The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewel (Book Summary)

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On Libby’s 25th birthday, she received an inheritance – a huge house (a mansion). It is where her family used to live – according to old news articles, her parents were involved in a cult suicide pact, along with an unidentified man.

Libby asked the help of Miller Roe – an investigative journalist who wrote the article about her parents’ death. Together, they explored the house.

When Libby & Miller Roe decided to stay for the night at the house, they met a man who introduced himself as Phin. Phin was staying in the house, waiting for Libby. He invited them to his apartment, not far from home. He told them stories about what really happened in that house, but he made them drink wine, and in the morning, their memories were hazy. Miller Roe lost the recording (he suspects Phin) deleted it. When Libby & Miller Roe woke up, they were locked in the room, but he simply claimed he forgot to unlock it when Phin appeared. He claims that he closes doors for his guests because he usually sleeps walks. Continue reading The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewel (Book Summary)

Recursion by Blake Crouch (Book Summary)

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Barry Sutton is a detective who attempted to save a woman from killing herself – he wasn’t able to save her, but he got curious about why she killed herself. She was said to have FMS (False Memory Syndrome), a known disease in Manhattan. Someone with FMS suddenly wakes up with a new set of memories – like having another life. Most people with FMS become suicidal because they are no longer sure what’s real and not.

As Barry dug into the woman he tried to save – he ended up in a hotel. He lost consciousness, and when he woke up, he was on a chair, and the man was with him. He asked him to describe the day his daughter, Megan, died. He told the memory, and it suddenly seemed so vivid. The next thing he knew, he was already in that memory, and he could stop Megan from getting hit by a truck. A man he met from the hotel showed up and told him that he was given a gift. He could go back in time, and this is now his reality. A new timeline has been created – he gets to live his life again. Continue reading Recursion by Blake Crouch (Book Summary)

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver (Book Summary)

Summer, Mia, and Brin were best friends who loved a novel called ‘From the Way to Lovelorn.’ They loved it so much that they believed they had found Lovelorn. The book is unfinished. There is no end, no sequel, and the author is dead. So, Summer, Mia, and Brin wrote their own sequel.

However, Summer died – she was murdered near the shed they called Lovelorn. There were three suspects for her murder – Mia, Brin, and Owen. Owen is Mia’s childhood sweetheart who ended up briefly dating Summer. There was an investigation. The evidence gathered isn’t enough to arrest them, but the people from their town already judged them. They lost contact with each other.

NOW, 5 years after Summer’s death – Mia, Brin, and Owen meet again.

Brin was released from rehab. She isn’t really an addict. She just wants to stay in recovery because she doesn’t want to go home. Her cousin, Wade, helps her pass-fail the drug test. At this time, Wade couldn’t help her because of the terrible weather.

Mia was decluttering her house with her new best friend, Abby. Mia’s mom hoarded for years, which resulted in a mountain of trash in their house. While going through the trash, she found the novel. In the book, she found a paper Summer once wrote and realized she struggles with writing. Mia suspected that someone was helping Summer write their sequel (back then, they just submitted their ideas to Summer, and she’d be the one that rewrites/edit it). Mia thought that whoever was helping Summer could possibly do with her death. With that in mind, she went to rehab to visit Brin, not knowing that she would be released. Mia ended up driving Brin home – but Brin didn’t go home.

Mia and Brin met again in the shed, what used to be Lovelorn. Mia and Abby looked for clues while Brin was sleeping there since she didn’t plan to go home. Brin lied about her mom having an accident, and she was able to stay at Mia’s house.

Owen went home from Scotland. He just graduated. And he helped with their investigation.

Brin’s cousin, Wade, also helped.

They suspected Mr. Harding (Summer’s foster parent) and the Bus Driver during the investigation. They were wrong. They eventually figured out that it was Miss Gray – their teacher. Brin figured out when she asked one of Summer’s ex-boyfriends how he knew about her and Summer (Brin is lesbian and in love with Summer). He told Brin that it was Miss Gray who told him about them.

Mia figured out when she visited the spot where Summer was murdered and found it well-tended. There were also carnation flowers, Summer’s favorite. Summer recalled that Miss Gray was wearing carnations during Summer’s memorial. Just in time, Miss Gray showed up. She was very calm. She talked to Mia and didn’t stop her from leaving – she just simply stared at her.

They also looked up Miss Gray online and found out that she corresponds with the description of the Shadow (the Shadow is the villain in the novel). They also found news about a young girl who was murdered. Whose mouthpiece (the instrument with her name on it) was found in the shed. Miss Gray was interviewed for that news article.

They have decided to confront Miss Gray. They went to her house the next day, and it looked like she was waiting for them. She told them she was just waiting to ask since she was ready to reveal the truth.

Miss Gray loved Summer, and they spent so much time together. She created Lovelorn for them. She made them believe it was real back then. She was the one who helped Summer write.

On the day Summer was murdered, they had an argument. She also saw Summer doing the ritual based on the book. It was a ritual to get rid of the Shadow. Miss Gray was angry – because she was the Shadow.

After Miss Gray’s calm confession, Mia, Brin, and Owen walked out of the house and simply told her to wait for the police. Miss Gray just agreed. She told them she wouldn’t leave. When they were out of the house, they heard a gunshot – Miss Gray killed herself.

The truth was revealed – and Mia, Brin, and Owen were finally no longer monsters in their town.

Owen went to college. Mia also went to New York with her dad. She’s still thinking where she’d study – while her mom is being treated back in town. Brin and Mia stayed in touch. Owen and Mia are hopeful that they can start again.

The End Broken Things by Lauren Oliver.

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Book Summary)

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Ani FaNelli looked like she had everything she wanted in her life. She has a great career in the NY times and a rich & handsome fiance – Luke. She will be married in a few weeks, and she has been stressed and has been dieting. Before the wedding, she agreed to do a documentary on what happened to her in Bradley, the prestigious school where she attended middle school.

Ani FaNelli at 14 years old: 

She came from a Catholic School. When she started attending Bradley, her first friend was Arthur. A large boy with glasses. Arthur introduced her to Beth, and Ani sat with them during lunch. Then Ani met Hillary and Olivia, the popular girls. She also met Dean, Liam, and Peyton. She sat with them during lunch. Continue reading The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Book Summary)

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (Book Summary)

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Ellery and Ezra moved to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother since Sadie is in rehab.

When Ellery and Ezra arrived, they were fetched by their grandmother and Melanie Kilduff. Melanie is the mother of the late Lacy Kilduff, the homecoming queen who was strangled to death 5 years ago in murder land, now known as fright farm.

As they drove, they saw a dead body in the middle of the road – it was the biology teacher, and he was already dead. The next day, officer Ryan Rodriguez questioned Ellery and Ezra – officer Rodriguez was very stunned to see them (later in the book, it was revealed that officer Rodriguez was their half-brother. They saw a picture of his later father, who looked precisely like Ezra. They confronted Sadie about this, and she admitted to having slept with a married man when she was in Echo Ridge) Continue reading Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus (Book Summary)

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker (Book Summary)

Emma (17 yrs old) and Cassandra (15 yrs old) were believed to have run away from home and disappeared. Emma’s car was found in the river and a strand of Cassandra’s hair. Their disappearance remained a mystery three years later – until Cassandra came back.

Cass appeared by the doorstep, rang the doorbell, and waited for her mother to open.  Her mother, Judy Martin, hugged her as she cried. Judy attended to Cass. She let her eat, take a shower, and rest. Cass’s stepfather, Jonathan Martin, called the police to inform them about her return. Dr. Abby Winter handled the case, along with Leo Strauss.. they immediately went to Martin’s house to ask Cass what had happened.

Just a quick background about Cass & Emma’s family:

Their mother, Judy, first married Owen Tanner. Judy always needed praise from her daughters. She always wanted to hear how beautiful she was and how great she was as a mother. Cass & Emma just went along with it, even though as they grew up, they started to realize that there was something wrong with their mother. She is a narcissist.

Judy cheated on Owen with Jonathan Martin. Judy and Owen divorced and had a custody battle. Both Cass & Emma wanted to live with their father – she voiced this out, and it is evident that it angered their mother. Emma just chose to stay with their mother. Owen gave up, and Judy won the custody battle. Even if Judy won, she was still angry at Cass and insisted she calls her Mrs. Martin.

After the divorce, Jonathan Martin moved in with his son, Hunter. And that’s how everything started getting worse.


Here’s the story that Cass told Abby and Leo during the interview:

According to Cass, she and Emma were fighting because of the necklace on the night that they disappeared. When Cass noticed that Emma was about to leave, she hid in her car. Emma met someone by the river, and Cass yelled at her. Emma got angry because Cass had just ruined her plan to run away, now Casshads came with them. Emma is running away because she is pregnant. She has not told Cass who the father is. They ran away with the help of Ben & Lucy, a couple without a child. They treated both of them very well. They were happy since Ben & Lucy were very kind – but not until Emma gave birth to a girl. Ben & Lucy did not let Emma hold the baby, and they treated it as their own. Ben & Lucy told them that they could leave the island anytime – but they discovered that it just meant the two of them. The baby, Julia, should stay with them on the island. Emma asked Cass to look for ways to leave. Cass should leave the island and bring back help. Cass attempted to go once, but she got stuck, and the boatman named Rick caught him. Rick is very loyal to Ben & Lucy. Cass was very disappointed, but she, later on, thought of another way to leave – and that is to seduce Rick.

She heard the story from Ben & Lucy that Rick witnessed a woman get raped by the other fisherman, and he was very guilty and ashamed about it for not doing anything. So Cass used that against Rick, to let him know that he can’t trust Ben & Lucy – because they just told her his secret. Cass had an intimate relationship with Rick. She doesn’t love him. She just pretends. And she allows him to have sex with her anytime he wants – in return, Rick fell for her and helped her escape the island. Rick knew someone who drives a truck and asked for his help so Cass could finally go home.

Cass has asked the police to look for the island to find Emma and Julia.

After listening to Cass’s story, Abby is in doubt. To her, it sounded like Cass had prepared her story. She noticed that Cass likes keeping track of time, but she could not track events.

Finally, they found a lead. First, they found Cass’s boat and found Rick – but he was dead. After that, they found out the actual name of Ben & Lucy and their history. Their real last name is Patterson, and they had an adopted child named Julian that died a tragic death while they were on a boat. The people sympathized with them at first, but later on, they discovered that they paid a considerable amount to Julian’s real mother – which is illegal.

The police finally found the island. They searched the house. No one was there, and the only clue they found was the necklace that Emma owned. The same chain that she and Cass fought over on the night they disappeared. They found nothing else. After they searched the house, something occurred to Abby. She remembered Cass telling her that she saw Emma’s reaction from the bedroom window, but no window in Emma’s room could’ve been visible to Cass. What she described as Emma’s room was facing the other way. Abby realized that Cass was lying. She has a strong feeling that this mistake by Cass regarding the view from the window means that Emma has never been on that island.

Abby came up with a plan to find Emma – and that is to tell Cass and Judy that they found Emma and her baby.

When Abby told them, Judy got frantic. Cass just listened while Judy and Jonathan fought. When they went out of the house and into their car, Cass followed them. It turns out that Abby and Leo are also on the lookout and follow them. Together, they saw Jonathan digging and Judy crying. She doubted if they did bury Emma because the police just told them she was found. After a while, Jonathan showed Judy the bones – Emma’s bones.

Both Jonathan and Judy were sent to jail. Abby helped Cass avoid punishment for lying to the police by telling them that what she had was simply a delusion. After that, Cass returned to her daughter, Julia. It was her that was pregnant and not Emma.


Here’s what really happened: 

Cass and Emma saw Judy and their stepbrother, Hunter, having sex. Emma wanted to use this against Judy, but Cass suggested that instead of using what they saw against their mother, Emma could just tell her that she’s pregnant and see how she reacts. Emma thought it was a good idea. She likes provoking Judy. The truth is Cass would like to know how Judy would react so she could prepare herself when she tells them that she’s the one who’s pregnant with Hunter’s child.

When Emma told Judy, they got into a big fight. Emma fell down the stairs and broke her neck. Jonathan came home after a while and suggested that they call 911 immediately, but he got worried about how this would affect Hunter if it gets discovered that Emma was pregnant with his child. So they both decided to just bury Emma. Cass stayed hidden because she was scared. She wasn’t sure if they brought Emma to the hospital, let her live somewhere else to conceal her pregnancy – or if she died.

Since Cass already knows what would happen if she reveals that she’s pregnant – she runs away. She contacted Bill (she saw his number in an ad for troubled teens).  Bill and Lucy adopted her and treated her well –  until she gave birth to Julia. Lucy treated the baby as her own and wouldn’t allow Cass to take care of her.

Cass escaped – she has been collecting Lucy’s pills secretly. Cass dissolved the tablets in wine and let Bill drink it as Lucy slept. When they were already asleep, she contacted Rick using Bill’s phone. Cass took the baby and waited for Rick. When they met, he told her to go back and return the baby. Cass was so disappointed because after offering herself to Rick for so long, his loyalty is still with Ben & Lucy. So she killed him (just sort of pushed the boat into the rock) and sailed by herself, with Julia.

When she finally arrived, she looked for her half-brother (not Hunter) and asked him to keep her baby while discovering what was done to Emma.

After exposing the truth, she fetched her baby and decided to call her Emma since she wasn’t the one who named her Julia.

The End of Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker.

Tarnished by Julia Crouch (Book Summary)

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Margaret Thwaites or Peg lives with Loz’s girlfriend in an apartment. Peg works as a library assistant while Loz is a chef.

Aside from being an assistant, Peg does her duty to Doll (her nan/grandmother) and Aunt Jean (her father’s sister). Doll suffers from Dementia while Jean is obese and bedridden.

Because of Doll’s condition, Peg decides to reach out to her estranged father, Raymond. She found him in Spain through his bar called Flamingos. Raymond already has his own family – a new wife named Caroline and Paulie’s son. He’s a wealthy businessman, and when they met, he offered Peg money so she could put the past behind and so he could make it up to her. When Peg mentioned Doll to Raymond, he got furious. He clarified that he would never contact Doll and Jean again. Disappointed, Peg decided to go home. Continue reading Tarnished by Julia Crouch (Book Summary)

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Book Summary)

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The sleeping sickness started at a college dorm. Cara was the first victim, followed by other girls. The victims of this sickness just slept.

Those who lived on the same floor as the victims were quarantined and were asked not to leave, but the virus still spread in a small town called Santa Lora.

The government isn’t sure how to deal with this rare sickness. As it spread, Cordon Sanitaire (restriction to leave to avoid the spread of infection) has been declared for the entire town. Even the nurses got sick. The authorities could no longer attend to everyone’s needs. Continue reading The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker (Book Summary)

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter (Book Summary)

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Both Dr. Sara Linton and police chief Jeffrey  Tolliver were not on duty that night at the skating rink when something happened:

Sara bumped into one of her patients, Jenny, who looked unwell on her way to the bathroom. When Jenny was gone, Sara noticed that she got streaked with blood. She assumed it was from Jenny.

Outside, Jeffrey saw Jenny pointing a gun towards Mark. Jenny swore that she would shoot Mark, and she asked Jeffrey to shoot her. Left with no choice, Jeffrey hit Jenny. Jenny died, and Mark was saved. Continue reading Kisscut by Karin Slaughter (Book Summary)

The Breakdown by BA Paris (Book Summary)

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Cass Anderson took the hard road one stormy night and saw a car parked beside the road. There was a woman inside. Cass pulled over but didn’t get out of the car because she feared it may just be a setup from some robbers. So she just stayed in the car for a while and waited for the other driver to signal that she needed help. But the other driver showed no signs of needing help, so she just drove off.

Cass heard the news the next day – a woman was murdered in the woods. The same woman that she saw last night, the woman that she didn’t help. Her conscience started bothering her. Continue reading The Breakdown by BA Paris (Book Summary)