Tag Archive | Family Drama

Review: Watching Glass Shatter

Title: Watching Glass Shatter

Author: James J. Cudney

Date of Publication: October 8th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

The wealthy Glass family lost its patriarch, Benjamin Glass, sooner than expected. Benjamin’s widow, Olivia, and her 5 sons each react to his death in their own way while preparing for the reading of his will. Olivia receives a very unexpected confession from her late husband about one of their sons that could shatter the whole family.

Prior to revealing the secret to her children, Olivia must figure out which boy Ben refers to in the confession he left her in his will. While the family attorney searches for the mysterious Rowena Hector whom Ben says holds the answers, Olivia asks her sons to each spend a week with her as she isn’t ready to let go of the past. When Olivia visits her sons, she quickly learns that each one has been keeping his own secret from her. Olivia never expected her remaining years would be so complex and life-altering, but she will not rest until her family is reunited after Ben’s untimely death.

We all need family. We all want to fit in. We’re all a mix of quirky personalities. Will Olivia be able to fix them or will the whole family implode? What will she do when she discovers the son behind Ben’s secret? Check out this ensemble cast where each family member’s perspective is center stage, discovering along the way who might feel the biggest impact from all the secrets. Through various scenes and memories across a six-month period, you’ll get to know everyone, learning how and why they made certain decisions. Welcome to being an honorary member of the Glass family where the flair for over-the-top drama pushes everyone to their limits.

My Review:

Not long ago, I read Father Figure but Cudney, and after, I just knew I had to read Watching Glass Shatter! They are both very different books, but equally as good! Also this one had some interesting secrets!

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What I liked best about this book is it is very character driven. I’m sure I’ve said this numerous times but those are my favorite kind of books. There were a lot of POV’s, and I’ve read books where the personalities feel too much the same or that they are there for no reason. But like Six of Crows (completely different genre), they perfectly fit in the puzzle of this novel.

There were five Glass boys, and each one I enjoyed reading. I’d have to say Caleb and Jacob’s story line was probably my favorite. Also, Caleb talked about the movie 54 and Ryan Phillippe and how he was his crush in his younger years—that reminded me of my Junior High years! Teddy had a great story line, too—a very close second!

I felt for the mom, Olivia, especially. As a mother, sometimes I think I’m doing things not enough or that I could have done things better. But no mother is a hundred percent perfect, we try our best because, and each day is a learning curve. And I loved her character!

There was a choice between Zach Glass and another character that most people would want to whip out the witch hunt torches for, but sometimes, things happen. As long as it isn’t a repetitive circle I believe people should be forgiven.

Overall, this was such a dang addicting read that I finished it way quicker than expected. I will say there is a particular chapter that made me tear up! Cudney just knows how to brings out all kinds of different emotions with his books. I need his next book already!

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Review: Father Figure

Title: Father Figure

Author: James J. Cudney

Date of Publication: April 2nd, 2018

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Goodreads Summary:

Between the fast-paced New York City, a rural Mississippi town, and a charming Pennsylvania college campus filled with secrets, two young girls learn the consequences of growing up too quickly. Struggling to survive in a claustrophobic, unforgiving world, they embark on a journey to overcome all the pain, disappointment, and horror of their experiences.

Amalia Graeme, abused by her mother for most of her life, longs to escape her desolate hometown, connect with others, and fall in love. Contemplating an impending loss of innocence and conflicting feelings between her boyfriend and the dangerous attraction she’s developed for an older man, Amalia suffers devastating, life-altering tragedies. No matter where she turns, someone or something always steals her hope of finding happiness, protection, and love.

Brianna Porter, a sassy yet angst-ridden teenager raised in New York City, yearns to determine her life’s true purpose, conquer her fear of abandonment, and interpret an intimidating desire for her best friend, Shanelle. All the confusion stems from desperately needing to find the father whom her mother refuses to reveal, but an unexpected discovery of a journal leads Brianna to a shocking revelation about her missing parent. Unfortunately, by casting the net to find him, she’s unleashed a tragic history that was meant to stay buried and might now completely change everyone’s futures.

Through alternating chapters set two decades apart, each girl’s plight unfolds revealing the parallels between their lives and the subsequent collision that is bound to happen. In an emotional story filled with mystery, romance, and suspense, fate intervenes forcing someone to make a dreadful decision that will leave permanent scars.

My Review:

I’ve been seeing both of Cudney’s books floating around on Goodreads in my feed for a while now, and I have been wanting to read both of them. I decided to start with his latest one, Father Figure, and I wasn’t sure what was going to go down in it. But boy, this book was a twisty, emotional, and awesome adventure!

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Let me start by saying I loved the alternating perspectives between 1984 and 2004. First, I love the 80’s and second I was 19 in 2004 and loved that year! This story is  very character driven and as I’ve mentioned before, those are my absolute favorite kinds of books.

Let’s start with Amalia! Oh man, this girl… I loved this character. Not every girl in life is born a fighter. A lot of times a way a person is raised can have a huge impact on who they become. Amalia had one of the worst kind of mothers possible. After a tragedy with her father, circumstances lead Amalia on a journey where sometimes she doesn’t know what she wants—sometimes she is needy, sometimes she wants to find the one goodness she had in life, her father, in someone else. Through all the events, she really grew as a character. And some of the events were downright awful.

Brianna reminded me of several of my friends in high school. Sometimes you just aren’t sure of what you want, be it sexuality, a career, life in general. When you’re young and even as an adult things aren’t always clear. This leads Brianna to also want to find out about her missing father which sets her on a path that leads to all kinds of twists and turns. I’m going to be honest here, I’m quite good at guessing twists, but I did not see these coming.

Father Figure is well written and an addictive novel filled with a bottle full of emotions. I can’t wait to read Cudney’s other book!

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