NEW RELEASE & REVIEW w/ GIVEAWAY: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

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Me Before You Book Three

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Jojo Moyes, a new book featuring her iconic heroine of Me Before You and After You, Louisa Clark

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world.

 

♦4-STAR REVIEW♦

Filled with the ever-present charm of Louisa Clark, Still Me pens the next stage of her life, in learning how to live her life again. After the heartbreaking loss from Me Before You and the dark moments of living with that loss in After You, this third installment really brought forth the resiliency of our beloved heroine and her efforts to live by what he wanted for her. And what fun it was to watch the spunky, sometimes-klutzy, but always humorous Lou find her footing in a country and society she was completely foreign to, but to simply watch her find her own footing was most fun.

Even with the presence of loss still echoing inside of her, the spark of hope battling to break through was always right there. Her adventure to America, in leaving everything behind her and entering a new phase of her life, was proof of that. I enjoyed getting to see the Lou we once knew shine through again, and how ridiculously strong she was at all times of this entire trilogy to keep finding a way forward. And though this book has its own hardships and heartbreaking moments, I don’t think it would’ve felt real without them, even if it hurt to watch her go through more. And that’s what this book felt like: real. And inspiring. Heartwarming.

With moments that will make you both laugh and cry, Still Me was a beautiful story of a young woman finding her way again. Lou has always been a starkly vivid character, one that you can recognize instantly on the page, and it truly felt like coming home again when I opened this book. The added element of romance was simply icing on the already wonderful cake of a great character and journey. My heart is full once more, and if you loved the first book, yours will be too.

 

♦SERIES♦

Me Before You Book One

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Me Before You Book Two

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes’ novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

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A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak

Two sisters—Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. But Lucia impetuously plows ahead, marrying a bighearted, older man only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She moves her new family from the States to Ecuador and back again, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth.

Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again—but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans—but what does it take to break them?

Told in alternating points of view, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, the story of a young woman’s quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it’s also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone—and when loyalty to one’s self must prevail over all.

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

As I was reading through reviews upon finishing the book, I caught Celeste Ng’s words, that she called it an ‘unflinching portrayal,’ and honestly there is no better descriptor. Everything Here is Beautiful is painfully evocative and brutally honest in not just the uphill battle with mental illness to either yourself or a very closed loved one, but the true definition of familial love. Love isn’t just easy or apologetic or simple; love is very complicated, frustrating, and impossible. Miranda and Lucia’s story tested the true bonds of that love, how far one would go to save her sister and how far she could go without losing herself.

There were times, while reading this novel, that it honestly ripped me apart. It wasn’t an easy story to read; not because it wasn’t well written, but because of how true it rang on both sides of the card. Lucia’s battle with a deteriorating mental illness was like watching a slow, brutal train crash, where I wanted to scream and beg and plead for mercy. But that crash didn’t just involve her, instead including everyone surrounding her–her daughter, her ex, her sister Miranda–and this perpetuating circle of ups and downs. And I think most of us can find ourselves in either sister, whether we’re fighting to save a family member from themselves or that we’re within that fight trying to find those moments of peace in our minds. Lee made both sides incredibly accessible, easing readers into their dilemmas to connect us on a more personal level, and in turn making it more gut-wrenching with each step forward.

I don’t think it’s possible to get through this story without crying and feeling torn or conflicted. Even still, I can feel that soul deep ache of how beautifully vivid and darkly sweet it was resounding in my heart. Lee wrote a complicated tale that read effortlessly on the page and came alive in the mind. And truly there aren’t words to describe how easily Everything Here is Beautiful will capture your attention and bring your heart into an arduous but fulfilling journey between two wonderful sisters.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

Mira T. Lee’s debut novel, Everything Here is Beautiful, was selected by the American Booksellers Association as one of Winter/Spring 2018’s Top 10 Debut titles. Her short fiction has appeared in journals such as the Southern Review, the Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review, TriquarterlyHarvard Review, and American Short Fiction, and has twice received special mention for the Pushcart Prize. She was awarded the Peden Prize for Best Short Story byThe Missouri Review (2010), and an Artist’s Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (2012). In her previous lives, Mira has also been known as a graphic designer, a pop-country drummer, a salsa dancing fanatic, and a biology grad school dropout. Mira is an alum of Stanford University, and currently lives in Cambridge, MA.

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