The Taster by V.S. Alexander: A Review

"It's a dangerous job.  I was nervous at first.  You never know which meal will be your last."

It is Germany in the middle of World War II.  Magda Ritter's father is worried about Magda's safety in Berlin and sends her to live in Bavaria with her uncle and his Spanish wife.  She can't seem to please her aunt, who wants her to find a job to pull her weight as soon as she arrives.  Her police officer uncle pulls some strings to get her a job working directly with the Fuhrer.  She has been awarded a job as a taster.  She must be able to find poisons in food meant for Hitler by smell, sight and taste.  This new position has enabled Magda to learn things about the Reich that has been hidden from most of the citizens of Germany.  Soon, she finds out that the SS has been doing horrible things.  Will she participate in brining down the man who rules the Reich?

This is a historical fiction about Nazi Germany from a different perspective.  And it was quite different f…

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson: A Review

Leia is famous in the comic book world for creating a superhero and has just discovered that she is pregnant after an encounter with one of her fans.  One of the first people that she wants to tell is her grandmother, Birchie, but before she can do so, she discovers that Birchie is suffering from dementia.  Birchie's best friend, Wattie, has been keeping Birchie's illness a secret until Birchie has an outburst at a church function that reveals dirty town secrets.  Leia travels to Birchie's lifelong home to clean it out and find an assisted living facility for Birchie and Wattie to stay in but soon discovers that the women hold deeper secrets than Birchie's dementia.  

I love Southern Fiction and I liked this book but I did not love this book.  With the exception of Birchie and Wattie, the characters in this book really didn't seem southern.  It seemed like Leia really wanted to be southern but there was no true insight into what southern was really like.  There wer…

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

"Soon she will step into her white dress.  She will smooth makeup over her clear young skin.  She will wear something borrowed and something blue.  The musicians will lift their instruments to serenade her as she slowly makes her way down the aisle, toward the only man I ever truly loved."

A woman is about to marry the man of her dreams as he is moving on from his old life with another wife.  The man she loves, Richard, cheated on his divorced wife with her and the scorned woman is so not over it.  We watch as Richard prepares to marry a new woman while the old woman desperately tries to prevent the marriage.

I had a lot of high hopes for this book.  It just did not meet my expectations.  I liked the book and enjoyed reading it but it did not live up to the hype that surrounded it.  It was held up as an intense psychological thriller but the twists and turns, while surprising, were not that exciting.  There was suspense but I found that many of my questions were left unansw…

The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor: A Review

"... despite the best efforts of all the detective's and all the town's men, her head was never found, and the girl in the woods was never put together again."

Eddie and his friends use chalk drawings in different colors to communicate with one another.  One of their chalk pictures will signal that they should all meet in the park while another will lead the others to the woods.  One day, the boys follow their chalk drawings to the body of a young woman that has been murdered.  When the boys grow up and drift apart, they are all drawn back together when they begin to receive creepy chalk drawings again. They begin to wonder if the person accused of the crime was really the person who killed the girl.

The ending to this book shocked me.  I had no idea what really happened until the very last chapter.  There was so much suspense that I felt myself reading another page and another until I finished the book and found out the truth.  I frequently read books that are susp…

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman: A Review

I loved Britt-Marie but Britt-Marie Was Here was not my favorite Fredrik Backman book.  I still loved the book but I have come to expect a certain story when I read a Backman book and this one didn't hit the spot in the same way as the others did.  This book was still a wonderful book, though.

Britt-Marie has spent her life taking care of everybody and everything around her.  She has become invisible until the day that she decides to leave her cheating husband and take a job as a caretaker in the small, neglected town of Borg.  She tries to make the best of it and make her time there as orderly as possible.  She locates a container of baking soda and begins to clean.  When the children of Borg ask her to be their soccer coach, a sport of which she knows little about, she agrees and learns what it is like to be accepted and make an impact on a place and its people.

Like other stories by Backman, the cozy writing style and characters really make up this book.  Britt-Marie was such…

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate: A Review

Rill and her siblings, along with their parents, are river people.  They live on a boat and travel with the river.  They don't have a lot of money but they love each other immensely.  When Rill's mother, Queenie, begins to have trouble during one of her deliveries, Rill's father takes Queenie to the hospital to give birth to the twins and leaves the children at home, with Rill in charge.  Before her parents can get home, Rill and her siblings are kidnapped and brought to Georgia Tann, a woman who brokers adoptions.  Georgia Tann runs the Tennessee Children's Home Society and many of the children that she claims are orphans are very much loved children to alive, but usually poor, parents.  Rill struggles to keep her siblings together while fighting off the abuses that she experiences at the boarding house she is entrusted to.

Avery Stafford is a gifted District Attorney who has traveled home to help out with her senator father after he has been diagnosed with cancer. …

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby: A Review

I love a good book consisting of comedic essays.  Samantha Irby did not disappoint.  I laughed out loud as Irby describes how she hides from children she babysits so that she doesn't have to help with math homework and models clothes for her cat, Helen Keller.  Irby also described her difficult childhood that was a challenge to read but many readers will feel a connection to.  The essays in this book reminded me of the books by Jenny Lawson, another super funny writer.  I really enjoyed the escape that this book gave me and anyone who is looking to have a few good laughs should definitely read this book.

My rating:

Reviews of books like this one:
I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly
Sleepless Nights and Kisses Before Breakfast by Matteo Bussola
Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love and Writing by Jennifer Weiner

This book is currently available and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

This is my honest opini…