Book & Movie Review: The Circle by Dave Eggers

20890470The Circle by Dave Eggers

Published October 8, 2013, by Vintage.

Adult > Dystopian, Sci-Fi


The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award.
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

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Review: The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Cover.TheOneThatGotAwayThe One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel

Published August 22, 2017, by St. Martin’s Press.

Adult > Chick Lit, Contemporary, Retelling, Romance


A modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past…

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Review: Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave


27274420Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

Published July 11, 2017, by Simon & Schuster.

Adult > Contemporary, Realistic Fiction


From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie truly is living the dream. A lifestyle guru for the modern age, Sunshine is beloved by millions of people who tune into her YouTube cooking show, and millions more scour her website for recipes, wisdom, and her enticing suggestions for how to curate a perfect life. She boasts a series of #1 New York Times bestselling cookbooks, a devoted architect husband, and a reputation for sincerity and kindness—Sunshine seems to have it all. But she’s hiding who she really is. And when her secret is revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. What Sunshine does in the ashes of destruction will save her in more ways than she can imagine.

In our modern world, where celebrity is a careful construct, Laura Dave’s compelling, enticing novel explores the devastating effect of the secrets we keep in public…and in private. Hello, Sunshine is a fresh, provocative look at a woman teetering between a scrupulously assembled life and the redemptive power of revealing the truth.

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Review: GIRLS on HBO & Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham


Six seasons aired from 2012 to 2017 on HBO.

Created by and starring Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), the show is a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare triumphs of a group of girls in their mid-20s. Dunham wrote and directed the pilot of the series, which she executive produces with Judd Apatow and Jenni Konner. The cast also includes Jemima Kirke, Allison Williams, Zosia Mamet, Adam Driver, Alex Karpovsky, Andrew Rannells and Ebon Moss-Bachrach.

I was fresh off of my freshman year of college and ready to binge some quality TV, so what show did I choose to kick off my summer? Girls. I was in a mood where I was really thinking about my future, going through the strange emotions of missing school (what I consider to be more than my second home now) and friends, more than I was happy about being home; and most of all, dreaming what my life will be like when I’m just a little bit older. Naturally, when I was scrolling through TV shows, Girls seemed like the perfect option for me.

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Review: The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: August 4th, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Synopsis from Goodreads:

A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, this accomplished and gripping suspenseful women’s fiction debut is perfect for fans of Lisa Scottoline and Heather Gudenkauf

Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in her high school boyfriend’s drowning for sixteen years. Every summer, she drops her children off with her mother at the lakeside community where she spent summers growing up, but cannot bear to stay herself; everything about the lake reminds her of the guilt she feels. For her daughter Caroline, however, the lake is a precious world apart; its familiarity and sameness comforts her every year despite the changes in her life outside its bounds. At twelve years old and caught between childhood and adolescence, she longs to win her mother’s love and doesn’t understand why Jo keeps running away.

Then seven-year-old Sara Starr goes missing from the community beach. Rescue workers fail to uncover any sign of her—but instead dredge up the bones Jo hoped would never be discovered, shattering the quiet lakeside community’s tranquility. Caroline was one of the last people to see Sara alive on the beach, and feels responsible for her disappearance. She takes it upon herself to figure out what happened to the little girl. As Caroline searches for Sara, she uncovers the secrets her mother has been hiding, unraveling the very foundation of everything she knows about herself and her family. The Secrets of Lake Road by Karen Katchur is a riveting novel that is impossible to put down and hard to forget.

my rambles

Special thanks to Thomas Dunne Books for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

The Secrets of Lake Road is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed! Every summer I go to the lake with family and friends, so the setting and basis for the story was something familiar, which just added to my enjoyment.

I found The Secrets of Lake Road to be unique in that it follows characters that are all different ages: from a grandmother, to mothers, to teens, and children young and old. For this reason I would classify the book as one that anyone would enjoy (young adults to grandmothers — in fact I’ve recommended that my own mom pick it up!).

And then of course there is the plot of the book — a mystery surrounding a main character’s parents from the past — which is suspenseful and emotional all at once. There are kind of two stories happening that become intertwined, one with the parents and one with the children.

But underneath the mystery, it’s largely about family and friendship, being young, and growing up.

The ending was kind of open which I wasn’t really expecting, but I still found it to be satisfying. Both the first and the last lines of the book will leave an impression on you, but for different reasons. It’s a perfect alternative to the typical beachy summer read, and I’d highly recommend it!