Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

#BookReview The Foundling by Ann Leary @annleary @SimonSchusterCA @ScribnerBooks #AnnLeary #TheFoundling

#BookReview The Foundling by Ann Leary @annleary @SimonSchusterCA @ScribnerBooks #AnnLeary #TheFoundling Title: The Foundling

Author: Ann Leary

Published by: Scribner on May 31, 2022

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Good House, the story of two friends, raised in the same orphanage, whose loyalty is put to the ultimate test when they meet years later at a controversial institution—one as an employee; the other, an inmate.

It’s 1927 and eighteen-year-old Mary Engle is hired to work as a secretary at a remote but scenic institution for mentally disabled women called the Nettleton State Village for Feebleminded Women of Childbearing Age. She’s immediately in awe of her employer—brilliant, genteel Dr. Agnes Vogel.

Dr. Vogel had been the only woman in her class in medical school. As a young psychiatrist she was an outspoken crusader for women’s suffrage. Now, at age forty, Dr. Vogel runs one of the largest and most self-sufficient public asylums for women in the country. Mary deeply admires how dedicated the doctor is to the poor and vulnerable women under her care.

Soon after she’s hired, Mary learns that a girl from her childhood orphanage is one of the inmates. Mary remembers Lillian as a beautiful free spirit with a sometimes-tempestuous side. Could she be mentally disabled? When Lillian begs Mary to help her escape, alleging the asylum is not what it seems, Mary is faced with a terrible choice. Should she trust her troubled friend with whom she shares a dark childhood secret? Mary’s decision triggers a hair-raising sequence of events with life-altering consequences for all.

Inspired by a true story about the author’s grandmother, The Foundling offers a rare look at a shocking chapter of American history. This gripping page-turner will have readers on the edge of their seats right up to the stunning last page…asking themselves, “Did this really happen here?”


Review:

Simmering, shocking, and insightful!

The Foundling is an intriguing, immersive tale that sweeps you away to Pennsylvania during 1927 and into the Nettleton State Village for Feeble-minded Women of Childbearing Age, where women who are supposedly dim-witted or sexually loose are sent to be incarcerated often for trivial reasons only to endure emotional and physical abuse, excessive workloads, forced sterilization, meagre basic necessities, and often vicious, unwarranted punishments.

The prose is smooth and sophisticated. The characters are naive, vulnerable, and resilient. And the plot is a compelling tale about life, loss, love, heartbreak, courage, hope, manipulation, corruption, ethics, morality, racism, and abuse of power.

Overall, The Foundling is a gripping, enlightening, somewhat disturbing tale by Leary that does a remarkable job of highlighting her incredible knowledge and research into this horrifying time in history that included extreme prejudice, the repression of women, a vast gap between the rich and poor, and unimaginable support for the eugenics movement.

 

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ann Leary

Ann Leary is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels, THE CHILDREN, THE GOOD HOUSE, OUTTAKES FROM A MARRIAGE, and the memoir, AN INNOCENT, A BROAD.

Her work has been translated into eighteen languages and she has written for numerous publications including Ploughshares, NPR, Real Simple and the New York Times. Ann’s Modern Love essay, “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive,” was adapted for the Amazon Modern Love TV Series and stars Tina Fey and John Slattery. THE GOOD HOUSE was adapted as a motion picture starring Sigourney Weaver and Kevin Kline and recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Her new novel, THE FOUNDLING will be released on May, 31, 2022.

Ann and her husband Denis Leary live in New York.

Photo by Scott M. Lacey.

#BookReview Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle @EbonyLadelle @SimonSchusterCA @simonteen #LoveRadio #EbonyLaDelle #SimonTeen

#BookReview Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle @EbonyLadelle @SimonSchusterCA @simonteen #LoveRadio #EbonyLaDelle #SimonTeen Title: Love Radio

Author: Ebony LaDelle

Published by: Simon & Schuster BFYR on May 31, 2022

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 320

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Prince Jones is the guy with all the answers—or so it seems. After all, at seventeen, he has his own segment on Detroit’s popular hip-hop show, Love Radio, where he dishes out advice to the brokenhearted.

Prince has always dreamed of becoming a DJ and falling in love. But being the main caretaker for his mother, who has multiple sclerosis, and his little brother means his dreams will stay just that and the only romances in his life are the ones he hears about from his listeners.

Until he meets Dani Ford.

Dani isn’t checking for anybody. She’s focused on her plan: ace senior year, score a scholarship, and move to New York City to become a famous author. But her college essay keeps tripping her up and acknowledging what’s blocking her means dealing with what happened at that party a few months ago.

And that’s one thing Dani can’t do.

When the romantic DJ meets the ambitious writer, sparks fly. Prince is smitten, but Dani’s not looking to get derailed. She gives Prince just three dates to convince her that he’s worth falling for.

Three dates for the love expert to take his own advice, and just maybe change two lives forever.


Review:

Sweet, tender, and uplifting!

Love Radio is a bighearted, passionate tale that takes you into the lives of two main characters. Prince, a young DJ who spends most of his days juggling school, a radio slot, and taking care of his disabled mother and young brother, and Danielle, a high school senior struggling to socialize and do the thing she’s always loved to do, write, after being violated one night at a college party.

The writing is smooth and fluid. The characters are well-drawn, genuine, and kind. And the plot is the perfect blend of heart, hope, humour, drama, and emotion.

Love Radio is, ultimately, a story about coming-of-age, life, friendship, family, self-discovery, culture, trauma, responsibilities, patience, independence, and the joys of falling in love. It’s an empowering, charming, heart-tugging novel by LaDelle that’s also a true love letter to the city of Detroit, Motown, and some of the greatest authors of all time.

 

This book is available now.

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

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Ebony LaDelle

She co-hosted Why Not YA?, a @belletrist and @epicreads monthly video series where she interviewed authors in the young adult space. Born in MI, awoken at Howard U, and cultivated in Brooklyn, Ebony can usually be found searching for her next live concert, scouting out the latest food craze to try, rocking out to Motown, or being the undisputed Mom Friend of any group. You can follow her on social at any of the links below.

Photo by Taylor Baldwin.

#BookReview The Heights by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheHeights #LouiseCandlish

#BookReview The Heights by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheHeights #LouiseCandlish Title: The Heights

Author: Louise Candlish

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 1, 2022

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

He thinks he’s safe up there.
But he’ll never be safe from you.

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Shad Thames, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.

You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.


Review:

Crafty, enthralling, and sinister!

The Heights is an intense, cunning, domestic thrill ride that highlights just how quickly life can spin out of control when you devastatingly lose a child, are driven by a visceral, uncontrollable need for revenge, and will engage in whatever extreme measures are needed to right a wrong.

The prose is dark and twisty. The characters are unreliable, secretive, and consumed. And the plot using flashbacks and a back-and-forth style is a simmering tale of deception, obsession, injustice, despair, family, love, malice, and vengeance.

Overall, The Heights is a taut, relentless, devious tale by Candlish that is unbelievably the first novel I’ve read by this author, but with this kind of imagination, I’m excited to go back and read some of her backlist titles to see what other disturbingly shocking tales she managed to come up with before.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Louise Candlish

Louise Candlish is the Sunday Times (London) bestselling author of fourteen novels. Our House, a #1 bestseller, won the Crime & Thriller Book of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards, was longlisted for the 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award. It is now in development for a major TV series with Red Planet Pictures, producers of Death in Paradise. Louise lives in London with her husband and daughter.

Photo by Jonny Ring.

#BookReview One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #OneItalianSummer #RebeccaSerle

#BookReview One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle @RebeccaASerle @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #OneItalianSummer #RebeccaSerle Title: One Italian Summer

Author: Rebecca Serle

Published by: Atria Books on Mar. 1, 2022

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 272

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. Carol wasn’t just Katy’s mom, but her best friend and first phone call. She had all the answers and now, when Katy needs her the most, she is gone. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: two weeks in Positano, the magical town Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone.

But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliffsides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life.

And then Carol appears—in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and thirty years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how—all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her. She is not exactly who Katy imagined she might be, however, and soon Katy must reconcile the mother who knew everything with the young woman who does not yet have a clue.


Review:

Charming, touching, and hopeful!

One Italian Summer is a tender, uplifting tale that takes you into the life of grief-stricken Katy Silver as she embarks on a journey to Positano, Italy, the place her mother loved, and where she will have a chance to revisit the past, face some truths she’d rather not, discover her true self, and start to come to grips with moving on without the one person who has always been her everything.

The prose is heartfelt and smooth. The characters are multilayered, conflicted, and genuine. And the plot is an absorbing tale about life, loss, love, grief, family, friendship, marriage, relationship dynamics, introspection, heartbreak, and the special bonds that exist between a mother and daughter, all interwoven with a thread of magical realism.

Overall, One Italian Summer is one of those books that tugs at the heartstrings, makes you dream of sandy beaches, lazy days, and crystal blue water, and reminds you that love is powerful and everlasting, and that life should always be lived to the fullest.

 

This book is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Rebecca Serle

Rebecca Serle is the New York Times bestselling author of In Five Years, The Dinner List, and the young adult novels The Edge of Falling and When You Were Mine. Serle also developed the hit TV adaptation Famous in Love, based on her YA series of the same name. She is a graduate of USC and The New School and lives in Los Angeles.

Photo by Ann Molen.

#BookReview Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA @librofm #CloudCuckooLand #AnthonyDoerr #Librofm

#BookReview Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr @ScribnerBooks @SimonSchusterCA @librofm #CloudCuckooLand #AnthonyDoerr #Librofm Title: Cloud Cuckoo Land

Author: Anthony Doerr

Published by: Scribner on Sep. 28, 2021

Genres: Fantasy, General Fiction, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction

Pages: 640

Length: 14 hrs 51 mins

Format: ARC, Audiobook, Paperback

Source: Libro.fm, Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.


Review:

Magical, memorable, and uniquely beautiful!

Cloud Cuckoo Land is a creative, moving, enthralling novel that sweeps you back and forth from the fifteenth century to the 1950s, to the present day and beyond and introduces you to five people whose lives are inexplicably impacted and changed based on their appreciation and love for an ancient manuscript, written by a Greek scholar, about a shepherd whose greatest desire is to escape to the sky.

The writing is eloquent and expressive. The characters are adventurous, inquisitive, and intelligent. And the compelling plot is an intricately woven, epic saga that touches on life, solace, innocence, sacrifice, imagination, survival, morality, and the power of the written word to guide, teach, fascinate, entertain, instil hope, and at its base level transcend time and space to entwine us all.

Cloud Cuckoo Land is another large novel by Doerr, with over 600 pages, but it is so remarkably immersive, affecting, and well written that before you know it, the story is finished, and you’re yearning for more. As some of you may know, I’m not a huge fan of science fiction, so I was a little worried at the start, but after receiving both the audio and paperback versions of this book and being able to enjoy them both, I can honestly say that this is one of the most enthralling novels I’ve read in a long time, and I was blown away by how effortlessly this novel transitions between the three distinct storylines and how powerfully moving and impactful it turned out to ultimately be.

This novel is available on September 28, 2021.

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

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada & Libro.fm for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of All the Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Carnegie Medal, the Alex Award, and a #1 New York Times bestseller. He is also the author of the story collections Memory Wall and The Shell Collector, the novel About Grace, and the memoir Four Seasons in Rome. He has won five O. Henry Prizes, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award, the National Magazine Award for fiction, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Story Prize. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Doerr lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife and two sons.

Photo by Ulf Andersen.

#BookReview The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheNightSheDisappeared #LisaJewell

#BookReview The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell @lisajewelluk @AtriaBooks @SimonSchusterCA #TheNightSheDisappeared #LisaJewell Title: The Night She Disappeared

Author: Lisa Jewell

Published by: Atria Books on Sep. 7, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 416

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

2017: 19-year-old Tallulah is going out on a date, leaving her baby with her mother, Kim.

Kim watches her daughter leave and, as late evening turns into night, which turns into early morning, she waits for her return. And waits.

The next morning, Kim phones Tallulah’s friends who tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a party at a house in the nearby woods called Dark Place.

She never returns.

2019: Sophie is walking in the woods near the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started work as a head-teacher when she sees a note fixed to a tree.

‘DIG HERE’ . . .

A cold case, an abandoned mansion, family trauma and dark secrets lie at the heart of Lisa Jewell’s remarkable new novel.


Review:

Well-crafted, addictive, and sinister!

The Night She Disappeared is a creepy, clever, compulsive mystery that takes you into the life of Kim Knox as her world suddenly gets turned upside down when her teenage daughter, Tallulah, goes out one night to the pub and vanishes without a trace, and suspiciously no one present at the ”Dark Place” afterparty seems to have heard or seen anything.

The writing is intricate and twisty. The characters are distraught, troubled, and vulnerable. And the plot told from multiple perspectives and alternating between timelines quickly unravels into a menacing tale of manipulation, obsession, jealousy, secrets, unforeseen twists, well-timed surprises, violence, and complex relationships.

Overall, when I think about all the thrillers I’ve loved, at least one or two of Lisa Jewell’s books always come to mind, and this latest title, The Night She Disappeared, will certainly now be included on that list. It has everything I look for in a good thriller, nice intensity, great drama, and a storyline that not only keeps me guessing and on edge from start to finish but steadily makes me more and more unnerved as the story unfolds.

This novel is available now.

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

            

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of sixteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters.

Photograph by Andrew Whitton.

#BookReview The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren

#BookReview The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren @christinalauren @SimonSchusterCA @GalleryBooks #TheSoulmateEquation #ChristinaLauren Title: The Soulmate Equation

Author: Christina Lauren

Published by: Gallery Books on May 18, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate.

But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River.

As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.


Review:

Witty, clever, and sweetly romantic!

The Soulmate Equation is a delightfully charming tale featuring the affable, kindhearted, single mother, Jess and the intense, thoughtful, geneticist River as they discover that it may be as easy as just comparing DNA to find “the one” or maybe numbers and algorithms really don’t mean a thing.

The writing is sharp and crisp. The characters are dreamy, engaging, and dependable. And the plot is an enchanting, irresistible blend of tension, humour, chemistry, familial drama, friendship, parenthood, awkward mishaps, tender moments, introspection, tricky situations, and unconditional love.

Overall, The Soulmate Equation is another amusing, swoony, brilliant tale by Lauren that had everything I look for in a lighthearted rom-com and more. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, and I loved the happy-ever-after ending. It is without a doubt one of my favourite reads of the year and should definitely be high on everyone’s must-read list for summer 2021. 

This novel is available on May 18, 2021.

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

                

 

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined penname of longtime writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 International bestselling authors of The Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Dating You/Hating You, Roomies, Love and Other Words, Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating, and the critically acclaimed Autoboyography.

Photograph by Alyssa Michelle.

#BookReview The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastThingHeToldMe #LauraDave

#BookReview The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave @SimonSchusterCA #TheLastThingHeToldMe #LauraDave Title: The Last Thing He Told Me

Author: Laura Dave

Published by: Simon & Schuster on May 4, 2021

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

We all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.


Review:

Sinister, sharp, and engrossing!

The Last Thing He Told Me transports you into the life of Hannah Hall, whose world gets turned upside down when her husband suddenly disappears one day, and she reluctantly must delve into his past that seems to be a lot more complex and contain more long-buried secrets than she ever could have imagined.

The writing is tight and intense. The characters are mysterious, troubled, and multilayered. And the plot intertwines and unravels quickly into a suspenseful, intricate tale of lies, secrets, manipulation, parenthood, familial drama, unexpected twists, heart-wrenching motivations, violence, and deception.

Overall, The Last Thing He Told Me is a tortuous, clever, heartbreaking page-turner by Dave that keeps you guessing from the very first page and, ultimately, leaves you shocked, surprised, and thoroughly entertained.

 

This novel is available now.

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

              

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Laura Dave

Laura Dave is the international bestselling author of several novels including The Last Thing He Told Me and Eight Hundred Grapes. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.

Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered. Cosmopolitan Magazine named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”

Several of her novels have been optioned for film and television with Dave adapting The Last Thing He Told Me for Hello Sunshine and Apple.

Photo courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter @LAPainter @simonkids @SimonSchusterCA #BetterThantheMovies #LynnPainter

#BookReview Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter @LAPainter @simonkids @SimonSchusterCA #BetterThantheMovies #LynnPainter Title: Better Than the Movies

Author: Lynn Painter

Published by: Simon & Schuster BFYR on May 4, 2021

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

In this rom-com about rom-coms, in the spirit of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, a hopeless romantic teen attempts to secure a happily-ever-after moment with her forever crush, but finds herself reluctantly drawn to the boy next door.

Perpetual daydreamer Liz Buxbaum gave her heart to Michael a long time ago. But her cool, aloof forever crush never really saw her before he moved away. Now that he’s back in town, Liz will do whatever it takes to get on his radar—and maybe snag him as a prom date—even befriend Wes Bennet.

The annoyingly attractive next-door neighbor might seem like a prime candidate for romantic comedy fantasies, but Wes has only been a pain in Liz’s butt since they were kids. Pranks involving frogs and decapitated lawn gnomes do not a potential boyfriend make. Yet, somehow, Wes and Michael are hitting it off, which means Wes is Liz’s in.

But as Liz and Wes scheme to get Liz noticed by Michael so she can have her magical prom moment, she’s shocked to discover that she likes being around Wes. And as they continue to grow closer, she must reexamine everything she thought she knew about love—and rethink her own ideas of what Happily Ever After should look like.


Review:

Cute, quirky, and absolutely adorable!

Better Than the Movies is a lighthearted, comical tale that takes you into the life of teenager Liz Buxbaum as she navigates a senior year full of emotional, momentous occasions, her childhood crush returning to town from Texas, and some dating help from her irritating, yet annoyingly sexy neighbour, Wes.

The writing is fluid and smooth. The characters are friendly, lovable, and sweet. And the plot is an entertaining, enjoyable mix of familial drama, teenage angst, hard work, awkward situations, embarrassing moments, goals, dreams, friendship, and first love.

Overall, Better Than the Movies is a humorous, charming, swoony read by Painter that pays homage to all the greatest romcoms, gave me a new book boyfriend in Wes, and reminded me as a tween in the 80s just how much I really wanted Jake Ryan to pick me up in his Porsche and ask me to make a wish over a birthday cake while If You Were Here by the Thompson Twins played in the background.

 

This book is available on May 4, 2021.

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

         

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Lynn Painter

Lynn Painter lives in Omaha, Nebraska, with her husband and pack of wild children. She’s a biweekly contributor to the Omaha World-Herald’s parenting section, even though she is the polar-opposite of a Pinterest mom. When she isn’t chasing kids, she can be found reading, writing, and shot-gunning Red Bulls.

Photo by Jackson Okun.

#BookReview Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #LettersAcrosstheSea #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory #BattleofHongKong

#BookReview Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham @GenGrahamAuthor @SimonSchusterCA #LettersAcrosstheSea #GenevieveGraham #CanadianHistory #BattleofHongKong Title: Letters Across the Sea

Author: Genevieve Graham

Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Apr. 27, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 384

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 10/10

Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that’s perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

If you’re reading this letter, that means I’m dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.

1933

At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.

But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.

1939

Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?

From the desperate streets of Toronto to the embattled shores of Hong Kong, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times—from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child.


Review:

Powerful, immersive, and unforgettable!

Letters Across the Sea is a pensive, enlightening tale that sweeps you away to Toronto during the 1930s and into the lives of the Irish Ryan family and the Jewish Dreyfus family as they navigate relationships strained by the Great Depression, religious differences, hatred, loss, misunderstandings, forbidden love, tragedy, and the sacrifices and inherent consequences of war.

The prose is evocative and rich. The characters are genuine, kindhearted, and courageous. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into an alluring tale of life, loss, love, family, devastation, hardship, hope, friendship, self-discovery, and ultimately survival.

When it comes to novels involving Canadian history, nobody writes stories like Genevieve Graham. She takes little known or forgotten historical facts, infuses them with humanity, and then edges them all with a love story that is hard to put down, and Letters Across the Sea is no exception. It’s beautifully written, exceptionally memorable, and in parts devastatingly heart-wrenching, and in case it wasn’t obvious already, I absolutely loved it.

This novel is available now.

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

                

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada & Genevieve Graham for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child, Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, Come from Away, and At the Mountain’s Edge. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Photo by Bryghton Towns.

 

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