Month: September 2019

First Line Friday #124

Today’s First Line Friday is a thriller that came out earlier this year that I still need to read!

Panic gripped her as the airplane’s hatch door closed.

Can you love someone to death?

Some would say Becky Gerard is a devoted mother and would do anything for her only child. Others claim she’s obsessed and can’t stop the vicious circle of finding a cure at her daughter’s expense.

Fifteen-year-old Meghan has been in and out of hospitals with a plague of unexplained illnesses. But when the ailments take a sharp turn, doctors intervene and immediately suspect Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a rare behavioral disorder where the primary caretaker, typically the mother, seeks medical help for made-up symptoms of a child. Is this what’s going on? Or is there something even more sinister at hand?

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Here is a bookmark that St. Martin’s Press sent me along with a copy of the book:

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

Author: Abbi Waxman
Published: July 9, 2019
352 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options:

  1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
  2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
  3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Kim’s Review:

This book is fantastic! As soon as I read the description, I knew I had to read it. And the cover is gorgeous. From the very first page, I was completely engaged. I’ve said before that I very rarely ever “relate” to many characters. I enjoy them, I sympathize with them, I get very emotionally involved with them, but I usually don’t identify with them. Nina Hill is a big exception. I identified with her from the very beginning. To this day, I’m still the one in any group who is the know-it-all nerd who pulls out random trivia. I’m the one who makes plans, but then at the last minute backs out cuz I’m in the middle of a good book.

Thankfully, I’m a successful enough gold digger that I get to stay home and read and review books all day. But a good second choice dream job would be at a bookstore. Plus, all the dialogue is flippin’ hilarious. Nina’s interactions, not just with her friends, but with random people she meets along the way, are so much fun to read. One thing that the author does so well is the seemingly contradictory nature of LA. I have never been there so I can only base my knowledge on things I’ve read or seen on TV. While in one sentence, Waxman makes fun of the usual LA stereotypes, in the next she applauds the beauty of the city. It was just fascinating and now I kinda want to visit.

Overall, this was a really fun read that made me laugh a lot. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only weird one in the world. I had a great time reading it and I would love to read other things that Waxman has written. I adore this book and I think y’all would too!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Adorable Fat Girl Takes Up Yoga


Author: Bernice Bloom
Published: April 28, 2018
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 21-24, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

The Adorable Fat Girl needs to do something to get fit. What about yoga? I mean – really – how hard can that be? A bit of chanting, some toe touching and a new leotard. Easy! She signs up for a weekend retreat, packs up assorted snacks and heads for the countryside to get in touch with her chi and her third eye. And that’s when it all goes wrong.

Featuring frantic chickens, an unexpected mud bath, men in loose-fitting shorts and no pants, calamitous headstands, a new bizarre friendship with a yoga guru and a quick hospital trip.

Jessica’s Review:

Mary Brown is the Adorable Fat Girl and she stars in her own series of novels by Bernice Bloom. In fact there are 14 novels and each can be read as a stand-alone novel, but they also follow up with each other. I have read a few of the novels and have enjoyed them. I hope to read more! 

This time Mary decides to take up yoga and go on a retreat.  And it is full of unexpected adventures!  Like Mary, I know nothing of yoga and have never tried it.  I didn’t even know what downward dog is: I had to Google it.    

There was only one thing that bothered me in the novel: Mary brought WAY too many snacks for a weekend retreat, it just seemed too extreme. It was as if she was not going to be eating at all during the retreat. (Yes, they did eat meals, albeit very tiny ones. The snuck in snacks would have come in handy in this case, but not as much as she brought.)

Adorable Fat Girl takes up Yoga is a short read, I listened to the audio version and it was just under 3.5 hours long.  I enjoyed the ending and how it directly followed into the next Adorable Fat Girl novel which I have already read (Adorable Fat Girl and the Mysterious Invitation). 

Many thanks to the author for sending me an audio copy to read and review! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US  
Amazon UK

My reviews for the other Adorable Fat Girl novels I have read:
Diary of an Adorable Fat Girl
Adorable Fat Girl and the Mysterious Invitation

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