Siri, Who Am I?
Author: Sam Tschida
Published: TODAY, January 12, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 25, 2020- January 4, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Mia might look like a Millennial but she was born yesterday. Emerging from a coma with short-term amnesia after an accident, Mia can’t remember her own name until the Siri assistant on her iPhone provides it. Based on her cool hairstyle (undercut with glamorous waves), dress (Prada), and signature lipstick (Chanel), she senses she’s wealthy, but the only way to know for sure is to retrace her steps once she leaves the hospital. Using Instagram and Uber, she arrives at the pink duplex she calls home in posts but finds Max, a cute, off-duty postdoc supplementing his income with a house-sitting gig. He tells her the house belongs to JP, a billionaire with a chocolate empire. A few texts later, JP confirms her wildest dreams: they’re in love, Mia is living the good life, and he’ll be back that weekend.
But as Mia and Max work backward through her Instagram and across Los Angeles to learn more about her, they discover a surprising truth behind her perfect Instagram feed, and evidence that her head wound was no accident. Who was Mia before she woke up in that hospital? And is it too late for her to rewrite her story?
Siri, Who Am I? would be the perfect beach read if you can get to a beach these days! Mia wakes up from a coma with no memory of who she is and how she ended up in the hospital. She even relies on her phone to tell her her own name!
The only negative for me is that this is one novel where you MUST suspend your belief in reality, as someone with no memory/ knowledge of who she is or who she knows with no wallet/ID/medical insurance cards would never be let go on her own accord from the hospital. Mia doesn’t even know where she lives so where is she going to go? There is 1000% no way a hospital would release her! Ok, now that is over…
This is an entertaining read and I enjoyed going on the ride with Mia as she slowly discovers who she is and what her life is like (including her job!). But things are not quite what they seem as Mia beings to discover reality via Instagram and more. There are many popular culture references from recent years and not so recent years that just about everyone reading can catch and add enjoyment to while reading. The character of Mia actually has a real Instagram handle: @mia4realz. There are not many posts on this account but it was still fun to see. Of course the author has her own Instagram account: @therealsamtschida
Siri, Who Am I? has the ending I was rooting for, but was not sure would happen. This novel is a very light read, and is pure escapist fantasy that will definitely bring enjoyment to the reader. While far from perfect, this novel is definitely one for fans of chick lit. I could also see this book becoming an entertaining film, one that I would definitely watch.
Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an arc copy to read and review.
What You Wish For
Author: Katherine Center
Published: July 14, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
Dates Read: September 11-17, 2020
Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn’t always that way.
And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.
As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.
The past two years I have discovered Katherine Center and adored her, in fact she made my top 10 list for 2019 and 2020. Needless to say I was looking forward to her newest one What You Wish For but this one just didn’t quite work for me.
What I did love is that the protagonist, Sam (Samantha) has a non-visual disability. We don’t have many novels with our main character that has a disability, and I wish we did. And this disability is very much a part of the storyline. I have a sister who suffers from a visual disability, so this is something that tugs my heart. Thank you Katherine Center for creating a character like this!
Now, for what I did not like: Sam’s personality. She is 28 years old, but comes off much more immature than her age. I enjoy strong, female characters and Sam is the opposite of that. Yes, she had an unrequited crush on Duncan Carpenter years ago (who hasn’t had one at some point in their life?) and they worked at the same school. Eventually she left the school she worked at and is happy being the librarian at her new school she is working at. A few years later, the beloved principal of the school passes away to the heartbreak of the students and staff. Then his replacement is announced and the new principal will be Duncan Carpenter…
What I did not like about Sam is that she debates on quitting her job again because of Duncan being hired. Come on, you are quitting your job…Because a man who you had an unrequited crush on is hired!?!?!? He did not even know who you are! OMG, I had so much frustration with Sam! How immature is this??? How old are we??? Oh yes… 28 years old. A very immature 28 years old. I could possibly see leaving the school if you had been in a serious relationship and it ended poorly, but this is just an unrequited CRUSH!
And then when Duncan arrives, he is a complete 180 from when Sam knew him at their old school. And this 180 turn is completely serious, by the books, rule making principal. There is no fun with this ‘new Duncan’. Sam is determined to find out why Duncan has changed so much.
Both Sam and Duncan have secrets they are keeping, and when we find out Duncan’s everything comes to make sense. It is actually because of this secret that I gave an extra .5 stars to my rating.
Towards the end we have a little side story that comes into play that also just did not work for me. It just came out of left field for me. I did not see the point to it.
I listened to the audiobook version of What You Wish For which is narrated by Therese Plummer, another narrator I adore! Bonus points for her narration!
This could be a cute little summer beach read (or just a getaway from the way that 2020 has become) that may work for you. I do enjoy chick-lit novels, but this one was just not for me. I will continue to read Center and maybe get to some of her older novels. If you like the strong female characters then stay away from this one. I really wish I could have enjoyed this one more and would have loved to have seen Center make my top 10 for 2020, but she won’t with this novel. But there is always next year![Top]
The Girl You Forgot
Author: Giselle Green
Published: August 11, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 5- 20, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Does the heart never really forget?
When Ava’s partner Will is diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, the doctors give Will one chance to survive – an operation which means he will lose his recent memory. Ava begs him to take the chance, sure that she can cope with Will forgetting her. After all, they have something very special to live for.
But they are also keeping a heart-breaking secret, and if Will loses his memory, Ava will have to carry that secret alone.
Can they rebuild their love from scratch or will their secrets and past come between them? Will Ava really be a stranger when Will wakes up – or does the heart never really forget…
Giselle Green returns with a heart-breaking, deeply moving story of love, loss, and what it really means to be alive.
The Girl You Forgot is more than what the book description says: Reading it you think the characters will experience some pain after Will’s surgery that leads to a happy ever after ending, but it so much more than that. There was one line that really stuck with me at the beginning of the novel: ‘Sometimes, living, he said, ‘ is the most difficult choice any of us ever have to make.’
Both Ava and Will are our narrators, so we get both sides of their emotions and thoughts. The beginning had me close to tears thinking about my husband and I, with how much time I/or he) would have lost and where I/we were in life with how much memory Will loses. And not just the relationship with my spouse, but everything in general: friendships, losses of people and pets that you would have to be told about, and life changing events. I can’t and don’t ever want to imagine having to make this decision. In fact, I was reading it and getting emotional at the beginning and my husband asked what was wrong. My answer: “The book”. Then I proceeded to tell him what it was about. He made me stop talking about it. He didn’t want to think about it either!
Both Will and Ava are dealing with a serious secret that he won’t remember after the surgery and Ava will be dealing with it on her own. Neither one of these two people is perfect, and the secret is the opposite of what we tend to get in other novels that deal with secrets in relationships, which was a bit of a refreshing change.
Will our two main characters be able to come together despite the secret that is being kept from Will, and will he be able to fall in love with Ava again despite no memory of her? This novel gives you so many emotions and I had no idea how it was going to ultimately end, and the ending I was happy with.
This is my first novel by Giselle Green and I was given a copy by the author for a review that I was more than happy to give. I hope to read more of Green’s novels in the future.
Many thanks to the author for granting a copy for me to read and review in my own time![Top]