THOUGHTS ON BOOKS (#1): Bonfire / Snowfall on Haven Point / Our Little Secret


BonfireBonfire by Krysten Ritter
My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Thank you to Penguin’s First to Read Program for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was impressed with Krysten Ritter’s debut novel. I’m kind of out of touch with TV & movies, so I didn’t realize the author was an actor until finishing. I quickly grabbed this title when I saw it was suspense and didn’t pay much attention to the blurb. Anyway, I enjoyed it.

Abby Williams is an environmental lawyer who’s returned to her tiny hometown to investigate possible contamination by a plastics company with a whole lot of influence in Barrens, Indiana. Abby hasn’t been home in ten years, not since her friend-turned-bully disappeared just after graduation. Barrens is full of bad memories for Abby, but her relationship with the town and people in it is unresolved, which is why this troubling pollution case is important to her.

I liked the author’s writing style and her ability to hook me with her flawed and not-so-likable characters. The overall atmosphere of the book is dark and foreboding, perfect for this gripping mystery/suspense. Looking forward to more from Krysten Ritter.


Snowfall on Haven Point (Haven Point, #5)Snowfall on Haven Point by RaeAnne Thayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a freebie from Harlequin on Christmas Eve. I was in the mood for a sweet small town holiday romance, and SNOWFALL ON HAVEN POINT was just what I was looking for. Sheriff Marshall Bailey is laid up with a broken leg at his sister’s house, recovering from a hit and run. With his family out of town, his sister’s friend Andie is saddled with caring for the stubborn, grumpy man. While Marshall’s wounds are physical, Andie is dealing with emotional ones, starting with the death of her husband two years ago. Along with the developing romance between Marshall and Andie are two intriguing side stories, including the mystery surrounding the hit and run. This is the fifth book in the Haven Point series. I read the first one a couple of years ago, and now I want to go back and read the rest. I love RaeAnne Thayne’s realistic, relatable characters and cozy small town settings. Enjoyed.


Our Little SecretOur Little Secret by Roz Nay
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A woman is questioned by police after her ex-boyfriend’s wife disappears. Lots of great reviews for this book, but unfortunately it wasn’t for me. The story lacked suspense, and the characters didn’t grab my attention. I usually enjoy unlikable or unreliable characters, but not so much this time. I couldn’t understand the reasoning behind many things the characters did or said. Maybe if I was clearer about who the “our” was in the title, and also which “little secret” it’s referring to. I liked the final twist though.


“No two persons ever read the same book.” ― Edmund Wilson

IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE by Leah Weiss


Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: August 22, 2017
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★


He’s gonna be sorry he ever messed with me and Loretta Lynn.

Sadie Blue has been a wife for fifteen days. That’s long enough to know she should have never hitched herself to Roy Tupkin, even with the baby.

Sadie is desperate to make her own mark on the world, but in remote Appalachia, a ticket out of town is hard to come by, and hope often gets stomped out. When a stranger sweeps into Baines Creek and knocks things off kilter, Sadie finds herself with an unexpected lifeline…if she can just figure out how to use it.

This intimate insight into a fiercely proud, tenacious community unfolds through the voices of the forgotten folks of Baines Creek. With a colorful cast of characters that each contribute a new perspective, IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE is a debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.


A 1970s Appalachian mountain town is brought to life through the alternating first-person voices of Leah Weiss’ characters. Several different people speak about the happenings in Baines Creek, North Carolina, though the common thread throughout most of the book is Sadie Blue, a pregnant teenage bride in an abusive marriage.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I thought the writing was beautiful, and I especially enjoyed the folksy dialect of the characters. The lives of Baines Creek’s locals are hard and heartbreaking, and it was easy to empathize with them. What I didn’t like was the incomplete feeling I have after finishing. We’re introduced to several characters whose stories are left up in the air. Even with Sadie Blue’s story, there wasn’t a strong, cohesive plot linking everything together.

IF THE CREEK DON’T RISE is Leah Weiss’ debut novel, and she already has a talent for drawing readers in with her intriguing characterizations. Looking forward to seeing where she goes next.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.