A Caller’s Game by: J.D. Barker



“I’m going to offer you a choice.”

Controversial satellite radio talk show host, Jordan Briggs, has clawed her way to the top of the broadcast world. She doesn’t hold back, doesn’t spare feelings, and has no trouble sharing what’s on her mind. Her rigorous pursuit of success has come at a price, though. Her marriage is in ruins, she hasn’t spoken to her mother in years, and she’s distanced herself from all those close to her. If not for her young daughter, Charlotte, her personal life would be in complete shambles.

When a subdued man calls into the show and asks to play a game, she sees it as nothing more than a way to kick-start the morning, breathe life into the beginnings of drive-time for her listeners. Against her producer’s advice, she agrees, and unwittingly opens a door to the past.

Live on the air with an audience of millions, what starts out as a game quickly turns deadly—events long thought buried resurface and Jordan Briggs is forced to reconcile with one simple fact—All decisions have consequences. 

DIE HARD meets TALK RADIO in this heart-pounding, relentlessly fast-paced thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Fourth Monkey—master of suspense, J.D. Barker.

My Review

I am a thriller junkie. It is my genre of choice and it takes a lot to make me gasp and turn pages like my life depends on it. J.D. Barker has written some great thrillers in the past but A Caller’s Game is the one! I will go as far as to say that this book is one of my favorite thrillers…EVER!

I really enjoyed the twists and turns and Jordan was an excellent main character. She was mean enough to hate her but there was something about her to love. This was such a great read; I am so sad it is over.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Summer Brother by: Jaap Robben


Synopsis from World Editions

Thirteen-year-old Brian lives in a trailer on a forgotten patch of land with his divorced and uncaring father. His older brother Lucien, physically and mentally disabled, has been institutionalized for years. While Lucien’s home is undergoing renovations, he is sent to live with his father and younger brother for the summer. Their detached father leaves Brian to care for Lucien’s special needs. But how do you look after someone when you don’t know what they need? How do you make the right choices when you still have so much to discover? Summer Brother is an honest, tender account of brotherly love, which will resonate with readers of Rain Man. 

About the Author

JAAP ROBBEN is a poet, playwright, performer, and acclaimed children’s author. You Have Me to Love, his first novel for adults, won the 2014 Dutch Booksellers Award, the Dioraphte Prize, and the ANV Award for best Dutch debut. 

My Review

I sometimes struggle with translated works but the premise of this story intrigued me. A young boy left to take care of his disabled older brother in a home situation that was less than ideal is the backdrop to this story. Brian’s life is anything but normal as he grows up in a trailer with his father who is not such an ideal role model. Lucien is Brian’s older brother but he lives in a home and is occasionally visited by Brian and their father. Their mother is remarried and starting her life over again and cares very little about her sons unless it is convenient for her. When Lucien’s room is being remodeled, Brian and his dad take him home with them.

This was an easy read due to the excellent translation from the Dutch by David Doherty. It is sometimes the case with translated works where the language doesn’t mesh well with the story, but this was not the case. I felt sorry for the young boys and how they had to grow up. The brotherly connection and love between them, however, was the focal point of this story.

I gave this book 3.5 crowns.

I received this ARC from World Editions in exchange for an honest review.

Delicates by: Brenna Thummler

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Publication Date: March 23, 2021

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“An original exploration of what it means to be seen and accepted.” — Kirkus

Following the events of the bestselling graphic novel, SheetsDelicates brings Brenna Thummler’s beloved characters, artwork, and charm back to life.

Marjorie Glatt’s life hasn’t been the same ever since she discovered a group of ghosts hiding in her family’s laundromat. Wendell, who died young and now must wander Earth as a ghost with nothing more than a sheet for a body, soon became one of Marjorie’s only friends. But when Marjorie finally gets accepted by the popular kids at school, she begins to worry that if anyone learns about her secret ghost friends, she’ll be labeled as a freak who sees dead people. With Marjorie’s insistence on keeping Wendell’s ghost identity a secret from her new friends, Wendell begins to feel even more invisible than he already is.

Eliza Duncan feels invisible too. She’s an avid photographer, and her zealous interest in finding and photographing ghosts gets her labeled as “different” by all the other kids in school. Constantly feeling on the outside, Eliza begins to feel like a ghost herself. Marjorie must soon come to terms with the price she pays to be accepted by the popular kids. Is it worth losing her friend, Wendell? Is she partially to blame for the bullying Eliza endures?

Delicates tells a powerful story about what it means to fit in, and those left on the outside. It shows what it’s like to feel invisible, and the importance of feeling seen. Above all, it is a story of asking for help when all seems dark, and bringing help and light to those who need it most.

My Review

I found Delicates to be even more powerful than its origin story. Marjorie and Wendell return to this story but this time, Marjorie grapples with the truth and fitting in. Eliza is a sweet character in this volume that struggles everyday.

This is not an easy read as it contains bullying and suicidal thoughts. I really think that this is an important read but not a light one.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Love Proof by: Madeleine Henry


Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“Fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife will be blown away by Madeleine Henry’s The Love Proof.” —PopSugar

A brilliant physicist studying the nature of time embarks on a journey to prove that those we love are always connected to us, leading to surprising revelations in this fresh and unique love story.

Sophie Jones is a physics prodigy on track to unlock the secrets of the universe. But when she meets Jake Kristopher during their first week at Yale they instantly feel a deep connection, as if they’ve known each other before. Quickly, they become a couple. Slowly, their love lures Sophie away from school.

When a shocking development forces Sophie into a new reality, she returns to physics to make sense of her world. She grapples with life’s big questions, including how to cope with unexpected change and loss. Inspired by her connection with Jake, Sophie throws herself into her studies, determined to prove that true loves belong together in all realities.

Spanning decades, The Love Proof is an unusual love story about lasting connection, time, and intuition. It explores the course that perfect love can take between imperfect people, and urges us to listen to our hearts rather than our heads.

My Review

I have finally finished watching all seasons of The Big Bang Theory and I am currently up to date with Young Sheldon episodes. I say this because this book has that type of vibe to it. I adored this book. It is a perfect blend of nerdy science and theory with an unconventional love story that breaks your heart into millions of pieces.

Sophie is a series Physics student and has an interesting approach to solving time. She is known for her work and all that she can accomplish but that is put in jeopardy when she meets Jake. Jake is a serious person as well and they have to make some intense decisions along their paths.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Nature of Fragile Thing by: Susan Meissner


Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

April 18, 1906: A massive earthquake rocks San Francisco just before daybreak, igniting a devouring inferno. Lives are lost, lives are shattered, but some rise from the ashes forever changed.

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin’s silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin’s odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn’t right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.

From the acclaimed author of The Last Year of the War and As Bright as Heaven comes a gripping novel about the bonds of friendship and mother love, and the power of female solidarity.

My Review

This was a wonderfully written story about the power and strength that one can have when motivated by love. This was not a romantic love story but more of a story about the love between a family, both blood relatives and those that we chose to be our family.

Sophie was an amazing figure of determination and her resolve to be Kat’s protector was evident from the very beginning. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot twists and the storyline.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.