The Girls at 17 Swann Street – By Yara Zgheib

thegirlsat17swannstBook: The Girls at 17 Swann Street

Author: Yara Zgheib

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Expected Publish Date: February 5, 2019

Synopsis: The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.

My Thoughts: When I first got this book as a Goodread’s Giveway, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. This is Yara’s first book, which I really can’t believe. Also, the subject matter dealt with anorexia and bulimia, so I proceeded with caution. I mean, who really wants to read or talk about this stuff? Its like a dirty secret, one that you would like to stuff in a closet or brush under the rug.  Yara decides to bring it to the forefront for her debut novel and unapologetically writes the ugly truth of this disease and the affect that this disease has, not only on the individual suffering from it, but those that are around them.  Yara writes much like a poet and each line reads beautifully.  It was surprisingly easy to get into the story and discover what kind of treatment girls/women with anorexia and bulimia go through in an effort to save their lives.

This story is one of the most sad, heart-wrenching, but important stories that I have ever read.  I will share this with my daughter and as many women as I can.

The society that we live in perpetuates the idea of what beauty is and many young, impressionable women will die daily in an effort to achieve this impossible goal.

I’m so thankful that this book came into my life.  I urge every woman to read this and share.  It is too important!

Yara, you are a wonderful writer with a bright future ahead of you! I cannot wait to read your next book. I don’t even care if it is about the life of a dung beetle!!

My Rating: 

five stars

I’d honestly give this book five more stars!

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The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

The Smiling Man (Aidan Waits Thriller, #2)The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the grittiness of this book. Right off the bat I was hooked. I have not read the previous book, Sirens, but I’m not quite sure it was necessary. I really enjoy Joseph’s character writing. Now I have his previous book, Sirens, on my TBR.

By the way, the publishing date for this book is tomorrow, January 22nd. Get you a copy!!!!

Thank you to Crown Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with the ARC!
#TheSmilingMan #NetGalley

View all my reviews

Everyday is Saturday by Sarah Copeland

Every Day Is Saturday: Recipes and Strategies for Easy Cooking, Every Day of the WeekEvery Day Is Saturday: Recipes and Strategies for Easy Cooking, Every Day of the Week by Sarah Copeland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book appealing, first for the title. I mean, who wouldn’t want Saturdays every day?! Secondly, the photos in the book are just stunning! They match the wonderfully thought out recipes and stories. Any woman that puts fish and a spinach pie in her purse demands attention and respect as a lover of food!

My favorite line is that some days she feels like her grandma, but other days she’s just human. Love it!

View all my reviews

Plus + by Rutter Bethany

PLUS+: Style Inspiration for EveryonePLUS+: Style Inspiration for Everyone by Rutter Bethany

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First off, I love the concept of this book. I think it is a very important subject and one that needs to be talked about. I loved reading the forwards. There were a few shots that I absolutely loved, the cover being my favorite. That being said, some of the photographs looked quite amateurish…and some of the fashion choices were definitely not ones that I would ever wear. Some I didn’t find flattering in the least. But, that is the beauty of fashion… It is in the eye of the beholder, much like art. I commend these women for being bold in their own skin and loving themselves. That’s by far the biggest and most important message in this book, and for that, I find it a success in it’s own right.

View all my reviews

The Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry

lastwomanstandingBook: The Last Woman Standing

Author: Amy Gentry

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Publish Date: January 15, 2019

My Thoughts: I was a fan of Amy’s first novel, “Good as Gone,” and for me, I think she struck gold twice!  I really enjoy Amy’s writing style.  I devoured this book!

Dana Diaz, an aspiring comedian, meets a woman named Amanda at a comedian contest that Dana is in called “Funniest Person in Austin.”  Amanda is seemingly enjoying Dana’s show, more so than anyone else, which Dana quickly notices.  Amanda and Dana talk after the show, and find out that they have some similar issues with men assaulting them in their pasts.  Amanda brings up a plan to take care of Dana’s assailant if she will take care of hers.  Dana does not really take Amanda seriously at first, but when Amanda takes care of one of the judges at the Funniest Person in Austin that assaulted Dana in the past, she realizes that Amanda was very serious.  Dana decides that she is going to go forward with helping Amanda, but she gets WAY more than she bargains for.  What is really interesting is how much Dana gets out of helping Amanda. She feels like a vigilante, taking care of one more asshole at a time, and taps into her inner badass. This actually helps Dana in creating a fierce and interesting character for her stand-up routine, and leads to offers in L.A. Dana discovers a few things while helping Amanda that she wishes she did not discover. Skeletons that come out of the closet and start to haunt her. And who is Amanda?  Why did she pick Dana? Is Amanda really a friend…or a foe?

My Rating:

five stars

That ending was E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

Lastly, thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and to NetGalley for the advanced reading copy! Can’t wait to read more from Amy Gentry!

An Anonymous Girl

ananoymousgirlBook: An Anonymous Girl

Authors: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publish Date: January 8, 2019

My Thoughts: Wow! Where do I even begin?! I am probably the only person on the planet that hasn’t read this duo’s first book, “The Wife Between Us,” but I will certainly move this book up in my TBR shelf!

This book was a very mysterious kind of cat and mouse…or better yet, lab rat.

Jess is just a girl that is trying to make money, not only for herself, but to help her family.  She works as a make-up artist, and while doing a job, she finds out about a psychology study that pays pretty good money. She ends up getting into this study, which I find pretty ballsy, and sits at a desk and answers random life questions such as, “could you tell a lie without feeling any guilt?” and “have you ever deeply hurt someone that you care about?”  The study urges the participants to be as honest as possible and to really dig deep to answer these tough questions.  Jess does so well answering that the doctor that is behind the study, Dr. Shields, decides she wants to take the study to the next level and put Jess is really tough situations to see how she does.  Although the situations are totally bizarre, Jess decides to go forward because Dr. Shields offers her money that she simply can’t refuse.

What is Dr. Shields up to? Well…you will have to read the book to find out. I can’t really divulge too much without giving certain important plot points away.  It is just really interesting what some people will do for love….and what some will do for money.

My rating:

4 and a half of 5 stars

ARC Additions for 2019 and New Year’s Resolutions

My New Year’s Resolution, or one of them anyway, is to read more books. I’m already setting myself up for a successful first half of the year given the stack of ARCs that I have to read, not to mention other books that have been on my TBR list (I think I’m at just under 900 books now).

My favorite site to go to to find the latest and greatest books is NetGalley.  Since I’m not regularly blogging, which is another New Year’s Resolution, I sometimes find it hard to get some of the titles that I request.  I get it…publishers want to make sure that you are going to market their books to the fullest….and as of right now, I don’t have many followers.

One publisher, however, has auto-approved me on NetGalley….SHOUT OUT TO SKYHORSE PUBLISHING!!  I really like this publisher, not just for this reason, but they have such a wide array of books. The last book that I read by this publishing house was “Rough Animals” by Rae DelBianco, which was phenomenal! Don’t just take my word for it….read it!  Or take my word for it, but read it!

Here are some new titles I picked up from NetGalley / Skyhorse Publishing:

cover150305-mediumThe Glovemaker by Ann Weisgarber

Description:  In the inhospitable lands of the Utah Territory, during the winter of 1888, thirty-seven-year-old Deborah Tyler waits for her husband, Samuel, to return home from his travels as a wheelwright. It is now the depths of winter, Samuel is weeks overdue, and Deborah is getting worried.

Deborah lives in Junction, a tiny town of seven Mormon families scattered along the floor of a canyon, and she earns her living by tending orchards and making work gloves. Isolated by the red-rock cliffs that surround the town, she and her neighbors live apart from the outside world, even regarded with suspicion by the Mormon faithful who question the depth of their belief.

When a desperate stranger who is pursued by a Federal Marshal shows up on her doorstep seeking refuge, it sets in motion a chain of events that will turn her life upside down. The man, a devout Mormon, is on the run from the US government, which has ruled the practice of polygamy to be a felony. Although Deborah is not devout and doesn’t subscribe to polygamy, she is distrustful of non-Mormons with their long tradition of persecuting believers of her wider faith.

But all is not what it seems, and when the Marshal is critically injured, Deborah and her husband’s best friend, Nels Anderson, are faced with life and death decisions that question their faith, humanity, and both of their futures.

Publish Date: February 19, 2019


cover150303-medium.pngOtherwise Engaged by Lindsey Palmer

Description: Life is sweet for New Yorkers Molly and Gabe: They’re young, in love, and newly engaged.

But when Gabe sells his first novel—a thinly-veiled retelling of his wild love affair with ex-girlfriend Talia—and it becomes a national sensation, Molly can’t help but feel like the third wheel. To make matters worse, Talia reappears in Gabe’s life, eager to capitalize on the book’s success and to rekindle what she had with Gabe… at least, that’s how it seems to Molly. But even more concerning? Gabe doesn’t seem concerned at all. Instead, he’s delighting in his newfound fame and success.

Jealous, paranoid, and increasingly desperate, Molly starts to spin out of control. Her social life, work life, and love life all go to pieces. As fact and fiction, and past and present, begin to blur, Molly realizes the only way out of this downward spiral is to fight her way back up. But what—if anything—will be left of her life and her relationship when she arrives?

Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Jennifer Weiner, Otherwise Engaged explores the life we seek when the life we have… suddenly goes down the drain.

Publish Date: February 26, 2019


I’m sure I’ll be racking up more titles for 2019.

What are your 2019 resolutions and goals?

2019 Reading List…so far…

My 2019 is already shaping up to be a busy one!  I’ve got several books in my ARC reading queue, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Here’s what is coming up for this girl:

1. An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

ananoymousgirlSynopsis: Seeking women ages 18-32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave. But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking… and what she’s hiding. As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what is real in her life, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Publish Date: 1/8/19

2. Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry

lastwomanstandingSynopsis: Dana Diaz is an aspiring stand‑up comedian—a woman in a man’s world. When she meets a tough computer programmer named Amanda Dorn, the two bond over their struggles in boys’ club professions. Dana confides that she’s recently been harassed and assaulted while in L.A., and Amanda comes up with a plan: they should go after each other’s assailants, Strangers on a Train–style. But Dana finds that revenge, however sweet, draws her into a more complicated series of betrayals. Soon her distrust turns to paranoia, encompassing strangers, friends—and even herself. At what cost will she get her vengeance? Who will end up getting hurt? And when it’s all over, will there be anyone left to trust?

Publish Date: 1/15/19

3. The Smiling Man by Joseph Knox

thesmilingmanSynopsis: Aidan Waits is back on the night shift, the Manchester PD dumping ground for those too screwed-up for more glamorous work. But the monotony of petty crimes and lonesome nights is shattered when he and his partner are called to investigate a break-in The Palace, an immense, empty hotel in the center of the city.

There they find the body of a man. He is dead. The tags have been cut from his clothes, his teeth have been filed down, and even his fingertips have been replaced…
And he is smiling.

But as Waits begins to unravel the mystery of the smiling man, he becomes a target. Someone wants very badly to make this case disappear, and as their threats escalate, Aidan realizes that the answers may lie not only with the wealthy families and organized criminals connected to the Palace, but with a far greater evil from his own past.

To discover the smiling man’s identity, he must finally confront his own.

Publish Date: 1/15/19

4. The Girls on 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib

thegirlson17swannstreet.jpgSynopsis: The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.

Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.

Publish Date: 2/5/19

5. All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding

allthewrongplaces.jpgSynopsis: Four women–friends, family, rivals–turn to online dating for companionship, only to run afoul of a tech-savvy killer using an app to target his victims in this thriller from New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding.

A husband’s death, a difficult divorce, a brutal dumping, dissatisfaction with a boring relationship: for various reasons, four women turn to the app “Mr. Right Now,” hoping to right-swipe their way to love and happiness.

Paige and Heather are cousins, locked in a lifelong rivalry that recently culminated in Heather taking Paige’s boyfriend for herself, although now Heather isn’t quite sure she wants him. Paige’s mother, Joan, is trying to get back on her feet after the death of the love of her life two years ago. And Paige’s longtime friend, Chloe, is trying to replace an abusive ex-husband as soon as the divorce papers are signed.

Together, the women are navigating the choppy waters of online dating, until one of them unwittingly makes a date with a killer, starting the clock on a race to save her life.

Publish Date: 3/12/19

6. A Beautiful Corpse by Christi Daugherty

abeautifulcorpseSynopsis: It’s a thin line between love and murder…

A tense new thriller, perfect for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Cara Hunter and Lisa Jewell

A murder that shocks a city…
Shots ring out on one of Savannah’s most famous streets. A beautiful law student lies dead.

A case full of secrets and lies…
Three men close to the victim are questioned. All of them claim to love her. All of them say they are innocent of her murder.

An investigation that could prove deadly…
As crime reporter Harper McClain unravels a tangled story of obsession and jealousy, the killer focuses on her. He’s already killed one woman. Will he kill another?

Publish Date: 3/12/19

7. Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

beautifulbadSynopsis: In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window,a perfect love story leads to the perfect crime.Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry. … That something is really, really wrong with me. Maddie and Ian’s romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British Army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of shocking crime.But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad?

Publish Date: 3/19/19

8. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Synopsis: SOON TO BE A MOTION PICTURE 

littledarlingsA new mother becomes convinced that her children are not her own…

Lauren, a new mother, is exhausted by the demands of her twin boys. Since coming home from the hospital, she rarely leaves the house. But it isn’t only new motherhood keeping her there. Lauren knows someone is watching them and someone wants her babies. It started with an incident at the hospital and an emergency call in the middle of the night. No one believes her — not her husband, not the police — until one day in the park when everything changes. Is Lauren mad or does she know something no one else does?

A gripping novel that gets to the heart of a mother’s worst fears, and how often they are ignored.

Publish Date: 4/30/19

9. The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

theescaperoomSynopsis: For fans of JP Delaney’s The Girl Before and Ruth Ware’s The Woman in Cabin 10 comes this hair-raising novel of deception and revenge that will blow readers away.

Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to reach the top.

When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.

The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star—now “gone but not forgotten”.

This is no longer a game.
They’re fighting for their lives.

Publish Date: 8/9/19

Thanks to NetGalley and GoodReads for these ARCs. If anyone needs me, I’ll be reading! 🙂

The Au Pair by Emma Rous


Book:
The Au Pair

Author: Emma Rous

Publisher: Berkley 

Publish Date: January 8, 2019

Pages: 384

 

Synopsis (from Amazon.com):

If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother, Danny, were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is smiling serenely and holding just one baby. 

Who is the child, and what really happened that day?

My Rating: 

4 1/2 out of 5

My Two Cents: 

This book was nearly a five star book for me.  I was immediately captivated by Seraphine’s quest to piece together clues that makes her question her identity.  

Additionally, in the area in which she grew up, there are folklore stories that make you question, is there something otherworldly happening here or possibly something more sinister?

With the help of a few people from her family’s past, including an Au Pair that worked for her family in the 90’s named Laura, Seraphine uncovers something that even she could not have prepared for.  This information is like a shrapnel that hits everyone involved.  

There is one plot point to which I’m still not really sure about and for that reason I docked a 1/2 a star; but overall I was impressed with Emma’s writing and look forward to future books.

I urge anyone that likes a good twisty book that adds a level of soap opera/Dynasty type of drama to read! 

Pre-order on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Au-Pair-Emma-Rous/dp/0440000459/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1544630965&sr=8-2&keywords=the+au+pair

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Book: The Last Time I Lied

Author: Riley Sager

Publisher: Dutton Books

Synopsis: Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

My Thoughts:

Thank you to NetGalley and Dutton Books for providing me with an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is the second book that I’ve read by the super talented Riley Sager.  I think this book was more successful than “Final Girls.”  I felt like I was in an insane asylum and wasn’t sure what in the hell was truly going on.  Emma was going down a rabbit hole and I was right behind her.

It was hard to determine what was happening and who was responsible for the disappearance of Emma’s bunk mates, both past and present.

This tale was both twisty and twisted.  I literally got chills from the last few pages and I was immediately uneasy.

I rated this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. On my Goodreads, I rated 4, because I don’t know if there is a way to do half stars, or at least I don’t know how to do them.  Not quite a 5 for me because of some plot points, but very close.