Monday, September 8, 2014

Mini Reviews: Bittersweet + The Heiresses

Well, it looks like it's been pretty quiet around here in terms of book reviews. It seems this summer I mostly blogged about various bookish events and challenges, so I'm long overdue to share some thoughts on the books I've been reading these past few months. Here's the first of (hopefully) several catch-up posts.

Bittersweet, by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Series? No
Publisher: Crown
Date: May 2014
How did I get this book? Advanced Reader's Copy from the publisher for review
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Author | Publisher

I really loved this book! It is dark, twisty, and full of family secrets -- which is pretty close to my ideal novel. There is a summer estate where the members of a rich and prominent family vacation each year and there is no shortage of intrigue and drama amongst the various relatives. The addition of a newcomer (who is our narrator) promises the unearthing of the family's long-buried history. I would say it's a bit more on the literary side for a suspense novel. I was compelled to keep reading and there was no shortage of shocking twists and turns as this one came to a close. I went ahead and ordered used copies of both of this author's previous (now out-of-print) novels and would definitely pick up anything new she writes in the future.

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The Heiresses, by Sara Shepard
Series? yes (The Heiresses #1)
Publisher: Harper
Date: May 2014
How did I get this book? won an Advanced Reader's Copy from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Goodreads | Author | Publisher

Truthfully, it was not the best idea to read this one right after Bittersweet. There are a lot of similarities in the storylines -- rich family, dark secrets, buried history -- but with the added element of murder (and the threat that the first will not be the last). The fact that I still enjoyed both of them very much despite their proximity to one another definitely says something. The style and tone of this one is definitely less literary and more soap opera-y, for lack of a better word. It was a real page-turner, guilty-pleasure-type book so it made for a great beach read while on vacation.

Reading Challenges:
New to Me
Review Pile
My Kind of Mystery