Friday, July 21, 2017

Review: All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine if you could take a pill and forget a traumatic event in your life. Sounds great right? But what happens when you still feel the emotions tied to that event? And how do you deal with those emotions when you're not even sure why you have them. Months after Jenny Kramer is raped at a party, she starts to see Dr. Alan Forrester to help her deal with the emotions of the trauma. All Is Not Forgotten is told from the Doctor's perspective as he treats Jenny and her family.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this book.

One thing that really struck me about this book, is the perspective it is written from. They say that all therapists have therapists and as a reader of this book, I felt like Dr. Forrester's therapist. You feel as though you are sitting across from him as he tells you the story from his point of view. He talks about Jenny's case, her parents and a couple of his other clients that are relevant to this story that takes place over the course of a year. From the time of Jenny's attack to the time her attacker is caught, you hear the story as it was told to him, by Jenny, her mother, her father, the police detective investigating the case, and even his own involvement in the situation apart from his care of Jenny.

This is a twisted story with lies and surprises around each corner. You never know who you can trust. Trying to attach Jenny's emotions to an event that has been eradicated from memory, is no easy task. Trying to avoid outward influences on the outcome of the situation and trying to make everyone understand that whatever is recovered can not be used in court stirs the emotions of all involved.

Released last year, but released this week in paperback, get your copy today!  Also Wendy Walker has released a new book this year called Emma In The Night released this week as well.  Look for my review to thatbook in a couple of weeks.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Winning Wednesdays!! Bookish Giveaways!!

Here's list of a few giveaways I've found this week.  Try your luck, maybe you could win**!!!

Girl of the Lake by Bill Roorbach
Enter to win one of two copies of the book.  Please note, this giveaway is on Facebook and you will have to be a member to enter this giveaway.  This giveaway is by another blogger Suzy Approved Book Reviews  She usually has several giveaways on her Facebook page.
This is for US Residents Only--Ends July 20, 2017 at 12pm EDT

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown
Enter to win a copy of the book with a personalized inscription from the author.  This giveaway is on Instagram and you will need to be a member to participate.  All instructions for this giveaway are listed on the post.   I just finished this book, click the title for my review.
This is for US Residents only -- Ends July 21, 2017

Author Giveaway by J.L. Leslie
Enter to win one of the following prizes: 
1) $10 Amazon GC
2) 3 E-books of your choice from Ms. Leslie's  collection
3) Swag pack ( bookmarks, chapstick, postcards, coloring sheets, and more!)
This giveaway is on Facebook and you will need to be a member to enter.  All instructions for the giveaway can be found there! 
This is for US Residents only -- Ends July 25, 2017

40+ Romantic Comedy and Chick Lit books plus a New E-Reader
Enter to win 40+ books from BookSweeps.  The Grand Prize winner receives a Kindle Fire and all participating books. One runner-up receives all books. 

This is for Residents of North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand -- Ends July 24, 2017


The Lust of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller 
Enter for your chance to win a copy of the book and an Olive Oil Cake from Amy's Bread in New York City
This is for US Residents Only--Ends July 25, 2017 --  Putnam Books

Doubleday Getaway Summer Reading Box
Enter  for your chance to win a #DoubledayGetaway Summer Reading Box from Read It Forward and Doubleday Books.  The box includes tons of summer goodies; great reads from Edgar Cantero, Meg Mitchell Moore, and Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza; and specialty cocktail recipes from PUNCH!
Open only to US Residents--Ends July 31, 2017

Book Riot Giveaways
Enter several giveaways offered by BookRiot this week.  You can win Books, gift cards, t-shirts, etc. Please read the rules on each giveaway before entering. 



CLICK ENTER ON ANY GIVEAWAY YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN!

**Please note, What 'Cha Readin'? does not sponsor any of these giveaways.  This is just information I'm passing on to my readers.  Please read the full rules on all the giveaways for complete details.  Thank you and good luck!**



     
     
   

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Two From the Heart by James Patterson

Two From the Heart by James Patterson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is divided into two short stories. The first is about Anne McWilliams. She lives on the beach in North Carolina, where she has lived for the past few years following a divorce from her husband. She is an old school photographer, so when a hurricane moves through and takes out half of her house that includes her darkroom, she is beyond devastated. Instead of dealing with the mess, she decides to travel the country and take new pictures and hear the stories of the people that go with those stories. How will this journey change the rest of her life?

In the second story, Tyler Bron is a millionaire, who, on paper, appears to have it all. But in reality, he has never had a life. Always focused on himself and getting to the top of his career field. He has no friends, only work colleagues who he really knows nothing about. So he hires a writer, Damian Crane to write a new life for him. But will Tyler be able to handle all that life has to offer?

This is a newer James Patterson novel released earlier this year. On my quest to read all of his stand alone books, I'm giving this on 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the stories and the one about Tyler was the most interesting to me. Each main character is at a point in their lives, where they need to make some changes in order to continue to live. I think that Tyler makes the most extreme change of all.

Even though James Patterson pumps out several books a year, he is still one of my favorites and I enjoy reading his books. I always know I can finish one of his books in 2-3 days and it will hold my attention.



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Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

JUST RELEASED THIS WEEK!!

Billie Flanagan is an exciting woman. She lives for the moment. On the other hand, her husband, Jonathan, and her daughter, Olive, are a little more reserved. When Billie goes missing after a hike in Desolation Wilderness, her family is sure she is dead, but when Olive starts to have visions of her mother, she is unsure. Together, Jonathan and Olive embark on a quest to find Billie, and in the process discover secrets she kept and a bit about themselves as well.

Thank you to NetGalley, Spiegel & Grau, and Random House for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Sybilla "Billie" Flanagan is the type of character you're not sure if you love or hate. She lived her youth free and reckless and now as a wife and mother, she's your typical "room mom" always there for school activities, to help where needed, snacks for Olive after school, and a home cooked meal on the table every night. But this is not the life she envisioned for herself, she misses the days when life was much more carefree. After spending time with her husband and daughter at the beach, Billie decides to take a weekend hike to sort out the thoughts that are going on in her head. Unfortunately, she never makes it home. Much to the devastation of her 16 year old daughter, Olive, who was going through enough as a teenage girl in high school. When she starts having visions of her mother at every turn, and Jonathan finds things hidden amongst Billie's belongings, they question whether she is really dead, or if she has just left them. Together, they will try to find the answers to the questions they have.

This is the first book I have by Janelle Brown, but it will not be the last. This was a totally enjoyable book. You felt like you were sitting with Olive in the Subaru searching all over for her mother. This was a great summer read. There are a couple of twists you don't see coming, but it fits with the character of Billie. The more you learn about her, you're not sure if you want to be her friend and go along for the ride, or hate her for all the secrets she keeps from the ones she loves. I wasn't sure if I was routing for Olive to find her mother, or to just accept the fact that she was dead.

Highly recommended!!

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Winning Wednesday!!! -- Bookish Giveaways!!!

 
Here's list of a few giveaways I've found this week.  Try your luck, maybe you could win**!!!

The Lust of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller 
Enter for your chance to win a copy of the book and an Olive Oil Cake from Amy's Bread in New York City
This is for US Residents Only--Ends July 25, 2017 --  Putnam Books


WIN 43 BOOKS FROM AMAZING AUTHORS
Enter for your chance to win Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke's favorite books of July.  Books from authors like Elin Hilderbrand, Ruth Ware, Nikki French, and Daniel Silva.  So many amazing books.  Also check out their blog about this contest.
This is for US Residents only--Ends July 17, 2107


Doubleday Getaway Summer Reading Box
Enter  for your chance to win a #DoubledayGetaway Summer Reading Box from Read It Forward and Doubleday Books.  The box includes tons of summer goodies; great reads from Edgar Cantero, Meg Mitchell Moore, and Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza; and specialty cocktail recipes from PUNCH!
Open only to US Residents--Ends July 31, 2017

"Smart Girls Read Romance" and a $50 Gift Card to The Ripped Bodice
Enter for your chance to win a "Smart Girls Read Romance" T-shirt and a $50 gift card to The Ripped Bodice, the only all romance bookstore!!  This giveaway came from BookRiot.
Open to US Residents only--Hurry this ends July 16, 2017

The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamal  
Enter to win one of 10 copies of  The Lost Ones from Harper Collins.  Named one of Time Magazine's Top 10 Thrillers of the summer.
Open to US Resident only -- Hurry this ends today July 12, 2017 at 5pm

CLICK ENTER ON ANY GIVEAWAY YOU WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN!

**Please note, What 'Cha Readin'? does not sponsor any of these giveaways.  This is just information I'm passing on to my readers.  Please read the full rules on all the giveaways for complete details.  Thank you and good luck!**


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Review: The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One Folgate Street is very unique. It is a minimalist designed apartment that is completely white and sterile. There have been very few residents at this address, the questionnaire alone is enough to turn most away, but Emma and Jane aren't like most women. They have both experienced a kind of trauma in their lives and see One Folgate Street as a way to make a fresh new start. When they each begin to experience things with the house, "glitches" it's enough to scare them. But with such an airtight contract with demanding rules, will they be able to leave this house or will it keep them trapped forever.

This book is full of crazy people and I love it! Psychological thrillers are really starting to become my favorite genre. Emma moves to One Folgate after being burglarized in her previous apartment. Jane moves in after her child is stillborn. The story unfolds as they both move into the house and learn it's quirks and it adjusts to them. It goes back and forth between each woman as they tell their story of living in this house. As each of them discover things about the house, the company who built it, the architect who designed it, and the previous tenants, secrets come to the surface and we discover new things about each character and how their pasts have got them to this point in life.

This book was very hard to put down. I had to know what the hell was going on. Who was being honest and how was just plain crazy. Is One Folgate a place you would live? I don't think I would get past the questionnaire. The first question alone is enough to make you think, the landlord is already too much into my business. "1. Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life." Could you live in a place completely controlled by an arm bracelet and periodical questions to update the biometrics of the whole house?

The Girl Beforewas a fast read for me. Hard to put down and very intriguing. I had to find out how these strange relationships were going to end. Was this house going to destroy these women before they were free from it? Will they ever be able to live anywhere ever again or will this house consume them for the rest of lives? This book is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers.

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Review: The Map That Leads to You by J.P. Monninger


The Map That Leads to You by J.P. Monninger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Heather Mulgrew is on a summer trip with two of her closest friends from college. They have just graduated from Amherst College and Heather has a job waiting for her at Bank of America in New York City. This trip is exactly what they need before beginning the rest of their lives. On the train to Amsterdam she meets Jack and from that moment forward, her life will never be the same. Jack has a freedom that Heather has never experienced and together they build a great friendship that quickly turns to so much more.

Thank you to St. Martins Press along with Karen Masnica and Caitlin Dareff for sharing their reading, discussing and experiences with this love story. I received two copies from them along with a letter that told me to share my second copy and I did that with my mother. I can't wait to share my thoughts with her on this book.

The story starts with the three girls traveling across Europe after graduating from college. This is something I have always wanted dreamed of doing. When Heather meets the handsome stranger on the train to Amsterdam, he changes her life forever. He makes her think about her future and life in general in a entirely different way. Their connection is instant but the trip won't last forever. What is going to happen when the time comes for Heather to return home. Will Jack change his plans for her or will this just be a summer fling?

This book evoked a lot of emotion in me. Heather is following Hemingway's story through Europe while Jack is following his grandfather's journal from after WWII. I gave this book a 3 star rating because it didn't really grab me the way I thought it would. The story was interesting and the flow was good, but there were parts that had me confused. Some of the language seemed European even though the main characters were American. I'm not sure if that was because of their education and love of books, or as the writing was intended. For those who like a good love story will enjoy this book. Get your tissues though!



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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

Laura and Kit are boyfriend and girlfriend. Kit is an eclipse chaser and Laura goes along with him. In 1999 they attend an eclipse in Cornwall where the esclipse is clouded out, but that doesn't stop the excitement of the day. As they are walking back to their tents after the event, they find a girl who is being attacked, Beth. Spanning 16 years back and forth between Laura and Kit each telling their side of the story from their point of view from the time they met each other until the time much later when they are married with kids. How the incidents of this one day will shape their lives forever.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Minotaur Books for sending me a copy of this book to review.

It was a slow start for me, having to adjust to who was speaking and what time they were speaking about. After I got all that sorted out, the book moved at a good pace. There were some unexpected twists, and times where I was on the edge of my seat.

Laura is a very caring and compassionate person, always willing to help those in need. Kit is a science person, always seeing the practical side of things. Together their relationship works for them. Laura with her bright blonde hair, and Kit with his eclipses. Beth is an interesting character too. One you're not sure if you are going to like at all. This book definitely sent me through a lot of different emotions. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an exciting thriller.



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Monday, June 19, 2017

Review: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ronni Sunshine was not a very good mother. Her career as an actress was always most important to her. But when life throws her a curve ball she isn't expecting, she will call her three daughters home together to try to make up for lost time.

Each daughter dealt with their mother's selfish ways the best way they knew how. Nell, the eldest,was unemotional; Meredith, in the middle, took everything to heart; and Lizzy, the youngest ignored her mother and did whatever she wanted to do anyway. They have all gone on to lead separate lives, and rarely spoke to each other. Their childhood and their relationship with they mother have shaped them into the women they became as women. Nell has lived her life being a mother to her son and running a farm, even though she loves her work and her son, is she really happy? Meredith is engaged to be married and has a great job, but is this the life she envisioned? Lizzy is a celebrity chef and is married with a son, but her life isn't as perfect as it looks from the outside.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

I love Jane Green's books. They always send a wave of emotions. This book grabs at your heart strings and makes you feel for these characters How do you reconnect with family when you've been apart for so long. I don't think there has ever been a time when I didn't speak with my mom and my sister. I don't know what I would do if anything would happen to either one of them. The character I most connected with in this story was Meredith. I've always been the type of person to always make sure the people around me are taken care of before I've taken care of myself.

This book immediately makes you think of family and how to stay connected to them. Make sure your relationships are well maintained before it's too late. Life is so short and the next day is not promised to anyone. For those you love, you need to always keep them close so that when they go, as we all will someday, you will not feel as though there was something that you should have or could have done.

Jane Green is currently on tour for this book, click here to find out dates.


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review: Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the third installment of the Crazy Rich Asians series, we find that the matriarch of the family, Su Yi Young is on her death bed and her relative will stop at nothing in order to get the most coveted prize of her estate, Tyersall Park. Tyersall Park is a sprawling compound that is the most valuable piece of real estate in all of Singapore. Will the family be able to put away their differences long enough to agree?

Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for the opportunity to read and review this book. Rich People Problems is a great way to start off my summer reading season. This book had me laughing out loud and desperate to find out how it was all going to end.

When this book starts, it has been three years, since Nick and Rachel have gotten married and they have not returned to Singapore since all of the crazy things Nick's family did to them while they were there, but Nick's Ah Ma might not make it much longer. He can't let his pride get in the way of seeing his grandmother before she leaves this earth. As he returns to Singapore, though he finds that getting to see her may not be as easy as he thought. His family is blocking him from seeing her. Since he is the only grandson with the Young name, it's only right that Tyersall Park should be his. But his cousins and Aunts have a different idea. Through trial and tribulation from each member of the family we finally get to see who Tyersall Park will belong too and who will get the rest of Su Yi Young's fortune. The same crazy characters are in this book up to their usual antics or trying on some new ones.

I have been entertained by all of the Crazy Rich Asian books, but this one had me laughing the loudest. It's amazing the things each individual will go through just to be the best or because of money or fame. There are always books with family rivalries and secrets, but none quite and unique and the Young family and their prosperous friends and relatives.

This is one series, that if you haven't started to read it, you have to jump on board. It's been a while since I have had a book make me laugh out loud while reading it. Kevin Kwan has made me want to learn more about this part of the Asian culture.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kate Moore writes a compelling and heart wrenching story about a group of women from New Jersey and Illinois whose job it was to use radium paint to paint watch dials so they would illuminate at night. Little did they know, that every time they would put their brush in their mouth to get the point just right to paint the dial precisely, they were killing themselves. They were told that the paint was perfectly safe and there was no way that the paint could be causing all of their medical problems. But the companies knew that the radium was dangerous. Scientists and others in the radium plant used gloves and had lead aprons on, but the dial painters were not given that luxury.

Slowly the effects of the paint began to show on their bodies. Women who were in the prime of their life were losing their teeth, their jaw bones were falling out, it was difficult for them to walk, and no one could explain it. They went to several doctors and no one could find the reason they were getting sick. The radium companies refused to admit that they were at fault. For years and years, they fought for justice. Justice for women who were dying in their 20s. This book made your heart ache for these women.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it was quite a slow read for me. I wanted to know if justice was going to be served, but it took a while to get to that point. This is quite an interesting story and this was the first that I had ever heard of it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Boyfriend Blog Hop!!! GIVEAWAY!!!

Book Boyfriend Blog Hop

Hop on over to each author's page linked below and collect the boyfriend 2017 name at each stop.  Once you have all of your names, submit them to traciebanister@gmail.com so that you can be entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway!!

The Grand Prize includes a Kindle Paperwhite plus 30 e-books, one from each of the authors below.  

Entries are accepted until midnight on Sunday, May 21st and the winner will be chosen on May, 22nd.  


 






Monday, May 1, 2017

Review: Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley

Hit the Ground Running by Mark Burley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Eric Bakker has just received a cryptic message from his brother, Michael, about the disappearance of their parents. Now Michael is also missing, but who can Eric trust to help him with all of this. Michael says to trust no one. Eric is away at boarding school and hasn't made too many friends. What is he going to do to find his family?

Thank you to NetGalley and Blue Moon Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Hit the Ground Running had me hooked from the start. I read almost 1/2 the book on the first day. This is a faced paced novel that leaves you wanting more. Imagine your parents dumping you in a boarding school in Canada for no good reason and uprooting you from the home you've always known. Eric isn't sure why his family made the move to Canada or why he has to go to this school. He tries to stick to himself as much as possible. But when he needs help to find his family, who can he trust to help him. While contemplating his situation, he runs into Tess another student from the school, and she thinks she may have a way to help him. Can he trust her? Will he be able to find his brother and his parents before it's too late?  Traveling between Canada, California, and Montana, Eric does everything he can to locate his family.  With the help of a colleague of his parents and a couple of kids from school, they travel by plane, boat, motorcycle and RV in order to accomplish the task at hand.

This is the first book in a trilogy. The end leaves you hanging so you will want to read the next book. I can't wait for it to be released.

About the Author:
Mark is originally from Truro, Nova Scotia. His parents were teachers, which means he could have grown up around books, and he did, but mostly he marked biology tests for his dad and dissected whatever they had for dinner (true story). He attended Dalhousie University in Halifax to complete his science degrees and continued to cultivate the writer seed that was planted when he was a kid. Mark has always been involved in high-level sport, as an athlete through university and as a coach afterward, and maintains that sport has given him the chance to succeed in art, something he’s sure he couldn’t have done otherwise. As a result, though, he eats the same breakfast every morning and he always puts his left shoe on first—bad things will happen if he doesn’t. Mark and his wife live outside Halifax with their two children. Books are big in their house; Mark’s favourite thing is Bedtime with Ry (come on, Mom, who can sleep during the Quidditch World Cup?). As a reader, he's always been slow, preferring to savour, which drives his wife nuts —she’s a devourer. He is often drawn to books that are beyond his ability to comprehend, which is only frustrating when the words aren’t beautiful. He also has an unnatural attraction to chai lattes. It’s a problem. He’s okay with it.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review: Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak

Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cora has just moved to the town of Silver Springs California, hoping to start a new life with a new job teaching art. She's teaching a a school for troubled boys called, New Horizons and Cora is really drawn to its founder Aiyana. Besides the teaching job, Cora has other reasons to be in Silver Springs. Will she be able to find the answers she is looking for, or will the decisions she makes along the way hinder her ability to discover the truth about herself?

While I have many Brenda Novak books on my Kindle, this is the first of her titles that I have actually read. I was drawn to this book initially because of its setting of Silver Springs, the town I live in is called Silver Spring. I was even more drawn to the book by the characters because I have members of my immediate family with similar names to the characters in the book.

Cora Kelly was adopted 28 years ago. Since that time she has been on a quest to find her mother and find out why. She loves her adoptive parents wholeheartedly, but still has a desire to know where she comes from. Her birth mother was at a reasonable age to keep a child, 21, so what were the circumstances that made her decide that adoption was the best idea, especially since in her investigation she finds out that her birth mother has adopted several children over the years.

This was a very compelling story. It drew me in immediately and I couldn't put it down. I read it in just a few hours over a couple of days. I can't imagine what it would be like to not know your birth parents. And then searching your whole life to find them, with a closed adoption. In Cora's quest to find all this information, she falls in love and faces conflict with her adoptive parents. It's a great story for everyone who likes a little romance in their lives.

If you enjoy Ms. Novak's books, consider joining her book club on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/brend...

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Review: Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile


Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Charley Bordelon has just inherited 800 acres of a sugar cane farm from her father. So she uproots herself and her daughter from their life in California to Saint Josephine, Louisiana. She moves in with her grandmother, Miss Honey and tries her best to raise a successful cane farm. With other family members stepping in her way, this can prove to be difficult at times. Charley is doing the best she can, but will it be enough to keep the farm or will she be forced to sell it and head back to California.

I watched the series for this book on OWN and I loved it. If I would have known about the book, I definitely would have read that first. They always say, the book is better than the movie, but in this case, I will say that the book was not as good as the series. The characterization is a little different and the TV series definitely added a lot more drama to the situation. Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and look forward to other books by Natalie Baszile.

Charley Bordelon has a lot on her plate. She has an adolescent daughter who hates the idea of leaving her home in California to live in a remote area of Louisiana. She has a sugar cane farm she has just inherited and she knows nothing about sugar cane. Her older brother Ralph Angel feels as though he is entitled to something, but he feels that way about everything in his life. Dealing with hurricanes, quitting farm hands, no money, and flooding back lots, there is a lot to learn and most people in the area, don't think she can do it.

The book takes you on a journey through Charley's first season of Cane Farming and all the trials and tribulations she endures during this time. I enjoyed the book and I look forward to the new season of the show coming this summer!

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