Book Review: We Were Mothers

Title: We Were Mothers

Author: Katie Sise

Format: Kindle Edition (Amazon First Reads Edition)

Published: 2018

I am starting this review off with my overall rating.  5 stars.  This book was jaw dropping with its twists and turns.  Just when you thought the book was going in one direction it did a complete 180 and left you reeling in what was happening.  I reached out to the author on Facebook just raving about this book and stating what I just did.  I want to share with you her reply; “I’m so glad you liked it 😊 that’s what made it so fun to write – I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next 😊 this book really was so much fun to do!”

You can absolutely tell that Sise wrote this book and did not force anything.  Some books you can tell the author penned the novel with the twist in mind.  You can clearly tell that Sise let her creative juices flow with this novel.  If you can predict what happens next then you are a psychic and I would like to know what lottery numbers to play this week.

We Were Mothers is an intricate story which houses the story of two families that live across the street from each other.  The main family (and their best friend) is dealing with the loss of a daughter/sister in a drunk driving accident in which she was the driver.  It was the night of the living daughter’s engagement party.  This family is carrying a lot of baggage with this loss and this development within the characters with respect to this is absolutely amazing.

Now we have the family across the street that has been married since college and have two grown daughters.  The husband is a successful doctor in town and the mother dropped out of medical school when she became pregnant and has been a stay at home.  What deep, hidden, and dark secrets this family has.

The eldest daughter from across the street disappears and all I will say is that you will think that this book is about, but, it’s a far cry from it.  We go on a journey through each character and when you think you understand what is happening, Sise takes the wheel and jerks you around (in a good way).  I was left with my mouth wide open for the last quarter of this book.  I am still in shock!

So again, this master mind of a twisty, turny novel has earned a 5 star badge of honor from me.  This was just one of the best books I have read in a long time and makes any book I recently rated 5 stars seem like a 3 star novel now.  If you read this PLEASE let me know and comment here, I am DYING to talk about this book with someone! Tune in next week for my advance copy review of The Sisters by Rosalind Noonan.

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Book Review: To All The Boys I’ve Love Before Trilogy

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, & Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Author: Jenny Han

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2014, 2015, 2017

 

I read this, ok, these books because the movie is now out on Netflix.  I love reading a book and then watching the movie, but, I don’t know if I want to taint this series with the movie quite yet.  This was SUCH a GREAT and AMAZING series.  Let me just begin by saying that if I read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before when it first came out I would be so mad at Jenny Han.  The lesson to take away here is you don’t read her books if they are part of a series until they’re all out!

I read all three books in a matter of three days.  Yes, they were that good.

Lara Jean is a high school junior who is a tad bit quirky.  As a teenage girl she as multiple crushes during her middle school and high school years and when she gets over them, she writes them a letter.  Lara Jean keeps these letters hidden in a hat box until one day when her younger sister mails them out.  Whoops.

The big blunder is that she once had a crush on her neighbor, the neighbor her sister was dating.  So she enlists the help of another former crush so her neighbor does not suspect she still likes him.  So now Lara Jean is pretending to date the great Peter Kavinsky (who just broke up with one of the most popular girls at school).  They make a contract which lets both Peter and Lara Jean know what they are supposed to do for each other (Peter must write Lara Jean one note a day, Lara Jean must call Peter at least once a day, preferably her last call of the night, Lara Jean must go to Peter’s lacrosse games, etc).  Peter decides to go for it so maybe he can make his ex-girlfriend jealous.

I know what you are assuming, they fall in love, but, I won’t tell you if they do or don’t.  I will tell you that at the end of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Lara Jean and Peter have a falling out and the book ends with Lara Jean writing him a letter.  Yes, it literally ends with, “Dear Peter.”  Oh, the cliffhanger!  You will be so hooked you will have to finish all three of the books.  P.S. I Still Love You takes us through the end of Lara Jean’s junior year and the start of her senior year (and finishes that letter!!!).  Always & Forever, Lara Jean takes us through the remainder of her senior year and the beginning of college.

Through the journey of these books her past crushes make appearances.  It appears that each of her crushes also had a little thing for Lara Jean too.  Some try to make moves and become an item with Lara Jean and some will fail.  One will succeed.  Which one will that be?  Read them all to find out!  We also go on a journey with her father, a widow, and a new love that Lara Jean’s younger sister sets him up with.

This is a 5-star book series.  It was such a fun and light read.  I forget how much I can love young adult novels.  The ending was very satisfying and I felt like it left us at a good place with Lara Jean.  Take my word for it when I say to buy all three books before you start reading one.  Tune in next week for my review of The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand.

Book Review: Stray: Memoir of a Runaway

Title: Stray: Memoir of a Runaway

Author: Tanya Marquardt

Format: Amazon First Reads Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

This was my pick for the month of August with Amazon First Reads.  Stray comes out officially on September 1, 2018.

Raw.  Powerful.  Emotional.  Heart wrenching.  These are all the feelings I felt reading Stray.  In this memoir Tanya Marquardt takes us on her journey when she was a teenager finishing up high school.  She decided to run away from home when she was 16 because the police in Canada could not do anything about it.

Her childhood left me so sad.  Marquardt has overcome a lot in her life.  She survived through abuse, a rough relationship with her divorced parents, and poverty only to relive it by writing about it.  This book reads a lot like a general non-fiction novel and I had to remind myself that this was in fact a true story.  My heart kept breaking with every turn of the page.

The ending is anti-climactic but again, it is a memoir.  I would have liked more closure at the end of the book, but, that is my opinion.  Overall this book was a powerful, insightful read.  I really commend Marquardt for staying focused on her education throughout her rough spot in her life.  Any more details about this book and it would be giving it all away.

I am giving this book 3 stars.  This book was well written and kept my interest.  It saddened me to think that there are children, innocent children, out there that live this life.  The ending just lacked and I would have appreciated to know the outcome of her transition from high school to college.  Obviously, she became successful as she wrote a book but the book just ends with her at an interview for college.  I felt like I went on this journey with her for a better life and she left me hanging.  It was a bit of a letdown after such a tremendous, powerful read.  Tune in next Thursday for my review of my advance reader copy of Sadie by Courtney Summers!

Book Review: Whisper Me This

Title: Whisper Me This

Author: Kerry Anne King

Format: Amazon First Reads Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

 

I love, love, love, LOVE, my Amazon Prime membership benefits!  This month I selection Whisper Me This which comes out on August 1st and I am telling you, it is priced right at either $4.99 Kindle edition or $9.99 hardcover, SO PRE-ORDER NOW.  Why?  This story actually had an ENDING.  Yes, the story satisfies you with not an open ended, wishy washy ending, but, a solid, you know what happens ending.  Thank you Ms. King!!

The story starts off a little iffy where we meet this wishy-washy woman who cannot make a decision to save her life, Maisey Addington.  Next to the word indecisive in the dictionary should be a picture of this character!  She has an estranged relationship from her parents which I blame on all the pressure her mother kept putting on her to do more with her life.

We find Maisey has a child and an ex-boyfriend (aka baby daddy) and gets along amicably.  There’s not much too exciting going on until her mother falls ill and she gets a call from the police telling her she should come right away.  Her and her daughter hop on a plane and travel all night to get to her mother to see what exactly is going on.

Her father is fraught and one would think he has Alzheimer’s from his sudden, erratic behavior.  What we find out is that the noisey neighbor noticed no one was going in or out of the house for a few days so she called the police.  What they ultimately found was Maisey’s mother laying unconscious in bed with a head injury. She had been there for 3 days.  Yeah.

Her father insists that she wanted to die at home but a living will can never be producted.  When Maisey makes it home she finds her father throwing papers into a fire in the living room and immediately calls 911 thinking the whole house is on fire and here we meet Tony.  The small town hero who is there and befriends Maisey and helps her with her mother’s sudden downfall.

Enter the twist.  Going through all of her mother’s things she stumbled upon the fact that she has a twin sister, Marley.  She used to play with an imaginary friend named Marley until her mother scolded her and told her to stop.  Was she imagining things?  Did she really have a sister?  Read to find out!

This book touches on a lot of abuse.  When they find her mother and examine her they discover she has had a lot of broken bones.  They accuse her husband of abusing her but Maisey defends her father and could never imagine him hurting her.  So how did she get all of the broken bones?  Tony does his best to stay away from Maisey as he himself is haunted from an abused past as well.  Although I absolutely love and adore Tony and his family, they are truly genuine, great people.

Maisey starts to learn to stand up for herself and grows a backbone and starts to make decisions.  I love this.  She truly grows throughout the book with the help of her daughter, Elle.  I don’t think Maisey would have been able to survive her trip without her daughter.  She is done with her ex-boyfriend controlling and ruining her life (he always seems to show up when she has a date, despite the fact that he’s married with a newborn baby now).

Overall, this book earned a solid 5.  It is rare to find a book that ends on a SOLID note and this one did just that.  I would classify this book as mystery with a touch of romance, not too much.  The mystery takes the fore front and honestly, I didn’t see the twist that came at the end with Marley.  But the book ends in the future and we can get closure on what happens to everyone, yay. Tune in next Thursday for my review of I Wish You Happy by Kerry Anne King (I told you I was blown away by the writing, I had to immediately read another one of hers)!

Book Review: The Thinnest Air

Title: The Thinnest Air

Author: Minka Kent

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

I received this book for free by being an Amazon Prime member!  This is from their selection of Amazon First Reads and this book will officially be released on Sunday, July 1, 2018!  PRE-ORDER IT NOW!

So many different thoughts ran through my head during this book.  I hated some characters because I was convinced, CONVINCED they did something that turns out, they didn’t do.  My apologies to the fictional characters I hated for no reason, but, come on, we all make mistakes with our suspicions.  Minka Kent does an excellent job with the suspense!!

There are two main characters in this book, sisters Meredith and Greer.  Greer is the older, protective older sister who lives in the city and owns a few coffee shops with her now ex-boyfriend.  Meredith is her young sister who lives in a rich ski town with a husband double her age who also happens to be worth millions.

Meredith goes missing.  Her car is found, door open, purse and phone on the passenger seat, in the parking lot of a grocery store.  It is now a nationwide manhunt to find this missing woman.  Greer immediately flies in to help find her sister and suspects those closest to her.

What we do know is that Meredith and Greer are half-sisters, having the same mother.  Their mother was anything but a mother so when she makes an appearance to try and help find Meredith, you must know how Greer feels.  Greer raised Meredith and will stop at nothing to find her.  Meredith’s father is a wealthy man who had nothing to do with her life.  In fact, if word got out that he had Meredith, it would destroy him.  He did set up a five million dollar trust fund that was set to be given to her on her next birthday.  Does this have anything to do with her going missing?

There were twists and turns and I could not put this book down.  I read this book in 2 days and the only reason I put it down is because in my drowsy state at midnight my Kindle fell out of my hand and hit my sleeping husband in bed, whoops.  Don’t worry, he has no idea it ever happened.  I give this book a 5 because it has the perfect amount of twists and turns.  The ending happens fast but I am so, so satisfied with it.  It gave me all the happy feels.  Next week I will be reviewing Killer Dreams by Iris Johansen, stay tuned!

Book Review: Luger Rounds

Title: Luger Rounds

Author: William Lynes, MD

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2012

 

I received this book for free through Voracious Reader’s Only.  If you have not had a chance to join some of the e-book groups I have previously blogged about it, you are missing out!!

So what is a luger round?  It is essentially a term used by medical professionals which means they are keeping alive someone who should be dead.  It is seen as a negative, heartless term in the medical field and our friend Dr. Phillip Thomas has been put into this state intentionally.

Who did this?  Why?  Eventually you will find out how Dr. Thomas got to his state through morphine induced dreams or flash backs.  We start back at the beginning of his six year residency program at the hospital up until today, the end of his six year residency, in the ICU.

What I found most interesting was the fact that I have always wondered what it would be like to be in a vegetable state but be able to hear and understand everything around you.  This book delivers just that.  Dr. Thomas is able to understand everything going on around him, feel all the pain, but, cannot control his body at all.

There is a LOT of medical terminology.  This book was penned by a real-life doctor and you can tell.  Thankfully the understanding of medical terms is not necessary for this book.  I did find myself skimming over some parts of the book that were not important as the medical parts flew over my head.  If you have a medical background and love mysteries, this is an above and beyond 5 star book for you.

Overall I give this book a 4.  I lean more towards a 3.5 but if you round up, you get a 4 so that’s where we’ll stay.  This was an absorbing mystery that lead us to a sudden, open ending.  I am typically not a fan of open endings where you can really think of what happens on your own, but, upon reflecting after reading this book, it fits.  Next week I will be reviewing my Amazon First Reads pick, The Thinnest Air by Minka Kent.  See you next Thursday!

Book Review: Wynn In Doubt

Title: Wynn In Doubt

Author: Emily Hemmer

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2015

I picked this book up from the Amazon Prime reading library and I could NOT put this book down.  I had to restrain myself from staying up until 2am finishing this book in one sitting.  I have not had a book hook me in like this in awhile!  The book starts off with this quote from the author, “I hope you enjoy reading this book. I hope it inspires you to not take life for granted but to go out and seek what makes you happy, no matter your age or situation,” and let me tell you, IT DID.

We meet Wynn Jeffries and hear about her last few days as a high school student.  She always had a thing for Oliver, except he was the popular boy and she was a self-proclaimed nerd.  But here is every girl’s high school dream; Oliver kisses Wynn in the parking lot after one of the final days of high school.  Now we flash forward to 10 years later.

Wynn is a bartender who daydreams about a better life.  Anytime she has an inkling to go out and see the world, her family needs her and she must stay back.  She has never truly been happy and has not been doing anything for herself.  We also find out that Oliver has made it to stardom and is in a very successful band.  Yes, she is still obsessed with him and still madly in love with him.

Oliver decides he needs a break and comes back to his hometown and gets a job at the same bar that Wynn works at.  Things begin as awkward between the two of them and then they hit it off.  I was giddy with excitement to see where this relationship may go!

Wynn’s family life is a little crazy.  She has two sisters who are both very overwhelming.  Their grandmother dies and one sister has labeled “all the good things” as they go through her house cleaning it out to sell.  They come across a big box of books and give it to Wynn because again, she is the self-proclaimed nerd and is the only one ho would do something productive with them.

She begins to read a book and a newspaper clipping falls out.  It tells of the arrest of a bootlegger and a lady friend.  Wynn brings this up to her mother after she feels the name of the woman is too familiar to her.  We find out it is her grandmother’s mother, Lola.

The twist is that they were told her grandmother’s mother died when she was young.  Wynn’s mother insists this is still the case until Wynn pushes her to the point of no return.  We find out that she just up and left one day and Wynn’s grandmother never spoke of it.  Wynn’s mother wishes Wynn would drop it but Wynn has so many unanswered questions she needs to find answers to.  Lola appeals to Wynn and she feels like a part of Lola is within herself and she needs to finally go on a journey for herself, to make her happy, despite her mother crying and pleading with her not to.  You go girl.

Oliver takes Wynn on a roadtrip to where Lola was last known to have lived.  They do not find out that much but Wynn does discover an old journal of hers.  The adventure that Oliver and Wynn take is so sweet and loving, it just gave me all the feels.  I am so happy that Wynn chose to make herself happy for once.  The book is so inspiring and is a reminder that we all should live our happiest lives.  I would go on but then I would ruin the book for you and I want you to go out and read this one, NOW!

This book gets a 5 out of 5 from me.  I loved the hint of romance and the adventure that Wynn lets her gyspy soul go on.  I especially LOVED the ending, although I will admit, the author had me on pins and needles thinking it was going to all fall apart.  I will leave with you short excerpt from the end of the book, “To not give up on what I want for my life, even if it means risking my heart. And, most importantly, that realizing our dreams is only part of what makes us whole. We need people to root for us. We need to be able to come home again.”  Just trust me when I tell you this is a must read!  Comment and let me know if you read this book or plan on it!  Next week I will be reviewing Luger Rounds by William Lynes, MD, catch you next Thursday!

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