Blog Tour: Christmas in Winter Valley

Ransom Canyon, #8 
Jodi Thomas
Genre: Contemporary / Western / Holiday Romance
Publisher: HQN
Publication Date: September 24, 2019
Number of Pages: 288 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!


Ransom Canyon welcomes you back for a Christmas that has everything you’re looking for: romance, family, and a whole lot of Texas.

Cooper Holloway would take nature over people any day—especially visiting relatives. That’s why he’s headed for a rustic cabin in remote Winter Valley, where he’ll care for a herd of wild mustangs. But Cooper’s plans are quickly thwarted by the arrival of two unexpected guests: one, a stranger in desperate need of his help, and the other, a very attractive young veterinarian.

Elliott is busy trying to keep Maverick Ranch running smoothly with Cooper gone, which is no easy task with family visiting. And when a long-lost love suddenly reappears in his life, Elliott knows he’ll have more than just books to balance this season.

With a big, chaotic family Christmas around the corner and love blooming in surprising ways, the Holloway men will have to make big choices about the future—just in time for the holidays.


“This book has everything you would want. Laughter, drama. And tears both happy and sad. I highly recommend this book.” — Patty Champion (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

” I could not put this book down once I started it and longed for more once I was done.” Melanie (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)

“I got lost in the world that she [Jodi Thomas] has created and enjoyed seeing her characters with their overlapping and interconnected stories find a happiness that none of them expected to ever find.” — B. (5 Stars, Goodreads Review)


Rating :★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Lone Star Literary Life partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in exchange for my honest review.  #partner #LSBBT

It’s never too early to indulge in a romantic holiday read. As we near this upcoming holiday I recommend you check out his novel. This novel follows the lives of four different relationships each at different stages.

Cooper, one of the main characters is looking for a moment of isolation as he leaves his farm to head to a cabin for reflection. Cooper has no idea that no only will he not spend his time alone at the cabin but he will encounter a few unexpected guests.

Elliot is left to handle all the business of his family ranch as Cooper decides to take a break from the Family Farm. Elliot must not only continue to manage the finances of the ranch, deal with the family visiting the farm. But also face someone from his past. Some wounds heal over time and some don’t. Can Elliot handle everything that gets’s thrown his way or will he have to deal with more than he handles?

The author provides an additional romantic encounter that you will have you saying “aww” out loud.

The author does an amazing building of realistic relationships and the development of the characters. Once you start this book, you won’t want to put it down. Although this is only the first book I have read by this author, I am excited to read more from her. The author has a writing style that captivates the reader. She provides a realistic approach to the telling of a romance novel by using descriptive vocabulary to engage the reader. From the moment you pick up this book, you feel a connection with the Holloway family and their ranch. Since this story involves the telling of multiple relationships the author tackles the challenge of creating something that flows well with multiple plots. It can be a bit confusing keeping up with the multiple character stories, each different from the next but if you enjoy a bit of a challenge then you will love this just as much as I did.

If you haven’t read this book yet, I would recommend you pick this one up. This standalone book in her Ransom Canyon series will have you wanting to pick up a copy of her other books. I would highly recommend this book for those interested in contemporary Texas-sized romance novel that leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling at the end.

1012 LORILEI NQ 2, 2 of 2 Christmas in Winter Valley

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.
In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.
Thomas was honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and served sixteen years as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her family, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on two grown sons and four grandchildren.

 ║ Website ║ Facebook ║ Twitter  
║ Instagram ║  Amazon  BookBub 
║ Pinterest  ║ Goodreads 

October 3-13, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Notable Quotable
Author Video
Scrapbook Page
Notable Quotable

   blog tour services provided by

Happy National Roald Dahl Day!

img_3688Genre: Fantasy

Shelf Location: Children, Juvenile

Rating: ★★★★★

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copies used in those are finalized copies sent to me in collaboration with Ronald Dahl Day. #partner #penguinkids #roalddahlday


Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian, and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryMatildaThe BFG, and many more brilliant stories. He remains the World’s No.1 storyteller.



The BFGA beautiful, collectible hardcover edition of The BFG from the World’s No. 1 Storyteller!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants–rather than the BFG–she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

 The main character, Sophie, found a place where she can help. She’s surprised when she sees the giant and realizes he won’t eat her. She must work together with the BFG, the gentle beast, to put an end to the other giants. They must work together to try to make the world a safer place. This book is written in a way that captivates the reader and truly engages them throughout the entire novel.

Purchase a copy of this book here!


The Witches

The WitchesA beautiful, collectible hardcover edition of The Witches from the World’s No. 1 Storyteller!

This is not a fairy tale. This is a story about real witches. Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There’s nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma’s stories–but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

Purchase a copy of this book here!


Matilda: Be Outrageous

Matilda Be OutrageousAm I a phenomenon? It is quite possible that you are.

Reimagine Dahl’s beloved classic in this gorgeous, hand-lettered gift book perfect for Matilda fans of all ages! Featuring the best and brightest lines from Roald Dahl’s magical story, this book displays the iconic quotes in whimsical and artful calligraphy, while reminding readers to be, first and foremost, outrageous!

Highly illustrated, with quotes, lines, and passages from one of Roald Dahl’s most beloved books, this gift book presents a whole lot of big ideas from one precocious little girl. Each spread features the most memorable lines from Matilda, rendering them in gorgeous and whimsical calligraphy — making this a must-have for any Dahl collection!

This book is filled with empowering phrases that highlight important words of encouragement for young girls. It is written in a way that is easily understandable for the youth. I highly recommend this for young girls as a gift.

Purchase a copy of this book here!

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at


BLOG TOUR: The Bird Boys by Lisa Sandlin

A Delpha Wade and
Tom Phelan Mystery

  Genre: Gentle Noir / Mystery / Women Sleuths
Date of Publication: August 20, 2019
Number of Pages: 306
Scroll down for giveaway!
The new novel from award-winning author Lisa Sandlin catches up with the almost-murdered secretary Delpha Wade (The Do-Right, 2015, set in 1973) as she’s released from a hospital in order to be tucked into the back seat of a police cruiser. Her boss, P. I. Tom Phelan, sets out to spring her. He needs her back in his investigation business, where he’ll soon be chasing a skulking grand larcenist and plotting how to keep a ganjapreneur out of the grabby hands of a brand new agency, the D.E.A. Delpha digs through old records and knocks on strange doors to unravel the dangerous case of two brothers with beaucoup aliases—verifying that sometimes truth is not true, but murder is always murder.
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“What makes this crime novel soar is the humanity and humility of its main characters. It is by turns exciting, tender, suspenseful, observant, and gently funny. Readers will eagerly await the next installment.” 
Booklist, Starred Review
“Sandlin’s sequel soars on the wings of its spot-on evocation of a time and place and its utterly compelling central characters… A first-rate series crying for word-of-mouth support.”
Kirkus, Starred Review
“Proving that anything old can be new in the right, talented hands, Sandlin has crafted an outstanding series that readers will want to follow and savor.”
Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle
“I confess that as a Beaumonster who remembers that city in the early seventies, the book has a special appeal; Sandlin gets so many details just right. But you don’t have to have lived there to be captivated by The Bird Boys. Its characters, wit, exquisite prose, and sense of redemption are so richly crafted that they’ll stick to most anyone like, well, a shirt to your skin on an August afternoon in Beaumont.”




Lisa Sandlin is the author of The Do-Right, winner of the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America and the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers. Her new mystery thriller The Bird Boys is set in 1973 in the same town she was born, Beaumont, Texas. Her previous books are The Famous Thing About Death and Message to the Nurse of Dreams, Cinco Puntos Press; In the River Province, SMU Press; and You Who Make the Sky Bend, Pinyon Publishing.



THREE WINNERS: Choice of eBook or Print Copies of THE BIRD BOYS
August 20-30, 2019
(International – eBooks only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Interview
   blog tour services provided by


BLOG TOUR: My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

CoverGenre: Science Fiction/ Realistic Fiction

Shelf Location: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★★

This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing.

Book Synopsis 

In the summer of 1984, 12-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet makes the trip from Huntsville, Alabama, to Harlem, where she’ll spend a few weeks with her father while her mother deals with some trouble that’s arisen for Ebony-Grace’s beloved grandfather, Jeremiah. Jeremiah Norfleet is a bit of a celebrity in Huntsville, where he was one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA two decades earlier. And ever since his granddaughter came to live with him when she was little, he’s nurtured her love of all things outer space and science fiction–especially Star Wars and Star Trek, both of which she’s watched dozens of time on Grandaddady’s Betamax machine. So even as Ebony-Grace struggled to make friends among her peers, she could always rely on her grandfather and the imaginary worlds they created together. In Harlem, however, she faces a whole new challenge. Harlem in 1984 is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and her first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer’s end, Ebony-Grace discovers that gritty and graffitied Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.


“Harlem Shuffle” by The Rolling Stone

“Welcome to New York” – Taylor Swift

“Hello Brooklyn”- Beastly Shuffle

“My Girl”- The Temptations

“Eye of the Tiger”- Survivor

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

“Another One Bites the Dust”- Queen

“Never Gonna Give You Up”- Rick Astley

“Parents Just Don’t Understand “- Will Smith

Final Thoughts

Ebony is an imaginative twelve-year-old girl who is spending the summer away from her Grandfather. Her Grandfather is described as a person who started Ebony’s love for using imaginative space tales to handle situations she’s facing. Her Grandfather Jeremiah Norfleet is a famous African American who integrated NASA. Ebony must learn to adjust to the new culture associated with living in Harlem with her Father for the summer. Ebony’s imaginative personality has her friends in the area describing her as weird and quiet. Her once best friend, Bianca, is now a foreigner to her as they continue to argue over differences during her trip. Ebony’s fascination with space, her Grandfather, and Star Trek leave her labeled as an outcast. Will she learn to try to fit in for the summer, or will she continue to struggle with adjusting to the area? Will she break out of her shy shell for a bit to let someone other than her family?

This book is written in a way that combines the imaginative tales between a granddaughter and Grandfather. It showcases the special bond between the two. Jeremiah Norfleet facilitates an environment filled with an imagination that stays with Ebony even through her travels to New York City. I love the comic strips inserted into the novel. The images provide a visual view of the descriptive text. Ebony reminded me of myself when I was younger, but of course, growing up in the 90s was different than growing up in the 80s. However, I was raised by my grandmother, who was born in the 40s, which allowed for exposure to 80s culture. It is a challenge for someone to fit into an area where they feel they don’t belong regardless if members of their race live in that area. The more you read the novel, the more you understand the symbolism behind the title. I assume the ice cream sandwich is black on the outside but white on the inside. That is a standard description of the black community associated with someone who is deemed as being caucasian on the inside but looks black. The term is dubbed to anyone who doesn’t fit in, speak the same lingo, or like the same the music. I love that the author incorporates the challenges faced by African Americans in Harlem during that period and how she develops Julius, Ebony’s Father.

If you’re interested in reading a novel that highlights uniqueness, imagination, and focuses on an African American/Black family during the 80s in Harlem, then this is your book. I recommend this for all upper elementary and middle-grade youth.

Author Bio

bi Zoboi is the author of two novels for young adults, including Pride and American Street, a finalist for the National Book AwardShe holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely !

You pre-order  copies of this book from Penguin Random House

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at


This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews


Genre: Adventure Fiction/ Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Juvenile/ Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★★

I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

This charming graphic novel told from the perspective of a group of young boys who make a pact never to look back regardless of how tough the road ahead gets. It’s the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, where the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river. [taken from synopsis] This is the first year that Ben and his friends decide to follow the lanterns down the river to see where they end up. No one has ever completed this task. The group of boys make a pact with two rules: no one turns for home, and no one looks back. Ben and his friends start the journey but slowly they turn back one by one leaving been with Nathaniel. Nathaniel tries so hard to fit in with Ben and his friends, but he falls short. However, he doesn’t let that ruin his childlike personality, and he doesn’t let it stop him from trying to be friends with Ben. In the end, Nathaniel is all Ben has as they follow the lanterns to the end. These two will encounter their greatest adventure, build friendships with unexacting creatures, and find out how brave they are. Will they find out where the lanterns end or will they get lost trying?

I gave this graphic novel five stars, mostly due to the character development, the adventure, the realism, and the plot. The illustrations allow the reader to feel transported into the world of the story. The story flows wonderfully, and there is a hint of turmoil as the two main characters face an impasse. In this story, Ben developed as a reluctant character, and Nathaniel is the fearless character. The different character personalities allow for a humorous adventure as the two learn to break out of their shells. If you’re looking for a graphic novel filled with adventure, new friendships, and humor, then this is your book. I saw this book in a comic book store and felt like I had to read it. The story is appropriate for upper elementary to middle school.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely

You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon  | MacMillan | IndieBound 

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at

Sheets by Brenna Thummler



Genre: Paranormal/ Fantasy Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Middle Grade

Rating: ★★★★

I purchased a copy of this book from my local comic book store. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

This graphic novel told from the perspective of the main character, Marjorie, a young girl who is carrying the weight on her shoulders. Marjorie is running her family business while her father still grieves for the loss of his wife. Marjorie continues to try to navigate the woes of a small business, school, her younger brother, and her father. Simultaneously, a ghost named Wendell is trying to navigate his life as a ghost. Wendell’s life unexpectantly collides with Marjorie’s as he stumbles into the land of the living. In particular, he stumbles into Glatt’s Laundry and creates chaos when trying to do the right thing. Marjorie is trying to keep her family’s laundry business afloat as a real estate mogul, Mr. Saubertuck, tries to sabotage her business. When she thinks things can’t get any worse, she meets Wendell, a ghost, who’s making her life more challenging than it needs to be. As the two try to navigate their current predicaments, they must both work together to save the Glatt’s Laundry and get Wendell home. Will Wendell ever truly come to terms with the way he died? Will Marjorie let her mother’s death hold her back? Marjorie and Wendell must both face their pasts before they can truly move forward. Will the two work together to deal with their pasts, or will they let it consume them?

This graphic novel is easy to read and age-appropriate. I would recommend this graphic novel to students in upper elementary and middle grades. The author does a great job highlighting the challenges of overcoming a loss from different perspectives. The book showcases how adults and children deal with grief differently. It also showcases the challenges of overcoming your fears that have derived from a loss. The younger audiences may enjoy the character, Wendell, as he takes a lighter approach to deal with his loss. I mostly give this book four stars because I felt the story was a bit lackluster and could have been developed more to highlight more characteristics associated with grief. The author had a great opportunity to tell this story in a way that is both relatable and imaginative but I felt it fell a little short. Overall, this book was both heartbreaking and humorous.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely

You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | IndieBound

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at

Suee and the Shadow by Ginger Ly

AF7DF41A-0E42-48CD-910F-3525D62A0D5FGenre: Paranormal/ Fantasy Graphic Novel

Shelf Location: Middle Grade/ Juvenile Fiction

Rating: ★★★★

I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

The graphic novel starts from the narrator perspective, then transitions to the viewpoint of Suee, the main character. Suee is a mature twelve-year-old girl who was transferred to Outskirts Elementary after her father’s job transfer. She is a very individualistic girl who prefers to be a loner at her new school until she passes by a room and hears a voice. Suee tells herself that she doesn’t need friends, then a voice from the school’s exhibit room says that it will be her friend. Suee follows the voice into the room then wakes up sometime later in the nurse’s office with no memory of how she got there. And to make matters worse, her shadow appears to be alive.

Everything was fine until she went into the exhibit room, and her shadow came alive. Now everyone in her school is starting to look like a zombie and are being called Zeroes. The strangest thing is that the students called Zeros are missing their shadows. Suee must work together with another student to figure out what is happening to their classmates shadow and what her shadow is hiding.

This graphic novel is easy to read and age appropriate. I would recommend this graphic novel to students in upper elementary school or advanced readers. This book was a fast read, and the younger audiences would much enjoy the sarcasm the main character eludes and the hint of a mystery. The characters were developed in a way to provide a little bit of a backstory of each, but the story could have been developed a bit more to offer a bit more details. I do commend the author for the history provided at the beginning, the backstory of the main character, and the cliff hanger at the end. I felt the plot could have been developed more to provide a little more character development and a chance for the main character to make more friends. However, I hope that this was only the first book and that there would be more in the series.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! 

You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble |Abrams Books

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at

We Were Beautiful by Heather Helper

07B8E370-7E57-43C8-865D-FED924181DADGenre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Shelf Location: Young Adult Fiction

Rating: ★★★★.5

I checked out a copy of this book from my local library. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.


Final Thoughts

This book is told from the perspective of Mia Hopkins, a fifteen-year-old teen girl trying to navigate her life after a tragic event. Mia’s life was healthy before a terrible accident left her family in disarray and her with both emotional and physical scars. Mia had a happy family and a sister that loved her until one night she can’t seem to remember. Mia and her sister were involved in an accident, but Mia can’t seem to remember what happened. She also can’t seem to look at herself in the mirror. Her family struggles to come to terms with the accident, and Mia must figure out a way to heal on her own. In an attempt to help her come to terms with the crash fully, her father sends her to live with her grandmother for the summer. Will this summer away help Mia heal or push her to her breaking point?

This book was absolutely heartbreaking, but it was very well written. The author does a great job diving into the challenges of overcoming loss and showcasing the complexity involved in the grieving process. However, I thought it was a bit cliche that Mia found a group of friends that all had scares of their own. It felt like everything fell into place for Mia. I personally wanted a bit more drama and turmoil, but that doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good. I thoroughly enjoyed the depth behind each character, including the supporting characters. I wanted to learn more about her mother and grandmother’s relationship, but that would be great for a second novel.

If you’re looking for a contemporary realistic fiction novel that is heavy with emotion, then this may be the novel for you.

You can purchase copies of this book from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Zoondervan

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware


Genre: Suspense Mystery Thriller

Shelf Location: Adult Fiction

Rating: ★★★★

I purchased a copy of this book over a year ago and it has been sitting on my shelf since then. I was browsing my collection looking for something to read on my flight to New Jersey. The opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of the publisher or author.

Final Thoughts

This book told from the perspective of Lanora, the main character. Lanora is a writer who has decided a life of seclusion is better than facing the past she tried to keep hard hidden.  Somethings cannot stay hidden forever; she realizes this as she receives an invitation to old friends hen (bachelorette party). She hasn’t spoken to Clare in over ten years, and now she is getting invited to her hen. Against her better judgment, Nora goes to the hen. The story continues with twists and turns that left me on the edge of my seat. The plot started to unfold from the moment

However, I figured out the plot halfway through the book. I felt the book could have been developed more and wished the supporting characters played a more significant role in the overall plot. I also, felt the plot was a bit lackluster, but this is because I watched an extensive amount of Lifetime thriller movies as a tween. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and the backstory associated with the main character and Clare.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in a thrilling mystery that takes you for a loop throughout the story. The author uses a vast amount of details to help create a real thriller environment in the story.

You can purchase copies of this book:  Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Simon & Schuster

Happy Reading! Comment below any book recommendations or your thoughts on this book! You can reach by clicking the Contact link at the top of the page or email me at

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez

62EE8900-9E96-4F61-96C6-67F2DA565280Genre: Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Fiction
Pages: Print 344
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Author:  Erika L. Sanchez
Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. The copy used for this review was a copy I borrowed from my local library.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the publisher or author. 

Goodreads Synopsis

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

Final Thoughts

This book starts with Julia losing her sister in a terrible accident but ends with a well-developed plot twist. Julia is a junior in high school who has the brains and individuality to lead the world astray. She is the black sheep of her family and continues to feel this way even more after losing her sister. Julia’s sister was considered perfect. Always willing to stay home to cook with her mother, went to school, and remained in town to work a receptionist job. Julia is the complete opposite; she is rebellious, loves alternative music, loves to read, and enjoys time alone. She wants to go to college in another city and pursue an English degree. Her mother, dealing with the loss of her sister, continues to push Julia telling her why can’t she be more like her sister Olga. Her mother continues to berate her for wanting to go out to parties, hang out with her friends, or resemble a lifestyle of a rebellious teen.

To make matters worse, her father is mute and ignores her, she is behind in school, and she feels something is missing about her sister. As Julia copes with the loss of her sister, and the pressures of her mother, she works to uncover the secrets of her sister. While doing so, she discovers the secrets of her mother and father. She realizes that some secrets are better left as secrets; otherwise, they ruin the lives of those that are living. Can Julia learn to deal with the disappointment from her mother, the silence from her father, and the pressure to perform? Or will she crumble in the process?

The author does a fantastic job with the development of the main characters and the supporting characters. The story of Julia and her sister Olga shed light on the challenges of migrating to the United States. I loved the fact that I was able to read about her parent’s migration story. I felt that added to the story and the development of Julia’s character. The author’s realistic approach to telling this story emphasizes the emotions; I felt the same feelings the characters did. I highly recommend this book to any middle schooler or high schooler who has parents that migrated. I also think it is essential to encourage people of all races to read this book to inform them of the challenges immigrants face.

This book does contain content associated with suicidal (including suicidal thoughts), mental health, depression, and anxiety. Proceed with caution when reading this if you have experienced any of these or know someone who has.

To view purchasing options and other books written by this author,  click this link Here

Happy Reading and I hope you enjoyed my honest opinion of this novel!

Enjoyed this review or have book suggestions? Leave a comment below!

Contact me at for book reviews.