If I could only review this book in a few words it would read like this: "Run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy this book or download it...moreIf I could only review this book in a few words it would read like this: "Run, do not walk, to your nearest bookstore and buy this book or download it to your ereader. This is a book that cannot be missed!"
Okay it was more than a few words, but that pretty much sums it up for me. This is one of my best reads of the year. Let's move onto why since I have gushed enough and not backed it up, because people generally read reviews to find out why the reviewer liked or did not like the book (or in this case love, love, love!)
First of all - I think this book is a must-read for anyone with a teenager or parents who will have teenagers in the future (I fall into this category). Ms. Fowler has been through a situation similar to the storyline of the book and she makes this plain to anyone interested in the book. Sexting is a problem and we as parents need to be educated about it so we can help steer our kids away from this and guide them in those teenage years. Now this isn't a parenting manual by any means, it's a fictional story, but it has warnings all in it to parents of teenage boys and teenage girls about sexting and the problems it can cause in the lives of the teenagers taking part in this along with how it affects the lives of the families involved.
One thing I especially loved was getting the story from both sides, from Anthony and his mom's side and also from Amelia and her parent's side. Also the look at a genteel southern family versus a single mother who is a transplant to the area. Ms. Fowler does not take sides, I think she really gives all her characters a fair shake in this book. Now there are characters you don't like, but they are redeemable and Ms. Fowler helps you see the reasons for the way they act. That really helps. I like that she hasn't made this a book that stands up and tells you which side is right, but like Jodi Picoult often does, presents you with the social problem and lets you read and enjoy and decide how you feel about the characters and the situation. I love that in a book and Exposure is packed full of internal debate for the reader and it's presented in a way that you just can't put the book down and when you finish you cannot stop thinking about the characters and the issues.
Exposure is also a love story. Can two teenagers really know what love is? Amelia and Anthony think they do, but some of the people around them don't think so. It's a Romeo and Juliet type story of hidden love because the daughter's parents wouldn't agree. I loved getting to know both of them and seeing their love from each side. It is a beautiful love story and a great addition to the storyline of the book. One that I think is important because it shows that all kids aren't completely lust-driven when they do things like Amelia and Anthony do in the book.
I'm afraid I'm rambling, but I really don't want to give away anything in the book, because the surprises are one thing that really made the book for me. It seemed every page I turned something new cropped up and I was enthralled. It was very hard for me to put Exposure down to go to my son's baseball game on Sunday and as soon as I came home, you can be sure I picked it right back up and read until the kids demanded supper.
So again in short, if you love stories that make you think, stories that grip you from the first page and love stories then this is a book for you. Even if you aren't sure you fall into the category that reads this book - this book is for you. Ms. Fowler is brilliant at weaving a story that both interests you and educates you. Exposure is beautiful, it's thought-provoking and it will keep you reading right until the last page.(less)
I wasn't sure what to expect with Strings Attached, but I loved every minute I was reading it. It's highly entertaining look at life in New York City...moreI wasn't sure what to expect with Strings Attached, but I loved every minute I was reading it. It's highly entertaining look at life in New York City and Providence, Rhode Island in the 1940s and 1950s. The reader views the story through the eyes of Kit, who has always wanted to entertain and is finally living out her goal of trying to make it on Broadway in New York. But things aren't going as planned. Then an old friend of the family drops into her life and her luck changes for the better, or does it? What does Nate Benedict want from her, is it simply to get her back together with his son Billy who has joined the Army and is soon to head off to Korea or are there different motives at work in Nate's mind?
I loved how this book jumped back and forth in time, teaching the reader more about the characters and their motives for things that are happening in the present and leading up to the major revelations near the end of the book. I found myself so engrossed in whatever time the book was in at the moment that I never really tried to figure out where the book was going and therefore was truly surprised at the events near the end of the book.
Ms. Blundell does a wonderful job with creating and fleshing out her characters along with plotting at the perfect pace to make Strings Attached a hard book to put down.(less)
The Midwife's Confession is a deeply moving book full of secrets and the lives of normal people. I love how the book starts with Noelle and then layer...moreThe Midwife's Confession is a deeply moving book full of secrets and the lives of normal people. I love how the book starts with Noelle and then layer by layer seems to unpeel the lives of Noelle, Tara, Sam and Emerson who were all friends in college. I also like how the story goes back and forth in point-of-view from all of the main characters so the reader gets to see the story unfold from all sides.
I was drawn in from the first page, but will fully admit after 100 pages it was hard to put down, after 200 pages it was almost impossible to put down and after 300 I only put it down because it was late and I was about to fall asleep. That is how much this book grabbed me. Then I jumped up the next morning and as soon as I got my kids off to school finished the book up. When I finished I felt so many emotions. This book was not what I expected, it was so much more. Tara, Emerson and Noelle were all easy to relate to and I thought Ms. Chamberlain did a marvelous job with their development. Their stories and secrets led the book along at a pace that was amazing.
I don't want to go into much more detail, just know if you are a fan of women's fiction and authors like Jodi Picoult, Kristin Hannah, Elizabeth Berg, Heather Gudenkauf and others like them, and you haven't checked out Ms.Chamberlain's books, then you must and I can highly recommend that you start with The Midwife's Confession. I now must go and hunt down some of her other books - great for summer reads.
Beautifully written and plotted, Secret Daughter grabbed me from the first page until the end.
All the good things I heard about this book last year ar...moreBeautifully written and plotted, Secret Daughter grabbed me from the first page until the end.
All the good things I heard about this book last year are very true. I am so glad I chose to be a part of this tour. If this is Ms. Gowda's first book I can't wait to read more by her. I love how she parallels the plots in this book. Seeing what is happening with Asha's adoptive family and with her birth family over the span of 20 years is fascinating. I also really enjoyed seeing life in India too. Just a small glimpse of the life in India has me wanting to read more about this fascinating country.
I loved the characters and the chance to really get to know them and understand the motives that each has. Asha was every bit the young 20-year-old, a little spoiled and a little selfish. But she grows and becomes a wonderful young woman. Also knowing why her birth mother gave her up and how her life is for the rest of her life is wonderful. And then the tale of Kris and Somer is fascinating as well. Watching all of them through good times and bad makes the book feel real and interesting.
The plot also moves along at a great pace. Secret Daughter was very hard to put down. I wasn't feeling well while I was reading this, and usually I don't want to read, but with this one, I kept right on reading. I almost hated to nap and put it down. I like how it switches back and forth between the different characters and families in the same time frame. Since it revolved around two different cultures it was very easy to keep the characters straight.
Secret Daughter is a wonderful book. If you enjoy books that straddle two cultures or use exotic settings but focus on the everyday person, then this is a book for you. If you like books about family interaction then this is a book for you. If you enjoy books that explore how people grow and change (even later in life) then this is a book for you. In fact I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy this book. So if you didn't get a chance to read this when it came out last year, give it a try in paperback.