Book of the Month Club · Hannah Beckerman · instagram · review · Women's Fiction

If Only I Could Tell You


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🌱 Book Review 🌱 . ⭐️ ⭐️ 💫 2.5 stars rounded up . Two sisters and their mother, caught in a continuous web of misunderstandings, grief, hidden truths and many regrets. A story line that I feel had so much potential had it been written in a completely different way, one that led the reader to the answer through character development and growth as a family… instead what I read was a non-stop “catch me if you can” game of dangling the truth in front of me in order to get me to keep reading this book. If it hadn’t been for just wanting to find out what on earth happened… I don’t know that I would’ve finished this book. It was also a bit too dramatic (for me). The ending was good. A little twist. I just am not a fan of this story unfortunately. Jess was a 10 year old child in a 30 (or 40?) year old body throwing a grief-riddled temper tantrum her entire life, ruining her life, her daughters, her sisters, her mothers, and anyone else that walked along her path. The book talks briefly about her job and then randomly that part of the story just goes away and it never comes back. Lily is a feeble push over that never stops trying to please and lets every single person she knows walk all over her. She allows her sister to carry on this ridiculous tantrum for 20-30 years without ever really trying to get her to tell her. SURE sure we find out in the end “why” which was an eye roll in my opinion and was simply to tie up a loose end. And the mom. I liked her most but she had issues in the book too. There’s just bits and pieces of this story that don’t make sense and are just thrown together or randomly disappear with no explanation. I like to read a book to enjoy simply the story, the people, the writing… not simply bc I want to know the answer and could care less about half the people in the book. Oh and I’m still mad there was NO reconciliation of the young daughters with their mothers (Lily and Jess), no more info on or character/story development on Daniel, no telling Phoebe, etc. I hate writing reviews that lean more on the negative but clearly I just really wasn’t a huge fan of this book.. 😦 ———————— 🌱

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Book of the Month Club · Chik Lit · Contemporary Fiction · Katherine Center · review · Women's Fiction

How to Walk Away


author: Katherine Center
publisher: St. Martins Press


A book with a story to tell that hasn’t settled on what type it wants to be is a little how I felt about How to Walk Away. If I had to pick, I would say it was a combination of Contemporary Fiction (aka Family Drama-lite-) meets Women’s Fiction meets Chick-Lit and it truly doesn’t know who it wants to be.

I toyed back and forth with giving this a 4 star review, a 3 star, or somewhere in the middle and landed on 3 stars. Here’s why..

The 4 stars of this book

There were a LOT of goosebumps going on. There were truly some good, deep moments where I genuinely appreciated the author’s writing. She didn’t always tie a neat bow at the end of everything (almost, but not always and certainly not on the most important part). She, many times, made me feel like this was true to life in some ways. SOME ways.

The 3 stars

I could technically claim 2.5 stars on some of this stuff but I’ll give it 3 because this IS chick-lit(ish) and so I need to be fair and judge off that. But there were too many times, in my opinion, where the author made it far too simple. A lot of glossing over of emotions, accepting things for what they are, and certain unemotional responses to where there should be something. She always made sure to throw it in there, it wasn’t just some emotional empty hole, but it was like “oh yeah and I was pissed. See me throw this. Okay we’re good now .I told you I was angry , let’s move on.” And She didn’t seem to stay consistent within that.

Overall, for the first time ever, I think I understand now when people say an author manipulated their emotions. I don’t feel like Katherine Center necessarily manipulated me but I do feel like instead of making this a great story just by excellent writing (which I know she is no doubt capable of), it was a good story based mostly off all the feels the book gave you. That was the heart of it. I don’t want that in a book. I want it to be real.

All this to say I will still pick up the next book Katherine Center writes. She is a good writer and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what she has to offer. Thank you for the work you do!



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Book of the Month Club · Getting to Know Me · Memoir · TBR

Memoirs

I am a child (in a grown-up’s body.)
I love a good story.
Spin me a tale and take me far away.
This is the life of a reader of fiction.

I’ve never really been a big non-fiction reader.
Well, wait.
Let me clarify that.

Non-fiction is great, but it does require a lot more…thinking…on my part.
What I mean is, I love to study what I’m reading if it’s non-fiction.
If it’s real life.
Something to learn.
So in other words, I’m a slow non-fiction-reader.
lol.

Well, I pre-judged memoirs without giving them a chance.
I have no interest in reading about one person’s life. Right?
I thought so.
I was wrong.
Because what I thought I was hearing when I heard “memoir” was actually “autobiography”…
I just didn’t realize the difference.
Honestly, I just never gave it any thought.
This chart helped a lot…


Currently Reading…

I dove into the world of memoirs just this week and found a book called Prognosis. I stumbled across it by accident, to be honest. It was a free book I got for being a Prime Member with Amazon. You get them monthly, how nice is that?

Anyways, it was the best eBook out of the choices I had so I took a chance and immediately loved it. Maybe it’s the subject, I don’t know, but now I’m hooked. I want to read more.

Memoir isn’t the summary of a life; it’s a window into a life, very much like a photograph in its selective composition. It may look like a casual and even random calling up of bygone events. It’s not; it’s a deliberate construction.

William Zinsser, in On Writing Well (2006; 30th Anniversary Edition)

Do tell me, what memoirs have you read that stuck with you?
What memoir do you recommend I read next?


I’m a big BOTM club fan and here is a list of some of their current memoirs.
Have you read any? What should my next pick be?

Book of the Month Club · Fiction · Suspense · Women's Fiction

Necessary People


Author: Anna Pitoniak


To be selfish. To be cruel, at times.
To harden your heart so that you need no one else. 
When you realize how powerful this makes you, 
you keep it to yourself.

Stella Bradley and Violet Trapp have been inseparable most of their lives. The stunning beauty, Stella is a traveler, though that is putting is loosely. With no direction in life, she wanders from place to place, living the life so many dream of without a care in the world. But is she happy? And when she sees life for what it is, is it enough living in the shadows of a family name?

Violet Trapp is exactly what her name leads you to believe. Trapped in a world for so long that was aggressive, perhaps even violent. Her parents were an awful sort, the kind you leave behind and never turn back. Violet is a beautiful girl with nothing to lose. Aren’t they the most dangerous, after all?

These two girls have a specific dynamic that, when kept perfectly in sync, works flawlessly. But when times change and the dynamics shift, trouble looms and in the end, whoever has the most ambition wins. 

But what is the cost?

I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because I feel that the author (or the editor) could’ve made some transitions a bit more fluid. Below are just my thoughts but I did really enjoy the book. I liked the author’s writing style and would gladly read another.

Read on but Beware: Spoilers!

Continue reading “Necessary People”
Book of the Month Club · Fantasy · Fiction

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance


author: Ruth Emmie Lang


I looked over at Weylyn, who was still leaning out the window, blinking heavily as rain ran into his eyes. A bitter smile crossed his face, as if he knew I was watching him; as if he were answering the question that was on the tip of my tongue: Did you do this?



It all started in Holbrook, Michigan (1968) when little baby Weylyn Grey made his way into the world. It was June 29th and with his first breath came a snow storm. In just a few minutes, six inches or more had fallen and the world was changed forever.


The child turned one eye on me, then opened the other like a backward wink. His irises were molten pools of solder that had not yet set, and for a moment I thought I could see a fire behind them, keeping them liquid.


Weylyn Grey was orphaned at a young age and raised by wolves. Through extraordinary circumstances, he meets the lovely Mary Penlore and unknowingly changes the course of their lives forever. Through many trials and many unexplainable storms later, he lives many lives and meets many people. He becomes the happy owner of a magical horned pig named Merlin. Together they stop tornadoes, hurricanes and occasionally a rainstorm or two (though you won’t ever find Weylyn taking credit).

Weylyn quickly realizes the dangers he brings upon those close to him and decides it best to seclude himself, to run back to the wolves. He tried to make the best of life, tried to love but when that love came crashing down in yet another (deadly) pile of snow, he vanishes. Anyone who knew him could tell you, reader, that you hope he reappears. You hope you do not have to go through life without a Weylyn Grey in the midst of it.


As he bent down and scratched her behind the ears like she was a harmless dog, I felt a sadness more acute than anything I’d ever felt before. Weylyn Grey didn’t belong in my world. He belonged in theirs, and there was nothing I could say to convince him otherwise.


Thank you Ruth Emmie Lang, for Weylyn.

Thank you for opening your mind and creating a character so real, so loveable as Weylyn that it breaks your heart knowing he’s not real.

I don’t know. I’m beginning to think maybe he is… somewhere.
He’s too incredible not to be. ♥️

If you have not yet picked up this book, you really really should.
It’s magical and you will never forget Weylyn or many of the others in this beautiful story.


P H O T O + C R E D I T: @lifeinlit (instagram)

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