Readers' Favorite

August 30, 2016

3 Books to Pick Up This Week

by Susan Roberts


There are a lot of great books coming in this week and next.  Here are reviews of several of my favorites.

cover of The Language of Sisters
The Language of Sisters by Cathy Lamb

I loved this book! I loved everything about it - the characters, the story line, the love and the wonderful sounding Russian foods that were discussed. Cathy Lamb has done it again and written a book with characters who won't soon be forgotten. This book has a little bit of everything - mystery (what was the secret that no one was supposed to discuss?), drama (will the trial end without Valerie being hurt or killed?), love (will Toni learn to love again?), food (what will the special be named at Svetlana's Kitchen tonight?). Most important of all it shows the love and connection between sisters and the entire Kozlovsky clan. The book made me laugh (I loved Svetlana and the food she cooked) and it made me cry (the things that happened to the family before they emigrated from Russian were difficult to read) but it was full of a fantastic family that I loved reading about and will remember long after the book is finished.  I highly recommend this book!

Available August 30
Buy The Language of Sisters at Amazon
(A free book was provided by NetGalley for this review)

cover of Saving Phoebe Murrow
Saving Phoebe Murrow by Herta Feely

Herta Feely's debut novel brings her readers a contemporary story about cyberbullying. I think this is a book that should be read by teenagers and their parents and discussed as a family. It's a real problem in today's social media controlled world and one that needs to come to an end.

Isabel is a modern mother - trying to balance her jobs as a lawyer, the mother to a 14-year-old and a 10-year-old, and a wife along with being on various committees at her daughter's school. She tries very hard to 'keep all the balls in the air' but frequently questions herself and her decisions. Phoebe, her 14-year-old daughter, is starting 9th grade at a private school and after having a bad school year the previous year due to bullying, she and her parents are hoping for the best. Phoebe wants her friends to like her, she wants a boyfriend and to be popular and she goes along with the crowd even when she knows it's wrong. In other words, she is a typical teenager. Despite her best efforts, Phoebe gets bullied again and the results are life altering.

I enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I thought that Phoebe was an interesting person and I found myself pulling for her to succeed. I didn't like several of the other characters especially Phoebe's dad. Bullying by the mean girls in school has always been a problem but social media allows it to be taken to a sinister level. Read this book and discuss the message with your teenagers.

Available September 2 
Buy Saving Phoebe Murrow at Amazon
(A free book was provided by NetGalley for this review)

cover of Karolina's TwinsKarolina's Twins by Ronald H. Balson

Karolina's Twins is a book about the Holocaust. Even though there is a modern day story line going on too, the primary story is about what happened to Lena Woodward in Poland before and during the dark days of WWII. At the start of the book, she approaches a lawyer and investigator to help her find the twins of her best friend from home. She had promised Karolina that she would find the babies after the war but had waited over 70 years to start looking for them. Even though they all feel that it may be impossible to find the babies after so many years, Catherine and Liam listen to the horrific story of her life and try to help her.

The book is very dark, as are all books about this time period, but there are also some bright spots in the modern story line. I found the characters interesting, especially Lena and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It's one that you won't want to put down until the end.

My only complaint is that there is no mention in the blurbs for this book that it is part of a series. There are a lot of references to previous cases that Catherine and Liam worked on and it would have been nice to have read those books previous to this one. I plan to go back and read them now.

Available September 6
Buy Karolina's Twins at Amazon
(A free book was provided by BookBrowse for a review)

Susan Roberts, Reviewer, lives in NC when she isn't away on a trip.  She and her husband enjoy traveling the world, gardening and helping take care of their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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