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.

book blog, book review, dark, noir, women

Woman No. 17

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Crown Publishing was so sweet to send me a copy of Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki. This was the first book of Edan’s that I have ever read, but I do own a copy of California (which I plan to pick up as soon as possible). The cover really got me, I think the colors are so gorgeous, and it looks like a mix between modern and 70’s style artwork. The content of the book was no different, it was also a mix of different ideas, and views into the characters minds.

Lady lives in LA with her two year old son, Devin, and her eighteen year old son, Seth. While working on her next big novel, she has decided to hire a live-in nanny so that she can focus solely on her work. That’s when we meet Esther, or S. All seems to be going well between S. and Devin, they get along like gangbusters, and S. even seems to get along with Seth, who is a selective mute. Though S. seems to be a good nanny, she is also somewhat of a performance artist, who uses her alone time to “become her mother” in a sense. When she’s off duty, she consumes way too much alcohol and attempts dangerous things.

While Lady is creating her novel, she is also trying to find herself. Being a mom for so long has sort of dampened her view of herself as a person. S. is trying to figure out who she wants to be, and between the two women, a friendship grows. Now, secrets are shared, and lies are exposed. It’s a real whirlwind of a relationship. Both of these women have had to deal with relationship issues with their mothers, and fall outs with their boyfriends and husbands. You can see how these two are exactly alike, yet so much different. Neither wants to admit that she isn’t exactly happy in her role, but instead will manipulate reality in order to keep that facade going.

This book had it’s moments of being really good, and had me 100% focused on the story. Then, it seemed to dip away from the plot and more into off-chutes that I didn’t really care about, nor did I have any interest in. I felt myself skimming through those to try and get back to the nitty gritty of the story. If it wasn’t for those pages, this would have been a 5 star book. Getting into the psyche of these women and learning about all of the things that create such complex characters was a stunner. This summer, I have a feeling this book is going to be on a lot of TBR lists! I give this one 4 out of 5 stars.

book blog, book review, chick lit, funny book, romance, women

Mixing It Up

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A couple of months back I did a release blitz for Mixing It Up by Tracie Banister, between then and now I was able to sink my teeth into this lovely novel, and I really enjoyed this treat! Cecily is the host of a French food cooking show, which is creatively named Serving Romance. She loves her job, and her show is on top of the ratings for the network, so she knows that she’s doing pretty darn well at it as well.

Then the CEO of the television network informs Cecily that she will be working with someone new to get more juices flowing and to get a bigger audience, Dante Marchetti. He’s an incredible Italian chef, who just happens to be incredibly handsome and a womanizer as well.

Of course at first Cecily isn’t into this idea, but she wants to keep her job so she stays hush hush about her real feelings. The fact that Dante is always trying to one up her (I also hate people like this!) drives Cecily to almost wring his neck. Their on air antics create a buzz, and the audience is loving their charisma. This makes it hard for Cecily to keep her head on straight, because she loves the attention, but she wants to keep the integrity of the show and herself intact. Can she survive all that the show is throwing at her? Or will she crumble under the pressure?

With delectable recipes, incredible dialogue, and oh the relationships, this book is one that you will adore if you are into romantic comedies, food, and cracking up. It just seems like there is so much depth to each part of this book, and the characters are so real. That is one of the things that I love about Tracie Banister, she knows how to create such three dimensional characters, and you can find yourself in at least one of them.

It was refreshing to read another wonderful book from Tracie, because it always seems that I get lost in her words, she has a way of writing that makes you feel as if you are watching a movie, and the scenes just flow like water. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was exceptional, and it made me super hungry. Thank you Tracie for sending this book to me so that I could read it! If you are looking for a hilarious, creative, and fulfilling book, then this is definitely the one for you. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars, pure awesome.

book blog, book review, dark, psychological thriller, thriller books

A Suitable Lie

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Being a widower, especially with a young son, was hard for Andy Boyd, but then one night he meets the beautiful Anna, and his life will be forever changed. A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone is enticing, engrossing and completely immersing. I felt like I was Andy in this book, and his feelings were my feelings, it was an incredible thing to experience.

When Andy first meets Anna, the two couldn’t be any more alike. It does help that she’s gorgeous as well, and soon the two are married. That’s when the destructions begins. On their wedding night, Anna gets physical with Andy, and not in the way he was hoping. She punches him, and though it’s seemingly an accident, Andy can’t seem to get it off his mind.

Then Anna’s mood starts to change, and she becomes jealous, controlling, and even more physically abusive. Soon, Andy doesn’t want any part of this relationship anymore, and he decides to separate from Anna. That’s when she tells him she’s pregnant, and being the good guy that Andy is, he decides to take her back one more time, he doesn’t want to put his child in harms way, and this could be the only possible way to protect his unborn baby.

The abuse doesn’t end, it just gets worse and worse, until the ultimate price is paid. When Andy finds out a secret that Anna has been keeping from him, his world is rearranged and lost forever. It seems that his marriage isn’t all it looked to be, and now that the secret is out, he has to do something about it.

This book was so intense. I had to take a break every now and again, even though my mind was telling me not to put it down! I was getting so upset at Anna, and at times at Andy, for not leaving this crazy woman! The complexity of the relationship was real, and the fact that the abuser was a woman made for an interesting twist, it just made your heart hurt even more for Andy. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars, it was a real shocker, and a powerful story that I can’t stop thinking about, even though I read it days ago.

book blog, book review, dark, psychological thriller, women

The Day I Died

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Thankfully I am typing this and not writing it out by hand, because after reading The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day, I am a little bit worried about what someone can glean from my hand writing. Would they know I am left handed and always writing as fast as I possibly can Or could they find out that I have anxiety and a fear of bridges? I know that the main character in this novel, Anna Winger, would know that for sure- and she would probably be able to tell I have a short temper, as well as the fact that I’m a mom (She’s that good). Anna has been hired by many companies to get to the bottom of mysteries, just by looking at the way that someone writes, and she has a pretty perfect rap sheet.

Now, the sheriff’s department of the new town that she and her middle school aged son, Joshua, just moved into, has their very own mystery on their hands. They want Anna’s help to find out what happened to two year old Aidan Ransey and his mom, Leila. Could she have taken him? Or is it something to do with his dad, Bo? Anna is determined to find out, even if some of the police officers don’t believe in her “hocus pocus”. While trying to dodge bullets from her well concealed past, Anna is on the verge of a breakthrough with the Ransey case. She’s also juggling her son’s school mishaps, and the football booster team, you know, all in a day’s work.

This book was labeled a psychological thriller, which you may know is my favorite type of book. I really didn’t see it as that, though it was quite dark at points, and the mystery of Anna’s past, it didn’t give me the psychological mind twist that I was hoping for. Anna, through out the entire novel, is running from something, and it seems like it’s getting closer and closer to biting her, but with everything else going on in the book, it sort of had a lackluster conclusion. I guess, I just found the details of the book to be way too into the minutiae, and there was too much going on for me to really focus on one part of the story.

The saving grace for this novel was the whole handwriting analysis plot, I thought it was so intriguing and something that I’ve always found an interest in learning more about. It’s amazing to me that you can find out how a person acts, and how they feel, just by looking at the way they put pen to paper. All in all, this was a decent story, just lacked a few things that I thought would make it spectacular. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars, which isn’t a bad rating, but see for yourself because it’s on sale now!