Genre: Contemporary

No Place Like Here…By Christina June

No Place Like Here…By Christina June

  When Ashlyn’s father goes to prison and her mother goes to rehab for depression, her world falls apart. Ashlyn’s father decides she needs to work at a retreat for the summer with a cousin she barely knows.   This story is a companion book to ‘It Started With Goodbye’, and ‘Everywhere You Want to Be’. Although they have crossover characters, each can be read separately.   I was really excited to read, ‘No Place Like Here,’ when I found out it took place at a wilderness retreat. This is such a unique premise and setting.   It is a ‘Hansel and Gretal’ retelling, although this is very subtle.  Deb as the witch definitely took a while to catch onto even with the candy and gingerbread house references. Ashlyn’s quote journal and her leaving ‘breadcrumbs’ of quotes everywhere was wonderful and […]

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We Thought We Were Invincible…by Michelle MacQueen

We Thought We Were Invincible…by Michelle MacQueen

Callie is trying to survive high school and get out of her small Florida town. When her best friend moves away to college, Callie believes she is stuck alone.   I really love me some books set in Florida. Especially when it gives a glimpse into small-town Florida.   I really liked Callie and her relationship with her twin brother. Being a mom to boy/girl twins myself, I love seeing older twins that have a close relationship.   Callie’s spunky and fun personality is relatable and her hate to love relationship with Jaime was definitely swoon-worthy. I also loved that their family ran a diner.   I kind of figured out the twist that was coming but it was still shocking. It really brought out the realities of modern-day high-school.   I thought that the Hurricane threat was an interesting part of the story and […]

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Triplicity…by J.Mercer

Triplicity…by J.Mercer

Navy, Isaiah, and Jesse are teens traveling with their families on an Alaskan cruise.  While enjoying their vacation they must solve the mystery of who is committing thefts on board the ship.   A mystery aboard a cruise. Yes, please. I have never read a story that takes place on a cruise ship. This story has so much potential. A ship with everyone trapped on board while crimes are taking place could really be interesting.   What I Loved: First, there were a few things I really loved about the story. I loved the details about the ports of call. I loved the touristy places they visited.  I also really loved the mystery. It was fun but not too scary. I didn’t guess who the thief was until right before it was revealed. Isaiah Jesse’s aunt and grandmother were also […]

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The Next To Last Mistake…by Amalie Jahn

The Next To Last Mistake…by Amalie Jahn

“Victory goes to the player who makes the next to last mistake. During a game of chess, you can make mistakes along the way and still come out ahead as long as you learn from that misstep and adjust accordingly.”   Tess’s bucolic life is uprooted when her dad decides to reenlist in the army. When her family relocates to North Carolina, she leaves behind her beloved farm, her best friend Zander, and the only way of life she is ever known. I first got a taste of this story when I read the prequel in ‘Mistletoe and Magic’. It was such a wonderful slice of life story about friendship and first love. It gave a glance into the underrepresented (in YA at least) view of farm life in America. Having loved the short story I couldn’t wait to find out what […]

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

‘You’re young and your entire generation are casual with words that bear great meaning.’   ‘When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give you things, you take things.’   ‘Be wary of men with something to prove.’   ‘People think intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth.’   ‘Heartbreak is loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.’     Evelyn Hugo has been through seven husbands and a lifetimes of amazing stories. She is ready to break her silence. She chooses unknown reporter Monique Grant to write her story. Why Monique? What amazing things will she tell Monique? These are the questions on everyone’s lips as Evelyn begins to layout her entire life for everyone to see.   Oh-my-gosh. This book is […]

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Britt-Marie was Here…by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie was Here…by Fredrik Backman

He’s small and chubby and has a head of hair like a lawn the day after an impromptu barbecue.     Britt-Marie is originally a character from Fredrik Backman’s book ‘ My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry’. When Britt-Marie leaves her cheating husband to strike out on her own, she learns it’s hard to start a new life as a sixty-something woman.   Fredrik Backman writes the most amazing characters and Britt-Marie is one of his best. She is passive aggressive, judgmental, and set in her ways. She sees everyone around her as obstacles to keeping her OCD world clean and tidy.   I loved, ‘My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell She’s Sorry.’ In that book it is so easy to dislike Britt-Marie. In ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ we learn more of her back story and her life […]

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Just For Clicks…by Kara McDowell

Just For Clicks…by Kara McDowell

‘I just can’t help but think, unhinged or not, the good moms are the ones who stay. The ones who keep trying day in and day out.’   Claire and her twin sister, Poppy, are ‘internet famous’. Every part of their lives have been blogged, photographed, and recorded by their fashion blogger mom. Claire begins to doubt her future on the internet while Poppy loves the limelight. The addition of a new boy in class helps push Claire to spread her wings and want more for her life.   The topic of this book is very timely. When I was growing up there was no YouTube, social medial, or email. There was no pressure to keep up on the latest internet trends and there was no such thing as being ‘internet famous.’ In todays world there are many people who […]

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The Secret Keeper…by Kate Morton

Posted February 9, 2019 by Karen in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Secret Keeper…by Kate Morton

‘The landscape of one’s childhood was more vibrant than any other. It didn’t matter where it was or what it looked like, the sights and sounds imprinted differently from those encountered later. They became part of a person, inescapable.’   ‘… she and her tap shoes could be swept as easily as dust beneath histories carpet.’   Laurel is a successful actress in modern-day London. Seventy years earlier, her mother Dorothy is doing her best to survive war-torn London. As a child, Laurel witnesses a death that haunts her for the rest of her life. Laurel and Dorothy’s stories come together to form the dual timeline of a family’s secrets.   I love stories that take place in WWII London. I also love me some Kate Morton. She is one of my favorite authors and the ‘Forgotten Garden’ is one […]

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine…by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine…by Gail Honeyman

The characters in this book, especially Eleanor, are  well thought out and quirky. I found the character of Eleanor to be one of my favorite characters of all time, second only to ‘Ove’ in ‘A Man Called ‘Ove’.   In some ways Eleanor reminds me of  Britt-Marie in ‘Britt Marie’ was Here’. Both are quirky and socially awkward.   The friendships in this novel are second to none. It is wonderful to read about what a wonderful friend Raymond is to Eleanor.   Scotland is an interesting setting for this book. I have read books before with Scotland as the setting but they have been historical fiction or adventure type books. I enjoyed seeing a slice of life story set there.   I thought Eleanor’s depression is portrayed well in this novel. Depression isn’t always extreme or obvious.   I […]

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The Roanoke Girls…by Amy Engel

The Roanoke Girls…by Amy Engel

Lane Roanoke returns to her ancestral home after her mother’s untimely death. Lane learns that everything and everyone within its walls are not as they seem.   Since ‘ The Roanoke Girls’ is such a polarizing book, I am going to keep this review fairly short. This book is engrossing and interesting. It has a mystery/thriller element that pushes the story forward. The dual timelines  added a bit of foreboding.  The characters are incredibly complex and human, both likable and unlikable at the same time. However, (and this is a big however) the storyline is gritty, raw, and graphic. It’s dark and disturbing.  It’s about incest in its extreme. It’s about sexual abuse and victim blaming. It’s about women blaming each other and themselves for abuse at the hands of a man. It’s about things in our society that do happen […]

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