My Girlish Whims Book Club #7

I've had TWO meet ups of my in person book club since I last posted the round-up of my reads! Time to catch up on what I've been reading and where my book club has been socializing lately :)

This February we switched things up and visited Pinot's Palette in Collegeville to discuss the book The Wife Between Us and to do a wine and paint night! It was fun to do an activity together but I think honestly for book clubs in the future I will just stick to restaurants. I'm not naturally a very good artist (even though I'm very crafty!) so I actually had to really focus on the instructions to get my painting to turn out ok. I just wanted to relax and drink wine and chat about the book haha. At least I got to take cute painting home at the end of it!

For March, we met up to discuss The Woman in the Window at Bahama Breeze in King of Prussia over dinner and drinks. We were lucky that it was one of the first days in PA that actually felt like SPRING and we were all seated around a large table with a fire pit with lots of open windows.

Bahama Breeze definitely got my vote for some of the best cocktails we've ever had at book club! This was a coconut pineapple martini which was soooo refreshing and some of the other girls got flights of mini margaritas and even drinks that came in a pineapple!

We just met at Bahama Breeze last week and it was nice to get into the island spirit because by the time this post goes live...I will be on my way to Jamaica for vacation for a few days. Wohoo!!! I plan on doing LOTS of reading on my trip (I'm in the middle of one book right now and have three more to take along!) so I definitely need to catch up on the last books I read so I can fill you in on all my vacation reads when I get back :) Without further ado: here are my most recent reads!

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The Wife Between Us

By Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkan. Synopsis from Amazon:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Read between the lies.

First things first: yes, I really liked this book.  I’m just disappointed because from all the buzz and press I heard about it I thought I was going to be BLOWN AWAY by this book, and that was not the case.  The storyline was interesting, the characters were really well developed, but I feel like the twists ended up being over the top.  There was one twist in the middle of the novel that I did NOT see coming and it really caught me off guard and made the second half of the book really interesting.  But then a few more twists kept on surfacing towards the end of the book that I just thought were unnecessary and overly dramatic and did not really add anything to the story. There was so much build up to revealing certain things in Nellie’s past (like why she was so jumpy/nervous all the time) and I just was not that satisfied with the explanation/event for what caused that.  I was still super intrigued by the mystery in the book and really enjoyed the read, I just thought it could have been slightly better.  Regardless, I hear it’s being made into a movie and I will definitely want to watch it!

Neighborly: A Novel

By Ellie Monago. Synopsis from Amazon: 

A not-to-be-missed novel of suspense about the secrets hidden in a young couple’s new neighborhood.

Kat and Doug felt like Aurora Village was the perfect community. Minutes from the city, affluent without pretension, low crime with a friendly vibe—it’s everything Kat never had, and that she’s determined to provide for her infant daughter. Snagging a nice bungalow in this exclusive enclave was worth all the sacrifice. But everything changes overnight when Kat finds a scrawled note outside their front door.

"That wasn’t very neighborly of you"

As increasingly sinister and frighteningly personal notes arrive, each one stabs deeper into the heart of Kat’s insecurities, paranoia, and most troubling, her past. When the neighbors who seemed so perfect reveal their open secret, the menace moves beyond mean notes. Someone’s raising the stakes.
As suspicious as she is of every smiling face and as terrified as she’s become of being found out, Kat is still unprepared for the sharp turn that lies just ahead of her on Bayberry Lane.

I got this book for free as my Amazon Prime “first pick” book of the month and it’s been one of my favorite first pick books.  I enjoyed the storyline of this young family moving into a “picture perfect” neighborhood and trying to find their way and fit in all while learning gradually more and more about Kat’s past and how it was NOT very picture-perfect.  The storyline gets interesting pretty quickly with the introduction of the anonymous notes and another BIG surprise about the neighborhood that I wasn’t expecting that made things even more…risqué and amusing to read about. I was really surprised about one twist about ¾ of the way through the book which I really liked, but I think the ending could have been better.  It felt a little bit rushed/like a cop out ending.  Still worth the read though – I was kept very interested and entertained throughout the whole plot!

The Woman in the Window

By A.J. Finn. Synopsis from Amazon:

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . . 

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

This was a great read.  Even though the main character of the book is a little bit crazy and a little bit of a drunk you really feel for her and grow to connect with her character throughout the book.  She will not leave her house for some tragic reason that you have to wait to learn about until later in the novel and so she passes her time watching her neighbors through the window.  She thinks she witnesses a crime from the window but no one will believe her - including ourselves as the reader.  Can this mentally unstable woman be trusted? What is really going on? There were a few different twists in the book that kept me shocked and entertained and I overall really enjoyed the read and will definitely go see the movie when it comes out to theaters!

Up In The Air

By Walter Kim. Synopsis from Amazon:

Ryan Bingham’s job as a Career Transition Counselor–he fires people–has kept him airborne for years. Although he has come to despise his line of work, he has come to love the culture of what he calls “Airworld,” finding contentment within pressurized cabins, anonymous hotel rooms, and a wardrobe of wrinkle-free slacks. With a letter of resignation sitting on his boss’s desk, and the hope of a job with a mysterious consulting firm, Ryan Bingham is agonizingly close to his ultimate goal, his Holy Grail: one million frequent flier miles. But before he achieves this long-desired freedom, conditions begin to deteriorate.

With perception, wit, and wisdom, Up in the Air combines brilliant social observation with an acute sense of the psychic costs of our rootless existence, and confirms Walter Kirn as one of the most savvy chroniclers of American life.

I normally like to read the book before I ever see the movie adaptation (the book is almost always better!) but this time I watched the movie adaption of this book one random Sunday evening with my boyfriend and didn't realize there was a book version until after I watched it.  I really liked the movie: it has George Clooney and Anna Kendrick in it and was a fun and easy movie to watch on a relaxing evening.  I thought the ending of the movie was slightly unsatisfying but I overall really enjoyed it. about the book? Well...for once I have to say that I actually think the movie was better! I'm not sure if it's because I really liked the actors in the movie or because I found parts of the book's story line slightly confusing...but while I don't think this was a bad book, I would maybe skip over it and just spend $4 bucks on Amazon to rent the movie instead. The book and the movie had pretty different plots: the only major thing that was similar was that Ryan Bingham worked for a company where he has to travel around firing people every week and is constantly up in the air traveling.  The movie made the story line pretty fun, but the book just got confusing at times.  Ryan was always meeting with different characters and I had a hard time keeping them straight and found the writing style just confusing at times.  Maybe I just wasn't smart enough to follow the prose...or maybe I just got too distracted watching George Clooney during the movie that I didn't try hard enough while reading the book - hah!  I will say I liked the ending of the book much better than the movie: even though it was a very abrupt ending it was much more satisfying than the movie ending.

That's what I've got for now - let me know your thoughts if you have ever read any of the same books or which one(s) you may want to give a try!

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