Well- Behave Indian Women by: Saumya Dave

Publication Date: July 14, 2020

Description from the Publisher through Netgalley

“A sparkling debut.”—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author 

From a compelling new voice in women’s fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams.

Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little “writing hobby.” But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran’s life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist, but her engagement to her high school sweetheart.

Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children in America. From dealing with her husband’s demanding family to the casual racism of her patients, everything Nandini has endured has been for her children’s sake. It isn’t until an old colleague makes her a life-changing offer that Nandini realizes she’s spent so much time focusing on being the Perfect Indian Woman, she’s let herself slip away.

Mimi Kadakia failed her daughter, Nandini, in ways she’ll never be able to fix­—or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it’s needed. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her own secret burden.

My Review

Expectations and culture collide with desire and ambition in this contemporary story of 3 generations of Indian women from the same family. Simran is our main character and the youngest pf the women in her family. She is studying for a degree in Psychology and is engaged to be married; but she isn’t happy with any of it. Nandini is her mother with secrets and ambitions of her own. Mimi is the matriarch and has been someone that Simran can trust with all that she holds inside.

This was a easy read and very realistic. It is not your traditional contemporary book but I highly recommend it.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

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

What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Publication Date: July 14, 2020

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth.”—Kirkus (starred review)

From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.


Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.

My Review:

I have loved everything that Katherine Center has released recently and this is no exception. Sam is a beloved school librarian that has a tendency to run when life gets too complicated. She has finally found a little nook in the world where she has made a home and found a “family”. She is content and ready to start a new school year when tragedy strikes and her first instinct is to flee.

As the school community bands together to save their beloved institution and what it stands for, Sam struggles to stay grounded. Katherine has a way of taking some heavy topics and bringing them to light in a very readable and understanding way.

This was another great read! It is very well done.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E- ARC from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hands Up by: Stephen Clark

Description from Goodreads

Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly–three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.

My Review:

Published in September of 2019, this book couldn’t be more relevant than it is today. After a young black man is killed by a white cop, the world tries to take matters into their own hands through protests and in some cases, violence. With alternating points of view between the white cop, the victim’s sister and his estranged ex- gang member father, this story visits the crime scene from all angles. The story is heartbreaking and the emotions are strongly felt.

I appreciated the fact the the victim’s parents stepped up before a protest turned violent and asked what the violence would prove. I feel the author, who is a black man, made the point that not all cops are bad and that it is the actions of a few that should not lead to the “punishment” of all. In today’s cultural unrest, this was a tough read but I found it to be something that was important. It is not a book that will take you a long time to get through as the story was written very well.

I urge you to pick this up. I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received an E-Book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Two Truths and A Lie by: Meg Mitchell More

Publication Date: June 16, 2020

Description from Goodreads

From the author of The Islanders comes a warm, witty and suspenseful novel filled with small-town secrets, summer romance, big time lies and spiked seltzer, in the vein of Liane Moriarty.

Truth: Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, have recently moved to the idyllic beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Rebecca Coleman, widely acknowledged former leader of the Newburyport Mom Squad (having taken a step back since her husband’s shocking and tragic death eighteen months ago), has made a surprising effort to include these newcomers in typically closed-group activities. Rebecca’s teenage daughter Alexa has even been spotted babysitting Katie.

Truth: Alexa has time on her hands because of a recent falling-out with her longtime best friends for reasons no one knows—but everyone suspects have to do with Alexa’s highly popular and increasingly successful YouTube channel. Katie Griffin, who at age 11 probably doesn’t need a babysitter anymore, can’t be left alone because she has terrifying nightmares that don’t seem to jibe with the vague story Sherri has floated about the “bad divorce” she left behind in Ohio. Rebecca Coleman has been spending a lot of time with Sherri, it’s true, but she’s also been spending time with someone else she doesn’t want the Mom Squad to know about just yet.

Lie: Rebecca Coleman doesn’t have a new man in her life, and definitely not someone connected to the Mom Squad. Alexa is not seeing anyone new herself and is planning on shutting down her YouTube channel in advance of attending college in the fall. Sherri Griffin’s real name is Sherri Griffin, and a bad divorce is all she’s running from.

A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Two Truths and a Lie reminds us that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared, and the most precious things are the people we love. 

My Review:

I went into this book completely blind and I received the ARC unsolicited. I haven’t read from this author before but I did enjoy this book. It is told from multiple points of view and the “thriller” aspect of it was not intense. It read more like a episode or two of a Netflix domestic show. The characters were just the right amount of annoying to make me take sides in the story. I appreciated the book as a summer read with some drama and an air of a thrill.

I gave this book 3.5 crowns.

Happy and You Know It by: Laura Hankin

Publication Date: May 19, 2020

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“It’s what would happen if the women from The Nanny Diaries met the women from Sex and the City in the social-media age. I devoured it in less than 48 hours.”—Jill Santopolo, author of The Light We Lost

A dark, witty page-turner about a struggling young musician who takes a job singing for a playgroup of overprivileged babies and their effortlessly cool moms, only to find herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….


After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for wealthy infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.

There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her flawless life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the stylish women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.

Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood – exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women – while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.

My Review:

I was very intrigued by the premise of this book; women who are mothers that may have lost their own sense of identity trying to “compete” for a place in the world. The insane use of social media in order to fill in their self worth is an issue that is prevalent to not only mothers but to our younger generations as well. I really enjoyed the story line of this book. The characters were well written and the struggle could be felt among them.

It made me a bit nostalgic as my daughter and I participated in a Mommy and Me type class. I can remember sitting in a group with other young children and trying to relate to the parents. Parenthood is an interesting job that we are involved in, it can be all consuming and make us feel as if we would do anything to make sure that we were taking the best possible care of our child; but is there a line that can be crossed? How far is too far? What would you to get yourself back?

I gave this book 4 crowns.


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

What You’ve Done by: J.A. Schneider

Publication Date: April 16, 2020

Summary from Goodreads

A small town divorce lawyer (“I know people’s secrets”) blames herself when a client’s teen daughter is brutally murdered. She investigates and finds herself the killer’s next target.

Grieving the loss of her NYPD detective husband, former defense attorney Mia Peale moves to Grand Cove, Connecticut, desperate for a sense of community and hoping to rebuild her life. Now, starting a family law practice, she’s finally found friends and peace – until the teen daughter of one of her clients is brutally murdered, and the girl’s boyfriend stands accused.

Kelly Payne was an adored high school track star. Brian Hall is a poor boy in a rich town, and the community is outraged. But Mia has known Brian since her arrival and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite strong circumstantial evidence against him. As his defense turns lackluster, she asks Grand Cove police detective Jay Colter for help. Jay is also skeptical of the police and DA’s case and takes them on, especially when Mia’s friend from her former Manhattan law firm uncovers a frighteningly similar murder in the city. Secretly, Jay helps Mia investigate both murders, but his alarm grows as her life is threatened by a maniac hiding among them. 

My Review:

I was so excited to see that there was a new book about to be published by J.A. Schneider. I am so grateful that she sent it to me for review so that I can gush in advance of its’ release.

I adore her writing style and her story lines and this was no exception. I immediately feel in live with Mia and her inquisitive nature and caring spirit. Jay made for the perfect police detective. The story itself was of difficult subject matter as a young girl’s death happens at the peak of her high school track career. Well loved by many with secrets to hid, there is much more to Kelly’s life then anyone knew. This little town was rocked but this gruesome death and Mia is smack in the middle of it.

I loved this book and the characters so much. Pick this book up now!!

Thanks J.A. Schneider for the ARC but most importantly, for creating a very memorable group of characters.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

The New Husband by: D.J. Palmer

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Publication Date: April 14, 2020

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

The New Husband is a riveting thriller about the lies we tell ourselves from D. J. Palmer, the author of Saving Meghan.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you know them.

Nina Garrity learned that the hard way after discovering that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But Glen’s gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—so she can’t confront him about the affair or any of his other misdeeds. A year and a half after the accident, Nina considers herself a widow, even though the police never found a body. Following a chance encounter with Simon Fitch, a teacher from her daughter Maggie’s middle school, Nina finds love again and has hopes of putting her shattered life back together.

Simon, a widower still grieving the suicide of his first wife, has found his dream girl in Nina. His charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, but Maggie sees a far darker side to this new man in their lives. Even Nina’s good friends wonder if Simon is supremely devoted—or dangerously possessive.

But Nina is committed, not only to her soon-to-be new husband but also to resuming her former career as a social worker. Before she can move forward, however, Nina must first clear her conscience that she’s not making another terrible choice in a man. In doing so, she will uncover the shocking truth: the greatest danger to her, and her children, are the lies people tell themselves.

My Review

It is not easy to try and start your life over again, especially when there are vulnerable children involved. Nina is about to find that out the hard way. When her husband, the father of her children, goes missing and is presumed dead, Nina try to move on with her life. Her friends are not too sure that Simon is the right choice for her and her daughter Maggie is positive that he is not. Simon and Maggie seem to clash at every possible moment and Nina is feeling the strain. Even though certain things aren’t adding up for Nina, she is chalking it up to the stress that she and her family have just had to deal with.

Is Nina putting her family in jeopardy or is she really providing a new life for them? What will it take for her to see things clearly?

This was a quick paced, thrilling read. I really enjoyed it.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

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

She Has a Broken Thing Where Her Heart Should Be by: J.D. Barker

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Description from Goodreads

A haunting tale of suspense, rendered with the masterful skill only Barker could muster.

After the loss of his parents, young Jack Thatch first met Stella as a child–this cryptic little girl of eight with dark hair and darker eyes, sitting alone on a bench in the cemetery clutching her favorite book. Gone moments later, the brief encounter would spark an obsession. She’d creep into his thoughts, his every waking moment, until he finally finds her again exactly one year later, sitting upon the same bench, only to disappear again soon after.

The body of a man found in an alley, every inch of his flesh horribly burned, yet his clothing completely untouched. For Detective Faustino Brier, this wasn’t the first, and he knew it wouldn’t be the last. It was no different from the others. He’d find another just like it one year from today. August 9, to be exact.

Isolated and locked away from the world in a shadowy lab, a little boy known only as Subject “D” waits, grows, learns. He’s permitted to speak to no one. He has never known the touch of another. Harboring a power so horrific, those in control will never allow him beyond their walls.

All of them linked in ways unimaginable.

SHE HAS A BROKEN THING WHERE HER HEART SHOULD BE conjures thoughts of early King and Koontz. A heart-pounding ride that creeps under your skin and will have you turning pages long into the night.

My Review

I will read anything that J.D. Barker writes. I don’t know how he does it but his writing transports me to wherever the story is. His descriptions and dialog captivate me. Even though this book is over 700 pages, I was so absorbed and didn’t want it to end. Jack Thatch is a character I am going to miss now that I have finished reading his story. I hope that he makes a reappearance in another book. I really connected with most of the characters in here and wanted to know each back story.

August 9th plays such a role in this story and it is just a date. The lives that are impacted by this one date are immense. It is not a terrorist event that reaches globally. It is a date on a calendar that causes the lives of people to change drastically. It’s funny because August 9th is my wedding anniversary!

I gave this book 5 crowns.

The How & The Why by: Cynthia Hand Blog Tour & Giveaway

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2019/10/the-how-why-by-cynthia-hand.html

SYNOPSIS

A poignant exploration of family and the ties that bind, perfect for fans of Far From the Tree, from New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand.

Today Melly had us writing letters to our babies…

Cassandra McMurtrey has the best parents a girl could ask for. They’ve given Cass a life she wouldn’t trade for the world. She has everything she needs—except maybe the one thing she wants. Like, to know who she is. Where she came from. Questions her adoptive parents can’t answer, no matter how much they love her.

But eighteen years ago, someone wrote Cass a series of letters. And they may just hold the answers Cass has been searching for.

Alternating between Cass’s search for answers and letters from the pregnant teen who gave her up for adoption, this voice-driven narrative is the perfect read for fans of Nina LaCour and Jandy Nelson.  

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYPraise for THE HOW & THE WHY

“The novel’s great strength is the emotional depth of its characters and the complexity of their relationships. A heartfelt and hopeful story about coming of age as an adoptee.” ―School Library Journal

“Hand explores adoption’s multiple dimensions with great insight and sensitivity. Inclusive and illustrative: an engaging lesson in timeless family values.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Cynthia Hand is the master of pulling at your heartstrings. The How & the Why tells both sides of an adoption story with love, compassion, and care. You’ll be reaching for your tissue box with this one — if you can stop turning pages long enough, that is.” ―Brigid Kemmerer, New York Times Bestselling Author of Letters to the Lost

“Beautifully rendered and superbly shaped. Hand has crafted an absorbing novel that focuses on family, friendship, teen pregnancy, adoption, personal choices, and serious health issues. Give this exquisite novel to readers seeking an emotionally intricate story.” ―Booklist (starred review)  

My Review

This was a fabulous, heart-string pulling, honest look at the lives of all of the people involved in the adoption process. Even though the story itself was fiction, the author herself was adopted at six weeks old and lived with some of the same questions that the main character Cass had. I loved how each character in this story had an important role to play and how significant they were.

This was my first read from Cynthia Hand but it won’t be my last. I highly recommend to anyone of any age, sex, religion or ethnicity to pick this up. I gave this book 5 crowns.

PHOTO CONTENT FROM CYNTHIA HAND

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYEMY LADY JANE and MY PLAIN JANE (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows), THE AFTERLIFE OF HOLLY CHASE, and the upcoming novel THE HOW AND THE WHY (Fall 2019). Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with a husband who’s addicted to typewriters, two kids, two cats, one crazy dog, and a entourage of imaginary friends.  

PHOTO CONTENT FROM CYNTHIA HANAD
WEBSITE: http://www.cynthiahandbooks.com/TWITTER: @CynthiaHand
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3290920.Cynthia_Hand
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/writercynthiahand/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/cynthiahand/

Giveaway is open Internationally. | Must be 13+ to Enter

GIVEAWAY

ENTER HERE: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7751717/

3 Winners will receive a Copy of THE HOW & THE WHY by Cynthia Hand

ENDS: NOVEMBER 25, 2019


Rosie Colored Glasses by: Brianna Wolfson

Description from the publishers through Netgalley

“What a wonderful, emotional ride! It’s like the Ordinary People of the 21st century…such an achievement!” —Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Summer That Made Us

SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH ROSIE COLORED GLASSES

Just as opposites attract, they can also cause friction, and no one feels that friction more than Rex and Rosie’s daughter, Willow. Rex is serious and unsentimental and tapes checklists of chores on Willow’s bedroom door. Rosie is sparkling and enchanting and meets Willow in their treehouse in the middle of the night to feast on candy.

After Rex and Rosie’s divorce, Willow finds herself navigating their two different worlds. She is clearly under the spell of her exciting, fun-loving mother. But as Rosie’s behavior becomes more turbulent, the darker underpinnings of her manic love are revealed.

Rex had removed his Rosie colored glasses long ago, but will Willow do the same?

Whimsical, heartbreaking and uplifting, this is a novel about the many ways love can find you. Rosie Colored Glasses triumphs with the most endearing examples of how mothers and fathers and sons and daughters bend for one another.

My Review

I know that this was published in February of 2018, but this is a back log review book from Netgalley. I was able to listen to this on audio and I enjoyed that experience. This is a sad story about a young girl whose mother suffers from Bipolar Disorder. When her parents split, she enjoys the days that she and her little brother get to spend with her care-free mom more than the time she spends with her prim and proper dad.

I was a bit emotional listening to this story but that is a sign of great writing. It did feel a bit young as the main character is just a child, but the accuracy of the mental illnesses depicted were poignant.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

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