Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 2018 Wrap Up & Book Haul!

Happy Thursday, Bookworms!!

Can you believe that May is over already?? This month flew by so quickly.

May wasn't the best reading month for me, but it wasn't entirely bad either, I suppose. I managed to read 18 books, and added a whole bunch of new ones to my collection as well.

While I hate to see May end already, I'm SUPER excited to get started on my June TBR, which is FULL of books that I'm really excited to read. And since I'll (hopefully) have more free time in June, I hope I can actually stay caught up!

Moving on.... Scroll down to check out my May Wrap Up!!
Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Best Beach Ever by Wendy Wax
The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Freshmen by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd
The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead
The Wife Between Us by Green Hendricks & Sarah
Legendary by Stephanie Garber
A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
Furyborn by Claire Legrand

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Furyborn by Claire Legrand
Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling *
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
Paper Princess by Erin Watt
Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Puddin' by Julie Murphy
The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

* = re-read

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
You by Caroline Kepnes
By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

May was a pretty great month for books, both new and those I read,
but I still feel bad for not being able to read ALL the books on my TBR this month.

That's just the way it is sometimes! I'll have to try harder in June!!

I did get to read a LOT of great books this month,
including War Storm and Legendary, which were just released this month,
as well as Six of Crows and The Darkest Minds,
which were new-to-me books.

Either way, it's time to say Goodbye to May,
and HELLLLLLLO to June,
and all the awesome books I plan to read next month!

How was YOUR reading month in May??

My Thoughts: War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
War Storm
(Red Queen #4)
by Victoria Aveyard
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Publication Date: May 15th 2018
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 662
ISBN: 9780062422996
Genre: Young Adult | Fantasy
Source: Own

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Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive. (Goodreads)

I was originally a bit late catching onto the Red Queen bandwagon, even though I read the first book back when it was first released and really enjoyed it. For some reason I got behind on reading Glass Sword and Kings Cage, and just recently managed to get caught up on them. I was DETERMINED to read War Storm with everyone else when it was released, and I'm thrilled that I was able to catch up in time to do so. War Storm was an interesting read, and I'm both thrilled and totally sad that I'm now officially finished with this series!

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but there are so many characters in this series to like. I'm going to have a hard time letting go of them now that the series is finished! Mare has been a favorite of mine from the beginning, and it's been so awesome to watch her character grow over the course of the series. I adore her family, and so many of her friends, including Cal, Farley, and Kilorn. They are all so great. There are so many well written characters in the story, some you may like, a few you may not, but they all are well written. I hate to say goodbye to them!

The storyline for the book follows along the same line as the previous books. I was super curious to see how things were going to come together for this ending, and I really had no idea what to expect either. I do think I had psyched myself up for more of an ending than what we actually got, however. I'm not saying that it was bad in anyway, I just expected... more... especially after all that had happened in the previous books. *shrug* Maybe I just read the book too quickly, and didn't get the full impact? I may have to re-read it again soon. Either way, I liked how everything wrapped up in the end, and I would love to know just what the future has in store for Mare and the rest of the characters in the story.

Overall; War Storm was an enjoyable read, and I can't believe it's the end of the Red Queen story! Seriously, if Victoria Aveyard wanted to keep writing books about Mare, I would totally keep reading them. She's awesome, and it's hard to say goodbye to her and the rest of the characters in the story. Thank goodness I can go back and read these books, or listen to the audiobooks, whenever I start to miss them, which will probably be soon. *grin*. If you haven't yet checkout out this final book in the Red Queen series, you should totally do so, just to see how everything comes to an end. If you've not yet check out the series to begin with, well... what are you waiting on??

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

My Thoughts: By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank
By Invitation Only
by Dorothea Benton Frank
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Publication Date: May 15th 2018
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780062390820
Genre: Women's Fiction | Chick Lit
Source: Edelweiss

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The Lowcountry of South Carolina is where By Invitation Only begins at a barbecue engagement party thrown by Diane English Stiftel, her brother Floyd, and her parents to celebrate her son’s engagement. On this gorgeous, magical night, the bride’s father, Alejandro Cambria, a wealthy power broker whose unbelievably successful career in private equity made him one of Chicago’s celebrated elite, discovers the limits and possibilities of cell phone range. While the mother of the bride, Susan Kennedy Cambria, who dabbles in the world of public relations and believes herself deserving of every square inch of her multimillion-dollar penthouse and imaginary carrara marble pedestal, learns about moonshine and dangerous liaisons.

Soon By Invitation Only zooms to Chicago, where the unraveling accelerates. Nearly a thousand miles away from her comfortable, familiar world, Diane is the antithesis of the bright lights and super-sophisticated guests attending her son Fred’s second engagement party. Why a second party? Maybe it had been assumed that the first one wouldn’t be up to snuff? Fred is marrying Shelby Cambria, also an only child. The Cambrias’ dearest wish is for their daughter to be happy. If Shelby wants to marry Frederick, aka Fred, they will not stand in her way—although Susan does hope her friends won’t think her daughter is marrying more than a few degrees beneath her socially. At the same time, Diane worries that her son will be lost to her forever.

By Invitation Only is a tale of two families, one struggling to do well, one well to do, and one young couple—the privileged daughter of Chicago’s crème de la crème and the son of hard -working Southern peach farmers.

Dorothea Benton Frank offers a funny, sharp, and deeply empathetic novel of two very different worlds—of limousines and pickup trucks, caviars and pigs, skyscrapers and ocean spray—filled with a delightful cast of characters who all have something to hide and a lot to learn. A difference in legal opinions, a headlong dive from grace, and an abrupt twist will reveal the truth of who they are and demonstrate, when it truly counts, what kind of grit they have. Are they living the life they want, what regrets do they hold, and how would they remake their lives if they were given the invitation to do so?

By Invitation Only is classic Dorothea Benton Frank—a mesmerizing Lowcountry Tale that roars with spirit, humor, and truth, and forces us to reconsider our notions of what it means to be a Have or a Have Not. (Goodreads)

I have had almost ALL of Dorothea Benton Frank's books on my TBR for a while now, and somehow hadn't managed to pick up one until recently. I picked up Same Beach Next Year last summer, but for some reason I didn't finish the book, and I can't remember why. I was determined to finally read something by Frank this summer, and By Invitation Only sounded like the perfect place to start, especially with it officially being wedding season and I'm all about wedding books at the moment. This book was a pretty cute read!

The storyline for By Invitation Only was really cute. It was all about family and marriage, and how marriage can bring families together. (And even also how some can fall completely apart sometimes as well.) I really liked the setting of the book, as it definitely makes me want to visit South Carolina, and find a peach farm to visit as well. The book felt a little ramble-y in some parts, with lots of descriptions that I didn't really feel were necessary. I'm not sure if that's how the author usually writes, but something that I noticed. It didn't really bother me enough to stop reading the book though. It was very entertaining!

The story is told through dual narratives, one by Diane, mother of the groom, and Susan, mother of the bride. I was definitely able to relate to Diane in a lot of ways, but with Susan, not so much. Wow, her family was a mess! But watching them all merge into one big happy family was sweet, even if there was a few bumps in the road along the way. There were a lot of different characters to keep up with in the story, but I liked how they were all pretty unique, and most kept me laughing along the way as well.

Overall; I'm thrilled to have finally added a Dorothea Benton Frank book to my *READ* list, and By Invitation Only was the perfect book to start with. It definitely has put me in the mood for more wedding books, and I plan to start more as soon as possible. I'm definitely curious to check out more books by Frank in the future as well. If you're looking for a cute wedding themed book to read this wedding season, do check out By Invitation Only!

Waiting on Wednesday #321 - All We Ever Wanted & The Perfect Couple (Chick Lit Edition)
All We Ever Wanted
by Emily Giffin
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Publication Date: June 26th 2018
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780399178924

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In the riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love and Something Borrowed, three very different people must choose between their family and their values.

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning. (Goodreads)

Confession: I've never read a book by Emily Giffin before.


I've wanted to read something by her for a while now,
and I believe I even have some of her books on my TBR, but have never checked them out. All We Ever Wanted sounds like a good place to start,
and I'm really looking forward to checking it out!!
The Perfect Couple
by Elin Hilderbrand
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Publication Date: June 19th 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
ISBN: 9780316375269

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From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, comes a novel about the many ways family can fill our lives with love...if they don't kill us first.

It's wedding season on Nantucket. The beautiful island is overrun with summer people--an annual source of aggravation for year-round residents. And that's not the only tension brewing offshore. When one lavish wedding ends in disaster before it can even begin--with the bride-to-be discovered dead in Nantucket Harbor just hours before the ceremony--everyone in the wedding party is suddenly a suspect. As Chief of Police Ed Kapenash digs into the best man, the maid of honor, the groom's famous mystery novelist mother, and even a member of his own family, the chief discovers that every wedding is a minefield--and no couple is perfect. Featuring beloved characters from THE CASTAWAYS and A SUMMER AFFAIR, THE PERFECT COUPLE proves once again that Elin Hilderbrand is the queen of the summer beach read. (Goodreads)

Confession #2: I've never read anything by Elin Hilderbrand either!

Gasp! I know, right?

I've had quite a few of her books on my TBR for a while now as well, and I keep meaning to read them, because they all sound like great summer reads, but I've never had a chance to read them. I'm hoping to change that soon, starting with The Perfect Couple!!

And those are my WOW picks for this week, the Chick Lit Edition!
I absolutely can't wait to read these books this summer.
I hope they are great!!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Monday, May 28, 2018

My Week in Review • Week 20 & 21

Happy Sunday Monday, Bookworms!!

Welcome to my weekly Week in Review post!

Here I share all the things I've been up to during the past week.
Check back every Sunday for new updates!

Now, here's what I've been up to this week!

Hey guys! I've gotten a bit behind on things over the past few weeks,
so this post actually covers the past two weeks.
Hopefully I can get back on track with things soon!

The past two weeks have not been the best reading weeks for me, thanks to the kids and all their busyness, but I did manage to read 7 books, so I guess that's not too bad. 3 of the books I read were review books, the first being Furyborn by Claire Legrand which was really interesting, as well as The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll, and By Invitation Only by Dorothea Benton Frank. I've only reviewed The Favorite Sister so far, but I'm hoping to have my thoughts up for the other two books this week!

I also started War Storm by Victoria Aveyard the moment it was released, which was pretty good, and read Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas as well. I also read The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, which was not at all like the movie, and The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, finally, and now I am really looking forward to the movie for it coming out soo.

So, I haven't had any time to watch movies over the past two weeks, but The Hubby did manage to talk me into watching The Office with him. I agreed because of Jim Halpert, and I'm staying for the Jim and Pam. SO CUTE!

Ah, here I am again getting this post up late. SORRY! Things have been seriously insane here, but it is officially SUMMER BREAK, and I'm so freaking excited. I'm really hoping to have a lot of free time during this break to read all the books and watch all the movies and TV, and I'm crossing my fingers that this will actually happen, but, we will see. *grin*

There's really not much more to update here... I'm behind on everything, which is probably unsurprising. I'm hoping to spend the next week getting caught up on my blog, and on Bookstagram, and will hopefully finished a few books before the month is over. I can't believe June is almost here!!

That's all for me this week! See you guys next week!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday #320 - Smoke in the Sun & Providence
Smoke in the Sun
(Flame in the Mist #2)
by Renee Ahdieh
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Publication Date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781524738143

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The highly anticipated sequel to Flame in the Mist—an addictive, sumptuous finale that will leave readers breathless from the bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn.

After Okami is captured in the Jukai forest, Mariko has no choice—to rescue him, she must return to Inako and face the dangers that have been waiting for her in the Heian Castle. She tricks her brother, Kenshin, and betrothed, Raiden, into thinking she was being held by the Black Clan against her will, playing the part of the dutiful bride-to-be to infiltrate the emperor's ranks and uncover the truth behind the betrayal that almost left her dead.

With the wedding plans already underway, Mariko pretends to be consumed with her upcoming nuptials, all the while using her royal standing to peel back the layers of lies and deception surrounding the imperial court. But each secret she unfurls gives way to the next, ensnaring Mariko and Okami in a political scheme that threatens their honor, their love and very the safety of the empire. (Goodreads)

I *finally* read Flame in the Mist recently, and really enjoyed the book,
now I'm SUPER excited to get my hands on Smoke in the Sun!!
I'm hoping to work the book into my TBR once it is released,
or at least read it this summer. *fingers crossed!*
by Caroline Kepnes
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Publication Date: June 19th 2018
Publisher: Lenny
ISBN: 9780399591433

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A propulsive new thriller about the obsessive nature of love when an intensifying relationship between best friends is disrupted by a kidnapping.

Growing up as best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe are the only ones who truly understand each other, though they can never find the words to tell one another the depth of their feelings. When Jon is finally ready to confess his feelings, he's suddenly kidnapped by his substitute teacher who is obsessed with H.P. Lovecraft and has a plot to save humanity.

Mourning the disappearance of Jon and facing the reality he may never return, Chloe tries to navigate the rites of entering young adulthood and "fit in" with the popular crowd, but thoughts of Jon are never far away.

When Jon finally escapes, he discovers he now has an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. He runs away to protect Chloe and find the answers to his new identity--but he's soon being tracked by a detective who is fascinated by a series of vigilante killings that appear connected.

Whisking us on a journey through New England and crashing these characters' lives together in the most unexpected ways, Kepnes explores the complex relationship between love and identity, unrequited passion and obsession, self-preservation and self-destruction, and how the lines are often blurred between the two. (Goodreads)

I have not yet read a book by Caroline Kepnes, but that will be changing really soon!
Not only do I have this book on my TBR for next month,
but I also plan to start You soon as well!
I'm super excited to finally read both books.

Those are my WOW picks for this week!!
What books are YOU super excited for??

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Thoughts: The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
The High Tide Club
by Mary Kay Andrews
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Publication Date: May 8th 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781250126061
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Netgalley

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From the New York Timesbestselling author of The Weekenderscomes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found. (Goodreads)

The High Tide Club is only the second book that I've read so far by Mary Kay Andrews, even though I have almost all of her books on my TBR right now, and I was super excited to read the book! I read The Weekenders last year and really enjoyed that story, so I was curious to see how this was going to compare. I definitely wasn't disappointed!

I went into this book kind of expecting a summer type read, (I'm ALL about the summer books right now), but that's not all that this book was. The High Tide Club is a story about friendship and love, and the secrets that are only shared between the best of friends.

One thing that I really enjoyed about this book was its interesting group of characters. There are so many unique and independent women in this story, and I really enjoyed the bond that was between the older friends and the one formed with the new friends as well. These bonds are the best, and they seriously make the best stories to read.

The storyline for this book was definitely interesting as well. I like that the story is told in alternative time periods, between the past and the present. I think I adored the setting for the book the most. Beaches are my thing, and this was set on a pretty secluded island, which was awesome. As with the previous book I read by Andrews, there was quite a bit of mystery in the story as well, and I enjoyed that. I figured out pretty early on in the book what was going to happen, but there were still a few twists and turns along the way that caught me by surprise. It was definitely an interesting read!

Overall; I really enjoyed The High Tide Club! As I mentioned above, this is only the second book that I've read by Mary Kay Andrews, but it definitely won't be the last. I'm really looking forward to diving into a few of her previous books now, and the first I'm hoping to get to is Ladies' Night, which sounds like a lot of fun! If you like a good beach read, do check out The High Tide Club!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My Thoughts: The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
The Favorite Sister
by Jessica Knoll
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Publication Date: May 15th 2018
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781501153198
Genre: Adult Fiction
Source: Netgalley

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When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder…

Brett’s the fan favorite. Tattooed and only twenty-seven, the meteoric success of her spin studio—and her recent engagement to her girlfriend—has made her the object of jealousy and vitriol from her cast mates.

Kelly, Brett’s older sister and business partner, is the most recent recruit, dismissed as a hanger-on by veteran cast. The golden child growing up, she defers to Brett now—a role which requires her to protect their shocking secret.

Stephanie, the first black cast member and the oldest, is a successful bestselling author of erotic novels. There have long been whispers about her hot, non-working actor-husband and his wandering eye, but this season the focus is on the rift that has opened between her and Brett, former best friends—and resentment soon breeds contempt.

Lauren, the start-up world’s darling whose drinking has gotten out of control, is Goal Diggers’ recovery narrative—everyone loves a comeback story.

And Jen, made rich and famous through her cultishly popular vegan food line plays a holistic hippie for the cameras, but is perhaps the most ruthless of them all when the cameras are off. (Goodreads)

The Favorite Sister is the first book I've read by Jessica Knoll, though I have had her previous book, Luckiest Girl Alive, on my TBR for a while now. I was super curious about The Favorite Sister, after initially being drawn in by the awesome cover, and after reading the summary, I knew I would have to check it out. This book wasn't at all what I expected, but it was definitely a unique read!

The Favorite Sister is the story of five super successful millennial women who appear on a reality TV show called Goal Diggers. The show is all about being young and successful, and getting ahead in the world all on your own. We follow these women over the course of a new season of the show, which is full of drama and mystery, and even death.

The story is told from three of the Goal Digger stars viewpoints, by Brett and Kelly, who are sisters, and Stephanie who is a veteran on the show. (Brett was a veteran as well, but Kelly was new to the show.) It was interesting to read the same story from each person's different viewpoint, to see how different each woman thought of the show and of each other. All of the ladies were full of secrets and lies, and to be honest, they were quite vicious to each other. I can't even imagine having a friendship like these ladies have, if you could even call it a friendship. Too much drama!

The storyline for this book was really interesting, but admittedly, I'm not much of a reality tv show fan. I barely watch TV as it is, and I tend to avoid reality shows because they are full of drama, and I'm not at all a fan. But, I really wanted to check out this book, so I charged ahead with it. (Reading this book was a good reminder as to why I don't do drama. Haha!) I enjoyed the mystery part of the story the most. We learn pretty early on in the book that there is a death, and I was SO curious to know what had happened. Because of that, I flew through the pages. There are quite a few twists and turns throughout the story, especially at the end, that kept me guessing, and I really liked that.

Overall; The Favorite Sister was definitely an interesting read! I can't say that I've read anything like this before, and I'm really glad I decided to check out the book. I'm now even more curious to check out Luckiest Girl Alive, which I plan to do as soon as possible. If you like a good book full of mystery and drama, you should definitely check out The Favorite Sister!