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Book Review: Murder On The Class Trip (Maya and Sandra Mystery, #3) by Lee Hollis

Murder on the Class Trip (Maya and Sandra Mystery, #3) by Lee Hollis opens in Portland, Maine where Maya Kendrick and Sandra Wallage are enlisted by their kid's teacher to chaperone the class trip to Washington, D.C.  When the intern for Sandra's soon to be ex-husband Stephen turns up dead in the senator's apartment, the moms struggle to juggle their chaperoning responsibilities and solving the murder to acquit Senator Stephen Wallage. First and foremost, thank you to NetGalley for the Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of Murder on the Class Trip (Maya and Sandra Mystery, #3) by Lee Hollis.  I was delighted to receive this book for free in exchange for my honest review.  I was intrigued by the synopsis of Murder on the Class Trip by Lee Hollis because politics intrigue me, and I enjoyed visiting Washington, D.C. several years ago, so I was excited to receive an ARC of this book. This novel isn't the first book I've read by this author, and it certainly won't be the

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 me that there are people who still hold the conservative beliefs that many held in the 1970's. I loved the fact that Mary Jane was exposed to different viewpoints that she normally didn't hear and began to question the world around her, eventually leading to her developing her own opinions. Jessica Anya Blau got the tone and perspective of a teenager perfect in my opinion. Although the story is told from a child's perspective, it is not suitable for young children to read.

Some might find the beginning of the story a bit slow like I did, but as the story developed, I found it to be more interesting and couldn't wait to find out how the tale would unfold. The majority of the characters were likable and most were well developed. I found myself caring what would happen to them, even the ones I didn't particularly like. I wasn't sure if Mary Jane would have an ending I would enjoy, but surprisingly, I was satisfied with how the author wrapped it up.

All in all, I gave Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau four out of five stars. I will likely read other novels written by this author, and I would love to see her write a sequel to this book.


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