You’ve Been Volunteered

By Laurie Gelman

You've Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel by [Gelman, Laurie]

4 out of 5 stars

She’s baaaaccckk! Jen Dixon, the witty, sarcastic mom of Class Mom, is back for another year of school and the funniest newsletters ever! I only wish I had met a mom like her when my kids were in school. I would have been her best friend. Her newsletters are hilarious. The whole book is hilarious, just like the last one. Of course, she has some different issues this go-round. She has been put in charge of the fifth grade crosswalk safety group. (Wouldn’t we all say oh yay?) Max is hanging around with a kid who brings delightful little trinkets to school. Her daughters are more silent about what’s going on in their respective lives. Something is up with her parents and her husband wants to franchise the company. It all adds up to plenty of laughs and a lot of good fun.

If you are looking for total escapism,  this is the book for you. If you haven’t read the first book, Class Mom, you really need to. You are going to laugh and see yourself in a lot of it. If you cannot laugh at yourself in mother mode, you are going to lose it. I look forward to more in the series. Please Laurie Gelman?

The review is my opinion and I thank Netgalley and Henry Holt for a copy of this delightful book.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

Have You Seen Luis Velez?

By Catherine Ryan Hyde

Have You Seen Luis Velez? by [Hyde, Catherine Ryan]

4 out of 5 stars

In this crazy world, we all need that light in all the dark. This book will shine some peace into your soul.

Raymond Jaffe lives with his mom, stepdad, and sisters in the same apartment building as 92 year old Mildred Gutermann. One day, he sees her outside asking if he knows Luis Velez. Something about her sticks with him and he goes back to talk to her. Luis used to stop by and do errands for Mildred, who is blind and alone. Raymond strikes up a friendship with Mildred and makes it his mission to find Luis. It takes him to places he has never seen and in the process, he finds himself in ways he never knew he could.

There is just so much hope in this story. Even in the sadness, the kindness in the people Raymond meets , brings joy. Mildred imparts such simple yet profound truths to Raymond and watching him grow was perfect. You cannot read this without walking a way with a ray of hope.

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