The Stand In

Have you ever been told you look like a celebrity? What would you do if given the opportunity to fill in for that celebrity twin of yours?

That is exactly what happened in “The Stand In” written by Lily Chu. When Gracie Reed got the opportunity at right time in her life. Right when she was debating whether she was going to quit her job because of her boss or whether to suck it up because she needs the money to get her ailing mother into the top nursing home in town. She was ambushed by the talented Chinese actress Wei Fangli on a walk and asked to step in for her at events while she is filming a movie in Canada.

Will Gracie be able to full fill her duty without being recognized or caught? What will happen between her and Wei Fangli right hand man and friend Sam Yao? And what will happen to the relationship between Wei and Gracie when Gracie finds out they maybe closer than they might have original thought?

“The Stand In” is that guilty rom com of a story that will leave you with your own question of “what if I was given an opportunity of a life time by my own celebrity look alike?”

Episode 31: Memorial and Demi Lovato

Summary

My review on “Memorial” by Bryan Washington. Including my thoughts and opinion on the Demi Lovato documentary “Dancing with The Devil” part 1 & part 2 — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/bridget-hadley/support

Transcription

In Five Years

Love, Life and Unforeseen circumstances are the 3 themes that come to my mind after reading “In Five Lives” written by Rebecca Serle. A beautiful story of how life doesn’t goes as planned no matter how are you try to stay on track.

Dannie Kohen always lived by numbers and a plan. She had everything planned out from her professional law career to her personal love life with her boyfriend David. Everything was working out and going as planned. Then on the night of her engagement she has an unexpected dream, a dream of herself in 5 years.  Now she tries everything in her power to prevent her dream from becoming reality. However, when her best friend gets unexpected and heartbreaking news Dannie soon realizes that she cannot prevent all of lives hurdles. Did Dannie’s own five-year plan work out or did her dream become reality?

Rebecca Serle does a wonderful job with a story about how life doesn’t always go as planned no matter how hard you try. She highlights a non-perfect yet beautiful friendship of two friends that would do anything for each other. How someone you love and consider your best friend and partner in life might not be your soul mate or your partner for life after all. Promises were made/promises were broken; mistakes will be made but that is what life is all about. It is not perfect but that is what makes us human.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Life, Hollywood, and Love are the 3 themes that come to my mind after reading “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” written by Taylor Jenkins Reid. A beautiful story that will take you on a up and down journey through the life of the most beautiful woman in Hollywood.

This is a lot more than just a book about a Hollywood queen marring every Hollywood king. It is a story about love, life, and challenges. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a young and inexperience journalist Monique Grant to sit down for a cover story for the magazine that she works for. However, she soon realizes that Evelyn has something else in mind. Evelyn decides to indulge in her whole story, from beginning to end. Covering all the ups and downs, all her marriages and the birth and tragic death of her daughter Connor. She even reveals her one true love! Evelyn has chosen Monique to write her biography. The reason behind Evelyn choosing Monique is the turning point in the book and will leave you like myself wanting to throw the book across the room!

Taylor Jenkins Reid does a fabulously job betraying Hollywood throughout the decades starting in 1950 and right through to present day. She highlights women and the LGBT community particularly and the challenges they faced in Hollywood.

The one thing I took away and makes me appreciate a lot more is the challenges that the LGBT community faced in Hollywood and around the world. I remember when gay marriage became legal in 2015 and what a beautiful moment that was for our country and all the people that benefits from it. I believe that everyone should be allowed to love whoever they love and marry whoever they love!

The Midnight Library

Life, regrets and second chances are the 3 themes at come to my mind after reading “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. A beautiful and powerful story that will have the reader left with a whole new outlook on life.

Have you ever made a decisions you instantly regretted? A decision you wish you could revisit in order to change your path. An extra minute with a loved one is the strongest regret a person can carry. Of course you do! After all we are all human beings. We have and will continue to make decisions that will have us taking a left instead of a right. However, it is up to us as human beings and living creatures on this earth to make the best out of every decision that we make or that is handed to us.

Here is another thing to ponder:

Have you ever wondered what happens when a person leaves this earth? Some people believe that there is a heaven. Where people go and reunite with God and live peacefully, watching over their love ones for eternity. Other people believe in other forms of the afterlife. Have you ever wondered if there is a moment in between life and death?

That is exactly what happens in “The Midnight Library” Nora Seed is at a crucial point in her life where she believes that she is better off dead than alive. However, it is that decision that will send her to “The Midnight Library.” It is there that she meets a person from her past and is given the opportunity to see what would occur if she had taken the right instead of the left.

“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig is a breathtaking and beautifully written novel about life, regrets and that once in a lifetime opportunity. A book that will leave a mark on the reader for a long time.

 

 

 

 

Fly Away

Family, grief and healing are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Fly Away” written by Kristin Hannah. A heartfelt sequel to the magnificent novel “Firefly Lane”. A novel about managing the ups and downs of life after a beloved love one passing on.

With the recent passing of Kate Malarkey ½ of the dynamic duo Tully and Kate, Tully and Kate’s family have to figure out a way to live life without their glue. They hit rough patches and one particular rough patch lands Tully on life support and fighting for her life. Now on the brink of death Tully has to decide whether she wants to give up and join her best friend on the other side or continue to fight and keep her promise to her best friend and be a mother and support to Kate’s family.

Kristin Hannah has the unbelievable ability of pulling the reader into feeling the characters pain in losing a love one. The reader feels as if they are going through the stages of grief alongside the characters. I believe it has to do with the readers connections to the characters that was there from the first book and now continues with the second. This book does not leave anything unsaid and it wraps up the Tully and Kate story beautifully.

I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Kristin Hannah novels!

Trouble in Paradise

Author: Elin Hildebrand                                             Publishing date: October 6 2020

Family, trust, and forgiveness are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Trouble in Paradise” by Elin Hildebrand. A lovely ending to a trilogy full of ups and downs that never a had a dull moment.

In the third and final book in the Paradise Series by Elin Hildebrand, Irene Steel and her boys Cash and Baker, alongside his son Floyd return to the island on St. John to start their new lives with their new extended family. An extended family that now includes Huck, Ayers and Baker and Cashes half sister Mia. Upon their return Baker gets a surprise of a lifetime when he finds out that he will be extending his family with a new bundle of joy with Ayers Wilson. Now the family has to figure out this whole new family dynamic that is far from anything that the beautiful island of St. John can offer. All the while trying to conclude what actually what happened that resulted in the death of their beloved ones.

Elin Hildebrand does a beautiful job with the conclusion of her Paradise series. She does not make it all rainbows and butterflies in paradise. There is some conflict, trust issues that arise and heartbreaking revelations. However, she does make this about how through all the hardships, these are people that come out on the other side with more love and respect for one another and that is all that paradise could ask for after everything, everyone has been through since the new year.

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves books on family drama and the islands. This book will not disappoint!

Red White and Royal Blue

Author: Casey McQuiston Publishing Date: May, 2019

Romance, politics and hope are just 3 of the many words that come to my mind after reading “Red, White and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston. The ultimate American, British love story for the ages. It will keep you smiling and entertained from beginning to end.

When Alex, The First Son of The United States and Henry, The Prince of Wales get into an altercation at the Royal Wedding, the two of them are forced to befriend one another to avoid a dilemma for both The Royal Family and Alex’s mothers Re-election Campaign. The archenemies quickly form a real romance that needs to remain secret from the families to avoid it getting into the tabloids. This book is a whirlwind romance, revelations, and political schemes that will have your heart swelling with emotions!

First and foremost this book is literally my utopia! From Royal weddings, romance, a women president, and a few political schemes along the way. It is the book that I have been dreaming about. It is the opposite of what this world has been like since the 2016 election and it is a breath of fresh air. Red, White and Royal Blue is heartwarming, loving, caring and compassionate! You will shed a few tears of laughter as well! Some people might think it is a book for Democrats and liberals, but it is a must read for everyone especially during this time! We might learn a thing or two about being just a down right human being again!

The Bright Lands

Acceptance, Secrets and Family are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “The Bright Lands” by John Fram. A horror thriller about the secrets with deathly consequences that are being held by beloved members of a small town.

Dylan Whitley is the star quarterback and beloved member of the small town of Bentley, Texas. After leading his team to the state championships, Dylan goes missing the week before the big game. Now Joel Whitley a disgrace member of the town and Dylan’s older brother must return to his hometown after running away 10 years prior to help find his younger brother. Leading Joel to relive aspects of his past to bring about the truth of× the present.

Between the secrets, horror, and thriller aspects of this story, it keeps the reader captivated from beginning to end just wanting to see what happens next. With an ending that will have you speechless! At the same time begging for more!

In his debut novel John Fram does an amazing job by inserting real life aspects into this horror/thriller/ mystery novel. It gets the reader having deeper thoughts about the atmosphere that small towns can leave on such young minds. The expectations that smalls town create on their members and at time the corrupt nature and lasting effects they can leave as well.

I would recommend “The Bright Lands” to anyone who enjoys Thrillers with horror aspects, that will have you on the edge of your seat.

The Giver of The Stars

Author: Jojo Moyes                                           Publication date: November 2019

Education, gender equality and friendships are the 3 themes that I take away after reading “The Giver of the Stars” by Jojo Moyes. A historical fiction story of a group of women fighting for the right of education through the power of spreading books.

Alice Van Cleave is a young naïve English women that comes to the United States after marring the young and much sought after bachelor Bennet Van Cleave. Soon after her arrival to the strange and unknown town in Kentucky, she learns of this reading program called “The Packhorse Librarians” where a group of women deliver books around town to people that don’t have the means to get books themselves. She quickly strikes up this wonderful friendship with Margery O’Hare one of the lead women in the program. It the encouraging love and support from O’Hare that give Alice the courage she needed to finally stand up to her over bearing father-in-law and strange husband at home and finally that situation behind. However, being quite angry about the situation Van Cleave doesn’t not make her decisions the easiest by stocking her and making her life a living hell around town.

This book is a powerful story of the importance of reading and education and of friendships and girl power. I fell in love with these characters from the very first page to the very last. I enjoy going along with them of the journey of fighting for equality in education and in the home life as well. I appreciated the fact the Jojo Moyes put in males characters that were on the side of the women in this case and it wasn’t all men against all women. Jojo Moyes really represented that fact that men can have their own opinions about a situation and they don’t always have to agree with each other. Overall this book is a must read for all women who are looking for some encouraging words in times of doubt!