BOOK REVIEW – Brave Girl, Quiet Girl by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Brave Girl, Quiet Girl

Published May 19, 2020 by Lake Union Publishing

 

An insightful, moving, and thought-provoking read.

I loved it!

39-year-old, Brooke Hollister is finding it hard living with her mother again. However, since her divorce, money has been tight leaving her with very few options. Brooke is tired after work, but she doesn’t want to hear her mother harp at her all night so she decides to take her two-year-old daughter, Etta to the movies. They are on their way home after the movie, stopped at a red light when it happens.

“A whole life changed in six or seven seconds.”

Brooke sees the shadow of someone’s arm just before her window shatters. The person pulls Brooke out of the car, jumps in, and drives away.  Brooke is in shock and it takes a moment for her to realize…

She jumps up and runs after the Mercedes screaming her daughter’s name.

Sixteen-year-old, Molly spent the day collecting bottles and cans. All she has to show for her hard work is $1.42. She’s walking to the place she’ll sleep that night when she sees a child’s car seat on the sidewalk. It’s not empty. A little girl with puffy eyes quietly stares at Molly. When Molly asks where her mommy is, the little girl looks like she’s going to start crying. Molly tells her that they’ll find her mommy. However,  there are no payphones around to call the police, and it’s getting late. They head to the wooden shipping crate where Molly and her friend, Bodhi hide at night. A while later, Bodhi shows up and Molly tells him that he needs to find a phone to tell the police about the little girl. Half an hour later Bodhi comes back. He tells Molly that they need to move…now. Some guys overheard Bodhi talking about the little girl. These guys are very bad news. Molly is terrified. They find a place to hide and Bodhi leaves again to see if he can find help. He says he’ll be right back…

Time passes and Bodhi doesn’t return. Molly doesn’t know what to do. However, there’s one thing she knows for sure… She will do whatever she needs to do to protect this little girl.

Will Molly be able to keep the little girl safe until she finds help?

What an INCREDIBLE read! Once again I have fallen in love with Catherine Ryan Hyde’s wonderful story and amazing characters!

I love the way Catherine Ryan Hyde writes. I often feel like I’m right in the room with her characters, many that I can’t help but fall in love with almost instantly.

This was a heartfelt story that packed an emotional punch. I think it would be a great buddy or book club read. It deals with many important and relevant issues.

Definitely one of my favorite novels this year!!

 

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

 

BOOK REVIEW – The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz

The Boys' Club

Published: August 4, 2020 by Harper

 

A fast-paced and gripping read!

This story takes readers deep into the world of Mergers & Acquisitions at the prestigious law firm, Klasko & Fitch.

Alexandra (Alex) Vogel has always been a high achiever.  After receiving her Harvard Law School degree, she accepts what she thinks will be her dream job at one of the world’s largest law firms, Klasko & Fitch. Alex is excited about her luxurious new apartment, her fancy wardrobe, and everything else her new salary will allow her to have.

Alex’s loving and supportive boyfriend, Sam moved to New York with her. Alex tells Sam how everyone says this new job is going to take over her life. Sam says it will be manageable…unless she matches with Mergers & Acquisitions (M & A).

For the first eight months at the firm, new associates will learn as much as they can about the different practice areas. This will help them make an educated decision on where they’d like to work for their career. You rank them, they rank you, and you match. However, there’s not enough space for everybody in the best practice groups. The competition is fierce. Associates have to find ways of standing out. Mergers & Acquisitions is the most competitive group to match. Alex is intrigued but reminds herself about the huge amount of hours they work and the demanding clients they deal with. However, she can see that the division also has its perks. Some of the M & A all-stars take an interest in Alex. Soon she’s working almost exclusively with them.

At first, Sam seems to be fine with the long hours, forgotten plans, interrupted dinners, and missed holidays etc. The hours are brutal and Alex often finds herself sleeping at the office.  However, the money is fantastic. Socializing is also a big part of the job, and Alex’s personal life slowly starts to bleed into her professional life. Days and nights blur, it’s all-consuming.

But is it worth it?

 If Alex is honest there are a few things that start to bother her. However, she brushes them aside. Until something happens that she just can’t ignore.

Will Alex do the right thing? Even if it means she might lose everything she’s worked so hard for?

An excellent read about power, sex, and money!!

I flew through this novel. I had so many questions and didn’t want to put it down until I had the answers. Interspersed throughout are parts of depositions, emails, etc. that give hints as to what might be coming in the chapters ahead. It was written in a way that also helped me to understand (mostly) what was being discussed. I feel I learned a little bit about the way M & A works.

An exciting and enjoyable read. The office antics had me raising my eyebrows and blushing at times. I can see why this has already been optioned for Netflix. I can’t wait to check that out too.

The Boys’ Club is Erica Katz’s (pseudonym) first novel. In my opinion, a terrific debut. I’m excited to read more from this talented author.

 

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel. All opinions are my own.

Goodreads Monday – August 17, 2020

 

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part, simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.  Be sure to check out Lauren’s blog too!!

Today the book I’m going to show off is :

 

We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julia Heaberlin

We Are All the Same in the Dark

Published August 11, 2020 by Ballantine Books

 

Goodreads Description:

It’s been a decade since Trumanell Branson disappeared, leaving only a bloody handprint behind. Her pretty face still hangs like a watchful queen on the posters on the walls of the town’s Baptist church, the police station, and in the high school. They all promise the same thing: We will find you. Meanwhile, her brother, Wyatt, lives as a pariah in the desolation of the old family house, cleared of wrongdoing by the police but tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion and in a new documentary about the crime.

When Wyatt finds a lost girl dumped in a field of dandelions, making silent wishes, he believes she is a sign. The town’s youngest cop, Odette Tucker, believes she is a catalyst that will ignite a seething town still waiting for its own missing girl to come home. But Odette can’t look away. She shares a wound that won’t close with the mute, one-eyed mystery girl. And she is haunted by her own history with the missing Tru.

Desperate to solve both cases, Odette fights to save the lost girl in the present and to dig up the shocking truth about a fateful night in the past–the night her friend disappeared, the night that inspired her to become a cop, the night that wrote them all a role in the town’s dark, violent mythology.

In this twisty psychological thriller, Julia Heaberlin paints unforgettable portraits of a woman and a girl who redefine perceptions of physical beauty and strength.

 

My Thoughts:

I’ve read some very positive reviews for this novel, and the book’s description has me thinking this could be a very good read. This will be my first Julia Heaberlin novel. I’m considering trying the audiobook for this one, but haven’t completely decided yet. I’m really starting to enjoy audiobooks a lot more, but there are times where they don’t work out as well for me. Either way, I’m really looking forward to reading this.

Have you read this yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

 

Happy Reading!

Have a great week!

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – Playing Nice by J.P. Delaney (Narrated by Ben Elliot, Amelia Cormack, Peter Forbes)

Playing Nice

Published July 28, 2020 by Random House Audio

 

 

A fantastic and thought-provoking domestic suspense novel!!

I started off reading this novel but switched over to the audiobook a few chapters in as I wanted to get a few things done around the house. I found the beginning of the book a little hard to get into, but honestly, it wasn’t long before I was completely HOOKED!

This book had me feeling all kinds of emotions. I don’t normally think about jumping ahead with books, but at times I was so anxious that I contemplated skipping chapters to see how it ended. I resisted the urge though.

The scary thing is that a lot of what happens in this book could really happen. It’s terrifying being a parent at the best of times, but I can’t even imagine going through the things these characters went through.

I normally take notes when I read or put stickies on different parts of a book I want to remember for my reviews. With audiobooks, I’m still figuring things out. And with this book, I couldn’t stop listening long enough to write anything down.

An exciting, intense, and intelligent novel that I highly recommend!

I’ve enjoyed all this author’s previous novels, but this is definitely my favorite. I’m really excited to see what J.P. Delaney writes next!