Title: When Katie Met Cassidy
Author: Camille Perri
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Women’s Fiction | Romance
Synopsis from Putnam
Review: WHEN KATIE MET CASSIDY unabashedly celebrates lesbian culture and I loved every bit of it. A compelling plot exploring gender identity, finding one’s own place and being true to yourself in a sweet way.
New York lawyers, Katie Daniels and Cassidy Price couldn’t be more different; Katie is a southern woman jilted by her ex-fiance and Cassidy is a suit-wearing player gaining notches on her bedpost. When their paths cross at a meeting Katie is instantly intrigued by confident and charming Cassidy. Cassidy provides us a lens into her LGBTQ community – the family and friendships she counts on. Katie’s sense of who she is begins to erode and she sets out on a journey of self discovery questioning her own sexual identity.
I found Katie’s journey delightful and especially enjoyed the peak when she moved past her self-inflicted shame and embraced her relationship with Cassidy.
Title: All We Ever Wanted
Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Contemporary | Women’s Fiction
Synopsis from Doubleday
Free copy provided by publisher.
Review: Wealth, privilege, lies, scandal and heartbreak are the brutal framework of Emily Giffin’s emotional novel, ALL WE EVER WANTED. This story packs a punch that I didn’t see coming when I read the synopsis.
Kirk and Nina Browning run with Nashville’s elite crowd. Their son, Finch has never wanted for anything and his recent acceptance into Princeton is the cherry on the top of his privileged upbringing. Finch is the stereotypical product of this type of rearing – spoiled, narcissistic, and manipulative. Finishing up his final year at prestigious Windsor Academy, he gets drunk at a party and makes a horrible, racist and sexually degrading decision that threatens his academic future but has long-ringing effects on Lyla the victim, and near-death experience for Finch’s ex, Polly. Moreover the event causes Nina to question the moral thread that ties she, Kirk and Finch together.
Told in alternating narratives, the reader hears from Tom, Nina and Lyla but it’s Nina’s story that weaves the complexity of parenting, morality, betrayal and a mother’s love for her son into this provocative plot.
This book is borderline YA and may be appropriate for a mature teenager. It’s a timely story around the recent #metoo movement, this one is a stellar page-turner touching on social class and misogyny.
Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda | (Book 1 Creekside Series)
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Genre: Fiction | Young Adult
Synopsis from Balzer + Bray
Review: Be still my heart…Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a lens into Simon’s life, a boy in high school keeping a secret from his friends and family – he’s gay. A progression of emotions poured thru me as I listened intently to Simon’s story. I laughed (a lot!) at Simon’s humorous accounts, I was touched by the affection he voiced into the email exchanges with Blue, an anonymous gay classmate, and irked when fellow classmate Martin threatened to unravel Simon’s safety net – a vivid reminder of ‘that guy / girl’ we all had to deal with in high school!
When Simon formally declares he’s gay to his family and friends Albertalli brought a tender-hearted moment to the picture while keeping the spirit upbeat. The outpour of love and support was moving and as a spectator on the outside looking in this stretch right here enveloped the entire story in a warm, cozy blanket.
What an excellent modern coming of age story almost anyone can get on board with – highly recommended reading!
Title: Dating You / Hating You
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: Fiction | Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Gallery Books
Review: Oh my goodness, Dating You / Hating You was incredibly entertaining, witty, whimsical and wickedly sexy! I had no idea what this book was about but wish I had read it much sooner.
This is a window into the male dominated show-biz life where women are often downplayed and incredibly tolerant of sexism but portrayed in a light manner which keeps the vibe upbeat.
I laughed out loud so many times at the text messages and comical office antics. And it rings true when they say, ‘all is fair in love and war’.
This story is fresh and sweet and dished up with a heavy side of girl power – a true modern romance!
Title: Tell Me Lies
Author: Carola Lovering
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 12, 2018
Genre: Fiction | Contemporary Women
Synopsis from Atria
Free copy provided by Simon & Schuster
Review: Junior poli-sci major Stephen, a charming sociopath with an insatiable sexual appetite sets his sights on freshman English major Lucy in Lovering’s sizzling and provocative debut, TELL ME LIES.
Stephen is an average looking slob – he’s unkempt and reeks of beer; Lucy is smart, beautiful and naive. How can two people so wrong for each other have such immediate, searing chemistry and utterly mind-blowing sex? Underneath Lucy’s perfect persona lies a girl with an unsettled past – her mother’s betrayal she can’t get over, a compulsive personality and tendencies toward eating disorder and cocaine use. Combined with Stephen’s ability to manipulate women for his own gratification they ooze toxicity.
Lucy’s obsession with Stephen spans five years consuming her life and throwing off her moral compass – she gives up a rare study abroad opportunity, lies to her family and friends, and becomes self loathing after sleazy sexual encounters with Stephen.
Underneath the infatuation, lies and diabolical plot is a subplot around a strained mother-daughter relationship. Lucy can’t overcome her sick addiction for Stephen until she forgives her mother’s betrayal, which is pivotal for Lucy to recognize the love she feels is illusional.
The ending wrapped up too conveniently for me and left me with a couple unfinished thoughts but overall this was dark, intense, obsessive and everything I want to read about in a twisted relationship.
Warning: This story is too relatable to anyone who has ever been in love (or lust) with the wrong person and why it’s engrossing and addictive!