Thursday, July 30, 2020

Review: Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins

Behind the Red Door
by Megan Collins 

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a thirty-four-year-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—and equally famous return—twenty years ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.

Back home in New Hampshire, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—and as she reads through its chapters and visits the people and places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. As Fern’s search becomes increasingly desperate, she hopes to remember her past so she can save Astrid in the present…before it’s too late.


Kritters Thoughts:  Fern Douglas group in an interesting home.  With a father who studied fear and a mother who was an absent artist, Fern had the complete opposite childhood from me and because of that I was glued to the story from page one.  Fern is watching the news one evening and Astrid Sullivan has gone missing from her home in Maine, but this isn't the first time that Astrid has gone missing and the news story sparks something in Fern.  At the same time she is summoned home by her father to help him move and she goes running and oh what a story!

This book is a twist on the unreliable narrator, but partly because you can't trust the truth coming from Fern's parents.  Time and time again, I would find myself reading with my mouth open appalled at the style of parenting that Fern had as a child and still dealt with as an adult.  This book really highlights that there are many ways to parent!

I loved the inclusion of Astrid's recent release of her memoir.  I am so glad the author included because it added so much to the story.  To read the words that Fern was reading and see the exact words that were affecting her was so great.  Because Astrid can't help narrate the book, this gave Astrid the opportunity to tell her story.

What a great book.  I can't wait to see more from Megan Collins. 


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 72 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, July 27, 2020

Review: The Request by David Bell

The Request
by David Bell 

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Ryan Francis has it all--great job, wonderful wife, beautiful child--and he loves posting photos of his perfect life on social media. Until the night his friend Blake asks him to break into a woman's home to retrieve incriminating items that implicate Blake in an affair. Ryan refuses to help, but when Blake threatens to reveal Ryan's darkest secret--which could jeopardize everything in Ryan's life--Ryan has no choice but to honor Blake's request.

When he arrives at the woman's home, Ryan is shocked to find her dead--and just as shocked to realize he knows her. Then his phone chimes, revealing a Facebook friend request from the woman. With police sirens rapidly approaching, Ryan flees, wondering why his friend was setting him up for murder.

Determined to keep his life intact and to clear his name, Ryan must find the real murderer--but solving the crime may lead him closer to home than he ever could have imagined.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  How many hours a day or a week do you spend on social media?  Do you have the perfect profile and pages?  Do you envy others who seem to have the perfect life?  

This book combines great mystery thriller writing with the addition of social media and how that can impact both or our romantic relationships and friendships.  Ryan has the perfect life or so it seems via social media, he has wife, son and not one but two great jobs.  He has had a friend Blake since college and they have held onto a secret for just as long.  This secret could destroy a lot of things, so Ryan will do just about anything to keep it.

With extremely short chapters and a pacing that is ridiculous, I read this book in one day between three different sittings.  Each time I opened it, I couldn't put it down without consuming 100 pages!  

The characters in this story were great.  Each one felt so full and interesting.  No one was so unreliable that they felt ridiculous and out of place.  When each chapter ended I had a hard time putting it down and instead wanted to continue on to see where this story would end and ultimately find out who was at fault for all the things.  

My only critique of the book and its so small it seems silly to mention.  Ryan did a lot of driving in the book and was going here and there and a few times it felt unnatural for him to not stay put, but I could understand a few of them were needed to get certain plot points to happen, I would have just reworked a few of those moments.    

After finishing this book, I went to go figure out how many of David Bell's books I have read and was surprised to see I had only read two, but had rated both 5 out of 5 stars, so going to prioritize getting deep into his backlist.    


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 71 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.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

I had my mom visiting and although we are both big readers when you get us together we chat and don't read a thing!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Hidden Bones by Vivian Barz
The Friendship List by Susan Mallery
The Engineer's Wife by Tracy Enerson Wood

Currently Reading:
The Woman in Red by Diana Giovinazzo

Next on the TBR pile:
Atomic Love by Jennie Fields

Friday, July 24, 2020

Review: Fragments of Light by Michele Phoenix

Fragments of Light
by Michele Phoenix 

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

Goodreads:  Cancer stole everything from Ceelie—her peace of mind, her self-image, perhaps even her twenty-three-year marriage to her college sweetheart, Nate. Without the support of Darlene, her quirky elderly friend, she may not have been able to endure so much loss.

So when Darlene’s prognosis turns dire, Ceelie can’t refuse her seemingly impossible request—to find a WWII paratrooper named Cal, the father who disappeared when Darlene was an infant, leaving a lifetime of desolation in his wake.

The search that begins in the farmlands of Missouri eventually leads Ceelie to a small town in Normandy, where she uncovers the harrowing tale of the hero who dropped off-target into occupied France.

Alternating between Cal’s D-Day rescue by two young French sisters and Ceelie’s present-day journey through trial and heartbreak, Fragments of Light poses a timeless question: When life becomes unbearable, will you press toward the light or let the darkness win?


Kritters Thoughts:  Ceelie has just battled cancer and while cancer brought someone into her life, a new friend Darlene, it also broke her marriage into pieces.  While her marriage is crumbling, Darlene asks Ceelie for a very large favor to help her find the father that abandoned her and help her find peace before she dies.  Will this mission also help her marriage.  Interspersed throughout this story are chapters that take place back at the tail end of World War II around D-Day.  These chapters help give the back story to Darlene's father, but also leave the reader hanging in the best way possible.

I love a story that has a current storyline and a past in the same book.  I love when those stories connect, but when it takes a moment to find out how they really connect.  It was obvious that this storyline would be the connection to Darlene's father, but I was glad that it took some digging to find out all of the details.

Currently, I am avoiding books with bad marriages and cheating spouses, just not loving those books right now, so I was sad to read all the things that happened in this relationship and almost naively ignored that plot point of this book! 

I liked the writing and the characters in this book.  I would just avoid one of the plot points in the story.  I would read another by this author and may read one real soon!


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 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, July 23, 2020

Review: The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

The Woman Before Wallis
by Bryn Turnbull 

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale—even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, Prince of Wales.

In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow.


Kritters Thoughts:  Did you know that there was another divorcee that stole Prince Edward's heart before Wallis?  This book is centered around Thelma Morgan who not only had a few heart breaks, but was also a twin to Gloria Vanderbilt.  

The story follows Thelma in the ups and downs of her love life while also trying to support her sister as she fights for custody of her daughter against a nanny, her former sister in law and her mother.  It was so full with Thelma's own life journey and then to add in her sister's story the book was deep but very interesting.

When I read historical fiction, I love it when I learn something new.  Before reading this book I was very aware of the Vanderbilt custody battle and Wallis Simpson, but I had no idea that they had a connection due to one woman - Thelma.  I also appreciated knowing that there was more than one Wallis in the world at this time.  Wallis Simpson has always had a bad reputation in my mind because she was the woman that altered the monarch, but it easily could have been Thelma who lived in infamy!

I loved this book and wanted more and more and more.  After finishing this book, I was sad and excited to find out this was a debut because there is no backlist to dive into, but there is hope for so much more from this author.     


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 70 out of 100

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

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Review: The Shore House by Heidi Hostetter

 The Shore House
by Heidi Hostetter

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 285
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When the Bennett family arrive at the shore house to spend the summer together, they bring more baggage than just suitcases…

When Kaye Bennett, matriarch of the Bennett family, summons her adult children to the shore house, she anticipates a vacation full of nostalgia. It’s a chance to relive the carefree joy of summers past: basking in the hot sun, cooling off in the surf and enjoying long, relaxing evenings watching fireflies on the deck. But when Kaye’s son and daughter arrive, late and uncooperative, it becomes clear the family desperately need to reconnect.

Kaye and her daughter Stacy have been quietly at odds for years and resentment has grown around words unsaid. Faced with spending the summer months in such close quarters, Kaye is determined to remind Stacy of happier times and why she once loved their beautiful beachside home.

But both Kaye and Stacy are holding something back… and only when a heart-stopping moment on the beach puts what Stacy most loves at risk are the two women finally able to set free the secrets in their shared past.


Kritters Thoughts:  Kaye Bennett is ready for her family to reunite at their house on the shore and celebrate a summer and take it back to yesteryears when life felt easier.  Kaye has a husband who suffered a heart attack three years ago and she is waiting for the other shoe to drop.  She has two children who have been distant from her for one reason or another and she thinks a summer at the shore can solve everything.  

I love a story that uses the "band getting together" theme and the reader wonders how all the characters will react when they get back together and they have a moment to bring up the past and confront it.  Stacy is the elder sibling and has been holding onto a lot of feelings from the past and I found myself really feeling a camaraderie with this character.  The feelings she had towards her mom and her parents were things that I have felt, so I really enjoyed reading her side of things.  

The younger sibling, Brad, has had issues of his own and I wondered if my sister could agree with him and his feelings in this family.  Brad's girlfriend was great comic relief and I loved the moments where she was possibly poking Kaye's buttons.  

This was a great family story where many readers could relate to one or more of the characters and maybe see their family reflected in this story.  These are the perfect books to curl up with during a summer weekend and nod your head or shake your head at how eerily close they are to the family you are in!   


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 67 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.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Review: Wiving by Caitlin Myer

Wiving
by Caitlin Myer

Publisher: Arcade
Pages: 264
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  At thirty-six years old, Caitlin Myer is ready to start a family with her husband. She has left behind the restrictive confines of her Mormon upbringing and early sexual trauma and believes she is now living her happily ever after . . . when her body betrays her. In a single week, she suffers the twin losses of a hysterectomy and the death of her mother, and she is jolted into a terrible awakening that forces her to reckon with her past—and future.
 
This is the story of one woman’s lifelong combat with a culture—her “escape” from religion at age twenty, only to find herself similarly entrapped in the gender conventions of the secular culture at large, conventions that teach girls and women to shape themselves to please men, to become good wives and mothers. The biblical characters Yael and Judith, wives who became assassins, become her totems as she evolves from wifely submission to warrior independence.


Kritters Thoughts:  When I am pitched a book whether it be non fiction or fiction and it has to do with the Mormon church, I don't tend to read much further as I have a fascination for knowing as much as I can about this faith, it stems from my days in college with a religious study major and an interest in all faiths.  

Caitlin Myer is a wife and she is ready to become a mom.  Becoming a mom won't be as easy as becoming a wife for Caitlin and with past trauma and current trauma, she tells her story of the past and the present.  

It is always hard to review a non fiction book as you can't discuss the character or the story with opinion as the author is telling the truth and in this case their own story.  In this case, I will talk about how the story was written.  There were times where I felt as though the author could have edited a few bits and pieces.  I know that she was using the many instances to prove a point and create the full picture of her story, but there were a few bits and pieces that I felt as though could have been excluded. 

I am glad that I had quite a bit of background knowledge of the faith and the community before reading this book.  It helped to know many of the other stories of people who have left the Mormon faith due to negative experiences in order to place this story within the "canon".  It helps to have many stories to create a full perspective of this faith and how some have had the worst of experiences.


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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 69 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Mindbuck Media Publicity.  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, July 19, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Another quiet week and a quiet weekend.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Fragments of Light by Michele Phoenix
Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins
Wildflower Promises by Alys Murray
Paris Never Leaves You by Ellen Feldman

Currently Reading:
Hidden Bones by Vivian Barz

Next on the TBR pile:
The Engineer's Wife by Tracey Enerson Wood

Friday, July 17, 2020

Review: The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O'Neal

The Lost Girls of Devon
by Barbara O'Neal

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 352
Format: book 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  It’s been years since Zoe Fairchild has been to the small Devon village of her birth, but the wounds she suffered there still ache. When she learns that her old friend and grandmother’s caretaker has gone missing, Zoe and her fifteen-year-old daughter return to England to help.

Zoe dreads seeing her estranged mother, who left when Zoe was seven to travel the world. As the four generations of women reunite, the emotional pain of the past is awakened. And to complicate matters further, Zoe must also confront the ex-boyfriend she betrayed many years before.

Anxieties spike when tragedy befalls another woman in the village. As the mystery turns more sinister, new grief melds with old betrayal. Now the four Fairchild women will be tested in ways they couldn’t imagine as they contend with dangers within and without, desperate to heal themselves and their relationships with each other.


Kritters Thoughts:  Do you know those books where the main character left home for one reason or another and has avoided going home for one reason or another and they are pushed to go home and must confront something - this is one of those books and I love this premise and will always!  

Zoe Fairchild left a small English town a long time ago and never returned for a few reasons.  When her friend has gone missing she returns to help with the search and must really reflect on the past in order to move into the future.  

With four generations of women in one book and all taking turns to narrate, I highly suggest a sticky note with a small family tree to help keep all the ladies straight.  Zoe is basically the main character, but her mother, grandmother and daughter each have their own stories and own things going on that make this book feel like a full story.

When describing this book to a few people I used these words - "This book is a mystery tied into a women's fiction book."  Although at times I felt as though the mystery wasn't completely realized, it did fit nicely into the larger story of a woman confronting the things she needed to confront about her past.  

I was surprised to realize when I finished this book that I have a lot of Barbara O'Neal's books on my want to read list on goodreads, but haven't read one.  I will have to fix this and read more soon.


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


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, July 16, 2020

Review: Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

Musical Chairs
by Amy Poeppel

Publisher: Atria
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they’re as good as married in (almost) every way. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his ex-wife’s advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Bridget has problems of her own: her elderly father announces he’s getting married, and the Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. She concocts a plan to host her dad’s wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they’ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.


Kritters Thoughts:  Bridget and Will have been friends since college, seriously friends and no funny business!  They have always been two parts of a trio.  Their third has recently left and they are ready to replace them with a well known or up and coming that can elevate them and get them some new gigs, but before this starts they have a summer to decide their true feelings about their futures.  Bridget goes to a country home in Connecticut and eventually her twins and even Will end up in this small town and together they spend the summer and all are making large life decisions.

With everyone in this book having major life upheavals, this book could have felt like a weighted story with too much drama, but it didn't.  I loved that each character had something going on, but it all fit together and not all were conveniently solved in the summer.  

Bridget and Will were great main characters.  I easily connected with each of them and loved that there was a true friendship between a man and a woman with no hint at a relationship that is more than friendship.  I loved that at their ages they were questioning their futures because these questions can happen at any moment in someone's life and it was a gentle reminder to be kind to those who may be making life changes at any moment.  

I am excited to pass this book along to a lot of my friends and family.  This book can get you to make some deep thoughts but also make you laugh!  I love these kinds of books.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria.  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, July 14, 2020

Review: Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby

Blacktop Wasteland
by SA Cosby

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Beauregard “Bug” Montage is an honest mechanic, a loving husband, and a hard-working dad. Bug knows there’s no future in the man he used to be: known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best wheelman on the East Coast.

He thought he'd left all that behind him, but as his carefully built new life begins to crumble, he finds himself drawn inexorably back into a world of blood and bullets. When a smooth-talking former associate comes calling with a can't-miss jewelry store heist, Bug feels he has no choice but to get back in the driver's seat. And Bug is at his best where the scent of gasoline mixes with the smell of fear.

Haunted by the ghost of who he used to be and the father who disappeared when he needed him most, Bug must find a way to navigate this blacktop wasteland...or die trying.


Kritters Thoughts:  An interesting book when pitched to me, I was intrigued to read something out of my wheelhouse.  A heist book with a black man as the central character and it took place in my old stomping grounds.  Beauregard "Bug" Montage owns a car shop and is barely making ends meet.  With three kids in his home and a biological daughter about to head to college, Bug wants to provide for his entire family.  He sees no other way than to dip into his old ways and be a driver for a heist or two, but will they go his way . . . 

This book was good.  When I was pitched this book it was in the middle of the black lives matter movement and I wanted to challenge myself to read more books with either black people as main characters and/or written by black people.  I am glad this was the first one that came my way.  It really challenged my perspective both with a man as the main character (don't read too many!) and a black man at that.  I loved that the style of the story wasn't completely out of my wheelhouse, I love a heist.  

This book had great pacing.  From start to finish I was on the edge of my seat wondering where this book was going to go and who was going to get what they want.  I loved the ins and outs and ups and downs - it was good. 

For me, the thing that I didn't completely love was the gory killing.  I don't tend to love the in your face killing in any book.  It wouldn't stop me from reading another one by this author, but would need a break in between books.  


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



Ebook 2020 Challenge: 66 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harlequin.  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, July 13, 2020

Review: A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum

A Bend in the Stars
by Rachel Barenbaum

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 480
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar's army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. But now, with fierce, headstrong Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia's only female surgeons, and Vanya hoping to solve the final puzzles of Einstein's elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?


Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri's fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri's own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.


Kritters Thoughts:  In Russia, the cusp of World War I and many people are feeling the effects of a war on the brink of exploding.  Miri Ambramov was just beginning her career as a surgeon when her mega smart brother is about to make headway on Einstein's theory of relativity.  She and her fiance, drop everything to help Vanya get to the eclipse where he can possibly make a discovery and change the world.  

Most of this book was a chase or road trip book with two sets moving trying to outrun and outmaneuver the bad guys while at the same time hunting for something.  Although at times, I wasn't completely loving the story, the pacing throughout was fantastic.  The author was able to keep the story moving and keep me reading until the end.  

I also enjoyed this book because the time and place felt unique.  I don't read a lot of books that are set in Russia and during World War I.  World War II ends up being the more typical time that I read about, so I enjoyed the fact that this was different from my typical time and place.  

I found out after reading that this was a debut novel and it made me more impressed by the book.  I would look more closely at her next book and possibly dive in.  


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

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Grand Central Publishing.  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, July 12, 2020

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

A quiet week = lots of reading!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Blacktop Wasteland by SA Cosby
Wiving by Caitlin Myer
Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel
The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull
The Request by David Bell

Currently Reading:
Fragments of Light by Michele Phoenix

Next on the TBR pile:
Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins

Friday, July 10, 2020

Review: Two Truths and a Lie by Meg Mitchell Moore

Two Truths and a Lie
by Meg Mitchell Moore

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 400
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  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.


Kritters Thoughts:  Sherri Griffin and her daughter Katie have moved to a small beach town in Massachusetts and hoping to quickly get integrated into this town and grow quick roots.  They have many secrets that they must keep for their safety, but being surrounded by crazy women who both love and love to hate, it will be hard for them to keep everything under wraps.  Rebecca Coleman and her daughter Alexa have lived in this town for a long time, but with the recent death of their husband/father, they are feeling as though they don't fit in well anymore and big changes in this small town are right around the corner.

The characters made this book.  The mother daughter relationship with a magnifying glass on it made for such a great read.  Each mother daughter pair were interesting as each has their own quirks!  There was plot in this book, but the true star were the characters.  

I loved the changing perspective.  From the mothers to the daughters to a group narrating, it was so fun to see the story bounce back and forth.  I especially loved when "the squad" narrated as that felt so different from anything else I had read.  To see group think realized in a book - so good!

I absolutely loved this book.  It was perfect for a summer weekend.  There was a large cast of characters but with a sticky note and pairing up moms and daughters it became easy to remember who was who and what drama they had!  I tore through this book and it reinvigorated my love of good meaty beach reads that are easy to get into and stay in!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

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