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Book Review: Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

Tell Me Lives by Carola Lovering 


When I read that this has been compared to the Luckiest Girl Alive and Jessica Knoll and Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler, I knew I would love it! 

Here's the Synopsis: A thrilling, sexy coming-of-age story exploring toxic love, ruthless ambition, and shocking betrayal, Tell Me Lies is about that one person who still haunts you—the other one. The wrong one. The one you couldn’t let go of. The one you’ll never forget.

Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.

Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. Deep down, Lucy knows she has to acknowledge the truth about Stephen. But before she can free herself from this addicting entanglement, she must confront and heal her relationship with her mother—or risk losing herself in a delusion about what it truly means to love.

With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should

I completely devoured this book! It's the kind of story you talk about with your girl friends. If you have a book club that likes to drink wine, this is THE BOOK you need to read together. Pop some Rosayyyy and let the gossip begin! It's the most relateable book I have read in a long time. It's honest and unapologetic and  I love the attitude and spunk of the characters. 

This won't take a lot of brain power so to me, it's a great book to pack in your beach bag. You'll recognize a lot of different versions of a 25 or 30 year old you, because every woman goes through some of the emotions that Lucy goes through. And for a summer read, you know you have something a little steamy, so this book has that covered too! 

Thank you to Atria books for my copy #partners 

Book Review for The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Book Review for The Book of Essie by 

We all know reality TV isn't real but the idea that it's not only unreal, it's down right manipulative, strategized and fake is somewhat disappointing, even if I secretly know that the way it works. No family has been ever been more "fake" on their reality show than the Hicks family, whose "Six for Hicks" show has made them millions, and famous. 
(I couldn't help but think of the Duggars as I read this)

The strong willed daughter, Essie is pregnant. Just a teenager, her mother knows that this is not going to sit well with their millions of fans and having an unwed, pregnant teen will not go over well with their fire-and-brimstone religious following that they've acquired over the years preaching in their church. Essie's pregnancy sets a plan in motion though and soon, everything in her life is about to change. She's played "the game" so well that the people who have been hurting her have no idea what's about to happen. She's seeking vindication on abuse that has been happening for years, and she suspects, is the reason her older sister fled their family years ago and has never been heard from since.

Essie needs to escape the grip her family has on her and the suffocating lies that are restricting her future. She is pregnant, so her mother forms a plan: she will marry right away, even if it's not to the father of the child and pass off the child as his. It's an unsuspecting classmate named Rourke whose parents agree to let their son marry Essie under desperate circumstances. Rourke is totally against everything the Hicks stand for and is not happy with the arrangement, but he has secrets of his own and maybe marrying Essie will be the answer he needs.

Her mother thinks she is solving the "problem" by piling up more lies upon lies, trying to protect the empire she has built around her reputation of a God-Fearing woman. Those lies are stacking up too high and soon will come tumbling down. 

You'll go through many emotions as you read this book: fear, disgust, distrust, compassion and understanding. When a book evokes that much emotion, I know it's well written and worth of a rave review.

There's some unsettling topics in this book so if you are sensitive to topics like abuse, it's not the book for you. It's not graphic but still upsetting. However, I do think it's very important to read about these topics because it shows the importance of giving women a voice so they are not afraid to tell their stories and admit that they are victims, not be complacent or deserving of any type of abuse.

I received a review copy from Alfred Knopf Publishing in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. 

Book Review: The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable

Whatever your political leanings, you don't need to be a democrat or a republican to know what love feels like. So don't be afraid that this book is just another look at the famous JFK and his affairs. It's so much more and honestly, it left me quite sad but I'm still so happy to have experienced the world through the eyes of Alicia Corning Clark.

I am familiar with JFK's reputation, but I have never delved into the background of his family. About 4 chapters into The Summer I Met Jack, I went to the library for several biographies in order to keep all of the characters straight. The Kennedys are fascinating and Michelle Gable does a fabulous job bringing their characters to life on the page.

Alicia Darr is a Polish immigrant who was forced to flee to America after the war. She secretly has dreams of becoming an artist and realizing the American dream. That dream came in the form of a young congressman, whom she met while working at a movie theater. They pursue each other in a feverish, desperate way that made me happy and sad all at the same time. Because we know how it ends: JFK marries the poster wife, Jackie and no one has ever heard of Alicia Corning Clark. So going into the book, I knew the ending but I was still so fascinated about Alicia's side of the story: She and JFK have an on and off again, passionate affair for years, all the while, he is climbing both the celebrity and the political ladder. She stays behind the curtain, though, due to her immigrant and religious background and the Kennedy family makes sure she stays there.

Alicia's future with Jack is sealed when Joe Kennedy refuses to let them marry after Alicia reveals that she is Jewish. What follows is a lifetime of secrets, heartbreak and intrigue, as the world continues to revolve around the Kennedys and Alicia is forced to live her life without her first love.

The book is based on true events and documents back up some of the claims that Alicia made, but other rumors are left open to interpretation, including whether or not JFK may have had other children, who killed Marilyn Monroe and how much it costs to keep someone quiet. You will love the glittering description of Hollywood and celebrities in the 1950s.

If JFK really loved Alicia like this story depicts, then he must have been the most heartbroken man in the world behind that dazzling, famous smile. 

They chased and ran from each other for years, but actions speak louder than words and JFK gave up everything in order to fulfill his family's dream of having a Kennedy in The White House. Thus, Alicia is forced to live a life completely different from the one she imagined when JFK promised her the world.

I was enthralled with this story and I will recommend it one hundred times over. You always hope for a happy ending but when it doesn't, the story leading up to that ending is still worth knowing.

My favorite line is from JFK:

"It doesn't matter what city we're in. When I see you, it's like coming home."