**spoiler alert** True friendship is such a wonderful and powerful thing and you're so very lucky when you have it. Sarah Addison Allen shows that so**spoiler alert** True friendship is such a wonderful and powerful thing and you're so very lucky when you have it. Sarah Addison Allen shows that so beautifully in The Peach Keeper. We all need that friend in our lives who we know we can call on no matter what. The friend who will love us unconditionally. The friend who will be our wall of protection through the dark times. The friend we want to call, as Willa dreams for her and Paxton, just to say good night to. I loved the bonds of friendship in this book - between Agatha and Georgie, Paxton and Sebastian, and Paxton and Willa. I loved watching the characters discover love and discover themselves. I liked Colin and Willa, but I adored Paxton and Sebastian. I loved seeing them all grow and fall into the wonderfulness of life as they decided to risk leaving their safe, comfortable existence for absolute happiness. ...more
At sixteen, I bought a copy of John Grisham's The Pelican Brief and was hooked. For years thereafter, I bought every novel that he published (I very vAt sixteen, I bought a copy of John Grisham's The Pelican Brief and was hooked. For years thereafter, I bought every novel that he published (I very vividly remember sitting in high school English class, devouring The Client, instead of paying attention) and also watched the movies based on them and loved every minute. Then, I began reading other genres and strayed away, but held a fondness for these books and always meant to come back. This was my reintroduction to Grisham and it sucked me right in. I listened to this novel and felt as overwhelmed, hopeful, disappointed, angry, and sad by turns just as the characters in it did. Race relations always interest me - in reality as well as fiction. Yes, we are all different, but in many things we are very much alike. Most importantly, we are HUMAN, and no matter what race we are, grief is grief, and there is plenty of it in this story. With this emotional heavy-hitter, Grisham makes you think about what motivates people to make the decisions they make. He spotlights self-serving, single-minded, shady people of power. He certainly compels you to think about the death penalty, no matter what your stance on the subject is and about just how many innocent people actually are on death row. He also makes you pray fervently that you are never “mistakenly” caught on the wrong end of the law. He makes you think, period. Sometimes, when listening to a novel, you encounter some awful narrators which can make listening unbearable, but the man who narrated this novel has a great voice - right up until he begins trying to change it to distinguish between characters. He did not do a great job there, and it was a source of aggravation for me. I think this is one that will stay with you for awhile once you finish it, but it’s not one I will want to read again in the future. Once was more than enough. ...more
Olivia is overjoyed when she wins a writing contest and famous author and priest Father Mark Brendan becomes her mentor. Everyone loves Father Mark anOlivia is overjoyed when she wins a writing contest and famous author and priest Father Mark Brendan becomes her mentor. Everyone loves Father Mark and wants to be in the class he teaches at the university and it is not lost on Olivia just how lucky she, a high school student, is to have him notice her. I felt that at the beginning of this book, Olivia viewed Father Mark in a near godlike manner, but he made me very uncomfortable. He became personal with her almost instantly, but in a subtle way, so it wasn't like anyone could say for sure that he was being inappropriate instead of just nice. But then, Father Mark thoroughly invades Olivia's life. As a reader, I was aware of it, her friends were aware, but Olivia was not. Her inner voice kept trying to tell her that perhaps something wasn’t right, but she talked herself out of listening because she felt an obligation to be grateful to Father Mark. When she finally does realize that the way he acts with her is terribly wrong, it hits with the force of a hammer to the head. Then, Olivia's fear is palpable. Father Mark, who is creepy long before Olivia realizes he is, becomes creepier once she knows what we already know. I would have liked more at the end of the novel. The end came very quickly and maybe I'm just nosy, but I wanted to see the confrontation - even if it was just a small scene, with no words spoken, of Olivia showing up with her support and Father Mark seeing them and knowing it was the end of the line. Overall, a good story. ...more
Sewing, crocheting, crafty Tess Dobson has the weight of the world on her twelve-year-old shoulders as she finds herself, her deaf eight-year-old brotSewing, crocheting, crafty Tess Dobson has the weight of the world on her twelve-year-old shoulders as she finds herself, her deaf eight-year-old brother, and her mother, living in an assisted living facility in Schenectady, New York, once her virtually penniless mother moves them there from San Antonio, Texas in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, she’s more adult than her mother, Delilah, who suffers from Shooting Stars (undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder). Delilah refuses to take the time to properly learn sign language, so she can barely communicate with her son (she leaves that to Tess), is always getting them evicted from their homes since she spends the rent money, and is always looking for the next big business opportunity to invest in. Now, Delilah’s latest idea is to take the very last of their money and buy an ice cream shop. Tess immediately captures your heart as she worries about them ending up homeless if this idea crashes, as she mothers her little brother - and her mother, and worries about when Delilah is going to have another episode of Shooting Stars. It’s always so unfair when a child has to give up childhood and become an adult way before it’s time for them to be one. With an absentee father, all Tess knows is how to rely on herself and do what needs to be done so that she and her brother have some semblance of normality. There is no other family involved, so there’s no one to force Delilah to get the help she needs. Thank goodness, Tess and Jordan find a family with the seniors who are their neighbors. They move around so often, I can only assume Child Services never has a chance to become involved. The title Rocky Road refers to young Tess’s life as well as her favorite ice cream flavor. She’s so grown up for her age, it’s sad. By the end, you care about them so much, you just hope that everything will turn out better for them all down the road. I really liked this one.
I'm sad to say good-bye to this series. I loved it! I would have preferred a more definite conclusion, where Grace and the others are concerned, but oI'm sad to say good-bye to this series. I loved it! I would have preferred a more definite conclusion, where Grace and the others are concerned, but overall, it is a fantastic series. Maggie Stiefvater has such a beautiful way of writing. ...more