Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around – ARC Book Review

Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around by [Camille Pagán]

A witty and unexpected novel about a woman trying to keep her family vacation—and yes, her life—from going south by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences.

It’s been thirteen years since doctors declared Libby Ross-Velasquez a goner. Yet here she is—cancer free. So why doesn’t she feel more alive?

Sure, Libby’s husband, Shiloh, has been distant. One of their daughters has a serious health condition. And her father’s death hovers over Libby like a rain cloud. Still, this eternal optimist knows she’s the winner of the existential lottery.

But when her forced cheer isn’t enough to keep her family from catching her blahs, she decides to fly them all to Vieques. The Puerto Rican island is where she and Shiloh fell in love—and where she decided to fight for her life after her cancer diagnosis. Where better to put their problems into perspective?

Then a tropical storm strikes. Libby pretends everything’s fine, even as she fears she’s doomed her family. What she can’t see is that the worst disaster they’ve faced may be the best thing that ever happened to them. But first, they have to get through it.

No. of pages:- 251 pages

Date published:- will be published on 11th May 2021

Genre:- Women’s Fiction

Publisher:- Lake Union Publishing

A heartwarming and an emotional tale of a woman named Libby who was declared cancer free. She felt her marriage to her husband, Shiloh estranged and one of her daughter, Charlotte is suffering from diabetes and she is dealing with her father’s sudden death. She then takes her family to an island in Puerto Rico, where she met and fell in love with Shiloh.

This is a quick read, and is based on Libby’s perspectives. I am warmed to the character of Libby, who takes cares of her family particularly her daughter Charlotte.. The real story actually starts somewhere in the middle of the book when the family gets stranded in the island, having stuck due to the hurricane. I like how in the end, despite the differences between the family members get together to survive in the hurricane and trying to find a way to get out of the island. Shiloh’s revelation in the end was heartbreaking (both good and bad way–not going to give much) and overall, it was a happy ending in the end. The writing was good, the characters, many of them are likable and realistic. It was so cute, heartwarming and emotional a bit story. The part about cancer is realistic and I like how the author make the situation as realistic as possible. Several members of my family died from cancer so this book felt a bit personal as well.

Overall, a tear jerking, heartbreaking book that will make you cry! Worth five stars!

Thank You Netgalley and Lake Union for giving me ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Camille Pagán

Camille Pagán is the #1 Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of seven novels, including This Won’t End Well, I’m Fine and Neither Are You, and Life and Other Near-Death Experiences, which has been optioned for film. Her books have been translated into nearly two dozen languages. Pagán has written for the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Parade; Real Simple; Time; and many other publications. Learn more about her work at

The Cookbook Club – Book Review

The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship by [Beth Harbison]

New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison whips together a witty and charming–and delicious–story about the secrets we keep, the friends we make, and the food we cook.

MUST LOVE BUTTER: The Cookbook Club is now open to members. Foodies come join us! No diets! No skipping dessert!

Margo Everson sees the call out for the cookbook club and knows she’s found her people. Recently dumped by her self-absorbed husband, who frankly isn’t much of a loss, she has little to show for her marriage but his ‘parting gift’—a dilapidated old farm house—and a collection of well-loved cookbooks

Aja Alexander just hopes her new-found friends won’t notice that that every time she looks at food, she gets queasy. It’s hard hiding a pregnancy, especially one she can’t bring herself to share with her wealthy boyfriend and his snooty mother. 

Trista Walker left the cutthroat world of the law behind and decided her fate was to open a restaurant…not the most secure choice ever. But there she could she indulge her passion for creating delectable meals and make money at the same time.

The women bond immediately, but it’s not all popovers with melted brie and blackberry jam.  Margo’s farm house is about to fall down around her ears; Trista’s restaurant needs a makeover and rat-removal fast; and as for Aja, just how long can you hide a baby bump anyway?

In this delightful novel, these women form bonds that go beyond a love grilled garlic and soy sauce shrimp. Because what is more important in life than friendship…and food?

No. of pages:- 382 pages

Date published:- October 20th 2020

Publisher:- William and Morrow

Genre:- Women’s Fiction

First of all, as many of you all know, I love cover books with great designs on it and so I got attracted to the cover. So this book has a great cover with delicious looking cake and cookbooks stacked in a corner so I decided to try out this book. There are recipes which you could try out at the end of each chapter.

But this book to me was a simple OK.

The story talks about three ladies–Margot who is facing a divorce and got a dilapidated farm house filled with old cookbooks forms a cookbook club. Trista, who left behind her decorate law career and decided to start up a restaurant is now facing debts and trying to repair the restaurant, and Aja who is a gardener and is trying to hide her pregnancy–the father of the child is a wealthy man and she is working for this man’s mother. The story talks about how these three women reunite together and talks about their friendships and courage together.

The story was a bit boring in the beginning but it got a bit of a climax towards the end. The descriptions of those delicious, mouth watering and yummy foods in the book made me hungry and wished I could eat those foods! Like creamy buns, melting chocolate cake, delicious tasty pasta…I mean I was imagining all those food descriptions in my hand, wishing I could have a slice of each of these foods that were described in the book! The writing was OK–the story was told from the perspectives of Margot, Aja and Trista so we know what all these women are going through and we could share the passion of their cooking and baking. Overall, the only good thing in the book was, I was hungry! The plot was slow, the characters were OK to me but nonetheless, it was an OK book.

Worth three stars!

Poul Anderson Appreciation: Three Stars
Beth Harbison

Beth Harbison is the New York Times bestselling author of “Shoe Addicts Anonymous”, “Every Time You Go”, and more. Her latest book is “The Cookbook Club” is about the relationships formed over the age-old tradition of breaking bread together. Harbison, a former chef and cookbook author herself, included delicious recipes in this latest offering and continues to develop more tasty treats for her friends on social media.

Harbison lives in Palm Springs, CA.

The Moonglow Sisters – The Book Review

The Moonglow Sisters: A Novel by [Lori Wilde]

It’s Jill Shalvis meets Susan Mallery in this gorgeous novel by New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde about three sisters, one small town, a wedding, and the summer that changes everything.

Welcome to Moonglow Cove, Texas, a place where your neighbors know your name and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico lap lazily against the sands. It’s a magical spot, especially in the summertime…

Once the town was the home of the Clark sisters—brought up by their grandmother at the Moonglow Inn. Nicknamed “The Moonglow Sisters”, as children they were inseparable.  Then, a wedding-day betrayal tore them apart and they scattered across the globe and away from each other.  But the sisters have at last come home…

There’s Maddie: smart, sensible, and stubborn. Shelley, who ran off to find her bliss. And Gia, a free-spirit determined to keep the peace. It’s her impending wedding that keeps them together…but Gia has a secret, and when her sisters find out all heck is going to break loose!

The Moonglow Sisters continues Lori Wilde’s trademark storytelling to create an unforgettable novel of family, betrayal, love, and second chances.

No. of pages:- 397 pages

Date published:- March 3rd 2020

Genre:- Women’s Fiction

This book has been in my want to read book list for a while. So when I got the audio book version of this book on Scribd, I decided to give it a try.

Madison, Shelley and Gia Clark are known as Moonglow sisters and each of them have different personalities. Madison has become famous in her own show and live a glamorous life in Manhattan, Shelley after an incident with Madison moves to Costa Rica and Gia came back from Japan and is running a successful kite business in the hometown of Moonglow Cove, Texas. So when the girls’ grandmother wants the three sisters to be reunited a finish the quilt, the three sisters return back to Moonglow cove with secrets unveiled and emotions running high between the sisters…

Personally, I thought the novel was good. The narrator did a good job narrating and I was drawn into the story. The main theme of the story was five years ago, a betrayal had ruined the relationship between the sisters and their relationship got estranged as a result and the girl’s grandmother, who had brain surgery, her last wish was to see the girls rekindle their relationship by finishing up the quilt, which was originally a wedding gift for Madison. The author has beautifully outlined the estranged relationship between the sisters, particularly Madison and Shelley and the story was made somewhat realistic at those emotional turmoil each sister is facing. The story was based from the perspectives of the sister, Gia, Madison and Shelley. The only thing was, the sex scene was a bit weird and it was a bit predictable as what will happen in the end but nonetheless, it was easy and fun, perfect book to read during the summer.

Overall, I rate this book as four stars!

Image result for five stars
Lori Wilde

Lori Wilde is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today and Publishers’ Weekly bestselling author of 91 works of romantic fiction. Her books have been translated into 26 languages, with more than four million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her breakout novel, The First Love Cookie Club, has been optioned for a TV movie, as well as her Wedding Veil Wishes series.

Lori is a registered nurse with a BSN from Texas Christian University. She holds a certificate in forensics and is also a certified yoga instructor. A fifth-generation Texan, Lori lives with her husband, Bill, in the Cutting Horse Capital of the World; where they run Epiphany Orchards, a writing/creativity retreat for the care and enrichment of the artistic soul.

Book Review – My Mother’s Choice by Ali Mercer

After a long time I am back with a book review! Just received an advanced copy of My Mother’s Secret by Ali Mercer and many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for giving me an advanced copy!

My Mother's Choice: An utterly heartbreaking and emotional page-turner by [Ali Mercer]

Nobody talks about my mother. Absolutely nobody. I have no idea what she was like. I’d always thought they kept quiet about her because they were sad. But what if it was because they were guilty?

I watch them at the school gates, all the mothers with their daughters. I see the hugs and all those thoughtful little adjustments to scarves and ponytails. How their love seems to overflow, they have so much of it to give.

And then I walk home to my aunt’s cold house, where there are a hundred rules for me to follow and only a single photograph of my mother to look at.

She is never spoken about in this house. They tell me that it will be easier if I don’t think about her.

It is strange though, isn’t it? That I know nothing about my own mother?

But they don’t know about the diary I’ve found up in the loft. Maybe they even forgot it was there. It doesn’t matter anymore if they won’t tell me anything. Because within these pages is what I’ve waited fourteen years to find out. And maybe some things I wish I could forget.

All I wanted was to bring our family closer together, but could what I find tear us apart instead?

No. of Pages:- 325 pages

Date Published:- 29th July 2020

Genre:- Women’s Fiction/Litarary Fiction

Ali Mercer

li decided she wanted to be a writer early on and wrote her first novel when she was at primary school. She did an English degree and spent her early twenties working in various jobs in journalism, including as a reporter for the showbusiness newspaper The Stage. She started writing fiction in earnest after getting married, moving out of London to the Oxfordshire market town of Abingdon and starting a family. She has two children, a daughter and a son who is autistic and was diagnosed when he was four years old.
Ali is fascinated by families, their myths and secrets, and the forces that hold them together, split them up and (sometimes) bring them back together again. She always travels with tissues and a book and has been known to cry over a good story, but is also a big fan of the hopeful ending.
For updates and pictures, follow Ali on Twitter (@AlisonLMercer) or Instagram (@alimercerwriter), or on her Facebook page (AliMercerwriter).

A beautiful story about family drama and secrets, the lies and deceit. Dani is a fourteen-year-old girl who only vaguely remembers a little about her mother, who is dead. Both her father, Jon and her aunt, Aunt Carrie, with whom she is living doesn’t tell too much about her mother. The only memory that Dani has of her mother is a picture of her mother, wearing a brown colored dress that is on the window sill of her bedroom.

Then one day, Dani discovers a diary, belonging to her mother, hidden in the attic. And while reading her diary, Dani discovers all those secrets and lies that her father and her aunt had been hiding for years from her.

So let’s start with the ones I liked about the book

  • This is the first book I have read from this author and I must say, I really like her style of writing. Beautifully woven, realistically, and engaging the reader into the book.
  • The story is told from the perspectives of Dani and Laura, her mother, when Dani starts reading her diary. You can actually understand all those angry emotions, feelings that Dani as a teenager is feeling especially towards her father and her aunt. Laura’s diary was somewhat a bit sad to read, those emotions she is going through when she discovered something she shouldn’t have discovered, all those inner feelings that she is going through, as her husband is having a daughter from his first marriage and how she is going through with those feelings and emotions in her life.
  • The vivid descriptions of the ocean and the Cornwall, made me feel like I am in Cornwall.
  • The ending was a bit sad and emotional to read for me and there was an unexpected twist and turn towards the end–it was so unexpected that I didn’t even expect that!

Overall, this is truly a heartbreaking, wrenching book, truly emotional and gripping, a page turner. I would give this book a rating of five stars!

Rating Five Stars. Motion Graphics. Stock Footage Video (100 ...

A Woman is No Man- Book Review

Hello all! Just finished reading A Woman is No Man, a debut book of author Etaf Rum and can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all!

A Woman Is No Man: A Novel by [Etaf Rum]

In her debut novel Etaf Rum tells the story of three generations of Palestinian-American women struggling to express their individual desires within the confines of their Arab culture in the wake of shocking intimate violence in their community—a story of culture and honor, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman Is No Man is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.

“Where I come from, we’ve learned to silence ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence will save us. Where I come from, we keep these stories to ourselves. To tell them to the outside world is unheard ofdangerous, the ultimate shame.”

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.

No. of Pages – 363 pages

Published – March 5, 2019

Genre – Women’s Fiction/ Arab American Fiction

Etaf Rum

The daughter of Palestinian immigrants, Etaf Rum was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She has a Masters of Arts in American and British Literature as well as undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and English Composition and taught undergraduate courses in North Carolina, where she lives with her two children. Etaf also runs the Instagram account @booksandbeans and is also a Book of the Month Club Ambassador, showcasing
her favorite selections each month. A Woman Is No Man is her first novel.

“Where I come from, we’ve learned to silence ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence will save us. Where I come from, we keep these stories to ourselves. To tell them to the outside world is unheard ofdangerous, the ultimate shame.”

This is the start of the beginning of the story and a very powerful quote. The story starts with the year 1990 in Palestine, when seventeen-year-old Isra would rather read books than entertaining the suitor and his family that her father Yacob had found for her. But eventually, she gets betrothed, gets married and moves with her new husband, Adam to start a new life in Brooklyn, New York. Isra thought she would have freedom when she moved to New York, thousands of miles away from Palestine. But soon, Isra is faced pressure of producing children and when she gives birth to four daughters instead of sons, she slowly gets into depression, questioning her life and faces constant abuses from her husband Adam.

Almost ten years later, Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter who is eighteen-years-old is now sitting down with the potential suitors her grandmother Fareeda had chosen for her. But Deya doesn’t want to get married–she wants to go to college instead. Though initially she thought Fareeda was right that marriage would give comfort, she soon starts questioning about her inner life–does she really want to get married or want to go to college? Then something changes.

So I will just tell my review in point form.

  • The story is told from the perspectives of three females, spanning three generations of Palestinian Americans–Fareeda, Isra and Deya. Fareeda is Isra’s mother-in-law and Deya is Isra’s oldest daughter. We can get to read what each of them really thinks–why does Fareeda insists of having sons rather than daughters, what really happened to Isra and what Deya will choose about her future and what decision she is going to make.
  • The book is unputdownable! I couldn’t stop reading the book and got so engrossed into the book. As such I truly enjoyed reading the book!
  • The book is realistic–what type of life the women, particularly in the Arab community is facing. Shame is something these women cannot say out aloud. And even if the man beats his wife, sometimes for no reason, the wife thinks because she was at fault that he was beating her, which is NOT an excuse for the husband to beat one’s wife. You can also see how much struggles a woman face- especially when raising children, the pressure of having children, the pressure of giving sons instead of daughters, how women are controlled by their fathers and later on husbands, never really have any freedom to talk. How women are practically shunned in the community–one dishonorable act would put the woman into shame and out of the community. As I said, this is common in the Arab community but not just in the Arab community–it is common in other cultures too. But the author also did a good job of balancing that not all Arabs are as close minded as some of them in the community which gives you a relief. In the book, some women like Sarah and Deya are not afraid to stand up against their culture and ideologies but women like Isra, though want to be against the culture is not very brave enough to do so, which makes it sad.
  • This story is apparently based on the real life experiences of what the author had faced during her childhood and her marriage so makes the book more interesting to read.
  • I like how the author described how the American culture clashes with the Arab culture–in the scene with Sarah and her mother Fareeda, as Sarah has become Americanized and Fareeda wants her daughter to be more Arab. To be honest, this cultural clash doesn’t happen not only among Arabs but in other immigrant communities too. I know I lived in America for five years and there was a time when my parents were not very keen of me adopting too much towards American culture and less towards my own culture Sri Lankan.
  • Besides this realistic things, it was actually interesting to learn about the Arab culture–its’ cuisine (I like the description of how Isra prepares dinner) and some Arab words.
  • I like the sisterly bond between Isra and Sarah, how they both shared the love of reading books and I like how Sarah would sneak some books to Isra for her to read. When reading Fareeda’s part, despite Fareeda angry that Isra didn’t produce any sons, you can see the softer side of Fareeda, how she in fact likes Isra more than her other daughter-in-law, Nadine.
  • I like how Deya turns out to be more like Sarah and the growing relationship between Deya and Sarah.
  • The author has written the book in a simple way, making the reader to understand and did a good job of making the reader to be a part of the story.
  • I think I feel sorry for Isra about how the life changed drastically for her after her marriage. Technically, she was just a child when she got married.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. This book is actually emotional to read, learned more about the Arab culture and technically a book you can’t actually put down! Worth five stars!

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Seven Books I want to Read

Hey all! So I don’t have any reviews today so I decided to share with you the seven books I want to read. Each week, I will be posting “Seven Books I want to Read” so I can share with you the books I have in my mind and hoping to read someday.

Today, I am going to list out the seven books in women’s fiction or romance genre that I want to read.

  1. The Worst Best Man – Mia Sosa
The Worst Best Man: A Novel by [Mia Sosa]

This is one of the books I want to read. Though I am not much of a romantic genre fan, I think I like the plot of the story. Oh, I like the cover of the book too.

2. Fix Her Up- Tessa Bailey

Fix Her Up: A Novel by [Tessa Bailey]

Another book that had been in Want to Read book list for quiet a while. Again, the plot line sounds interesting and the book cover is really cool.

3. If I never Met You- Mhairi McFarlane

If I Never Met You: A Novel by [Mhairi McFarlane]

Seems like a good funny book with a romantic twist in it, I want to read this book!

4. Grown Up Pose- Sonya Lalli

Grown-Up Pose by [Sonya Lalli]

Though not really rated five stars, this book sounds great to read, particularly about how a woman, from the Indian culture, had to deal with the divorce and didn’t want to upset her parents because of the divorce. Something like that.

5. The Leaving of Things – Jay Antani

The Leaving of Things by [Jay Antani]

Cultural clash, changes from American culture to Indian culture, the story sounds interesting and intriguing to me.

6. Forever is the Worst Long Time- Camille Pagan

Forever is the Worst Long Time: A Novel by [Camille Pagán]

I like the book cover most of all and the rating seemed to be favorable, so this is going to be in the want to read book list!

7. Last but not least Everything You Are- Kerry Anne King

Everything You Are: A Novel by [Kerry Anne King]

First of all, I like the book cover. Second of all, the plot line is good and third of all, the ratings for this book is great! So this book is my want to read book list.

So what do you think of my choices?