All Your Perfects…New Book being released July 17 By Colleen Hoover #bookreview #netgalley

📓 All Your Perfects is not your typical women’s fiction, contemporary, romance novel. This is a heartbreaking, unforgettable story with well-written characters, and an impactful message for men and women. 📚

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Title: All Your Perfects

Author: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Atria Books, Simon & Schuster Canada

Expected Publication: July 17, 2018

Page Count: 320

synopsis

Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?“https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38926487-all-your-perfects

My Review

Told from Quinn’s perspective, All Your Perfects, features themes about marriage, and communication. The synopsis is vague, so I’m going to keep my review ambiguous as well.

The chapters flip back and forth between the past (How Quinn and Graham met and fell in love) and present (7 years into their marriage). I read the “past” chapters with a smile on my face, happy that these two have found each other. Then, the next chapter would be in the present where their entire marriage is in jeopardy, and I felt my heart aching for them.

Quinn and Graham’s characters are well-balanced, dynamic, relatable. I fell in love with Quinn and Graham.

“If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.”

As a married person I deeply appreciate how Hoover weaves a story showing how hard marriage is. There are many ways to derail a marriage, and it takes a lot of work to keep things on track.

 I don’t often cry while reading a book, yet this gripping narrative made me shed tears numerous times.

When I saw the cover I rolled my eyes thinking this would be a cheesy romance novel. I have a new-found respect for Hoover and can’t wait to read more of her work.

Poignant, emotional, beautiful, All Your Perfects, is a superb summer read. Highly recommend! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

The quotes above are from an advanced review copy and are subject to change upon publication.

About the author.jpg

“International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA and Women’s Fiction.

Still doesn’t know the difference between affect/effect, further/farther, or if the oxford comma is in or out.

If you want to follow me, my username is @colleenhoover pretty much everywhere except my email, which is colleenhooverbooks@gmail.com

Founder of www.thebookwormbox.com charity. We’ve donated over one million dollars to various charities. Give us your money so we can donate even more”

https://www.colleenhoover.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5430144.Colleen_Hoover

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New Mystery/Thriller – Her Pretty Face…Book Review #spoilerfree #HerPrettyFace #Netgalley

📓 Her Pretty Face is a character-driven, suburban thriller that reminded me of Paul Bernado and Karla Homolka’s Canadian murder case.. 📚 😌

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Title: Her Pretty Face

Author: Robyn Harding

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Date published: July 10, 2018

Page Count: 352

synopsis

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart.

Because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunik. And she’s a murderer.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?”

My Review

Her Pretty Face, which takes place in Seattle, is about marriage, parenting, friendship, loyalty, secrets, and betrayal. How well do you think you know your spouse? Family? Friends? If you found out they did something horrible many years ago, could you forgive them? Would you keep their secrets?

Jason and Frances’s marriage has become mundane. Frances doesn’t have any friends, and is insecure about her weight. She’s a stay-at-home mom focused on her family. Jason is a workaholic, yet attentive husband and father. Their son, Marcus, diagnosed with ADHD and Oppositional Defiance Disorder, is adjusting to his first year at private school, Forrester Academy.

Kate and Robert have two kids, Daisy and Charles. Charles is also new at Forrester. Kate and Frances bond over their hatred towards the snobby Forrester moms. Fourteen year old Daisy feels like her mother doesn’t love her, and her insecurities get her into a lot of trouble.

DJ is a little boy who has his whole world come crumbling down around him after his sister’s raped, tortured, and killed.

Her Pretty Face, told from Frances, Daisy, and DJ’s perspectives, flips back and forth between THEN and NOW. Thankfully, each chapter clearly provides the perspective and time period.

Daisy, Frances, and Kate are well-written, interesting characters. I can relate to them, and understand their motivations. DJ, Jason, Robert, Marcus, and Charles, are bland, one-dimensional characters. My favourite characters are Daisy and “Amber”. They are intriguing, complicated, well-rounded characters.

I did not like the constant comments of weight insecurities. It’s mentioned MANY times that Frances, DJ, and Marcus all had weight problems that made them “invisible”. From what I remember, it’s specified that Frances is five foot six inches and has an extra twenty pounds? I mean…come on. An extra twenty pounds don’t make her “hefty” or a “fat girl”. There is also inconsistency with describing Marcus. Throughout the novel he’s described as overweight, yet at the end of the book he’s suddenly “gangly”.

Also, why is it mentioned multiple times that Daisy’s vegan friend was pale? She’s described as ghostly. “Pale, vegan Mia was there…” “Mia and the rosy-cheeked carnivore”. I know a lot of vegans, and I don’t find them any more pale than meat-eaters LOL This was ludicrous and I have absolutely no idea why it’s in the story.

🌟🌟 It was OK.

Her Pretty Face is a quick read centered around a simple mystery – Did Frances or Kate kill Courtney? This is a brand new release that will make a great summer read.

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

About the author.jpg

Robyn Harding is the author several books including international bestseller, The Party. She’s married with two kids, and lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/344233.Robyn_Harding

To learn more about Robyn’s books visit: http://www.robynharding.com

Call Me By Your Name…Book Review

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Title: Call Me By Your Name

Author: André Aciman

Genre: LGBT, Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Picador

Date published: January 2008 (first published January 2007)

Page Count: 248

synopsis

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.  During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. André Aciman’s critically acclaimed debut novel is a frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion.

My Review

Elio is a Jewish 17-year-old staying at his family’s summer-house in Italy. Oliver, a jewish 24-year-old, American academic, stays at their home for free so he can finish his manuscript, and in return he helps Elio’s father organize his literary work.

The setting is my favourite part of this book. Aciman uses beautiful prose to describe Europe in a way that I feel like I’m there. Told from Elio’s perspective, Call Me By Your Name is not a love story. This is about teen boy who develops an obsessive infatuation with an older man.

Incredibly introspective, we are given some authentic adolescent thoughts that many of us have had, but would probably never admit. Elio is, like most teens, unsure of himself or what he wants. He fell fast, and hard for Oliver.

“Do I like you?’ I wanted to sound incredulous, as though to question how he could ever have doubted such a thing. But then I thought better of it and was on the point of softening the tone of my answer with a meaning-fully evasive Perhaps that was supposed to mean Abso-lutely, when I let my tongue loose: ‘Do I like you, Oliver? I worship you.”

I loved the touching scene between Elio and his father.

“Fear not. It will come. At least I hope it does. And when you least expect it. Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot. Just remember: I am here. Right now you may not want to feel anything. Perhaps you never wished to feel anything. And perhaps it’s not with me that you’ll want to speak about these things. But feel something you did.”

This is a slow-burn with beautiful (some say pretentious) writing. There were some raw, blunt scenes that are “cringy“. I almost stopped reading after the apricot scene, but am a stubborn reader so I pushed through. Just when I was starting to get into the story there is a poop scene in Rome that was just…unnecessary and gross. 

I recommend this one to those of you who don’t mind wordy prose, who can ignore the fact that Elio was underage, and who has an adventurous acceptance level for descriptive sex scenes. I watched the movie after reading the book, and I have to admit the movie did help me better understand Elio and Oliver, and helped me see Elio’s father in a different light.

🌟🌟= it was ok

About the author.jpg

André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays. Aciman received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, has taught at Princeton and Bard and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at The CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently chair of the Ph. D. Program in Comparative Literature and founder and director of The Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center.

Aciman is the author of the Whiting Award-winning memoir Out of Egypt (1995), an account of his childhood as a Jew growing up in post-colonial Egypt. Aciman has published two other books: False Papers: Essays in Exile and Memory (2001), and a novel Call Me By Your Name (2007), which was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Lambda Literary Award for Men’s Fiction (2008).” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2922229.Andr_Aciman

Book Review ~ Slipper by Hester Velmans

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Book Publicist Ellen Whitfield at JKS Communications, asking me if I’d like to review Slipper by Hester Velmans. With rape, a witch hunt, and war, this Historical Fiction novel is not a children’s fairy tale.  📚

Slipper Jacket.jpg

Title: Slipper

Author: Hester Velmans

Genre: Historical Fiction, Retelling

Publisher: Van Horton Books

Date published: April 2018

Page Count: 378

synopsis

Her life is the inspiration for the world’s most famous story.

Lucinda, a penniless English orphan, is abused and exploited as a cinder-sweep by her aristocratic relatives. On receiving her sole inheritance—a pair of glass-beaded slippers—she runs away to France in pursuit of an officer on whom she has a big crush. She joins the baggage train of Louis XIV’s army, survives a terrible massacre, and eventually finds her way to Paris. There she befriends the man who will some day write the world’s most famous fairy tale, Charles Perrault, and tells him her life story.

There is more: a witch hunt, the sorry truth about daydreams, and some truly astonishing revelations, such as the historical facts behind the story of the Emperor’s new clothes, and a perfectly reasonable explanation for the compulsion some young women have to kiss frogs.

This is not the fairy tale you remember.”

My Review

🌟🌟🌟🌟= really liked it

Slipper begins in 17th Century England. Bessie, also known as Goose, is Lucinda’s mother’s midwife. After Lucinda’s mother dies during childbirth, Bessie names the newborn baby Lucinda, and decides to take care of her. Lucinda discovers the true identity of her biological father and receives an inheritance which includes beaded slippers. She travels to France with Bessie, in search of Henry, who she believes is in love with her. She ends up living in a tent in the French-Dutch war zone, waiting for Henry to propose. After the war, Lucinda travels to Amsterdam, then to Paris where she meets Charles Perrault, a French author who wrote many popular fairy tales such as Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (The Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots), and La Belle Au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty).

I enjoyed the blending of real-life people with fictional characters. I didn’t like any of the fictional male characters, including John Prynce. Actually, I didn’t like most of the characters. The story and writing quality kept me intrigued so that it didn’t matter to me if the characters were likeable. Lucinda is a naïve, selfish, stubborn adolescent who becomes a resourceful, intelligent, confident young woman.

I found the book too long. In particular, the middle had many slow, unnecessary parts that bogged-down the plot. However, the pacing picked up during the last quarter, and I blew through the last 100 pages.

Slipper is an ambitious, adventurous, whimsical, heart-breaking story, about rejection, loss, courage, hope, and love. I recommend this one to readers who enjoy Historical Fiction and adult fairy tales.

Check out the book trailer https://youtu.be/ONzmGgO8piE

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to Ellen Whitfield, JKS Communications, and Hester Velmans for allowing me to review.

About the author.jpg

hv.jpg“Hester Velmans was born in the Netherlands, educated in Switzerland and England, and today lives in western Massachusetts. She is a translator specializing in contemporary Dutch and French literature. Her translation of Renate Dorrestein’s A Heart of Stone won the 2001 Vondel Prize; in 2014 she was awarded a U.S. National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship to translate the neglected novelist Herman Franke. She is the author of the popular children’s books Isabel of the Whales and Jessaloup’s Song. Look out for her new novel, Slipper.” For more info visit her website: https://hestervelmans.com/

www.JKSCommunications.com

TBR…July 2018

It’s July 8th, and I’m finally getting around to posting my TBR for this month. Our family is going on a road trip vacation to beautiful PEI, Canada the end of July, so I’m not sure if I’ll get as much reading done as other months. My goal is to finish the unfinished this month: finish the books I’m currently reading, get caught up on the advanced copies sent to me for review, and finish two books I started a long time ago and really need to finish.

Monthly TBR: July… | Echoing Books

First I need to finish the books I’m currently reading…

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Just over the halfway mark on this one (56%)…

Title: Slipper

Author: Hester Velmans

Publisher: Van Horton Books

Date Published: April 2018

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction (Cinderella retelling)

Page Count: 371

Synopsis: “Lucinda, a penniless English orphan, is abused and exploited as a cinder-sweep by her aristocratic relatives. On receiving her sole inheritance—a pair of glass-beaded slippers—she runs away to France in pursuit of an officer on whom she has a big crush. She joins the baggage train of Louis XIV’s army, survives a terrible massacre, and eventually finds her way to Paris. There she befriends the man who will some day write the world’s most famous fairy tale, Charles Perrault, and tells him her life story.

36743094

 

I’m currently at the 64% mark.

Title: A Wrinkle In Time

Author: Madeleine L’Engle

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date Published: January 2018 (first published 1962)

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Page Count: 224

Synopsis: “Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

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65% done this one…

Title: Call Me By Your Name

Author: André Aciman

Publisher: Atlantic Books

Date Published: January 2008 (first published January 2007)

Genre: LGBT Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 248

Synopsis: “Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.  During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. André Aciman’s critically acclaimed debut novel is a frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion.”

Finish the advance copies sent to me for review that are being published in July…

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I received a complimentary digital ARC of this one, and am really excited to pick this up once I finish the books I’m currently reading.

Title: Her Pretty Face

Author: Robyn Harding

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Date Published: Expected July 10, 2018

Genre: Mystery Thriller

Page Count: 352 (e-book)

Synopsis: “The author of the bestselling novel The Party—lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Mirandareturns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets.”

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This year is all about Contemporary Romance for me, which is not what I normally read at all. I’ve never read anything by Colleen Hoover and excited to dive into another complimentary digital copy sent to me.

Title: All Your Perfects

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: Expected July 17, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 320 (e-book)

Synopsis: “Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?”

Finish two books I started reading a long time ago…

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I first tried to read this one in 2014, then again last year, then in January I started again. I really don’t like to DNF a book. I’m 45% done, so I’ll just pick up from where I left off and push through.

Title: Man Gone Down

Author: Michael Thomas

Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat

Date Published: December 2006

Genre: Adult Fiction

Page Count: 431

Synopsis: “On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.”

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I was reading the Harry Potter books aloud to my kids, but they lost interest in January, so I put this book down and didn’t end up picking it back up. I’m going to go ahead and read without them because I can’t call myself a Harry Potter fan until I’ve read all of the books 🙂

Title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Author: J.K. Rowling

Publisher: Raincoast Books

Date Published: June 2003

Genre: YA Fantasy

Page Count: 768

Synopsis: “Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. He is desperate to get back to school and find out why his friends Ron and Hermione have been so secretive all summer. However, what Harry is about to discover in his new year at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down…

Currently Reading…July 2018

Cat, Glasses, Eyewear, Pet, Furry

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Title: Call Me By Your Name

Author: André Aciman

Publisher: Atlantic Books

Date Published: September 2017

Genre: LGBT Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 248

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliff-side mansion on the Italian Riviera. Unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, at first each feigns indifference. But during the restless summer weeks that follow, unrelenting buried currents of obsession and fear, fascination and desire, intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them. What grows from the depths of their spirits is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration and an experience that marks them for a lifetime. For what the two discover on the Riviera and during a sultry evening in Rome is the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy.

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Title: Slipper

Author: Hester Velmans

Publisher: Van Horton Books

Date Published: April 2018

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction, Retelling

Page Count: 371

Her life is the inspiration for the world’s most famous story.

Lucinda, a penniless English orphan, is abused and exploited as a cinder-sweep by her aristocratic relatives. On receiving her sole inheritance—a pair of glass-beaded slippers—she runs away to France in pursuit of an officer on whom she has a big crush. She joins the baggage train of Louis XIV’s army, survives a terrible massacre, and eventually finds her way to Paris. There she befriends the man who will some day write the world’s most famous fairy tale, Charles Perrault, and tells him her life story…This is not the fairy tale you remember.”

36743094

Title: A Wrinkle In Time

Author: Madeleine L’Engle

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date Published: January 2018 (1st published 1962)

Genre: YA Fantasy Sci-Fi

Page Count: 224

In 1962, Madeleine L’Engle debuted her novel A Wrinkle in Time, which would go on to win the 1963 Newbery Medal. Bridging science and fantasy, darkness and light, fear and friendship, the story became a classic of children’s literature and is beloved around the world. Now Disney is taking it to the silver screen! With an all-star cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and newcomer Storm Reid, the major motion picture bring the world of Wrinkle to life for a new generation of fans.

June 2018 [Wrap Up]

I read 5 books in June:
2 Young Adult
2 Adult
1 Middle Grade

pages 368 + 288 + 244 + 272 + 416= 1588

I follow the Goodreads rating suggestions:
🌟= did not like it
🌟🌟= it was ok
🌟🌟🌟= liked it
🌟🌟🌟🌟= really liked it
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟= it was amazing

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Title: The Death of Mrs. Westaway

Author: Ruth Ware

Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press

Date Published: May 29th, 2018

Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller

Page Count: 368

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟  The Death Of Mrs. Westaway By Ruth Ware #NewBook #Thriller #Mystery #Netgalley

 

 

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Title: Look At Me

Author: Mareike Krügel

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date Published: February 2018

Genre: Adult (European/German)

Page Count: 288

My Review: 🌟🌟 Look At Me By Mareike Krügel

 

 

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Title: Escape From Lucien

Author: Kazu Kibuishi

Publisher: Graphix

Date Published: August 2014

Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel

Page Count: 224

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟

 

 

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Title: Fina Draft

Author: Riley Redgate

Publisher: Harry Abrams

Date Published: June 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary (LGBTQ+)

Page Count: 272

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟  Final Draft #Bookreview #Netgalley #FinalDraftBook

 

 

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Title: Thief of Happy Endings

Author: Kristen Chandler

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Date Published: June 19th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Page Count: 416

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Book Review ~ Thief of Happy Endings

 

 

Book Review ~ Thief of Happy Endings

📓 I didn’t know I needed a contemporary, young adult love story set on a horse ranch until Thief of Happy Endings.  📚 😌

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Title: Thief of Happy Endings

Author: Kristen Chandler

Genre: Teen YA

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group/Viking Books for Young Readers

Date published: June 19th, 2018

Buy this book on Amazon

Buy this book on Barnes & Noble

Buy this on Indie Bookstore

synopsis

Ever since her father moved out, Cassidy feels like her life has been falling apart. So a summer of riding horses at a ranch camp in Wyoming sounds like just what she needs–never mind the fact that she has a paralyzing fear of horses. She’s determined to move past her fear, even if that means taking lessons from the insufferable (yet irresistible) junior wrangler Justin and embarrassing herself in front of the other campers. What follows is a summer of rodeos, complicated friendships, and a wild mustang thief on the loose.

My Review

Thief of Happy Endings calls attention to many important themes such as resilience, friendship, racism, prejudice, bullying, divorce, parenting, mental health, physical abuse, and animal cruelty. After her father moves out, Cassidy is struggling with depression and anxiety. Her parents send her to a horse camp in Wyoming to hopefully help Cassidy overcome her fear of horses.

Cassidy’s character feels credible. Her love interest, Justin, is intriguing, layered, complicated. Cassidy’s roommate, Alice, is probably my favourite character. An amazing friend from the beginning to the end, Alice is reliable, smart, and experiences an enormous amount of personal growth by the end of this story.

The characters are unique with distinctive voices. The story taught me a lot about horses, and in particular the mustang population in western USA. THIS IS NOT AN INSTA-LOVE! Chandler takes the time to let us get to know the characters before introducing a romantic interaction. Drawn into Thief of Happy Endings from page one, I couldn’t put it down, and I can’t think of any dislikes.

Wild, honest, charming, and entertaining. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟!

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

 

About the author.jpg

“Kristen Chandler is the author of the award-winning Girls Don’t Fly and Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me.”

Kristen Chandler Goodreads Author Page

Final Draft #Bookreview #Netgalley #FinalDraftBook

📓 Final Draft is a Young Adult Contemporary novel written by Riley Redgate. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review. 📚 😌

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Title: Final Draft

Author: Riley Redgate

Genre: YA Contemporary

Publisher: Amulet Books

Date published: June 12th, 2018

Page Count: 272

🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

synopsis

The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.

At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35960813-final-draft

My Review

Set in Brooklyn, Final Draft is a third-person story about friendship, grief, mental health, and sexuality, with a DIVERSE cast. The main character, Laila, is a biracial, pansexual, Ecuadorian/French-Canadian teenager. Her inner thoughts remind me of things I said to myself as a teenager. Laila’s soft-spoken teacher, Mr. Madison, reads her stories and encourages her to keep writing. He’s the kind of teacher we’ve probably all had. This is a purposefully slow story that takes place the summer before Laila and her three friends leave for college. I didn’t like Nazarenko’s character, but it didn’t ruin the story for me.

Beautifully introspective. Redgate isn’t afraid to speak the truth, writing about big things like sexual orientation, female sexuality, and racial identity.

 

I was annoyed when descriptions of people mentioned they didn’t look “normal”, or that it was shocking for a larger person to have confidence. Throwing homeopathic remedies and healthy food under-the-bus was also unnecessary. Having a teenager complain about healthy things has been done, and I feel that it’s not authentic.

This would be a great Summer read. Be sure to visit your local bookstore or library and check out this brand new novel.

About the author.jpg

According to Amazon, Riley Redgate is a graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio. She’s the author of Seven Ways We Lie (2016), Noteworthy (2017), and Final Draft (2018).

Look At Me By Mareike Krügel

📓 Look At Me is an Adult Women’s Fiction novel by German author Mareike Krügel. I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.📚

36484385

 

Title: Look At Me

Author: Mareike Krügel

Translated by Imogen Taylor

Genre: Adult Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Text Publishing

Date published: February 2018

Page Count: 288

 

 

synopsis

Katharina’s husband isn’t coming home for the weekend—again—so she’s on her own. When their chaotic daughter Helli has a nosebleed, Kat has to dash off to school to pick her up.

Then their son, Alex, announces he’s bringing his new girlfriend home for the first time. Kat’s best friend from college is coming around tonight too, and she’s wondering if she should try to seduce him—but first she needs to do the shopping, the vacuuming and the laundry, deal with an exploding clothes-dryer, find their neighbour’s severed thumb in the front yard and catch a couple of escaped rodents.

When she’s got all that sorted, perhaps she’ll have time to think about the thing she’s been trying not to think about—the lump she’s just found in her breast. Because you can’t just die and leave a huge mess for someone else to clean up…can you? And wasn’t there supposed to be more to life than this?” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36484385-look-at-me

My Review

Mareike Krügel has written four novels, Look At Me is the first to be translated from German to English by Imogen Taylor. Told from the perspective of a mom named Katha, the story is about truths, mortality, marriage, motherhood, sexism, and gender roles.

 

Katha is a musicologist who teaches music to Kindergartens. She hasn’t been able to finish her thesis or find a satisfying career due to her daughter Helli, a very busy, impulsive, eleven-year-old who may have ADHD. Katha’s son Alex is “the perfect son”, smart, considerate, and good looking. Katha’s husband Costas accepted a job working away from home after being laid off from his dream job.

We also get to meet Sissi (Katha’s sister), Ann-Brit (Katha’s long time friend), Theo & Heinz (transgender neighbors), and Kilian (Katha’s male friend from school).

I found Katha to be incredibly annoying and had a really hard time caring about her. Helli stole the show for me. She reminded me a lot of my own nine-year-old son.

There are a few moments that come across as unbelievable, but that may be due to the translation. Look At Me is a quirky, funny story with a crazy ending that reminds us to be grateful for what we have and the people who love us.

About the author.jpg

“Mareike Krügel lives in Schleswig-Holstein with her husband and their two children. She has received numerous literary awards, including the Friedrich Hebbel Prize.”

https://www.textpublishing.com.au/books/look-at-me