Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Julie's Review: The Comeback Summer

Author: Ali Brady
Series: None
Publication Date:  May 9, 2023
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 480
Obtained: Authors - Sisterhood of the Traveling ARC
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: A book about sisters and their relationship is always a must read for me and this one hits all the points
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Hannah and Libby need a miracle. The PR agency they inherited from their grandmother is losing clients left and right, and the sisters are devastated at the thought of closing. The situation seems hopeless—until in walks Lou, an eccentric self-help guru who is looking for a new PR agency. Her business could solve all their problems—but there’s a catch. Whoever works with Lou must complete a twelve-week challenge as part of her “Crush Your Comfort Zone” program. Hannah, whose worst nightmare is making small talk with strangers, is challenged to go on twelve first dates. Libby, who once claimed to have period cramps for four weeks straight to get out of gym class, is challenged to compete in an obstacle course race. The challenges begin with Hannah helping Libby train and Libby managing the dating app on her sister’s behalf. They’re both making good progress—until Hannah’s first love rolls into town, and Libby accidentally falls for a guy she’s supposed to be setting up with her sister. Things get even more complicated when secrets come to light, making the sisters question the one relationship they’ve always counted on: each other. With their company’s future on the line, they can’t afford to fail. But in trying to make a comeback to honor their grandmother, are they pushing themselves down the wrong path?

Review: Any book about sisters will get an automatic add to my TBR list/pile because I think it's one of the most important relationships you can have. You learn a lot about someone with how they relate to their sister. I'm very lucky because my sister is my best friend but trust me when I say it wasn't always that way. Hannah and Libby relied on each other from a very young age since their parents weren't the most stable. The only stable adult was their grandmother, GiGi, whom they worshiped. So it was only natural for them to take over GiGi's PR business when she passed but it's not as easy as she made it seem and they are bleeding money. A miracle in the name of Lou comes into their office with an offer to be her PR firm but they both have to first complete a 12 week challenge that focuses on their opportunities. 

For Libby that means training for an obstacle course race which is way out of her comfort zone but she has her sister by her side for this challenge. Hannah has to go on dates because she's not really comfortable with social interactions but Libby offers to do the hard work, swiping on the dating app and initial conversations. Of course things don't go as either of them planned but they do learn about themselves and each other. 

It's always the journey that is the most interesting part of the story and that is the case in The Comeback Summer. Libby discovers that her body is stronger than she ever thought about and that she doesn't have to always take care of everyone, maybe it's ok for someone to take care of her for a change.  Hannah learns that she's always relied on other people and not herself but that she can't keep doing that in order to spread her wings and fly. Most of all they learn that the roles they have taken on for each other need to be broken and turned into something new if they are going to have the type of relationship both of them want. 

I must say that there is nothing better than Chicago or it's suburbs in the summer. Ali Brady definitely caputured that in their 2nd novel. It is magic and definitely something to experience if you've never done it. Chicago gets a bad rep in the news and I loved how they highlighted the good things about the city here. 

I would highly recommend you put this on your list for it's release date in May! 


Sunday, March 12, 2023

Sunday Skim

Week of 3/5/2023:


Currently Reading:

Looking Forward To:

Harlan Coben can do no wrong in my eyes; for me his books are almost always 4 or 5 stars. Any Other Family is a wonderful novel about family and adoption it is nuanced and driven by 3 very different women who are family because of the kids but learn how to be the family they all need. 


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Julie's Review: Women are the Fiercest Creatures

Author: Andrea Dunlop
Series: None
Publication Date:  March 7, 2023
Publisher: Zibby Books
Pages: 272
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: The title says it all about this outstanding novel
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: Anna Sarnoff is still reeling from her quickie divorce from tech wunderkind Jake Sarnoff. Forced out of the company that she helped Jake build, Anna is trying to pick up the pieces of her life, navigating the waters of solo parenting their two teenage boys and adapting to her new role of ex-wife. To make things more complicated, Jake seems to want her back…and his persuasiveness tempts her to say yes. Across town, the brilliant and striking Samanta Flores-Walsh, Jake’s college girlfriend, is busy raising her teenage daughter and running her thriving yoga studio. Although their relationship ended years ago, unanswered questions from their time together gnaw at her, and when she learns that Jake is planning to take his billion-dollar company public, she starts to wonder if perhaps it isn’t too late for justice. Finally, there’s Jake’s much younger new wife, Jessica, who’s struggling to stay afloat as a new mom while her high-profile husband grows increasingly distant. Set in the wealthy enclaves of Seattle’s tech elite, the lives of these three women grow entangled as long-held secrets are forced to the surface, threatening to destroy their families. Written with razor-sharp intelligence and heart, Women Are the Fiercest Creatures is a searing look at the complexities of family and the obstacles women navigate in every aspect of their existence. 

Review: We are all guilty of it, not celebrating other women and their achievements. Somehow we've been taught that we are all in competition with each other but we all have different paths. Sometimes we do things to hold onto something we think is ours, even though the ripples will be felt for years by others. Women Are the Fiercest Creatures is the story of 3 women who are all connected to each other through one man. One very selfish & narcissitic man who plays them off each other without any of them knowing. Sam and Anna are the real narrators for the story and we get to know Jessica through their eyes and interactions. 

Usually when there is a novel that involves more than one female character, I find myself identifying with one but not all but what makes this one unique is that I saw a bit of myself in each of them. I felt the worst for Jessica though because she was really alone and had no one to turn too. I loved how the other 2 women stepped in to help her even with their complicated backgrounds. 

While the story seems like it is about Jake and their relationship with him, he's really a catalyst to show how resilient women are. He's also a big time sleezeball in more ways than one. I flew through this book and I really didn't know what to expect. I have long been a fan of Ms. Dunlop's books and this one is no exception. 


Sunday, March 5, 2023

Friday, March 3, 2023

Monthly Rewind: February 2023

* Denotes Audiobooks

Febraury was hit or miss for me with the books I read. Not sure if it was my mood, mental space or the book itself. A lot of my audiobooks were fantastic this month. What did you read in February?

The Minuscule Mansion of Myra Malone  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* Lessons in Chemistry ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Stone Cold Fox ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
* The Bodyguard ⭐⭐⭐⭐
* It All Comes Down to This ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The House of Eve ⭐⭐⭐⭐
*Part of Your World ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Bookworm ⭐⭐⭐
*Normal People ⭐⭐⭐
Nocturne ⭐⭐⭐


Sunday, February 26, 2023