Guest Book Reviews from Arika Conley

Guest Book Reviews From Arika Conley






Guest Book Review by Arika ConleyThe Light Between Oceans
By M.L. Stedman

Reviewed by Arika Conley

I’ve never read anything like this book, it made me so sad. For that I think it’s brilliant, the fact that it can make me feel so much for characters I wasn’t very attached to.

The Light Between Oceans is a fictional war-story about a couple that lives on an island inhabited by only them. The husband is a lighthouse keeper and so they live isolated from the world so he can do what he loves. One day a boat washes up that has a baby in it, and that is where the story truly begins. The author provides very detailed backstory so it’s important to pay attention to things even in the chapters that are a little slow. There is a strong theme of the effects of war and the prejudices it creates. Mainly with Tom, but also with Isabelle and her family and even Hannah and Frank.

I thoroughly enjoyed the way she wrote the dialogue, especially the way they spoke to Lucy; it was precious. The setting was very detailed of the time period (early 1900’s). The development was great; the author really took her time where it was most important

The characters are relatable and believable. I found myself feeling like a yo-yo towards each of the mothers, they had both been through so much. I still can’t truly decide who I felt worse for but I like the way the book ended. I loved Tom; he was a good person as many of the characters said about him the book. I felt sorry for him that he had no one but Izzy but I think that is what made his love for her so strong. In the first half of the book I got the impression that he cared more for the lighthouse on Janus than he did for Isabelle, but towards the end I realized how wrong I was. He loved Isabelle so deeply and maybe he didn’t even realize how much until the prospect of losing her was so real.

A baby, loved by 2 mothers. The love of a husband for a wife and vice versa. So many tears. This is an incredible read, I absolutely recommend.

Arika’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars!






Guest Book Reviews from Arika Conley

The Idea Of You

by Amanda Prowse

Review by Arika Conley

The Idea Of You is a novel about a woman named Lucy who is happily married and successful at her job, but lacking one thing: a baby. We follow her through the journey of healing and family. The author writes in such a realistic way that makes the characters and storyline so relatable. I think it is a rarity to read a book that deals with miscarriage the way this one does, it was truly heartbreaking. I wondered at times if this could ever turn into a happy story, as it was so sad to go through this with the characters.

The development of Lucy was gradual and natural; she starts out in the beginning as a strong independent woman who has a secret longing for a baby. As the story progresses we see that she has secrets from her teenage years and also a huge amount of regret and grief. She hides all of this from the outside world. Lucy changes beautifully and there were multiple times throughout the book that she was being such a normal human being, unlike so many women characters I read about. Instead of having a clever comeback to every insult or an eloquent response to any comment, she said things that I could see myself saying, some of them she regretted. This was so refreshing to me. I don’t want to spoil her development for future readers, but I would explain the Lucy in the last chapter as whole.

Lucy and Jonah have a special connection and relationship. They go through very trying times and again, we see realistic responses to human emotions. Jonah is a fun loving guy and Lucy more uptight, but they complement each other. Camille brings another type of energy into the house; I liked her from the beginning even though she was a bit of a brat and I found her storyline to be pretty predictable.

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read about real life. If you only want happily ever after and perfect stories, I would skip it.

I am very glad that I read it.

Arika’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars!




The Girl BefGuest Book Reviews from Arika Conleyore

Review by Arika Conley

What an incredible piece of art this book is! The Girl Before is a suspense novel by J.P. Delaney, that’s about Emma and Jane who live at One Folgate Street at different times. To each woman there is a mystery about the house that they feel a strong need to uncover. The characters are likable and realistic. Both Emma and Jane have been through traumatic experiences recently before they move in and are vulnerable. The architect of the house requires an extensive application process to live in the house which in turn forces the reader to evaluate what you can and can’t live without. The architect, Edward, is very mysterious and alluring. One Folgate Street, which is cold, stark and minimalistic, has all high tech gadgets that make it seem like its alive at times. Each woman settles in nicely to the house and that is when they realize that not only do they have to change the way they live, but that the house changes them too.

The writing style is a bit awkward at times since each chapter switched characters. Easy enough to follow, but at some points had to go back and read the last line of the chapter pertaining to that character. There are a few twists that I enjoyed; I love when a story is unpredictable.

I was disappointed in the ending, I had grown to really like some of the characters and even relate to them and then decisions made and things said in the final chapters ruined them for me. I will always appreciate Jane and her strong will. Not a fan of Emma. The biggest surprise to me was the reveal of just who the author meant with the title The Girl Before since it is not who I pictured it being about. I can’t go any more into depth without revealing spoilers.

I absolutely recommend to anyone who wants a little something different. I am not usually into suspense but thought this one sounded interesting and it ended up having a bit of romance too. I read this book in about a week (pretty fast for me) and would have finished sooner had I not been afraid to read it while home alone.

Arika’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars!





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Guest Book Reviews from Arika Conley

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