Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer | Graydon House {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Book Review copy-5

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Book Summary:

From the bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say comes a poignant post-WWII novel that explores the expectations society places on women set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything once believed to be true.

With her father recently moved to a care facility, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.

As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker.

Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.

Publication Date:

April 14th, 2020

Genre:

Domestic Suspense/Mystery & Women’s Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

Kelly Rimmer

Truths I Never Told You (pre-order here using my Amazon affiliate link)

A New Author To Love

Last year I was introduced to author Kelly Rimmer by one of my book reviewing friends. I devoured The Things We Cannot Say and was blown away by Rimmer’ ability to share multi-faceted characters that felt so real and raw while also diving into a heartbreaking part of our not so distant history.

Kelly Rimmer new book

The Things We Cannot Say…

I loved the dual storylines and how they wove together and kept me guessing until the end. Rimmer captured the power of sharing our stories while also reminding us that many people have a history we might know nothing about. ⁣

Truths I Never Told You

When I saw that Rimmer was publishing a new book in 2020 I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Truths I Never Told You captivated me from the very beginning. The topics in this book were something I could personally relate to. While this might not be the case for all readers, I think this is a powerful and important read either way. In the age of new parenthood being portrayed in such a polished (and often super unrelatable or not totally honest manner) on social media, this book was just so spot-on and important.

Timely & Important Issues

I was super impressed with Rimmer’s ability to write about the struggles of new motherhood when dealing with some of the mental health issues and general ambivalence that can arise and are often not talked about. This is something that is starting to be more common in nonfiction writing about motherhood but not in such a readable fiction format.

Truths I Never Told You alternates between Beth, a new mother in the mid-1990s and her mother Grace who was struggling immensely in the 1950s with raising her four young children. Just like in The Things We Cannot Say, there is a family mystery element that keeps us guessing until the very end. This part of the book is woven so beautifully between the layers of family dynamics and the important complexities of her carefully crafted and multifaceted characters.

Thought-Provoking & SO Readable

Kelly Rimmer

Rimmer is absolutely amazing at writing stories that are both compelling and nuanced. She doesn’t shy away from interweaving thought-provoking and sometimes very challenging topics while also being absolute page-turners.

I am struggling to write this review without giving away any of the important elements of this powerful story, but I will just say that is is a must-read and if you haven’t really any of Rimmer’s writing yet, you need to ASAP!

I can’t wait to share more about this book when it is published this spring and I already know it will be one of my top books of 2020.

Thank you to HarperCollins and Graydon House Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


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. Thank you!

Grace is Gone by Emily Elgar | HarperCollins {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Emily Elgar

Grace is Gone by Emily Elgar

Book Summary:

From the bestselling author of If You Knew Her comes this harrowing tale of suspense—a story ripped from today’s headlines—of a tight-knit English community, who’s rocked by the murder of a mother and the mysterious disappearance of her daughter, and the secrets that lie concealed beneath a carefully constructed facade.

A small town’s beloved family.

A shocking, senseless crime—and the dark secret at the heart of it all.

Everyone in Ashford, Cornwall, knows Meg Nichols and her daughter, Grace. Meg has been selflessly caring for Grace for years, and Grace—smiling and optimistic in spite of her many illnesses—adores her mother. So when Meg is found brutally bludgeoned in her bed and her daughter missing, the community is rocked. Meg had lived in terror of her abusive, unstable ex, convinced that he would return to try and kidnap Grace…as he had once before. Now it appears her fear was justified.

Jon Katrin, a local journalist, knows he should avoid getting drawn back into this story. The article he wrote about Meg and Grace caused rifts within his marriage and the town. Perhaps if he can help find Grace, he can atone for previous lapses in judgment. The Nichols’ neighbor, Cara—contending with her own guilt over not being a better friend to Grace—becomes an unexpected ally. But in searching for Grace, Jon and Cara uncover anomalies that lead to more and more questions.

Through multiple viewpoints and diary entries, the truth about Grace emerges, revealing a tragedy more twisted than anyone could have ever imagined…

Publication Date:

January 7th, 2020

Genre:

Domestic Thriller/Psychological Thriller

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

cover170745-medium

Grace is Gone (Amazon affiliate link)

Grace is Gone is a plot-driven mystery and suspense novel inspired by real-life events pulled straight from the news headlines. If you are a true crime fanatic, there might not be a lot of surprises for you with this one, but otherwise, this is a page-turner that dives into not only a crime but also a mental disorder.

Although there wasn’t a lot of intrigue for me because I was previously familiar with this case, I enjoyed Elgar’s writing style immensely and the characters were well developed which I always appreciate in this genre of writing.

Her writing was simple yet incredibly purposeful. I loved the balance of suspense, family dynamics and life in a small town and is a great reminder of the question, who can you really trust?

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for an advanced copy 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. Thank you!

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle | Atria Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Book Summary:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Rebecca Serle

Publication Date:

March 10th, 2020

Genre:

Women’s Fiction/Friendship Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

My Review:

In Five Years book review

In Five Years (Amazon affiliate link)

In Five Years was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2020 and I couldn’t wait any longer to read it! Rebecca Serle’s writing style is completely captivating and I haven’t read a contemporary fiction book that made me feel this way in a long time.

In Five Years was the absolute perfect mix of being completely engrossing, thought-provoking and I also COULD NOT put it down. And the ending, oh my goodness I am not a crier when I read usually but this one just gave me all the feels. I love how this novel was unexpected and how sometimes the best things are not what we initially expected.

It was such a beautiful story of love, loss, and friendship and it ended up being my first 5-star read of 2020. and I can’t wait for its publication date in March and I look forward to sharing more about it then!

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for an advanced copy 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. Thank you!

The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg | Hachette Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Emma Copley Eisenbeg

The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg

Book Summary:

In the early evening of June 25, 1980, in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived; they traveled with a third woman however, who lived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the “Rainbow Murders,” though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward.

In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. With the passage of time, as the truth seemed to slip away, the investigation itself caused its own traumas–turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming a fear of the violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries.

Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years living in Pocahontas and re-investigating these brutal acts. Using the past and the present, she shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves. In The Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America–its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.

Publication Date:

January 21st, 2020

Genre:

True Crime/Memoir/Sociology

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Gen The Bookworm Book Review

The Third Rainbow Girl

While I love a memoir and investigation into a person or area, I think my expectations for this to be more of a true-crime deep dive made this book disappointing for me as the reader. This may just have been one of those situations where I thought this would be a different kind of book based on the book summary.

I struggled to engage with the content because I was really wishing I could get more information about the actual events related to these cases. I have recently enjoyed some of the books that portray life in Appalachia that were quite compelling but this one was just really hard to engage with and felt quite unfocused.

The Third Rainbow Girl ended up being such a slow read for me and it just didn’t hold my interest. While there was some relevant information a lot of it just seemed unnecessary and way too drawn out.

Thank you to NetGalley, LibroFM and Hachette books for advanced copies. All opinions are my own.


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. Thank you!

December 2019 Book Recap & Ratings {Gen The Bookworm Monthly Reading Wrap-Up}

Gen The Bookworm reading wrap-up

Hello January!

Who else is feeling so good to be getting back into the swing of things? I love structure and routines and the fresh start to a new year. This is our first full week back at school and work and I am here for it!

One of the hardest parts of juggling parenthood and work-life is when your schedule is all thrown off because it ends up feeling like you aren’t doing any of it well…which is pretty much how the last three weeks have felt for me…

I am happy to be getting back into the swing of things and we have lots of exciting work events coming up in the next couple of months.

Photography Workshop & Book Club Update

This week we are teaching our first photographer workshop of 2020 (you can read more about what that looks like in my photography life blog post HERE)  and we also have our first Better Together book club of 2020 where we will be discussing The Gift of Failure with THE AUTHOR Jessica Lahey! If you live in the area, we would love to have you join us!

December Reading

I am slowly but surely getting caught up with the last month of blogging and I am excited to be sharing about December 2019 book wrap-up today.

I like to try and do some “catch-up” reading during the month of December and read highly recommended titles of the year that I hadn’t gotten around to yet which included The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna and The Dutch House.

I also had quite a few nonfiction ARCs with the end of December publication dates that I was looked forward to reading. This past month my reading was either really great or disappointing…there wasn’t a lot of in-between!

December Highs

5-star books

The Power of Showing Up, Long Bright River, The Gift of Failure and The Dutch House were my very favorite books I read in December.

December Lows

do not recommend

Meg & Jo and Saint X were both books I highly anticipated and were disappointing reads for me.

December 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

Dear Edward book summary

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

Dear Edward was a surprisingly touching read and the perfect book to end to 2019 for me. While this book centered on loss and tragedy, it is also a book full of hope. We neet 12-year-old Edward, who is the lone survivor of a plane crash that killed one-hundred-plus passengers including his own immediate family members, his mom, dad, and brother.

We follow Edward on his path through grief which includes flashbacks to the passengers who were also on board the flight that day. While this book sounds like it would be quite depressing to read, I really found it to be quite inspiring in so many ways.

You can read my full review of Dear Edward HERE.

Iona Grey

The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

This past fall I was invited to participate in the St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books Blog Tour for the upcoming December release, The Glittering Hour. One of the wonderful things about reading advanced copies of books is that a lot of times I get to read books before they have been super hyped up, which means I go into it without a lot of expectations either way!

I went into this book not really knowing anything about the plotline or author’s previous writing (Letters to The Lost in 2015). I was immediately entranced by the vividly detailed characters and storyline and loved being immersed in the mid-1920s and 1930s.

Told in a dual storyline, we meet the main characters Selina, and her daughter Alice. I love getting the backstory to themes and storylines and so this back and forth really worked for me.  I so enjoyed following along on this treasure hunt of secrets alongside Alice. This book was not only beautifully written but totally engaging from the very beginning.

You can read my full review of The Glittering Hour HERE

Kate Murphy nonfiction

You’re Not Listening by Kate Murphy

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

“When all we crave is to understand and be understood, You’re Not Listening shows us how.”⁣

In You’re Not Listening, author Kate Murphy explains what listening truly is and isn’t, and how important it is to our connection with ourselves and one another. Not only is this book super fascinating but it is always making me rethink so many things!

In our technology-filled world, there are so many new ways for us to interact, yet we are all longing for connection more than ever before. Many of us long for the days of simplicity and meaningful face to face conversations. When we do interact, it is often rushed and interrupted by the distractions of the fast-paced world around us.

I loved the balance of informative research and relatable text that made You’re Not Listening both engaging and thought-provoking. I also appreciated that Murphy emphasizes that listening skills are learned through implementation and practice and that it is something we can always learn, no matter how old we are.

You can read my full book review of You’re Not Listening HERE

Little Women retelling

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I think expectations tend to be rather high when taking on a retelling, especially one like Little Women. For many people, Little Women is a book that was foundational for their love of reading. When I saw that Meg & Jo was a contemporary retelling of this classic novel, I was intrigued but also a little worried about my own expectations of it.\

I ended up enjoying the modern tale of family, work, love, and siblinghood but I  struggled when comparing it to Little Women itself. For me, this story was entertaining as a stand-alone contemporary fiction novel, but it just didn’t work with its goal of retelling of Little Women.

You can read my full review of Meg & Jo HERE.

Liz Moore book of the month club

Long Bright River by Liz Moore

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

Long Bright River alternates between past and present and shares the lives of Mickey and Kacey, two sisters who each are involved in the opioid crisis in very different ways. When Kacey goes missing, Mickey starts unraveling the clues of her disappearance while also bringing us back in time to share how each of them got to the places they are in.

This book was thought-provoking and sometimes was uncomfortable to read, which is a good thing in my opinion! It is part mystery and part family drama, which I think is why it worked for me so well…because we really get to know these women and their stories. I had a hard time putting this one down and can’t stop thinking about it now.

You can read my full review of Long Bright River HERE

genthebookworm-7.jpg

The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

Our first 2020 Better Together Book Club selection is The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey! This book has been on my TBR list FOREVER and I was so excited to finally get around to reading it, and it did not disappoint!

Jessica will be joining us for a Q&A and book discussion of her book which we are super excited about and I am excited to share my full review soon!

Alexis Schaitkin

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I had a lot of anticipation about Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin and it was just one of the 2020 books I was the most excited about. Unfortunately, after a really great start, it ended up being a reading letdown for me.

I think my lack of connection with this book has to do a lot with what my expectations were when I read the book summary compared to my actual reading experience. I was just expecting something very different!

You can read my full review of Saint X HERE

Sarah Knight

F*ck No! by Sarah Knight

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

I enjoy Sarah Knight’s books so much. Her blunt wisdom and practical techniques are approachable and relatable. I am working on being less of a “yes” person and one of the biggest things I have learned(and am still working on!) is that saying “NO” can actually help you say “YES” to the things that really matter to you.

In F*ck No, Knight offers practical ideas that can help you say “no” in a variety of circumstances while also being realistic about it which I really appreciated. Saying “yes” all the time sounds like a good thing, but then you just feel spread too thin and aren’t really there for the people and things that you really want to be prioritizing.

You can read my full review of F*ck No HERE

parenting book

The Power of Showing Up by Daniel Siegel M.D. & Tina Payne Bryson Ph.D.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

When I saw that authors Siegel and Bryson were releasing a new parenting book, I couldn’t request The Power of Showing Up fast enough! Their past writing has been such a formative part of my own parenting.

Siegel and Bryson always share their knowledge, research, and experiences in an accessible and compassionate way. While they have decades of work in this area they make brain development and psychology approachable and easy to understand have the ability to write in a way that makes you feel heard while also empowering you with new tools and ideas.

The Power of Showing Up is another wonderful addition to their collection of books that speak to you whether you are a parent, caregiver, teacher, etc. They take on attachment theory and share the powerful reminder that the most important thing we can do for our children and to be there for them.

You can read my full review of The Power of Showing Up HERE

Juliet Grames

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

From Calabria to Connecticut: a sweeping family saga about sisterhood, secrets, Italian immigration, the American dream, and one woman’s tenacious fight against her own fate.

Stella Fortuna came highly recommended by some of my book reviewing friends and I thought it would be a great way to round out my 2019 audiobook reads.

*My full review of Stella Fortuna is coming soon. 

The Dutch House book review

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣

From the New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth and State of Wonder, comes Ann Patchett’s most powerful novel to date: a richly moving story that explores the indelible bond between two siblings, the house of their childhood, and a past that will not let them go. The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love, and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves and of who we really are.

After raving reviews from some of my Book Reviewing Buddies, I listening to The Dutch House by Ann Patchett on audio. I love a family saga that spans decades so The Dutch House was right up my alley.

Even better, it was narrated by Tom Hanks, who was just perfect! This book is a slow burn but completely enthralling and Patchett’s detailed writing portrayed these multifaceted characters was spot on.

*My full review of The Dutch House is coming soon but I highly recommend this book especially on audio

Dr. Kathleen Smith

Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

I am a big fan of self-help books in general but I am especially drawn to the idea of confronting our own anxieties. In Everything Isn’t Terrible, author Kathleen Smith presents an approachable explanation of the Bowen theory of therapy which involves not only looking at ourselves as individuals but also at our relationship systems…

“Because when we feel anxious, we often try to make other people change. We try to calm everyone else down so we can finally relax. But if you can work on managing yourself in these relationships, it’s likely that your family, your workplace, and even the greater world will calm down a little too.”

Smith uses this approach in the work she does with her therapy clients and shares valuable examples in her writing regarding this methodology then gives us questions and ways to put these ideas into practice.

You can read my full review of Everything Isn’t Terrible HERE

Colleen Oakley

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You Were There Too is a unique take on the regular contemporary romance novel and I was very excited when Berkley asked me to be a part of the Blog Tour this past fall.

It was one of those books that when I saw that it included elements of dreams I wasn’t sure exactly where it was going to go. Anything that takes on a more fantastical side can sometimes lose me quickly as a reader. I am so glad I hung on though!

This book was so much more emotional and the characters had a depth that made this book one of those ones I felt super connected to. The dream elements added so much to the storyline, I think because there were so many “real life” issues and situations that pulled it into reality for me.

You can read my full review of You Were There Too and learn more about my BOOK GIVEAWAY HERE


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. Thank you!

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano | The Dial Press {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Dear Edward book

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano 

Book Summary:

What does it mean not just to survive, but to truly live? 

One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery—one that will lead him to the answers of some of life’s most profound questions: When you’ve lost everything, how do you find the strength to put one foot in front of the other? How do you learn to feel safe again? How do you find meaning in your life?

Dear Edward is at once a transcendent coming-of-age story, a multidimensional portrait of an unforgettable cast of characters, and a breathtaking illustration of all the ways a broken heart learns to love again.

Publication Date:

January 6th, 2020

Genre:

Coming of Age Fiction/Family Life Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Dear Edward book review

Dear Edward was a surprisingly touching read and the perfect book to end to 2019 for me. While this book centered on loss and tragedy, it is also a book full of hope. We neet 12-year-old Edward, who is the lone survivor of a plane crash that killed one-hundred-plus passengers including his own immediate family members, his mom, dad, and brother.

We follow Edward on his path through grief which includes flashbacks to the passengers who were also on board the flight that day. While this book sounds like it would be quite depressing to read, I really found it to be quite inspiring in so many ways.

Edward’s character is such a wonderful reminder of the power of connections on a journey of healing and how people you meet by chance can forever change the path of your life.

The book also keeps you guessing with the dual timelines which go back in time to also tell the story of the day of the plane crash. For me, it was a perfect balance that allowed Dear Edward to be both powerful and also super engaging.

Thank you to The Dial Press and NetGalley for an advanced copy 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. You can read more about affiliate links in my FAQs section HERE. Thank you!

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin | Celadon Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Saint X book review

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

Book Summary:

Hailed as a “marvel of a book” and “brilliant and unflinching,” Alexis Schaitkin’s stunning debut, Saint X, is a haunting portrait of grief, obsession, and the bond between two sisters never truly given the chance to know one another.

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local menemployees at the resortare arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truthnot only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

As Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will reveal the truth, an unlikely attachment develops between them, two people whose lives were forever marked by the same tragedy.

Publication Date:

February 18th, 2020

Genre:

Domestic Thriller/Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Saint X book summary

I had a lot of anticipation about Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin and it was just one of the 2020 books I was the most excited about. Unfortunately, after a really great start, it ended up being a reading letdown for me.

I think my lack of connection with this book has to do a lot with what my expectations were when I read the book summary compared to my actual reading experience. I was just expecting something very different!

I love a slow burn with highly detailed characters but this one totally threw me off with the fast-paced beginning. I think if I knew it was going to be less plot-driven I would have had very different expectations for it.

I don’t need twists and turns but this was ending up being so wordy and after a dramatic beginning just lacked any oompf for me after the beginning set me up with so many questions I needed answers for.

Because the characters weren’t likable and even though it was rich with text, I never ended up feeling like I “knew them” which just made me feel uninvested in the storyline. I think this book did have some powerful messages regarding race, class, and privilege, but these fell flat for me with the particularly wordy writing style.

I think Saint X is going to be one of those books that there are strong feelings about. Even just reading the initial ARC reviews on Goodreads, there is a whole range of reactions, some that are very positive. I think, all in all, this just was a case of being the wrong timing and expectations for me as a reader.

Thank you to Celadon Books, NetGalley and LibroFM for advanced copies. All opinions are my own.


Disclosure: Some of the links on this blog are Amazon 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). Thank you!

Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith | Hachette Books {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Bowen Method

Everything Isn’t Terrible by Dr. Kathleen Smith

Book Summary:

Licensed therapist and mental health writer Dr. Kathleen Smith offers a smart, practical antidote to our anxiety-ridden times. Everything Isn’t Terrible is an informative and practical guide — featuring a healthy dose of humor — for people who want to become beacons of calmness in their families, at work, and in our anxious world. Everything Isn’t Terrible will inspire you to confront your anxious self, take charge of your anxiety, and increase your own capacity to choose how you respond to it. Comprised of short chapters containing anecdotal examples from Smith’s work with her clients, in addition to engaging, actionable exercises for readers, Everything Isn’t Terrible will give anyone suffering from anxiety all the tools they need to finally…calm…down.

Ultimately, living a calmer, less anxious life — one that isn’t terrible — is possible, and with this book you’ll learn how to do it.

Publication Date:

December 31st, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help/Anxiety

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

Hachette Books

Everything Isn’t Terrible

I am a big fan of self-help books in general but I am especially drawn to the idea of confronting our own anxieties. In Everything Isn’t Terrible, author Kathleen Smith presents an approachable explanation of the Bowen theory of therapy which involves not only looking at ourselves as individuals but also at our relationship systems…

“Because when we feel anxious, we often try to make other people change. We try to calm everyone else down so we can finally relax. But if you can work on managing yourself in these relationships, it’s likely that your family, your workplace, and even the greater world will calm down a little too.”

Smith uses this approach in the work she does with her therapy clients and shares valuable examples in her writing regarding this methodology then gives us questions and ways to put these ideas into practice.

I really enjoyed this hands-on approach and how interactive this book felt while reading it. The writing is accessible and also shares things we can implement into our lives in a large variety of relationships and circumstances.

I love the idea that while we cannot always change the circumstances we are in, we can change how we react to them. “By changing yourself, you change the equation.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Hachette Books for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.


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. Thank you!

F*ck No! by Sarah Knight | Little, Brown & Company {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

Sarah Knight

F*ck No! by Sarah Knight

Book Summary:

How to say no without being an a**hole, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck
Are you burnt out from taking on more than you can handle or accepting less than you deserve? Tired of giving in instead of sticking up for yourself? Sick of saying yes all the time? You’re gonna love F*CK NO!
 
No is an acceptable answer, and it’s time to start using it. Whether you’re a People-Pleaser, Overachiever, Pushover, or have serious FOMO, bestselling “anti-guru” Sarah Knight helps you say what you really mean without being really mean–or burning out for fear of missing out.
Life is so much better when you say no with confidence–and without guilt, fear, or regret. F*ck No! delivers practical strategies that give you the power to decline, and concrete examples that put the words right into your mouth. You’ll discover:
  • The joy of no
  • No-Tips for all occasions
  • How to set boundaries
  • Fill-in-the-blank F*ckNotes
  • The No-and-Switch, the Power No–and how to take no for an answer yourself
  • And much more!

Publication Date:

December 31st, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫⁣

My Review:

F*ck No

F*ck No! by Sarah Knight

I enjoy Sarah Knight’s book so much. Her blunt wisdom and practical techniques are approachable and relatable. I am working on being less of a “yes” person and one of the biggest things I have learned(and am still working on!) is that saying “NO” can actually help you say “YES” to the things that really matter to you.

In F*ck No, Knight offers practical ideas that can help you say “no” in a variety of circumstances while also being realistic about it which I really appreciated. Saying “yes” all the time sounds like a good thing, but then you just feel spread too thin and aren’t really there for the people and things that you really want to be prioritizing.

Her insights are the perfect balance of humor and useful tools to help work towards our own individual goals of setting boundaries in real-world situations. I got so much out this one and I highly recommend it!

Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown for an advanced copy 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. Thank you!

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra | Berkley Publishing {Gen The Bookworm Book Review}

a retelling of Little Women

Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra

Book Summary:

The timeless classic Little Women inspired this heartwarming modern tale of four sisters from New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra.

The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.

Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.

One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.

Publication Date:

December 3rd, 2019

Genre:

Contemporary Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Little Women

Meg & Jo

I think expectations tend to be rather high when taking on a retelling, especially one like Little Women. For many people, Little Women is a book that was foundational for their love of reading. When I saw that Meg & Jo was a contemporary retelling of this classic novel, I was intrigued but also a little worried about my own expectations of it.

Seasons Edition

Seasons Edition of Little Women 

I ended up enjoying the modern tale of family, work, love, and siblinghood but I  struggled when comparing it to Little Women itself. For me, this story was entertaining as a stand-alone contemporary fiction novel, but it just didn’t work with its goal of retelling of Little Women.

A lot of this is just coming from my own personal preferences but I struggled to connect and didn’t love the changes to the storyline that happened. I also fully admit that I have rarely enjoyed a retelling(I am talking to you, Eligible, by Curtis Sittenfeld!), so maybe I am just not a good candidate for these types of novels! I do have to say, I admire anyone that takes on the retelling of a classic and I enjoyed Virginia Kantra’s writing style very much.

So the book was totally fine…I liked some of the characters more than others (which often happens for me with family life fiction) but I just didn’t love this because of what I was hoping it would be.

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


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. Thank you!