Mini Reviews – Netgalley Edition (take 2)

With my recent vacation, I have fallen a bit behind in posting reviews and wanted to take a chance to catch up on some of the books I’ve received from Netgalley in the past few months. Thank you to Netgalley and Publishers for allowing me to read and review these books!

Someone Else’s Life
by Katie Dale
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Heart Wrenching is the best way to describe this beautiful novel from Katie Dale. I requested this book because I loved the cover, I knew nothing more about the book From the first few words, I could not put this book down. I absolutely adored Rosie and my heart broke for her over and over throughout this book. I felt like I could really relate to her as a person, and her journey was just captivating despite it’s incredibly sad nature.

Her journey is what this book is really about, her travels to find her birth mother, sure that’s a huge part of it. But really? The heart of this book is the personal growth and grieving that she deals with.

Someone Else’s Life is a LONG read – nearly 500 pages, but it’s captivating and will suck you in. I am struggling to write the review because this book touched me so deeply.

 

How to Eat a Cupcake
by Meg Donohue
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

How to Eat a Cupcake focuses on Julia and Annie, two women who have a childhood bond that many of us at one point imagined having with our best friends as children. I think that is one of the things I enjoyed the most about this story, their relationship with one another. They are two very dynamic, yet different personalities – reminding me a bit of myself and my younger sister (also my best friend).

The narrative in this book is one of my favorite tactics, although also one of the hardest to pull off! And Meg Donohue does it flawlessly! The story flip flops between the two girls’ points of view, so you feel that you know them both equally.

Who doesn’t love cupcakes? I mean, really? I adore all the cute little cupcake shops, and we alternate between three in my hometown since I can’t pick my favorite! So the idea of these two friends opening a Cupcakery is just great. And then the added mystery of who is trying to foil their plans? Well, the mystery is a bit predictable – to anyone who has read a few mysteries in the past – but it’s fun none the less!

I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of contemporary, cozy mysteries or just looking for a good story about life long friendship!

Pieces of Us
by Margie Gelbwasser

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥

I’m not sure what I was expecting when I picked up Pieces of Us, but I definitely did not get whatever it was. This book was raw, edgy and emotional. It touches deep dark places, with four characters – each of which is broken and abused in their own ways.

I’ve seen a lot of reviews who claimed this book was too graphic, too descriptive for them. The language is foul, I’ll put that out there. Although if I’m being honest? It’s nothing I haven’t heard before, nothing I didn’t hear in high school on a daily basis. (But perhaps I just had a jaded childhood, a colorful high school experience.) And the tales told, are real. No, I don’t mean this is a non-fiction book, but rather that it is realistic, it’s not bubble gum and cotton candy – it’s life. And really? I found myself picturing each of the main characters as friends from my past, as they all fit someone I knew well. (I love when a book can do that.)

I do have to say that it took me awhile to get “into” this book, and I’m not completely sure I ever really did. There were some pacing issues that just didn’t work for me, and the narration was dodgy at times – although for a reason. However, this is one of those books where the story is very worth all the little things that I didn’t really care for. But you’ve been warned, the language – the sexual discussions – the brokenness of this book may be difficult for many readers.

 

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Oh my gosh! I adored this book. I couldn’t stop laughing, and the humor fit me perfectly. Then, it’s from a males point of view! There needs to be more of this in literature, especially in YA! And what’s not to love about this book? Greg is great, the cover is unique – catchy and just plain fabulous. And there’s no sappy, sweet lesson to be learned. Best of all? It was realistic, the characters and places felt real. Jesse Anderews’ writing was just amazing.

Let’s talk about Greg for a minute. He is great, as a character and a narrator I think he has the ability to pull in readers of all varieties who wouldn’t normally read. (I’ve already recommended it to my husband, my nephew and a few friends all who are non-readers, because I think they’d love it.) He is a bit self-depreciating. But I think that makes him more real, and it fits with his humor well.

If you’re looking for a hilarious book (seriously, I laughed the whole way through!) I recommend you pick this one up!

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