Heard It In A Love Song by Tracey Garvis Graves (2021)
Layla, a former lead singer in a rock band, is now in her mid-30s, recently divorced, and an elementary school music teacher. Josh's daughter is in her class, and he is recently separated. Could there be something more between them? I have mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand, I appreciate the simplicity and realness of the plot. There's no crazy drama, no ridiculous situations, just two people getting out of long-term relationships and trying to figure out what they want in life and what their next step will be. Navigating dating apps, trying to recapture old passions - there's so much to relate to here. On the other hand, if the plot is going to be so simple, the writing needs to be stellar, and I didn't feel it was. It was bland and underwhelming, and I hate to say it, but I was bored at times. 3 stars
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney (2022)
Daisy Darker and her family reunite at her grandmother's house for her 80th birthday, but over the course of one night, Nana and several other family members are murdered. The remaining members have to face their pasts and long-held secrets in order to survive. First, I kind of accidentally spoiled one of the big twists of the book for myself, which I highly advise against - I would love to know how I would have read the book differently had I known. Also, the blurb references Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, which is a total spoiler for another twist, so I was disappointed in that. I thought the book was a bit overwritten at times - Daisy is constantly spitting out these flowery, cliched statements - but the back and forth between past and present was very intriguing, as we find out more about Daisy's childhood and her relationship with her family. I haven't read a thriller in a while, and this was a decent one to start with. The setting, this crumbling estate that you can only reach during certain tides, was pretty incredible! 3.5 stars
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