Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center | St. Martin’s Press | Book Review

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Book Summary:

“Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s a total pro at other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to give up her whole life and move to Boston, Cassie suddenly has an emergency of her own.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew―even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the infatuation-inspiring rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because love is girly, and it’s not her thing. And don’t forget the advice her old captain gave her: Never date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…and it means risking it all―the only job she’s ever loved, and the hero she’s worked like hell to become.

Publication Date:

August 13th, 2019

Genre:

Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

Things You Save in A Fire was my second Katherine Center book and I had high expectations. I really enjoyed How to Walk Away but I loved this one even more! I am not usually that into the romance genre but her books are different…there is that element but there is so much more.

Her characters are multifaceted and imperfect and she covers some pretty deep issues while still being completely enjoyable reads. This story was unique and the subtle elements of sexism, past trauma, and what forgiveness really means all played a part in making this story so thought-provoking. There were many “quotable” lines that really stuck with me.

“Telling the story changed the story for me. Not what had happened-that, I could never change-but how I responded to it…Even though nothing about the story had changed, I had changed.”

Things You Save in a Fire had heartbreaking moments and heartwarming moments and I loved the idea that becoming who we are is a journey and not a destination. We can choose how to react to life’s ups and downs and opening up to one another can help us do that.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps support this blog at no cost to you. 

After The End by Clare Mackintosh | Putnam | Book Review

book review at Gen The Bookworm

Book Summary:

“Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son. 
 
What if they could have both?
 
A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.”

Publication Date:

June 25, 2019

Genre:

Family Saga Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

After The End by Clare Mackintosh was a little under the radar for me until I started seeing raving reviews pop up on Instagram. My book list is a mile high this time of year but I am also easily persuaded which is why I never do too much planning with my monthly reading goals…I like to read by how I am feeling and also by what grabs my attention. After seeing this book mentioned a few times by some of my favorite Bookstagrammers, I knew I needed to read it.

I have read Clare Mackintosh’s writing in the past, and this work of fiction was a departure from her “thriller” style I was used to…I love when authors can mix it up, and Mackintosh totally succeeded.

After The End is a beautiful and absolutely heart-wrenching book to read. Told in alternating points of view, a husband and wife are faced with one of the most challenging choices you could make as parents, and they don’t have the same opinion. This book detailed the highs and lows of marriage and parenthood and what it means to make the “right” choice for your child.

Whether you are a parent or not, this topic is heavy. As a parent of young children myself, this was especially devastating and I could relate to both perspectives which I think was her very intention. I love books that make you feel and also that make you think and she nailed this.

Mackintosh shares in her own author’s note how this topic connected to the loss of her own son which made this writing even more powerful. Her ability to write with such vivid and gut-wrenching details came partly from the loss she and her husband faced a decade ago. Mackintosh writes so poignantly and the characters are so raw and real that this book reads partly like non-fiction, which in some ways, it is. Highly recommend.

 

July 2019 Book Recap & Ratings | Monthly Book Wrap-Up

July 2019 book ratings

The Month of July:

July was filled with lots of family visiting, a wedding, berry picking and lots of time in the water, either on the lake or at the pool. It was a hot and humid the last few weeks for us around here and I am very grateful to have air conditioning both at work and at home. When I was growing up I remember summers sleeping next to a huge box fan and I still love sleeping with the sound of a fan now.

Reading Recap:

I actually read a lot more than I had expected. The only way I keep track of all my books is on Goodreads, so it is always a little bit of a surprise when I add them all up at the end of each month. I read a lot on Kindle, a few audiobooks and a couple of hard copy books.

My daytime reading was pretty low but I made up for it with audiobooks and reading before bed and also on some early mornings. I have the best memories of reading during the wedding weekend while drinking my coffee and having the most beautiful Jay Peak mountain view.

Reading Highs

My favorite books this month and my only 5 star reads were After The End by Clare Mackintosh and Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler. They were both powerful in very different ways (one is fiction one is non-fiction)and ones that will really stick with me!

The Perfect Summer Reading:

The Escape Room, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and The Unbreakables were perfect books for a summer reading list. They were enjoyable, a bit different and had enough back story to fill my quota for understanding the WHY!! which is my general problem with some books these days…I like details that helps everything all come together and these were satisfying in that way!

Reading Lows:

I had a bit of a frustrating month with the “thriller genre” and The Turn of The Key and Lock Every Door were just 3-star reads and not ones I would recommend.

And while City of Girls started off well for me, it ended up dragging and felt a bit…boring?  Maybe I was just in the wrong mood for it because I have read a lot of amazing reviews for it as well…

July Book Ratings:

5 star book

After The End by Clare Mackintosh

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of After The End can be found HERE.

book review of The Idea of You

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of The Idea Of You is coming soon.

book review of The Unbreakables

The Unbreakables by Lisa Barr

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Unbreakables is coming soon.

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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of City of Girls is coming soon.

book review

Mine by Courtney Cole

My Rating:⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

*My full review of Mine is coming soon.

book view of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill can be found HERE

book of the month selection

The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Reckless Oath We Made can be found HERE

book review of Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler

Limitless Mind by Jo Boaler

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

*My full review of Limitless Mind can be found HERE

book review of The Escape Room

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Escape Room can be found HERE

book review

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of You’ve Been Volunteered is coming soon.

book of the month selection

The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of The Turn of The Key can be found HERE

book of the month book review

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

*My full review of Lock Every Door can be found HERE


How was your last month of reading? Did you have any favorites? I would love to hear!

Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, it helps support this blog at no cost to you. 

The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware | Gallery Books| Book Review

book of the month selection

The Turn of The Key by Ruth Ware

(August 2019 Book of The Month Selection)

Book Summary:

“When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unraveling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.”

Publication Date:

August 6th, 2019

Genre:

Psychological Thriller

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware was one of my highly anticipated summer reads. I have really enjoyed her writing in the past and the Woman in Cabin 10 left me on the edge of my seat with anticipation. The summary of the book sounded right up my alley and I was intrigued by the idea of it being written in letter format.

I found that the story was a slow build and didn’t totally engage me right away but I stuck with it. I think Ware is a fantastic author who really knows how to keep you guessing and The Turn of The Key had all the elements of a Gothic tale…a faraway vacation home, a nanny, a garden and house filled with secrets, mysterious characters, and haunting happenings.

Unfortunately, I struggled to connect and kept waiting for the mysteries to unravel. When they finally did, they felt like they were really crammed into the last few chapters of the book and many of them just seemed unbelievable. I am not sure if it is just me and maybe I am just thrilled out”, but this one just didn’t deliver as I had hoped. All in all, this one was just okay for me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.