The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen- Book Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What I Loved:

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen have written a story that weaves between multiple characters and timelines. It was done beautifully and seamlessly. I loved the way the story unfolded. We learned little tidbits of info, but only when it was time. Such a great plot!

Continue reading “The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen- Book Review”

The Business of ARCs – How I get my books

I have been reading books my entire life, and I have gone through stages of extreme reviewing, and times where I reviewed nothing (two kids, out-of-state moves, etc). I just recently started consistently reviewing again. I created a Bookstagram, then blog, then Facebook, Litsy, and Twitter. I found that I loved it so much!

I started noticing that all these bloggers and bookstagrammers had advanced reader’s copies of books, and I wanted them too! So, I started googling, and I found some sites. I have continued to research and find new ways to get ARC’s. Today, I stumbled across an Instagram post speaking about ARCs. There were so many comments from people speaking to how frustrated they were to not be able to get their hands on these copies.

Continue reading “The Business of ARCs – How I get my books”

A Discovery: A Bookshop in Berlin by Françoise Frenkel, Patrick Modiano – Book Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What I Loved:

A Bookshop in Berlin is not your normal memoir. Françoise Frenkel wrote her experiences down and they were published in 1945. They were then re-discovered in an attic in 2010. I loved Françoise’s descriptions of her experiences. I felt delighted when she was, horrified when she was; all of her feelings were placed on the pages and as the reader, I felt a bit like I was drawing back a curtain to someone’s secrets and memories. I’m not sure if I was supposed to be there, but there I was, reading her work, and it was a beautiful and horrifying view of her experiences.

How I Felt:

A Bookshop in Berlin was a beautiful account of Françoise Frenkel’s early life and then entrapment and escape from the Nazi’s. The writing style was a bit jumpy at times. I felt like we would jump from memory to memory and I kind of wanted to go back and learn a bit more about the previous thing. However, the overall story is written from start to finish, making her experiences easy to follow, I just wanted more details sometimes.

For the book lover: If you are a lover of books, which I suspect you might be, as you are taking the time to read this, you will appreciate this book just because of Françoise’s very clear love of literature. When she was younger, she had a bookcase made of all glass so that she could place it in the middle of her room to admire the books from all sides. I mean, who doesn’t want that now!?!? I really enjoyed her descriptions of books and her passion for them. When she is closing the bookstore to leave Germany, she walks the aisles saying goodbye to her books. That part of the story made me so sad for her.

Her Escape: Her story follows her escape from Germany and the Nazi’s. It is filled with stops and starts as she is blocked by soldiers, red tape, train issues, and so many other problems. She finds and loses family members and friends. She witnesses destruction and violence, but also heartwarming moments of kindness. It is a very interesting story and I really enjoyed reading about it.

The Preface: Patrick Modiano has written the preface in A Bookshop in Berlin. I enjoyed this insight into the story. He gives background on Françoise Frenkel with some extra information that she didn’t share in her memoir. He mentions that Françoise had a husband and gives some information on him. I would have loved for her to have shared some details about their life together, but she chose to exclude him from her story.

Overall: A Bookshop in Berlin is a wonderful memoir and a powerful story.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend A Bookshop in Berlin for readers that enjoy historical fiction, historical non-fiction, and memoirs.

Where to Find This Book:

A Bookshop in Berlin by Françoise Frenkel, Patrick Modiano (Preface) is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

Advertisements

WINNER OF THE JQ-WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

“A beautiful and important book” (The Independent) in the tradition of rediscovered works like Suite Française and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, the prize-winning memoir of a fearless Jewish bookseller on a harrowing fight for survival across Nazi-occupied Europe.

In 1921, Françoise Frenkel–a Jewish woman from Poland–fulfills a dream. She opens La Maison du Livre, Berlin’s first French bookshop, attracting artists and diplomats, celebrities and poets. The shop becomes a haven for intellectual exchange as Nazi ideology begins to poison the culturally rich city. In 1935, the scene continues to darken. First come the new bureaucratic hurdles, followed by frequent police visits and book confiscations.

Françoise’s dream finally shatters on Kristallnacht in November 1938, as hundreds of Jewish shops and businesses are destroyed. La Maison du Livre is miraculously spared, but fear of persecution eventually forces Françoise on a desperate, lonely flight to Paris. When the city is bombed, she seeks refuge across southern France, witnessing countless horrors: children torn from their parents, mothers throwing themselves under buses. Secreted away from one safe house to the next, Françoise survives at the heroic hands of strangers risking their lives to protect her.

Published quietly in 1945, then rediscovered nearly sixty years later in an attic, A Bookshop in Berlin is a remarkable story of survival and resilience, of human cruelty and human spirit. In the tradition of Suite Française and The Nazi Officer’s Wife, this book is the tale of a fearless woman whose lust for life and literature refuses to leave her, even in her darkest hours.

Just the Facts:

  • A Bookshop in Berlin by Françoise Frenkel
  • Subtitle: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman’s Harrowing Escape from the Nazis
  • Preface by Patrick Modiano
  • Genre: Non-fiction / Memoir
  • Page Count: 287 pages
  • Publisher:  Atria Books
  • Pub Date: December 3, 2019
Advertisements

I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #nonfiction #memoir #abookshopinberlin #FrançoiseFrenkel #atriabooks #PatrickModiano #netgalley

A Thrilling Ride: The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler – Book Review

⭐⭐⭐⭐

What I Loved:

The Look-Alike takes the reader on so many twists and turns, I was constantly pointing blame at a different character in the book! I loved the way the story unraveled a little at a time, giving me one piece here and another there. It made the suspense wonderful and the ending fantastic!

How I Felt:

The Writing: Erica Spindler’s ability to tell a story is wonderful. She gave the book a well-rounded story with backstory and history to each character.

The Characters: There are quite a few characters in this story that were pivotal to the overall plot. I felt like I was given the chance to know each of them without being confused or overwhelmed. The main character is Sienna though, and overall, I liked her.

The Plot: The overall plot was awesome. I spent so much time thinking about what was happening in this story. Looking back at my notes, I pointed to no less than 7 different people as the killer, and in the end, one of my theories was right, but I couldn’t be sure until we got to just that right reveal point in the story.

I didn’t really enjoy the romance in this plot. I understand the overall need for it in the story-line, but I felt like it seemed very abrupt at how quickly Sienna just fell in love with this man. I would have liked just a bit more time before she was head-over-heels for him. That however, did not detract from my overall love of the story.

Overall: I really enjoyed The Look-Alike. The story was mysterious and suspenseful. The writing was good and I loved the story. I look forward to reading more from Erica Spindler!

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend The Look-Alike for readers that enjoy thrillers with a psychological aspect and a mystery to solve.

Where to Find This Book:

The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler is available at these sites.

Amazon Kindle | Amazon | Goodreads

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Other Girl and Justice for Sara comes a thrilling psychological drama about a woman who believes she escaped a brutal murder years ago—but does anyone else believe her?

Sienna Scott grew up in the dark shadow of her mother’s paranoid delusions. Now, she’s returned home to confront her past and the unsolved murder that altered the course of her life.

In her mother’s shuttered house, an old fear that has haunted Sienna for years rears its ugly head —that it was she who had been the killer’s target that night. And now, with it, a new fear—that the killer not only intended to remedy his past mistake—he’s already begun. But are these fears any different from the ones that torment her mother?

As the walls close in, the line between truth and lie, reality and delusion disintegrate. Has Sienna’s worst nightmare come true? Or will she unmask a killer and finally prove she may be her mother’s look-alike, but she’s not her clone?

Just the Facts:

  • The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler
  • Genre: Thriller / Mystery / Suspense
  • Page Count: 320 pages
  • Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
  • Pub Date: January 28, 2020

I was provided an advanced readers copy of this book for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #mystery #thriller #ericaspindler #thelookalike #suspense #stmartinspress #netgalley

Pause Power by Jennifer Law

Learning to Stay Calm When Your Buttons Get Pushed

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

What I Loved and How I Felt:

I am always looking for ways to help my children handle their emotions, and let’s face it, I can always use help with that as well. Pause Power was such a unique way to show children how their “buttons get pushed” by others and then how they reaction.

I loved the visual use of the buttons popping up on the boy in the story. It really helped my daughter to understand what the author was saying. Taking a moment to breathe and calm down is not a new concept, but this was a new way to explain it and I loved it!

To Read or Not To Read:

I feel that Pause Power should be read to every child, and it should be read more than once so that the concept sticks for them when they are in an emotionally situation! This is perfect for every home, library, and school.

Where to Find This Book:

Amazon Goodreads

Advertisements

Gabe gets angry and then he lashes out. He can’t help it, people push his buttons. One day, after his buttons were pushed, a new button appears and helps him to understand that if Gabe takes time to breathe and ask for a few minutes to calm down, his anger will reduce and he’ll be able to handle his feelings.

The author did an excellent job of explaining this in terms that a child could understand. We have started using this idea in our household and so far, I’ve managed to avoid two meltdowns…so a HUGE FIVE STAR from me!

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

⭐⭐⭐⭐

  • The Better Liar by Tanen Jones
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Page Count: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (Under Random House)
  • Pub Date: January 14, 2020

What I Loved: The Better Liar had me all over the place! The story was just crazy enough that I would think I knew what was going on, and then I would second guess it because “That would be crazy…”


How I Felt:

The first chapter of this book had me hooked. Robin’s discussion of being dead and how it made her feel, had me so intrigued! From there, the book just took off and never slowed down.

The Better Liar is told from three point of views: Robin, Leslie, and Mary. The mixture of these three told the story so well, giving insight to the history of the two sisters, Robin and Leslie as well as telling the story in present day.

The character building was done well. I found that I connected with the characters about different things. One of my favorites was actually Nancy, a secondary character. Her story was built so well, I really enjoyed the portions of the story that she was a part of. I found Leslie to be my least-liked character. There wasn’t anything wrong with her and I believe that the author meant for me to feel that way about her. She was just more distant and harder to know.

Overall, the suspense in this book had me reading late into the night. There were so many questions to answer and I had so many theories. I needed to know which was right, if any!

Content Warnings: Discussion and reference to suicide and murder.

To Read or Not To Read: I would recommend this book for any reader that enjoyed books like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. The Better Liar is filled with suspense and mystery and is a definite page-tuner.

Leslie is in trouble. She needs money. Her father has just passed away and left his two daughters $50,000 each. This is great news for Leslie, except that she hasn’t spoken to her sister is over 10 years.

She tracks her sister, Robin, to Las Vegas and finds her, but unfortunately Robin has just died of an overdose. Leslie is at a loss. She can’t get the money she needs, and her sister has just died.

Through chance, she meets Mary, a waitress looking for a way to make it big in Hollywood. Leslie convinces Mary to pretend to be Robin. Mary can have Robin’s $50,000 and head off to California. She must spend a few days in Leslie and Robin’s hometown pretending to be Robin.

Their quick and easy plan begins to become complicated as both realize the other woman may be hiding some secrets. With lots of twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat, you’ll be wondering who’s the better liar?

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones will publish on January 14, 2020. It is available now for pre-order.

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy from NetGalley for free. I am leaving my honest review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #thebetterliar #tanenjones #netgalley #thrillerbook #thrillernovel #suspense #mystery

Fantastic You by Danielle Dufayet

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: This book was FANTASTIC! Children can be very hard on themselves and they way this book was written, it gave such an uplifting way for children to love and forgive themselves. This book is not written as on story that has a start and a finish, it is lots of little ideas and reminders about real problems children face and options for them to help overcome the issues.

“If something goes wrong and I say something negative, like, “I’ll never be good enough,” I stop myself and say something more encouraging:

“It’s OK, I just need more practice and patience.”

I can cheer myself on:

“I can do this!”

Excerpt and image from Fantastic You by Danielle Dufayet

How I Felt: Children make mistakes and they get in trouble and sometimes it is hard to help them remember that they ARE great kids. This book says that to them so perfectly. I was in awe at what a good job the author did at writing a story that explains to a child that they are great, even when they mess up.

To Read or Not To Read: This book is perfect for every child. It works for Pre-K all the way through mid-elementary. I would recommend this book for schools and for home!

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Fantastic You features a variety of children throughout the story, giving any reader a chance to find a child that they feel they relate to. The story is focused on helping children remember that they are special and wonderful. It reminds us that there is only one person they will be spending their ENTIRE life with, YOU, so don’t forget to love yourself.

Where To Find This Book:

Footnotes:

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #kidslit #kidsbook #childrensbook #fantasticyou #danielledufayet #netgalley

Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies by Carmen Oliver

⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: The idea of helping children understand how to write something is great. I loved the tips that are given in this book and I loved the support that the bear can give to the child trying to write.

How I Felt: Bears Make the Best Writing Buddy is a book marketed to children, and yet I felt that it was really for an adult writer. It spoke of writer’s block, which I don’t think that a young child understands and deals with. The book had a cute concept with the bear being the support for the writer, but I’m just not sure how helpful it is for a child. The book overall kept my daughter interested however, and she loved the illustrations. This is the third book in a series of “Bears Make the Best…” and I would like to check out the other books.

Bears Make the Best Math Buddies by Carmen Oliver

Adelaide and Bear have tackled reading together, and now they are tackling math. Adelaide stands up for her best friend and his many talents, but will she convince her teacher to let Bear be her math buddy?

Amazon * Goodreads

Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver

All the students in the class are assigned reading buddies. Except for Adelaide. She already has one. A bear! And Adelaide is quite persuasive as she explains to her language arts teacher, Mrs. Fitz-Pea, and the reader, that bears really do make the best reading buddies. They sniff out good books. Their claws are just right for turning pages.

Amazon * Goodreads

To Read or Not To Read: This is a good book for schools. I think that a teacher working on a writing segment would enjoy reading this to the class. It would get them excited to write.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

A young boy is struggling to write his story and a friend introduces him to a bear. She explains all the reasons that bears are the best writing buddies, giving the boy ideas on how to solve writing problems along the way.

Where To Find This Book:

Bears Make the Best Writing Buddies will be published on January 1, 2020.

Amazon

Goodreads

Footnotes:

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

All Amazon links on SheJustLovesBooks are affiliate links and I receive a small percentage of sales from the use of them. If you fall in love with a book because of my review and you want to buy, I would greatly appreciate the use of the link on my page.

#shejustlovesbooks #bookreview #bookblog #bearsmakethebest #bearsmakethebestwritingbuddies #carmenoliver #kidslit #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #netgalley

There’s Room for Everyone by Anahita Teymorian

⭐⭐⭐

What I Loved:

I loved the idea of finding room for everyone.

How I Felt:

This book just missed the mark on so many levels for me and my daughter really struggled with it as well.

The illustrations were so elongated and my daughter and I did not like it. It really bothered her that the arms were so long, and while I was able to look past that, I had trouble with other parts. There was a page saying the animals had enough space, but the baby elephant was squished, I mean literally drawn in the space under the legs of the mommy elephant. Another said all the whales had enough space, but the whales were all completely squeezed into the scene with no swimming space. They weren’t all even drawn flat out, they looked a bit like a Tetris game. My daughter even mentioned that the whales looked like they needed more room. So, overall, the illustrations were just not telling the story that the words were and it made the book disconnected.

The story felt rushed and not thought out. The main character was a baby on page 1 and a grown man by page 3. My daughter was confused about why he had grown up so fast, and it’s ok to rush through the younger years if the story focuses on him as an adult, however that’s not what happened. The main character could honestly have been any age through the whole book and it would not have affected the story. The book doesn’t give time to enjoy the character and connect with him and that is why the story was affected. Unfortunately, by the end she didn’t care about anything he was saying. We closed the book and she said, that’s a 3 star.

To Read or Not To Read:

I hate telling anyone not to read a book. Every reader is different and every reading experience is different. For my daughter and I, this was not a well-thought out book, however, if it piques your interest, grab it and check it out. You may find a completely different experience.

A baby is in his mommy’s tummy and there’s room, then he’s a boy and there’s room, then a man and there’s room. Then we move from location to location as he travels and there’s room. All of a sudden, we turn the page, and now there isn’t enough room for humans. The story has a nice message at the end, it’s a secret, so I won’t share it, but the book ended so abruptly we didn’t even get time to enjoy the happy secret.

This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and Myrick Marketing & Media, Tiny Owl Publishing for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased opinion voluntarily.

The Beekeeper’s Bullet (Wind in the Wire Book 1) by Lance Hawvermale

I was provided this ARC by NetGalley and The Wild Rose Press in exchange for my honest review.

⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: The main character, Ellenor Jantz is a great character. She’s full of spunk and personality. Her opening scenes were great, and I thought I was going to really enjoy the book, however, the book fizzled for me a bit after that.

How I Felt: I couldn’t quite get into this book the way I wanted. I liked the characters, but not enough to truly connect with them. The premise of the story was very interesting, but I just never felt invested the way I wanted to.

To Read or Not To Read: This is a romance, rescue mission and would be great for romance readers who enjoy historical fiction. If you enjoy other books by Lance Hawvermale, this might be a good read for you.


What’s This Book About Anyway?

It’s World War 1, and Ellenor, an American, is living in Germany. An English plane (the enemy) crash lands right by her and she ends up taking the very injured pilot (Alex) captive. Once she gets him home, she is given news that some of the German pilots will be staying on their estate. She has to move her captive pilot, and in the process, gets to know him and understand why he is there. He must find and save his sister from a planned bombing of the factory she works in. The remainder of the book focuses on the escape from the estate and the travel to save Alex’s sister.


Footnotes:

#netgalley #shejustlovesbooks #thebeekeepersbullet #lancehawvermale #historicalfiction #romancebooks

The Other Wife by Claire McGowan

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Other Wife by Claire McGowan will release for purchase October 24, 2019. I was provided an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Here’s what I thought:

What I Loved: The way the author wove so many secrets into the story. The twists and turns were done so that you were propelled through the book. Something would be revealed and I just had to keep turning the pages to see what was next.

The sections in the book are titled by the character’s name so you know who’s point of view you are reading and I really liked that. Each character’s POV was pretty to-the-point; there were not sections that were so fluffy and overly descriptive that I wanted to skim them *bonus points to the author*!!

How I Felt: I was intrigued through this entire book. There were two specific parts where I actually got a little nervous, and looked around the room, which tells me that the author was able to spook me a bit! I didn’t feel connected to Suzi through most of the book, but about 3/4 of the way into the book, BAM, I was rooting for her! She had a moment where she decided to stand up for herself and take some responsibility, and it completely changed my opinion of her.

To Read or Not To Read: This is a To Read for anyone who loves mystery, suspense, or thrillers!


What’s this book about anyway?

Suzi and her husband have recently moved into an extremely secluded cottage without neighbors. Suzi has cheated on her husband, and now she’s pregnant. And she sure is a nervous-nelly! The man she has had an affair with seems to have “ghosted” her, or dumped her, and she doesn’t know what to do. She stalks him online, on her phone, but she can’t find any news about him.


Nora moves in to the cottage across the road from Suzi and immediately befriends her. We soon realize that Nora seems to know more about Suzi than she is letting on. There are so many questions to answer in this book, and I felt that every one of them was answered in the end. This story takes you on a roller-coaster ride and does a great job tying up loose ends!


Footnotes:

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

#netgalley #theotherwife #clairemcgown #shejustlovesbooks