Book Reviews: The Last House Guest, The Bride Test & The Chelsea Girls

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda  

last house guest

Goodreads Blurb: Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.  Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her

My take: 4 out of 5.  I liked this story. It was intriguing and like any good thriller the ending was far from what I expected it to be. I also really appreciated the “summer” setting. Beach settings just work for the sex and mistery aspect of a book so much better than a plain city escape. Its also a really easy read, one day and it was gone, which is key for a thriller you don’t want to be harboring over the mistery for too long.

The Bride Test by Helen Hoang 

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Goodreads blurb Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

My take: 3.5 out of 5. This is a continuation of the Kiss Quotient in a way, in the same way the Wedding date books are continuations, by following a common trend and a very side character from the first book. Like the first book, its super sweet and a non traditional really inclusive romantic book. Hoang is really bringing the autism spectrum as fully formed characters. A little predictable but it has enough sacharine for a tooth ache and to make you ok with the predictableness.

The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis 

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Goodreads blurbFrom Fiona Davis, the nationally bestselling author of The Dollhouse and The Address, the bright lights of the theater district, the glamour and danger of 1950s New York, and the wild scene at the iconic Chelsea Hotel come together in a dazzling new novel about the twenty-year friendship that will irrevocably change two women’s lives.
From the dramatic redbrick facade to the sweeping staircase dripping with art, the Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City’s creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers, and poets who have called it home—a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists, with those in the entertainment industry in the crosshairs. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine’s Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship, and even their freedom.
Spanning from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Chelsea Girls deftly pulls back the curtain on the desperate political pressures of McCarthyism, the complicated bonds of female friendship, and the siren call of the uninhibited Chelsea Hotel

My take: 4 out of 5. I read this book after City of Girls and it was the perfect companion book. Not as good as city of girls, but it continues the feeling. I mean whats not to love about a coming of age creative story set in the heart of the theater district and in creative paradise that was the Chelsea Hotel? The background spy story was a bit convoluted and the ending was not 100% to my liking I couldn’t help but love how the relationship between the two characters developed..

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