BOOK REVIEW – Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Don't Look for Me

Expected publication: September 15th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press
 
 
 
A phenomenal psychological suspense novel!

 

I am a huge Wendy Walker fan. I’ve enjoyed all of her previous novels. After reading the description for “Don’t Look For Me”, I was even more excited to start reading.

Molly Clarke is driving home thinking about her particularly awful day. She needs to stop for gas as the light has been on for a little while now and home is still two hours away. A Gas n’ Go station is up ahead.

Molly figures her husband, John and her daughter; Nicole will both be out for the evening. John will likely be out having drinks with friends. Nicole having just turned twenty-one has many new options of places to go. These options keep Molly up at night, watching the clock and worrying. Molly knows Nicole avoids her and John pretends to be asleep when she gets into bed. Even her son Evan has changed. Evan attends a boarding school off the road she travels now. Molly makes this four hour trip every second Thursday to watch his football games. Her heart twists as she remembers how Evan acted after the game.

A dismissive husband, an angry daughter, and a cruel son….

Molly thinks about Nicole’s final words to her after their argument the other day…words that gutted her.

Five years ago a horrible tragedy tore this family apart.

Molly sees the dark clouds above. A hurricane is coming. A category four they say. Molly has driven right into its path. She stops the car on the side of the road and when she tries to start it again, it won’t turn over. She’s out of gas. The entrance to Gas n’ Go is just about thirty feet away. She runs towards the gas station and her tears fall.

When she gets to the entrance of Gas n’ Go she sees there are no cars and no lights inside the store. There is a cardboard sign. She stares at the words…

Closed for the storm!

Again she thinks about Evan, Nicole, and John.  How they stopped loving her five years ago.

“I am a bad mother”

Words in her head like a prayer.

“Walk away. Just walk away”

Headlights come her way. A truck stops. A friendly voice tells her she shouldn’t be out with the storm coming.

What will happen to Molly Clarke?

 

Another thrilling read from Wendy Walker!

After the impactful opening chapter, I was hooked. This was an unputdownable read with terrific twists and turns that I flew through in just one day. The story is told from Molly and her daughter, Nicole’s point of view, which I really enjoyed. The characters were well fleshed out and intriguing.

An unforgettable psychological thriller that deals with the relationships between parent and child, and husband and wife. A story about grief, anger, loss, blame, and forgiveness.

Wendy Walker has yet to let me down and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

 

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

 

BOOK REVIEW – Be Bad, Be Bold, Be Billie: Live Life the Billie Eilish Way by Scarlett Russell

Be Bad, Be Bold, Be Billie: Live Life the Billie Eilish Way

Published August 25th 2020 by Harper Design

 

A book written by a Billie Eilish fan for other Billie Eilish fans!

My daughter and I are both fans of Billie Eilish’s music so we were curious to see what “Be Bad Be Bold Be Billie” was all about. It’s made clear from the start that this book isn’t officially endorsed by Billie, but “pays homage to the multi-talented icon that she is.”

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell released her debut studio album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” in 2019. Just seventeen years old at the time, the record was a huge hit. With her deep, sultry voice, baggy clothing, and turquoise dyed hair, Billie Eilish was “less pop princess, more Eminem”. She was booked to play the big festivals (Coachella and Glastonbury) and early this year she won five Grammy’s. It was also announced that she would be recording the theme song for the new James Bond movie, “No Time to Die”. All this at only eighteen years old.

“Billie isn’t for conforming to others’ expectations of what a young woman should look and sound like”.

This book is definitely geared towards Billie’s young fans. It’s filled with many Billie facts, (about her life, career, and style), plus quizzes and other activities. Chapters like “Billie Says Do You” and “Billie’s lessons in self-acceptance” offer helpful tips on setting goals, how to make a vision board, self-love, as well as advice on choosing your career, and speaking up for yourself.  Many young people could benefit from the tips on dealing with difficult people and criticism, and the powers and dangers of social media.

Billie is an advocate for openness about mental health and has been very open about her own struggles with depression. It talks about knowing when to ask for help. Billie is also passionate about climate change and sustainability so there are also suggestions on how young people can make a difference.

The chapter “Billie’s Tracks for the Soul” suggests which Billie song to listen to when falling in or out of love, feeling insecure or heartbroken, etc. Quizzes like “What Billie Eilish song are you?” and “How Billie Are you?” as well as other fun activities fill the last chapter of the book.

Billie Eilish is vibrant and so is this book with its eye-catching cover, and thick pages filled with full-color illustrations. My twelve-year-old niece is a big Billie Eilish fan and she loved it.

A great book for young Billie Eilish fans!

 

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

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.