OUR 2 CENTS

Book Review

Book Review: Those Girls

Those Girls written by Chevy Stevens

What would you do to save your sister? The only answer is anything. In this case, the three Campbell sisters (Dani, Courtney and Jess) are physically and verbally abused by their alcoholic father – calling them names, beating them, leaving them with black eyes, cigarette burns, etc. One day their father goes to kill one of the sisters and another sister has to kill their father in order to save that sister. Then in order to save the sister who killed their father and not be separated again through foster care, all three sisters bury their father, clean up and go on the run together. Their mother died years ago in a car accident.

As the sisters are on the run, their truck ends up breaking down in a town called Cash Creek. The story is set in Canada. The sisters accept help from two brothers (Brian and Gavin Luxton) who end up kidnapping, torturing and raping the three sisters for five days until the three are able to escape. They get help from Allen and his son Owen who help them get out of town and to Vancouver, Canada. In Vancouver they are helped by Patrick (Allen’s friend) and his wife Karen. They set up a new life for themselves with new identities (they are now Dallas, Crystal and Jamie Caldwell). One of the sisters has a baby (Skylar), a product of the rape. The first part of the book is narrated by Jamie and the second part by Skylar (when she is 17 years old).

I skipped over the rape and torture, I just couldn’t, it was too much. I cried a lot throughout this book and I really identified with the oldest sister because when she was unable to protect her younger sisters, I know that she felt like she failed in her job as the oldest. At the end of the book, we hear the story told from the oldest sister’s point of view and she voices that feeling of failure and regret, and I just got it.

The themes I saw:

Sisterhood – The bond of sisters is amazing, you share the same experience growing up, the same trauma from your parents and so your sisters are the only people in the world that understand why you are as messed up as you are.

Love – Killing their dad in order to protect the sister dad was killing, that was love. Covering up dad’s murder so the sister who did it doesn’t go to jail, that was love. Keeping the rapist’s baby and never punishing the baby for it, that was love.

I would recommend this book but be warned that there is rape, torture, violence against women but if you can get passed all that you will find a story about sisterhood, surviving and making the best of your situation.

Book Review

Book Review: Someone Knows

Book Review: Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline

SPOILER ALERT:

Allie Garvey, Sascha Barrow, Julian Brown, Kyle Gallagher and David Habrinski were fifteen years old, they participated in a prank that ended with one of them dead. The other teens hid the secret, stopped being friends and now twenty years later another one of them is dead.

Allie Garvey – Her older sister Jill died at 17 years old from Cystic Fibrosis (a disease where mucus clogs the lungs making it hard to breath). At 15 years old, Allie was overweight, missing her sister and had a huge crush on David. Twenty years later, Allie is married to Larry Luchey and Larry wants a divorce.

Sascha Barrow – At 15 years old, Sascha was the captain of the running team, had great grades, beautiful and rich. Twenty years later, Sascha did not finish college, she travels the world using her trust fund and writing PR pieces about fashion.

Julian Brown – At 15 years old, Julian’s parents are divorced, he is a peeping Tom, rich and likes Sascha. His best friend is David. Twenty years later, Julian runs part of the family business with his dad, Scott Brown (who owns Brown Land Management).

Kyle Gallagher – At 15 years old, Kyle just moved from Ohio with his mom (Barb) to get away from the scandal that happened involving his dad. Kyle’s dad is in prison for molesting children with cancer at the hospital that he worked as a pediatric oncologist. Barb changed Kyle and her name from Hammond to her maiden name Gallagher. Kyle is great at basketball and has a dog named Buddy. Twenty years later, Kyle is still dead and his mother misses him every day.

David Habrinski – At 15 years old, David has an abusive dad who called him a “faggot” and pushed him into the pool. David secretly questions his sexuality – is he gay or not? David kisses Allie to see if he is attracted to her. David’s best friend is Julian. David has three younger siblings – Jason and the twins (girls). Twenty years later, David is married with a pregnant wife and a boyfriend on the side.

Themes I saw:

Wanting to fit in – Allie wanted to fit in so she did not walk away when she felt that playing with a gun was wrong. Kyle put a gun to his own head as a dare to get in with the cool kids because he wanted to fit in.

Keeping secrets and punishing yourself – Allie felt so guilty over Kyle’s death that she stopped overeating, developed Colitis (stomach issues) and became skinny as an adult. She got married but was always distant from her loving husband (Larry) and continued to take birth control after telling her husband that she wanted children too but she felt that she did not deserve it. Sascha did not end up going to law school nor did she become a fashion designer. As an adult she would take Ambien to sleep, other medications for anxiety, alcohol, and fluttering from country to country. David did not live his truth which was he is gay, instead he married a woman and then had a secret boyfriend on the side.

It was a good book and made me think about the fact that not telling because you fear getting into trouble but then punishing yourself so much worse and in the end you don’t live your life so you should have just told in the first place.

Book Review

Book Review: The Child

The Child by Fiona Barton

This is the second book by Fiona Barton that I have read!

A skeleton of a baby is found buried in an area where a construction crew is working on in London. Reporter, Kate Waters, starts investigating, trying to figure out who the baby is and what happened. There are two women in deep pain, Angela and Emma. Forty years ago, Angela’s infant daughter Alice was stolen from the hospital as Angela went to take a much needed shower. And so anytime a dead baby is discovered, Angela follows up with the police to see if it’s her Alice. Emma has a secret that she has never told anyone, not even her husband. Emma is sure that the dead baby is hers and she is waiting for the police to come and arrest her.

The themes I saw:

A mother’s love for her child –

Angela loved her daughter, Alice even though she was with her for a very short time after she was born. The contrast is Jude’s relationship with her daughter, Emma. Emma can’t tell that her mother loves her because her mom always picks her boyfriends over her daughter.

Victim blaming –

The police blame Angela for leaving her baby unattended while she went to take a shower. Angela is the victim and the jerk who stole Angela’s baby is the only one to blame.

Will blames Emma for “tempting him”. Disgusting! Emma was a child and Will was a grown man. As a grown man it was Will’s responsibility to not look at a child in a sexual way and to definitely not act on that impulse!

Emma blames herself for getting pregnant even though she never wanted to have sex that first time that led to her pregnancy. And so Emma hid her pregnancy then gave birth alone in her bathtub. That must have been so scary and painful for her!

Motherhood –

Being a good mother isn’t something that a woman is born with and the moment she has a child – BOOM – she becomes a good mother. It is a skill that a mother works on. Jude should never have been a mother, she wanted to focus on keeping her man happy; which would have been fine but there was a child in the picture.

I cried at the end of the book! It was sad but it left me feeling good and hopeful since the ending was a happy one! Let me know what you thought.

Book Review

Book Review: The Widow

Book Review: The Widow by Fiona Barton

A baby named Bella Elliot is taken from her backyard while her mom (Dawn Elliot) went inside the house for a few minutes. Bob Sparkes, a detective is on Bella’s case. Kate Waters is a reporter looking into the case. As the investigation continues Glen Taylor becomes the primary suspect and is later charged with kidnapping Bella. When the case goes to trial, Glen is not convicted and ends up suing the police. Jean Taylor is married to Glen Taylor and she remains with her husband through this entire ordeal.

The book is told from the points of views of several characters, each chapter is from a different character’s point of view – The Widow (Jean Taylor), The Reporter (Kate Waters), The Mother (Dawn Elliot), The Detective (Bob Sparkes) and The Husband (Glen Taylor).

It was interesting to see how a reporter works a story – having a hunch, digging, talking to people and then it could turn into something or it is nothing.

I did not understand the dynamic of Jean and Glen’s marriage – from how Jean described the marriage, it didn’t feel like it was a great marriage.

There is pedophilia, child abduction and death in this book. The ending was not predictable at all and I was surprised.

Movie Reviews

What I learned after watching Nightmare Tenants and Slum Landlords

I recently watched the show Nightmare Tenants and Slum Landlords on Netflix. The show has two seasons it is a reality show following independent eviction specialists working on behalf of landlords and local authority housing officers investigating landlords and unsafe living conditions. It is based in England and during each episode the tenants and landlords change. Sometimes the tenant will be bad – not paying rent, destroying the house and refusing to leave. While other times the landlord is bad – not making repairs, threatening tenants.

What I learned:

Have an application. Do a background and criminal check. Check if there are any judgments against your potential tenant. Get copies of IDs of the potential tenants.

Get a security deposit and ensure that you follow the law in regards to how to manage the security deposit.

Get repairs done in a timely manner and keep all receipts for the work that was done since you will need to show what you did when the tenant takes you to court for not making repairs.

Communicate through email so you have a record of everything.

Do not give into sob stories – they will screw you later on!

Understand that a tenant will be rough with your house and a lot of tenants will not take care of your home. So yes you will need to do a major cleaning and repairs once the old tenants move to prepare the house for new tenants.

Put aside money to pay for lawyer fees, court fees, clean out, etc. There will be a time that you need this so just have it ready.

Make sure you can pay your mortgage with your own salary without financial strain because tenants do not always pay their rent and your mortgage company will not care, they want their money.

Have a fund sent aside for repairs because repairs will always be needed and your tenant will be right there to say that’s why they did not pay rent.

Rossy's Corner

The Perfect Kiss

Before Wonderful I thought I knew what a good kiss was, in fact I believed that I had a few great kisses from a small number of exes. And then Wonderful kissed me. The first time, I was surprised so I didn’t move. But the second first kiss……. was amazing! Every kiss after that one was great too!

Unfortunately, Wonderful has stopped kissing me. We barely speak – a text every so often and we no longer hang out. Yes I know that this means that Wonderful “is not that into me” and I need to stop being so desperate and move on as my bestie so bluntly put it……….. several times.

I’m going through a loss of Wonderful right now and it hurts. I have hope that later on I will meet Wonderful 2.0, who will rhyme with my drum beat and whose kisses will knock me off my feet! But until that day that I meet Wonderful 2.0 I am happy for what Wonderful showed me and I will be okay. So yes I’m still single, I have kissing withdrawal but I’m alive! And where there is life, there is hope! (And I hope that I will get to enjoy more perfect kisses.)

Book Review

Book Review: It’s Always the Husband

Book Review:  It’s Always the Husband

By Michele Campbell

Kate Eastman, Aubrey Miller and Jenny Vega are assigned to room together as freshmen at Carlisle College.

Kate is popular and from a rich family.

Aubrey is dirt poor, at the college on a scholarship and ready to finally get a life and start living it!

Jenny is a townie from a loving family who dreams of making it big after college.

Lucas is a jock who secretly dated Jenny in high school until Jenny broke up with him. In college Lucas is one of the guys Kate dates.

Tim is Lucas’ cousin.

Griff always loved Kate but Kate only tolerates him because he is rich.

One day, Kate and Lucas get into an argument when Lucas tries to break up with her. Kate gets really angry and pushes Lucas off a bridge. Tim, Aubrey and Jenny witness it. Tim runs into the water to save Lucas, Tim gets a head injury and does not remember that night. Aubrey was there to commit suicide but changes her mind. Jenny was there to stop Aubrey from committing suicide. Lucas dies.

Twenty years later……

Kate is unemployed, married to Griff, an ex-rich kid. Kate does not love Griff. She has numerous affairs. Her most recent affair is with Ethan (Aubrey’s husband) and she ends up pregnant.

Aubrey owns her own yoga studio, she is married to Ethan, a doctor who constantly cheats. Aubrey secretly loves Griff.

Jenny is mayor and married to Tim a construction company owner. Jenny has hidden the truth of how Lucas died from Tim and Tim still does not remember how Lucas died.

Kate ends up dead and it could have ties to Lucas’ death twenty years ago or it could have been a suicide.

Owen Rizzo has just been hired as the town’s sheriff. He met Kate for a brief moment before her death. Now as sheriff he is determined to find out who murdered Kate. But he could be so fixated on saying that this was a murder when it could have been a suicide.

Themes I saw:

Loving someone who does not care about you

Aubrey loves Kate but Kate is selfish.

Aubrey loves Griff but Griff loves Kate.

Ethan loves cheating and is currently cheating with Kate.

Kate loves Ethan.

Secrets

Aubrey, Jenny and Kate hold the secret of what really happened to Lukas.

Money

Having lots of money gives the person access to the best of everything.

Kate’s dad is rich and so he was able to quickly get Kate out of the country to a place that she would not be extradited from. He then had the family lawyer handle the “new truth” of what happened to Lucas.

Money doesn’t automatically equal happiness

Kate’s family has a lot of money but Kate is a damaged kid. She lost her mom at a young age, she believes that her dad hates her and so she drinks a lot of alcohol, attends all the parties and does lots of drugs. When Kate is older she gets married to Griff a guy she does not love but he has a lot of money. Kate cheats on Griff all the time, she continues with drinking and doing drugs.  

There was friendship, murder, suicide, revenge, betrayal, love, drugs, and the ending surprised me because the explanation of how Kate died was not what I though. I loved the book!!!!