Bless Her Heart by Sally Kilpatrick #Review @SuperWriterMom @KensingtonBooks

Bless Her Heart cover

There were only three words in the English language that I hated with all of my being: bless, your, and heart—specifically in that order.

Every Southerner knows what it means when someone blesses your heart, so it’s no mystery why Posey Love hates hearing that phrase, especially after a lifetime of having her heart blessed by someone. But then, her life hasn’t exactly turned out the way she’d planned, either. She thought she would be a teacher, married with a couple of kids. At 32, she was married, had no children, and is a receptionist at her husband’s church, Love Ministries. She’s content with her life—for the most part—and feels completely blindsided when she discovers that not only is Chad having an affair, he’s also mismanaged their money and sold their home without telling her.

With no money and nowhere else to go, Posey goes home to her mother, Lark, whose lifestyle and youthful escapades were the source of most of the “bless your heart” comments Posey received throughout her life. With the help of her younger sister and her best friend, she’s able to clearly see her husband’s true character, and how he manipulated and controlled her throughout their marriage. After years spent following all the rules imposed on her by Chad, Posey is feeling more than a little rebellious. She starts breaking rules for a change—working her way through each of the Seven Deadly Sins—and starts living the life she dreamed of… on her terms this time.

The title alone was enough to spark my interest, but when the blurb mentioned it had “just the right amount of Southern sass” I was sold. How could I resist that?

Posey Love has earned a spot on my favorite characters list. She made me laugh so hard. I nearly died when she took a pole dancing lesson at the Pole Cat… SO funny! That scene is a treasure, trust me. The banter she had with her friend, Liza, always brought a smile to my face. I’m pretty fond of Liza, as well. I could completely relate to the moments when Liza is a sleep-deprived mess because her baby isn’t sleeping through the night.  New motherhood isn’t always pretty, and I loved the realism of all those scenes.

Another character I particularly liked was John. He definitely had flaws, but he was a good guy. I really enjoyed seeing how things unfolded between him and Posey, and I liked that it wasn’t always easy. Whenever there was a conflict between them, it made sense to me that (things I won’t mention) would be an issue for one of them. Chad, on the other hand, was a character I disliked him almost as soon as he appeared in the story. Later on, I came to despise him for something he did. I won’t give away what it was, but he committed a particularly heinous betrayal against Posey that made me so mad, I had to take a moment and say a few choice words before I could go back to reading.

I adored this book. All the characters (including several I didn’t mention above) are incredibly well written and (with the exception of Chad) delightful in every way.  Posey’s growth as a character was outstanding, and I loved the way she was able to take charge of her life and do what was in her best interests, and not worrying what someone else would think about it. While the ending came a little too soon for me—I wasn’t ready to let go of the characters yet—I loved the final line of the book.

Kilpatrick’s writing is superb throughout, creating a fabulous cast of characters that I won’t soon forget. This is the first book of hers that I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. She definitely has a new fan in me.

Be sure to put this one on your TBR list, folks! Trust me when I say you do NOT want to miss out on this little gem—this book is most definitely a book worth reading.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Kensington Books via Netgalley.

 

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Author: Sally Kilpatrick

Title: Bless Her Heart

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction

Published: October 31st, 2017 by Kensington Books

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Book

Laugh-out-loud funny and unabashedly uplifting, with just the right amount of Southern sass, Sally Kilpatrick’s wonderful novel centers on one woman’s journey from unhappy marriage to a surprising second chance . . .

On the day Posey Love discovers that her born-again husband has been ministering to some of his flock a little too eagerly, she also learns that he’s left her broke and homeless. Posey married Chad five years ago in hopes of finding the stability her hippie mother couldn’t provide. Instead she got all the trappings of security—house, car, seemingly respectable husband—at the price of her freedom.

Posey’s mother, Lark, accepts her daughter’s return home with grace, though her sister can’t resist pointing out that being a sweet Southern wife hasn’t worked out as planned. And so, with the Seven Deadly Sins as a guide, Posey decides to let loose for once. Envy is easy to check off the list—Posey only has to look at her best friend’s adorable baby for that. One very drunken night at The Fountain bar takes care of gluttony. As for lust—her long-time friend, John, is suddenly becoming much more than a pal. One by one, Posey is bulldozing through her old beliefs about love, family—and what it really means to be good. And she’s finding that breaking a few rules might be the perfect way to heal a heart . . .

About the Author

Sally Kilpatrick
Sally Kilpatrick

Sally Kilpatrick writes southern fiction full of small towns and big hearts. She is a two-time Maggie Award of Excellence finalist, a Golden Heart® finalist, a Book Buyer’s Best finalist, and a National Readers’ Choice Awards triple finalist. Her next novel, Bless Her Heart, will be released on Halloween and explores what happens when a preacher’s wife decides to sample the Seven Deadly Sins. Sally lives with her husband and two children in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Visit her author website at sallykilpatrick.com or follow her on Twitter as @SuperWriterMom.

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The Power by Naomi Alderman #Review @naomialderman @littlebrown

The Power cover

Men ruled the world… until they didn’t.

In The Power, something has caused the female population to develop a new organ—called a skein—which gave them the ability to deliver electric shocks with their hands. The strength of the shock depended solely on the whim of the one who wielded it—varying between a slight tickle to something powerful enough to kill. In the beginning, only girls had it, but they quickly discovered they could awaken the power in the women with a touch of their hand. Before long, the power was awakened in them all… and the men were afraid. The females were potentially dangerous and must be controlled until “the crisis” ended and things went back to “normal”… but it didn’t end. They couldn’t be controlled, and things were never “normal” again.

Women ruled the world now… and they were every bit as ruthless with their power as the men once were.

How many times has someone said things would be different if women ruled the world? It’s usually meant that things would be better—the world would be a kinder, gentler place. But what if it wasn’t? Alderman thoroughly explores how things would—and wouldn’t—change if the balance of power shifted in this chilling and oft-times terrifying dystopian world.

This book does an excellent job of showing how utterly ridiculous sexism is. It flips the switch, directing discriminatory words and actions toward the men in the story, rather than women. It also illustrates how absolute power can corrupt even those who set off with the best of intentions, and how easily innocent people can be hurt as a result of it.

With scenes of violence (including sexual assault/rape), this book isn’t for the faint of heart. Many of these scenes are disturbing, so readers should be aware of and prepared for that. Even so, I am still declaring this a book worth reading, because it definitely makes you think about how pervasive sexism is this world.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Little, Brown, and Company via Netgalley.

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Author: Naomi Alderman

Title: The Power

Genre: Dystopia, Speculative Fiction

Published: October 10th, 2017 by Little, Brown and Company

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading

About the Book

LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION

What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?

In THE POWER, the world is a recognizable place: there’s a rich Nigerian boy who lounges around the family pool; a foster kid whose religious parents hide their true nature; an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But then a vital new force takes root and flourishes, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power–they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

From award-winning author Naomi Alderman, THE POWER is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways.

About the Author

Naomi Alderman
Naomi Alderman

Naomi Alderman (born 1974 in London) is a British author and novelist.

Alderman was educated at South Hampstead High School and Lincoln College, Oxford where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She then went on to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a novelist.

She was the lead writer for Perplex City, an Alternate reality game, at Mind Candy from 2004 through June 2007.

Her father is Geoffrey Alderman, an academic who has specialised in Anglo-Jewish history. She and her father were interviewed in The Sunday Times “Relative Values” feature on 11 February 2007.

Her literary debut came in 2006 with Disobedience, a well-received (if controversial) novel about a rabbi’s daughter from North London who becomes a lesbian, which won her the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers.

Since its publication in the United Kingdom, it has been issued in the USA, Germany, Israel, Holland, Poland and France and is due to be published in Italy, Hungary and Croatia.

She wrote the narrative for The Winter House, an online, interactive yet linear short story visualized by Jey Biddulph. The project was commissioned by Booktrust as part of the Story campaign, supported by Arts Council England.

Author photo and bio via Goodreads.

 

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land #Review @ByAliLand @Flatironbooks

Good Mr Bad Me cover

If your mother was a serial killer, what would you do? For fifteen-year-old Milly, the choice is clear: turn her in before she kills again. With her mother safely behind bars awaiting trial, Milly has a chance for a new life. But things are hard and Milly often wonders if she is good… or will she be bad, like her mother?

GOOD ME BAD ME is a chilling psychological thriller, guaranteed to leave you wide-eyed and shivering. The story shattered any vague expectations I had about how the story would progress, and gave me something so much better than anything I could have imagined.

Milly is one of the most complex characters I’ve read recently. It’s tough enough being a teenager, but to have a serial killer for a mom, too? How does a kid even begin to know how she should feel and act around others after living with a killer? Confusion and anxiety are Milly’s constant companions, and the sense of dread she feels about testifying against her mother was echoed by my own. What would come out during the trial, if anything, that wasn’t already known? The suspense had me on the edge of my seat as those final days before the trial counted down. I won’t spoil what happens in the courtroom, but there were some seriously tense moments during Milly’s testimony.

As for the ending… holy smokes! I never saw it coming, and and it was even more explosive due to the shock of it. Brilliant… just brilliant!

It’s hard to believe this is Ali Land’s first novel. (How can that be?!) This most impressive debut showcases her obvious talent for the written word, and it’s a story I doubt I will ever be able to forget. What was particularly striking to me (aside from having written such an amazing book) was the way she chose to write Milly’s inner thoughts during times of stress. It made me think of Stephen King… the way his writing style often breaks all the ‘rules’, and yet it’s wonderfully effective in telling the story.

This is a must read for fans of psychological thrillers. Once you’ve read it, I have a feeling that—like me—you’ll be impatiently waiting for Land’s next novel!

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Flatiron Books.

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Author: Ali Land

Title: Good Me Bad Me

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Published: September 5th, 2017 by Flatiron Books

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

book worth reading


Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About the Book

Milly’s mother is a serial killer. Though Milly loves her mother, the only way to make her stop is to turn her in to the police. Milly is given a fresh start: a new identity, a home with an affluent foster family, and a spot at an exclusive private school.

But Milly has secrets, and life at her new home becomes complicated. As her mother’s trial looms, with Milly as the star witness, Milly starts to wonder how much of her is nature, how much of her is nurture, and whether she is doomed to turn out like her mother after all.

When tensions rise and Milly feels trapped by her shiny new life, she has to decide: Will she be good? Or is she bad? She is, after all, her mother’s daughter.


About the Author

Author Ali Land
Author Ali Land

After graduating from university with a degree in Mental Health, Ali Land spent a decade working as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse in both hospitals and schools in the UK and Australia. Ali is now a full-time writer and lives in West London.

Follow Ali on Twitter: @byAliLand

Author photo and bio via Goodreads.