The First Mistake by Sandie Jones | St. Martin’s Press | Book Review

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones

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The First Mistake Book Summary:

“THE WIFE: For Alice, life has never been better. With her second husband, she has a successful business, two children, and a beautiful house.

HER HUSBAND: Alice knows that life could have been different if her first husband had lived, but Nathan’s arrival into her life gave her back the happiness she craved.

HER BEST FRIEND: Through the ups and downs of life, from celebratory nights out to comforting each other through loss, Alice knows that with her best friend Beth by her side, they can survive anything together. So when Nathan starts acting strangely, Alice turns to Beth for help. But soon, Alice begins to wonder whether her trust has been misplaced . . .

The first mistake could be her last.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

The First Mistake by Sandie Jones was a highly anticipated book for me. I love her writing style and she is skilled at writing captivating and engaging domestic thrillers. I was drawn into this story but was left with a lot of unanswered questions and an ending that didn’t entirely work for me because it was all wrapped up so quickly.

I am one who likes a little more substance and depth and I understand that with this type of book you don’t always get that, but this just left me wanting more.

The First Mistake was very engaging but I felt like I needed more of the backstory to feel connected to Alice, Beth, and Nathan. I found myself feeling quite frustrated with the characters not being able to react reasonably when time and time again there were major issues that were either being ignored or not taken seriously…

All in all, this was a fast-paced book that definitely is entertaining, I just don’t think it was the perfect fit for me. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim | Farrar, Straus & Giroux | Book Review

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

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Summary of Miracle Creek:

“In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine―a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.

Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night―trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges―as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

Angie Kim’s Miracle Creek is a thoroughly contemporary take on the courtroom drama, drawing on the author’s own life as a Korean immigrant, former trial lawyer, and mother of a real-life “submarine” patient. Both a compelling page-turner and an excavation of identity and the desire for connection, Miracle Creek is a brilliant, empathetic debut from an exciting new voice.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Miracle Creek is an intricately crafted family and courtroom drama from debut novelist Angie Kim. I picked this one up after taking a self-imposed break with “suspense/thriller” books because they were all feeling rather similar and just couldn’t hold my attention.

Miracle Creek was a surprise hit, not only because it kept me guessing until the end, but because of it’s amazing depth and deep dive into so many important issues. While the courtroom drama was center stage, immigration, the hopes for experiencing the “American dream”, and caring for children with special needs was right there too. There were so many layers to Kim’s amazing storytelling. This wasn’t an easy read but it was so compelling and thought-provoking which was exactly what I had been missing lately with these “types” of books.

HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) was an entirely new concept to me and I found it added so much to the storyline. Kim was able to add so much emotion during this reading journey that I was able to connect with all the different characters perspectives, even when I couldn’t always relate to their actual experiences.

I am so impressed with Angie Kim and I look forward to reading what she comes out with next!

I received an Advanced Review Copy of Miracle Creek by Angie Kim from the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott | Atria Books | Book Review

I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

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Book Summary:

“Mary Laura Philpott thought she’d cracked the code: Always be right, and you’ll always be happy.

But once she’d completed her life’s to-do list (job, spouse, house, babies—check!), she found that instead of feeling content and successful, she felt anxious. Lost. Stuck in a daily grind of overflowing calendars, grueling small talk, and sprawling traffic. She’d done everything “right,” but she felt all wrong. What’s the worse failure, she wondered: smiling and staying the course, or blowing it all up and running away? And are those the only options?

In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

Like a pep talk from a sister, I Miss You When I Blink is the funny, poignant, and deeply affecting book you’ll want to share with all your friends, as you learn what Philpott has figured out along the way: that multiple things can be true of us at once—and that sometimes doing things wrong is the way to do life right.”

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

I Miss You When I Blink is a collection of memoir-style essays. Like with any collection of short stories or essays, I connected with some more than others. I found Philpott’s writing witty and approachable and she had so many accurate descriptions of life as a middle-aged white mother who is balancing career, family and the forever pull of wondering if what we have done with our time has been worthwhile.

There is a great balance of humor and I appreciated that she was able to acknowledge her privilege while also talking about some of her own struggles in life. I found reading this book to be a similar experience to an evening catching up with old friends. If you like memoirs and short stories, this might be the right fit for you too.

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