I really enjoyed this book! It’s a fun story about redemption and forgiveness and changing your course. In this tale, Lissy Ryder travels back in timeI really enjoyed this book! It’s a fun story about redemption and forgiveness and changing your course. In this tale, Lissy Ryder travels back in time (multiple times) to change her evil high school ways, in the hopes that it will change the outcome of her present (pathetic) life, for the better. But she discovers that acting differently, doesn’t mean that you are different and that it’s never too late to be true to yourself.
Lancaster’s dialogue is appropriately snarky and funny, as a high school mean girl. Her voice shines through Lissy, but it’s apparent from the beginning, that Lissy is a unique character on to herself. She’s horrible, but her transition to Belle was a charming and funny ride. I also loved all the pop culture references and DAVE Coverdale~! Is this Love? Oh yeah!
Another incredible book from Jane Porter, who is one of my all-time favorite authors. The Good Daughter is the second book in the Brennan Sister Tril Another incredible book from Jane Porter, who is one of my all-time favorite authors. The Good Daughter is the second book in the Brennan Sister Trilogy (and hopefully they’ll be a fourth book!). This one is about Kit, who surprise - is the good daughter of the family. She always tries to make everyone happy, keep the peace and stay under the radar….boring…except that under Porter’s gifted hand, she is so not boring.
I think, so far, Kit is my favorite sister. She’s a teacher and a lover of books and she’s bravely started her life over at forty. She desperately wants to be a mother and contemplates whether she should just adopt, rather than settle for a man who’s not quite right.
There were many things to love about this book. There’s guy, of course, who is super-hot and I loved him. Also, I was grateful that much of her family is still in the story – so we get to catch up on Meg & Jack, Tommy & Cass, as well as Sarah. Brianna calls in – and has some surprises of her own, which is another reason why we need a fourth book! Sadly, a significant portion of the book is spent on mom and dad, and mom’s losing battle to cancer. Some of it’s hard to read and I’ve already warned some of my friends who are in similar situations.
In additional to cancer, there are a few other dark elements, which honestly surprised me. But Porter has a way of writing that compels you to keep reading. I just end up caring so much about her characters that I have to see that they’ll be okay. Also, I think these things showcased how strong and brave Kit is and how she’d do anything to help those in need.
The book is a fast read, as always – started on Saturday, finished on Sunday. I can’t wait for book three, which comes out in September. I already miss the Brennan family! ...more
What a great cover for this book and I loved the title. This is the story of Bernadette Fox, a (former) genius architect, mother of a teenager and disWhat a great cover for this book and I loved the title. This is the story of Bernadette Fox, a (former) genius architect, mother of a teenager and discontented wife, who hates all things Seattle – all things! This is one unhappy woman, but her scathing comments about her neighbors, her city and the Culture of Microsoft are hilarious. Thank goodness this is fiction (it is fiction, right?), because I don’t think a real life Bernadette would make it out alive.
The story is uniquely laid out with e-mails, letters, articles and other correspondences and reports, which conveniently leave a paper trail for the FBI, when Bernadette goes missing (and other shenanigans). Bernadette is a mom who doesn’t fit in with the other “gnats” (she can be mean, too), she doesn’t even try because, of course, she is so much better and smarter than them. She’s actually been outside the state of Washington! Bernadette suffers from a variety of psychological issues, yet I didn’t find her to be all that crazy (crazy like a FOX, maybe), just very, very extreme. She loves her daughter and that love is unconditionally reciprocated. They actually have the most open and honest relationship in the book. At the end of the day, it’s Bea who goes looking for Bernadette. Bea is a smart, funny and wise girl, I loved her.
As mentioned, the book is an unflattering portrayal Seattle. I recently visited the Emerald City and although beautiful, I think that some of the accusations in this novel hold true - but there’s bad stuff in Atlanta (where I live), too. The book also takes place in Antarctica – yes you read that right, which is fascinating!
The writing and the plot are very clever. I highly recommend the book as a smart and fun read. ...more
This book is WILD! I usually don’t read (or like) psychological thrillers, but this one made so many Best Book Lists last year, I had to read it. I amThis book is WILD! I usually don’t read (or like) psychological thrillers, but this one made so many Best Book Lists last year, I had to read it. I am so glad I did!
The book is fascinating. The characters of Amy and Nick, although twisted - very, very twisted, are fascinating. The story is told from each of their points of view, and while reading Nick’s side, I was on his side. When I was reading Amy’s side, I was on her side – until I wasn’t! By the end of the book, I was firmly on one side, not the other, but it was a roller coaster getting there.
Amy’s meticulous attention to detail was, well –sorry to beat a dead horse – fascinating. I’ve never met anyone like that. I wish I was like that (but using that power for good, of course). She’s brilliant. And Beautiful. And Cah-ray-zee! Her treasure hunts? Good God, you’d need a PhD to figure them out!
Nick, at first, seemed a little dim-witted to me. He seemed to be a stereotypical, good-looking, New York writer who was full of self-importance. But then we discover his home town and his family and he suddenly became very interesting. Then, when the stakes were high – TOO high - he brought his A game and I started to respect him, a little.
In the end, there was only one clear winner and I really kind of felt sorry for the loser. And then the hair on the back of my neck stood up when the winner uttered the quote, “I really wish he/she wouldn’t have said that.” Uh-oh!
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is an intriguing novel that’s both entertaining and thought provoking.As published in Vol II - 2013 My Forsyth Magazine
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is an intriguing novel that’s both entertaining and thought provoking. Full of humor, heartbreak and irony, it’s a cautionary tale about the pursuit of desire and the disregard for consequence. Spanning decades and continents, Beautiful Ruins is also a war story, a love story, a fictional Hollywood tell-all and a satiric look at a modern society that seeks instant gratification and idolizes reality TV.
My favorite character in this story is none other than Richard Burton, albeit a fictionalized version of him. True to his dramatic form, he steals every scene he’s in. Burton ties the other characters together and he is central to the mystery woven throughout the story.
In his acknowledgements, Walter emphasizes that this is a work of fiction. It opens in 1962, with an American actress, Dee Moray, hiding out in a small fishing village on the Italian Riviera. Dee has a supporting role in Cleopatra, the infamous movie in which Liz Taylor and the married Burton met and began their ill-fated romance. Walter takes poetic license by creating a clandestine tryst between Burton and Dee that results in Dee’s pregnancy (unbeknownst to Dee). Her doctor tips off a sleazy studio publicist named Michael Deane, who decides to manage the situation by telling her she has stomach cancer. When the cancer charade is revealed, Dee flees Italy, embittered by her horrible treatment. She’s just another beautiful ruin.
Where did she go? What became of her? Did she have Burton’s baby? Is it really Burton’s baby?
There are many supporting characters and subplots in this elaborately plotted novel, but none of them inconsequential. Every character is somehow affected by the affair. In present day Hollywood, the sleazy publicist, Michael, is a plastic surgery-enhanced caricature of the Hollywood producer, creating ridiculous reality shows. When the past catches up with him, he has to decide if it’s time to look for redemption or score the next big thing. Just how far will he go to get what he wants?
I loved the plot of the book, the characters and the brilliant way Walter tied everything together. It’s genius! I also appreciated the lessons about the cost of doing the right thing. To quote one character, “The smaller the distance is between what you desire and what is right, the happier you will be.” Isn’t that the truth? ...more
I had to read this with my son who had a mythology project. I loved it. It reminded me how much I loved learning about mythology when I was in shcool,I had to read this with my son who had a mythology project. I loved it. It reminded me how much I loved learning about mythology when I was in shcool, but I got sooooo much more out of it as an adult:)!...more
Great book about Jenny McCarthy’s journey of “spiritual enlightenment”. It’s a funny and easy read. Although I am Catholic, and still an active memberGreat book about Jenny McCarthy’s journey of “spiritual enlightenment”. It’s a funny and easy read. Although I am Catholic, and still an active member in the church, I identified with many of her issues regarding some of the church’s teachings. We are, at times, a hypocritical group. I think it’s hard to live honestly as a modern Catholic according to the churches changing dogma, without occasional sinning (but of course there’s always confession). This is not to say I don’t know some Catholics that are saints! I really related to her writing about Catholic guilt and how she felt that her son’s autism was her fault, for past sins. Of course it’s not. I also have a son with autism, and it’s something I’ve often struggled with. Oh what years of CCD can do to you.
At the end of the day I agree with her that faith, in whatever form you practice, is important if it opens you up to God and brings you peace (or “satellite radio”). But it is also personal. McCarthy shares her own spiritual journey and the many instances when her faith was put to the test, as well as some very funny & naughty stories, but she does not preach to the reader. Amen sister. ...more
This was a quick, easy read. I really like the book. I stop short at calling it fun, because there’s some sad stuff going on in each of the heroine’sThis was a quick, easy read. I really like the book. I stop short at calling it fun, because there’s some sad stuff going on in each of the heroine’s lives. Lexi is the rich girl, who has lost her mother and has lived a life filled with material things, but very little love. Holly is the girl with a weight problem, which has robbed her of confidence and self-esteem. Nicola is the actress that is not considered pretty, so this has supposedly held her back in her career as an actress. The three women meet as girls at camp twenty years ago, where each one was suffering and did things that were unforgivable. Twenty years later, after a chance encounter with Lexi, Holly decides she needs to make things right.
The scenes that take place at camp are sometimes hard to read. Why are girls so mean to each other? Fortunately, these three did grow up and become compassionate individuals, each one fighting their own battles. I liked the adult versions of the girls and the messages in the book all ring true. The reader will benefit from reading about each of them ...more