Book Reviews

"Followers" by Megan Angelo

Thank you to @Bookishfirst for my free copy of “Followers” by Megan Angelo, which was released on 1/14! I used the points I earned reviewing books on Bookish First to claim this book for FREE! If you would like to earn FREE books by giving your first impressions of the the books in the weekly Bookish First giveaway and also for reviewing books on Bookish First, goto Bookish First , create an account and use my referral code 866866da9d3a27200 and we will BOTH earn bonus points!

“Followers” synopsis: An electrifying story of two ambitious friends, the dark choices they make & the profound moment that changes the meaning of privacy forever.
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Orla Cadden dreams of literary success, but she’s stuck writing about movie-star hookups & influencer yoga moves. Orla has no idea how to change her life until her new roommate, Floss―a striving, wannabe A-lister―comes up with a plan for launching them both into the high-profile lives they so desperately crave. But it’s only when Orla & Floss abandon all pretense of ethics that social media responds with the most terrifying feedback of all: overwhelming success.

Thirty-five years later, in a closed California village where government-appointed celebrities live every moment of the day on camera, a woman named Marlow discovers a shattering secret about her past. Despite her massive popularity―twelve million loyal followers―Marlow dreams of fleeing the corporate sponsors who would do anything, even horrible things, to keep her on-screen. When she learns that her whole family history is a lie, Marlow finally summons the courage to run in search of the truth, no matter the risks.

“Followers” traces the paths of Orla, Floss and Marlow as they wind through time toward each other, & toward a cataclysmic event that sends America into lasting upheaval. At turns wry & tender, bleak & hopeful, this darkly funny story reminds us that even if we obsess over famous people we’ll never meet, what we really crave is genuine human connection.

What a book! If you are on social media, use the internet for everything (um, don’t we all?), use text messaging, etc, READ this book! You will think long & hard about your online presence & lack of all privacy these days, whether willingly or at the hands of apps, social media, or government. (For more on government privacy issues, read Edward Snowden’s “Permanent Record”, better yet, listen to it on audio book. It’s a real eye-opener!) You’ll think at times this book is going to be a thriller, but it’s not. It’s suspenseful at times, but more fiction-drama-human studies-meets Netflix’s “Black Mirror”.

A slow-burn at first, but then unputdownable! “Followers” was released on 1/14/20 so get it today anywhere books are sold or listen to it on audio book by going to Libro.fm and use my special code MOMLOVESREADING and get a 3-for-1 audio book deal. Libro.fm is SO much better than “the other” leading audio book app because Libro.fm supports independent book stores with their audio book purchases (instead of helping to line the pockets of a bajillionaire.) I LOVE Libro.fm and all they stand for, not to mention the ease of their app!

Book Reviews

"The Wife and The Widow" by Christian White

Thank you @Minotaur_Books (#partner) for my advance, gifted copy of “The Wife and The Widow” by Christian White!

The second standalone thriller from the award-winning author of “The Nowhere Child”…

Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, “The Wife and The Widow” is an unsettling thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she’s forced to confront the evidence of her husband’s guilt. But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives. Brilliant and beguiling, “The Wife and The Widow” takes you to a cliff edge and asks the question: how well do we really know the people we love? 

I was drawn to this book because (1) It’s a suspense/thriller, and (2) The mention of an island town in the dead of winter. I live just off Lake Erie near a few major, local islands (South Bass Island, Middle Bass Island and Kelley’s Island) as well as some minor, smaller, uninhabitable islands. Our little town is super touristy in the summer and SO not touristy in the winter. Also, have you ever heard of the limited series, “Harpers Island”…it is SUPER good, and I wish like heck they would make a follow-up to it!

CBS’s “Harper’s Island” 2009

“The Wife and The Widow” told from 2 POV’s: The Wife and well, of course, The Widow. With flawlessly executed writing, this book is fast-paced, suspenseful, and compulsively readable. It will hold your attention and never let go until the very end! And just when you think you have it figured out, BOOM…TWIST!

It’s hard to tell you too much about this one without inadvertently giving anything away, but this is a book you won’t want to put down and it can probably be read in a single nerve-wracking sitting! Now I have to go pick up @Christian_White_author ‘s previous novel, “The Nowhere Child” which has also received a slew of praise. “The Wife and The Widow” publishes tomorrow, 1/21/20 so get it pre-ordered, on your tbr list, your library hold, and enjoy this gem for yourself! And if you go to BookstoreLink.com, you can get it from your favorite independent bookseller as well!

Book Reviews

"You Were There, Too" by Colleen Oakley

You Were There Too

Thank you @Berkleypub {#partner} for my gifted copy of “You Were There Too” by Colleen Oakley!

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart..Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man.

Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too. Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

Oh, my heart! Thank goodness I read this back when the weather was a bit warmer and cheerier! This book is a literal emotional roller coaster. It will pull on your heartstrings and then tie them into a double-knot. To say that you should have tissues close by is an understatement. You may need the whole box by the time you are through this book. I would say maybe read this in-between funny, rom-coms for a change of pace.

You may need to suspend belief a bit for some of the storyline, but it all blends together effortlessly. I loved Oakley’s last two books, “Before I Go” (out in 2015) and “Close Enough to Touch” (out in 2017) and if you are new to her books, she doesn’t mess around when it comes to creating endearing characters you will grow to love. Heartfelt, thought-provoking, unique and powerful, this book deals with so many human emotions, you will have a “reading hangover” after this one for sure!

Look for it at your local bookstore today or on audio apps like Libro.fm. It published 1/7/20 by Berkley. And check out her other two books published by Gallery.

Be sure to hit the subscribe button on this blog so you can be one of the FIRST people to here about upcoming giveaways on my Instagram page (make sure you’re following me)!

Book Reviews

"Echoes Between Us" by Katie McGarry

Thank you @torteen {#partner} for my gifted copy of “Echoes Between Us” by Katie McGarry!
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“Echoes Between Us” is bestselling author Katie McGarry’s breakout teen contemporary novel about a girl with everything to lose and the boy who will do anything to save her.
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Veronica sees ghosts—more specifically, her mother’s ghost. The afterimages of blinding migraines that consumes her whole life and keeps Veronica on the fringes. But the haunting makes her wonder if there is something more going on….
Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but this All-American is hiding an adrenaline addiction that could kill him. Drawn to each other after a chance meeting, can they help each other battle the demons that haunt their every step or will they push their luck too far and risk losing it all…including their lives?
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This is not a ghost story. I figured I better let all you “thriller junkies” know that right off. It’s an intriguing, heartfelt, complex, emotional story that deals with some tough, but important issues: depression, addiction, illness and bullying, as well as family relationships. There are also a couple twists you may not see coming.
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Some of the adrenaline junkie stuff that involves Sawyer made my heart rate soar, and I am no stranger to migraines, as I get debilitating ones a couple times a month and have several different meds I have to take for them.
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This book is well-written and is an emotionally charged, heart-breaking, young adult romance/drama. Keep tissues handy for this gem!
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Look for “Echoes Between Us” tomorrow, 1/14, everywhere books are sold! Or even better, use Bookstore Link and order it from and support your local independent book sellers!

Book Reviews

"The Prized Girl" by Amy K Green

The Prized Girl by Amy K Green

Thank you @duttonbooks #duttonpartner for my gifted copy of “The Prized Girl” by Amy K Green!

**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 teenager 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. In the murder of a former pageant queen from a safe and loving family, the most obvious suspect is a fan who got too close for comfort. But Jenny’s sarcastic, older half-sister Virginia isn’t so sure of his guilt and takes matters into her own hands to find the killer..But for Jenny’s case and 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.**

Ok, I’m just going to say it…I hate pageants. Long before the JonBenet Ramsey murder happened back in 1996, I hated pageants. It is so not my thing. That being said, I was still thoroughly invested in watching all the news about the murder and watch all the documentaries out of pure fascination. To this day, my opinion is that it was the parent of one of JonBenet’s rival pageant contestants who got sick of her getting all the glory. Moving on….

“The Prized Girl” was utterly captivating for me and kept me looking forward to getting back to the book every time I had to stop reading. The book is riveting, fast-paced, twisty, and darkly chilling with an ending that you won’t see coming..A positively stunning novel by debut author Green and I am already looking forward to her next book! “The Prized Girl” will be released this Tues, Jan 14 by Dutton Books. Get it on your TBR lists today!