Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Thriller

Book Review: ‘Behind the Red Door’ by Megan Collins

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Thank you @atriabooks for my gifted copy of ‘Behind the Red Door‘ by Megan Collins, author of  2019’s ‘The Winter Sister! (pub 8/4)

QOTD: Are you a fan of psychological suspense/thrillers? If so, then have a got a goodie for you!

Megan Collins returns w/ a darkly thrilling novel about a woman who comes to believe that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping & now that the victim has gone missing again, begins a frantic search to learn what happened in the past.

When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a 34-yr-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—& equally famous return—20 yrs ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.

Back home in NH, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—& as she reads through its chapters & visits the people & places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. As Fern’s search becomes increasingly desperate, she hopes to remember her past so she can save Astrid in the present…before it’s too late.

Featuring Collins’s signature dark, tension inducing & all-consuming prose w/ plenty of shocking twists, ‘Behind the Red Door’ is a suspense-filled thriller that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.

With well-drawn characters (some you will love to hate), this ominous, gripping, & psychologically harrowing page-turner was so hard to put down! I was utterly spellbound! If you haven’t already, get ‘Behind the Red Door‘ on your TBR lists, pre-order it & while you are pre-ordering, why not add Collin’s previous novel, ‘The Winter Sister’ to your cart as well? I got that one from Book of the Month last year & loved it! (Click HERE to join BOTM & get ‘The Winter Sister’ as an add-on book! Click HERE for more info on BOTM & why they are the BEST bookclub out there!).

More praise for ‘Behind the Red Door‘:

“In Behind the Red Door, Megan Collins has achieved something remarkable—a dark, disturbing story that is both elegant and fascinating. Exquisite writing, compelling characters and a story so captivating I finished it in a weekend. Few books live up to the word chilling, but this one does.”
—Samantha Downing, USA Today bestselling author of My Lovely Wife

“Spellbinding, poignant and atmospheric, Behind The Red Door is one of those rare stories you can get utterly lost in. With writing so richly evocative I could vividly imagine every detail, this is a mesmerizing tale in which family bonds are broken, lifelong secrets are exposed, and a woman who suffers a debilitating anxiety disorder must find the truth about her connection to a decades-old kidnapping. Intensely moving, beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable, I can’t recommend this highly enough!”
—Christina McDonald, USA Today bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell

Behind the Red Door isn’t just a gripping, finely-tuned thriller, it’s a masterful meditation on fear. Dark forests, crumbling cabins, and mutating nightmares all populate this New England landscape where one woman may hold the key to saving a kidnapping victim. But in order to do so, she’ll have to confront a lifetime of terror, including the ultimate fear: not knowing who can be trusted or where the monsters live. I was hooked from the first page.”
—Mindy Mejia, author of Strike Me Down

“Collins nimbly orchestrates Fern’s growing sense of terror as she slowly sifts in echoes of long-repressed sounds and sights…a tricky mystery. Even in the final pages, Collins avoids any expected resolution, leaving the reader deliciously unsettled and disturbed. A dark psychological thriller riddled with twisted family dynamics.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Megan Collins is the master of emotionally resonant, deeply personal suspense fiction where the small details are just as chilling as the dramatic turns. Behind the Red Door is gripping and gorgeously-written and, like her stellar debut The Winter Sister, I’m certain this book will haunt me for years to come.”
—Layne Fargo, author of Temper

“Taut, provocative, disturbing—Megan Collins’ sophomore novel is more than a thriller; it’s a dark and deeply compelling examination of the knife’s edge between trust and fear. With muscular prose and richly wrought characters, Behind the Red Door grabbed me, startled me, and didn’t let go until I’d torn through every chilling word.”
—Andrea Bartz, author of The Lost Night and The Herd

“Atmospheric and haunting, Behind the Red Door is at once a chilling tale of complicated family dynamics and a riveting mystery. Elegant prose, intriguing characters and taut pacing make this book unputdownable.” 
—Daniela Petrova, author of Her Daughter’s Mother 

“Harrowing… Collins plays her cards carefully to maximize suspense.”
Publishers Weekly

Behind the Red Door is stunning in every way. Fern Douglas digs her fingers into your brain until you’re hooked and want more. I’m still reeling from this. Megan Collins is a masterful writer and this novel is full of twists you didn’t expect. It will leave you breathless and shaking in the best way.”
—Amina Akhtar, author of #FashionVictim

The Winter Sister‘ by Megan Collins (pub 2/2019):

A young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother & begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.
Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—& years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.
The Winter Sister’ is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?

Click HERE to add ‘Behind the Red Door‘ to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to add ‘The Winter Sister‘ to your Goodreads TBR.
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Click HERE to find ‘Behind the Red Door‘ (& other books) at an indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.

Megan Collins is the author of ‘The Winter Sister’ & ‘Behind the Red Door’. She teaches creative writing in Connecticut, where she lives, & is the managing editor of 3Elements Review. A poet & fiction writer, her work has appeared in many journals, including Off the CoastSpillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, & Rattle.
Visit her at: Twitter Facebook Instagram Website

Book Reviews · BOTMs, · CrimeThriller · Thriller

Book Review: ‘The Night Swim’ by Megan Goldin (pub 8/4)

Thank you @stmartinspress for my gifted copy of ‘The Night Swim‘ by Megan Goldin! (pub 8/4). (Click HERE to see this post on Instagram & give it a LIKE, Comment or Save!)

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation & set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―& the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a hs student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing & investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places.

Someone is following her, & she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister 25 yrs ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―& when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past & present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial & the lives of everyone involved.

I flew through this mystery/courtroom drama in mere hrs! It kinda gave me ‘Are You Sleeping‘ (fic) meets ‘Know My Name‘ (non-fic) vibes as it deals w/ the relevant issue of rape culture & a true-crime podcast. Goldin did handle the subject matter w/ care & respect & not exploitatively. I will warn you, there is some disturbing & graphic content that may be triggering or hard to read.

The Night Swim‘ is emotional, thought-provoking, heartbreaking & often cringey & uncomfortable to read, but it’s a great book if you can handle the subject matter. This book is also an August Book of the Month, so if you want to get it at a discount & you’re not a member, click on my referral link HERE & read my last Instagram post HERE for all the great benefits of being a BOTM member. This book publishes on 8/4.

Click HERE to add ‘The Night Swim’ to your Goodreads.
Click HERE to look for this book (or others) at a local indie bookstore using BookStoreLink.
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Praise for The Night Swim:

“Goldin’s prose is inviting, at times electrifying, and always sensitive in dealing with hot-button issues…well done.” ―Booklist (starred)

“Outstanding…[Goldin’s thriller] casts a searing light on small-town politics.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Remarkably strong.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Escape Room:

“The pages turn themselves…a sleek, well-crafted ride to a surprisingly twisty conclusion.” ―New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice

“THE ESCAPE ROOM works as the ultimate locked-room mystery…Goldin excels at illustrating the pressures of a Wall Street career.” ―Associated Press

“Addicting.” ―Time Magazine

“High wire tension from the first moment to the last. Four ruthless people locked in a deadly game where victory means survival. Gripping and unforgettable!” ―Harlan Coben

“Fantastic. One of my favorite books of the year.” ―Lee Child

“Amazing…a thriller set in an elevator [that explores] the vast territory of people’s worst natures. A nightmarish look inside ourselves. Simply riveting.” ―Louise Penny

“A shrewd, brilliantly structured thriller doubling as a takedown of corporate culture.” ―Shelf Awareness

“There is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside [the escape room]; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them…a nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong.” ―Booklist

“Riveting…[a] tale of greed and revenge set on Wall Street…Thriller fans will eagerly turn the pages to see what happens next.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Cancel all your plans and call in sick; once you start reading, you’ll be caught in your own escape room―the only key to freedom is turning the last page!” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Smart and compelling… I devoured this novel!” ―Karen Cleveland, bestselling author of Need to Know

“A sharp, slick, utterly engrossing thriller. This knockout debut hooked me from the first page and didn’t let go.” ―Cristina Alger, USA Today bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife

Megan Goldin is the bestselling author of “The Escape Room”, praised by Lee Child as “one of my favorite books of the year”, as well as “The Girl In Kellers Way”, a critically-acclaimed domestic noir thriller nominated for Australia’s leading crime fiction awards.
Megan worked as a journalist for Reuters, the Australian ABC and Yahoo! News before writing her debut psychological thriller The Girl In Kellers Way.

BeachReads · Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Romance · RomCom

Book Review and Happy Pub Day to “The Boyfriend Project” by Farrah Rochon

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Happy Pub Day & Thank you @readforeverpub for my gifted copy of “The Boyfriend Project” by Farrah Rochon!

USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon launches a new series about three young women who become friends when the live Tweeting of a disastrous date leads them to discover they’ve all been duped by the same man.

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London & Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, & no worrying about their relationship status.

For once Samiah is putting herself first, & that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?


What a fantastic book! A celebration of strong women, women of color, & female friendship. “The Boyfriend Project” is an authentic, smart, relevant, refreshing rom-com with wonderfully written characters that readers will love! It’s a feel good novel that is female driven with some romance & a sprinkle of mystery, too.

The Boyfriend Project” was also a Book of the Month choice for May, which I bought (then the publisher sent me a pb copy, which I will be sharing w/ one of you in a giveaway soon!) This is the first book in a series that will include books focused on London & Taylor as well. This book & the follow-ups would make a fantastic TV series (like “The Bold Type”). I highly recommend this happiness inducing book & look forward to reading more from Rochon in the future!

Book of the Month is an online book subscription club that announces 5 selections each month & you can choose (1) as your monthly pick for only $14.99 & then up to (2) more at the even lower cost of $9.99 each (plus tax, but shipping is always FREE!).

These are hardback editions, too, & for less than half of what you would pay elsewhere! Most of the monthly selections are early release editions, meaning you can get a copy before everyone else (generally a month in advance) & be one of the cool kids on the block! Not only that, after you have received (12) BOTM boxes, you become a BFF & even MORE exciting things happen!

As a BOTM BFF you get a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE add-on book during your birthday month, & every winter when they announce the (5) BOTM Book-of-the-Year finalists, you can choose one of them for FREE, too! Every year! Amazing, huh? I have been a BOTM member for about 3 years now & I love it! My BOTM’s are generally some of my favorite books, too, since they are well curated by varying monthly BOTM judges. You can skip any months you choose to, cancel at anytime, & the BOTM customer service folks are the BEST & they will help you with any issues you may have. If I haven’t convinced you yet how great Book of the Month is, how about getting your first book for a mere $9.99? Use my referral link by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to add “The Boyfriend Project” to your Goodreads TBR list.
Click HERE to get this book on audio from Libro.fm (Be sure to use my code MOMLOVESREADING & get 3-audiobooks-for-price-of-1)

What others are saying about “The Boyfriend Project“:

“A masterpiece of modern-day Jane Austen with effortless, razor-sharp social commentary, romance and humor. Farrah Rochon is one of the absolute best romance writers today. Period.”―-Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

“A prime example of how complex and insightful romances can be. Farrah Rochon deftly explores what it means to go viral, the unique joys of strong female friendships, and the particular struggles of Black women in the workplace, all within a great love story.”―-Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Date

“A smart, funny digital-age romance about real women living in the real world. Couldn’t put it down!”―Abby Jimenez, USA Today bestselling author of The Happy Ever After Playlist

“Farrah Rochon writes intensely real characters with flaws and gifts in equal measure. The Boyfriend Project is a multilayered story about friendship, love, and following your dreams — all of it told with heart and emotion.”―Nalini Singh, New York Times bestselling author

“Rochon’s books are always witty, hot, and engaging.”―BuzzFeed

“A smart, sexy and completely modern romance. The Boyfriend Project is the free-spirited, tell-it-like-it-is page-turner you’ve been looking for!”―Kwana Jackson, USA Today bestselling author of Real Men Knit

“I loved this book! The Boyfriend Project is a modern, cute, clever rom-com, and I can’t wait for the next book. This is a girl gang I want to join.”―Alisha Rai, author of The Right Swipe

“Funny, fresh, sexy, and heartfelt. This is my new favorite romance series!”―-Suzanne Brockmann, New York Times bestselling author

“Farrah Rochon writes delectable love stories with characters so warm that I want to hang out with them in real life. Samiah’s hopes and dreams and fears are relatable and real, and I don’t blame her at all for bending the rules of her no-dating pact with the extremely tasty Daniel. I smiled the whole time I was reading The Boyfriend Project.”―Andie J. Christopher, author of Not the Girl You Marry

The Boyfriend Project has it all-swoon-worthy romance, the power of true friendship, and a grand gesture that makes your heart sigh with pure satisfaction. Absolutely a must-read summer romance!”―Priscilla Oliveras, USA Today bestselling author

USA Today bestselling author Farrah Rochon hails from a small town just west of New Orleans. She has garnered much acclaim for her Holmes Brothers, New York Sabers, Bayou Dreams and Moments in Maplesville series. When she is not writing in her favorite coffee shop, Farrah spends most of her time reading, cooking, traveling the world, visiting Walt Disney World, and catching her favorite Broadway shows. An admitted sports fanatic, Farrah feeds her addiction to football by watching New Orleans Saints games on Sunday afternoons.

BOTMs,

June Books of the Month selections are up!!

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🎉Whoo Hoo!! The June BOTM’s are LIVE! And this girl is HAPPY!😁
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📚Why am I so happy? Because I had my hopes up that the upcoming, new Sager novel, “Home Before Dark“, would be a Book of the Month selection & I’m excited to say, BOTM came through! I think this is the first month in awhile where every one of the 5 BOTM choices are on my TBR list.
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📚I have an arc of “A Burning” by Megha Majumdar & can’t wait to read that one soon! And I loved Brit Bennett’s last book “The Mothers” so much & I’m looking forward to this new one of hers, “The Vanishing Half“. Then, because one can never have too many thrillers, I added “The Last Flight” by Julie Clark to my box along with the romance choice, “One to Watch” by Kate Stayman-London.
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📚What a fantastic group of books & of course, there are still plenty of awesome add-on choices available as well!
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📚Once you have received 12 BOTM monthly boxes, you are officially a BFF. With that new title comes great things: a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE BOTM add-on during your bday month, & a FREE book at the end of the year from the Book of the Year finalists. It’s pretty freakin’ awesome!
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📚Many of the books each month are Early Releases (like 3 of this months!) meaning you can get a nice hardback copy of a book sometimes a month or more before the gen public! Full-size, beautiful hardback books for nearly HALF of what you would pay anywhere else, & well-curated selections of various genres. A little something for everyone! You can add-on other books for even LESS (up to 3 books total per month) & you can skip any month you like. (You can cancel anytime, but trust me, you won’t want to!)
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📚To use my special referral code & get your first BOTM at a discount, click on any of the highlighted BOTM’s in this post. You will so happy you joined! If you are already a member, what book(s) did you choose this month? Or perhaps you skipped? Do tell!

Here are the June selections:

Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan’s fall. Lovely—an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor—has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning has the force of an epic while being so masterfully compressed it can be read in a single sitting. Majumdar writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes that read here as the components of a thriller: class, fate, corruption, justice, and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism. An extraordinary debut.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern Black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her Black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors. His tale of ghostly happenings and encounters with malevolent spirits became a worldwide phenomenon, rivaling The Amityville Horror in popularity—and skepticism.

Today, Maggie is a restorer of old homes and too young to remember any of the events mentioned in her father’s book. But she also doesn’t believe a word of it. Ghosts, after all, don’t exist. When Maggie inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death, she returns to renovate the place to prepare it for sale. But her homecoming is anything but warm. People from the past, chronicled in House of Horrors, lurk in the shadows. And locals aren’t thrilled that their small town has been made infamous thanks to Maggie’s father. Even more unnerving is Baneberry Hall itself—a place filled with relics from another era that hint at a history of dark deeds. As Maggie experiences strange occurrences straight out of her father’s book, she starts to believe that what he wrote was more fact than fiction.

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers—and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition—under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men—and herself—for a chance to live happily ever after.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets—Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

***Again, be sure to use my Book of the Month referral link & you will get a big discount on your first month’s BOTM box & be well on your way to earning your BFF status & start getting those awesome benefits I mentioned above.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

BeachReads · Book Reviews · BOTMs,

Book Review: “Happy and You Know It” by Laura Hankin

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Thank you @berkleypub for my gifted copy of “Happy & You Know It” by Laura Hankin! (pub date 5/19)

A dark, witty page-turner set around a group of wealthy mothers & the young musician who takes a job singing to their babies & finds herself pulled into their glamorous lives & dangerous secrets…

After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on NY’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.

There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom & just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool mom’s who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets & betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.

Filled with humor & shocking twists, “Happy & You Know It” is a brilliant take on motherhood—exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women—while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, & the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.

Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads TBR

I love well-written snarky, sarcastic, flawed characters such as Claire & Amara, but really all the women in this book are flawed in some way. This book has the wry humor, but it also has depth & complexity, & addresses some important issues. “Happy & You Know It” hooks you right from the get go & is a sharp, twisty, completely addictive quick read. It was also a May BOTM! Use my referral link HERE to join Book-of-the-Month & get this book at a discount.

Book of the Month is an online book subscription club that announces 5 selections each month & you can choose (1) as your monthly pick for only $14.99 & then up to (2) more at the even lower cost of $9.99 each (plus tax, but shipping is always FREE!). These are hardback editions, too, & for less than half of what you would pay elsewhere! Most of the monthly selections are early release editions, meaning you can get a copy before everyone else (generally a month in advance) & be one of the cool kids on the block! Not only that, after you have received (12) BOTM boxes, you become a BFF & even MORE exciting things happen!

As a BOTM BFF you get a FREE BOTM tote bag, a FREE add-on book during your birthday month, & every winter when they announce the (5) BOTM Book-of-the-Year finalists, you can choose one of them for FREE, too! Every year! Amazing, huh? I have been a BOTM member for about 3 years now & I love it! My BOTM’s are generally some of my favorite books, too, since they are well curated by varying monthly BOTM judges. You can skip any months you choose to, cancel at anytime, & the BOTM customer service folks are the BEST & they will help you with any issues you may have.

Click HERE to use BookStoreLink & find this book & any others at a local independent bookstore. They need our sales now more than ever! I would hate to see these wonderful stores shuttering there doors permanently due to lack of sales. (Amazon does NOT need our sales & even with Prime, they consider books UNessential & they are often taking weeks to send a book that should have arrived in 2 days or so. I get that mail has delays right now, but don’t tell me books aren’t essential. They absolutely ARE!

Here are some editorial reviews of “Happy & You Know It”:

“For readers who want the fun of reality TV but the heart of a good drama.”—BookPage (starred review)

Absorbing.”—OK! Magazine

“A dramatic and immensely entertaining page-turner about secrets, lies, and mom culture.”—Kirkus

“With deeply drawn and relatable characters, this is an excellent read.”—Library Journal

“An engrossing and compelling story of the lengths women will go to convince the world–and themselves–that they’re as happy and successful as society expects them to be. It’s what would happen if the women from The Nanny Diaries met the women from Sex and the City in the social-media age. I devoured it in less than 48 hours.”—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost and More Than Words

“Combines wry humor and sharp social commentary with an utterly addictive plot. It’s nonstop fun, and I couldn’t put it down.”—Katharine McGee, New York Times bestselling author of American Royals

“The perfect mix of frothy fun, twisty mystery and social satireHappy and Your Know It is a guilty pleasure of a book that is impossible to put down. Laura Hankin creates complex characters with lives that, like their Instagram feeds, are never as they seem. This is the summer read for book clubs, beachgoers and playgroup moms everywhere.”—Kristy Woodson Harvey, bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple

A juicy look at how the other half livesHappy and You Know It is a page-turning treat in the tradition of The Nanny Diaries and Momzillas. This story of social-climbing and dark secrets heralds a delightful new voice in women’s fiction.”—Jamie Brenner, bestselling author of The Forever Summer

“Laura Hankin balances a sharp eye for the mad dynamics of a high-stakes playgroup with warm understanding of the occasional desperation of new motherhood. This book is bracing, fresh, and hilarious, like sticking your head in a freezer on a hot day.”—Judy Blundell, bestselling author of The High Season

“Hankin has concocted a delicious, rollicking story that features a captivating ensemble of cosmopolitan moms and a down-on-her-luck musician who’s paid to entertain their kids. Packed with laughs and unexpected twists, think Liane Moriarty meets Sex and the City–simply irresistible.”—Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls
“A skillful unraveling of desperate secrets and self-deceptions. Witty, unsettling, and all-too-believable. I raced through to the end.”—Emma Rous, USA Today bestselling author of The Au Pair

Imagine if your hilarious best friend told you a really juicy story about a gaggle of rich new mothers While also delivering a sharp commentary about the expectations put on women. That is this book. Bonus for the excellent twist you won’t be expecting. Put it on your list, kids.”—Stephanie Wrobel, USA Today bestselling author of Darling Rose Gold