Book Review: Missing Parts by Lucinda Berry


From Goodreads:

Growing up abandoned by her father and raised by a single mother, Celeste was determined to create the perfect family but even perfect families have secrets. Celeste’s days are filled with a rewarding career, a devoted husband, and her four-year-old daughter. Only Celeste knows the precarious house of cards her family is built upon until the day her daughter falls critically ill. Celeste’s world quickly spirals out of control as her secret threatens to destroy her marriage, family, reputation, and sanity. She’ll go to any lengths to protect her family—take any risk, break any law—anything except tell the truth.

A good book is a book you love to hate. This is the way I feel about Missing Parts by Lucinda Berry. It is twisty, dark, and downright devastating at times. I kind of wish it was told by alternating points of view instead of just Celeste’s. I really would have liked it to switch between Celeste and her husband’s POV. That would have made the story even more interesting.

Celeste is a mom and a wife. Her and her husband, David, tried for years to get pregnant and when Celeste finally did, she just didn’t make a connection with her daughter. David ends up staying home with Rori while Celeste goes back to work. After Rori suddenly gets deathly ill, Celeste’s life begins to unravel. Lies and secrets become a really uncomfortable reality.

I like how at the beginning of the book, all of the moms are out to dinner just complaining about their lives. It is real and raw, it is how most moms feel. More women need to be honest about their new parent feelings. It changes you, your marriage, and your entire life. Real friends don’t judge you, no matter what.

There are so many shocking moments in Missing Parts. Some I sort of saw coming, and others made me want to yell and throw the book across the room. The beginning was good, the middle was just okay, and the end just pissed me off. Each chapter in the book is full of surprises. A day after finishing it, I am still agonizing over some of Celeste’s decisions.  This isn’t a feel good book, and some would probably say the ending is far from happy. But not every story can end with happily ever after. Our choices not only affect our lives, but everyone else’s life, too.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Book Review: Ready, Set, Find Christmas by Vanessa Carroll


Christmas is right around the corner, friends. How lovely is this little search and find Christmas book? It is such a unique gift for any child 2-6. As you open the book, you will find Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. Each left page has a bible verse and several items for your child to find on the opposite right page. The pages are board book style and have tabs for little hands to grab and turn.

Ready, Set, Find Christmas by Vanessa Carroll is a great interactive book for you and your child. You can sit with them, read the bible verse, and search for the pictures together. As you complete this Christmas activity, you can explain to your child the true meaning of Christmas in a fun, educational way.

There are 48 objects in the book for your child to find including: animals, everyday objects, and some uncommon items. The colors of the book are bold and intriguing; your child will want to read Ready, Set, Find Christmas again and again.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Review: You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott


From Goodreads:

Katie and Eric Knox have dedicated their lives to their fifteen-year-old daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful. But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. From a writer with “exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl,” (Janet Maslin) You Will Know Me is a breathless roller coaster of a novel about the desperate limits of desire, jealousy, and ambition

I have read a ton of amazing thrillers this year and You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott is one of them. As soon as I started reading this novel, I knew I was in for a juicy read. Based around a competitive gymnastics center, the Knox’s are trying to achieve the unthinkable, turning their daughter, Devon, into an Olympic gymnast. All I have to say is, I’m glad I don’t have a girl, and I am not going to be pushing my son into gymnastics anytime soon. The insane amount of money people put into gymnastics, the insane amount of time spent practicing and competing, and the insane amount of gossip and scandals that seem to happen, is enough to keep me far away from any gym.

Even though I don’t enjoy being involved in gossip and scandals (who does?), I love reading about them (who doesn’t?). Devon is born to be a star. After a tragic foot accident when she was three, her doctor suggests that her parents enroll her in gymnastics to help her with her balance issues. From there, it is destiny. Sometimes, though, people try to ruin someone else’s destiny. Sometimes by mistake, and sometimes on purpose.

When a car accident occurs on a dangerous road, weeks before qualifiers, the gymnasts, parents, and coaches are all tumble through a whirlwind of emotions. The accident turns into an investigation, which throws everyone off their game, especially Devon. Katie Knox, Devon’s mother, starts to discover clues that may lead to the source of her husband’s, daughter’s, and son’s weird behavior. Her character is my favorite in You Will Know Me. She gives her whole life to her daughter, day in and day out, to help her become a star. Katie and her husband, Eric, aren’t the type of parents that are forcing their child to go to the Olympics, Devon is just that good; she has the will and drive to achieve greatness. With all of the attention on Devon, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for little Drew, the second child in the family. He is so smart and seems to be just along for the ride. I’m sure this happens a lot with other siblings in professional athlete’s families.

Even though You Will Know Me focuses on the death of one person, there is more to it than just secrets and lies. There is a lot of determination in these athletes and a lot of crazy support from their parents. Along with determination comes injuries, pain, and a lack of reality for these girls, outside of gymnastics. It really is an interesting look into their world.

I had first heard about You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott before the summer Olympics started and, of course, I was intrigued. Gymnastics, like many other Americans, is my favorite part of the Olympics. What a crazy life professional athletes live. They must be under extreme amount of pressure from their parents, family, peers, friends, and society in general. I can only hope that if my son wants to play a sport, we don’t get too wrapped up in the hoopla of it all. All I want is for him to have fun.