“One thing growing up in the foster system taught me was to watch people’s eyes more than you listened to what they said. Mouths were good at lying, but eyes usually told the truth.” ― Rachel Hawkins, The Wife Upstairs
Jane is new to Alabama, and she is working as a dog walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. No one will even think to ask if Jane is her real name.
But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently Eddie’s wife, Bea, was in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, but he could also offer her the kind of protection she has always yearned for.
Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea. Can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?
I heard all of the talk about comparing this to Jane Eyre, and have decided just to read and review this book on its own with no comparisons.
I am so happy that this is my first read of the new year! It is exactly what I look for in a book. I loved the character’s dark and hidden pasts, and that as the reader, we are kept in the dark about some of their secrets all the way up to the last few chapters!
Besides being a fun thriller, this was also very well-written and perfectly paced. There is some jumping around in time, but Hawkins has the chapters clearly titled and there will not be any confusion. I found this to be a nice touch. Sometimes this annoys me in books, but not in this one. This is the second book that I have read by Rachel Hawkins, and I am a fan of her writing for sure!
*Check out my review of Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins here!
When Lux and her boyfriend are hired to sail two women to a remote island for a large chunk of change, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. After a few days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise they expect, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. And when one person goes missing and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them will make it off the island alive.
There is quite a bit of tension and unease throughout this book. What seems to be a light and fun time suddenly becomes a nightmare. Nothing major happens in this book until about a third of the way into it, and then it becomes fast-paced and full of action. It all happens so quickly, so I think the ending could have been a little tidier, but otherwise, this is an interesting island thriller!
The long-awaited season four of Stranger Things came out this summer and… WOW! I watched seasons one through three in a several-day-long binge with my husband in 2019, so we have been patiently waiting for the story to continue for the past few years. Season four came out in two parts, and for each one, we spent the day hunkered down binge-watching! I am so excited about how the plot is progressing in the series. If you have no clue what Stranger Things is about, here is a summary.
“When Will Byers suddenly goes missing, the whole town of Hawkins, Indiana, turns upside down. Many people search for Will, including his mother Joyce, his brother Jonathan, his friends Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Police Chief Jim Hopper, and a few others. But one thing leads to another, creating a supernatural trail. And things get even weirder when a girl, Eleven, comes into the story. She has telekinetic powers and is on the run from the Hawkins Laboratory. The laboratory is researching supernatural phenomena and might have unwittingly unlocked a gateway to another dimension.” (imdb.com)
If you have not watched Stranger Things yet, I recommend hopping on the bandwagon because the next season will be the final season!
Available to stream on Netflix.
Hobby:MadFit for Lifestyle/Health
When the world shut down in 2020, we all had to find ways to live our lives within our own four walls. Working out is something I enjoy, and I go to the gym nearly every day. I like working out in a way that works strength and mobility, but not in a way that makes me feel like I am dying (no offense runners). I discovered the YouTube channel MadFit in my search on how to do at-home workouts without equipment. Maddie Lymburner runs the channel and offers workouts for literally everything. HIIT workouts, dance workouts, stretching, strength, and anything else you can think of. Even now that the gyms are open again, I have her workouts written down in my notes on my phone, so I do them there too.
Recently, she has created an app where you can pay for a subscription to keep you on track with your fitness goals. This app helps track your diet and make workout plans designed for your needs. I just like to use the free YouTube videos, but this is a great option for anyone who might want a little more structure with getting started!
Available to watch here and the MadFit app can be downloaded on the App store or Google Play.
Music: Harry’s House
Oh boy, do I love a good Harry Styles album. Harry’s House is the third solo album from Harry since the band he was in, One Direction, went on a hiatus. Many may not know, but I was an avid Directioner (still am), which is what One Direction fans called themselves back in 2012. While I occasionally listen to the other four member’s solo music, Harry’s has consistently been my favorite. I have even gotten my family to be fans of the music. Harry’s House ranks second on my list of his albums. My absolute favorite is the first album, Harry Styles, and third is Fine Line. All are amazing, and I recommend you give them a listen if you haven’t already. My favorite songs from the new album are Matilda and Daydreaming.
Here is 12-year-old me pumped to get a magazine with One Direction on the cover for my birthday. I guess I am just as big of a fan girl as I was ten years ago!
Stream the album here or any music streaming platform.