Friday, July 30, 2021
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
The Silver Swans preschool is the place the yummy mummys want to send their children. Three moms have just enrolled their children. But they don't fit the mold and it seems someone doesn't want them at the school. Vitriolic notes are found in their kid's backpacks telling them quit the school.
The three meet each other and band together - they're determined not to be drummed out of the school. The thing is though....Andrea, Lauren and Ronnie all do have secrets that they don't want brought to light. And the person leaving the notes seems to know those secrets....
I quite liked the three moms, although I admit to having a soft spot for Andrea.
Each of the women bring a different mindset and skill set to the friendship. The reader becomes privy to what their secrets are as the story progresses and three new plot lines are added to the book. Things at the school escalate and the three friends seem to now be suspects. So.....they decide to investigate on their own. I did find I had to suspend disbelief in a number of situations, including the police investigation into the crime at the school.
Shepard is the author of the successful teen series Pretty Little Liars. I'm not aware of any other adult books that she's penned, but I could be wrong. For me, I found this book to have a simpler style of writing. The tone was what I would call light suspense, not the edge of your seat suspense. Shepard does throw some turns into her tale as the end draws near. And kudos for doing it for all four plotlines. I did find the wrap up went on too long for me as the explanation for everything that has gone on is detailed in the run up to the final pages. And she throws in one more twist. Not sure that last one worked for me.
In the author's notes at the end, Shepard says that "As I wrote this story, much of the world felt unstable, uncertain and in flux, though as a result, I felt even more inspired to acknowledge the struggles of motherhood and how it's not always about being the 'best' or 'perfect", but accepting where you're at and cutting yourself some slack." Safe in My Arms was an interesting vehicle to carry this message.
A good book for the beach, but not as suspenseful as I had expected. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Safe in My Arms.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
Monday, July 26, 2021
Friday, July 23, 2021
Thursday, July 22, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Monday, July 19, 2021
Friday, July 16, 2021
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Monday, July 12, 2021
Friday, July 9, 2021
Thirty-something Gracie Cooper has been running her family's champagne store since her father's death. She loves it, but it is a struggle at times to turn a profit. And Gracie wonders if she'll ever find a romantic partner. So, she decides to join a "blind dating app where matches get to know each other through messages and common interests before exchanging real names or photos."
I think a blind dating app is a great premise to start with - there's lots of places that the plot could go from there. (And I think the app's premise is a good one!) Grace ends up paired with someone she address as Sir and she becomes Lady. And they seem to really, really click.
But on the flip side....back at the shop, Sebastian Andrews, the landlord, is looking to buy out the champagne shop's lease. Gracie simply can't stand the man....although he does have the most beautiful eyes....
And I think you might be able to predict where things might go from there! Layne has penned a light-hearted romance with lots of yes, no, maybe so woven in. And that's the fun of this type of storytelling. The listener knows more than the players. It's just a matter of time before they figure it out themselves and the fun is in the journey to the inevitable (fairy tale) ending.
I liked Gracie as a lead character - she is outspoken and sassy, but kind and caring as well. The supporting cast of Gracie's family and coworkers is just as engaging. And Sebastian Andrews? Yummy!
I listened to To Sir, With Love. There were two readers - Rachanee Lumayno and Shaun Taylor-Corbett. Lumayno's voice was perfect for Gracie and matched the mental image I had created for this character. Her voice is strong without being loud. It's pleasant to listen to, easy to understand, with crisp enunciation. She captures the emotion of the character and the action. Taylor-Corbett has a very rich and full tone to his voice and it absolutely suited the character. And his voice was perfect for Sir. While Gracie is the voice we hear the most, I enjoyed having another reader for the male characters of Sir and Sebastian. It was more realistic that way. A good performance from both readers. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of To Sir, With Love.
Overall? Light and fun with a lovely dose of romance, perfect for summertime listening or reading.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Monday, July 5, 2021
Friday, July 2, 2021
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Wednesday, June 30, 2021
I think this description from Razorbill is perfect - and it's what had me so eager to pick up Eat Your Heart Out... "Shaun of the Dead meets Dumplin' in this bitingly funny YA thriller about a kickass group of teens battling a ravenous group of zombies."
There are six teens and and a leader in Vee's pod at Camp Featherlite for Overweight Teens. One of the other members is a aspiring film maker and she mentally slots everyone into a role - you know, The Outcast, The Jerk, The Nerd and more. This cemented the feeling of being immersed in a teen horror flick. Which I have to say, has been a long time guilty pleasure of mine.
deVos gives each of the characters a voice with their own chapters. They're all wonderfully drawn with strengths and weaknesses. But as a group, they're pretty formidable. The reader is privy to the overall picture - their secrets and the danger stalking them. And there are plenty of chances in Eat Your Heart Out, to pick up a pillow and yell, "Don't go outside - there are zombies!"
Lots of action kept me rapidly turning pages. Eat Your Heart Out did read like a movie!
And that cover? Fantastic! Eat Your Heart Out was great escapist reading. But along with being a fun page turner, deVos has woven in a needed message as well. "...Because when you create a culture when people can be dehumanized for trivial reasons like body size, everyone's human dignity is in jeopardy. I intend for this read to be inclusive and affirming, and hope you read with care if these topics are ones close to your heart." This was a first read of deVos for me - and it most definitely won't be the last. See for yourself - read an excerpt of Eat Your Heart Out.
(And I leave you with this warning - be careful with your hazelnut coffee whitener...)