The Distance Between Lost and Found is a hard book to peg down. I felt so many different thinFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
The Distance Between Lost and Found is a hard book to peg down. I felt so many different things while reading it. My mental rating of it went up and down throughout, but by the end, it was easy for me to give the book 4 stars. It was told in third person present tense, which I normally don’t like, and it had religious themes, which I tend to avoid. Something about this book made me curious, though, and I’m glad I gave it a chance because I ended up really enjoying it.
Normally, for me, third person present tense feels stilted and impersonal; it’s like reading a play, and it can be hard to get a sense of who the characters really are on a deeper level. With The Distance Between Lost and Found, I was pleasantly surprised. The characters were really well developed, and I felt like I got a good sense of who they were. There was also a surprising amount of character development, especially considering the book took course over such a short period. It felt very authentic to me, probably because of the characters’ circumstances, and I enjoyed watching the characters, especially Hallie, learn and grow. By the end, I felt a deep connection to her, which I honestly wasn’t expecting. I was proud of her, and I wanted the best for her.
The religious themes were handled well. I appreciated that Hallie was honest about her feelings regarding feeling God’s presence, wondering if and why he’d abandoned her, why it seemed like some people were never punished for things, and that maybe not everything could be attributed to God - maybe she should be able to take credit for certain things. Sometimes books with religious themes make me uncomfortable, and some of them have even made me see red (which is why I tend to stay away from them), but when religious themes are handled as well as they were in The Distance Between Lost and Found, I can appreciate and even enjoy them.
The story wasn’t necessary draggy, but there were parts that felt too long. I found myself wishing a few times that they’d just be rescued already, or that Hallie would just spit out her story and stop drawing it out. A lot of times when a character has this huge secret to tell and it takes them forever to spill, it ends up feeling anticlimactic. While I thought it took too long to get the whole story, I was pleased with the story itself - it was appropriately rage-inducing and made me really feel for Hallie and her situation and the unfairness of it. I liked that it brought her closer to Rachel and Jonah, and that by telling her story for the first time, she was able to heal part of herself.
Overall The Distance Between Lost and Found was a very enjoyable read. It was an interesting mix of contemporary and survival story. I loved the characters and feel like Hallie, Rachel, and Jonah will stick with me for a while. ...more
I read and loved Game. Set. Match. two years ago and have been waiting (im)patiently everFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
I read and loved Game. Set. Match. two years ago and have been waiting (im)patiently ever since for Losing at Love. In my review of the first book, I said that I went into it not expecting to love it. I have no interest in tennis, plus I often find it hard to keep multiple POVs straight, especially when a lot is going on. I was pleasantly surprised, and ended up loving not only the tennis stuff, but also the three main characters, Indy, Penny, and Jasmine. Iacopelli succeeded in capturing my attention from the very beginning, and she did that again in Losing at Love.
It was so great reconnecting with these characters. It felt like meeting up with old friends, and I was eager to see what they were up to. I love that Indy, Penny, and Jasmine have stuff in common beyond tennis - they’re all strong, independent, smart girls - but they also have their own distinct personalities, interests, and goals. Throughout the book, the boundaries of their friendships (and other relationships) were tested, and it was nice to see them go through real life stuff even though their lives are far from most peoples’ idea of normal. I also appreciated that the relationship stuff wasn't always easy. I love the boys in this book as much as I love the girls. There were some steamy, sexy moments that were great, and they were mixed in nicely with the emotional stuff and some cute, funny moments.
I’d love to see this series as a TV series. I can picture it clearly, and I think it would make a great teen drama. It has all the elements of a hit TV show - friendships, romance, humour, sexytimes, competitive characters, action. It’s not often that I can picture a book translated to the TV or movie screen, but I’d watch a TV show about the OBX girls in a heartbeat.
I’m completely hooked on this series. I didn’t want the story to end, because I want to know what will happen next for Indy, Penny, Jasmine, and their sexy love interests. I just hope we don’t have to wait another two years for the next book! ;-)...more
It’s no secret I love historic fiction. Books dealing with war aren’t my favourite, but the fFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
It’s no secret I love historic fiction. Books dealing with war aren’t my favourite, but the fact that Genevieve Graham is Canadian and this book has a Canadian setting (which is unfortunately rare) intrigued me. Tides of Honour was emotional, powerful, and heartbreaking. It was an epic love story, but it was also so much more than that.
When Danny returns to Nova Scotia after being injured during WWI, he’s haunted by the war and missing part of one leg. His emotional and psychological scars, like many soldiers, are as painful as his physical ones. Life is the same, and yet completely different than when he left home two years ago. His brothers are growing up, his family treats him differently, and there are so many things he could once do that are no longer possible because of his injury. I liked Danny a lot - he was complex and had a lot of depth. His struggles, both physically and mentally, were very real. I kept tearing up at his descriptions in the first few chapters, and I found it easy to connect with him.
With so many changes and so much pain in his life, the thought of Audrey coming from France to Canada to be his wife kept Danny going. I really liked these two together. They had an instant connection, one that remained through the time and distance that separated them. They were one of those couples that seemed meant to be, and I rooted for them throughout the course of the book. The struggles they experienced, both together and separately, taught them a lot and made them grow. Life threw a lot of obstacles in their way, things that many people wouldn’t be able to overcome, but they were strong and persistent, and they fought through everything that came their way.
Tides of Honour wasn’t always easy to read in terms of content. Parts of the book got quite dark, and a lot of the scenes after the Halifax Explosion were pretty gruesome and disturbing, plus just utterly heartbreaking. And yet the story was so compelling and the setting so vivid, I had trouble putting this book down. Normally a book that’s 400+ pages would tell me close to a week (or more) to read, but I managed to read Tides of Honour in three evenings. I don’t remember learning about the Halifax Explosion in school, so I found it interesting (and completely horrifying and heart-wrenching), and it was obvious Ms Graham had done a lot of research, not only with that, but also with the aspects of the war we saw through Danny’s memories, flashbacks, etc.
Clearly I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So why only four stars? Parts of it (especially the parts from Audrey’s perspective) kind of dragged. It got repetitive at times, going over the same information over and over (like how Audrey had come from living with her mother in England to living with her cold, unfeeling grandmere in France). And while I thought the sentiment of the ending was nice and I was mostly satisfied, it felt a bit rushed. There were also parts that seemed unrealistic, with one thing in particular that really bothered me and seemed completely unnecessary and left a bad taste in my mouth. There were also times when the timeline seemed a bit off, like it felt like quite a bit of time had passed, but it would only be a day or a week or something. It felt a bit discombobulated.
Tides of Honour is an intense and compelling read about perseverance, hope, faith, love, and family, set against a Canadian backdrop that comes alive on the page. I felt a wide range of emotions while reading this story about timeless love and survival. I won a copy of Ms Graham’s Under the Same Sky from a Canadian reading challenge last year, and after reading Tides of Honour, I’ll be bumping it up on my reading list, and I’ll be eager to see what she writes next....more
For years I’ve been looking for the perfect LGBTQ+ book. That one quintessential book that wFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
For years I’ve been looking for the perfect LGBTQ+ book. That one quintessential book that when people asked me for a recommendation, it would be the first one that came to mind (well, second…if I’m in a self-promo mood, my f/f NA would probably be my first rec, let’s face it *wink*). I’ve read a few decent LGBTQ books and a few really good ones, but none of them have felt like THAT book - the one that had everything I wanted: real emotion, humour, romance, sex, sweetness, adventure, and a happy ending. When I read the first half of Trust the Focus in one sitting (which may not seem like a big deal, but considering a) I was in a huge reading slump and nothing was holding my interest, and b) I’m a super slow reader, so it’s no small feat to read that much at one time), I was pretty sure I had finally found THAT book. By the time I finished reading it the next day, teary-eyed and with a huge smile on my face, I knew I’d finally, finally found that book.
Trust the Focus is such an authentic book. There were so many times I found myself nodding along when Justin was thinking or talking about his fears regarding coming out, being out, dealing with the possible backlash from family and friends, and just his feelings for Landry in general. I connected with him almost instantly, and on so many levels. Having lost my own father, I appreciated his desire to take this grand adventure to honour his dad. The sentiment of it and his obvious love and respect for his dad was just beautiful. Road trips are one of my favourite things in the world, and I’ve always dreamed of taking one in an RV, so I felt like I was right there with Justin and Landry. Throw in the photography element and several other similarities between myself and both boys (including the fact that my last name is Landry) and I felt like this book was written for me.
There were so many beautiful, poignant moments throughout Trust the Focus. I ran the gamut of emotions while reading - I’d be giggling one minute, swooning the next, tearing up the next, needing a cold shower the next, and then I’d be back to laughing. It had such a great mix of everything. There were also moments that frustrated me and made me want to yell at Justin and/or Landry, but even those moments felt so genuine and real that it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story. These characters were wonderfully, realistically flawed, and had so much depth and experienced so much growth. I enjoyed every moment of their story. Also, I won’t lie - I loved that there were actual sex scenes in this book. So many LGBTQ books have fade-to-black sex scenes or no sex at all; it doesn’t bother me if it feels like it fits with the story and the characters, but I often feel disappointed because I want more. There were no ‘behind closed doors’ sex scenes in Trust the Focus and I loved that honesty and bravery from Erickson for writing those (totally freaking hot) scenes.
I can’t say enough good things about Trust the Focus. These characters and their journey took hold of my heart from the very beginning and never let go. Justin and Landry will stick with me for a long time to come. I laughed with them, cried with them, swooned over them, and cheered them on. If you’re a fan of sweet, swoony, sexy, raw, emotional stories with depth, character growth, heart, and humour (plus an epic road trip!) you need to read Trust the Focus....more
Boomerang was one of my favourite books of 2014, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting ReboFind this and other reviews at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.
Boomerang was one of my favourite books of 2014, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting Rebound since the minute I finished Ethan and Mia’s story. I didn’t know who the second book would feature, but since so many of the side characters piqued my interest, I didn’t really care, I just knew I wanted to read it. Rebound had everything I loved about Boomerang - characters who were well fleshed out, snappy dialogue, a unique storyline, sexytimes, and a swoony romance.
Adam Blackwood is a smart, savvy businessman who knows how to get things done. He’s driven and knows what he wants. He seems to have it all, but instead of being happy and reveling in his success, he’s haunted by memories of his wife and the mistakes he made in the past. He’s closed off to love and won’t let anyone get too close. Alison Quick has a lot to prove to her father, a powerful man who likes to keep up appearances. Her cool exterior hides a young woman who wants love and approval, and who wants to succeed.
Adam and Ali intrigued me from the beginning. It was clear there was more to them than met the eye, and I enjoyed seeing the parts of them they kept hidden from other people. They had great chemistry, and I loved that even when they were slightly wary of each other, they couldn’t help but drop their guards around each other. There was a strong emphasis on Adam and Ali building a foundation for what could turn into something more, and I loved that. They clearly wanted each other, but they didn’t jump right into bed (despite trying to have sex during their first encounter at Halloween, a scene I loved). They got to know each other and had genuine feelings for each other.
Rebound had a great mixture of light and serious moments. It was funny, sweet, and sexy; it made me laugh, and it also tugged on my heartstrings. The secondary characters were fantastic, and I enjoyed seeing familiar faces from Boomerang. I’d love to work at a place like Boomerang, with a boss like Adam who creates such a fun work environment with an emphasis on teamwork. Overall, Rebound was another winner from Noelle August. ...more
I feel cheated. CHEATED. My Kindle said there was 30 minutes left in the book, and then it ENDED and I wanted to cry. Like with Bran and Talia, I wantI feel cheated. CHEATED. My Kindle said there was 30 minutes left in the book, and then it ENDED and I wanted to cry. Like with Bran and Talia, I wanted ALL THE TANNER AND SUNNY and didn't want their story to end. It was beautiful and perfect and I loved it.