Today, I'll be discussing one the most anticipated thrillers of the year, Tear Me Apart. J.T. Ellison's latest novel will be released on August 28, 2018!
A BIG thanks to Mira Books (Harlequin and Harper Collins) for sending me a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Let's get to rating!
Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison
Competitive Skier Mindy Wright is a star in the making until a horrific accident threatens her life. During surgery, doctors discover she's suffering from a severe illness, and a stem cell transplant is her only chance at recovery. But when her parents are tested, a shocking truth is uncovered- Mindy is not their daughter.
Who has the answers? And why would someone go to such extremes to keep the past hidden?
Just when I thought it couldn't possibly get better than Lie to Me... IT DOES.
Readers, I literally devoured this book. Tear Me Apart is 485 pages and I managed to read the entire novel in a little over a day. I was taking this book with me to doctor appointments, to family gatherings, even to lunch. I just could not put it down.
J.T. Ellison's writing is just as gripping and mesmerizing in Tear Me Apart as it was in Lie to Me. It's concise and straightforward yet colorful and detailed.
The characters, both primary and secondary, are also quite intriguing. From Juliet's independent and intelligent persona to Jasper's cool and composed demeanor, each character is not only extraordinary but highly significant to the story.
Despite the fact that Ellison's writing style and character development are remarkable, what hooked me instantly was the plot of the story. From the moment I finished the prologue, I knew Tear Me Apart would be dark, sinister, and filled with betrayal.
Although the villain in the novel was quite apparent to me, each and every word was riveting nonetheless.
This book is so much more than the tale of a family. Tear Me Apart is a daunting reminder that no one is as harmless and innocent as they appear to be.
Eager to uncover the Wrights' darkest secrets? Pick up a copy of Tear Me Apart on August 28th!
Welcome back to AZE!
This week, I'll be discussing Sunday Times bestseller Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She says exactly what she’s thinking and sees no problem with it. Nothing is missing in her carefully planned routine. Days include frozen pizza, vodka, watching the telly, and phone chats with Mummy.
Then one day, Eleanor meets Raymond. And with time, her daily customs come to halt. Through this unlikely friendship, Eleanor will come to find that routine and social isolation aren't the only way to live life after all.
"I remember thinking, as I put the phone down, that I really, really hoped that Janey wouldn't bring in one of her homemade cakes to mark my return, as she often did when people had been off. Dry doesn't even come close to describing the arid desert texture of her coffee-and-walnut sponge."
Time to fess' up... Apart from Hermione Granger, no other character has made me laugh as much as Eleanor Oliphant has.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is amusing and delightful but it's also compelling and powerful. While the novel had me completely captivated through humor and its enchanting featured characters, what made me fall in love with the story was its advocacy of the power of kindness and friendship.
Although Gail Honeyman's writing style was splendid, the story and characters she created were quite remarkable. I found myself laughing-out-loud at Eleanor's outrageously blatant responses while also smiling at Raymond's compassionate deeds.
Despite Honeyman creating a magnificent story of friendship and acceptance, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is more than a heartwarming tale.
This novel addresses significant topics such as mental health, trauma, emotional abuse, suicide, and so many other issues that people around the world struggle with everyday.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine serves to remind every individual that no matter how hopeless you feel, you're never alone and unloved.
Have YOU picked up a copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine?
Welcome back readers!
Today, I'll be discussing my thoughts on a beloved New York Times bestseller!
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Meet Ove. He has strict principles, inflexible routines, and a very short temper.
One November morning, a family of four move into the neighborhood and accidentally wreck Ove's mailbox. This accident leads to a funny and heartwarming story of unanticipated pets, surprising friendships, and eventful afternoons- all of which change the ill-tempered old man and his daily routine.
Okay booksters... I haven't loved a book this much in quite some time. The moment I read the very last word I knew I wouldn't read anything like this for a while- that realization prompted an enormous amount of tears.
A Man Called Ove is much more than a story filled with comical anecdotes. This piece is made up of genuine and candid characters- all of which moved me (and other readers) in ways nonreaders couldn't understand.
Each character was not only outspoken and unique, they were lovable. Without "the foreign pregnant woman," "the lanky one," the cat, or any of the others, this story wouldn't be beautiful and unforgettable- it wouldn't be A Man Called Ove.
Every single personality featured in this novel contributes to Ove's story immensely. As I got further into the story, I came to find that each character is a sort of puzzle piece, and each piece fits perfectly to create a breathtaking tale. Despite this, it wasn't until I read the very last word that I realized how much each character had affected me personally. I thought of Ove, Parvaneh, Sonja, and all the other characters and wished that I could go back to the very beginning and read the book all over again.
A Man Called Ove is a brilliant novel filled with sensational characters and truly great writing. Whoever picks this novel up can expect to smile, laugh, and cry their eyes out. Nonetheless, it's totally worth it.
If you have yet to read A Man Called Ove, I hope I've convinced you.
Read this book already? Share your thoughts down below!
Hello book lovers!
This week, I'll be discussing my second Miss Marple read, A Caribbean Mystery!
A Caribbean Mystery (Miss Marple #10) by Agatha Christie
The sunny island of Saint Honore is just what Miss Marple needed to relax.
But evil doesn't rest. And when Major Palgrave dies suddenly, Miss Marple knows her vacation is over. The detective was sure that the major's death was murder, and if she didn't act quickly, it would not be the last...
Many of you who have been keeping up with AZE for the last couple of months know that my first experience with Miss Marple did not go well. I read Murder at the Vicarage, the first book in the Marple series, a couple of months ago and was quite disappointed. Although the storyline was intriguing, the characters in the novel were mundane and uninteresting- making the novel boring and drawn out.
(For my full review of Murder at the Vicarage visit:
Luckily, this time around, it was a completely different experience. A Caribbean Mystery was a gripping novel filled with riveting plot twists. Unlike Murder at the Vicarage, the characters featured in this book were vibrant, bold, and memorable.
I also found that this Marple read was similar to Evil Under the Sun (Hercule Poirot #24). Both books, although in different series, took place on an island and featured fascinating characters. Despite this, I loved A Caribbean Mystery because it was captivating and fast-paced. Almost every character in the book appeared suspicious which made guessing who the killer was that much more exciting!
I can say with certainty that I'm delighted to have given Miss Marple a second chance.
I'm quite excited to read the rest of the Marple books. Which picks in the series are your favorite? Leave your recommendations down below!
Welcome back to AZE readers!
Today, I'll be discussing a Hercule Poirot pick, Mrs. McGinty's Dead!
Mrs. McGinty's Dead (Hercule Poirot #30) by Agatha Christie
One night in the small town of Broadhinny, an old woman is barbarically murdered in her cottage... Days later, police confirm she suffered a brutal blow to the head.
Evidence points suspicion to the lodger, James Bentley, whose clothes contained Mrs. McGinty's blood and hair. However, something was just not right.
When Superintendent Spence asks Hercule Poirot to help, the great detective is sure he can save the innocent man- what he doesn't realize is that his life is now in great danger...
"For, you see, mon cher Spence, if Mrs McGinty is just an ordinary charwoman- it is the murderer who must be extraordinary. Yes- that follows clearly. It is the murderer and not the murdered that the interest of this case lies," said Poirot.
Mrs. McGinty's Dead just might be on my list of Poirot favorites! This unputdownable pick had me hooked from the very beginning.
As always, the writing was superb and the characters were unforgettable. However, this time around, it was the plot that captured my attention.
There's nothing as fascinating as a clear-cut case that turns out to be just the opposite.
From the first page of this novel the audience is faced with a remarkable question: did James Bentley kill Mrs. McGinty?
The countless clues assured officers that he was guilty, but how can a case be so effortlessly solved? It's as if the evidence was meant to be found...
If Bentley wasn't a killer that meant he was being framed, and THAT meant that Poirot and his readers were dealing with a brilliant mind.
This case was not only filled with excitement, it was filled with intrigue. Christie poses dozens of questions and twists that have readers on edge until the very last page.
However, the best element of this novel is that no one is who they appear to be. Although someone may not be guilty of murder, they're surely guilty of something...
Mrs. McGinty's Dead is a great book for readers who love both thrillers and detective mysteries!
Ready to guess who killed Mrs. McGinty? Pick up a copy of Hercule Poirot's 30th case!
Welcome back readers!
This week, I'll be sharing my first Tana French reading experience... Let's get started!
Broken Harbor (DMS #4) by Tana French
One night in a half-abandoned “luxury” development in Ireland, Patrick Spain and his two young children are mercilessly murdered. His wife, Jenny, fights for her life in intensive care.
At first, detectives think it’s going to be an easy case to solve. But as time goes by, too many details become unexplainable- the half-dozen baby monitors pointed at holes that plague the walls, the files erased from their home computer, and the story Jenny told her sister about an intruder...
Will the Dublin Murder Squad solve the case?
Now I know what you're thinking.
"Erika... Did you read the fourth book of the Dublin Murder Squad series before reading the first three?"
Yes, I absolutely did.
After doing a lot (and I mean a lot) of research on Tana French and the Dublin Murder Squad Series, I discovered that the series didn't need to be read in the exact order it was published. While there are some that do need to be read before others, dozens of DMS fans recommend not reading In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) first because many find it off-putting. So, after reading many forums, the order that was most recommended was:
This novel can be read as a standalone.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's chat about Broken Harbor.
As you know, this novel was my first experience with Tana French.
I have to be honest... I wasn't crazy about it... AT FIRST.
In the past, I've explained that I prefer concise and vivid writing- French's writing, while very vivid, is also very wordy. HOWEVER, after a couple of pages I was absolutely captivated by the characters and the plot of the story. Although I didn't love French's detailed and lengthy word choice, I was able to look past it and soon became completely enthralled by the storyline.
After reading 100 pages or so, I found myself devouring Broken Harbor. I read the first 200 pages in the span of two days and finished the last 250 pages in one sitting!
Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, the protagonist and prime detective on the Spain case, was one of the highlights of this novel. Scorcher was witty, comical, and sarcastic- my favorite kind of character. Despite this, what hooked me was the plot itself. An atrocious murder had been committed in a desolate town, and the more I read, the more eager I was to find out the truth. The moment I began reading this story, this case was all I could think about. Who would commit such a heinous crime and why? After hours and hours of reading, I even asked my family and friends who they thought was the culprit...
I can say with full certainty that I'm a Tana French fan- not for her writing style particularly but her ability to create intriguing characters and storylines.
I recommend Broken Harbor to readers who enjoy detailed and flowery language, character-based novels, and classic detective mysteries!
This novel is NOT a good pick if you're in the mood for a quick, thrilling read.
However, if you think you can look past the fact that French's diction is quite lengthy, I really suggest picking up a copy of Broken Harbor!
I have already purchased a copy of Faithful Place and will be starting it soon!
Have you read Broken Harbor or any of Tana French's works? Share your thoughts in the comment section!
After tallying the Instagram polls, it's finally settled! New blog posts will go live every Sunday. Despite this, I am trying my hardest to work out a way to bring back two posts a week!
In the meantime, book reviews related to adult fiction will be available on AZE while bookish pieces related to children's literature will be accessible on Spanish Classroom. The link will be down below!
Now that I've mentioned the latest scheduling info, let's chat about this week's book!
Today, I'll be discussing one of Gillian Flynn's most popular works, Sharp Objects. HBO's newly adapted miniseries, based on this very novel, premieres TONIGHT at 9 PM EST.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Soon after her release from a psych hospital, reporter Camilla Breaker faces a troubling assignment- to return to her hometown and cover the gruesome murders of two young girls.
For years, Camilla has barely spoken to her hypochondriac mother and manipulative half sister. Now, back in her childhood bedroom, she finds herself identifying with the girls too strongly. Taunted by her demons, she must revisit the story of her past if she wants to uncover the true story.
I am SO happy I decided to give Gillian Flynn a second chance.
Those of you who follow AZE on Instagram (@theazereads) know of my last experience with Gillian Flynn.
I picked up a copy of Gone Girl towards the beginning of this year and was absolutely captivated by the author's writing, the story, and especially the characters. However, after the ending, I was furious to say the least.
I spent months avoiding my peers' suggestions to try her other works. "You won't be disappointed," they assured me, but I did not want to be let down again.
Then, a couple of weeks ago, one of my trusted book friends, @thrilltalkbookblog (Miranda), recommended I pick up Sharp Objects. Because I've done buddy reads with Miranda in the past and know that our taste in books is very similar, I decided (with my guard up) to purchase a copy of Sharp Objects and start it right away.
It's absolutely no surprise that I was hooked from the very first chapter. Flynn has an astounding way of capturing her audience through exquisite word choice. However, while it felt amazing to feel so familiar with the characters and setting, it also felt frightening at times. Even though Flynn's novel is gripping, there's no doubt that it's dark. Because of this, there were times I wished her writing wasn't so illustrative.
As twisted as Sharp Objects may be, it truly is a brilliant piece. Although Flynn's diction and writing style are remarkable, her ability to create authentically wicked characters is even more extraordinary. While the plot is gripping, this book is unquestionably character-based. Each personality plays a significant role, and it isn't until the end of the story that the audience truly sees how each character serves to piece this sinister puzzle together.
I wouldn't recommend this novel to all mystery fanatics because it may be too intense for some readers. Luckily, Sharp Objects is a great pick for fans of the mystery and thriller genres who are up for a dark, wicked read.
Have you read this piece or other Gillian Flynn works? Share your thoughts with us below!
To visit Spanish Classroom go to: https://www.santillanausa.com/spanish-classroom
Welcome back to AZE bibliophiles!
Today, I'm back with a new post, but it's not a book review...
I recently began an internship at Santillana Publishing as a reader/blogger. I'll be writing book reviews and other bookish posts for Santillana USA's blog- Spanish Classroom. The blog specializes in providing teachers and parents with resources and other fun, bookish information regarding the publisher's education books as well as their immense selection of children's literature.
What does this mean for AZE?
Because I'll be reading material for Santillana while I also read for pleasure, I'll be posting bookish pieces on here only once a week. In the past, I've uploaded new material both Wednesdays and Sundays. But now, YOU'LL decide whether you'd like to see AZE's bookish posts on either Wednesday or Sunday!
In the next couple of days, I'll be taking a poll on Instagram, @theazereads , so you can pick which of the two days you'd prefer!
Fortunately, this doesn't mean I'll be writing less! Although I will only upload ONE piece a week on AZE, you can expect to read dozens of upcoming reviews on Spanish Classroom under the "BOOKS AND AUTHORS" or "FEATURED READINGS" tab. These pieces will be based off Santillana's wide selection of comical and heartwarming children's stories.
To check out my FIRST piece for Santillana, a review of Guillermo Fesser's Get to Know Bernardo de Galvez, check out:
Thanks so much for your support, and tune in to Instagram, @theazereads , to decide whether you'd like to see more of AZE on either Wednesdays or Sundays!
Welcome back readers!
Today, I'll be discussing one of the most anticipated mysteries of the summer, Girls' Night Out. Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke's latest novel will be released to the public on July 24, 2018!
A BIG thanks to Lake Union (Amazon Publishing) for sending me a free ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Let's get to rating!
Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it's time to heal the old wounds between them. What better way to do that than take a girls' trip to Mexico?
However, even after being reunited, no one is telling the whole truth. And suddenly, Ashley disappears.
In the hours following their friend's disappearance, Natalie and Lauren work to piece together their hazy memories of the trip.
Did Ashley pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or could Natalie or Lauren snapped under the weight of their lies?
It's no coincidence that Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke's upcoming novel is being released in the heart of summertime. Girls' Night Out is a perfect summer pick!
Although many described this novel as a "thriller," the authors' latest work isn't a thrilling suspense novel. Instead, Girls' Night Out is filled with a sheer sense of eeriness that makes this a light mystery- perfect for lounging on the edge of the water or snuggling in bed on a Sunday.
With every turn of a page, I became more eager to find out the truth.
WHAT happened to Ashley, and WHO is guilty of her disappearance?
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke's ability to coauthor this novel is nothing short of admirable. Their ability to create one, cohesive voice is astounding. While the writing in this book is excellent, it's the characters, both primary and secondary, that make Girls' Night Out a great summer pick!
Each and every character, although lively and authentic, is immensely different than the others. The grand personalities and shocking secrets featured in this piece make Fenton and Steinke's latest book a great choice for fans of character-based novels.
Ready to follow your gut and discover the truth of Ashley's whereabouts?
Pick up a copy of Girls' Night Out on July 24th!
Welcome back book lovers!
Today, I'll be reviewing one of 2017 most renown thrillers!
Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
Sutton and Ethan Montclair's lives are not what they appear. Although they seem absolutely in love, that couldn't be further away from the truth. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals, the two love and despise each other.
Suddenly, Sutton disappears. And as the police investigate, the truth unravels. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Or has something much more sinister occurred?
Lie to Me is my favorite read of 2018 (so far) and it's looking very hard to beat.
This book features outstanding writing. Ellison's diction is rich and eloquent, but also clear and comprehensible. With the turn of every page, a thrilling story comes to life. The author's vibrant syntax makes the novel easy to devour, making Lie to Me an ideal pick for lovers of literature.
Through vivid language, Ellison manages to create and develop a storyline that keeps the audience on the edge of their chair. Each chapter stimulates a deep sense of suspense and danger within its readers, leaving many members of the audience feeling uneasy- just like a thriller should.
While Lie to Me captivates with its exhilarating hook and climax, the characters in this book are what make it a standout, 5-star read. Although the protagonists are striking, its the secondary characters that are most memorable.
Because my favorite moments throughout the book are significant events, I can't say much else without spoiling the story. Despite being a perfect pick for fans of thrillers and mysteries, I'm certain that admirers of other genres will enjoy Lie to Me!
Have you read J.T. Ellison's Lie to Me? Leave your thoughts down below!