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: 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: A Marriage In Dog Years – A Memoir

Title: A Marriage In Dog Years: A Memoir

Author: Nancy Balbirer

Format: Kindle Edition

Published: 2018

 

I chose this book as my Amazon First Reads choice for the month of May.  A Marriage In Dog Years is officially released tomorrow, June 1st so look for it on Amazon soon!

Meh.  I felt meh throughout the entire book.  **Spoiler alert**, I’m going to essentially tell you about this book so if you’re curious about it, stop reading my blog post right now and come back after you’ve read it.  Or heed my warning and know that you really are not missing much by passing on this book.

The book starts out with us finding out she found the love of her life, Sam.  Sam even comes and rescues her on the middle of a busy California freeway when her car breaks down.  It is at this point we realize the marriage is doomed as Nancy tells us, “it will occur to me that I had been so moved by the romance, the love, the chivalry of it all, that I had failed to notice we were not traveling west, but east—away from the sun.”

Nancy and Sam adopt a dog, Ira, and move from California to New York.  Nancy yearns to be a mother and ends up going through IVF treatments to conceive.  Heartbreakingly, she becomes pregnant with twins and loses one.  She does give birth to a health baby girl they nickname the Bear.  It is here we find out that Sam really did not want to become a father, he just knew Nancy really wanted to be a mother and he wanted to make sure he was happy.  Wait, Sam gets even better.

Ira is eleven years old and is diagnosed with a terminal illness and given a matter of weeks to live.  Don’t worry, Ira makes it another year.  As Ira gets ill, the marriage falls apart.  Well, the marriage is already in shambles at this point in time, we just get to hear how it all falls apart.

Sam “accidentally” forwards her a text from his mistress.  He’s cheating.  Nancy and Sam have been in therapy and this gets brought up.  Sam wants to keep seeing the mistress while he works on his marriage.  Nancy agrees.  Sam is a winner, isn’t he?

The book goes on and they divorce…finally.  I cannot believe how long Nancy held on to her marriage, trying to make it work.  Nancy describes it best when she wrote, “when a marriage is in crisis, there’s only so long you can pretend before dull pain turns into searing agony.”  She held on for so long.  I was angry with her for holding on for so long.  Sam was wishy washy and didn’t stick with anything long-term.  She truly deserves better.

So after the divorce comes the death of Ira.  I cried.  We just lost our sweet little pup Rose over the summer and just reading the demise of Ira brought back memories and I let it out.  Dogs become a part of our lives and Ira became her best friend.

Overall, I give this book a 3.  I didn’t care for it and I felt like the author wrote this book with a thesaurus of big words by her side.  I don’t know if I’m dumb or she was showing off or if I was just so irritated with her and how she handled her crumbling marriage I just resented everything she wrote.  I struggled to find the motivation to finish this book, but I did it.  Next week I will be reviewing Wynn In Doubt by Emily Hemmer, catch you next Thursday!

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