Review: One Two Three

One Two Three
One Two Three by Laurie Frankel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars

Laurie Frankel creates the most beautiful and memorable characters. She writes stories that stay with you long after you finish the book. Her characters care so deeply and profoundly that it’s impossible to read her books and not feel the same way.

“This is How it Always is” was my favorite book the year it came out so I was incredibly excited to get to read One Two Three and it absolutely did not disappoint.

This story is about triplets Mab, Monday, and Mirabel who live in the town Bourne where a terrible tragedy occurred seventeen years ago and the town is still reeling from it. The girls’ mother will not stop fighting for justice. A new family moves into town for the first time in a long time and things start taking a most unexpected turn.

The story is told from the perspectives of the three girls, each of whom have a unique and memorable voice. The audio version of the book is exceptional, especially with what it did to make Mirabel come alive. The overarching story is about eco-terrorism and what the chemical plant did to destroy an entire town. But then there are stories around teen love, around what it means to be sisters, around parenthood, around wishes and dreams.

This is another moving story by Frankel that will make you think. It will make you angry, it will make you sad, and it will make you cheer loudly for three girls who are so incredibly brave and mighty.

With gratitude to netgalley, Henry Holt & Company, and Macmillan Audio for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Exodus

Exodus by Kate Stewart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this one a little less. The beginning was a lot like the Twilight book where Edward is gone and all Bella’s doing is mourning and sulking and there was much of that here. Then a bunch of stuff happened and then a lot of time passes so the pacing was a bit weird, too. But it still managed to numb me just fine.

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Review: The Last Goodbye

The Last Goodbye
The Last Goodbye by Fiona Lucas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book. Anna loses the love of her life, Spencer, and then one night randomly calls his cell phone to hear his voice. The number is reassigned so she gets a different person and then they start talking. That person has also endured a big loss so they connect through that and end up chatting without meeting each other for a long time.

The story was deep and meaningful and the ache of loss was well presented. I really enjoyed the narration as well.

with gratitude to netgalley and Harper Audio for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Flock

Flock by Kate Stewart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I had been feeling tired and overwhelmed and unable to find any books that held my interest when I saw this book and the many, many raving reviews on amazon. I am not sure why I hadn’t heard of it but it was the perfect book to help me numb a bit of what’s going on in the world. It’s fast pacing, light, and one of those books you fall into.

If you mind explicit sex scenes, extreme behavior and over the top plots, and if you are bothered by writing that’s not excellent, this one won’t be for you.

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Review: The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This novel has exceptional narration. The story has so much life, so much history, so much political education for me as a reader. I really enjoyed each of the characters in their own unique way. I felt like there were parts that dragged and pulled me out of the story and characters at times (especially when the writer was narrating what was going on) but that’s only because the other characters were so rich and so deep that the difference was noticeable. It’s a great book that is both relevant and richly told with unforgettable characters.

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Review: Second First Impressions

Second First Impressions
Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

I really had fun reading this sweet story of a woman who basically has put her whole life on hold, living in a routine life and dead-end job that comes with an expiration date. She then meets a man who slowly but deeply starts to wake her up and change her life. And, of course, she changes his, too. Sweet, fun, lovely.

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Review: When the Stars Go Dark

When the Stars Go Dark
When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This is a beautifully told character-driven story of a detective who goes back home to recover from her own tragedy and then is recruited to help with an ongoing case. It’s not your typical twisty thriller that goes at a breakneck pace. It’s slow, intentional, deep and well-written. I enjoyed my time with it.

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Review: When I Ran Away

When I Ran Away
When I Ran Away by Ilona Bannister
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars

This was a heart-wrenching portrait of Gigi who loses her brother during 9/11 and then moves to London ten years later to be with the man who helped her on that fateful day. Even though the story starts with 9/11 and the grief and shock of losing her brother, almost all of this story is about post-partum depression. She is far away from her family, her culture, her support system, her husband is working all the time and she is coming undone.

One day, she decides to walk out and check herself into a hotel which is where the story is told from as it unwinds back to the steps that make the story unfold. It was angry, devastating, and a raw portrait of life.


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100 Days of Radical Wellness – 91

100 Days of Radical Wellness – Day 91

Today I made a plan for art.

And I have some thoughts on journaling too.

Let’s see if I can make them happen.

#100dayproject, #the100dayproject, #karenikaradicalwellness

Daily Year of Yes – 121

Year of Yes – 121

One of my sweet, wonderful nephews graduated from college today. I feel like just yesterday my pregnant sister was visiting me in NYC and just yesterday I was playing with her toddler boys and just yesterday they were little kids.

And today he graduated college.

Life passes by in the blink of an eye. And I am using this reminder today to ensure I am living the life I want for myself. Life is too short to live by others’ rules and priorities. Life is too short to be worrying about ephemeral things. Life is too short to be wasting a moment of it.

I want to spend my remaining moments being the kindest person I can be, helping others, lifting them up. I want to be inspired. I want to be in nature, to create art, to tell our stories. I want to be present and calm and patient and content. I want to go on adventures. To be brave.

I want to have my soul dance inside my body.

In the blink of an eye my own kids will graduate from college and in the blink of an eye, I will be old and my minutes here will start getting fewer and fewer.

It’s time to soak in the joy of life.

Congratulations Akseliko, I am so proud of you.

Yes to living fully.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes

Drawing Books – The Good Sister

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth



Daily Year of Yes – 120

Year of Yes – 120

I love looking a the open sky, wide ocean and super tall redwood trees. I love being immersed in the vastness of nature because it reminds me of how big the world is and broadens my perspective.

It’s easy to get caught up in the noise and hustle of daily life and it’s easy to let that shrink your outlook.

Being out in nature this way helps me remember that my worries are small and transient. That there’s a big world out there full of possibilities.

And they are all mine to seek.

Yes to possibilities. Yes to nature. Yes to living life full and deep and wide. There’s so much to life, yes to sampling it all.

#yearofyes #karenikayearofyes