Whisper Network

By Chandler Baker

Whisper Network: A Novel by [Baker, Chandler]

4 out of 5 stars

Welcome to the Whisper Network. That place at work where little asides are heard everywhere. A place where everyone thinks they know you.  Where women still have to fight against harassment, sexual and otherwise. A world where speaking out can cost you everything.

Sloane, Ardie and Grace have worked together for a while as lawyers at Truviv and have built a friendship and yet like most women do, they don’t tell each other everything. In comes Katherine, the new woman in the office who sparks something in all of them. When their boss dies unexpectedly, it means that Ames will be taking over but his past with all of these women might put an end to it all. And they are not alone, not just the lawyers have been harassed by Ames. They decide to take things into their own hands and change it once and for all.

We get a good look into their working lives and their homes lives. I loved the differences between all the women. The book was really good at showing different sides to a story, it was not all so black and white. I enjoyed their friendship and watching them all change and grow. There were parts that I wanted it to get on with it, it dragged a little, but the ending had me all revved up again.

Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron for a copy of this book.

 

Pretty Revenge

By Emily Liebert

Pretty Revenge by [Liebert, Emily]

4 out of 5 stars

Kerrie wants revenge on Jordan. She took away everything from her when they were young. It changed Kerrie but it also changed Jordan. Kerrie is now Olivia and she is going to work for Jordana (once Jordan) (Got it?) Jordana owns one of the biggest wedding planning companies for all the ritzy weddings. She is the go-to woman. Olivia makes herself indispensable to Jordana while she slowly starts to bring her down.

This was not at all what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be more of a psychological thriller but it was not a disappointment at all! I loved how we learned more about these two women and just what they would do to get what they needed out of life. I loved the progression we saw in their relationship and in their relationships with others. You could not hate Jordana and yet you could still feel sorry for Olivia. I absolutely loved the ending. It was perfect.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this book.

Evvie Drake Starts Over

By Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel by [Holmes, Linda]

4 out of 5 stars

This is one of those books you pick up and finish it in a very happy place. Everything about it is likable from the main characters, to the secondary ones, to the location, to the emotions. Evvie is a wonderful main character. Her relationship with Dean will just make you smile. The dialogue is whipsmart, perfect for a romantic comedy. I really can see this as a movie. You can see the way it is heading and you are perfectly fine with the view.

It is very funny. I was laughing out loud a lot throughout the book. The give and take between Evvie and Dean was adorable. They are adorable!

I think you could categorize this as a great summer read. It won’t tax your brain and it won’t leave you unsatisfied. (Maybe wanting a little more)

Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine for a copy of this enjoyable book.

 

Dear Wife

By Kimberly Belle

Dear Wife: A Novel by [Belle, Kimberly]

5 out of 5 stars

Oh boy. This book is unputdownable with a capital UNPUTDOWNABLE! Yes, I know that is not a word but you will not want to stop reading until you turn that last page.

Beth Murphy has planned her escape from her abusive husband very meticulously.

Sabine Hardison is missing. As the story unfolds, we find out so much about Sabine, her husband, her secrets, and we follow the case with the lead detective Marcus Durand.

Things get uncovered, boy, do they and you will wonder just who is who and what is going on! This is the perfect mystery. All the pieces equal a very intriguing whole. I needed to know what the heck was going on! It is very well developed, every detail exact and so very well written.

You do NOT want to miss this one. It comes out this Tuesday. You can thank me later.

Thanks to Netgalley and Park Row for an advance copy of this great book.

Ask Again, Yes

By Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again, Yes: A Novel by [Keane, Mary Beth]

5 out of 5 stars

This one is on all of the lists of summer and deservedly so. I was pulled into the lives of the Gleeson and Stanhope families from the beginning and had a hard time closing the book on them in the end. They are two different families brought together by one tragedy that changes them in so many ways. It tackles the subject of mental illness and alcohol abuse with grace and dignity. It is written in such a way that even the most heinous thing that happens is not made to seem sensationalized or black and white. Through all of it, Kate and Peter know they belong together. It was hard to watch Peter throughout the book. His mother’s illness had shut him off so completely, even though he loved Kate, to showing any kind of emotion. It was the 70s and mental illness was not talked about. It seemed as if it was swept under the rug and everyone went about their merry way, pretending it wasn’t there. At least it wasn’t happening to them. In the beginning. I really felt no sympathy for Anne but as her story is told, my heart broke for her. Having lived with alcohol abuse in our family, I so understood Kate. I understood every nuance and every fear.

This is such a beautifully written book. They are messy families living in a messy world and they are oh so real. I loved the journey through the years and I always love a story with heartfelt redemption. The scene towards the end in the restaurant really touched my heart and everything made sense.

Thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for a copy of this wonderful book.

 

After the End

By Clare Mackintosh

After the End by [Mackintosh, Clare]

5 out of 5 stars

I have enjoyed Clare Mackintosh’s first books immensely. They are thrillers you can’t put down. This is totally different but you won’t put it down until you wipe that last tear.

Max and Pip’s 3 year old son Dylan has been battling cancer. When he is taken off of a ventilator he has been on for a while, the doctor tells them the cancer has grown. They have the decision to try and continue treatment to maybe give him a little more time, or end it and let him die. Max wants to prolong it and Pip wants it all just to stop. It ends up in court and as we await the decision, we are taken along the two separate timelines, the whatifs.

I loved how we got to see it through the lens of both sides. You always wonder in a story what would happen if only it went the other way. Neither was perfect. Neither was wrong. You put yourself in their place. What would you do? I loved both characters very much. I wasn’t angry at either. I was sad an awful lot while reading. I think the book might be tear-stained now.

I also love how we got to look into the doctor’s point of view, as well. Leila was exactly what you would want in your doctor. She was straight and to the point, yet she cared so deeply about them, even as she dealt with her own life struggles. I loved how observant she was while watching Max and Pip. She picked up on the subtleties.

You will feel everything when you read this lovely book. You will feel it deep into your soul, especially if you are a parent. Even if you are not, we all have to make decisions that we wonder about. I know I did when I had to decide on what to do with my mom at the end of her life. When you reach the Afterword and find out that the author had to make this decision for her child, you will really understand the depths of what you just read. This is a lovely, sad, uplifting book. You need to read it.

Thanks to Netgalley and Putnam for an advance copy of this lovely book.

Recursion

By Blake Crouch

Recursion: A Novel by [Crouch, Blake]

4 out of 5 stars

NYPD Detective Barry Sutton arrives on the scene of an attempted suicide by jumping. It is not his beat but he is the first one there. Must be a reason for that…When the woman tells him about her “false memory syndrome” and the memories that she had from another life before she dies, something sticks with him. He begins to look into it and uncovers more than he could ever imagine.

Helena Smith is working on a chair to enhance memories. Her mother has Alzheimer’s and she is hoping to preserve her memories. When Marcus Slade comes in the picture offering her more money and resources than she can imagine, she jumps at the chance. But Slade has other plans for the chair.

Thus begins our memory/time travelling story and I have to tell you, I was utterly confused and utterly fascinated! It reminded me of Ian Malcolm (the wonderful Jeff Goldblum) in Jurassic Park saying  “but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” The eagerness to discover the unimaginable leads to complete mayhem. I had to stop a few times because the time jumping was crazy and trying to remember just where or when something happened was making my head spin. Yet, I kept turning the pages. This is a fascinating look into science. It is a fascinating look at humanity. Don’t we all have things we would go back and change? If I was Barry, I would have went back too. I have to say that the underlying thing that kept me reading was the love story. It was unexpected and the ending was perfect.

Thanks to Netgalley and Crown Publishing for a copy of this book.