“Daydreams can be dangerous.”

Sharp Objects Paperback by Gillian Flynn

Well, hello there my faithful followers, I apologize for my absence and promised myself I would return with a bang and a pow, well here is it.sharp-objects I have been uninspired lately, haven’t liked anything I’ve read, resulting in me shunning volumes of romance novels and grasping at straws. I legitimately had to speak to a human person at work and discuss a good book…it was terrifying. Finding other young, attractive females who read is similar to seeing a dog walk on it’s hind legs, it’s possible, you just never thought you’d experience it. So when I encountered not 1 but 3 gals at work who like freaky (not that kind, that’s my other book blog) novels I was stoked, and so began my deep dive into physiological mystery thrillers. I’m not sure if that’s a genre but I’m making it one now. Here we go…

Here’s “Sharp Objects”:

Gillian Flynn’s freshman novel “Sharp Objects” follows journalist Camille Preaker who returns to help home town in Missouri to cover the disappearance and deaths of two young girls. After hardly speaking to her overbearing Mother in the past decade, Camille returns to a Victorian mansion she once called home,a creepy older stepfather and 13 year old half sister she barely knows.  While investigating the murders shes is forced to reevaluate her own well-being, and deal with a family that redefines dysfunction.

The Heroine: Much like Gone Girl, Flynn’s narrator is fabulously flawed and not entirely free of blame yet you find yourself pulling for a lesser of two evils. Camille is in need of a serious hug, but at the same time shes whiny and irritating. If you didn’t figure it out from the title, Camille is a cutter, carving words into her skin at alarming rates, her wardrobe rivals that of a Hasidic woman. 80% of my time thinking of Camille was wondering how she didn’t die of heat stroke. All that aside, she is a beautifully flawed character who know she’s not doing the right thing, hates being where she is and yet longs for acceptance from her mentor so much she continues on a path that may very well kill her.

The Plot: Holy freaking crap. Gillian Flynn is a genius. The woman has some serious issues that I hope she never seeks treatment for. The story itself is original and haunting, full of twists I never saw coming and a heroine I didn’t love cheering for. I have to say, the ending to Gone Girl and Dark Places petered out for me, Sharp Objects really didn’t follow suit (or should I say the others departed?). The climax and epilogue provided answers to all open ended questions and mostly rounded the characters stories out nicely which I really enjoyed. I truly didn’t see the motive for the murders coming, for me that more than the murderer was the strangest and creepiest twist.

Classy Broad Approved!

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Important Lessons They Don’t Teach In History Class

The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

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A few months back I was having a conversation about Atomic Energy and the few companies in the US that control the forefront of innovation, yea I know, typically 25 year old discussions. Well, the conversation got me thinking, which got me scouring the depths of the internet which lead me to this gem of a novel.

Full disclosure here, I am a World War Two History Certified NERD! I love any all books, documentaries, articles, movies, funny t-shirts about World War Two history.That being said I could map out the U.S. Marine path in Guadalcanal or the explain the exact German short comings in The Battle of the Bulge but I haven’t read extensively on the home front or women’s roles past the “Rosie The Riveter” amalgam. Perhaps it was this of this lack of knowledge that caused, The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan to blow my mind on so many levels. Now, for the equally uninformed allow me to enlighten you as to the shear awesomeness of women during World War Two.

We all know how WWII ended, right? We dropped a big ol’ H-bomb on 2 Japanese cities and eventually Japan surrendered, thus catapulting modern warfare about 75 years into the future. What we don’t learn about in history class (among other remarkably important things that is an entirely different topic) is WHERE and HOW the US developed this remarkable, innovative, game changing Weapon of Mass Destruction. Well, that’s where Oak Ridge, Tennessee comes into play. During the height of World War II the government secretly purchased acreage from the state of Tennessee and relocated thousands upon thousands of young women (clerks or secretaries) to a secret city, for a purpose unknown. They were given a healthy pay raise and the promise that “Everything will be taken care of”. These women and eventually, men (scientists or college educated) worked to develop, purchase and engineer all of the moving parts that went into building the first Hydrogen Bomb. Pretty, f-ing cool right?!?

The Girls of Atomic City was written from interviews and first hand accounts of life in Oak Ridge. It is a phenomenal story of the remarkable women who helped shape a nation and change the world. The story itself is intimate yet all encompassing, exposing not only the mission of the Manhattan Project but also the personal lives of young, unmarried women during World War II. Its an interesting concept to think about considering we spend a good chuck of school learning about World War II. The last high school history class you took probably went a bit like this “American Revolution….Slavery Is Bad…Hitler, Hitler, Hitler, Atomic Bomb, let’s fast forward through the Korean War, Cold War, and land in a truncated explanation of Vietnam before the school year ends.” Am I right? I thought so.

Regardless of your history prowess, I highly recommend The Girls Of Atomic City to anyone who may be slightly interested in women, World War II, Atomic bombs, nuclear energy or perhaps the discerning historian of Tennessean land owners. You will not be disappointed in the slightest. The story lends itself well to most readers, especially those like me who know just about nothing about science. It offers a blend of history, science and celebrates the unsung heroes of World War II.

Official Description:At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women from small towns across the U.S., were recruited to this secret city, enticed by the promise of solid wages and war-ending work. What were they actually doing there? Very few knew. The purpose of this mysterious government project was kept a secret from the outside world and from the majority of the residents themselves. Some wondered why, despite the constant work and round-the-clock activity in this makeshift town, did no tangible product of any kind ever seem to leave its guarded gates? The women who kept this town running would find out at the end of the war, when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed and changed the world forever.” 

Happy Reading Classy Broads!

Strong Women, Vintage Clothes

Vintage by Susan Gloss  is a beautifully written debut novel that intertwines the lives of 4 women, Amithi, Violet, Betsy and April around a delightfully cool Vintage clothing store in Madison, Wisconsin. Most definitely Chick Lit certified summer read. The novel takes on some heavy topics including illness, adultery, teen pregnancy and abuse. There is a great underlying romance to this novel, love between sisters, lovers and most importantly love of self. Each story teaches us something new about the characters and ourselves.  The novel varies narration chapter to chapter and is cinematic in presentation. Fashion plays a big role in telling us how each character is feeling and where they are emotionally.18090110

Heroines:

          Violet, the divorced owner of The Hourglass Vintage Shop in her mid/later thirties.

          Betsy, a bad-ass, aging, well-known and better-dressed philanthropist who befriends Violet

          Amithi, a middle-aged Indian woman having marital troubles with her arranged marriage husband of 40+ years.

          April, a pregnant teen who is about to start college and trying to take on the new role of motherhood

Setting: A fabulously cool vintage clothing store in Madison, Wisconsin 

Chick Lit Level: 8

Recommendation: A quick and beautiful read that will leave you satisfied. If you love multiple narrations, chick lit with light romance and don’t mind crying on the beach, pick it up for the weekend!

WELCOME CLASSY BROADS!

Some of you may know me, others may not, Welcome regardless!

Why Are We Here? Plain and simple, I love reading, reviewing and recommending books. I have a wide variety of tastes including Non-Fiction, Military History, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, YA, Fiction, Comedy and anything on the New York Times Best Sellers list for more than 5 weeks. Friends and family have always asked for book reviews and suggestions e viola!  the Classy Broads Book Review was born!

What Can You Give Me? Book reviews, recommendations and general hilarity. Ask questions, read reviews, hide in the strange anonymous corner of the internet if you wish! Any site I’ve ever been on that recommends books uses an algorithm based on purchase history, well that’s wonderful but if you are anything like me it’s complete crap. Most recommendations get muddled, I’m here to help! You like Women and World War II, I have a suggestions for that, want something that won’t make you cry but wil make you think? I can help. And if you are looking for the very best of contemporary romance and pantie dropping lead characters, we’ll hop on over to Trashy Books for Classy Broads and I’ll hook you up with those too!

Happy Reading Classy Broads,

A