Cover Image: Both Are True

Both Are True

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Member Reviews

Both are True by Reyna Marder Gentin is a 2021 Moonshine Cove Publishing publication.

Jackie Martin is a family court judge on the cusp of her fortieth birthday. She's entered a relationship with Lou, which has advanced to the point of co-habitation. But Jackie is blindsided when Lou suddenly walks out on her.

In the meantime, her professional life, which is always stressful, has reached a new level of pressure, perhaps leading to some controversial decisions. Things really get dicey, though, when her personal life converges with her career creating an awkward moral dilemma.

This book was very different from what I was expecting. In fact, if I’m being honest, I’m not sure what prompted me to download this one, other than perhaps I was drawn to the legal aspects, or the conflict and emotions that family court usually entails. Some of that is in here, but this is not what I was anticipating.

The narrative switches back and forth between Jackie and Lou after the break-up. Jackie confers with her sister, while Lou moves back in with his ex-wife until he can find a place to stay… though he doesn’t seem to be working too hard on that task.

When Jackie finds one of her cases overlapping into her private life, she doesn’t do what would be customary.

This is one of those cases where I look at all the reviews and wonder if we all read the same book. The book has the bare bones outline- but it needs much more sustenance. The plot is super rushed, the characters are not properly fleshed out making it impossible for me to connect- or even like them.

The book is categorized as a ‘romance’ on Goodreads and as a ‘Mystery/Thriller’ on Amazon. The book doesn’t have enough of either of those elements to qualify for those categories. I’d say the book is mostly a drama, with a barely detectable romance, with a few tense scenes.

It would appear, though, with 83 ratings and 63 reviews, at the time of this writing, mine will be only the second 2-star- review- so I guess I’m the very definition of an outlier on this one. Thankfully, it was short read.

2 stars
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Both are True is such a fascinating book -- a story of individuals caught at crucial junctures in their lives, trying to do the right thing while grappling with the realities and complications of contemporary life. While I was not always in love with these characters, and sometimes wanted to shake them until they'd listen to me and follow my advice, I was truly wrapped up in their stories, their directions, and their reasoning for making the decisions they did -- and I admired them, too, for continuing to try to navigate the very confusing paths on which people so often find themselves. Reyna Marder Gentin is an observant student and compelling chronicler of the way we live, work, and love. I really enjoyed this story and was hooked until the very end!
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It was a good look at the machinations behind family court, personal feelings, betrayal, love.......the characters were a bit stilted, though. It was hard to root for anyone here, so that made it a bit of a challenge. Quick read, good read, just a little lacking in character development. Storyline was great. I would recommend it for a decent, albeit forgettable, read.
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A family court judge who is all business finds that she has to preside over cases using the law and her heart. Except she uses the law to try and reclaim a lost relationship and I knew this is where it was going and I dreaded it.
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This thought-provoking legal drama kept me entertained and engaged from start to finish with complex characters and a great story that I couldn't put down. I felt an instant connection to Jackie Martin, judge of the Manhattan Family Court and enjoyed her dynamic with the other characters especially author Lou Greenberg. This is the first book I have read by Reyna Marder Gentin but it won't be the last. I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.
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A judge who has earned a reputation on the bench in Family Court.  A reputation that has prompted a quick rise in the judicial system, needs to use her every tool to unlock her heart and find a reason to live again.
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Jackie’s a family court judge and Lou is a work from home bookkeeper/house “husband” without the marriage license. They’re living together but neither is really sure what kind of relationship they have as the book opens. The story is told from both their perspectives and you’ll able to see how their own uncertainty about love and their relationship evolves.
The author is a lawyer and that likely helped with the legal and family court material, which were really the aspects of the book that I liked most.
I tried hard to like, or even understand, Jackie and Lou, but was never really successful. The characters I actually liked found most interesting were from the other cases Jackie heard in court (Moshe, Mrs. Chang, and Darlene).
My biggest challenge with the book were the inconsistencies with Jackie. As a career-focused lawyer with a very rigid personality and outlook on life, would she really take the actions she did with the legal matter that came before her as a judge?
Thanks to Netgalley and Moonshine Cove Publishing for the opportunity to read Both Are True in exchange for an honest review.
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Very interesting story that had me think about it days after I finished the book. Funny at times and well developed characters. Thank you netgalley and publisher for this arc in exchange of an honest review.
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I love a great character driven story with lots of personal growth all around. It was so interesting to learn more about the behind the scenes of our judicial system and to understand how heavy the burden can be of finding the truth. I enjoyed all of the characters and thought they were very well-written and the story is thought-provoking and one that will stay with me. I highly recommend this book and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
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Both Are True portrays two vulnerable New Yorkers at a crossroads: on one hand you have Jackie, a 39-year-old female inexperienced family court judge and Lou, a 43-year-old underemployed male accountant/writer. Their relationship comes to a sudden end when Lou feels constrained in life and walks out on Jackie. The story is told in alternating chapters, from either Jackie’s viewpoint or Lou’s.

I found the scenes in Jackie’s family courtroom to be very interesting and realistic. I didn’t really buy Lou’s relationship with his ex-wife after his split with Jackie, but his relationship - or lack thereof - with his ex-stepdaughter felt totally realistic.

There are vibrant descriptions of Manhattan and the joys and woes of living there - subways, coffee shops, Central Park, etc. The author draws a big contrast with her descriptions of the Westchester suburbs as very dull (but good for finding roads for long bike rides). I really enjoyed her description of how Lou felt after his first long bike ride in a long time, without padded shorts.

Another highlight for me was the existence of several Jewish characters who are comfortable with their heritage but not overly religious/observant.

A minor quibble: Jackie’s parents are in their 70s, but the author writes about them as if they were a generation older than that. She says her dad always listened to Sinatra, etc., whereas people that age probably listened to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones instead. (I’m in that general age range and it was my parents’ generation that listened to Sinatra, not mine.)

I’m not sure how to characterize this book, but I really enjoyed reading it. It’s not really a romance, so I guess you’d call it “women’s fiction,” a genre title I hate.

Thank you to NetGalley and Moonshine Cove Publishing for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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"Both Are True" was an underwhelming book.  The underlying story is decent.  Jackie is the newest family court judge in Manhattan, and she has been so focused on her legal career that her social life, especially her love life, has been neglected. She was appointed to finish the term of a judge who was promoted to the appellate court level, and so she has to be evaluated to determine if she will be recommended for a regular ten-year term when her temporary appointment ends.  Lou is a bookkeeper for several online companies and he also writes a column in a online magazine catering to Jewish women.  However, his aspiration has always been to write a novel.  Lou and Jackie met outside the courthouse the day Lou's divorce was finalized, and they started a relationship that progressed to where Lou was living with Jackie.  

Early in the book, Lou decides that he needs to pursue his dream of writing a novel, and that as long as he is staying in Jackie's apartment as essentially her "house-husband", he will never push himself to realize his dream or become the person he wants to be.  While Jackie is at work, Lou packs up his meager belongings and leaves the apartment and Jackie, with only a brief note saying he has to go and that he knows his behavior is cowardly.  The same day that Lou leaves is the day that the judicial evaluator is in the courtroom to observe Jackie. The timing could not be worse, as Jackie gets into a confrontation with a mother who is at risk of losing her children, and Jackie does not handle the situation well.  The remainder of the story goes back and forth between Jackie and Lou in the ensuing days and months, as both of them try to find themselves following the unexpected end of their relationship.  

Unfortunately, for much of the story, nothing really sets the book apart from the thousands of books that contain the same basic plot.  The author eventually throws in a twist that makes the book stand out, but the twist is a negative one.  [Spoiler Alert].  Lou's former stepdaughter (Bryn) gets arrested and ends up making her appearance in family court before Jackie.  Lou had never told Jackie that he had a stepdaughter, but when she sees Lou in the courtroom and sees Bryn and her mother (Tara), who Jackie recognizes from seeing pictures, Jackie realizes the connection.  Ethically, Jackie is required to recuse herself from the case.  However, she decides not to do so, and further decides that she is going to be lenient on Bryn in order to win Lou back.  She violates the Judicial Code of Ethics both in her decision to remain the judge on the case and in her intentionally erroneous application of the relevant law to get the charge against Bryn dismissed.  I found that element of the story distasteful.  The author could have found another way for Jackie to show leniency towards Bryn that may have pushed the bounds of propriety, but not been clearly unethical.

I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
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Jackie Martin is a woman whose intelligence and ambition have earned her a coveted position as a judge on the Manhattan Family Court—and left her lonely at age 39. When she meets Lou Greenberg, Jackie thinks she’s finally found someone who will accept her exactly as she is. But when Lou’s own issues, including an unresolved yearning for his ex-wife, make him bolt without explanation, Jackie must finally put herself under the same microscope as the people she judges. When their worlds collide in Jackie’s courtroom, she learns that sometimes love’s greatest gift is opening you up to love others.

This book told the story of Jackie and Lou's relationship and lives before and after from both perspectives, allowing for an interesting and well-developed story. I enjoyed the realistic portrayal of well-meaning but flawed people navigating their post-breakup journey.
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Title: Both Are True
Author: Reyna Marden Gentin
Publisher: Moonshine Cove Publishing
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Four
"Both Are True" by Reyna Marder Gentin

My Opinion:

'Both Are True' by this author gives the reader quite a dramatic, entertaining story featuring Jackie Martin and Lou Greenberg where we find these two living together and in some romance that ends quickly with Lou walking out. We find Jackie was serving as the youngest Manhattan Family Court Judge, and Lou divorced and a journalist. Lou was emotional support for Jackie in all that she was going through in family court, especially not having her children. But it seems like Lou was seeking something from his past and end up back at his ex's [Tara] door and leaving Jackie to question her own life decisions. And as one knows, life can give us something as it was in this story that will bring Jackie and Lou back together due to issues with his stepdaughter, Bryn. And this story will pick up from here.

Be ready for some strange characters that will shake their heads but give the reader a good story. [from the ex-wife, Tara, stepdaughter...Bryn Jackie's sister...Mindy and Mike, to name a few].
The ending was interesting with ended up with who...and I will stop here and say you will need to pick up this read and see for yourself how this author brings it all out.

Thank you, NetGallery and Moonshine Cove Publishing, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A judge and a writer with issues try to make magic, but fail. Now the writer is staying back with his ex-wife and stepdaughter and the judge is trying to accept his leaving and find her own way.
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🍁Judge Jackie is a Family court judge. So why wasn’t she able to predict her man abruptly walking out on her?
🍁Right off I loved the setting and mood of this book in the family court room, it’s such a unique and interesting  take on things.  The story is told from the two main character’s perspectives, male and female, and I loved the way the narratives intertwined.
🍁The characters in the book are really well written and are so relatable that I feel like most people reading would still be on BOTH the character’s sides/rooting for both main characters whether they got back together or stayed separated, which is rare in most books that involve couples. Usually you end up picking one side or the other.
🍁This was a lovely cozy up and read book for fall!
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In BOTH ARE TRUE, Reyna Gentin tells the story of Jackie and Lou, a couple that fell into their relationship. Its start was romantic, its ending abrupt, but both Jackie and Lou ultimately triumph in finding their own happily ever after lives, not perfect, but perfect for them. In short, Jackie is an interim judge in family court charged with interpreting law and righting messes and resolving horrific dilemmas. Through an impossible series of events, Jackie winds up presiding over a case in which Lou has an enormous stake -- bringing both of them to question who they were to one another and who they want to be in the future. Does Jackie recuse herself from the case due to a conflict in interest or does she remain to shift the future in a positive direction for a difficult child at a difficult time? The story is well-told, the characters believable in all their flawed beauty, and the workplace and courtroom situations ring true and fascinating. I enjoyed a view into a world that I do not know, savored the read by an excellent storyteller. I received an advance copy of this novel in exchange for my unbiased review.
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I was not sure what to expect when I started reading, Both are True, by Reyna Gentin. The cover does not greally help to link the book to a particular genre, ie, definitely not a historical fiction, not a thriller, and clearly not a romance. I have to say, all the cover reveals is that the story appears to include New York City. Curiosity got the best of me. I read the book, and I categorize Both are True, as a coming of age story, with romance and some court room drama!

Jackie Martin is a lawyer who has just recently been promoted to a coveted position as a Judge in Family Court. At 39 years old, she is still single. Six months earlier, she was bowled over by journalist, Lou Greenberg, who she met outside the courthouse, on the day his divorce was finalized. The two have been living together for months. Jackie has recently been relying on Lou for emotional support, because family court is proving to be more demanding then she ever imagined, especially given, especially that she has NO children herself. Then, out of the blue, Lou walks out of Jackie's life, no explanation provided. He has his own issues to deal with. Then, life, being as unpredictable as it always can be, swings Lou, full circle, back to Jackie ... have they changed while they were apart?  ......

I really enjoyed reading #botharetrue by @reynamardergentin. Thank you #netgalley and @moonshinecovepublishing for the e-ARC in return for my honest review. #5stars
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This was such an interesting book! This is rooted in drama that is so true to the world we live in, and it's lived out by two characters that feel so real. I loved seeing how they handle all the problems! This had a great legal plotline that brought the courtroom drama I love, but it also wove in a love story that was wonderful. I thought this was a beautiful story, and I really enjoyed it!

I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.
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I actually wound up liking this book and the characters after first not really caring for it. An unexpected result was a sense that we should all remember that every single person carries around elements of their personal life at work, no matter how hard they try to keep those feelings and thoughts separate and their reaction to 'you' might not be about you; those feelings always color what happens in the other part of daily life. Verdict? I like how the author wove together of the lives people in, and impacted by, the NYC family court system by making us see the people 'behind the desk' as real people with feelings too.
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I  received a digital review copy via NetGalley and want to provide my honest opinion. Thank you!

Both are True is a good read, albeit a little flat and underwhelming. I didn't appreciate the characters at all, they were too bitter and unrelatable. The characters were unique (in some sense) but were all unlikable because of their actions throughout the book, especially the judge. 

It was well-written and easy to read because the writing was well-done, but the plot was unenjoyable.
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