Friday, October 29, 2021

Review: Fan Club by Erin Mayer

Fan Club
by Erin Mayer

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

Goodreads:  Day after day our narrator, a gloomy millennial, searches for meaning beyond her vacuous job at a women's lifestyle website—entering text into a computer system while she watches their beauty editor unwrap box after box of perfectly packaged bits of happiness. Then, one night at a dive bar, she hears a message in the newest single by child-actor-turned-international-pop-star Adriana Argento, and she is struck. Soon she loses herself to the online fandom, a community whose members feverishly track Adriana's every move.

When a colleague notices the extent of her obsession, she’s invited to join an enigmatic group of adult Adriana superfans who call themselves the Ivies and worship her music in witchy, candlelit listening parties. As the narrator becomes more entrenched in the group, she gets closer to uncovering the sinister secrets that bind them together—while simultaneously losing her grip on reality.


Kritters Thoughts:  An unnamed narrator has a job at a fun trendy women's website and when a new co worker joins the company, her minor obsession with a pop star named Adriana develops and becomes a major life altering obsession.  

I was drawn in by this synopsis and was intrigued as this narrator is probably around my age, maybe a bit younger, if you make me admit it and I always love a book that takes a closer work at the impact on one's work life on their greater life.  BUT this book took a turn and went downhill and fast along with the character.  I started having a hard time following the narrator as she was tumbling downhill.  I couldn't tell where her conscious thought and the plot were happening and when I get confused, I get frustrated.  

If you like a book where the main character unravels and you can just watch the train wreck, then this one is for you.  It may have been the difficulties going on in my personal life that affected my ability to have the patience for this read, but this one wasn't for me.    


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 133 out of 100

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.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Review: The Gable House by Ellyn Oaksmith

The Gable House
by Ellyn Oaksmith

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 298
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two old rivals. One dream job. And a summer they’ll never forget.

Freya Johanssen needs a fresh start. A recently heartbroken and newly-qualified veterinarian, she will take any job that gets her away from Seattle—for now. Her plan is to spend two years in the small town of Whisper Falls, and then head back to the city and civilisation.

And then Trent Crossley shows up, and her carefully laid plans are blown to pieces. He’s the last person she expected—or wanted—ever to see again. This is the guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to women; who breezed through vet school without studying and who betrayed her in a way she’ll never forgive. She thinks he’s an arrogant party boy; he thinks she’s an uptight perfectionist. Now he’s in her clinic, and the fluttering in her stomach must mean she’s still mad at him.

It seems they have both been hired for the same job—and now neither is backing down. But as Freya works to outdo Trent at every turn, she starts to see a different side to the man she thought she knew. Falling in love was never part of her plan. And if she wants the new beginning she’s worked so hard for, can she afford to give away her heart?


Kritters Thoughts:  Two recent grads of veterinarian school both head to a small town in Washington state wanting the job that would service the typical range of pets with a side of farms that have horses and sheep and lambs and so on.  Freya graduated first in the class and while she has a reputation of being a great vet, her human bed side manners could be improved!  Trent was second in class and has much more of the charm and a speciality with horses as he was supposed to return to his family's farm to repay his schooling debt and be the family vet. 

This was one of those fun semi enemies to lovers romance book.  I was glad that they weren't complete enemies, so it was more believable that they could go from mild distaste to love in the course of the novel!  I wish we would have had a few more scenes from their veterinarian school days so we could see the foundation of the knowledge of each other and how they orbited each other in those years.  

The characters make this book from Trent to Freya who are great main characters, but the other ones in this book are just fun.  I loved the small town feel with the small town characters and the juxtaposition of the big farms colliding in this book and in this town.  This author built such a fun town that I wouldn't mind visiting in another story.  

This is only my second Ellyn Oaksmith book and I would love to catch up on her backlist and also anticipate her upcoming releases.    


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 136 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.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Review: A Letter From Nana Rose by Kristin Harper

A Letter From Nana Rose
by Kristin Harper

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 198
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  “My darling girls. You were once so happy in this house. Now I’m gone, all I ask is that you spend one last summer here together on Dune Island. And please forgive me, your Nana, for the secret I’m about to tell you…”

Arriving at the honeysuckle-covered beach house inherited from her beloved grandmother, recently heartbroken Jill hopes to convince her two feuding sisters not to sell a place so full of happy childhood memories. But the envelope waiting on the driftwood table changes everything. In her elegant handwriting, Nana Rose promises a new letter will arrive each day of the summer revealing a family secret she took to her grave.

Shaken, Jill anxiously awaits each letter filled with Nana’s bittersweet memories of her own sister who she loved more than anyone—and lost far too young. But why did Nana never speak of this tragic loss to her grandchildren?

Watching the sunset each night and wondering how well they really knew Nana Rose, Jill feels her family is closer than they’ve been in years. And after a chance encounter with blue-eyed tree surgeon Alex, she wonders if Nana believed being back on Dune Island would help Jill find love, too?

But when Nana’s final letter arrives, the revelation about how her sister died is more shocking than Jill ever imagined. Suddenly, despite the chance of happiness with Alex, selling the house seems the only way forward. Will Jill find a way to forge new bonds of sisterhood and save their inheritance, or will Nana Rose’s secret tear them all apart?


Kritters Thoughts:  Three sisters lose their grandmother, but when she passes she leaves them the vacation home that shaped their childhood.  Each in different ways, these three sisters found solace in this home.  Their grandmother charges them to spend two weeks together and to come to an unanimous decision on the future of the home.  While a plot line that sounds familiar and I may have read more than one set of siblings that inherit a home, they never get old!

Without completely switching between each sister's points of view, this book does allow each sister to give their side of the story and share the personal struggles they are battling while also trying to decide what to do with this beautiful home in a remote vacation location.  I think the author balanced what each sister was dealing with with ease and nothing felt over the top.  I loved the journey that each sister had individually, but also how they had together with each other.  

I have read all of Kristin Harper's books up to this point and I have loved each of them, so I have high hopes that she has many more to come!  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 132 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.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Another quiet week and weekend, so some great reading time!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Nifty: Clean Organized
Fan Club by Erin Mayer
Everything We Didn't Say by Nicole Baart
Wrapped Up in Christmas Hope by Janice Lynn (audio)
The Attic on Queen Street by Karen White
The Gable House by Ellyn Oaksmith

Currently Reading:
The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith Jaeger

Next on the TBR pile:
Holiday Ever After by Jill Shalvis

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Review: Twelve Days to Save Christmas by Elizabeth Neep

Twelve Days to Save Christmas
by Elizabeth Neep

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 297
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On the first day of Christmas, my true love… dumped me.

Poppy
 loves Christmas and always goes all out to make this magical time of the year extra special for her boyfriend George. But George is strangely not in the Christmas spirit this year. As Poppy wrestles him into her Christmas jumper built for two for a holiday snapshot, she finds out why.

He’s leaving her. With only twelve days to spend together before Christmas.

Poppy is heartbroken. Her perfectly planned Christmas lies in tatters. She knows they are meant to be together and she’s not going to give up on their five-year relationship without a fight. She still has twelve days to get her man back and save Christmas…

But festive surprises aren’t only found under the tree. In her quest to make George see they are destined for each other, Poppy might end up finding out the truth about him. And discover the man she is truly meant to spend this Christmas with…


Kritters Thoughts:  Poppy is ready for her favorite time of the year - the days leading up to Christmas when her boyfriend drops a bomb, after the holiday season he thinks they should part ways and that this relationship isn't working for him anymore.  So Poppy will spend the next twelve days trying to convince George that their relationship is one for the ages and that she is the one for him.  

The second holiday book this season where the female is convincing the guy that she is right for him and while I don't love this kind of romance, there was a little more to this story that I could enjoy the other things beyond this core plot.  Poppy's own self discovery and her confronting her own past were the parts of the story that I loved the most.  I loved that while she was trying to win back George she basically won back herself!  

There were moments where I felt as though the book went off a little, but then it went back to center and I enjoyed it again.  I was a fan of Elizabeth Neep and will continue to be after this one, while this wasn't my favorite of hers, I will wait for the next one to arrive!


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 122 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, October 22, 2021

Review: Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman

Sisters of the Great War
by Suzanne Feldman

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

Goodreads:  August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort--Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.

Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war's harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two sisters head to Belgium to give what they can to the efforts of World War I.  One has an unfinished nursing degree with the hopes of becoming a doctor at a time where female doctors were few and far between.  The younger sister has always tinkered with things from clocks to cars and after looking into the Ambulance Corps, Elise may have found just the right place for herself.  

Switching back and forth between each sister's points of view, this book gave such a perspective on this war that is unlike anything else I have read.  It was easy to know who was narrating the story and I loved that while they were stationed close they had their own lives and the reader received a full perspective from the battlefield to the hospitals near the front lines what life during the Great War would look like.  

Beware there is definitely some romance in this book and while it worked within the context of the story, I know some historical fiction readers like their books to omit most of the romance and sexy times!  I think it worked in this one and fit within the story, but I could see how some readers could be put off by it.  

With only one other book in her backlist, I want to read that one soon and will hope for more to come in the future.


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 131 out of 100

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.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Review: When the Nightingale Sings by Suzanne Kelman

When the Nightingale Sings
by Suzanne Kelman

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 446
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  1937, England: When an impossibly shy young woman named Judy Morgan finishes her studies at Cambridge University, she dreams of becoming a scientist, and changing the world for the better.

Meanwhile, a beautiful, young Jewish actress named Hedy Kiesler decides to flee her beloved Austria. The two women meet in London and—as they discover a shared passion for invention—an instant friendship is forged. But no sooner than it is, Hedy risks everything to get across the Atlantic to America, as far away from the Nazi threat as possible, hoping wildly to find fame and fortune, as well as safety.

Letters fly across the ocean between the two women, as they both find themselves falling in love with men who will change their futures forever, whilst trying to find the strength to make their voices heard, and their ideas come alive. But when the world is gripped by a war that nobody could have imagined in their worst nightmares, both Hedy and Judy know they must act now.

Then Judy experiences an impossibly cruel loss. Devastated by grief, and fueled by a fire of rage against the Nazis and their allies, she finds herself on the darkest of paths. As bombs rain down from Europe to the Far East, Pearl Harbor and beyond, Judy’s fate collides once more with Hedy’s. Because Judy holds a secret that could destroy not only their friendship but threaten the fate of the world forever…


Kritters Thoughts:  In 1937, a young woman, Judy Morgan, graduates from university and while she earned a degree, she wasn't granted one at that time.  Through a happenstance moment, she ends up meeting Hedy Kiesler who also has an interest in innovation and science and a lifetime friendship begins.  While both women go separate ways, they will keep in contact and come in and out of each other's lives, all while World War II begins and makes an impact on each of them. 

With each women getting the chance to tell their side of the friendship and story, Judy and Hedy are two women trying to make a name for themselves while men were writing the narratives.  Judy was trying to work in science and innovation while her boss barely acknowledged her.  Hedy made her way over to America and reinvented herself as Hedy Lamarr and while she dabbled on the side in science and innovation she became quite the actress.  I loved reading the back and forth of these women and how the events of the time affected them each in different ways.  

While yes, another book that takes place during World War II - this one was so different as it didn't go near the persecution of the Jewish population or even really close to the Nazi regime and their happenings.  This book remained in England and California and while it was going on in the background, this book was more about the women and how they were contributing to the war efforts in their own ways.  

A book to read alongside this one is Marie Benedict's The Only Woman in the Room.  I would say you can read both of them, as they are very different accounts of this one woman's life.   


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 130 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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Review: The Mother's Fault by Nicole Trope

The Mother's Fault
by Nicole Trope 

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 372
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  I am cooking spaghetti, his favourite, while he plays in the garden. But when I look up, he’s gone. I call the police, my hands shaking so much that I hit the wrong digits twice. ‘My son is missing.’

When the police turn up, I’m trapped in the web of my lies.

I have hidden the truth from eight-year-old Riley, my little boy who loves climbing trees and always has scraped knees. I have hidden my secret from everyone.

Riley knows his father is dead but he has no idea why. He doesn’t know his dad’s real name, and there are no pictures in the house. Not a single person knows what happened eight years ago.

I love my son more than anything but the truth is, I have always feared for him. When the first gift arrived in our mailbox, wrapped in blue paper with silver stars, I realised I was right to be afraid.

Now, I can see the question in the detectives’ eyes. Am I a mother with a missing child or a mother with a lot to hide? I need them to save my son – but how much can I tell them without losing him forever?
 


Kritters Thoughts: A boy goes missing but that is just the tip of the iceberg for this story.  Beverley is a single mom and she has devoted her life to raising her son and providing him with everything that he would need or want.  His biological father is gone and Beverley doesn't have any other family, so her son Riley is everything until one night while making supper he is gone.  

Told through three points of view, this story moved so quickly I read it in one day.  The author unfolded the story in just the right way that I literally couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know more and more.  I felt for Beverley as she had put all her eggs in this basket and had devoted everything she had to her son Riley and for him to disappear and for her to not have an explanation was heartbreaking.  When the conclusion came with each point of view giving an epilogue, I loved that the author gave all three the opportunity to tell their ending to the story.  

My first Nicole Trope book, but will definitely not be my last.  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 129 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, October 18, 2021

Review: Bright Burning Stars by AK Small

Bright Burning Stars
by AK Small

Publisher: Alongquin
Pages: 304
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.


Kritters Thoughts:  Marine and Kate become quick friends in a heightened situation as they are both competing for the one prize in a prestigious ballet school.  When these students are living together and competing against each other, life is stressful 24 hours out of the day - there is no break from the stress.

Kate is an American from Virginia and a fish very out of water in Paris France.  Marine is Parisian, but has her own hurdles as her twin recently passed away and dancing was a passion they shared.  These girls want to become the best in their school to be able to move onto corps de ballet and there is only one spot.  They will do almost anything to get that top spot and win the prize.

The pacing in this book felt frenetic and it felt as though it hopped from one spot to another.  I know it read quickly for me, but it still felt as though the book was written with chaotic pacing in mind.  

While my ballet days were numbered, I took all sorts of classes from the age of 5 up to college, when an injury stunted my ballet days, I grew to love watching it just as much and I love reading books in the world also!  This book reminded me that I need to seek these books out more and read them here and there.  Are there any ballet books that you would recommend? 

After finishing the book, I immediately curled up and watched the movie adaptation, Birds of Paradise on Amazon Prime.  I know it is an adaptation and the book is more an inspiration, but I felt as though it could have been a little closer to the plot.  There were a few scenes in the book that I wished had been in the movie.  As I said before the book felt like it moved at a quick pace, the movie instead floated and felt a little more fantasy.  There were moments where it felt like it was far from the book and was an artistic choice.  As I usually do, I loved the book more!


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

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, October 17, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

A busy busy week and weekend, so little time for reading.


A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
When the Nightingale Sings by Suzanne Kelman
A Letter From Nana Rose by Kristin Harper
Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman


Currently Reading:
Fan Club by Erin Mayer

Next on the TBR pile:
Find Me at Whisper Falls by Ellyn Oaksmith

Review: The Girl on the Platform by Ellie Midwood

The Girl on the Platform
by Ellie Midwood 

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 351
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Berlin, 1939: The inspiring true story of Libby Schulze-Boysen, a German girl who refused to back down to the Nazis. In the face of evil, she vowed to live by the truth––or die by it.

“Be brave. Don’t run. Fight.” With her eyes tightly shut, tears rolling from under her dark lashes, she felt his lips gently touch her burning cheek. The train on the platform whistled, and he disappeared into the steam.

Nineteen-year-old Libby moves to Berlin to escape her suffocating family––but instead of offering freedom, the city is under siege by the Nazis. Jewish books are burned, storefronts smashed and every day innocent people vanish into thin air. Libby cannot––will not––turn a blind eye.

When Libby meets Harro, she knows there’s more to him than his dazzling smile and cornflower-blue eyes. The whip marks on his back, scars from the SS, tell his true story: he is a resistance fighter.

Libby and Harro fall madly in love, devoted to each other and to tearing down Hitler’s regime. Knowing they can make the greatest difference from the inside, Harro works for the Air Ministry, infiltrating government secrets.

Together, they smuggle classified documents and hold clandestine meetings in the middle of the night, with blackout curtains and a single candle burning. Under the cover of darkness, they distribute leaflets, exposing the Nazis’ hideous lies.

In the frostbitten winter of 1942, Libby is certain the Gestapo is stalking them––their every move watched, their phone calls recorded. In the end, they must decide what is more important: to be free or to be brave? To survive or to stand up for the truth?


Kritters Thoughts:  Another World War II book, but once again I can say this one felt unique as it took place in the heart of Berlin through the eyes of Libby Schulze-Boysen as she was trying to find her role in the resistance and fighting the rise of Nazi party and the persecution of Jews.  

Libby was such an interesting woman to follow.  At the beginning of the book she takes a job with the Berlin office of MGM (which I didn't even know existed) and she is hopeful to start in the promotional department, but has dreams for so much more and then the Nazis come to power and there are better uses of her time.  Reading about Libby and her husband, Harro, and their relationship both personal and professional was so enjoyable.  I loved that at a time where women weren't expected to do much outside of the home, Harro encouraged Libby to play a role in the resistance and was such a supportive husband - that was fun to read.  

I would recommend readers add this to their historical fiction/World War II pile as it gives a distinctive view of resistance within Germany and the avenues the people used in hopes of ending the war and in their favor.  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 128 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.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Review: A Lighthouse Christmas by Jenny Hale

A Lighthouse Christmas
by Jenny Hale

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 276
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A totally perfect and heartwarming page-turner about everyone’s favorite time of year––the beauty of being at home with family, believing in second chances, and the magic of Christmas, when anything is possible… A gorgeous festive treat for fans of Debbie Macomber, Pamela Kelley, and Sheila Roberts.

When Mia Broadhurst’s grandmother passes away, Mia returns to the quaint seaside village of Winstead Cape, where Grandma Ruth ran the historic lighthouse on the edge of the coast. Mia can’t bear to part with the last piece of her grandma––the lighthouse that has been in their family for generations––but with her life back in New York, she has no choice.

With the snow falling, Mia works with real estate agent Will Thacker to restore the old lighthouse. She tries not to get lost in his deep blue eyes that match the Atlantic Ocean. After all, she’s only back for Christmas…

As a fire crackles, Mia packs up Grandma Ruth’s belongings. Waiting for her is a black-and-white photograph with a faded inscription on the back—the key to a family secret hidden for decades. Could the truth save the lighthouse and show Mia where her heart belongs?


Kritters Thoughts:  One of my favorite things to do is to pile up the holiday romances and just read away.  I read this one during a weekend where I was recovering from a minor medical thing and these holiday romances are the perfect read when you need something light and easy, but filled with love and the magic of the holiday season.  In this book, Mia Broadhurst has returned to Virginia where her grandmother passed away to pack up the pieces and put up for sale the lighthouse and cottage that has been in her family for years.  She wishes she could keep it, but with it comes a load of debt and work that neither her, nor her sister, nor mother are prepared to handle.  

Mia was a great character to follow in this story.  While I may have rolled my eyes a few times at the troubles she was dealing with with her ex or soon to be ex, I kept my respect for her and her work ethic as she worked hard to prepare the lighthouse for sale with a very cute real estate agent!  

While not my favorite sub genre of literature - relationship dying, do I want to save it, oh maybe it is a good thing it died!  With the focus not completely on this dying relationship, but also on her sister and mother and this property from her grandmother, I was glad that there was more to this book than the ex lingering in the background.  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 121 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.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Review: Mom Rules by Hilary Grossman

Mom Rules
by Hilary Grossman

Pages: 246
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Donna Warren is not who everyone thinks she is….

It's no secret - to survive in a superficial town like Forest River, New York, where perfection is a requirement –a mom must follow the rules.

For the past five years, Donna has worked hard to exceed social expectations. She held the prestigious role of PTA treasurer, and her best friend, Jackie, is the most powerful woman at the elementary school.

But in a town where most mothers earn their black belt in backstabbing before their offspring enter pre-k, something was bound to go wrong…

And it did. Now, her former bestie has become her mortal enemy and destroyed Donna's reputation. Eagar to believe the rampant rumors, half the elementary school mommies think Donna is a drama queen and the rest believe she is a vindictive witch.

As she and her children's social standing dangles on thin ice, Donna is willing to try anything to fix her mistake. Unfortunately, all her efforts backfire, and she makes everything worse. Just when Donna is about to give up, she receives some shocking news. Forced to face the most difficult situation of her life, will she finally become the woman she wants to be?


Kritters Thoughts:  The fourth in a series where I highly suggest you start at book one as the characters and events build from book one to this conclusion.  This book focuses on the events that took place in book two, but from Donna's point of view which was really interesting.  Donna was Jackie's sidekick and in book two you see events unfold, but you don't get to hear things from her side of the fence, so I appreciated that the author gave Donna a book to give her point of view.  

For me, as I stated in my review of book three in the series, this book and book two were a perfect pair and I would have had them go back to back.  They seemed like a duo all on their own as the reader gets one side of the story and another between these two books.  I loved how the author did this, but I would have lined up the books a little different within the series.  

This book reminded me that when you see things from only one perspective you take that as truth and there are always at least two sides to a story and maybe the truth somewhere in the middle!  Relationships among women can get emotional and hard when fact and fiction are blurred, so I appreciated while seeing a heightened version, reading this story and reminding me to make sure to nurture the women relationships in my life, but to also try to see the story from all points of view.  

I enjoyed this series and couldn't believe the things that can go on in a PTA, I am thankful that I won't have to participate or watch the PTA drama, while I deal with my own drama in the other things that I participate in!


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 127 out of 100

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

Review: Mom Boss by Hilary Grossman

Mom Boss
by Hilary Grossman

Pages: 241
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Welcome to Forest River, New York, where perfection is a requirement. The Lululemon-clad moms are perfectly toned, expertly highlighted, and magnificently manicured. The women spend their days practicing Pilates, shopping for shoes, and doing everything in their power to ensure their children never experience a difficult day.

PTA president, Jackie Martin, is the envy off the mothers. She has a loyal and handsome husband, she host's elaborate parties, and her eldest daughter, Hayley, is the most popular child in the fifth grade. Her life appears flawless, but is life ever what it seems to be?

After receiving a painful blow, when Hayley was in kindergarten, Jackie clawed her way into PTA power. She lived her life by the adage, "Proper planning prevents poor performance." Her attention to detail (okay fine – her control freak nature) served her well until she experiences the ultimate betrayal.

Angry and hurt, old emotional wounds are ripped open as Jackie realizes she doesn't know who she can trust. Jackie must reevaluate her life, her friendships, and the choices she has made. Will she finally let her guard down and show the world the real Jackie Martin?


Kritters Thoughts:  Set in the same suburb of New York and in the same elementary school with the same PTA moms, this is book three in a series that I highly suggest starting at book one before moving forward.  

This book is different from the first two as it goes back in time to when these women first meet as moms of kindergartners.  This book gives the reader the back ground information that I believe would have been helpful when reading the previous books.  Going back in time and learning how these personalities all came together was so enlightening and would have given so much color to the previous books, but I was thankful to have one more book after this one to read with this knowledge.  

This book is the rise of Jackie, the PTA president and how she came in like a tornado and shook things up.  To see how she became a part of the PTA and the things she was willing to do just made me thankful that I do not have to deal with this type of politics in my life!  Reading these books reminded me of reading about girls in middle school and the rivalries and back stabbing - goodness gracious!      


Rating: absolutely enjoyed it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 126 out of 100

Back to Top