Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Only Ever Her

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts?

Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

As the days pass, the list of suspects in her disappearance grows. Could it be the recently released man a young Annie misidentified as her mother’s killer? Could it be someone even closer to her?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

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Available on Tuesday – May 7, 2019!

This was my first read by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen and sadly I wasn’t impressed. The story was intriguing and I enjoyed how the past and present seemed to link up, but sadly the characters did it in.

Annie is suppose to be this flawless main character who lost her mother at a young age. She has her secrets, but she is getting married to a great guy. I hated Annie. She was just so flaky and used people to get what she wanted. She didn’t care about others and only focused on herself. So when she disappeared, I was thrilled.

The rest of the book focused on 4 other characters (Annie’s aunt, Annie’s cousin, a reporter who attended school with Annie and Annie’s closest friend). I didn’t care for any of them and it was annoying to have the novel skip back and forth between so many characters.

2 calculators out of a potential 5. Such a beautiful cover, but sadly not a book I enjoyed.

Thank you to Netgallery and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

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Aw man, I had such high hopes for this one, but sadly this fell a bit short for me. First of all, this is a beautiful true story about Lale Sokolov and his time at Auschwitz-Birkenau as the Tätowierer. I can’t imagine what he and all other prisoners had to go through just to survive to the next day.

What lost me was the writing of the story. At times, the story was hard to follow along as the scene would change without any warning. One reviewer wrote that she couldn’t tell you one personality trait of Gita (Lale’s love interest) and I have to agree. I was hoping for more emotion whereas it just fell flat.

I felt the most emotion reading the Afterword from Lale’s son. It was beautiful and filled with so much love for his parents. I wish that he had written the entire novel!

3 calculators out of a potential 5. A generous 3 calculators since I only found the novel to be ok due to the writing.

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I can’t wait for … Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen (Can’t-Wait Wednesday)

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a meme hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we are excited about that we have yet to read. The book I can’t wait to read is this week is:

Only Ever Her

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts?

Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

As the days pass, the list of suspects in her disappearance grows. Could it be the recently released man a young Annie misidentified as her mother’s killer? Could it be someone even closer to her?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

What novel are you excited to read? Let me know in the comments below!

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