Friday, May 17, 2019

Normal People


Connell and Marianne grow up in the exact same countryside town in Ireland, but they appear to be complete opposites. Connell, getting by with his single mother, is a popular, handsome, charismatic teenager while Marianne’s home may look like a mansion but is filled with self loathing, anxiety and loneliness. Connell’s mum cleans Marianne’s home for her work and very slowly the two teenagers find each other. Fearing their secret friendship will be misunderstood, it is not until they go away to college in Dublin that they begin to learn who they truly are. This incisive peek as the couple grows towards and away and back to each other again cleverly reminds us of life’s greatest lessons. I have a penchant for Rooney’s Irish voice and whispered words that linger long after the final page. Highly recommend this beautifully written glimpse into the heart of hearts.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Under the Table


Zoey has just moved to NYC to reboot her life. Marrying her midwestern childhood sweetheart has not brought her the happily ever after she always dreamed of. They are taking a one year separation to figure things out and Zoey is ready to follow her passion by starting a catering business. She has just crashed at her bossy sisters apartment and is excited for the future when she is hired by Tristan; a nerdy, shy, uber successful computer geek. The wonderful dinner party gig leads to an out of the ordinary arrangement; Tristan hires Zoey for a complete makeover to adjust to big city life and get him out of his awkward shell. Hands off because she is technically married, it becomes harder and harder to admit her true feelings are more than just whats on the table. Light, fun, easy read, you will be smiling the whole way through this adorable rom com. My first read by author Stephanie Evanovich and will definitely not be my last!

The Last Book Party


Eve Rosen is a young woman working an entry level position at a publishing house in New York City. Her foot-in-the-door to the literary world and writing career she has always dreamed of. But Eve is bored. She hasn’t written a word in a a long time and she jumps at the chance to work for the summer as assistant to famed author Henry Grey, in his Cape Cod home. Impressed by the world that has always been just out of reach, Eve worships his poet wife Tillie and crushes on his son, an artist, who is happy to take advantage of the situation. Fascinated by the life of the famous author, Eve is honored to take on even the smallest task for this revered man. It is a long, hot summer leading up to the night of the infamous book party. Gradually Eve realizes that this world she has obsessed over is nothing more than a very long, twisted embellished story. Lessons learned the hard way, this coming of age book is an absolutely captivating read. Perfect for booklovers this summer, releases July 9th, a beach bag MUST!!

The Bride Test


Khai Diep is a smart, successful man. He has a good heart and an agreeable disposition. Khai’s overbearing Vietnamese mother cannot bear to see her handsome son miss out on love, even though he believes he is incapable of those intense feelings. She flies to Viet Nam to find the perfect bride and administer the perfect test. Three months in California to get to know Khai and all his goodness. If it’s a match, they will marry. Esme Tran is the unlikely winner. Cleaning bathrooms at the hotel, Esme exudes a unique blend of intelligence and sincerity. This is the story of friendship, of love, of everything that is unexpected when we categorize people and deem them different. Told with humor and sensitivity, author Helen Hoang’s latest is an easy, sweet summer read. It doesn’t flow quite as smoothly as her first bestseller - and frankly I think publishers are rushing these wonderful authors for marketing purposes - but nevertheless I will continue to follow her beautiful stories.

Miracle Creek


Miracle Creek, Virginia is a typical small town where the Yoo family settles to start up a medical treatment center called the Miracle Submarine. Recent immigrants, the Yoo’s quietly struggling with language and customs, finding it most difficult to fit in. As the head of their family Pak invests everything they have with a fellow Korean acquaintance into a business running a hyperbaric chamber, treating patients with pressurized dives as therapy for a variety of illnesses, autism being one of the most popular and controversial. Young helps out her husband while Mary studies for the SAT’s, her future being the primary reason for their move to America. A year has passed since a horrific explosion took place during one of the dive sessions. The murder trial has just begun and this no longer charming town is upended with accusations, mysterious clues and layers upon layers of alibis. Narrated by a multitude of suspects, the reader is instantly drawn in to the drama and misconceptions tossed violently throughout the court. When a novel’s first words are “My husband asked me to lie,” there is no stopping until the final page. This suspenseful, emotional courtroom and family saga proves to be an addictive rollercoaster. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

Otherwise Engaged


Gabe and Molly are a young couple living the artsy life in New York. Gabe writing his novel, waiting tables at night; Molly at a practical monotonous desk job to pay the bills. Patiently waiting to actually feel like a grown up, mesmerized as their friends marry and get pregnant. When Gabe unexpectedly sells his novel through Molly’s obnoxious co-worker’s agent, their lives are quickly turned upside down. Molly soon learns that The Charms of Dahlia is a fictionalized account of Gabe’s psycho ex-girlfriend. After years of Talia-less tranquility, this woman reappears grabbing every ounce of attention she can steal. This fast paced, witty romance is filled with all the neuroses most young women carry when post college life kicks in and expectations soar. Most books about books feature bookstores. But this, my reader friends, had my mind spinning! Imagine if your partner wrote about his ex, insisting it was fiction, while America drooled over their breathless love affair and every sexual position! I couldn’t even envisage how I’d write up that review! Laugh out loud, completely enjoyable and well written. Thanks author Lindsey Palmer for the perfect beach read. This is definitely a must. #stockupforsummer

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Mrs. Everything


Jo and Bethie are two sisters growing up in Detroit, Michigan during the 1950’s. A typical Jewish middle class family living in the suburbs; mom cleans and cooks, dinner on the table at 5 every night. Jello for dessert. The American dream. Jo and Bethie are nothing alike as youngsters and even more different as adults but their sisterly bond is deep and true. Exploring race, sexual identity and the women’s liberation movement throughout the sixties and seventies, best selling author Jennifer Weiner takes us on Bethie and Jo’s journey for equality in the work place, abortion rights and the racial divide in America. The decades pass too quickly and while triumphs are slowly made, many still remain out of reach even today. Though this was a very different tone for Jennifer Weiner - no romantic comedies here - I thoroughly enjoyed her exploration of family dynamics and the consequences of choices we make every day. Emotional at times, Mrs. Everything touches on many tough issues and would be an excellent book club discussion. Highly recommend this solid summer read. Pub date June 11th 2019. #stockupforsummer This one is a winner. Thanks Netgalley for the early read!!

The Mister

Maxim Trevelyan, movie star handsome and known as the spare in the family, moves about London with the power and grace of the privileged few. When his beloved older brother unexpectedly crashes his motor cycle on an icy night, Max becomes the heir and inherits the wealth and aristocratic responsibility that comes with it. A few weeks later, drowning in his grief Maxim falls madly in love with his mysterious, beautiful, cleaning woman, known as his “daily” named Alessia. She calls him the Mister. He must save her from the monstrous men who brought her from Albania. Even though Max has been with hundreds of beautiful, sophisticated, wealthy women, there is something about Alessia that leaves him utterly speechless. Okay, dear reader friend, I am very sorry to announce that although this author was (finally!) edited, this slow, meaningless, boring, predictable story has literally no steam whatsoever. The real deception is this book’s place on the bestseller list, simply because of the author’s past success. Sorry, but this is NOT your summer read! Having been a huge 50 Shades fan, I am thoroughly disappointed.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Meet Cute


Kailyn is beautiful, smart and ready to rock law school. Walking to class on the first day of school while repeating her self mantra, Kailyn stumbles upon a group of guys and literally falls over one of them. It is none other than Daxton Hughes, child television star all grown up and her one and only teenage heartthrob. Throughout law school Kailyn focuses on her classes and secretly watches Dax from the corner of her eye. Eight years later he is standing in her office, still movie star gorgeous and desperately in need of her help. Kailyn cannot decide if Dax is sincere but his sad story breaks her heart and she vows to help him for the sake of his sweet younger sister whom he has just become guardian. Kailyn puts the sparks aside while her boss offers her a deal to become partner if she can get Dax on their team. This adorable love story is filled with friendship and hope and will satisfy the daydream of any girl that had that crush poster hanging over her bed! Perfect quick, happy, sexy read. Better start packing that beach bag!

A Well Behaved Woman


Alva Erskine Smith was a resourceful young woman. Her successful parents were socialites and raised their daughters to be educated, independent and worldly. After her mother unexpectedly passed away, her father quickly succumbed to his own illness and loss. The girls were left with very little. All they had was each other and their superior family bloodline. It was up to Alva to marry well and get their family back on their financial feet. She managed to seduce William Kissam Vanderbilt. Their family fortune was growing steadily but the Vanderbilt name was not yet considered amongst the higher ranks of New York. They could help each other. And for the next twenty years that is precisely what they did. While William spent money and wooed various women behind her back, Alva was out to make sure the Vanderbilt’s name would be set in stone. Alva was forward thinking, generous and intelligent. Author Therese Anne Fowler takes us on another incredible journey through time. New York City comes alive in our imaginations as history is made. This well written, interesting and enjoyable read is a must for anyone who loves historical fiction. 

In Another Time


In 1931 Hanna Ginsberg and Max Beissinger fall deeply in love. She is a rising superstar violinist and he is quietly running his parents quaint store after they pass away. Over the next 5 years Germany rapidly changes with the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party. What began as seemingly minor restrictions quickly becomes dangerous and life threatening. Max has begged Hanna to run away with him but her mother is unwell and disapproves of their relationship because Max is not Jewish. Hanna is deeply engrossed in her music and future life she envisions with the Berlin symphony. In 1946 Hanna awakens in a field desperately grasping her violin without a single memory of the last decade. The war has just ended but Hanna looks healthy with no signs of struggle. Does she have amnesia? A psychological disorder? Or does this have something to do with the magical closet Max has held close to his heart? Narrated by both Max and Hanna from the very beginning of their love affair to their desperate search for each other and the truth, In Another Time is a fast paced journey through history with a little bit of time travel thrown in to make this a most unique look at the sliding doors theory of how every choice we make affects not only our own but many lives in the future. Highly recommend another wonderful novel by author Jillian Cantor. A must for your summer reading list.

Out East


Beautiful memoir by John Glynn reflecting on a summer spent by the beach. Friday means catching the train to Montauk, New York where buildings disappear and the blue of the sea and sky merge as one. John is 27, working hard at a Manhattan publishing company and living in a hip part of town with two awesome roommates. He is livin’ the dream. Lately, even when surrounded by tons of friends, John is painfully lonely. His buddies are starting to pair off, life taking them to the next stage. He realizes he has never felt that deep romantic connection with anyone. John spends the summer at the Hive, a shared house where 30 young adults enjoy sun filled days and alcohol fueled nights. John is consumed with the drama of fitting in, finding love and most unexpectedly, figuring out his sexual identity. While closely observing the world of these privileged, beautiful people John finally allows himself the freedom to choose. This sensitive, well written, fast paced memoir is a peek into growing up, acceptance and the importance of love. Thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking, highly recommend this perfect summer read.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Daisy Jones & The Six


Daisy Jones grew up  in L.A. with everything and nothing at all. A child of the 60’s, she was beautiful, young and humming along to the music scene erupting on the Sunset Strip. Her parents had no idea where she was. Along comes The Six, a band from the east coast hoping to make it big. They have a mix of solid musicians and a frontman named Billy Dunne oozing that special something the fans craves. Daisy Jones & The Six write hit after hit. Billy struggles with the music he lives for and the husband and father he yearns to be. The dangerous magnetism between Daisy and Billy is what makes rock stars and also what everyone fears will tear them apart. Written as a running interview, this incredibly unique novel of love, passion and friendship follows an iconic band through the 70’s; a world overflowing with peace, love and rock’n roll. If you enjoyed the movie Almost Famous, you are sure to be swept away by Daisy Jones & The Six. Get your copy and get comfortable because this one sitting read will leave you speechless.

When We Left Cuba


When the Cuban Revolution forces Beatriz Perez and her family to flee Havana, they rebuild their lives in Florida. Leaving with very little, her father is intent on reestablishing himself in the profitable sugar industry, while her mother obsesses over finding suitable husbands for Beatriz and her sisters. Beatriz, however, is solely set on revenge. She is filled with devastating anger over the loss of her friends, her fortune, and her twin brother. She is given the perfect opportunity, when she is recruited by the CIA to aid the fight for freedom, putting in reach her dreams of returning home to the life her family left behind. However, a dangerous love affair with a well known senator complicates her ambitions as readers are propelled on this page-turning adventure through history.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

How to Hack a Heartbreak


It’s been four years since Mel Strickland graduated college and started working the IT help desk at Hatch, a startup incubator. But Mel is tired of assisting these spoiled frat boys who give a great pitch but can’t manage a paper jam - this girl coder has just about given up. She can barely make the rent, repeatedly meets Mr. Wrong and ultimately yearns to leave what was supposed to be a stepping stone into the real world of coding. Crushed when her Fluttr date is a no show, Mel codes the ultimate revenge; an app called JerkAlert (as a joke!) and is shocked when it goes viral. With the help of her incredibly resourceful girlfriends Mel finds her way to both success and her true match in this absolutely hilarious, very contemporary peek at our outrageous startup phenomena, girl power coding and bizarre culture of online dating. Highly recommend this fast paced, laugh-out-loud beach read! #stockupforsummer  Pub date: July 30, 2019 Thanks for the early read NetGalley!

Trophy Life


It has been a decade since Agnes survived on peanut butter and scrimped pennies for the rent. Her dreams of living in sunny California all came true the day she unexpectedly met Jack in a bar. With movie star good looks and impeccable taste, Jack, twenty years her senior, became her knight in shining armor and Aggie the epitome of the textbook Trophy Wife. Squeezing in yoga between her manicure and shopping, a house staff to care for her adorable baby - Aggie has more than she ever dared to imagine. The day Jack disappears, this life is over. In one fell swoop (Madoff style) Jack and every bit of their idyllic existence is shattered. Finding herself at the mercy of Jack’s smarmy best friend, Aggie has no choice but to accept a job at a fancy private school in NY teaching middle school English to a bunch of delinquents. Life’s sharpest turn and greatest challenge become Aggie’s salvation. Witty, charming and well written, highly recommend this absolutely hysterical take on finding the life you were meant to live. Pack this one in your beach bag ladies! It’s a winner!!

Little Fires Everywhere


As mysteriously as Mia Warren and her teenage daughter Pearl, enter each and every one of the Richardson’s lives - they just as simply vanish. The Richardson family live in Shaker Heights, a painstakingly well planned community in Ohio. Mrs. Richardson is a model citizen and shining example of motherhood. Or so she thought. When Mia, a wandering artist enters their lives by renting the Richardson’s spare apartment, all of their beliefs are quietly turns upside down. Each of the four children develop a special friendship with the Warren’s, while Mia creates her art and longs to finally give Pearl a place she can call home. This orderly town is further turned sideways when Bebe, Mia’s co-worker, is forced into a devastating custody battle over her baby girl with a local family very close to the Richardson’s and sides are quickly taken. Examining each type of relationship, it is clear that the bubble people create to live in rarely resembles the painful truth. This insightful, well written novel is filled with wonderfully descriptive characters. The boundaries they cross neither made me laugh or cry. As much as I enjoyed reading this story it didn’t pull my heartstrings as expected. Looking forward to book club discussion as it has many paths to tread.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

The Woman at the Light


Emily and Martin Lowry, along with their three young children live on Wrecker’s Cay, a small island off the coast of Key West. Martin is the lighthouse keeper, sometimes known as a “wickie,” because of his job trimming the wicks.They live a quiet, solitary life and their lighthouse is of vital importance as many ships crash on these shallow reefs. Lives are lost and treasures often found. Martin mysteriously disappears one afternoon and Emily continues to care for the lighthouse and her family, optimistically waiting for his return. Emily is apprehensive but strangely relieved when the children find a runaway slave on the shore one afternoon. Andrew is charming, strong and resilient. This is the beginning of many secrets Emily must keep for the sake of the lighthouse, her children and her newfound, highly forbidden love. Wonderfully written, Key West author Joanna Brady takes us on a historical journey beginning in 1829, when Key West was a collection of fishing shacks, Ellen Mallory ran a boardinghouse and it became known as the wrecking capital of the world.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Just Call Me Miri


Miri Engle is a young girl from Miami desperately searching for her identity, purpose and most importantly, her one true love. On a high school study abroad program in Israel, Miri immediately connects with the wondrous land of her familial ancestors. And so begins decades of Miri’s journeying around the world, trying to find the right place to call home. Meeting one colorful character after another, Miri learns lessons of friendship, family and the heart that never seem to come very easily. Often experiencing frustration, rejection and painful loss she is determined to move on and not be a victim of circumstance. Just when most people would think it may be time to surrender, Miri makes one more attempt at finding her happiness and charges off again at full steam. Funny, smart, independent and relentless, this firecracker girl never gives up on the people she loves or her dreams of the future. Beautifully written, Just Call Me Miri is an incredible debut novel by author Mandi Eizenbaum. Whether you find yourself laughing out loud or crying from heartbreak, we can’t help but see a little bit of Miri in ourselves and recognize that feeling, that surely there is “more” just waiting to be discovered. Why should anybody settle and not make that bold leap to keep searching? Highly recommend this fabulous new read and look forward to more from this exciting new author. #adventure #travel #friends #love #family #history

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Unhoneymooners


Olive and Amy are identical twins but complete opposites. They may look alike but Olive is unfailingly the most unlucky person on the planet and Amy is the contest winning champion. With her Type A personality at the helm and entire wedding party set (including hideous green dresses!) Amy is beyond excited for her big day. The one downside for Olive is she has to spend time with Ethan, the very adorable but despised brother-in-law to be. When the “prized” seafood buffet sends hundreds to the Emergency Room, Olive and Ethan are the last two standing. They are coerced to go on the all expenses paid, non-refundable, non-transferable trip to Hawaii. And pretend they are the happy newlyweds. So begins, the HILARIOUS, adorable, heart warming story of Ethan and Olive’s adventure. This is a one sitting, can’t get the silly smile off your face type of read. Throw in some typical Christina Lauren - be true to yourself, give people a chance vibe and we have another winner. Available in May. This is going to be a huge summer beach read! Thanks for the early peek @NetGalley