Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Review: The Editor by Steven Rowley

The Editor by Steven Rowley

Publisher: GP Putnam
Pages: 320
Format: ARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie--or Mrs. Onassis, as she's known in the office--has fallen in love with James's candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book's forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can't bring himself to finish the manuscript.

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page...


Kritters Thoughts:  A young man just sold his first novel to a small imprint within a publishing house with an interesting head editor - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  James Smale, this debut author has no clue when he goes to meet his new editor that he is meeting someone that is literally a historical figure and through editing this book his life will change.  

If you are a Jackie Kennedy fan like me, this is a fun book to read to see a new perspective on her in her later years and a look at her passions and a profession.  Known as an avid reader and a book fan, to see her find the profession of book editor is cool and then to read a fictional tale of a debut author working with her is just great.  You can imagine if she had never entered the Kennedy family could this had become her profession earlier?  I would hope so!

This book is great for a book lover because it gives the behind the scenes glimpse of books and the way they come about.  All of the hands that take a book from a concept to printed and on the shelf.  I will always love reading about the ins and outs of the industry that I admire - more please!

There were a few moments in this book where the story went back in time and I just wish that the book had made a note of it.  Just a few times it was confusing that we were sent back in time and stayed there for a bit and it would have helped with the reading if it had been announced or notated ahead of time. 

I cried and laughed while reading this one.  It was the best escape from the news of the world and a great companion for a summer weekend.  


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

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Putnam.  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 29, 2020

Review: The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell

The Falling Woman
by Richard Farrell

Publisher: Algonquin
Pages: 336
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Tragedy strikes during a cross-country flight when sudden turbulence causes the jet to come apart in midair. The odds of anyone surviving are nearly impossible. Charlie Radford, a young National Transportation Safety Board investigator, is part of the team sent to determine what caused the crash. When he hears a rumor of a survivor, he assumes it is a hoax. As word of this “miracle” reaches the media and Congress, Radford is forced to track down “the falling woman,” said to have been found in a barn still strapped to her seat.

The woman at the center of the mystery, Erin Geraghty, was facing a losing battle with cancer when she embarked on her flight. With diminishing hope of a full recovery, she had considered herself essentially dead to her loved ones. Now, after the plane crash, she is intent on remaining dead to the world and to her family, to live out her final days in peace. And then Agent Radford arrives at her doorstep. Can he convince her to come forward, and does he have any right to?


Kritters Thoughts:  Charlie Radford works for the NTSB and recently it has been quiet with very minimal accidents, until one night when a major commercial flight goes down, but it seems as though there could be one survivor who literally fell from the sky.  At the same time, the reader meets Erin Geraghty who has been fighting cancer for a long time and it doesn't seem like there is an end in sight.  She boards a flight for a retreat and . . . 

I love when a story is told through multiple perspectives, it makes the story more dynamic.  I also love when the reader knows early on how all the storylines connect, so the mystery is about the characters arc, not why they are together in a book.  

Richard Farrell really wrote a great yin and yang with these two characters.  With both second guessing their life decisions, but for very different reasons.  Charlie wonders if he can do fatherhood and Erin wonders if she is doing what is right for her children.  Charlie seems at the beginning of a career and trying to find his footing, where Erin is wanting to button things up as she sees her life ending soon.  I loved the back and forth of these two and I wondered where they would end up.  

There was one part of the plot that I didn't love and as I am not a spoiler, I won't be too specific about it here.  I felt as though it didn't completely fit, but I understood why it had to be included for some parts of the story to work.  It just felt at times a little out of place.  

This was my first encounter with Richard Farrell and it looks as though he has quite the eclectic backlist, where should I go from here?


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more
Ebook 2020 Challenge: 58 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Algonquin.  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 28, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

A busy week and a busy weekend, but was able to squeeze in 4 books!


A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O'Neal
What's Your Enneatype? by Liz Carver and Josh Green
The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards
Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins

Currently Reading:
Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook by Celia Rees
 
Next on the TBR pile:
Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Review: Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads: The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.


Kritters Thoughts:  This is a good book.  With a focus on the gymnastics community and the recent news that has happened in that community this book felt so honest and real.  

Avery Abrams lived a lot of life in a short time, training for many years with the 
Olympics as the end goal, it was taken from her right on the cusp and for this big of an event to happen at such a young age, Avey has been through a lot.  The book starts seven years later as Avery is returning home and she is at a turning point and has to decide what is next for herself.

The one thing for me that was sad about this book was that the Olympics were cancelled and this book set in the current time, of course, fiction is fictional and I could stretch my imagination, but it did make me chuckle and feel bad for the climate that this book ended up being released into.

I liked the writing, the plot and the characters and would read more from Hannah Orenstein.  


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



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 22, 2020

Review: Summer at Lake Haven by RaeAnne Thayne

Summer at Lake Haven by RaeAnne Thayne

Publisher: HQN
Pages: 384
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Return to Haven Point for one last summer by the lake…

Samantha Fremont may still be grappling with her mother’s death, but this summer she’s determined to build a new life for herself. Starting with making her friend’s dream wedding dress and establishing herself as a boutique fashion designer in the process. What she does not need is a surprise litter of puppies, the voice in the back of her mind saying she can’t do any of this—or her friend’s gorgeous brother who’s visiting from England for the wedding.

Ian Somerhill knows a sabbatical in Haven Point is exactly what his children need to recover from their own mother’s death. And even if he and Sam got off on the wrong foot, she has a way with Miranda and Thomas. As Sam—and her adorable puppies—bond with his children, they fall into a friendship unlike any he’s had in a long time. But Ian has obligations in England her can’t ignore—and a complicated past that might just stop this summer romance from ever blooming into something more.


Kritters Thoughts:  The 11th book in a series where like most romance books each book is self contained, but it is always great to read in order because other's stories build on each other and then you can know everyone's back story as you read along.  I started this series when it first released and with each book loved how they built on each other. 

This book centers around Samantha Fremont who has recently lost her mother and is still processing the life her mom built that she was very much involved in and the dreams she has for herself.  Ian Somerhill is in Haven Point for a short time to celebrate his sister's wedding and to regroup after his own loss.  When these two meet sparks will fly, but not without a few hiccups!

My favorite thing about romance books is finding out how they will meet and then what they will have to overcome to end up in a positive place.  The journey of a romance book is the reason for the story and as they usually end up in the same place, the journey is the basis of the story.

I loved this series and I loved this couple.  They had such a great arc that reminded me why I love to curl up with a romance book and get swept away.


Rating: great beach read!
  Ebook 2020 Challenge: 57 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  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 21, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

I took some time off this week, so more reading happened!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
When You Read This by Mary Adkins
Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long
No One Saw by Beverly Long
Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore

Currently Reading:
What's Your Enneatype? by Liz Carver and Josh Green
The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O'Neal
 
Next on the TBR pile:
The Black Swan of Paris by Karen Robards

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Review: Sweet Pea Summer by Alys Murray

Sweet Pea Summer by Alys Murray 

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 235
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Can you ever really forget your first love?

It’s been eight long years since May Anderson’s high school sweetheart Tom Riley drove down Main Street in his truck, leaving Hillsboro—and May—in his rearview mirror. Now he’s back and, try as they might, the pair can’t avoid each other.

As Hillsboro prepares to host the prestigious North West Food and Wine Festival, Tom and May are reluctantly called in to plan the big event. Tom needs May’s help to repair his bad-boy reputation and, with the whole town counting on them, May and Tom need to learn to trust each other again.

May is determined to protect her heart, but a lot has changed since high school. She can’t help but notice how the skinny boy she used to know is now a man who perfectly fills out his button-down, and Tom can’t seem to tear his gaze away from May’s sweet smile. It’s clear old feelings are surfacing again, but there is a secret keeping them apart and, until they find the courage to face it, their second chance summer will be only that…


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a romance series.  I didn't completely love the first book, so I was intrigued to try book two and see if it would change my mind about the series.  

I loved book two so much more than the first one.  For romance books in my opinion if you don't love the main couple then you typically can't enjoy the book.  I loved May and Tom.  This was the second book I had read recently where a couple reconnected after some time apart and they had some ups and downs as they were getting back together, but like all romance books, it ended on a positive note.  

The reconnecting love story works for me because it takes away the ability for insta love.  Because they have history the love story can't seem sudden and instead feels like a slow burn!  I loved the whole back story with May and Tom and what they needed to do to have their reconciliation work.  I also loved that both May and Tom needed to make personal changes to allow for their relationship to even begin.  

I will definitely look forward for the third book in this series as it focuses on the third sister who hasn't had the limelight just yet.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
  Ebook 2020 Challenge: 55 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  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.




Friday, June 19, 2020

Review: The Magnolia Sisters by Alys Murray

The Magnolia Sisters by Alys Murray

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 246
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Harper Anderson has a to-do list longer than the Colorado river, and fields of tulips to tend to at her family’s flower farm in Hillsboro County, California. It’s her dream to run the business with her sisters when their father retires, keeping up traditions that began with her great-great-grandmother.

That is, if there’s a farm left to run. Rich out-of-towners looking for a slice of country living are hiking up the prices in town and it’s putting her family out of business. So she has no time for the arrogant LA tech mogul who makes her an offer to use their farm as his sister’s wedding venue. No amount of money could make up for the destruction it would wreak on next season’s crop. The sooner Luke Martin is on his way, the better.

But Luke isn’t willing to go. He’s been looking out for his sister ever since their deadbeat parents left them to fend for themselves, and he’ll do whatever it takes to make her happy. So when Harper’s newest farmhand leaves her in the lurch, he sees an opportunity to strike a deal. He’ll work on the farm for free if she’ll give him the chance to change her mind.

Harper and Luke each expect the other to crack first. What they don’t expect is the chemistry that sparks between them as they work side by side among the budding roses. But Luke’s presence is turning over more than the earth, and just as Harper is starting to let her guard down, he stumbles upon a secret that could spell disaster for the entire Anderson clan.


Kritters Thoughts: Harper and Luke are the main characters of this romance novel.  Harper Anderson works at her family's flower farm that has been in the family for generations.  She is giving everything to keep the farm afloat and won't let anything or anyone take her attention away from the farm.  In walks Luke who has a younger sister who is getting married and her one look at the farm has her seeing it as a wedding location and Luke will do anything to make his sister's dreams become a reality.  

For me this romance book fell below the mark of the ones that I have read before it.  As in all romance books, the reader knows where we will end up, but the journey is the fun of it and for me this book followed the same road map of others and just didn't feel creative and I may have rolled my eyes at a moment or two.  It just seemed all too unrealistic and way too close to a soap opera drama then a sweet romance book with a few ups and downs.  

The other thing that I just didn't love about this romance book was the amount of immediate internal thoughts by especially the male character of physical thoughts, it was just too fast and too much!  At first look he was lusting after her and I wanted to say "Hold up buddy you haven't even said two words to her!" and it made me feel awkward and annoyed.  

I read a few books before diving into book two of this series, check out the blog tomorrow for my thoughts on book two.   


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more
 Ebook 2020 Challenge: 51 out of 100




Thursday, June 18, 2020

Review: We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall

We Came Here to Shine by Susie Orman Schnall

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 384
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  At the iconic 1939 New York World’s Fair, two ambitious young women—a down-on-her-luck actress and an aspiring journalist—form an unlikely friendship as they navigate a world of possibility and find out what they are truly made of during a glorious summer of spectacle and potential…

Gorgeous Vivi is about to begin filming her first starring role in a Hollywood picture when the studio head ships her off to New York as a favor to a friend. She’s assigned the leading role in the heralded Aquacade synchronized swimming spectacular at the World’s Fair, a fate she believes will destroy her film career. If she performs well, she’ll have another chance at stardom, but with everything working against her, will her summer lead to opportunity or failure?

Plucky Max dreams of becoming a serious journalist, but when her job at the New York Times doesn’t pan out, she finds herself begrudgingly working for the daily paper of the World’s Fair. As her ideas are continually overlooked by her male counterparts and her career prospects are put in jeopardy, Max must risk everything to change the course of her life.

When Max and Vivi’s worlds collide, they forge an enduring friendship. One that teaches them to go after what matters most during the most meaningful summer of their lives.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two women both end up at the Worlds Fair in New York City in 1939 for two very different reasons.  Vivi has had those Hollywood dreams and the studio sends her to NYC to be a part of an innovative show that will take place at the Worlds Fair.  Max ends up at the Worlds Fair working for their newspaper when her internship at the Times doesn't work out, but maybe this will be the right place for her to learn and grow.  Each women tell their story and at a certain point their stories unite and they will impact each other.

When there are more than one main characters, I always get a little nervous that I will like one more than the other, so I was happy while reading this book that I loved both equally.  Vivi had quite the journey with a deep back story that unfolded little by little.  She is sent from Hollywood to fulfill a contract and is hoping for a quick return to the life she was living in Hollywood.  Max has grand dreams and she knows that setting up her future is all up to herself and she will have little help from her family.  She knows that lining up productive internships should set the path ahead for herself and with some bumps along the way she figures out where she really wants to be in the end. 

I loved the subtle nod to her previous book The Subway Girls in the back half of this book.  I really loved that book, so it was great to see her throw that easter egg in and it completely worked within this story.  

I love how Susie Orman Schnall introduces me to places and time and things in history that I wasn't aware of and giving those moments so much color.  I will be on the lookout for her next book and am excited to see where she will put her focus on.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel
  Ebook 2020 Challenge: 56 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  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 16, 2020

Review: I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.


Kritters Thoughts:  Before even picking up this book, I was an Abbi Waxman fan and after reading this book, I am a complete and utter fan!  

A mother daughter story at the most pivotal moment of the relationship, the time where wings are growing and the bird is about to depart the nest.  Jessica and Emily are mother daughter and they are going on an east coast swing of college campuses to find Emily's future, but she isn't sure if college is the future for her.  At the same time, Jessica is also going through a crisis of sorts at her job fighting for the future of the young women at her law firm and her future and trying to decide what it will look like after motherhood takes a turn.  

First, I am a fan of this moment in life.  I think it is so interesting to dissect as parents and children are making a large transition and it is just difficult.  I am so glad that Abbi Waxman allowed both Jessica and Emily the opportunity to narrate the book; switching from one to the other and seeing their inner thoughts compared and contrasted to the other was just genius.  It made me laugh out loud a few times as it reminded me of the times where my mom and I have thought the same thing and only one of us said it and the other made very large gestures in agreement!

I loved this book so much that I pre-ordered it for my mom to read.  I need her to reminisce at this time that we went through and how it changed the course of our lives.  I think mothers and daughters should read this one together to laugh and remind themselves about the special relationship that they have and how the ups and downs are necessary for both to grow! 


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel
  Ebook 2020 Challenge: 54 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  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 15, 2020

Review: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Publisher: Atria books
Pages: 368
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.

Montana, 1983: Lily is a lonely teenager looking for adventure in small-town Montana. Her interest is piqued by her solitary, elderly neighbor. As Lily uncovers more about her neighbor’s mysterious past, she finds that they share a love of language, the same longings, and the same intense jealousy, never suspecting that a dark secret from the past connects them.


Kritters Thoughts:  Another book that takes place during World War II.  I feel as though this season I have been reading World War II books or romance!  With two storylines occurring in the same book and the reader knows very early on how they are connected, this felt a little different from the other World War II books I have read recently.  

In 1939, Odile Souchet is a young woman who wants a career, specifically a career in a library and the American library because they use the Dewey decimal system which she is in awe of this way of organizing books.  In the current storyline, it is 1983 and Lily is living on Montana and after some things happen in her own home she finds solace in her elderly neighbor and learning about French and her past.  

I really loved Odile's story and the pursuit of keeping a library and the written word alive even with the outside world literally crumbling.  These librarians and what they did for their communities was so great to read, truly uplifting.  I wanted to cheer them on while reading what they were doing to keep reading alive!  

I liked Lily.  She was an interesting young woman to follow as she was going through a very big growth spurt.  This growth was spawned by a traumatic event, but to see her journey was refreshing to see her hit speed bumps and learn from them.  

I enjoyed this book, but clearly liked one storyline over the other and was glad that the 1939 storyline took up more of the book real estate and was more of the focus.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
  Ebook 2020 Challenge: 53 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 14, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

 This was such a great week of reading.  Reading was the perfect distraction from all the things going on in the world right now.

A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Editor by Steven Rowley
Summer at Lake Haven by RaeAnne Thayne
The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell
Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger
The Wedding Dress Christmas by Rachel Hauck

Currently Reading:
When You Read This by Mary Adkins
 
Next on the TBR pile:
Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long

Friday, June 12, 2020

Review: The Summer House by Lauren Denton

The Summer House

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 352
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Sometimes it takes losing everything to find yourself again.

Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.

Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.

Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.

Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far. The Summer House weaves Lauren K. Denton’s inviting Southern charm around a woman’s journey to find herself.


Kritters Thoughts:  Lily finds herself in a small town in Alabama and has given up everything to follow her husband for his job.  When in the first few pages he leaves her in the worst way (no spoilers!) and she must make some big life decisions and fast.  Rose has lived the majority of her adult life in a community built for retired living and she has been running it without being a part of the community and just maybe she should drop her rough exterior and be a part of a community!

I was hesitant at first to pick up and read this one as I am consciously avoiding books with cheating and divorce and that sort of life things as I am just not enjoying those plotlines right now.  But because I was already a fan of Lauren Denton I wanted to give this one a chance and I am glad I did as the cheating and divorce are really only encapsulated in the first few pages and the rest of the book focuses on Lily's life and a coming of age for a character who may be a little older than your typical coming of age!  I also loved the addition of Rose and her storyline as it added just a little something extra to the whole book.  

This book solidifies my love of Lauren Denton.  If she can take a subject that I tend to avoid and write a story that I can fall in love with with characters that are jut delightful to follow, then I am a fan!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
 Ebook 2020 Challenge: 52 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  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.


Thursday, June 11, 2020

Review: Victoria's War by Catherine Hamilton

Victoria's War by Catherine Hamilton

Publisher: Plain View Press
Pages: 276
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads: POLAND, 1939: Nineteen-year-old Victoria Darski is eager to move away to college: her bags are packed and her train ticket is in hand. But instead of boarding a train to the University of Warsaw, she finds her world turned upside down when World War II breaks out.

Victoria’s father is sent to a raging battlefront, and the Darski women face the cruelty of the invaders alone. After the unthinkable happens, Victoria is ordered to work in a Nazi sewing factory. When she decides to go to a resistance meeting with her best friend, Sylvia, they are captured by human traffickers targeting Polish teenagers. Sylvia is singled out and sent to work in the brothels, and Victoria is transported in a cattle car to Berlin, where she is auctioned off as a slave.

GERMANY, 1941: Twenty-year-old Etta Tod is at Mercy Hospital, where she’s about to undergo involuntary sterilization because of the Fuhrer’s mandate to eliminate hereditary deafness. Etta, an artist, silently critiques the propaganda poster on the waiting room wall while her mother tries to convince her she should be glad to get rid of her monthlies. Etta is the daughter of the German shopkeepers who buy Victoria at auction in Berlin.

The stories of Victoria and Etta intertwine in the bakery’s attic where Victoria is held—the same place where Etta has hidden her anti-Nazi paintings. The two women form a quick and enduring bond. But when they’re caught stealing bread from the bakery and smuggling it to a nearby work camp, everything changes.


Kritters Thoughts:  Victoria and Etta are two women whose lives will be greatly impacted by World War II and they will completely impact each other.  Victoria becomes a prisoner due to her heritage, she is Polish and that is seen as an "other" in Hitler's eyes.  Etta is a prisoner to her family due to her being born deaf and that being seen as a complete defect.  When these women come together they end up doing some real good for the community.  

Both Victoria and Etta's stories had moments that were so so hard to read.  From abuse to rape, the things these women went through just trying to live were beyond anything I could imagine enduring.  These women visit Polish prison camps and even a maternity ward and are able to sneak in extra supplies, but they are looked at as the lucky ones which I couldn't wrap my head around!  

With all of the World War II books that are out there to read, this one was really hard for me to read.  I understand that the parts that were hard to read were based in truth, but they were just to graphic which made the book unenjoyable for me.  If you are a reader who has read a majority of the books that take place during World War II and are unafraid of reading about graphic scenes then this book would be right up your alley.  


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more
Ebook 2020 Challenge: 50 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Mindbuck Media.  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.




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