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Friday, May 24, 2019

Waisted: A Novel by Randy Susan Meyers

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

In this provocative, wildly entertaining, and compelling novel, seven women enrolled in an extreme weight loss documentary discover self-love and sisterhood as they enact a daring revenge against the exploitative filmmakers.

Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.

Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.

The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.

The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability…until they decide to take matters into their own hands.

my thoughts:

DNF.  Yep, I did not finish this one. The little I read was so disappointing, cliched, and just terribly written. What happened? I was expecting such a great story as so many people seem to be in love with this book. Am I the only one who found it offensive? The stereotyping was just OTT - people are overweight because all they do is eat, eat, eat. Really? Is that the only reason? Oh, and the descriptions of them was just beyond disgusting. This book is completely insensitive to such a sensitive and timely topic. It was basically fat shaming to the nth degree. Talk about a must-miss book. I would definitely not recommend it.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Waisted
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts?

Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

As the days pass, the list of suspects in her disappearance grows. Could it be the recently released man a young Annie misidentified as her mother’s killer? Could it be someone even closer to her?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

my thoughts:

I've read a few of MMW, 's books and have LOVED them.  So, I was thrilled to read her latest, Only Ever Her - especially as it was being touted as a mystery-thriller (which is my new favorite genre to dive into on any day).  A bride-to-be gone missing? C'mon, you know that sounds intriguing. How could I resist, right?

Well, I kind of wish I had resisted. Turns out that Only Ever Her was not my cup of tea. Yep, I was disappointed.  I was expecting a suspenseful drama full of twists and turns and instead got an extremely slow-paced story chock full of a variety of characters giving their perspectives and not much else (and only two were even interesting). And, there was no bride - meaning, where was her perspective? I did enjoy the small town vibes, but that was about it. I feel like the idea was a good one, but it just wasn't as thrilling as I had hoped it would be. It felt rather rushed and just cobbled together in the end. Overall, I do wish I had missed this one.

Oh well, different strokes, right?

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Only Ever Her
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Three Things...

1.
The latest Ruth Ware - OMG!! It comes out later this year (August 6th!) and I am telling you it is a must-read - especially if you are a fan of her work (which I most definitely am).  Her latest story centers on a woman named Rowan who has just taken on the job of nanny for a wealthy family up in Scotland.  The house is located in a secluded area and is a "smart" house.  She'll be taking care of two little girls and a baby - the teen is away at boarding school.  The parents have an architecture business that keeps them BUSY.  Upon Rowan's first day on the job she is informed that the parents are going out of town for nearly two weeks, so she will have to just dive right in and start nannying.  Yep, she barely knows the kids, but what can she do - its her job, right? So, here she goes.  The parents leave and Rowan is left with kids that are nothing like she thought they would be. She was told of how well-behaved they were and what she is experiencing now is anything but.  Yep, these kids are acting up and they are making Rowan's job tough. Plus, she has to deal with a cleaner who dislikes her and a caretaker who is a bit too eager to please her. Hmm...looks like life in Scotland is not going to be an easy one. Oh, and did I mention the "smart" house and its penchant for acting up - locking people out, blasting music, etc..  And, there are noises of footsteps coming from a locked door in Rowan's new bedroom. Yep, things are getting weirder and scarier each day that Rowan remains at the house.  What is she going to do? Who can she trust? And, what about her HUGE secret? Yikes!  By the way, did I mention that we learn all about Rowan and her job via letters she is penning to an attorney.  Seems that this nannying job led to Rowan's arrest -  it seems that one of Rowan's charges died and now she is facing prosecution for their murder. Yep, looks like that new job turned out to be Rowan's worst nightmare. Cripes! Talk about a must-read murder-mystery! Loved it!!

2. 
Three best friends and one unforgettable day.  Rain and Tess are walking to their friend Hank's house.  They take the shortcut they aren't supposed to take.  On the way to Hank's they encounter a stranger in the woods. After that, their lives will never be the same. Fast forward, Rain is now a married and stay-at-home mom. She was a journalist/producer, but has chosen to give up her career and focus on raising her daughter. Except, the news has run a story about a murder - the killing of a killer. Yep, someone has been killing killers and Rain is very interested in that story. A story that makes her think about her past and the man who traumatized her, killed her best friend, Tess, and assaulted her other best friend, Hank.  An even that scarred her physically and mentally.  Except, if Rain goes digging into her past, she knows that she will be opening up herself to a truth she can never escape from.  The truth about what happened to the monster from her past.

What a gripping story! I was hooked from the start - Unger has written an intense, suspenseful mystery that you won't be able to put down. It is so good!!!  I absolutely LOVED this book - getting to know Rain and Hank was such a thrill. Their story was fascinating and thought-provoking. Makes you think about justice and the system we have in place - one where the victims seem to always remain victims. Punishment is never served and the guilty go free. Or in the case of this story, they manage to go free temporarily. Definitely a must-read for fans of Unger - you will LOVE this book!!

3.
Dark and twisty with sprinkles of humor - that is my jam! This book, oh my how I loved it. I laughed and cried and laughed. I could not stop reading and wound up devouring this lovely in one sitting. It is just so damn good. As soon as you start reading, you are in deep and you won't want to let go for anything - not even a cuppa and sweet treat. I'm serious. I made a cuppa and had some cookies near by to dip into whilst I read - well, lets just say they sat untouched. My mind was too busy thinking about the story I was reading to even consider drinking or eating. I was too immersed in the lives of these two sisters and their dysfunctional relationship. One is a nurse and the other designs clothes. They both live at home with their mother.  One is in love with a doctor at the hospital where she works, while the other one is too busy dating to truly fall in love. One is serial killer, who relies on her sister to help her clean up the messes she leaves behind.  Yep, like I mentioned, dark and twisty.  And, oh so funny. Reading this book was such a fun treat. I just loved learning about the two sisters and their relationship - the past they shared, the awful father they had, the unspoken agreement they seemed to keep about never discussing all the death that surrounded them.  Plus, there was the usual sibling rivalry, petty jealousies, and older sister/younger sister dynamics to read all about as well. I'm not even sure what to share about the story, because I don't want to give anything away. It is just sooo good! You have to read it to experience all the deliciousness of this story for yourself. It is seriously that good. I definitely recommend My Sister, The Serial Killer.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Resistance Women: A Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, an enthralling historical saga that recreates the danger, romance, and sacrifice of an era and brings to life one courageous, passionate American—Mildred Fish Harnack—and her circle of women friends who waged a clandestine battle against Hitler in Nazi Berlin.

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work—but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.

As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weitz, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.

For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.

Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

my thoughts:

Gripping historical fiction about real-life women who fought against the Nazi regime - how could I resist? I jumped right in and got lost in Mildred's story - marrying Arvid, relocating to Germany. befriending the intellectuals, and enjoying the new and exciting life that Germany afforded them. Until the rise of Hitler and his Nazi Party became too much to bear.  What's a strong and smart woman like Mildred to do? Resist! Armed with her husband and their new friends, the group find ways to fight against Hitler and the Nazis.  They use their contacts, their positions, and their smarts to gather information for their American contacts- anything to help further the cause of toppling the rise of the Nazi party.  They work hard to keep their true mission a secret and for years they are able to go unnoticed.  And then, they are found out - oh, my!! It is intense and frightening reading about everything this group endures and it is also important.  Learning about these women and their determination to help fight against an evil force is inspiring and enriching. You can't help but cheer them on and get stressed out learning about all of the things they did to get through this time in history, but also to help so many others get through it as well. It is such a fantastic story - it will haunt you for days after.  I just loved it so much!!

The writing was top notch and the research that went into the story was excellent. The details and historical information you learn is fascinating. And these characters - unforgettable!  Talk about historical fiction at its best! I would happily recommend Resistance Women to fans of Chiaverini and fans of historical fiction - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Resistance Women
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Brief Chronicle Of Another Stupid Heartbreak by Adi Alsaid

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Has heartbreak broken her for good?

Dumped by her boyfriend the summer after senior year, teen love and relationship columnist Lu Charles has hit a wall with her writing. The words just won’t come to her like they used to and if she doesn’t find a topic for her column, she’ll lose her gig at hip online magazine Misnomer, and the college scholarship that goes along with it.

Her best friend, Pete, thinks she should write through her own pain, but when Lu overhears another couple planning a precollege breakup just like hers, she becomes convinced that they’re the answer to cracking her writer’s block. And when she meets them—super-practical Iris and cute, sweet Cal—and discovers they’re postponing their breakup until the end of the summer, she has to know more.

Have Cal and Iris prolonged their own misery by staying together, knowing the end is in sight? Or does the secret to figuring out all this love business—and getting over it—lie with them? One thing is certain—if Lu can’t make a breakthrough before summer is over, she can kiss her future goodbye.

From the acclaimed author of Let’s Get Lost and North of Happy comes a touching exploration of love, relationships and the pain of breaking up.

my thoughts:

A sweet YA story about teen angst, falling in love, breaking up, and relationships - what more could I want, right? Talk about the perfect book to fall into on a rainy day.

Brief Chronicle Of Another Stupid Heartbreak follows Lu and Pete - two BFFs getting through the summer days before heading off to college in the Fall. Lu has been dumped and now the words she relies on to get her through life are gone.  Yep, she's a writer. A relationship columnist to be exact. And she has an internship lined up, along with a scholarship - both of which rely heavily on her writing skills. Except, this breakup has not only broken her heart, but its caused writer's block. Ack! What's Lu to do? According to Pete she should write her feelings, but what does Pete know, right? Or at least Lu doesn't agree with him. Instead she decides to write about a couple she has just overheard discussing their pre-college breakup. Yep, seems that high school love ends once summer ends - the summer before college that is. Inspired by this couple, Cal and Iris, Lu finds herself coming up with so many questions and ideas. Will they be able to help her get her writing mojo back? Or will their story cause Lu to take a long look at her own life and relationships? Will this summer turn out to be more than just hot sunny days?

Adi Alsaid has written a funny and engaging story that is such a treat to read. Getting to know Lu and Pete is so much fun. Plus, we get to read all about NYC in the summer - how great is that? I really enjoyed diving into this story and following Lu and Pete as they navigate their last remaining days of freedom before college begins. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Alsaid and anyone looking for their next great YA read - you will fall in love with this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Brief Chronicle 
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!