Two Mini Book Reviews {One for the Murphy’s // See You at Harry’s}


Today I bring you another round of Mini Book Reviews! We have two very sad stories that still leave you with that happy feeling inside when you are done :) The first one is about a girl who spends a few months with a foster family and how she comes to love them, while the second one is about a tragedy that brings a family closer together. Yay for quick reviews!

One for the Murphys

One for the Murphy’s by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Summary: Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she’s blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong–until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She’s not really a Murphy, but the gifts they’ve given her have opened up a new future.

My Thoughts: For a debut novel, One for the Murphy‘s is pretty outstanding. Linda Mullaly Hunt crafted realistic characters and she wrote a terrific story. Carley, the main character has so many layers to her, and you learn more about her as she spends more and more time with her foster family. I found her a bit unlikeable in the beginning, but I think it was that she was unapproachable because of everything she went through. Her foster family was so nice, and had just as many layers to them as Carley. Julie Murphy, the mother, was kind and I loved how welcoming and understanding she was with Carley. Her sons were too cute, and they were fun to read about. Like Carley, David, the oldest son, was unlikeable in the beginning, but I warmed up to him in the end. Adam and David, the other two, were adorbs, and I seriously wanted to hug them both! :) The dad was my least favorite character. You may not love Carley, but she’s been through so much that the least you could do is make her feel at home, right?! The ending made me want to cry. So sad! One for the Murphy‘s was a well-written novel, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was up for an award.

Pros: Well-written plot and developed characters.

Cons: None!

Heads-Up: Carley’s mom was in an abusive relationship.

Overall: I give it 5 stars {*****} and I reccomend it for ages 11 adn up.

To visit the author’s site, click here.

See You at Harry's

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

Summary: Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges – until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal. Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. Her dad is always busy planning how to increase traffic to the family business. Her Mom is constantly going off to meditate. Her sister Sarah, who’s taking a “gap year” after high school, is too busy finding ways not to work; and her brother Holden is too focused on his new “friend” to pay attention to her. And then there’s Charlie: three years old, a “surprise” baby, and  the center of everyone’s world. If it wasn’t for Ran, Fern’s best and oldest friend, there would be nowhere to turn. Ran is always calm, always positive. His mantra “All will be well” is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe. But when their lives are unexpectedly turned upside down, Fern feels more alone than ever, and responsible for the event that wrenches the family apart. All will not be well. Or at least, all will never be the same.

{kindly taken from Amazon}

My Thoughts: This was another outstanding book. Jo Knowles has a way with words so that the end result is a terrific, heart-warming story! I loved Fern, the main character. Her personality made for an interesting read, and she narrated the story so well. Her family was nowhere near perfect, but they were funny all the same. Holden, Fern’s older brother was gay, which can be a difficult topic to deal with in middle grade novels. Knowles, thankfully, was able to write with such confidence, showing the conflicts that can arise in a family over this issue. I <3 Sara, Fern’s older sister. She was so mature, being the mother that Fern needed over a time of tragedy. She was mature, yet she knew how to have fun at the same time. I wouldn’t say that the parents were up for the Parents of the Year, but I think they grew closer when the book ended. And, Charlie. I loved, loved, loved that kid :) He rocked. As did Ran. The tragedy {I don’t want to give it away.} kind of snuck up on me. I had no idea that it was going to happen, and it made me want to cry. Guys, this was such an amazing book. Go read it. Please.

Pros: Everything.

Cons: Nothing!

Heads Up: A death.

Overall: I give it 5 stars {*****} and I recommend it for ages 12 and up.

Jo Knowles’ website can be found here.

Much love,

Bella :)


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