Review: The Knockoff, by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

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The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
Published by Penguin Random House Audio on May 19, 2015
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: audiobook
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An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.

When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

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Review: Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on September 10, 2013
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, young adult
Format & Pages: e-book, 448
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In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

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Review: In this Moment, by Karma Brown

In this Moment, by Karma Brown

In this Moment by Karma Brown
Published by Park Row Books on May 30, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: paperpack, 297
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Bestselling author Karma Brown is back with a morally infused and emotionally riveting exploration of one woman’s grief and guilt over an unexpected yet avoidable tragedy.

Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career as a real estate agent, a hardworking husband on the verge of starting his own medical practice and a surprisingly good-natured teenage daughter. Most days Meg is able to keep it all together—thanks to an endless stream of alerts on her phone—and (more or less) seamlessly glide through life.

After school pickup one day, Meg and her daughter, Audrey, are driving home when they see Jack, the twin brother of Audrey’s boyfriend, up ahead. Seeing a group of boys on the other side of the road, Meg stops her car to wave him across the street just as an SUV comes hurtling down the road and slams into Jack. The driver—a high-school teacher in the process of texting—did not see Jack crossing the road.

Meg can’t help but blame herself for this horrific accident. Guilt-stricken and desperate with grief, Meg throws herself into helping Jack’s family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more she tries to absolve herself of what she feels responsible for, the more she alienates her own family. The ripple effects that follow tear at the ties that bind her to those she loves the most, causing her to risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart.

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Book vs. Movie: Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Published by Listening Library on September 1, 2015
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, young adult
Format & Pages: audiobook
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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.

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Review: A Leg Up, by Wendy J. Reber

A Leg Up, by Wendy J. Reber

A Leg Up by Wendy J. Reber
Published by Fifth Ink Publishing on May 15, 2017
Series: Legs of Life, #2
Genre(s): fiction, chick-lit, contemporary
Format & Pages: e-book, 285
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Thanks to hospital issued drugs, Eunice Barner has been fast asleep for four or five days. When she wakes up, sixteen pounds of her are missing–her right leg from the knee down. Before the accident, Eunice’s lover of seven years left her for no apparent reason; a six year old, Petra, bobbing in his wake. Years later, her newly beloved spouse dies unexpectedly, her home is broken in to, her daughter is threatened, and then she loses a limb while trying to put back the pieces of your life and working hard on the job. The heroine’s plate runneth over in the novel, “A Leg Up,” as Eunice Barner leads by example and cultivates a higher plan. However, someone is skulking around aiming to foil this plan.

A love story between mother and daughter culminating in the best revenge—success and happiness—rather than succumbing to trials and tribulations that tests them to their cores.

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Book vs. Movie: Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on March 2, 2010
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, young adult
Format & Pages: hardcover, 490
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What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

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Review: A Long Legged Life, by Wendy J. Reber

A Long Legged Life, by Wendy J. Reber

A Long Legged Life by Wendy J. Reber
Published by 5th Ink Publishing on April 3, 2017
Genre(s): fiction, chick-lit, contemporary
Format & Pages: e-book, 209
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When water follows the path of least resistance, it doesn’t mean it is the right path, or perceived as the correct path.

Eva Kenier’s fairytale childhood in the 60’s and 70’s starts out as a sheltered babbling brook that flows into turbulent rapids, whitewater, and falls. Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll of the 80’s and 90’s lurk around every corner, but do not get the better of her.

Through fortitude and acuity, she surfaces within a mirrored pool of calm and warmth; no more egg shells to walk on; no more fear she will disappoint, her guard is down. As she peers into her reflection, she must own, love, and value what she sees.

The ride she is on, while under anesthesia, covers living in eight states, attending six colleges, sustaining 192 stitches from injuries, and undergoing five surgeries– including the one she is having at the moment.

Will her journey continue?

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Review: The Idea of You, by Amanda Prowse

The Idea of You, by Amanda Prowse

The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse
Published by Lake Union Publishing on March 21, 2017
Genre(s): fiction, chick-lit, contemporary
Format & Pages: e-book, 332
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With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…

Heart-wrenching and poignant, this latest work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: what does it mean to be a mother in today’s hectic world? And what if it’s asking too much to want it all?

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Review: The Thief, by Michele Hauf

The Thief, by Michele Hauf

The Thief by Michele Hauf
Published by Lyrical Press on April 11, 2017 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance
Format & Pages: e-book, 320
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The Elite Crimes Unit works behind the scenes of Interpol—and employs some of the world’s most talented criminal minds. Because as everyone knows, it takes a thief to catch a thief—or to seduce one . . .

The old farmhouse in the French countryside is a refuge for former jewel thief Josephine Deveraux. Admittedly, there aren’t many men in the vicinity, but she has her cat to cuddle up with. It’s a far cry from her former life, constantly running from the law, and she’s enjoying her peace . . . until the intruder in the three-piece suit tackles her. He wants her back in the game, helping with a heist—and he’s not above making threats to get his way.

Little does Josephine know that notorious—and notoriously charming—thief, Xavier Lambert, is after the very same 180-carat prize she’s being blackmailed to steal. To his chagrin, he’s doing it not as a free agent, but as a member of the Elite Crimes Unit—the team he was forced to join when his brilliant career came to a sudden end. And little does Xavier know that his comeback is about to include a stranger’s kiss, a stinging slap, and a hunt for missing treasure—along with the infuriatingly sexy woman who’s outfoxing him . . .

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Review: Barefoot with a Bodyguard, by Roxanne St. Claire

Barefoot with a Bodyguard, by Roxanne St. Claire

Barefoot with a Bodyguard by Roxanne St. Claire
Published by South Street Publishing on June 12, 2015
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance
Format & Pages: e-book, 307
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Introducing Barefoot Bay Undercover, a romantic adventure series set on the tropical beaches of Barefoot Bay. When former CIA consultant Gabe Rossi creates a secret “privatized witness protection” operation hidden within the security firm at the local resort, things get a little more suspenseful on the island paradise. Gabe’s clients need to keep a low profile and stay safe while he helps them create new identities…and, sometimes, they find love. (To find out how Gabe started the operation, be sure to read the series prequel novella, Barefoot Bound.)

Barefoot with a Bodyguard – book one in the series

About to take the bar exam after ending a five-year marriage that derailed her career plans and her life, Kate Kingston craves independence and a vacation. Somewhere warm with sea breezes, sunshine, sand…and no scary threats against her that have been showing up in her dad’s office. Barefoot Bay is the perfect place for some serenity while she studies and puts her life back together. But when she meets the brooding wall of muscle her father hired to protect her, Kate feels her hard won independence slipping away as fast as her resolve to avoid men who wield power over her.

Mixed martial arts trainer Alec Petrov has been on the run for a long time. Guarding a young attorney-to-be while pretending to be her husband is not a bad way to live off the grid, hidden from the Russian mobster who is hunting Alec with deadly intent. But Kate brings out a tender side Alec doesn’t understand, or believe he deserves, and he soon realizes that keeping them both safe is only half the challenge. Keeping his hands off her and his attraction under control will be every bit as difficult in the closed quarters of an exclusive resort.

When their make-believe honeymoon in paradise turns sensual, complicated, and dangerous, Alec and Kate realize it’s not just their lives that are in jeopardy, it’s their hearts. And they’ll have to fight to the end to save each other…and their love.

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