Friday, May 18, 2018

Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult

Zoe and Max have spent thousands of dollars in trying to conceive a child. After Zoe's most recent miscarriage her life starts to fall apart. She wants to try again but Max does not. They are both heartbroken and their marriage falls apart.

Zoe meets someone new and discovers that she is attracted to women. Zoe and her new partner,  Vanessa want to have a child. They want to use the last of the embryo's that Zoe and Max have at the fertility clinic. Max is not in favor of this and a legal battle ensues over the custody of the embryo's.

Sing you Home is told in typical Picoult fashion from the perspective of our main characters, Zoe, Max and Vanessa. This gives you insight into what each character is going through and feeling. The book had a great plot line and is well written. It isn't my most favorite book of her's as it tends to be a bit repetitive and long winded. There is a CD that accompanies the book however since I read an e-book version, I was not privy to it but I don't feel as though I missed out on anything in particular. 

If you are not comfortable with homosexually or have issues with gay rights this book might not be for you. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
Release Date: June 26, 2018

I love Emily Giffin's writing. She is amongst a small number of authors whose books I pick up without having any idea what it's about. I have that much faith - that the book will be good regardless of what topic is covered.

All We Ever Wanted is a spectacular novel and a page turner. This might be one of Giffin's best novels to date. This book is quite different from her usual chick-lit. It tackles social media in this day and age. How teens and parents use it differently and the ramifications of several mistakes that can lead to big consequences. Race and social class play a very important role in showing how society continues to use them as dividing forces. This is a very different direction for Giffin but I love it and am looking forward to seeing what other direction her writing takes. 

The novel is told from multiple points of view. Each character and voice is distinct. The three main characters are, Nina, Tom and Lyla. Lyla is 15 years old and our victim in the story. Tom is Lyla's, father and a hard working single father. Nina is the quintessential suburban mom. 

The actions of Nina's son, Fitch brings the lives of these characters together.  A scandalous photograph goes viral altering perceptions and irrevocably changing relationships and  family dynamics. Be prepared to be entertained and ride a roller coaster of emotion. 
This is one read you won't want $to miss this year.

* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Boob Job: Confessions of a Professional Bra Fitter by Natalee Woods

Boob Job: Confessions of a Professional Bra Fitter
Expected Publication Date: July 24th  

Natalee's Wood is a professional bra fitter. She works for a well known retail outlet. She's been fitting bars for over a decade but it's less about the boobs and more about the people. She forges relationships with many of the people who she assists. Some are fleeting others are long standing.  Some are more memorable than others.

Be prepared to laugh and if you've worked retail - you'll easily recall your favorite and least favorite moments in the industry. More often than now our body images are tied to our breasts and something as simple as the perfect bra size can up one's spirits. Our breasts define as a women and many of us have complex relationships with them. I myself have gone from loathing them to loving them.

Go out get your bra fitted and pick up a copy of this super fast, easy, entertaining

* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels Hardcover by Joe Hill

Strange Weather is Joe Hill's newest collection of short stories. Four to be exact. They are each quite different from one another. Each one is rather unique and give you a pause for thought.

 Snapshot is about memory, about the loss of memories being stolen via ,  The Phoenician.

Loaded deals with gun violence. It is the most symbolic of the three.  

Atlas is a different take on a U.F.O

Rain is post apocalyptic and about life before/during/after the deadly rain the falls from the sky.

Strange Weather is an excellent collection and not one you will want to miss out on. It's a fast, easy read. I strongly recommend you read the afterwords as it gives loads of insight into Hills writings.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Anna, hits books stores, April 10th

* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Maggie Alderman had always desired a connection between her estranged daughter and herself. The opportunity to reconnect with her daughter, Anna arises after the death of Anna's father. Anna moves into Maggie and Noah's home (Maggie's husband) and things take a downward turn rather quickly.

Anna is manipulative and in an effort to keep her daughter happy, Maggie gives in. The household is at odds with one another and then --- Anna is murdered. Noah is the prime suspect, he is arrested and put on trial. Noah is a prominent and well liked doctor in the community and the crime surprises all especially as the details are revealed during the course of the trail. Noah holds strongly to his innocence and refuses to budge. He would rather be found guilty than plead guilty for a crime he didn't commit.

After Anna is told in the alternating voices of Maggie and Noah. They switch back and forth between the present and the past. The twists and turns keep you up later than you anticipate but then ... you reach the conclusion and it's just all too far fetched. Like something you'd see on a cheesy lifetime movie. It's all a bit to unrealistic for me but I found that I didn't really mind because overall I enjoyed the book and was entertained. 

My favorite part of the novel was the courtroom drama, my least favorite the twist ... 

Monday, March 26, 2018

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Anna Fox is a recluse, an agraphob and an alcoholic. She spends her days/nights watching TV, looking out her window at her neighbors and chatting online.

When her newest neighbors move in her life takes an interesting turn after she witnesses a  horrible event take place.  She is made to question did she in fact witness such act or imagine it. To make matters worse no one believes her and as things continue to become more and more suspect she questions herself further.

This book was a bit of a slow start for me and can be rather confusing until you get it all straightened out in your head. Anna isn't always a likable character but that is also one of my favorite things some authors do because they make them more "real".

The set up --- the first half of the novel is mediocre at best but then second half more than makes up for it with all  the twists, turns and reveals.

 I found, that I was by far more interested in the Anna of before than the present day.  I think there is a bigger and better story to be told there. I wouldn't rule this book out as a read but be prepared for a bit of a struggle before you can get to the good stuff.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is an excellent writer and her memoir is brutally honest in regards to her struggles with her weight and how society sees people who don't fit into what society in general deems as beautiful.

She was gang raped at a tender age by someone she trusted and genuinely liked which has scared her deeply. Roxanne gives insight into what it is like to be a larger person, from the stares you receive from people, challenges in clothes shopping,  to not being able to sit with comfort in a chair that most of us sit in without a second thought.

Roxane speaks from the heart and sometimes her words make you uncomfortable. If you are like me and become emotional from the pain others feel, expect to be emotionally exhausted after this read.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Name Is Venus Black by Heather Lloyd

Venus Black is only 13 years old. She is the "perfect" student and dreams of becoming an astronaut but her dreams vanish on the night she commits a violent crime. The community is shocked, the media is hungry for the story.  Venus clams up, refuses to discuss the crime but is quick to blame her mother, fracturing an unstable relationship.

She is locked up and labeled a violent offender. Her biggest worry is being beat up - that is until her 7 year old brother, special needs brother, Leo goes missing.

5 years pass, Leo is still missing, Venus has no relationship with her mother and she is being released from prison. In an attempt to forget her life and move she obtains a fake id, new identity and moves from Washington to California. Venus makes it her mission to figure out what happened to Leo  find him and bring him back home.

It's nearly impossible to believe that this is Heather Lloyd's debut novel. Her story line is engrossing, her character development is spot on and the way her story flows from Venus to Leo's in streamless. Each character created by Lloyd contributes to the story in a perfect manner (no filler characters here!).

This is an epic read that will tug at your heart strings!

* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Indecent by Corinne Sullivan

Imogene Abney has long been obsessed with the peculiar world of elite prep schools.  She's fresh out of college and despite having no teaching experience accepts a position teaching at  Vandenberg School for Boys. 
She is naive, clueless actually and  rather immature making her the perfect prey. She begins an illicit affair with the handsome, charismatic Adam Kipling. A student at the school. She becomes obsessed to the point in which this reader felt uncomfortable and irritated with her. I couldn't decided if I wanted to slap her or hug her.

Her inexperience with the opposite sex shines through and makes your cringe. I actually felt incredibly embarrassed for her actions and then I realized, Imogen is fragile and easily susceptible to the charms of others. Adam is just a young teenager boy who knows he is handsome and uses it to get what he wants until he no longer desires it and discards it (Narcissist, much?). 

Adam lures her in and stared for attention and insecure, Imogene jumps at every opportunity to be with him, regardless of the risks. The relationship is sex fueled. Adam sees her as a conquest as a sexual release but Imogene, poor, poor Imogene  thinks it's a relationship.

However this book is more complex that that --- as you're never quite sure who is taking advantage of whom. It sorta flip, flops back and forth especially since Imagone is an adult and in a position of authority and should know better.
Sullivan's characters are well developed. This is an excellent debut novel but be prepared to feel some second hand embarrassment and indecent if you read it in a public setting! This is a fast read that explores taboo relationships, sex and more sex.

* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk

 The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk
Expected Publication: March 6, 2018 

*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Beauty That Remains is Ashley Woodfolks debut novel. It covers a variety of subject such as death, depression, LGBT and suicide. There is a great deal of grief and loss in this novel. Woodfolk does an exemplary job and expressing the deep and profound emotions that come with the loss of a love, emotion's that one doesn't understand until they have lost someone themselves.

Woodwork can capture emotions. I wanted desperately to love her novel but I struggled to connect with the storylines. There was just way too much going on and I found myself constantly trying to determine which character was telling their story. It took me nearly half the book before I was able to catch the cadence of her writing and the voice of her characters. Once I got past the struggle, I found myself much more involved in their stories and found the book to be more enjoyable.

The characters are Autumn, who's best friend, Octavia passed away in a tragic accident. Autumn struggles with this loss and as a means to heal and cope with the death of her friend, she continues to send her messages, spend the night in her (Octavia's) bedroom and form a bond with her brother.

Logan's ex-boyfriend, Bram is dead. He is full of regrets as his last words to Bram were harsh. He deals with his grief and guilty by consuming alcohol, being self destructive and unkind to his mind and body. Music is both his respite and pain.

Shay's twin sister, Sasha's life was taken too soon as a result of leukemia, leaving Shay "twinless" and alone. She struggles to cope with living her life without taking care of sister and having that constant in her life. Running, kissing and music are her coping mechanisms. Her struggles are further combated with the weakened relationship she has with her mom.

All of these stories are told separately but weave together. They overlap and music becomes the common factor in mending broken hearts.

I personally feel that this book would have been a lot stronger had there been more depth and background into the characters. It fell flat some but not horrible for a debut novel. I would give Woodfolk a second chance because the passion and ability to develop characters it there.

Don' t totally rule this book out, give it some time to tell you it's story and you will find that it is worth your time.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

House Rules (I read it in March of 2010 for the first time) is about a young man with Asperger who is  accused of murder. Jacob is intelligent, fascinated with criminal investigation and forensics. He lacks social skills and fundamental "normal" human emotions. His syndrome makes it easy to point to him as the perpetrator to those who don't really know or understand Jacob and Asperger's. Jacob's Asperger's might land him behind bars and it's up to his mother and lawyer to prove his innocence despite evidence pointing the crime in his direction.

House Rules is written from the perspective of 5 different individuals, which is very common for Picoult's storytelling. The collection of characters vary in interest and together they tell a story. 
I don't have much experience with Asperger's but it appears to be well researched. The trial is a bit long winded and repetitive and I could have done without some of it but I was entertained enough but I don't believe I will be reading this book again.


Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult

Zoe and Max have spent thousands of dollars in trying to conceive a child. After Zoe's most recent miscarriage her life starts to fall ...