Tag Archives: NetGalley

How Not to Die Alone: #bookreview

Have you ever been stuck in a situation by your own white lie?

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper is about Andrew, a middle aged man who searches for the next of kin of the recently deceased. He spends most of his time alone with his Ella Fitzgerald records. Andrew has told his co-workers that he is married with two children and it’s getting harder to maintain the lie. When a new co-worker, Peggy, enters his life, Andrew has to decide whether he going to tell the truth about his imaginary family.

Andrew seems like a decent guy who got mixed up in telling this weird lie. I really wanted him to be able to move on and have a relationship with Peggy. Peggy also has an alcoholic husband. So there’s another hurdle that Andrew needs to clear before he can even think about dating Peggy.

I wondered how the office would deal with the situation. Would he be fired for making up a family? Is Andrew’s lie worse than the co-worker with terrible hygiene and manners? It probably isn’t.

If you’ve ever had a co-worker with bad hygiene or manners– body odor, terrible breath, licking their fingers while eating etc. – then you know. (Licking your fingers while eating might not be bad manners, just irritating. So gross.) Lies are terrible but smelling bad in close quarters with other people is something difficult to deal with.

This book was funny and also had some more poignant moments. Once I got past the part with the finger licking co-worker, it was worth the read.

  • I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are mine. Obviously.

The Price of Paradise: #bookreview

The Price of Paradise by Susana Lopez Rubio and translated by Achy Obejas is about a young couple in Cuba in the late 1940s- Gloria and Patricio- who want to run away and start a new life together. The main obstacle is her mobster husband, Cesar Valdes. He is not a mobster with a heart of gold. He doesn’t have a soft spot for his family or animals. Gloria married him to protect her family from Cesar’s vengeful nature.

I chose this book based on the description on Amazon : Falling in love with the mobster’s young wife, Gloria, is suicide. But Patricio is irresistibly drawn to the beautiful girl with sad eyes, a razor-sharp intellect, and a penchant for both Christian Dior’s clothes and Einstein’s theories. 

I really enjoyed reading how each character became who they were. Patricio came to Cuba with no money but he became successful. Gloria could have gotten a formal education if she hadn’t met Cesar. She was very bright and always willing to learn.

How was Gloria ever going to get away from her husband? Would she ever be free? Would Gloria and Patricio ever be together?

There are some people on Amazon who are offended by the curse words in this book. I’m not one of those people. It does not have excessive profanity but if you’re easily offended then don’t read this one I guess. Good luck with finding something to read without curse words, though. Do you guys think that the use of curse words means that the writer is less creative?

After reading their reviews, I wonder if they even read The Price of Paradise or any other book written in the last ten years. Do you even read, bro?

Other reviewers on Amazon don’t think that this is historical fiction. According to study.com, the definition of historical fiction is “a work of writing that reconstructs the past.” The beginning date in this book is 1947 so it is technically historical fiction. A book does not have to be set in the 16th century to be historical. Some people . . . To h*#@ with those f+#*ing people. (Sorry, not sorry.)

Anyway, I enjoyed this book – the characters, the history, the different locations. Everything. I loved everything about The Price of Paradise.

Evvie Drake Starts Over: #bookreview

What would you do if you could change your life? Of course, you can always change things. It’s just difficult to get motivated sometimes.

In Evvie Drake Starts Over, Evvie (pronounced like Chevy) has almost finished packing up the car. She didn’t know where she was going but she knew she was leaving her husband. Then Evvie receives the call that her husband has been in a car accident.

How long was Evvie going to hide out in her house? She wanted to live a different life but she felt too guilty to do it. She wanted to please everyone else but herself. She even kept a set of dishes that she hated. We’ve all kept something around that doesn’t serve us anymore.

To make some extra money, Evvie rents out the apartment she owns to a former major league baseball player, Dean Tenney. I thought Evvie acted like an old lady until Dean came around.

Will she finally start living her best life? Will she get rid of those dishes?

The book was heartbreaking in some parts but also had quite a few humorous parts. Evvie was a hot mess but very likeable. You will definitely root for her to find happiness.

I suggest reading the book and finding out what happens. You can find it on Amazon.

  • I received the ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

Ghost Wall: #bookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38922230-ghost-wall

How many of us have thought our parents were too strict? In Ghost Wall, Silvie’s dad might take it to a new level.

At the beginning of the book, the reader might think he’s a bit of a jerk and a little strict. By the end, he has lost his freaking mind. No one wants to help Silvie, except her new friend Molly.

Silvie and her parents are using their vacation time to take part in an anthropology course which is learning about the ancient Britons and life during the Iron Age. For two weeks, everyone is living off of the grid. They learn about foraging, hunting and basket making. They also discuss how the ancient Britons made sacrifices and constructed ghost walls to keep out the evil spirits.

Towards the end of the trip, Sylvie’s dad and the professor build a ghost wall. They think it would be a great idea to re-enact sacrificing someone. Of course, they choose Sylvie because she does what her father tells her to do. Why didn’t anyone stop them? It’s easier to look away than stand up to someone.

I can’t say that I loved this book. It’s not easy to read about a person who abuses their family and gets away with it for so long. However, Ghost Wall is a good book and worth reading.

*I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for a review. All opinions are mine. Obviously.

Queenie: #bookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40539165-queenie

In the book Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, Queenie is a fictional character but she’s very real. She could be our friend, neighbor, co-worker. It’s possible that you know someone like Queenie. Of course, above everything else that makes Queenie who she is, she is a human. Fictional but still human.

She is also Jamaican British woman who is in the middle of a crisis. Everything in her world is falling apart. Her boyfriend, Tom, has left her. He’s white and kind of a jackass. Although she didn’t realize she was pregnant, Queenie has had a miscarriage. She’s probably going to lose her job. She has some serious issues with her mother, father, and step-father.

After the break-up with Tom, Queenie starts heading down a path of self-destruction that many of us know all too well – namely unprotected sexual activity. It all becomes too much for her to deal with and Queenie has a mental collapse.

On top of everything else, she has to move in with her grandparents and begins therapy. Honestly, it was the best place for her to be while she was recovering from a nervous breakdown.

I liked this book quite a bit. Queenie was a hot mess; but who hasn’t been at some point? She’s so real and honest as a character that I forget that she’s not a real person. This is one of those cases where I wish that a fictional character existed.

There were some friendly reminders in this book that I’d like to mention.

  • Don’t touch anyone’s hair. Just. Don’t.
  • If you are curious about someone’s hair, it’s better to ask questions than to invade their personal space.
  • Stereotypes are bullsh**.
  • Just don’t touch anyone without an invitation.
  • Treat all people like . . . well, people.
  • I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

The Night Olivia Fell: #bookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36962927-the-night-olivia-fell

How would you cope if your teenaged daughter had an accident which left her brain dead but she was also pregnant?

In The Night Olivia Fell, the mother, Abi, has to deal with the impending death of her daughter, Olivia, and the birth of her grandchild. Abi also believes that someone pushed Olivia off of the bridge.

The police seem to give her the cold shoulder and don’t follow up on any leads. So Abi does what any mother would want to do – she investigates the case herself. She has a police officer from a different town help her search for answers.

This mother and daughter had some pretty big secrets that they reveal to each other. Abi never told Olivia who her father was. Olivia did some research on her own before she fell and found out her father’s identity.

Olivia never told her mother that she was pregnant or who the father of the father of the baby was.

Although the book definitely has some sad moments, the sadness was balanced with the search for the truth. I would recommend The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald especially if the reader likes mysteries.

  • I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for doing a review. All opinions are my own. Obviously.

The Psychology of Time Travel: #bookreview

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41035725-the-psychology-of-time-travel

If you are like me, then you are interested in the topic of time travel. I spend (or waste, depending on your point of view) a lot of time thinking about where I would go and what I would do if I had the chance to travel to a different time. So when this book, The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas, became available on NetGalley, it was a happy day that I would never change on any timeline or in any dimension.

Would we still be ourselves or would there be several versions of us if we traveled through time? In The Psychology of Time Travel, the time travelers travel to different periods but they don’t change events.
There would be several versions of the same person visiting with the current version on special days like their wedding. If they are investigating a crime, then the time travel officers collect evidence from the time just before the crime happened.

The four women who made time travel a reality in 1967 were once close friends. However, after Bee has a nervous breakdown the other three no longer have any contact with her. In 2017, one of Bee’s former co-workers sends her information about an unsolved homicide. No one knows if it’s Bee or another time traveler. Bee’s granddaughter, Ruby, becomes interested in finding out the identity of the mystery lady.

I thought that the story was interesting. It was awesome to read a story about women involved in science and time travel. You guys might already know that I love a story with a little mystery.

FYI: I would travel to the spring of 1992 and totally redo the spring and summer before my senior year of high school. Where would you take the time travel machine?