Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Baby Doll by Hollie Overton


Fewer things are more terrifying than the prospect of having your child taken from you, and living their life like Jaycee Dugard did for many years. Living in a squalid basement, birthing a child, and living in the confines of four small walls until one day the opportunity presents itself to run away and make a clean break. Is anything ever really wrapped up that pretty? No, of course it isn't. Just as in life, fiction also allows us this glimpse into the darker shades of humanity, the ones we don't even realize are there until it may be too late.   

Synopsis
Escape was just the beginning.
Held captive for eight years, Lily has grown from a teenager to an adult in a small basement prison. Her daughter Sky has been a captive her whole life. But one day their captor leaves the deadbolt unlocked.
This is what happens next... to Lily, to her twin sister, to her mother, to her daughter -- and to her captor.

The synopsis is short, sweet, and to the point, and just enough to intrigue the reader.
*This book was read via Netgalley, and was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.* 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer


Julie Lawson Timmer is back, and this time we have a repeat of a story that tears right at the strings of your heart. Last year I read Five Days Left, and it really made me think. I love a book that roots around in your heart, and challenges your belief systems. In Five Days Left, she perfectly wove two stories together, and the result was a book that readers could not forget. I am happy to report that this title is not a disappointment, and readers will find themselves drawn into the narrative of Char's life, and the unifairness of Morgan's life, and a child protection service that is deeply flawed. Trithfully heartfelt, and wonderfully written, Untethered is a fine book to pick up this summer. 
  
Synopsis
Char Hawthorn, college professor, wife and stepmother to a spirited fifteen-year-old daughter, loves her family and the joyful rhythms of work and parenting. But when her husband dies in a car accident, the “step” in Char’s title suddenly matters a great deal. In the eyes of the law, all rights to daughter Allie belong to Lindy, Allie’s self-absorbed biological mother, who wants to girl to move to her home in California.

While Allie begins to struggle in school and tensions mount between her and Char, Allie’s connection to young Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she tutors, seems to keep her grounded. But then Morgan, who was adopted out of foster care, suddenly disappears, and Char is left to wonder about a possible future without Allie and what to do about Morgan, a child caught up in a terrible crack in the system. 

Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

You'll Grow Out Of It by Jessi Klein





It has been a while since a book has given me a belly laugh, and it was a welcome relief from the otherwise depressing news seen around the world. In You'll Grow Out Of It, author Jessi Klein remarks anecdotally about things as varied as "Cads" (man goobers) to Bar Method classes. My favorite chapter in the book was the one where she talked about The Bar Method. For those unfamiliar with The Bar Method, it is a workout that utilizes a ballet barre, and small pulsing movements that are incredibly challenging and leave you sore for days! She was absolutely spot on in her assessments, and I found myself with an affinity for Klein. I highly recommend this book for fans of Tina Fey and Amy Pohler. If you are looking for a reprieve from the sorrow of the world, this book offers just that and more. 

Synopsis

In YOU'LL GROW OUT OF IT, Klein offers-through an incisive collection of real-life stories-a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her "transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man," attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called "ma'am" and "miss" ("Miss sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds").

This book is unique in its feminine perspective and hilarious thoughts on life. I really loved it, and I think you will as well. Order the Book here

Happy Reading!

   

Monday, July 11, 2016

Sweet Summer Giveaway {Bliss, Beauty and Books + Lil Momma Reader}


Courtney from Bliss, Beauty and Books and I are teaming up to bring you one of the hottest summer reads! Believe me when we tell you that you will not want to pass up the opportunity to score this book in your beach bag. As a bonus, Courtney has some incredible beauty finds to add to this sweet summer giveaway. We are so excited to chat about Emily Giffin's newest novel First Comes Love. Share this love, and this package could soon be yours!

This giveaway features Emily Giffin's First Comes Love 


Plus a swag bag filled with Beautycounter Countertime Travel Essentials which includes soothing face wash, radiance firming complex, uplifting day cream, restorative night cream and vibrant eye protector and a makeup case! Perfect to toss into the beach bag along with your new EG book!

To enter you can take a picture of you and your siblings you hold dear (trust me, you'll understand when you read it!) and tag me (@lilmommareader and @blissbeautybooks) on Instagram.

Share this link on Twitter (@lilmommareader and @cortles21)

Share on Facebook and tag us! (Lil Momma Reader and Bliss, Beauty and Books)

Giveaway ends July 20, 2016 and a winner will be selected and notified via e-mail, U.S. only. This post is not sponsored. Thank you for entering! Best of luck!

xoxo,
Melody and Courtney


Friday, July 1, 2016

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Featuring 
Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

When the crackle of the police radio calls, Manon answers and finds herself stuck in the middle of a crime scene involving a bright, young student at Cambridge. Like watching the beginning of an episode of The First 48, there are a few clues that lie in wait, but nothing that completely cracks the case wide open. The small details will lead to the larger target and attempts to answer the question, "what has happened to Edith and who is responsible?" 

Synopsis via Amazon
At thirty-nine, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep—and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.

Edith Hind—a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family—has been missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry. Manon instantly knows that this case will be big—and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.

The investigation starts with Edith’s loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, her patrician parents. As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith’s tangled love life and her erratic behavior leading up to her disappearance. With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith’s family but for Manon herself.


Suspenseful and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

25 Sense by Lisa Henthorn

Featuring 
25 Sense by Lisa Henthorn

Summer is usually the season we set our reading goals high, because we have some time to be able to sit down and really devote our time to reading. Right? Well, if you are anything like me, we tend to get distracted and run out of time, or we just want something light, and entertaining to commit our reading time to. 25 Sense will definitely satisfy the reading tastes of even the most distracted reader, it isn't too long, so you can easily finish it in the span of a day. Then you can pat yourself on the back, head to Twitter, and join in the #bookaday fun!  

So, what is a gal to do when she falls in love with her boss? I know, I know...quit, right? Well, for Claire Malone it is just not that simple. She's fallen for her boss Sean, and can't seem to pry herself from his alluring grasp. To complicate her relationship, Sean now seems to be enamored with the new starlet that has graced the set they work on. How can she hold herself together? Will she finally come to some sense, or has all hope for love been lost?

Synopsis via Amazon
Claire Malone didn’t mean for this to happen when she moved to New York. She just wanted to live the city life and gain experience in television writing, her dream career. It’s not like she meant to reciprocate when her married boss, Sean Vared, sent her flirty e-mails. And you can’t blame her for coming into the office on the weekend when Sean told her he was going to be there . . . alone. She didn’t mean to sleep with him―but hey, she wanted to experience the city life, so no big deal, right?

Wrong. By the time Claire wakes up on her 25th birthday, she’s very much in love with Sean. At work, she struggles to hold it together when he passes her desk―the very desk that they used to make love on. Soon Sean has turned his affection to the show’s starring actress, and Claire is devastated. Can she break away from Sean without ruining her barely started career? Will someone find out what happened? Will she ever grow up and stop making stupid mistakes? 25 Sense is about the time in a young woman’s life when the world starts to view her as a responsible adult―but all she feels is lost.

Happy Reading!

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

Featuring 
Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
Last year when I attended BEA (Book Expo America) this title was the one to grab before they were gone! It was tough to find a copy, and if you were lucky enough to get one, you were as excited to read it as you were to ride a bike! Now available in paperback, Everybody Rise  was a welcome addition to my Summer Reading Challenge Book Bag! 

I read Kimberly McCreight's Reconstructing Amelia a few years ago, and Everybody Rise reminds me of the social elite portrayed in that novel. The group of socialites willing to claw at one another's faces in order to climb to the top of the social ladder. I was so grateful for my humble beginnings in a mid-sized suburb in California. Mothers can be powerful influences in their daughter's decisions, and this novel draws this fact out in a brilliant way such that the reader feels they are part of the story. Family demise a la The Real Housewives is (shamefully) my cup of tea. Thank you, Book Sparks for allowing me to be a part of the Summer Reading Challenge!  

Synopsis via Amazon
Everyone yearns to belong, to be part of the "in crowd," but how far are you willing to go to be accepted? In the case of bright, funny and socially ambitious Evelyn Beegan, the answer is much too far...
At 26, Evelyn is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto New York's glamorous Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she's forced to embrace them.
Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family's downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June Books To Pack Today!



June is a time for sun and fun, and what better way to celebrate summer than to pack all the books into your beach tote? These books will have give you quite the taste between love and happiness, and downright frightening. This is just a quick peek into some of the best summer books out today. So pack up these titles, and head on out for some reading fun in the sun!

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
via Amazon
At thirty-nine, Manon Bradshaw is a devoted and respected member of the Cambridgeshire police force, and though she loves her job, what she longs for is a personal life. Single and distant from her family, she wants a husband and children of her own. One night, after yet another disastrous Internet date, she turns on her police radio to help herself fall asleep—and receives an alert that sends her to a puzzling crime scene.

Edith Hind—a beautiful graduate student at Cambridge University and daughter of the surgeon to the Royal Family—has been missing for nearly twenty-four hours. Her home offers few clues: a smattering of blood in the kitchen, her keys and phone left behind, the front door ajar but showing no signs of forced entry. Manon instantly knows that this case will be big—and that every second is crucial to finding Edith alive.

The investigation starts with Edith’s loved ones: her attentive boyfriend, her reserved best friend, her patrician parents. As the search widens and press coverage reaches a frenzied pitch, secrets begin to emerge about Edith’s tangled love life and her erratic behavior leading up to her disappearance. With no clear leads, Manon summons every last bit of her skill and intuition to close the case, and what she discovers will have shocking consequences not just for Edith’s family but for Manon herself.

Suspenseful and keenly observed, Missing, Presumed is a brilliantly twisting novel of how we seek connection, grant forgiveness, and reveal the truth about who we are.


All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
via Amazon
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.


First Comes Love by Emily Giffin 
via Amazon
Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. 

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew—and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first.


What are you throwing in your bag this summer?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shrill by Lindy West




Important note: I listened to an audio of this book and I would be very careful with your children in the car. No, I wouldn't know from experience. 

This is not the kind of book that one would want to pick up or listen to if you are a) sensitive or b) take offense when you hear bad language in a book. Once you have decided you don't fall into the categories above, you can read/listen to Shrill and really appreciate the honesty of the author and I found her stories to be hilarious, and, at times, truly heartbreaking. It is quite remarkable that we live in a world where people feel that they can be disrespectful to a person simply based on their size. Being able to hide behind a screen while shaming someone is a growing epidemic, and I am grateful for the Lindy West's of the world who help us all feel a little more "loud" and proud. 

The one big take-away for me was teaching my kids (especially my girl) that no matter what anyone says, she always holds the power.  

Synopsis via Amazon

Coming of age in a culture that demands women be as small, quiet, and compliant as possible--like a porcelain dove that will also have sex with you--writer and humorist Lindy West quickly discovered that she was anything but. 

From a painfully shy childhood in which she tried, unsuccessfully, to hide her big body and even bigger opinions; to her public war with stand-up comedians over rape jokes; to her struggle to convince herself, and then the world, that fat people have value; to her accidental activism and never-ending battle royale with Internet trolls, Lindy narrates her life with a blend of humor and pathos that manages to make a trip to the abortion clinic funny and wring tears out of a story about diarrhea.

With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Introducing Brightly! {Plus a giveaway}



It can be incredibly difficult in the digital age to cultivate young readers, but Brightly has you covered! Parents, you should subscribe to Brightly's newsletter ( Brightly's Email Newsletter) to find the latest and greatest in children's books that are sorted for you by age. There is even a bonus for the adult readers, with a complete section that suits you and your needs. Click on this post which features the best books for Pre-Kindergarten that are released this summer! Once you experience Brightly, you will be hooked!

Here is a book I can't wait to read from the Pre-K list. You know I will be using it in my classroom as well. 

Quit Calling Me A Monster!
By Jory John

Floyd doesn’t want to be labeled or seen as a stereotype for the rest of his life. Sure, he’s a monster with pointy teeth and shaggy purple fur — but he’s more than his looks. You’ll laugh your way through this story with a great life lesson.
(Available August 23, 2016)
 Don't miss out on the opportunity to stay in touch with the latest and greatest in books, and subscribe to Brightly's newsletter. As a bonus, subscribers will be entered to win a tote bag like the one below filled with books! Good luck!

Brightly's Email Newsletter 

It’s a weekly newsletter that you can customize to receive content that’s just right for the readers in your family!