Month: July 2019

Blog Tour: Only the Lonely

Today I help end the blog tour for Only the Lonely by Joanne Nicholson where I will be sharing my review! I enjoyed this one and will be looking at what else she has written!

Book Description:

After Tiffany is orphaned on the night of her 18th birthday, she discovers, as the sole heir to her parents’ estate, she has inherited a frozen embryo from when her parents did IVF to have her. Feeling lost, alone and longing for a sense of family, Tiffany can’t bring herself to destroy or donate the embryo. Instead, she decides to be impregnated with her biological twin.

A legal battle ensues over whether the embryo is a person or property and the ethics of whether it is acceptable to give birth to your own sibling.

Set in Australia, this contemporary fiction novel is full of emotion, dilemmas and unexpected friendships, as Tiffany forges a new life without her parents.

Author: Joanne Nicholson
Published: June 12, 2019
191 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 30-July 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

I read the book description for Only the Lonely, and jumped at the chance to be on the blog tour as it was just so unique!  There are so many consequences (both positive and negative) to the many decisions to the various characters that occur throughout the course of the novel.

Tiffany loses both of her parents on the night of her eighteenth birthday. Losing parents at a young age is tough (I lost my father at nineteen) and worse yet is that she is an only child, and she basically has no one. As she works to come to terms with the cause of her parents’ death and works to move on, facing a legal battle, she discovers that that there is a frozen embryo frozen from when her parents did IVF to have her.   In essence, this embryo could have been her twin. She decides she wants to be impregnated with the embryo, and thus begins a second legal battle for Tiffany to deal with.

I don’t know if embryos are actually kept long term in fertility clinics, but if they did I could see this situation possibly happen as the first generation of IVF babies are now becoming adults.

The chapters are short and Only the Lonely is a quick read that will have you thinking about everything that happens throughout the novel.  I connected with Tiffany and was rooting for her to win her case.  She faces a roller coaster of emotions throughout the novel and we see her grow over the course of the story.  I would not have been able to make the decision she did at nineteen years old and face everything that she did.  The novel also shows the side of the fertility clinic, the court case and the media spectacle that erupts due to the uniqueness of the situation.

I never lost interest in Only the Lonely as I wanted to know what was going to happen and how the judge’s decision would affect Tiffany for the rest of her life no matter what the decision was. Unfortunately, I could not give the novel five stars due to a direction the novel goes with a friendship that Tiffany develops.  I could see everything but that friendship happening in reality.

This novel is recommended and after reading about the other novels Nicholson has written, I will be reading more by her.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Joanne Nicholson is an Australian author who enjoys boating, exercising, reading, writing, music and spending quality time with family and friends.

Joanne’s career began in advertising and marketing. After a hiatus to raise her four children, she owned an indoor play centre, worked in property management and bookkeeping. Joanne gave these up to focus on her passion for writing.

She has published the contemporary women’s fiction novels: ‘Intuition’, ‘In Another Life’ and ‘Positive’, as well as a YA novel ‘Music Score’ and several short stories. Her latest novel is ‘Only the Lonely’.

Contact Joanne:
Website
Twitter @jolnicholson
Instagram @joannenicholsonauthor

First Line Friday #116

Today’s First Line Friday is one that Kim had previously reviewed.  That link is here.

My mother was raised on fairy-tales, but I was raised on highways.

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Author: Katherine Center
To Be Published: August 13, 2019
320 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 8-12, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

Jessica’s Review:

I introduced myself to Katherine Center last year with How to Walk Away (HTWA) (my review is here) and loved it , so I eagerly anticipated her next novel which was Things You Save in a Fire (to be called Things for the rest of this review) and was not disappointed in the least.  And Things is about a female firefighter: Go girl empowerment!

Center wrote the novel through examples of real life situations her volunteer fire fighter husband told her about the job and living in the fire house.  I’ve spent a little time in firehouses and even put the turnout gear on and based on what I experienced, the novel is spot on! 

Our protagonist Cassie made a brief appearance in HTWA which was referenced in Things. You won’t miss anything if you have not read HTWA, but it adds to Cassie’s story if you have already read it. I personally loved how the books were connected.  I really liked Cassie and identified with her in several ways.  Firefighting really is a ‘boys club’ and Cassie totally kicks male butt!  You can’t help but cheer for her.  She is also a conflicted character and feels like a real person.  Center does a great job capturing real life struggles and putting them on the page.  There are moments that will have you laughing and then moments that touch you in a personal way.

This novel has a bit of everything: romance, mystery, action, and yes, we do get a fire! With the fire situation the reader gets the experience of working that fire and going inside with the fire fighters. 

I alluded to it earlier, and want to talk about my experience in a fire house: Back in 2004 I took part in a Citizen’s Fire Academy where I learned about my local fire department, did some training, and spent time at two fire stations with the men on shift.  I got to go on the calls they received, and yes, one was a fire call!  It ended up being a kitchen fire that was out by the time we arrived on the scene.  It was a great experience and if the opportunity arises, everyone should do this! You really get a new appreciation and respect for what they do. 

Bravo Katherine Center for an enjoyable novel that accurately portrays life in a fire house base on what I experienced myself.  When you read this novel, you will get to see what life as a fire fighter is like in a 24 hour shift: from the silliness to seriousness. 

Things You Save in a Fire is very highly recommended.  Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press for granting me an e-arc that I received via NetGalley. 

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Some pictures from when I went through the Citizen’s Fire Academy:

 

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