Saturday, August 22, 2015

Julie's Review: The Univited


Author: Cat Winters
Series: None
Publication Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 368
Obtained: Bookslapped
Genre:  Gothic, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.75/5
Bottom Line: Atmospheric, stunning novel with quite the twist
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Summary: Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days. But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War. Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold. ~Bookslapped.com

Review: The Uninvited is an atmospheric story about a young lady who was holed up in her family home because she was afraid to live her life. This all changes one night when a crime occurs and Ivy has decided that she needs to leave. She wanders into town to look for boarding but Buchanan, IL has been struck with the Spanish Influenza; it has pretty much been deserted. She finds refuge with May Dover, widow of an old classmate Eddie Dover.

With Ivy's new found freedom, she tries to right the wrong of her family by helping the brother of the German who died in town. She feels extremely guilty that her family could cause another one such pain, that she literally feels it in her body. She tries to help Daniel clean up the business including the blood that her family shed but he, obviously, isn't exactly welcoming of her. For someone who has been a shut in, Ivy really is pretty persistent. Not only does Ivy end up helping Daniel but she also ends up helping some volunteers at night who are trying to help those afflicted with the flu in the poorer areas of town.

It is the jazz music that begins to work its way into Ivy's soul. It is through the music that she finds the courage to start to take control of her life. It is also her relationship with Daniel that helps her "come into her own" as well.  She begins to act in ways she never had before. Even her taking up with Daniel is out of character for her.

What I loved about Ivy was her innocence but she wasn't so naive or innocent that she didn't understand what was going on around her. It didn't stop her from finally deciding she had enough of her life as it was on the farm. Although having been raised and worked on a farm did come in handy when she needed to assist Addie and Nela with the crank on the ambulance. Ivy finally felt needed and wanted. It was something she never felt while living with her own family. She was the caretaker of her brothers or the protector of them from their alcoholic father.

Ms. Winters sets the stage early in the book for the ghostly visits for both Ivy and her mother. I was actually expecting more of a ghost story but was very pleasantly surprised while there are supernatural elements most definitely a story about finding out who you are and who you truly want to be. It's about breaking free from those things that bound you and experiencing the things you have missed.

For those who are fans of supernatural novels, then you won't want to miss The Uninvited. To those of you who might think the "ghost" aspect isn't for you, I heavily encourage you to read it anyway because you will be pleasantly surprised.

To check out more on this great novel click here to see USA Today's Happily Ever After excerpt.


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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Julie's Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry


Author: Rachel Joyce
Series: None
Publication Date: July 24, 2012
Publisher: Random House Audio
Length: 9 Hours 57 Minutes
Narrator: Jim Broadbent
Obtained: purchased
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.75/5
Bottom Line: Slow to start but so worth it in the end
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Summary: Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does, even down to how he butters his toast. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning the mail arrives, and within the stack is a letter addressed to Harold from a woman he hasn't seen or heard from in 20 years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. Harold pens a quick reply and, leaving Maureen to her chores, heads to the corner mailbox. But then Harold has a chance encounter, one that convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. ~audible.com  

Review: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry is a book that I passed on several times. I just didn't have an interest in the story.With the release of The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy and my mom reading it, I decided to give it a whirl but in audio. Also, the fact that Jim Broadbent narrates it sold me it on it.

This novel is purely character driven with alternate points of views, Harold and his wife, Maureen. Harold is a bit of an ordinary man. He's just retired with no real hobbies and kind of unsure of what to do with himself. While him and Maureen are still married, they truly are estranged and have been for years. They sleep in separate rooms and maintain different lives. What drove them apart? Can their lives be woven together again?

Harold's walk to Queenie met with some interesting people along the way. Each inspires him in a different way to continue his walk to Queenie. As he walks he reflects on his life and the mistakes he made. He looks back as his childhood, his relationship with his mother and father.The relationship that he reflects on the most is that with his son, David. It is evident that they never connected and struggled to even be in the same with each other. It was Maureen who developed a relationship with David and cared for him.

Maureen harbors some ill feelings toward Harold and how he never tried to work on his relationship with their son. She blames him for all of their issues with David and doesn't remember the good times. The time away from Harold allows Maureen to reflect on her life and how she's treated Harold.

The book will affect everyone on some level or another. You will find yourself laughing and tearing up/crying. There are tremendous life lessons in this novel. It it about forgiving yourself, forgiving others, letting go of the pain and letting yourself heal.


Mr. Broadbent is the perfect narrator for this novel. He's wonderful as Harold, Maureen and all the other characters. His inflection is spot on and he really embodies where Harold is in his life. He does an equally great job with Maureen.

I'm sorry it took me so long to listen to this but sometimes a book it meant for you at certain times in your life and this was good timing for me. 




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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Blog-i-versary

It's truly hard to believe that we have been at this little thing called blogging for 8 years! 8 years!! We've had some changes but I like to think of them as evolution. We've added another addition this year to our contributors and we are looking at some other great things in the future!

We want to thank you for allowing us to share our passion of reading, books and authors with you and we will continue to do so in the future.


Cheers!!!
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Alice's Review: The Lobster Kings


Series: None
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Blackstone Audio/W.W. Norton and Company
Length: 11 Hours, 27 Minutes
Narrator(s): Cassandra Campbell
Obtained: Library
Genre:  Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Intriguing family drama.
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Summary:  The Kings family has lived on Loosewood Island for three hundred years, and they’ve been blessed with the bounty of the sea. But for the Kings, every blessing comes with a curse. Woody Kings, the leader of the island’s lobster fishing community and the family patriarch, teeters on the throne. Cordelia, the oldest of Woody’s three daughters, stands to inherit the crown after the death of her brother. To do so, however, she has to fend off meth dealers from the mainland while navigating sibling rivalry and the vulnerable nature of her own heart when she falls in love with her sternman.  A love story and a modern epic in the grand Shakespearian vein that introduces a fiery and unforgettable heroine, The Lobster Kings is the story of Cordelia’s struggle to maintain her island’s way of life in the face of danger from offshore and the rich, looming, mythical legacy of her family’s namesake.

Review:  I have a confession. The truth is I only choose this book because it was the first audio book that was available through my library’s digital files. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I received was an extremely dark novel that spoke to the vicious place inside me that fiercely protects my family, my heritage, and my birthright.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was gritty and not pretty. This family was pickled in tragedy. It was heartbreaking to read. There was a knowledge that they chose some of that tragedy. The family accepted it, welcomed it even because it was their birthright to do so. Things could have been different but I really believed this was the only way they knew how to live.

This is my first time reading anything by Alexi Zentner. What I enjoyed the most about  is the expressiveness in the writing. Mr. Zentner is truly gifted. I love novels that transports me to a different place and time. I felt the boat rock under my feet, the sea spray on my face, and the calluses on my hands from a day’s hard labor.  I loved how the Brumfit Kings paintings were described. I don’t have a lot of knowledge of art and paintings but I did want to see his. I liked how the paintings were woven into the story, shedding light on the past to help guide us in the present.

I understood the longing Cordelia felt. I swear, Cordelia dang near drove me bonkers. I appreciated her strength and courage, but she was so stubborn, too. I enjoyed reading how her relationship with her sisters evolved, but I couldn’t shake the idea that she thought she was better than them, the only true Kings of the three. She was selfish and a martyr for her beliefs. So many times I wished I could take a boat ride to Loosewood Island and hand her a tiny violin. What’s interesting is that I really liked her, too. She was courageous to the point of walking that fine line between bravery and stupidity.

My other favorite character in the novel was Woody Kings, the patriarch of the family. Cordelia was very much like him. He did his best to guide them and provide them with the foundation they needed for a life on Loosewood and the sea. Sadly, I’m not sure he succeeded.

As I first time listener, I discovered the beauty of an audio book is the narrator's ability to carry you to a place and the different characters by the slight inflection of her voice. Cassandra Campbell was perfect.


As much as I enjoyed , I know this isn’t the kind of novel for everyone. It is very dark. These characters were put through the ringer and they didn’t come away unscathed. It was a cataclysmic tragedy.

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Julie's Review: Plantation Shudders


Author: Ellen Byron
Series: Cajun Country Mystery #1
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Crooked Books
Pages: 286
Obtained: Kaye Publicity
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Rating: 3.75/5
Bottom Line: Southerners even make a murder mystery fun
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Summary: It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other--one from very unnatural causes-- Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder. With the help of Bo Durant, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders. ~amazon.com  

Review: Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery is a great first book into a fun, cozy mystery series. What really makes the book are the characters; not only the family but the guests at the Crozat B&B. There are some very funny moments and some poignant ones as well. The mystery is intriguing, especially as more people begin to die.

Maggie is also struggling to find her place back at home. She moved back after a failed relationship and business in NYC. Her family's B&B is struggling a bit after Katrina and she wants to help them move back to a profitable and well-known place to stay. She's also trying to get her own art business going without making it seem too tacky to buy replicas of Pelican attractions.

What would a cozy mystery be without a curious, nosy protagonist? Here's Maggie. Of course she doesn't have confidence in the local sheriff to do his job right. Some of it has to do with the fact that it's a small town and the fact that their families have been feuding for decades.

Maggie is a hoot and she endears herself to the reader of the novel. She's only trying to help the investigation along while trying to stay out of trouble herself. I loved her family but it was her grand-mere that had me in stitches. I seriously hope I'm that spunky and hip as she is when I'm her age. It's also pretty evident that not only have the Crozat's had some financial difficulty but that Ninette has had some heath issues as well but this only strengthens their bond.

Ms. Byron has a great way of telling a story and developing her characters. She has a knack for writing dialogue, which makes sense since she was a TV writer. I can't wait to see what happens in the next Cajun Country mystery.


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Friday, July 31, 2015

Julie's Review: The Royal We


Author: Heather Cocks & Jessica Morgan
Series: None
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 464
Obtained: from a friend
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5.0
Bottom Line: Outstanding. The real side of a fairy tale romance.
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Summary: "I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next." American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face. Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become. Which is how she gets into trouble. Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing. ~amazon.com

Review: There are few books I really do gush over but get ready for some serious love here for The Royal We. I'm not a "Royal Watcher" but I admit being curious about Kate and Wills. More so about Kate than Wills but I digress. This wonderful, funny, witty, heart-wrenching, joyful book is about Bex and Nick. We join Bex on the eve of her marriage to Nick or rather Prince Nicholas of Wales but she's not real sure if it'll go through.

The rest of the novel takes us back in time to when they first met, how they fell in love and the obstacles that were in their way. We know that it isn't smooth sailing for them because of what Bex tells us and also because what relationship is. Bex is instantly lovable and adorable. She's a fish out of water but she doesn't let it hold her back. She quickly befriends her roommate, Cilly and then the rest of the lot. This band of merry men and women are the inner circle for Nick. They have his back in all the ways you hope your friends do.

Cocks and Morgan have an excellent cast of secondary characters. It is easy to get caught up in their world. They are all privileged in one way or another. Bex isn't exactly a slouch but she's also not British or from a proper blood line. I knew from the start that Lacey, while trying to be excited and happy for Bex, was really jealous and/or envious of her life. It was never what Bex had dreamed of but it was always what Lacey had dreams about.

As you can guess things spiral out of control and for a while Bex and Nick go their separate ways. I can only imagine what it's like to be under the microscope and the spotlight simultaneously. It is not something that Bex and Nick handle very well. When thrust into the spotlight neither of them knows how to react or respond.

What I loved what how Bex tried desperately to remain her own person. We all lose a little of ourselves when in a relationship but it's the degrees that can make the difference. She realizes that there are ways to keep who she is but she realizes that she will also have to be the the Duchess the Palace needed too.

You can't help but feel sorry for Nick. He didn't ask for this life but it is his life. He doesn't have choices, his life has been planned from the day he was born. His relationship with his father is tense and his mother isn't in the picture much. He's close with his great-grandmother but it really comes down to is this is his job. Being the Prince of Britain is his destiny. Bex has a choice but do we really have a choice once we decide that we can't live without that person?

The Royal We is a book about relationships, love, friendship and what it takes to be in a relationship with the one(s) we love the most. There is humor and sorrow, joy and sadness in the book. I laughed out loud and I cried. It is probably one of my favorite books of 2015. I really can't gush enough about this one. Do yourself a favor and read this one! You really won't regret it, even if you aren't a "royal" watcher.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Julie's Review: The Mask

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Author: Taylor Stevens
Series: Vanessa Michael Monroe #5
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Crown
Pages: 352
Obtained: Amazon Vine
Genre:  Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 4.5/5
Bottom Line: Thrilling and exciting entry into one of my favorite thriller/mystery series
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Summary: Vanessa Michael Munroe, chameleon and information hunter, has a reputation for getting things done: dangerous and not quite legal things, in some of the world’s deadliest places. Still healing from a brutal attack that left her near death, Munroe joins her lover, Miles Bradford, in Japan where he’s working as a security consultant protecting high-value technology from industrial espionage. In the domesticity of their routine Munroe finds long sought-after peace—until Bradford is arrested for murder. She will soon discover how far she’ll go to save him from twenty years in locked-up isolation; how many laws she’ll break when the truth seems worse than his lies; and who to trust and who she’ll kill. Because she’s a strategist and hunter with a predator’s instincts, and the man she loves has just stabbed her in the back. ~taylorstevensauthor.com  

Review: The Mask is one of those books where I had to trust the author and it's a good thing I've read all the other books in this series to know I can trust her. I did seriously wonder what kind of ride she was going to take me on and how Michael was going to come out of this on the other side. I was worried that the only thing keeping Michael tethered was going to be ripped away from her. This trip to Japan to see Bradford was supposed to be a healing trip for her. Well, how much fun would that be to read about and write? Probably not very for this character. Michael needs action, she needs to feel purposeful. I doubt she's ever had a proper vacation.

Needless to say, Michael's skills are called into action quickly when Miles gets arrested for murder. She knows he didn't do it but he also wasn't fully honest with her. This is when she has to start putting together the puzzle pieces.

Michael is also operating in a culture that she doesn't quite understand but that she has to learn quickly to adapt to. She has to learn how to function and command respect from men in the office. She needs someone to help her adapt and to also figure out the pieces of the puzzle that she can't do on her own. She needs someone to team with this time. This time she can't do it on her own.

Ms. Stevens always does a great job of making two plot lines intersect and The Mask is no different. I never doubt the path or paths she's going to take us on. They are almost always a wild ride, which is what keeps this reader coming back. Plus I happen to think Vanessa Michael Munroe is one of the most interesting and complex characters I've ever read.

If you've never read any of Ms. Stevens books and you are a fan of thrillers plus excellent characters, then you need to pick up this series.


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Monday, July 27, 2015

Julie's Review: War and Remembrance


Author: Herman Wouk
Series: Winds of War #2
Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 56 Hours 8 Minutes
Narrator: Kevin Pariseau
Obtained: purchased
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: History lesson wrapped up in a family saga
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Summary: Herman Wouk's sweeping epic of World War II, which begins with The Winds of War and continues here in War and Remembrance, stands as the crowning achievement of one of America's most celebrated storytellers. Like no other books about the war, Wouk's spellbinding narrative captures the tide of global events - and all the drama, romance, heroism, and tragedy of World War II - as it immerses us in the lives of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom. ~audible.com  

Review: I can't believe it's been a year since I listened to The Winds of War and have finally concluded War & Remembrance. This is the family saga to start and end all family sagas. It is hard to believe that one family can endure so much for so long during a war and yet so many families had every lasting scars from World War II.

The book spans from the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the surrender of the Japanese. It examines the horrors of the concentration camps through the eyes of Natalie Jastrow-Henry and her Uncle. To listen to the parts of this book it's hard to not cry or get sick. It is truly upsetting to know that other humans treated other humans with that amount of disgrace and repugnance. It is hard as someone who knows the outcome to reconcile with the fact that nothing was done sooner. I also understand that hindsight is 20/20. There were people who were calling out what was going on but no one was listening.

Mr. Wouk spends a good amount of time with the submarine battles in the Pacific. As a history lesson this is interesting and sometimes a bit long in the tooth. You can tell that it's passionate for him as an author.

As the war rages on, the Henry family experiences their own losses and changes as well. This is where Mr. Wouk succeeds wholeheartedly. He wraps the war up in their story and their story within the war.

Kevin Pariseau is the perfect narrator again. He does the voices of all the characters with perfection. He even nailed annoying Rhoda.

If you are a fan of historical fiction and haven't read The Winds of War and War & Remembrance, then you must. Yes, they are thick but they are so well worth it. I'm glad my step-dad and Jenn told me to read them!


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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Julie's Review: Center of Gravity


Author: Laura McNeill
Series: None
Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 455
Obtained: Author
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Thriller
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: So real it feels like it was happening to you
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Summary: The truth could cost her everything. Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful. Or is it? When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss. If only Ava could believe her own excuses. Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys. Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town, Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game? Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem. ~amazon.com

Review: Center of Gravity is a novel about how well we know those we love and the lengths a mother will go to protect/save her kids. Ava and Mitchell seem to have the perfect marriage. Great house, great kids and they seem completely smitten with each other. That is until Mitchell seemingly turns on a dime on Ava. Ava has no clue who this man is that is being rude to her and just leaves the house with the boys. She thinks it's for a few nights while he "cools off". Ava soon finds out that its definitely not temporary.

What happens next is Ava fighting for her reputation, her kids and her life. Once Mitchell turns on her, there really is no going back. She has no time to figure out what went wrong because she's too busy trying to stand on her own two feet. She has no family to count on because from what we are told, she's the black sheep to her southern mother. She really is alone in her fight to prove that she's not what Mitchell says.

As a reader, I never once doubted Ava and her love for both Jack and Sam. I knew that whatever lay ahead of her, she would get through this. Perhaps the unsung hero of the novel is Jack. He is such a brave kid and they way he always protected Sam from his dad. It is also understandable that he did believe his dad at times when it came to Ava. He had been lied to by his dad when the only person he could believe was his dad.

Ms. McNeill has a great knack for pulling you into the story immediately. You want to know what Ava will do to fight back. You want to see her succeed and maybe more than that, you want to see Mitchell get his comeuppance. I loved how she also gave us a glimpse into the future so that we could close the book feeling good.

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Jack's side of the story too. I think that might give us adults a bit of pause into how things really do affect the kids, even if we don't think so. It is a rare author who can get the voice of a child right and Ms. McNeill does is with aplomb. 

If you are looking for tautly written suspense novel to get you through the summer, then look no further than Center of Gravity.


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Friday, July 17, 2015

Julie's Review: The Knockoff


Author: Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
Series: None
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 352
Obtained: purchased
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Delicious and engaging
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Summary: An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app. When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age. ~amazon.com

Review: The Knockoff is a book that I loved every single word of and every single minute I spent reading it. Perhaps it's where I'm at in my career or my profession (HR) but the insight into millennial is priceless. The Knockoff is what might happen if Andi came back to bump Miranda from her perch in The Devil Wears Prada. Although Imogen is no Miranda and Andi was no Eve. While it might be similar to The Devil Wears Prada it really is in a league of it's own. It's smart, witty, engaging and insightful. I'm not into fashion, I'm more into comfortable then trendy and being a fashionista but maybe that's why I enjoy being in a world of which I'm not privy too and learning something.

Instantly, this reader loved Imogen. She's ready to come back to work from a sabbatical and taken on the world of Glossy again but to her surprise it's no longer going to be a print magazine but an online app. Now Imogen knows what an app is but how the behind the scenes works, she's clueless. Enter, Eve Morton, who is what Imogen is not: young, tech savvy and a bitch. Yup, I said it, she's a bitch. And if he were a man, I would call him a douche-bag. She's too cutthroat and backstabbing to say she's just ambitious. You can be ambitious and successful without being any of those things.

While Imogen changes her feelings about technology and starts to understand how to work in this new world, she begins to cultivate her own ideas on how to integrate technology into her fashion world. It's not that she's against moving to a different platform, she just doesn't like Eve's approach to it.

As for Eve well she's so tunnel vision that she can't see anything else. She can't see that even in this tech-based world we live on, you do need to work on personal relationships. Although, that doesn't mean invading some one's personal space.

My good friend, Michelle said in her review that's it's an "us vs. them"  situation and that might be true but I'm not sure of any millennial who would be on Eve's side. She's just perfectly awful. There are some wonderful, hardworking, genuine people in this book. I love Ashley and think she was the perfect person to lend Imogen a hand into figure out the new world of Glossy.com and Eve. She was smart and savvy in ways I really didn't expect her to be.

I really can't say much else other than you need to read this no matter what "generation" you are in. Each of us will find something to identify with and scoff at. I will admit there was some social media references in there that I had no clue what they were and I'm OK with it, until my kids want to use it.

I'm so glad that The Knockoff lived up to and exceed the hype for me. Trust me, you won't want to put it down. 

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