An Ordinary Wonder by Buki Papillon Book Review

Book Description

An Ordinary Wonder is a story of the courage needed to be yourself.

Oto leaves for boarding school with one plan: excel and escape his cruel home. Falling in love with his roommate was certainly not on the agenda, but fear and shame force him to hide his love and true self.

Back home, weighed down by the expectations of their wealthy and powerful family, the love of Oto’s twin sister wavers and, as their world begins to crumble around them, Oto must make drastic choices that will alter the family’s lives for ever.

Richly imagined with art, proverbs and folk tales, this moving and modern novel follows Oto through life at home and at boarding school in Nigeria, through the heartbreak of living as a boy despite their profound belief they are a girl, and through a hunger for freedom that only a new life in the United States can offer.

An Ordinary Wonder is a powerful coming-of-age story that explores complex desires as well as challenges of family, identity, gender and culture, and what it means to feel whole.

Review

I just received the finished copy of this book and got the ebook recently as well so I am about halfway through and will provide a complete review when I finish it. This review is up to the half way mark of this book as I wanted to make sure to spotlight it on my blog today.

I have yet to read any book that centers an intersex main character so that was something that this book did that I really loved. I liked that this book explores being intersex and how culture informs people’s responses to someone being born intersex.

I also really enjoy how this book explores familial love, education, gender, sexuality, belonging, culture, folklore, and more. I really like how this story goes back and forth between a few years back and the current time with Oto because we get to see what lead to the current circumstances for him.

I can’t wait to continue reading this and see what happens to our main character and what happens in his relationships with his family members. I think that was something that I really want to read more of to see if his mom and his sister change perspectives on how they feel about Oto.

Author Information

Buki Papillon was born in Nigeria, lived in the UK where she studied law at the University of Hull, and is now settled in the US, where she has learned to find inspiration in the long winters. She has in the past been a travel adviser, events host and chef.

Her debut novel, An Ordinary Wonder, is forthcoming from Pegasus Books in the US on September 7, 2021, and was published by Dialogue Books (Little, Brown UK) in March 2021. Her work has been published in Post Road Magazine and The Del Sol Review.

She graduated  with an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. She has  received fellowships to The Key West Literary Seminars and Vermont Studio Center. She was awarded an Archie D. And Bertha. H. Walker Foundation Scholarship by the Fine Arts Work Center, and is an alumna of the VONA Voices Workshops.

In her downtime she loves taking long rambles in nature, making jewelry, cooking up a storm and, of course, epic levels of reading.

Her twitter account is @bukipapillon. Her website is http://bukipapillon.com.

Impacted by Benji Carr Book Review

Author Information

As a child growing up in the South with cerebral palsy, Benji Carr developed an eye for the bizarre and quirky, which provided all of the stories he told his friends and family with a bit of flavor. Working as a journalist, storyteller and playwright, his work – whether the stories be personal tales of struggle and survival or fiction about cannibal lunch ladies, puppet romances, drag queen funerals, and perverted killer circus clowns – has been featured in The Guardian, ArtsATL and Pembroke Magazine. Onstage, his pieces have been presented at the Center for Puppetry Arts, Alliance Theatre, and as part of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival in Manhattan. He lives in Atlanta and helps run the online literary magazine, Gutwrench Journal. Impacted is his first novel.

Book Description

With every trip he makes to the dentist, Wade’s pain only gets worse. His smile has faded. He’s clenching his jaw and grinding his teeth more, not because of bad oral hygiene or any mishaps in orthodontics. Wade’s teeth don’t need straightening out, but the rest of his life could use that kind of adjustment. Wade has fallen in love with handsome Dr. Emmett, and their office visits in the afternoon have become decidedly more personal than professional. And poor Wade is sure his girlfriend Jessa would punch him in the mouth if she found out.

After all, Jessa did just abandon her church and her family to be with him. And she did just have Wade’s baby. So their relationship has already caused enough gossip in the small Georgia town of Waverly.

When Wade tries to end the affair, the breakup takes a brutal turn, leaving Wade in a state of panic. His life is under threat. His secrets could be exposed, and his family may fall apart before he realizes what kind of person he wants to be.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: It took me a while to really get into this one and I made the mistake of looking at other people’s reviews in the middle of reading. I really didn’t see the humor in the story even if it was supposed to be dark humor. That being said, I did still enjoy the story that was told in this book.

I was a bit worried that the center would focus more on the relationship between Dr. Emett and Wade and I really didn’t want that. I was glad that we get to see more of Wade’s life with Jessa, Lydie, and his mom. I thought this was a good coming of age story as Wade figures out who he is and tries to cope with the mess he made, and then deal with being told he was abused.

Characters: In this book you get introduced to quite a few characters that all have different relationships with Wade. I really liked getting to know each of the characters that we meet and getting to see how their story comes together around Wade. There were some characters like the Reverand and Jessa which I was frustrated by and could’ve done with less of them.

I liked getting to see how much more of a mess Wade’s life gets with more people being introduced into the story. I thought it was great to see how these people play into his life and how they help him make sense of the things that have happened to him.

Writing Style: This story is told in third person with an knowing narrator as you read the story through jumping from one character to another. At first I really didn’t like that this book was going back and forth between characters and wished that we got more of Wade. As the book progressed, I understood the need to show us what was going on with the other characters to really tie them together and tie the loose pieces together.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides Book Review

Author Information

Alex Michaelides was born and raised in Cyprus. He has an M.A. in English literature from Trinity College, Cambridge University, and an M.A. in screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. The Silent Patient was his first novel and was the biggest-selling debut in the world in 2019. It spent more than a year on the New York Times bestseller list and sold in a record-breaking forty-nine countries. Alex lives in London.

Book Description

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life. 

Review

Thank you to Celadon Books, Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for the advanced reader and advanced listening copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thoughts and Themes: I rarely read mystery books and I haven’t read many since I was a teenager. I used to love this type of book so I’ve been trying to get into them again. I listened to this one on audiobook and I believe that I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had read the book.

I’m not a big fan of the way that the mystery unravels itself in the end of the book, I was really enjoying it until the last hour of listening. I found that this portion of the book sped up but it also was a little off to me. I found that the book kept speeding up while they were close to figuring things out only to slow back down with filler information. While I like twists and turns in the book, I would like the tension to remain in the story without it feeling like it was gone.

Something that I did enjoy about this book was the way that Greek Mythology was weaved into the murder mystery. While the beginning of this story was slow to start because it had to introduce the murder mystery and the Greek aspects, I found that the best part to read.

Characters: In this book you get to meet a few characters as they are interreacting with Mariana. I liked Mariana as a main character and found that she was easy to follow along with. I liked getting to learn a bit from her past and also see how that past informs the way she investigates this murder.

I also liked the short pieces that we get from the male perspective. I thought those pieces were just the right amount of creepy and the way they are written kind of deter you from figuring out who did it.

I wasn’t really invested in any of the characters throughout this book. I wanted to like Mariana but she was just the character we needed to tell the story to me. I did like Zoe though and really wanted to believe the best of her even as Mariana starts to doubt her. I like the relationship that Mariana has with Zoe and also the relationships we get to see that Mariana has with some of her patients.

Writing Style: This story is told in third person when it is about Mariana and then it switches to first person when it is the male perspective. I thought this was an interesting way to write this because it makes you feel like the male is our narrator for the rest of the story. I wondered if this was the case and someone was watching Mariana’s every move throughout the book. I really liked having the shift in point of view included because it throws you off and it also makes you question the reliability of our narrator.

I liked that the way this book is written makes you question who is believable. I was wondering the whole time if I should believe what Mariana thinks or what those around her are trying to tell her. I liked that Mariana is a therapist because that makes you think that she must be reliable. The way that the book sets up this story makes you believe that she is the only one who is reliable throughout this whole story. It really isn’t until the end of the book that you start to think about how reliable Mariana is.

What Mother’s Withhold by Elizabeth Kropf Book Tour Post

Thank You to Poetic Book Tours for allowing me to be on this book tour to let others know about this book published January 4, 2021.

Author Information

Elizabeth Kropf earned her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Perelandra College. Kropf has had over twenty poems in publications including The Texas Poetry Calendar, the DEFY! Anthology by Robocup Press, and several editions of di-verse-city, the anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival. A dream called her from California to Austin, where she now lives with her husband and daughters. The poems in what mothers withhold were written over a span of over ten years, bookending the birth and babyhood of her delightful daughters. Kropf’s next book might be about fruit, pavement, or volcanoes. She is currently working on an ekphrastic poetry collaboration with artist Tamryn Spruill, who created the cover art for what mothers withhold.

Book Description

The poems of “what mothers withhold” are songs of brokenness and hope in a mother’s voice, poems of the body in its fierceness and failings. Elizabeth Kropf’s poems revel in peeling back silence, and invite us to witness a complicated and traumatic world that is also filled with love.

–Cindy Huyser, poet and editor, author of “Burning Number Five: Power Plant Poems.”

With these visceral poems, poet and mother Elizabeth Kropf has composed a chant of the vocabulary of vulnerability. From fertility to conception to birth—or not—and into motherhood, Kropf’s recounting of her experiences compels the reader to enter and acknowledge the power of what mothers endure and withhold.

–Anne McCrady, author of Letting Myself In and Along Greathouse Road

Review

Thoughts and Themes: This is a short book of poetry that discusses motherhood from the beginning and through it all. I thought that it was good that it went back and forth with time so we saw before her children, during, and the process of having them.

Something that I really enjoyed about this set of poems was how it felt like this was a letter from a mother to her children. I love how this is something that very personal to the author that she is deciding to share with you as a reader. I thought that really made the emotions in each poem really stand out and seeing how she has mixed feelings about motherhood. I thought it was great that she included these mixed feelings but also made it a point to include love along with those feelings.

Characters: There is one central theme in this whole book and that is motherhood and because of the theme, there are several characters involved. Each poem is told through the perspective of the mother but it includes the daughters as characters and her mother.

Writing Style: I really enjoyed how short each of these poems are and how they are told as a story. As you read each poem, it is as if you are reading a short story that the author is telling you. I love how this book feels like the author is telling you about her life and as if you are listening to her speak. I think that this would be a great book to get a chance to hear live or even on an audiobook.

Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour Book Review

Thank you to HMH Books and Libro.Fm for an advanced copy of the book and audiobook of this story.

Author Information

MATEO ASKARIPOUR was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in EntrepreneurLit HubCatapultThe RumpusMedium, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, and his favorite pastimes include bingeing music videos and movie trailers, drinking yerba mate, and dancing in his apartment. BLACK BUCK is his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo. You can also subscribe to his monthly newsletter here. 

Book Description

For fans of Sorry to Bother You and The Wolf of Wall Street—a crackling, satirical debut novel about a young man given a shot at stardom as the lone Black salesman at a mysterious, cult-like, and wildly successful startup where nothing is as it seems.

There’s nothing like a Black salesman on a mission.

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential as the valedictorian of Bronx Science. But Darren is content working at Starbucks in the lobby of a Midtown office building, hanging out with his girlfriend, Soraya, and eating his mother’s home-cooked meals. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup, results in an exclusive invitation for Darren to join an elite sales team on the thirty-sixth floor.

After enduring a “hell week” of training, Darren, the only Black person in the company, reimagines himself as “Buck,” a ruthless salesman unrecognizable to his friends and family. But when things turn tragic at home and Buck feels he’s hit rock bottom, he begins to hatch a plan to help young people of color infiltrate America’s sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.

Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of America’s workforce; it is a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream.

Review

Thoughts and Themes: This book tells you the story of Darren through different portions of his life. When I first started this book there were several things that through me off and things that made me not want to continue reading this story. This book is much more than just a fictional story of a Black salesman who was successful in his job. While I hated the way that Clyde treated Darren at the start of the book and how the others treated him I also saw how this was indicative of what this environment is like for a Black man.

There were some moments that I really felt for Darren through the first half of the book as everyone pushed him to achieve more. I also felt bad for him as he achieved more but didn’t know how to stay connected with who he used to be. I really was hoping that Darren would be able to find himself after the tragic events that take part in the middle of the book but was glad to see that it took longer than that.

Through the third and fourth portion of this book Darren becomes one of these unbearable characters but I kept reading because I was hoping there would be some redemption for him. While a lot of the things that he did were things that made you dislike him as a character, I could also see the things that made him this way. I really did like what Darren did through the fourth portion of the book and what he built for himself and other people of color.

I really liked how this book closes out and the lessons that are thought throughout this whole story. I really did like the twist in this portion of the book as it was really something that I didn’t see coming. I think while it is heartbreaking to watch this part unfold it also taught Buck a lesson that he needed to learn. I don’t want to ruin the book so I won’t elaborate much on this portion. The lessons are going to be different for each person who reads this book but I think the main message is to remain true to yourself even through your success.

Characters: There are several characters that you get introduced to throughout the different portions of this story. There is one character that made it really hard for me to get into the story at first because of the way that he treated Buck. It was good to see the story come full circle though and to see that while this character didn’t develop at all, we did get to see Buck develop throughout this book.

I think that the relationships that Buck has with everyone are well developed and I really liked how he realized who the important people in his life are. I liked how Buck learns about himself through the relationships that he develops and destroys throughout this story.

Writing Style: This story is written in first person and it is told in five separate parts. I thought that the separation of each of this parts was done in a great way and the transitions between each section were done well. I liked that each section was a different stage in Buck’s life and how you see his relationships with others change.

Missunderstanding: Fate Looked Back by Vera Schneider and Bevin Smith Review

Author Information

Bevin Smith had always been writing. Her drawers are full of paper sheets covered in different inks. A library worth of paper to reach the dream effect- a book. Her pen produces stories full of lively descriptions, which would run wild if not contained within the bounds of the page. Bevin’s inspiration comes from the dusk when all her daily thoughts and ideas are put in a proper line, waiting to be transferred onto paper. Sounds around only assist her with forming the stories since, in her opinion, beautiful things are born noisily. Future aim? …

Vera has begun her writing adventure relatively recently. Her goals in life were completely different, but then it happened; the mind’s fantasies demanded to be captured on paper. An integral part of her writing is the picturesque language which is used to stimulate the reader’s imagination. Vera’s inspiration comes from the dawn, the best time of day to reach for a pen. The process of creating requires total silence since, in her opinion, beautiful things are born quietly. Future aim? …

Together Two completely different persons have connected. But… they have never seen each other in person. Even more, they have never spoken to each other. Then how? How did it start? The Internet was so generous to let them find each other. They met here, online. Among the millions of users, their IP addresses linked up to detect similarities. Two completely different persons melded with the same interest: writing. And then the exchange of words began. A small trickle became a stream, and then a river, and finally an ocean of letters forming words. When the sun rises, Vera writes. When the sun goes down, Bevin takes over. Work put in unceasing motion so the books could come to light. Silence and noise are joined to create a perfect symphony.

Future aim? You, the reader.

Book Description

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Kenta Yamamura always finds himself unable to say no and thus getting into unwanted encounters. This time was no different. Someone who has abused him before does it again. All the pain and humiliation locks him in a traumatic embrace once more.

When Yuta stumbles across Kenta, having been used and dirtied by someone, he immediately offers to take care of him. But won’t Yuta take advantage of the boy like everyone else? Isn’t that Kenta’s destiny, after all?

Part of the Missunderstanding world

You can find this book at:

Goodreads

I got this short story from the authors in exchange for my honest review.

Review

I meant for this post to go live on Thursday of last week but just realized I scheduled it incorrectly.

Thoughts and Themes: This is a short story that follows two men who are a part of the entertainment industry. This story is part of a series “Missunderstanding” and it focuses on the troubles that Kenta has come across due to his love affairs. Kenta gets assaulted early on in the story which leaves him feeling worthless and undeserving of love and care. It isn’t until Yuta shows him friendship and ultimately love and care that he realizes that he too deserves to be loved and cared for.

This story quickly grabbed my attention and I was so sad when it was over as I wanted to read more about these two characters. I liked that this story didn’t feel like it was rushed through and that it didn’t feel like the only goal was to get to the end of it. I liked reading about the dynamics between both Kenta and Yuta and how much Yuta cares about everyone he comes into contact with. I did think that the relationship portion with his boss was a little out of place but I also think that is due to not having read the rest of this series.

Characters: This story consisted of two main characters, Kenta and Yuta, and one side character who was both of their bosses, and Kenta’s girlfriend. I thought that the two main characters were nice and I wanted to read more about them, learn about their backgrounds, etc.

Handsome by Holly Lorka Book Review

Author Information

At the tender age of 7, Holly ran into the kitchen and announced to her family, “I’m going to be a superstar.” Then she grabbed her brother’s Matchbox car and ran outside to play in the dirt. She kept this belief in her heart while doing the normal kid things- like dominating on the softball field, burning herself with her curling iron, and losing an epic battle with puberty- right up until college, where she made the natural choice to go to nursing school.

Holly spent years working at hospitals in and around Phoenix and realized that the bright lights of the ICU weren’t hot enough, and that giving a suppository didn’t bring her the applause she desired, so she moved to Austin and pursued stand up comedy.

Stand up was good to her. She spent several years on stages, making people laugh, landing gigs like the Boston Comedy Festival, Moontower Comedy Festival, and becoming a finalist in the Funniest Person in Austin contest. She once had a show at Kansas State University, because they didn’t Google her work beforehand. Whoops, Kansas!

After five years of comedy, Holly decided that staying up late and eating fried zucchini wasn’t fun anymore. She quit stand up and started writing stories about gender, shame, and sexuality. She began performing at storytelling shows and was surprised at the overwhelming support she received in doing so; audiences seemed to want to hear and learn more about her problems, so she continued to write and perform. She also kept having new problems, so WIN! Her work has been included in several podcasts, including Dan Savage’s Hot Mic, and in several collections, including the BedPost Confessions Anthology. People have told her numerous times that her stories have helped them to understand the complicated issue of gender fluidity. As a happy side effect, she’s also been asked to speak to high school kids about it, even after the schools Googled her work.

Holly Lorka lives in Austin with a cat who is an asshole, but has a cute face. She remains an ICU nurse, and currently works with the number one gender confirmation surgical team in the world (she gets to tell her dad that she makes dicks and vaginas). She has a side hustle as a wedding officiant, because her wardrobe needs fancy places to go. Her first book, Handsome, is a compilation of her stories, and she hopes it will make folks laugh, cry, and wonder why we ever thought bangs were a good idea.

Book Description

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As a horny little kid, Holly Lorka had no idea why God had put her in the wrong body and made her want to kiss girls. She had questions: Was she a monster? Would she ever be able to grow sideburns? And most importantly, where was her penis?

The problem was, it was the 1970s, so there were no answers yet.

Here, Lorka tells the story—by turns hilarious and poignant—of her romp through the first fifty years of her life searching for sex, love, acceptance, and answers to her questions. With a sharp wit, endearing innocence, and indelible sense of optimism, she struggles through the awkward years (spoiler: that’s all of them) and discovers that what she thought were mistakes are actually powerful tools to launch her into a magical—and ridiculous—life.

Oh, and she discovers that she can buy a penis at the store, too.

You can find the book at:

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Eso Won Books ~ Goodreads

Review

Thank you to Booksparks and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thoughts and Themes: I really enjoy reading memoirs and especially LGBTQ+ memoirs because I get to see different people’s lived experience. I like seeing that there are people with similar identities to me but they come to that conclusion differently and they all have a different way of viewing themselves.

There were so many times in this story that I was laughing out loud because of something said of because of the cleaver titles of the chapters. I do need to let you all know that this book is sexually explicit which some may find hard to read. I found those moments funny and liked to see how those moments helped Holly figure out her sexuality and gender identity.

I really enjoyed the honesty that you get from Holly throughout this book and how vulnerable the author is in these moments. I think that getting a chance to read these essays/short stories really gives you another perspective on who the author is. I would love to hear some of these pieces on audio because I think that they would be even better heard out loud.

Writing Style: This memoir is told through multiple short essays that have some humor mixed into each chapter. I really liked the variation in length of each of these short essays and how they are not always in chronological order. I liked that sometimes the essays went back in time to connect some of Holly’s past to her present.

Grown Ups Book Review

Summary: Jenny McLaine is an adult. Supposedly. At thirty-five she owns her own house, writes for a cool magazine and has hilarious friends just a message away.

But the thing is:

• She can’t actually afford her house since her criminally sexy ex-boyfriend Art left,

• her best friend Kelly is clearly trying to break up with her,

• she’s so frazzled trying to keep up with everything you can practically hear her nerves jangling,

• she spends all day online-stalking women with beautiful lives as her career goes down the drain.

And now her mother has appeared on her doorstep, unbidden, to save the day…

Is Jenny ready to grow up and save herself this time?

Deliciously candid and gloriously heartfelt, ADULTS is the story of one woman learning how to fall back in love with her life. It will remind you that when the world throws you a curve ball (or nine), it may take friendship, gin & tonics or even your mother to bring you back…

Thoughts: Thanks to scout press for the advanced copy of the book in exchange for my review.

The book starts off a bit slow and its just a woman’s daily life. Jenny is very immature and you can tell in the way she thinks and her actions. You also get a glimpse of how self-absorbed she is through her obsession with social media. Jenny wants her life to look a certain way to others and when she can no longer fake that ideal life, she starts breaking down.

It feels like your in her head with her and she’s a very nervous person so you feel all of her feelings. By giving you Jenny’s every thought with no filter, its as if you are there with her. This was something that I actually did enjoy. Reading through Jenny’s perspective made other characters stand out and I felt bad that they had to deal with her.

My favorite part of this book was the other characters that are introduced throughout. I love the way that Jenny paints each of the people in her life and how frustrated they all are with her. I like how they all try to please her but at one point they realize that she’s too much and she needs to grow up.

The way she treated others and the things she does and say really made me dislike Jenny as a character. She was very childish and way too self absorbed. I found that a lot of the things she did were just bothersome and her life was very mundane. The main reason as to why I didn’t like this book was because we got way too much of Jenny.

I think that people who enjoy reading books about social media, woman having mid life crisis, and books with no real plot would enjoy this book. You can get this book at Eso Won Books or look for it at your local library.

Layover Book Review

Goodreads Summary: Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, Joshua meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their flights, Morgan gets up to leave, leans over and passionately kisses Joshua, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As Morgan slips away, Joshua is left feeling confused by what just happened between them. That’s when he looks up and is shocked to see Morgan’s face flashing on a nearby TV screen. He’s even more shocked when he learns the reason why–Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets to discover the truth about why Morgan is on the run. But when he finally thinks every mystery is solved, another rears its head, and Joshua’s worst enemy may be his own assumptions about those around him…

Thoughts: This was another book that I followed along with the book while listening to on audio which I found was a great way to read this book. There were so many moving parts in this book that I found it great to pause the audio and re-read certain portions in the book.

Part One: In this section of the book you are introduced to all of the characters that are going to play a significant role in the search for this missing person. You get to meet Joshua, a guy in his mid twenties who typically keeps to himself and hates his life, Kimberly, a detective who is a single mother that works on missing people cases, and Morgan who has been claimed as a missing person. Joshua and Morgan meet at a random encounter at the airport and Joshua does something completely out of character and follows her onto her flight. It isn’t until later that he is concerned and obsesses over her case as he finds out that she has been reported as a missing person.

I like how the characters are introduced to you slowly and you get to see them interact with other people before they interact with each other. I like how you get to see Joshua interact with others and his thought process and how that differs drastically from the actions he takes with Morgan. I also really enjoy how you are hearing Morgan’s story through her interactions with Joshua and you can begin to guess why she has taken the actions that she has.

So far this book has just confused me and I am unsure of what is really going on. I am unsure if Morgan is a real person that Joshua is interacting with or if this is a figment of his imagination. Maybe Joshua creates Morgan so that his life is more interesting and everyone around him is just going along with him or ignoring his strange actions.

I really enjoy the parts that you learn more about Morgan and about why she is a missing person. I like the circumstances that lead to her actions and to her responses to Joshua. I think it is interesting to try and figure out what Joshua is thinking as he continues following the story of this woman.

Part two: In this section of the book another mystery is revealed and you start to find out that the mystery of Morgan being a missing person is a lot more complicated than you originally thought. This part makes the book really pick up and takes you through a roller coaster ride of feelings and thoughts.

I really enjoy the way things stack onto each other and how the mystery becomes more complicated before it gets anywhere near being solved. I love that you think that the book is almost done to only find out that you are just halfway through this book.

Part three: This portion of the book wraps up the story as everyone gets involved in the story of two missing people. I don’t want to put any spoilers so I won’t say how this ends. It does have a great closure and the story does come together quite well. I think they did a good job explaining the whole thing and I liked how characters explained their actions.

Overall: I like that the pace of this book is very slow and easy to follow along. The narrator was great to listen to and their voice was smooth and easy going. The way that characters were slowly introduced into the story was well done and smooth.

I like how each scene gets its own chapter and there is space to take each of these scenes in. I really enjoy how you can get through the chapters quickly and it makes you feel like you are reading this book quickly. I also like how it transitions smoothly between a chapter of Joshua and Morgan, Joshua on his own, and Kimberly.

I really like how the book goes back and forth between the story from Joshua’s perspective and Kimberly’s perspective. I like how you get to know not just their ties to the story of Morgan but also their lives beyond that. I really enjoy the moment that their two lives get wrapped up with each other because of the mystery. I liked how the two stories came together and the reasons why Kimberly was searching not just for Morgon but also for Joshua now.

You can get this book at Eso Won Books or look for it at your local library.

Something to Talk About Book Review

GoodReads Summary: Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time–threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames? 

Thoughts: Thank you to Berkley books for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.

As I decided I would give romance books a try this year, when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. Its a romance book with a F/F couple and there is diversity with the main characters in this book. You have a Jewish bisexual woman in her late 20s and a Chinese American lesbian in her early 40s as the main characters in this book.

What I loved about this book is that it is a slow burn romance so nothing really happens between the two for the majority of the book. I find their back and forth banter and really charming. I actually really enjoy that this book has no sexually explicit material for the majority of the whole book. It really allowed me to focus on Jo and Emma’s stories apart from each other and enjoy it when they came together.

I also really enjoy the way that this book is written. You get to see the story from both Emma and Jo’s perspective. I like how you get to see their inner thoughts at every point of the book as I thought some of those moments were humorous. It also allowed you to feel a lot more tension between the characters and also be angry at how they wouldn’t just get together.

I also really enjoyed the other characters that are introduced throughout the book. I liked reading how Jo develops a friendship with Emma’s sister and how that complicates her relationship with Emma. I also liked reading about Jo’s friendship with Evelyn and how that friendship spanned over time and distance. It was nice to see the parts of Jo’s past that had stuck as she gained fame.

Something that I do enjoy is that this book does touch on the topic of sexual harassment in Hollywood and what that means for woman who are just starting out their careers. I really enjoy the response that Jo had when she found out that someone had harassed one of her employees and while Jo says that this would have been her response regardless of who the employee was, I didn’t find that believable.

I recommend this to those of you who are looking for a book with F/F representation. I think that those of you who like slow burn romance books would also really enjoy this book.

You can get pre-order this book at Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, or look for it at your local library starting May 26.