Friday, February 15, 2019

review: the girls at 17 swann street by yara zgheib

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Told partly through medical reports, but mostly through Anna's almost stream of consciousness narration of her days, Yara Zgheib's debut novel tells of Anna's stay at 17 Swann Street as she battles anorexia. With a tragic childhood and her days of being a professional ballerina in Paris behind her, Anna struggles with a new life in America after her husband takes a job in Missouri for, as Anna puts it, "St. Louis was not a ballet kind of town." The Girls at 17 Swann Street is a powerful tale with Anna experiencing realistic struggles, heartbreak, and triumph. Anna, her husband, and the other women at 17 Swann Street are all amazing characters who are beautifully brought to life by Zgheib.
Review copy provided by the publisher, St. Martin's Press.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

review: one taste too many by debra h. goldstein

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Sarah Blair is starting over at 28 after divorcing her wealthy husband, who happens to be an owner of the restaurant her twin, Emily, works for. Debra H. Goldstein's new cozy mystery series opens with Emily informing Sarah that her ex is dead and the police suspect Emily. With the police focusing their attention on Emily, the twins launch their own investigation and uncover numerous lies and a bit of a conspiracy.

As with some first books in a series, One Taste Too Many introduces a lot of characters. The leads are memorable and fleshed out (especially in regards to those who interacted with RahRah, the cat), but the secondary characters who work at the restaurant are one-dimensional and forgettable—I had to flip back in the book to figure out who someone was when plot developments involving those characters occurred. The mystery unfolded well though with some pretty great twists and plenty of entertaining moments with both Sarah's cat and her kitchen blunders.
Review copy provided by the publisher, MM Book Publicity.