Sweet Valley University #40 – Private Jessica – “Jessica Wakefield is rocking everyone’s world at the Florida Specialized Security Academy. The only person she can’t impress is her drill sergeant, Vanessa T. Pruitt. Jessica is tired of scrubbing toilets and getting stuck on night watch. Can she cook up a plan wicked enough to give Sergeant Pruitt a taste of her own cruelty? Elizabeth Wakefield’s off-Broadway dreams are turning into nightmares faster than she can say “Bravo!” Her co-producers are pretentious snobs. Her lead actress couldn’t act her way out of a shopping bag. And Tom Watt’s failure to get a job–any job–is driving her crazy! Is Elizabeth’s final curtain call coming sooner than she expected?”
Sweet Valley University #41 – Escape To New York – “Jessica Wakefield is on the loose in the city that never sleeps! Her horrible memories of boot camp disappear when she’s shopping at exclusive Madison Avenue boutiques and partying at wild downtown nightclubs. But will she give up the high life in order to help her sister. With the off-Broadway debut of her play just around the corner, Elizabeth Wakefield hasn’t a nail left to chew–because her lead actress is a disaster! Can she convince Jessica to step in for opening night? Tom Watts has finally found the journalism job he’s been dying for. But now his boss wants him to review Elizabeth’s play! Will Tom find a way to give it a thumbs-up? Or will he be forced to report the cold, hard facts?”
Sweet Valley University #56 – Dropping Out – “Todd thought dropping out of school meant full-time fun at work… so why are his co-workers giving him the cold shoulder? Sam can’t let Elizabeth know that their kiss meant anything… but pretending it didn’t isn’t easy. Nina used to be a straight-A student… but partying has its price. Neil and Jessica are best friends… until she turns on him.”
Sweet Valley High #43 – Hard Choices – “Enid Rollins can hardly wait for her grandmother to come live with her and her mother. But when she arrives, Enid is dismayed that the kind, sprightly woman she remembered is now burdensome and demanding. Because Enid’s mother works long hours and is often out with her boyfriend, Enid finds herself making all sorts of sacrifices to please her grandmother. She skips school events and even stands up her best friend, Elizabeth Wakefield. Worst of all, she never has any time for her boyfriend, Hugh. It’s beginning to look as if Enid may have to say good-bye to someone she loves.”
Sweet Valley High #53 – Second Chance – “Quiet, determined Kristin Thompson knows exactly what she wants from life. Since she was little, she has had one goal–to become a world-class tennis player. Now all she has to do is win one more tournament and she’ll qualify to turn professional. Then handsome Bruce Patman invites her out and sweeps her off her feet. But there’s not enough room in Kristin’s life for a boyfriend and professional tennis. She begins to wonder if a romance with Bruce will make her happier than winning the tournament ever could. Will Kristin give up the dream of a lifetime to live like an ordinary teenager?”
Sweet Valley High #55 – Perfect Shot – “People are always telling Shelley Novak that she has everything going for her. She’s one of the best basketball players at Sweet Valley High, and she’s as tall and graceful as a model. The problem is, being so tall makes Shelley feel like a freak. Until she meets Jim Roberts. He has a way of making her feel special. But when Jim, a photography buff, starts taking of her, Shelley makes him promise never to show them to anyone. Then the Sweet Valley News sponsors a photography contest and Jim thinks he could win with a photograph of Shelley. But if he’s wrong, will Shelley ever forgive him?”
Girl A by Abigail Dean – “Lex Gracie doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about growing up in her parents’ House of Horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister, Evie, Lex intends to turn the House of Horrors into a force for good. But first she must come to terms with her six siblings – and with the childhood they shared.”
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – “In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine – a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for “dives”, used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community. Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night–trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges–as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.”
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier – “Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They’re admired in their community and are a loving family. Up until the day Sebastian is taken. A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself. The FBI search has gone cold. The publicity has faded. She and her husband rarely speak. The only thing keeping her going is the unlikely chance that one day Sebastian reappears. She hires a P.I. to pick up where the police left off, but instead of finding him, she discovers that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman. Kenzie Li is an artist and grad student-Instagram famous-and up to her eyeballs in debt. She knows Derek is married. She also knows he’s rich, and dating him comes with perks: help with bills, trips away, expensive gifts. He isn’t her first rich boyfriend, but she finds herself hoping he’ll be the last. She’s falling for him-and that was never part of the plan. Discovery of the affair sparks Marin back to life. She’s lost her son; she’s not about to lose her husband, too. Kenzie is an enemy with a face, which means this is a problem Marin can fix. But as she sets a plan in motion, another revelation surfaces. Derek’s lover might know what happened to their son. And so might Derek.”
Sweet Valley University #29 – One Last Kiss – “Gin-Yung Suh is dying! A crushed Todd Wilkins is devastated by the news–especially since he’s been rekindling his love for Elizabeth Wakefield during Gin-Yung’s hour of need. Now he must take what little time he has to make it up to her–to fill her last days with laughter instead of tears. Tom Watts madly loves Elizabeth. But she’s too busy with Todd to notice. Tom’s determined to tell Elizabeth how he feels, how he’s sorry for all he’s done. It’s never too late for true love… is it? Undercover cop Nick Fox is hot on the trail of a dangerous felon… until feisty Jessica Wakefield gets involved and blows the whole case. Something’s got to change for Nick. He can’t be a cop and Jessica’s boyfriend at the same time. But can he live without her?”
Sweet Valley University #31 – The Truth About Ryan – “Ryan Taylor has gone back to his dangerous old habits. Can Elizabeth Wakefield help him out before he’s kicked off the Sweet Valley lifeguard squad for good? Jessica Wakefield has sacrificed so much this summer. In order to lure Ben Mercer away from brainy Priya Rahman, she’s been hitting the books when she should have been hitting the beach. But how someone new is tempting Jessica… someone forbidden. Will Jessica give up her studies–and Ben–for a risky summer fling? Life with surfer Stu Kirkwood is pure bliss–that’s what Nina Harper thinks. But will a woman from his past make her think again?”
Sweet Valley University #32 – The Boys Of Summer – “Jessica Wakefield finally has Ryan Taylor all to herself. He’s wild, daring, spontaneous–everything Jessica wants in a boyfriend. He’s also the guy who broke her sister’s heart. Elizabeth Wakefield’s summer can’t get any worse, now that Ryan has left her for Jessica. But Elizabeth knows Ryan is spinning out of control, and he could be putting Jessica in danger. Can Elizabeth ignore her jealousy long enough to save them both? Wendy Paloma wants to leave her superstar husband, Pedro, but her friend Winston Egbert knows they belong together. When Winston and Pedro team up to win Wendy back, is their plan too crazy to work… or just crazy enough?”
All Our Shimmering Skies by Trent Dalton – This book was an excellent way to start the reading year. Trent Dalton is able to write such charming and vivid characters, and the backdrop of Darwin in wartime was unlike anything I’d read before. This was a truly beautiful story, and I feel like the imagery of Molly Hook’s journey will stay with me for a long time.
Beach Read by Emily Henry – This was a light and refreshing read, a perfect choice for the aftermath of All Our Shimmering Skies. I love reading a romance where I feel like I might actually be attracted to the male character, it makes things a bit more interesting for me. This was a fun little romance, and was a page turner that warmed my heart.