The Bloom Girls by Emily Maine Cavanagh

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This book is an addictive gem which could have been even more, had the style been just a little more subtle. I would have liked a bit more suspense, though clearly this is more psychological at family/relationship level.

The characters each have a complex baggage and get to know each other throughout the book, even though they are family. This just stands to prove how important communication between family members is.

There is a continuous emotional struggle at individual level, juggling between memories before the father’s death and after. Cal, Suzy and Violet are the Bloom girls and they couldn’t have been more different from one another. They each mourn their dad in their own way, finally coming to terms and getting to know him better after he was no longer there.

I recommend this quick read to anyone, can be a very good summer/holidays book too. There are lots of issues and points thatcan be discussed also in a book club. Very curious to read others’ thoughts on it.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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The good neighbour by A.J.Banner

This has been one crazy ride, completely blown away by the sheer depths of secrets people can have. I am sure it is like this in real life, yet it makes it that harder to believe in simple minded souls. I liked the style, it was a super quick read, addictive and surprising at times.IMG_20170427_102217_183.jpg I did not understand Sarah’s reasoning about accepting Johnny back. I had the feeling that the ending as left open has so much potential, I already know what I want to happen next.

I was fully captivated, despite the very simple and to the point language. Suburbia style, friendly, emotional at times, complex characters with many unresolved issues, marriage difficulties, rebel teenagers, loss and forgiveness.

If you are looking for a quick psychological thriller, go ahead and read this and let me know how you liked it. I expect controversial opinions.

It happens all the time by Amy Hatvany

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This is an eye-opening novel, full of strong emotions and hard truths. I recommend it to everyone, just really make sure you talk openly with your kids about body image, sexual behavior, what is what and how to behave in certain situations. It is so important in the world we live in!

I haven’t read much about the book beforehand, nor any reviews. I preferred to just dive in and see for myself what made it so discussed in social media.

I had many contradictory feelings towards both Tyler and Amber, main characters in this book. I somehow tended to understand each separately yet I was furious with both and with how society is so particular and protective about men vs women when it comes to sexual behaviors.

There are many problems highlighted in the book: anxiety disorder, eating disorder, rape, parenting and role models or the absence of.

I liked the chapter structure from the POV of both Amber and Tyler, it made the plot and the atmosphere more rounded in a way.

Finally and not wishing to reveal any spoilers, I was content with the ending, and how the characters got their closure and their will to move forward in a positive way.

Lola by Mellisa Scrivner Love

Lola took me on an addictive journey through the drug cartel business of Los Angeles. The book itself being “unputdownable” due to the unique plot and style.The main character impressed and depressed me at the same time, yet above all proved how strong the self can become due to unimaginable hardships and horrors throughout childhood.

I got engrossed and deceived by humanity by reading this. Meanwhile, I was impressed by the literary style of depicting thugs and gang street life. Lola, the character, is exactly how she should be, in my opinion, exactly how one would become had they been through similar experiences. Lucy is mirroring young Lola, and Lola finds through the little girl her goal in life. They end up having only each other as meaningful persons. It’s heartbreaking.

I highly recommend this. Expect cold-blooded murder and drug addicts acting inhumanely. Expect an eye for an eye attitude and survival of the fittest.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.IMG_20170421_093243_087

Rooted by Idabel Allen

3.5 rounded up to 4 for the controversial Southern spirit mixed with New York language

This book was really something different! I got into it fairly quickly and was surprised by the pace and style drawing me in, despite the unnatural melange of characters, happenings, family ties refinding their purpose and connections. The mix and match of language and story is unforgettable, pretty original to say the least.

My favorite character who underwent a significant rebirth or development is Grover. I had a feeling from the beginning that he was the guy who would clear things up eventually, yet he took even more responsibility than I would have imagined. I also liked Miss Josie’s warmth and understanding about human nature and real life. I was somehow so grateful for the goodness she helped spreading towards Sarah Jane and Slade.

The book is sprinkled every few pages or so with old wisdom phrases and aims to teach about the hardships of life, taking ownership of one’s actions and how they could affect other people. Family is the center of it all, the idea that without family one is nothing.

All in all, this book has it all, and the Southern lifestyle seems to be the base and the heart of the plot. I recommend you give it a try and check for yourself if this novel suits you. It has a way too colorful mix of events and moods to be straight to the point and it is not that easy to classify.

Thanks so much to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Anything is possible by Elizabeth Strout

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This is a marvelous book about human nature in all its forms. Strout’s simple and direct style is one of my favorites. The book is structured into linked stories from Lucy Barton’s town, a colourful mix of individuals with all sorts of lives and regrets mostly, looking for forgiveness and peace of mind. Strout has such a devout sense of reality, through all her words and phrases. I had the same feelings after reading My Name is Lucy Barton. Strout’s books may point towards growing up, yet highligting the importance of education and a simple life. Thanks to Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.