Hey, y'all! I know I've been quiet over here because I've been buried in edits for book 3, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading in the evening. And today I have two reads, one fiction and one non-fiction, that just captured me completely and had me all...
First up is a novel by an author who most of y'all most likely already know. I've had three Colleen Hoover books on my kindle for YEARS, but like so many other great books, they got shuffled to the back pages of the kindle and I forgot what I had. (This is one reason why I find myself gravitating to more print books the last few years. I can see them on my shelves.) But anyway, when Colleen so kindly blurbed The One You Can't Forget (out June 5th!) I wanted to fix the fact that I hadn't read her books yet. So of course I quickly realized once I started reading that I was a dumb, dumb lady for letting her books languish on my reader. How have I waited so long to read her??? I have since fixed that, don't worry. And it all started with me devouring this book:
About the book:
Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.
Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up
— she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.
Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.
As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan — her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.
So this book took on a topic that would be very hard to do well and non-exploitively in a romance, but she completely pulls it off. I don't want to give too much information about what that issue is, but if you're concerned, check online for trigger warnings. I loved how this book showed the gray areas in a relationship/situation that is often looked at as solidly black-and-white by those looking from the outside in. It's also a well done romance on top of that so you'll still get your swoony happy feelings, too. In addition, her author note at the end really hit home for me as I could relate to her childhood experience on a personal level. So it was one of the best books I've read in a while, and that's saying something, because I've read some good ones lately. If you haven't read it, go forth and buy It Ends With Us!
Next up is definitely not a romance and is a difficult read but also a compelling one. If you haven't been living under a rock, you've no doubt heard that they've apprehended the person they believe is the Golden State Killer. This brought the recent book about the case, I'll Be Gone in the Dark, back to the forefront. I don't read true crime often but there are occasions where I'm compelled to know more. This was one of them because the author of the book passed away while she was writing the book, and sadly, will never get to see that her book helped this guy finally get caught. I wanted to read the story she wrote.
This book is about the crimes, the investigation, and the search for the killer, but it's also about the woman who dedicated herself so fully to writing this book. Michelle McNamara did a fantastic job taking decades of evidence and a long list of crimes and organizing the information into a compelling portrait of the time in history all this was happening, the investigators, the victims, and the monster who committed the crimes. It was written with a deft hand and in a non-sensationalizing way.
I will say that you should not make the mistake I did and read it when you're home alone at night, but it was worth the read. It's also a good example of how a book can actually change things. I truly believe that the killer was found in part because of this author raising the profile of the case. She also directly suggests in the book the very method they used to catch him.
About the book:
For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.
Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.
If you haven't heard, The Ones Who Got Away is currently on sale for $1.99!
And book 2, The One You Can't Forget, is almost here! Pre-order your copy and it will be in your hands June 5th. It's gotten three STARRED reviews, y'all! Rebecca's straight-A girl self would be super happy to know her book got all the gold stars. ;)