Hello booklovers and welcome to this week’s Three to Read! We’ve got some unique and exciting recommendations for you today. The following three books have a little bit of everything: unexpected murder, complicated relationships, riveting secrets, humor, and witty banter. Hopefully after reading our take on these novels, you’ll add them to your TBR and pick them up for yourselves!
BY CAROLINE B. COONEY
Like many of us slowly beginning to ooze and burst from the cocoon of quarantine and pandemic life, Freddy struggles to place his life in order. He finds himself at a loss for motivation after the recent death of his mother, the absence of his sisters and, *cue the violins* his inability to maintain a girlfriend.
After having to place his grandmother (a woman suffering from dementia) in a home, Freddy is forced to reconcile with the realities of adulthood. The daily visits with his grandmother only serve to remind him of the person she once was, and it isn’t until a woman in the same nursing home is suddenly murdered that Freddy’s life takes an adventurous turn.
Written by the renowned author of The Face on the Milk Carton series, The Grandmother Plot by Caroline B. Cooney guarantees to be an addictive read. As our Hot Pick for the week, this book promises to keep readers on edge as we join Freddy on his quest to solve the murder, keep his grandmother safe, and straighten out the kinks within his own messy life.
While Cooney’s award-winning, best-selling series The Face on the Milk Carton is targeted towards young adults, her writing has a sinister flair that will enrapt readers of all ages. The Grandmother Plot may remind readers of the popular Netflix film I Care a Lot. Like the film, Cooney’s novel touches on the erasure of senior citizens in American society. This topic is one that is extremely important, but often swept under the rug and not discussed nearly as much as it should be. Specifically, The Grandmother Plot highlights the disparities and downfalls of the current treatment of senior citizens in nursing homes.
BY SONIA HARTL
Brinkley Saunders appeared to have lost everything when she dropped out of grad school. Everyone thought she was “a rising star” like her mother. Now Brinkley works as an administrative assistant at an insurance agency. Or so everyone thinks. Turns out, Brinkley has a secret.
Brinkley actually works at a secret service called Heartbreak for Hire. They “specialize in revenge for jilted lovers, frenemies, and long-suffering coworkers with a little cash to spare and a man who needs to be taken down a notch.” While not as prestigious as higher academia, this job allows Brinkley to save her money until she can afford to open her own art gallery. Not to mention she’s empowering women and “exorcising a few demons” all the while.
However, Brinkley’s perspectives on her job change once her boss instructs her to hire male heartbreakers. Suddenly, she finds her new coworker is actually a man she was hired to “take down.” Mark seems to be the total opposite of what you’d expect a heartbreaker to be: academic, nerdy, attractive, and attentive. Brinkley’s feelings for Mark grow deeper and deeper, and she realizes that people are not always what they appear to be.
If you’re a die-hard fan of Christina Lauren or Sally Thorne novels, Heartbreak for Hire is the perfect option for your next summer read. This book can be easily summed up as a hilarious and steamy romcom. It’s fast-paced, meaning you won’t be able to put it down and can easily breeze through the novel while tanning on the beach (or just lounging in your own backyard). It’s the ideal book to binge-read on a summer day. Although the conversations between the main characters are often witty and charming, they can also be quite captivating and heartfelt. Library Journal claims Heartbreak for Hire is a “first pick for libraries” when seeking out popular contemporary romance novels.
BY LINDSAY CAMERON
Eyes aren’t the windows to the soul. Emails are.
Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking–love, friends, stability–and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.
While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.
Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.
Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle–she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.
Caroline Kepnes, the best-selling author of the You series claims, “I inhaled Just One Look. I was going to read one chapter, then one chapter became the whole thing. YUM.”
A young woman is led down a dangerous path when her consuming obsession with one seemingly perfect man goes too far. Just One Look is filled with envy, deception, and desire. However, this novel differs from other thrillers in its focus on the villain. It asks: is Cassie truly the bad guy in this story, or is she simply a woman – a human – who has been through a lot? Does her past and current situation help justify, or explain, her actions? The only way to find out is to read this compelling and addictive story!
That’s it for this week’s Three to Read! We’ll see you again next week with three more exciting recommendations. Don’t forget to click on a book’s title to purchase that work!