Tag: 4.5 stars

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

Corrupted by Lisa Scottoline

Author: Lisa Scottoline
Published: October 27, 2015
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 24-29, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4.5 stars

Book Description:

Bennie Rosato the founder of the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm hides her big heart beneath her tough-as-nails exterior and she doesn’t like to fail. Now, a case from her past shows her how differently things might have turned out. Thirteen years ago, Bennie Rosato took on Jason Leftavick, a twelve-year-old boy who was sent to a juvenile detention center after fighting a class bully. Bennie couldn’t free Jason, and to this day it’s the case that haunts her. Jason has grown up in and out of juvenile prison, and his adulthood hasn’t been any easier. Bennie no longer represents those accused of murder, but when Jason is indicted for killing the same bully he fought with as a kid, she sees no choice but to represent him. She doesn’t know whether or not to believe his claims of innocence, but she knows she owes him for past failures–of the law, of the juvenile justice system, and of herself. Forced to relive the darkest period of her life, Bennie will do everything in her power to get the truth, and justice.

Jessica’s Review:

As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I have become a big fan of Lisa Scottoline and the Rosato & Dinunzio series. I have just been reading them out of order. (Not of my own choosing,  it was ignorance of not knowing the first one that I read was the fourth in the series…) Now I am all caught up and have read all of the books in this series.  Corrupted focuses on the enigma that is the boss-lady herself: Ms.Bennie Rosato, and I can say I saved the best for last. I finally know about Bennie’s life!.

Corrupted starts in present day with Bennie receiving a phone call from a former client who now faces a murder charge. Though she doesn’t take murder cases, she feels that she MUST take on this case because of her past failings with the client, Jason Leftavick. 

Corrupted takes us back in time when Jason was a twelve year old dealing with a class bully situation that gets out of hand and Bennie takes on his case.  Again, having read this series out of order I know what will happen  and was enjoying knowing Bennie’s ‘future’ and wondered  how this novel was going to end. There was a huge secret that Bennie has that no one knows that left me with my mouth dropped! When the ‘past’ case ends and we go back to present day I couldn’t help but root for Bennie and Jason to win their case.  I had no idea how this case was going to conclude and the way it does end is shocking!  It was also a bit unbelievable, but I still really enjoyed it!  Due to the unbelieve-ability my rating was 4.5 stars.

The books in this series can all be treated as standalones and therefore can be read out of order and you won’t lose anything by doing that, but I would say read it in order as that is how it is meant to be read.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series and look forward to future installments that Ms. Scottoline writes.  There is an 11 book series that comes before this one called Rosato & Associates that I must read! Here’s to hoping my library system offers it on audio! 

Corrupted is highly recommended!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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Author Spotlight: Taylor Saville

Today we are bringing you an Author Spotlight for Taylor Saville!  We have all kinds of goodies for you today: Information on Taylor and her novel Jagged Mind, which also includes Kim’s review. As a bonus, Taylor is being awesome enough to do a giveaway of not one, but THREE novels and more (US Only).  Come on and get to know Taylor and her work:

Taylor Saville is the author of Jagged Mind, and while it is not her first novel, it is the first novel she chose to publish. Her husband, Jeffrey Smith, or Ascending Storm, is a professional artist and designs all of her book covers. She has a new title planned to be released this Fall, and a fantasy trilogy that is well under way. She is also currently writing three new novels simultaneously, so expect many more titles in the future! She will be an author to look out for! 

“Jagged Mind took years to bring to life. I’m elated for people to experience the story that took so much out of me to create. This novel is also complete with eleven full-page, interior illustrations.”

Jagged Mind:

Is there any true deliverance for the depraved? Does love change people? These questions surround the life of Harper Nolan. The foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, self-destructive lead singer of the metal band known as Jagged Mind. Locked in a cycle of self-mutilation, violence, and alcohol abuse, the threads of his life slowly begin to unravel, much to the unease of his more levelheaded bandmates. Though right when his world is ready to collapse entirely from beneath his feet, he falls harder than he ever could have imagined for the naive, sheltered girl who changes everything. He believes her love can save him, when in reality, she is merely the flame which detonates the bomb, sending their lives spiraling into a nightmare too intense to fathom. A nightmare which leaves him convinced he must end his own life. Though to his horror… life refuses to let him go.

Buy Jagged Mind Now!
Amazon US
**You can also download Jagged Mind for free via Taylor’s website! **The free, digital version does not include the artwork.** Her website is here.

Publication Date: April 10, 2017
522 pages

Reviewed by: Kim
Kim’s rating: 4.5 stars

Kim’s Review:

So, add another book to the list of “books that made Kim ugly cry.” Taylor was so kind in giving me a free e-book copy and I’m gonna give the most glowing endorsement a booknerd can possibly give: I bought a physical copy off of Amazon. That’s right! On top of the free e-book copy, I ordered a physical copy because I want it tangibly sitting on my shelf. Before I even start talking about the story, I want to mention the brilliant illustrations that are included in this book. Taylor’s husband, Jeff, is a professional artist and he created several gorgeous pictures to go along with the story. Once my copy arrived, first thing I did was flip through the book looking for all the artwork. They are amazing and enhanced my reading.

Now, the story . . . fair warning, Taylor is a soul torturer. To be honest, when I first started reading, I was expecting to hate Harper and sludge through another cliché love story of good girl falls for bad boy and she helps him discover the teddy bear within. Nope! The story is a roller coaster of emotions and feelings and tragedy and happiness and love and hate and disgust and stomach-churning and hope and I didn’t think my heart could take anymore, and that was barely half way through! I do not remember the last time I connected so emotionally to a character like I did with Harper. Every single thing that he went through, that happened to him, that he did, I took personally. There were times when I was literally sick to my stomach because of the things Harper did and participated in. As the darkness inside him got darker and bleaker and deeper, I wanted to jump into the story and beat him and hug him all at the same time. Hope and despair go hand in hand throughout the entire book! I’m pretty sure I developed an anxiety disorder while reading Jagged Mind, in all the best and worst ways! I wish I could accurately describe just how much this book made me feel. And y’all know that I’m a relatively shallow person so that’s a pretty big deal! When I finished the last page, I just sat and cried. My heart broke so completely and it felt so good and so bad simultaneously.

I identified with Emmaline. She and I are the sheltered chicks thrown into a crazy world and I appreciated her realism. There were times that she frustrated me because she was so cautious and reserved with Harper, when my “happily ever after” brain just wanted them to fall in love and everything to work out perfectly, and sometimes it just felt like she was leading him on and it really bugs me when girls do that. The other members of the band were just as turbulent in my mind. Gray, Harper’s best friend and the band’s bassist, alternated between love and hate for me. But I absolutely loved the banter between all the guys. It cracked me up! Indeed, I did laugh out loud several times when the band got together and joked and mocked together. I just became so invested in the characters and I find myself missing them, now that I’ve finished the book. Even the secondary characters that have very small parts in the plot were so real and so genuine that I’ve already asked Taylor to write another book to tell the story of one of them. Ok, two of them! ?

The reason I gave Jagged Mind 4.5 stars instead of a full 5 stars is relatively minor, once I got used to it. Taylor gets so deep into the minds of all the characters that sometimes the distinction between everyone gets a little murky. One minute, you’re in Harper’s head, contemplating his deep-seated self-hate, then the next sentence, you’re in Rence’s head, pondering the future of the band. And the easiest way to fix it would be the pronouns, but even those got confusing. Once I figured it out, I was able to easily think my way through it, but it did get a bit distracting at times. However, I definitely wouldn’t trade the window into everyone’s thoughts for all the clear pronouns in the world, so overall, it worked out well.

I’m going to include the message I sent to Taylor as soon as I finished the book so hopefully I can convey just how much this book meant to me:

“I’m not sure what to say …

Thank you for sharing your book with me. I usually rate books by the emotions they illicit and I gauge my emotions by their physical manifestations. I’m in tears, Taylor. I had to blink to clear my eyes so I could even finish the last 2 pages. Once I closed the book, I sobbed. Very few books have brought out that kind of reaction, and your book is one of them. I don’t want to say that Jagged Mind is “awesome” or “amazing” because they’re too shallow and they don’t do it justice. I don’t know what word to use yet … you’re a writer, give me a word! All I can say is that I love your book and I plan on keeping it on my shelf for the rest of my life and I plan on rereading many times.”

I hope that, in some way, channels a few of the feelings that I had to endure while reading Jagged Mind. I absolutely recommend this book, definitely not to teens, but to anyone looking for a deep, poignant, disturbing, moving read.


Contact Taylor:
Website
Instagram @taylorsavilleauthor
Goodreads

 

Contact Ascending Storm:
Website
Instagram@ascendingstorm
Inprnt

**US Giveaway**

There will be three winners: You will receive a signed copy of Jagged Mind and a limited art print signed by the artist! Thank you for this awesome giveaway Taylor!Giveaway runs from today through 9/26 at midnight.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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