User Reviews

Reviews by SherriT
The Girl He Used to Know
In Tracey Garvis Graves latest book, The Girl He Used to Know, Annika is a high-functioning woman with autism spectrum disorder. Throughout the story, the reader is given an inside look into her life and how she copes with being on the spectrum. Annika struggled with life in a way most of us will never understand. Socially awkward, her experiences with college and daily life was so very different and only underscored how difficult just the simplest encounters could be.

When Annika gets to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has an understanding roommate that signs her up for the chess club she meets Jonathan Hoffman. Jonathan does not mind that Annika is different. He can see through her awkwardness to her beautiful heart, and they fall in love. After a tragic event and separating ways, their story picks up again ten years later when they meet by chance at Mariano’s in Chicago. Annika is the girl that Jonathan never forgot and Annika still hurts over their breakup.

I enjoyed this second chance romance very much, but the book also strongly focuses on the heroine's own personal growth. How she evolves from someone filled with anxiety that leans heavily on others to cope socially, to a woman who has fought for her own self-confidence and the skills to thrive on her own two feet. The book has dual points of view and alternates from the present time to flashbacks of the past in the couple's college years.

This is a unique book written with remarkable empathy. Although this is a fictional story, it is extremely relatable, inspirational, and insightful.
Behind the Music with Daisy Jones and the Six
Told in the style of an oral history, Daisy Jones & the Six chronicles the tumultuous relationships behind the music of a famed '70s rock band. Real-life drama, fame and fortune, tabloid gossip, drugs and addiction - everything you want in a music biography, this book has them in spades. Inspired by VH1’s Behind the Music series, Taylor Jenkins Reid shares the band’s untold fictional story in a way that makes it feel like nonfiction.

Daisy Jones & the Six gives you a backstage view of the epic rise, and agonizing fall, of one beloved rock band.

Since there is no narrator in this story, you are hearing everything from the characters themselves and that gives it a sense of authenticity. The fact that I wanted this to be a real band and even Googled them says a lot about the charisma of these characters and the rich, vivid detail. I devoured this book in 2 days! I was thrilled to learn that Reece Witherspoon is producing a TV miniseries based on the book that is set to consist of thirteen episodes and will air on Amazon Video. For those of you who loved the recent movies A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody get this book immediately!
Grey's Anatomy meets Big Little Lies
Kimmery Martin’s debut novel The Queen of Hearts is an entertaining medical suspense drama revolving around best friends and fellow doctors, Emma and Zadie. Zadie and Emma became friends during medical school and built a strong friendship. Both women are happily married with children. Emma is a successful trauma surgeon and Zadie is a pediatric cardiologist. There is a secret that each of them are keeping about Dr. X. During their third year of medical school, something happened that changed everything. Dr. X’s returning presence threatens to destroy their longstanding friendship.

The story travels from the present to the past in revolving POVs exploring medical school, motherhood, the pressures of being a surgeon, first love and, ultimately, the very core of Zadie and Emma's beautiful and complicated friendship.

The Queen of Hearts opens up a fascinating world and makes it both accessible and exhilarating. The author’s writing style is so warm, friendly, and funny, yet I did find at times that the medical jargon could be too much.

If you are a fan of the TV drama Grey’s Anatomy or Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies this book is a must read.
Mafia, Mystery and More
Lyndsay Faye's book The Paragon Hotel begins in the year 1921 with a young, white Alice “Nobody” James running from her ties in NYC and from the mafia. Aboard a train bound for Portland, she befriends a black Pullman porter named Max who finds her story, life and run-ins captivating. Once in Portland, he takes her to The Paragon Hotel, an all-black residence in the city. Alice soon comes to realize that the crime on the west coast is just as troubling as the east coast when she discovers her new city is a stomping ground for the Klu Klux Klan. As a woman running from the New York mafia, she finds herself a new family of sorts and learns about the many faces of evil and love.

This was a compelling and entertaining historical fiction story about a difficult time in America's past told by a perceptive and likable main character. With a cast of colorful, tenacious supporting characters and a narrative so full of friendship and love, mystery and intrigue, this book is sure to be your first hit of 2019.
Hallmark Movie in the Making
It is that time of year again! Time for binge watching the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie lineup. If you are like me and love the guilty pleasure of knowing there is a happy ending with a kiss under the mistletoe, than you will love Karen Schaler’s book, Christmas Camp.

Workaholic Haley Hansen's idea of a perfect Christmas is a trip to the Caribbean with her sunscreen in one hand and her laptop in the other. She is determined to focus on her career and make partner at the advertising agency where she works. In order to do this she needs to land the coveted Tyler Toys' account. The problem is Tyler Toys represent traditional Christmas values, so as research she goes to Christmas Camp to find her holiday spirit.

Upon arrival at the camp, Haley immerses herself in all things Christmas. Because she must have that certificate, Haley reluctantly participates. However, with the help of Jeff Jacoby, who is son of the camp owner, and the other guests, she slowly discovers the Christmas spirit. Jeff is your classic strong, male character, handsome and closed off. Haley and Jeff’s banter makes for a funny and cute story that was easy to follow and even easier to fall in love with.

This delightful story is light and entertaining and definitely puts you in the Christmas spirit!

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