#BookReview: Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

slightly south of simpleSummary:

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

Summary:

What a read. I love that we got a POV from Ansley and then her daughter, Caroline. While there was two other daughters that at first I expected their POV to pop in, I think we got just enough from Caroline and it wasn’t overwhelming or too cluttered at all. The setting of Peachtree Bluff is a wonderful fictional town and the descriptions made me feel like I’ve been there as well. The plot is incredibly intriguing and thought-provoking. Ansley’s back story had me raising my eyebrows, Caroline’s marital situation gave me all kinds of feelings, and both Emerson and Sloane had interesting lives and sub plots as well. I really hope we get a follow up story from perhaps Sloane’s POV next time. Everything was going swimmingly for me and this novel… until the end. I felt like it ended so abruptly but I did see this is the first book in the Peachtree Bluff series so…then it redeemed itself again! I can’t tell you how relieved I was to find that out! I will eagerly be awaiting book 2, and highly recommend you check this one out!

5 stars

#BookReview: The Big Weekend by Libby Kirsch

the big weekendSummary:

You can run. You can hide. Or you can get highlights.

Columbus police make a quick arrest in a murder, but when a tip comes in from someone who knows more about the case than detectives, it’s clear to TV reporter Stella Reynolds that the woman behind bars didn’t pull the trigger.

With lowlifes stealing the headlines, why is Stella’s boss only concerned with her hair? He insists a makeover will help her career, but she knows that a visit to the salon will only get in the way of solving the murder. Or will it? With the real suspect determined to stay hidden, maybe a makeover contest is the perfect cover for catching a killer.

Vicious lies. Unyielding deadlines. And a killer makeover.

Review:

Yes! This series is one of my favorite, and I eagerly dove right into the next installment. I absolutely love Stella Reynolds and the mysteries she finds herself in the middle of are so captivating! Fast-paced, full of intrigue, and an all-around fantastic light-hearted mystery, this was another that I must recommend from Libby Kirsch! And I was thrilled to see we are getting a series on Stella’s friend Janet coming soon – that will definitely be going on my TBR! I highly recommend all the books in this series!

5 stars

#BookReview: Kim VS the Mean Girl by Meredith Schorr

kim vs the mean girlSummary:

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?
Kim vs. the Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, set in 2000, but is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series. Told in the dual perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan), and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

Review:

I am such a fan of Meredith Schorr, and was thrilled to read her latest installment. This is a prequel to BLOGGER GIRL, another novel I highly recommend from this author, and it was simply cute and fun to read. I love that we got both sides, told in dual POV from both Kim and Hannah, and it gave us more insight on characters that I grew to love in BLOGGER GIRL. I especially enjoyed getting Hannah’s perspective and seeing what made her tick and actually a different side of her as well. I breezed through this young adult read in just over a day and would definitely recommend.

5 stars