Source: Penguin Random House Canada

#BookReview
The Bromance Book Club
by Lyssa Kay Adams @lyssakayadams @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams @lyssakayadams @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: The Bromance Book Club

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Published by: Berkley on November 5, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The first rule of book club:
You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. 

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.


Review:

Quirky, humorous, and refreshing!

The Bromance Book Club is a lighthearted, charming read that takes us into the life of Gavin Scott, a successful, professional baseball player who after learning his wife wants a divorce decides to do whatever it takes to win her back, including taking advice from his friends, fellow teammates, and the seventh Earl of Latford.

The prose is playful and fun. The characters, including all the supporting characters, are amusing, bawdy, and engaging. And the plot told from alternating POVs is a sweet, flirty tale full of tricky situations, tender moments, hilarious mishaps, friendship, family, miscommunication, self-discovery, determination, and a little steamy, regency romance.

Overall, The Bromance Book Club is an alluring, easy, spicy read by Adams that has characters you can’t help but root for and a storyline that is highly entertaining.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lyssa Kay Adams

Lyssa Kay Adams is the pen name of an award-winning journalist who gave up the world of telling true stories to pen emotional romances. She’s also a diehard Detroit Tigers fan who will occasionally cheer for the Red Sox because her husband is from Boston.

Lyssa lives in Michigan with her family and an anxiety-ridden Maltese who steals food and buries it around the house and who will undoubtedly be a character in a future book.

Things Lyssa loves: Baseball pants, mashed potatoes, and that little clicking sound that scissors make on the cutting table at fabric stores.

Things she doesn’t love: Mean people, melting ice cream cones, and finding food in her underwear drawer.

Photography courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview
Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati
@akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati @akaSaraDonati @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Where the Light Enters

Author: Sara Donati

Series: The Gilded Hour #2

Published by: Berkley Books on September 10, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 672

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

Synopsis:

From the international bestselling author of The Gilded Hourcomes Sara Donati’s enthralling epic about two trailblazing female doctors in nineteenth-century New York

Obstetrician Dr. Sophie Savard returns home to the achingly familiar rhythms of Manhattan in the early spring of 1884 to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. With the help of Dr. Anna Savard, her dearest friend, cousin, and fellow physician she plans to continue her work aiding the disadvantaged women society would rather forget.

As Sophie sets out to construct a new life for herself, Anna’s husband, Detective-Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte calls on them both to consult on two new cases: the wife of a prominent banker has disappeared into thin air, and the corpse of a young woman is found with baffling wounds that suggest a killer is on the loose. In New York it seems that the advancement of women has brought out the worst in some men. Unable to ignore the plight of New York’s less fortunate, these intrepid cousins draw on all resources to protect their patients.


Review:

Multilayered, fascinating, and incredibly absorbing!

Where the Light Enters is a gritty, compelling tale set in New York City in the mid-1880s at a time when the island was bustling, female doctors were still discounted and frowned upon, reproduction and childbirth still had high mortality rates, and women looking for help with unwanted pregnancies had little or nowhere to go.

There are two main memorable characters in this novel; Dr. Sophie Savard, a young multi-ethnic obstetrician who returns to the United States to open a scholarship program and home for girls looking to study medicine after her husband succumbs to Consumption; and Dr. Anna Mezzanotte, a young surgeon who spends her days operating on those less fortunate and helping her detective husband Jack as he hunts for a serial killer who preys on women seeking an abortion.

The prose is eloquent and rich. The characters are strong, independent, intelligent, and genuine. And the plot using an intriguing mixture of narration, letters, newspaper articles, and reports immerses you in a riveting, suspenseful tale of familial dynamics, duty, friendship, passion, loss, love, sexism, violence, murder, and the roles and struggles faced by female physicians in early medicine.

Where the Light Enters is once again another hefty novel by Donati, with just under 700 pages, but it is so remarkably atmospheric and beautifully written that before you know it the story is finished and you’re yearning for more.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sara Donati

Sara Donati is the pen name of Rosina Lippi, a former academic and tenured university professor. Since 2000 she has been writing fiction full-time, haunting the intersection where history and storytelling meet, wallowing in nineteenth-century newspapers, magazines, street maps, and academic historical research. She is the internationally bestselling author of the Wilderness series (Into the Wilderness, Dawn on a Distant Shore, Lake in the Clouds, Fire Along the Sky, Queen of Swords, and The Endless Forest) as well as The Gilded Hour, the first in a new series following the descendants of characters from the Wilderness series. She lives between the Cascades and Puget Sound with her husband, daughter, Jimmy Dean (a Havanese), and Max and Bella (the cats).

Photograph courtesy of penguinrandomhouse.com

#BookReview
The Reckless Oath We Made
by Bryn Greenwood @bryngreenwood @PenguinRandomCA @PutnamBooks

#BookReview The Reckless Oath We Made by Bryn Greenwood @bryngreenwood @PenguinRandomCA @PutnamBooksTitle: The Reckless Oath We Made

Author: Bryn Greenwood

Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons on August 20, 2019

Genres: General Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things.

Zee is nobody’s fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead’s temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss.

Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee’s champion. Both shy and autistic, he’s barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid.

When an abduction tears Zee’s family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined–Gentry–and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.


Review:

Heart-tugging, unconventional, and gritty!

The Reckless Oath We Made is an incredibly raw, moving novel about life in small-town Kansas where making ends meet is hard, responsibility weighs heavy, and loyalty, innocence, and love comes in many different forms.

The writing style is unique, with the narration being a mixture of contemporary and Middle English. The characters are tormented, fragile, and opportunistic. And the plot takes us on an emotional rollercoaster ride full of life, love, violence, tension, special needs, incarceration, ignorance, injustice, death, loss and selfless heroism. 

The Reckless Oath We Made is a very complex, intriguing, tragic romance that highlights just how powerful and personally destructive a solemn promise can be. It grips you from the very first page and leaves your heart bleeding for every single character, even the ones who at times are truly difficult to even like.  

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bryn Greenwood

BRYN GREENWOOD is a fourth-generation Kansan and the daughter of a mostly reformed drug dealer. She is the author of the NYT bestseller All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. The Reckless Oath We Made is her fourth novel from Putnam. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview
Hello I Want to Die
by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Hello I Want to Die by Anna Mehler Paperny @amp6 @PenguinRandomCATitle: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

Author: Anna Mehler Paperny

Published by: Random House Canada on August 6, 2019

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A vibrant, compelling memoir from a remarkable young woman that bravely reveals the real-life havoc wrought by depression and the urgent search for solutions. Illuminating, completely engaging–it’s essential reading for all since we all know someone whose life, family or friends are touched by the disease that directly afflicts a fifth of Canadians.

In her early twenties, while outwardly thriving in her dream job and enjoying warm familial support and a strong social network, award-winning journalist Anna Mehler Paperny found herself trapped by feelings of failure and despair. Her first suicide attempt–ingesting a deadly mix of sleeping pills and antifreeze–landed her in the ICU, followed by weeks of enforced detention that ran the gamut of horrifying, boring, hilarious, and absurd. This was Anna’s entry into the labyrinthine psychiatric care system responsible for providing care to millions of Canadians.

As she struggled to survive the psych ward and as an outpatient–enduring the “survivor’s” shame of facing concerned family, friends, and co-workers; finding (or not) the right therapist, the right meds; staying healthy, insured, and employed–Anna could not help but turn her demanding journalist’s eye on her condition and on the system in which she found herself. She set off on a quest to “know her enemy,” interviewing leading practitioners in the field across Canada and the US–from psychiatrists to neurological experts, brain-mapping pioneers to heroic family practitioners, and others dabbling in novel hypotheses. She reveals in courageously frank detail her own experiences with the pharmacological pitfalls and side effects of long-term treatment, and offers moving case studies of conversations with others, opening wide a window into how we treat (and fail to treat) the disease that accounts for more years swallowed up by disability than any other in the world.


Review:

Informative, honest, and perceptive!

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is the first-hand, candid story of Anna Mehler Paperny’s personal, ongoing struggle with suicidal ideation and depression, as well as an in-depth look into the mental health care industry and the limitations, resources, misunderstandings, and treatments that surround it.

The writing is clear, moving, and educative. And the novel is an exceptionally researched, impassioned tale of one woman’s battle to maintain life while her brain consistently tells her to end it.

Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me is, ultimately, part memoir, part investigation that includes statistical data and interviews with Canadian and North American health care professionals that is a valuable, emotive resource for anyone, anywhere who suffers from, works with, or is affected in any way by this disease that wreaks havoc on over 300 million lives worldwide.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

 

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anna Mehler Paperny

ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY is an award-winning reporter for Reuters based in Toronto. Over a decade she's chased down stories ranging from the opioid crisis to migration, from post-quake Haiti to Guantanamo Bay. She's written for the Kingston Whig-Standard, the Edmonton Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, Maclean's Magazine; as a staff reporter at The Globe and Mail; and a reporter-editor for Global News, where she developed globalnews.ca's award-winning Investigative Data Desk. Her work on deaths in Canadian prisons won an investigative journalism award. At Queen's University, she spent most of her time working on the campus newspaper.

Photograph courtesy of Goodreads Author Page.

#BookReview
Life and Other Inconveniences
by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins
@BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins @Kristan_Higgins @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Life and Other Inconveniences

Author: Kristan Higgins

Published by: Berkley Books on August 6, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?


Review:

Graceful, nuanced, and moving!

Life and Other Inconveniences is a beautifully written, affecting story that immerses you into the lives of the London family, especially three strong, determined women, and all the secrets, wounds, smiles, tears, strength, and compassion that surround them.

The prose is effortless and expressive. The characters are authentic, angry, lovable, and stubborn. And the story is an exceptionally touching tale about life, loss, love, grief, forgiveness, familial drama, friendship, courage, hope, and the unbreakable ties that bind us as family.

Overall, Life and Other Inconveniences is another absorbingly insightful, skillfully plotted, multi-generational, family saga by Higgins that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other wonderful things, lovely times, and special moments that happen in-between.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                             

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kristan Higgins

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 18 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.

Photograph by Kristan Higgins.

#BookReview
Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones
@amylaurajones @McClellandBooks @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones @amylaurajones @McClellandBooks @PenguinRandomCATitle: Every Little Piece of Me

Author: Amy Jones

Published by: McClelland & Stewart on June 4, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the bestselling author of We’re All in This Together comes a novel about family, friendship, fame, and the cost of living in the public eye — because when everyone suddenly knows your name, it’s easy to forget who you really are.

“The first time they met, Mags saved Ava’s life. The second time they met, Ava saved Mags’s.”
Ava Hart is the most reluctant cast member of a reality TV show based on her big city family’s (mostly staged) efforts to run a B&B in small-town Nova Scotia. Every family has its problems, but Ava has grown up seeing her family’s every up and down broadcast on national television, after the show becomes an unexpected success for reasons that will take a heavy toll on the Harts.

Mags Kovach is the charismatic lead singer of a struggling Halifax rock band hoping to be the Next Big Thing. For years she’s managed to contain her demons and navigate the uglier aspects of being a woman in the music world, but after a devastating loss, she turns her anger on the only person she can: herself.

As their private tragedies continue to set social media and tabloid headlines on fire, their every move subjected to an endless stream of public commentary, it will be their unexpected friendship that will save them. They will push back against the roles they’ve been forced to play, and take back control of something they thought they’d lost forever — the right to their own stories.


Review:

Pensive, sharp, and tragic!

Every Little Piece of Me is a character-driven, gritty tale that follows two women, unlikely friends, Mags and Ava, as they each struggle to find some semblance of control, meaning, and love in a life littered with abandonment, self-destruction, and relentless scrutiny.

The prose is pithy and effective. The characters are young, damaged, lonely, and vulnerable. And the plot is a realistic, moving story about familial drama, exploitation, loneliness, self-preservation, coming-of-age, and the unrelenting pressure of fame and fortune.

Overall, Every Little Piece of Me is a sensitive, heartwrenching, timely tale that does a remarkable job of highlighting the detrimental effects of reality tv and technology on the human psyche and reminds us that even in this high-tech, digital world we still have an innate requirement for kindness, interaction, companionship, intimacy, and love that’s created and nurtured offline.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                    

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Amy Jones

AMY JONES's first novel, We're All in This Together, was a national bestseller, won the Northern Lit Award, and was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Her debut collection of stories, What Boys Like, won the Metcalf-Rooke Award and was a finalist for the ReLit Award. She won the 2006 CBC Literary Prize for Short Fiction, was a finalist for the 2005 Bronwen Wallace Award, and is a graduate of the Optional Residency MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her fiction has appeared in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Stories. Originally from Halifax, she lived in Thunder Bay for many years before moving to Toronto.

Photo by Ali Eisner.

#BookReview
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
@KerryAnn @BerkleyPub
@PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey @KerryAnn @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCATitle: Waiting for Tom Hanks

Author: Kerry Winfrey

Published by: Berkley Publishing on June 11, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.


Review:

Quick, cute, and quirky!

Waiting for Tom Hanks is a comical, lighthearted story that takes you into the life of the aspiring screenwriter Annie as she juggles a new job on set, a lacklustre dating life, a sexy, charismatic movie star, and the dream of the perfect meet-cute with the help of all her gregarious friends at Nick’s.

The writing is smooth and effortless. The characters are sweet, eccentric, and affable. And the plot is a witty, flirty, barrel full of laughs, romps, awkward situations, embarrassing moments, and entertaining hijinks.

Overall, I found Waiting for Tom Hanks to be a charming, humorous, engaging read by Winfrey that not only paid homage to all the classic romcoms we know and love but also reminded me how I always secretly hoped Jake Ryan would ask me to make a wish over a birthday cake.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Kerry Winfrey

Kerry Winfrey grew up in Bellville, Ohio, where she spent most of her time reading inappropriate books at the library. Not much has changed. Kerry writes for HelloGiggles and blogs at welcometoladyville.com. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband, their son, and their dog, Merlin.

 

#BookReview
Normal People by Sally Rooney
#sallyrooney @HogarthBooks @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Normal People by Sally Rooney #sallyrooney @HogarthBooks @PenguinRandomCATitle: Normal People

Author: Sally Rooney

Published by: Hogarth on April 16, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Connell Waldron is one of the most popular boys in his small-town high school–he is a star of the football team, an excellent student, and never wanting for attention from girls. The one thing he doesn’t have is money. Marianne Sheridan, a classmate of Connell’s, has the opposite problem. Marianne is plain-looking, odd, and stubborn, and while her family is well-off, she has no friends to speak of. There is, however, a deep and undeniable connection between the two teenagers, one that develops into a secret relationship.

Everything changes when both Connell and Marianne are accepted to Trinity College. Suddenly Marianne is well-liked and elegant, holding court with her intellectual friends while Connell hangs at the sidelines, not quite as fluent in language of the elite. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle each other, falling in and out of romance but never straying far from where they started. And as Marianne experiments with an increasingly dangerous string of boyfriends, Connell must decide how far he is willing to go to save his oldest friend.

Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a novel that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the inescapable challenges of family and friendships. Normal People is a book that you will read in one sitting, and then immediately share with your friends.


Review:

Fresh, intense, and intimate!

Normal People is a character-driven, classic, coming-of-age story involving the clever, wealthy Marianne and the intelligent, working-class Connell as they embark on an enduring love affair littered with misunderstandings, betrayals, overreactions, and, ultimately, broken hearts.

The prose is evocative and controlled. The characters, including the damaged, lonely protagonists, are young, innocent, and vulnerable. And the tightly crafted, witty plot unfolds chronologically seamlessly unravelling all the motivations, actions, personalities, desires, needs, and complex relationships within it.

Overall, Normal People is a sensitive, adept, passionate tale that does a remarkable job of highlighting all the universal struggles of growing up, acquiring self-confidence, forging friendships, experiencing love and lust for the first time, and feeling entitled to be loved.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney was born in the west of Ireland in 1991. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta and The London Review of Books. Winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in 2017, she is the author of Conversations with Friends and the editor of the Irish literary journal The Stinging Fly.

#BookReview
A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne
@john_boyne @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne @john_boyne @PenguinRandomCATitle: A Ladder to the Sky

Author: John Boyne

Published by: Doubleday Canada on November 13, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The new novel from the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Heart’s Invisible Furies, a seductive Highsmithian psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man who will stop at nothing in his pursuit of fame

Maurice Swift is handsome, charming, and hungry for success. The one thing he doesn’t have is talent – but he’s not about to let a detail like that stand in his way. After all, a would-be writer can find stories anywhere. They don’t need to be his own.
Working as a waiter in a West Berlin hotel in 1988, Maurice engineers the perfect opportunity: a chance encounter with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann. He quickly ingratiates himself with the powerful – but desperately lonely – older man, teasing out of Erich a terrible, long-held secret about his activities during the war. Perfect material for Maurice’s first novel.
Once Maurice has had a taste of literary fame, he knows he can stop at nothing in pursuit of that high. Moving from the Amalfi Coast, where he matches wits with Gore Vidal, to Manhattan and London, Maurice hones his talent for deceit and manipulation, preying on the talented and vulnerable in his cold-blooded climb to the top. But the higher he climbs, the further he has to fall…


Review:

Dark, seductive, and skillfully menacing!

A Ladder to the Sky is a character-driven, psychological thrill ride involving the ruthlessly ambitious Maurice Swift who has no qualms about using his handsomeness, charm, lack of conscience, and sociopathic tendencies in his ceaseless pursuit to become the world-class, successful writer he knows he can be.

The prose is unsettling and controlled. The characters, including the sinister, impulsive protagonist are consumed, complex, and vulnerable. And the brilliantly crafted plot builds nicely to create the perfect amount of tension and suspense as it unravels all the duplicitous motivations, manipulative actions, questionable personalities, and parasitic relationships within it.

A Ladder to the Sky is an eerily compelling, darkly humorous, tragic novel that transports you to some of the biggest cities in the world and immerses you in a tale full of creative, eccentric, often self-absorbed characters that will keep you enthralled from start to finish. It’s a truly memorable novel by Boyne that highlights his extraordinary talent as a storyteller and his uncanny ability to lay bare humanities weaknesses and emotional vulnerabilities while still poking fun at an industry very close to his heart.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About John Boyne

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of eleven novels for adults, five for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy In the Striped Pajamas sold 9 million copies worldwide and has been adapted for cinema, theatre, ballet and opera. John has won three Irish Book Awards and many other international literary awards and his novels are published in over 50 languages. He lives in Dublin.

Photo by Rich Gilligan.

#BookReview
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
@khaledhosseini @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini @khaledhosseini @PenguinRandomCATitle: Sea Prayer

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Published by: Riverhead Books on September 18, 2018

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 48

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed responds to the heartbreak of the current refugee crisis with this deeply moving, beautifully illustrated short work of fiction for people of all ages, all over the world.

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.

Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.


Review:

Impactful, evocative, and profoundly moving!

Sea Prayer is an intense, beautifully depicted story that highlights the plight of thousands around the world who are forced to leave their homes and embark on a perilous journey to find safety and freedom for themselves and their families.

The prose is lyrical and fluid. The narration is unique and powerful and told entirely through a heartfelt letter written by a father to his young son. And the illustrations are a perfect complement to the compelling, emotional plot as they transport you from the greens and reds of content country life to the blacks and browns of turmoil and war, and then on to the blues and dark greens of the unpredictable, endless raging sea.

Overall I would have to say that Sea Prayer is a short but incredibly poignant tale that reminds us that the base of humanity is kindness, compassion, and strength and that no matter nationality, locale, or religious beliefs everyone deserves to be loved, protected, and free.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                        

 

 

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. He is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed. Hosseini is also a U.S. Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

Photo by Brian Sokol.

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