Sunday, March 22, 2020

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

Wow! This book tapped into every emotion for me. I cried, laughed and was content...all in one book. This adorable rom-com landed on my door as a surprise book mail from William Morrow and I couldn't have been more excited. I loved it!

As an ER nurse you could say I am a bit overwhelmed with the world today. In between shifts I would pick up this book and escape into the world of Laurie and Jamie. A much welcome escape!

Well this book gave me all the feels as I stated above. It actually got me downright furious at Dan...good old Dan the man...ughhh. Her boyfriend of 18 years...yes flipping 18 years up and decides well he has had enough. What???!! Right out of the blue. I was so furious I could hardly contain myself. I literally had to say okay.... get a grip it is just a book. It hit me so hard though because I felt so bad for Laurie who basically got traded in for a younger model. Laurie who had spent some of the best years of her life with Dan. Laurie who put having a family on hold for Dan. Laurie who has to go to work and see Dan every single day. Oh yes and if that wasn't enough Dan's new girl is preggers. Really Dan???? Obviously I hate Dan.......obviously...

Then when Jamie comes into the picture, well things get really interesting. Their fake relationship they created had me wondering how this would all pan out. I loved their chemistry yet I wondered if Jamie was really the playboy that he seemed. Jamie seemed perfect, but almost too perfect. As I went along with their fake relationship I kept hoping that they would get together. I hate to say but I really liked Jamie! I know, sucker...but I did. It seemed Laurie did she about to make a second big mistake?

Oh my gosh guys, this book was so cute! I can't thank the publisher enough for sending this too me! William Morrow you rock!

Monday, March 16, 2020

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver


Well this was a hell of an emotional roller coaster! I spent much of the book confused and then BAM 💥 it clicked and it brought me to tears… anyone that has suffered a loss can relate. The ending is .... fabulous ❤️

This is a very emotionally charged  read for me. Like I said, most of the book had me confused and a bit frustrated until I figured out what was really going on with Lydia Bird. Now nobody truly knows what is going on with a character, except the author themselves. So we all have a personal perception of what we think unless it is completely spelled out for us. So this was my take on Lydia and it crushed me and then the ending made me smile.

So odd to struggle a bit throughout a book and then have it be a 5 star read. I know, it seems weird but hear me out. The book is split into chapters of "asleep" and "awake." I loved the awake chapters but the asleep chapters...well I was scratching my head going umm ok. Until I figured out what the sleep chapters really meant- or so I think.

 Lydia would fall asleep and dream her fiancee Freddie was alive and well and they were living their life. In the awake chapters, Lydia would have to face the grim reality - that Freddie died suddenly while on the way to her birthday party. There is no Freddie and Lydia.

As many of us, I have faced a loss of a loved one that tore my heart out, destroyed my life. Everyone deals with grief differently. For me, sleep was like an escape from the terrible reality. Then there is the moment when you wake in the morning and you lie in bed for a minute and you are groggy still. You spend every single moment thinking of your loved one and this is the one moment in the day that your mind doesn't remember that they are gone...and then it does and you think "oh yeah." I feel like Lydia's sleep chapters were the same. It was her way of dealing with her grief. As time goes on she slowly needs this escape less and less.

Realizing this and then the ending was so heart touching that it quickly got bumped up to a 5 star read for me.  Lydia Bird I loved you even though your story stirred up way too many feels. A beautiful story and I loved, loved, loved this ending.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Follow Me by Kathleen Barber

Holy flipping crap! This book is creeeeeptastic! I can't believe I waited this long to read this book. Sure it just came out but had I known what I know now I would've jumped on this ARC the second I got it. Okay, okay, you get it.....but I LOVED this book.

Part of the reason I loved this book so much was the author's style of writing. I love it when you crack open a book and you have never read the author before. I usually find myself either drawn to the writing style...or not. Well instantly I knew this would end up being a favorite author for me. See- I love dark, witty, gritty humor...and this book is riddled with that. I love it! Everyone who has read any of my reviews knows, I love, love, love me a Liz Nugent book. This reminded me of that kind of dark style. I am an ER nurse, we thrive on that.

Audrey Miller is an "it" girl or so she thinks. Audrey is all about Audrey. With all the Audrey's self love splashed all across Instagram, she has managed to get herself a million plus followers. Pretty impressive Audrey. She considers herself a celebrity and doesn't care if everyone knows her every move...well as long as it looks good. It is highly entertaining to think how true this "staging" is when you consider people on social media. So true to real life!

Things really take a turn as Audrey moves into a basement...with a complete weirdo living upstairs. With a broken lock...with someone watching her sleep....HELLLS to the no! Not this girl. I would be out of there in a flash. I dare you not to be creeped out!

Especially creepy was the author's note. I am just minding my own business reading it, not realizing at first that it was about her research for the book. OMG this research is insane. Note to self- sticky note over camera...check..

As for the ending, well that was very well played! EEKKK! Okay I am done being a drama queen but I blame Audrey! Her drama must have rubbed off on me for this review. Seriously though, I loved this book and hope you do too.

Thank you so much to Gallery Books for this fantastic ARC! 

Friday, February 21, 2020

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell- March 10th

I completely underestimated how dark this book was actually going to be. Clearly the title is an indicator. If you didn't catch on from the title well there is clearly a sensational book description that makes it clear what the subject matter was going to be. Yet....I was still deeply disturbed by what I was reading. I can't stress how dark, disturbing and difficult this was to read. That being said, I could not put this down. I am not even sure I can muster the words to give this book the review that it deserves. It was just that powerful.

After reading this I can see why the author specifically stated that this is not a story about herself, or anyone that she personally knows for that matter. It is just about all the girls like Vanessa in the world. I have decided the reason this book was so incredibly hard to read is because it is so real. Somehow this debut author has managed to make Vanessa so damn real that you would swear she was writing her own story. You would swear Vanessa was typing her story furiously onto the pages, perhaps in a diary.

With the whole "me too" movement we have heard many different voices. Yet this story managed to floor me. It was from Vanessa's point of view, that she was not a victim. That she had chosen to get into a relationship with her English instructor Jacob Strane. I had never given this consideration that the victim would not realize they were the victim. She was clearly the victim of this vile, disgusting man that used his power and position to lure Vanessa in. What if the victim doesn't realize it? She sees it as a "love story". She thinks he is kind and caring, impressed that he would take the time to notice her- that she is special.

My emotions were all over the place reading this. This stirred such an array of feelings in me. I was distraught, disgusted, angry and sad. Being a 15 year girl many years ago, I can see how Vanessa was realizing that she had a power over men. How she was just discovering that she could make them look her way. Some of the details are so graphic I considered putting down the book and taking a break from it as I felt I really couldn't endure any more of it. Except I couldn't put it down. I had to know how this ended for Vanessa.

I very rarely get this emotionally involved in a book, but this one destroyed me. That being said- it is a must read! It will be hard to read the graphic details, but it is hard because you know this is the truth. This is what is happening to girls like Vanessa every day. The author spun a story that so uniquely shows a glimpse into the victim's mind. A victim that doesn't even realize she is a victim or is she just telling herself that to protect herself?