The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah

**Review**

The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I both loved and hated this book. The story and characters captured me from page one. Leni leapt off the pages and chased me every time I put this book down. I wanted to shake some sense into Cora and make her see her daughter, and herself, as I did.

This is one of those books that makes you scream at the characters as they make horrible decisions after horrible decision.

The Great Alone made me fall in love with a place I’ve never been to. Alaska was a leading character, and the one I loved the most.

The Hidden women, Kerry Barrett

**Review**

The Hidden Women, Kerry Barrett

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Some secrets are better left out in the open.

While I admit I had completely different expectations for this book than what the story delivered and it took me quite a while to get into the story, once I finally did, I enjoyed it.

Helena, an uptight, Type-A with an interesting job, a wonderful daughter, a chaotic family and a new love interest, was surprisingly relatable. But it was her Great Aunt Lil that captivated me. Lil’s story was inspiring, tragic and powerful. I think I could have read an entire book just on Lil.

The one aspect of this book that I wish had been revealed in the synopsis was the potential triggers it contained. This book does cover topics of rape, unplanned pregnancies, abortion, abandonment and postpartum depression.

Educated, Tara Westover

**Review**

Educated, Tara Westover

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This just may be the best memoir I’ve ever read. The story itself was engaging and interesting, but the prose was breathtaking. Her words transported me to Idaho, BYU, Cambridge and Harvard.

Her retelling of the events of her childhood and her growth made me cry, rage and, occasionally, laugh

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

**Review**

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I loved every page of this book. Every time I had to set it down, it stayed with me. Each mystery revealed left me with questions.

Rill’s story was heartbreaking. I was desperate to know what happened with her siblings and how Judy fit into the puzzle.

As I learned the truth along with Avery, my heart broke. Knowing that children actually lives nightmares like this is hard to fathom.

Wingate wove together a beautiful and heartbreaking story.

Becoming, Michelle Obama

**Review**

Becoming, Michelle Obama

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oh Michelle. Your voice and story were exactly what I needed.

I picked up both the hardcover and audiobook of Becoming. I much prefer to listen to memoirs rather than read them. Hearing the author’s story is always so much more intimate and personal when you can hear their words in their own voice.

I learned so much about Michelle in a Becoming. I fell I love with her all over again. I cried tears of joy, empathy or sadness in nearly every chapter.

As a working mother, her openness about her struggles with balance and working mom guilt resonated deeply with me.

Her love for Barrack, her daughters, her family and America is genuine and raw. She tells her story with a humbleness that few possess.

I found myself wanting to keep listening to hear the full story but dreading the final words. Reliving the Obama White House years through her words brought me great comfort.

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

**Review**

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When I read the synopsis, I wasn’t sure how Gyasi was going to execute the multi generational story outlined.

She did it beautifully with impeccable prose and detail. The pictures she painted were so vivid I felt like I was living with each of the characters.

At first, I was worried I would miss Effia, the first character we meet. She was by far my favorite. I almost put the book down when I glanced at the chapter titles and realized I only had one chapter with her, but I’m glad I didn’t. I then fell in love with Esi and each of her and Effia’s children and their children.

Homegoing is like nothing I’ve ever read before. The story is disjointed and jarring as it hops from one generation to the next, but this jumping is what connects the reader to the family and the history they lived. Gyasi transported me through multiple decades and countries and bonded me to a history I’d never connected to before.

The ending was perfect and did not leave me wanting.

Is There Still Sex in the City, Candace Bushnell

**Review**

Is There Still Sex in the City? Candace Bushnell

⭐️⭐️

I wanted to love this book. I was beyond excited to receive an ARC from Netgalley. But it left me disappointed and wanting.

Is There Still Sex in the City reads like the narration to a TV show, but lacks the imagery and heart that should be playing while the narrator adds their clippy, smart commentary.

The chapters hopped from mini essays on social and dating definitions (Tinder at 50, kids, suicide, types of boys, mid-life crisis, etc.) and character stories without much emotion – lots of telling, little showing. Considering the topics covered, I was expecting to feel something, or at the very least, connection to the characters, but there wasn’t enough to build that connection on.

The writing was choppy and felt like a list of things that happened or of explanations of what was happening. Cliches, acronyms and text speak overflowed throughout. I felt as though it wanted to be smart and edgy, but fell short.

Facts and Fears, James Clapper

**Review**

Fears and Facts, James Clapper

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Before I picked up this audiobook, I was familiar with James Clapper’s name. I had a vague understanding of his role in the Obama administration, but was more familiar with him post Inauguration Day 2017.

In Facts and Fears, Clapper goes into great detail of his history of service to America, first in the armed  services and then in the intelligence community.

His service, expertise and knowledge was overwhelming. As was his clear devotion and passion for the country he continues to serve.

Facts and Fears provided me with more in-depth facts surrounding several controversial events in recent American history – Benghazi, Russian election interference and Bin Laden. Clapper served our country during some of the most divisive and impactful moments in our history.

If you have an interest in American history – political, military or otherwise – I definitely recommend Facts and Fears.

Ithaca’s Soldier, Kelly Utt

**Review**

Ithaca’s Soldier, Kelly Utt

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A brilliant concept and unique idea! Reading the synopsis, I was intrigued, to say the least.

George is a relatable, caring family man. He is surrounded my amazing and loving people. It was those characters that drew me and that I connected with.

My only complaint was that it ended too soon! Luckily the sequel is already available! I am looking forward to seeing where the story goes as it connects Ancient Greece to modern day Ithaca.

The Proposal, Jasmine Guillory

**Review**

The Proposal, Jasmine Guillory

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I don’t know why I feel the need to caveat all my romance novel reviews with “I don’t normally like this genre,” but here we are … I don’t normally like this genre. But… I thoroughly enjoyed The Proposal.

Nik is a strong, independent female character unafraid of embracing her sexuality and desires. She’s also flawed, damaged and has walls a mile high.

Carlos is the perfect match for her wit and intelligence. Like Nik, he’s guarded and carries his own baggage.

Literally everyone sees they are destined to be together – everyone but Carlos and Nik. I won’t spoil the end, but let’s just say one of them sees the truth before the other.

Overall I enjoyed this book, but I loved Nik. Her voice was refreshingly honest and smart. Her sarcasm was a welcome change from most romance novel main characters. I was invested in her story and life by the end.