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The Playground

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This may sound super silly, but I truly love books that I would consider “mama drama”. Books about motherhood, or about moms just having a time, so I knew The Playground by Jane Shemilt was going to be right up my alley, however I was still very surprised at how amazing this book actually is!

Three families come together one summer while their children are seeing the same tutor. First there is Eve, who is what you may consider a “trophy wife”, she has it all, the wealthy husband, the three kids, the home, etc. Then there is Melissa, who is hiding the fact that her husband abuses her, plus Grace, who lives with her two children and her author husband-whose always broke.

As the families get closer throughout the summer, you’ll see how the children begin to mirror the actions of their parents-in ways that may surprise you. Plus, the parents become so involved in their own lives (as well as those of the other parents) that they forget their children need to be parented. Then, one night something terrible happens. Something that will change their lives forever.

This book truly has something in it for everyone, there’s humor, drama, a little bit of thriller. This was just the perfect story to sit down with on these cold winter nights and lose myself in the story. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, really fun to read!

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Body Leaping Backward

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Body Leaping Backward is a gorgeously written memoir of a girlhood that wasn’t quite so pure, as much as the author, Maureen Stanton’s mother would have hoped. This is an anxiety inducing look into the life of Maureen from when she was a tween to early adulthood.

This is when most of us are at our worst, and Maureen was no different. She rebeled, lied, held in her feelings, and ultimately learned to pick herself back up and move on with her life. There are stories in this book that will leave your jaw on the floor, and stories that will have your fist pumping in the air for Maureen.

You’ll discover that you are probably like Maureen in many ways, and that is why I believe she wrote this book. To show us all that we’re not so different, we all struggle, and the point is to forgive ourselves and learn from our mistakes.

Reading this book changed me for the better, I learned the things that Maureen learned, and I didn’t have to do the hard part of living through it. If you are looking for a beautifully written memoir that will take your breath away, definitely go and check out this book! I give it 4 out of 5 stars, a definite gem.

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Every Stolen Breath

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You can quote me now, Every Stolen Breath will be the book of the year! If you haven’t picked up this incredibly addicting novel by Kimberly Gabriel yet, then you need to head on out to the bookstore right now! 

The opening places us right in the middle of a large crowd. Already the anxiety has taken over. The main character, Lia, is scanning her surroundings. She knows someone is out to harm the innocent people in the crowd. She just doesn’t know who’s safe and who is evil. The Swarm killed her dad, and she’s positive she’s next in their list. 

You’d think The Swarm was some type of chemical warfare, drug, or anonymous assassinator, but in fact, The Swarm is a flash mob. The Swarm has figured out how to take over public areas and city streets in order to murder someone without anyone finding out how or who did it. 

Lia’s fascination with the swarm and the ever-present Freud from her father’s death leads her to a close encounter with the enemy. She then bands together with a boy she’s pretty sure saved her life, and together they want to find out the truth. 

There is heart-pounding action, heart-stopping suspense, and a killer storyline in this amazing YA thriller! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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If Only I Could Tell You

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Okay, so. I have to be honest with you. I am very very mad at Hannah Beckerman, the author of this book If Only I Could Tell You. I was an unsuspecting victim in the crime that she has committed. I was not expecting to bawl my eyes out reading this book. Oh, but not only that. I also got very angry, hurt, and happy while reading this book. Yes, that’s right Hannah Beckerman, I have a bone to pick with you. Your book was just too good. You made me feel my own feelings!

In all seriousness, though, this book was beyond incredible. Aside from the frustration that I felt with the emotional roller coaster, this book about mother/daughter and sister relationships was beautiful, absorbing and one of my instant all-time favorites.

Jess and Lily haven’t spoken for most of their life. Something happened a long time ago that Jess will no longer speak of, but whatever it was, Jess thinks it was Lily’s fault. Now, their mother, Audrey has been diagnosed with stage four cancer. Her life is ending soon, and the last wish she has is for her daughters to finally become a family- and for her granddaughters to meet and love each other.

The perspective flipping and the timeline change made this book so enjoyable to read. There was never a dull moment! The shocking twist at the end will wrap your stomach in knots as well! I really wish I could say more about this book, but to be honest, this is one that you must go into not knowing much-trust me it’s way better.  You’ll love the character development and the suspense of it all, I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, great for those cold wintery days!

book blog, book review, chick lit, funny book

Family Trust

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Stanley Huang has just received the news that he has pancreatic cancer. He’s lived a wonderfully interesting life, with two marriages under his belt, as well as a couple of kids. That doesn’t mean everything will be all good once he dies, Stanley knows he needs to get his affairs in order, but what happens when his children’s inheritance isn’t all that they thought it would be? Family Trust by Kathy Wang is a hilarious and real-life look into the average Asian-American family.

If you’re thinking this is going to be the next Crazy Rich Asians you may be pleasantly surprised that it’s not much like that book at all. Although I liked Crazy Rich Asians, I had a hard time identifying with the characters because, well, I’m not crazy rich. However, in this book, the Huang family is your typical Silicon Valley family, one with secrets, lies, and regrets mixed in with the fun family moments we all live for.

Each character in the family has their own ways of dealing with the impending death of Stanley, as well as their individual personality that shines like a diamond. Fred, Stanley’s son, hopes that the inheritance he’s bound to gain after the death of his father will help him recover from his lack of work ethic. His daughter, Kate, thinks there’s more to life than the small family she’s helping to raise but isn’t sure how to get what she really wants.

Then there’s Stanley’s wife and ex-wife. You’ll just have to wait and see how they act in this hilarious novel. The situations that this family gets put into are believable yet create one humorous last days of life for Stanley. If you are in the mood for a funny book with a slightly morbid undertone, then definitely go pick this book up, it’ll be perfect for a weekend read. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a lot of fun to read, and the characters were entertaining.

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Photo by Nina Subin

About Kathy Wang

Kathy Wang grew up in Northern California and holds degrees from UC Berkeley and Harvard Business School. She lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two children.

Visit Kathy’s website and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.