Month: August 2022

Book Review: The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick

The Messy Lives of Book People
Author: Phaedra Patrick

Published:  May 31, 2022

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 3-9, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Have you ever wished you were someone else?

Mother of two Liv Green barely scrapes by as a maid to make ends meet, often finding escape in a good book while daydreaming of becoming a writer herself. So she can’t believe her luck when she lands a job housekeeping for her personal hero, megabestselling author Essie Starling, a mysterious and intimidating recluse. The last thing Liv expected was to be the only person Essie talks to, which leads to a tenuous friendship.

But when Essie dies suddenly, a devastated Liv is astonished to learn of her last wish: for Liv to complete Essie’s final novel. But to do so Liv will have to step into Essie’s shoes, and as Liv begins to write, she uncovers secrets from the past that reveal a surprising connection between the two women–one that will change Liv’s own story forever…

Jessica’s Review:

This was an intriguing book! We see a bit of the relationship between reclusive author Essie and her employee Liv, but then Essie dies unexpectedly…

Essie’s will contains her last wishes, many that are quite different and unexpected, with one of her wishes being that Liv finishes her final novel.  This novel is part of an extremely popular series, one of which Liv herself is a fan.  In addition to finishing the novel, there are secrets that Liv must keep from everyone, including her husband. We see Liv in essence become Essie by taking over writing the novel and in some aspects of taking over Essie’s life. Through this journey Liv learns more about herself and the past of her favorite author Essie Starling. We see a change in Liv who then discovers an unexpected connection between the two.

I was interested in reading this one due to the title and cover: The Messy Lives of Book People.  Oh yes, we ‘book people’ can have messy lives; and Essie’s definitely was and Liv’s becomes so! When I first realized this was going to be another ‘someone else needs to finish the author’s current WIP (work in progress) for x reason I wasn’t sure what to think.  This is the third novel in the past year I have read with that trope, but all of those novels are different genres.  I ended up being surprised with this novel and really enjoyed it!

If you are a book lover at all I say you need to read this one!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK**Published in the UK as The Book Share**

Audiobook Review: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

The Kitchen House
The Kitchen House #1
Author: Kathleen Grissom

Bahni Turpin

Orlagh Cassidy
Published: February 2, 2010

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 26- August 2, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars     

Book Description:

When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family. Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.

Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

Jessica’s Review:

I enjoy Historical Fiction and The Kitchen House was a book club read selection. I had never heard of it until it became the book we were to read for August.  Grissom did her research for the novel meticulously, but it was not really a book for me: How much tragedy can one group of people face?  It was too much melodrama in one book for me.  It also took almost half of the novel for me to become interested in it.  As it got further along, I was hoping for Lavinia to do something that she didn’t do.  I can’t say because of spoilers, but this novel was just ok.  There is a follow up novel dealing with one character many years down the road, and I just might possibly read that one at some point. I’ll have to look at some reviews first then decide.   

There was also an unexpected twist for me that happens that I am sure definitely happened in reality with slavery, but I just was not expecting it here!  The Kitchen House has an author’s note that gives the author’s inspiration and more appreciation for the novel for me.  Definitely read it to enhance your feelings for the novel. 

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK


A Book Lover’s Etsy Store: RaezDesignz

My friend Beccie started an Etsy shop a few months ago, and she has some new designs!  I am also a rep for her through October 1st, so with code JRR10 you can save when shopping on her site!

She is mainly designing t-shirts right now: She currently sells sizes S-XL in Black, Gray, and White.

Here are a couple of her newer designs:

Books I’d Like to Finish:

LOL: Love of Lit
BYO: Bring Your Own (Books)

**Please note this picture of me with the new design: Bring Your Own (Books) was a special order for sizing and color! **She does not currently sell purple.

The novel Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney is an arc that comes out on August 30th. It is what I am currently reading!

**You can currently save with my code JRR10 on her Etsy site!!!**

Here is her Etsy site: RaezDesignz

Support a fellow book lover and small business owner! 

In addition to shirts she also sells bookmarks!:

Here is Sage enjoying the bookmark I recently ordered:

Please check out Beccie’s site and happy shopping!