Saturday, June 9, 2018

HOW TO WALK AWAY by Katherine Center

This was a heartwarming novel with characters that I loved and a *spoiler alert* happy ending.

Having just binged on the "Me Before You" series by JoJo Moyes, I was ready to read a similar book, and as a fan of Center's previous books, this piqued my interest.

Margaret Jacobson has it all- a handsome boyfriend as well as a bright future in her chosen career- when it is all ripped from her grasp in an instant. Trying to come to terms with the details and aftermath of the accident that she was in, she turns to Ian, her handsome yet aloof physiotherapist, to be honest with her about what is in store. Adding to everything is the reappearance of her wayward sister Kit, and the family secrets that come to light. The Jacobson family will never be the same.

How to Walk Away was an absolute pleasure to read, and it shed light on the very real plight of those who find themselves suddenly disabled after a lifetime of being able bodied. Center handled that topic with grace and sensitivity, and managed to make her readers fall in love with all of the members of the Jacobson family at the same time. I enjoyed reading this novel from start to finish!

The ending wrapped up a little too neatly for my liking as I enjoy a few loose ends here and there at the conclusion of a story that I have loved so much, but overall this is a book well worth reading and one that I hope many people choose to enjoy.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

THE GOOD LIAR by Catherine McKenzie

WOW! This one left me reeling right up to the very last page! The epilogue gave me actual goosebumps! I have ready every book by Catherine McKenzie so far but this one may well be my favourite to date- which is saying a lot!

Franny, Cecily, and Kaitlyn were all impacted by the tragic explosion that happened in Chicago on October 10, but in different ways.

Cecily. She has found herself the unwilling poster woman of the survivors of the tragedy. She lost her husband and her best friend in one fell swoop and has been left to cope alone. She is hiding something, however, and doesn't know when or if it will end up coming out.

Kaitlyn. mother, wife, survivor. She's running, but from what?

Franny. After finally finding her birth mother she is devastated to learn that she has lost her in the tragedy. Will she be able to move on?

The beginning of this book reads a little more like women's fiction than psychological fiction. It's clear from the beginning that all three women have some pretty big secrets to hide, but don't we all feel like we are hiding parts of ourselves from the outside world sometimes? What's really wrong with that at the end of the day? I settled in to this book quite comfortably, caught up in getting to know these three very different women and their tragic circumstances.

As bits and pieces of the secrets that these women are hiding begin to be revealed the book transitions from being women's fiction to psychological fiction. As I was drawn in to the nuances of this book I found myself even more riveted than before, hardly able to wait to find out what happened next. Just as I was convinced that the surprises were over McKenzie threw in a surprising epilogue that left me with my mouth hanging open.

I absolutely loved this book. It was the perfect mix of suspense and fiction. The writing was riveting, the plot intriguing, and the transitions seamless. The psychological fiction genre has exploded in the past year and it is easy for books to get lost among the white noise of all of the new releases. THE GOOD LIAR is one book that should make it in to your TBR pile.

Perfect for fans of both women's fiction and psychological fiction THE GOOD LIAR is a book not to be missed!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

"Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties" by Camille Pagan

I love the premise of this- woman spends her entire adult life caring for her family, only to discover that she's lost herself. This is a theme that I think many of us women can relate to. As a mother myself I struggle to find time to do everything that I love while taking care of my family and working full time. How do we not lose ourselves a little along the way?

I really enjoyed the book at the beginning. The words are gorgeously crafted and the author really knows how to get her point across in an elegant way. Unfortunately for me, this book lost me when protagonist Maggie Harris goes to Rome alone in order to find herself again. That part was too "Eat, Pray, Love" me for, which is a book that I found annoying personally. That all comes down to personal preference, I know, but it is worth mentioning for those who feel the same way as me.

While the book lost me midway through, I rarely meet a book that I can't finish, and this one finished strong for me. Back were the enticing scenarios and the thought-provoking passages, and I enjoyed the ending of the book more than I did the middle.

As I mentioned, Woman Last Seen In Her Thirties was very well-written, and had a great theme which carried me through the rough parts. Overall I'm glad that Pagan was able to tackle such a fresh topic and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read this book. 3.5 stars.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

SURPRISE ME by Sophie Kinsella

It's always so fun to crack open the latest Sophie Kinsella book, and I look forward to each one!

Although this book is a light-hearted and quick read there's a lot of depth there too! Sylvie and Dan have been married for a long time, and if their doctor and his predictions of along and healthy life are any indication, they will be married for a very long time yet! Although they are both happy about that, they are a little panicked too. The rest of their lives with only one person? Won't that get boring? Their marriage is already pretty comfortable!

Dan and Sylvie set out to surprise one another at Sylvie's insistence. And somehow, nothing goes right. Suddenly Sylvie wishes that they had never attempted to surprise each other in the first place!

Sweet, thought-provoking, and flinchingly honest at times, Surprise Me was a pleasure to read from start to finish. I found myself drawn to Sylvie and her thoughts about her marriage, and I was rooting for her and Dan to find their way somehow! Sure, this was a lighter read, a "fluffy" read in many ways but I enjoyed it as a fun escape from the every day and the writing was as enjoyable as always.

I already can't wait for Kinsella's next release!

Friday, August 25, 2017

"The Good Daughter" by Karin Slaughter

About The Good Daughter:

The stunning new novel from the international #1 bestselling author  a searing, spellbinding blend of cold-case thriller and psychological suspense.
Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…
Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville's notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.
Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried forever…
Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

My Review:

This is the first book that I've read by Karin Slaughter, and after the roller-coaster ride that she took me on, it definitely won't be the last! It was chock-full of twists and turns and I had no clue what would happen next. Slaughter truly is a master with a pen in hand!

I was hooked by the opening chapter of this book, which set the reader up for what would happen later on in the book. We meet a mother and her two daughters who are struggling to set up their new home in an old farmhouse after their first house was destroyed in a fire. The girls' father, Rusty, is a high-profile lawyer in town known for taking on the most controversial cases possible and when one of his cases goes to trial, his family suffers as their house is burnt down and they lose everything that was inside of it. Just as they believe that they are ready to move on and start again, they become the victims of yet another vicious attack, which leaves their mother dead and the girls running for their lives.

The majority of the book takes place twenty-eight years later. Daughter Charlie has become a lawyer herself, following in her father's footsteps, and when she witnesses a horrific crime all of the events from her past are once again brought to the forefront of her mind, revealing details about that day that she thought would remain hidden forever.

Just when you think that you are getting your bearings while reading The Good Daughter, Slaughter changes direction and floors you. I was gripped by this book and the events and secrets! I also loved that this was about more than just the events of that night so long ago. This is about relationships between families and sisters and fathers. Since this is a stand-alone novel this is a great choice for a read for someone who has not yet read anything by Karin Slaughter.

I had a hard time putting The Good Daughter down, and even though it's a big book at over 500 pages, reading it flew by for me. Now that I have read my first book by this author I can't wait to read more! My thanks to TLC Book Tours for inviting me along on this tour.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 36 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her sixteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novel Pretty Girls. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her Will Trent series, Grant County series, and standalone novel Cop Town are all in development for film and television. Find out more about Karin at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Friday, August 11, 2017

REVIEW: "Best Friend For Hire" by Mary Carlomango

From the Publisher's Website:

Jersey Girl Jessie DeSalvo has her dream job at one of New York’s top publishing companies. After ten years of hard work the day of her big promotion has arrived. Unfortunately, her company has other ideas. Instead of a corner office, Jessie is handed her pink slip.
Left with little more than her cell phone and an unusable contact list, Jessie retreats to less-than-fashionable Hoboken, New Jersey, to figure out her life—and deal with the attentions of her loving but inquisitive Italian-American family. Then she accidentally stumbles into a career as a professional best friend—by helping friends and strangers straighten out whatever is wrong with their lives. Her jobs include planning the New Jersey wedding of the year and saving a bankrupt rock club in town. Soon, things get complicated when she falls in love with the club manager—and promises an appearance by Bruce Springsteen.
In the end, Jessie realizes that not even “The Boss” can make things right—and that she needs to become her own best friend to be truly happy.

My Review:

If you're looking for a light and entertaining book to read on the beach or poolside this summer, look no further! Best Friend For Hire is the story of spunky Jessie DeSalvo, a woman who loses her job instead of getting the promotion that she was working towards. She retreats to her childhood town in order to figure out what her next move should be and accidentally becomes a best friend for hire! I loved the character of Jessie, and since I read this book right before I actually lost my own job, I could relate to her in so many ways! I also loved her larger-than-life Italian-American family. The scenes with them in it were definitely among my favourites.

An uplifting, funny story about finding oneself among the chaos, this was exactly the fun yet thoughtful read that I was looking to immerse myself in this summer. If you're a fan of women's fiction and humour, don't wait- pick up Best Friend For Hire right away!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: "My Sister's Bones" by Nuala Ellwood

Kate Rafter, an investigative reporter, has spent her whole life trying to escape the small town that she grew up in. When her mother dies she finds herself returning to Herne Bay, the place that she's tried so hard not to return to, in order to clear up her mother's affairs. Her sister, Sally, who has never left the small town, is unable to help Kate. Drowning herself in alcohol while trying to deal with tragedy of her own, Sally is shut off from Kate and her pain.

When Kate starts realizing that there is something not quite right about the neighbors next door, she tries to convince her sister and her sister's husband to check in to it, but they both brush her off, blaming Kate's time in war zones and possible post-traumatic stress. Is Kate out of her mind or is there something more sinister lurking beneath the surface of the neighbors next door?

I thoroughly enjoyed this work of psychological fiction. Fans of the unreliable narrator technique used in The Girl on The Train and The Woman in Cabin 10 will enjoy this story about one woman and her battle against her own mind. I personally enjoyed the twists and turns, and alternated between being convinced that Kate was experiencing post-traumatic stress and that there was indeed something going on with her neighbor.

Kate, a strong character, was difficult to empathize with at first since she had built a hard shell around herself and this is evident from the beginning. As she slowly reveals her soft side we as readers become more enamored with her and become sympathetic to her plight.

While the pacing of this story was a little slow to start with, the second half of the book picks up and I was engrossed! It was definitely worth hanging in through the first half for.

My Sister's Bones is a worthy debut from author Nuala Ellwood and I'm looking forward to finding out what she has in store for her readers next! My thanks to TLC Book Tours for inviting me along on this tour!