Boomerang is marketed as a "New Adult" novel and I have tried other novels from the genre that I didn't like because they were so filled with drama. BBoomerang is marketed as a "New Adult" novel and I have tried other novels from the genre that I didn't like because they were so filled with drama. Boomerang is much lighter novel and I would say it is more similar to the romance novels of Jill Shalvis and Kristan Higgins but without the small town setting or strong secondary characters. The one thing that gives it that "New Adult" vibe is that Ethan and Mia are both in their early 20s and just starting out in their careers.
I enjoyed Boomerang because I liked the humor and I liked Ethan and Mia. They do have major chemistry. They also have issues to work through before then can move forward as a couple as well as dealing with the internship and the "no dating" policy. Ethan seems like a decent guy. He loves to teach kids how to play soccer and to encourage them. Mia comes from a weird but artistically talented family. She herself has a dream of making a documentary film about her grandmother, whom she is close to and who has dementia. These moments with family and with the soccer kids give the reader a chance to see that there is more to Ethan and Mia than the internship and their mutual attraction.
However I thought the internship scenes were kind of unbelievable. The CEO does not come across as a good businessman or anything other than the guy who sometimes puts obstacles in the path of the hero and heroine (no dating between coworkers, etc.) and he happens to look like Ryan Gosling. Then there is evil Candy who is portrayed as a cardboard villain until the end where she suddenly seems a little nicer. The secondary characters are not well developed at all but thankfully the novel makes up for it by making Ethan and Mia more likable.
I think that readers who like steamy contemporary romance and humor will find much to like in Boomerang so if the whole "New Adult" label makes you pause, ignore it and give Boomerang a try....more
Kavita and Jasu Merchant live in a poor village in India where they are barely scraping a living. When Kavita gives birth to another daughter, she knoKavita and Jasu Merchant live in a poor village in India where they are barely scraping a living. When Kavita gives birth to another daughter, she knows that she must give the baby up for adoption to ensure her survival. With the help of the midwife and her sister, Kavita makes the arduous journey to a Mumbai orphanage. All she has to give the baby is a name, Usha, a small bracelet, and her tears. In the United States, Somer, an American pediatrician, discovers that she cannot have children. Gradually she is persuaded by her husband Krishnan to adopt a baby from India. That baby is Usha, now renamed Asha. As the years go by, their story is told through the eyes of Kavita who has never stopped missing her daughter, Somer who is struggling in her marriage and relationship with her daughter, and Asha who finds a way to bridge the gap between both worlds.
I loved everything about this book. Kavita's story is so touching and sad yet she is a strong and resilient woman, living in a poor village and later the slums of Mumbai. Somer comes from a markedly different world as a well-to-do doctor in California yet it is moving to see her as a new mom trying to bridge the culture gap between herself and her Indian husband. Asha is a caring and special young woman, a blend of both her mothers. I would highly recommend this novel to book clubs and to those who enjoy the novels of Jhumpa Lahiri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Amy Tan, and Khaled Hosseini. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes to read beautifully written stories about mothers, daughters, and families. Shilpi Somaya Gowda is an author to watch....more
Murder at the Brightwell appealed to me because of the setting (1930s) and the way it reminded me of a country house murder mystery (where one of theMurder at the Brightwell appealed to me because of the setting (1930s) and the way it reminded me of a country house murder mystery (where one of the guests is a killer) only set in a hotel. I also liked the main character although sometimes she came across as naive.
Amory is brave and cultured and a little devil-may-care. She is the kind of young woman who attracts male attention easily and indeed both her husband and Gil as well as other hotel guests are drawn to her charm and beauty. While Amory is intelligent she does jump to some wrong conclusions and take unnecessary risks. In that way she reminded me of the heroines of Deanna Raybourn's novels and her impetuousness just adds to the suspenseful feel of the story.
There is some romance as Amory deals with her old feelings and "what ifs" for Gil as well as her feelings about her husband and marriage. This worked well with the story since Gil is a suspect anyway and I thought Amory's interactions with Milo were fun and added a touch of humor. If the romance subplot was fairly obvious and predictable, the mystery was not.
I enjoy historical mysteries and I particularly enjoy mysteries when I can't figure out who the killer is. The murder was not easy for me to solve because we see everything through Amory's eyes and the author does a good job of making multiple suspects look very suspicious. I didn't know who the killer was till Amory did and that was kind of fun for a change.
Overall I really liked this historical mystery and I hope the author will write more. I would suggest this novel to fans of Deanna Raybourn's books, the Miss Fisher mysteries (I've watched the show but not read the Phryne Fisher novels), and Rhys Bowen....more
I thought Evil Librarian was fun and entertaining. Cyn is a great protagonist. She is brave, snarky, and a loyal friend. Annie can be a frustrating chI thought Evil Librarian was fun and entertaining. Cyn is a great protagonist. She is brave, snarky, and a loyal friend. Annie can be a frustrating character because she is so blinded to Mr. Gabriel's true nature but Cyn still wants to help her even when she is behaving like a brat. Cyn loves musical theater so while she is busy trying to save her best friend and the school, she is also trying to design the best set for the school's performance of Sweeney Todd (a favorite musical of demons according to the book). I like that Cyn had a fun and quirky personality. Cyn's love interest and eventual ally is Ryan, her longtime crush and the star of Sweeney Todd. I like their awkward friendship that slowly becomes something more.
I liked the villain(s) of the story too. Mr. Gabriel is suitably evil though a bit cartoonish as a villain and the other demons are equally creepy or stupid in some cases which adds to the humor. I would say that this book is horror lite. It is more comedic with some suspense rather than truly spine chilling like The Diviners.
I wanted to read this book because it featured a librarian as a villain and because I knew it was supposed to be a horror/comedy of the Buffy variety. Evil Librarian did not fail to deliver on that promise. However I do wish there was more depth to Mr. Gabriel's character (and I kind of wanted him to be more librarianish by talking about research databases and Dewey decimals but I'm probably the only one who felt that way...)
If you are looking for a good Halloween novel that also has a lighthearted tone, give Evil Librarian a try. This story reminded me of a cross between Rachel Hawkins's Hex Hall and the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent (though with less angst and romance). I was also reminded of the Disney Channel movie, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior because of certain scenes at the school and the way a seemingly ordinary teenage girl has to take down an evil threat. I think fans of Rachel Hawkins and Buffy the Vampire Slayer would really like Evil Librarian. I do not know if there will be a sequel though the author leaves some room for one. ...more
I was eager to read this book because like Ru Freeman's On Sal Mal Lane, it is fiction about Sri Lanka set during the war years. While Freeman's bookI was eager to read this book because like Ru Freeman's On Sal Mal Lane, it is fiction about Sri Lanka set during the war years. While Freeman's book focused on the lives of children in one neighborhood of Colombo, Nayomi Munaweera's story narrated from the viewpoint of two young women, one Sinhalese and one Tamil. The book starts out with Yasodhara describing her father and mother's childhood and how they met but the narrative really looks at the lives of women in Sri Lanka. It is not Yasodhara's dad Nishan who sticks with readers but his sister Mala, his mother Beatrice Muriel, and his formidable mother-in-law Sylvia Sunethra. These characters all fade to the background however when we finally get to read about Yasodhara and Saraswathi.
Yasodhara and her younger sister Lanka grow up in Colombo, surrounded by family and even make friends with a Tamil boy who lives upstairs but that friendship and childhood end abruptly when her family flees to the United States for safety. There she faces the challenge of fitting in and adjusting to a different world. It isn't until she is a grown woman that she is pulled back to the island by Lanka and life circumstances.
It is Saraswathi's story that truly haunted me and while so much of the book is told from the perspective of Sinhalese people, her chapters just have such an impact. Saraswathi experiences extreme suffering that leads her to make difficult choices. It is heartbreaking to think of what could have been if the war hadn't happened. I am glad the author chose to write from her viewpoint too even though it was hard to read about.
Nayomi Munaweera has a way with words and I felt pulled into the story from the beginning. I couldn't help but feel for Yasodhara and especially Saraswathi. I appreciated that this book was a thoughtful look at the way war affected the trajectory of two lives as well as the commonality between people. I think this would be a great followup for readers who've read On Sal Mal Lane by Ru Freeman and a good pick for fans of Jhumpa Lahiri, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Thrity Umrigar and Lisa See.
There is one scene towards the very end that I could really relate to when two of the characters find out that the war has ended. I remember that moment when I saw it on the Internet just like they did and called my parents over to look at the news reports and that feeling of happiness and relief. I grew up in the States feeling apart from the war and my parents kept my sister and I in the dark about it when we were little. It was only when we were a little older that we learned about what was going on and not till I was an adult did I realize that there were race issues going on even when my parents were still living there (they immigrated to the U.S. in the 70's). I was not yet 5 when the war started and 30 years old when it ended. It is sobering to think that for one generation war is all they've known most of their lives. Needless to say this book resonated with me on a personal level but I think readers of any nationality could appreciate it. I would strongly recommend it to book groups too. ...more