ARC Review: Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-DayAuthor: Lori Rader-Day
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Publication Date: July 7, 2015
298 pages, paperback

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE:  I was provided with an ARC of this book from the publisher and author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much, Lori and Seventh Street Books!!

Last year I read and LOVED Lori Rader-Day’s debut novel The Black Hour (which I reviewed over on WatchPlayRead), so when Lori said she would send me an ARC of Little Pretty Things, I was SO excited! Lori’s second novel was just as thrilling, suspenseful, and well-written as her first.

I was immediately drawn into Juliet’s world – her job as a cleaning lady in a dive hotel in a small town, her compulsive desire to take the “little pretty things” left behind by her customers, her friendship with Lu, the slightly older Mexican woman who cleans at the hotel too, and her decade-old, but not forgotten rivalry with her best friend from high school, Maddy. Juliet and Maddy haven’t spoken in ten years, but Juliet hasn’t forgotten always trailing behind Maddy during all their track races, so when Maddy comes into town, Juliet brushes her off. But then Maddy gets murdered, Juliet is a suspect, and a lot of secrets come to light.

I am a big fan of books with flawed, far from perfect characters. They feel more human and more believable to me. This is a big reason in why I loved Little Pretty Things so much; Juliet is pretty messed up, she struggles with her compulsions, with her relationships, with her future, and I found myself rooting for her the whole time. She was stronger and more independent than she thought, and I liked seeing her realize who she could be. All of the characters in the book had their own problems and were all well-rounded and three-dimensional. I especially enjoyed the friendship between Juliet and Lu.

Lori did a great job at subtly hinting at who the real murderer was. I will say that I figured out who the murderer was pretty early on (I read and watch a lot of crime fiction), but it did not hinder my enjoyment of the story in the least. In fact, I was on the edge of my seat, racing through the book to see everyone figure it out. Lori does suspense SO well with pacing that reminded me of Maddy’s and Juliet’s races, fast and powerful.

The bottom line: While the story revolves around murder, this is a story of self-discovery and it questions how much our past can affect and shape us. It’s full of flawed, interesting, human characters that will pull you into the story immediately. Little Pretty Things is the best kind of mystery, and it’s not one you want to miss.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

P.S. There’s a giveaway for a copy of Little Pretty Things on Goodreads that runs until July 26, 2015!

Waiting on Wednesday – Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

Author: Lori Rader-Day

Release date: July 7, 2015 (my birthday!)

Synopsis from Goodreads:


Juliet Townsend works a dead-end job cleaning rooms at the Midnight Inn, a one-star hotel that attracts only the cheap or the desperate. Embittered by her bleak life, she takes to stealing small possessions from customers’ rooms. At home she hoards a secret collection of these “little pretty things.”

When a former friend and old high school rival, Madeleine Bell, checks into the hotel, Juliet adds envy to her bitterness. Well-dressed, flashing a diamond ring on her finger, and as beautiful as ever, Maddy is the very embodiment of Juliet’s every dashed hope. But why would she choose to stay in the seedy Midnight Inn?

Before an answer to that question turns up, the next morning Juliet learns that Maddy has been found dead in her room. And the police have targeted Juliet as the chief suspect.

To protect herself, Juliet is forced to investigate the circumstances of Maddy’s life and death. What she uncovers is that her onetime rival certainly never had it all. And Juliet may lose what little she has.

Why I’m excited: I read and LOVED Lori’s debut novel The Black Hour last year. I first heard about Little Pretty Things when I interviewed Lori in July. I couldn’t wait for a new book by her then and I still can’t wait to read more by her now. Lori’s characters are so human and real, and I’m looking forward to meeting Juliet and Maddy. Murder, mystery, and a lot of little pretty things. Yes, please. Add on to that the fact that Lori is super nice, and you’ve got me wishing Little Pretty Things was in hand right now.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top new-to-me authors I read in 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2014

I read so many amazing authors in 2014! I had a fun time compiling this list. I can’t believe I just came across these authors this year. It feels like I’ve always loved them. 🙂 All book titles are linked to my reviews.

Stephanie PerkinsStephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss

Morgan MatsonSince You’ve Been Gone

Oliver JeffersThe Incredible Book-Eating Boy

Robert Kirkman – The Walking Dead [volume 1]

Marie LuThe Young ElitesAdi Alsaid

Adi Alsaid Let’s Get Lost

Jennifer E. SmithThis Is What Happy Looks Like

Stacey O’NealeMortal Enchantment

Rainbow RowellAttachments

Lori Rader-DayThe Black Hour

What new-to-you authors did you read in 2014?

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve only read one book by but NEED to read more

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Authors I’ve Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More


Michael Grant; I’ve read Gone, which I raced through in a day. I own Hunger and have the first two BZRK books checked out from the library so I will read more soon.

Mark Haddon; I’ve read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This book is amazing, and I have no words. I really want to read A Spot of Bother soon.

Hugh Howey; I’ve read Wool. Holy freaking crap. If you like dystopian, read this. I already own the next two books in the trilogy, so I need to get one those soon.

Graeme Simsion; I’ve read The Rosie Project. I’ve mentioned this book on the blog like a hundred times. You all know I adore it. I cannot wait for The Rosie Effect!!

Nina LaCour; I’ve read Everything Leads to You, which I reviewed over on WatchPlayRead. This book is completely charming and adorable and I really liked it. I want to check out some of LaCour’s other books, particularly The Disenchantments.

Lori Rader-Day; I’ve read The Black Hour. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING, and so is the author. One of my favorites this year.

Rainbow Rowell; I’ve read Attachments, which was a really great intro to Rowell’s books. I want to try some of her YA next.

David Levithan; I’ve read Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which isn’t even completely one of his books. I’ve heard so many great things about his books. Definitely going to pick one up before the year ends.

Okay, I couldn’t get to ten. Oh, well. What about you? Any authors you’ve only read one book by but NEED to read more? Link me up to your TTT!

Quote Quoted: The Black Hour by Lori Rader-Day

I, for one, LOVE quotes, and I know that a lot of you guys do too. So I’ve started “Quote Quoted” on the blog as a way to showcase some of my favorite quotes from my current reads and discuss them. The Black Hour

I’m currently reading Lori Rader-Day’s The Black Hour, which I’ll be reviewing over on WatchPlayRead in the next few days. I chose two quotes for this book, but they are only two lines from each other:

Crooked paths often still lead where you wanted to go.

We were all slightly different versions of ourselves now.

I love both of these quotes. This book is very much about the journey we go through in life, the ups and downs, the successes and failures, the hardships and happiness. I really appreciated the first quote because I related to it so well. Your path might not go the way you thought it would, but you’ll still get where you want to go.

The second quote made me think of the following Doctor Who quote. I completely agree with it and the quote in The Black Hour. Our experiences change us and we become completely different people, whether we mean to or not. We are always changing, growing, learning. You just keep moving.

We all change - Doctor WhoThis book was incredible, you guys. I’ll be reviewing it over on WatchPlayRead, and it should be up in the next day or two. Look out for it over there! 🙂