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Book Review: This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel

Such a perfect book to celebrate Pride month!

This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel

Genre: Domestic Fiction/LGBT+

BUG Rating: 4/5

Overall: LOVED IT โ€“ A story of unconditional love, acceptance for those who are different and the challenging concept of bringing up children – the main thing we all want for our kids is to be happy and throughout this story, that is exactly what Penn and Rosie strive to accomplish for their children. Itโ€™s a thought provoking read, with plenty of heart breaking moments and loveable quirky characters and I was totally absorbed from the first page.  

Easy is nice, but it’s not as good as getting to be who you are or stand up for what you believe in.

Plot:

This is how a family keeps a secret…and how that secret ends up keeping them.
This is how a family lives happily ever after…until happily ever after becomes complicated.
This is how children change…and then change the world.

This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess.
When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl.

Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.


After seeing this on Reeseโ€™s book club picks, I knew I had to read it, and it would be good โ€“ of course, Reese is always right!

The book explores a familyโ€™s journey when their son decides he wants to wear a dress to preschool and how they navigate their โ€˜new lifeโ€™ as a family. Rosie and Penn try to do what is best for Poppy/Claude, whilst also raising 4 other boys. After careful thought, the family uproot from the only place they have ever known in Wisconsin, to move to the more open minded, accepting, Seattle, where Claude becomes Poppy. And everything is going fine, until the inevitable happens, and Poppyโ€™s secret is revealed at school.

I loved the story, itโ€™s an important subject, but also, a lot resonated with me in terms of actual โ€˜parentingโ€™. Parenting is hard. We try our best, sometimes we do make bad decisions, but at the centre, all parents are trying to do what Penn and Rosie are doing- just providing unconditional love and keeping your child safe and happy. One question though –  would all parents be as accepting so quickly?

I did find the story a bit slow in parts, but I gradually got totally emotionally invested in Poppy/Claude, and all the familyโ€™s lives. The writing was beautiful, emotional and drew me right in.

I found it interesting, and ultimately clever, how Frankel interwove the fairytale story, told by Penn, every night at bed time. I didnโ€™t like it at first, but then I grew to absolutely love it. I loved how the important trials and tribulations of the childrenโ€™s lives were subtly told and how Penn would help them navigate these through Grumweld and Princess Stephanie.

What I hadnโ€™t realised until the authorโ€™s note at the end, was the authorโ€™s first hand experience of the subject, although she says it is not her story, or her childโ€™s, you can definitely tell from reading that this story feels real. The final bit of writing in the authorโ€™s note, really does bring everything together and increase the whole experience of the read.

I was swept away by this amazing story, all centring around love and bravery.


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    • ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ธ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฒ ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฒ - now that is freaky! Do we notice at all?! ๐Ÿ˜ณ You are not alone is full of lots of other fascinating random facts! ๐Ÿ“Š
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๐Ÿ˜ฌ It is a fast pace, binge worthy thriller- you will be ok the edge of your seat!
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๐Ÿ–ค I really enjoyed the story (๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป swipe for plot) and it was full of twists and turns, but I did find some parts a little far fetched.
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โœ๐Ÿป Iโ€™m obsessed with the duos writing style and loved getting to know all the characters through the alternating POVs with each chapter.
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๐Ÿ‘€ If youโ€™re looking for an intriguing suspense novel, look no further โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ Out next month ๐Ÿ“†
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    • Itโ€™s my birthday ๐Ÿฅณ I love to read a birthday themed book for it, and last night I binged on this gem ๐Ÿ’Ž
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๐ŸŽ‚ The story follows Eric and Morgan, whoโ€™s friendship is bound by being born in the same hospital, on the same day, at the same time! The book spans several years and how their friendship and lives change over this time (๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Swipe for plot)
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โœจ Itโ€™s a truly incredible book. @_myfictionalworld recommended it a while ago and Iโ€™ve only just got round to it ๐Ÿ™ˆ. I cried a lot, I smiled a lot. I loved this book ๐Ÿ˜ญ The story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Itโ€™s a powerful story of friendship, love, grief and self discovery/acceptance.
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๐Ÿคง An important must read book, I canโ€™t recommend it enough โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Have you read this one? Tell me how much you loved it ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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    • Nearly didnโ€™t post today ๐Ÿ˜ฒ just feeling so unwell from antibiotics/steroids, but here I am, dedicated to #bookstagram ๐Ÿ˜‚ (and luckily found a draft post Iโ€™d still not added ๐Ÿ˜‹)
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๐Ÿคธ๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธAfter being obsessed with the new Netflix docu series, Cheer, I wanted another sports fix! ๐Ÿ‰ Funny, well-paced- the perfect brain candy after a few harder reads! I literally got through Intercepted in a few hours.
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โœจ Itโ€™s such a quick read, full of drama and romance. It had major Mean Girl vibes! Despite enjoying overall, one thing that really bugged me was the constant hashtagging ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Do you like sports romances? Any must reads? ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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    • Only TWO days of work for me this week ๐Ÿฅณ๐Ÿฅณ
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๐Ÿ“š My TBR stack is HUGE and I have a large number of buddy reads to get through this month ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜… so hoping to be spending most of this week reading ๐Ÿค“
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๐Ÿ“– Reading update: Just finished A good girls guide to murder by Holly Jackson, a @the_spines rec which I REALLY LOVED ๐Ÿ–ค (review up soon) and Iโ€™ve just started You are not alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Whatโ€™s everyone reading this week? ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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    • Isnโ€™t this the CUTEST gift? ๐Ÿ˜ I absolutely love the idea of โ€œblind datesโ€ with books and @wearehownovel offers just that! ๐ŸŽ
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๐Ÿ“š Thereโ€™s loads of different genres/themes to choose from! โœจ Pictured is the Deadly mystery box ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ To get 10% off your first order, head over to @wearehownovel and use code: bookedupgirl10 ๐Ÿ›’
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๐Ÿ’ญ Do you love surprises? Can you guess the title based on the clues? ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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#gifted #mysterybooks #crimefiction #readcrimefiction #thrillerbooks #blinddatewithabook #mysterybox #whattoreadnext #clues #canyouguess #creepystories #murdermystery #bestbooksof2019 #mustreads #bookishgifts #booklover #bookclubs #booknerd #readerslife #bookstagramuk #bookgifts #bookish #ilovebooks #bookreader #bookphoto #mybookfeatures #surprisebox #bookobsessed #readingtime #bookmerch
    • After loving Outlander so much, I pretty much started book 2 straight away โ€“ Dragonfly in Amber ๐Ÿ˜…
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๐Ÿ’“ I LOVED this book. I have totally fallen in love with Gabaladonโ€™s writing style and have really enjoyed losing myself in the last two books. The story and cast of characters are so well crafted, rich and highly addictive! ๐Ÿ’˜
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โœจ The book was full of magic, passion and heartbreak (including many death and sex scenes!)
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๐Ÿ˜ฌ I was beside myself at the end โ€“ the most intense of all cliffhangers โ€“ be warned! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I am so ready to dive into book 3 to see what happens next!
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๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป Also, swipe to see the Outlandish Companion ๐Ÿ“– My early birthday gift (๐Ÿ˜˜ @quirkychristine ) which has EVERYTHING and MORE about the first 4 books, including detailed synopsis, character deets! I love it!
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๐Ÿ’ญ Are you an Outlander fan? ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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    • The perfect book title for today ๐Ÿ–ค Emmanuel over at @4thestatebooks has been spoiling me with amazing books lately! Thank you for this one ๐Ÿฅฐ
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๐Ÿคช Definitely not a love story, but OMG it sounds so good! Deets โคต๏ธ
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๐Ÿ”Ž Itโ€™s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. While the townโ€™s men embrace the coming prosperity, its women intimately know and fear the violence that always seems to follow.
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๐Ÿ”Ž In the early hours of the morning after Valentineโ€™s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramรญrez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whiteheadโ€™s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil fieldโ€”an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Out in June - whoโ€™s going to be adding this one to their TBR? ๐Ÿ“š ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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    • Another March release ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป A Conspiracy of Bones by Kathy Reichs ๐Ÿฆด Thanks to @simonschusteruk for my advance copy ๐Ÿ–ค
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๐Ÿ“บ I was a HUGE fan of the TV show Bones and was devastated when it finished ๐Ÿ˜ญ So I was very excited to see this new book from Kathy Reichs (TV show is based on her books!)
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๐Ÿ”Ž This is my first read by Reichs, and given there are 18 books before this one, I didnโ€™t get the most out of this book. Many of the characters and relationships were different to the TV show so it was hard to follow.
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๐Ÿ”Ž The case side was riveting ๐Ÿ˜ฌ, but there was far too many passages/detail on the relationships to try and follow - which normally Iโ€™d love! ๐Ÿ˜” I would definitely recommend reading previous books first so you donโ€™t feel as lost as I was ๐Ÿคช โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ซ
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๐Ÿ’ญ Have you read this series? Thoughts? ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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    • I wasnโ€™t going to post this for a while BUT it was SO good, I just had to let you guys know! Thanks @michaeljbooks for my advance copy (out next month) ๐Ÿ–ค
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โœจ So, first off, as itโ€™s not clear from the photo - this is Recovery of Rose Gold by @stephaniewrobel (aka Darling Rose Gold in ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ)
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๐Ÿ–ค Secondly, I LOVED this! I received my copy before Christmas but was hesitant to actually read it. I thought it was going to be very similar to The Act, TV show, based on Gypsy Rose (this book is unrelated), and wasnโ€™t sure Iโ€™d be able to handle reading all the details of the abuse inflicted on Rose Gold by her mother with munchhausen by proxy ๐Ÿ˜ข
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๐Ÿ”Ž I was pleasantly surprised! The book focuses mainly on the time AFTER Rose Goldโ€™s mother, Patty, is arrested for child abuse ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป
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๐Ÿ”Ž The chapters alternate between Rose Goldโ€™s and Pattyโ€™s POVs, which I really enjoyed. Flipping between past (Pattyโ€™s time in prison, and Rose Gold adjusting to life without her mother - and LOADS of other stuff ๐Ÿค) to present (Pattyโ€™s release and relationship with Rose Gold)
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๐Ÿ”Ž I donโ€™t really feel like this fits into the thriller category ๐Ÿค” Itโ€™s more of a domestic drama with some real tension and twists ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I think if you enjoyed My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing you will like this! โญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธโญ๏ธ
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๐Ÿฅ Also, I just want to acknowledge @aliceliveing AMAZING recipe for White chocolate + cinnamon croissant bake - it was SOO GOOD (pictured) ๐Ÿคค๐Ÿคค
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๐Ÿ’ญ Are you marking your calendars ๐Ÿ“† and adding to your TBR? ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป
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    • Last month saw the release of American Dirt, which caused quite a stir ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I did really enjoy it but I also wanted to check out some of the amazing own voice books that have been recommended! ๐Ÿ“š
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๐Ÿ’ญ Have you read any of these? Thoughts ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป
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