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Hey, friends! I'm back with another "What I'm Reading", and this month's reads had me a little bummed. High hopes were not met. But book reviews are the best of both worlds, so I'm sharing them anyway. Scroll down to see my thoughts about this month's reads (I think you'll be surprised at which one was my favorite!).


Stars: 4

Thoughts: I have seen the name Elin Hilderbrand allllll over my social media lately. The reviews I've seen made me anxious to pick up one of her books asap, especially before the end of summer. Being the first time I've read one of Hilderbrand's novels, I had high hopes. But...I was a tad disappointed.

Let me start by saying that the storyline was really interesting. It was a refreshing twist on the "secret family" plot. But...it was a struggle to get to that point for me. I've said this before, but I have a really difficult time with too many character point-of-views, and I was totally lost in the beginning. I almost felt like I needed a notepad and a pen to keep track of the characters and their significance in the story. I'm one that likes to get to know one or two characters in depth, maybe three if they're really interesting. I also felt like the start was a bit slow, even though a significant event happens in the very beginning. Call me crazy, but the first few chapters of the book just didn't hit the mark for me.

BUT...(I know, a lot of buts) once I got through the beginning, it was worth the time. I found myself saying, "OKAY, BUT WHAT HAPPENED?" over and over again. Of course, the book ends with a major cliffhanger, which is a genius move for Hilderbrand since this is the first book of a series.

Overall, it was good. Will I read the next book in the series? Probably. Will I read any other of Hilderbrand's novels? Maybe.

Side note: I did really, really love the cover. It made me yearn to be on a crystal clear beach in the middle of nowhere (but not for the reasons Irene was, obviously).


Stars: 2

Thoughts: Yikes...I don't think I've ever given a book two stars before. I really, really wanted to love this book. In my last book review post, I gave another Steel novel five stars. I was expecting another five-star novel with Safe Harbour.

But this was not it for me. I hate saying anything bad about books because as an author, I know how much those negative reviews sting. But the best way I can say how I felt about this book was that it was, unfortunately, boring. I almost never not finish a book, but I seriously thought about it with this one. 

I will say the ending was a serious, "Whoa, what? Did that just happen??" It was the best part of the book.

We'll see how the next Steel novel goes for me.


Stars: 2.5

Thoughts: Okay, I feel like a real jerk now because I've given less than three stars two times in a row. But I found myself in the middle of another slower-paced novel with this one, and I don't do well in slow-paced novels.

This book is long. Like almost-500 pages long. There is a lot of meat to this book. It's a great deal to take in. There is an element of suspense with a small-town murder that tears two of the main characters apart and that part was interesting to me. But I think the book still would have been interesting if it would have been trimmed down a bit.

I'm happy I found out what happened at the end, but I don't think I'll reread it.


Stars: 5

Thoughts: I'm redeeming my lack of stars with this book! Remember when I said you'd be surprised at which one of these four was my favorite? Well, if you're not, I sure was. Not because I don't like Grisham (I think he's phenomenal), but because I expected to like the other books better. That aside, this book was very, very good. It's a legal thriller, but with my background in law, I devoured it. Grisham did a spectacular job at leaving the reader needing to know what happens next, and you know that's something I adore. 

The reviews on Goodreads gave this book quite a bit of negativity because it was viewed by some readers as "too political", as it focuses on the death penalty. As an author myself, I know that authors write about all sorts of things, and sometimes that means taking a point-of-view for the novel's sake. I personally don't believe it was Grisham's intention to use the book as a way to speak his opinion about the death penalty, but that's your call to make.

I need to know - have you read any of these? What are your thoughts??

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