Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid is a must for reading groups, we joined in on this book club gem and read it with a group of friends. It lead to an exciting and fun discussion. The story provokes a few questions and it was interesting to see everyone’s thoughts and insight into the story.

This just might be the perfect one right now to find some friends and connect online to discuss this one. I know a group you could read it in!!! lol

For us here we had some different thoughts here that affected our overall enjoyment to the story. We could really see the different types of readers come out while reading this one and in our reviews. So on to our reviews.

Brenda’s review

The story starts with an exchange caught on video between our main character Emira and a security guard in a grocery store. This could have of went in a familiar way to exploring racism and the number of viral incidents, however, things that a fresh, more interesting direction than I expected.

Kiley Reid takes a simpler, enjoyable, entertaining yet still thought-provoking approach here and explores the other side, not everyone wants to be seen. Emira doesn’t want the video on social media, and what she as her own person not as a black woman wants out of life is explored in the story.

The dynamics between the characters are insightful and also refreshing as Kiley Reid explores the ownership the characters feel over Emira as a black woman. She skillfully weaves this in while exploring privilege, race, employee/employer dynamics, motherhood, and friendship. I enjoyed the dynamics between Emira and Briar, who she babysits but felt something was missing there. I wanted to feel that Emira’s role with Briar was more important than I did.

The biggest question I had and we had a few different answers in our discussion was, “What age was such a fun age?” and What is the title referring to?

Norma’s review

Thought-provoking, powerful, and absorbing!

SUCH A FUN AGE by KILEY REID was a book that I was extremely excited to receive and I am happy to say that I was just as excited about it after finishing the book. This was such a surprisingly great debut that starts off with quite the opening scene and then mellows out a little bit where the mood switches to being a light, easy-breezy story but to be totally honest it was nothing but. It was such a complex and layered story that was packed full of heart.

KILEY REID delivers a clever, captivating, and intriguing story here that is told in an empathetic and sincere voice that really makes the reader think. The narrative was fun and satirical and never once did I feel like it was intended to be any other way. I didn’t feel that the author was making us feel a certain way she was allowing us to feel it all on our own and come to our own interpretations of how we would react if we were put in the same scenarios as they were. I was definitely putting myself in these characters shoes and examining my own feelings. This book definitely made me think!

I wouldn’t necessarily say that I really connected or liked any of these characters, except for maybe little Briar. She definitely stole the show. It was the story in a whole that definitely made this such a great read for me!

Lindsay’s review

 An easy read that lacked the emotional connection and powerful punch that I had expected.

This book is all the buzz lately. I couldn’t wait to dig in and see what all the hype was about. I’m not sure if the overhyping is what made me feel like I was missing something or this simply wasn’t a powerful book for me. Yes, there are some very heavy topics covered within these pages, but the way they are presented didn’t impact or resonate with me.

From start to finish the narrative made me feel distanced from the characters and storyline. I never felt completely immersed in their lives. It was like I was being told this story without being given the opportunity to truly experience it. Often times the dialogue felt awkward and somewhat forced which further distanced me from the characters. I didn’t like the way the changing perspectives overlapped – it often felt choppy and lacked flow.

Overall, it was an easy, quick read, but not one that lived up to my expectations. 

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade @VictoriaSchade @BerkleyPub

Need a feel-good story with characters full of heart and humor to self-isolate with. We have the perfect one for you!!! Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade is available today!!

Norma’s review

Heartwarming, adorable, & a much needed feel-good escape!!

WHO RESCUED WHO by VICTORIA SCHADE is a charming, engaging, fun, cute, quick, and steadily paced read that was both emotional and humorous to read. What I really enjoyed most about the storyline is that it doesn’t immediately grab your attention; it grows on you as you get invested in these characters. There was just the right amount of character struggles, family secrets, romance, and self-discovery here to make it a lighthearted relaxing read without being overly heavy.

VICTORIA SCHADE delivers quite the realistic, entertaining, enjoyable, and uplifting rom-com here that was an absolute treat to read from start to finish. I so loved following Elizabeth (Bess) and watching her change into the person that she was meant to be with the help of her adorable four legged friend, family, and of course a noble, down to earth handsome gentleman.

Brenda’s review

How cute is that cover? How could you resist someone so adorable? Well, our main character here, Elizabeth thinks she can but…

Elizabeth, down on her luck, finds out she has family she didn’t know about and they have some secrets. She makes a quick trip to her father’s home in the English countryside, not expecting to stay long. She visits to see what secrets her father has packed away from her. What she finds is love in the most unexpected place.

Who Recused Who is a purrfect pick right now, with it’s a heartwarming, uplifting and feel-good story. It has the characters with the biggest hearts and it’s full of heart & humour. The story has a bit of romance, family secrets and the best part the love from and for those fur friends and family.

The story explores where your heart takes you, living your life not performing it and those small moments in your life that matter. In the end, it was clear to me who rescued who and I felt rescued myself with these fur characters who brought some love and good memories back into my heart while reading it. I highly recommend it.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Adorable, eye-catching, appealing, jovial, beautiful and an extremely effective & perfect representation to storyline.
Title: A heartfelt, meaningful and a perfect representation of the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, witty, genuine, engaging, captivating, humorous, fluid and charming.
Plot: Fun, delightful, sweet, lighthearted, personable, steadily-paced, enjoyable and entertaining.
Ending: A happy and satisfying ending.
Overall: 3.5 Stars! A romantic comedy that is packed full of heart and fabulous characters. I would recommend it!

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Pub for our copies.

Secret Lives of Mothers & Daughters by Anita Kushwaha #bookreview @HarperCollinsCa @MsAnitaKushwaha

Heart-wrenching, compassionate & an absorbing intergenerational tale!

SECRET LIVES OF MOTHERS & DAUGHTERS by ANITA KUSHWAHA was such a touching, emotional, dramatic, and powerful story that tackles the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. It is such a beautiful book filled with so much love, heart, desire, acceptance, and truth that I was immediately drawn into.

I have an absolute love for these types of tales that center around adoption and motherhood and the secrets we keep to protect our loved ones. And the mistakes that we make without realizing the hurt that those secrets can ultimately cause. It really plays on my emotions, making me really care for the characters, fully placing me right into their lives and the narrative.

ANITA KUSHWAHA delivers a complex, layered and beautifully written story here that weaves together seamlessly the stories of Veena, Mala, and Nandini, and a young woman named Asha, who connects them all. I was totally entertained and enthralled with all these compelling characters’ perspectives equally. I really needed to know how all of their lives were connected and was completely pleased and satisfied with the resolution.

I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience and I would definitely recommend this one!

Synopsis from Goodreads

For readers of Shilpi Somaya Gowda’s “Secret Daughter” and Nancy Richler’s “The Imposter Bride”, a breathtaking novel from Anita Kushwaha about the ties that bind mothers and daughters together and the secrets that tear them apart

Veena, Mala and Nandini are three very different women with something in common. Out of love, each bears a secret that will haunt her life—and that of her daughter—when the risk of telling the truth is too great. But secrets have consequences. Particularly to Asha, the young woman on the cusp of adulthood who links them together.

On the day after her eighteenth birthday, Asha is devastated to learn that she was adopted as a baby. What’s more, her birth mother died of a mysterious illness shortly before then, leaving Asha with only a letter.

Nandini, Asha’s adoptive mother, has always feared the truth would come between them.

Veena, a recent widow, worries about her daughter Mala’s future. The shock of her husband’s sudden death leaves her shaken and convinces her that the only way to keep her daughter safe is to secure her future.

Mala struggles to balance her dreams and ambition with her mother’s expectations. She must bear a secret, the burden of which threatens her very life.

Three mothers, bound by love, deceit and a young woman who connects them all. Secret Lives of Mothers & Daughters is an intergenerational novel about family, duty and the choices we make in the name of love. 

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel @stephwrobel @SimonSchusterCA

Yahoo!! It’s pub date for Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel This is a great one to self isolate with because once you start you might not want to stop reading this one.

Darling Rose Gold is pure gold here and is one exciting read. This was a highly anticipated Traveling Sisters group read. Once we started reading this story, we could not put it down until we finished. Those twisty turns kept us guessing and those reveals are something to talk about.

Brenda’s review

Darling Rose Gold’s subject matter is disturbing; however, Stephanie Wrobel explores the dynamics between mother Patty and daughter Rose after the abuse takes place. Patty returns home after spending time in jail for abusing Rose. Rose is no longer Patty’s weak little daring, and she might be out for some sweet revenge. It’s all about these fascinating unreliable, so unlikable and compelling characters and the dynamics between them. What made this fascinating for me was that we now see how Rose feels about her mother’s abuse and how it all affected her. An exciting game develops between them that left me guessing who would come out the winner in this twisty story. The tension and suspense rise with each page, making this one quite the page-turner.

Now things do get disturbing here in the clever, layered twists and focusing on picking up one those clues makes this one an entertaining read. Things wrapped up well for me with the layered, convincing revelations. I highly recommend!!

Norma’s review

Compulsively readable, disturbingly fascinating, & an absolutely unputdownable psychological thriller!

DARLING ROSE GOLD by STEPHANIE WROBEL is one disturbing, dark, twisted, and original thriller that was quite the gripping book to read. I was immediately sucked into the narrative and could not put this book down.

STEPHANIE WROBEL delivers an interesting, fascinating, and well-written read here that offers quite the original and suspenseful plot with complex and dysfunctional characters. The story is told in alternating points of view between Rose Gold and her mother Patty. We get a firsthand look into both of their disturbing thought processes and what motivates each of them.

I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed or liked either one of our main characters here but they were definitely quite the entertaining pair though. I didn’t know which one of them to trust and who was playing who. I did have my suspicions though and I did puzzle together some of the stories plot points with the help of the author’s subtle clues. But it didn’t disrupt the flow of the novel for me or how compelling this book was to read. I was getting a little bit fed up and disappointed with one of the character’s actions which did affect my total enjoyment for this novel. 

Lindsay’s review

Oh my!! What a deliciously dark and twisty tale!

Rose Gold’s mother, Patty, was sentenced to 5 years in prison for abusing Rose Gold for eighteen years by poisoning her and making her appear critically ill. When Patty is released, Rose Gold is there to pick her up from prison along with her two month old son. Rose Gold knows her mother has no one to turn to and feels she has paid her dues for her crime. But, has Patty moved on from her controlling and deceitful ways? Will Rose Gold’s son be her next victim?

I inhaled this book barely coming up for air. This is an outstanding debut! The writing grabbed me from page one and kept me gripped and fully invested until the very last sentence. The suspense is thick, each chapter left me on edge and anxious.

The story unfolds in a dual narrative through Rose Gold and Patty’s perspectives. These characters were done to perfection! I was fascinated by their thoughts and decisions, trying to figure out what their ultimate goals were.

This book is not an easy read. There are plenty of disturbing and unsettling scenes, but the writing is so addictive and engrossing that it is impossible to put down.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Suffocating, striking, suspenseful, eye-catching and a great representation to storyline. I’m absolutely in love with this beautiful cover!!
Title: A simple, intriguing, effective, and fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, easy to follow, entertaining, engaging and readable.
Plot: Complex, dark, twisted, disturbing, fascinating, interesting, creepy, fast-paced, twisty, and entertaining.
Ending: An ending that didn’t really take me by surprise but regardless that I was expecting it I thought it was a thrilling resolution that I was totally satisfied with.
Overall: 4.5 Stars! I wouldn’t necessarily say that I had fun with this one but the characters and the storyline definitely made for an entertaining and compelling read. Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Simon and Schuster Canada for kindly sending us a copy of this book!

Wishing You All Well

Norma, Lindsay and I would like to send our wishes of wellness to you all and your families. We hope everyone is keeping well and safe and hope you all can find some comfort in what we love to do, reading!!! Our hearts go out to anyone who is struggling in any way with the events going on.

We are here blogging, reading in our groups and chatting about what we love. As always, we welcome anyone wanting to share in our love and discussions to join us here or in our Goodreads groups. Drop a comment!!

What do you all think of our new look and name?

Take care!

Followers by Megan Angelo @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCa

Followers by Megan Angelo is available and we are excited to bring you all our reviews for this interesting and thought-provoking story.

Brenda’s review

Social media and our future with it terrifies me! Megan Angelo has created a scary social media future here and has given us some things to think about. She challenges some dark realities with our need to be seen, how dependent people are on followers, following and liking on social media and how that affects the vulnerabilities of everyone involved. She shows us a bleak reality of social domination that left me wondering if it could happen.

The story is told in two timelines, where we see how one character controls followers by creating an influencer and another character is controlled by the government for her followers. There is a lot of depth here to the story and things to question and think about. Megan Angelo shows us how easy it is to create the fake and how hard the real is to achieve. A lesson I learned quite quickly from my time on social media. She provokes some questions and a few things to think about however, at times, I did become distracted from those thoughts and questions I wanted to explore. Things got a little complicated and I started to lose focus, and the story moved a bit slow for me.

In the end, I am not sure the dark realities of social media were seen or if anyone cares. I guess that the realist thing of all.

Followers makes for a great group read for readers who love to ask questions and think deep into the story. I highly recommend.

Norma’s review

Absorbing, futuristic, & relevant!

FOLLOWERS by MEGAN ANGELO is a fabulous, timely, smart, and electrifying tale that was quite the entertaining and captivating read. Once I started reading it I was absolutely hooked and so intrigued in the futuristic aspect of this storyline and the dystopian atmosphere that I was flipping those pages as fast as I possibly could.

MEGAN ANGELO delivers an original, intelligent, creative, intense, and well-written read here that is told in two timelines and alternating perspectives between our main characters, Orla and Marlow. Orla is the present timeline and Marlow’s is in the future. I would say that I was equally drawn to both timelines/perspectives.

I thought that the author did a fabulous job with creating a futuristic world that was so easy to visualize that was both so fascinating and horrifying to read. The story did lose a little bit of steam for me and I was getting a little impatient for the story to move forward near the end but all in all it was quite the entertaining and immersive read for me.

Lindsay’s review

Timely. Thought-provoking. Relevant.

How many social media accounts do you have? How many online sites do you trust? How much of your personal information is online waiting to fall into the wrong hands? Scary questions, right? This book will make you rethink your online presence told through a fictional story of two friends who find themselves at the height of online stardom.

This was one big step outside my comfort zone. I don’t usually read books set in future times, but this one worked for me. The concepts presented throughout this story are extremely relevant and eye-opening. The affects of social media and the openness of the internet have a large impact on the world and these characters are living the afterlife once the internet “breaks”. Very interesting concepts!

The writing was great. I enjoyed the characters. The storyline was a bit too long and therefore, my attention wavered slightly in the second half. Overall, an intriguing and thoughtful-provoking read. I think many will love this!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Beautiful, effective, eye-catching, intriguing, and a fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Clever, suspenseful, intriguing and a fabulous representation to storyline. I love the title of this book. So good!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, compelling, smart, and readable.
Plot: Clever, intriguing, fresh, intense, timely, thought-provoking, relevant, suspenseful, steadily-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining.
Ending: The ending was satisfying although some of the revelations were easy to predict because of some foreshadowing and the subtle clues interspersed throughout. It was also easy to see where the story was headed with the plot shift but I found that it was an extremely satisfying tactic though.
Overall: 4.5 Stars! It was such an intensely irresistible, enjoyable, and entertaining book to read that reminded me so much of The Jetsons. Just because I always thought that show was ahead of its time, well I think this book absolutely nails it here with how relevant and timely this story was. The concepts that were presented in this book is scary stuff that’s for sure! Read this book!!

Thank you so much to Harlequin for sending us physical review copies! Also, thank you so much to HarperCollins Canada for sending Norma a finished copy of this book so she could partake in the Bookstagram Takeover on Instagram