A tequila-soaked night at a comic book convention leaves Leia Birch Briggs, a graphic novel artist, pregnant after a rendezvous with a guy that she onA tequila-soaked night at a comic book convention leaves Leia Birch Briggs, a graphic novel artist, pregnant after a rendezvous with a guy that she only knows as Batman.
Yup, how is that for a starter?
Before she can break the news to her family though, her sister’s marriage implodes and they discover their grandmother has been hiding her rapidly progressing dementia from them. In efforts to help, Leia heads home to start making arrangements for her grandmother and to clear out the home of anything unnecessary…
Like, a skeleton in the trunk of the attic.
This really isn't a typical Jackson novel, is it?
Jackson has built great dynamics between the two sisters and comical horror as Birchie, their grandmother, lets loose all the town secrets that she knows, thanks to her dementia. It seems there are quite a lot of secrets, especially just who might be residing in the trunk of this house.
This is one of Jackson’s best books, in my opinion, and a treat to read from start to finish. I could see this one being made into a film- it has great charm and heart.
Everyone has been talking about Eleanor Oliphant so I knew I needed to dig into this one.
Eleanor is certainly one of the most unusual characters I havEveryone has been talking about Eleanor Oliphant so I knew I needed to dig into this one.
Eleanor is certainly one of the most unusual characters I have read because she lacks social skills and avoids all unnecessary human contact. She keeps a rigid schedule with herself that involves a lot of frozen pizza, vodka, and a routine call with her mother.
A persistent I.T. guy, named Raymond, comes into Eleanor’s life though when they help save an elderly man on the street who had fallen. Raymond is also the kind of guy that won’t take no for an answer and begins infiltrating into Eleanor’s life.
Eleanor has her eye on someone else though and he doesn’t even know it. Lunches with Raymond give her a chance to practice for the big moment when she can confess to her true love how she feels about him.
Too bad the guy has never heard of her!
This novel is quirky and the reader gets to go on every cringe worthy moment as the true story of Eleanor unfolds. Honeyman ends the book with a really smart little twist that adds to the beauty of Eleanor’s healing process to find love in her life and readers discover why Eleanor struggles so much in society. It's a solid read and a promising debut from Honeyman!
Shtum is a Yiddish word that means silence and this beautiful story is inspired by Jem Lester’s own struggles and triumphs with his autistic son who iShtum is a Yiddish word that means silence and this beautiful story is inspired by Jem Lester’s own struggles and triumphs with his autistic son who is trapped in a silence of his own. It is, truly, the most accurate portrayal of what it would be like to parent a profoundly autistic child and a read that many of us can learn a lot from.
In this story, Jonah and his autistic son Ben find themselves under Jonah’s father’s roof to help with the application process for a school for autism that could help Jonah. They don’t have the funds to do it and Ben’s wife encourages a separation in their marriage to help Jonah because being a single parent will lend them favor on the application process and offer more scholarship money.
Residing under one roof with a child who requires 24-hour supervision and a grumpy father isn’t Ben’s idea of a great time and alcohol is Ben’s escape. It is a downward spiral at times and Lester doesn’t let you escape it. The day-to-day grind becomes overwhelming, even as a reader, and it made me REALLY understand more about the challenges that these family’s face every single day.
Yet, as heart wrenching as this read is, it has sparks of dark comedy that had me chuckle out loud many times, particularly with Ben’s father, Georg. This debut novel is raw and unapologetic in the challenges that come with love and sacrifice. I highly recommend this read!...more
This novel is a perfect read for Jodi Picoult fans as it explores the intertwining stories of a picture-perfect family and a single mother & child who end up disrupting what has always seemed ideal.
The book is set in a suburban bubble where a wealthy family, The Richardson’s, reside. Always with good intentions, they love to help others and one of the ways they help them is by offering a rental home to deserving recipients at an affordable cost so that they can get back on their feet again.
Mia Warren is the lucky recipient of this rental, where she can make rent doing odd jobs so she can pursue her true passion for photography and art. When the Richardson family also happens to have an opening for a housekeeper, they bring Mia further into their lives as Pearl & Mia become fixtures in their home. Everything seems ideal about this family and Pearl, her daughter, immediately is drawn to them and their idyllic life.
Yet, when close friends of the wealthy family decides to adopt a Chinese American baby, sides are quickly drawn leaving Mia & Pearl on the opposing side. It is when the battle becomes fierce that secrets began to unravel and true feelings begin to erupt. And there are secrets….a LOT of secrets.
This is a heartstring puller that I devoured in a little over a day. It would lend itself really well to a lively book club discussion if you are looking for something fresh to add to your group that is guaranteed to get your book club members chatting!...more
Dreamland Burning was a selection that I discovered on the MMD Summer Reading Guide. This YA historical fiction novel sheds light on a little knownDreamland Burning was a selection that I discovered on the MMD Summer Reading Guide. This YA historical fiction novel sheds light on a little known time in history, examining the Tulsa race riot of 1921 and what it might have looked like for the town’s residents.
I had never heard of these race riots, but it is horrific to learn that historians put the death toll at around 300 black lives lost to white rioters. The author notes that some people refer to this as the, “black holocaust,” because of this. Since it is a YA book though, I thought Latham did a great job of giving you an eye-opening amount of violence and dialogue, while staying true to her genre.
The book explores the case of a skeleton that has been buried and found on a family’s property when their family begins to renovate their home. Rowan, the teen daughter, decides she wants to do some sleuthing to find out who these bones belong to and it sends her hunting for answers that are over a hundred years old.
The chapter alternates between her viewpoint and the viewpoint of William, a white teen growing up in this historical era and struggling to understand his own viewpoint on race. The reader gets to watch the evolution of William from racist to helper of minorities.
Latham weaves a smart final twist that gives the reader a satisfying conclusion. She also provides resources where you can discover more about this horrific time in history....more
The Arrangement was on this summer’s guilty pleasure reading bucket list and this one did not disappoint. I expected a lot of predictability with thThe Arrangement was on this summer’s guilty pleasure reading bucket list and this one did not disappoint. I expected a lot of predictability with this book and Dunn surprised me with some really witty dialogue, twists I didn’t see coming and a town of characters that rivaled the infamous folks in Big Little Lies.
Owen & Lucy have a dinner party where friends share with them about an “arrangement,” a couple they know is having in an open marriage (no questions, no guilt) where they can explore having relationships with other people while keeping their marriage happy and healthy.
They feel inspired to devise their own six-month arrangement where they can explore relationships with other people, but it must end after six months. What follows is anything but predictable for either of them and the reader gets to go on one tryst to another, then concluding their days by coming home to raise their autistic son together.
There are loads of laugh-out-loud moments and some heartfelt ones that resonated with me since we experienced many similar parenting moments to this couple. It also solidified that open marriage, while fun reading in a book, is definitely not for me! I do admit, the husband getting “chored” by his mistress was a treat that brought all the LOL’s.
Seriously, I really enjoyed the wild ride with these two and the book ended up being a lot less fluff and more satisfying than I expected....more
I have read a couple of Sullivan’s books and enjoyed them, but this book is unlike anything she has written before and is an exquisite escape that I tI have read a couple of Sullivan’s books and enjoyed them, but this book is unlike anything she has written before and is an exquisite escape that I think most readers will love. This story reads like Brooklyn had a baby with The Two-Family House so if you enjoyed those, don’t miss this one!
This story explores the lives of two sisters who come to America in the late fifties. One sister is wildly enjoying her newfound freedom while the other is promised to marry a boy she doesn’t love, but finds the responsible sister role to be an easier one. When Theresa, the “fun” sister, ends up pregnant, her sister comes up with a plan to save her reputation while making sure her son is loved and safe.
The book explores the past and present as each sister makes life-altering decisions that lead them down very different paths. When Nora’s son dies, it brings the two sisters back together again while unleashing a load of family secrets in the process.
As far as criticism goes, I did think it went on just a tad too long in the building of the story, while the ending felt abrupt to me. I wanted more of the conclusion fleshed out, after the long journey, but I understand Sullivan had to end it at some point. Regardless, this will be one of my favorite reads this summer and I highly recommend it, even if you haven’t connected with her books in the past....more
I love quirky stories that are big on humor and The Book of Polly was everything a good read should be. Beautifully developed characters, loads of hI love quirky stories that are big on humor and The Book of Polly was everything a good read should be. Beautifully developed characters, loads of hilarity, and Hepinstall’s choice of words and phrasing make these characters, truly, come to life.
Polly has an unexpected surprise in her late fifties and gives birth to her daughter, Willow. Polly is not like any mother that Willow knows at school and the reader experiences her pride and shame at just how little she does fit in. One of Willow’s biggest worries is Polly dying and when she ends up being diagnosed with cancer, it is like her worst fears coming true.
Polly’s not going to exit this world quietly though and Willow decides she wants to know more about Polly’s life from her younger years which lead them on an epic road trip.
I laughed out loud through this book and kept reading passages to my husband who laughed alongside me. Fans of Be Frank With Me and Whistling Past the Graveyard are FOR SURE going to love this hilarious read! This one will definitely be on my top ten list of the year!...more
Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen Nine Women, One Dress came recommended to me by a local librarian as a fantastic summer read and I couldn’tNine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen Nine Women, One Dress came recommended to me by a local librarian as a fantastic summer read and I couldn’t agree more with her pick. This type of book is like a big bowl of chick lit comfort food and reminds me of my obsession with the ol’ rom com films that I loved so much growing up. If you loved Meg Ryan films, I bet you will find this to be a light and easy book escape for your summer stack.
The title pretty much explains what this cute read is about. A famous designer, who is soon retiring, makes a beautiful black dress that ends up being THE dress of the season. The dress then finds its way into many hands (some deserving, some not) and the book explores these touching and humorous stories of how this dress came into their possession and what happened after they wore it out.
If it sounds a little cheesy, it is.
I loved every minute of it and grinned from ear to ear right up until the final pages.
Darktownis the book that was selected this month for the MomAdvice Book Club because I had heard such great things about it. Mullen's book builds upoDarktownis the book that was selected this month for the MomAdvice Book Club because I had heard such great things about it. Mullen's book builds upon the true story of the first eight African American police officers that served in the late 1940's in Atlanta. I was completely oblivious to their stories and trials that they faced in these roles and Mullen's tells an unflinching portrait of the daily challenges that these men faced, racially and in their roles at work.
When a black woman is murdered in their town, the white officers start covering up their involvement while the black officers are limited in how they are able to investigate the case. The book is told from alternating perspectives from the officers on each racial side as the book builds a story of corruption and racism that will leave the reader guessing until the final pages.
Thomas Mullen happens to be a white male author and, apparently, submitted this manuscript without his name or picture attached. When it crossed the desk of one of the top black editors in publishing history, it was selected for publication. The acclaim has been so great that it has now been optioned for a television series. Fans of True Detective, are sure to love this one AND learn a lot about this time in history.
I got a little burnt out on historical fiction, but A Piece of the World is a book that I kept hearing such good things about that I thought I wouldI got a little burnt out on historical fiction, but A Piece of the World is a book that I kept hearing such good things about that I thought I would try to dive back into this genre. You may know Kline from her #1 New York Bestseller, Orphan Train.
One of the author’s favorite paintings is Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth. In this book she explores the story of Christina, Wyeth’s muse in many of his paintings, and what Christina’s life might have been like since the painting is so haunting. This well-researched account of Christina and the disability she lived with was so beautifully told. The reader gets a full portrait of this woman from her childhood until her older years and many of the hurdles she went through in her life.
While, perhaps, not as heart-tugging as her first book, Kline's astounding amount of research on the true story of Christina makes this a captivating read. Be sure to read the author's notes because it really showcases the effort that Kline took to capture Christina....more
The Light We Lost is the first book club selection for the Skimm #skimmreads partnership with Target stores. I know I have mentioned it before, butThe Light We Lost is the first book club selection for the Skimm #skimmreads partnership with Target stores. I know I have mentioned it before, but I love this 5-minute newsletter to keep in tune with headline news. My favorite element though, is their Friday newsletter that shares a great book to read. I couldn’t wait to dig into this one after reading the synopsis.
If you are looking for a beautiful love story, this is definitely the book you should be reading this summer. Lucy & Gabe fall in love in college after witnessing the aftermath of 9/11 in NYC. This tragedy is the start of their relationship and the reader gets to hear all of the ups and downs of this relationship through Lucy’s eyes. When Gabe gets a job in the Middle East, the two go their separate ways and find love in other places.
The thing about real and true love though is that you always wonder what your life would have looked like if you had stayed together. Santopolo takes you on this thirteen-year odyssey that is filled full of beauty and the exploration of fate. Fans of One Day will really embrace this love story!...more
The Good Widow is the first thriller from the dynamic duo and it was a fun 24-hour escape reading about a wife who has lost her husband in a car crash and then discovers this crash happened with another woman in the passenger seat. Yup, this guy has been leading a double life and she never even knew it.
Nick, the fiancée of the other passenger, reaches out to the widow (Jacks) to try to replicate the couple’s trip and final days to see where this accident happened, and get clues from locals on their behavior together as they try to understand how they both could have been so in the dark.
As a seasoned thriller reader, it was a nice escape that held my interest all the way through. Liz & Lisa deliver on a light & twisty beach read that is perfect to read poolside!
The first thought that popped into my head when reading White Fur is... well, this was unexpected. Turn up that A/C and plan on steaming up the rooThe first thought that popped into my head when reading White Fur is... well, this was unexpected. Turn up that A/C and plan on steaming up the room with this dark and gritty love story.
Jamey is the stereotypical rich white kid with a large trust fund, Elsie is a rough uneducated girl from the wrong side of the tracks which basically means, never the twain shall meet…
Until they do.
And then they fall in love.
It’s an unsettling love story as though each person is pushing the boundaries to try and prove their love for one another. They constantly test the limits with each other and with their family and it leaves the reader questioning if it is love or their own path of self-destruction that bring these two together.
This will not be a book for everyone. Many passages are graphic, the sex scenes are disturbing, and it pushes the envelope A LOT.
Yet, when the writing is on it is ON.
It is promising, interesting, and is all the glam and glitz of NYC in the 1980’s. If you enjoy this one, consider this book option for a slightly tamer selection with the same feel....more
The Dry is a well-crafted debut mystery that kept me guessing from start to finish. I have shared before that police procedural books are rarely a fThe Dry is a well-crafted debut mystery that kept me guessing from start to finish. I have shared before that police procedural books are rarely a favorite of mine, but every so often I will pick one of these up and be sucked in to the story enough to plow my through the investigative aspect of these books.
This fast page-turner did just that as it explores the shocking murder of a mother, father, and child in a small town. Federal Agent Aaron Falk grew up in the town, returns for the funeral, and then finds himself helping on the case by the request of the victim’s family. The problem is that Falk has been harboring a few secrets of his own on another death that happened in the town and he is not welcome or trusted by most of its residents.
The reader is left to wonder how these two cases may be intertwined as Harper takes you down the whodunit path that will leave you guessing up until the last few pages....more
I’m a big fan of Lisa See and have read every single one of her books. I have to admit, her earlier books were among my favorites, but I felt like herI’m a big fan of Lisa See and have read every single one of her books. I have to admit, her earlier books were among my favorites, but I felt like her latest novel, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane had some of that old magic and sparkle that drew me to her writing when I first discovered her.
This novel is set in a remote Chinese mountain village where Li-Yan and her family work as farmers of tea. Li-Yan is unlike most girls because her parents do encourage her to go to school and believe that she is smart enough to concentrate on her education rather than farming. When Li-Yan becomes pregnant with a child, out of wedlock, she decides to give her child up for adoption because it is tradition in their culture to kill these children. Li-Yan now finds the course of her life has changed so much and the love of her life is not as he has appeared. She courageously must forge a new path for herself and continues to buck tradition by becoming educated and cultivating her own business while never giving up hope on finding her daughter again.
I learned a lot about how tea is farmed and, in particular, a lot about the Akha people and their traditions. See always has a way of storytelling that is both informative and captivating. I enjoyed this one start to finish and think it would be a great intro book to her writing if you haven’t had the pleasure of reading her books before.
Reading ChallengeCategory Completed- A book about a culture/religion you are unfamiliar with
Many moons ago, my husband and I watched an incredible documentary on PBS called The Poisoner's Handbook. Radium was one of those things that we disMany moons ago, my husband and I watched an incredible documentary on PBS called The Poisoner's Handbook. Radium was one of those things that we discovered that had been an additive to many household products because people thought radium had health benefits. In this book, Kate Moore does an incredible exploration of the women who were most affected by the use of radium in a radium-dial factory and how corporate greed became more important than the safety of its employees.
Women often had to start working in their teen years, since educating women wasn't a worthy investment in the 1920's, and many soon discovered that the job that was paying the most was working in a radium-dial factory. These women were in charge of painting the faces of watches with this glow-in-the-dark paint and the quicker and more they could produce the work, the more valued they were as an employee. They found by licking the tips of the paintbrushes (as was even encouraged by their supervisors) they could paint much quicker and do a better job in the details of these watches. Since radium was heralded as being healthy, the girls had no problems ingesting it and even were known to paint their teeth, lips, and eyes with it for a fun night on the town.
When the girls began becoming ill and dying, doctors could not figure out why their patients were dying in such horrific and painful ways. When they began to suspect that their factory jobs may have something to do with it, the corporations continued to ignore their concerns and did not change their safety standards, putting more women at risk every single day.
This story documents these girls and their stories as well as the court battle that they endured after they were convinced that radium was to blame. It is a heartbreaking read that I had a difficult time with, but am so thankful I read. These women were true heroes and Moore's writing is captivating and compassionate as she tells their stories.
If you are planning on reading just one nonfiction book this year, let it be this one!
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have read every single book that Taylor Jenkins Reid has writtenThanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have read every single book that Taylor Jenkins Reid has written and I have loved each of them in their own way. This book is markedly different than anything she has ever written and is an absolutely spellbinding book filled with old Hollywood glamour, celebrity secrets, and the power of real and true love.
Evelyn Hugo is an aging starlet who has decided to hire a magazine reporter to write her biography. As someone who has been very private, it is the chance of a lifetime for a virtually unknown writer to be given the story that is worth millions of dollars.
Evelyn’s love life has been something that Hollywood has often been speculated on, but no one could ever guess who captured Evelyn’s heart and how she was able, at times, to make her relationship work with the love of her life. Unfortunately, living in the spotlight often gets in the way of real living. This couldn’t be truer in Evelyn’s life and she is ready to divulge all of her secrets to Monique, in exchange for her writing her biography and publishing it upon her death.
I cannot rave enough about Reid’s ability to write real and relatable love stories. Each of her love stories has connected with me in some way and this book is no exception. I was swept away in Evelyn’s retelling of her life and Reid weaves smart plot twists in the end that I have a feeling you will really enjoy. In fact, I’m still thinking about them.
You must add this book to your book stacks stat!
The only disappointment, for me, is the fact that I have to wait for her next book.
Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Beartown is one of the most anticipated books this year from FreThanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Beartown is one of the most anticipated books this year from Fredrik Backman. If you are looking for another Ove novel, this one is not it and is very different than anything Backman has written before. I love it when a novelist take risks and Backman does just that with this new novel.
Beartown is set in a small forest town obsessed with hockey. The Bears of Beartown win and they have their strongest team yet and a true possibility of winning the national semi—finals. Just as they approach their biggest game of the season, a violent act occurs that threatens the reputation of the strongest player on the team. To make matters worse, the family involved in this act also happens to be in charge of the hockey team. A father is then placed in a position he could have never conceived especially when an entire town is ready to demonize anyone who would ever speak against their star player.
Much like Into the Water, Backman has taken on a large cast of characters and the first half of the book feels mostly like introductions to each person to set the stage for the turning point in the plot. Although I love Backman’s writing, the first half felt sluggish. As so many other readers had promised, when reading other reviews, the second half was much better once the plot actually got moving.
This is still a solid read, but you have to have the patience to power through the first half to get to the meat of the plot....more
If you are looking for the next The Snow Child, then I’d love to suggest this book as something you might enjoy. Arden’s debut novel is a Russian fairIf you are looking for the next The Snow Child, then I’d love to suggest this book as something you might enjoy. Arden’s debut novel is a Russian fairytale that about a little girl named Vasilisa and her family. They live in the wilderness where the winters are cold and she loves the story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears to claim unware souls.
When Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father brings home a bride who forbids their family to continue honoring the household spirits. This lapse causes many bad things to happen and Vasilisa must defy everyone she loves and use the gifts she has long concealed.
This book is a beautiful escape for any fairytale lover....more
Let’s just say that Into the Water was the book I was most excited to read and was my least favorite in this month’s stack. I feel bad saying this,Let’s just say that Into the Water was the book I was most excited to read and was my least favorite in this month’s stack. I feel bad saying this, but this book will be easily forgotten by me. I should say that it REALLY will be forgotten since Hawkins tries to incorporate a million characters into a rather weak plot about a river that has killed many of the town’s residents.
Here is what I will say. The mystery does get solved, but Hawkins lost me in the process. I plowed through hoping that the plot would pick up, that there might be a dramatic twist and big reveal…yeah, nope. Police procedural books aren’t usually my favorite, but I had hopes she could weave a compelling story that would hook me.
I will still give Hawkins another try on her next book, but this one just didn’t do it for me. Reviews seem to be pretty mixed on this- people love it or they hate it so you might not want to take my word for it especially if you are a fan of police procedural books....more
I have been trying to add more memoirs to my stack and I have a feeling that if you were a fan of The Sound of Gravel you will find this book to beI have been trying to add more memoirs to my stack and I have a feeling that if you were a fan of The Sound of Gravel you will find this book to be similar in nature and the emotions it brings.
Brodak’s father is a convicted bank robber and was arrested for robbing eleven banks when she was just thirteen. He served time for seven years, was released, and began robbing more banks just a few years later.
His daughter documents the two sides of her father as she tries to understand his motives and habits. His charisma is so charming that he easily manipulates those around him, including his children. With raw honesty, Brodak just wants to make sense of her childhood and what qualities she has that are her father’s.
The story is raw and real. This isn’t someone who has necessarily made peace, but it is the story of someone trying to heal.
I fell in love with this wildly original novel that explores a work partnership between two women animators that are trying to be successful in a maleI fell in love with this wildly original novel that explores a work partnership between two women animators that are trying to be successful in a male-dominated industry. The two best friends, Mel & Sharon, bond in college and then decide to work together on an adult animated movie.
The yin and yang in this partnership is what makes it work so well. Sharon is steady and reliable while Mel brings a chaotic wildness to her work. When Sharon becomes ill though, they find their roles must be reversed and work has to be on pause until Sharon can return. It is through Sharon’s private journal that their next animated film takes shape and brings them back to Sharon’s hometown for answers.
Will everyone love this? Probably not! It’s crass and dark and, perhaps, the story goes on just a tad too long. However, all readers should have an appreciation for such an ambitious debut as Whitaker not only writes the book, but the animated movie plots that unfold for these animators. It is unlike anything I’ve read and I love the exploration of a female partnership carving their place in this artistic field.
I’m surprised that I haven’t heard a lot of buzz about Desperation Road, a beautiful Southern Gothic novel that is gorgeously written from start toI’m surprised that I haven’t heard a lot of buzz about Desperation Road, a beautiful Southern Gothic novel that is gorgeously written from start to finish. Fans of Ron Rash are sure to love this haunting story of redemption and the unlikely companionship that blossoms, particularly when they realize the way that their two lives intertwine.
Maben & her young daughter are trying to escape their life and the mother must use her last dollars to provide shelter for them through the night at a hotel. In order to earn money to get them through the next day, Maben finds herself involved in the murder of a police deputy and they must flee before she is caught.
She pulls over Russell, a man who has just finished his prison term for a crime he committed, by gunpoint. When he picks up Mabel & her daughter he finds that he is now involved in a crime he did not commit.
Michael Farris Smith certainly has a way with words and I was sucked into this book from page one. If you are just in the mood for a good story, this book is beautiful and satisfying!
I picked up Cat’s memoir on a whim not knowing anything about her or her work. Marnell had a promising career working as a beauty editor for Lucky magI picked up Cat’s memoir on a whim not knowing anything about her or her work. Marnell had a promising career working as a beauty editor for Lucky magazine, but struggled with many addictions that prevented her from delivering on that promise.
Her addictions started with a prescription for ADHD medication, as a teen, and it spiraled out from there. The reader is taken on each cringe-worthy moment as she self-destructs on pills, binges on food, and gets involved with some shady people sabotaging relationships and her various writing gigs.
She chronicles the realities of rehab and the differences between treatments when treated at a higher end facility and then what a real rehab experience looked like. She also shares her own confusion over being celebrated for her raw honesty in writing about her addictions, yet being chastised for her drug abuse by her coworkers.
This book circles and circles repeating the same abuse cycles again and again. The writing feels manic at times and you just want Marnell to get her crap together.
But, it isn’t that kind of book
And it isn’t that kind of ending.
It’s real, unflinching, and showcases the truly ugly side of drug addiction.
This sparse novel, mostly set in the 1970’s, documents the story of a friendship as they grow up in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn they know is a dangerous plThis sparse novel, mostly set in the 1970’s, documents the story of a friendship as they grow up in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn they know is a dangerous place where these girls can quickly lose their innocence and Woodson paints her story in almost a stream of consciousness that makes you feel as though you are in the mind of these characters, from past to present, presented in a lyrical prose format.
Despite its short length, this book packs a powerful punch as it examines coming-of-age in a dark place and the realities of poverty without a mother. This quote says it all about this book-
"Everywhere we looked, we saw the people trying to dream themselves out. As though there was someplace other than this place. As though there was another Brooklyn."
Thank you to the publisher for sending an ARC of this novel- all thoughts and opinions are my own!
I finished Anita Shreve’s latest book in less thanThank you to the publisher for sending an ARC of this novel- all thoughts and opinions are my own!
I finished Anita Shreve’s latest book in less than a day and really enjoyed this story of a marriage set in the late ‘40’s. Shreve uses Maine as her backdrop and in October of 1947, a summer-long drought caused fires to breakout all along the Maine coast that killed many and destroyed their homes.
The book opens with the telling of a really loveless marriage. When the fires break in Maine, Grace is able to save herself and her two children, but has no idea what has happened to her husband. Without money, a home, a husband, or even clothing on her back, she takes her children back to her deceased mother-in-law’s home and waits for her husband to return.
It’s through this experience of independence that Grace must find herself from getting a job to learning to drive to managing money. Of course, as she finds her footing, she knows that her husband may return at any moment to take it all away from her.
It was a really great escape and would be an ideal one for your beach bag this summer!
I have always been a fan of time travel novels and selected Kindred as my time travel book for the MomAdvice Reading Challenge. I can’t believe thiI have always been a fan of time travel novels and selected Kindred as my time travel book for the MomAdvice Reading Challenge. I can’t believe this book had never been on my radar before because it completely blew me away.
Dana is a black woman married to a white man in the late sixties. After becoming dizzy one day, she finds herself transported to the South in 1815 when a little boy, named Rufus, is drowning in a river. Dana saves him and this begins the first of many visits where he risks his life and Dana is pulled back into the 1800’s. Her role as a black woman is not a free one though and she must work as a slave at the house and witnesses the true brutalities of an unkind slave owner.
Butler layers a great dimension by giving Dana a white husband and when they are transported together, he must act as her slave owner in order to keep her safe. The dynamics in these roles causes stress and doubts between the two.
If you are highly sensitive, this book is brutal in the telling of the treatment of slaves. It unsettled me a lot to read these horrific accounts, yet I know that I need to know them too.
The ending was a little strange to me, but reading through the reader guide helped me understand better the dimensions that Butler was hoping to achieve through this ending.
Overall, this was a riveting read that I could not put down!
If you are looking for another solid thriller, I have to say that Everything You Want Me To Be was excellent and had me guessing up until the finalIf you are looking for another solid thriller, I have to say that Everything You Want Me To Be was excellent and had me guessing up until the final pages!
Hattie Hoffman has always spent her life dutifully doing exactly what she is supposed to. That is why it shocks the town when Hattie is found brutally stabbed to death since no one could ever imagine something like that would happen to someone who is so perfect.
Ah, but things aren’t what they seem and Hattie has a few secrets up her sleeve that include a scandalous relationship that leave the reader guessing just who would have wanted Hattie dead more.
I really enjoyed this one and Mejia carves a few smart twists that I think you will really enjoy. I couldn’t put this one down and finished it in a single day!...more
Goodbye Days opens with a tragic accident that claims the lives of three teens when their best friend, Carver, texts to ask if they are on their way. When the driver tries to answer the text, they are killed in a collision with another vehicle leaving Carver without his dearest friends. An investigation unfolds as the families decide if they will be pressing charges against him and Carver must forge a new life without three of the people that have been such a big part of him.
In an effort to bring closure to the families, he has a Goodbye Day where they share a day to share memories of the person they lost. The Goodbye Days don’t go always as expected as feelings of anger and blame are placed upon Carver’s role in the accident and Carver must work through these guilt-filled days with his therapist.
Zentner has a way of writing friendships that feel authentically real. As an adult, I truly appreciate the message from this book and think it would be a great one to share with your teen to warn of the dangers of texting and driving.
More than that though, it showcases the power of forgiveness over our lives....more