2 Backlist Bingeworthy Books for Your 2019 TBR’s

The Idea of You  by Robinne Lee
Published: June 13, 2017 By St Martin’s Griffin
368 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon 

From Publisher: Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles, is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things

 

My Thoughts: Ok, so I read this blurb when the book first came out and I was seeing it everywhere and I thought it wasn’t for me because of the large age difference. Earlier this week, however, I saw this on someone’s Instagram top 2018 books of the year post and decided to take a closer look after reading that she had had the same reservations but then loved it. Well, this effectively busted me out of my DNF pattern and I read it in one day! This story was such a fun surprise. There’s some serious globetrotting travel going on which I loved as well as a high level of cultural detail into the art world as the main character Solene owns her own gallery. I found her to be very likable although she made some  questionable parenting decisions along the way. I also really liked Hayes who was levels above his age, maturity wise.

There are SO many themes explored in this book….love of course, ageism, sexism, the downside of fame, our society’s obsession with celebrities, women & aging, double standards, etc. I think this would make a great book club pick because there’s quite a lot to discuss but know that the romance is often quite steamy and explicit so…know your book club is what I’m saying. I’m dying to discuss this – especially that ending which I’m still thinking about days later –  so if you’ve read it and want to chat send me an email or DM me on Twitter or Instagram. Ultimately, I loved this and found it to be a smart, sophisticated love story. Bingeworthy indeed!

 

 

Forever is the Worst Long Time  by Camille Pagan
Published: Feb 7, 2017 by Lake Union
284 Pages
Affiliate Link: Buy on Amazon 

From Publisher: When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa “Lou” Bell, he’s sure he’s just found the love of his life. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire.

My Thoughts: My 2019 has started with a bang with this couldn’t-put-it-down story. One of my favorite storylines is a love triangle so right off the bat I had high hopes for this book. The story is narrated by James from a time in the future which I thought was a perfect way to not only get to know (and like) him but to also get to know Lou and Rob through his eyes. James and Rob had been friends since they were kids and I loved how Pagan incorporated the sentimentality of that type of friendship along with growing up in a small town. If you’re James, what do you DO when you’ve fallen in love with your best friend’s fiancé?

What I especially loved about the way Pagan told the story is that everyone felt like real people making what often ended up being stupid decisions. They were flawed in just the right ways that what they did or didn’t do made sense even if I didn’t agree with them.  I have to say, throughout the story, I had no idea what was going to happen with these characters because twists happened early on.  Plus, it takes place over a time period of about 18 years so we really get involved and invested in the drama of their lives. And the drama was good! And perfectly paced. In the end, things happened I never anticipated and there may have been crying on my part. Seriously, I wasn’t prepared for how emotional this story ended up being and I loved every bit of this surprising one sit read! This is my first book by this author but it definitely won’t be my last.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this or want to!

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Verity by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

Verity  By Colleen Hoover
Publication: Dec 7, 2018
250 Pages
Affiliate Link Buy On Amazon

Short Summary : Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. However, it’s not long before Lowen realizes things with the Crawfords aren’t as they seem…in more ways than one.

My Thoughts: You may remember that this year I’ve jumped on the CoHo fan train (better late than never, right?) and have loved many of her books….Ugly Love, It Ends with Us, and All Your Perfects being my favorites. Verity is a totally different type of read and I’m so impressed with Hoover for taking a leap outside of her normal genre and writing something so psychologically dark and suspenseful. And bravo for such an impactful opening scene. Try putting the book down after that harrowing, slightly gruesome opening scene…I know I couldn’t.

We are first introduced to Lowen, getting a feel for her and her life which includes a recently deceased mother, an upcoming eviction, and a loss for where to go next in her writing career. Enter handsome, somewhat sorrowful Jeremy Crawford who, along with his wife’s publishing team, gives Lowen an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up – finish writing his wife’s (the bestselling novelist Verity Crawford) remaining books in her popular series. She accepts and when she begins researching the series and getting to know the family better, things begin to feel off kilter and just wrong in so many ways. Cue the tension and suspense that Hoover manifests throughout the story.

That’s all I want to say on the plot because I loved not knowing anything about it. The tension in the Crawford house felt palpable to me and when Hoover introduced a book within a book subplot I knew I was in for a late night of reading. It’s not often that plot device works for me but in this story it was brilliant. I zoomed through this book, all the while not really sure I knew who to trust, who was mentally off, or who was just outright lying.  I thought I did, but my feelings changed throughout which I loved. My only critique is that I felt the ending was too abrupt. It felt very rushed to me. Overall, I really enjoyed this and hope this isn’t the last we see of Colleen Hoover’s foray into romantic suspense.

Have you read this or plan to? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daisy Jones & The Six By Taylor Jenkins Reid: Book Review

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication: March 5, 2019 by Ballantine Books
368 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon

From Publisher: Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

My Thoughts:  I’ve got to admit, when I first started reading Daisy Jones & The Six,  the author’s note at the beginning is so completely realistic that I found myself heading to Google to figure out how I missed hearing about this band way back when. I kept reading though and realized, no this is just really good fiction writing! With that being said, I know I’m standing out from the 5 star Goodreads crowd on this one but I’ll share my thoughts on why I didn’t love this book overall, one of my MOST anticipated books of 2019.

I’ll start by saying I’ve loved several of TJR’s books that I’ve read this past year…The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoOne True Loves, and After I Do … so even though I knew this was about a rock band in the 70s with a tribute to rock music in general, neither of which I enjoy, I still believed I’d enjoy this because it’s TJR! Keep this in mind… if you enjoy rock music, classic rock bands and reading about the lifestyle from the 70s you may really love this book.

The story is structured in an interview style format (for the whole book) with many characters getting a chance to speak, including the band members and all those involved in their lives. This interview format lent itself to short snippets from the characters, repetitive behind the scenes music details, concert details, song details, an abundance of party scenes involving drugs and alcohol, etc.  I get it, drugs and alcohol, especially in rock bands, was big in the 70’s and 80s but I wanted more from this story and these characters if that makes sense. For me, this structure left me feeling disconnected from the story and characters because I didn’t feel immersed in the storyline. I should’ve connected with the main characters Daisy and Billy but I didn’t. I liked Camilla (Billy’s wife) but honestly couldn’t understand her motivations so I’d say my favorite character in the end was Simone, Daisy’s best friend. I love that TJR took a chance on a completely different format for telling this story and for a gazillion others it will work, just not for me unfortunately. I’m still a fan though and will be eagerly waiting for her next book!!

Thanks to Ballantine Books for my copy in exchange for an honest review 

2 Must Read October Releases: One Day in December by Josie Silver & The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton

One Day in December by Josie Silver
Publication: October 16, 2018 by Broadway Books
416 Pages
Affiliate LinkBuy on Amazon

Short Summary: Laurie has a case of insta-love through a bus window, spends close to a year trying to find him, only to have him show up one day as her best friend’s new boyfriend

My Thoughts: I know a lot of people hear instant-love and automatically write a book off but I really hope you’ll give this one a chance. Whereas another recent love story, Ghosted (My review) didn’t work for me, this one completely did. I would describe the initial “love at first sight” as more of a “wow, I feel an attraction/connection with you” but they can’t even speak to each other because one is on a bus and the other is outside at the stop. Then, just as quickly, the bus is gone, resulting in a missed opportunity for both Laurie and Jack. To me, this was believable.

Time goes by and despite Laurie’s attempts, she’s never able to track down her mystery bus man. During this initial set up we get to know Laurie and her best friend Sarah and I immediately loved both of them and their friendship. You see, the author deftly explores female friendship along with the story’s inherent dilemma of what happens if the love of your life shows up as your very best friend’s new boyfriend. I know this may sound similar to Something Borrowed  by Emily Giffin but it’s really nothing like it. Silver has put her own spin on a familiar storyline, taking me down so many unexpected paths that I couldn’t stop reading! And I didn’t.  I read this in one sitting, laughing, crying and in the end slowing down because I didn’t want it to end. I have a feeling you might be seeing this on my top 10 books of 2018 list.  Yes, it was that good!

Thanks to Broadway Books via Netgalley for my copy 

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The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
Publication: Oct 16, 2018 by Minotaur Books
432 Pages
Affiliate LinkThe Craftsman

From Publisher: Florence Lovelady’s career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago in a small village in Lancashire. Like something out of a nightmare, the victims were buried alive. But now, decades later, he’s dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves.

My Thoughts: Sharon Bolton is an auto-buy author for me, I don’t care what she writes, I’m buying and reading! That being said, I was a smidge hesitant about this one only because I knew it contained a hint of the supernatural and witches. Trust in Sharon Bolton, that’s all I can say because I loved this story.

One thing that really made this story for me was the fact that Bolton has created a multidimensional character with Florence Lovelady. We first meet her in 1999 when she’s returned for the funeral of Larry, the serial killer/creepy coffin maker whom she arrested and had convicted of the murders of 3 young kids in 1969. Can I just say, the scene involving one of these kids being buried alive was not only heartbreaking, but also one of the most uncomfortable, claustrophobic feeling scenes I’ve ever read. Luckily, Bolton doesn’t drag it out but it was enough to cause me to hold my breath.

The story continues by going back to 1969, allowing us to get to know Florence as she faces the many difficulties of being a female detective in the good old boys network of the police. The puzzle is intricate, the suspects many, and I was right there rooting for Florence as she sorted through the intricate web of layers to these crimes. I’ll be honest, the further I got in the story the more I had myself convinced I knew what had happened and I was a little disappointed that this was going to be the first Bolton story I had figured out. Yes, I was feeling smug. Then came some stuff…some happenings… and by the end I wasn’t so smug anymore. Sharon Bolton fooled me again and I’m SO happy she did. Seriously, if you enjoy mysteries, you have to read this book! Then go check out her backlist. You won’t regret it.

 

Throwback Thursday Book of the Week

Throwback Thursday book of the week is a fun way to share a book I’ve loved that was published in the past and somehow either wasn’t on my radar or I chose to pass it by. These books are usually much easier to get ahold of at the library or usually sold at a lower price in paperback or ebook. This week I’m sharing a book I read in the spring and have been recommending to everyone ever since!

One True Loves  By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published June 7, 2016 By Simon & Schuster
352 pages
Affiliate link: Buy on Amazon

From Publisher: A breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

My Thoughts: Last year I think I was one of the last people to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (my review) which ended up being one of my favorite books in 2017! It wasn’t until this past spring that I decided to try Reid’s backlist books.  Once I dived into this one I was -again- kicking myself for waiting so long to read this book!  It’s the story of Emma and Jesse and Emma and Sam. Yes, a love triangle, but it felt very original.

The book is structured in a way that we get to know how both love stories develop over the first half of the book and then what happens when they are all brought together for the second half. It may sound a little clunky but believe me the structure and the concept work. I was completely sucked into the story after the drama filled opening pages.  I did, however, feel a little loss of momentum when she takes us back in time to their high school lives but this was necessary to truly get a feel for each of them and how they fell in love. I flew through the second half of this book because what a complicated, truly gut punching position for Emma to be in…I had to know who she would choose and what happened after she made her choice. Reid writes in such a realistic, propulsive way that the people and their complicated situations feel real and it’s just SO hard to put her books down. I read this in one sitting and really loved it so even if you think you’re not in the mood for a love triangle, I say give this a try,  you just might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

Have you read and enjoyed this or other books by Taylor Jenkins Reid? 

Happy Thursday Reading! 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published months or years ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

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Published Jan 2017 by HQN books

My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

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You know what’s so fun for me? Finding a new to me author, reading her just released book (Now That You Mention It) , loving it, and then starting on her backlist and loving that even more! Seriously, I’m kicking myself across the room for not reading Kristan Higgins sooner. She writes such realistic characters that I feel I know (and love and/or love to hate) and she writes them in such a way that causes me to think about them when I’m not reading. I couldn’t wait to get back to the story when I was away from it and I even had a couple past-my-bedtime nights of reading!

The story revolves around half sisters Ainsley and Kate and the fact that both their lives get turned upside down in very different ways. Of course there’s family drama, boyfriend drama, in-law drama, work drama…a veritable smorgasbord of you guessed it…drama! There was emotional highs and lows, humor, and even an unexpected twist or two which I really enjoyed.  Higgins was able to (magically it seems) keep all these dramatic balls in the air with fresh writing, spot on dialogue, and a fast pace. One thing I especially loved was the fact that Kate and Ainsley were strong women and didn’t let anyone walk all over them. I loved that! I have to say, the ending made me tear up and when I turned the last page I was happy that I loved the story but sad to see these characters go…and for me THAT’s the sign of a story well told. My 2018 reads may have  to wait a little longer while I dive into more of Kristin Higgin’s backlist. Seriously, if you enjoy a great story with engaging, well developed characters in a fast paced read you’ve got to give On Second Thought a try!

HAPPY READING!

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Annie at The Misstery

Amy at Novel Gossip

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

Laura at Snazzy Books

 

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published months or years ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

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Under the Tuscan Sun Published Sept. 1997 by Broadway Books

My Rating: 4/5 stars

An enchanting and lyrical look at the life, the traditions, and the cuisine of Tuscany. 

Frances Mayes entered a wondrous new world when she began restoring an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. There were unexpected treasures at every turn: faded frescos beneath the whitewash in her dining room, a vineyard under wildly overgrown brambles in the garden, and, in the nearby hill towns, vibrant markets and delightful people.

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This blurb actually makes this book sound kind of boring but I remember really enjoying the story and I even loved the movie version as well which doesn’t happen all that often. I love the setting of this book because Tuscany is one of my top bucket list places to visit. There’s actually a good deal of romance in this story which the blurb from Goodreads doesn’t mention but which I thoroughly enjoyed reading about. I think the story really centered on the author finding herself at that point in her life and what better place to do that than in Italy with a new man, good food and lots of wine? If you haven’t read this book and you’re doing the PopSugar 2018 Reading Challenge (I am!) this could definitely fulfill at least one of the 40 prompts.

Another reason I chose this for my TBT this week is that Frances Mayes has a new book coming out in April that you may not know about called Women in Sunlight which I requested immediately on netgalley based only on the cover and author…

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Isn’t that a great cover and title?? I then found out it’s about the friendship of four American women in Italy and now I’m even more excited. If there’s wine, romance, and drama involved I’ll be really happy!!

HAPPY READING!!

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Lynne at Fictionophile

Annie at The Misstery

Amy at Novel Gossip

Diana at A Haven for Booklovers

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

Laura at Snazzy Books

 

REVIEW: NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT By Kristan Higgins

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Published Dec, 26, 2017 by Harlequin Books

Short Summary: One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her.

 

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I have to say, Women’s Fiction/Romance is not my typical genre but I’d seen this book getting lots of love from other bloggers and on Goodreads so I decided to shake up my reading life a little and I’m SO glad I did because I really enjoyed this book. From the first few pages when I met Nora and got a feel for her life as a gastroenterologist (I love that this was her specialty!), I was hooked. There’s something about the way this author writes characters that enabled me to immediately connect with Nora and want to follow her and see what happened. When I connect with a character, I’m on board and can’t wait to see where the story leads and that’s exactly what happened within the first 20 pages of this one.

I really went into this story not knowing too much which I highly recommend doing and that’s why I just provided a very short part of the blurb. The story really takes off after Nora is hit by a car (no spoiler this is in blurb) and returns home to her small seaside community in Maine where her mother is as grouchy and standoffish as ever. Side note though…Nora’s mom really grew on me and I loved that she had a pet bird named Tweety who was the love of her life! Here’s where the story really shines and takes off because the setting is fantastic, I loved everything about this small Maine town. I could picture the shops, restaurants and water,  I do love a small town story that’s set on the water…any water.

For me, what made this such an excellent read (outside of Nora) were the secondary characters. There were so many characters that circled this story and all were clearly drawn and layered. That’s not to say all were likable because they weren’t and that’s what I loved. I’m not telling you too much about the plot but suffice it to say Nora’s return after 15 years stirs the pot in more ways than one. Not everyone is happy she’s back and that makes for good drama. It also made for well placed humor in many parts. That being said, this wasn’t a perfect book for me. I REALLY wanted to hear more from Nora’s sister!  Also, there were a few times in the middle I thought the story dragged and yes there might have been some predictability to some scenes but honestly, I didn’t care about any of this. I was enjoying the story and even stayed up super late to read which for me is always the sign of a must read book. In the end, I was sad to say goodbye to these characters so I highly recommend this one if you’re looking for a lighter read with substance and excellent characterization.

Many thanks to Harlequin Books via Netgalley for my copy 

 

 

 

 

MINI REVIEWS: A SPELLBINDING FICTION & A FASCINATING NONFICTION

MINI REVIEWS

During my recent blogging break I decided that when I returned I’d incorporate more mini reviews into the blog in an effort to ward off further review writing burnout. As all book bloggers know, it’s a lot of work to write reviews for everything we read and sometimes it’s just as easy and convenient to write (and read) mini reviews. So, I’ll be trying out some new ideas here and there in terms of my review writing formats….

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Published June 2017 By Atria Books

Short Summary: Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

 

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I’m the first to admit that sometimes, ok many times, I’ve let books pass me by because of assumptions I make about them or as in the case of Evelyn, I read about 10 pages of it earlier this summer and thought nope, I’m not in the mood for a woman’s story about her 7 husbands. What a HUGE mistake that was and I’m so glad I came around to giving this another try. Being a mood reader is so bizarre sometimes and it took a complete reading slump and Sarah’s Alcohol and Advil post last week to bring this one back into my orbit.

Here’s what I found to be important about this book…I went into it not reading any recent reviews so the entire storyline was a surprise to me and there were SO many unexpected twists along the way. Legendary movie star Evelyn tells her story to young and inexperienced Monique and while you’ll wonder what she’s got up her sleeve for choosing Monique of all people, that will take a backseat as you’re swept into the 1950s glitz, glamour, and excitement of Old Hollywood. As we get to know Evelyn though, we come to find that her life wasn’t all glamour, there was plenty of heartache, drama, betrayals, and secrets to last a lifetime. And that’s what kept me completely captivated and made this a book I spent my entire Saturday reading. I was unprepared for the respect I felt for Evelyn despite not agreeing with so much of what she did; I really did like her…in the end I think she was her own worst enemy most of the time. I can’t forget to mention the supporting characters…sheer perfection! Get your tissues ready for this addictive, gorgeously written novel that’s earned a place on my 5 star bookshelf.

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Published March 2017 by Knopf; narrated by Mark Bramhall

Short Summary: In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later

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Believe me when I say this was the perfect audiobook for not only long dog walks but also cleaning the house, running errands etc. I listened to it nonstop. I was immediately drawn into the story which really starts at the end in terms of when Chris Knight, not of his own volition, ended his 27 years of solitude in the Maine forest. As a lover of psychology, I really wanted to know what made someone choose to leave society behind and basically spend 27 years camping. How did he survive? What did he do for all those years? The awesome thing about listening to this was that Mark Bramhall made Chris Knight come alive, so during the many long interviews it felt like we were hearing from Chris himself and I was beyond intrigued.

I still think about this story for many reasons but mainly for the ways it made me think about it from so many different sides. Chris Knight was a complicated individual and in no uncertain terms broke the law…over and over and over again. I loved hearing from the citizens whose lives he affected, some were forever (negatively) changed and some who brushed him off and even tried to help him. As I said, fascinating! If you’re looking for an engaging story for nonfiction November, I highly recommend this audiobook.

HAPPY READING!

 

THROWBACK THURSDAY PICK OF THE WEEK

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I’m FINALLY getting around to reading that were published months or years ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere.

If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d like to link back to me that’d be great as I really try my best to include everyone who’s participating week by week at the bottom of my post so all my readers can enjoy all the awesome Throwback picks!

My Pick This week is….

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Published May 23, 2017 By Thomas Dunne Books

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

We live in a society obsessed with celebrity, but have you ever wondered who is on the inside gathering the best celebrity gossip and how do they get access? According to a Source: A Novel by Abby Stern dishes on this behind the scenes world in a way that only a Hollywood insider could.

Ella Warren works for celebrity news website, The Life, as a club reporter. She’s assigned to stake out Hollywood’s hottest clubs and spy on the celebrities inside. When Ella is pressured by her Devil Wears Prada-type boss to find an exclusive story to keep her job, she has to decide if being in Hollywood’s elite inner circle is worth jeopardizing her friendship with actress Holiday Hall, her budding romance with Holiday’s agent, and her family.

A juicy, big-hearted novel about a young woman who loses herself in a fast-paced, glamorous world where finding your authentic self isn’t easy.

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I grant you, this is a stretch for TBT since it’s only about 5 months past pub date but I’ve been in quite the reading and blogging slump this week and I’ve had this review waiting patiently for just the right time and looks like now’s the time! I hope to get back in the swing of things soon, I just think a little break has been needed.

I found so much to like about this debut audiobook that my blogging friend Susie from Novel Visits so graciously sent me via Audible. This is the absolute perfect book to listen to because the narrator, Therese Plummer, is fantastic and the story is downright addictive and fun.  I’ll be the first to admit that I love my People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. They both pair very nicely with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio on a Friday evening. And I have ALWAYS wondered who those “sources” were whenever I’ve read something that says ” a source confirms or a source witnessed.” Until I read this, I kind of assumed they were made up. Well, now I know better thanks to Abby Stern.  There are , in fact, actual celebrity gossip “reporters” who’s jobs are to infiltrate the world of celebrities and report back to their bosses. They could give the FBI a run for their money! I know you’re probably thinking…but this is fiction…and yes, I listened to Abby’s interview at the end of the book and she was very clear that this is fiction but…this was her job and I for one wanted to believe while I was listening that she was inspired by true events.

What I really loved was trying to pair celebrities to their descriptions in the book. You see, no real names are used, rather, celebrities are referred to as “Former A list hot mess actress,” “Not so innocent over sexualized pop star,” “Sexy Indie Film actor, “Southern Girl Next Door movie star” and many more. This was just plain fun trying to figure out who they were. Add to that the behind the scenes juicy details of the inner workings of the Chateau Marmont and I couldn’t stop listening to this book. Alongside all this fun is the story of Ella Warren who is very good at getting the celebrity scoop. Her life is filled with parties, good friends, a great family and a yummy new love interest…what could possibly go wrong…right? Of course you know that SO MUCH can and does go wrong in Ella’s life, the question is…how will it all turn out for her and everyone her job has impacted? If you’re like me, you’ll love finding out. And if you can get ahold of the audio, Therese Plummer expertly brought all the characters to life…so much so that I was convinced there had to be more than 1 narrator…there’s not, she’s just that good! If you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read look no further than this fantastic debut.

More Throwback Thursday Picks Around the Blogosphere…

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

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