Book Review

Book Review: Brought to Light by Allie Lewis

Rating: ★★★
Audience: NA Mystery Romance
Length: 360 pages
Author: Allie Lewis
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: August 5th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Three things Whitney is obsessed with: true crime podcasts, sticky notes, and coffee.
Two things Whitney knows for certain: she needs to focus on her future and she doesn’t want a relationship her senior year of college.
One thing Whitney never saw coming: Derek Mitchell.

When a dead body is found in the middle of Stratford University’s campus, Whitney Snow feels like she’s been dropped straight into one of the true crime podcasts she listens to every morning. She’s determined to help solve the case by whatever means necessary, but when Stratford’s golden boy, Derek Mitchell, offers to help with the investigation, Whitney isn’t so sure. Her one experience with Derek freshman year left her with a bad taste in her mouth from the guy every girl on campus seems to be obsessed with.

After Whitney reluctantly agrees to let Derek help her investigate the murder, things get even worse when rumors start spreading that the two are dating. Not wanting to rouse suspicion about what they’re really up to—especially with a potential murderer on campus—Derek and Whitney go along with this fake dating scenario. But as they work closely together to solve the case, the investigation isn’t the only thing that starts heating up. And as it turns out, the secrets buried deep within Stratford University may not be the only secrets that are brought to light.

Brought to Light is a new adult romance novel perfect for those who love a sizzling romance (without explicit sexual content) with a dash of murder mystery.

NOT TOO SHABBY.

I took a chance on a new debut author and in it found some good and some okay.

The setting? ADORED. There needs to be more college setting books. I loved the fall semester vibes and all that entailed. The vibes was definitely there.

Murder mystery? Lacking. It was strong in the beginning and strong in the end but the middle felt like a separate college romance story. These two plots moved alongside each other rather than being woven together. I needed a little more weaving to follow the flow and pacing better.

Romance? One of the best aspects. I thought it was really sweet. Whitney and Derek had some great chemistry and interactions. There were some cute dates and I loooove some good protection moments. The emotions at the end gave all the warm fuzzies of romantic ending.

Writing wise, I could tell it was a debut. There were times I could easily skim over some paragraphs because there was too much attention paid to nuances of the story that didn’t truly matter to the story.

I would definitely read another book by this author and look forward to what she has in store next.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Murder Mystery + Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, physical altercations

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Book Review

Book Review: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies of a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Non-fiction
Length: 339 pages
Author: John Carreyrou
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Release Date: May 21st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers.

In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work.

For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. When Carreyrou, working at The Wall Street Journal, got a tip from a former Theranos employee and started asking questions, both Carreyrou and the Journal were threatened with lawsuits. Undaunted, the newspaper ran the first of dozens of Theranos articles in late 2015. By early 2017, the company’s value was zero and Holmes faced potential legal action from the government and her investors. Here is the riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a disturbing cautionary tale set amid the bold promises and gold-rush frenzy of Silicon Valley. 

MY MIND CAN’T COMPREHEND.

Y’ALL. I finished this book and my jaw was still dropped. I have a hard time fathoming how people can be this self-involved in making money to never apologize. Never fully realize that they were messing with people’s lives. And absolutely refusing to accept help and take the opportunities to turn around their company.

It was fascinating reading about account after account of people becoming disillusioned with Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. There was no way anything they were doing was right. While I thought the technology sounded unique and promising, everything after that was torture to read. Honestly (and especially because I read enough fantasy and sci-fi) this device sounded something straight out of a sci-fi book. An awesome futuristic idea but nothing that is possible at this time.

Holmes and Balwani were malicious, destructive and incredibly hard to deal with. I felt so bad for all of these employess who wanted to make an honest living (okay, most of them, some of them clearly didn’t mind being involved). It was oddly fascinating watching Holmes work her magic on everyone around her. Garnering money, adding people to her board, and convincing everyone around her she, and Theranos, was the real deal.

I loved the way the book was put together and thought that Carreyrou (the original Wall Street Journal reporter when this story broke) kept to the facts. He worked hard to make sure he had the facts correct and that he wanted to proceed to help those who had used the faulty technology. The only portions I had a hard time reading were about the actual chemical breakdown of the machines. Since I personally don’t have a chemical background it was hard for me to understand the exact pieces of this, but I do like that this is included because it helps explain everything they were trying to do and how they were actually doing it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Non-fiction about business
  • Language: a little strong language
  • Trigger warnings: details on how someone committed suicide

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