this was mind blowingly good

The Exiles – Christina Baker Kline 

Australia, Britain, prisoners, women, indigenous, historical fiction. 

Set in the 1840s. A young woman, Evangeline, a sheltered governess finds herself falling for someone who never comes to her rescue after she is accused of a crime she didn’t commit. She is shipped off on a ship to Australia where criminals and convicts are sent to serve their sentences. While on the journey, she meets Hazel, a young woman who is excellent at herbalogy and pickpocketing. During this time, she realizes that she is pregnant and faces challenges that no woman would ever think of. After a horrible accident leaves the child parentless, Hazel takes up the duty to become the child’s parent. Once they land in Australia, Hazel is separated from the child. She meets another child whose name Mathinna explains to her about the orphanage. It will take a lot of time for her to reunite with the child and find safety as well as a home for her, the child, and now Mathinna. 

I hardly read historical fiction for a reason. Sometimes they are boring or slow. This was not the case at all. I simply loved the pacing and the plot. My heart was torn for these young women who faced these hardships that no one should really face. I didn’t really know the origins of Australia and this taught me how the English colonized by basically sending prisoners to serve sentences there rather than in England. The language and writing kept me reading this until the last page. I simply didn’t want to willingly put this book down. I suggest you go get this book to read because it is one hell of a story that I have read.

eyes on you

Watching You – Lisa Jewell

Contemporary women, family life, suspense, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Joey and her husband move into a new neighborhood after getting secretly married at a beach and had a glorious honeymoon. As Joey explores the new town, her eyes are drawn to Tom, a man who was very physically attractive. She grows close to him to the point of obsession. That obsession led to him being a murder victim and everyone in town is a suspect, including her.

This is a classic who did it with a twist. I loved the plot that led up to the climax and the transcripts of the police reports makes the novel feel so realistic. Even though they wouldn’t be publicized, I loved the chilling aspect. I couldn’t get enough of the plot nor the characters. There are some plot twists but overall, pretty suspenseful as promised from the synopsis and after reading. I suspected the novel to produce another chilling suspense fictional novel. Jewell has a knack for interesting suspense fiction. I do recommend this novel or any of her novels. I’ve read three of her works and found myself loving her work and her writing.

sometimes I YAWN

Sometimes I Lie – Alice Feeney

Coma patients, married women, psychological, fiction.

Rating 4/10

Amber wakes up from a coma. She tries to remember what happened to her before she landed in the hospital bed. She slowly puts the pieces together that led her to being in a coma. She slowly realizes the truth of the lies. That sometimes reality is more dangerous than fantasy.

I didn’t really care for this novel. I thought it was going to be great but unfortunately it was not.

He Fights For Love

The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams

Romance, comedy, women, relationships, fiction.

Rating 8/10

Gavin was making love to his wife and afterwards is horrified that she’s faked the orgasms before, and this was the first real one in a long time. He was caught off guard and had reacted in such a way, Thea, kicked him out. Another blow is that she wants a divorce. His buddies invite him into their book club to not just read romance novels they do read but help him understand women more. As well as they decide to guide him into saving his marriage. Thea doesn’t want to give him another chance, but he begs to attempt on her terms. She outlines terms that he has to agree with. He has until Christmas to win her back. Along the way, he learns and wakes up to the truth that he hadn’t seen before and has epiphanies about their marriage.

I was expecting something else with the title and was questioning the synopsis. I found myself smiling at the end of the novel. This book is told through third perspective but with the focus on the husband rather than the wife as well as some part of the chapters there are samples of the book that Gavin was reading for the Bromance Book Club. This was heartfelt and made my heart swell. This book addresses some issues that married couples may have had or are working on. Marriage isn’t easy and requires dedication as well as devotion with both partners. I would’ve preferred this novel longer to further explain about Thea’s parents as well as Gavin’s parents to help the plot. With or without that the novel is beyond great.

Yuck

Roomies – Christina Lauren

Marriage, contemporary women, love stories, romance, fiction.  

Rating 3/10

Holland fell for this musician she stumbled upon while taking an adventure from her apartment to the subway. After a nasty fall, its clear that he saved her life. Holland wants to give him a reward, a role in one of her uncle’s play. Unfortunate she learns that he is an illegal immigrant and she thought of a way for him to stay, she decides to marry him and pretend being married, until pretending became reality.

I didn’t really like this novel. It felt too rushed in my opinion as well as a overused trope. Nothing fresh here.

Self Controlled Fertility?!

The Woman’s War – Jenna Glass

Science fiction, fertility, magic, spells, women, war, fiction.

Rating 9/10

A spell by three women was casted and now women can control their fertility. This spell only allows women choose when they wish to be pregnant and not by the choice of their partner. This changes the world dramatically as sudden changes occur. There is a need for an heir to claim the throne, otherwise, the throne is free for the taking. Fate of countries are in the hands of women and men are trying to take away their ability to control their fertility. Everything is at stake.

I loved this book because its different science fiction I’ve ever came across. A spell that allows the woman control whether or not she will become pregnant is a brilliant subject to tackle in this world where men are domineering. This book is slow at first, but it does pick up momentum as the story progresses. I highly recommend this novel whether one into science fiction or not. This was an excellent read.

Child Vampire = SCARY

Fledgling – Octavia Butler

Vampires, young women, fiction.

Rating 8/10

A young eleven-year-old girl stumbles out of a ruin with no recollection of who she is. As she comes to her senses, she realizes what she is. A vampire with amnesia. As time goes by, pieces of information fits into place as she finds out who she truly is.

I enjoyed reading this novel. I love vampire fiction, the classic vampire kind, not the Twilight type. This novel was amazingly written, and I simply couldn’t put the book down at all. I highly recommend this novel a lot. There is an intricate plot that slowly unfolds. I enjoy a slow burn of plot unfolding and quick escalations. This novel brought everything I wanted within the pages.

Snoozefest

The Weight of Ink – Rachel Kadish

Women historians, Jewish women, fiction.

Rating 6/10

Two different and drastic lives of women in two different centuries use writing to cope. Both women must make decisions that conflict with heart and mind. The aftermath of their decisions changes the game.

I only enjoyed a little of this short novel. I found this novel to be very plain and boring, but the idea of the novel is great. I think this novel could’ve had more to the story. Too much cliché that is not fresh.

Hidden Evil

Then She Was Gone – Lisa Jewell

Contemporary women, suspense, family life, fiction

Rating 8/10

Laurel Mack loved her daughter, Ellie, who was bright and smart. Suddenly one day, she becomes missing. Laurel had the police keep an ongoing investigation to look for any evidence to see if Ellie was alive. Numerous incidences give hints to her daughter being alive and or presumed dead. The police contact Laurel and tell her that they found remains of her daughter, signs of a horrific death. This news puts Laurel into shock and depression of the worst kind. Laurel slowly moves on by dating this guy she met, Floyd, at the coffee shop. Both chat and he told her about his kids, and she tells him about her kids. When she comes over to his house, Laurel sees Poppy, who looks like her daughter who was gone. After some consideration and sudden realization, she sees the dark and ugly truth.

I grabbed this book from the shelf because I saw online that this novel was popular. I see a little why this novel was popular or is popular. Horror and suspense are always a good read but throw in some mad women and kidnapping, it’s a bestseller. Not that I hated this book, I enjoyed the novel. I personally thought the novel’s length could be longer and more in-depth with each character’s backgrounds. Yes, this was Laurel’s tale, but the author included other points of view that, at first, didn’t make sense of whom was telling the story until there was contextual clues that the perspective changed. Otherwise, this was a great book and I would recommend to anyone who is interested in the suspense fiction genre.

Isolation Can Be BAD

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Single women, social isolation, intergenerational relations, friendship, computer technicians, Glasgow, Ireland, psychological, contemporary women, fiction.

Rating 7/10

Eleanor Oliphant is a woman with an interesting personality and ideology for life due to her past trauma involving a psychotically mentally ill mother. Eleanor has a schedule that consists of Monday through Friday working at her job. From Friday to Sunday, she drinks one bottle of vodka throughout the weekend and doing her usual routine. Eleanor is fine with this lifestyle. When unusual and unpolite behavior comes across her way, she tries to understand life through her own ways of interpretation. Raymond comes into her life and he changes her life. Raymond shows her that life should be way better than just fine. Through life changing events, Eleanor heals from past trauma and becomes herself the way she wants to be.

I did like this book in the beginning. As I saw one of my college professors reading this novel and spoke about the novel with deep interest. I personally saw Eleanor as antisocial, but I had guessed due to past traumas. Overall, this book was fine and was short but with a thick plot that should’ve and could’ve been expanded into a lengthier story. I just did not like the climax, but the ending sufficed enough. Maybe in the future I will reread this novel and give the novel another chance possibly.