What I Read {Behind Closed Doors: Book Review}

It's very rare that I purchase books that are of the psychological thriller genre. It's not that I don't like that genre, it's just not what I uaually read. Rarely do they have the happy endings of chick lit. They hardly ever end with a feeling of hope or forgiveness like in YA. The only reason I read Gone Girl when it was published was because everyone on the planet was reading it, and the reviews were excellent. It was excellent, so good in fact that at one point I had to stop reading and take a breath. I can't even tell you how entertained and disgusted I was after reading Gone Girl, which until recently was just about all the psychological thriller I could take.

That is why I was shocked when I had to finish Behind Closed Doors in one sitting. In one sitting! I could not put this book down. I had to get the entire story, I had to know how it started, how it ended, how little side stories of George Clooney or a sweet little puppy fit into this giant puzzle of a book. At times I knew I was reading important information, and was racing to figure out its importance!

Behind Closed Doors is the story of Jack and Grace Angel, presumably the most perfect couple. Jack, is a successful lawyer in London, Grace is the portrait of the perfect modern housewife. Jack is not only a successful lawyer, but also a champion for battered women. His most successful cases were battered women seeking divorces. From the very first chapter you can sense that something isn't right in their perfect world. Over the course of a intimate dinner party you learn that Jack works so hard to provide a luxurious life for Grace. Grace works hard in the home to prepare near perfect dinners, keeps her figure in tact, and travels the world with her husband. Everyone at the dinner party is so envious of Grace and Jack Angel. Even their surname is a dead giveaway that all is not right in this world.

To really review Behind Closed Doors, I would have to give away so much of the book. This review would be one giant spoiler alert. I don't believe in doing that. Not every wants to know what they are getting into, not everyone wants to know the climax. I don't want to give anything away because you have to read this book. You have to be so taken aback by the chilling and frightening secrets surrounding the marriage of Jack and Grace Angel.

Told both in past and present chapters, it's not until the middle of the book that you find out exactly why these two are together. You find out their motivations for staying married. You find out how helpless a person can be. For the first half of the book, I was so sure that this was a story of hidden identity. Jack protects battered women, some going through a divorce, perhaps Grace was one of those women. And maybe she killed her husband, and now under a different name, she is married to the champion of battered women, and hiding in plain sight...

Oh, how I wish this was the case. How I wish this was the big hidden secret of their marriage.

It was not. The secret is sinister and bone chilling. Your heart and stomach will drop. Your heart will race, and you will be on the edge, mentally screaming at the book.

I'm not usually like this when I read books. I read nice chick lit and sad emo YA novels. I close a book at the happy ending, the happily ever after, the hopeful sunrise. This book was none of those things. Still this book was everything. This book had me in it's grasps until the end. I still can't believe that I read this entire book in one sitting, something I haven't done since college. There was never a moment where I was falling asleep or bored in anyway. Trust me when I say, it was on the edge excitement the entire time. This book was written in a way that there was never a moment that you could walk away from the story. Every chapter ended with a new mystery, a new question to answer. It made for a fantastic read.

Behind Closed Doors has been compared to Gone Girl. I get it, Behind Closed Doors is that good. But it's so different from Gone Girl. Behind Closed Doors brings forth the unbelievable, the shocking, the breathtaking. It's tragic and horrifying. I can't stress enough how this book will blow your mind and chill you to your core.

You will love every minute of it. I promise.

Pick up Behind Closed Doors today from your favorite bookseller.

Behind Closed Doors, published by St. Martin's Press 2016.
This post was sponsored by St. Martin's Press, via an advanced reader copy.

This Summer {2016}

It's August 1st. There are exactly 21 days left until our first day of school. Twenty-one days. How is that possible? This summer it has all gone way too fast. We are not ready summer! Do not leave us yet!!

A few weeks ago I read this interesting article about what we "should" be doing this summer. I'm pretty sure it was written from a dreamers stand point, like what we should all want to do this summer. Still it left me feeling a little sad. We may not make it to the beach this summer, or to a theme park. There is no way we will walk in a meadow and catch fire flies or climb a mountain top... It just left me thinking. Have I made the most of this summer? The more I think about it, the more I'm sure I have.

This summer I served ice cream for dinner more than once. It's super easy clean up if you use cones. Easier clean up if you go out for ice cream. Plus around Fresno, it's just too damn hot to cook.

This summer I have slept in more than once. Chucking all obligations. I have laid in bed for over an hour, scrolling social media, listening to my kids play, ignoring requests for breakfast. This summer I have skipped my alarm altogether on Sundays, and it felt so right!

This summer I have spent multiple days in pajamas. Letting my girls follow suit. We have eaten snacks from the pantry for meals, and watched Cartoon Network all day. These are the same days that were spent reading in bed. Enjoying a summer best seller with a happy and hopeful ending.

This summer I made lame excuses so I could go to Target alone, after dark. That way I could blast the Red Hot Chili Peppers, that always feel like summer. Throwing on a hat and flip flops just for a few moments alone. To enjoy the school supplies where the Halloween candy soon will live. Taking my time, wandering but never lost.

This summer, the Husband and I were able to watch half a movie, together, uninterrupted. A real movie with bad words and adult content. Which means the kids can't watch it. Which means we get to be adults again.

This summer I took my kids to Starbucks on multiple Sundays. Those Trenta cups make the best water cups, so I made it my mission to get a new on each week. Most Sundays this was the only adventure we went on, spending the rest of the day at home. Maybe there was a baseball game on, or an 80s movie. Maybe we saved our energy and went swimming later in the day. Maybe we did nothing at all, but those Starbucks Sundays will always be my favorite.

This summer I stayed up late, way too late. But the house was so quiet, and no one ever asked for water or goldfish. No one needed me to scratch their back or comb out tangles. It was so quiet that I was able to watch what I wanted to watch on any electronic devise of my choosing. There were no fights or whining about anything in those late hours of the night. It was perfect and just what I needed.

This summer I didn't write as much as I thought I would. I thought about it from time to time, but I was so busy with other things. Maybe that makes it less of a priority, and I'm okay with that for now. I also went days without posting on social media. Not because I made a conscious effort, but because I was in it. In the moments. Forgetting the phone all together. I can't say that it was a bad thing. It was kind of refreshing.

This summer I decided that my kids could be bored. I let them find themselves bored. If not now then when? I want them to experience down time, and what it feels like to be schedule free. So much of there time during the school year is filled with obligation and activity that I really wanted them to know what summer break feels like. So, we were bored. Sometimes we found a new show to binge. Sometimes we colored those cool adult coloring books that takes hours to finish a page. Sometimes we packed it up and went to swim at grandmas. Boredom didn't hurt them one bit, it inspired them to be kids. Kids with some freedom to be bored.

This summer I decided that six in the evening is the perfect time for a good swim. Or a good time to go to Target or the grocery store. It was kind of nice to decide to do something after spending all day doing nothing. It was easy to decide to throw on a hat and find some motivation to do anything. Especially if anything included ice cream or slushies.

This summer I declared that swimming could very much take the pace of a bath. Maybe baths are overrated when all you do is swim. Why wast soap? Chlorine is close enough right?

This summer I woke up in a bed of legs and tangled sheets. Legs that aren't mine. Tangled because we all fell asleep laughing or reading. Tangled because they all crawled into my bed anyway. It's the best and worst way to wake up. Best because those little people love you so much they can't stand to be away from you for even a night. Worst because your legs are asleep, you are sweating from all the body heat, and you really have to pee. This summer I woke up in a tangled bed so many times, it almost seemed comical. Still, there is something so sound and content about waking up in heap, listening to the tiny snores of your children.

This summer I wanted to live the laziest life. I wanted that for my entire family. The school year gets so bogged down with obligation. In just 21 short days we will be back at school, lunches will have to be made, homework to be done, dance classes to rush to. I wanted to enjoy the downtime, take advantage of the days that were free of classes or appointments. We didn't do a single bucket list item. We didn't complete a single suggested summer homework worksheet. I don't feel bad about it. My kids are healthy and happy, tanned and perfumed with chlorine. This summer we said yes to pajama days, yes to nights at the pool, yes to chips and Popsicles for dinner. Because summer never lasts as long as it should.

In twenty one days it's back to reality.

Until then, I'll be enjoying the last few days of this summer.