You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman | Henry Holt & Co. | Book Review

book review of You've Been Volunteered

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

Book Summary:

“If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it―most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle.

Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.”

Publication Date:

July 23rd, 2019

Book Genre:

Humorous Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

You’ve Been Volunteered is the follow up to Laurie Gelman’s first fiction novel, Class Mom. As the parent to two grade school-aged children, I find her writing hysterical and super relatable.

Parenting is hard and sometimes you just need to laugh. Humor can get you through so much and Gelman’s writing style is relatable and witty. She makes light of things that most any parent with school-aged children can relate to while also addressing general family life with kids. I enjoyed that while the book was humorous she was able to

You’ve Been Volunteered is a wonderful addition and sticks with Gelman’s light and quirky writing style. It is the perfect escape reading for this time of the year as summer winds down and the school year is quickly approaching.

I am excited to be a part of the blog tour for You’ve Been Volunteered thanks to Rachel at Over The River Public Relations. Tomorrow (8/16/19) I will be sharing a Q&A with Laurie Gelman and a book & t-shirt giveaway to one of my readers, so stay tuned!

Thank you to NetGalley & Henry Holt & Co. for a copy of this book. All opinion are my own. 

Dominicana by Angie Cruz | Flatiron Books | Book Review

book review of Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Book Summary:

“Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up within the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.

As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.

In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz’s Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.”

Publication Date:

September 3rd, 2019

book review of Dominicana by Angie Cruz

(I bought my own hard copy from Book of The Month and as it was available early through their August 2019 book selections. You can get your first Book of the Month book for FREE by using my referral link HERE.)

Genre:

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Immigrant Fiction & Coming of Age Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Dominicana is a coming of age story that is set in NYC in the turbulent and bustling 1960s. Angie Cruz shares a remarkable story about a young girl named Ana. At 15, Ana was forced to marry a man twice her age and move from the Dominican Republic to America…with her family’s hope, she could achieve the “American Dream”.

Upon her arrival, Ana ends up finding herself isolated from her family and at the mercy of a husband who neither seems to care for her or her needs. While this was a heartbreaking story in many ways, it was also a tale of strength, persistence, and resilience.

I loved that Cruz chose to share this story from the point of view of Ana. While it was very clear she was a teenager in many ways, she has this introspection that made her wise beyond her years. I loved watching her learn how to exert her own independence in difficult situations when the hits just kept on coming. The connection between Ana and her doll Dominicana was just so beautiful and heartbreaking and added so much to the story for me.

This book follows her as blooms both literally and figuratively into the self-assured women she was meant to become. She is able to find joy in the darkest times and I loved the feeling of lightness she was able to find when she spent time with her brother in law. Ana was able to just be without the constraints of other’s expectations or the brutal reality of her marriage to Juan.

This was one of those books that I enjoyed reading but found it even more thought-provoking and powerful once I finished and reflected upon it. I think it would make a wonderful book club selection and I look forward to following more of Angie Cruz’ writing in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for an advanced ebook copy of this book.

 

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding | Gallery/Scout Press | Book Review

Gen The Bookworm Book Review

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Book Summary:

“Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favors are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.”

Publication Date:

July 30th, 2019

Genre:

Domestic Thriller

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

The Arrangement was the first book I have read by Robyn Harding. I was looking for an easy and engaging summer read and this was perfect for that. We enter the world of city life, sugar daddies, obsession and murder…definitely brain candy but addicting!

The storyline was a little unrealistic but totally engrossing and while the characters weren’t totally likable I do think it worked for this storyline. Harding pulled me in and keep me curious until the very end. Sometimes you need a book that is totally unplausible in many ways but hooks you anyway.

Ws this amazing writing? Not really…but it was exactly what I needed during a more stressful time of year. It was a little racy and if you are looking for something different and definitely entertaining, you might like this too!

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery/Scout Press for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.