An Excellent Cupcake:
As a mom of a freshman in college, I can still remember all the preparation it took and time spent to fill out college applications, scholarships, and visiting campuses. During that time, a friend mentioned hiring a person to fill out the applications for their son. It was a lot of money, and I thought it was a bit crazy.
Well, apparently, that is the norm!! This book moved at a great pace and highlights different families and the challenges they face, along with the “college whisperer” to make sure the student has the best opportunity to go to the best university. This book isn’t a “how-to”, rather it shows the extents families will go for their child to remain a legacy in the family, the pressures the students face, and the way it can potentially bring a family closer, or break them further apart. I found it most interesting the relationships and family dynamics that Anne sees, as she spends more time with her students and family secrets are exposed and the pressures each one faces.
It’s not a depressing book by any means, but it’s a somber look at what families expect from their children, even when their child may have a different idea of what they want for their future. I love how Anne is able to bring out the best in each of the students she works with and the trust she works hard at establishing.
Anne has her own share of struggles and a relationship that is long distance, which puts pressure on her work and her own goals. Anne is a young woman, who didn’t set out to be a college coach. She taught at school and helped her students with their college essays, which slowly morphed into her coaching other kids because of the huge success she had with her former students.
About a year ago, I read the book, Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska. Reading Lacy Crawford’s book made me think of the students from Accelerated, and I pictured them and their parents as the ones seeking help from Anne. I know…these books have nothing to do with the other, but I could see a natural extension of it all.
Overall, I loved this book! Again, there aren’t any huge secrets that are revealed in the book. However, I loved the essays because it showed what each student was thinking, their writing ability, and how Anne was able to pull more from her students when she read the essays. I loved this book and any parent who has dealt with college admissions, has a child in school, or is simply a reader who loves books about family secrets, family relationships, and the pressure of today’s society, will all enjoy this fantastic read!
*This book was provided by the publisher and TLC Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. No forms of compensation were given.
About Lacy Crawford
For fifteen years Lacy Crawford served as a highly discreet independent college admissions counselor to the children of powerful clients in cities such as New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London. Her “day jobs” included serving as senior editor of Narrative magazine and director of the Burberry Foundation. Educated at Princeton and the University of Chicago, Crawford lives in California with her husband and two children.
Lacy’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 26th: Walking With Nora
Wednesday, August 27th: Back Porchervations
Thursday, August 28th: Man of La Book
Monday, September 1st: Alison’s Book Marks
Tuesday, September 2nd: The Ludic Reader
Wednesday, September 3rd: cakes, tea and dreams
Thursday, September 4th: Staircase Wit
Monday, September 8th: Carpe Libros
Wednesday, September 10th: The Scarlet Letter
Thursday, September 11th: missris
Monday, September 15th: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
Tuesday, September 16th: Shall Write
Wednesday, September 17th: Book Journey
Thursday, September 18th: Bibliotica
Thursday, September 25th: Books in the Burbs
Friday, September 26th: The Things You Can Read
First, I absolutely love the title and book cover. I understand there is another book cover, but the one I have is the cover I have posted up top. The title sends chills down my spine, now as I reflect back on the love between Rosetta and her husband, Jeremiah. The cover is a depiction of Rosetta (and any other female solider disguised as a man). I have to admit, I don’t really enjoy reading about war. I already know that there will be blood, gore, death, and family separation…and it all just makes me sad. However, when I read the synopsis, I knew this book was an exception. I’m so glad that I did read this book!
Based on a compilation of true stories, Erin brings to life the characters of Rosetta (Ross), Jeremiah, and the troops they fight with. During the Civil War, I was shocked that there were many soliders (disguised as men), who fought in the war. I realize I may be in the minority, but again-I’m not a war book reader, however it wasn’t until this book that I learned about the brave women-who fought alongside brave, young men, too. Back then, physicals weren’t given and it was just your word and a signature that allowed you to join up for war. Before the era of social media and internet, soldiers didn’t have ways of delivering and receiving mail often from their loved ones. So, there were months before a letter was received. Erin is so detailed in sharing more about the life of a solider, during a time when communication was limited, resources were scarce, and the unknown was their greatest challenge.
Despite all the war details in the book, Erin weaves a beautiful love story, in the midst of a very brutal, bloody, and horrific war. These were soldiers on the battle front, who had to walk into the line of fire and see their comrades blown to bits, injured, and even had to bury those who were killed. I can’t imagine the PTSD all these soldiers experienced!!!
I love the character: Will!! He is also a solider, who has a “secret”, and shares it with Ross. I love their relationship as friends, and the way they treated each other as equals. Ross is one tough woman and I love the way her character is portrayed. She is tough on the battlefield, is a loyal friend to her comrades, and is a devoted wife to her husband.
There are so many layers to this book: the role of women, the issues of battle, family issues, death, and friendships. It’s an excellent book to read! While there is some subject matter that readers may be concerned about (the details of a horrific war, homosexuality (only lightly discussed), some sexual implied scenes), it is relevant to the storyline, and is not graphic (besides the war). None of those issues should dissuade a reader from buying and reading this book. I absolutely loved this book! If you do read it, grab some tissue…there are some tearjerker moments!
*This book was provided by Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.
The cover and book title are genius!! Wow, I was thrown for one huge loop, when I reached the end of the book! Mia is a socialite, who doesn’t follow the norms within her family. Her father, a prominent attorney, turned judge, is very much into appearances and will stop at nothing to make sure the family name stays untainted. Mia’s mom is the perfect wife, albeit on the outside, as she does her best to keep up appearances, too. Mia has a sister, who follows the family rules and becomes an attorney herself. Mia, on the other hand, struggles as a teenager and soon cuts herself off from the family, as she pursues art and becomes a teacher for the inner-city kids.
The story is told through flashbacks and present time, with the book addressing many issues: family secrets, why Mia is kidnapped, the relationship between Mia and her captor, Mia’s relationships with her family, the relationship between Mia’s parents, the justice system, and so much more. It’s a book that held my attention the whole time. Mia tries to escape her captor, but overtime, experiences the Stockholm Syndrome. What happens to Mia? What happens to the family and their public image? Who wanted Mia kidnapped? Those are just a few of the questions that will addressed in the book. It’s a book that will certainly engage the reader and offer some huge surprises along the way!
*This book was provided through the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
First, of all-I absolutely loved the title and cover of this book! I’m a huge fan of artwork, and when it represents the storyline so perfectly-it immediately grabs my interest!
In the beginning, Betsy is just a “typewriter girl”. Typing away, with all the other women in a factory. It reminded me of the stories my MIL has told me, when she lived in Mexico and trained as a receptionist. Every day, she had to wear heels, a little hat, black skirt with a white blouse, and gloves…just like Betsy (minus the hat). It was all about appearance, as much as it was work ethic, so I was instantly able to picture the factory that Betsy worked in- long hours, little pay, and no recognition. To this day, she still remembers how to write short hand!
I loved the book from the start. The setting is during a time when women were working, but really just “staying busy”, until they are married and have children. Betsy Dobson is the girl that breaks all the rules, finds her way amongst a male dominated world, and rises to the top because of hard work and sheer determination. Betsy had a canary, that she takes with her everywhere. I cringed every time she called his name, “Thief”, but in some way it seemed quite fitting. While Betsy isn’t a thief, she definitely changes her life, her story, to get a job that will hopefully change her future because her past is a place she doesn’t want to revisit again. In her past, she had to give so much of herself, that in her future- she is not willing to give any of herself that she doesn’t want to. It’s on her terms, this time.
What was most interesting, is that Alison Atlee writes this story from the Victorian era, but aside from the dresses and formal wear- Alison peels away the curtain and shows the gritty side to that time period with the language, the complex characters who are trying to make a better life, and fit in during a time when appearances were everything.
An interesting note, is that Alison creates a new place: Idensea (although I kept reading it as Indonesia), reminded me of the Grand Hotel (from the movie, Somewhere in Time). The magical feel of the place, the different activities, and big events…just made me want to go there!
An excellent book with complex characters, who are misfits, trying to find their place and move up in their world!
*Thank you to HFVBT for providing me the opportunity to read this book, in exchange for an honest review.
Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky.
The Typewriter Girl Blog Tour & Book Blast Schedule
Wednesday, August 6
Book Blast at Let Them Read Books
Friday, August 8
Book Blast at Book Blast Central
Saturday, August 9
Book Blast at Caroline Wilson Writes
Sunday, August 10
Book Blast at Book Nerd
Tuesday, August 12
Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads
Saturday, August 16
Book Blast at Broken Teepee
Sunday, August 17
Interview at Closed the Cover
Monday, August 18
Review at The Maiden’s Court (Audio Book)
Wednesday, August 20
Book Blast at Literary, Etc.
Thursday, August 21
Book Blast at Bibliotica
Friday, August 22
Review at Bibliophilia, Please (Audio Book)
Sunday, August 24
Book Blast at Passages to the Past
Tuesday, August 26
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, August 27
Book Blast at Susan Heim on Writing
The Typewriter Girl Swag Giveaway
One copy of The Typewriter Girl (Audio Book or Print)
Set of earbuds in a cute typewriter print pouch
A Typewriter Girl Happily-Ever-After t-shirt (features last lines from famous novels)
A vintage style postcard “from” Idensea, the setting of The Typewriter Girl
A “dream wildly” ribbon bookmark with typewriter key charms
To enter, please click on this link.
Giveaway is open to residents in the US, Canada, and the UK.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on August 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 30th and notified via email.
Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
This book is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary! For a book to be 10 years old and to still be ever so funny and relevant, says a lot about Plum Sykes quality of writing.
the perfect book to read between some serious reads! I loved this book, as it reminded me so much of one of my all time favorite books: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. It’s a book about the kind of people that “people like us” are sickened by because of how fake they are, but yet we still watch those reality shows about them and read the tabloids. Told with wonderful 1990’s detail, readers will love the way Plum Sykes brings a modern twist to living in New York. I couldn’t help but think of the NY heiresses, Paris and Nicky Hilton, Aly Hilfiger, the Clarin sisters, etc.
The storyline is funny-trading a handbag for a PH (potential husband), and trading crystal facials for a fiancé to get that “glow”. I love how quickly the storyline moves, the characters are really interesting, which makes for a fun read, and it’s a book that many will love who enjoy the Chick-lit genre and love books told in a comedic way about the tales of the “oh-so glamorous”, who are really just girls with lots of money trying to have it all.
The only issue is the overuse of acronyms. It’s was hard to understand initially, but after awhile, it was easy to figure out. Just stay with it, it is worth the light read!
*This book was provided through TLC Book Tours and its publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
About Plum Sykes
Plum Sykes was born in London and educated at Oxford. The author of the novels Bergdorf Blondes and The Debutante Divorcée and the Kindle Single memoir Oxford Girl, she is a contributing editor at American Vogue, where she writes about fashion, society, and Hollywood. She has also written for Vanity Fair. She lives in the English countryside with her husband and two daughters.
Plum’s Tour Stops
Tuesday, August 19th: A Bookish Way of Life – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, August 21st: booknerd – Bergdorf Blondes
Friday, August 22nd: Drey’s Library – The Debutante Divorcee
Monday, August 25th: Carpe Libros – The Debutante Divorcee
Tuesday, August 26th: Books in the Burbs – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, August 27th: Book by Book – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, August 28th: Reading in Black & White – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, August 28th: From the TBR Pile – Bergdorf Blondes
Monday, September 1st: A Bookish Way of Life – The Debutante Divorcee
Tuesday, September 2nd: Drey’s Library – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, September 3rd: Reading in Black & White – The Debutante Divorcee
Thursday, September 4th: booknerd – The Debutante Divorcee
Monday, September 8th: Mom in Love With Fiction – Bergdorf Blondes
Tuesday, September 9th: Staircase Wit – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, September 10th: Reads for Pleasure – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, September 11th: BookNAround – Bergdorf Blondes
Tuesday, September 16th: Cruising Susan Reviews – Bergdorf Blondes
Wednesday, September 17th: A Book Geek – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, September 18th: Books à la Mode – Bergdorf Blondes
Thursday, September 18th: Book by Book – The Debutante Divorcee
TBD: Books in the Burbs – The Debutante Divorcee
TBD: Cruising Susan Reviews – The Debutante Divorcee
It has been awhile since I’ve read a Middle Grade/Children’s book. I was drawn to this book because of the synopsis, which you can read by clicking on the book cover. The book is told through the point of view of Naomi (who is called by her nickname “Chirp). Chirp is obsessed with birds and loves reading about them, studying them, and locating them by her house.
Chirp is the typical 11 year old girl, who develops a friendship with one of the boys down her street, which she handles delicately because he is known as the school bully. Her mom, a beautiful dancer, that she strives to please is diagnosed with a disease that in the 70’s wasn’t as treatable as it is today. Chirp, her sister (the rebellious teenager), and her father (the psychiatrist).
At first, I didn’t feel the book had enough detail about the mom’s emotional and physical issues and how it truly impacted the marriage and parent/child relationship. Why? Well, because I am so used to reading YA and Women’s fiction. Then, I remembered this is for young children, middle school readers, and even high schoolers. Although, I have a feeling anyone will love this book because Esther truly captures the youthful spirit and hopes/desires of a young little girl, who shows us how she makes sense of what is happening to her family. Chirp is so innocent, so precious, that you just want to hold her and never let her go.
Young readers will relate to Chirp, love the relationship between her and her sister, understand how she feels about her mom’s diagnosis, and enjoy the friendship she develops with Joey.
Older readers will love the innocence Chirp brings, love the nods to the 70’s and vinyl records, and have a better appreciation for the way Chirp understands and experiences the family challenges and shifts in the family dynamics. Most importantly, it will open a window into the eyes of a child and hopefully have families talk more, share more, and learn more from one another.
This is a book of hope, in the midst of tragedy, and is a beautifully written story!
I loved this book! There was so much mystery surrounding the truths behind the “suicide” of Riley’s sister, Lisa. It was a novel that definitely kept me turning each page, with increasing curiosity, as I learn the truth behind Lisa’s suicide and fatal accident, Riley’s mom, and the many secrets that the MacPherson parents died with.
It’s definitely a page turner and will keep everyone on their toes, trying to connect to the missing pieces as Diane Chamberlain slowly reveals little hidden truths along the way. I read this book in about a couple of days and loved that the ending didn’t end so nicely. Rather, there are some loose ends and I do hope that Diane Chamberlain will consider writing a sequel.
The only thing I didn’t like too much was the title. I didn’t feel the title reflected the storyline because both sisters were not very quiet, rather the opposite. Although, one sister was more hidden. Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic book!
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
They said she was a murderer.
They said she killed her sister.
But they lied.
As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn’t relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren’t easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.
Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.
Now thirty-four, Toni is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she’s doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni’s innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni’s life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.
But the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.
Have you ever read a book that was from a genre you don’t typically read, and when you do, it’s the book that busts wide open your interest in that genre?? Well, this book absolutely did! I do read Mystery Thriller books, but it’s not often, so I was amazingly surprised at how incredible this book was. Chevy Stevens delivers a brilliant book to readers, who will be on the edge of their seat the whole time!
The storyline is real, raw, and the character development is detailed. While each character is developed, the action and drama is what drives this book home. It’s a book that will definitely deals with complex issues of: family, parenting, perfect child vs. troublemaker, mean girls, social injustice, abuse of power, sexual abuse, and murder.
Tori is the “troublemaker” daughter, who has been recently released from prison. She and her boyfriend, charged with the murder of her younger sister, and is shunned by her community and family. While Toni just wants to move on with her life and forget about the past, Ryan wants to know who framed them and why. The secrets that are unveiled are unexpected, sad, horrific, and in the end…the readers are left with a little hope.
Brilliantly written, it’s a book that deserves to be a “Summer Must Read!” I would love to share more about Tori’s family, but doing so, would give too much away to the storyline. This is the book your book club needs to read, because the discussions will be endless!!!
*A huge thanks to the publisher and She Reads for allowing me the opportunity review this book!
CHEVY STEVENS grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island and still calls the island home. For most of her adult life she worked in sales, first as a rep for a giftware company and then as a Realtor. While holding an open house one afternoon, she had a terrifying idea that became the inspiration for Still Missing.Chevy eventually sold her house and left real estate so she could finish the book. Still Missing went on to become a New York Times bestseller and win the International Thriller Writers Award for Best First Novel. Chevy’s books have been optioned for movies and are published in more than thirty countries.
Chevy enjoys writing thrillers that allow her to blend her interest in family dynamics with her love of the west coast lifestyle. When she’s not working on her next book, she’s camping and canoeing with her husband and daughter in the local mountains.
It doesn’t always happen, but with the recent health issues I’ve had, being homebound has allowed me the opportunity to read more than I have in a long time. Reading has been the silver lining, this summer. Usually, summer is the time when I read from my TBR list, which I have yet to touch! I think most readers can relate-but it seems my TBR list is always expanding!!! With new releases each week, it can be overwhelming to keep up with!
Below are some books I’ve read-so far! If you click on the picture of each book, it will take you book page, so that you can read the synopsis.
This is a story that reads almost like a mystery, because Olivia has to piece together the events that happened before the fatal death of her estranged friend, Sally. I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Sally and Olivia (before they became adults), and could certainly relate to having that “crazy friend”-who goes off the edge. Eleanor Moran doesn’t give all the details in order, with the story changing from past to present, which made the book even more fascinating to read! I love a great mystery, wrapped up in a novel that has a little bit of everything: widowhood, survivor’s guilt, infidelity, friendships, lies and betrayal, and a little romance. The reader is given one piece of the puzzle, in random order, as each piece slowly takes shape to reveal the hidden truths that were there the whole time.
I loved Madeline and felt her emotions were true to that of a child, who deals with the loss of her parent. She is angry, distant, reluctant, and slowly opens her heart to the possibilities of loving and honoring her mother, while also accepting a new beginning. My heart ached for her, as she struggles to balance her faithfulness to her mom, while also learning to accept someone else in her life. It isn’t until the very end that Moran reveals to the reader and Sally’s family-the reason for Sally’s demise and “crazy behavior”, which came as a shock but then made sense! Eleanor Moran nails the psychological issues Sally faces and the internal struggles she dealt with and the demons that she faced.
While there were times that it seemed Olivia was in a trance and did whatever William wanted, it seemed that in some cosmic weird way that Sally wanted things to evolve as they do and that in the end, she could rest in peace knowing those she loved were all together.
It’s an excellent read! I read this one quite quickly because I wanted to know what happens! Most of all, I love the style of writing Eleanor Manor has in this book-as it was a puzzle that slowly connects and reveals all the hidden secrets that the characters have. Those who love books about mental illness, family secrets/relationships, and friendships, will certainly love this book!
Let’s face it. The book cover doesn’t scream, “READ ME!”. But….don’t let that deter you from reading it! Once you’ve read it, you will completely understand the cover and appreciate it that much more. This book is a traditional thriller book. It has mystery, electric energy that intensifies as each chapter is read, murder, possible suspects and motives, and psychological drama that will have your head spinning! It’s definitely one of my best picks for 2014, because it the kind of book that any reader will enjoy.
You love history? Check.
You love murder mystery? Check.
You love reading about an underdog protagonist that has a secret? Check.
You want to read a book that you won’t be able to put down? Check.
You want a book that has to deal with sociopaths, psychological issues? Check.
You want a book that intensifies as each chapter is read? Check.
This book has it all. There is so much detail, that Lisa Unger leaves no stone uncovered. She weaves this incredible story, with two alternating voices. Whose voice is the second? That ‘s one of the mysteries! I absolutely loved this book, couldn’t put it down, and read this book in 1 day. That is really unheard for me, and being sick, I actually read this book with a migraine. I literally read with one eye closed at times because my head hurt….but I needed to know what happened! Yeah, this book is that fantastic. Add it to your TBR list, or better yet, just stop what you are reading and grab this book! It’s that good.
*This book was provided for review, courtesy of the publisher.
This is a book that starts out quite intense. Clarissa is a girl that people either can relate to because they see parts of themselves in her, or know someone who is like her. Either way, Clarissa will be someone that will bring out strong emotions in the reader. Clarissa is the typical victim: she is isolated, wants to have a relationship but doesn’t know how to set boundaries because she has self-esteem issues, and doesn’t know who to trust. There are so many issues Clarissa is challenged with, because of the torment she endures from her predator (Rafe). The reader is taken on a journey of the psychological trauma and prison a person can get entrapped in, and how it slowly strips everything from the victim, to a point of panic. It’s an incredible book that shows that cycles repeat, until the victim takes control and makes a shift mentally.
If you or someone you know is feeling threatened, in an unsafe situation, or needs to talk to someone, please call the Crisis Hotline!
24/7, anytime, anywhere.