Tag: fiction

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

The Messy Lives of Book People
Author: Phaedra Patrick

Published:  May 31, 2022
Audiobook

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**

Book Review: First Blood by David Morrell

First Blood
Series:
Rambo: First Blood #1
Author: David Morrell

Published: 1972
320 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description:

First came the man: a young wanderer in a fatigue coat and long hair. Then came the legend, as John Rambo sprang from the pages of First Blood to take his place in the American cultural landscape. This remarkable novel pits a young Vietnam veteran against a small-town cop who doesn’t know whom he’s dealing with—or how far Rambo will take him into a life-and-death struggle through the woods, hills, and caves of rural Kentucky.

Kim’s Review:

I’ve been watching Rambo movies since I was a kid. Of course we had to watch the tv edited versions because they’re rated R, but honestly, they’re not much different! I re-watched the first three recently and I noticed that it said that First Blood was based on a novel, so of course, I bought and read the novel. And I was so disappointed! This is a rare case where the movie is absolutely better than the book! Stallone did an excellent job adapting it and improving on the original story. I did not like John Rambo in the book. I sympathized a little, he absolutely was not a victim. Everything the sheriff did, with the exception of a little bias initially, was appropriate and within the law. Everything was more extreme; Rambo killed everyone! And I don’t want to give away the ending, just in case anyone wants to read it. But it sucked!! If you want to know Rambo’s story; go watch the movies.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Short Story Sunday: Graceful Burdens by Roxane Gay

Graceful Burdens
Series: Out of Line
Author: Roxane Gay

Narrator: Samira Wiley
Published: September 1, 2020
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 8, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars     

Book Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay comes an unforgettable tale of nightmarish bureaucracy in which genetic profiling has redefined the “unfit mother.”

A trip to the library prompts one woman to question her fate in this galvanizing short story. For a woman like Hadley, deemed not acceptable to procreate, there’s only one recourse. Unlicensed for motherhood, she can alleviate her grief and frustration at a “baby library,” where a curiously endless supply of infants is available for a two-week loan. But the borrowed life that serves as a temporary balm leads to a journey of self-discovery that will forever change the direction of Hadley’s future.

Roxane Gay’s Graceful Burdens is part of Out of Line, an incisive collection of funny, enraging, and hopeful stories of women’s empowerment and escape. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single thought-provoking sitting. 

Jessica’s Review:

This story takes place in a dystopian world where women are evaluated to determine whether or not they will be permitted to have children. They undergo testing at age 16 to see if they will be allowed to procreate. We see both sides of this world through Hadley who is unlicensed to have children and Seraphina who is licensed. 

There are libraries in this world where only women can ‘borrow’ a child for up to two weeks.  These children are no longer ‘borrowable’ once they hit three years old. Hadley checks out a baby girl as only girls can be ‘borrowed’. We also see Seraphina who has children but doesn’t really want them.  It still seems like the ‘grass is greener on the other side’ even in this dystopian world.

I can’t say much more than this because it would give away what happens in the short story. There is much more that could be done with this story: It is another one I would like to see expanded because of the direction it goes in. It is an intriguing story that also makes you think. 

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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