Olivia Foster hasn’t felt alive since her little brother drowned in the backyard pool three years ago. Then Kara Hallas moves in across the street with her mother and grandmother, and Olivia is immediately drawn to these three generations of women.
Kara is particularly intoxicating, so much so that Olivia not only comes to accept Kara’s morbid habit of writing to men on death row, she helps her do it. They sign their letters as the Resurrection Girls.
But as Kara’s friendship pulls Olivia out of the dark fog she’s been living in, Olivia realizes that a different kind of darkness taints the otherwise lively Hallas women—an impulse that is strange, magical, and possibly deadly. –Goodreads
I am starting this book review off with the rating, which is 2 Pickles. This book was a hard pill to swallow because of a lot of things. Olivia isn’t grieving the lost of her brother. She acknowledges that he is gone but just like her parents, she isn’t dealing with what she is feeling. Kara comes along and offers Olivia a way out of her emotions until she has no choice but to start opening.
Here is my issue with this book. It uses Kara and her family as a clutch for why Olivia makes bad decisions. It isn’t fair to Kara. Kara isn’t a stable character not even in the least and she has a whole lot that she is dealing with, however, I can’t find it in me to say Olivia did this or is this because of Kara.
Not every family is going to be like our own and I think the author plays upon that as way to compare what should be the normal family. Olivia does things for an reaction not just because Kara has a persuasive personality.
Other than this, the book was boring. Not even writing to death row inmates add any form of intensity to the novel. It is just as a clutch with no real backing/substance. Because the book is boring. There is no real character development and even the grief seems brushed over, which is unfortunate.
Things wrapped up too easily, after everything that happened, the ending was too perfectly happy and we are good now.
I gave this book 2 Pickles as opposed to 1 because it can be good. Shoot it can be great. But it needs work.
Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story.
Tara’s family has just immigrated to New York from India via London. Her beauty draws everyone’s eyes, but she doesn’t let anyone truly see her.
Her younger sister, Sonia, is falling in love with a boy her mother can’t accept, cutting a deep wound in the Das family.
The daughter of a Bollywood star, Anna is both brilliant and shy, like the Bengal tigers she fights to protect.
Chantal is as fierce a dancer as she is a friend, student, and athlete. But will her wealthy new boyfriend be able to thrive in her shadow?
And Ranee, the center that binds them all together, is beginning to unravel.
As each Das woman decides which Bengali traditions to uphold in America and which to leave behind, one hard truth remains: some scars take generations to heal.- Goodreads
This was an interesting read for me. I wasn’t expecting much (tbh) and its not because of the author or the hype but a lot of contemporary books try so hard to reach someone that the flow and empathy to an issue is often is missed. In this read that wasn’t the case exactly.
It was written with care, respect and empathy towards several issues; colourism, stereotypes, family relationships, death, being bi-racial, racism and being an immigrant. A lot is going on and you have to pay attention to have a open heart in order to see the obvious as well as the underline. The author did a really good job to not over complicate things but to make it known that these issues are part of life and as easy as the author fit it in it is common in the lives of some people.
I really loved Tara and Sunny’s section of the book. Anna and Chantal come off more entitled then I would have liked but their lives is completely different from Tara and Sunny.
If you are expecting this book to be fast pace it really isn’t but you get wrapped into the lives of these girls and you come to live them, want to support them, relate and understand them. It is detailed without feeling like it is being dragged and it is complex without feeling as if the author is doing too much.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, the second half lost its spark for me but I liked how the author tied up loose ends.
Mary Rudine also known as Mister has been always been part of the church. Attending youth club and performing in the Choir, her attendance has been a part of her life forever. But then she meets Trey and the church becomes less of a priority.
Another Mary in a previous time is preparing for her wedding but when an angel appears one night and tells her that she is to give birth, as a virgin, Mary is confused and finds herself in a struggle.
Drawn to the story of Mary, Mister rediscovers her faith in God.
This book is written in verse and I love that about it. The reason I picked this book is because it has been a while since I’ve read a Nikki Grimes book.
But I had difficulties with this read and it had nothing to do with the face that it was written in verse. Something was missing from the overall story and it had something to do with Mister. There wasn’t enough personality and my biggest issue is she fell a little too easy. Yes, I know she is young but considering the premise of the story, I thought it would be a little bit harder for her to fall.
I also had an issue with the voice. It didn’t seem to change throughout the story until the end. It was the first time in the book, I felt real emotion from Mister and I actually felt for her. I would have loved more of that throughout the book.
Finally, the back and forth between Mister’s story and Mary’s story was a good element. It shows a viewpoint that you don’t think of in regards to Mary’s story and I thought that was cool.
Overall, the story was alright. I wanted more emotion and depth.
Its 1982 in Southern England and Emily, although content with her life, feels as if she isn’t going anywhere. One day working at the library, she meets a man named Carl, looking for books to trace his family history.
Fascinated by Carl and his mission to discover his Grandfather’s past, Emily digs deep to help him but finds the secrets to her past as well.
Cute, short read. I wasn’t expecting much out of this but I got hooked. There is nothing too spectacular about this book. However, the author did tell a really good story.
I am a sucker for history and the fact that the author incorporated history without the constant facts each page or sentence, I thought was great. I loved the fact that it was personal and I wasn’t reading a text book. I also didn’t mind the fact that there wasn’t too much controversy within this book. Although it would have been perfect for a much more thrilling and longer read, it was good.
As for Emily, there wasn’t too much personality coming from her. I wish there was more emotion and she didn’t just take things as they were. I also wanted more from her relationship with her mother. This would have made the book perfect if there was more conflict.
The drama of the novel wasn’t as intense as the author made it seem to be and that was mainly because Emily just agreed to anything that happened. She reacted without much drama and I completely get why. But after a few chapters, I was like is she going to change her tone a bit. It was disappointing. However, I was into this book. Between the search for the truth, the use of a library, the bits of romance, the lack of technology . . . I couldn’t stop reading.
Overall, this read felt like a snippet to a bigger story. It could have been perfect if the author just added more history, war, love and intensity. Despite all of this, I would recommend it.
Flynn’s girlfriend, January has disappeared and the cops are asking him questions he cannot answer. And her friends are telling stories, he has never heard of. Determined to discover the truth about his girlfriend, Flynn hunt down answers but with a secret of his own, he has to tread lightly.
I am disappointed in this book. Not just from the summary but from the book itself. It started off really really good. But then the author feel right into the predictability. And he didn’t just fall slowly, but the downfall was really fast.
I hated Flynn. He was a jerk and he had no right even close to complain about January when he was using the mess out of her. He had this sense of entitlement as her boyfriend; he had no right and he pissed me off.
What made the story predictably was Flynn’s secret and what happened to January. It was such a typical turn of events. Yeah, it had its little oh moments but there wasn’t many. The way it was written despite the predictability was really good. I kept reading the book but it was a struggle because I knew what was going to happen. Roehrig has talent as a writer but this book would be best for someone who has never read this type of story before.
I can’t say much about the characters because they were predictable as well as the romance.
Overall, I would have probably enjoyed this book better if I read this before I read any other disappearing act stories.
Lucy Price is married to a successful businessman, Edward Price. For a year, she has lived a happy existence as his wife. That is until she discovers Eddie’s illegal activities and that is a dangerous man, who does not care for her life. Eddie disappears after he realizes Lucy knows the truth but not before he threatens her life.
Six months later Eddie’s body turns up in a small town in Texas and it is perceived that his “wife” Marlowe Price killed him.
Marlowe isn’t a stranger to danger. Known as the hoodoo woman in the town, Marlowe is use to being the outcast. But a six months ago, she thought happiness was finally hers; a unexpected romance turned into a marriage in Mexico with a man she thought she would spend the rest of her life with, although not ideal but it was perfect.
When she sees Eddie, kill a man and stuff him in the truck of a car, her happiness disappears as fast as her husband. Now, Lucy and Marlowe need to work together in order to find out who Eddie really was and how they can get their life back.
This book . . . . Yo . . . This book is a must read by any person on this earth that loves murder, suspense, magic and some sex. From beginning to end this was a perfect read and I am so pleased with it, I am buying a physical copy when the book is released. So shoutout to Netgalley for the introduction and thank you St. Martin’s Griffin for the approval.
So let me begin to say that the book is more about Marlowe than both women. Lucy gets her shine but as it is mentioned by one of the characters in the book, Marlowe was the last one to see Eddie, therefore more shine is on her.
Marlowe is a complex, indecisive woman who doesn’t listen to anyone other than her heart and body. I loved her. She was woman from beginning to end. Realistic, honest, smart and although she didn’t always know what she wanted if she made a decision she followed through. I can’t even talk bad about her character development because although it really wasn’t there, it wasn’t needed. The entire story-line didn’t take years not even months.
Lucy was a surprising character because from the beginning you know something is off but when you find out you’re like whoa. Lucy may have not been as complicated as Marlowe (which is cool) but she played her role very well. I have a love hate relationship for her. Even after everything was said and done, I wanted to slap her but then give her a hug. I thought she was selfish and I didn’t trust her; still do not trust her.
The ending of the book was simple. Simple in the sense that no questions was left unanswered, no lingering what if statements either. You know exactly where everyone stands and you do not need anything more than that.
This was a quick read and it was quick because it was so freaking good. It was detailed without doing too much. It had a obvious mystery but everything that happened to get it solved was unpredictable. It was sexy . . . very very sexy. I laughed during this book, my gut twisted during this book, I broke out in sweat reading this book.
Again, The Real Mrs. Price is a highly recommended read. I cannot wait to see what this author does next.
Kate O’Brien doesn’t have the easiest life. Her entire life is a setback and she is determined to get out of the whole she is in. Kate has a plan to move up the latter and land a position as a college student at Yale. When she befriends, Olivia, the wealthy and damaged it girl, Kate doesn’t believe her luck.
But then enters, Mark Redkin; a man with a similar plan to advance his life. He poses a threat to everything Kate has been working for and threats to reveal the dark past Kate and Olivia are trying to hide.
I loved the premise of the book and I loved Kate. The idea that this girl, who isn’t necessarily the meanest thing in the world. is doing what she can to get ahead, I thought was pretty cool.
I also liked Olivia. The author did a really good job with character development; for all characters within this book. Toten also did an amazing job with twist and turns and things not being what they really seem. But there was a huge downfall to this book, which cased me to give it a low rating.
For most of the book, it was boring. It was hard to keep going because of this. I mean really hard. When things did pick up, I was happy but it was the about time happy. I understand the build up (I completely get it) but nothing was really happening and it was as if Toten was trying to feel things out as opposed to her characters.
When things got going, Toten did a great job turning events and moving a way better pace. She provided surprise and adrenaline that I was hoping for early on. Although I thought this was a good read once I finished, it took too long for me to actually appreciate it.
Overall, I would recommend this book to people despite my own personal qualms because the story and character development was great.
Shoutout to Netgalley for introducing me to Ms. Laura McNeill. I have had the most amazing pleasure to read her to be released book (April 19 2016), Sister Dear and I am officially a fan. So to say I was not excited when Ms. McNeill agreed to an interview with Motif by Tanya, is an understatement.
Enjoy my fellow readers because I had a blast talking with Ms. Laura McNeill.
Your career originally started off as an anchor for CBS Affiliates. During this time were you writing or did the idea/drive to become a writer come after you left to raise your family?
When I began working as an anchor and reporter, my older son had just been born, so I was juggling new motherhood with the demands of a fast-paced job in a newsroom. To top it off, the latter part of my career was spent working overnights (2 am – 10 am) in order to prepare and anchor the morning news, so that schedule left little time for anything extra!
After six years, I decided that I wanted to spend more time with my children, and it was then that I gave up TV news and began writing.
How did you career as an anchor help you write books?
My experience as a journalist certainly came in handy when I started writing novels! In the television business, you can’t miss deadlines, so I learned to work fast and smart. I became quite adept at completing assignments in the news van (going over bumps in the road), dreaming up story ideas on slow news days, and generating creative and compelling stories, most of which were no longer than a minute and thirty seconds.
On the flip side, adjusting to life as novelist took a shift in mindset. I wasn’t used to working on a single project for longer than a day or two, so sitting down at a computer keyboard and working on the same story day after day was a challenge. For me, outlining helped tremendously and gave me a “roadmap” to follow!
What inspired “Sister Dear”? Why did you decide to write within the genre of suspense and thriller?
A close friend of mine, years ago, was caught with some illegal drugs in her car. When she, as a teenager, went in front of the judge in her small hometown, she refused to give up the name of the dealer. The judge decided to make an example of her, and sent her to jail for six months. To this day, my lovely, wonderful friend, who is one of the kindest people in the world, is still a convicted felon. It affects everything in her life — her jobs, her relationships, her future plans.
Her situation got me thinking “What If” something terrible happened to a single mother of a five year old girl. “What if” the woman stumbled on a dying man, tried to revive him, and was held responsible for the man’s death? Then, what if after going to prison for a crime she didn’t commit and being paroled after ten years, the woman attempts to reconnect with a daughter who doesn’t know or trust her? Worse yet, the woman discovers that the person she trusts most in the world held the key to her freedom all along.
In terms of genre, I started out writing fun, frothy women’s fiction under the pen name Lauren Clark. I published 4 books before changing genres and tackling the deeper, darker side of domestic suspense. The decision to switch gears was two-fold: I love reading suspense and thrillers, and I had gone through some personal adversity and writing seemed a logical way to put some of my thoughts, ideas, and experiences down on “paper” to share with the world–in the hopes that other people might connect with my stories.
Where do you see yourself as a writer, let’s say a year from now?
In a year from now, I would feel very fortunate to continue to have a successful career as a writer and continue to connect with readers. I would love to have enough success to quit my “day job” as an instructional designer and stay home and write full time!
Of course, everyone wants the NY Times bestseller list, or an appearance on Oprah, but I truly write for the love of writing.
Finally, how do you want the reader to feel once they have completed one of your books?
It is my hope that readers feel like they’ve been given a rich experience, a story that has compelled them to keep reading and turning pages, and one in which they’ve found characters they care about and root for. I also strive hard to deliver a satisfying, but not perfect ending. I want the reader to feel he or she has come full circle when he or she finishes the last page. In addition, I would like the reader to feel that the main character has grown and changed, has learned, has overcome significant adversity, and changed his or her world for the better.
I love hearing from readers, by the way, and have made some amazing friends over the years just connecting over books! Readers mean the world to me, and I value each and every thought, comment, and opinion that is shared with me!
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