The Nine
Hannah Webber fears she will never be a mother, but her prayers are finally answered when she gives birth to a son. In an era of high-stakes parenting, nurturing Sam’s intellect becomes Hannah’s life purpose. She invests body and soul into his development, much to the detriment of her marriage. She convinces herself, however, that Sam’s acceptance at age fourteen to the most prestigious of New England boarding schools overseen by an illustrious headmaster, justifies her choices.When he arrives at Dunning, Sam is glad to be out from under his mother’s close watch. And he enjoys his newfound freedom―until, late one night, he stumbles upon evidence of sexual misconduct at the school and is unable to shake the discovery.Both a coming-of-age novel and a portrait of an evolving mother-son relationship, The Nine is the story of a young man who chooses to expose a corrupt world operating under its own set of rules―even if it means jeopardizing his mother’s hopes and dreams.

The Nine Details

TitleThe Nine
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 20th, 2019
PublisherShe Writes Press
ISBN-139781631526749
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Thriller, Psychological Thriller

The Nine Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Hannah Webber cherishes her only son. She becomes consumed with making sure Sam gets everything he needs, even if it means harming her marriage in the process. Sam is accepted to a high ranked boarding school, Dunning, and Hannah feels all her hard work and sacrifice has been worth it. Sam loves the freedom of boarding school and spreads his wings out from under his mother’s watchful eye. In doing so, he finds out about something sinister at the school involving sexual misconduct, and he doesn’t Hannah Webber cherishes her only son. She becomes consumed with making sure Sam gets everything he needs, even if it means harming her marriage in the process. Sam is accepted to a high ranked boarding school, Dunning, and Hannah feels all her hard work and sacrifice has been worth it. Sam loves the freedom of boarding school and spreads his wings out from under his mother’s watchful eye. In doing so, he finds out about something sinister at the school involving sexual misconduct, and he doesn’t turn the other way. The Nine is such a special rendering of the mother-son relationship. I’ve not read many books focusing on this specific dynamic. It’s also about Sam coming-of-age and standing up for what’s right, even if he could lose something precious in the process. Overall, The Nine is a beautifully-written powerful read with complex characters. Hannah wasn’t always easy to like, but she was always easy to understand as a mother looking out for her son. I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
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  • Berit☀️✨
    January 1, 1970
    Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg has written a compulsive and raw story about The darker side of parenthood. Parenting is the best, most rewarding, toughest, and least appreciated job you will ever have. This book really zooms in on the mother son bond as well as the fallout of helicopter parenting. As a mother of two boys and a girl, I do admit there is a different bond that you share with your boys then you do with your girls. I am not going to say it’s better or worse it’s just kind of different, Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg has written a compulsive and raw story about The darker side of parenthood. Parenting is the best, most rewarding, toughest, and least appreciated job you will ever have. This book really zooms in on the mother son bond as well as the fallout of helicopter parenting. As a mother of two boys and a girl, I do admit there is a different bond that you share with your boys then you do with your girls. I am not going to say it’s better or worse it’s just kind of different, a boy tugs at your heart strings in a special way. I found Hannah the mother in this book to be a relatable and sympathetic character, even if I did not always agree with her actions. I could also sympathize with Sam, because it would be rough to have a helicopter parent. Having said that though, it is hard to know when to step in and went to step away. Hannah struggled to become a mother, so when it finally happened she gave her everything to her son. Her ferocious devotion to her boy ultimately destroyed her marriage and lead to her son pulling away. But it was all worth it, because Hannah got Sam into an elite prep school A definite springboard to the Ivy League. The problem is the school is much more sinister and much less safe than Hannah thought. Sam soon finds himself confronting issues of bullying, drugs, and sexual abuse. And Hannah realizes she cannot control everything in her son’s life and protect him forever. A dark somewhat disturbing story that really makes you think about parenting, the teenage years, and social acceptance. Well told taut and tense, a definite must for the TBR!*** Big thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book ***
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    Review to follow for blog tour...
  • Laura G (lauralovestoread)
    January 1, 1970
    As a mom of a 10 and 7 year old, I could deeply relate to this story of the nurturing relationship it takes to be a parent in today’s world. While I don’t think of myself as a “hover mom” like main character Hannah, I can see why she felt the need to be involved so deeply with her fourteen year old son’s private school life. With topics of bullying, sex, drugs, and the peer pressures of today’s teens.⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars!*Thank you to SuzyApprovedBookTours for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest As a mom of a 10 and 7 year old, I could deeply relate to this story of the nurturing relationship it takes to be a parent in today’s world. While I don’t think of myself as a “hover mom” like main character Hannah, I can see why she felt the need to be involved so deeply with her fourteen year old son’s private school life. With topics of bullying, sex, drugs, and the peer pressures of today’s teens.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars!*Thank you to SuzyApprovedBookTours for this gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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  • BookGypsy
    January 1, 1970
    Hannah Webber is a helicopter mother that goes over the top wanting the best of everything for her son Sam. It causes great conflict between her and her husband.When Sam gets accepted to an elite New England boarding school, Hannah couldn't be more happy. Sam is happy to be out from under his mother's wing but finds it very difficult to fit in. That is until he gets invited in with a group of boys. When Sam discover the dark happenings and evidence of sexual misconduct he sets out to expose all Hannah Webber is a helicopter mother that goes over the top wanting the best of everything for her son Sam. It causes great conflict between her and her husband.When Sam gets accepted to an elite New England boarding school, Hannah couldn't be more happy. Sam is happy to be out from under his mother's wing but finds it very difficult to fit in. That is until he gets invited in with a group of boys. When Sam discover the dark happenings and evidence of sexual misconduct he sets out to expose all the corruption and his life starts to spiral. This is the second book I loved by this author. The writing is compelling and the plot and twist are tense. This novels is very right now with all the headlines of ages old corruption at prep schools and universities. I couldn't help but feel for Hannah, a mother who just wanted the best for her son. A powerful drama. I highly recommend this for book clubs.Dawnny-BookGypsyNovels N Latte Hudson Valley NY
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  • Kate Vocke
    January 1, 1970
    There is A LOT of pressure that teenagers face these days.And having a helicopter mom like Hannah Webber...? Not exactly helping the situation!Hannah hovers. Like, a lot. She is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Sam is at the top of everyone's list, and has every opportunity he deserves - including getting into the prestigious Dunning School. Even if she has to sacrifice her own life and possibly even her marriage.And when her only child is accepted to the prestigious private high sch There is A LOT of pressure that teenagers face these days.And having a helicopter mom like Hannah Webber...? Not exactly helping the situation!Hannah hovers. Like, a lot. She is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Sam is at the top of everyone's list, and has every opportunity he deserves - including getting into the prestigious Dunning School. Even if she has to sacrifice her own life and possibly even her marriage.And when her only child is accepted to the prestigious private high school, of course she will do everything in her power to make sure he is accepted in the community and thrives within it, but she also attends every single function - no matter how small.Sam does begin to thrive away from his mother's constant hovering, but when he gets wrapped up in some pretty scandalous secrets at the school, he finds that he will finally have to make his own decisions and do what is right, because his mother may not be able to help him this time.This was a really complex and interesting read. The private school life is pretty foreign to me, and also fascinating. As is the mother and son relationship, - but this one clearly shows just how strong and unbreakable a mother's love can be.The writing was really fantastic - and I look forward to reading more from Jeanne!
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  • Laura G (lauralovestoread)
    January 1, 1970
    “𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙽𝚒𝚗𝚎,” 𝙼𝚊𝚡 𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍. 𝙰𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚗. “𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚎. 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠, 𝚒𝚝’𝚜 , 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚘𝚛 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚕.” —𝙹𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚗𝚎 𝙼𝚌𝚆𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚊𝚖𝚜 𝙱𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚐, 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙽𝚒𝚗𝚎As a mom of a 10 and 7 year old, I could deeply relate to this story of the nurturing relationship it takes to be a parent in today’s world. While I don’t think of myself as a “hover mom” like main character Hannah, I can see why she felt the need to be involved so deeply with her fourteen year old son’s private school l “𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙽𝚒𝚗𝚎,” 𝙼𝚊𝚡 𝚛𝚎𝚙𝚎𝚊𝚝𝚎𝚍. 𝙰𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚊𝚌𝚎𝚜 𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚗𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚒𝚜𝚝𝚎𝚗. “𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚎𝚕𝚒𝚝𝚎. 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚔𝚗𝚘𝚠, 𝚒𝚝’𝚜 , 𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚑𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚎𝚜𝚝 𝚑𝚘𝚗𝚘𝚛 𝚊𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚒𝚜 𝚜𝚌𝚑𝚘𝚘𝚕.” —𝙹𝚎𝚊𝚗𝚗𝚎 𝙼𝚌𝚆𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚒𝚊𝚖𝚜 𝙱𝚕𝚊𝚜𝚋𝚎𝚛𝚐, 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙽𝚒𝚗𝚎As a mom of a 10 and 7 year old, I could deeply relate to this story of the nurturing relationship it takes to be a parent in today’s world. While I don’t think of myself as a “hover mom” like main character Hannah, I can see why she felt the need to be involved so deeply with her fourteen year old son’s private school life. With topics of bullying, sex, drugs, and the peer pressures of today’s teens.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars!*Thank you @suzyapprovedbooktours for this gifted copy for review. All opinions are my own
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  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    inda's Book Obsession Reviews "The Nine" by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, She Writes Press, August 20, 2019 part of Suzy Approved Book ToursJeanne McWilliams Blasberg, Author of "The Nine" has written an intense, captivating, intriguing, thought-provoking, and emotional novel.  The Genres for this Novel are Fiction, and Contemporary Fiction, with Suspense. The timeline for this story takes place mostly in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. T inda's Book Obsession Reviews "The Nine" by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, She Writes Press, August 20, 2019 part of Suzy Approved Book ToursJeanne McWilliams Blasberg, Author of "The Nine" has written an intense, captivating, intriguing, thought-provoking, and emotional novel.  The Genres for this Novel are Fiction, and Contemporary Fiction, with Suspense. The timeline for this story takes place mostly in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The author describes her dramatic characters, as complex, complicated, each having their own set of problems.Hannah Webber is an obsessed mother, who wants only the best for her son. Hannah and her husband are at odds what might be best for Sam. When the opportunity arises, Hannah decides that Sam should go to an elite and prestigious high school. Dunning is a boarding school with a specific set of rules. Hannah wants to be involved in her son's life.Sam's adjustment to Dunning is difficult.  The younger students are treated much differently by the other students and there is peer pressure. It seems that there are secrets. Sam feels very alone and thinks his way of belonging will be by "entering a side door".  Sam discovers some disturbing evidence of inappropriate things that are going on. This is also a coming of age book, and Sam has to think of where his loyalties are. There is a tremendous amount of pressure and betrayals.I love the way the author discusses the important issues in contemporary society today. Bullying, drugs, sex, peer-pressure are some of the topics discussed. A mother-son relationship is explored. The author also mentions the importance of family, trust, emotional support, communication, love, and hope.I would highly recommend this thought-provoking novel. Happy Reading!
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  • BookTrib.com
    January 1, 1970
    Every good mother wants to love and protect her children, but how far is too far to go when it comes to looking after them? Hannah Weber is teetering on that thin line already when she helps her son get into the area’s most prestigious boarding school, but when Sam gets into trouble away from home, she stretches her remote meddling skills to a whole new level. If she doesn’t find a way to make everything right for her baby, her Ivy League dreams may be dashed before applications are even submitt Every good mother wants to love and protect her children, but how far is too far to go when it comes to looking after them? Hannah Weber is teetering on that thin line already when she helps her son get into the area’s most prestigious boarding school, but when Sam gets into trouble away from home, she stretches her remote meddling skills to a whole new level. If she doesn’t find a way to make everything right for her baby, her Ivy League dreams may be dashed before applications are even submitted.In The Nine (She Writes Press), Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg weaves strands of the story from Hannah’s perspective with equal parts from a third-person point of view with Sam or his dorm supervisor, Shawn, functioning as central characters. This artistic choice offers readers the most complete look possible into the curious events occurring at Dunning Academy. Blasberg has a knack for pulling readers in so close that they can share Hannah’s humiliation as she is belittled by wealthier parents and Sam’s adrenaline rush as he pushes himself to fit in with the other students. The fast pace of the narration, suspense, and well-timed revelation of new information work together to keep readers wanting more until the very last page.The rest of the review: https://booktrib.com/2019/08/prep-are...
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  • Brei
    January 1, 1970
    It’s a fabulous coming of age novel with a touch of suspense. The story centers around helicopter Mom, Hannah sending her son, Sam to an elite boarding school. When Sam witness an illicit act he has to decide if he will follow the pack or stand up for what’s right. I had so much fun with this book. I wanted to know what Sam would do and how Hannah would handle it. I flew through this book in one sitting.I don’t have kids so I am not sure how I would be. Not sure if I would be a helicopter Mom o It’s a fabulous coming of age novel with a touch of suspense. The story centers around helicopter Mom, Hannah sending her son, Sam to an elite boarding school. When Sam witness an illicit act he has to decide if he will follow the pack or stand up for what’s right. I had so much fun with this book. I wanted to know what Sam would do and how Hannah would handle it. I flew through this book in one sitting.I don’t have kids so I am not sure how I would be. Not sure if I would be a helicopter Mom or hands off. I can understand why Hannah hovered. She had a hard time having Sam and when she did she just wanted him to have the best of the world.Pick up this book if you like family dynamics. Pick it up if you like elite, privileged children behaving badly. Pick up this book if you like a fun quick read.
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  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    The Nine is a compelling, thought-provoking and timely story that revolves around Sam, a high schooler at an elite boarding school, and his mother, Hannah, whose ambitions for her son consume her. Sam has a hard time fitting in with his classmates, until he is invited to join a secret, power-wielding group of boys at his school. Hannah is a helicopter parent, anxious for her son to excel, fulfilling her dream for him to attend an Ivy League School. When Sam uncovers evidence of illicit activity The Nine is a compelling, thought-provoking and timely story that revolves around Sam, a high schooler at an elite boarding school, and his mother, Hannah, whose ambitions for her son consume her. Sam has a hard time fitting in with his classmates, until he is invited to join a secret, power-wielding group of boys at his school. Hannah is a helicopter parent, anxious for her son to excel, fulfilling her dream for him to attend an Ivy League School. When Sam uncovers evidence of illicit activity at his school, his life begins to spiral out of control. Aside from the corruption and exploitation in this story, it is also an intricate, honest peek into the relationship between a son and his mother. I felt a great deal of sympathy for Sam, as he gets caught up in events beyond his control. Hannah was pushy and brash, but I never lost sight of the fact that she only wanted what was best for her son.
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  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Marla WarrenSometimes the universe puts the book into your hand that you are supposed to read. The Nine is probably not a book I would have picked up to read, but with its themes of parenting, letting go, letting a child turn into an adult, and then begin a life of their own, as well as the ever-changing status of all of our relationships if we don’t nurture them appropriately, this started to hit very close to home. As a parent of a senior in h Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Marla WarrenSometimes the universe puts the book into your hand that you are supposed to read. The Nine is probably not a book I would have picked up to read, but with its themes of parenting, letting go, letting a child turn into an adult, and then begin a life of their own, as well as the ever-changing status of all of our relationships if we don’t nurture them appropriately, this started to hit very close to home. As a parent of a senior in high school who will soon be facing similar circumstances to Hannah Webber in The Nine, I can honestly say I felt this book in my soul.Our main character is Sam, and this story covers his life roughly from age 14 to age 18 as he has started high school at an elite boarding school in New England. Our primary narrative is what Sam experiences at school, but we also follow his mother Hannah (described as a “helicopter mom”) as she deals with her son’s absence and her crumbling marriage. As readers, we don’t often get the “helicopter mom’s” point of view. She is often talked about, rather than being the one telling us her thoughts and feelings, so this was a terrific change from what we so often see. It is a testament to the writer’s skill how easy it is switching back and forth between the parallel stories being told.Stark contrasts are drawn throughout the book between different types of groups. There are the legacies versus other students – those students whose family members attended before them, as opposed to those new to Dunning Academy. There is tension between how the athletes are treated versus how the academic students are treated. Year One students (Freshmen) are treated differently than Year Four (Seniors), as described by Sam as he goes through each year. There is even conflict between those adults whose paychecks are wrapped up in school politics versus those who work at the school simply because they live nearby.All of this conflict leads to a constant feeling of distrust that may, or may not, be partly by the design of the administration. Even as the reader, those feelings of not knowing who to trust keep you tuned in to how each character responds to the others. As a student, Sam deals with not knowing who he can really trust, his mother Hannah also deals with it, as does new teacher Shawn Willis. We follow all these characters, rooting for them to make the right decisions, but not even knowing ourselves whether or not these are the “good guys.”The Nine is one of those novels that different people can read and get something totally different out of. My feelings about my own child going away to school soon gave me one perspective, but someone reading it who is closer to Sam’s age would likely have a completely different emotional response to the book. A new teacher might see everything in yet another way.There was a moment near the end where I started to worry about how things were going to turn out. I am not someone who wants an unearned happy ending, but I don’t want an unhappy (or unfair) ending just for the sake of being melancholy. I believe the ending works. For everything we go through with these characters, their ups and their downs, the ending feels just.I have seen suggestions of this book for fans of Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, and A Separate Peace by John Knowles, and I have to agree. This book feels very much from the same vein as those classics. It both tells the story of Sam and how his life has changed as he has grown, as well as one of the best descriptions in literature of a mother’s changing relationship with her husband, her son, and herself.
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  • JANELLE || WHATSHESEEES
    January 1, 1970
    Huge thank you to the author and SheWritesPress for sending me an advanced readers copy of The Nine and it's matching tote to go with it #backtoschool19 - I haven't stopped using it since and read this book in two days.With that said, not only was I hooked by the story-line but also because it is New England based like myself. This book had you constantly on the edge of your seat and made me fly through each chapter to find out more about Dunning and what has just been discovered...Quick Recap:H Huge thank you to the author and SheWritesPress for sending me an advanced readers copy of The Nine and it's matching tote to go with it #backtoschool19 - I haven't stopped using it since and read this book in two days.With that said, not only was I hooked by the story-line but also because it is New England based like myself. This book had you constantly on the edge of your seat and made me fly through each chapter to find out more about Dunning and what has just been discovered...Quick Recap:Hannah Webber is the Mother of Sam Webber who attends New England's most prestigious boarding school called Dunning. Sam is glad to be out of the watchful eye and constant observation to do the best and be the best by his mother Hannah. Soon rather than later Sam befriends Justin Crandle and gets asked to be apart of a secret organized group of men that has been passed down generations throughout numerous decades of Dunning, called The Nine. When Sam accepts the offer and keeps to himself while his introduction to The Nine, he soon realizes the hidden truths of the current Headmaster as well as the previous Headmaster.While gaining more freedom from the constant observation of his Mother Hannah, the Crandle family takes him in for the summer were Sam then becomes close to Justin's, Uncle Henry and becomes apart of something greater than The Nine ever were...Sam's understood version of The Nine was all fun and games, such as pranks they pulled off every year in tradition to the secret organization. While returning back to Dunning in the fall, Sam immediately understood after spending the summer with Henry Crandle that he had a much grander plan for him after all this year and wasn't going to rest until it was completed.Throughout the remainder of Sam's Junior year, his parents were struggling with their marriage along with the means to provide for his family. Along the way of that, Hannah Webber befriends there dormitory, Shawn for guidance on Sam's recent behaviors and academic fall out. Which resulted in leaning closer to the truth about what Henery Crandle's plans were for Headmaster Williams.Back to review:Like I said, highly suspenseful throughout each chapter!!I have to say, Hannah Webber was not my favorite character but she overall made this book.With her constant observation of her son and failing marriage, she made this book interesting and fun to read. Her son Sam also seemed to accept her behavior pretty well and really made me have an understanding of his relationship with his Mother.Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Nine and thought the storyline was solid and well put together.The ending did leave me hanging a little bit, to be honest. And that's why it got a 4/5 for me. I felt like leading up to the ending gave me so much hope for a conclusion that just wasn't there...I've been so excited to share this with my followers on Instagram as well as my fellow BookSharks. And hope everyone gets a chance to read and be apart of the Dunning boarding school drama like I have because it's been a lot of fun! Thank you again for the arc - I can't wait for its release date this August!!
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  • abdulia ortiz-perez
    January 1, 1970
    I received this for honest Review.This is the first time reading anything from this author. I'm so grateful that I got the opportunity to review her book cuz its so good. I'm giving this a big big super 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐This book talk about the struggle of being a parent and how to handle your kid when they need you the most. Even though it fiction it talk about drugs, abuse, sexual abuse, bully, school, and being parent. This was a eye opening cuz nomatter what school you put your child into you ha I received this for honest Review.This is the first time reading anything from this author. I'm so grateful that I got the opportunity to review her book cuz its so good. I'm giving this a big big super 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐This book talk about the struggle of being a parent and how to handle your kid when they need you the most. Even though it fiction it talk about drugs, abuse, sexual abuse, bully, school, and being parent. This was a eye opening cuz nomatter what school you put your child into you have to see the sign. Me has a mom of 5 children I taught my kids not to let nobody touch them. To go to adult or anybody. Just tell somebody! I have dealt with kids bullying my kids. I took it to the teachers, the principal, and even the Police. When something is happening or you think something is happening you do everything in your power to do everything. The storyline was very good! The theme and setting was well put together. The characters was well put together in the story. Was so well put in the story. Everything all in one book. It was just perfect!I highly recommend everybody get this and read it. What a great read! This had me hooked from the beginning. What a Rollercoaster! The sitting, theme, and the Characters had me pulled so in. Everything was well put together and it was just perfect. This novel would have you guess and thinking all the way to the end. This novel did just that to me. To the point that am wrong. When the ending comes am on shock. I wouldn't of never believe or guess. Like OMG! Highly recommend everybody get this book and read it. Its so good! Can't wait for her next book.#thenine
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars The Nine by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg tells the story of prestigious East Coast boarding school Dunning Academy. Hannah Webber is a helicopter mom to the extreme and she frets and worries all four years her only son Sam is enrolled at Dunning. Rightfully so, as Sam ends up involved in all kinds of sinister and shady business at that school. With everything we hear about in the news these days, it makes you think a story like this probably isn’t that much of a stretch. As I read this b 3.5 stars The Nine by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg tells the story of prestigious East Coast boarding school Dunning Academy. Hannah Webber is a helicopter mom to the extreme and she frets and worries all four years her only son Sam is enrolled at Dunning. Rightfully so, as Sam ends up involved in all kinds of sinister and shady business at that school. With everything we hear about in the news these days, it makes you think a story like this probably isn’t that much of a stretch. As I read this book, I had several thoughts running through my mind. Hannah is, at times, very unlikeable, as she desperately tries to maintain not only a relationship with her son but control over every decision he makes. Despite that, I, as a mother, found myself still relating to her. While most of us aren’t obsessed with every move our children make, opting instead to grant them independence as they grow, we all, at the very heart of it, want the very best for our kids. I know I relish that feeling of pride when my children are successful at something. Hannah was constantly in search of that. Sam was no doubt shaped by that pressure, becoming a people pleaser who had a hard time saying no, trying so hard to both fit in and succeed. Makes you think about how your actions are affecting your kids. The Nine was an entertaining read, one that I was imagining as a movie, the boarding school drama with some twists and turns. It could be a great low key kind of thriller geared maybe toward teens?! It’s not a thriller but I could see that aspect of it played up a bit. How fun would that be to see it on the big screen??
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  • Shannon (The Book Club Mom)
    January 1, 1970
    Wow! The Nine by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg really pulled at my heartstrings. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the mother, Hannah. While her marriage is crumbling, she enrolls her son, Sam into a well respected boarding school. The series of events that follow are unthinkable and a parent’s worst nightmare! Sam is unknowingly caught in a web of scandal and deceit with a prestigious and secret group of students at the school. Hannah desperately tries to help her son in every way possible. The b Wow! The Nine by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg really pulled at my heartstrings. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the mother, Hannah. While her marriage is crumbling, she enrolls her son, Sam into a well respected boarding school. The series of events that follow are unthinkable and a parent’s worst nightmare! Sam is unknowingly caught in a web of scandal and deceit with a prestigious and secret group of students at the school. Hannah desperately tries to help her son in every way possible. The bond between her and Sam is strong and admirable. Blasberg creates a realistic and thought-provoking story about raising teenagers today. The Nine is an entertaining and frightening story about the sacrifices we make for our children. It’s a powerful book about family, marriage and parenthood. I highly recommend this one! Thank you to the author and Suzy Approved Book Tours for sending me an advance reader’s copy and inviting me to participate in this book tour! This one releases next week - Tuesday, August 20th.
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  • Rachel Turner
    January 1, 1970
    I found The Nine to be fascinating. I was able to relate to Sam, as my mother was also a bit overbearing when I was growing up. I loved how each character’s voice was so distinct and well-fleshed out, and I felt invested in all of their outcomes. Secret societies, corruption, and privilege make for an engrossing, fast-paced read, and I definitely recommend this one!
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  • Cindy Roesel
    January 1, 1970
    In Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg's follow-up to her hugely popular novel, EDEN, comes THE NINE. Hannah Webber fears she will never be a mother, but her prayers are finally answered when she gives birth to a son.THE NINE is a timely novel about a helicopter parent and all the craziness that brings with it. Blasberg portrays a mother completely immersed in her child's life while trying to come to terms with her own inadequacies.I look forward to what she writes next.
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  • Barbara Stark-Nemon
    January 1, 1970
    The Nine<\I>, Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg’s eagerly awaited second novel, delivers a tightly plotted tale that taps the vein of secret terror every first-time parent harbors when sending a child on their own into the world. With devastating precision, Blasberg mines the insecurity, the denial, the projected hope and ambition of a mother singularly devoted to her only child played against revelations of dark doings at an elite prep school. Hannah, the mother, has neglected cultivating her ow The Nine<\I>, Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg’s eagerly awaited second novel, delivers a tightly plotted tale that taps the vein of secret terror every first-time parent harbors when sending a child on their own into the world. With devastating precision, Blasberg mines the insecurity, the denial, the projected hope and ambition of a mother singularly devoted to her only child played against revelations of dark doings at an elite prep school. Hannah, the mother, has neglected cultivating her own life and her marriage to nurture her brilliant son, Sam. Though devoted, Sam becomes entangled in the web of adult expectations, the rotting core of the power brokers at the school, and his own emerging sense of self. That the reader ratchets back and forth between sympathy and antipathy toward Hannah’s fierce love, blinding wishfulness, and searing heartache, reflects Blasberg’s skill at avoiding the easy trope of the overbearing mother. Along the way to the resolution of this complex story, the reader also keenly feels the gamut of coming-of-age wonder and pain that characterize the thoughtfully developed character of Sam. While he is a child in trouble, he turns out not to be a troubled child, a comfort to both the reader and the other characters. A painful, beautiful book.
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  • Nicole Harbour Lau
    January 1, 1970
    I've been a mother for nearly six years, and everything about it - the extreme love I have for two little boys who simultaneously make my life so much richer and worthwhile, yet also have the capacity to push me to my absolute limits; the way it feels to have two pieces of your heart walking around outside your body; how the days seem to stretch on forever but the years seem to fly by - still has the ability to shock and amaze me. Just last week, I hugged and kissed my five-year-old goodbye and I've been a mother for nearly six years, and everything about it - the extreme love I have for two little boys who simultaneously make my life so much richer and worthwhile, yet also have the capacity to push me to my absolute limits; the way it feels to have two pieces of your heart walking around outside your body; how the days seem to stretch on forever but the years seem to fly by - still has the ability to shock and amaze me. Just last week, I hugged and kissed my five-year-old goodbye and helped him get on the bus for his first day of kindergarten, and it was so hard. All day, even as I played with my three-year-old, it felt like a part of me was missing, and this week, those feelings came rushing back to me through the powerful, complex relationship of Hannah Webber and her son, Sam, in Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg's new novel, The Nine { @jeanneblasbergauthor @suzyapprovedbooktours @shewritespress #partner}.Having struggled to become a mother, Sam is Hannah's world (even to the detriment of her marriage), so when he is accepted to Dunning - a prestigious and elite boarding school in New Hampshire - at age 14, it's hard for his mother to let him go despite how proud she is. Lonely and lost, Hannah lives for Sam's weekly phone calls, parent weekends, and updates on how he's doing in his classes. Hannah knows attending Dunning will give Sam a serious leg up on college applications and his future career, and Sam relishes the idea of more freedom and the chance to make a group of close friends. That is, until he stumbles upon some of the dark secrets the college prep school has tried to hide. As he discovers evidence of sexual misconduct, bribery and corruption, Sam refuses to bury his head in the sand despite the fallout he may encounter, and Hannah soon realizes there are some things she can't control or protect Sam from.I really enjoyed this book. It's one that reeled me in quickly, and I could really empathize with and relate to Hannah, even if I didn't always agree with the course of action she took. It's clear to readers how much she adores her son, and as a mother of two little boys, my heart wanted to break for both her and Sam at different times throughout this book. Though a somewhat dark coming-of-age story, The Nine made me really think about my own parenting, the seedy underbelly of prep schools and financial privilege, and how difficult it can be relinquish control and let your kids find their own way. A quick, well-written read, this book helped to get me out of a small reading slump, and I highly recommend it! Thank you to Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg, Suzy Approved Book Tours and She Writes Press for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is available in stores and to order today, so make sure to add it to your TBR lists and give it a try!
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  • Jewel Hart
    January 1, 1970
    This novel takes the reader into the world of elite boarding schools, whilst also juxtaposing a mother and son relationship when the close bond is severed.Hannah Webber had to learn patience when waiting for her first-born, and from her perceived duty as a responsible parent she orchestrates his every move and makes every decision for him during his growth to early teens. Convinced that attendance at the revered Dunning Academy is the best school for him both academically and socially, she encou This novel takes the reader into the world of elite boarding schools, whilst also juxtaposing a mother and son relationship when the close bond is severed.Hannah Webber had to learn patience when waiting for her first-born, and from her perceived duty as a responsible parent she orchestrates his every move and makes every decision for him during his growth to early teens. Convinced that attendance at the revered Dunning Academy is the best school for him both academically and socially, she encourages the move, even though it breaks her heart. As her son struggles to adjust to a world alien to him, she finds ways to keep control, but in doing so finds her marriage faltering. Her son, Sam, is not used to fending for himself and making his own way without his mother, and soon he finds himself betrayed by those he trusts and his life, so carefully planned by his mother, spiraling out of control. There are two stories intertwined in this book. First is mother and wife, Hannah, striving to be the best mother ever to her beloved Sam, yet failing miserably as wife to Edward. Then Sam, consumed by guilt at his mother’s unhappiness but striving in his own way to find acceptance and friendship. Sub-plots are father, Edward, who begins to discover his own dreams once his son leaves home, and Shawn Willis, a new teacher at Dunning Academy who gets swept along with the tide of achievement, until reality and an unsavory aspect brings him quickly down to earth. Add to this a secret society, The Nine, who have ruled and manipulated the Academy for years, and we have an intriguing, compelling and intricate novel that is spellbinding in its gripping scenarios and riveting characters.The author is a master of storytelling, bringing engaging and endearing characters such as Sam from a sheltered and loving home to the starkness and competitiveness of the boarding school. Hannah, too, instills empathy in the reader. Overbearing, yes; controlling, definitely; an overpowering personality, absolutely. Yet above all there is a mother totally devoted to her only son, wanting only the best, making heart-rending sacrifices for him, but all in the name of undying love.The writing is superb, the pace consistent and tight, and the settings credible and believable, making this book impossible to put down. Every parent will examine their own motives, will see similarities with Hannah, will empathize with Sam, and will hug their child tighter every time they come home. Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg writes with emotion and a skill rarely found as she draws out the intricacies of the Webber family, their individual aspirations, and the struggles of a young boy seeking to find his own way in an uncompromising and sinister world.
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  • Toya
    January 1, 1970
    Hannah Webber wasn’t sure that she would be able to have children, but she’s finally able to conceive Sam. Hannah put her heart and soul into raising Sam at the cost of both her marriage to Edward and her own self interests. When the time for Sam to go to high school came, Hannah decided that Sam should only go to an elite prep school, so that Sam would have his pick of the top colleges. Hannah was thrilled when Sam was accepted to Dunning Academy, one of the most exclusive and prestigious prep Hannah Webber wasn’t sure that she would be able to have children, but she’s finally able to conceive Sam. Hannah put her heart and soul into raising Sam at the cost of both her marriage to Edward and her own self interests. When the time for Sam to go to high school came, Hannah decided that Sam should only go to an elite prep school, so that Sam would have his pick of the top colleges. Hannah was thrilled when Sam was accepted to Dunning Academy, one of the most exclusive and prestigious prep schools in the country. She finally felt that her hard work and sacrifices were paying off.While at Dunning, Sam experiences freedom from his overbearing mother for the first time and can’t help but rejoice in this new independence. What Sam doesn’t anticipate is the sheer amount of pressure that he would be under to succeed at Dunning. The competition is fierce. Students are taking Adderall just to get through the study load. Sam feels alone and like an outsider at Dunning since his family doesn’t come from the wealth that is he now surrounded by.As Sam settles into Dunning, he learns of secret brotherhood called The Nine that is the exclusive society that every male dreams of getting into at Dunning. Sam feels that joining The Nine will finally be his chance of being accepted into this foreign community. Everything changes when he begins to uncover evidence of inappropriate behavior taking place at Dunning. Sam must come to terms with who he is most loyal to and the betrayals and deceit that he is faced with.This story is a compelling and thought-provoking coming of age story for both Hannah and Sam that discusses important topics in contemporary society such as sex, bullying, drugs, and peer-pressure. One thing I really enjoyed about this story was the depth of the mother-son relationship of Hannah and Sam. Hannah could be really infuriating with the lengths that she went to in order to check in on Sam. That being said, your heart breaks for Hannah though because she wants nothing more than to be involved in her son’s life; he’s her entire reason for being. On the flip side, I could also sympathize with Sam’s need for independence and distance while adjusting to the grueling and strict expectations at Dunning.Overall, this is a powerful story of love, self-discovery, betrayal, and deceit, which I highly recommend to those who love a good thriller/suspense…especially when it involves an elite boarding school that is harboring decades worth of secrets.Thank you to Suzy from Suzy Approved Book Tours for the tour invitation and the author for providing an ARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Suzy Michael
    January 1, 1970
    *I was given this book by the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.*The Nine is an emotional and tense suspense novel about the pressures that parents put on their children, bullying, finding yourself, and standing up for what is right.14 year old Sam is thankful to be at Dunning, a prestigious private boarding school in New England. For the first time he is out of his mother, Hannah's watchful eye. She is a helicopter mom to the extreme and puts a lot of pressure on Sam to be perfec *I was given this book by the author in exchange for my fair and honest review.*The Nine is an emotional and tense suspense novel about the pressures that parents put on their children, bullying, finding yourself, and standing up for what is right.14 year old Sam is thankful to be at Dunning, a prestigious private boarding school in New England. For the first time he is out of his mother, Hannah's watchful eye. She is a helicopter mom to the extreme and puts a lot of pressure on Sam to be perfect and she has her sights set for him to attend an Ivy league college. When Sam is invited to join a secret society called "The Nine", he thinks this is his ticket to stop being bullied, and be excepted by his peers. But the society is not just some teenage boys pulling pranks. There are secrets hidden within the society, illicit secrets that go back generations between "The Nine" and the headmasters, including the very powerful current one. When Sam accidentally witnesses an extremely inappropriate incident, he's faced with letting his mother down or growing up, being a man, and speak and unveil the secrets that plague Dunning.This book was so, so good! It's a suspense/thriller, but also a coming of age story. Sam has never had to make decisions on his own, his overprotective Mom, who is so annoying throughout most of the book, has always made decisions for him. Now he has some huge decisions to make that will effect many people, including himself. And the outcomes from that are not all good. The book is full of many unique characters with many layers, including Sam's mom Hannah. Although hard to tolerate, she is the driving force for most of the plot.This was a fantastic read and the author addressed many important issues that effect kids today- peer pressure, bullying, sex, drugs, etc. It's a relevant and moving story with enough spark of suspense to keep you turning the pages! I highly recommend it!
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  • Lindsay (nerdybooknurse)
    January 1, 1970
    { @suzyapprovedbooktours #partner } The Nine by Jeanne Blasberg - Hannah Webber always wanted to be a mother so she was thrilled when she gave birth to her son Sam. She’s willing to risk everything to ensure Sam has everything he needs even if that means her marriage must suffer. Sam proves to be brilliant so when he is accepted to a prestigious boarding school at the age of fourteen, Hannah knows all of her hard work has finally paid off..Sam is relieved to finally have some breathing room away { @suzyapprovedbooktours #partner } The Nine by Jeanne Blasberg - Hannah Webber always wanted to be a mother so she was thrilled when she gave birth to her son Sam. She’s willing to risk everything to ensure Sam has everything he needs even if that means her marriage must suffer. Sam proves to be brilliant so when he is accepted to a prestigious boarding school at the age of fourteen, Hannah knows all of her hard work has finally paid off..Sam is relieved to finally have some breathing room away from his mother when he first arrives at Dunning. However, one late night he uncovers evidence of sexual misconduct and knows that he cannot unknot what he has learned. Will Sam stick with his conscience and expose what he knows, even if it means shattering everything his mother worked tirelessly to build for him?.This was a complex look at parenting, what it takes to raise a child in today’s age with societal pressures and the nature of a relationship between a mother and her son. I enjoyed this one. Hannah isn’t always likable but at the core you understand her motivations for making the decisions that she does. Her only goal is to protect her son and set him up for success, no matter what it takes. For fans of character-driven novels that explore relationship dynamics with some suspense, add this to your lists when it releases on August 20th!!
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  • Sondra Helene
    January 1, 1970
    Hannah, a doting helicopter mom tries everything to set her son up for a successful life. THE NINE is an intense and emotional novel taking the reader on a journey at an elite boarding school, Dunning Academy. This thought provoking book discusses mother-son bonds, husband-wife issues, and family values with all the complications that arise especially when there’s s conspiracy involved. I found myself tearing up near the end. Blasberg’s writing is suspenseful and compelling. I couldn’t put this Hannah, a doting helicopter mom tries everything to set her son up for a successful life. THE NINE is an intense and emotional novel taking the reader on a journey at an elite boarding school, Dunning Academy. This thought provoking book discusses mother-son bonds, husband-wife issues, and family values with all the complications that arise especially when there’s s conspiracy involved. I found myself tearing up near the end. Blasberg’s writing is suspenseful and compelling. I couldn’t put this book down!
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  • Rocky (theurbanbookshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    As a parent all you want in the best for tour child and that’s exactly what Hannah wants for her beloved son, Sam. She is the definition of a helicopter mom and lets it get in the way of her marriage. This doesn’t stop even when she sends him off to a very prestigious boarding school, Denning. Never did she think Sam would get caught up in a secret club on campus.As for Sam he can’t wait for his taste of freedom and can’t believe his luck when he receives and invitation to join The Nine. He will As a parent all you want in the best for tour child and that’s exactly what Hannah wants for her beloved son, Sam. She is the definition of a helicopter mom and lets it get in the way of her marriage. This doesn’t stop even when she sends him off to a very prestigious boarding school, Denning. Never did she think Sam would get caught up in a secret club on campus.As for Sam he can’t wait for his taste of freedom and can’t believe his luck when he receives and invitation to join The Nine. He will vowel his loyalty to the group for anything. This is tested once he finds hidden cameras in the girls showers while on a mission in the underground tunnels. He wants to do what is right, but also not disappoint his brotherhood. He finds himself twisted in the web of secrets and lies and trying to figure out how to come out on top again.I love a good book about boarding schools and this one did not disappoint. I found myself flipping through the pages trying to figure out who were the good guys and who were the bad guys.
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  • Sue Fernandez
    January 1, 1970
    I'd preordered this title just about the time the Varsity Blues scandal. The story of wealth, the entitlement group and parents who just can't let their kids live their own lives. Very well written, this book is about a secret group within an exclusive boarding school. There are also deeper, dark secrets that have been going on for years, and one young man becomes the scapegoat. This book just showed me, once again, that there are two different worlds, and the very wealthy have no doubt that the I'd preordered this title just about the time the Varsity Blues scandal. The story of wealth, the entitlement group and parents who just can't let their kids live their own lives. Very well written, this book is about a secret group within an exclusive boarding school. There are also deeper, dark secrets that have been going on for years, and one young man becomes the scapegoat. This book just showed me, once again, that there are two different worlds, and the very wealthy have no doubt that they are above the rest of us. Poignant for our times, and highly recommended.
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  • Tracy Ullman
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to receive an advance readers copy of The Nine and just devoured it! This is a gripping, page-turner of a novel that was hard to put down. I got sucked into the boarding school world that Blasberg deftly creates. The characters are realistic and relatable. Having the mother as the narrator for much of the book is such a unique and compelling lens for this storytelling. She’s an outsider desperately trying to penetrate the boarding school vortex her son gets sucked into; I felt I was lucky enough to receive an advance readers copy of The Nine and just devoured it! This is a gripping, page-turner of a novel that was hard to put down. I got sucked into the boarding school world that Blasberg deftly creates. The characters are realistic and relatable. Having the mother as the narrator for much of the book is such a unique and compelling lens for this storytelling. She’s an outsider desperately trying to penetrate the boarding school vortex her son gets sucked into; I felt like I was right there with her on her journey. Great read!
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  • CR
    January 1, 1970
    This cover so does not cover the what is in this title!! This is one heart breaking story that I could not put down. Being the mother of two children I get what it means to worry about your children. But Hannah took that to a whole new level and I felt so bad for her. The pacing of this story worked well for the story and I think that the story was one of a kind. The characters are some of the best that I have read in adult fiction and I still can't get this story out of my mind. Sexual miscondu This cover so does not cover the what is in this title!! This is one heart breaking story that I could not put down. Being the mother of two children I get what it means to worry about your children. But Hannah took that to a whole new level and I felt so bad for her. The pacing of this story worked well for the story and I think that the story was one of a kind. The characters are some of the best that I have read in adult fiction and I still can't get this story out of my mind. Sexual misconduct is in this story so be warned about that. This book is not for the faint of heart.
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  • Fleeverettdesign.Com
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of The Nine. Jeanne Blasberg has artfully woven a dual story — a mother's hope for her son's future by attending boarding school and his challenges in an educational/social environment that is new to their family. Blasberg parallels the family's aspirations and their interaction with the "old-boy network" — from students who are privileged legacies to the mores and secrets of a vaunted academic institution. Great character development. A real page turne I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of The Nine. Jeanne Blasberg has artfully woven a dual story — a mother's hope for her son's future by attending boarding school and his challenges in an educational/social environment that is new to their family. Blasberg parallels the family's aspirations and their interaction with the "old-boy network" — from students who are privileged legacies to the mores and secrets of a vaunted academic institution. Great character development. A real page turner!!!
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