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Thursday, August 11, 2022

The Making Of Her: A Novel by Bernadette Jiwa

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

 

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

An unforgettable debut novel about family secrets, falling apart, and coming together.

Dublin 1996. Joan Egan lives an enviable life. She and her husband, Martin, and daughter, Carmel, are thriving in Dublin at the dawn of an economic boom. But everything changes when Joan receives a letter from Emma, the daughter who she and Martin gave up for adoption thirty years before, asking for a life-or-death favor.

While Joan grapples with the guilt over giving up her baby long ago, she must confront her present as the cracks in her marriage become impossible to ignore and simmering tension with Carmel boils over. Meanwhile, Carmel and Emma must come to terms with the perceived sins of their mother, to imagine a future for their family before it is too late.

Spanning the nineties and the sixties, with Dublin as its backdrop, The Making of Her is the tender and page-turning story of marriage, motherhood, a culture that would not allow a woman to find true happiness--and her journey to finally claim it.

my thoughts:

The Making Of Her by Bernadette Jiwa is a real gem of a novel. Heartbreaking, engaging, and riveting - three words that describe this unputdownable story.  And even then, I feel like it's not enough to just describe this story - you need to read it for yourself to truly experience it. This is one book that you will savor as you read and then think about it weeks after you've put it down. All in all, it's just a damn good read. 

Jiwa has captured Dublin so beautifully, that you can smell, taste, and breathe in the city. I just loved reading all about it. And the story itself, explores motherhood, societal issues, and marriage in such an open and honest manner - it's refreshing and fascinating. The characters are relatable, unlikeable, and just raw with their personalities, choices, and lives - it's intriguing. The Making Of Her is just such a wonderful story. I couldn't help but take my time with it - I didn't want it to end! Truly an excellent reading experience!

I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - check out Bernadette Jiwa's debut novel, The Making Of Her, ASAP - you will fall in deep with it!



Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

You're Invited: A Novel by Amanda Jayatissa

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
 

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

What could be worse than your ex-boyfriend marrying your childhood best friend? Getting accused of her murder…

From the author of My Sweet Girl comes a dangerously addictive new thriller about a lavish Sri Lankan wedding celebration that not everyone will survive.


When Amaya is invited to Kaavi’s over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, she is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost.

But as the weeklong wedding celebrations begin and rumors about Amaya’s past begin to swirl, she can’t help but feel like she also has a target on her back. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, all evidence points to Amaya.

However, nothing is as it seems as Jayatissa expertly unravels that each wedding guest has their own dark secret and agenda, and Amaya may not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after…

my thoughts:

Riveting, shocking, thrilling, and unputdownable. You're Invited by Amanda Jayatissa is a rollercoaster read that you will LOVE spending every second with. I know that I enjoyed getting to know Amaya and trying to figure out what happened to Kaavi and who is behind it all. Talk about a suspenseful story!

Amaya and Kaavi have been best fiends since they were kids. They had a falling out five years ago, so imagine how surprised Amaya is to receive a wedding invitation to Kaavi's wedding. Oh, and Amaya is shocked as well. Why? Well, turns out her ex-BFF is about to marry her very own ex-BF. Say what? Yep, Kaavi is engaged to be married to Spencer - Amaya's ex. Talk about a slap in the face. So, Amaya heads off to Sri Lanka to stop the wedding. Except, when she arrives she finds out that no one was expecting her. Seems like that the invitation she received was not from Kaavi and that Kaavi is now missing. Whoa! Talk about receiving one shock after another. 

Jayatissa has written an amazing story that captivates and intrigues - a broken friendship, a missing bride, a possible murder. What more could you ask for? How about unlikeable characters that you just can't help but get invested in and a story chock full of mystery, twists and turns that you can't stop thinking about. Plus, the background setting of Sri Lanka - how exciting! You're Invited is a terrific story that you will fall in deep with. Definitely check it out ASAP!



Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Stay Awake: A Novel by Megan Goldin

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
 

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.


Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.

In the vein of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Memento, Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that plays with memory and murder. 

my thoughts:

Wow! What a thrilling and suspense-filled story! I was hooked right from the start and would not put this book down for anything. I had to find out what would happen next and whodunit. Stay Awake by Megan Goldin was a mesmerizing and exciting read - I absolutely LOVED it to bits!! What a fantastic story!!

Liv wakes up outside her home and finds a stranger at the door. Say what? Yep, someone else is living in her home and turfs her out. Shocked and confused, she automatically reaches for her phone to find out what is going on. Except, she doesn't have her phone. In fact, all she has on her is a bloody knife and the words "STAY AWAKE" scrawled on her hands. Hmm....looks like Liv is about to get a rude awakening. And, that is all I will write about this terrific story filled with shocking twists and turns. You must read it for yourself to find out what happened to Liv - whoa!

Goldin has written a smart and compelling story that makes for quite a wild and adventurous read. The characters are unreliable, flawed, and so much fun to read about. And their story is just riveting. Talk about an unputdownable book!

I would happily recommend Stay Awake to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE the thrills and suspense!! Check it out ASAP!!



Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, August 8, 2022

Ben and Beatriz: A Novel by Katalina Gamarra

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
 

about book:

Which of his bad qualities did she fall for first?

Harvard senior Beatriz Herrera does not have a post-graduation plan. What she does have is a shaved head, a sharp tongue, political views that skew so far left she’s this close to eating the rich, and deeply rooted trauma from the results of the 2016 election.

Still, she would do anything for her sweet, opposite-from-her-in-every-way prima, Hero. Even if it means watching Hero and her boyfriend, Claudio, make googly eyes at each other all spring break. And even if it means spending that week at the Cape Cod mansion of Claudio's best friend and Beatriz's worst nightmare: arrogantly attractive playboy Ben Montgomery. Ben is everything Beatriz can’t stand: he’s white, he’s rich, his taste in literature is the embodiment of toxic masculinity, he’s already got a post-grad job lined up in Boston’s Financial District (with a cushy loft that's paid for, of course), and he’s a walking reminder of the steamy night they spent together four years ago, during their very first week of college. A night that cemented her disdain toward him forever—not that she plans on telling him why.

When a night of drinking games takes a terrifying turn, Ben and Beatriz are forced to put aside their dislike for each other to save someone’s life. What follows--over the course of several months--is an unraveling, as both of them learn how wrong they've been about the other, and a rebuilding of something new and surprisingly tender. But does a country so bitterly divided have space for this kind of love story?

my thoughts:

What a clever and fun retelling of Shakespeare's, Much Ado About Nothing! I just LOVED Katalina Gamarra's new novel, Ben and Beatriz! Talk about a smart and modern story!

Ben and Beatriz are both students at Harvard. She's queer, strong, and independent; whilst Ben is a privileged playboy. They hooked up freshman year, but that was ages ago and let's just say they aren't fans of each other. Except, now they are forced to spend their spring break together. Turns out Hero, Beatriz's most favorite person in the world, is dating Claudio, Ben's BFF. Ugh. So, yep, the foursome will be wiling away their spring break days at Ben's Cape Cod mansion. Talk about a nightmare turned into reality. Or at least, that is how Beatriz views the trip. Ben isn't too thrilled either. However, the more time they spend verbally sparring with one another, the more the sparks between seem to fly. Yep, turns out that opposites most definitely attract and maybe spring break won't be as awful as Beatriz first thought it would be.

Gamarra has written a terrific rendition of one of Shakespeare's beloved plays. There is romance and strife throughout the story that will make you smile, cringe, cry, and laugh. The characters are relatable, unlikeable, and flawed. And, the story itself is unputdownable. Ben and Beatriz is an entertaining and engaging story that will give you all the feels on a rainy summer day. I truly enjoyed every minute I spend with this book! What a treat!

I'd happily recommend Ben and Beatriz to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - check it out!



Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

The Secret of Bow Lane: A Below Stairs Mystery by Jennifer Ashley

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)


about book: (summary from Goodreads)

A stranger who appears on Kat's doorstep turns out to be one Charlotte Bristow, legal wife of Joe Bristow, the man Kat once believed herself married to—who she thought died at sea twelve years ago. Kat is jolted by Charlotte’s claims that not only was Joe murdered, but he had amassed a small fortune before he died. Charlotte makes the cook an offer she cannot refuse—if Kat can discover the identity of Joe's murderer, Charlotte will give her a share of the fortune Joe left behind. 

With the help of Daniel McAdam, her attractive and charismatic confidante, Kat plunges into her own past to investigate. When it becomes apparent that the case of Joe’s death goes far deeper than simple, opportunistic theft, Kat and Daniel's relationship is put to the test, and Kat herself comes under scrutiny as her connection to Joe is uncovered. She must race to catch the real killer before she loses her job and possibly her life.

my thoughts:

The Secret Of Bow Lane by Jennifer Ashley is the sixth book in her popular series, A Below Stairs Mystery - and it is fantastic! I loved getting to know Kat and Daniel - what a dynamic duo! Kat is a cook who solves crimes with the help of her confidante, Daniel. In this latest installment, Kat is confronted by her past in the form of Charlotte Bristow - she's the legal wife of the man Kat thought she was married to and who fathered her child. Yep, DRAMA! Talk about uncomfortable truths and conversations, right? Kat was under the impression that her 'husband' had died several years ago, but Charlotte is now telling her that he was recently murdered. She wants Kat to find the killer and if successful, she will share her inheritance with Kat. Whoa! So, now Kat must dig deep into her past and try to figure out what happened, and she will need the help of Daniel to get through it all. Talk about putting your relationship to the test, eh? Will Kat and Daniel survive this new case? Will their romance remain intact once the killer has been caught? Yikes! So much is at stake...will Kat survive it all? 

Ashley has written a terrific story that makes the perfect addition to her series. It's chock full of drama and mystery. You can't help but get caught up with the story - it's just soooo good! The Secret of Bow Lane is a must-read for fans of the series and for anyone looking to get lost in a delicious cozy mystery - what a treat!


Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!