Review: On Her Last Leg, by Wendy J. Reber

On Her Last Leg, by Wendy J. Reber

On Her Last Leg by Wendy J. Reber
Published by Wild Dreams Publishing on September 15, 2017
Series: Legs of Life, #3
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: e-book, 228
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at Amazon

“On Her Last Leg” depicts Renee Gregor sweeping up the fragments of her life, only to drop all the shards. She falls for the cop who responded to the 9-1-1 call. She dates, tries to get creative at work, is the victim of an armed burglary, watches her best friend battle cancer, and witnesses her boyfriend getting shot in the face. As her ailing lover adds weight to her capacity, she astonishingly discovers a baby boy; a very important and special boy. How will the last few hours play out in the emotional hell that has been tormenting her for months?

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Review: The People We Hate at the Wedding, by Grant Ginder

The People We Hate at the Wedding, by Grant Ginder

The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder
Published by Flatiron Books on June 6, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: hardcover, 326
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

Relationships are awful. They’ll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life.

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

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Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Published by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group on May 9, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary
Format & Pages: audiobook
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

Eleanor Oliphant is a bit of an odd ball. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, sometime wearer of an eczema glove), means that Eleanor has become a bit of a loner – or ‘self-contained entity’ as she calls it. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life and phone chats with ‘Mummy’ (in prison for crimes unknown).

But everything changes when Eleanor falls for the local Hipster-band frontman, Johnnie Rivers. As Eleanor prepares herself for her inevitable union with the object of her desire (appropriate attire, new laptop for Instagram stalking), she inadvertently befriends the new guy from her office, Raymond.

As Eleanor navigates the waters of obsessive love and her long-distance relationship with ‘Mummy’, she realises she can only overcome the horrors of her past if she accepts a little help from Raymond…

Filled with unabashed wit, Eleanor Oliphant follows its quirky and troubled female narrator as she realises that the only way to survive her current state of mind is to open her heart to friendship.

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Review: The Art of Hiding, by Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding, by Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse
Published by Lake Union Publishing on July 18, 2017
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction
Format & Pages: e-book, 290
Find on Goodreads
Purchase at AmazonBarnes & Noble, Book Depository

Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

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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
Find on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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
Find on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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
Find on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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
Find on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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
Find on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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
Find on GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble

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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