MID-YEAR FREAK OUT BOOK TAG

I’ve been meaning to write this for at least a week now! Oops! Life has only recently slowed down a little so I finally have some time to blog again… So, here we go:


What is the best book that you’ve read so far in 2019?
If I can only choose one, it has to be How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. I have read a whole lot of really great books this year, though!


What has been your favourite sequel of the first half of the year?
The Wickerlight by Mary Watson (technically a companion, but close enough)! Magic, age old feuds, and finding courage in one’s self ❤


Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but you’re really excited to?
The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos. I’ve been meaning to read it for ages!


What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?
THE GIRL THE SEA GAVE BACK WHICH ONLY ARRIVED TODAY.


What is your biggest disappointment so far?
Never-Contented Things hands down. I was utterly revolted by it and let down on the magical side of it.


What is your biggest surprise so far?
How to Make Friends with the Dark and How it Feels to Float. Also, The Truth About Keeping Secrets. They were all books from genres I don’t read much of, and I was surprised by how much each of them stuck with me after reading..


What is your favourite new to you or debut author?
Rory Power. Her writing style has made her one of my auto-buy authors from here on out.


What is your favourite fictional crush from this year?
Um….great question! I really loved Noah Gallagher from The Irish Lottery and Noah Becker from On the Rocks… Plus, Kunal from The Tiger at Midnight! Swoon..


What is your new favourite character?
Oh, no way I can choose one. I’m not sure. There are too many wonderful characters!!


A book that made you cry?
How to Make Friends with the Dark and Opposite of Always


A book that made you happy?
My Mother’s Daughter


Your favourite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?
I really loved Love, Simon. I never read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but the movie was so touching! I could see myself watching it a few more times.


What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?
Ugh, what’s with the difficult questions!? I think it would have to be Aurora Rising (Illumicrate or Goldsboro)…


What is your favourite post that you have written so far this year?
It would have to be my discussion on books that helped me navigate grief, I think.

What are 6 books that you want to read by the end of the year?
I’m going to do this by month or I’ll never narrow it down to just six…

July – The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen

August – All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle

September – The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

October – The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

November – Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

December – This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada


I’m going to tag:

Bookish Mom

Kat’s Books


Consider yourself tagged if you haven’t yet done this! It’s a lot of fun.

ARC REVIEW | All We Could Have Been by T.E. Carter

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Title: ALL WE COULD HAVE BEEN

Author: T.E. CARTER

Released: 23RD APRIL 2019 by FEIWEL & FRIENDS

Genre: YOUNG ADULT CONTEMPORARY

Rep: LGBTQ+ | TWs: PTSD, anxiety, depression, violence, gore, death/murder.


WOW!

Just wow…

This story has so much soul from start to finish. I found it difficult to put down even to do life things! I read it in bed, in the bath, in the car (but only when I wasn’t driving), and everywhere in between. I was very close to calling into work, but then I just stayed up entirely too late to finish. Have I gotten your attention yet? Basically, you need to read this as soon as you can!

Like the synopsis says, it’s a strong discussion on our assumptions about people based on the way they look or seem. We should be way less focused on how people appear and maybe try to put a little more emphasis on getting to know the heart of people. Lexie has always been harshly judged because she looks and acts differently to her peers, but that’s her way of coping with her PTSD. She feels she needs to do those things in order to get through her life.

The portrayal of Lexie’s anxiety, depression, and PTSD are phenomenal. They are so realistic and don’t shy away from the darker side of those afflictions. The author also keeps the reader in the dark for the first bit of the story, which really added to my interest. I felt like I had to keep reading until the end to find out what happened to make Lexie the way she is, and then to find out her resolution at the end. It’s a massive page turner, but it does have a lot of darkness, too. I found her relationships (and the romance) made it that bit more realistic. While she didn’t have to have the romance aspect to overcome her challenges, I felt the support she had because of it only added to the story.

This has been one of my favourite reads of the year. It’s so emotional and powerfully written. I had to give this five stars without a doubt.


Five years ago, Lexie walked home from school after her older brother failed to pick her up. When she entered her house, her brother sat calmly, waiting for the police to come arrest him for the heinous crime he had just committed.

Treated like a criminal herself, Lexie now moves from school to school hiding who she is—who she’s related to. She struggles with loving her brother, the PTSD she now suffers from, and wanting to just live a normal life. But how can she be normal when she can’t even figure out how to just live?

This is a powerful look at the assumptions we make about people. Lexie’s emotional journey to separate her brother’s horrific act from herself is stunning and heartbreaking. This is Lexie’s story and journey—not her brother’s—and it will stay with you long after you turn the last page.


Thank you to Feiwel & Friends via Netgalley for this ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

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Title: ON THE ROCKS

Author: KANDI STEINER

Released: 13TH JUNE 2019 by KANDI STEINER

Genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


These characters had my attention from the off! I really loved Noah and Ruby Grace (well, maybe not Ruby Grace at first, but I came around). The (not so) minor characters are are also strong enough to have a story of their own! Kandi has this way of writing that just draws you in and then you’re addicted until the last drop. She always surprises you, as well. You may think you know what’s coming next, but you don’t –  trust me on this. And that is just part of her charm.

This story is one about whiskey, forbidden love, strong-minded women, and soft-hearted men. It’s also one that burrows into your soul and won’t let you go. You will feel all the emotions while reading this! I love when an author can make me laugh, cry, and want to throw the book (ahem…Kindle) at the wall all in the same story. Kandi does it every.single.time… I highly encourage you to pick this up as soon as you can because I think you’ll love it, even if it pisses you off!


Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild.

And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé.

He’s trouble.
Dirty, sweaty, rude trouble.

No matter how many times I repeat it, I can’t escape Noah in our small Tennessee town. And the more I run into him, the more he infuriates me. Because he sees what no one else does.

He sees me—the real me.

The me I’m not sure I’m allowed to be.

I’m Ruby Grace Barnett, the mayor’s daughter. Soon to be a politician’s wife, just like Mama and Daddy always wanted.  Soon to fulfill my family’s legacy, just like I always knew I would.

Until the boy everyone warned me about makes me question everything, like whether the wedding I’m planning is one I even want.

Everyone says Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

If only I had listened.

four stars

ARC REVIEW | The Irish Lottery by Sienna Blake

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Title: THE IRISH LOTTERY

Author: SIENNA BLAKE

Released: 18TH JUNE 2019 by SB PUBLISHING

Genre: CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


This was my first Sienna Blake novel and I was not disappointed! I was surprised to find she also lives here in Dublin, though! So cool ❤

I wish my Irish story was as exciting as this! Alas, I have a pretty cute, yet bland story of my own. That being said, The Irish Lottery is so cute and worth the read! I really connected with the main character, Aubrey, and loved her connection with Noah. He’s just the best Irish character I think I’ve ever read -swoon-. I would be happy to just read about his daily life.

The plot of TIL was interesting and original, while also being completely unexpected. I couldn’t put it down for the most part. There were a few places I got a tad bored, but that’s probably only because the rest of the story was so good! The secondary characters were also very multi-faceted and I really enjoyed reading about the side relationships, as much as the main ones. I hope there are going to be other stories about the rest of the Gallagher clan! Will have to wait and see!


Keep reading for your chance to WIN!

 

Four hot Irish brothers

ready to play out your ultimate fantasy…

Noah

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Our ma is sick and this lottery is the only way to raise that much money quickly.

But when my best friend in the whole world, the girl I’ve secretly loved for years, turns up as the winner I cannot believe it.

When I read the secret fantasy she’s submitted I almost choke.

She just wants us to give her what she’s never had…

…an O.

This could be the very thing I need to convince her that we should be more than friends. I could give her what she wants—the sexiest night of her life…and more.

I just hope she’s happy when she finds out who’s behind the mask. 

The Irish Lottery is a full-length standalone friends-to-lovers contemporary romance.

Grab The Irish Lottery at this special Release price!

CLICK HERE TO GRAB YOUR COPY!


About the author

Sienna Blake is a dirty girl, a wordspinner of smexy love stories and an Amazon Top 20 & USA Today Bestselling Author.

She lives in Dublin, Ireland, where she enjoys reading, keeping fit and adding to her personal harem of Irish hotties 😉

Get her bestselling Bound duet as a ‘Thank you’ gift when you join her sexy subscribers: bit.ly/FreeBoundDuet


ENTER TO WIN! 

A paperback copy of The Irish Lottery

A tin of Butlers Assorted Chocolates

A $25 Amazon gift card! 

ENTER HERE http://bit.ly/2MQB27Z

 

four stars

REVIEW | The Forgotten Girl: A Thriller by Rio Youers

Title: THE FORGOTTEN GIRL

Author: RIO YOUERS

Released: 28TH MAY 2019 by TITAN BOOKS

TWs Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation.

Genre: ADULT THRILLER | SCI-FI | HORROR


This was an awesome novel! It more than met my expectations and I truly enjoyed it. I’ve never read Youers before, but after this I’ll definitely be adding him to my list of authors to watch! I am so glad I was able to pick this up.

The plot was so interesting and unique. I can’t say I’ve ever read anything quite like this. There is so much life, and death, in The Forgotten Girl. I found myself thinking about this story even when I wasn’t reading, and there were several times I kicked myself for not bringing it along with me to read in my downtime.

The characters were so real and the writing actually made me feel I was in the room with them dodging bullets and engaging in high speed car chases! Even the secondary characters were so well written and captivating.

It is such a page-turner and I urge you to pick this up as soon as possible! It will surprise you in the best way.


“She possesses a unique and powerful ability. Just like we can erase data from a computer hard drive, Sally can erase memories from a person’s mind.”

Abducted and brutally beaten by a group of thugs, street performer Harvey Anderson is convinced he’s a victim of mistaken identity when they demand to know the location of his girlfriend, Sally Starling. Harvey Anderson has been single for years. 

She dominated my dreams. Sometimes as a lover, more often as a scared, lonely girl running from something that slathered and swooped. I woke with her name on my lips, clutching the empty half of the bed, knowing beyond all doubt that she should have been next to me. 

Aided by his thugs, a sinister man known as “the spider” has tracked Sally to Harvey. He has pursued her for nine years, desperate to possess her remarkable talents. Yet emotion runs deeper than memory, and so Harvey goes looking for a woman he loves but can’t remember, and encounters a danger beyond anything he could ever imagine.


Thank you so much to Lydia Gittens at Titan Books for the review copy!

ARC REVIEW | Wilder Girls by Rory Power

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Title: WILDER GIRLS

Author: RORY POWER

Released: 9TH JULY 2019 by DELACORTE PRESS

REP: LGBTQ+ | TWs taken from https://itsrorypower.com/wilder-girls/: Graphic violence and body horror. Gore; On the page character death, parental death, and animal death, though the animals are not pets; Behavior and descriptive language akin to self harm, and references to such; Food scarcity and starvation. Emesis; A scene depicting chemical gassing; Reference to suicide and suicidal ideation; Non-consensual medical treatment.

Genre: YA HORROR


This story made me highly uncomfortable and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. We really need a lot more novels that explore what people are able to become, even when it’s not nice to examine. Wilder Girls is a story about a boarding school in which the entire community is affected by something they’ve taken to calling the Tox, but they don’t know exactly what it is or how it came to affect them.

My favourite thing about this story is that it focused on female friendships rather than romance or anything else. Girls are so strong when we lift each other up and have each other’s backs! The POV switches between Hetty and Byatt, two of the main three girls. The triumvirate rounded out by Reese. The relationships between each are very different and seem to be held together by Byatt, so you can imagine how messy it gets once Byatt is gone…

The girls are so flawed! Not only are they conscious of that fact, but they’re also allowed to be so! There’s definitely a discussion on the ideals of society as regards young women in there. The only thing I’d change is getting more answers about all the things I still have questions about, because damn, I need to know!! There are so many things to love about this, though! The atmosphere, the girls, the plot, the tension throughout, and the not knowing what will come next! Rory Power just made my list of auto-buy. I just love her writing

Hands down a FIVE STAR read for me.

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It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


Thank you so much to Rory Power + Delacorte Press for the ARC.

five stars

ARC REVIEW | Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

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Title: WAITING FOR TOM HANKS

Author: KERRY WINFREY

Released: 11TH JUNE 2019 by BERKLEY PUBLISHING GROUP

Genre: ROMANCE


I don’t know if you’ve all noticed, but I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump these last few weeks. Between being so busy with my business and just life, reading some really wonderful books in the last few months, and feeling generally overwhelmed, I just haven’t been interested in much I’ve picked up. Enter Waiting for Tom Hanks, stage left…and I immediately felt pulled into this story!

Annie is a college graduate who thought she’d be further in life, love, and her career at this stage than she has gotten; however, her life hasn’t gone to plan. I must say, I didn’t love her as much as I expected I would, but she was necessary to the story. I wish she’d been a little bit of a stronger character, but I still enjoyed her. I loved her best friend Chloe, though! She was hilarious, down to earth, and totally not afraid of calling Annie on her bullshit when needed! Annie has some very high standards – her ideal man owns a houseboat, after all – and will settle for nothing less! Meaning she is waiting for her own Tom Hanks to show up in her life. I guess she’s lucky a romcom is being filmed in her hometown!

Drew is a very famous movie star who is cast in previously mentioned romcom, and Annie hates this idea of this jokester ruining this movie. So, obviously, she pre-judges him. There’s more to him than she knows, though. Turns out he’s a way better man than the gossip sites portray *shock*. She views their interactions way differently than himself and they take a little while to sort things out. But once they do, it’s magic! I loved them together and felt they were a really great match. AND THAT GRAND GESTURE – BE STILL MY HEART!

There are several minor characters I loved throughout -Uncle Don, Nick, and Tommy, to name just a few. They really gave the story added depth. I truly loved Kerry Winfrey’s storytelling and world-building. She’s a massively talented author, and I cannot wait to see what she gives us next!

This was a cute, fun story that kept me highly entertained start to finish! I just want to read Annie’s screenplay, now!

Definitely a FOUR STAR read for me. Keep reading for an excerpt!


A rom-com-obsessed romantic waiting for her perfect leading man learns that life doesn’t always go according to a script in this delightfully charming and funny novel.

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?

EXCERPT (Chapter 4)

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.

In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.

“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”

“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”

“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.

“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.

Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”

“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.

“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”

I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”

“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”

“Meet what?”

Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.

“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”

Everyone stares at her blankly.

“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.

“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.

Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”

“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.

I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”

“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.

Nick rolls his eyes.

“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”

“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”

“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.

“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.

“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”

“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”

I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”

Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”

As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.


Thank you so much to Kerry Winfrey + Berkley Publishing Group for the ARC.

four stars

COVER REVEAL | On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

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You guys, I am IN LOVE with this stunning cover! Of course, all of Kandi’s book covers have been perfect, so this is just another beauty of a thing. Scroll down to see it in all its glory!

On the Rocks by Kandi Steiner

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publishing date: June 13, 2019

Cover Designer: Kandi Steiner

Photographer: Lauren Perry of Perrywinkle

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Noah Becker is nothing but trouble.

That’s what Mama told me when I was a kid, kicking his pew in church and giggling at the games we’d play. It’s what the town said when his father died and the Becker brothers went wild.

And it’s on repeat in my mind the day I walk into the whiskey distillery where he works to buy a wedding gift for my fiancé.

He’s trouble.

Dirty, sweaty, rude trouble.

No matter how many times I repeat it, I can’t escape Noah in our small Tennessee town. And the more I run into him, the more he infuriates me. Because he sees what no one else does.

He sees me—the real me.

The me I’m not sure I’m allowed to be.

I’m Ruby Grace Barnett, the mayor’s daughter. Soon to be a politician’s wife, just like Mama and Daddy always wanted. Soon to fulfill my family’s legacy, just like I always knew I would.

Until the boy everyone warned me about makes me question everything, like whether the wedding I’m planning is one I even want.

Everyone said Noah Becker was nothing but trouble.

If only I had listened.

A stand-alone, contemporary romance.

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Coming June 13, 2019 to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited!

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2Keav1w

About Kandi:

Kandi Steiner is a bestselling author and whiskey connoisseur living in Tampa, FL. Best known for writing “emotional rollercoaster” stories, she loves bringing flawed characters to life and writing about real, raw romance — in all its forms. No two Kandi Steiner books are the same, and if you’re a lover of angsty, emotional, and inspirational reads, she’s your gal.

An alumna of the University of Central Florida, Kandi graduated with a double major in Creative Writing and Advertising/PR with a minor in Women’s Studies. She started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a diehard hopeless romantic, and likes to highlight all the challenges of love as well as the triumphs.

When Kandi isn’t writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys live music, traveling, anything heavy in carbs, beach days, movie marathons, craft beer, and sweet wine — not necessarily in that order.

Connect with Kandi:

Mailing List: bit.ly/NewsletterKS

Facebook: facebook.com/kandisteiner

Facebook Reader Group: (Kandiland): facebook.com/groups/kandischasers

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kandisteiner

Twitter: twitter.com/kandisteiner

Pinterest: pinterest.com/kandicoffman

Website: www.kandisteiner.com

Kandi Steiner may be coming to a city near you! Check out her “events” tab to see all the signings she’s attending in the near future:

www.kandisteiner.com/events

9 Books about Grief, Loss, and other Heavy Topics

As most of you know if you’ve been following for very long, my family suffered a loss near the end of last year and we’ve really struggled to move past that. That loss has really affected my reading preferences because I’ve really been looking for novels that reflect what we’ve been through lately. I haven’t really been able to read just anything, as per usual. So, I thought I’d write up a post about some books I’ve really enjoyed dealing with some of the heavier topics like grief and mental health, but feel free to give me your suggestions if you have them!

How to Make Friends with the DarkA story about parental loss. This reeeaaaally hit me right in the feels because it was unexpected and so beautifully written. It was one of my absolute favourite books this year!

How it Feels to Float – Also, includes parental loss, but the main character is not quite as bereft as in HTMFWTD. This was also really well done, but doesn’t tackle quite as many topics as the previous. Really worth the read, though!

A Heart in a Body in a World – A book about gun violence and loss. This took me by surprise because I picked it up without reading the synopsis, but it would have been an amazing story either way.

All We Could Have Been – Also a story about loss and dealing with grief and blame, but in no way similar to the books already mentioned. This blew me away because I actually couldn’t figure out what the main character was dealing with, but once the twist is revealed it’s nearly mind-blowing! So good..

My Mother’s Daughter – This book had so much going on start to finish, but was, in essence, a story about how much mother’s are willing to sacrifice and take on to protect their children. It was so poignantly written and tackled a lot of hard themes, such as cancer, parental loss, open relationships, and domestic abuse. I highly recommend this one!

The Truth about Keeping SecretsParental loss, again…are you seeing a trend here? This also tapped into things like mental health and domestic violence, so there’s a lot happening in this novel. Brown has done a fantastic job of it, though. Another amazing read!

See All the StarsI didn’t rate this one highly, but it was a story about dealing with loss and a fatal accident. The topics that were discussed in this were done so well.

Asking for ItAs the name hints, it’s a story about rape and how that’s dealt with in a small Irish town. Basically, a girls life is ruined because of the way she portrays herself and the boys being allowed to take advantage. It was a hard read, but also so well written.

The Last to Let GoA book about murder, loss, and the resilience of children. Sometimes it’s difficult to accept things that happen in your life, but it’s a million times healthier to do so and move forward than to dwell on the past. I really loved this book..

Let me know if you’ve read any of these or have other books you’d recommend to this list! I would love to get my hands on some reads similar to these – especially ones similar to the top two of this list.

Until next time, Wayfarers xx

BLOG TOUR – REVIEW | My Mother’s Daughter by Ann O’Loughlin

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Title: MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER

Author: ANN O’LOUGHLIN

TWs: DEATH, TERMINAL ILLNESS, GRIEF

Two mothers,
Two daughters,
Two families changed forever

The characters:

The mothers: Margo and Cassie – from completely different worlds, but finding themselves in a very similar situation. The daughters: Elsa and Tilly – two girls who share a birthday and who’s lives are about to change. Ida and Jack – The neighbours in Co. Wicklow who become part of the family for several reason, not least of which is their support of Margo and Elsa after their bereavement. There are several other characters who are important, as well, and contribute heavily to the plot, such as Cassie’s husband (hated!!) and father (loved him).

The plot:

What a phenomenal story O’Loughlin has given us in this novel! I really loved this whole book. This is very much a story about how far a mother is willing to go to protect her daughter, and what sacrifices she makes along the way. Both mothers have been put into an impossible situation and are making the best of it as much as they can. The two women, Margo and Cassie, are very similar in that they are very strong, doing their best for their girls, and willing to do anything to protect that. When a detail comes to light that might change their entire lives, the both have very similar reactions. At first, I couldn’t pin how the two storylines intersected, but when they finally did it was explosive! I can’t really talk much about it without giving away spoilery details, but just believe me when I tell say you need to read this! I was shocked at how completely I was drawn in and made to feel like a bystander of their story. O’Loughlin has 100% become a favourite author!

Final thoughts:

This was a poignantly written story that explores so many themes in great detail. I loved Ann O’Loughlin’s storytelling and writing style, so will absolutely be picking up another of her books some time soon. She had me in tears several times throughout the book, but it was so worth the read. Thank you, Ann!


County Wicklow, Ireland. Margo has just lost her husband Conor and is grieving his passing, unsure how she and her daughter Elsa will survive without him. Then she receives a letter that turns everything she thought she knew on its head. Not only has she lost her husband, but now Margo fears she could lose her daughter as well.

Ohio, United States. Cassie has just split from her husband acrimoniously. Upset and alone she does not know how to move forward. Then her ex-husband demands a paternity test for their daughter Tilly and sorrow turns to anger as Cassie faces the frightening possibility of losing her daughter.

A powerful, moving stories of family, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times, My Mother’s Daughter takes the issues closest to our hearts and makes us ask ourselves the most difficult questions – what would we do in Margo and Cassie’s place?

Thank you so much to Ann O’Loughlin, Alex, and Orion’s Books for the ARC.

five stars