Posted in Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves @tgarvisgraves @StMartinsPress #bookreview #thegirlheusedtoknow

Happy Thursday bibliophiles!

So excited to share with you today my review for this beautiful story that I buddy read with my friend Heather, you can find her thoughts below as well!🦋

My Thoughts

An extraordinary love story brimming with heart, hope , and second chances!

Tracey Garvis Graves has stolen my heart with this evocative and emotional story. I read “On the Island” A few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Going into this book I knew I was going to be treated to brilliantly developd characters and an intriguing storyline. What I was not prepared for was The emotional toll this book would have on my heart! This book both destroyed me and pieced me back together again. I seriously feel a little squeeze on my heart just thinking about this book! If you enjoy stories with characters that will worm their way into your heart then this is a can’t miss!

The story bounces between 1991 and 2001 and is told from both Annika and Jonathan‘s perspectives. In 1991 both Annika and Jonathan are attending the University of Illinois, where they meet while attending chess club. Anica is a bit socially awkward, a little anxious, a little oversensitive to her surroundings. She is on the autism spectrum, however in 1991 this was not a common diagnosis so people saw her as quirky or just plain weird. Jonathan was immediately drawn to Annika and saw through to who she truly was inside. What follows is a beautiful and intense romance that was so special to read about. Watching Jonathan so tenderly and cautiously try to understand Annika and her needs was so sweet! He legitimately made my heart melt, I might’ve fallen a little in love with him myself. Sadly tragedy struck and the couple was torn apart. 10 years later Monica was at the grocery store when she hears a familiar voice, it must be fate because there is Jonathan in the bread aisle. Anica and Jonathan try to rekindle the flame, but has too much already happened to prevent this? Can Annika and Jonathan open their hearts up to each other again, regardless of the past?

In case you missed it, I really loved this book! The characters popped off the pages and the story was so well told. There is something about a second chance romance that really resonates with me. It’s definitely not that I want a second chance with anyone I’ve ever been with *shutters* I think it is the idea of hope, and this book had that in abundance.

Beautiful and moving, I cannot recommend this book enough, be sure to have Kleenex on hand before reading!

*** many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for my copy of this book ***

Heather’s Thoughts

Thank you to the publisher for my ebook galley. I LOVED this book. The story was about a second chance at love. Annika and Jonathan met in college and fell in love. They ended up parting ways when Jonathan left for a job. Then 10 years later, they meet again, unexpectedly. What follows is amazing story of a love so strong. I loved Annika and I loved seeing the way her mind worked with her autism. I loved Jonathan because he is such a nice, genuine guy. I wanted nothing more than for them to be together. These two have some definite hardships in their relationship and this book is a must read to find out. A truly heartfelt, emotional read, and I loved every minute!

About the Book

Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.  
Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game – and his heart – to the shy and awkward yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. 
Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.   
Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start.  
The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Thriller and Suspense

Until the Day I Die by Emily Carpenter @EmilyDCarpenter @AmazonPub @LUAuthors #bookreview #untilthedayidie

Happy Tuesday bibliophiles!

Excited to share with you today my review for this outrageous thriller that I absolutely loved! This was a buddy read with Kenzie and I’m so happy she talked me into giving this author a shot!💫

My Thoughts

this was an entertaining thriller packed with twists, turns and delights!

Emily Carpenter will take you on a wild and crazy ride in this outrageouss thriller! This is one of those books where you just need to throw believability out the window and settle in for a deliciously indulgent story. I mean it is called fiction for a reason, and sometimes it is nice just to escape reality and have some fun! This book is definitely over the top and will cause some eye rolling, but I loved… EVERY! SINGLE! MINUTE!

Shorie is heading to Auburn university, and is less than thrilled about it. She is still grieving for the loss of her father and would rather stay home and work for the family company Jax. Jax is a hugely popular app that monitors your spending and keeps you on budget as well as on task. Erin, Shorie’s mom is insisting that she go to college, she is also deep in grief and contemplating selling the company. The problem is the company’s other partners aren’t too keen to sell, and Erin has been acting irrationally lately. After Erin shows up to a frat party on Shorie’s first night at Auburn seemingly drunk, she is rushed off to rehab/restoration in the Caribbean. Meanwhile Shorie has discovered some anomalies at Jax and is determined to find out what is going on. What transpires is a whirlwind of action that will keep you quickly flipping those pages!

The story bounces between two storylines told from Shorie and Erin’s perspectives. Admittedly I was instantly drawn into Shorie’s story while it took me a little more time to get into Erin’s mess. However, once Erin sets foot into that lush creepy rehab/restoration center I was hooked. The characters were well drawn, the plot was perfectly paced, this was just a good time fun read. Recommend!

*** many thanks to Lake Union for my copy of this book ***

🌟🌟🌟 check out Kenzie’s review here

About the Book

From the bestselling author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls comes a riveting novel about a mother and daughter separated by grief, secrets, and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy their lives.
If there’s a healthy way to grieve, Erin Gaines hasn’t found it. After her husband’s sudden death, the runaway success of the tech company they built with their best friends has become overwhelming. Her nerves are frayed, she’s disengaged, and her frustrated daughter, Shorie, is pulling away from her. Maybe Erin’s friends and family are right. Maybe a few weeks at a spa resort in the Caribbean islands is just what she needs to hit the reset button…
Shorie is not only worried about her mother’s mental state but also for the future of her parents’ company. Especially when she begins to suspect that not all of Erin’s colleagues can be trusted. It seems someone is spinning an intricate web of deception – the foundation for a conspiracy that is putting everything, and everyone she loves, at risk. And she may be the only one who can stop it.
Now, thousands of miles away in a remote, and oftentimes menacing, tropical jungle, Erin is beginning to have similar fears. Things at the resort aren’t exactly how the brochure described, and unless she’s losing her mind, Erin’s pretty sure she wasn’t sent there to recover – she was sent to disappear.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review

Golden Child by Claire Adam @Claire_Trini @HogarthBooks #bookreview #audiobook #goldenchild

Happy Tuesday book lovers!

Excited to share with you today my review for this book that completely captivated me! This was a story that I had the pleasure of reading with both my book Bestie Jennifer and my mom. I have included a brief review from my mom as well as a link to Jennifer’s blog, be sure to check out their thoughts as well!🌴

Golden Child

  • A Novel
  • By: Claire Adam
  • Narrated by: Obi Abili
  • Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 01-29-19
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Random House Audio

My Thoughts

A beautiful and unsettling tale alive with culture!

Claire Adam’s debut is a story that will transport you to 1980s Trinidad with its descriptive writing. I found the tropical setting of Trinidad to be unique and fascinating. The juxtaposition of the beauty and corruption was simultaneously disconcerting and alluring. A Book that I believe will stay with me for a long time, a book that asks many questions and begs to be discussed. I was so grateful that I had both my mom and my good friend Jennifer to talk about this book with after I finished. There are some heartbreaking decisions made in this book, but I believe the difference in culture and time had something to do with some tough choices. I strongly encourage you to fine one of your best reading buddies and read this mesmerizing book!

1980s Trinidad a family of modest means just trying to survive. Clyde the father works long hours at a petroleum company doing his absolute best to support his family. Joy the mother stays home and takes care of her family, twin boys Peter and Paul. Peter is the golden child not just smart but a genius. Paul was born with the cord around his neck depriving him of oxygen and ultimately leading to a learning disability. Joy did what she could to make sure the boys were treated equally, something that Clyde struggled with. Cultural differences and an ill-equipped school system lead to Paul being treated poorly, something that was hard to read. The family is ultimately face with a heart wrenching decision with no good answers. The other people surrounding the family as well as Trinidad itself really lend a lot of conflict to this story. The extended family does not always have the best of intentions and they are connected to some pretty shady people. The corruption and crime of Trinidad also is a huge factor in this story.

I was completely swept away by this compelling story. The characters were so well drawn and colorful. The storyline was very thought-provoking and evoked many emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spend with this family on this island, even though at times it was extremely uncomfortable and distressful. A powerful story I won’t soon forget, I absolutely recommend!

🎧🎧🎧 this was one stunning audiobook that absolutely further immersed me in the story! Obi Abili brought so much island flavor to the narration with his melodic island accent. Seriously I could listen to him talk all day long!

🎵🎵🎵 Song Running Through My Head

One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning
So shall it be in the end
Let’s get together and feel all right
Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (one love)
There is one question I’d really like to ask (one heart)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me
One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning
So shall it be in the end
One love, one heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
Let’s get…

*** A huge thank you too SJP for Hogarth for my copy of this book ***

My Mom’s Thoughts

GOLDEN CHILD is one of the best books I have read in the last two or three years with its unique setting, unique characters, and unique story.  From the first page I was transported along the roads of Trinidad with a microcosm of intriguing characters.  The theme of roads taken or not taken by choice or by chance seemed to drive the plot, leading to a rich discussion and bringing to mind Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”.

Jennifer @ Tarheel Reader

Publisher’s Summary

A new novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint, SJP for Hogarth: a deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity, loyalty, and love.
Golden Child is a stunning novel written with force and beauty. Though true to herself, Adam’s work stands tall beside icons of her tradition like V.S. Naipaul.” (Jennifer Clement, author of Gun Love)
Rural Trinidad: a brick house on stilts surrounded by bush; a family, quietly surviving, just trying to live a decent life.
Clyde, the father, works long, exhausting shifts at the petroleum plant in southern Trinidad; Joy, his wife, looks after the home. Their two sons, 13 years old, wake early every morning to travel to the capital, Port of Spain, for school. They are twins but nothing alike: Paul has always been considered odd, while Peter is widely believed to be a genius, destined for greatness.
When Paul goes walking in the bush one afternoon and doesn’t come home, Clyde is forced to go looking for him, this child who has caused him endless trouble already and who he has never really understood. And as the hours turn to days, and Clyde begins to understand Paul’s fate, his world shatters – leaving him faced with a decision no parent should ever have to make.
Like the Trinidadian landscape itself,
 Golden Child is both beautiful and unsettling; a resoundingly human story of aspiration, betrayal, and love.

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Berit☀️✨