Posted in Blog Tour

Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry **Book Review** @algonquinbooks @samanthamabry

Happy Friday lovelies!

This was such a magical beautifully written coming-of-age story.

My Thoughts

Lyrical and magical. A compulsively readable tale of grief, growing up, and moving forward. Samantha Mabry’s stunning storytelling brought the Torres sisters to life on the pages of this book. This is the story of four sisters and how they cope after one of them dies. Jessica is strong, angry, and has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Iridian it’s quiet and timid, she’d rather be at home with her books then out in the real world. Rosa is sweet and caring with an unusual bond with the animals. All three sisters miss their oldest sister Anna terribly. Anna fell to her death crawling out her bedroom windows as the girls tried to escape their oppressive home life. When the sisters start to hear voices, see writing on the wall, and sense a presence in the room, they wonder what their sister Anna is trying to tell them. How do you keep living when your world falls apart?

Such a gorgeous story with so much heart and the perfect touch of magic. These girls do not live an easy life. Their mother has died and their father is useless. The story is real and raw and perhaps a little bleak, but there is always that little trace of hope. The audiobook is narrated by Luis Moreno and she brought the perfect unique voice to each of the sisters. The story is told from the perspectives of each of the sisters, and I really liked getting to know each of them. Rosa was definitely my favorite sister from the very beginning, but I have to say Jessica definitely grew on me through out the course of the book. This truly was the perfect blend of coming of age and magical realism.

This book in emojis 👭 👭 🐶 ✍🏻 💄 🎼

***Big thank you to Algonquin and libro.fm FM for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the eldest, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by Ana’s memory when strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. Is Ana really haunting her sisters and trying to send them a message? And what exactly is she trying to say?

 

Tigers, Not Daughters is a phrase from Shakespeare’sKing Lear,” says Mabry, author of three young adult novels now, and a community college writing and Latino literature teacher in Dallas. “In the play, it’s used as an insult, hurled by Albany at Lear’s selfish and disobedient daughters. When I recently heard that phrase spit out with such venom during a production, it struck me—how could I write a story in which this wasn’t an insult, but, in a way, praise? I’ve always been of the mind that some parents frankly deserve to be disobeyed, and I’m sure many young people would agree. And I’ve always been interested in tinkering with various sources of inspiration, such as stories that explore Latinx identity and the various forms of assimilation. I’ve very loosely based the dynamic of the Torres sisters on my mother’s often complicated relationship with her sisters, and on their experience of being a mostly English-speaking Mexican-American family with roots near the US-Mexico border.”

            

Part family drama, part ghost story, and part love story,TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a stunning follow-up to All the Wind in the World, firmly establishing Mabry as a novelist not-to-be-missed.

 

 

Advance Praise for TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS

“Move over, Louisa May Alcott! Samantha Mabry has written her very own magical Little Women for our times. This is no family of tamed girls but a clan of fierce and fighting young women who will draw readers into their spell. A celebration of the bonds of sisterhood and of the ways we heal by reaching beyond our losses, our brokenness and fears to the love that holds and heals.”

–Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

 

“A moody and unflinching examination of the gritty, tender and impossible parts of people that make them unforgettably whole. You don’t read Samantha Mabry’s books so much as experience them. Ferocious and gorgeously crafted. I loved it.”

Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie

 

“A ghostly tale of revenge and the strength of the sisterly bond…The author adeptly portrays the claustrophobia of living in a small town and being under the watch of an overbearing patriarchal figure—in fact, the male gaze is the true enemy in this novel, and it’s only when the young women join forces that they’re able to break free of its oppressive ties. Mabry’s (All the Wind in the World, 2017, etc.) third novel has echoes of The Virgin Suicides. The protagonists are Latinx. The evocative language and deft characterization will haunt—and empower—readers.”

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

 

“Borrowing elements of magical realism and Latinx folklore, this is a story that is often uncomfortable; in its quest to explore grief, family, and the traumas inflicted by each, it lays its characters utterly and unforgettably bare.”

Booklist (Starred Review)

 

“Mabry speaks gracefully to the transformative power of grief and the often messy (even violent) road to letting go.”

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Book Review

The Prize Girl by Amy K. Green @duttonbooks #bookreview

Happy Monday all!

Excited to share with you today my review for this book that publishes tomorrow!👑

My Thoughts

A tense twisted dark thriller. Amy K. Green’s debut was clever and addictive. Sisters, a murder, a small town, a pageant queen, teenage drama, a sick stalker, Bad behavior, dark secrets, missed opportunities, lost memories, obsession, coverups, lies. The story bounces back-and-forth between the perspectives of sisters Virginia and Jenny. We learn about the events leading up to the murder through the eyes of 14-year-old Jenny. We learn about the aftermath of the murder through the actions of older sister Virginia, who is in her late 20s. As we got to know these sisters better the layers began to peel away and the truth began to reveal itself. I was completely captivated by Miss greens excellent storytelling. I truly was not certain how this was going to end and was very surprised. The ending while twisted still has me thinking. It really gave me a lot to chew on, and I am not sure how I feel about it quite yet. I felt like a lot of the story was left a little open ended, left up to my own moral compass. And I think I like that…. I think.

This was a good solid thriller. Extremely well written and very well plotted. Having said that I think this will probably appeal to the less seasoned thriller Reader. It was a very good book but thriller lovers are a tough crowd…. you know what I’m talking about. And if I’m being honest there are a couple things that didn’t sit with me entirely. First of all Jenny’s age. Now I realize she was in the pageant world and she probably was forced to grow up a little quicker than others, but I thought she acted much more like a junior or possibly a sophomore in high school, I thought eighth grade was pushing it. In fact I forgot she was that young until they mentioned it again. Then there was Virginia. I just thought some of her actions (the alcohol, the pills) were a little cliché. Not a big deal in an otherwise extremely well done thriller. Looking forward to the next one from this talented author.

This book in emojis. 👑 🎒 🔪 🍸

*** Big thank you to Dutton for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

From debut author Amy K. Green comes a devastating tale of psychological suspense: A teen pageant queen is found murdered in a small New England town, and her sister’s search for answers unearths more than she bargained for.

Days after a young pageant queen named Jenny is found murdered, her small town grieves the loss alongside her picture-perfect parents. At first glance, Jenny’s tragic death appears clear-cut for investigators. The most obvious suspect is one of her fans, an older man who may have gotten too close for comfort. But Jenny’s half sister, Virginia – the sarcastic black sheep of the family – isn’t so sure of his guilt and takes matters into her own hands to find the killer.

But for Jenny’s case and Virginia’s investigation, there’s more to the story. Virginia, still living in town and haunted by her own troubled teenage years, suspects that a similar darkness lay beneath the sparkling veneer of Jenny’s life. Alternating between Jenny’s final days and Virginia’s determined search for the truth, the sisters’ dual narratives follow a harrowing trail of suspects, with surprising turns that race toward a shocking finale.

Infused with dark humor and driven by two captivating young women, The Prized Girl tells a heartbreaking story of missed connections, a complicated family, and a town’s disturbing secrets.

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Berit☀️✨

Posted in Cover Reveal

Death Will Find Me by Vanessa Robertson @Ness_Robertson #LoveBookGroupTours #coverreveal

About the Book

Back of the Book – 

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love. 

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

This book will be perfect for anyone who’s enjoyed the work of Catriona McPherson, Sara Sheridan and Jessica Fellowes. 

Buy Link

Buy Link
https://amzn.to/2T79REr

Posted in Blog Tour

Unbroken Threads by Jennifer Klepper @jenklepper #bookreview

Happy Thursday book lovers!

Thrilled to close down the blog tour for this compelling, timely, and thought-provoking book! A huge thank you to Suzy of Suzy Approve BookTours for my invitation and Jennifer Klepper for her amazing story!🧡

unnamed (1)Jessica Donnelly’s life is beginning to unravel. When the attorney turned stay-at-home mom tentatively volunteers to represent Amina Hamid, a woman seeking asylum, Jessica must learn an unfamiliar area of the law. Soon, rising opposition to Muslim immigration and unexpected prejudices put her relationships on shaky ground.

Amina fled Syria with little more than memories that now fight against the images splashed on the news. Seeking a secure future and freedom from guilt and grief, she must learn to trust others amidst the reality of fear and hate.

To find stability, Jessica and Amina will both need to harness their own strengths, which may lie in connections that transcend generations, cultures, and continents.

My Thoughts

A compelling and powerful story that brings today’s headlines to the pages…

This was a timely and thought-provoking story that made you really think about some uncomfortable topics… this book really put a human face on the immigration conflict, and no matter what side of the issue you land on this book will make you question your opinions… if you are like me Syria is just a place you hear about on the news and don’t give too much thought about, after reading this I googled what is going on and it was extremely eye-opening and tragic…. there certainly is no easy answer to this problem, but this book really made me realize that it has an impact on all of us, it has an impact on our humanity…

Jessica has a good life, a successful husband, three lovely children, a beautiful home, and the luxury of being a stay at home mom… she was also a lawyer before she decided to stay home with her kids and now she has been asked to represent a client pro bono… Amina is a Muslim Syrian refugee seeking asylum in the US…. The first meeting between these two ladies was rough, but as they began to really get to know one another they developed a beautiful and strong bond… and in time as I believe everyone will discover they had more in common than not… really when it comes down to it we are all just skin and bone and heart….

I really felt a connection with Jessica where as I felt compassion for Amina… they were both very strong women in their own way, coming from such different backgrounds… it was quite interesting and disturbing what the reaction of some of Jessica‘s family and friends was…. made me wonder what my own family and friends reaction would be in a similar situation? Also made me realize I know very little about the Muslim religion, the situation in Syria, and the process of attaining asylum….. I also had to come to terms that as liberal and non-judge mental as I believe I am, I still have some biases… always nice to read a book that makes you think and challenge yourself….

Absolutely recommend to anyone who enjoys a well told story that is timely and compelling!

unnamedAbout Jennifer:

A Midwest native, Jennifer made stops in Dallas, Charlottesville, and Boston before settling for good in Maryland. While she has an appreciation for the expansive beauty of the plains states, she hopes never to live landlocked again.

Jennifer attended Southern Methodist University and the University of Virginia School of Law, her law degree guiding her through the worlds of corporate law, tech startups, and court advocacy for foster children. She is an ardent consumer of podcasts and books that challenge her with compelling and unfamiliar topics. When she’s not writing, she’s crossing things off a never-ending to-do list and hoping to catch that next sunset. Jennifer lives near Annapolis with her husband and two kids.

Contact:

Facebook: @JenniferKlepperAuthor (https://www.facebook.com/JenniferKlepperAuthor/)
Instagram: @jennifer_klepper (https://www.instagram.com/jennifer_klepper/)
Twitter: @jenklepper (https://twitter.com/jenklepper)
Website: www.jenniferklepper.com (http://www.jenniferklepper.com/)

unnamed (2)

Thank you for dropping by! Berit☀️✨
Posted in Book Bestie Approved

5 BIG Stars🌟 The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald @Christinamac79 @carlywatters @GalleryBooks #BookReview #BookBestieApproved

Happy hump day book lovers!

So excited to share with you my review for this beautiful suspenseful book! This was our second #BookBestie read and what an emotional read it was! Seriously this book should have come with a big box of Kleenex!💔

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

Holly @Dressed To Read

Jennifer @Tarheel Reader

Mackenzie @PhDiva

Melisa @The Book Collective

Kendall Goodreads

Book friends are the best friends! Berit☀️✨📚

Posted in Blog Tour

Dortmund Hibernate by C.J. Sutton @c_j_sutton @rararesources #BookReview

Happy Sunday book friends!

Delighted to be part of the blog tour for this author’s debut! Many thanks to Rachel for my invitation and to CJ Sutton for his compelling story🖤

Dortmund HibernateDortmund Hibernate

Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts. 

Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act. 

As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging Magnus towards a new life of crime…

The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the hill. 

It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.

My Thoughts

4 Depraved Stars🌟🌟🌟🌟

Criminally insane:

A mental defect or disease that makes it impossible for a person to understand the wrongfulness of his acts or, even if he understands them, to distinguish right from wrong.

If anyone is charge with a crime and is found to be criminally insane they cannot be convicted of the crime.

The character Jack Torrance from the Shining was criminally insane.

2

criminally insane

.a person who exhibits actions that could be a potential danger to him/herself or others.

The murderer was criminally insane.

This book was SO dark! And that is what is to be expected when you are reading a book about the criminally insane and a doctor with questionable ethics…. now this is where things are sometimes different when we read books that are not set in your own country, the laws are different in the US then other countries… also this is a hypothetical situation… to decide if these inmates are capable of rehabilitation or if they should be put to death… Well according to my above definition by the very definition of criminally insane they are incapable of being rehabilitated… sorry I’m thinking out loud, this book really made me overthink things! It also creeped me out and made me really feeling quiteslimy…. ‘another book that left me feeling as though I really needed to take a shower (and not a cold shower)… from this desolate town, to the disturb characters, to the dark subject matter, this book pulls you in… and nothing was held back! As we got to know these inmates we were introduced to the horrors of their crimes… and a lot of them were quite brutal and gruesome and we got details… The language was also very colorful, these men were not censored…. so if you are not a fan of violence or bad language this might not… OK is not the book for you…

This was a well-done psychological thriller filled with plenty of twists and turns that leant a little to the horror Side of the genre… if this is your thing I strongly encourage you to pick this book up and try to read it while the suns still up!

*** many thanks to the author and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my copy of this book ***

Dortmun - Cover

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/dortmundhibernate

Dortmund Hibernate - banner from Crooked Cat

Dortmund - cjsuttonAuthor Bio –

C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence. His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.

As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.     

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/cjsutton.author/

https://twitter.com/c_j_sutton

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/79517906-c-j-sutton

Dortmund Hibernate Full Tour Banner

Make sure you lock your doors! Berit