Tag: 5 stars

Audiobook Review: The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews

The Homewreckers
Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Published: May 3, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 25- June 2, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars 

Book Description: 

Hattie Kavanaugh went to work helping clean up restored homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at 18; married the boss’s son at 20; and was only 25 when her husband, Hank, was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Broken hearted, but determined to continue the business of their dreams, she takes the life insurance money, buys a small house in a gentrifying neighborhood, flips it, then puts the money into her next project. But that house is a disaster and a money-loser, which rocks her confidence for years to come. Then, Hattie gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. It’s a question of who will flip, and who will flop, and will Hattie ever get her happily-ever-after.

Jessica’s Review:

I adore Mary Kay Andrews (MKA) and The Homewreckers is the perfect start to your summer reading!  Whether you are looking for that perfect beach read or just a temporary escape, MKA is always a guarantee for an enjoyable read! I have the physical book, but listened to the audiobook because Kathleen McInerney was the narrator like always.  MKA and McInerney go together like PB&J, they are a perfect match for me!

The Homewreckers has Hattie who restores homes in Savannah (As MKA also does in her spare time!), and she ends up on a reality show to flip a house. But this house may be more than Hattie can handle as situation after crazy situation keeps happening! The reader also gets to learn along with Hattie about how reality shows are run and that they are not so real in the first place (If you were not already aware). And of course, the behind-the-scenes drama that can lead to over exaggerated headlines!

We have intrigue, mystery, and even a little bit of romance which is perfect for a summer read.  This is MKA’s 30th book in 30 years and she proves that she still has ‘it’!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I was fortunate to met Mrs. MKA for the second time during her latest book tour for Homewreckers.  She signed books, took pictures, and spoke to us. She is currently fighting CoVID, and I hope she feels better soon! Here are some pictures from the signing:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of ‘Where’s Waldo’, can you find me?:

 

Short Story Sunday: Choice by Jodi Picoult

Choice
Author: Jodi Picoult
Narrator:
Thérèse Plummer

Published: May 18, 2022
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 2, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars     

Short Story Description:

Margot and James are broken up—for good this time. James made sure of it when he dropped the bomb on Margot: that he doesn’t want kids, ever.

Then, on the biggest morning of his life, James—an ambitious lawyer at a high-powered firm—wakes up pregnant. He realizes with dread that he is part of a recent epidemic of men suddenly and inexplicably becoming pregnant. His condition obvious to the higher-ups, James is denied the promotion he was expecting, sending him reeling.

Meanwhile, Margot, a social worker, must handle the influx of desperate, pregnant teenage boys suddenly seeking her help. When she receives a call from James with the same problem, the challenge of navigating post-Roe America hits even closer to home.

**Please note: This content is intended for adults only. It features themes of pregnancy loss that may be upsetting to some listeners. Discretion is advised.

Jessica’s Review:

Choice was written by Picoult in response to the news that Roe v. Wade may be overturned by the Supreme Court in the near future. This short story is very timely and I feel that  most everyone needs to read/listen to.  It won’t be for everyone, per the disclaimer, and not everyone will read it.  And yes, this is a controversial short story as abortion is a controversial issue.

In Choice, it has been five years since Roe v. Wade was overturned. This short story shows what could happen if overnight for an unknown reason that boys and men of all ages whom have had sex wake up pregnant. And not just ‘newly’ pregnant, but all stages of pregnancy with a variety of symptoms. Choice demonstrates how if the tables were turned what would happen to men and their lack of options in regard to pregnancy: From being passed over for a  job promotion, to just being lost and scared in general as women are now. 

I truly enjoyed this short story.  It was interesting seeing how men/boys reacted to their pregnancy and their unique situations as women do daily.  Women also cannot get pregnant anymore, so seeing both genders go in a 180 direction was something: Women have no cares anymore and now men have to be cautious.

Choice was currently free on Audible and I listened to it in 38 minutes during my commute home. I have never been pregnant, but there can be the possibility of pregnancy, and together my husband and I made choices for our life together.  I relished seeing men lost in this new and unique worldwide situation.  I would love to see Picoult expand this story into a full-length novel and focus on a few men and their circumstances over the course of their pregnancy and the decision they come to. It would also be interesting to know how this happened, but it may just be a ‘fluke of nature’ that happened to our species.  Other questions arise in this world: What happened to the women who were pregnant before this event happened? Are they still pregnant?  How will a man deliver a baby??? Of course, there are many more questions that could be asked. 

The narrator was Thérèse Plummer and I always enjoy her, so along with the intriguing description, that made listening to this short story a must listen to for me. Bravo to Picoult for writing this short story and giving readers something to think about and women something to enjoy: The tables are turned for men and pregnancy! Who truly is the ‘weaker’ sex?

Purchase Links:
**This short story is only available through Audible and currently FREE

Amazon US
Amazon UK

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ARC Review: Before You Wake by Cheyanne Young

Before You Wake
Author:
Cheyanne Young

To Be Published: TOMORROW: June 7, 2022
248 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 11-22, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The day after Millie’s crush asks her on a date, a comatose teenager arrives at the hospital where she volunteers. He’s labeled as a John Doe, but Millie would recognize Wesley anywhere. Thanks to a teensy misunderstanding by an elderly nurse, everyone thinks Millie is Wesley’s girlfriend. 

As Wesley’s condition worsens, Millie spends all her volunteer time at his bedside, reading him Jane Austen and waiting for him to wake up. Then his group of friends show up, including Sloane, a beautiful and charismatic girl who instantly takes a liking to Millie. They invite her out with them, and Millie seizes the moment. She’s never had friends like this before and it feels great to be included.

The longer Wesley’s coma goes on, the more attached she becomes to his friends and her shiny new life in the popular crowd. Millie knows she’ll have to come clean before he wakes up, but she’s in too deep, and her lies have become the foundation of the very real friendships she’s made. Revealing the truth now would cost her everything. But keeping her secrets will cost even more.

Jessica’s Review:

Before You Wake is a YA retelling of the 1995 movie While You Were Sleeping starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. I loved that movie, so I was excited when I heard about this one and ready to read it! I was excited to see where a YA novel would go in this direction.

If you have not seen it before, I would recommend watching While You Were Sleeping to see where Young got her inspiration from! Unlike a fun and cute-ish romantic comedy film, Before You Wake came off realistic for me.

We have Millie who is a loner who volunteers at the hospital. And what starts out as a misunderstanding becomes a lie that escalates. Before she knows it, Millie is in way too deep and cannot figure out how to tell these people the truth. Because she knows that when the truth comes out it will hurt all involved and she has formed attachments that become very important to her.  And even living the lie a little bit is worth it to Millie. 

Before just continues to build on the lie and I did not know what was going to happen. Millie constantly is wanting to tell but also not wanting to tell knowing how everything will fall apart.  There is also twist that happens in regards to Wesley’s injuries and I liked where the novel went there.

If you are a fan of Jane Austin and Pride and Prejudice, you are also in for a treat with this novel!

I received an arc copy from Young to read and review, and I enjoyed it so much that I ordered a signed copy from her Etsy shop.  You can buy Before You Wake from her directly and get it personally signed.  And she even sent some extra goodies with the book! I really enjoyed this novel, and have read three of Young’s novels and have given them all 5 stars! 

While You Were Sleeping Trailer:

Purchase Links for Before You Wake:
Cheyanne Young Etsy Shop **You can buy a personalized signed copy from the author!**
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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