All This Could be Yours by Jami Attenberg | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt {Book Review}

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

All This Could Be Yours by Jami Attenberg

Book Summary:

“‘If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,’ says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister–feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.

As Barbra fends off Alex’s unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile, Gary, Alex’s brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary’s wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor’s history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.

ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to—maybe, hopefully—break free. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.”

Publication Date:

October 22nd, 2019

Genre:

Family Saga Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

family saga fiction book review

All This Could Be Yours was one of my most highly anticipated fall 2019 book releases. I have been on a family saga kick and after hearing some great reviews I couldn’t way to start it. I absolutely loved Jami Attenberg’s approach to the complexities and intricacies of family life, especially when it is dysfunctional.

We meet a family who’s toxic patriarch, Victor, is on his deathbed. Attenberg gave an intricate look at dealing with the complexities of grief and loss when the relationship you had with the person was deeply troubling at times. The desires we wish for with others (closure, forgiveness, and answers) are often up against the reality that sometimes we have to find this within ourselves.

The novel has flashbacks that help us see the history of this family which totally worked for me as I always enjoy knowing the who and why of this family drama genre. We learn family secrets and the emotional and physical damages Victor caused to his family members. Even when all of the characters were not super likable, I felt like I understood them because of Attenberg’s ability to create such multi-faceted personas. This was completely engaging to read while also being super thought-provoking which would make it a fantastic book club discussion.

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an advanced copy.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella | Random House Dial Press {Book Review}

Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic Series

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Book Summary:

“’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness . . . which actually means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents host, carols play on repeat, her mother pretends she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors come ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?

Her sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave—again, and little Minnie demands a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old-boyfriend-turned-rock-star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her big-hearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky starts to wonder if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.”

Publication Date:

October 15th, 2019

Genre:

Holiday/Humorous Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Sophie Kinsella

I have such wonderful reading memories of the Sophie Kinsella Shopaholic books and it was one of the first series that I really got into as an adult reader in the early 2000s. It was so fun to reconnect with Becky in Christmas Shopaholic and see what she is up to now all these years later. Becky Bloomwood (now Becky Brandon) has matured and grown in many ways and is now juggling life as both a wife and mother.

While Becky has changed in many ways, her shopping habits and overthinking just about everything has not… which always was part of the charming appeal of these lighthearted booked. Christmas Shopaholic was a wonderful addition to this collection and it was the perfect weekend read to curl up with on the couch. We get to see Becky take on hosting Christmas for the very first time and there was plenty of laugh out loud moments.

Becky is flawed but completely lovable and you can’t help but root along for her while also being highly entertained. While this is part of a series, Kinsella created a book that can also be read as a stand-alone book, although it might intrigue you to read the rest of them after.

Thank you to NetGalley, Random House, and The Dial Press for an advanced copy.

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin | Berkley Publishing {Book Review}

The Antidote for Everything book review

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

Book Summary:

“In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs.
 
Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.

Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.”

Publication Date:

February 18th, 2019

Genre:

Medical Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

The Queen of Hearts and The Antidote for Everything

I was very intrigued by this book after reading Kimmery Martins’ debut novel The Queen of Hearts. While I enjoyed a lot of the storyline, I struggled with some of the stereotypical language the author chose to include when describing some of the patients and it was off-putting as the reader.

When I read the premise of The Antidote for Everything I was very curious to see how she would handle a topic that is important but also something that I hoped would be spoken about with compassion and understanding. The Antidote for Everything takes on the issue of discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community specifically in the healthcare world.

I applaud Martin for taking on this highly relevant and important topic and it did seem as though she did her research to connect with people who are actually living this (because yes, this does still happen and without legal ramifications in place!)

This is a medical drama written by someone who obviously knows her stuff as she is a medical doctor herself. There is a certain amount of medical jargon throughout the book but not so much that someone that doesn’t work in this field would feel completely confused.

As far as the connection with the characters, that is where it got a little lost for me. I often long for more backstory and I just wanted a little more and to feel more of an understanding of who they were as individuals and in relation to one another. I felt strongly about the topic but unfortunately, things feel a little flat with the actual plotline because I felt I was analyzing things more than getting fully pulled into the writing.

So I have mixed feelings about the Antidote for Everything. It was an intriguing storyline that just lacked a strong connection with the characters for me. I do appreciate that she took on this highly relevant and timely topic that hopefully will help raise awareness of something that is still going on right now in our non-fictional world.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.