Book Review · Books

The Quiet You Carry

Victoria’s life changes the day her mom dies. Her mom asks her to promise she’ll take care of her dad. Victoria says, “Yes,” not realizing what this will entail. How do you help a grieving parent when you, yourself, are trying to grieve as a teen? Victoria does her best to help out by cooking and cleaning. Her dad meets Tiffany who he takes a shining to. Next thing Victoria knows she’s gained a stepmom and a stepsister, Sarah.

Life seems to be turning into something normal once Tiffany and Sarah enter Victoria’s life until the night her dad acts weird towards her and throws her out. Literally. Victoria lands into foster care, not understanding why. She is placed into Connie’s home.

Life in her new foster home is like walking on eggshells. Connie is strict and not one to hand out sympathy. Victoria attempts to befriend her foster sister, but the other girl mainly keeps to herself. Being at Connie’s means that Victoria is thrown into attending a different school and living in a different town.

Will Victoria adjust to her foster home? Can she start over in a small town where it seems everyone knows everyone else’s business? Can Victoria keep her secrets hidden indefinitely?

I received a digital ARC copy of The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess from North Star Editions and Flux, care of NetGalley. The views expressed are strictly mine. This book is engrossing from page 1. I could not put this novel down. Victoria’s story is an important one that everyone needs to read. This book will have you crying, laughing, cringing and cheering. For a debut novel I’m beyond impressed. I will definitely be searching for other titles by Nikki Barthelmess because she is a talented author you won’t want to miss. Definitely keep an eye out this year for this upcoming YA novel.

Book Review · Books

The Widow’s Watcher

Jenna Shaw is at the end of her rope of grief. Her family of 5 dwindled down to just her within the length of one gut wrenching phone call. She’s left behind her last family member of sorts, a fur child called Beckett. Jenna was on a mission to get to a frozen lake so she could be put herself out of her misery. The frozen lake in MN is beautiful and she’s at peace with her decision until an old gentleman stops her.

Lars is a man, whose life has been dealt more pain than most people can fathom. He chooses to soldier on in life, so when he sees a strange woman out on the lake heading toward the parts of the lake where the ice is thin he chooses to go out and stop her. Jenna is not expecting to have her plans rudely interrupted. With grumbling she allows Lars to lead her back to her van. Low and behold it won’t start. Through some phone calls Lars calls his son to come tow Jenna’s van. With the son’s insistence Lars is stuck hosting Jenna while her vehicle is getting fixed. Neither Jenna or Lars are in the mood for company.

As Jenna gets to know Lars and his son, Owen, Jenna learns why Lars is such a brooding, sometimes grumpy old man. When Owen was little his mom left him and his dad behind, taking his two younger siblings. When his mom was found the kids were missing and his mom was in no mental state to tell anyone where they were. This mystery has clouded over Lars and Owen’s lives.

Jenna one day asks the fateful question if anyone has asked Owen’s mom if she could retrace her steps of where she took her kids on that day. This leads to the investigation being reopened. Will Lars’ wife be able to shed new light on what truly happened that day?

This novel, The Widow’s Watcher by Eliza Maxwell is a masterpiece. The opening sequence sucks you into Jenna’s world and I don’t think you are able to let out a true breath till the last page. It’s rare you care about characters this deeply. My emotions were a wide range, but the one that stuck out the most is love. Of Jenna, Lars and Owen. Of how family dynamics can change in an instant and life doesn’t ask permission first. This is a roller coaster of a ride, but it’s worth every page. Pick up this gem at Amazon and connect with the author through her website.

Book Review · Books

You All Grow Up And Leave Me

What if you discovered one of the most trusted adults you knew had a dark secret; a secret you escaped from being a victim of? Piper Weiss describes her life growing up during her teen years being coached tennis by Gary Wilensky. Gary made tennis practice fun. He would dress up in a funny costumes, coach wearing roller skates and even allow some of the girls to buy candy after practice. Piper’s parents trusted Gary, as did a lot of the parents of teens Gary coached. When Gary sends Valentine cards to select tennis players that does raise a few parental eyebrows. One night Piper hears the news that Gary is dead. Years later she decides she wants to find out what really happened the night Gary died. Why wasn’t Piper one of Gary’s favorites and was there more to Gary than meets the eye?

This memoir is gripping from page one. Piper brings forth the true creepiness of what happened in 1993 to full color. After the first chapter I felt goosebumps it was that creepy. Yes, Stephen King creepy! I haven’t read true crime in a long time, but Piper’s account of her experience being coached by Gary and what she uncovered by her research into the night Gary died brings to mind that as an adult, don’t be ashamed to ask for help if you are depressed. Piper discusses the tricky mind screw that is being thought a favorite of Gary, but yet not THE favorite.

I received my ARC copy of You All Grow Up And Leave Me by Piper Weiss for free care of TLC Book Tours from William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. If you are looking for a fast paced read this memoir will have you staying up late to finish. Thank you for speaking out Piper. To go buy a copy click here and to contact Piper click here.