Category: Review

Monsters by Sharon Dogar

Author: Sharon Dogar
Published: February 7, 2019
464 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 2 stars

Book Description:

1814: Mary Godwin, the sixteen-year-old daughter of radical socialist and feminist writers, runs away with a dangerously charming young poet – Percy Bysshe Shelley. From there, the two young lovers travel a Europe in the throes of revolutionary change, through high and low society, tragedy and passion, where they will be drawn into the orbit of the mad and bad Lord Byron.

But Mary and Percy are not alone: they bring Jane, Mary’s young step-sister. And she knows the biggest secrets of them all . .

Kim’s Review:

Gosh, I absolutely hate idealists. I’m allowed to say that because I used to be one. Then I entered the real world and it kicked my ass and I realized that I wasn’t as smart as I thought I was. My biggest problem with this book is the ridiculous, immature, obnoxious idealism of Mary, Percy, and Jane. And they are the worst kind! The kind that expects the world to coddle them, and accept their ideas without question or consequence. And then, they dare to act shocked when everyone calls them out on their ridiculousness! It’s the whole damn book!

I was hoping for a book about monsters and spooky castles and weird experimentations, all that inspired Frankenstein . . . Nope, just page after page of “why is everyone so mean to us??” If they were actually fighting for something worthwhile, then I wouldn’t have minded it nearly so much! But it was literally Mary wanting to live with a married man, Percy wanting to have sex with any woman he wants, and Jane wanting to be Mary. The hypocrisy was astounding! Of course people should accept how I live, no matter how outrageous, but if anyone else tries it, CONDEMNATION! I wanted to kill all three of them, because they’re idiots!! The tiny bit of explanation for Frankenstein was the only good thing in this book, that’s it. I honestly wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Short Story Sunday: Mommy, Where Are You?

Author: C.G. Adler
Published: March 21, 2018
26 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: May 11, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

MOMMY, WHERE ARE YOU? is the touching story of a turtle hatchling who gets lost from her mother and siblings. Tiny Aubree searches to find her mother. She meets several endangered sea turtles on her journey. They tell her who they are. They share information about the species of endangered sea turtle they belong to. They encourage Aubree on her journey to find her mother. Information about several endangered species of sea turtles is presented so children can learn details to help save the sea turtles.

This is not just a book for children ages 2 to 8. It’s an inspiring family book that puts a smile on children’s faces while teaching us how to help the endangered sea turtles. Kids books are often inspiring, but this one will stay quite long in your memory due to:
– An enchanting children’s story
– Beautiful illustrations
– Amazing character artwork
– information about turtles

Jessica’s Review:

I thought this review would be perfect to share today as it is Mother’s Day:

This was a fun and short children’s book about Aubree the hatchling.  She gets left behind by her brothers and sisters.  Then she decides to try to find her mommy. Aubree goes on an adventure meeting other turtles and creatures.  She finds out the differences between her and the other turtles in a fun way that educates children.  There are also some fun facts at the back of the book that tells us about turtles.  I really liked the photo of the ‘real’ hatchlings, this way children can see how small they really are! 

The illustrations are very colorful and enhance the story. This is a good introduction to turtle for kids. If you child is a little older and likes turtles, they will enjoy this story as well!

 I would say this would be good for ages three and up as two may still be a little young. Even though this is not a realistic story as turtles lay the eggs then leave the nest, but it helps children to realize that their parents will never leave them.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US  
Amazon UK

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The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Author: Joanne Ramos
Published: May 7, 2019
336 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 23- May 5, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Nestled in the Hudson Valley is a sumptuous retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, private fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you get paid big money—more than you’ve ever dreamed of—to spend a few seasons in this luxurious locale. The catch? For nine months, you belong to the Farm. You cannot leave the grounds; your every move is monitored. Your former life will seem a world away as you dedicate yourself to the all-consuming task of producing the perfect baby for your überwealthy clients.

Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines and a struggling single mother, is thrilled to make it through the highly competitive Host selection process at the Farm. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her own young daughter’s well-being, Jane grows desperate to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on delivery—or worse.

Heartbreaking, suspenseful, provocative, The Farm pushes our thinking on motherhood, money, and merit to the extremes, and raises crucial questions about the trade-offs women will make to fortify their futures and the futures of those they love.

Jessica’s Review:

The thriller lover in me wanted a novel where Golden Oaks, aka ‘The Farm’ was ‘the big bad evil’ with ulterior motive and missing surrogates, etc. The Farm is Joanne Ramos’ debut novel and instead of thriller we get a novel about class and privilege and extreme differences.  The differences in race, immigration status, lack of freedom, morality and greed, and many more topics are also explored. 

‘The Farm’ seems like a resort for surrogates, and in some ways it is.  The surrogates are given most everything they could need, but not want.  They are subject to rules and regulations but they are also paid significantly as the pregnancy progresses.  There are both positive and negative consequences to ‘The Farm’.  In reality, the women are numbered like cattle carrying commodities, and it is all about the health of the fetus and the end result of a healthy baby delivered for ‘the client’.  Most of the ‘hosts’ are immigrants who need a job and see a high payout with working at ‘The Farm’ and most of the clients are white.  The ‘clients’ of Golden Oaks are not necessarily people who cannot have children: They are the rich who may not want to ruin their ‘perfect bodies’ with pregnancy or don’t want to deal with the time involved with doctor’s appointments and possible complications. 

We get four points of view in The Farm:

Jane- an immigrant and our main protagonist
Reagan- another Host/Surrogate
Mae- Golden Oaks’ Director of Operations
Ate- Jane’s cousin

Each character makes decisions based on what works best for them and their given situation. I liked Jane and was on her side the whole novel. When she made bad decisions I just wanted to knock some sense into her!  I felt for her when she missed her baby girl that she left with her cousin to ‘work’ at ‘The Farm’ for 9 months.  Nine months can be a short amount of time to earn a huge payout, but at what cost? Jane begins to realize this as time passes and she misses her daughter’s milestones.

This is yet another novel that will leave you thinking. How far away is our society from having real life ‘farms’ for the wealthy that are made up of ‘hosts’ who are the poor and want or need that paycheck?

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing for my copy.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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