The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey (eARC) | A Reading, Reading, Reading Review

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

There are only a handful of times where I have gone out of my way to read an Advanced Readers Copy months before it’s release date. That being said, when I was provided with an eARC of The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey in August via Netgalley, I took to my Kindle to read it that same day. And I can proudly say, I definitely made the right decision in doing so!


Synopsis (

Martine is a genetically cloned replica made from Evelyn Caldwell’s award-winning research. She’s patient and gentle and obedient. She’s everything Evelyn swore she’d never be.
And she’s having an affair with Evelyn’s husband.
Now, the cheating bastard is dead, and the Caldwell wives have a mess to clean up.
Good thing Evelyn Caldwell is used to getting her hands dirty
When they said all happy families are alike, this can’t be what they meant…

This thriller was incredibly well written and paced. I have never read a Sarah Gailey novel before, but I know that people typically tend to enjoy her writing. This book was no exception. The writing was very simple and easy to understand. It was also very to the point and efficient in this story. The novel was paced very well, being suspenseful at certain times, while also being stagnant at others.

I also really enjoyed the small cast of characters. There are essentially only four characters that are central to this story, which I enjoyed immensely, as several thrillers I have read feature a high number of characters that I typically find hard to differentiate. While none of the characters were very likeable or rememberable, I thought they were written perfectly for the purpose of this novel.

My favourite part of this novel was the cloning aspect, which turned out to be no surprise. Whenever I read a thriller that has a tech or sci-fi element, I always end up loving it and enjoy seeing it intertwined in the novel. While I am not a huge sci-fi reader, I find sci-fi tropes in thrillers so engrossing and compelling, which is why I initially added this to my most anticipated list for 2021!

The plot itself was great. As I said earlier, this books really encapsulated everything I love in thrillers. A family/domestic drama, murder, and a sci-fi element! At times, I would have enjoyed a bit more action. I also thought that the ending dragged on a tad. But other than that, this book was fantastic! Overall, I rated it 4.25/5 stars!

Thanks to Macmillan-Tor/Forge and Netgalley for providing me with an eARC to read and review!

Good Night Book Owls!

Milk Fed by Melissa Broder (ARC)

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

For the past three consecutive years (2018-2020), my first book of the year always managed to be my least favourite book of the year. And these weren’t books that I gave 2.5-3 stars to, I’m talking about 1-star books, which is insane! Thankfully, by way of reading Milk Fed by Melissa Broder, I finally broke my god-awful curse!

Synopsis (

Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of existential control, by way of obsessive food rituals, while working as an underling at a Los Angeles talent management agency. At night, she pedals nowhere on the elliptical machine. Rachel is content to carry on subsisting—until her therapist encourages her to take a ninety-day communication detox from her mother, who raised her in the tradition of calorie counting.
Early in the detox, Rachel meets Miriam, a zaftig young Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite frozen yogurt shop and is intent upon feeding her. Rachel is suddenly and powerfully entranced by Miriam—by her sundaes and her body, her faith and her family—and as the two grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey.
Pairing superlative emotional insight with unabashed vivid fantasy, Broder tells a tale of appetites: physical hunger, sexual desire, spiritual longing, and the ways that we as humans can compartmentalize these so often interdependent instincts. Milk Fed is a tender and riotously funny meditation on love, certitude, and the question of what we are all being fed, from one of our major writers on the psyche—both sacred and profane.

I want to start off this review by explicitly stating that this book will NOT be for everyone. There are quite a few weird and disturbing fantasies that the main character, Rachel, talks about in great detail, which may be off-putting for some readers. Additionally, at the beginning of the book, you immediately recognize that Rachel is dealing with an eating disorder, and has been for the majority of her life due to childhood trauma. The book starts off with a conservation about her eating habits, which spirals into other various triggering conversations. So if that is something that may make it hard for you to read this book, I would steer clear for now.

All that being said, the book may not be for everyone, but it certainly was for me!

All of the characters in this novel were so authentic and raw, and seemed very real to me. Each character had an interesting perspective or story, and made a very different impact on Rachel throughout the short window of her life that we read about. Rachel was such a complex and layered character, who had many real flaws and issues with her life. Rachel’s odd fantasies and ideas may seem disturbing at times, but I feel like everyone can relate to her as most people share many of the odd things that she thinks about on a daily basis. I could see a lot of myself in Rachel, which contributed to why I enjoyed this novel so much. I also really appreciated Miriam, the second main-character in this novel and Rachel’s love interest. Like Rachel, she was very complex and layered, and the characteristics she had may surprise people that are not close to orthodox Jewish women. She had a mind of her own and acted like her own person, while also enjoying her religious lifestyle and family. Orthodox Jewish women are frequently looked down on in Americanized societies, so to see someone from Miriam’s religious roots make such a deep character was incredibly refreshing to read about. I would have liked to have read more about Miriam’s parents and siblings, as I found them to be very intriguing characters.

The writing of this story was quite simple, but very raw. When I read first-person narratives, I often find that the author is describing the main characters thoughts instead of simply writing them from their point of view. In this story, Broder writes the story so well, that everytime I picked up this novel, I was immersed into Rachel’s mind and could clearly understand her thoughts and where they were coming from.

My most favourite part about this book was the Jewish representation. Judaism is a very important aspect and theme in this book, as their are a few conversations that revolve around religion, culturally Jewish traditions, and the aspect of sexuality in Judaism. As a Jewish women, I hardly ever find myself represented in books. I have several friends and family friends that are very observant/religious, and to see Miriam live her life as a religious Jewish women was SO exciting to read about. My favourite scenes in this novel was when Rachel attends Miriam’s family’s shabbat dinner, as I found it so authentic and real, from the food they were eating, to the way they were having their conversations. Throughout the novel, Rachel continuously thinks about the Jewish chant/song titled “Eitz Chaim Hi”, which was so wonderful to me, as that is my favourite Jewish “shul song” as well. Not only was the culture of Judaism a frequent theme in this novel, but there were also some incredibly interesting conversations between Rachel and Miriam about Judaism, including a conversation between Rachel and Miriam’s mother about the state of Israel. It was so refreshing to showcase that just because an individual is Jewish, they may not always agree with how Israel is run, much like how an American, or even Canadian person may not like how their government leaders run their respective homelands. That conversation was a huge turning point in the novel, but also helped to show readers that not all Jewish people are the same. Diverse representation is incredibly important in literature, and I hope that I will be able to find and read more books that revolve around complex Jewish characters, such as the ones found in Milk Fed.

Overall, I rated this novel 5/5 stars. It was one of the most perfect books I have read in a long, long time, and I look forward to picking up Melissa Broder’s future novels. If you are interested in reading this novel, it comes out in (online) bookstores today! Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me an ARC of this novel to review!

Good Night Book Owls!

January 2021 Wrap-Up

Welcome back to Reading, Reading, Reading!

Every year, I find that January is always the longest month of the entire year. Even though we have been stuck in our houses since last March, it still feels like this January was the longest month of all. I got quite a bit of reading completed for the first-half of the month, however, I probably could have read double the amount if I had read consistently during the last two-weeks of January (you can blame George Springer for that!).

The first book I read this year was SHOCKINGLY a 5-star read! The title of the book is MILK FED, written by Melissa Broder. Every year for the past three years, I have managed to read my least favourite book of the year as my first book of the year. Thankfully, that curse has now been broken by this wonderful book. My review will be going up tomorrow, so I am going to save my opinions for tomorrow’s post. Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC!

The second book I read in January was EVERY LAST FEAR by Alex Finlay. I feel like this book is getting a lot of pre-release hype – similarly to THE SILENT PATIENT (one of my absoulte favourite books) – but, I do feel like it is earned! My review for this book will be up on it’s release date, but I will say that I really enjoyed it! Thanks to Netgalley for the eARC!

The third book I read this month was A GOOD MARRIAGE by Kimberly McCreight. I have been wanting to read this book ever sense it released last year, but I am currently on a small book-buying ban, which entails only buying/pre-ordering new releases I am excited to read. For any backlists books that I am interested in, I will be getting them from the library for the foreseeable future, because if I really wanted to purchase them, I would have done so already. Anywho, back to this book! I really, really loved it! I am a huge domestic mystery/thriller fan, and this book was absolutely perfect for me! I loved the characters, the plot, and the twists and turns. I did not see the end twist coming, which made for a 4.5 star rating for me!

The fourth book I read this month was ALBATROSS by Terry Fallis. This one was recommended in a recent Ariel Bissett video, and since I typically love her book recommendations, I decided to try this one out. While I am glad I read it, I wouldn’t recommend it to everybody. I really enjoyed the beginning of this novel, where the main character begins his adventures in golf, but by the end, I thought that it was dragging on. Overall, I gave this book a 3-star rating.

The fifth book I read this month was INDIAN HORSE by Richard Wagamese. I read this book for my “Education Re-Imagined” course, and I am SO glad I read it. This book broke my heart in some sections, and lifted me up in others. I had a lot of previous knowledge about Residential Schooling in Canada, but this book shared much more graphic details about the horrible abuse and trauma children experienced, and how it changed their lives as they grew up and out of the schools. This book should be required reading, especially if you live in Canada.

The final book I read this month was SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut. I read this book for my mandatory “Intro to English Literature” course, and unfortunately, it was not for me. I found the story structure a bit too confusing and complex for me, especially because I am very used to reading linear stories in prose narrative. However, I am still glad I read it, since this book was quite the adventure! Overall, I rated it 2.25/5-stars.

In January, I read about half of one of my favourite books of all-time, BASEBALL LIFE ADVICE by Stacey May Fowles. If you aren’t already aware, along with reading, Baseball is my second passion/hobby. I am a huge baseball “nut”, and look forward to watching and attending games every season. Fowles is a passionate Toronto Blue Jays fan (like myself), and is one of my biggest writing inspirations. BASEBALL LIFE ADVICE is a collection of essays about the Blue Jays, and about baseball in general. From writing about the Bat Flip, to how Baseball gets women-fans all wrong, this book is always a pleasure to read. I have read this book in chunks several times before, but I am currently slowly making my way through the entire thing. I hope to finish it by the end of February, right around the time Spring Training begins (hopefully…)!

Those are all of the books I read in January! Overall, I am happy with my reading this month, and hope to continue on a steady pace going into the next several months! Did you read anything fastastic this month?

Good Night Book Owls!