The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books- What I Read In February

There’s no chance that I’d ever miss Show Us Your Books Day, so of course I’m linking up with Steph and Jana so I can talk all about books with some fellow book lovers! I felt like this month was better than last month as far as reading is concerned, and it also kicked off Erin’s Reading Challenge 7.0! Another great thing about this month was that besides one book, everything that I read was from the library! Y’all I think that I’m finally hooked, and I also think that it helps me to read faster because I have an actual deadline! Anyways, let’s get on to the books!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

The Light We Lost By Jill Santopolo ★ 3 stars

This was a pick for my work book club, and when I initially read the description I thought that it wouldn’t be for me, and after reading the book I still agree with my initial assessment. Although I will say that even though it wasn’t the book for me, it was a really quick book and it kept me interested until the very end.

The whole premise of the story is that two college students meet on September 11th, and they both vow to make a difference in the world. A few years later they meet up and begin to start dating, until one of their careers takes them away. Through it all, they always seem to be drawn to each other, even after marriages and kids, but will their lives ever cross again where they can have a future?

I think that my main problem with this book was the fact that the lead female character pretty much spent the entire book pining after the lead male character. Even after they broke up, she just couldn’t get over the lead male character. Maybe I’m just really coldhearted, but I feel like if you break up with somebody you need to try and get over them and not just put your life on hold. And if you have attempted to move on, you can’t just drop everything and let this person turn your world upside down. Anyways, that was my main problem with this book, but even though it wasn’t my favorite book I still thought that it was a quick read that I still enjoyed.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

The Couple Next Door By Shari Lapena ★ 3 stars

When Anne and Marco are invited to a dinner party at their neighbor’s house they agree to go, but then their babysitter falls through. Marco convinces Anne that their few month old baby will be ok all alone, especially since they’re right next door and they’ll check on her every hour. But when they leave the dinner party for the evening, they arrive home to find their baby girl gone! What ensues is the utter chaos of a police investigation and a blame game as they try to figure out who took their baby girl and if they’ll ever get her back.

I picked this book up from the library after hearing everybody rant and rave about it for so long, and I was very glad that I did pick it up, even though it wasn’t my favorite thriller that I’ve read lately. It was interesting to see how everything was woven together and how all the characters were related, and while it was slow at parts, I seriously couldn’t put it down during the last 30-40 pages. I’d say this was more like 3.5 stars instead of 3 stars.

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

In A Dark, Dark Wood By Ruth Ware ★ 4 stars

We all have friends from certain parts in our lives that we have lost contact with. Nora hasn’t seen her best friend Clare in 10 years, and then out of the blue Nora gets an invitation to Clare’s hen (bachelorette) party, literally in the middle of nowhere. After going back and forth about whether or not she should go, Nora decides that it would be worth it, in order to reconnect. While normally bachelorette parties are filled with a random assortment of people, Clare’s hen seems even more so, and as the weekend drags on, strange things start to happen, including Nora waking up in the hospital. Can Nora piece together exactly what happened during that Clare’s crazy hen party?

After reading The Woman In Cabin 10 last year I didn’t know if I’d want to read anymore Ruth Ware books because I just didn’t love it the way that everybody else seemed to. I’m so glad that I gave In A Dark, Dark Wood a chance! I started off listening to this book and then had to switch to the ebook because the audio version was about to expire from the library. The audio version was great! Overall I really loved this thriller and couldn’t wait to listen/read more of it. I was reading The Couple Next Door at the same time and it was definitely hard to not compare the two. This one definitely wins!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

Behind Closed Doors By B.A. Paris ★ 4 stars

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Where do I even begin with this book? Everything is not as it seems for Grace and her husband Jack. While they might live in a huge and beautiful house, go on fabulous vacations, and look like the perfect doting couple, they are in fact not. Grace is actually a prisoner in her own home and tried desperately to escape multiple times. Will she ever be able to escape her sadistic husband?

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s pretty graphic with the abuse that Grace sustained being married to Jack, which wasn’t terribly violent but terrorizing is the perfect way to describe it. The book went back and forth between the past and present which I liked, although it did get a little confusing at the end.

I think that I was so horrified by everything that was happening that I couldn’t put the book down and read it super fast. Definitely pick this up if you’re in the mood for a psychological thriller!

The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

Heartless by Marissa Meyer ★ 4 stars

The Queen of Hearts is probably one of the most rememberable characters in all of fairytale history, but have you ever wondered how in the world she actually became the Queen of Hearts? Was she always so crazy and mean? Heartless tells exactly that story, how the Queen of Hearts became the Queen of Hearts.

Cath is a young woman that has a passion for baking, but unfortunately, since she’s a woman of noble birth, the likelihood of her being able to follow her dreams is very slim, especially once she learns that the King of Hearts wants to marry her! But on the night of the apparent proposal, her world shifts again when she meets the king’s new court jester. What follows is a love story that takes you all over Wonderland and the Kingdom of Hearts, and shows you exactly how Cath became the notorious Queen of Hearts.

Now I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not the biggest Alice in Wonderland fan. I think that I’ve only seen the Disney movie maybe a handful of times, and I’ve never read the book. But I don’t think that there will be a Marissa Meyer book out there that I won’t read, and I’m so glad that I did pick this one up. She does an amazing job of weaving the story of Alice in Wonderland into this prequel, and really made you feel for the future Queen of Hearts as well!

Whew! I feel like this was the longest SUYB post in a while, but that’s a good thing because that means that I’m reading more! I don’t know if it’s because the library books are lighting a fire under my butt to read, or maybe I’ve just been reading some really great books lately, but I finally have my reading mojo back! I hope that it continues into the next few months because I’m finally back on track with my Goodreads reading challenge as well!

Have you read in good thrillers lately? Have you been reading a lot this summer?

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The Wandering Weekenders- Show Us Your Books What I Read In July

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Choices:

My Erin’s Book Challenge 7.0 Results:

10 points: Read a book that starts with the letter “B”
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (351 pages, 4 stars).
35 points: Read a book a Disney movie was based on OR a book based on a Disney movie
Heartless by Marissa Meyer (453 pages, 4 stars).


  • Nadine

    Couple Next Door, Dark Dark Woods and Behind Closed Doors are all on my TBR, I am glad to hear that you liked them all.

    • I really did, but Behind Closed Doors and In A Dark, Dark Wood were definitely my favorites out of the bunch. I hope that you get to read them soon! They’re all good thrillers!

  • Nicole F

    That is awesome you read so many great books. I read The Couple Next Door a few months back and I like it more and more as time passes. I need to pick up a Ruth Ware book to give it a try. In the Dark Dark Woods seems like a goodie but I’ve been on the fence with The Woman In Cabin 10. Choices, choices!

    • The Woman In Cabin 10 was not my favorite Ruth Ware book, but everybody else seems to really love it. I definitely say give one of her books a try! And The Couple Next Door was good, but since I read so many thrillers it just wasn’t my favorite on the list.

  • I loved In a Dark, Dark Wood. I need to check out Behind Closed Doors.

    • Yes you do! I loved Behind Closed Doors and In A Dark, Dark Wood this month, and they were definitely my favorite thrillers this month.

  • I LOVED In a Dark Dark Wood!!! I thought The Couple Next Door was good but then got a bit far-fetched

    • I agree, I can’t even imagine leaving babies home alone! And I’m glad that you loved In A Dark, Dark Wood, I feel like not everybody loved it.

  • Okay a Dark Dark Wood is going on my list. I have not read any of these, thank you for your great thorough reviews! I am so glad you are reading more, I need to do it too!

    • I have to admit the whole not falling asleep while taking the bus into work in the morning is definitely helping me a lot in the reading department. This month was definitely about thrillers, and I hope that you have the chance to pick up In A Dark, Dark Wood! It was really good!

  • You read some great thrillers this month! I enjoyed In a Dark Dark wood, the couple Next Door and Behind Closed Doors! I’ve been wanting to read Heartless!

    • It was definitely the month of thrillers for me, and so August is looking pretty similar as far as book choices go! I was really surprised by how much I liked Heartless! I’m not a Alice In Wonderland fan, and I really loved the book!

  • Laura

    Adding Dark Dark Wood to my list. I agree about Couple Next Door – it really held my attention for the last 30-40 pages!

    • I think that I really just wanted to find out what happened so I kept on reading The Couple Next Door even though it wasn’t my favorite. Those last few pages were so good though! I hope that you like In A Dark, Dark Wood!

  • Did you see the next B.A. Paris book available on Netgalley?

    • I tried to get it, but I was denied! I think that has something to do with the fact that I hadn’t finished her first book yet that I had gotten from Netgalley… I did manage to get it from the library though and I really enjoyed it!

  • Totally agree with you on Behind Closed Doors. Couldn’t put it down but it was soooo disturbing

    • It really was! It was like being inside an episode of Criminal Minds or something where you just couldn’t fathom how crazy he was! I wonder what that says about me that I really enjoyed it though?

  • I have so many of these on hold at the library or on my to read list! Glad that you liked the Ruth Ware book – I didn’t like Cabin 10 either, but this new one seemed intriguing! Thanks for your great reviews, I’m anxious to get more of these now.

    • I was so surprised by how fast I was able to get some of these newer books from the library, but it definitely helped me to try and read them faster! And In A Dark, Dark Wood was Ruth Ware’s first book, but I did just read her newest book and it was kind of a mix of both of her books. I liked it, but not as much as In A Dark, Dark Wood.

  • I didn’t love Heartless as much as I wanted to 🙁 Although, I’m reading the original Alice books to my daughter now for Erin’s Challenge, and I can definitely appreciate how much Meyers wove various parts of the original story into something new. I almost wish it had been a series like TLC, because the pacing was just off for me.

    Someone else posted about Behind Closed Doors & it’s definitely on the TBR now.

    • I agree with you about the pacing being a little bit off for Heartless. It’s almost like she did need to make it into a series, and I think that it would have done great, although probably not as great as TLC. I really do need to read the original Alice books, but I never have.

      Behind Closed Doors was really good. I hope that you get the chance to pick it up!

  • The Marissa Meyer books are a no-go for me but I did enjoy The Couple Next Door and Behind Closed Doors. I’ve been quite vocal about my disdain for Ruth Ware but I will admit that Dark Dark Wood was better than Cabin 10 (which was horrible. HORRIBLE)

    • I still don’t understand how everybody loved The Woman In Cabin 10! It just fell so flat for me! I also don’t know why I continue to put myself through Ruth Ware books because I didn’t really love her newest book either.

  • I couldnt read your review on Behind Close Doors because I just got it & am trying to stay unaware of anything on it 😉
    The Couple Next Door sounds good.
    I love you have a work book club!!!

    • I hope that you end up loving Behind Closed Doors as much as I did! It was so creepy, but in a good way!
      And I love our work book club! I actually kind of started it about a year ago, and I’ve loved the fact that we’ve been keeping it going strong!

  • I was sadly underwhelmed by Heartless and I loved The Lunar Chronicles. But Alice in Wonderland is not one of my favorite fairy tales so that may have played a factor. In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Couple Next Door are both on my TBR. And I would have been seriously annoyed with the female character in the light we lost too.

    • I think that because I’m not the biggest fan of Alice In Wonderland I went into Heartless with absolutely no expectations, which is probably why I really liked it. And I hope that you get to read In A Dark, Dark Wood and The Couple Next Door because both of them are pretty good thrillers. And I really think that if the character hadn’t been as wishy washy I would have liked The Light We Lost more.

  • bummer about the light we lost – it’s on my kindle, but i didn’t know much about it lol. i liked the cover and someone else recommended it, so i was like sure! the last 3 are on my list – i am so nervous about heartless after love love loving the lunar chronicles and not being a big fan of alice in wonderland. but i’m sure i will love it, it’s on my shelf at home and on my list for erin’s challenge, so i’ll get to it soon!

    • The Light We Lost really did have such a pretty cover, but I also think that it could be a coin toss for whether or not you like it. I think that Olya really liked it, and we normally like the same types of books, but this one was a miss for me. And I’m in the same boat as you are before I read Heartless. I think just go into it with no expectations about it and just read it as a spin on the original story.

  • I need to read In a Dark, Dark Wood! I’ve been so nervous about reading Heartless, but I do want to get to it soon!

    • Now I definitely didn’t love it as much as The Lunar Chronicles, but Heartless was still very good. I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I loved it! And yes, you need to give In A Dark, Dark Wood a chance!

  • Rachel

    Wow, you really did read a lot of books in July! I’m always so impressed with your list. I need to check out audio versions for my commute into work. In A Dark, Dark Wood sounds really intriguing! I’m not usually attracted to those kinds of books, but I think I might have to add it to my list! Thanks for sharing these, Ashley!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde’s Moment

    • I was definitely surprised by how much I was able to read this month, and I think that audiobooks definitely help out with that! Plus they definitely help to pass a terrible commute as well! And In A Dark, Dark Wood was really good, and I liked that it had a little bit of a creepy factor to it. And you should definitely check it out!

  • Jen

    I’ve heard a few other people feel the same way you do about The Light We lost. I’m not sure it would be one that I would enjoy either.

    • I just couldn’t believe how much the main character just couldn’t get over her ex boyfriend! I’ve never been that type of person that couldn’t just move past things, especially if somebody hurt me, so I think that not being able to relate to the main character is one of the reasons why I didn’t love it.

  • We have similar reading tastes. I really enjoyed The Couple Next Door.

  • I quite liked In a Dark, Dark Wood. Ahh, so many books to read now!! But will have a decently long layover soon, so this list is perfect! And yeah, you’re not being coldhearted, if you break up with someone, then move on!! I think The Light We Lost would annoy me. HA

    • I’m glad that I’m not the only one that thinks that way about just moving on once you break up. I feel like you end up wasting your life if you don’t move on if you break up. And I hope that you were able to pick up a few good books for your long layover! Reading’s definitely the best way to help pass the time!

  • My friend just gave me In a Dark, Dark Wood over the weekend! She’s my thriller buddy and we’ve been swapping books She also gave me The Couple Next Door, which I thought was an amazing thriller. I think I read it in one day. Right now I’m reading Neverwhere and then I have a list of thrillers to get to!

    • I hope that you’re enjoying Neverwhere! That was my first Neil Gaiman book, and I absolutely fell in love with it! That’s awesome that you have a buddy that you can swap books with, especially when the books you’re swapping are thrillers! I hope that you end up liking In A Dark, Dark Wood! It’s definitely my favorite Ruth Ware book out of her 3!

  • Agree on Behind Closed Doors – I didn’t want to put it down! I have had In a Dark Dark Wood on my list forever, but needed to forget Cabin 10 first. Also, I don’t think I could get past the premise of The Couple Next Door- NO ONE leaves their baby alone?? Suspension of disbelieve is huge for me so if I couldn’t believe that, I can’t get into the story!

    • I agree! I definitely couldn’t even imagine leaving a baby home alone, although I will say that there is a little bit of an explanation for it in the book that is semi believable. And oh my goodness, I still don’t understand why everybody was obsessed with The Woman In Cabin 10, but In A Dark, Dark Wood definitely redeemed Ruth Ware for me.

  • You read a lot- good for you! I just LOVE the library and glad you are loving it too. Behind Closed Doors was SO good…couldn’t get over the twisted story!

    • I can’t believe that I didn’t go to the library more! It’s seriously so awesome and easy to use, especially when you can get ebooks too. And Behind Closed Doors, I still get over how creepy it was!

  • Oh I think I would love Behind Closed Doors. Thanks for sharing. I’m reading The Nightingale and LOVE it.

    • I’m so glad that you love The Nightingale! It’s one of my favorite books ever. And definitely give Behind Closed Doors a chance, it’s so good!

  • The Light we Lost is on my shelf from the library right now but I might not get to in in time. Sounds like I’m not missing *too* much 😉 I haven’t read any Ruth Ware yet but hope to someday!!! Shared most of your thoughts on Behind Closed Doors – what a creepy situation, eh?

    • It really was such a creepy situation with Behind Closed Doors, but I think that’s what made me like it so much. I love creepy books like that! And in my opinion, you’re definitely not missing much with The Light We Lost, but I know that other people loved it. Maybe you need to add it back to your list later on!

  • So many good ones here! I really liked In A Dark, Dark Wood and tried to read Woman in Cabin 10 after and gave up. They were very different books.

    • You’re totally right, In A Dark, Dark Wood was totally different than The Woman In Cabin 10, and I had similar feelings that I liked Dark Wood but didn’t love Cabin 10. I did just finish reading her newest book, and unfortunately I didn’t think that it was up to part with In A Dark, Dark Wood.

  • Biana Perez

    I was so shaken up after finishing behind closed doors, yet I thought the book was really amazing! Glad you enjoyed it as well!

    • I totally agree! I think that’s a sign of a good book that it can totally creep you out, but still leave you liking it in the end.

  • Oooh good reading month! Look at us both checking some things off for Erin’s challenge! 🙂 I haven’t read Heartless yet, but I’m excited because I do love Alice. Like a lot! I haven’t read the original book (it’s one of my 7.0 choices though!), but I did love the cartoon version. It is one of my favorite Disney movies ever. 🙂 I don’t like the new ones. Too much CGI for me! I digress, I’m glad you enjoyed your thrillers as well. And 3 star books really aren’t so bad! I hope your August reads go well. July was slow for me, so I am hoping to read more this month! XO – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    • I totally agree with you, 3 stars really isn’t too bad because it means that I liked it and it kept me interested, even though I didn’t love it. And I swear that it’s been a long time since I’ve actually watched Alice In Wonderland, and I think that means that I need to give it another try. I just didn’t love it as a kid. And definitely check out Heartless! It’s pretty similar to The Lunar Chronicles in the fact that that the original fairytale is the backbone of the story, but she improvises all of the details which is so awesome!

  • The cover of The Light We Lost is so pretty, but I feel like the same thing that annoyed you would probably annoy me too. The details around A Dark, Dark Wood were so strange (like I can’t imagine going on that kind of trip with someone I didn’t know well), but somehow it worked to pull off a good mystery. I haven’t read any thrillers in a while, but I have Ruth Ware’s new book The Lying Game and the other BA Paris book on my hold list from the library & I’m excited to read both of them. ps. I hope Dart is doing well!

    • Yeah, I think that you should pass on The Light We Lost because honestly I think that I would have liked it more if the girl wasn’t so wishy washy. Although if she wasn’t wishy washy, there probably wouldn’t have been a book. And I totally agree, I never would have gone on the bachelorette party with somebody that I hadn’t talked to in 20 years, but like you said it made for an interesting book. I ended up reading both the new Ruth Ware and BA Paris book this month, so I’ll be interested to see what you think too!

  • glad you liked the couple next door, I’ve been on the fence about reading it so maybe I’ll give it a shot. I read in a dark, dark wood last year and thought it was decent too 🙂

    • I loved the fact that you asked your friends to read it before your bachelorette party! I think that’s so much fun! And The Couple Next Door was good because it kept my interest, but I didn’t love it. I think that you should give it a chance!

  • Pam O’Brien

    I enjoyed reading your post. I am also doing Erin’s Challenge. Reading is some much fun! Pam 🙂

    • Hooray for Erin’s Challenge! I hope that you’re doing good so far, and I’m hoping to read some more this month!