This is Me

Sometimes I have a hard time expressing myself. I used to escape into the world of writing and reading when I was younger. I still read often and I’d like to share my thoughts on what I’m reading. I go a little crazy when it comes to getting myself books to read. Stay tuned for more from me and reviews on books I am reading.

 

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They Don’t Always Stay Silent (4 Stars)

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The Silent Girls by Dylan Young book number one in the Detective Anna Gwynne series. There are crimes in this book that DI Gwynne is working on. The first one is trying to get a convicted con, Hector Shaw, to admit to another crime and the second is reviewing an old case that could have repercussions on a current case. Young’s attention to detail is pretty good. I would put this one in a thriller category at times and then other times I was trying to solve the mystery like a whodunnit. Gwynne is a strong female lead which is often times not what you get with a male writer. I would recommend this book to others but it did take me a little bit of time to get into. The beginning of the book was a little slow to me but overall it was definitely a good effort from Young. One of my main problems is no matter what in most books it always seems that something demeaning happens to the female lead. Gwynne is a strong character and does not need these things to happen to her to get a strong foothold in our minds. I look forward to reading Gwynne’s future adventures. I received an egalley of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Husbands Were Not Her Only Gift (4 Stars)

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I have a book hangover from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I finished the book in one sitting. The first time I picked it up I read the first 3 pages and put it down because it did not really appeal to me. I picked it up again last night determined to finish it and that I did! You will be stunned at some of the details in the book. The basis is Monique Grant a writer for Vivant Magazine is given the opportunity to write the autobiography of mega film star Evelyn Hugo. Monique is pretty much a nobody but Evelyn is a star. Throughout the book Evelyn tells her story to Monique, the cold hard truth about her life and her 7 husbands. Monique learns some things from Evelyn during the course of the book that help her in her own life. The story jumps between Monique’s point of view and the point of Evelyn when she is telling her story. The book kept me hooked and up to 2am to finish it. The writing was very good and relatable. The author Taylor Jenkins Reid did a great job making you feel sorry for Evelyn at points and then at other points hating her! I have already recommended it to my friends and it’s been less than 12 hours since I finished it.

The Faraway Brothers – A Story of the American Dream

What is the American Dream? It’s different for each person but among those things is freedom and not worrying about getting shot or harmed in different ways. In The Far Away Brothers author Lauren Markham introduces us to twins, Ernesto and Raul, that are searching for freedom that they never had while in their home country of El Salvador. The boys leave home because they are afraid of being killed, with the help of a coyote which puts their rural farming family in massive debt. The boys end up in the United States but it is harder than they thought. They join their older brother after being detained in Texas after being caught by border patrol. The actual story is that of suffering through to try to obtain the American Dream while your family back home is suffering themselves with the burden of your debt. The boys are given many opportunities and end up attending Oakland International High School in California. There they meet the author who tells their story, she works at the school. She helps them with many issues and they are given many opportunities. The boys suffer from anxiety and depression and can’t quite cut it at school but feel they need to stay.

The details in the book draw you in so much that I was up until 2am on 2 different night reading the book. Their struggles could be the struggles of constant people. Their struggles are the struggles of real people with the changing political climate and racism running rampant in this country. This book was extensively researched and the details themselves sometimes upset me very much to know this is really happening. I enjoyed the book a great deal and wanted to thank Ms. Markham for using a real life migrant story to put things into better focus for me. The story continues for the Flores boys. I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com for an honest review.

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**Book Review – The Promise Between Us (4.5 Stars *)**

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“The Promise Between Us” by Barbara Claypole White is a glimpse into the world of a woman suffering from what she would later find out was postpartum OCD. Katie did not know why she was having such terrible thoughts about her baby, Maisie, dying and her being the cause of it. She was to the point of not functioning any longer. She disappeared from her home and her family, believing it was the only way that she could protect her family. Almost 10 years later, she is face to face with her daughter, but Maisie does not know who she is. Katie sees that Maisie is facing some of the same problems that she did back then. Katie must make the decision to face her past and all those bad thoughts for the sake of her daughter. Maisie has a group of people that all love her but must work together to determine the best course of action for her.

In addition the supporting cast included; Jake – Maisie’s godfather also known as Uncle J. He was an individual of his very own nature. Delaney – Katie’s sister and caretaker through much of her adult life. Lilah Rose – Maisie’s stepmother. Ben – Katie’s steelworking art friend. Callum – Maisie’s father.

Katie is a wise but broken woman who has had to overcome so much in her years to even be able to function. Giving up your family is one of the worst things you would have to do in your life but she did it because she was selfless and did not want to hurt them. I felt sad for Katie through more than half of the book. You will fall in love with Maisie. She is a strong little girl who wants nothing more than to protect her dad. Callum is Katie’s ex husband and Maisie’s father. For more than half of the book I hated parts of this man, even though everything he did was to protect Maisie. I was pulled into this book and could not put it down. I kept wanting to keep going even though I should have went to bed. I ended up finishing this book at 5:30am which threw off my whole day but was well worth it. The writing was very well done and put you in the middle of the thoughts of someone with obsessive compulsive disorder. I know I would not be able to function within this mental disorder. I look forward to another one by Barbara Claypole White.

Book Review – Grist Mill Road by Christopher J Yates (3 Stars ***)

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Christopher Yates’s “Grist Mill Road”, shows some of the true differences between male and female writers. The details are more gruesome than I could have written myself and make you wince a bit. I could picture what was happening that August day in 1982 and I did not like it. The story jumps back and forth between 1982 and 2008.

In the summer of 1982, Matthew and Patch were best friends. They lived in Roseborn and played in the woods like boys would do. Patch was smaller and somewhat of a nerd. Matthew was a larger kid, a year older than the other kids, and came from a broken home with an abusive father. Everything changed one fateful day in August when a Matthew invited Hannah into the woods with them. He sent Patch away so he could have some alone time. When he came back he came back to a gorey scene that changed everyone’s lives forever.

Fast forward to 2008, Patch and Hannah are married. No one has heard from Matthew in decades until he mysteriously shows up. Patch seems to be losing it and everyone is keeping secrets from one another. The book is separated into 3 parts, telling the story from each of the 3. I had to finish this book, even though I hated most of what was happening. You blame Matthew, then a Patch, then Hannah. You don’t know what hits you until the very end when they all come face to face, kind of. You might shed a tear from frustration. The character of Hannah was overdone and sort of annoying. Patch was very disturbed and so was Matthew. It’s worth a read but I would not read it again nor would I buy it. My husband asked me what this one was about and I told him he did not want to hear about it.

I received an egalley ARC of this from a Goodreads giveaway for an honest review.

 

Book Review – The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen (4.5 Stars*)

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The Wife Between Us introduces us to a sweet twenty something preschool teacher named Nellie. She is completely in love and about to marry the love of her life. There’s only one thing that might stand in the way of their happy ever after, Richard’s ex-wife, Vanessa, who appears to be stalking Nellie. She doesn’t plan on letting Richard marry Nellie. Both women have secrets in their past that come from and center in different parts of the book. You may think you know what’s going on during different parts of the book, but you really do not. All control the characters think they have comes into question in different parts. There were so many twists and turns that I did not see coming. I read this book in 2 days. You must read until the very last page of the book. The twists do not end until the very last page. The authors did a great job and I would recommend this to anyone. It killed me to have to put this down when I had to get some sleep.

Book Review – The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce (3.5 Stars)

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This one is a hard one to write. “The Music Shop” took me a few days to read. It is a love story and a story of trying to save vinyl. The writing was very well done but it was not really my type of book. I gave it the chance because it is always good to try something new. I read it until the end because I wanted to know what happened with Isle and Frank’s unrequited love. Would I read it again? No. Isle Brauchmann was a mystery in gloves and a green coat. The members of Unity Street were a community just trying to stay in business with a developer buying out businesses. The book spans decades to show you the strength of failing and to see if love can bring you back from it. I received an egalley ARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

 

His Outback Nanny

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Jemima Smythe is a former international model. Her passion is teaching and she moved back home to make that a reality. The small town rumor mills start turning and she does not get the teaching job she wanted. She moved back home because she wanted to leave behind the hustle and bustle of a big city. She was about to get mire than she bargained for. Ned McCormack is a widower, with 3 children that moved back to his family’s old farm where he grew up that was in disrepair. Life on the farm was hard and he needed money to help with the operation of the farm and hopes of spending more time with his children. She is the younger sister of one of Ned’s friends from high school. They both can help each other achieve their goals with a business arrangement.

“His Outback Nanny” was an easy read for me. As i read I could see this book as a movie on the Hallmark channel. This is something to read if you enjoy a fast read that keeps you reading until the end. When I read there were parts where I wanted to yell at the characters that they weren’t making the right decisions. I’m a hopeless romantic at times so I hoped for a good outcome at the end of the book. A love story that I’d recommend to others. I wanted to make sure things ended the way that I wanted them to. I received an advanced egalley from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What’s in a Name? ***

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“The Woman with Two Names” is a story of a Popstar, Yaya, who is the public image of a young Japanese woman with an inner turmoil. Yayoi is the young woman behind Yaya. She has grown to hate her persona and her life. She is looking to escape an abusive marriage and feels like she can do so on her visit to New Zealand for a video shoot. She manages to escape in New Zealand with a man named Bill. He begrudgingly takes her in. Yayoi’s husband Nori will stop at nothing to get her and take her back to Tokyo with him.

I wanted to love this book after I read the synopsis. I went in with my expectations too high. I was able to read the book but it feels like in some places that the author loses point of view. The characters are much more relatable near the end of the book. The conclusion could have been a little longer. There were numerous words in the book that were of a different language. The author included a glossary in the back of the book with a meaning of the words in English. I think the glossary is a little bit of a waste because I did not flip to the back of the book.

I received an egalley of this book from Hidden Gems in exchange for an honest review.

Not So Sweet (*** Stars)

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“Sweet Hollow Women” by Holly Tierney-Bedord is a story that jumps back and forth in time to tell the tale of the lives of four different generations of women in the same family. Each woman even more like her mother than she thinks. The youngest of the females is 15 year old Carasine Busey. She looks at her life and wonders how she can separate her life from that of her current family. Sweet Hollow is the town that the women are from and Carasine wants more than anything to go back there to her old life.

Carasine was a victim of her surroundings. She only knew what she was taught. When we meet her there is a 15 year old smoking cigarettes and she is nearly as ignorant as her mother, Rhonda. They live in a small duplex in Memphis and there are way too many kids for such a small place. The description of their former home in a trailer with a hole in the roof covered by a tarp will tell you what kind of people they were. Carasine seems to be on par with becoming just like Rhonda. Rhonda is about as obnoxious as they come and doesn’t care anything about any of her handful of kids.

Carasine is forced to live with her great grandparents when the family moves back to Sweet Hollow. She is given a rare chance to change who she is. I read about 100 pages of the book then went forward and only read the parts about Carasine. I then decided to go back 2 days later and actually finish the book. It was an easy read but I did not like most characters. There was effort on the author’s part but this wasn’t for me.

I received an Advanced egalley of this book from Hidden Gems.