Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Dark Blossom
by Neel Mullick

Publisher: Rupa Publications
Pages: 224
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Sam returns home from a business trip a day before his son's thirteenth birthday and is looking forward to being with his family, when his world is cruelly shattered in one fell swoop. Initially he thinks he can cope with the loss, but finally seeks the help of Cynthia, an experienced therapist, to regain his equipoise. What he does not know is that Cynthia herself is trying to cope with a debilitating divorce and the sinister shadow of her ex-husband over her daughter...

What happens when doctor and patient find themselves in the same sinking boat? Moreover, when they are rowing in opposite directions--one clinging to the past, and the other unable to get rid of it! In the midst of it all is Lily, Cynthia's daughter, who harbours a secret that has the power to explode the lives around her.

Kritters Thoughts:  A small, petite paperback that was easy to sit down and read in one sitting, but for me the story just didn't work.  Sam was a father and husband until a tragedy hit his family and he is still trying to cope with all of the change.  Cynthia is a therapist and is having her own life upheavals and when Sam comes to her for help their lives get very intertwined.  

I think my biggest complaint about this book was that I just couldn't trust either of the characters from the beginning.  I was waiting from page to page for something sinister or something to surprise me and it wasn't the good reading feeling that one can get from a mystery.  I wish one or the other of the characters was a little more honest and that I could trust them for the truth.  All of this made me just not care about the characters and I don't like not caring, I am fine with not trusting, but its hard not to care and keep reading.

The redeeming feature of the book was the twists and turns.  I won't spoil but I liked how the Sam and Cynthia's lives ended up connected.  That was interesting and I would have loved for that to come out earlier and for them to have to deal with that earlier in the book.  

AND the ending.  Call me an optimist, but I like a book to end with as few lingering questions and when it came to the end of this book I had some many questions and concerns and I felt very unsettled and I hated that feeling.


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from FSB Associates.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Waisted
by Randy Susan Meyers

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.

Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.

The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.

The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability...until they decide to take matters into their own hands.


Kritters Thoughts:  Alice and Daphne both have lives that many would envy - careers, husbands, families, but with each carrying around a bit of extra weight they decide to make a big change and go to a remote Vermont mansion to hopefully send their lives in new directions.  

The experience at Waisted was an interesting behind the scenes.  It reminded me of the tv show The Biggest Loser and although I didn't watch that show religiously I caught it a few times and I wondered how close some of these women experiences were to that show.  To hear how hard they were working and what little change they would see in their bodies was so hard to read.    

This book had me questioning my own health which doesn't happen often when I read fiction.  I have gone through ups and downs with my health and weight, so to read a fiction book with women at the center and the unique experience it is to be a woman and fight to be near the "ideal weight", I enjoyed reading this one.  

I am not sure how often I want to read about this, but I am glad that books like this one exist.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 24 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Another busy week and a some hours spent playing on the phone instead of reading!!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers
Tiffany Blues by MJ Rose
The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry

Currently Reading:
The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage

Next on the TBR pile:
The Poison Thread by Lauren Purcell

Friday, June 14, 2019

The Friends We Keep
by Jane Green

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 384
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known each other since university. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and none of them ever found the lives they wanted – the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible.
 
Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. 
 
Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with at university, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. 
 
Topher became a successful actor but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy.
 
By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with each other and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness… until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything.


Kritters Thoughts:  Let me start by saying, I am a Jane Green fan and even though I didn't completely love this one, I am still a Jane Green fan.  Three friends are at the center of this book and they meet in university and then travel in and out of each other's lives for the rest of their lives.  

This book was just ok for me.  There were moments where I felt like the story dragged and then moments where I wanted more.  I didn't get completely swept away by any of the characters.  Each had a bit of drama that they needed to work through and unlike my favorite stories they almost had to be apart to grow instead of be together, they were holding each other back.  

I wanted more from this book.  I love stories where friendship is the center, but for me the drama overshadowed the emphasis on how friendships matter and most of the drama was about romantic relationships.

I will always read Jane Green because I love almost all of her backlist.  I hope she has more up her sleeve with interesting characters that I can root for.


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley PRH.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

This is Home
by Lisa Duffy

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Sixteen-year-old Libby Winters lives in Paradise, a seaside town north of Boston that rarely lives up to its name. After the death of her mother, she lives with her father, Bent, in the middle apartment of their triple decker home—Bent’s two sisters, Lucy and Desiree, live on the top floor. A former soldier turned policeman, Bent often works nights, leaving Libby under her aunts’ care. Shuffling back and forth between apartments—and the wildly different natures of her family—has Libby wishing for nothing more than a home of her very own.

Quinn Ellis is at a crossroads. When her husband John, who has served two tours in Iraq, goes missing back at home, suffering from PTSD he refuses to address, Quinn finds herself living in the first-floor apartment of the Winters house. Bent had served as her husband’s former platoon leader, a man John refers to as his brother, and despite Bent’s efforts to make her feel welcome, Quinn has yet to unpack a single box.

For Libby, the new tenant downstairs is an unwelcome guest, another body filling up her already crowded house. But soon enough, an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, when Libby and Quinn stretch and redefine their definition of family and home.


Kritters Thoughts:  Libby Winters and Quinn Ellis take turns narrating this book and between the two of them you get a full picture of how a family reacts to their loved ones returning from contemporary war.  Libby Winters lives with her father and he returned from war with physical and mental scars, he became a police officer and is living a mostly normal life.  Quinn Ellis' has been abandoned by her husband who returned from war with major mental scars and may never heal from what he saw abroad.  

I enjoyed reading about the real impacts that people feel from going to war and how it not only affects them but also affects their families and friends.  War is no joke and what they see, feel and experience lives within them forever.  This book really hits home on how different people react different ways to what happens to them while at war.  Not to spoil, but the puppy dog story that Quinn finds out about just really made me stop and think about everything.  

This was both a hard book to read but also necessary.  If you have an inkling of wonderment of how people are affected by war then pick this up.  If PTSD is a trigger warning for you, then I would possibly avoid this one.  It was well written and put together quite nicely.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 23 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Nobody's Wife
by Laura Pearson

Publisher: Agora Books
Pages: 267
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  ‘Of the four of them, only three remained. And there was no going backwards from there.’ 

Emily and Josephine have always shared everything. They’re sisters, flatmates, and best friends. It’s the two of them against the world.

When Emily has the perfect wedding, and Josephine finds the perfect man, they know things will change forever. But nothing can prepare them for what, or who, one of them is willing to give up for love.

Four people. Three couples. Two sisters. One unforgivable betrayal.



Kritters Thoughts:   Two couples, a set of sisters and betrayal.  Emily and Josephine share a mother and more than that their mother has abandoned them so they are all each other has left when it comes to family.  Emily gets married and they know that will change their relationship, but actually it is Josephine's new love that will really rock their world.

The reader knows from the beginning that there will be a betrayal and that it will really affect this small group.  But there is one reveal at the end that I will not spoil that really sent this book down a road I wasn't prepared for.  I am still not sure how I feel about it and I finished the book a few days before writing this review - have you read this book?  Without spoiling what are your thoughts on this ending?

I accepted this review before I really started avoiding books that had cheating and spouses, so I wanted to keep to my commitment, but also trying to decide if this really is a sub genre that I am going to avoid - answer is yes.  I just don't love reading books with this at the heart of it and I am going to avoid these in the future.


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Agora Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A good week of reading, hoping for more time in the sun with good books!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Queen Bee by Dorothea Benton Frank
This is Home by Lisa Duffy
The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

Currently Reading:
Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers

Next on the TBR pile:
The Woman in the Dark by Vanessa Savage
 

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