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  • Gem!

    Well, this is a great women’s lit book. In a lot of ways I really related to Jada. This book explores being guided by those close to us that we’ve lost through death. Jada has baggage, hangups and generally is a little bit of an abrupt person. She’s realizing a lot of things about her life. She’s already achieved goals in her personal and professional life that she’s set, but reaching these goals has not given her the satisfaction she’s been striving for. Being a wife, professional and Mom is uncomfortable. As her life unravels, we have a front row seat to watching this; all the highs, the lows and the realizations as she goes through a lot of changes in her life. The guiding parts of Jada’s book are great and just really lovely and heartwarming because that thought; that someone loves you enough to guide you from the other side, is a hopeful one. I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more from her soon.

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  • Poignant story about approaching life

    Jada Ann Santanelli Marlone is a corporate lawyer who has it all - a husband, a great home, a cute three-year-old boy, and a promotion to boot. With everything going on so well in her life, why is she not happy? She may portray a different façade outside, but what happens "behind closed doors" is another. Better Believe It immediately grabbed me and led me down a rabbit hole into Jada's world. The beginning chapter shared so much that it was impossible to put down! There was so much angst and dissatisfaction that my curiosity piqued, and I had to read on. I think this is because the story jumps immediately in the middle of Jada's revelation that was "meaty" from the get-go. The tone is brilliant and catchy. The book reminds me a bit of A Christmas Carol as Jada goes back into her past and "peeking into the future" as she tries to dissect her life - in finding what she ultimately wants for herself, but all at present. I liked a few elements of the book, and these are:- The discussion on life, its meaning, and happiness was a memorable topic. It is one thing to be married and has everything but still be unhappy while seeing the flip side of seeing others find their happiness in their situation. Take, for example, motherhood is a beautiful experience, but it may not be for all. There is also talk about marriage - while some have perfect partners (or so they say), others love their singleton. Bottom line: it is all about finding and pursuing one's happiness. The author gives readers a glimpse of the various relationship dynamics that made me think of Jada's situation and compare what is missing in her life to make her dissatisfied. Because this book is from Jada's POV only, readers will sympathize with her, and the impact of her actions is heightened. Jada discovers herself, then grows and matures into a new person - very different from how she started in the book. The internal discussions of Jada with her subconsciousness (i.e., talk to her dead relatives) are my favorite parts. There were many "eye-openers" for Jada; simultaneously, they were revelations for me too - regarding inner conflict and outer turmoil. A few were evident to what she wants to achieve but is afraid of, but the startling ones are the wisdom shared by her dead cousin, Gina. I felt like Jada, surprised and stunned all at once, especially the prediction of her ex-boyfriend coming into her life and not how I expected it to be. It is a nice touch that in reconciling (internally) Jada's lessons, Gina is also helping Jada wrap her head around what happened to her. Gina helps Jada find the inner peace that Jada did not know was missing that helps her move on and be better - spiritually and mentally. Although based on the blurb, readers might not realize how gut-wrenching Jada's situation is. The story deals with more gritty issues on what happens when the marriage and family structure, initially thought stable, comes down like a stack of cards. Jada had to deal with a lot in and outside her home that will overwhelm her. She hits rock bottom, but balancing out the "still-doing-okay" façade on the outside was the most challenging part when all Jada wants to do is scream in frustration. Jada was so unhappy yet realized later that she would have to ensure much pain and sorrow before finding her redemption, a second chance to the life she deserves. The book will make readers think and empathize with Jada and the rest of the book's characters. NOTE: Everything will explode just when readers think Jada's life decisions couldn't get her any worst. All of those "lessons" collide and implode at some point in the story, like Fourth of July fireworks! Be ready for the waterworks to happen. Yes, this book made me cry-ugly and disturbed (in a good way) but made me realize so many amazing people - do not underestimate the power of gratitude, forgiveness, and compassion. In summary, Better Believe It is a witty yet poignant story about approaching life. Readers can expect witty storytelling, clever comebacks from Jada and the supporting characters, well-intentioned but crazy family members (as expected) as Jada navigates and reassesses how she can improve her life and find a better meaning to her situation. Several elements made the book a worthy read and insight into further self-reflection to Jada's lessons. The author touches on many lessons as we journey through Jada's life - love, relationship, happiness, and second chances. I cannot wait to see more from this promising author.

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