Gritty, Poetic, and Raw. Centered around a small town in the Bible-belt of Indiana, amidst chaos and drama, the search for a missing girl brings out everyone's skeletons, and then some. The perfect novel for lovers of a good Family/Town Drama. Everyone is here; your misfits, your misunderstoods, your mysterious undercover journalist, and above all: your quick-witted, sassy neighbor.
This character-driven drama is so captivating and real, with an ending that will leave tears in your eyes. You will be thinking about this one long after The End. While it seems to be presented as a Mystery, I would put this book among the works of a Liane Moriarty, in that it is a twisting vine of a tale featuring many views and voices, getting to the bottom of an event or tragedy; therefore, I would categorize it as Literary Fiction.
I laughed. I cried. This one will be revisited, lovingly so! I gave this one ★★★★☆ on Goodreads! Go get it now!
Thank you to Flatiron Books, for the ARC of this excellent novel!
>>In 1977, a group of Meddling Kids, & their dog, of course, unmask the culprit of mysterious happenings and become local heroes. So they thought. Fast forward to 1990, and the gang is (mostly) back together, and something is pulling them, forcing them, back to their hometown and the scene of the crime they thought they solved so many years ago. But it quickly become evident that they were wrong. So very wrong. <<CUE THEME SONG!>> jk
This is a fast-paced, and wonderfully weird novel that had me hook, line, and sinker from the prologue! The first two sentences are so creepy-good that they made me wiggle down into the couch a little deeper in anticipation; I just knew it was the beginning of a story like I had never read before. The wit and humor, the twits and turns, are all excellent and the imagery! You could imagine it in technicolor. The whole concept and story of this book is so fresh and so different; it is so exhilarating to read something that you have absolutely no inkling of what is around the next corner! I could not stop talking about book when I had to put it down! This is where I apologize to all of those who heard me squeal in delight about ghosts, goblins, and sorcery non-stop! But, seriously! So Good! Fans of Scooby-Doo, and off-beat humor: this one is for you! (If you haven't figured that out yet!)
From the Blurb: "With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids taps into our shared nostalgia for the books and cartoons we grew up with, and delivers an exuberant, eclectic, and highly entertaining celebration of horror, life, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn."
I gave this ★★★★☆ on Goodreads. This is a start-to-finish mind-warp, one that I will definitely be revisiting closer to Halloween! Or the next stormy night! Meddling Kids has all the right scares, without being nightmare-inducing or totally lame. It is filled with raw, lovable, real characters that you root for, laugh with, and yell "do not go in there!!" at. This books stands alone and holds its own. Oh, yeah, and a demon spawn, that will guar-on-tee you don't stick your toe in a murky lake, like, ever again. Nope.
>>Do you love a good Mystery? Do you love that feeling in the pit of your stomach when the twist and turns are just so excellent that they catch you completely off-guard? Do you love the excitement and elation of trying to figuring out the mystery before the author reveals all of their well-laid secrets? Do you like bloody tales of doom, perhaps warm and cozy whodunits, or would you prefer to be on the edge-of-your-seat with a detective or psychological thriller?
When did those sensations first hook you? Was it reading Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys in bed by flashlight? Was it the meddling kids unveiling masked criminals on Scooby Doo? Was it late night viewings of Alfred Hitchcock Presents or Tales from the Crypt? Maybe ghost stories by campfire at summer camp? All of the above for me!
Does your spine tingle? Hair stand on end? Do you get goose pimples? Or are you like me, in that you have to put the book down and do a little processing and maybe a chair-spin or book shimmy, when you reach the really good and OMG parts?!
>> IF the Mystery Genre is your thing, or even just something you like to go to every now and then to cleanse your palette, then please join me here every Monday night, as I delve into all that is the Mystery Genre! I am talking the subcategories, the famous works, the not-so-famous works, origin stories, and of course I will be bringing you Reviews and Recommendations the entire way down the rabbit hole!
I hope everyone had a fabulous Fourth and that everyone's Summer is just as relaxing and delightful as ever! Remember when we were off and we hadn't a care in the world? Laugh with me in sorrow as we remember the way back when! Just Kidding! Well, not really, but ya know... #Adulthood
As you may have noticed I have been a little MIA the last two weeks, I am still working out the life-balance of all of this! So bear with me!
But, let's get to reason you are really here: BOOKS! Or is it me?! AWE, you are my favorite!
Tonight, I am going to review three books that came out today! They are Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave, The Perfect Recipe for Love and Friendship by Shirley Jump, and Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza!
HELLO, SUNSHINE by LAURA DAVE
Blurb: "Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.
Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.
And then she gets hacked.
When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.
In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age."
Y'all - I COULD NOT put this book down! This was my first Laura Dave novel, and I as soon as I have a break, I will be reading EVERY. SINGLE. THING. SHE. HAS. WRITTEN!
Sunshine Mackenzie has it all, and then suddenly she has nothing. But what she actually has is far more valuable than the empire her lies cost her. This is a brilliant and captivating story of finding oneself when all you have left is yourself (and maybe the help of an adorable 6 year old, who is wise beyond her years!). Hello, Sunshine is a perfectly-written cautionary tale of how a web of lies will eventually crush you, how hiding your true self will always have damaging consequences - especially when you are in the public eye.
>>I am sure it will come as no surprise to you that I gave this ★★★★★ on Goodreads! This is a fast-paced novel with a lot of heart, with a very of-the-moment message. Pick it NOW!
THE PERFECT RECIPE FOR LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP by SHIRLEY JUMP
Blurb: "Bridget O'Bannon is ready for a do-over. After years of pretending she had a happy marriage and denying that she missed the friends and family she'd left behind, she's headed home to restart her life.
But working alongside her family every day at their bakery isn't as easy as whipping up her favorite chocolate peanut butter cake. Her mother won't give her a moment's peace, and her sister Abby is keeping secrets of her own. And there doesn't seem to be enough frosting in the world to smooth over the cracks forming between them.
Bridget can see the recipe for a happy life- including the possibility of a new romance- written out before her, but first she and her family will need to lay bare their secrets and rediscover the most elusive ingredients of all: forgiveness, laughter, and love."
This was a super-sweet first book in what is going to be a SERIES!, so if you enjoy this as I did, you will be happy to know that you will get more, more, more of this wonderful, crazy family! This was a Hallmark movie of a novel, a quick read with wonderful characters that your heart goes out to. After the death of her husband, Bridget's world is turned upside down. Working next to her mother and sisters at their Bakery is a little more than she can take at times, especially since everyone is trying to comfort and Bridget, and she just doesn't know if she needs all that right now. Thank you very much. #JustLetMeNetflixAlone If you love a character-driven story embedded in a chaotic family, you will love this!
I gave this ★★★.5 stars on Goodreads!
FITNESS JUNKIE by LUCY SYKES and JO PIAZZA
Blurb: "When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin--the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin--her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don't fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman's tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can't help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place?
A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture. "
This novel was darker than I had imagined it would be, but the grit was so necessary. This is a hilarious and heart-breaking tale of one woman's journey to hell and back for the sake of a size. This was a highly eye-opening romp through every fad diet and workout craze NYC has to offer, and she did it all - or attempted to! When Janey's bestie and business partner, Beau tells her to not come back to work until she has lost 30 lbs, Janey doesn't hesitate, it isn't until she has an extreme wake-up call that she is faced with what she has been doing to her body is hurting and not helping, giving her the time to realize that a size isn't what gives a women her power, it is her confidence and self-love, whatever the number on your tag says. This is such an important coming-of-age story, the right book at the right time! And my two-cents: The version of "beautiful" that society berates us with is completely and wholly corrupt, and let's face it - engineered by a man in a suite trying to make a dollar.
I gave this ★★★.8 stars on Goodreads!
Look for the second part to this in a few days - I have more reading to do!