The Night Swim

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Author: Megan Goldin Publishing date: Aug 14 2020

Crime, courage and jury are the three words that come to my mind after reading “The Night Swim” written by Megan Goldin. A harrowing tale of a town divided by the upcoming heartbreaking trial. A trial that is being podcast for the world to make their verdict. A trial that is full of deep emotion and a deep, dark connection to the past.

Rachel is a host of a popular crime podcast series. A series that covers the investigation and trial of well known cases as it is happening. This is a rape trial in a small town on the coast of North Carolina. However, when Rachel arrives at the start of the trial, things take an unexpected turn, when she finds a note on her windshield from her biggest fan Hannah. In the note Hannah is asking for help to solve what happened to her sister Jenny in the summer of 92’. It was ruled a accidental drowning back then but Hannah believes it was murder!

This book does not shy away from the hard topics. Starting with the gruesome details from the current rape case to the gruesome case that took place in the summer of 1992. The crimes that take place in this books are unthinkable and heartbreaking.

The courage that was shown by the victim in this trial is outstanding. The strength that it her to relive that nightmare is inspiring all in the name of justice in this case. It has me thinking about the courage that it took Christine Blasey Ford to sit before The United States Senate and retell her own nightmare back in college. Never mind retelling that horror for just a courtroom. She had to do it for the whole world to watch. I am inspired by all women who are able to retell their story and become stronger for it.

This story got me thinking about the criminal justice and jury system. How we has Americans have the privilege to be on a jury be the deciding factor in these cases. To think that ordinary people have the power to change someone’s life in some cases for the rest of their lives is a huge responsibility and pressure but on the upside it is impactful and so important.

Overall this book scored a 4 star on my scale. It was a captivating story. I was able to read it in 4 days. I fell in love and was rooting for these characters. There was times when I was confused in what time period I was reading because it is dealing with two different generations. There was times when I had to take a breather from reading because it was so detailed and gruesome. However, I felt that it was a story that needed to be written to bring these situations light. It was beautifully written as well. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves crimes and thrillers.

Red White and Royal Blue

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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

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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

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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!

Chicks Man

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Love, law and family are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Chicks Man” by J.D Hollyfield. A romance a lifetime in the making that will could have deathly consequences.

Levi Dent the small town high school football star come lawyer and Hannah Matthews the ambitions girl with big dreams of following in her daddies footsteps at the family law firm but with one small problem she will always be seen has the little sister of Kipley Matthews (especially in she crush Levi Dent’s eyes). However, that is all about to change after chance encounter at Kipley’s wedding, they become inseparable and keep their hands off each other.

Now will the new secret romance brewing, they are forced to work together at the family’s law firm and on the firm’s biggest case to date. All the whiling trying to keep their romance hidden from Hannah’s family. When an unexpected guest shows up at the law firm and threatens everything Hannah and Levi have worked towards both on a personal and professional level. It will even cost someone their lives!

 

I went into this book not expecting much but a predictable office romcom. Besides a twist that will have you captivated in certain parts and a tight nit family dynamic. It was just as I predicted. I felt that there was lack of character development in certain parts. A romance that based of the physical need and lust more than anything else. A young woman finally fulfilling her child dream crush of dating her brothers’ best friend. With the occasional serial killer vibes mixed it. Overall the story was sweet, and the twist was suspenseful and emotional! However, due to the lack of connection I felt for these main characters I could not quite 5 star rate this one. I hope to attempt another book by the same author in the future.

 

Dreams From My Father

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Race, family and wisdom are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “Dreams From My Father” By Former President Barack Obama. A journey through the former president past and how he got to become the man he is today.

 The Former President takes the reader through his journey of finding out about his father’s past and how he became the man he was. Everything from his first and only visit with his father in Hawaii to visiting his father’s family in Kenya after his father’s death. He talks in great lengths about his father’s ambitions and his own ambitions being quite similar. However, the way his father went about achieving those goals verses his own path towards achieving his goals were anything but the same.

He talks about his struggles growing up in a single parent/biracial family. And how that led to him becoming an organizer in Chicago fighting the racial divide. How that eventually led him to other goals such as law school.

The book is full of wisdom on race and family and to never take anything for granted. I would recommend this book to anyone who has been a fan of the Former President and has found him inspiring as much as I have!

Big Summer

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Author: Jennifer Weiner                                                                 Publishing date: 5/5/2020

A drama packed, revenge filled, mystery are the 3 words that come to mind after reading “Big Summer” by Jennifer Weiner. A novel that is filled with every twist and turn imagine. That will have the reader on the edge of their seats from first page to the very end.

Daphne Berg is an up and coming Instagram Influencer, after a video of her went viral and a huge fight with her best friend Drue. Now after 6 years of not speaking, Drue shockingly asks Daphne to be a part of her wedding. Never mind it being the event of the year! However, when tragedy strikes on the morning of the wedding, it is up Daphne to get to the bottom of things and find out the truth.

This book takes the reader along side Drue as she deals with friendships, shocking revelations, and tries to heal, all whiling trying to deal with this tragedy that has rocked the Cape. It a great summertime mystery, beach read. A book that will blow your typical chick flick out of the water!!

The Flight Girls

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War, Love and girl power are the 3 themes that come to mind after reading “The Flight Girls” written by: Noelle Salazar. A powerful, inspiring story of girl’s roles in World War 2 both in the air and in each other’s lives. It is a novel full of emotion that will leave you as if you had been a part of the girls journey a long with them.

 

The book is set in World War 2 and it follows Audrey Coltrane as she tries to overcome witnessing the horrific attack on Pearl Harbor. From getting shot out of the sky herself and loosing loves ones on that terrible day. Whiling trying to overcome the devastation of that day, she joins the Women Airforce Service Pilot program and makes fast friends with all the girls. Along her journey, she goes against all she believes in with love and falls for her mentor Lieutenant James Hart. However, when he goes missing in action, what will Audrey do? Will she be able to find James? Will she ever move forth with her dreams of owning her own airfield?

Between the friendships made, the horrific losses and beautiful dreams and aspirations, “The Flight Girls” keeps the reader captivated from beginning to end. Noelle Salazar has done a beautiful job writing a novel, where the reader is transformed into the story. I was able feel as though I was right alongside these women battling the same battles and suffering the same losses She writes a beautiful story the importance of girl power and friendships. If you want to want to read an inspirational story from this particular time in history, I will highly recommend “The Flight Girls.”!

If I Never Met You

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Love, betrayal and relationships are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading “If I Never Met You” by Mhairi McFarlane. A story of a pretend relationships created for selfish reasons to having blossom into some undeniable love for one another.

After a bombshell announcement that ends her 18 year-long relationship with her first and only real boyfriend, Laurie is left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. When she finds herself trapped in the elevator with the office player. From that chance encounter that cook up a plan of a fake relationship with two selfish intents 1.) to make Laurie’s ex Dan (who also work at the same place) jealous and 2.) To help Jamie get a promotion at work.

However, it all comes tumbling down when people at work begin to catch on. Also what will happen when real emotions come into play?

Mhairi does a great job depicting a real sense of betrayal that Laurie felt towards Dan after the breakup. Also, adding the factor that both Laurie and Jamie got to lean on each other for support on family issues. Support that neither of them got from previous relationships. I believe that you really got to slowing see the changes in the main characters that was national and unintentional. The fact that Laurie did not always have to lean on a guy for support with her friend Emily was a nice touch as well.

 “If I Never Met You” is a love story with a somewhat predictable ending but with its own twist and turns that makes it, its own special love story for modern times.

Madam Secretary

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Author: Madeleine Albright                                                  Publication Date: 2003, 2013

Political, personal and insightful are the 3 words that come to my mind after reading Former Secretary of States Madeleine Albright Memoir. The story of how a Czechoslovakian immigrant became the 64th and first women Secretary of States in the United States of America.

Madeleine Albright was a young, intelligent women full of ambition, when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and her family fled to the United States for a safer and better life 1947. After attending Wellesley College,  Madeleine started her professional career in journalism by working at local newspapers. Her political career kicked off when she worked on The National Security Committee under the Former President Jimmy Carter Administration. She went on to work on several different campaigns such as: Michael Dukakis presidential campaign. Madeleine is most known for being The United States Ambassador to the United Nations and the 64th and first women Secretary of State both under Former President Bill Clinton.

This book covers several prominent events in not just The United States but around the world, particularly during her years as Ambassador and Secretary of State. Madeleine highlights several aspects of her personal life as well. Including her marriage, divorce, becoming a parent to her three daughters Anne, Alice and Katie and finding out about her family’s Jewish heritage. She points out the difficult parts of being a parent and juggling a stressful career. However, stressing trying to pave a pathway for females in Government.

Quote: “I had arrived in that harbor half a century before, an eleven-year old immigrant from Prague staring up at the Statue of Liberty. How astonishing that that girl was about to become the 64th Secretary of State and the highest-ranking women in U.S. History.”

This quote describes in a handful sentences how she hopes that her achievements will inspire young men and women that are in or that are coming into this country to shoot for stars and not let the hurtles get them down. I know that women like Madeleine Albright, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and several more female roles models in Government have inspired me to shoot for my dreams in making not just The United States but the world a better and safer place for all.