Dear Thing {Julie Cohen}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily has offered to give them the one thing that they want most.

Romily expects it will be easy to be a surrogate. She’s already a single mother, and she has no desire for any more children. But Romily isn’t prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire-and even destroy their marriage.

Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make…

Thought-provoking, heart-rending but ultimately uplifting, Julie Cohen’s Dear Thing is a book you won’t be able to put down, until you pass it on to your best friends.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

What a thought-provoking book this was.  I loved it and loved the different angles the author took in describing each situation.  Each character’s individual story really tugged at my heartstrings and together they combined to create one interestingly intricate web. I love books where you can’t imagine how each story will be wrapped up in the end and this was a perfect example of that.  As I was reading, I couldn’t imagine how this book was going to end…and it made me want to keep reading to find out!  A beautifully told story about sensitive topics with so many complicated layers. I highly recommend this one!

Bottom Line:

A wonderfully written and thought-provoking story.

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The Hate U Give {Angie Thomas}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

I’m honestly not sure that I’ve ever read a more powerful book in my life.  Ever.  This is truly one of the most well written pieces of literature that I’ve ever read.  The writing is real, raw, tragic, heartbreaking, beautiful, and so wonderfully descriptive.  Everyone should read this book–all races, all genders.

There are no faults with this book.  It’s perfect.  In every way.  Highly, highly recommend this one.

I don’t think I even breathed while reading the last 100 or so pages…could NOT put it down.  The writing!  The details!  So intense!

There are no words to express my absolute love for this beautifully written story.  Each character (and setting) was so well written.  It’s a YA book (young adult) and told from the perspective of 16 year old Starr.  This added to the magic of the book…having it told from the voice of someone so young, yet so wise and so aware of the world.

This was Angie Thomas’s debut novel and I can’t wait to see what she will write next.  I’m reaaaaally hoping it’s a sequel!  The movie The Hate U Give comes out this week…and the trailer looks AMAZING!

Please read the book first, though.  Always read the book first.

Bottom Line:

One of the most powerful books I have ever read.

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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul {Deborah Rodriguez}

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*NOTE: This book was originally published under the title A Cup of Friendship*

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together.

SUNNY, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan – and fast – to keep her café and customers safe.

YAZMINA, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul’s violent streets.

CANDACE, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil.

ISABEL, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life.

And HALAJAN, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules.

As these five women discover there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others.

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is the heart-warming and life-affirming fiction debut from the author of the bestselling memoir The Kabul Beauty School.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

Oh how I loved this book!  It was easy, quick, and delightful. The writing wasn’t spectacular but overall it was a quick and extremely enjoyable little read.

One of my favorite things about reading is the ability that a good book has to instantly transform me straight into different places and cultures.  I learned so much just from reading this novel and found myself googling images of Kabul and it’s culture on numerous occasions while reading.

I highly recommend this book!  The characters were compelling, the story was captivating, and the knowledge I gained was very interesting.  There are so many different story lines and I enjoyed reading each of them.  Deborah Rodriguez did a fantastic job of intertwining all of the different stories from all of the characters into one charming plot.

This book was quite different from Deborah Rodriguez’s memoir (The Kabul Beauty School) which I actually didn’t love…

As I was writing this review, I learned that Deborah Rodriguez has written a sequel, Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul!  I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to reunite with these lovely characters and to witness their stories unfold even more.

Bottom Line:

Great story, great characters, and I learned a great deal about a different and interesting culture.

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Me Before You {Jojo Moyes}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

I read this book years ago and it left such a huge impact on me.  It was so beautifully told in every single way.  I laughed, I cried (sobbed), and it really made me think of what it means to live and how that definition can mean such different things to different people.  Confession: I haven’t read the following 2 books in this series.  I’ve picked the sequel SO many times to read it and in the end always put it back down.  Me Before You was so perfectly written that the thought of adding any more story to this already beautiful story just doesn’t make sense to me.  This is the ONLY circumstance where I’ve ever felt that way, usually I can’t wait for sequels to be released and I read them immediately!  I just loved this as a stand alone novel so much, I’m afraid the other 2 books in the series won’t be able to live up.  Let’s discuss in the comments…Have you read this book?  Have you read the following 2 books in this series?  Should I be reading the following 2 books?  Have you ever NOT read a sequel to a book because of the reasons I listed above?

Bottom Line:

Beautiful.  In every way.

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  Thank you for your support, Xo

Everything, Everything {Nicola Yoon}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

I love reading Young Adult Literature (YA) from time to time and this is one of the best I have read. Oh did I love this book! I truly couldn’t put it down and finished in 3 days. You know those books that you devour whenever you can squeeze in even just a few minutes here and there and literally can’t put it down?  That was this book for me. I read this while eating meals, parked in parking spaces, in between loads of laundry, etc. I simply could not get enough of this fascinating story! Nicola Yoon has such a beautiful way with words and her style of writing is so unique. The “chapters” are so short (often times just 1 page) and due to this, it’s very easy to get caught up in the quickness of how fast this story flows and how quickly you will become immersed into it.  I highly, highly recommend this one. Beautifully told story with such colorful characters.  Perfect in every way.

Bottom Line:

Read this. Now. You’re welcome.

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  Thank you for your support, Xo

The Deepest Secret {Carla Buckley}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Diagnosed with XP, a rare medical condition which makes him lethally sensitive to light, Tyler is a thirteen-year-old who desperately wants just one thing: to be normal. His mother Eve also wants just one thing: to protect her son. As Tyler begins roaming their cul-de-sac at night, cloaked in the safety of the darkness, he peers into the lives of the other families on the street-looking in on the things they most want hidden. Then, the young daughter of a neighbor suddenly vanishes, and Tyler may be the only one who can make sense of her disappearance…but what will happen when everyone’s secrets are exposed to the light?

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

Wow. Just wow. This is an amazing book with such complex characters and storylines. I loved it from page 1 and truly savored all 400 pages. It kept me guessing throughout the book as more twists were introduced. As a bonus, I loved learning about XP and found myself googling it to learn more about this rare condition on more than 1 occasion while reading. I had never heard of this author before reading this novel and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of her work! I loved her writing style, especially her gift of articulating thoughts compared to what was said aloud. I do wish each neighbor’s story was a bit more developed, I found that I was confused at times trying to remember who all of the neighbors were as well as their individual stories. I also will say that Amy was an 11 year old girl…but yet the descriptions of her throughout the book made her seem much younger. Did anyone else feel this way? I loved the overall theme that I took away from this complex story: How far will you go to protect those you love?

Bottom Line:

Best book I’ve read so far in 2018.

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Room {Emma Donoghue}

room

Synopsis From Goodreads:

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world….

Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience – and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it’s where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it’s not enough…not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son’s bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

I read this book 4 years ago and still think of it OFTEN.  It is one of the most powerful and thought provoking books I have ever read.  Admittingly the writing style took a bit to get used to as it’s told from the point of view of a 5 year old boy. However, eventually the style somehow disappeared and the story itself spoke louder than the way it was being told. Everything about this story and these characters completely captivated me and continues to do so years later. Reading this as a mother spoke directly to my heart.  I do not have the words to describe the vivid picture this book painted for me.  It was dark and often disturbing…yet beautiful in many ways.  There was one scene in this book which I truly believe to be the most powerful scene of any book I have ever read (see comment section for the specific spoiler).  This is also one of the very few times that I feel the movie actually lived up to the book!  The movie told the story so well, changing parts yet keeping many the same as the book.  Both the book and the movie told this complicated story in such a way that years later it still remains both in my head and in my heart.

Bottom Line:

Everyone needs to read this.  Today.  And take the story with you in your heart when you are finished.

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The Woman in The Window {A.J. Finn}

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

As I closed the cover of this book after I had finished, I actually said the word “Wow” aloud. This book was brilliantly written and completely captivating. I had been waiting for months and months to read this book and it did not disappoint! Although I did figure out one of the major twists early on, I was still pleasantly surprised by others that I did not see coming. Everything about this book was interesting and I found learning details of Agoraphobia completely fascinating. I absolutely loved the writing style of this book. This book consists of 100 chapters…yes 100! Some are only one or two pages long. I LOVE books like this. I find that it forces me to read the book more quickly because it’s easy to “just read 1 more chapter…and then 1 more after that”. I appreciated the way that the author allowed us into Anna’s thoughts even as she was speaking to other characters. This book is absolutely begging to become a movie and when it does…I’ll be there with popcorn on opening day.

Bottom Line:

Can one preorder Fandango tickets before a movie is even filmed?

Click the cover image below to order the book: