Review: Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

** spoiler alert ** This was hard for me. I just found it a bit far-fetched. I know bad parents exist. I know they hide from the system. However, I find it very hard to believe that Ginny was able to be place for adoption so soon and that no one discovered about baby doll. I understand that no one asked the correct questions for Ginny to explain that the baby doll was real, I just find it hard to believe that social workers never discovered her. Especially since it was obvious Ginny’s mother didn’t want to give up custody. You add to the fact that Ginny’s mother is kinda portrayed as not very intelligent, unstable and very impulsive, well it doesn’t make sense to then have her smart enough and level-headed enough to be able to hide the existence from the authorities. I feel like there would have been some supervised visits between Ginny and her mother before adoption was placed on the table. Especially since drugs were involved and Ginny’s mom went into treatment voluntarily. Maybe it’s different in other states, but when I worked within the system it was evident that the main purpose of the system is to try all means to keep families intact. Even those that (I feel) have no business intact or with parents I felt should never have second chances.

Also, the adoptive mother….I get the whole protective mother thing and maybe even postpartum depression (giving her the benefit of the doubt here) but I just don’t understand the relationship at all. I do get that Ginny might have been very difficult, but still. To turn off like that and then at the end for us all to believe in a HEA ending…it was just too much. Again, I worked within a small part of the system, so I understand that people like this do exist…but it just didn’t mesh for me like it should have in this story.

Even Ginny’s doctor didn’t seem to understand the proper way to communicate with her at times. Yes, I get it. But as a trained professional, she should have understood the basics.

I hope my review is clear, I didn’t dislike Ginny. Or even the story. And certainly not the plight that all the characters found themselves in. I just think the things I mentioned left too much of a stretch for my imagination to believe. It really ruined the whole book for me.

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

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Review ~ The Silent Child, by Sarah A. Denzil.

How would you react if your child, that you had long assumed dead, suddenly comes back to you years later? Well, that’s the key question that Denzil explores in her novel, The Silent Child.

I won’t go into too many details on the plot, but I will say that is one of those books where the plot and wanting to know what happens next, really played an integral part of this exciting read.

The pace is appropriate in all the right places, characters are fleshed out fairly well, and whilst a tad predictable, the emotional impact and tribulation of the main character, tended to make up for any sarcastic “oh, what a surprise” moments.

I actually listened to this on audio, and the narrator, actress Joanna Frogget, really brought all the characters to life and injected real emotion and authenticity into her narration. I think this helped make what could have possibly been an average (a good average) 3 Star read into a really good 4 Star read.

Pick up your copy now (I really recommend the audio if possible) and be prepared for a sleepless night as you read “just one more chapter” in order to absorb this thrilling and emotional story.

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The Silent Child

Review: The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff

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I must admit, I don’t read many books with a circus as the setting.  So I guess you could say this one was a bit of a stretch for me.  Still, it’s historical fiction which is my favorite genre so…

Two women thrown together in the unlikeliest of circumstances.  Young Noa finds herself cast out and alone after a one night stand with a Nazi solder leaves her pregnant and a disgrace to her family.  Astrid finds herself in the same situation after her marriage ends.  They both find their way to the circus.  Astrid has been here before.  She did, after all, grow up as the child of circus performers.  For Noa, it’s all strange and scary.  But she has to protect not only herself but the young baby she’s caring for.  Both women have much to lose.

This is a story of friendship, of love and loss.  It’s a story of hardship and resilience.  But most of all, it’s a story you won’t soon forget.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Orphan’s Tale

Review: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Margot Cary had been curious about her biological dad for a long time, but nothing ever tempted her enough to leave big city life for a pack of estranged relatives and their rural southern lake life. Until a giant embarrassment at work got her fired – and blackballed from the industry. When a McCready relative offered her a job, she reluctantly went for it.

I loved that Margot took her job seriously at the Funeral Home/Bait Shop. I mean, this girl gave 100% every day. She even showed up in heels. I think Harper did a fantastic job with the cousin relationships, making them believable and three-dimensional without casting a shadow over the main events. And the main events? Meeting her dad of course, and … drum roll … a little sweet southern romance. Except the guy is pretty much just as southern as she is. I appreciated that Harper had Margot stay true to her non-southern-belle self!

This book had a little bit of humor (perfect milieu in the funeral home), and a lot of spunk. One liners abounded as Margot tried to take over running a town event. I think I also read a few Bless Your Hearts, and Harper provided some physical humor as well. All that fun was a good respite from the ever serious issue of Margot wanting to repair the relationship with her dad. Margot even used humor herself when uncertain about her romantic situation.

All in all, I loved this slice of southern life, with fresh characters I believed in, a big and loving family to find comfort in, and a couple of city folk who were making lake life their own.

-calliope

Buy SWEET TEA AND SYMPATHY

Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Oh the drama! Quinn and Nora are distant sisters who would still do anything for each other. Tiffany is Nora’s bff… and a messed up drug addict with an illegitimate daughter. When Nora texts Quinn that she and Tiffany need her help, Quinn steps up. But it’s hard to know how to do the right thing when Nora won’t give her any details, and Tiffany is nowhere to be found.

I was psyched reading the first half of this book – there are good guys and bad guys, weak women and strong women, loving yet dysfunctional mothers, and a criminal so disgusting he turned my stomach. Baart weaves them all together in a dramatic and suspenseful plot, a story you don’t want to stop reading because you can’t believe what’s happening next.

And then — I’m not sure if it was my particular frame of mind, or if I’ve just read way too many books — I by mistake figured out the one big unknown. The mystery. The root of the drama. The guy who caused the secrets to grow bigger and bigger. And I hate that I figured it out, because it ruined the rest of the story for me. I skimmed the last half of the book, just in case there were some worthy plot points (and there were).

Baart is a master at expressing the love and confusion and envy and all the emotions in a sisterly relationship. What I appreciated most is that Baart lets her female characters be unapologetically themselves. There are no victims here, except maybe a little girl. The grown women own their choices, support each other, and make their own new beginnings.

-calliope

Buy LITTLE BROKEN THINGS (publishes on Nov.21, 2017)

Murder Over Mochas by Caroline Fardig

Solid, cute, cozy mystery with a dead guy, an amateur sleuth, an ex-fiancé, an ex-boyfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a couple of cops. Oh – and a coffee shop! I’m going to admit, I often choose books based on their covers, and I chose this one for the coffee. #yesidid

The protagonist Juliet is likable and genuine. I liked that I could envision her expressions and feel her exasperation. The police officers and a few other secondary characters were a little bit one dimensional to me, but I didn’t mind, as I was busy trying to solve the mystery before they did. I liked Juliet’s best friend Pete, also. He’s a sturdy, reliable dude – and every cozy mystery needs a Pete.

Fardig did a nice job weaving a creative, fresh mystery with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I was onto the perp before Juliet was, but it still took me a good while to do it, and I had fun from beginning to end.

-calliope

Buy MURDER OVER MOCHAS

Review: The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson

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There are certain things I look for in a gripping psychological thriller.  Great characters, engaging storyline, plausibility, a nice little twist or two…if these things are present then I’m likely to enjoy and recommend it to others.  This newest release from Kerry Wilkinson fits the bill.

Olivia is the girl who disappeared 13 years ago, and now she’s back.  Her mom and dad couldn’t be happier, although there are other people in their small village who have their doubts.  Where has she been all this time?  What exactly happened that day she disappeared from their backyard?  And why has she suddenly reappeared?  Questions abound as the mystery deepens.  If she’s an imposter, what does she want?

This was a great little story, full of suspense.  It kept me guessing until almost the very end which is no small feat.  Grab it and settle in for an enjoyable ride!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  The Girl Who Came Back