Book Review · Books

The Socialite

If you love war romance novels then you are in for a treat. Enter the world of Katherine Whitfield who is determined to bring back her wayward sister, Eleanor from Nazi occupied France. Kat just wants to get convincing her sister to come back home over and done quick, but a handsome stranger seems to drop in the night Kat arrives to confront Eleanor. Who is this handsome man?

Barrett Anderson runs a local bar and seems to pop up anytime Kat needs help with Eleanor, but the person holding her sister back is Eric, her dashingly handsome Nazi boyfriend. This man makes Kat sick, but Eleanor seems blinded by Eric’s good looks and money.

Will Kat be able to get through her sister’s head how dangerous Eric is? Will this handsome stranger ever explain himself as to why he seems to be swimming in the same circles as Eleanor and Eric, but isn’t a Nazi, but a Scotchman with the brogue to boot. The more Kat tries to convince Eleanor to come back home to England the more Eric tries to block their goal. Will the sisters ever make it out of Paris?

I received my complimentary copy of The Socialite by J’Nell Ciesielski from Thomas Nelson, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To grab a stunning copy of your own support Thomas Nelson and to check out more about the author. This novel is rich in atmosphere, characterization and even has snippets of humor. The cover of this novel is beyond gorgeous. The dress the main character has on just ripples with elegance and the fashionable way her hair is coifed makes a woman want to throw on some classic candy red lipstick. It makes me wish for the classic beauty of that era.

Books

The Depth Of Six Feet Under (SPOILERS)

Last night I pretty much finished my fourth round of watching Six Feet Under all the way through. Each time I do a different character stands out to me. This round didn’t disappoint.

If you haven’t ever watched this highly popular HBO drama, then you are missing out. The only warning I have is there is a hearty dose of colorful language, nudity, violence and of course different death scenes at the start of every episode. If you find funeral homes fascinating, then do proceed.

A quirky family that owns a funeral home in Los Angeles. You’ve got the three offspring. One is following in their father’s footsteps (David), the elder son who escaped before getting sucked into the family business (Nate) and the youngest, Claire whose moody, artistic and still in high school. Their mother, Ruth is a repressed woman who secretly is having an affair with her hairdresser. Their father, Nathaniel, Sr. is engrossed in his family business with occasional time with his kids. When the father is in a fatal accident his sons have some big choices to make. It doesn’t help that it happens on Christmas Eve.

This show delves into the psyche of the different characters. This fourth watch had me change my angelic like view of Nate and how the character Brenda gets royally screwed over ultimately after she worked through her own issues, to focus on staying true and present with Nate and his young daughter, Maya. I saw the realistic representation of a person off their antidepressant medication through Billy’s character. Seeing Ruth’s character blossom after she grieves her husband’s passing is epic. Not only does she deal with deep grief, but menopause. David’s character is very adolescent like at the start when he’s still coming out to himself and learning his self worth and confidence. I still can’t say I’m a fan of Keith. Claire is one of my favorite characters. She’s moody, but how she comes into her own throughout the show is inspiring.

This time around the character that stood out to me most is Brenda. She’s a complex character whose always been thrown into the motherly role with her brother since her academic parents are too, obsessed with their clinical work. Billy is a ball of ranging emotions he helps curb with medication and having Brenda at his beck and call. When Brenda attempts to create her own life without Billy being front and center it doesn’t go over well. Brenda loves Nate, but commitment feels foreign and scary, so she acts out different fantasies. After a turn of events she chooses Nate and they marry, but sadly things aren’t as they seem.

This show deals with topics that are very adult. The subject of death is the central theme with other topics that range from suicide, marriage, divorce, domestic abuse, mental illness, coming out, children and more. I don’t know why I love this show so much. It never fails that anytime I hear the end finale song I’ll bawl my eyes out. I think I love how deep each character is in their own weird, twisted way. This show can be challenging to stomach at times, but to me the end result shows just how important family relationships are and that dynamic can be varied.

Book Review · Books

You And Me And Us

What would you do if you were given terminal news? Tommy Whistler has this quandary. Of course his significant other, Alexis wants him to fight his illness the best he can, to give him more time with her and their daughter, CeCe. Tommy prefers to have quality over quantity. What’s the point of prolonging the end result if you are too, sick to enjoy time with your loved ones? With time ticking he decides he wants to spend his last few months in his hometown.

Alexis is not thrilled to return to Tommy’s hometown. She doesn’t want to risk his past coming back into their lives, or giving their daughter food for thought. The past has to stay the past. Yes, Tommy loves and is committed to Alexis, but there are certain people she doesn’t want to share her family with.

CeCe is mad she’s missing out on acting camp. Just when her high school experience was coming together after participating in their play of, “Romeo and Juliet.” CeCe’s lead costar seems to be smitten with her supposed ‘best friend’ instead of her. Maybe her time away won’t be so awful.

Will Alexis and CeCe put aside their frustrations to help make Tommy’s summer the best it can be? This novel explores what it’s like to deal with a terminal illness and how the choices we make regarding to do treatment or not affects our family members and friends. What would you do if you were in Tommy’s shoes?

I received my complimentary copy of You And Me Snd Us by Allison Hammer from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are of my own choice and mine. This debut novel is a sweet, thought provoking story that will have you wishing you could hug these characters. To go grab a gorgeous copy click here to help support the publisher and to find out more about this fantastic author. Thank you TLC Book Tours for helping me discover another wonderful new favorite author.

Book Review · Books

No Truth Left To Tell

The cover is intriguing. What looks like tornadoes are in the background, the sky is red and in the front is a noose. That imagery alone makes you wonder if the story is about a natural disaster. This novel takes us to Lynnwood, LA where it’s racist past is still remembered. The town square by the courthouse is where people were lynched.

Daniel, the Grand Dragon of the local KKK wants to rile things up and decides to burn a few crosses at prominent places around town. One place was this little old lady’s front lawn. The pure terror of it caused her to have a heart attack.

Enter in Adrien Rush, the federal civil rights prosecutor from DC, who swoops in to get justice for the cross burnings. In trying to get the grand dragon to talk, Adrien realizes this group plays dirty. Will Adrien be able to get justice served?

I received my complimentary copy of No Truth Left To Tell by Michael McAuliffee from Greenleaf Book Group Press, care of FSB Associates. The views are of my own choice and mine. This debut novel is fast paced and interesting to see the inside workings from a prosecutor’s viewpoint.

Book Review · Books

The Eighth Girl

Did I just go on a roller coaster? My mind is still trying to grapple with the genius of a writer I just read. Genius in how she took a very complex mental health disorder and gave it the tender care it needs. She does a wonderful job to help those unfamiliar with Dissociative Identity Disorder otherwise known as Multiple Personality Disorder understand it better. This thick novel did just that.

Meet Alexa Wu who struggles corralling her different personalities. She lives with her stepmom Anna after her father left them and her mother died. She has her best friend Ella. They are close almost like sisters, until Ella agrees to work at a strip club to earn extra money, so she can get her own place. Alexa is not thrilled with Ella’s choice, but is hopeful it will be a short term gig. Her best friend is aware of Alexa’s personalities and loves her anyway. Alexa is thrilled about her new photojournalist job she scored. Now if only her alters (personalities) will allow her to keep it. This novel is Alexa’s journey to try to carve out a life for herself and how she deals with her alters and being able to function day to day.

Enter in Alexa’s psychiatrist, Daniel who has challenges of his own he is working to keep reigned in. He is challenged in dealing with Alexa and her switching her personalities within a session. Can Daniel help Alexa? How do you help someone with DID/MPD?

The way in which the author presents alters is spot on. I like how her description of where the alters reside is called the nest and how when one personality recedes they return to the nest. I think the way in which this difficult subject was handled was done with grace.

I received my complimentary copy of The Eighth Girl by Maxine Mei-Fung Chung from William Morrow, care of TLC Book Tours. The views are mine and of my own choice. To grab your own copy to keep and to support HarperCollins and check out more about the author. This novel deals with very adult topics (abuse, suicide, etc.), so please be cautious before purchasing. This debut author is going to make a huge impact in the mental health field with her novels. I can’t wait to see what future novels she will produce. Thank you once again TLC Book Tours for helping me discover a new favorite author.

Book Review · Books

It’s MY Tree

If you need an adorable little picture book for your child on the topic of greed and selfishness then It’s MY Tree is just the right book. This cute picture book follows a little squirrel and his determination to not let any other squirrels get an opportunity at taking away his precious tree and the pinecones that come with it. He thinks building a fence, or even a tall wall will protect his tree from others. The problem with isolating his tree is that then he wondered, “What if there is a better tree over the wall with bigger pinecones?”

I received my complimentary copy of It’s MY Tree by Olivier Tallec from Kids Can Press, care of NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. The illustrations in this book are sweet and quite expressive. I think this story shows how being greedy ultimately equals loneliness because you refuse to let anyone else in.

Book Review · Books

The Degenerates

London gets knocked up by a boy she believes loves her. She gets taken away from the lady who is watching over her and taken to the Fernald School where at first she is treated kind, but then put in a cell where she is made to clean up filth by the other inhabitants.

London meets Maxine and Rose. She wonders why they are stuck in this awful place. Rose has her stick she likes to hold, which gives her comfort and is childlike. London heard Rose termed as a Mongoloid. Maxine is Rose’s older sister and very protective of Rose. Then there is Alice who has a club foot. Slowly they form a potential friendship.

Enter the world of the Fernald School where London, Alice, Maxine and Rose are stuck. Maxine keeps hoping her mother will come rescue her and Rose, but she never even comes to visit on family day. Their lives at the school is regimented by breakfast, walks and helping in different areas, like laundry, etc. Those in charge are mean.

I received my complimentary copy of The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann from NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own choice. This historical novel gives you a glimpse into the world of an institution for the feeble minded, disabled, etc. I wondered if this was a real place and Googled it. Here is a short video about it. Watching videos on this place is beyond disturbing and so sad. This novel brings this place to life. It’s not an easy read, but important to educate.