Source: Penguin Random House Canada

#BookReview You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley @OakleyColleen @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley @OakleyColleen @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA Title: You Were There Too

Author: Colleen Oakley

Published by: Berkley on Jan. 7, 2020

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?


Review:

Pensive, fresh, and absolutely heart-wrenching!

You Were There Too is a moving, mysterious tale that takes us into the life of Mia Graydon, a young, married woman struggling with the recent move to a small-town, a marriage strained by multiple miscarriages and stressful careers, secrets, depression, and the sudden real-life appearance of the man of her dreams.

The prose is heartfelt and immersive. The characters are flawed, troubled, and genuine. And the multi-layered, unpredictable plot is an absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, friendship, relationship dynamics, forgiveness, hope, happiness, and romance all interwoven with a thread of the paranormal.

Overall, You Were There Too is a compelling, heartbreaking, thought-provoking novel that reminds us that life is complicated and messy, the choices we make often have far-reaching consequences, and sometimes, perhaps, things are truly just destined to happen.

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 Colleen Oakley

Colleen Oakley’s novels BEFORE I GO and CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH have been named best books by People Magazine, Us Weekly, Library Journal, and Real Simple, and both were long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Women’s Health & Fitness and senior editor of Marie Claire, her articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Women’s Health, Redbook, Parade, Marie Claire and Martha Stewart Weddings. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world's biggest lapdog, Bailey. Her third novel YOU WERE THERE TOO will be published by Berkley/Penguin in January 2020.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA

#BookReview A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh @NaliniSingh @BerkleyPub @PenguinRandomCA Title: A Madness of Sunshine

Author: Nalini Singh

Published by: Berkley on Dec. 3, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh pivots in a new direction with her first mainstream thriller that will be sure to keep readers on their toes.

Anahera Rawiri left New Zealand at twenty-one, fleeing small-town poverty and the ghosts of her childhood with no plans to look back. But eight years later, she returns, seeking familiarity as respite from the shattered remains of her new life. And despite the changes brought on by a bump in tourism–the shiny new welcome sign at the town line and a decidedly less shiny new police presence–Golden Cove appears much as it ever was: a small settlement on the savage West Coast of the South Island, populated by all the remembered faces and set against a backdrop of lush greenery, jagged cliffs, and crashing waves.

Detective Will Gallagher knows all about ghosts; his own chased him out of a promising career in Christchurch, landing him as the sole cop in a quaint town where his most pressing concerns are petty theft and the occasional drunk. When Golden Cove resident Miri Hinewai goes out for a run and fails to return, Will finds himself heading up a missing person’s search that rapidly escalates into an official investigation after this case is connected with similar ones from the past. As an outsider, Will begins to rely on Anahera’s knowledge of the area and its residents to help him delve into Golden Cove’s secrets, and to determine whether it shelters something far more dangerous than just an unforgiving landscape.


Review:

Atmospheric, gritty, and suspenseful!

A Madness of Sunshine is a sharp, compelling read that transports you to Golden Cove, New Zealand, a small coastal town where the sudden disappearance of a local young woman with a bright future unearths a lot of strong emotions, tragic memories, and more long-buried secrets and skeletons than anyone could have ever imagined.

The prose is vivid and precise. The characters are tormented, mistrusting, and diligent. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel subtly into an engrossing, investigative tale filled with life, loss, family, friendship, heartbreak, manipulation, abuse, violence, murder, and a sliver of romance.

Overall, A Madness of Sunshine is an absorbing, dark, ominous tale that does an exceptional job of reminding us that evil can live easily amongst us and is often hidden behind masks of normality. It’s surprisingly the first novel I’ve read by Singh, but it certainly won’t be the last.

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 Nalini Singh

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh is passionate about writing. Though she’s traveled as far afield as the deserts of China, the Highlands of Scotland, and the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, it is the journey of the imagination that fascinates her most. She’s beyond delighted to be able to follow her dream as a writer. Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand. You can contact her directly through her website. While visiting the site, Nalini invites you to join her newsletter for up-to-date news about both the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series, as well as fun exclusive extras, including free short stories set in her worlds.

Photo by Deborah Hillman.

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

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

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Published by: Berkley on Nov. 5, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

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 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Where the Light Enters

Author: Sara Donati

Series: The Gilded Hour #2

Published by: Berkley Books on Sep. 10, 2019

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 672

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

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 @PutnamBooks Title: The Reckless Oath We Made

Author: Bryn Greenwood

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

Genres: General Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 448

Format: Hardcover

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

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 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Hello I Want to Die Please Fix Me

Author: Anna Mehler Paperny

Published by: Random House Canada on Aug. 6, 2019

Genres: Non Fiction

Pages: 352

Format: Paperback

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

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 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Life and Other Inconveniences

Author: Kristan Higgins

Published by: Berkley Books on Aug. 6, 2019

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 448

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

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 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Every Little Piece of Me

Author: Amy Jones

Published by: McClelland & Stewart on Jun. 4, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 400

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

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 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Waiting for Tom Hanks

Author: Kerry Winfrey

Published by: Berkley Publishing on Jun. 11, 2019

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

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 @PenguinRandomCA Title: Normal People

Author: Sally Rooney

Published by: Hogarth on Apr. 16, 2019

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Penguin Random House Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

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.

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