Book Review: The First Mistake @realsandiejones #TheFirstMistake #ARC #BookReview #4.5stars #BookBlog @panmacmillan @StMartinsPress @MinotaurBooks

I love getting book mail. As you may have seen awhile ago I received an advance copy of this book, The First Mistake, in the mail. Thank you St. Martin’s Press and Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read this before it hits the shelves tomorrow.

This took me a few chapters to get into. Once I got into it, there was no putting this book down! It reminded me of the country song that goes like this…”Still you wonder who’s cheatin’ who and who’s bein’ true and who don’t even care anymore. Makes you wonder who’s doin’ right to someone tonight and who’s car is parked next door…” or something close to that.

The premise is Alice is (re)married to Nathan. Her first husband tragically died in a skiing accident. She has her best friend Beth by her side…although, they have an odd relationship and not one I would say meets the criteria of “best” friends…but, to each their own! Alice owns her own design company and they are getting ready to take on a HUGE new project. Alice starts to suspect that Nathan may be cheating on her and starts to vent to Beth…the irony is Beth always makes sure that when she comes around, Nathan isn’t there…hmmmmmmm. Let me tell you now, this story is NOTHING what you think it will be! You go on a wild ride.

The story is told in 3 parts; present day Alice, past day Beth, and then back to present day with Alice & Beth. How Sandie Jones ties this one all together was brilliant. I never saw it coming. I just held my breath the entire time while reading the book when one revelation was revealed after the other. I must have gasped out loud at least 5 times!

Personally, Sandie Jones outdid herself in her second novel. There. I said it. I would like to kind of go off track and leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the book (my other favorite is within the featured image)…

“These people’s lives are fake,” says Alice, picking up the offending item. Sophia looks at it as if it’s a baby that her mother is about to throw into a road. “They’re not lives you can aspire to because they’re not real, and I think it’s putting you kids under an awful lot of pressure to be a certain way and look a certain way.”

#TRUTH PREACH ON SANDIE!!

This is a 4.5 star read. It grips you and won’t let go until you reach the end. The only reason I did not give it a 5 star read was BECAUSE of the end. I love my endings tied up nicely and this one…well…it ties it up and I can ASSUME what happens because of the careful word choice in the epilogue; however, we are not 100% certain and for that, it’s a 4.5 star read. Let me tell you if I ever meet Sandie the first question I’m asking is…well, I can’t tell you, it will give the book away. Shoo! Go get this book STAT and then come back and LET’S CHAT ABOUT THAT ENDING!!!!!!!!!

Details

Title: The First Mistake

Author: Sandie Jones

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Release Date: June 11, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads and Amazon

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Book Review: The Mother-In-Law @SallyHepworth @MacMillanUSA @StMartinsPress #TheMotherInLaw #Netgalley

Thank you to Netgalley and MacMillian USA for my advance copy of this book.  I am so terribly sorry my reviewed has been delayed, but I’m here with it now!

I just want to note that my husband was reading a magazine where The Mother-In-Law is featured as a book to read this summer…he made sure to let me know about this book because I had to go out and get it to read it…I let him know I already read it and he was right, I did love it!

Lucy meets Ollie, falls in love, and hopes to gain a mother since her own mother died when she was young.  Lucy gets everything except a mother…from the get go Diana, Ollie’s mother, does not like Lucy and makes no qualms about it.

They have a strained relationship.  When Lucy births her first child, Diana puts priority in helping a refugee instead of being there for her family…so you get the idea of the type of person Diana is.  Yes, I loved hating her as I read this book.

A weird thing happens though…toward the end of the book I absolutely love and respect the relationship that Diana and Lucy have.  Is it a good one?  No.  It is one that is oddly filled with trust and some respect.  Yes.

Overall this story tells a tale of a mother who has all the means in the world, but refuses to help her own children.  She has a charity where she works with refugees from other countries and that is where her passion and assistance lay.  This starts to cause a rut between her and her children and well…you just need to read it.

The ending.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for creating an ending where we see a little into the future with what happens with everyone.  I will tell you, you may think you know who killed who (yes, someone dies), but you will not have pegged who did it.  Or why they did it.

This is a wonderful 4 star read.  It’s a page turning mystery that you won’t be able to put down until you know who did it.  Plus, the strained relationship is a train wreck you can’t help but keep watching.  Pick this book up, you’ll be glad you did!

 

Details

Title: The Mother-In-Law

Author:  Sally Hepworth

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: April 23, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Saving Meghan

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the advance copy of Saving Meghan.  I told you guys in my last post I am behind, behind, behind on writing and posting reviews!  I did actually read this BEFORE it’s release date and have spread it around to a few people at work.  The consensus?  Read this book!!

This story is told from 2 perspectives; the mother, Becky, and the daughter, Meghan.  Meghan is sick, but no doctor can figure out what is wrong with her.  Becky is convinced there is some underlying disease and no doctor can find it.  Her husband starts to get fed up and thinks she may be making everything up.

Meghan gets sick, but only for quick periods of time.  Anytime vitals are run on her after an episode (fainting, blacking out, etc) they come out fine.  The doctors start to suspect it may be a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy and given Becky’s history with her mother, it may very well be the case.

Becky’s mother worked the system and faked illness in order to get money.  She taught Becky how to lie and what to do as a child so she could catch a free ride.  Maybe everyone is right and the mother is just making Meghan think she is sick…

A doctor listens to Becky and thinks that Meghan may actually have a serious rare illness.  It happens to be the same serious rare illness his son died of and the hospital feels he over diagnoses.  The testing to verify the illness is also difficult.  Essentially, no one can determine for certain if she has this crippling, life-threatening disease.

The tale keeps weaving and eventually Becky and her husband lose custody of Meghan.  Their relationship is tested as they try to get custody of her back.  The doctor that gave Meghan a diagnosis is fired from the hospital, but decides to help Becky out and win custody back!  He really feels he is right with his diagnosis.

Things get ugly.  You will question everyone involved in this case.  Ok, I am stopping here.  This book gets JUICY and has a twist where your jaw will drop.  Who saw it coming?  I didn’t!  It was a superbly told tale that will leave you not quite sure who to believe.  I doubted myself so much as I read this book, flip flopping between what I thought was happening.  For what it’s worth, I was way, way, WAY off with what was happening.

Originally I gave this a 4 star read, however, upon reflecting on this book, I feel it’s more of a 5 star in my eyes.  I doubted everyone at one point or another in this book and I wasn’t really sure what was going on.  I never liked, or was on one’s side long enough, because the author kept the pace that fast.  Truly this is a wonderful book if you are a fan of thrillers!  Have you read this one?  What do you think??

 

Details

Title: Saving Meghan

Author:  D.J. Palmer

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: April 9, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads and Amazon

 

 

Book Review: Little Lovely Things

Thank you to Maureen Joyce Connolly for the advance copy of Lovely Little Things…I know…this book was released April 2, 2019 and here we are in May.  I am behind on posting and writing reviews, I told you, that class sucked up all my time!  Yikes!  Better late than never, right?

TRIGGER WARNING.  This book was difficult for me to read.  I usually don’t find books a challenge to read because of their content, but this one hit. me. hard.  If you cannot handle a child’s death or kidnapping, do not read any further.

This story is about a married couple with a woman who may be a little off her rocker.  We aren’t really sure what is going on with her.  One day she drives into the city and has a sudden attack.  She gets gravely ill and pulls her car (barely) over to a gas station and makes it into the bathroom.  She leaves her car running with her two small children in the back as it’s in the midst of summer.

She comes out of the bathroom and her car is gone.

A tale of a family on the brink of disaster, a Lakota Indian man with a strong intuition, and gypsies is what this story is based around.  The mother, Claire, ends up befriending Jay, the Lakota Indian, and he ends up being the one who is able to give the police the only clues/leads they are able to get.

The story is told between the perspective of Claire (the mother), Jay (the Lakota Indian), and Moira (one of the gypsies who took the car with the girls inside).  It offers a unique perspective on a mother’s worst nightmare and the reasoning behind stealing a child.

Once I got past my own reservations, it was a quick, fast paced read.  The kidnapping takes place in 1991 and goes through to present day.  Trust me when I say it is worth reading.  I had tears in my eyes throughout the book.  For a debut novel, Connolly did a wonderful job telling this tale.

I am going to give this book 4 stars.   It was gripping with a great plot.  The ending…you guys know how picky I am with my endings…it melted my heart, I loved it.  The last half of the book I couldn’t put it down, I just had to know what happened, because as the reader, you know what is going on more than the characters.  I found myself yelling at the book!  Eventually they listened to me, haha.  If you come across this book, grab it!  If you’re in a book club, this would be a great read for your group!

 

Details

Title: Little Lovely Things

Author:  Maureen Joyce Connolly

Publisher: Sourcebook Landmarks

Release Date: April 2, 2019

Find it here on Goodreads and Amazon

Coming Soon: Tell Me Goodnight

Super stoked! I am part of Kelsey Kingsley’s advance reader team and at 1:00am this beauty was in my inbox! Her last book gave me all the feels so I cannot wait for this one! In fact, I’m putting the current book I’m reading on pause just for this! Are there any certain authors you’ll pause a current read for to read their book? Let me know!! I will have this reviewed as soon as I finish!

First Line Friday: March 8th

As always First Line Friday comes courtesy of Hoarding Books Blog.  I discovered this magic thanks to Crystal at Must Love Reviews.

This week I am highlighting a book that is expected to be released on April 2, 2019…

When Claire Rawlings thought of her family, it was more with the mind of a geologist than a physician – the sweeping drumlin of Andrea’s collarbone, the narrow plain of Lily’s sternum, the sculpted features of Glen’s face. Her dreams, too, were crowded with images of rocks and continents gliding, meeting at ragged seams, and then drifting apart.

Interesting…what?  Well now I have to know continue reading to see the correlation between a geologist and a physician.  That’s a bit of a bizarre comparison, no?

OH!  You probably want to know what book this is too…ok, ok, ok, here it is.

LovelyLittleThings

Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly

Look for my review of this book to come soon!  There has been a lot of hype about this book, I hope it lives up to the excitement.  As an added bonus, I’m going to leave you with the Goodreads synopsis today too!

A mother’s chance decision leads to a twist of fate that is every parent’s worst nightmare.

Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not let the troubling signs of an allergic reaction prevent her from making it in for rounds. But when Claire’s symptoms overpower her while she’s driving into work, her two children in tow, she must pull over. Moments later she wakes up on the floor of a gas station bathroom-her car, and her precious girls have vanished.

The police have no leads and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later, and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.

Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by an unthinkable tragedy. Played out in multiple narrative voices, the novel explores how the lives of those affected fatefully intersect, and highlights the potential catastrophe of the small decisions we make every day.

*runs to go continue reading*

 

#BookMail The Guest Book @flatironbooks #ReadTheGuestBook #SarahBlake

I love when I check my mailbox and I find surprise goodies inside!!  Check out what was hiding in my mailbox today…

TheGuestBook.jpg

Goodreads Summary

An unforgettable love story, a novel about past mistakes and betrayals that ripple throughout generations, The Guest Book examines not just a privileged American family, but a privileged America. It is a literary triumph.

The Guest Book follows three generations of a powerful American family, a family that “used to run the world”.

And when the novel begins in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything—perfect children, good looks, a love everyone envies. But after a tragedy befalls them, Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine. That island, and its house, come to define and burnish the Milton family, year after year after year. And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she dies.

In 1959 a young Jewish man, Len Levy, will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters, but the scorn of everyone else. Len’s best friend Reg Pauling has always been the only black man in the room—at Harvard, at work, and finally at the Miltons’ island in Maine.

An island that, at the dawn of the 21st century, this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it, and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past, she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life.

An ambitious novel that weaves the American past with its present, The Guest Book looks at the racism and power that has been systemically embedded in the US for generations. Brimming with gorgeous writing and bitterly accurate social criticism, it is a literary tour de force.

 

What caught my attention to this book was Maine…I spent 21 summers in York, Maine and have been able to bring my kids there.  I love Maine.  I cannot wait to dive in to this story, due out May 7, 2019!  I will be sure to let you all know what I think!  Anyone else get this ARC??