June 30, 2015

Pretty Baby

Pretty Baby

by Mary Kubica

publisher: Harlequin/Mira
publishing date:  July 28, 2015
source:  NetGalley

Reflections:   There's an old saying:  opposites attract.    Heidi works for a non-profit agency in Chicago helping poverty-stricken illiterate immigrants.  When her husband Chris met her 14 years ago, he found her bleeding heart adorable.   However after years of marriage, this hits a nerve.   He works on financial spreadsheets, money money money is his thing.   They're opposites for sure!

One rainy morning in the train station, Heidi notices a teenager  holding a baby wrapped in pink fleece.   During the next few days, Heidi looks for the girl with the pretty baby.   Finally, one day they have a conversation; Heidi persuades her to come to a diner for a meal.  

From the diner, Heidi brings the girl and the baby home!   Chris and their spoiled pre-teen daughter are aghast.   Who is this homeless creature?  Why is she in their home?   Is it safe to have her around?    What's her background?  How long will she stay?

The author Mary Kubica has done a fabulous job writing in three POVs:   Heidi,  Chris, and Willow, the young girl.   There are other minor characters that bring so much to the story: Graham the neighbor, Cassidy the sexy girl in Chris' office,  and more.  

My perspective:  This is one of the best books of 2015.     I became suspicious of some lines,  there are twists,  ah-ha moments await.

June 23, 2015

The Truth and Other Lies

The Truth and Other Lies

by Sascha Arango
publisher Atria, Simon and Schuster
published today, June 23, 2015
source:  publisher and NetGalley

Reflections:   Often I make a point not to read movie and book reviews.  I like sitting in the theater knowing nothing except the barest fact about the movie.  I also like to open a book, knowing only the minimum of the plot.  Then I'm pleasantly surprised at what unfolds.

The Truth and Other Lies gave me many puzzling surprises, mainly because I hadn't read the other reviews.  I hesitate to write too much in this review,  you should have the same pleasant aggravating puzzles while reading.

In sum,  the world knows Henry Hayden as a famous author, but his wife is the actual author.  She doesn't want the recognition so Henry gets all the credit.  The best-selling novels bring in a fortune;  fans flock in to meet Henry on book tours.   One day, Henry's mistress tells him she is pregnant.  This is not a spoiler, you find out in the first page, when Henry looks in horror at an ultrasound picture.   Here is an excerpt of the beginning  which describes Hayden's reaction when he looks at the ultrasound picture.    This hooked me in.

What's the truth?  What are the lies?
The liars among us will know that every lie must contain a certain amount of truth if it's to be convincing.  A dash of truth is often enough, but it's indispensable, like the olive in the martini.
What in the world is going on?   You'll find yourself asking this question often.   A frequent sentence throughout the book "The dog knows everything."   That's how I felt at the end.   This is the author's debut novel,  he credits his readers with intelligence and doesn't point things out obviously such as the point-of-view.  We aren't spoon-fed.

June 22, 2015

Those Girls

Those Girls

by Chevy Stevens
publisher:  St. Martin's Press
to be published July 7, 2015
source: publisher

Those Girls are three teenage sisters on the run. The sisters are different from each other personality-wise. They left an abusive home after burying their father only to find themselves in a  more abusive  situation.   They manage to go on the run again to a safer place.  They change their names, hoping no one will figure out they are those girls.
Flash forward eighteen years, there still is a bond between the sisters, despite their differences.  
This book was almost too violent for me. I had a difficult time staying with it, especially in the second half.  
Kudos to Chevy Stevens for her imagination and creativity.   Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the preview copy.