Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray @BerkleyPub #bookreview #bookbestiescareandfeedingofravenouslyhungrygirls #thecareandfeedingofravenouslyhungrygirls

Happy hump day bibliophiles!

Today I have another impactful and emotional book to share with you! This was another group read with the Besties and we all give it our seal of approval!💕

My Thoughts

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Wow! This book was thick with dysfunction, grief, guilt, and love!

When I finish this book I did not know what to think, I was emotionally exhausted and I needed to let this book simmer for a while. I needed to process the pain and the emotion I had just experienced. Anissa Gray has written one heck of a dark evocative and emotional debut! This book was so real, so raw, so uncomfortable, and yet so exquisite! It was a book I needed to take a few steps away from to truly appreciate, I needed to separate myself from these characters to find the true beauty in these words.

The Butler family truly brings dysfunction to new heights. Every time I turned a page in this book I was drawn further into this family’s misfortune and pain. Not going to lie the darkness was a bit overwhelming for me at times and I think that is why I needed this book to sit with me before I could truly appreciate it. This is the story of sisters Althea, viola, and Lillian. Althea who became the matriarch of the family after the sister’s mother passed is in trouble. Althea and her husband Proctor have been found guilty of embezzlement a crime that the sisters and the entire community are shocked by. Viola and Lillian rally to take care of Altheas twin girls Kim and baby Vi. This was one complicated story with multiple layers and many secrets. A Family broken trying to come together and pick up the pieces.

All these characters were flawed and not necessarily likable, but they sure were real. Althea was very difficult for me to understand as a mother, but I did like how as the story went along we got to see a softer side of her (sort of). Lillian and viola were really so full of love and yet so broken. During the course of the story they really found their strength and voice, it gave me hope for a better healthier future for these ladies. Their brother Joe on the other hand…

A powerful debut packed with emotion sorrow and hope! Absolutely recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

Seems like it was yesterday when I saw your face
You told me how proud you were, but I walked away
If only I knew what I know today
Ooh, ooh
I would hold you in my arms
I would take the pain away
Thank you for all you’ve done
Forgive all your mistakes
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
To hear your voice again
Sometimes I wanna call you
But I know you won’t be there
Ohh I’m sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn’t do
And I’ve hurt myself by hurting you
Some days I feel broke inside but I won’t admit
Sometimes I just wanna hide ’cause it’s you I miss
And it’s so hard to say goodbye
When it comes to this
Would you tell me I was wrong?
Would you help understand?
Are you looking down upon me?
Are you proud of who I am?
There’s nothing I wouldn’t do
To have…

*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

img src=”https://audiokilledthebookmark.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/image-154.jpg&#8221; class=”size-full wp-image-5366″ width=”350″ height=”350″>

About the Book

in this dazzling debut novel about mothers and daughters, identity and family, and how the relationships that sustain you can also be the ones that consume you.

The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important. 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall

💕 Be sure to visit the other Bestie blogs!

Let’s Connect

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Have a lovely day!🌹

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman @alysonrichman @BerkleyPub #bookbestiessecretofclouds #bookreview #thesecretofclouds

Happy Tuesday bibliophiles!

Excited and delighted to share with you my review for this beautiful story that I will not soon forget! This was a group read with all the Besties and we all loved it! I seriously still have a book hangover from this one!💕☁️

My Thoughts

A stunning story that enveloped me completely and pulled at my heartstrings!

Every once in a while when you finish a book you know it’s going to stick with you for a long time, this was one of those books. There was just something about this story that touched me deeply, and I really can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps it was the fact that this is a beautiful love story and tribute to teachers everywhere, my mother was a teacher, my daughter is in school now to be a teacher, they hold a special place in my heart. Or perhaps it was watching Katya and Sasha’s emotional struggle dealing with a sick child Yuri. It could have even been Yuri’s incredible passion for baseball, a game he himself will never be able to play. Regardless of what it was that completely captivated me, this was one lovely and emotional story!

Maggie is excited for the start of the school year when her principal reaches out and asks if she would be willing to tutor a boy who cannot come to school due to illness. At first Maggie is a bit hesitant afraid it might dredge up some old ghostss, but Maggie has too much compassion not to help a child in need. In the beginning Yuri was not receptive at all to Maggie, until they bonded over baseball. We also got a glimpse of Katya and Sasha’s lives in the Ukraine. Katya was a ballerina and Sasha an engineer, they both were in the Ukraine for the Chernobyl disaster. Their guilt over it perhaps being there exposure to nuclear power leading to Yuri’s heart defect was palpable. This story was also peppered throughout with family, food, romance, friendship, Art, and the violin.

Yuri really stole the show and my heart in this book. There was just something so innocent yet so wise about him, and I loved his bond and relationship with his parents, Maggie, and Finn. The mom in me could not help but put myself in Katya’s shoes and the human in me could not help but put myself in Maggie’s, I felt this emotional journey with the hearts of both these wonderful ladies. Maggie was such an energetic passionate teacher I enjoyed every minute I spend with her in the classroom and out. Katya was such a lovely loving mother and I loved that we got to see pieces of her past. Sasha was a remarkable man and husband, and I found it interesting how differently these two dealt with their son’s illness. There’s a part in the story regarding an assignment and letters that will make your heart both sing and cry. I could go on and on, but I will spare you all! Just read it!

Beautiful, evocative, and emotional, absolutely recommend!

🎵🎵🎵Song Running Through My Head

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
Moons and Junes and ferries wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way
But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away
I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really…

*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

From the #1 international bestselling author of The Lost Wife and The Velvet Hours comes an emotionally charged story about a mother’s love, a teacher’s promise, and a child’s heart…

Katya, a rising ballerina, and Sasha, a graduate student, are young and in love when an unexpected tragedy befalls their native Kiev. Years later, after the couple has safely emigrated to America the consequences of this incident cause their son, Yuri, to be born with a rare health condition that isolates him from other children. Maggie, a passionate and dedicated teacher agrees to tutor Yuri at his home, even though she is haunted by her own painful childhood memories. As the two forge a deep and soulful connection, Yuri’s boundless curiosity and unique wisdom inspires Maggie to make difficult changes in her own life. And she’ll never realize just how strong Yuri has made her — until she needs that strength the most…

A novel that will make readers examine what it means to live life with a full heart. 

The Besties

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Mackenzie @ Phdiva

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Kendall

💕Be sure to check out all the Bestie book love!

Let’s Connect!

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Have a Beautiful day!☁️✨

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross @leioss @BerkleyPub #bookbestiesbeastheart #bookreview #thebeastsheart

TGIF! I am so ready for the weekend!

Super excited to share with you today my review for this magical tale, a beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast🌹

This was a fun group read with Jennifer and Kenzi, as always I enjoyed sharing my thoughts with these wonderful ladies!💕

My Thoughts

A magical tale as old as time.

This was an enchanting retelling of Beauty and the Beast, told from the Beast’s perspective…. my only true knowledge of this story is from Disney and from that movie I had a bit of a soft spot for Beast… so I was really excited when I heard this book was going to tell us the story from his point of view… and this book did not disappoint… although I do have to admit because this book had a bit of a young adult vibe the Beast wasn’t quite as alpha as I would have liked… A magical story, lyrically told, that really gave me a real fairytale vibe… The writing was a bit old-fashioned and really gave you a sense of being right there with Beast and Isabeau… this was something that actually threw me off, not being right there with them, but the fact that the main female protagonist was not named Bell but Isabeau… not going to lie it took me a good while to figure out she was the correct love interest, I kept waiting for Bell to show up! Once I got over that I really got into the story and fell in love with this beautiful castle and the adorable Beast…

I am sure most of you are very familiar with this plot so I’m not going to regurgitate it… One thing I think you need to know before you pick it up though it is very heavy on the romance, a very clean romance, but romance all the same… Beast was one determined and relentless man and I have to say I am not sure if Isabeau was worthy of his love? It could possibly be that women were much more reserved in 17th century France then they are today,Isabeau just seemed a little cold… but I really did like her family her father and her sisters, and I like that Beast could glimpse them in that magical mirror…

A beautifully told story Full of heart and charm! Recommend🌹

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Unexpectedly
Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the beast
Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before and ever just as sure as the sun will rise
Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise
Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong
Certain as the sun
Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast…

*** huge thank you to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . . 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Let’s Connect

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Have A magical day!✨🌹✨

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose @KarenRoseBooks @BerkleyPub #bookbestiessayyouresorry #bookreview #sayyouresorry #pubday

Happy Tuesday book lovers!

Excited to share with you today my review for this perfectly balanced romantic suspense story. This is the perfect story for fans of romance, suspense, and/or romantic suspense! It was also a group breed with my Besties and we all really enjoyed this one!💕💕

Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

My Thoughts

A Smart, suspenseful, and sexy romantic suspense story!

Karen Rose is definitely the queen of romantic suspense… I felt this book was the perfect balance of both romance and suspense… The romance was sizzling and swoon worthy while the suspense was dark and nail biting…. Karen Rose doesn’t pull any punches, both the romance and suspense in this book are gritty, graphic, and raw… this is not for the faint of heart, so if you don’t like all the intimate details, this one might not be for you….

This book is over 600 pages, but it certainly did not seem that way… I flew through those pages and never did I think when does this end? In fact I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to these characters yet…. Daisy was a fabulous protagonist and Gideon wasn’t too bad either😉 The chemistry between these two was off the charts…. hot🔥 and what I really appreciated is they not only connected on a physical level but also on an emotional and intellectual level, bravo to that! Also the fact that these two found time for romance and sizzle was quite impressive with all that was going on… A crazy creepy serial killer, A connection to a cult that’s part of Gideon’s past, well that’s it, but there is a lot to both of those! Two seemingly separate stories that thread together perfectly!

We got many different perspectives in this book including that of the demented killer… and can I just say this guy was creepy squared! But I love that… I love getting into the mind of crazy and this guy definitely fit that bill…. along with Daisy and Gideon we had a cast of very well drawn secondary characters… my hope is the next book is about Gideon’s sister….

A well-crafted story that will make you sweat, swoon, and squirm! An intense fast pace story bursting with romance and suspense! Recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through My Head

I can’t seem to face up to the facts
I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax
I can’t sleep ’cause my bed’s on fire
Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire
Psycho Killer
Qu’est-ce que c’est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run run run run run run run away oh oh
Psycho Killer
Qu’est-ce que c’est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, away oh oh oh
Yeah yeah yeah yeah!
You start a conversation you can’t even finish it
You’re talking a lot, but you’re not saying anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again?
Psycho Killer
Qu’est-ce que c’est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far better
Run run run run run run run away oh oh oh
Psycho Killer
Qu’est-ce que c’est
Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-far…

*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried hard to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of his cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a petite blonde woman crashes into his life, he begins to realize that a little bit of chaos might not be so bad.

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain too—but she’s done being a victim. Daisy’s determined to explore every new experience she can—including getting to know the dark and serious FBI investigator she meets when she fights off a masked attacker one night.

It soon becomes clear that Daisy’s attack was just the beginning. Now the bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California, and, as Gideon tries to find the killer, it’s clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realised… 

The Besties

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Holly @ Dressed to Read

*** be sure to check out all the girls reviews!

Instagram|

Goodreads|

Twitter|

Book friends are the best friends!🌹

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli @BerkleyPub @saskinthecity #bookbestiesmatchmakerslist #bookreview

TGIF all!

Excited for the weekend and excited to share with you my review for this totally adorable romcom that brought a huge smile to my face! This was a group read with a few of my Besties and we found it quite delightful!💕💕

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli

My Thoughts

This was an adorable romcom bursting with culture, family, friendship, fun, and love!

This was a charming feel-good story that put a big smile on my face! This book did a really good job of showcasing the expectations and pressure we as parents sometimes put on our children when it comes to love, marriage, and many other things… I think the pressure to be “perfect“ is greater in some cultures than others…. but I think almost all parents regardless of culture want the absolute best for their children, we want them to be happy, and it is always hard to let go…. Sonya Lalli did a tremendous job of handling some serious subject matter with respect and compassion… she took the pressures of belonging and assimilating and added in some heart, hope, and humor!

Raina has just turned 29, she was raised by her Nanny Who is a traditional Indian woman… her Nanny is bound and determined to get Raina married off… I think the fact that she feels as though she “failed“ when it came to Raina’s mother adds even more pressure… Raina wants nothing more than to make her beloved grandmother happy so she acquiesces and agrees to date some of the men on “the list“… The biggest problem? Raina is still hung up on her ex, and when her ex comes back into the picture she is hopeful to rekindle the flame… feeling the pressure and the pull of pleasing herself or pleasing her grandma and others leads Raina to some poor decision making…. decisions that impact many others in her life, decisions that she soon regrets, decisions with ramifications, decisions that she ultimately has to atone for…. so how will Raina extricate herself from this mess? And will she ever find true love?

The characters and culture in this story we’re all so colorful and just popped off those pages! Raina’s stress to please not disappoint was palpable as was her grandmothers love… The complexities of familial entanglements really shown through in this book… I especially found the relationship between Raina’s grandmother and mother quite interesting and complicated… there were quite a few complicated relationships in this book most likely compounded by the struggle between the old and the new… Raina’s dating adventures were quite cringe worthy and humorous! And relatable, I mean who hasn’t been on a bad date? But through all the struggle, the complexities, the pressures, what really shown through in the story was LOVE! There was so much love amongst all these characters and even though sometimes it wasn’t shown in the best way, it was always there!

A wonderfully told story full of whimsy, heart, hope, and love! Absolutely recommend with all my heart!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! This is what raina needed to say to her ex! What a tool he was!

To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
To the left, to the left
Everything you own in the box to the left
In the closet that’s my stuff, yes
If I bought it please don’t touch
And keep talking that mess, that’s fine
But could you walk and talk at the same time?
And it’s my mine name that is on that tag
So remove your bags let me call you a cab
Standing in the front yard telling me
How I’m such a fool, talking about
How I’ll never ever find a man like you
You got me twisted
You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I could have another you in a minute
Matter fact he’ll be here in a minute, baby
You must not know ’bout me
You must not know ’bout me
I can have another you by tomorrow
So don’t you ever for a second get
To thinking…

*** many thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it 

Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn’t mean she has to like it–or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina’s side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she’s ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn’t know won’t hurt her…

As Raina’s life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother’s dreams. 

The Besties

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

*** don’t forget to check out Jennifer and Kenzie’s amazing reviews!

enjoy your Friday! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Bestie Approved

A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanat Khan @MinotaurBooks @MacmillanAudio #bookreview #audiobook #bookbestiesadeadlydivide

Happy Thursday booklovers!

Excited to share with you my review for this timely and engaging story that I was lucky enough to read with a few of my book Bestyies.💕

My Thoughts

A timely and intriguing crime thriller that really made me think 💭

Ausma Zehanat Khan has taken today’s important issues pushed them to the forefront of this mystery and did not hold any punches… hate is so ugly and so uncomfortable and there were so many parts of this book that were just that, uncomfortable and ugly…. this is the fifth book in this series set in Canada, but the first book I have read from the series, it worked perfectly fine as a standalone…. I found the political issues of Quebec quite interesting, I really had no idea… unfortunately these are the same problems we have in the US, hate appears to know no boundaries… BUT in this book just as in the real world there were more good honest people than haters…

There was a shooting at a Muslim mosque in a small town in Quebec… it appears to be a hate crime, but Esa and Rachel who have been sent to investigate the case think there is more to this than it appears… A group of white supremacist, a group of girls calling themselves the lilies (and I’m still not sure what their purpose was), A priest, and a stalker all make for a compelling read… add in some complicated romantic entanglements in both Rachel and Esa lives, and there is not much more you could ask four… but for me the true brilliance of this book and what set it apart was the honest and real look at today’s political and cultural environment….

The mystery was interesting and I liked following along with the investigation… my only little niggle with this book was I was sometimes a little overwhelmed with the characters, I couldn’t always remember who was who, but this could be a me problem… it also probably would have helped had I read the previous books in the series, and it definitely did not detract from the overall story…. and it certainly didn’t stop me from donning my detective hat!

This was a relevant, perfectly paced, interesting crime thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end! Recommend!

🎧🎧🎧 I really am so excited to get back to my roots and have the privilege and opportunity to listen to so many wonderful audiobooks. This was another book that was truly enhanced by a rich narrator. Peter Ganim gives his wonderful voice to this series, I just checked and he narrates the full series. He did a wonderful job with all the different characters especially when it came to the female voices, I also was impressed with his French. Now if I’m being completely honest I would have no idea if he was pronouncing it correctly but it sure did sound good!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! We didn’t start the fire🔥

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe
Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I” and “The Catcher in the Rye”
Eisenhower, vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye
We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it
Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, “Rock Around the Clock”
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett,…

*** many thanks to Minotaur and Macmillan Audio for my copies of this book ***

About the Book

From the critically acclaimed author Ausma Zehanat Khan, A Deadly Divide is the devastatingly powerful new thriller featuring beloved series detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty.

In the aftermath of a mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec, the local police apprehend Amadou Duchon—a young Muslim man at the scene helping the wounded—but release Etienne Roy, the local priest who was found with a weapon in his hands.

The shooting looks like a hate crime, but detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty sense there is more to the story. Sent to liaise with a community in the grip of fear, they find themselves in fraught new territory, fueled by the panic and suspicion exploited by a right-wing radio host.

As Rachel and Esa grapple to stop tensions shutting the case down entirely, all the time, someone is pointing Esa in another direction, a shadowy presence who anticipates his every move.

A Deadly Divide is a piercingly observed, gripping thriller that reveals the fractures that try to tear us all apart: from the once-tight partnership between detectives Esa and Rachel, to the truth about a deeply divided nation. 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Have a lovely day! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald @Christinamac79 @carlywatters @GalleryBooks #BookReview #BookBestiesnightoliviafell

Happy Tuesday book lovers!And happy publication day to this wonderful story!

So excited to reshare with you my review for this beautiful suspenseful book! This was our second #bookbestieread back in August and what an emotional read it was! Seriously this book should have come with a big box of Kleenex! Six months later and all the feelings this book brought out still stick with me!💔

The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

My Thoughts

5 BIG Beautiful Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

wOWZA! This book took me on quite the emotional journey! As a mother I couldn’t help but completely empathize with Abi(The mother in this story)… I cried with her… I raged with her… I hoped with her… my mama bear was out throughout this book, I needed answers and I needed them now! Imagining my own daughter in the hospital bed brain-dead and pregnant, quite honestly made me a little sick and stressed… this is a credit to the beautiful and engrossing writing in this book, I was completely immersed and committed…. The fact that this is Christina McDonald’s debut is simply…. impressive!

Abi gets that phone call in the middle of the night that all parents fear… her daughter is in the hospital, she has fallen off a bridge…Abi’s mothers intuition tells her this was not an accident and this is reinforced by the bruises around her daughter’s wrist…. The police don’t appear to be doing much of anything to find out who pushed Olivia off that bridge…. but Abi is determined and will stop at nothing to find out who hurt her little girl…

Told from both Abi and Olivia‘s perspectives… we get the events leading up to this tragedy from Olivia‘s eyes… as well as watching Abi’s heart wrenching journey… not only to accept that she has lost her daughter, but also to figure out how this could have happened…. this was such an impactful way to tell the story because the more I got to know Olivia the more my heart broke right along with Abi’s…. also Christina McDonnell did a fabulous job with getting into the mind of both a 17-year-old and her mother…. I saw a lot of myself in both of these characters…

This was an emotional domestic suspense… as the book progressed I was suspicious of almost everyone at some point… I also found myself questioning both Olivia and Abbi’s actions… I kept thinking if only…. then… but isn’t that what life is all about? every choice we make has an impact on our lives…. had Abby told Olivia who her father was, then maybe? Had Olivia told her mother who she had fallen in love with, then perhaps? So many questions and no good answers and as we all know hindsight is always 20/20…

This is a book that left me with tears in my eyes and hope in my heart! I absolutely recommend for anyone who enjoys A beautiful story about the love between mothers and daughters with a huge dose of suspense thrown in….

*** many thanks to Christina McDonald and Gallery for my copy of this book the book releases in February 2019 ***

About the Book ~Releases February 2019

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

The Book Besties

Jennifer @Tarheel Reader

Mackenzie @PhDiva

Kendall Goodreads

Book friends are the best friends! Berit☀️✨📚

Posted in Audiobook Review, Book Bestie Approved

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser @jessicastrawser @GabraZackman @StMartinsPress @MacmillanAudio #bookbestiesforgetyouknowme #bookreview #audiobook

Happy Monday bibliophiles!

Excited to share with you today my review for this dark domestic drama filled with some pretty compelling characters! This was a group read and we were all captivated by these peoples lives!💜

  • Forget You Know Me

  • A Novel
  • By: Jessica Strawser
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 02-05-19
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio

My Thoughts

A real, raw, and riveting story about the good, the bad, and the ugly side of life and love!

Life… it is messy, it is uncomfortable, it is tough… Jessica Strawser Does an amazing job of making her characters pop off the pages, there is an authenticity to her characterization and storytelling… this is an exquisitely told domestic drama with a sprinkle of suspense… it is NOT A THRILLER …and I think if you start this book with the expectation that this is a wonderful exploration of the darker and uglier side of relationships, rather than a edge of your seat thriller you will have a much better reading experience…. in my humble opinion this is a book that has been mislabeled as a mystery/thriller and that has not done the book any favors…

imagine you are on a video chat with your BFF, When she is upstairs checking on one of her kids someone breaks into her house dressed in all black including a face mask… what would you do? That is how this book starts up, Liza and Molly are on the chat, Molly checks on her kids, Liza sees the intruder…. after the intruder closes the laptop on Liza she calls the police and drives all night from Chicago to Cincinnati to check on her friend…. but when Liza reaches Molly‘s house she basically closes the door in her face, what in the world is going on? This one event leads to the unraveling of many secrets and relationships….

A book that takes an in-depth look at the breakdown of both marriage and friendship… how insecurities and fears can lead to lies and secrets that ultimately lead to hurt and betrayal…. all these characters were very real, flawed, and relatable, however not always likable… I have to admit I found Molly insufferable at times or chronic pain frustrated even made the reader, meanwhile I really liked Liza and enjoyed her entire storyline immensely… this is not to say I did not like Molly and her story, I just found that story much more frustrating, Daniel and she needed some serious marriage counseling…. but even my frustration with these characters added to the authenticity of the story, as I mentioned life is messy…. just so many things I loved about this book, I found it fascinating how Liza dealt with her survivors guilt… I enjoyed the bond between little Rosie and Nori… and the sweet romance between Liza and Henry put a big smile on my face, what a wonderful man he was!

A beautifully told story about the complexities of life and relationships, A real story about real people! Absolutely recommend!

🎧🎧🎧 The audio narration definitely added some texture and depth to this compelling story… Gabra Zackman did an impeccable job of making these characters come to life… she did a wonderful job of giving each character their own unique voice alleviating any confusion as to who was telling the story at any given time…

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! They brought up Tom Petty in this book so I thought I’d go with one of his songs…

Hey, hey
Don’t come around here no more
Don’t come around here no more
Whatever you’re looking for
Hey, don’t come around here no more
I’ve given up, stop
I’ve given up, stop
I’ve given up, stop, on waiting any longer
I’ve given up, on this love getting stronger
Don’t come around here no more
Don’t come around here no more
Don’t come around here no more
Don’t come around here no more
I don’t feel you anymore
You darken my door
Whatever you’re looking for
Hey, don’t come around here no more
I’ve given up, stop
I’ve given up, stop
I’ve given up, (stop) you tangle my emotions
I’ve given up, honey please admit it’s over…

*** many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and Macmillan Audio for my copies of this book ***

About the Book

Forget You Know Me is that book you can’t put down, and can’t stop thinking about when you are finished.” —Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Family Next Door

When a video call between friends captures a shocking incident no one was supposed to see, the secrets it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.

Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.

When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.

What Liza sees next will change everything.

Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled anhd she saw.

Or is there?

In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.

And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.

But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

Jessica Strawser’s Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best, friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.

One moment will change things for them all. 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

💛💜 don’t forget to check out Jennifer and Kenzie’s wonderful reviews!

Have a lovely Monday! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

The Line Between by Tosca Lee @ToscaLee @HowardBooks #bookbestieslinebetween #bookreview

Happy Tuesday bibliophiles!

Excited to share with you my review for this exciting book! This is not my normal genre I guess this would be called pre-apocalyptic fiction? Is there such a thing as this? Anyways it was quite the thrilling story and I am so happy to have read it! This was a group read With my Besties and we all thoroughly enjoyed it!🖤

The Line Between by Tosca Lee

My Thoughts

Wowza this was quite the unexpected gem of a pre-apocalyptic story!

This is not my usual reading genre, but boil boy this book sucked me in from the very first page! Tosca Lee thread together a remarkable story… an intense pre-apocalyptic story laced with a generous amount of thrills and romance… this is such a well written book that I think will appeal to a wide audience of readers!

Wynter grew up in the compound of the New Earth doomsday post apocalyptic cult… as she grew up she began to question things including the teachings of the leader of the cult Magnus… this leads to her eventually being cast out, only to find that the outside world is going a bit mad…. there is an epidemic sweeping the US the spreading of early onset dementia, and there appears to be no cure in sight…. when Wynter’s sister shows up at her door with a case filled with vials of a potential cure… Wynter soon finds herself on the road to Colorado with the possible fate of the world in her hands…..

Wynter was so smart and so strong and yet she had such a naïveté to her… she is one of those characters that will get under your skin and who you won’t soon forget, there was just something so beautiful and comforting about her inner strength… for some reason I never doubted that this girl who grew up extremely sheltered could manage to make it from Chicago to Colorado in dire circumstances…. admittedly though it was very fortunate that she ran across X military XMMA fighter Chase along the way… Chase was another strong smart character who definitely reassured me… The strength and charisma of these characters really set the tone for the story and I think that’s what I really was drawn to… I felt as though the thread running throughout the story was that of hope rather than doom… this book was uplifting rather than depressing, and that’s not something I often find in books of this genre… add in a plot that will keep you riveted and a sprinkling of romance… and you’ve got yourself one stellar story!

An addictive pre-apocalyptic thriller full of some pretty amazing characters and a generous peppering of hope! Absolutely recommend!

🎵🎵🎵 song running through my head! If you have read this book you will know why I chose this one, this was a song that ran through Wynter’s head…

There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today

I don’t know what it is

Something’s wrong with our eyes

We’re seein’ things in a different way

And God knows it ain’t his

It sure ain’t no surprise

Livin’ on the edge

Livin’ on the edge

Livin’ on the edge

Livin’ on the edge

There’s somethin’ wrong with the world today

The light bulb’s gettin dim

There’s meltdown in the sky

If you can judge a wise man

By the color of his skin

Then mister you’re a better man than I

Livin’ on the edge

You can’t help yourself from fallin’

Livin’ on the edge

You can’t help yourself at all

Livin’ on the edge

You can’t stop yourself from fallin’

Livin’ on the edge (everybody, everybody)

Tell me what you think about your situation

Complication, aggravation is getting to you

If chicken…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7nqcL0mjMjw

*** many thanks to Tosca Lee for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, THE LINE BETWEEN is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness. 

The Besties

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

🌹 be sure to check out all the girls reviews! Always wonderful to get multiple opinions!

have a wonderful day! Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Bestie Approved

One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt @TomHuntWriter @BerkleyPub #bookbestiesonefatalmistake #bookreview

Happy Tuesday bibliophiles!

Excited to share with you today my review for this fast paced thriller that will keep you glued to those pages! This was a group read with my Besties, and we were all riveted by this addictive read!💕

Available February 5, 2019

One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt

My Thoughts

An addictive fast paced read that will keep you glued to those pages!

How far would you go to protect your child? A tragic accident… a fatal mistake… a lie… a cover up… A BIG hot mess!

This book was packed full of nonstop action from first page to last… josh was involved in a tragic accident that led to the death of a man… in the process of covering it up Josh and his mom Karen run into Ross and Amber… Ross and Amber have just robbed a bank and are on the run… after Josh and Karen’s lives clash with Ross and Amber things go sideways, in a big way! Not going to go into the plot more, just know it is one wild and crazy ride….

This was such an entertaining read, but it also gave you some food for thought… Karen was a wonderful character and a definite loving mother, but… did she do the right thing? And in this situation is there a right thing? Would you help your child bury the body, literally or figuratively? I really have no idea what I would have done in Karen’s situation, and hopefully I will never need to know! Such a fun twisty story that definitely kept me engaged throughout! A book full of likable characters making some pretty bad decisions! It definitely showed you how one mistake, one lie, can lead to so much tragedy….

A nonstop thrilling thriller that will make your heart beat a little bit faster and make you need to catch your breath! Absolutely recommend!

🎵 Music running through my head! This song kept going through my head, because of Ross and Amber being on the run, and wanted dead or alive!

“It’s all the same, only the names will change

Everyday, it seems we’re wastin’ away

Another place where the faces are so cold

I drive all night just to get back home

I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride

I’m wanted dead or alive”

Bon Jovi 1986

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py6U3XMy-AM

*** thank you to Berkley for my copy of this book ***

About the Book

The author of Killer Choice, a thriller “full of shocks and twists you won’t see coming” (Lee Child), delivers a nail-biting novel about a hit and run, and a lie that goes horribly wrong…

Her son accidentally kills a man.

When eighteen-year-old Joshua Mayo takes a man’s life in a horrible accident, he leaves the scene without reporting the crime to the police. He hopes to put the awful night behind him and move on with his life. But, of course, he ends up telling his mother, Karen, what happened.

Karen has raised Joshua on her own in Cedar Rapids, Iowa–and she’d thought they’d finally made it. He was doing well in school and was only months from starting college. After hearing his dark confession, she is forced to make a choice no parent should have to make, one that draws them both into a web of deceit that will change their lives forever–if they make it out alive….

The Besties Thoughts

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Holly @ Dressed to Read

Mackenzie @ PhDiva

Kendall

there are no friends like book friends! Berit☀️✨