GOOD MORNING!! Well, this is embarrassing. During the reinvention of my blog a few things got lost in translation. Including all my scheduled posts for book reviews. So you guys don’t miss out on these beautiful books I’ll post them here (and so I don’t overload you with blog posts in one day). They all happen to be amazing reads (and one ends up on my favorite shelf).
So here we go! Meternity by Meghann Foye, The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda, A Girl Like You by Michelle Cox, and Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis. Start with the Backbeat made it in before my transformation, check out the review here> Start With the Backbeat.
Meternity by Meghann Foye
from Amazon: “Not quite knocked up…
Like everyone in New York media, editor Liz Buckley runs on cupcakes, caffeine and cocktails. But at thirty-one, she’s plateaued at Paddy Cakes, a glossy baby magazine that flogs thousand-dollar strollers to entitled, hypercompetitive spawn-havers.
Liz has spent years working a gazillion hours a week picking up the slack for coworkers with kids, and she’s tired of it. So one day when her stress-related nausea is mistaken for morning sickness by her bosses—boom! Liz is promoted to the mommy track. She decides to run with it and plans to use her paid time off to figure out her life: work, love and otherwise. It’ll be her “meternity” leave.
By day, Liz rocks a foam-rubber belly under fab maternity outfits. By night, she dumps the bump for karaoke nights and boozy dinners out. But how long can she keep up her charade…and hide it from the guy who might just be The One?
As her “due date” approaches, Liz is exhausted—and exhilarated—by the ruse, the guilt and the feelings brought on by a totally fictional belly-tenant…about happiness, success, family and the nature of love.”
To the point: Unconventional, looks at the other choices women face for monumental life decisions
Review: This is a difficult book to review. As a mother I find it somewhat insulting to compare maternity leave to a sabbatical (maternity leave is a disaster in the U.S. and failing our American families tremendously, click here to read a little about maternity leave in the US compared to other advanced countries> Maternity Leave). Maternity leave is NOT a vacation. Women are not getting mani/pedis and lying out by the sun after they have a baby. Women aren’t even finding themselves after having a baby, if anything a woman GIVES UP who she is after giving birth, she is nurturing a human life and sacrificing more of herself to care for her kids. So many mothers complain that they are unappreciated and this book somewhat enforces that belief. So here’s the thing, without the idea that somehow women who choose to have children are privileged and spoiled in America (because working women who have children are already seen as a weakness), this is a story about a woman looking for herself and a “grass is greener on the other side” tale.
I enjoyed the story beyond the offensiveness. I know a lot of people flipped about this book but it’s a fun story. She is a flawed character and she’s supposed to be. She just needed a sabbatical rather than a fake maternity. Maternity is not about the mom, it never has been, it’s about the baby she is nurturing, so the idea of a “meternity” doesn’t exactly make much sense.
Meternity by Meghann Foye. Paperback: 368 pages . Publisher: Mira (April 26, 2016). Women’s Fiction. I received this copy in exchange for an honest review.
The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda
from Amazon: “Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can’t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated façade of her life. Will and his wife are fine―as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class).
Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it’s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple’s second act together―empty nesting―might possibly be the end.”
To the point: Explores human relationships in modern society with a witty, fun voice.
Review: I absolutely loved this book. I’ll tell you right off the bat I give it 5 stars. The exploration of relationships in this novel are fun. I found some of the relationships a little too stereotypical (not all men are liars and cons and not all women are controlling and bossy). Nonetheless I thought of people I knew every time I met a character (is this good or bad?). I know the panic milestones in life will bring me and this book brought a slight glimpse into all the things families face. My children are small still and every time I look at them my heart breaks and swells with pride at how quickly they are growing.
Kaira Rouda is a loved author and she has a beautiful voice in writing. Her stories are a complete pleasure to get lost in and she comes up with unique ways to keep us following her. This story is told by different narratives and different personalities (enough to make you wonder how she so easily captives so many different people). She is talented, and probably a genius.
The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda. Paperback: 312 pages. Publisher: SparkPress (May 3, 2016). I received this copy in exchange for an honest review.
A Girl Like You by Michelle Cox
from Amazon: “Henrietta Von Harmon works as a 26 girl at a corner bar on Chicago’s northwest side. It’s 1935, but things still aren’t looking up since the big crash and her father’s subsequent suicide, leaving Henrietta to care for her antagonistic mother and younger siblings. Henrietta is eventually persuaded to take a job as a taxi dancer at a local dance hall―and just when she’s beginning to enjoy herself, the floor matron turns up dead.
When aloof Inspector Clive Howard appears on the scene, Henrietta agrees to go undercover for him―and is plunged into Chicago’s grittier underworld. Meanwhile, she’s still busy playing mother hen to her younger siblings, as well as to pesky neighborhood boy Stanley, who believes himself in love with her and keeps popping up in the most unlikely places, determined to keep Henrietta safe―even from the Inspector, if need be. Despite his efforts, however, and his penchant for messing up the Inspector’s investigation, the lovely Henrietta and the impenetrable Inspector find themselves drawn to each other in most unsuitable ways.”
To the point: A perfect book full of enough mystery, suspense and romance to make your mind go wild.
Review: I love a book that has me all twisted! I tend to ruin stories by guessing all the surprises before they come and I end up feeling robbed. A Girl Like You has enough going on that the story engulfs you and you never know where it is going. This historic nature of this book is absolutely addictive and Cox created a world I almost never wanted to leave.
I enjoy a real complicated love story. The “oh no we shouldn’t but we must” love is the best. A journey of how two people grow and so curiously become perfect pieces of th same puzzle is magical. The drama, the mystery, the love.. it reminds me of a Nicholas Sparks plot line but Michelle Cox’s unique writing style.
I can picture this a movie! I would love to see this in theatres and add to my rainy day movie collection!
A Girl Like You by Michelle Cox. Series: The Henrietta and Inspector Howard series (Book 1). Paperback: 288 pages. Publisher: She Writes Press (April 19, 2016). I received this copy in exchange for an honest review.
Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis
from Amazon: “Broken by their unorthodox Midwestern childhood, sisters Catherine, Anne, and Jessica Mathers search for love, acceptance, and worth―often in the most unlikely places. Catherine, the oldest of the Mathers sisters, is an English professor battling breast cancer with Cytoxan, red wine, and profanity. Anne is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two struggling to make ends meet in a suburban existence that both suffocates and confounds her. Jessica, the youngest by ten years and estranged―by choice―from her family, is an exotic dancer who feels safer on stage than in a relationship. But when the sisters are faced with an incomprehensible loss, they are forced to reevaluate themselves, their damaged bonds, and their fragile future.
Parting Gifts illuminates one highly dysfunctional family’s tentative, desperate crawl toward a life of meaning and worth.”
To the point: The dysfunctional family at it’s best. Who doesn’t love to watch a disaster to make them feel better about their crazy lives?
Review: Every once in a while you need a “wake up” book that gets you out of all the fantasy lands authors may create for us. This book focuses on suffering ranging from dysfunctional families, infidelity, illness, intolerance, isolation, financial ruin, and unthinkable tragedy. It’s not a book that will make you feel all gushy, mushy, gooey and in love. It is a book however where you will relate to some pain that you have felt at some time in your life. This book isn’t about depression. It’s about how amazing humans are. We were not born to die, we are born to survive despite our inevitable end. No matter what we endure we are driven to survive. We are resilient and strong and our brains and bodies can overcome unimaginable things.
I think this book will reach out to people who have faced extreme hardships. It gives you a moment to say “wow, I made it through this”. Life is difficult. But somehow many of us manage to enjoy the journey despite all the troubles. Yes, there are so many dark corners of our lives but it’s going to be okay anyway.
It’s a beautiful book with amazing writing skills and a wonderful journey to depths of darkness and back.
Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis. Paperback: 280 pages. Publisher: She Writes Press (April 19, 2016). I received this copy in exchange for an honest review.
So there are my spring reads! Have you read any of these? Let me know what you think in the comments!