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Book Review: Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is a coming of age novel taking place in Baltimore, Maryland. During the 1970's, fourteen year old Mary Jane is caught in the middle of her family's conservative ideals and the progressive ideals of the Cone family where she is a summer nanny. Mary Jane is a sheltered teen who enjoys cooking with her mother, listening to Broadway Show Tunes, and singing in the church choir. On the first day of work, she is shocked at the mess in the Cone's home and introduces them to home cooked meals and keeping the house clean. In return, Mary Jane gets a front row seat to sex, drugs, and rock & roll. This novel was the selected for the book club I belong to. Again, this is a novel that I likely wouldn't have chosen to read on my own, but I was glad I did. Mary Jane is the first novel I've read by Jessica Anya Blau, and I was impressed with her storytelling.  Touching on race, class, and stereotypes, along with drugs and infidelity, it reminded

Book Review: Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens

book review never knowing chevy stevens

Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. Sara Gallagher's life is going the way she wants. She is engaged to a wonderful man named Evan and has a six year old daughter name Ally. To top things off, Sara's antique furniture restoration business is finally taking off. But, the only thing missing from her life is knowing who her birth parents are. When she sets out to find them, Sara is taken on the ride of her life when she finds out she's the product of her mother being raped by a serial killer.

This is the second book written by Chevy Stevens and surpassed her debut novel of Still Missing in wow factor. How does this author keep churning out these fabulous stories? From page one, I was automatically drawn into the story of Never Knowing, and the story never let up.

I found the main character, Sara Gallagher, to be very relatable, and with all that she's going through in the story, who could blame her for being a hot mess, especially when she doesn't fully feel like she is accepted by her adopted father. Her finance, Evan, is exasperated by Sara, which I think is perfectly portrayed as I think anyone in his situation would act the same way. Based on the glimpses we get on Chevy Steven's daughter from her Facebook Page, I feel like the character of Ally is based on Chevy's daughter. The only character that I absolutely did not like was Melanie because she was very spoiled and self centered.

Chevy Stevens did a phenomenal job at keeping me from knowing exactly where she was going with the storyline. I had my guesses at what would happen, and I was correct with a few of them but not all. Never Knowing was suspenseful, fast paced, and heart pounding. And, most of the loose ends were tied up, which was very satisfying. This author is one that I will read every book she publishes because she doesn't disappoint.

Five out of five stars is what I gave Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens. If you enjoyed this book, I recommend The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth and Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine.

 

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