Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Pretty Girls by Karin SlaughterI was absolutely unprepared for the nasty horror in Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. This was the first book I’ve read of Slaughter’s (her last name seems fitting now) and didn’t know what to expect. Maybe it was the bright cover and whimsical looking locket, but it sure fooled me. That being said, I did really enjoy the book and was completely absorbed from the start.

The Carroll family has been through hell. The eldest daughter, Julia, disappeared when she was 19 years old and no trace of her has been found over two decades since. The two remaining daughters, Lydia and Claire, haven’t spoken for 18 years, but are reunited when horror strikes again. Claire’s husband Paul has been murdered in front of her eyes and she turns to her sister for support after 18 years of separation. As Claire learns more about the husband she trusted wholeheartedly, her world starts to fall apart and every nightmare she hadn’t imagined comes true.

The silver lining of this horrific story is that the sisters who have held so much anger and pain in their hearts for so long, find their way back to each other, even if it’s under terrible circumstances. Lydia and Claire are outspoken, hot-tempered, and clever, so I really enjoyed reading about them.

Slaughter is a talented writer, spinning a twisting plot with engaging characters. I was horrified by some of the ghastly scenes she has constructed, but I stuck with the novel and wanted to see what happened to Claire and Lydia.

This book had me gripping the binding and clenching my stomach with nerves. I didn’t realize this until my roommate walked in and sent me jumping off the couch. Here is fair warning, this book isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s worth a read anyway.

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Leave Your Mark by Aliza Licht

Leave Your MarkAliza Licht, a highly successful communications executive in the fashion industry, brings us Leave Your Mark. This book is a how-to guide explaining the foundation needed to get ahead in your career, on social media and with your personal brand, through her own experiences. I don’t typically read how-to books, usually choosing much shorter online articles with a list of tips, but I really enjoyed this one!

With a conversational tone, I felt slightly like I was have an extended coffee date with Licht as she explained her top tips for succeeding in any industry as a professional. Her casual tone was very easy to read and engage with. Her advice ranged from broad categories of how to find your passion to writing a short follow-up email. Slightly sassy in tone, I respect Licht’s tell-it-how-it-is attitude because there are some things in life that just shouldn’t be tiptoed around!

As the new year begins, I’m going to do my best to take some of the advice from this book to heart. Here are a few pieces of advice from Leave Your Mark that I think are the most insightful and beneficial:

– “Anticipate your boss’s needs.”
– “You don’t get a promotion for doing your job; you get a promotion for going above and beyond your job.”
– “Don’t just learn your job, learn everyone else’s.”

I graduated from college last spring and as someone entering the business world, I found her advice to be both intelligent and perceptive. Whether it’s applying this advice for my career, on social media platforms like WordPress and Instagram, or while communicating with other professionals, I’m glad to have read Leave Your Mark.

Bookstagram highlights of 2015

Happy New Year’s Day! Because its the beginning of 2016, I’ve decided to do a bit of reflecting on this past year. Along with starting this blog in July 2015, I started an Instagram account filled with bookish photos. While the blog has been a great platform to share my words with the world, Instagram has been a way to show my photos. These photos are mainly of what I’m currently reading, my cozy socks, creamy lattes and mugs of tea!

In the past few weeks I’ve made some big jumps in the Instagram community that I am VERY excited about! It’s the type of excitement that has me literally jumping up and down. Here are the highlights of 2015:

1.Random House (@randomhouse) reposted my photo on their account for over 35,000 followers!

To make it even sweeter, my photo of Sara Gruen’s At the Water’s Edge, made Random House’s top nine photos of 2015 based on the number of likes!

2. Hachette Book Group (@hachettebooks) reposted one of my photos of After The Crash on their account.

3. Books and Beans (@booksandbeans) is a popular account with 126,000 followers and one of my photos was reposted on their account.

With just over 2,000 Instagram followers, I still can’t believe that this many people want to see my posts! Please feel free to look me up at @dreambyday_bookreviews, I would love to connect with you all on Instagram!