#5Books: Book recs and MiB

I have been watching movies and not reviewing them — not that I have to — but I couldn’t quite figure out the bad rep Men in Black International has been receiving. Tessa Thompson is ridiculously funny and nailed the blend of eagerness and knowledgable that comes with a woman determined to join the MiB even if they don’t know they want her yet.

Chris Hemsworth’s comedy is underestimated I think and under-used in this movie. I think they were trying to go for a blend of his Himbo-ness from Ghostbusters with the expertise and badass that comes with a senior MiB agent. However, I think due to some bad editing? bad wrting?, he kind of just came off as one note. Which is sad, because he and Tessa have some stupidly good chemistry.

I would like to forget that Liam Neeson is in this and to end this review, I will give you the trailer for Last Christmas, starring Emma Thompson, Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding AND written by Emma Thompson because Emma Thompson is in MiB too and should have really done more.

Also, this trailer is guaranteed to have George Michael’s Last Christmas running around in your head all day.

And now, on to some book recs:

Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts

A dying billionaire sends one woman and a cast of dreamers and rivals on a citywide treasure hunt in this irresistible novel by the author of Bellweather Rhapsody.

Tuesday Mooney is a loner. She keeps to herself, begrudgingly socializes, and spends much of her time watching old Twin Peaks and X-Files DVDs. But when Vincent Pryce, Boston’s most eccentric billionaire, dies—leaving behind an epic treasure hunt through the city, with clues inspired by his hero, Edgar Allan Poe—Tuesday’s adventure finally begins.

Puzzle-loving Tuesday searches for clue after clue, joined by a ragtag crew: a wisecracking friend, an adoring teen neighbor, and a handsome, cagey young heir. The hunt tests their mettle, and with other teams from around the city also vying for the promised prize—a share of Pryce’s immense wealth—they must move quickly. Pryce’s clues can’t be cracked with sharp wit alone; the searchers must summon the courage to face painful ghosts from their pasts (some more vivid than others) and discover their most guarded desires and dreams.

A deliciously funny ode to imagination, overflowing with love letters to art, from The Westing Game to Madonna to the Knights of the Round Table, Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts is the perfect read for thrill seekers, wanderers, word lovers, and anyone looking for an escape to the extraordinary.

What’s the oddest thing that got you to stop and read a blurb? Because the name Tuesday Mooney is right up there for me — mostly because it’s an utterly adorable name. And then blurb sounds exciting — a little bit Ender’s Game — BUT really that book could never have Madonna in it.

The Perfect Son

A disturbing and shocking debut novel of psychological suspense about a recently widowed mother, her young son, and the lengths she’ll go to in order to keep him safe.

When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday, she’s sure of these things: She’s been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her.

After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that’s what matters.

But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won’t listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear.

… okay, first thought that popped in my head: the son killed his dad and tried to kill his mother? 

Maybe He Just Likes You 

Barbara Dee explores the subject of #MeToo for the middle grade audience in this heart-wrenching—and ultimately uplifting—novel about experiencing harassment and unwanted attention from classmates.

For seventh grader Mila, it starts with an unwanted hug on the school blacktop.

The next day, it’s another hug. A smirk. Comments. It all feels…weird. According to her friend Zara, Mila is being immature, overreacting. Doesn’t she know what flirting looks like?

But it keeps happening, despite Mila’s protests. On the bus, in the halls. Even during band practice-the one time Mila could always escape to her “blue-sky” feeling. It seems like the boys are EVERYWHERE. And it doesn’t feel like flirting–so what is it?

Mila starts to gain confidence when she enrolls in karate class. But her friends still don’t understand why Mila is making such a big deal about the boys’ attention. When Mila is finally pushed too far, she realizes she can’t battle this on her own–and finds help in some unexpected places.

From the author of STAR-CROSSED, HALFWAY NORMAL and EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU comes this timely story of a middle school girl standing up and finding her voice

I wish we didn’t need books like this, but I’m so glad that there authors taking this sort of topic on. 

The Retreat

Sherri Smith illuminates the dark side of the self-care and wellness industry in a thrilling ride of revenge perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect StrangersThe Retreat is a twisting, bone-chilling suspense that asks: how well do you really know your friends?

Four women.
Four secrets.
A weekend that will change them forever…if they survive.

Katie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid-teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all-too-familiar post-Hollywood self-destruction.

Now twenty-seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait “Where Are They Now?” articles that float around online. An answer she hopes to find when her brother’s too-good-to-be-true fianc�e invites her to a wellness retreat upstate. Together with Katie’s two best friends–one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship–Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat. But finding oneself just might drudge up more memories than Katie is prepared to deal with.

Each woman has come to the retreat for different reasons. Each has her secrets to hide. And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing.

Oh this is not going to end well for Kate. Nope. Not at all. Yup, I want this.

The Last Stage 

Innocent acts can have devastating consequences…

Bestselling author Louise Voss returns with a dark and riveting psychological thriller

A violent and horrific incident forces a young woman to go into hiding, at the peak of her career as lead singer of an indie pop band. Years later, strange things start to happen and it becomes clear that some know who she is…

At the peak of her career as lead singer of a legendary 1980s indie band, Meredith Vincent was driven off the international stage by a horrific incident. Now living a quiet existence in a cottage on the grounds of an old stately home, she has put her past behind her and come to terms with her new life.

When a body is found in the manicured gardens of her home, and a series of inexplicable and unsettling events begins to occur, it becomes clear that someone is watching, someone who knows who she is … Someone who wants vengeance.

And this is only the beginning…

A dark, riveting and chilling psychological thriller, The Last Stage is also a study of secrets and obsessions, where innocent acts can have the most terrifying consequences.

Everything about this blurb intrigues me, Meredith most especially. But so does this review of the book from Publisher’s Weekly on the Goodreads link:

‘An expert piece of contrivance’ Publishers Weekly

Don’t get me wrong, there are heaps of good reviews at the link, but I want to know what this means!!


  • I’ve been wondering about Last Christmas. Part of me wants to see it, part of me wonders if it’s going to have that odd Love Actually vibe.

    The Retreat looks like my cup of tea. Have you read The Birthday Girl by Sue Fortin? It has a similar story line.

    • Verushka says:

      I sincerely hope it doesn’t have the Love Actually vibe — I cannot stand that movie. I have not read The Birthday Girl, but from look at it, it would be something I would enjoy

  • Angela says:

    We saw MiB International and I thought it was ok. Chris Hemsworth was mainly the draw for me! It was fun to see him and Tessa together outside of Marvel.

  • I think Last Christmas looks interesting. Last year a bunch of us on Facebook played a game where you were alive until you heard Last Christmas. I didn’t last very long. There will be no hope of surviving this year. I want to read Tuesday Mooney as it sounds right up my alley. I read The Last Stage for a blog tour and loved it. Hope you do too!

  • I’m really curious about Men in Black International. Haven’t heard too many things about it yet but I’m definitely going to see it as soon as it’s out to rent.

  • I am looking forward to watching the latest MIB movie. The Perfect Son is one that I’d love to read. Sounds right up my alley.

  • I’m reading Tuesday Mooney right now. It’s pretty cute. I’m excited to watch MiB. I like both of the leads.

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