Cover Image: The Unsinkable Greta James

The Unsinkable Greta James

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The Unsibkable Greta James is a new adult fiction story by Jennifer E. Smith (author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight). It it set for a March 1st 2022 publication.

In this new story, we follow Greta James for a week as she embarks on an Alaskan cruise with her father. Greta is a world famous musician and her father has always had other ideas as to what Greta should be doing with her life. But when Greta's mother passes away, she steps in to take her mother's spot on a week long cruise with her father and two other couples (friends of the family). During that week, we learn about how Greta got her start in music, her relationship with her mother, and what lead up to Greta going on the cruise. While on the cruise, Greta meets an author and kind of sees herself in him, not to mention she begins to fall for him.

It's clear early on that Greta is really struggling with the loss of her mother. Her mother was her biggest supporter and the person who was always there for her no matter what. As a result of no longer having her mother, Greta experiences an breakdown on stage while performing a song she wrote for her mother, knowing her mother would never hear it.

There's also a little part of Greta that is struggling with guilt. She has guilt over not being there when her mother passed away, instead choosing to perform at a festival. She also has guilt over a song she wrote about her father. She had a lot of pent up anger and she released it in a song, geared towards him. 

What I loved about this book is the description of the Alaskan scenery. I feel like I was on that cruse too and I was experiencing  the sights Greta was seeing. The imagery was perfect!

While I feel like that actual love scenes between Greta and Ben weren't completely necessary (friendship could have been enough), it was something that gave Greta something to look forward to. But since Ben isn't someone Greta would typically date (they both recognize that), it shows that she is growing up and finding out what is most important to her.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book. Smith did a wonderful job  depicting life after you lose a loved one.

I really think people who enjoyed Daisy Jones would like this (because of the music aspect). But I also think people who love to travel and who love family dramas would enjoy this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing/ Ballentine Books for the advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A shout out to Ballantine books and NetGalley for allowing me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my feedback. 

There seems to be quite a number of books  about "rock stars" lately and although I am not one to chose the topic before others I enjoy, this one was FANTASTIC.  Although it was in part about Greta's profession as an Indie Musician, it was about so many other topics:  love, loss, adult relationships with friends, the desire for your parent's approval, the great Alaskan landscape, cruises (urrrrrr) and so much more.

I found that the cadence of the book made it so readable.  Spoiler - although Greta and her father finally begin to build a meaningful and heartfelt connection (believable), she doesn't just predictably end up with the guy.  That was a lovely ending without being too sugary.

I will definitely seek out more books by Jennifer E. Smith and will be recommending this book as my book club's next selection.
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Greta James is a guitarist and singer whose meltdown at her last concert has exploded all over social media. This humiliation, caused by grief at the death of her mother, has crippled her, and now her brother wants her to accompany her dad on her parents' planned anniversary cruise to Alaska with long-time friends. Greta's relationship with her dad has always been difficult--he doesn't approve of her career--and her mom, the buffer between them, is no longer there to run interference. The novel explores their troubled relationship as Greta and her dad navigate grief, loss, misunderstandings, progress, and setbacks along the way to reconciliation. There is also a bittersweet and tenous romantic attachment to a lecturer on the ship, an expert on Jack London. This opposites-attract romance is awkward and tender, and the author traces its development skillfully and believably throughout the single week of the cruise. The writing in the present tense gives a sense of immediacy as the story unfolds, and the author uses light humor and touches of poignant sadness as the relationships between the various characters evolve. I loved all the main characters and the somewhat open ending to the story is believable, melancholy but hopeful.
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This was my first book by Jennifer Smith, and it won't be my last. This story had love, loss, self-exploration, and family drama. Greta is a famous singer/guitar player that has not played in months due to a family tragedy. She broke up with her fiance and is struggling to overcome severe guilt. The story follows Great as she takes an Alaskan cruise with her father and several aging couples that are longtime friends of her family. This story has all the feels. I laughed, I cried, and I wanted to yell at Greta. This is a must read!
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An interesting read - neither life-altering or can’t-put-downable… might follow the author for backlist & future reads. 
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to review this book.
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An extra star because this book was exactly what I needed right now.  

This book was perfect.  An Alaskan cruise when I desperately need a vacation, and escape from reality, realistic characters that helped me feel as if I was in the book.  I am an avid cruiser, have been on an Alaskan cruise, and all of this was well researched and reflected accurately.  I am NOT a rock-star, as Greta is, but I did not find her arrogant or unrelatable.  Her struggles with family and self worth are real.  Greta is now struggling with the recent loss of her mother, as am I, and her worry about and struggle to find a new relationship with her father are also very realistic.   I really enjoyed the book, and flew through the pages in a few hours enjoying my own pseudo-vacation while rooting for Greta, her dad, and her mom's friends who are also suffering from her loss.  Well done Jennifer E. Smith!
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Greta James is a newly single rock star grieving the loss of her mother and reeling from an on stage breakdown. In her grief, she is convinced to take her mother’s place on an Alaskan cruise with her also grieving father that was meant to mark their anniversary. While Greta feels out of place - especially given her shaky relationship with her father - family drama, personal growth, and a flirtation with a fellow passenger ensue leaving moments of heartbreak and hope. While I did find parts to be slow, overall the story was enjoyable and also made for a quick read. 

Thank you to Ballantine/Random House for an advance reader’s copy. The Unsinkable Greta James hits U.S. shelves on February 28, 2022.
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This was a most enjoyable read!  Great chick-lit disguised as elegant family saga with romance thrown in. 
Greta James is a "rock star" , guitarist and song writer who recently lost her biggest fan - her mother.  She is having difficulty writing and performing.  She has a stormy relationship with her father who is also mourning.  Her brother convinces her to go on an Alaskan cruise with their dad and some family neighbors. 
The descriptions of the ports and shore trips is Alaska were stunning and made the setting an important "character" in the book.  
There is s shipboard romance for Greta with a college professor with a family (currently separated).  This is an interesting progression with a bookish twist on Jack London and Herman Melville.  
The best of the book for me is the evolution of the relationship with Greta and her dad as well as her music.  Many life lessons and heart felt thoughts there.   
This story is great for a good cry with an uplifting story that will leave the reader smiling at the end!. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House/Ballantine Books for an ARC for an honest review!  I loved the book and look forward to its publication 3/1/2022 to add to my library.  This is book to be read again.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine Books for granting me a free advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

This book was exactly what I needed to read right now. It is a beautiful, touching, heartfelt story about navigating the many complicated phases of grief and how grief often encourages a person to reconsider the role that they currently play in their life, often for the better. The style of writing struck me as similar to Taylor Jenkins Reid, which if you know me, only makes an already good book that much better.

Nearly the entire book takes place on an Alaskan cruise, and WOW, this was a novel setting that I didn't realize I needed! The author's descriptions were so beautifully written that I felt like I was actually on the cruise myself. I loved how the author often used the setting and her descriptions of various sites symbolically. While subtle, the symbolism was so impressive and beautiful.

I also loved all of the relationships featured in the book, specifically involving Greta and her father. The only problem I had with the plot is that I didn't love the way Greta and Ben's relationship turned out, but I still understand why the author decided to take it the direction she did.

All-in-all, this was such a sweet story. Hightly recommend! Thanks again, NetGalley and Ballantine!
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All the good feels!   What a beautiful story of grief, love, family.  Life.  Famous Indie Rock musician Greta James travels on an Alaskan cruise with her father. They both have just suffered a huge loss, and reluctantly, Greta accompanies her Dad on this trip with family friends that her Mother had planned. 
The cruise goes fairly well and many wounds are healed.  Thank you NG for the ARC.
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Musician Greta James falls apart onstage after the sudden death of her mother. Her mother was her biggest fan and she feels guilty that she was not there for her family when her Mom died. Her parents planned a cruise for their 40th wedding anniversary and her brother wants her to accompany her dad on the trip. Her father and her have a strained relationship and her brother thinks they can get closer by sharing this trip in her mother’s place.  She is drawn to Ben Wilder whose own life is in a major upheaval.   Greta strives to build her confidence back in her career and build a new relationship with her father. She starts a relationship with Ben whose is having a family crisis that interrupts it. Greta must decide what path her life will take!

Thanks to Jennifer E. Smith and Random House Publishing Group Ballantine
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What a lovely, lovely book. Very strong Taylor Jenkins Reid vibes/similarities. Wonderful storytelling, rich and layered. You really come to understand the characters and their complications, and you miss them when you’re done with the book.
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I received an electronic advanced reading copy (ARC) of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

I loved the beginning and I loved the ending, but I thought it moved a little slowly in the middle. I enjoyed the various relationships and how they evolved. I found certain aspects of Greta's relationship with her father to be a bit much to believe, but it all made sense in the end. I wish the friendship with Ben hadn't gone where it went, but I did appreciate how the ending wasn't rushed and tied up in a sweet little bow, like some books have done. I'm definitely adding this to my list of gifts for the holidays. I can think of someone who would also enjoy it!
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I really enjoyed this book (I’ve give it between 3.5-4 stars)! I loved the tension between Greta and her father Conrad to start the book, and how their individual grief over losing a mother and wife have effected their relationship. There is a lot to unpack from their arguments, where you can see how each of them have felt misunderstood over the years. But I think they each showed growth over the course of the trip to work towards mending it moving forward.

I wasn’t really convinced of Greta’s ‘romance’ with Ben, but I did enjoy some of their banter, and I loved how it was wrapped up at the end. I  liked couples that were on the trip with them, but wasn’t a fan of some of the subplots. 

This book is perfect for those with wonderlust, because the descriptions of Alaska and the cruise were great, and you felt like you were on the ship (it’s not a boat 😜) with the characters.
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A rock star forced to confront her grief and go on an Alaskan cruise with her dad and his friends. The premise might be a little different, but I really enjoyed it. Turns out the dad isn’t so difficult, just grieving, and the rock star is perfectly normal and relatable. I appreciated the father/daughter dynamics, the late mother’s personality, and the heroine getting to know some new people while figuring out herself.
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Rockstar Greta James was living life in the fast lane, but one phone call changed that and now she's barely treading water. Greta was on tour in Germany when she received a call from her dad telling Greta her mother was experiencing headaches. Not thinking it's anything serious, and not wanting to disappoint her fans, Greta stays on tour instead of heading home to her mother's bedside. Unfortunately the headaches are deadly serious, and Greta misses saying goodbye to her mom by a mere twenty-four minutes. Then comes the meltdown on stage when Greta starts to play an ode to her biggest fan-her beloved mother. The Unsinkable Greta James will resonate with anyone who has lost a parent-the guilt and grief Greta experiences are not just reserved for the rich and famous. As a sort of "penance" Greta takes her mom's place on a long planned Alaskan cruise for her parent's 40th wedding anniversary. But Greta's dad has never approved of her career choice, and long simmering tensions escalate in the confined space. Almost everything about The Unsinkable Greta James works-the decades spent playing small bars and venues before hitting it big; the agony of losing a parent; the lonliness even among thousands of other cruise passengers. But the reaction of Greta's fans (and especially her producers and PR team) feels off. Hardcore rock'n roll fans thrive on angst-in themselves and especially the muscians they adore; and PR firms love to spin client missteps as part of their "art." But without the downfall, there'd be no redemption for Greta, and that's what The Unsinkable Great James does best-prove you can survive devastating loss, come back even better, and mend years of misunderstandings. The Unsinkable Greta James is a quiet book with a loud message-when the ship starts sinking the only person who can save you is you.
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

A talented young woman loses her mother and falls apart on stage. Then she is faced with having to care for her widowed father with whom her relationship is difficult.  Challenges are faced and there is a sweer resolution in the ending.
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Love, loss, hope, and starting over. 

Greta James loses her mom suddenly, and needs to navigate the new normal with her dad and brother - even though she hasn’t seen eye to eye with her dad in years. When she joins an Alaskan cruise with her dad (the one her mom was supposed to be on), they will be forced to reckon with the past. 

Thank you to @netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

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After hearing about this amazing book from a fellow bookstagramer I was excited to dive into this story. Much like the great Taylor Jenkins Reid this author did an amazing NBC job of building the characters so I felt like I was right there with them. Greta is a complicated character who is a famous musician whose last performance was. Not as successful as her previous. After the death of her mom she struggles with handling her grief so when her brother suggests she goes with her dad on a cruise to Alaska she reluctantly agrees. By the time the cruise is over Greta has grown in so many ways and it was a complete joy taking the journey with her
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An indie musician reeling from tragedy reconnects with her estranged father on a week-long cruise in this tale of grief, fame, and love from bestselling author Jennifer E. Smith. <- Really couldn't put it any better than that.

This was such a satisfying book - from the setting (an Alaskan cruise) to the unlikely friendship/romance between Greta and Ben. And the side characters were so great - I hope I can give my daughter adults in her life like Greta's parents' friends, and I loved Greta's relationship with her brother.
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