Saving Beck

By Courtney Cole

Saving Beck by [Cole, Courtney]

4 out of 5 stars

Natalie loses her husband in a horrible accident. Her son Beck survives the wreck.  She struggles with depression and can barely get out of bed so it all falls on teenage Beck to make sure his brother and sister live their normal lives. Beck has his own struggles. He is overwhelmed with grief, responsibility, and blame. He blames himself for his dad’s death because he was driving. He turns to drugs and that’s when everything in this book will wrench your heart out.

Beck stumbles onto his mom’s doorstep, barely alive. As he is in a medically induced coma, we get the history of their grief and of Beck’s drug addiction. Your heart will not be the same. It is hard to read at times. It really should be. It is all to real for the author as you will read about her own son’s addiction in the afterword. I just kept putting myself in Natalie’s place. I cannot imagine watching your child hang on to life and blaming yourself for it being that way.

The characters are all so wonderfully written from the main ones to Kit, her husband’s best friend, and a friend in need to her, to her sister  who is such a backbone for her. Then there is the wonderful Angel. That was definitely a surprise and a very good surprise.

This is a heartbreaking read but one you will not want to put down.

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

The Adults

By Caroline Hulse

The Adults: A Novel by [Hulse, Caroline]

4 out of 5 stars

Alex’s boyfriend Matt tells her right before the holidays that he wants to spend it with his daughter Scarlett. The hitch is, he wants to spend it with Alex, Scarlett ,  Scarlett’s mother Claire and her boyfriend Patrick. Alex goes into it knowing it probably is not a good idea but they head off to Happy Forest Holiday Park for a few days of fun and bonding. A lot goes on but I am not sure about the fun and bonding. So many things go wrong and so many of them have to do with secrets that come out and an imaginary bunny named Posey.  When the story begins, we know someone is shot with an arrow. Use your imagination!

This was a lot of fun. To me, I would call it pure escapism. It is set in England so I loved the lingo and learned a few new terms. Matt got on my nerves a few times but maybe because his slacker mentality could wear on someone. I will say he redeemed himself. All in all, a very enjoyable read.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House for this advance copy.

Lies

By T.M. Logan

Lies by [Logan, T. M.]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Joe Lynch happens upon his wife’s car while with his young son. He follows her into a hotel parking lot and finds her arguing with a friend. He has no idea why she would be arguing with Ben and something niggles at him about the situation. When she leaves and he confronts Ben, Ben tells Joe that Joe has no idea what’s really going on. He goes to punch Joe. Joe pushes him away, not wanting to hit someone not quite up to his size, Ben falls and hits his head. Joe’s son is in the midst of an asthma attack so Joe runs home and when he goes back, Ben is gone. He asks his wife what’s going on and she tells him she was just helping Ben out with a client but as the story unfolds, and Joe is implicated in Ben’s disappearance, there is lie upon lie upon lie.

I did not see the biggest lie reveal at all. I thought I knew what was happening and was pretty proud of myself but I was wrong. There were some parts that really dragged for me and I wanted them to move a little quicker but all in all, it is a good thriller with a very likable lead character.

Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for a copy of this book.

You Were Always Mine

By Nicole Baart

 

You Were Always Mine: A Novel by [Baart, Nicole]

4 out of 5 stars

Jessica Chamberlain is navigating life as best she can now that she and her husband Evan have separated. When he is killed, Jessica has to face life as a mother of her two sons alone. Max, a teenager, is angry at his mom, angry at the world. He feels if she did not kick him out, their dad would still be there. Gabe, their young adopted son, is loving but has his own developmental issues. It all leads to the private adoption when Jessica finds out that Evan was in contact with Gabe’s biological mother. Was what he finds out the cause of his death?

There are a lot of twists, the most major one I did not see coming, that make this a page turner. As you read Evan’s letters to Gabe’s birth mom, you really start to wonder why would he not tell Jessica and what the heck was going on! There is a fine line between thinking you are doing what is right and actually doing what is right. The best intentions of mice and men…. I liked Jessica. I loved that she followed her intuition despite others not believing her.

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

This Will Only Hurt a Little

By Busy Philipps

This Will Only Hurt a Little by [Philipps, Busy]

5 out of 5 stars

If you follow Busy on Instagram, (and if you don’t, you really should) you will not be surprised at all with her candor in this wonderful book. I could just hear her telling her stories as I turned the pages. She really makes me laugh out loud. Busy spares no ones feelings in this book, especially her own. Her honesty is very refreshing. She does not sugarcoat what has happened in her life. There were times I was crying along with her.

Of course, we all want to hear about her time on Dawson’s Creek or Freaks and Geeks and you get all those delicious details.  (I had never heard her Blades of Glory story!) But I really loved her stories about her life before and her life after. Her story of becoming a mother will ring true for every mom.

And I was so excited to finally learn the meaning of “aced out in her nudes”! The funny thing is I have a similar story with my daughter at the same age. Her name is Elizabeth too. (Something in the name, maybe?)

This is one of my favorite books so far this year. Buy the book, follow her on Instagram. You will not be disappointed.

Our House

By Louise Candlish

Our House by [Candlish, Louise]

4 out of 5 stars

Fi Lawson comes home from a weekend away to find her house has been sold out from under her and her husband is missing. Can you imagine?! They have been separated after an indiscretion her husband had and have been living in a “bird’s nest” arrangement. Fi lives in the house with their two sons during the week and Bram, on the weekends. They share a rented flat in between times. But why would he sell?

Fi tells her story to The Victim podcast as we also read Bram’s story as he writes and explains what happened. I will tell you right now that it is very hard to like Bram. He does some pretty unforgivable things, even as he tries to make it right for Fi. Then we reach the ending and you will scream NOOOOOOO!

The story moves slowly. Sometimes a bit too slow for me but I liken it to a Sunday stroll where you just amble along but you take in little bits and pieces of things around you as you go. I would not call it a thriller, though there are a few moments where that might apply. Even though it moves slowly, you will actually read it pretty quickly. There are a few twists and turns that you may or may not see coming. But that ending though! This is definitely worth your while so pick it up and enjoy.

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon and Schuster for a copy of this review book.

 

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven

By Mitch Albom

The Next Person You Meet in Heaven: The Sequel to The Five People You Meet in Heaven by [Albom, Mitch]

5 out of 5 stars

Endings are also beginnings, we just don’t know it at the time…..

I don’t know one person who did not love The Five People You Meet in Heaven. And I don’t know anyone that won’t love this book either. It is so needed in the times we live in. It is filled with love, wonder, hope, and faith. I know some people will find it too saccharine because there are always those that scoff at anything with goodness, but I, for one, found it uplifting and elevating to the soul.

This time it is Annie, the little girl from Ruby Pier, that enters heaven. Her journey brings people that have been part of her life, even if in a small way that lead to something more. You know you all want to see Eddie and you won’t be disappointed.

The ending was a surprise and such a tender reminder of how much we miss out on life if  we aren’t letting it happen genuinely.

Mitch Albom is the king of touching your heart and making you think. He reminds us to embrace what we have and who we love. I will always be first in line for one of his books and his wise, heartfelt words.

Thanks to Harper Books for a copy of this wonderful book.