Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

4.5 ⭐️’s from me

Goodreads Summary:Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.”

7My Review:

I had heard whisperings of what a fun read this was way before it came up on my library list – and I agree!

Former movie star, Evelyn, in recounting her life to Monique, offers the following advice:  “Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.” However, as you follow her story, one husband at a time, you learn that this is more than advice – it’s her life motto. Her life is anything but ordinary – as is the mystery of why she has asked Monique to hear her story…

The novel is broken into sections about Evelyn’s life with each husband – these section titles perfectly capture how Evelyn recalls each period in her life, setting the mood for the pages to follow.

Reid aptly entangles touchy, controversial questions about sexuality, sexual identity and suicide all through the life of one individual who was not afraid to make the most of what she has. The interspersing of tabloid excerpts allow us to see the results of Evelyn’s decisions, both planned and unplanned. The nuances of how one fast choice can effect so many others with lasting repercussions continue to surprise the reader as you keep turning those pages – pulled on my Monique’s mysterious roll in all of this. Reid even switches Evelyn’s narration into the second person to further emphasize her struggles to justify her actions. The characterization is simply magnificent.

I read this in one sitting and absolutely loved it. A quick, but intriguing read, it is no wonder this is a finalist on Goodreads this year.


Book Review: Weave a Murderous Web by Ann Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks

3.5 ⭐️’s

Synopsis: “No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support.


Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous.

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.”

My Review:

This was a true legal thriller, fast-paced and intriguing. (And it even has a Halloween-type name – perfect for this time of year!!) Jane Larson takes on what appears to be a simple pro-bono case, but gets so much more. With a legal background myself, I always like to combine the law and books – so naturally I was pleased when the opportunity to review this one presented itself.

Although this was a quick read, it did take a while for the story to truly pull me in and for the pieces to start fitting together. At the beginning, I was uncertain of where exactly the authors were headed, but then the characters and dialogue took off and fit together making for an exciting read.  Also, I did find it hard to connect with the characters. But the fast-paced drama was just what I needed for a plane journey home.

**I received my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for this opportunity.**




Book Review: Eden by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg

4⭐️’s from me!

I discovered this one at our new Amazon Book stores. It was on a shelf of highly recommended reads, but was one I hadn’t come across yet – so, naturally, I picked it up. Can you ever leave a bookstore without a book? I certainly can’t!31921286

Goodreads Summary: “Becca Meister Fitzpatrick–wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community–is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel–with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship–will react.
Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family–her parents’ beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named “Eden.” ”

My Review:

It is such a simple concept to center the storyline around a single local, but Eden is so much more than just a family home. The setting is so central, so integral to the characters’ narrative that you cannot imagine a different house for the storyline. This enables Blasberg to masterfully parallel Eden’s weathering of various storms throughout the years with the perils the women of Eden must face.

The consistent location also creates the perfect situation for commentary on the evolution of the female role in a family. Three generations of women face similar life-altering decisions, but the societal expectations in the respective time periods are vastly different resulting in lasting and unique scars.

A complex story in a deceivingly surprising setting. Definitely give this one a look!


Book Review: Euphoria by Lily King

3.5 ⭐️’s from me

Goodreads Summary: “Inspired by the true story of a woman who changed the way we understand our world.

In 1933 three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic and famous for her controversial work studying South Pacific tribes, her intelligent and aggressive husband Fen, and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the lives of this strange couple and becomes totally enthralled. Within months the trio are producing their best ever work, but soon a firestorm of fierce love and jealousy begins to burn out of control, threatening their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives…”

My Review:

First off, the cover of this book (I read the paperback version) is very deceiving. Full of bright and vivid colors, I did not expect the dark nature of the journey I was a


bout to embark on. Yes, the colors could represent the tropical location, but by no means do they capture the mood of this novel. Consider yourself warned.

We meet Nell Stone and her husband as they are exploring the different tribes of New Guinea. As they leave one rather intense tribe, they run into fellow Anthropologist Andrew Bankson. And thus begins a triangle of interdependence between the characters –  each struggling to find their own euphoria, whether it is through work, self aggrandizement, or love of another.

In addition, this is a fascinating story of anthropology. The book asks can a study of another people ever be impartial. Can we ever look at a different culture without the influence of our own experience/ without carrying our own baggage? Despite the historical placement of this storyline, this question of judgment still rings true today as does Nell’s struggle to be an educated woman in a field dominated by men.

Perhaps the biggest take-away from this novel for me was the desire to learn more about the life of Margaret Mead. Although there are some obviously large differences between reality and this story, I can see how her autobiography would be absolutely fascinating. Stay tuned…

Blogging for Books, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

3.5 ⭐️’s from me

Penguin RandomHouse Synopsis: “Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control . . . or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.”

My Review:

9780385736893This is a beautifully written, easy, but emotional read.

This roller coaster of a novel hooks you in – and I mean hooks, I read it in one sitting. A tale of sisters and brothers and their relations. Family is at the heart of this story – just who defines the boundaries of family and what is normal? Rifts between family factions are unsurmountable, captured in one perfect quote: “We Live In The Same Place, But Never Together.” Yet, each lovable character is attempting to reconcile the family drama in a search for their own identity.

For those of you who are Brashares fans, I did indeed find myself having the same feelings of attachment to characters as I experienced in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series – The characterization in these novels is incredibly realistic. A good book for this summer ☀️

**I received my copy via Blogging For Books in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for this opportunity.**

2017 Book Review, Netgalley, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich

4 ⭐️’s from me

Goodreads Synopsis: Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes―the moment she hears him speak of his crimes―she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky’s crime. But another surprise awaits: She wasn’t the only one who saw her life in Ricky’s. An intellectual and emotional thriller that is also a different kind of murder mystery, The Fact Of a Body is a book not only about how the story of one crime was constructed―but about how we grapple with our own personal histories. Along the way it tackles questions about the nature of forgiveness, and if a single narrative can ever really contain something as definitive as the truth. This groundbreaking, heart-stopping work, ten years in the making, shows how the law is more personal than we would like to believe―and the truth more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.”

My Review:

You may remember that when I set my blogging goals for this year, I stated I wanted to try a memoir. As I have a background in the law, this one caught my attention right off the bat…32076678

This is not a comfortable read and could have triggers for some, but definitely a journey worth taking. As the synopsis says, this is so much more than a story about murder, its a moving memoir. While preparing to follow her family’s footsteps in a law career, Marzano-Lesnevich is introduced to a murder case. However, this murder case parallels so significantly with her own life, Marzano-Lesnevich is soon facing her own demons at the same time. Secrets hidden for years must be revealed for a deeper understanding of the past. What is particularly amazing about this journey is not only does the author discover herself, but she so poignantly captures how one’s own history can color the frame of a legal decision – what is justice and who is it for? This book is a perfect example of how the law is not black and white – there is a ton of grey.

Go get your copy now – this book is out today!

**I received my copy via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you to the author and publisher for this opportunity.**

2017 Book Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: I Found You by Lisa Jewell

4 ⭐️ ‘s from Me

Goodreads Synopsis: “A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty and Paula Hawkins.

In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside.

Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed.

Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother.

Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel, filled with the “beautiful writing, believable characters, pacey narrative, and dark secrets” (London Daily Mail) that make Lisa Jewell so beloved by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.”

My Review: ifoundyou

This is a great mystery read for a vacation.  As “a man with no memory” seeks to discover and piece together his past, Jewell intertwines his story with other narrators to set a great pace.  I found the memory loss an intriguing framework for this mystery – this man’s recall and his relationship to places throughout the story peel away at layers of the story to create the feeling of an awakening while being a thriller at the same time. I do think that some of the events were occasionally far-fetched, but this was still a good read. I particularly loved the title as its pronouns could apply to multiple characters and leave you thinking long after you have finished the last chapter.


Book Review: Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

4.5⭐️’s from me!

Goodreads Synopsis:six “The novel is constructed as a series of podcasts, in which an investigative journalist describes the circumstances around the death of a teenaged boy in an outward-bound centre, interviewing witnesses, suspects and people close to the incident. Their six accounts form the six stories of the title, creating a “chilling and compelling, page-turning thriller that also delves deep into notions of truth, perception and loyalty”.

My Review:

This is one that lives up to the hype –  For anyone who was intrigued or fascinated by the Serial podcast – this is the book for you. (You know this one is a good read when I struggle to describe its magnificence while keeping this review spoiler free.) 

Told from the perspective of six different and complex people, the book seeks to recreate the disappearance of a teenager in the hopes of bringing clarity – But man does it have the twistiest of twists.  Switching from interviewee to interviewee worked for Serial and it works here. The reader is able to explore the dynamics and complexities of teenage cliques and their familial relationships all while trying to resolve a mysterious death. As in real life, the stories from different viewpoints are skewed to the narrator’s benefit – but even then every detail explored in these narratives are interwoven into a complex web of a story. You must pay attention!

You will be thinking of this one long after you finish…



Book Review: The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

3.5 ⭐️’s From Me

Goodreads Summary: London, September 1666. The Great Fire rages through the city, consuming everything in its path. Even the impregnable cathedral of St. Paul’s is engulfed in flames and reduced to ruins. Among the crowds watching its destruction is James Marwood, son of a disgraced printer, and reluctant government informer.

In the aftermath of the fire, a semi-mummified body is discovered in the ashes of St. Paul’s, in a tomb that should have been empty. The man’s body has been mutilated and his thumbs have been tied behind his back.

Under orders from the government, Marwood is tasked with hunting down the killer across the devastated city. But at a time of dangerous internal dissent and the threat of foreign invasion, Marwood finds his investigation leads him into treacherous waters – and across the path of a determined, beautiful and vengeful young woman.

AshesMy Review:

I grabbed this book in London after being intrigued by some fellow book bloggers and bookstagrammers.

The Great Fire of London is a great idea – especially with St. Paul’s playing such a central role. I could clearly imagine the devastation of the fire as Taylor vividly creates the atmosphere of 1666 – the search for an explanation of the fire and the wide-spread disaster of London. I even felt myself imagining the heat for the fire and the oppressive smoke. “Ashes and Blood. Blood and Ashes.”

Then, in the midst of all of this destruction, James Marsden, the son of a traitor must solve a murder. There are so many possibilities for motive – greed, deception, politics, secrets – the investigation gets twisty. Taylor even throws in the issue of gender oppression as Cat Lovett must face the conflict between her duties as a woman during this time and her dreams to be more. Both characters must face the question of who can you really trust when it seems as if everyone is trying to save themselves in this tumultuous time period.

The characterization was well developed and believable for the setting. Taylor switches narration between James and Cat throughout the book to deliberately reveal clues, but not quite solve the mystery before the end. As a result, the book has a steady pace and is engrossing, but I missed the sense of urgency I desire when reading a murder mystery.  It should be noted that you must like historical fiction to keep going with this novel or I fear you could easily get bored.


Literary Adventures: Hay-on-Wye & London

Good morning fellow book lovers – It’s good to be back, although I must say I thoroughly enjoyed my vacation across the pond. London as always was just fabulous and I spent most of my time catching up with family, but there were some literary adventures thrown in…

First off,  if you have not seen Harry Potter And The Cursed Child yet, it is a MUST see. We kept checking for return tickets and were lucky to grab a pair. I was just blown away with how the play was adapted from the script, it was exceptional- I can’t say more because you must #KeeptheSecrets!!

Of course, a trip to London would not be the same without a stop at Foyle’s – and a mini book haul. I could have done so much worse, but there are those pesky luggage limits.

We also went off to Wales for a few days and stopped off at the much-raved about town of Hay-On-Wye just on the border. This is a haven for book lovers – a town just full of bookstores. Don’t believe me – look at the map below:


You can wander through bookstores that carry all genres, or more specialized ones, such a store full of only children’s books. There is also a wonderful map store in which we found a map including the town were my ancestors were from! If you can stop in this little border town, you will absolutely love it I promise.

More importantly, now I am back home – I will be back to book reviews asap!! Looking forward to getting caught up with all of your lovely posts and comments. Happy Reading!