Full Pour Review: All Boys Aren’t Blue

I don’t think that I will be able to come up with the right words to describe how wonderful and beautiful this book is. All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson is a beautifully written YA memoir manifesto that navigates the complexities of identity, specifically being Black and queer. It is a collection of essays that illustrate Johnson’s life from childhood to college and serves as a beautiful exploration of sexuality, identity, race, gender, as well as a constructive analysis of the anti-Black and anti-queer society we desperately need to move away from. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s honest, and it needs to be read by everyone.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, “All Boys Aren’t Blue” covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.”

I want to begin by saying that George M. Johnson is an incredible storyteller and his storytelling abilities have the power to help and influence so many people. I loved reading his stories about addressing his internalized homophobia head-on and accepting and loving himself as the incredible human he is. I loved reading about the unconditional love and unwavering support provided by his family, especially his beautiful Nanny. I loved the bravery and vulnerability it took to discuss and reflect on the sexual abuse he experienced during such a confusing time in his life, and how this reflection can help protect others and save lives. Simply put, Johnson bared his soul in this book and it is a truly beautiful thing to witness. There isn’t a single book like this out there that can help Black/LGBTQIA+ young adults and the messages in this book must be shared with everyone.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough and if it’s not already on your radar, please add it to your TBR list immediately 💛 All Boys Aren’t Blue will make you cry, ache, laugh, smile, hope and ultimately grow as a person. I know with great certainty that this book will be on my mind for a while.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson is best paired with Cobbler: Apricot and Black Currant by Black Flag Brewing Company. This highly delicious fruited sour was brewed with vanilla, cinnamon, milk sugar and 440lbs of apricot and black currant 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Woman in the Window

HOLY SHIT! Talk about a major emotional roller coaster! The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn is easily one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read since Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Verity by Colleen Hoover 😳 Fast-paced, unsettling and utterly mysterious, this book truly was unputdownable and I couldn’t get enough of the characters, plot twists, suspense, etc.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.”

It is obvious that A. J. Finn is an incredible storyteller. I was addicted to the attention to detail in this story when familiarizing the reader with the characters and their backgrounds, as well as the random puzzle pieces of information connecting Anna’s past with her present. I was so captivated by Anna and the sudden onset of agoraphobia that she developed after a traumatic life event. My heart truly ached for her and all that she had been through and was suffering from and I love that Finn didn’t shy away from the ugly and messy side effects of trauma. Finn managed to have me obsessed with Jane Russell as much as Anna was, desperately trying to figure out alongside her what really happened that fateful evening and although it was certainly creepy and unsettling at times, I enjoyed getting to engage with Anna in her spying on the neighbors. A few of the twists in this book were predictable while the majority of events, including the ending, genuinely surprised me. I really wasn’t sure where exactly this book was headed and I love that it kept me on my toes for so long.

As enthralling at this book was, it certainly comes with many trigger warnings that were hard to stomach at times: alcohol abuse, drug abuse (popping pills), trauma, loss, murder, violence, mental disabilities (agoraphobia, narcissism, personality disorders, etc.), and more. If you’re a fan of Gone Girl or Verity or are looking for an incredibly suspenseful psychological thriller, I highly recommend adding The Woman in the Window to the top of your TBR list! Now that I have finally gotten to read this book, it is no surprise to me why this is being made into a movie adaptation. I have a feeling it’s going to be incredible and am beyond excited to watch it on May 14th 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn is best paired with Hallow Bright by Sapwood Cellars Brewery. This deliciously smooth New England IPA is double dry hopped with Citra and Citra Cryo hops, resulting in flavors of citrus, melon and vanilla 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Mothers

Holy shit- this book was INTENSE. I was immediately intrigued by this story based on the description and it absolutely delivered! The Mothers by Genevieve Gannon is a powerful, well-written, and emotional story about an IVF treatment gone wrong that was incredibly hard to put down. Lately it’s been taking me several days to finish a book but I binged this in about 2 days because I NEEDED to know what happened (#TeamNoSleep 🙃).

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Grace and Dan Arden are in their forties and have been on the IVF treadmill since the day they got married. Six attempts have yielded no results, and with each failure a little piece of their hope dies.

Priya Laghari and her husband Nick Archer are being treated at the same fertility clinic, and while they don’t face the same time pressure as the Ardens, the younger couple have their own problems.

On the same day that Priya is booked for her next IVF cycle, Grace goes in for her final, last-chance embryo transfer. Two weeks later, both women get their results.

A year on, angry and heartbroken, one of the women learns her embryo was implanted in the other’s uterus and must make a devastating choice: live a childless life knowing her son is being raised by strangers or seek custody of a baby who has been nurtured and loved by another couple.”

This book gave me ALL. THE. FEELS 👏🏻 The Mothers was written in the perspectives of both our main characters, Grace and Priya, and Gannon did an amazing job at developing these characters and letting the reader feel like they were getting to know them equally. My heart was breaking for both of these women and the horrible IVF nightmare they were faced with and the devastating legal battle that ensued. While there were no winners in this situation at all, I genuinely had no idea where this story was gonna go and felt that Gannon did a great job at putting the reader in the shoes of both women to see where they were coming from and feel their pain equally. By the end of this book, I found myself talking about the book with my significant other and discussing thoughts about what makes a mother and what we may think/do if we ever experienced a situation like this.

This book certainly comes with some trigger warnings (i.e. IVF struggles, IVF mix up, infidelity, trauma, family drama, legal battle, adoption, custody battle, child loss, etc.), so I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. However, if you’re looking for an incredibly intriguing story that is both sad and touching and will stick with you for a while, The Mothers by Genevieve Gannon would be a fantastic addition to your TBR list. Thank you so much WilliamMorrow for gifting me this book in exchange for my honest review. The Mothers by Genevieve Gannon comes out on May 11th! 🤗


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Mothers by Genevieve Gannon is best paired with Banana Painkiller Tastee by The Veil Brewing Company. This delicious smoothie-style sour ale is inspired by the Painkiller tiki drink and brewed with a nice blast of banana, coconut, pineapple, banana, milk sugar, orange and a little nutmeg for garnish 🍻

Full Pour Review: You Love Me

It’s been almost five years since Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes was released- the second book in the You series. FIVE YEARS! How crazy is that?! Of course I was BEYOND excited when I discovered that the third book in this series, You Love Me, was set to release this year because I’m obsessed with this series and needed to know what creepy Joe Goldberg’s been up to after all this time 😂 as expected, You Love Me was full of surprise twists and turns and ultimately lived up to my expectations.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Joe Goldberg is done with the cities. He’s done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cozy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library—he does know a thing or two about books—and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old-fashioned way . . . by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is . . . Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s . . . busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.”

As anticipated, we got a new setting and cast of characters in this book and similar to the first two books, there are characters you’ll love and others that will make your skin crawl. All of the characters worked well in this story and we even had a few quick appearances of some old favorites (Hi, Love and Ray!). I loved that we still had a connection with The Quinn family, as anticipated, but the way this connection played out was not at all what I was expecting. Without giving anything away, I feel that some aspects of their role in this book felt rushed and out of place, and others were not focused on enough and left me wanting to know more about what was going on or wishing for a different outcome.

I found the ending of this book to be a pretty surprising twist and a part of me hopes that there will eventually be a fourth book, as I feel that there were some loose ends in this story that could be tied off or further explored in the future. Overall, while I found this book to be less scary than the first two, it was still suspenseful and incredibly hard to put down. I am so excited to see where we go with the third season of the TV series and what aspects of this book will be adapted to the show. If you’re a longtime fan of the You series, or into psychological thrillers and looking for something new, I can’t recommend You Love Me and this entire series enough 💛

If you have read this book and want to talk more about it in greater detail, PLEASE feel free to reach out to me! There’s a lot I want to say but feet that I can’t so that I don’t spoil anything.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes is best paired with Summer Fruittata by Aslin Beer Co. This delicious desert style sour ale is brewed with plum, blueberry, peach, vanilla, and milk sugar to mimic the perfect summer fruit tart🍻

Full Pour Review: Last Call

What a fascinating story! Last Call by Elon Green was one of my most anticipated 2021 reads and it was honestly even better than I imagined it to be. Prior to this book, I had never heard of the Last Call Killer so I went into this story blind and came away from this book having learned SO much.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “The Townhouse Bar, midtown, July 1992: The piano player seems to know every song ever written, the crowd belts out the lyrics to their favorites, and a man standing nearby is drinking a Scotch and water. The man strikes the piano player as forgettable.

He looks bland and inconspicuous. Not at all what you think a serial killer looks like. But that’s what he is, and tonight, he has his sights set on a gray haired man. He will not be his first victim.

Nor will he be his last.

The Last Call Killer preyed upon gay men in New York in the ‘80s and ‘90s and had all the hallmarks of the most notorious serial killers. Yet because of the sexuality of his victims, the skyhigh murder rates, and the AIDS epidemic, his murders have been almost entirely forgotten.

This gripping true-crime narrative tells the story of the Last Call Killer and the decades-long chase to find him. And at the same time, it paints a portrait of his victims and a vibrant community navigating threat and resilience.”

This story is incredibly well written and heavily researched; the attention to detail gripping my attention from the very beginning and maintaining it throughout the entire book. I loved how much Green focused on the victims instead of the killer. As the reader, you get to develop an emotional connection to the victims as you learn a good bit about their lives and hear from their loved ones. This book really is a dedication to these victims, finally giving their lives the respect and attention they deserve (and had not received back in the 80’s and 90’s). I also learned so much from this book about the historical mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community and the severe mishandling of the AIDS epidemic. These recollections were absolutely heartbreaking and infuriating and while we’ve slowly been making progress over the last 30 years, we still have SO MUCH work to do in regards to fighting for equality and correcting the misinformation that was spread during this time.

If you’re looking for an intriguing LGBTQ+ history/true crime story that will leave you with all the feels, I highly recommend checking out Last Call by Elon Green.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Last Call by Elon Green is best paired with A Raspberry and Peach Walked Into a Bar by Crooked Crab Brewing Co. This highly delicious fruited sour was conditioned upon hundreds of pounds of peach purée and raspberries, resulting in the perfect amount of tartness and sweet, juicy flavor 🍻

Full Pour Review: Verity

I want to begin this review by stating that I was fucking WARNED about this book. I was told this one would take me on an emotional roller coaster that would leave me feeling shocked, confused and not knowing what to believe at all. I was told that this book would haunt me for a long time afterward, leaving me uncertain of what to think or feel. To be honest, that is exactly how I fucking feel right now after finishing this book 😂😭

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin. When Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, asks Lowen to complete the remaining books in a contract his permanently injured wife is unable to fulfill, Lowen has no choice but to accept. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home with the intention of only staying one or two nights—long enough to sort through Verity’s chaotic home office to collect all the notes and outlines she’ll need to start writing the first novel. But the more time Lowen spends with Jeremy Crawford, the less of a hurry she is in to leave. While there, Lowen uncovers a hidden manuscript. An autobiography containing chilling admissions Verity planned to take to her grave, including the truth behind the events that turned their lives upside down. A truth that, if revealed to Jeremy, would further devastate the already grieving father. Lowen decides to keep the manuscript a secret, allowing Jeremy to continue to believe Verity is merely an innocent, unfortunate victim of circumstance. But as Lowen’s feelings for the devoted father and husband deepen, she wonders if keeping Jeremy in the dark is in her own best interest. After all, if Jeremy were to read his wife’s autobiography, the disturbing truth would make it impossible for him to continue to love her. A chilling romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.”

Colleen Hoover did such a fantastic job with illustrating this story with such detailed care and attention. Most impressing, she spends the first 300 pages of the book painting the most convincing story and then within the literal last 13 pages of it tries to flip your world upside down and convince you to believe something else. For the most part, I liked the characters. I didn’t LOVE them, but the story really wasn’t intended for you to get attached to the characters. The character that the book is named after, Verity, reminds me a lot of the main character, Amy, in Gone Girl. We obviously got to know her the most throughout the book (or do we really? 🙃), and I think that Colleen spent the perfect amount of attention and detail with bringing her character to life and still leaving you wanting more from her. If you’re a fan of Gone Girl, I think you will really enjoy the dark storyline in this book as well.

I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book. This is the first book I’ve read by Colleen Hoover and it surely won’t be my last. If you’re looking for a solid romance thriller that is dark, utterly gripping and a total mind fuck, seriously look no further! 🙌🏻 (how many times can we say fuck in this review? The limit doesn’t fucking exist because I am SHOOK and will need to talk through my feelings with you all about this one for a while 🙃😭). Now… which Colleen Hoover book should I read next?!


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Verity by Colleen Hoover is best paired with Bomb! by Prairie Artisan Ales. This delicious imperial stout is aged on Nordaggio’s espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers 🍻

Full Pour Review: Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek has been on my TBR list for a long time, and I’m so glad that I finally got around to reading it! I really enjoy books about leadership and management, and being a manager feeling the typical burn out brought on by the year that was 2020, I knew I was in need of some “professional self care.” For me, that includes reading leadership books- something that helps reinstate my confidence, motivation and excitement as a leader. This book was a perfect reminder of the importance of establishing and maintaining trust among your team, as well as putting their well-being first and sacrificing your own needs for the good of those you lead (ultimately things that probably fell to the wayside or were tested for many of us throughout 2020).

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders create environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.

In his work with organizations around the world, Simon Sinek noticed that some teams trust each other so deeply that they would literally put their lives on the line for each other. Other teams, no matter what incentives are offered, are doomed to infighting, fragmentation and failure. Why?

The answer became clear during a conversation with a Marine Corps general. “Officers eat last,” he said. Sinek watched as the most junior Marines ate first while the most senior Marines took their place at the back of the line. What’s symbolic in the chow hall is deadly serious on the battlefield: Great leaders sacrifice their own comfort–even their own survival–for the good of those in their care.

Too many workplaces are driven by cynicism, paranoia, and self-interest. But the best ones foster trust and cooperation because their leaders build what Sinek calls a “Circle of Safety” that separates the security inside the team from the challenges outside.

Sinek illustrates his ideas with fascinating true stories that range from the military to big business, from government to investment banking.”

I really enjoyed the stories that Sinek shared throughout this book, as I found them all to be very motivating and inspirational. While some of the items in here may seem like common sense, I think that’s what makes this book so valuable and timeless. The information in here reiterates the importance of good, “common sense” leadership skills and traits and while these skills seem easy to implement, they take a lot of work, patience and consistency. What I enjoyed most about this book was that it allowed me to engage in my own self reflection and see where I’ve been both excelling, and slipping, this past year and how to get back on track. 2020 was a challenging year for so many reasons and personally left me very anxious and distracted- I found myself consumed by my own anxieties (both personal and professional) and the need to do whatever I could to make myself feel safe, that I wasn’t as focused on others and making sure to check in with them consistently and offer them the extra support that we all truly needed. While I understood that I needed to focus on my self care so I could be beneficial to others, I was not placing as much focus on making sure I was doing everything in my power to make my team feel safe, secure and supported. This book served as a wonderful reminder of just how important the “basics” are- sacrificing your needs for the good of your team and maintaining that “Circle of Safety” among them. Making sure that you do this will guarantee that your needs as a leader are still met, or even exceeded, no matter what you may be going through.

If you feel like you’re in a slump, are looking for a boost of self confidence and guidance in your leadership capabilities, or just want to read a really good personal development book, I highly recommend reading Leaders Eat Last. This is the first book I’ve read by Simon Sinek and I look forward to reading more books by him this year.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek is best paired with Brew ‘em Hop-Ups: Apple Cinamonomnoms by Hysteria Brewing Company. This highly delicious fruited sour tastes just like an apple cinnamon pop tart with the perfect sour kick 🍻

Full Pour Review: Detransition, Baby

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is one of my top five favorite books I’ve read in 2020 and I cannot recommend it enough. This story is so unique, witty and heartbreaking and had me hooked from the very beginning. I walked away from this book feeling so many different emotions and I still feel like my words won’t be able to do this book the justice it deserves.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby—and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together? 

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.

Detransition, Baby is essentially a study of motherhood and three women: Amy/Ames, Katrina and Reese. Ames is a former trans woman who detransitioned from Amy and began dating his cisgender boss, Katrina. When Katrina became pregnant, after Ames was convinced he was sterile due to his 6 years of treatments while he was Amy, he finally came clean to Katrina about his past as a trans woman. Reese, also a trans woman and Amy’s ex girlfriend, wants to be a mother more than anything in this world. After finding out that Katrina is pregnant, Ames comes up with the unconventional idea of proposing to Reese and Katrina that they raise this baby together. The story flips back and forth between pre-conception and post-conception, giving you a detailed view of Amy’s transition, her relationship and life with Reese, the reasons why she ended up detransitioning and how her life led her to Katrina and their current situation.

I was truly blown away by the characters in this book. They are raw, real, complex and leave you with no choice but to be utterly invested in them- I couldn’t get enough of Amy/Ames’s and Reese’s stories. What I loved the most about them was how messy and honest these characters are and how eye opening their experiences are. You will not be able to read this without feeling their pain, fear, triumphs, joys, hopes, disappointments, and more.

Torrey Peters is an incredibly talented writer and storyteller and after reading her dedication in the beginning of the book, I need to know about her story and everything that inspired this book. Detransition, Baby is an incredible thought-provoking book that taught me so much about the lives of white trans women. Peters does an incredible job at exploring so many other themes such as divorce, parenthood, womanhood, unconventional family structures, sexuality, gender, mental illness, body dysphoria, friendship and more. The exploration of these themes made for quite a few moments of discomfort throughout the book, but they were absolutely necessary and I how thought provoking they were.

This book will make you feel so many different feelings and I encourage you to sit with those feelings afterward. I am so impressed with this compelling story and I truly cannot applaud Peters enough for writing such a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to reading more by her and watching her career grow. Thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is best paired with Cobbler: Blueberry Peach by Black Flag Brewing Company. This delicious fruited sour is brewed with cinnamon tincture, vanilla, lactose and over 450lbs of blueberries and peaches 🍻

Full Pour Review: Little Deadly Secrets

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

To say that I enjoyed this book would be a great understatement. Little Deadly Secrets by Pamela Crane is officially one of my favorite suspense novels this year. The opening scene was intense and eery, setting the tone for the rest of the book super fast.

DESCRIPTION: Three best friends. Two unforgiveable sins. One dead body. Mackenzie, Robin, and Lily have been inseparable forever, sharing life’s ups and downs and growing even closer as the years have gone by. They know everything about each other. Or so they believe. Nothing could come between these three best friends . . . except for a betrayal. Nothing could turn them against each other . . . except for a terrible past mistake. Nothing could tear them apart . . . except for murder.

The characters in this book were phenomenal. Pamela Crane did a wonderful job connecting the reader with each of the characters and immersing them into their worlds. I loved that the story was told in multiple POV’s and not just from the adults, but even some of the children. Each character took me on an emotional roller coaster through their intense story lines and I loved how much their strength and vulnerability seeped through the pages. It was incredibly hard not to fall in love with all of the characters and their triumphs, failures and flaws.

I don’t want to go into particular story lines and give too much away, but the drama within this book is very similar to Big Little Lies– domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, drug addiction, infidelity, murder, alcohol abuse, dark secrets, betrayals and more. The building tension, surprise twists and explosive ending kept me on the edge of my seat and made it incredibly hard to put this book down.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough. If you are a fan of Big Little Lies and looking for your next binge-read, I think it’s safe to say that you will love Little Deadly Secrets as well. Thank you again so much to WilliamMorrow for gifting me this amazing book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Little Deadly Secrets by Pamela Crane is best paired with Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin by New Belgium Brewing Company. Not only is this my absolute favorite pumpkin beer, I’ll bet it’s unlike any pumpkin beer you’ve had before 😉 Not too spicy and not too sweet, this pumpkin ale was brewed with Saigon Cinnamon and Habanero and De Arbol peppers for an explosion of flavors that’ll keep you coming back for more 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Nanny

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Whew! The suspense was real with this one! 🙌🏻 Full of dark secrets and bizarre twists, I thoroughly enjoyed The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan. This book was really well written; containing rich characters that evoke so many emotions and a story line that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

DESCRIPTION: When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind. Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew. Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

This book was a solid thriller about misperceptions that we mistake as reality, sucking you in from the very beginning. I really liked how this book was told by three different perspectives- Virginia (the mom), Jocelyn, and Hannah. I liked being able to see Jocelyn and Virginia’s side of the story in real time and learn about the family’s dark past. For Hannah, her perspective was mainly told in past tense and while I don’t think anything was missing from the story, I think it would have been really cool to see her perspective in present tense as well. I would have also enjoyed getting some of Ruby’s perspective as well in regards to her relationship with Hannah. The depth of the characters was great too and they evoked a lot of emotions in the reader. I felt like I really got to know Jocelyn and Virginia well and I enjoyed the “love-to-hate” feelings I had for Virginia along with the ability to feel some understanding behind why she does the things she does. I also really enjoyed the setting of the story and found the ending to be surprising and very satisfying.

The Nanny truly is another great debut thriller that hit shelves on August 4th. If you haven’t already added this to your TBR list, I highly recommend checking it out! This was my first time reading a book by Gilly MacMillan and I definitely look forward to reading more by her. Thank you so much again to WilliamMorrow for gifting me this book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Nanny by Gilly MacMillan is best paired with Good Gourd by Cigar City Brewing. This delicious imperial pumpkin ale is brewed with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and vanilla to emulate the flavors of a decadent, piquant pumpkin pie 🍻