Woman in the Window is about Anna Fox who has agoraphobia. She spends her time drinking wine, watching old noir movies, and watching people in her neighborhood. When the new neighbors the Russells move into the house across from Anna’s strange things begin to happen. Suddenly it seems as though Anna is living her own Alfred Hitchcock movie when she begins to see and hear things that are frightening to her, but no one seems to believe her. Is Anna imagining things? Or is she in danger?
This particular book by A.J. Finn has kept me on my toes. I wanted to keep reading more because I wanted to understand who Anna Fox is as a person especially when strange things begin to happen surrounding the Russels. Woman in the Window has twists and turns that will make you second guess whether Anna is telling the truth or not. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery thriller. This book is also available both in e-book and audiobook on the Libby app and in Sunflower eLibrary.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter covered tough subjects with familiarity and care. I continue to be impressed by the content of YA books in recent years; this novel did not shy away from issues like mental health, immigration, familial struggles, and identity. The YA genre reflects a generation of young people who really care about the world around them and it has been exciting to read books that convey such a strong message.
This novel begins with a funeral for the older sister (Olga) of the main character (Julia). Olga was hit by a semi-truck when she was only twenty-two. Julia’s impression of her sister was that she cared a lot about her family and was really respectful. After looking through Olga’s belongings, Julia begins to piece together a much deeper story. Amidst her family’s grief, Julia is finishing her last two years of high school and dreams of becoming a writer far from her home. Julia lives in a poor, Chicago neighborhood where she is reminded on a daily basis why she wants to leave. She wishes to escape the roaches that inhabit her apartment, the strained relationship she has with her mother, and the feeling of being trapped by her circumstances. Julia gets a glimpse of the outside world when she cleans houses with her mom, goes on field trips outside the city, and when she meets a love interest on the other side of town. Julia struggles with not only her inner demons, but also the choices her loved ones have made. There is an overarching theme of secrecy in many of Julia’s relationships. Erika L Sanchez does an effective job of showing the many reasons why someone might keep the truth from the people they love. This book is filled with complexity and layers.
At first, I was preoccupied with the mystery of Olga’s hidden life, but it soon became clear that this novel had way more to offer than just a mystery. It covered difficult relationships between parents and children, the frustration that comes with being an adolescent and wishing to understand adult choices, and the desire to escape childhood. I enjoyed seeing Julia grow and become more than just a teenager who likes to speak their mind (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The pain and heaviness of Julia’s life was sometimes difficult to read about, but this story begged to be heard. As soon as I gave into its complexities, I was immersed in a story much different than my own. I want to read more original stories like this one.
If you like Star Wars, but have never listened to a Star Wars audiobook, you should give one a try. They have very high production values. The sound effects are a wonderful addition.
A Crash of Fate is another fine Star Wars audio. The narration is excellent. This story shifts back and forth between two characters who were good friends growing up but she moved off-world and he stayed behind. She finds herself back on the remote planet and in a jam and who does she meet, but her childhood best friend. Sparks fly…literally and figuratively. This is the most romance that I have seen, or rather heard, in a Star Wars book. It reminded me of some YA titles I have read. If you are into that sort of thing, great. If you aren’t, well there just might be enough Star Wars to keep you happy.
Two years after the death of her fiance, Sloan Monroe is still struggling to regain a sense of normalcy amidst her grief. The basics of daily life are neglected and friendships are severed. It isn’t until she meets the charming Jason Tucker that she begins to understand the mess she has allowed her life to become. Slowly, Jason helps her move beyond her past and find friendship and love again. But simply moving on isn’t as easy as it appears.
In a romantic genre where writing is often propped up by hackneyed and shallow storylines, The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez stands apart. In addition to fully crafted characters, her story is a testament to the pain of grief and the struggle to heal. But most importantly, it maintains humor and realistic responses to change without being bogged down in emotional angst. It is the perfect balance between comedy, drama, and romance. Does the book have it’s occasional cliche moments? Of course. But then, what romance doesn’t?
The Happy Ever AfterPlaylist is highly recommended and can be read either as a standalone or as a sequel companion to Jimenez’s The Friend Zone.