#BookReview : Judenrein by Harold Benjamin #Judenrein #Thriller

Judenrein by Harold Benjamin
Publication Date : March 25th 2020
Publisher : Intrados Publishing
Genre : Dystopia / Thriller
Pages : 386

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Zack Gurevitz has had a checkered past. A Yeshiva boy, turned Green Beret, turned junkie, excommunicated by his one-time faith and now the potential savior of people he doesn’t even like.

As a white supremacist movement stealthily takes the reins of power in America, it is again the Jews who are made out as scapegoats. Stripped of wealth and citizenship, they are made to live in 21st century ghettos that hark back to a sinister and murky past that many had thought would never return.

But things are about to get much worse. With the revealing of a planned terror attack that will place the blame firmly at Jewish feet and condemn millions to death, Zack is contacted by Jewish leaders in Detroit, begging for his help.

Reluctantly he agrees and before long he is mired in a conspiracy that will have far reaching consequences for his country, the Jewish population and even his own sanity.

As the clock ticks down, can Zack find a way to avert a looming disaster? Who is behind the conspiracy? And can he really trust anyone?

*** Note: I received e-ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to publisher and NetGalley. ***

Judenrein was terrifying dystopia thriller set in 21st century America run by Neo Nazi White Supremist. It was about white supremacy, fascism, right-wing extremism, Nazism, and terrorism.

Writing was gripping, easy to follow, and to the point. Short chapters made it fast paced and quick read. It was written in multiple third person narrative mainly from main characters’ perspective -Zack and Agent Matthews- and also intermittent secondary characters and villain’s POV.

Book started with a man being shot that made me think who he was and why. Next we are taken back 5 days back from where all story started introducing readers to each characters, their current life and what is going on in America after rise of Pete Kasprzyks and how ex-military neo-nazis were now working in government planning terror attack.

Zack was G battalion’s best Jewish solider, now was on methadone program. He saw Jewish being homeless, jobless, penniless and stateless after rise of Pete and country supporting his ‘88wh1te’ white supremist group while labelling every Jewish terrorist or supporter of terrorist organisation. He didn’t know why he was spared from Jewish hate but when he was found by orthodox Jewish leaders at Detroit compound and was given a mission to find out more about attack, things got worse for him.

Agent Matthews was hedge fund manager who made her way up the rank of FBI. She was put on administrative leave after a mission went wrong but she was given another chance through off the book assignment which was from Colonel Hollis Weld.

Now Weld was the one who orchestrating whole performance of terror attack. But how and when was mystery. I was curious to find out what Weld’s plan was, how her and his men were going to use Zack and Agent Mathews and how they both would discover Weld’s plan and stop it.

Zack was amazing throughout the book. He gave Rambo feel, surviving on his own many harrowing situations and discovering villains’ plan as he went deeper in his mission. His encounter with Matthews were fun to read. Agent Matthews was not sure if Zack murdered her partner or not and how he was involved but when her suspicion about Weld and his junkies were confirmed she started believing Zack. I liked the way she found out the truth and how she helped Zack. They made great duo in book. I wish I could see them more. I liked Zack’s friends Wiggy who was brilliant hacker and Rosenblatt, Zack’s childhood friend living in Jews camp in Detroit.

This was plot driven story. Characters were there to play their role. If you want to connect with characters, you would be disappointed. There wasn’t much background story, only enough information about them to keep the story going and to understand their current situation and mental state. But still they were realistic and I enjoyed reading their part in story and made me root for Zack and Matthews.

World was frightening and yet interesting to read. Jews, blacks, Latinos were rounded up in a camp striped off their rights and citizenship after catalysing crisis and making Jews a threat to nation. White supremist were now planning third phase of Reichsadler with ultimate goal of making America Judenrein (free of Jews) forever and non-white free. I was shocked at seeing these supremist repeating history with their extremely racist view and behaviour.

It was baffling to see people electing a racist president and believing all they said throwing their logic out of window. It was all very prophetic and vividly written with a bit about Jews culture and religion. It made me think can this really happen, can people be that stupid to elect such president and believe every word he says and drive their hate towards particular community in name of patriotism? Answer is simple and terrifying, yes or maybe.

Mystery and suspense were brilliant. I wasn’t sure what their whole plan was. Characters were misled along with reader, were put in situations that made me anxious for them and kept me wondering how the hell they were going to stop the attack.

Events before and after climax were action packed and adrenalin inducing. They made me impatient to read all detail on what characters were doing and how they were carrying out action. I just wanted to reach to important point. End was good but also unbelievable. I’m struggling to believe how they wrapped or rather covered whole thing after Zack and Matthews saved the day.

Overall,

Judenrein was powerful, thought-provoking, and fast paced thriller filled with suspense and action packed. I highly recommend this to fans of dystopia thriller.

Book Links : Goodreads | Amazon
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I hope you enjoyed this review. Let me know what do you think about the book, if you have read this already or going to add it to TBR? Have you read a book featuring supremist government or Nazism?

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#BookReview : Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry #BlogTour #DontTurnAround #Thriller @vintagebooks @jazminamarsh @jessbarryauthor

Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry
Expected publication Date : July 30th 2020
Publisher : Vintage Publishing, Random House UK
Genre : Thriller
Pages : 320

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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The riveting follow up to Jessica Barry’s debut Freefall—a controversial, of-the-moment thriller about two women fighting for their right to live.

322 miles of road. 6 hours. 2 strangers. 1 killer. Too many secrets.


Midnight. Cait Monaghan and Rebecca McRae are on a desolate road that slices through the New Mexican desert. They’ve never met before tonight. Both have secrets to protect. Both of their lives are in danger.

When a truck pulls up fast behind them, they assume it’s punk teenagers or run-of-the-mill road rage, but it soon becomes clear that whoever is driving the truck is hunting them for sport—and they are out to draw blood.

As the miles unspool and the dangers mount, the pasts they’ve worked so hard to keep buried have come back to haunt them. Someone wants one of them dead. But which one? And given the lives the two women have been leading, that someone could be almost anyone.

If Cait and Rebecca are going to survive, they’ll have to learn to trust one another—and themselves. But trust is a costly business, and they’ve both paid the price before. . . . 


*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Jasmine @ Vintage, PRH UK for tour invite and review copy. ***

Don’t Turn Around was intriguing, fast paced thriller that revolved around Cait and Rebecca’s 322 miles journey from Lubbock to Albuquerque. It was about social media abuse and trolling, suffocating relationship, abortions and women’s feeling about, patriarchy and people’s judgement.

Don’t Turn Around was written in third person narrative from Cait and Rebecca’s alternative POV with past and present and chapters counting down the miles from Lubbock to Albuquerque. Writing was compelling, tense, and atmospheric with dangers on the road and past that was going to catch up these women.

Plot was most interesting. I haven’t read a thriller that took place on road and in car. It started with Cait picking up Rebecca from her house in the middle of night who was supposed to take her to Albuquerque at the centre of Sisters of Service. At first I wasn’t sure what this service was about and why they took so much precaution and swore the confidentiality but as the book progress and we read the past stories of characters we know what was going on.

First few chapters were all about character building and telling readers what was going on in their life, what happened to them in past and how they came to be in present situation. We don’t see much conversation between characters until the truck hit their jeep and tried to take them off the road. After that hit things started to reveal one by one, we see what Cait was hiding and why Rebecca needed to take Sister of Service’s help.

I was curious to find out who was driving the truck. There were intermittent chapters from other characters of the book created tension and made me think who from these characters was after these women. Past chapters gave the clear idea on why and yet there were enough surprises that I couldn’t guess.

Characters and mystery were intriguing. Both Cait and Rebecca were flawed, scared with what was happening to them and yet they were stronger than they thought. I felt for Cait who was victim of abuse. She wrote an article about it that took her life downhill. I did feel she was making mistake as soon as she went after that musician. She was being honest in article, admitted she went willingly and wrote how she felt violated and yet people were trolling her telling she deserved it and should die! I was shocked at people’s reaction to it. Right or wrong nobody deserve this. The level of threat scared me and made me anxious for Cait and yet she was brave to carry on with her life until everything got worst. I admired her for being conscientious even though she felt rage and vengeance and doing right thing and sticking with Rebecca after knowing her story. She kept feeling guilty for writing that article but it’s those people trolling her should feel guilty.

Rebecca was most relatable character and I really felt bad for her. She was nice and lovely wife who loved her job as teacher in school, her hometown California and her father but she left it all for her single-minded husband, Patrick, who wanted to make career in politics from his hometown Texas. Once they moved there and things started to go left for Rebecca. It was clear she wasn’t happy with this change in life and in Patrick and I was surprised that idiot husband ignored that. Life of politician’s wife was not for her and I felt bad how both Patrick and his manager belittle her and made her feel bad for not doing it right. I wanted to shake her tell her just leave him, you don’t have to do this for him. And then there were many miscarriages and present condition. She was timid, too yielding for my liking. She was sensitive with world’s reality and death of her parents and yet it was amazing to see how a child can make a woman strong beyond her limits. I loved her for sticking with Cait and helping her even after knowing her secret and I admired her for what she did in climax and at the end.

Men in this book were written to hate. Every single men this book thought what they do and think is above everyone, especially women. I hated Ken for passing judgement on what Cait did and about women going to abortion clinic. Mike for driving his anger of injustice and losing love to totally wrong direction, Patrick for thinking he had right over deciding what Rebecca should do about her body and over baby, and that bastard manager who thought he was most clever of all. I hated those pro-life protestors who didn’t even want to see in what condition women went to abortion centre, what it felt to be violated, how it is for women to carry a child of abuse or even worst a child that is going die or born with condition that make child and mother suffer for whole life. It was outrageous to read their thoughts.

Mystery was cleverly written. There were lots of red herrings. It turned out different than what I expected but in good way. I couldn’t guess who was driving the truck until climax. And goodness that villain was clearly maniac and delusional. Last 25% of the book was full of action and chase. I enjoyed reading this adrenaline inducing part. When they came out of it there was another shock. I knew Rebecca’s husband planned something and other men in book but what happened was unexpected. End was perfect.

Why 4 Stars-

My only complaint is he way women fought even after accident was a bit implausible. I mean you can’t just get up and drive after you are beaten badly in such condition.

Overall,

Don’t Turn Around was riveting and fast paced thrill ride with amazing characters and thought-provoking theme. I definitely recommend this.

About author:

Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who has lived and worked in London for the past fifteen years. Look for Me (previously published as Freefall), her debut thriller, has sold in more than twenty-two territories around the world and has also secured a major Hollywood film deal.

Book Links:

Goodreads | Pre-order | Amazon.UK | Amazon.com | Amazon.in
Affiliate Link : Book Depository


I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about this book and my reviewhave you read this book already or going to add it to TBR. Have you read a Road Trip Thriller?

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#BookReview : Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank, Asha Youmans @PRHGlobal #TinyImperfections #WomensFiction

Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank, Asha Youmans
Publication Date : May 5th 2020
Publisher : G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre : Women’s Fiction / Fiction
Pages : 336

Rating: 5 out of 5.
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The Wedding Date meets Class Mom in this delicious novel of love, money, and misbehaving parents.

All’s fair in love and kindergarten admissions.

At thirty-nine, Josie Bordelon’s modeling career as the “it” black beauty of the ’90s is far behind her. Now director of admissions at San Francisco’s most sought after private school, she’s chic, single, and determined to keep her seventeen-year-old daughter, Etta, from making the same mistakes she did.

But Etta has plans of her own–and their beloved matriarch, Aunt Viv, has Etta’s back. If only Josie could manage Etta’s future as well as she manages the shenanigans of the over-anxious, over-eager parents at school–or her best friend’s attempts to coax Josie out of her sex sabbatical and back onto the dating scene.

As admissions season heats up, Josie discovers that when it comes to matters of the heart–and the office–the biggest surprises lie closest to home. 

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

Tiny Imperfection was entertaining fiction that revolved around Josie’s life and school admission season. It was about admissions at private school, drama, love, friendship, and at its heart of all it was about Bordelon family.

Tiny Imperfections was written in first person narrative from Josie’s perspective. Her witty and refreshing voice gave the story so much heart, emotions, and soul. It was set in San Francisco, divided in four parts- First season- that narrated Josie’s life story, about her job, and her dreams and worries for her daughter; Mid Season- narrating hilarious parent interviews and Josie trying hard getting her daughter to apply for academic college rather than art college; Stress Season that brought lot of drama and big revelation at the end; and Next Season which was more like an epilogue telling how things settled down after the storm of drama.

I enjoyed reading Josie’s backstory and her background in first few chapters, how she met her best friend Lola, turns of her career path from nanny to modelling to now 39-years-old admission director at San Francisco’s most famous private school, Fairchild Country Day, and in middle of all how she conceived at 21. She was wonderful character.

Josie was black mom living with her aunt Viv in San Francisco. She was sassy, snarky, sexy woman. Being diverse worked well for her as student and as employee at Fairchild but she had brains along with her beauty and diversity and loved kids and her job at Fairchild.

Author portrayed her personality as ex-model and single mother brilliantly. Her emotions were heartfelt. I rooted for from the beginning. I could see how it must be for her 4-years-old self to accept her mama abandoned her with an aunt whom she didn’t know existed, coming out of spell of big city and money, and coming back with lost dreams and a her own 4 years-old baby Etta at Aunt Viv’s doorstep, left with heart broken and unsuccessful relationships later. I was glad she found job, raised Etta with her aunt and kept her head high.

I understood her wish to secure her daughter’s future by making her apply to best college where she can major in academic subjects and have a high earning job but Etta had other plans. She was best Ballerina, wanted to be professional dancer and attend Art college. Everybody could see that and even Josie but she couldn’t ignore DNA and the possibility of Etta ending up the same as she did at her age. I liked the way she found a third way and made Etta apply to her choice of college and also let Etta apply to college of her own choice.

It’s not always easy when 3 generation women are living under same roof but Bordelon women cared and supported each other. I loved mother-daughter-grandmother banter. Aunt Viv was full of life, wisdom and love. I loved seeing her flirt with Golden Boy, taking Etta’s side and reprimanding Josie. If it wasn’t mentioned I would have thought she was Josie’s birth mother not aunt.

Lola and Roan were best friends one could ever had. Lola was mother of three sons and Josie’s best friend. She worked in rival school of Fairchild and yet that never bothered to their friendship. Their Tuesday drink day after school and their humour dripping chats were fun to read. Roan was gay and Josie’s colleague, her best hire and two worked together on admission applications and selecting right little students and parents like friends. Both created best and fun work place environment that made me wish to join them.

I hated that art director who looked down on Josie, always telling her she didn’t know her own daughter and how to raise her. How easy it was for him to judge Josie! Nina was another character I despised. Clearly, she was not best head for any school and I hated her for taking away one thing Josie wanted to do. I’m glad to read what happened to her later.

Golden Boy, Ty was fun to read. When he entered Josie’s life with his husband for their daughter’s admission, I found Josie’s attraction towards Ty a bit weird. It was smooth in the beginning Josie making a joke with her attraction and not giving it much thought by focusing on admissions and college application but then that parent interview and text banter implanted doubt in readers’ mind. I wasn’t shocked when Ty revealed the truth but it was fun to see where this was going. I loved him, he was total gentleman, a lovely doctor, perfect friend and brother. I wish I could see him more after his big revelation.

Romance wasn’t big part of the book. We aren’t even sure if there is possibility of romance until climax. Best part of the book was application and emails from parents and Josie’s sarcastic replies that she never sent. It was hilarious to read.

I liked the way author showed competitions between parents and how far they went to get admission in private school, how private schools carry out admissions, and that ‘the richer the better’ concept. It made me think how tough it might be for single parents or average income parents to get admission. Momsters fretting over their 4-years-old kids’ admission and praises they sung or activities they made their kids do to make their application strong was baffling. And my goodness, that mom saying, ‘I would die if my kid turned out normal’ was most shocking. At that point I really admired Josie for handling it smoothly because I know I would have snapped at that mom if I was in her place.

Climax was great. I was curious to know what will happen after whole drama with Nan and how Etta’s interview will go. I couldn’t place Aunt Viv’s weird behaviour and when the reason was revealed it was surprising. I liked their conversations afterwards and what Aunt Viv had to say about whole thing and it answered everything.  I loved end and the way things turned out for Bordelon women at the end. A bit predictable but I’m not cutting star for that as I enjoyed it.

Overall,

Tiny Imperfections was laugh out loud, feel good, and diverse women’s fiction with great characters and many hilarious scenes. I recommend this to fan of this genre.

Book Links : Goodreads | Amazon.in | Amazon.com

Affiliate Link : Book depository


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#BookReview : Paris on Repeat (Wish & Wander #1) by Amy Bearce #ParisOnRepeat #MiddleGrade @JollyFishPress

Paris on Repeat (Wish & Wander #1) by Amy Bearce
Publication Date : July 14th 2020
Publisher : Jolly Fish Press
Genre : Middle Grade / Magical realism

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

GROUNDHOG DAY gets a hilarious French twist in this delightful upper middle grade novel about first crushes and friendship when an eighth-grade class trip to Paris goes horribly wrong and the worst day of one girl’s life keeps happening over and over.

Fourteen-year-old Eve Hollis is ready to push through her fears and finally let her crush know how she feels. And what better place to tell him than on top of the Eiffel Tower in the City of Love? But things don’t go as planned, and Eve is sure she’s had the worst day of her life— until she wakes up the next morning to realize the whole disaster of a day is happening again. She’s trapped in a time loop.

Desperate to make it stop, Eve will have to take some big risks and learn from her mistakes or she’s destined to live the most awkwardly painful day of her life over and over again, forever.

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to publisher. ***

Paris on Repeat was interesting spin on Groundhog Day that revolved around Eve and her attempts to break the time loop in Paris. It was about friendship, anxiety, finding courage to talk about your feelings, understanding relationships and real meaning of love.

I haven’t watched Groundhog Day movie but now I want to. Writing was easy to follow, gripping and emotive. It was told in first person narrative from Eve’s POV. I loved the setting of Paris, it was heart of the book and author described places, food and little facts here and wonderfully.

I loved the concept and theme. It started with Eve standing in front of Eiffel tower on the last day of the school trip giving herself pep talk, putting bad start of the day with a bump on head aside, preparing herself to finally come out with her feeling for Jace which give her hope that love lasts forever. But things started to go from bad to worst that brought out buried emotions, and she did something horrible at the end of the day. But next day instead of teacher announcing to pack bags it started the same as yesterday. At first, she couldn’t believe it but then she felt lucky for getting another chance and again it went from bad to horrible, soon she realised she was stuck in time loop and had to relive the horrible last day until she did something to break it.

I was curious to find out what she will do to break the loop and how she was stuck in it in first place, if it was about her being brave, revealing her feeling to Jace or being better friend letting her friend be happy with Jace, or something else.

At first I thought I wouldn’t like this as much as I was expecting with weird first line for middle grade but as I read more I enjoyed it. All loop repetition was written cleverly. Though places and events were the same, author changed things as the character developed with element of surprise. Text never felt repetitive in each time loop.

Eve was 14 years old introvert and nerd. She had a set of rule being military kid so it wouldn’t be hard for her when she had to move to another country or place and start again. She tried her best to be invisible and keeping her true feeling hidden. But when she was stuck in time loop she had to break her rules to break the it and in doing so she discovered many things about herself, her friends, friendship and love.

Eve’s development was the best part of the book. Her feelings were raw and honest. I felt for her. What she was feeling with her parent’s divorce and unrequited love and what she did was genuine and realistic. I liked how with each time loop she realised what she did wrong both with her parents and friends.

Reggie was amazing character. When she knew what was happening after third loop, I loved how she helped Eve and even admitted she should have asked about her feelings and listened to Eve rather than talking herself all the time. I enjoyed reading their conversations and the way they made things right between each other.

I liked the message about love, friendship, and relationship, about- what real love is, it’s never just about relationship between girl and boy, there’s all kind of love and even friendship has a love; divorce is sad thing and hard to accept but one cannot force love and even after trying lot of things to save relationships, love definitely doesn’t last forever for everyone; not everything happens in life the way you wish, it might end terribly but every ending is new beginning if you have courage.

Sixth loop, the last one, was amazing. Eve tried all different things, lived free, broke all her rules, revealed all hidden feelings to her friends and told about her parents’ divorce. With help of Reggie, Sophia, Jace and mysterious palm reader she broke the loop at the end.

Why 4.5 stars-

“I never realised how much the Eiffel Tower looked like a giant middle finger. Standing before it now, I wanted to return the salute.” This first line was not really impressive for middle grade book. Apart from this line there was nothing wrong in the book and nothing like this have said in the book.

Overall,

Paris on Repeat was interesting, fast paced, both fun and sad magical realism fiction about friendship and courage. I recommend this to upper middle grade/teen readers.

Book Links : Goodreads | Amazon.com | Amazon.in

Affiliate Link : Book Depository


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#BookReview : Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin @PRHGlobal #HappyandYouKnowIt #WomensFiction

Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin
Publication Date : May 19th 2020
Publisher : Berkley Publishing Group
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Pages : 384

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A dark, witty page-turner set around a group of wealthy mothers and the young musician who takes a job singing to their babies and finds herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….

After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for overprivileged infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.

There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her perfect life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the cool women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.

Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood—exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women—while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.

*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to PRHGlobal for free copy. ***

Happy & You Know It was dramatic women’s fiction, story of newbie mothers, their playgroup and a playgroup musician who changed everything in their life. It was about motherhood, new moms’ feelings, emotions and mental health, friendship, betrayal, and scam.

Now that I finished this book I really feel great that I wasn’t part of any playgroup or anything that brings loads of competition and make me fret over all milestones. I don’t understand why moms feel they need to push their kids at such young age so that they can do better than other kids or moms! Back to review-

Writing was easy to follow, captivating and emotive. It was multiple third person narrative from Clair, Amara, Whitney and Gwen’s POV. Setting of NYC and houses of rich privileged mothers worked perfectly with the storyline.

It started with epilogue that made me think which mom was running and why and what happened. First few chapters introduced characters and their present life along with the back stories of each characters and how they joined playgroup and met each other. As soon as I started reading book, I knew there was going to be lot of drama. I was curious to find out what will happen in this playgroup and how Clair joining as playgroup musician changed their life and what she did that they might regret hiring her later, and that we don’t know until 60% of the book.

Let’s meet mommies or members of the playgroup- (Amara and Clair were my most favourite characters.)

Amara was not as rich as other mothers, and was struggling with her wailing difficult son, Charlie, who was underweight and was slow to achieve milestones. She felt tired, frustrated, and angry all the time as she was so close to promotion and had to take break from job, because of judging pitiful eyes of other mothers, especially because of Gwen’s endless advices and her perfect daughter. I like her feminist nature, trying to prove the world being black woman in world of men. I felt for her and rooted for her from the beginning. Her worries about not being better mother, missing relaxed and carefree time she had before child, and not having financial independence was realistic.  Her emotional outbreaks and losing control over herself on knowing about the truth was genuine.

Whitney had everything, beautiful baby, handsome husband, money to spend, and was momstgram famous almost like celebrity, but her life was not as perfect as she showed in Instagram. She felt alone and lonely as her husband, Grant, was never there to support, away on business trips more and whenever he was back, they had arguments. He was pompous and arrogant husband who thought he was doing his part, earning money and parenting is Whitney’s job. She had her issues with Grant and I’m not fan of him but that’s no excuse for what she did. I think that was TrueMommy effect but who knows! I might have been okay with it but affair with husband of one of playgroup moms was big No No. I could see how wrong this will go.

Gwen was uptight, rich mom who inherited Brownstone from her parents after they died in accident. Her dad was alcoholic. It had huge impact on her life and biggest reason she chose Christopher as husband as he never drinks. But he had his flaws that Gwen discovered later. She kept showing other mothers how experienced she was and how perfect her daughters are. She was not most likable in group.

Vicki was quiet and dreamy one, lost in her own cocoon with her child who didn’t stay much or involved in conversation. I could relate to her, happy in her own world, not giving f***, just nodding yes or no without arguments and not showing any doubts.

Ellie and Meredith were fun to read. Their inside jokes was funny and I liked their companionship, they fought but also made up. Between two, I like Meredith more than Ellie.

Clair was musician. The band she sang in, Vagabond, kicked her out. We don’t know the reason initially so I was curious to find out what happened. She was wallowing in hurt and humiliation but then her cousin found her job as playgroup musician. Not much but the other option was move back to her parents’ basement in religious town that judged her for supporting her cousin and criticized her cousin for being lesbian. As she started working with glamorous moms, she enjoyed singing for their babies, basked in their praises and also started to know them more. I liked her, she had her flaws, she longed to live better, rich and famous life and she envied mothers for their privileged lives but she was nice.  I didn’t like what she did at Amara’s house but what she discovered was shocking.

I loved the way author explored mom culture and captured emotions of each characters. These moms were constantly trying to be better mother and felt pity for the ones who couldn’t handle their kids, and worst bitched those mothers with others. What I didn’t expect when I started reading the book was so many layers along with the main theme– mental health, rich mothers’ life and their show offs, betrayal, affair, social media influence and its impact in life, race, and wellness program and scam.

“We are all so obsessed with protecting out child, aren’t we?” “That’s how we got into this mess in the first place. We want to paint a lovely picture that we hang over their window to block out how the world really works, to give them these lives. And to do that, we think we need to keep ourselves perfect too. But no mother in the history of the world has been able to protect her child forever. the world barges in through the front door eventually.”

Mystery was intriguing. I couldn’t guess who was behind the scam and how moms would find out about the real culprit. I enjoyed the drama at climax when moms found out Whitney’s affair and betrayal. I still couldn’t figure out why Amara was so mad at Clair who only meant well for them and felt for Clair in getting tangled in their mess. When I read about culprit’s motive for scam, I was shocked. How could a woman can do that! All events from climax to end, mothers’ development and epiphany was best part the book. End was just perfect.

Overall,

Happy & You Know It was entertaining, dramatic, a little dark and deep, and lovable women’s fiction. I highly recommend this to fan of this genre, drama, and to new mommies.

Book Links : Goodreads | Amazon.com | Amazon.in

Affiliate link : Book Depository


I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know in comments what do you think about my review, if you have read this book already and what were thoughts. Have you read any book representing new mom’s feelings and emotions?

Happy Reading!

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