WWW Wednesday: April 1

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

I purchased all of these books through Book of the Month! I love being part of this subscription service!

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
So far I’m enjoying the dialogue between Chloe and her family! The relationship between Chloe and the handyman gets off on rough ground…it’s going to be fun to find out how their link progresses!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
I really enjoyed this story about a woman learning how to start over after the loss of a loved one. This book was equal parts emotional and lighthearted!

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
I’m glad that this book chosen for the Literally Dead Book Club! A thriller set in New York City…I’m all in!


‘The Two Lives of Lydia Bird’ by Josie Silver/A Review

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Length: 369 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Hardcover (purchased through Book of the Month)
Release Date: March 3, 2020

Synopsis:
Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible.

But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life–and perhaps even love–again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

My Thoughts:
When Josie Silver’s new book The Two Lives of Lydia Bird became available for purchase, I immediately picked it up! I loved reading her debut novel One Day in December, and I was ready to enjoy another tale revolving around friendship and romance while enduring life experiences!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird begins with loss–Lydia Bird is struggling to live without her fiance Freddie Hunter, who was killed in a car accident. One evening, Lydia discovers that she can enter a world in which Freddie still exists. The story then takes us through Lydia’s life as she lives between these two worlds. The grieving process of losing a loved on can be extremely difficult and painful, yet Lydia’s grieving is placed on pause as she continues (in a sense) to have a life with Freddie. Both worlds are vastly different, and Lydia struggles to gain a sense of who she is as an individual throughout the experience.

Lydia is also struggling to repair her friendship with Jonah Jones. Jonah is both Lydia’s lifelong friend and Freddie’s closest companion. Since Jonah was with Freddie at the time of his death, he is also enduring his own grief as he continues life without him. Both Lydia and Freddie are also grieving the loss of the bond they shared throughout their lives. They make attempts to repair the bond they previously shared, yet the personal tie to Freddie makes things doubly complicated!

There is also a delightful cast of characters in this story, as Lydia’s family and co-workers ensure that she is not alone while navigating the grieving process. There are some unexpected turns in this tale, and Lydia faces some difficult lessons while learning to discover what she truly wants for herself!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a wonderful story of a woman seeking to find her true self while navigating the stages of grief. It is a great depiction of Lydia’s desire of wanting her fiance to be remembered, while rediscovering the meaning of life. I highly recommend it!

Rating: 5/5 Stars



WWW Wednesday: March 25

WWW Wednesday was originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm, and now maintained by Taking on a World of Words.

There are three prompts for WWW Wednesday:
–What are you currently reading?
–What did you finish recently reading?
–What do you think you’ll read next?

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
So far I like reading about Lydia’s ‘dual’ life, so to speak! I’m halfway into the novel, so I suspect things are going to get pretty complicated!

Berried in the Past (Cranberry Cove Mystery #5) by Peg Cochran
Thank you NetGalley for this wonderful eARC! I enjoyed this lovely mystery novel set in small town Michigan! It was filled with an eclectic cast of characters and delicious recipes!

Out of the Embers by Amanda Cabot
Thank you Revell for the complimentary copy! I really loved reading this historical romance set in 1850s Texas. It was a heartwarming tale!

You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
This book is the April selection of the Literally Dead Book Club! I’m glad that Book of the Month offered this story as one of their choices to purchase!

Book Review: ‘The Other People’ by C.J. Tudor

‘The Other People’ by C.J. Tudor
Length: 327 pages
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: No
Release Date: January 28, 2020

Synopsis:
Driving home one night, stuck behind a rusty old car, Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window. She mouths one word: ‘Daddy.’ It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.

He never sees her again.

Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights traveling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them. Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter.

Then, the car that Gabe saw driving away that night is found, in a lake, with a body inside and Gabe is forced to confront events, not just from the night his daughter disappeared, but from far deeper in his past.

His search leads him to a group called The Other People.

If you have lost a loved one, The Other People want to help. Because they know what loss is like. They know what pain is like. They know what death is like.

There’s just one problem . . . they want other people to know it too.

My Thoughts:
I read ‘The Other People‘ as part of the Literally Dead Book Club‘s February selection. This is a book club that follows Thriller and Horror listings, so I was immediately drawn to the selection listed!

As I was reading The Other People, I loved how C.J. Tudor drew me in to the characters. Each person listed has some form of flaw in character. They’ve endured some form of horror in their lives, and want vengeance in some degree. Gabe is a man who wants revenge for the disappearance of his wife and daughter, yet he also has a dark past of his own. His connection with Fran and Alice (other central characters in the book) seems like random strangers fighting their personal struggles, yet as the layers are peeled back, Fran has a deep-seeded secret of her own.

I also loved finding out details of ‘The Other People’ as Gabe’s search for his lost daughter intensifies. Their presence within the dark web–and their backstory–adds a chilling factor to the tale. Gabe’s reluctance in delving into The Other People is overshadowed by his need to find his daughter Izzy, and the deeper he searches, the more shocking secrets he uncovers. The reveal towards the end of the story was a bit unexpected, but I appreciated the surprise!

The Other People was a fun read filled with chilling moments. If you like stories with a Black Mirror edge to it, then this would be the book for you!

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Books on Feminism that I Enjoy

While watching Steve Donoghue’s channel on BookTube, I learned that Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ is being re-released, along with a new cover. I loved reading ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ in college. It was for a Women’s Studies course (I minored in Women’s Studies at Seton Hall…a long time ago). I didn’t read the book in its entirety, but I enjoyed the content that I did read for the class. I loved all the courses for that minor, the faculty was more approachable to speak with than some of the professors in my major.

I also recall reading ‘Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls’ by Mary Pipher. It wasn’t for a class, but I was always into reading stories about ongoing women’s issues. This book documents the ongoing plight of teenage girls as they repeatedly fall into the plight of body image, peer pressure, and depression. Strong bonds are vitally important in ones life, yet women are constantly pressured to turn against each other, leading toward lasting emotional issues. It also shares the struggles women endure in mother/daughter relationships, wisdom clouded by the need for instant gratification.

I also enjoyed Angela Y. Davis’s ‘Women, Race, and Class’. This is a powerful book that documents the women’s movement throughout the decades, with a focus on the struggles women of color endured in order to gain equal recognition alongside their White American counterparts. I recall reading about the honorable figures within the suffrage movement during my college courses, and was surprised to learn that there were conflicts women of color faced, when all women were fighting to achieve the common goal of equal rights. It was an revealing, eye-opening experience.

March 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

For the month of March, I read 6 books. One was an audiobook, one was an eARC through NetGalley, three were library books, and one was a Barnes & Noble purchase.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
462 pages
Book 2 of Ketterdam Duology

I gave this story 5 Stars. I picked up Six of Crows through the local library. I really enjoyed how diverse the characters were in this book, and I enjoyed how inventive Kaz and the Dregs got while pulling off their heist. The female characters were also very strong and lovely to read.

Is There Still Sex In the City? by Candace Bushnell
Publisher: Grove Atlantic Press
272 Pages
Publication Date on August 6, 2019

I gave this book 4 Stars. I received this book as an ARC through NetGalley. This story follows the struggles of dating while living through your 40s and 50s. Candace delivers the adventures of her friends with brutal honesty, while adding her own unique humor that was her trademark in the Sex and the City series.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Ballantine Books
368 Pages

I read this story as an audiobook through Audible, and I’m so glad I purchased it through this format! Listening to the characters speak about their adventures in music and life felt like I was listening to a rock documentary. I’m equally excited that this book is being turned into a mini-series, since it brings the chance of The Six’s songs coming to life. I gave this book 5 Stars!

Minion by L.A. Banks
Publisher: Saint Martin’s Press
286 pages
Book 1 of the Vampire Huntress series


(cover is pictured at the top photo)
I also received this book at the local library. I gave this book 4 Stars. This tells the tale of Damali Richards, a young women who is destined to become a Neteru, a powerful vampire huntress, upon her 21st birthday. The book begins a short time before Damali undergoes her awakening, as her Guardians fight to protect her from an unknown evil that proves stronger than any vampire they’ve come across. ‘Minion’ largely sets up the major plot line for the next installment of the series, but I appreciated catching up with the story.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzar and Bray
444 pages


I gave this book 4 Stars. I purchased ‘The Hate U Give’ through Barnes & Noble. It tells the story of Starr Carter, a 16 year old girl who is the sole witness of the murder of her best friend Khalil. This book does a wonderful job of taking on the issue of discrimination and police brutality with raw honesty. Starr strives to finds her voice within her community and the school she feels restricted in.

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Publisher: Doubleday Books
322 Pages


I gave this book 4 Stars. This was the third book that I received from my local library. I appreciated the adult take towards the Scooby Doo gang stories. The group has different names in this book, yet their excitement in taking on their a case takes on a hint of nostalgia towards the television series it takes from. It takes on an adult tone though, as the dark humor and jump-scare moments indicate.

Professional Reader