Loading...

Follow Read This, Not That on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

   

Publish Date: May 14, 2019

“Never let a fool kiss you, or a kiss fool you.” — Joey Adams

The night before…and the nightmare after.

Rosie and Laura are as different as two sisters can be. One is stable and has the perfect family. The other struggles to break free from her troubled past. When Laura disappears after going on a blind date, Rosie takes matters into her own hands.

But as Rosie begins to search for her sister, her greatest fears come to the surface. Could Laura be more of a danger than the stranger she meets or is the night before her last night alive?

The story starts out with a run-of-the-mill premise: a girl gets ready for her first meetup with someone that she “met” on an online dating site. I’ve never tried online dating, but did you know that 49 million people have? Here are some interesting stats about it.

I was fooled by this run-of-the-mill premise for about five minutes. The story is much more than a typical first date. It pulled me in rapidly and delves into a mysterious, complex, and layered plot. The entire book is a dark, twisty, unexpected ride.

The tale is told by two adult sisters – Laura and Rosie. Laura narrates in the first person perspective and Rosie’s story is told in the third person. Their closeness is enviable and their roles are sibling-typical. Big sister Rosie is stable, sensible, and has a husband and a child; little sister Laura has a traumatic past, lots of ups and downs, unstable relationships, and psychological issues. Laura recently moved in with Rosie and her family after fleeing NYC because she was ghosted. Rosie is determined to help Laura move on, and helps her to set up an online dating profile and connect with a handsome man. But then Laura doesn’t come home after the date.

What happened to Laura? Has her past caught up with her? Is she in trouble, or causing trouble? Who is the predator, and who is the prey? The twists happen so fast and so often that every theory that I came up with was proven incorrect.

The book has some great thoughts on first dates and relationships:

“We make awkward small talk. It’s actually painful, reminding me of the distance we will have to travel to be more than strangers. And then I’m reminded of how desperately I need to make that journey, with someone, anyone. And it all feels hopeless.”

“So what is it about love between strangers? What makes two people who are not family, not blood, stay and not leave? Do they just decide to do it? Do they swallow down their misery at being together when they want to be apart?”

There are multiple unreliable narrators and I didn’t know which narrator reflected the most accurate account of the events. I pride myself on being a good judge of character, but these characters are not who they are portrayed to be and they kept me guessing. My first impressions of each character changed as more of their traits, habits, and personalities are revealed. Each character is hiding something, and what they are hiding changes in the story. I liked the surprises. The tension and suspense increase as the book progresses, which makes it hard to put down.

This story is about childhood memories, home, family, friendship, secrets, lies, betrayal, love, siblings, obsession, first dates, relationships, and mental health. This book is fast paced and I read it quickly. This book has one twist after another and they blew me away! I enjoyed the twists and it ended up where I didn’t expect it.

This is my first read of Wendy Walker’s books and now I’m compelled to seek out the others. Her writing style is unique, engaging, compelling, and very suspense driven.

If you like The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, or Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris, you’ll definitely like this book.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Publish Date: May 7, 2019

“It doesn’t matter how you get there. It just matters that you’re there.” — Only Ever Her

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts?

Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

As the days pass, the list of suspects in her disappearance grows. Could it be the recently released man a young Annie misidentified as her mother’s killer? Could it be someone even closer to her?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

Bride-to-be Annie Taft goes missing 4 days before her wedding, right after her mother’s alleged murderer is released from prison. The entire town is frantic with worry because Annie is a beloved hometown girl with a very tragic past.

The story is told by multiple characters that surround Annie’s life and her hometown, through flashbacks and present day interactions. Each of these characters are flawed, complicated, selfish, and harbor many secrets. Most of them are involved in clandestine relationships. Many are unlikeable.

Romantic love is very complicated and dysfunctional in this book. There no healthy romantic relationships in the entire story. Many of the characters have love for another person that is not returned or reciprocated, and the title of the book Only Ever Her is very fitting.

The main plot has the makings of a taut thriller, but the focus of the book is character development so the pace is a slow burn. The book delves into each characters’ past to give insight into what makes them into the person that they are today.

This is my first read of Marybeth Mayhew Whalen’s work and I enjoyed it. Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

“It is, after all, what you do when you fall in love: you hide who you really are for as long as possible, fearing that if you show your true self, the person you love won’t love you anymore.”

“Why does it take loss to make you realize what you had? This is one of the great injustices in life.”

“Town lore says that the place is haunted. But it isn’t haunted. Clary thinks that people, rather than places, are more likely to be haunted.”

I love suspenseful books with strong character development and a satisfying closure. This is “my jam“, as my kids would say.  But, I would have liked this story to have more closure for many of the characters and the book felt a little unfinished for me. In the end, some of the plotline is unresolved and I would have liked the story to be extended and more closure to occur. Also, the character perspectives changed very often and sometimes it was challenging for me to keep them straight because they were so similar.

This book is about revenge, release, secrets, clandestine love, infidelity, family, forgiveness, and acceptance. The last 10% of the book make the entire story worthwhile, because we find out what happens to Annie and some of the loose ends are tied together.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The East End!

Thank you to Harlequin for inviting me on the blog tour!

Special thanks to Jason Allen, Harlequin/Park Row, and NetGalley for the privilege of previewing this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publish Date: May 7, 2019

Hamptons men in the summer are “like the preppiest preppy-ass street gang of all time.” —  The East End

Corey Halpern, a local high schooler with a troubled home life, is desperate to leave the Hamptons and start anew somewhere else. His last summer before college, he settles for the escapism he finds in sneaking into neighboring mansions.

One night just before Memorial Day weekend, he breaks in to the wrong home at the wrong time: the Sheffield estate, where he and his mother, Gina, work. Under the cover of darkness, Leo Sheffield—a billionaire CEO, patriarch and the owner of the vast lakeside manor—arrives unexpectedly with a companion. After a shocking poolside accident, everything depends on Leo burying the truth before his family and friends arrive for the holiday weekend. Unfortunately for him, Corey saw what happened, as did other eyes in the shadows.

Secrecy, obsession and desperation dictate each character’s path in this spectacular debut. In a race against time, each critical moment holds life in the balance as Corey, Gina and Leo approach a common breaking point.

This story starts off with a bang and sucked me right in. Corey Halpern breaks into houses not to steal things; he does it for kicks and giggles and to prank people. I could not believe some of the antics that he pulled while breaking and entering. The beginning reminds me of another book called The Burglar by Thomas Perry, but Corey’s really more of an intruder than a burglar, and he’s way more ballsy.

As the ancient Roman saying goes, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” – or when the boy toy of a married billionaire accidentally ODs and keels over at the billionaire’s ritzy Hamptons estate. Such is the case of Leo Sheffield. Leo’s in a definite jam and ooops, 2 people saw it all go down…. and one of them is Corey.

Corey is no saint, but he’s definitely on higher moral ground than Leo. He’s a likeable character and I rooted for him. He’s smart, resourceful, he has dreams, goals, and wants a better life. He sees an opportunity, and he goes for it.

This book is about people making bad choices and other people watching them. It has a wide cast of characters that I loved to loathe. I’ve read many books that take place in the glitzy Hamptons, but this one that stands out. It has tragedy and mystery, but there is a comedic aspect that made me laugh many times.

The story also highlights a situation that is very dominant in the Hamptons: struggles of the working class and the polar opposite world of the super wealthy. It delves into socio-economic disparity – townie vs. vacationer, white collar vs. blue collar, “upstairs” vs. “downstairs” – and what divides the two groups.

Another unique thing about this book is the writing style. It has less dialogue than I’m used to, and many long parts of narrative. But even with the lack of dialogue, the plot is so binge-worthy that I couldn’t stop reading. The ending was a surprise and tied everything together.

Here are my favorite quotes:

“No one will know.”

“Instantly, simultaneously, this qualified as both the most amazing moment of any of the break-ins, and by far, the biggest, most unexpected secret he’d ever stumbled upon.”

“Only for a few minutes, he could pretend to live where they lived, imagine being someone who had so much more than the minimum.”

“Life on the Island, especially when you were out on one of the forks, meant that you always had only two paths to choose from. East or west.”

“…the Sheffield men leaning against one of the limousines like the preppiest preppy-ass street gang of all time.”

This book is about scandal, desperation, secrets, love, family, addiction, tragedy, class, greed, and voyeurism. The story is a slow burning mystery, but has underlying themes of class, social structure, and discrimination wrapped up in family drama. It will make you appreciate your own family.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Buy It Here:  Harlequin   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Books-A-Million   Powell’s

*** Other great books that take place in the Hamptons: ***

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

It Happens in the Hamptons by Holly Peterson

Jason Allen is also doing a book tour on the east coast to the cities listed below.

Thanks for stopping by!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Publish Date: May 7, 2019

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.” — Stephen King

Kate English’s mother, Lily Michaels, is dead, the victim of a terrifying attack in her tony suburban Baltimore home. Barely keeping it together for the sake of her family, Kate is surprised and grateful to see Blaire Barrington, her old high school BFF, at the funeral.

Now more than ever, Kate needs Blaire’s loving protection. Lily’s killer is still out there, and has begun taunting Kate with threatening notes sometimes accompanied by gruesome clues. Without any solid leads, the police investigation has stalled. As the messages become increasingly macabre, Blaire decides to take matters into her own hands, alienating friends and relatives with her relentless, almost accusatory questions.

As Blaire pushes further, the danger for those around her—including the increasingly unstable Kate—grows. But will her relentless quest for the truth push her—and Kate—over the edge?

I loved The Last Mrs. Parrish (my review here) and I was practically jumping up and down with excitement when I found out that Liv Constantine wrote another book.

Kate English has it all – a busy career as a doctor, a thriving medical practice that she shares with her father, loving parents, a gigantic trust fund, an adoring and handsome husband, a beautiful young daughter, and a large, luxe home on an expansive property where she can ride her horses.

Her picture perfect life comes crashing down when her beloved mother Lily is brutally murdered. The killer starts leaving freaky and disturbing clues like nursery rhymes and dead animals, hinting that s/he is stalking Kate and watching her every move. Kate slowly starts to become unhinged because why wouldn’t you if you thought a homicidal maniac was after you?! Thank goodness for her estranged friend Blaire, as Kate unravels because of this very traumatic situation.

Blaire, a famous, rich, bestselling author, inserts herself into Kate’s world and knocks their childhood friend Selby out of the BFF position. But, does Blaire harbor any grudges or have a hidden agenda? Why is Blaire coming out of the woodwork now after so many years?

This book is about murder, mental health, friendship, secrets, marriage, money, memory, and mother-daughter relationships. It’s well paced – not fast, not slow – and this pacing kept me engaged throughout the book.

Kate is a unreliable narrator just like Nellie/Vanessa in The Wife Between Us, and she gets worse as the story progresses. I wasn’t sure if she was imagining things or if she was the person wreaking all of the havoc. I would have liked more of a backstory on her, but this book had plenty of character development and I enjoyed the ride.

Liv Constantine’s last book drew me in right away and when I got comfortable with its direction, bombs were dropped and the plot turned unexpectedly. This time, I was on guard for bombs as I read this book. I was not disappointed; I loved the surprises, twists, and turns.

If compared to The Wife Between Us, I like this book so much more. It was creepier and had more mystery and suspense. It has a sinister feel and everyone seemed to have an ulterior motive; it was hard to figure out who to trust. This book is a psychological suspense and thriller wrapped in one, and I really liked it.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

 

Publish Date: April 23, 2019

“The only thing more intimidating than a huge international film star is your mother-in-law.”Benjamin Walker

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.
The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation.
Who could possibly want Diana dead?
Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses?

Lucy feels that she has never lived up to her mother-in-law Diana’s expectations. Diana has disliked her since their first meeting, and they’ve never had a good connection. Lucy thinks that Diana despises her.

Lucy is not alone in feeling this way. Did you know that more than 60% of married women experience stress because of their in-laws? A study done back in 1954 showed that only 1 in 4 women like their mother-in-law. Hopefully that’s changed; otherwise, that’s a whole lot of hatred out in the world.

The word mother-in-law evokes different feelings in every single person that has one. These feelings can run the spectrum – from love, affection, respect, and reverence to indifference, disdain, dread, dislike, or even hatred. The dynamics of in-laws are fascinating and tricky. They are brought together because of another person that they mutually love, and that might be the only thing that they have in common. For Lucy and Diana, the only commonality is Ollie. And it becomes even more complicated when Diana ends up unexpectedly dead.

This story is told in dual perspectives – Lucy’s and Diana’s – in the present with flashbacks to the past. Diana is many things to many people: wife, mother, friend, philanthropist, daughter, and sister. Lucy is the outsider trying to be accepted into the family, only to fail time and time again. However, Diana is not your typical mother-in-law villain and that’s what makes the story so good. I wanted to dislike her, but she was oddly endearing and I understood her motivations.

The author could have chosen another character for the second perspective, but I think that daughter-in-law Lucy’s perspective gives the story a fresh, new outlook, and it’s brilliant. She is outside of the immediate family, and has a different view on the same events. It makes the plot very unusual.

The book has some great thoughts on in-laws:

“Someone once told me that you have two families in your life – the one you are born into, and the one you choose. But that’s not entirely true, is it? Yes, you may get to choose your partner, but you don’t, for instance, choose your children. You don’t choose your brothers- or sisters-in-law, you don’t choose your partner’s spinster aunt with the drinking problem…. More importantly, you don’t choose your mother-in-law.”

“I think about all my conversations with Jan and Liz and Kathy about daughters-in-law. We’d always focused on how different they are from us, how their mothering is different, their attitudes are different. We’ve never once focused on similarities. As women. As mothers. And it occurred to me suddenly that there are a lot more of them.”

This book is about love, family, secrets, money, marriage, resentment, and of course, the in-law relationships. It also delves into the dynamics of relationships between husbands & wives, siblings, parents & children, and friends. The situations are very relatable and will make you think of your own relationships.

The Mother-In-Law reminds me of Liane Moriarty’s books. The writing is excellent, the plot is laced with humor and insight, and it’s more of a character study than a whodunnit. I liked Sally Hepworth’s first book, The Family Next Door, but I think that this second book is much, much better. The story had a few surprises too, and the ending wrapped everything up nicely. It’s excellent and it’s a standout book with layered, complex, and engaging characters, and a death surrounded in the mystery of complicated human relationships.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Publish Date: April 16, 2019

“How do you tell people that you married your sister’s husband without sounding horrible?” — The Better Sister

When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters—one the dead man’s widow, the other his ex—must set aside mistrust and old resentments . . . but can they escape their past?

Chloe and Nicky Taylor are sisters. Chloe is the younger of the two, with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky is the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam McIntosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When he’s murdered by a masked intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson’s biological mother—her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

There is a lot of buzz about Alafair Burke’s last books, The Wife and The Ex, so I was especially curious about this new book and excited to dive into my first read of this author. 

Chloe Taylor is an award-winning famous writer with a handsome attorney husband, a loving teenage son, a glam life in Manhattan and a luxe home in East Hampton. Her life seems perfect on the outside, but there is plenty of dirt on the inside. Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that Chloe is her husband Adam’s second wife. Chloe’s older sister Nicky was Adam’s first wife, and their son Ethan is actually Nicky and Adam’s biological son. This means that Chloe is Ethan’s stepmom and aunt. How’s that for complicated?

Chloe finds Adam dead in the Hamptons home, their son Ethan is accused of murder, and their lives are blown apart. After being estranged for 15 years, Nicky re-enters their lives and then the reader is privy to the backstory that leads up to this very messed up situation.

Chloe primarily narrates the story, and it had many twists and turns. “Remember when that beautiful American actress married a handsome prince, and the trashy side of her family sold stories and pictures to the tabloids? I had thought of Nicky.” I like Chloe because she is strong, smart, resourceful, and a reliable narrator. She is credible and (with the exception of stealing her sister’s husband and child) a moral character. There is a murder, a trial, many mysteries, with an underlying story of sisterhood, motherhood, and memories woven in between.

I loved this book. It has a fascinating plot and I was riveted. The book is fast paced and well written, funny at times, and kept me engaged throughout. It is a thriller with  complicated relationships and it has the makings of a really good movie.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

 

Publish Date: May 2, 2017

Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes.” — Unknown

One moment Lili is arguing with Dan, her husband, the next he is killed in a terrible car accident right outside their family home.

Three years later and Lili has managed to resume her day-to-day life as a mother of two girls and a successful textbook illustrator. But despite her outward appearance, she feels an aching loss. However, when she is commissioned to illustrate a series of horticultural books, Lili is forced to take gardening class and the wilted roots of her life finally start to blossom. The class provides Lili with a new network of friends – friends with their own heartaches and problems – and, maybe, another chance at love.

I normally read psychological thrillers but sometimes I need a break from narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths. I absolutely loved Abbi Waxman’s second book, Other People’s Houses, (here is my review) and The Garden of Small Beginnings came to mind when I was looking for something to read that would make me laugh and cry.

Lillian AKA “Lili” is a 34-year-old book illustrator, mother, sister, and widow. Lili’s employer wants her to illustrate a book on gardening, and they send her to a gardening class. Her sister Rachel and her two daughters, Clare and Annabel, also take the class along with an eclectic group of wannabe gardeners.

I love the relationship between Lili and Rachel, which has the perfect balance of love, support, kindness, and the brutal honesty that siblings can have with each other. Grieving Lili is trying to move on with her life three years after her husband died suddenly.

Abbi Waxman captures Lili’s grief and sorrow perfectly, but she doesn’t make it too sad – she injects humor and wit in every situation. It’s laugh-out-loud funny but also touching and bittersweet. The relationship between Lili and her girls is real, tender, and full of ups and downs. I related to Lili’s motherhood struggles and being a single parent.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“He was what I referred to as a Los Angeles Garbage Hound, mostly Labrador. He was yellow, plump, and slow. I aspired to be more like him, his approach was so effortlessly Zen: love nice people, eat appreciatively, nap frequently, be patient, and say yes to everything.”

“Thank you, Target, sanctuary to those of us who wander your aisles in aimless search for the one thing we came in for and the forty-two things we didn’t, but which, at that price, we could not resist. How we love you.”

“Annabel was sitting on my lap, wearing overalls and sneakers, being the more practical child. Only she and I knew she’d forgotten to put on underpants.”

“When you’re rosy with the glow of new pregnancy you don’t fully appreciate that the job you just signed up for involves working for sociopaths, 24-7, for the rest of your life, with no vacation days and the opposite of health benefits.”

There are gardening tips at the beginning of each chapter and they are full of fun facts and science, so I learned some things about gardening, too.

This book is about siblings, motherhood, friendships, grief, gardening, hope, healing, widowhood, mental health, and love. Abbi Waxman does an excellent job at storytelling in a way that is sincere, deeply human, relatable, and hilariously funny. The Garden of Small Beginnings is just as good as Other People’s Houses; I absolutely loved this book and recommend it. It was the perfect break from my thriller books.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I recently read a few books with very little dialogue, and it has me thinking about this writing style. I made some interesting observations about myself in the way that I reacted to pages and pages of narration, and very little dialogue in a story.

I notice that I have trouble concentrating on stories with pages and pages of third person narration. My mind wanders and I become easily bored when dialogue doesn’t exist. I feel myself getting impatient as I read and I tend to skip ahead.

Dialogue contributes to telling the story. Dialogue sets a tone and can be used to heighten tension, suspense, or a funny moment. When it’s lacking, I notice it.

Dialogue is used for many reasons. The reader can learn more about the setting of a story as characters talk to each other. The plot can be enhanced through character interactions. Also, the reader gets insights into the characters: what kind of person they are, their motivations, what they choose to reveal, and how/why they are involved in the story. They hear it firsthand.

This writing style makes me realize that character dialogue is important to me. I feel that it shows the character’s personality rather than being told about it. Dialogue enables readers to connect directly with characters. It has me experiencing what’s happening to the character and keeps me engaged, compared to pages of narrative that make it challenging to keep my attention.

Have you ever noticed when books have tons of narrative and very little dialogue? Do you think that it affects the story when dialogue is lacking? I’d love to hear from you!

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Full Title – Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood by Lisa Damour, Ph.D.

Publish Date: February 9, 2016

A girl’s journey away from childhood isn’t all about her relationship with her parents.” — Untangled

In this sane, highly engaging, and informed guide for parents of daughters, Dr. Damour draws on decades of experience and the latest research to reveal the seven distinct—and absolutely normal—developmental transitions that turn girls into grown-ups, including Parting with Childhood, Contending with Adult Authority, Entering the Romantic World, and Caring for Herself. Providing realistic scenarios and welcome advice on how to engage daughters in smart, constructive ways, Untangled gives parents a broad framework for understanding their daughters while addressing their most common questions, including:

  • My thirteen-year-old rolls her eyes when I try to talk to her, and only does it more when I get angry with her about it. How should I respond?
  • Do I tell my teen daughter that I’m checking her phone?
  • My daughter suffers from test anxiety. What can I do to help her?
  • Where’s the line between healthy eating and having an eating disorder?
  • My teenage daughter wants to know why I’m against pot when it’s legal in some states. What should I say?
  • My daughter’s friend is cutting herself. Do I call the girl’s mother to let her know?

Perhaps most important, Untangled helps mothers and fathers understand, connect, and grow with their daughters. When parents know what makes their daughter tick, they can embrace and enjoy the challenge of raising a healthy, happy young woman.

I first heard of this book on a Modern Mrs. Darcy blog post called The most popular ebooks on the blog in 2018Modern Mrs. Darcy also did a review for this book, called The best book you’ve never heard of on navigating the tween and teen years

I bought the book within 5 minutes of reading these posts. I am in the throes of raising preteen and teen girls, and I’m trying to stay sane while navigating the waters of raising three girls.  To be honest, I am drowning.

This book is a LIFE CHANGER. It’s as good as therapy for me. I highlighted 77 passages within this book which is a personal record. I have a new outlook on parenting, on teen girls, and my approach to parenting my daughters.

It’s the most practical explanation of female adolescence for parents today. This book is a MUST READ for every parent with a tween or teenage girl. Dr. Damour works with teenage girls in her counseling practice and her outlook is reassuring and refreshing.

The book covers seven transitional stages that all girls go through and helps parents navigate these transitions with respect and love. Dr. Damour’s explanations of teen behavior really made sense to me. And her tips on how to respond to specific scenarios and dialogue is very helpful. I will be reading this book again and again, especially during tough times to remind myself of the bigger parenting picture.

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Raising teenagers is not for the fragile, and that’s true even when everything is going just as it should.”

“There are few situations in life which are more difficult to cope with than an adolescent son or daughter during the attempt to liberate themselves.”

“Accept that girls part with childhood gradually and embrace opportunities to do things for her, with her, and to stand by to admire her when she’s doing more and more for herself.”

“Girls like to part with childhood on their own schedule.”

“Girls can listen and roll their eyes at the same time.”

“Teens aren’t addicted to social media. They’re addicted to each other.”

“Emotional input rings like a gong for teenagers and a chime for everyone else.”

“You will get into rough times with each other, what matters is how you get out of them.”

I laughed, I cried, and nodded so many times. It had so many amazing points and strategies that I wished my parents would’ve known about. Not only will you learn things about yourself but you will begin to understand the minds of young teens. Even though I went through this transition myself, it’s hard to put myself back into the mindset that I had all those years ago – the struggles, the trials, the tribulations and the feelings.

It offers many suggestions for how to not take your daughter’s behavior personally. I love how the author says that if your child is not acting crazy, you should worry! Reading this book has helped me to believe that I’M NOT CRAZY. It reminds me to take a step back and separate myself from the drama.

I found this book contained many useful, practical, real life insights and discussion points. This is the BEST parenting book about teen girls that I’ve read. I love the friendly and reassuring tone, the respect that she has for teen girls, and how she supports both parents and daughters.

Dr. Damour recently published a new book on February 12, 2019 called Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls. My review of that book is also on this blog.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

  

Publish Date: March 26, 2019

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, they’re yours. If they don’t, make them.” — The Perfect Girlfriend

Juliette has everything going for her: she’s young, pretty, and driven, and she’s training for an exciting new career as a flight attendant.

The darkness in her past doesn’t matter, because she’s moved beyond all that, and she’s building a great new life for herself—one that will impress her ex-boyfriend, Nate, who left her in a foolish moment of commitment-phobia, one that he surely regrets now. But he’ll be so proud of her once he sees how much she’s grown. And he will see her. After all, he’s a pilot at the very same airline where Juliette is training.

What kind of man wouldn’t appreciate the effort Juliette has taken to win Nate back? She cleans his apartment when he’s not there, and makes sure to leave all his favorite foods in the fridge. It’s only a matter of time before he leaves his airheaded new girlfriend and realizes Juliette is the only one for him.

He will realize it. Juliette will make sure of it.

“Revenge is a dish best served cold, and mine is going to be frozen.” — The Perfect Girlfriend

Everyone has an inner psycho. They might stuff it deep inside of themselves, but it’s there. Juliette, our main character, is unafraid to show it to the world. She has suffered a huge heartbreak but she is determined to win back the love of her life by doing whatever it takes.

I admire her determination. “Stick to the plan, stick to the plan. Fail to plan, plan to fail,“ she says to herself. “As long as I don’t veer off course, nothing can ever harm me again“.  Many people go through bad breakups, but most move upward and onward. Not Juliette. She does things that jilted exes dream of doing, but would never dare: stalk the ex online and in real life, go through his apartment when he’s not home, smell his pillow (!!!), read his mail. She knows that what she’s doing is wrong, but she can’t help it. Love makes people do crazy things.

The story is narrated by Juliette and the reader literally gets into her head and is privy to her real thoughts and feelings. At first, Juliette seems like an average gal who is dumped by a guy that she was really into, but there are telltale clues sprinkled here and there that tell me that she is a little off.  Eventually, I realized that Juliette’s head is totally screwed up. Poor Nate. I wonder how he felt to be on the receiving end of Juliette’s obsession. She lives in a world that is far from reality. I felt sorry for her, so I rooted for her. I wanted her to win back her Prince Charming and have her happily ever after.

This book is about obsession, revenge, bullying, stalking, family relationships, friendships, and an inside look into the life of a flight attendant. The author, Karen Hamilton, worked for an airline and her enlightening experiences are reflected in this story.

There are times when I cringed and groaned and said “No you didn’t just do that” but I loved the premise. The writing is strong, the story is entertaining and easy to read, and if you’ve ever had your heart broken, you’ll live vicariously through Juliette.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Note: I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

** Books like this: **

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

An Anonymous Girl by Sarah Pekkanen and Greer Hendricks

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview