Saturday, April 27, 2019

"The Girl He Used To Know" by Tracey Garvis Graves

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✩

Falling in love is hard enough but falling in love when you're on the spectrum and already have a hard time understanding other people's feelings is a whole different story. Dual time lines tell the story of when Annika and Jonathan first met and the story of when they meet again. It is sweet, tender, heart breaking, heart warming and filled with hope. If you loved "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" you'll likely enjoy this one as well.

Ugly Cry Potential: Medium
Character Development: Very Good
Unputdownable-ness: Medium
Originality: High
Quality of Writing: High
Intellectual Depth: Medium

Monday, April 22, 2019

"Daisy Jones & The Six" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Told in interview style, this novel tells the behind the scenes story of a fictional band and their rise to epic greatness. Taylor Jenkins Reid manages to transport us to the seventies and give us a fly-on-the-wall perspective of what it was like to be in a rock band during that time. It's sure to get you thinking about your own relationships and what kind of people you should have in your life as well as what kind of a person you'd like to be in someone else's life. Amazing character development will have you continuously forgetting that this is a fictional story. I kept expecting to be able to go online and listen to the songs they were creating. FYI - there is a Spotify playlist based on the book! Be sure to cue it up for some background music while you're reading.

Ugly Cry Potential: Low
Character Development: Fantastic!
Unputdownable-ness: Medium-High
Originality: High
Quality of Writing: High

Monday, April 15, 2019

"The Overdue Life of Amy Byler" by Kelly Harms

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✩

I laughed, I cried, I avoided doing some cleaning - all in all this book is a win. Amy Byler has been a single working mom since her husband left her and her two children 3 years ago. Imagine her surprise when he comes back filled with regret and wants to be part of their lives again. After much coercing Amy decides to give him a chance to reconnect with the kids while she goes to a conference in New York that turns into a full on "momspringa". Don't know what a "momspringa" is? Read the book - you'll want to go on one of your very own. This book is for any mom that has wanted to get away from it all for a few days. So's for any mom. 

LOL'd: Yes!
Ugly Cry Potential: Medium (you might be able to get away with this one in public if you don't mind a few sideways glances)
Unputdownable-ness: Medium-high
Perfect for: Any mom
Similar to: "I'm Fine and Neither are You" by Camille Pagan

Thank you to Kelly Harms and the #tallpoppywriters for letting me read an advance copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

"Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors" by Sonali Dev

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved this book SO much! However, just as in the story, it wasn't love at first sight. I was offered an advance reader copy and it took me a few days to decide if I wanted to read it. Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" has long been my favorite book of all time. How could a re-telling possibly live up to my expectations? I figured I would be constantly comparing it to the original and how could it come close? It sounded so different though that I was intrigued. Set in the modern day, an Indian Immigrant family and a gender flip for the Darcy/Elizabeth Bennet characters? My curiosity got the best of me and I jumped in. I immediately got sucked into the multi-layered story. The character development was fantastic. Trisha Raje has a huge family but each of them are richly developed to be uniquely different. I found myself sitting in traffic and wondering what they were doing - always the sign of a good book! It was different enough from the original that I wasn't comparing the two and I loved the nods to the original including a few cleverly placed quotes and the characters' names. Add to that the mouth watering food descriptions and you've got a big winner. ALL of the stars!!

Ugly Cry Potential: Low
Character Development: Fantastic! 
Learned about other cultures: Yes!
Food Descriptions: Mouth-watering
Unputdownable-ness: High

Thank you so much to Sonali Dev and the #tallpoppywriters for allowing me to read an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

"Lilac Girls" by Martha Hall Kelly

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Lilac Girls" and I got off to a rocky start. I got a few chapters in and the subject matter of one of the story lines was so difficult that I was having an extremely hard time with it and almost quit reading it. I have so many books on my "To Be Read" list that I couldn't get behind spending the next week or so on a story that showed first hand the darkest sides of the war and of humanity. I spoke to a friend that had already finished the book and she encouraged me to keep going. I dove back in and skipped the few pages that I was hung up on and continued on and fell in love with it. There are 3 story lines: 1) Caroline is based on a real person that lived in New York and worked tirelessly to send supplies to French children orphaned during the war as well as to help the Rabbits (a group of Polish women that were experimented on while in a concentration camp). 2) Kasia is a young Polish woman who is sent to Ravensbruck, a notorious concentration camp and 3) Herta who is also based on a real person who was a German doctor at Ravensbruck. While the subject matter is obviously difficult, once I got past that one section I found each story line to be engrossing and not as heavy as "The Nightingale" and "All the Light We Cannot See".