I made it to 20% before I just simply could not take the writing and characters anymore. I am mad I one-clicked this as a freebie. I want my time backI made it to 20% before I just simply could not take the writing and characters anymore. I am mad I one-clicked this as a freebie. I want my time back....more
Jess already reviewed this book and highlights what worked and didn't. So my review will be short and sweet, despite having a somewhat different opinJess already reviewed this book and highlights what worked and didn't. So my review will be short and sweet, despite having a somewhat different opinion of the story.
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica focuses on the disappearance of Mia Dennett, a teacher in one of the poorer districts of Chicagoland. When she goes missing, only her coworker/friend notices right away, not her family. What follows is a series of events that are told from her mother's, the detective's and her kidnapper's point of views. I usually find alternating points of view jarring, but each character's voice was unique enough that I had no trouble following the story.
I found all the characters equally despicable and fascinating. Where her father James is an uncaring ass, he wasn't always that way; her mother, the quintessential trophy wife, finds some strength to take her through this life she has created for herself; and Colin Thatcher, the abducter, who has more redeemable qualities than perhaps he is given credit for.
Where some people on Goodreads have labeled The Good Girl as a book exhibiting Stockholm Syndrome, I don't agree. What transpires between Mia and Colin is, to me, a greater understanding of each other and the forces that drive each of them.
Admittedly, I was only ready to give The Good Girl three stars but the ending was a sucker punch I didn't see coming. For me, it was a complete and utter mindfuck and I am still ruminating over just how deceptive some of the characters actually were in order to drive the plot of this story. I thought the ending was supremely well done and ties everything together with so much sense and surprise. Like, I shouldn't have been surprised, but I totally was. Definitely a recommended read.This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post....more
Gosh, what wasn't to love about this book?! Dumplin' by Julie Murphy is sweet, funny and, at times, very serious with its subject matter. I think allGosh, what wasn't to love about this book?! Dumplin' by Julie Murphy is sweet, funny and, at times, very serious with its subject matter. I think all teenage girls should read this book. No, scratch that: I think all women should read this book.
Dolly Parton fanatic? Check.
Grieving a loved one? Check.
FAT? Check. Willowdean Dickson is the unapologetic fat girl in a story where sometimes you never really knew you were lost until you need to find yourself. Dumplin' deals with real world issues for girls who don't quite conform to what society deems "beautiful" but you know what? She doesn't really give a fuck about all that. She likes her Dolly Parton obsession (coincidentally shared with smoking hot BFF Ellen), she doesn't care what you think of her in a swimsuit and she doesn't give two hot shits about boys.
Until she does.
Reading Will meet and feel flutters for the hot jock Bo, while slinging fries and taking burger orders, is a sort of callback to our own youths when we felt those flutters for the first time. Where one would expect you to feel confident and sexy (because who doesn't love when the person they like likes them back?), you actually begin to experience that self-doubt that can be so detrimental to your self esteem. So where Will starts out strong and in charge, she devolves into a quivering mess of emotions, including a lack of conviction of her own self-worth.
To change all that, she decides she is going to join the local beauty pageant, which is - interestingly enough - run by her mother, a former winner who places great value on being "pretty". Willowdean's entire existence has been peppered by her mother's desire to make her skinny and beautiful, complete with casually turning on TV programs like The Biggest Loser and reminding her she needs to shed some pounds. There relationship was imperfect, striking and complex.
Dumplin' is such a great story. Its themes explore how fat people are treated in our society and challenges the social moors of what is acceptable criteria to enter a beauty pageant. And it shows that true beauty comes from within.This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post.
Felicity, after losing her sweet restaurant "patron" Vern, is bequeathed the Bancroft Hotel where she has been working as the head chef. Finding outFelicity, after losing her sweet restaurant "patron" Vern, is bequeathed the Bancroft Hotel where she has been working as the head chef. Finding out that Vern was the hotel owner all along leaves her frustrated, sad and intimidated. What else doesn't she know? She is a sweet, caring, and genuine woman who cares about her new employees and wants to see everyone succeed, having fallen on hard times herself in the past. She struggles with the fact that her father needs basically round the clock care, when she is trying to eke out a living and support them both. To round out her obvious perfection, she also runs an unofficial non-profit to help the poor and homeless develop trade skills. She was almost too sugary sweet, but I still liked her.
Enter Blake Bancroft, nephew to Vernon, CEO of Bancroft Enterprises and one mad as hell MF because he didn't get the hotel he thought he deserved. Blake was sexy and smoldering, and not afraid to use his resources to get what he wanted. I liked his air of unapology but he wasn't just a pretty face; he had huge ambitions that center around making things more sustainable. He was, at the heart of it, a good guy.
This is a standalone romance, so you can guess how it ends. But the getting there was fun. Seeing Blake and Felicity circle around each other while they figure out how to work with one another was cute. There is, of course, some conflict, and some of it felt too manufactured, like Felicity's ex-friend Destiny trying to drum up a newspaper story about the couple. I never really understood her motivation to treat her supposed friend the way she did, not did I get how her end goal meant trampling over someone she cared about. We as the readers are also never given an opportunity to like Destiny, so it just seemed like she was conflict for the sake of injecting some into this story.
Let's talk about when authors use stupid phrases, like "the apex of her womanhood" for a sec. Did we travel back in time to 1985 where authors couldn't use words like vagina or clit? I get that the author likely wanted to keep the sex scenes "clean" but these are sex scenes, so come on. Phrasing someone's vagina as the apex of her womanhood just feels cheesy. I can't take that seriously. I can't even give this a good heat rating or put a sexually explicit warning at the top of this post, because it was so...sanitary.
Flirting with Felicity by Gerri Russell is a solid three... but no more. It's a sweet story but lacks that extra oomph I need to make my romances really awesome. Narrator 4-1-1 Kate Rudd is a great narrator. I liked her in The Fault In Our Stars and I liked her in this. The two books really do showcase her talent as a narrator because I recognized her name...but not her voice. She sounded like a teenage girl in TFIOS and sounds like a woman here. Definitely will listen to her again!This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post....more