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A Million Reasons Why

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,076 ratings  ·  446 reviews
When two strangers are linked by a mail-in DNA test, it’s an answered prayer―that is, for one half-sister. For the other, it will dismantle everything she knows to be true.

But as they step into the unfamiliar realm of sisterhood, the roles will reverse in ways no one could have foreseen.

Caroline lives a full, happy life―thriving career, three feisty children, enviable marr
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 23rd 2021 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,076 ratings  ·  446 reviews

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Nilufer Ozmekik
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What will you do if you’re in those characters’ shoes? I probably got the shoe off and started to run away as soon as reading the dilemmas they have to deal with! This is massive, powerful, soul shaking, thought provoking story!
Lately I start to read so many stories about finding your siblings via ancestry websites. Most of them were thrillers and one of the sisters turns out to mad person to avenge the other one kind of premise mostly irritated me.

But thankfully this book’s genre is not a thr
I was thrilled to receive a Publisher’s invitation to read a VERY early copy of this book as Jessica Strawser writes terrific Contemporary Fiction, and this book is no exception!

This will be perfect for your BOOK CLUB to read and discuss, and it just published TODAY!

Walt surprises his wife, Caroline, and her parents with what he thinks will be a unique and fun Christmas gift-sending in their DNA samples to see what they will find!

What they find is a half sister that nobody knew about!

Oops! G
Sheyla ✎
A Million Reasons Why was a sad story but a believable one.

With the help of a DNA kit, Sela is able to locate her half-sibling, Caroline. Sela is in need of help. She has chronic kidney failure. She feels tired, unable to do much exercise and sometimes feels like she can't take care of her child. Her best friend and her ex-husband are pushing her to do the Big Ask. To ask her half-sibling whom she has never met for a kidney. Sela feels conflicted but she also wants to live.

Caroline had no clue
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
I could give you A Million Reasons Why this didn’t work for me but I’d rather keep this review short and sweet.

A simple DNA test just for fun. Then the results came back. Caroline and her family are positively stunned by what they discover. Results show she has a half-sister that no one wants to acknowledge. But Caroline must know the truth and is determined to reach out.

Coincidentally, Sela had her own reasons for submitting a DNA test. One that should she find blood relatives may save her life
Katie B
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
What I loved most about this book is there's so much going on in the story that you can't help but ask yourself, what would I do if I was this character? How would I handle this situation? So many dilemmas to ponder which made for an intriguing read.

Caroline is married with three young children. After submitting her DNA sample to an ancestry site, she is caught off guard when a woman named Sela contacts her claiming they are half-sisters. So, that bombshell rocks Caroline's world. Sela also has
Susanne  Strong
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: buddy-read, netgalley
*Outlier Alert!*

A Domestic Drama with more twists and turns than the Indy 500!

When a mail-in DNA test reveals that Caroline has a half sibling, she and the rest of her family are left reeling. While Caroline is curious about her half sister, no one else in her family wants to meet her.

For Sela, the results of the DNA test give her hope, for she is in kidney failure and desperately needs a donor. Following a separation from her husband and the premature birth of her son, Sela is scared.

When th
Theresa Alan
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was so excited to read another Strawser novel that this skipped the line in front of books that are coming out earlier. And she delivered. Though this is women’s fiction, there are also tantalizing mysteries within.

Caroline gets an email from a woman claiming to be her half-sister. Caroline had done genetic testing for her family on a lark—she will learn that Sela’s motivations were very different.

The email sets off a reaction in which Caroline learns painful truths about her past at the same
Jessica Strawser
Jun 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I poured my heart into this next book, a story of half-sisters linked through a DNA test and swept into a tangle of moral dilemmas. It's a bit of a shift for me, and a long time coming. I hope these characters will speak to all of you the way they've spoken to me. ...more
Jan 31, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
What if....?

What if I found out my dad had an affair while my mom was pregnant with me?
What if I found out I had a half-sister as a result?
What if I I found out my only sibling was dying from end-stage kidney failure?
What if I found out I was a match and could donate a kidney to save her life?

Ultimately, A Million Reasons Why, is a book of "what ifs," and while it's vaguely intriguing (and a lot thought-provoking), I also found the internal dialogue a little too long-winded and philosoph
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
Mar 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
I always love a good family drama and I'm generally drawn to medical dramas, so when I read the synopsis for A Million Reasons Why and saw that it had BOTH of these elements, I knew it was sure to be a hit for me!! And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

Caroline is a mother to three young kids, wife to an empathetic and supportive husband, and a successful career woman. When her husband Walt gifts the entire family DNA Ancestry kits for Christmas, she's on board thinking it could be fun to l
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
4 Thought-provoking stars

DNA testing has created such a rich source of ideas for novels. Crimes have been solved using the results, families have been torn apart as true parentage comes out, others have been surprised about ethnic backgrounds they didn’t know about.

In this contemporary fiction tale, Caroline is shocked to get an email about a potential half-sibling. She’s got a wonderful marriage and three young children. Is there room for the sister she never knew she had? What other secrets wi
Erin Clemence
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, kindle
Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication date: March 23, 2021

Jessica Strawser is back with “A Million Reasons Why”. Hot on the heels of “Forget You Know Me”, Strawser again tackles relationships and the huge life-changing events that can alter their course.

As a Christmas gift, Caroline’s husband, Walt, gives her an ancestry tracking kit, along with Caroline’s parents, partly as
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
An Emotional Roller Coaster of a Ride


When two strangers are linked by a DNA test, it’s an answer to a prayer for one woman. For the other, it changes everything she knows about her family.

Caroline is happily married, a creative problem solver as an event director and the mother of three kids in the single digit range. Her extended family is extremely close and celebrates everything together. Caroline’s life is good, but now, somehow...she has a half-sister.

Sela is fragile and suf
Literary Redhead
Strawser is the Queen of the Domestic Drama, who like Picoult highlights current issues ripped from today’s headlines.

In A MILLION REASONS WHY, the contemporary topic is DNA testing. Who knew it could be so fraught with problems, as character Caroline finds when she’s contacted by an unknown kidney-needing half-sister.

Would you give an organ to someone you didn’t know, who claims you’re kin due to shared DNA? That’s the mesmerizing million-dollar question.

Read this in a day, so riveted by Straw
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Jan 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
This was such a good book. I guess the fact that I am going through some of the same things DNA test found half siblings and also have kidney disease no living parents, the story really hit home I to lost my only child be it that she was much older. This story just really touched me to the core.
It is a must read and 5 stars is just not enough. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed
Christina McDonald
An emotional family drama, heavy on the drama. From heart attacks to secret children to surprise DNA test results to kidney transplants to past relationships to pregnancy stuff, there’s a lot going on. Well-developed characters and a lot to think about in an entertaining women’s fiction novel.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-net-galley

The reason why I requested this novel by Jessica Strawser called, "A Million Reasons Why," is because I enjoyed her last book. This one was a lot better but it still like the one called, "Not That I Could Tell," required that I suspend belief also to some extent. I think her writing is getting better and I enjoyed this one more.

Caroline is married to Walt with three children and after having the good luck of him be helpful in doing half of the Christmas s
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
2.5 stars. Couldn’t buy into it.

Caroline’s husband purchases DNA testing kits for the extended family as a Christmas present. They are shocked by the results which lead to the unraveling of several long hidden family secrets.

This is a thought-provoking read that will ask you many tough questions. I enjoyed being challenged in my thinking and putting myself in the characters shoes to analyze my thoughts and feelings. I learned a lot about chronic kidney disease which I thought the author did a re
Donna Hines
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
Jessica Strawser has truly went beyond the realm of possibilities with a new look into DNA and what makes family-FAMILY!
Is blood the only common denominator in seeking connections to one's family?
In this new work-A Million Reasons Why -AKA-Too Much Too Ask- we focus in on asking for what we want and so desperately need to merely survive.
Can you imagine not only learning you have a sibling but that that sibling is in dire need of a kidney?
Could this new found connection that resulted from a simp
Sherri Thacker
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-books
This book was good. It dragged for me in the middle but I enjoyed the storyline. My sister had a kidney transplant 18 years ago and still doing great. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This was such a good book! I have read all of Jessica Strawser’s novels and I have to say this is her best book yet. I laughed, I cried, I considered the situations long after I had finished. It will definitely be one my top books for 2020.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and Jessica Stawser’s for allowing be the opportunity to read, A Million Reason’s Why, in exchange for my honest review.
Feb 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is a very timely novel about the increasing popularity of genetic testing sites. For Christmas, Caroline’s husband gives everyone in the family a genetic testing kit so they can learn more about their ancestry. But the test also determines that Caroline has a half-sister out there, very close to her own age and who is attempting to contact Caroline.
This news tears the family apart; mom and dad separate, Caroline and her husband disagree on how to respond, and the kids are excited to meet th
Mar 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-ebooks
A Million Reasons Why is my third book by this author. I would classify it as Women's Fiction. But with a bit of suspense added.

This book alternates between two female 3rd person POVs: Caroline and Sela.

Caroline has a husband and three young children at home. Sela has a young child, a dog and a husband who has recently left her.

The two women's lives become intertwined. And I was completely fascinated by their story.

This book deals with chronic disease, DNA tests, and lots of family drama.

I hones
Feb 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
All families have their own secrets, but when Caroline finds out she has a sister she never knew about her hold world begins to unravel. This one secret brings her world crashing to her feet like a house made of blocks. Well written, fast paced and engaging, I found myself drawn into this story and feeling the characters emotions. This is the first book I have read by Jessica Strawser, but I will seek out more.
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a really bittersweet story of Caroline and Sela who discover they are half-sisters after a DNA test confirms it. Caroline had no idea her father had parented another child and she and her husband are caught unaware and mystified about what to do. On the other hand, Sela is living with chronic kidney disease, is separated from her husband and worries about her 2-year-old son if she dies prematurely. What could possibly save her? A kidney transplant from a relative who matches. Therein lie ...more
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When life for the entire universe and planet turns on its end and like everyone else you "have nothing to do" while your place of work is closed and you are continuing to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation, superspeed readers like me can read 250+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. And it is way too hot to go outside, so why not sit in from of the blasting a/c and read and review books?? BTW - stay home and save lives!!!!!!!! No tan is worth dying for.

I requested and re
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Jessica Strawser has become an author I rely upon for interesting stories about domestic life. Her latest, A Million Reasons Why, was endorsed by Jodi Picoult and I can see why it would appeal to her.

It took several chapters before this novel picked up momentum, but then it moved along at a nice pace. I felt sympathetic toward both Caroline and Sela, as they were put into some difficult situations. I really liked the friendship that formed between them though. I was frustrated over the pressure
Oct 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and St.Martin's Press for a copy of the eARC in exchange for a fair review.

I am not sure what I was thinking when I went into reading this book... probably nothing as I don't always check out the synopsis of a some stories and when I was asked to review this and I liked the author's other book I didn't know what I was reading when I started. Normally I always start with the basic story before moving onto my thoughts, but I am still processing my thoughts I still feel so ra
Bella Brightman
Jessica Strawser is a new author for me, however, this is her fourth novel and I'll have to circle back to read her back list. A Million Reasons Why centers around the results from a mail-in DNA kit. Two strangers find out they are related and the knowledge creates unsettling news for both of their families. Strawser artfully crafts this story with multiple plot lines: infidelity, life decisions, fate, grief, family dynamics, trust, and caring for others. I learned a lot about kidney disease and ...more
Lori Boyd
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it

What would you do if you found out you had a sibling you knew nothing about? If you found out that someone you loved had been lying to you, about quite a few things? What if your new sibling needed something that only you could give?

Ms Strawser weaves a family drama, leading you where you are sure the story is going, then throwing something subtly and unexpected into the mix. Story is heartbreaking in so many ways. What starts as a fun family gift of a DNA test, opens up a whole new world. I lov
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JESSICA STRAWSER is the author of the book club favorites ALMOST MISSED YOU (a B&N Best New Fiction pick), NOT THAT I COULD TELL (a bestselling Book of the Month selection), FORGET YOU KNOW ME (now in paperback), and the 2021 SheReads & Goodreads "Most Anticipated" title A MILLION REASONS WHY, releasing to a starred Booklist review in March 2021 (all from St. Martin's Press). She is Editor-at-Larg ...more

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Twists, turns, red herrings, the usual suspects: These books have it all...and more. If you love mysteries and thrillers, get ready for dozens...
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