"The Balance Project" is the story of Lucy, a young 20-something trying to make it in New York City. She has ideas about what she wants to do as a car"The Balance Project" is the story of Lucy, a young 20-something trying to make it in New York City. She has ideas about what she wants to do as a career but when an opportunity comes up to work for Katherine Whitney, America's queen of balance, Lucy thinks that's her foot in the door. What she doesn't realize is that Katherine really doesn't have it all figured out and the balance that she preaches about doesn't reflect her real life. Lucy is trying to keep it all together but Katherine's lack of balance seems to bleed into Lucy's life. This is a book about standing up for yourself and following your dreams. It's also the story of how looks can definitely be deceiving.
Lucy is a fantastic character. I like that the author told the story from her perspective so we really get a front row seat to all of her dealings with Katherine. Lucy definitely feels like a real person. Anyone who has just been starting out their career will recognize the desperation that Lucy has in trying to hold onto an opportunity that is wreaking havoc on her life. In the beginning of the book, Lucy seems to know what she wants and is trying to hold it all together to get there even if it means pushing away her boyfriend of eight years - she is sure that he will understand! Surprise, surprise, he doesn't understand and Lucy's life descends into greater cause chaos. We see Lucy eventually realize that having it all may look a little bit different than we initially think.
I love books that make me feel something and this book definitely made me feel a whole range of emotions. I was legitimately nervous as I watched both Lucy and Katherine's lives unravel. Being a person who favors order, the chaos really grabbed me. The ending of this book was great and I know that it is one that I am going to be thinking about for quite awhile (no spoilers!!!).
Between the topic at hand and the pop-culture references, this book is definitely very of the moment. With books like Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" and many others, it's hard to get away from the whole "women having it all discussion." As someone who has been in the workforce for awhile and is now a new mom, I know that topic is very much on my mind a lot recently. This book is a fictional look at what that actually means to have it all and how difficult it can actually be to find that balance. It's also the story of how balance looks different for each person. Overall, I enjoyed this section will take on a timely topic!...more
"Under a Dark Summer Sky" is a story about many different kinds of people converging on Huron Key, a fictitious location in the Florida Keys. It is th"Under a Dark Summer Sky" is a story about many different kinds of people converging on Huron Key, a fictitious location in the Florida Keys. It is the 1930s and Huron Key is to play host to a group of American veterans who have nowhere to go after the war. In trying to provide jobs (or to prevent more chaos in Washington), the government came up with the idea to put veterans back to work. It's during the Great Depression and things are actually a little bit better in the Keys than they are in the rest of the country. The veterans think that they're going to be able to make a new life in the small community. The community is hesitant to accept this group of soldiers. The story is a multifaceted look at a community under great tension.
This wasn't a part of history that I really knew much about, which is what drew me to this book in the first place. The author mixes fact and fiction to show a community under pressure. The event of the soldiers coming to the Florida Keys is only one part of the story. The community is doing not only dealing with the arrival of the veterans, who are little more rowdy then they'd like. Then a catastrophic event shakes up the entire community. The community is also dealing with a terrible hurricane that is threatening their livelihoods. I enjoyed learning the history of this event!
There is an undertone of racial tension throughout this book. We are introduced to several characters, black and white, that interplay with each other to show us what things were like then. We are introduced to Missy, who is a nanny for the Kincaid's, a rich family in the area. We are also introduced to Henry, a soldier that comes home to Huron Key to find that he is still an outsider and is accused of an egregious crime.
It was a little bit hard for me to get into the story for a couple reasons. One, there were a lot of places where I felt like the author was telling a little bit too much. I get a lot of enjoyment out of putting together the pieces myself but when the author spells out so much, a bogs down the telling of the story. I hung in there because of the history behind this story. Eventually the flow of this story seems to even out a little bit as we get to the main arc of the story involving the crime at the center of the book. Overall, this is an interesting piece of history and I would love to read more about these events....more
"The Grown Ups" is the story of Susie, Sam, and Bella and by extension, Michael, who is Sam's brother. When the book opens they are teenagers. It's th"The Grown Ups" is the story of Susie, Sam, and Bella and by extension, Michael, who is Sam's brother. When the book opens they are teenagers. It's the things that they do as teenagers that will shape them into the adults that they become. This book is really interesting because it looks at each of the characters throughout their formative years, those strange years from being a teenager to being a full fledged adult. Each chapter of the book focuses on a different character in a different time period. We see them first as teenagers and then college-age kids and then adults. This book tracks the trajectory that each of their lives take and how even after they flee the comfort of their suburban neighborhood, their lives continue to be interwoven with each other.
I really enjoyed this book. I think anyone who has gone through the transition between those strange years as a teenager to trying to find ourselves in college to becoming a full-fledged adult who has to do adult things will get something out of this book. In many ways this book is a traditional bildungsroman tale about all three of these characters. They start out not really knowing what their future lives are going to be like. Each life is different. Suzie knows what she wants. Bella thinks she knows what she wants but may not really know. Sam has no idea what he wants.
I really like the way that this book was written. At first I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about the characters as we only get to see them every so often throughout each of the different sections. However, the author has a really great way of making the reader understand what is going on in each of the characters heads. We see them succeed. We see them struggle. We see them try to make a sense of the world where they are supposed to eventually be the adults even when it feels like they really don't want to. It was that part of the book that really hit home for me. I think I was particularly struck by the way that the author was able to show how sometimes even as an adult you wake up and wonder how exactly you got to wear you are. Overall, this was a good story....more
3.5 stars. "The Appetites of Girls" is the story of for college aged women: Ruth, Francesca, Opal, and Setsu. As with so many of us in college, these3.5 stars. "The Appetites of Girls" is the story of for college aged women: Ruth, Francesca, Opal, and Setsu. As with so many of us in college, these girls are thrown together in a dorm suite where the beginnings of lifelong friendships are born. The title of this book deals with the fact that each of these women has dealt with both a physical appetite having to do with actual food and a mental appetite having to do with desire. All of their stories and struggles are different. This multi-fold theme is woven throughout the book.
This book is broken up into three parts. First, we get the background story of each character. Each character has had a different dealing with food and it has affected the way that each character deals with the world. Second, we the readers witness each of these character's experience in college and how they are affected by the stories of their past. The third section looks at these women as full-fledged adults after they have been friends for a long time. This is sort of a hard book to explain and it definitely took a while for it to grow on me by by the end of the book after seeing each character go through so much, I really enjoyed this book. If you do try those book, I suggest giving it a little while to see how it all comes together.
One of the things that really struck me in this book is the way that the author was able to create a really unique voice for each character. This can be really difficult for others to do when it they are counting on the characters to show the reader the story. At first I did feel as if I was being held at arms length but as I read on, The author has a really nice way of slowly opening up the characters to the reader.
And a lot of ways, at this book is very quiet but powerful. It took me awhile to get into this book. It's the kind of book where it all comes together at the very end but I found myself wondering where it was going throughout the book. You just have to hang in there until everything is put all together in the end. This is a book that is better considered after the fact rather than while you are reading it. I think this is a really good book for anyone who feels like they are always dealing with the past in some way and looking for ways to overcome it....more
In "Absolutely True Lies," Holly is a down on her luck entertainment writer and Hollywood who's just trying to make it. She's working a dead end job sIn "Absolutely True Lies," Holly is a down on her luck entertainment writer and Hollywood who's just trying to make it. She's working a dead end job so when she has the opportunity to be a ghostwriter for an autobiography of one of Hollywood's hottest young teen starlets, she jumps at the chance. She has no idea how this is going to upend her life.
The premise of the story was interesting to me. Hollywood and all of the things that go on in that crazy town are interesting to me but definitely not anywhere where I would want to find myself so reading a book about all of the Hollywood craziness and living vicariously through Holly was perfect for me. This is a good light read. It takes readers on Holly's journey from L.A. to Miami to Rome to New York as she follows around Daisy Mae Dixson, the young starlet who's wholesome, squeaky clean image is simply a ruse. Daisy reminded me a lot of a Miley Cyrus or an Amanda Bynes or a lot of other young Hollywood starlets. Holly sticks around because she wants to do a good job and this also may be the only shot she has for her career to finally take off.
I enjoyed the story however the author definitely has a tendency to tell more than show in the book, which I found myself a bit frustrated with. A lot of the characters actions are explained so explicitly that it makes the book lose a little bit of steam. I like the work that a reader does as they are reading the book in order to really digest what is going on and that opportunity is not really there in this book. Sometimes it's better to leave some of the detail to the actions in the book rather than saying explicitly what is happening. This did bog down the story quite a bit. Overall, I enjoyed the story but I wish that there was a little less spelled out so explicitly for me....more
"The Curse of Anne Boleyn" is a re-release of the second book in C.C. Humphreys' French Executioner series about Jean Rombaud. Before reading this boo"The Curse of Anne Boleyn" is a re-release of the second book in C.C. Humphreys' French Executioner series about Jean Rombaud. Before reading this book, I did not realize that this book was the second in a series. I must tell you that had I known that, I would have read the first book first as I had a lot of questions about the characters in this book. The premise of this book is that when Anne Boleyn was buried, one of her hands was cut off. It's now been many years since her death and several people are now after the missing hand in this book.
I have read several other books by C.C. Humphreys at this point in time and many of the things that I liked about his previous books are also present in this book. Although this is billed as historical fiction, it can also be build it as historical action. In this book, the French executioner Jean Rombaud is now older. The book focuses on him as well as on his son, Gianni. There are also some sections about Princess Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn's daughter and her captivity. To me, these sections were more compelling in a lot of ways. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth I and it was interesting to me to see Humphreys' take on the events surrounding her mother who she barely knew's death.
Here is where you have to take into account the fact that I did not read the first book. I would've liked to see a little bit more development of the characters. The focus is really on the action of the book and therefore I feel like I didn't really get to know The characters well at all. I really wanted to know what their motivations were and what made them tick.
For other history lovers, I enjoyed that this book covers the siege of Siena, Italy, something that I did not know much about at all. The author uses a lot of historical detail to help the reader understand all of the different parties involved and that historical event. I always like learning something new! Again, I want to go back and read the first book in the series to see if it gives me any more background on any of the characters in this book. This book is great for readers who are looking for an action story with a little bit of mystery included....more
4.5 stars. "The Sound of Glass" is a story about a couple families who are connected in very unexpected ways. When Merritt inherits her husband's gran4.5 stars. "The Sound of Glass" is a story about a couple families who are connected in very unexpected ways. When Merritt inherits her husband's grandmother's house after he passes away, she leaves New England for a new life and a new start in South Carolina. She's hoping for some time to herself to deal with some of the hurt she felt at the hand of her husband. Her look for solitude is broken quickly when her stepmother, Loralee, and her half-brother, Owen show up at her house looking for a place to stay. Loralee says that they're only going to stay "a little while" but "a little while" turns into something much longer. Eventually Merritt begins to understand that her life is better with people surrounding her rather than trying to shut herself off from the world. As she is trying to put herself back together, she meets her late husband's brother, Gibbes, who will change her life in a lot of ways. This is a story of family, love, hurt and redemption and there is a good deal of mystery at the center of it. In the 1950s, Merritt's husband's grandmother witnesses a plane crash over her home. She becomes obsessed with trying to figure out what happened and why. In this book, we learn that the past can be connected to the present in the most surprising of ways.
I really enjoyed this book. This is the first book that I've ever read by Karen White but I know this is not going to be the last time that I read anything by her. There's so much going for this book! It has a lot of great characters, who feel really real. There's an interesting mystery that definitely kept me guessing through out the book. There's good thoughts on how important family is whether it's the family we have or the family we choose. There is even a good romance! I ate it all up. This is definitely one of those books that I was sad about when it ended. I wanted more!
The characters were definitely stand out for me. Even with as prickly as she is, I really liked Merritt. You can see that she's hiding a lot and is trying to cope with a lot on her own. I definitely felt for her. Loralee is loving and always has a little bit of advice for every given situation. These women are very different from each other however when they finally come together it's something really unique and special. I also just adored Gibbes. What a great guy!
I don't want to give too much away about the mystery surrounding the plane crash at the center of the book so I won't say too much on that aspect. I love when an author can keep me on my toes and keep me guessing and the author definitely did that throughout this book. I definitely didn't see what was coming at the end of the book! It's always nice not to be able to guess how things are going to come together.
I think this book had a really good message about how the past doesn't have to be doomed to repeat itself even when it seems like it's inevitable. Overall, this book was definitely a delight and I look forward to reading more by the author in the future!...more
Abraham Lincoln has always been one of my favorite presidents. There's a lot of reasons that I like him. He was a reader. He seemed to have a great seAbraham Lincoln has always been one of my favorite presidents. There's a lot of reasons that I like him. He was a reader. He seemed to have a great sense of humor. He was very smart. He seems like he had some really fantastic life experiences and it's hard to get around that whole presidential career. In Abe and Fido, I found a new reason to love our 16th president. Apparently he was a huge animal lover, as am I. In this book, we learn about his history with animals. This book includes a whole lot more as well. If you're looking for a light historical read, this may be a great pick for you.
I was attracted to this book by the idea of learning something about Abraham Lincoln's life that I didn't really know about before. I loved that he was an animal lover and wanted to know more about that aspect of his life. This book includes a lot more about many other famous people who loved animals. I love history books that are off the beaten path and this but definitely fits that bill.
The writing of the book is pretty good. It's clear that the author did a lot of research. There is a lot of information on Abraham Lincoln and his animals, particularly his "yeller" dog, Fido, as suggested by the title. During Abraham Lincoln's time, Fido was so famous that after Lincoln was assassinated, people ran around trying to grab pieces of Fido's hair as a souvenir!
The book also includes a lot of other information about other people and their animals. While it's interesting, some of the information simply seems to be thrown in there so parts of the book feel like a list of interesting facts. I liked the facts but the way that the book was organized made it a little bit disjointed. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is always fantastic to learn something new about a famous person who I've already read a ton about....more
"Wolf Bride" is a historical romance/ erotic fiction with a heavy dose of hotness. It's set during the time of the Tudors (books like this show me tha"Wolf Bride" is a historical romance/ erotic fiction with a heavy dose of hotness. It's set during the time of the Tudors (books like this show me that I am still not over the Tudors). As this book opens, King Henry VIII is married to Anne Boleyn, who is suspected of having dalliances with many men other than her husband. However, this book does not focus on Anne Boleyn or Henry really but one of her needs and waiting, Eloise.
Eloise is a naïve woman who has promised to a man who scares her a little bit while at the same time also intrigues her. Lord Wolf is powerful and a little bit intimidating. When Eloise becomes his wife, she is attracted to him in a way that she has never been attracted to another man. I really loved the relationship between Lord Wolf and Eloise. The author did a great job of showing the development of the relationship between the two characters so that everything that happened felt really real. The way that their relationship evolves over the course of the book was really interesting to me. There is a ton of passion and a lot of hotness and this book which I really enjoyed!
A lot of the book focuses on the initial misunderstandings that Lord Wolf and Eloise have of each other. It almost feels as if they are chasing each other in a way, of which I really enjoyed. While for most of the book, the Tudor setting merely plays a backdrop for Lord Wolf's and Eloise's relationship, I did appreciate that the author really tied the characters to their places at court. I think a lot of times historical romances and eroticas can suffer because the time period in which they are set seems undeveloped. This is definitely not the case here! Overall, I enjoyed this book!...more