriller books, I decided to give this book a shot after I saw the movie. In a rare twist – the movie was actually far, far better than the book. Where the movie soars with suspense, drama, and humor – this book barely scrapes by with bland characters, a much less interesting plot, and a terrible ending.

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