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13 Minutes

Becca Crisp used to be one of the popular girls till her best friend Tasha dumped her. At least she had her boyfriend Aiden. He was her world. Becca was glad she had a new BFF. Hannah was attentive towards Becca. She could be a tad clingy, but that was better than having no friends. 

Becca’s world is thrown for a loop when Tasha is found on the banks of the river. A dog walker finds her. Tasha was officially dead for 13 whole minutes. Becca is not sure if she should go visit Tasha in the hospital, but figures since they used to be so close she should at least reach out. For some reason Tasha seems to connect with Becca better than with the Barbies once she gets out of the hospital.

As Becca re-enters the world of the “Barbies,” as Tasha’s clique is called she recalls all the past closeness they used to all share. The other Barbies Jenny and Hayley are cold and cruel towards her. Becca can’t understand where things went wrong, why she was pushed out of their insulated nest? Jenny and Hayley seem jealous over Tasha renewing her interest in her friendship with Becca.

Solving the mystery of why and how Tasha landed in the river is filled with fits and starts. Becca thinks she has it figured out until something shocking occurs that rocks their whole town. Are the Barbies who they portray themselves as being?

This novel goes into depth on the topics of friendship, control, relationships and how they aren’t always as neat as they appear on the outside. As children the status of being Best Friends Forever with a friend is a coveted role. It’s the highest pinnacle of a teen’s life aside from having an official boyfriend or girlfriend. When you gain that status is it truly forever? 

If you enjoy YA that has suspense, mystery, drama, snarkiness then I highly recommend 13 Minutes.  This book sucked me in from the first sentence, though the use of the word shit was a tad overused. I received my free ARC of 13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough from NetGalley in exchange for my review.

Unforgivable Love

I didn’t know anything much about what Unforgivable Love was going to be about. This novel follows the lives of Mae, Elizabeth, Cecily and Val during the early civil rights movement of the late 1940’s. Mae and Val are rich and use their wealth to get just what they want wether it’s sex, or wealth. They are mirror images of each other in their lack of character. There are secrets, lies, betrayal and love. This story is set in the south and in Harlem. The descriptions of both places is well done. I think having never read the novel, or seen the film that it’s a retelling of didn’t help me. If you’ve watched, “Dangerous Liaisons,” then you may enjoy this novel.

I try to give a book the benefit of the doubt, but honestly this novel was not my cup of tea. The writing was nice, but the storyline I found boring after 150 or less pages. I’m struggling to finish this 500+ page book. Maybe I am not a long novel kind of girl, but the storyline of manipulation back and forth got boring very quickly. I don’t hugely care for any of the characters. I can’t stand Mae or Val.

A few days later…..

I did get to the end of this novel retelling of “Dangerous Liaisons,” and I must say the ending redemed it’s self. I was given my free copy of Unforgivable Love by Sophfronia Scott from TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. I feel awful not liking the book, but it’s just not my genre. I’m sure the author’s other books might be to my liking. 

The Way To London

If you enjoy WWII historical fiction you will love Alix Rickloff’s novel: The Way To London. Lucy Standhope is a spoiled young woman who has always lived in her mother’s shadow. Through the years Lucy has had avariety of governesses as well as different boarding schools. While living with her mother and stepfather in Singapore she is whisked off to go live with her aunt in England after her romantic interest proves to be a conflict of interest for her step father. Lucy is not ready for war torn England. On her way to England she encounters a handsome man named Michael whose on his way home after being discharged from the service.  One day when Lucy is bored at her aunt’s she finds a young boy hanging off a cliff. She rescues him not realizing how this young boy. Bill, is going to change the course of her life.  This novel follows their journey to get Bill back to his mum in London and Lucy to get her try at auditioning for Hollywood. 

This book has great, lively and humerous dialogue. The descriptions are authentic to the time period and the characters are lovable. I am a fan of this era, so I enjoyed reading this historical novel. It was charming, insightful on the topic of family, relationships and love. I don’t know what it would be like to be raised as if you were a bother to your own mother. To crave maternal affection and not know what what that that’s like is so sad. This novel shows how if you’ve never been shown love it’s not too, late for someone to show you what it’s liked to be loved for who you are. If you are interested to buy this book click here to buy it from HarperCollins. I will definitely be wanting to find a copy of Secrets Of Nanreath Hall. I got my free ARC care of TLC Book Tours in exchange for my review.

The Alphabet Of Grief

Grief is not a topic out of popularity, but out of necessity. We don’t know when a friend, family member, spouse, or acquaintance is going to pass away. The Alphabet Of Grace is a small little book packed with lots of wisdom. Chaplain Andrea Raynor brings death and grief to our door in an easy to understand Guide. Her guide of sorts is broken down via the alphabet. Each letter stands for a topic having to do with grief and death. At the end of each short chapter is a meditation and an affirmation.

I have had family members pass away and close friends. Death is never easy to deal with. I still miss my grandparents and my one best friend, but I know they are now not in pain. Personally I don’t find comfort in going to their graves. Honestly cemeteries creep me out. One way I like to remember them is by going to a fave place they liked to eat, or enjoy a favorite pastime they had like watching baseball, or reading a book. We all deal with grief in different ways.

I’m so glad I requested to review this book from Blogging For Books. This book is not preachy, though it is consider Christian. It comes across like a warm blanket on a winter night that keeps you warm and feeling cozy. It’s comforting and yet educational at the same time. I got this book for free in exchange for my review from Blogging For Books. I highly recommend this title for anyone dealing with someone in the process of dying or have passed on. I wish I’d had this book back when my grandparents passed. It would have helped me get through a lot.

The Other Alcott

Growing up I read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and of course saw the modern movie of it. This novel is about the life of Louisa May Alcott’s youngest sister, May. She is the fairest one of the family and loves to draw. When she gets a bad review of her artwork featured in Little Women, May decides to buckle down in seriousness regarding her artwork.

Follow May on her journey from struggling artist in Massachusetts to her move to London, France and back again to study art. May is torn between pursuing her artistic career or returning home to help Louisa care for their mother who is aging. Family duty or career advancement? No matter what year it is all of us have experienced the quandary of listening to a family member’s request or sticking to our own plans. It’s a tight rope that’s not easy to walk along.

This novel covers many topics from sibling rivalry to being a single woman on your own stuck in a man’s world, trying to be taken seriously. This book has great descriptions of France, London and Massachusetts. I am not the most educated when it comes to art and art terms, but this book gavies quite the primer. I enjoyed this novel. The only thing I didn’t like is that it’s, too long. If it was about half the length I think it might be more appealing.

I received my free ARC copy of The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper from TLC Book Tours for my personal review. If you are interested in learning more about May Alcott via this in depth historical novel click here to get this book from HarperCollins. If you are interested to learn more about Elise Hooper click here to connect with the author. Happy reading!

The Landscapes Of Anne Of Green Gables

Who can’t resist reading about one of your all time favorite places even if you have yet to actually visit? In second grade I got to watch, “Anne of Green Gables,” the Kevin Sullivan production. It was breathtaking and Megan Follows will forever be Anne to me. I have watched the new version on Netflix. I was very negative about there being a new one. I chanced and watched it. It’s easily as fantastic as the previous mini series, possibly even better. Gasp. Very sacreligious I know. When this title became a possible ARC I’d be alllwed to read I jumped at my opportunity.

This lovely book takes the reader on a visual delight of the many wonders of Prince Edward Island. The photos show the island at different seasons. This book also, talks about the author of Anne Of Green Gables,  Lucy Maude Montomgery otherwise known as L.M. Montgomery. If you like reading about your favorite author’s life then this book will leave you craving to read more about her. There are photos throughout of her and also, places on the island that inspired her novels.

If you are a big fan of Anne of Green Gables then this book will be a keeper once it comes out. The photos made me want to book my trip right away. It also, inspires one to want to learn more about L.M. Montgomery. I was provided this ARC for free via NetGalley in exchange for my review. Thank you NetGalley and Timber Press.

The Lives Of Desperate Girls

I didn’t think this book would impact me as deeply as it did. The Lives Of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common is a novel about friendship, love, trust and betrayal in a small Canadian town. Jenny is an inconspicuous teen whose life revolves around her childhood best friend Chloe. Chloe is the life of the party while Jenny is her quiet sidekick. Life is chugging along when one day Chloe goes missing. Jenny is determined to find her best friend. Three weeks after her disappearance there is a local murder of a different young woman. The crime is ugly, but it seems to Jenny that no one cares. This young woman was a Native. Is racism still alive and well? With the help of her new friend Tom, both he and Jenny go investigate what may have happened to Chloe, but to also, find out why the young Native woman was murdered. Jenny can’t understand why Chloe’s disappearance is considered top priority when a woman being found murdered gets pushed under the rug.

If you enjoy suspenseful and deep storytelling I highly recommend this novel. I couldn’t put this book down, you want to just keep finding out what happened to Chloe. I was not aware of the racism that exists in Canada between whites and Natives before reading this novel. I received my e-book ARC of The Lives Of Desperate Girls for free care of NetGalley in exchange for my reaction to this book. My reaction is it’s a must read. I think this book would make great required high school and college reading.