The Rosie Effect was about as perfect as it gets for sequels. Don, Rosie, and their collection of friends return in the fun, yet quirky sequel to the tale that captured our hearts last year. Be sure to pick up The Rosie Effect and catch up with your friends. ...more
The Wicked Girls is one of those mysteries that is layered with mystery, suspense, and intrigue. You will find yourself lost as much in the story of Jade and Annabelle as you will in the story of Amber and Kristy. ...more
Tess Gerritsen is a master when it comes to writing mystery novels. Her two characters Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles have become synonymous with mysteries and murders on the streets of Boston. Die Again is another prime example of her exemplary skills!...more
I have read every book that Jane Green has ever written and sometimes more than once, but I can easily say that Tempting Fate ranks right up there as one of my favorites. The characters are multi-dimensional and so easy to like, despite their flaws. Tempting Fate is one of those books that loyal fans will love and will make new readers lifelong fans. ...more
Fat Girl: A True Story is not one of those books that will call you to action and lose all the weight you need to lose. It is not one of those books where there is an amazing transformation and the author is at goal weight by the end of the book. But this book is a book that will help you understand some of the feelings "fat people" experience if you have never been overweight and if you have been (or are) overweight, you will find that you are not alone. Either way, it is a good book and one I would recommend to anybody....more
You Should Have Known was a little slow going, the second half of the book makes up for it. This book will suck you in with the mystery and challenge you to think about your own relationships and how well you really know someone. Definitely worth the read....more
The Divorce Papers is a really, really good book! Set in 1999 when email was still an emerging form of corporate communication the epistolary format of this book adds to the charm of the story. The trepidation that some of the partners exhibit at communicating through email is really quite humorous. Through emails, memos, letters and court documents we get to see Sophie's foray into the world of divorce. It is interesting to watch how her career interferes with her personal life and we see how working the divorce case brings up memories of her parent's divorce. Even though we only are reading correspondence, the author does a fabulous job of showing all of the emotions that happen during a divorce. From ALL of those involved with the divorce. I really loved Sophie and the way she connected with Mia. It was almost like Mia gave Sophie strength to proceed with the divorce and not the other way around. Mia is definitely a strong character and no matter how hard her husband tries to put her in her place, she is not willing to give up. And trust me when I say you will laugh. Oh, how you will laugh. ...more
Harlan Coben has hit a home-run with Missing You. From the first page I was hooked and finished it in one day. (Yay for Saturdays!) Online dating is sHarlan Coben has hit a home-run with Missing You. From the first page I was hooked and finished it in one day. (Yay for Saturdays!) Online dating is so common these days, I know I dated men I met online prior to getting married and I think that is why I found myself so invested in this book. What happens in this novel could have very easily could have happened to me or any other person just looking for a human connection online. And that scares the snot out of me. Even though all of the characters are flawed (some more than others) they also had their endearing qualities, too. Including Kat and her band of misfit friends. The novel is extremely fast paced and once things start falling into place it moves very quickly
Okay, I know Wedding Night was supposed to be light and funny, but I truly found it annoying. The lack of boundaries in this family is completely mind-boggling. I understand Fliss's frustration with Lottie's break-up behavior, but to be the cause of some of the horrific things is just mean. For example, she knows Lottie is allergic to peanut oil, so she orchestrated a massage with peanut oil. And Lottie? Really? Marrying a man she hasn't seen in fifteen years? It was all just so annoying and not really good material for working out. ...more
A Circle of Wives was one of those mysteries that just get in your head. We only get to see John through the eyes of his wives, but I couldn't help but compare him to the smarmy polygamous husband that is on reality television. His wives are all so different, but they seem to be completely blinded by his charm. Deborah seems like a world class bitch, so there is that. There is an event that happens late in the book that solidifies that opinion. Bitch, I tell you. I will say, though, that as much as I looked forward to this book I don't think it lived up to my expectations. I never felt "on the edge of my seat" - I never felt - what is the right word - invested (I guess) in the characters to really care who killed the doctor. Even though the book was told in alternating viewpoints, the character I seemed to "worry" about most was the detective. They just didn't engage me the way I thought they should....more
I absolutely adored The All You Can Dram Buffet. So many things resonated with me. The blogging aspect of the story, the internet friendships that are very real, the desire to do something MORE with your life. The whole book just really spoke to my heart. And then there is Lavender's farm, the beauty described by the author left me longing for the Midwest farms of my heart. I also liked how the author highlighted the fact that Lavender was sixty when she took over the farm. An age when most people are looking to retire and there she is making a great success out of her organic farm, it was inspiring. Of course the scrumptious recipes you have come to expect from Barbara O'Neal find their way into the pages of this book. ...more
And We Stay is a beautiful story told in the voice of a terrified and damaged young lady. The story is told with every other chapter being a poem that Emily writes after being inspired by the prolific Emily Dickinson. And the poetry DOES help Emily get out the grief, guilt, and other emotions that she has bubbling up inside of her. I loved the setting of the New England boarding school and it was fascinating how much Emily Dickinson was an important part of the story. If you read the publisher's synopsis of the book you already know what was the tragedy that happened, (no spoilers from me) but you don't know why. And as the story (and poetry) starts to unfold Emily shares the reason why and you can really start to understand her guilt. And her pain. It is gut wrenching. I was torn between blame and compassion. Part of me blamed her for what happened and the other part of me just wanted to scoop her up and protect her from the pain....more
There is no doubt that Kelly Corrigan is a gifted writer. She was almost lyrical in her descriptions and observations of her mother. As someone close in age to the author and having grown up with a very devout mother, I could find myself relating to her memories. Her observations were very thought-provoking as I think about my own mother and our relationship. But, especially, I enjoyed how Kelly's mind went directly to Martin, Milly and their mother when presented with her own mortality. She saw first hand what the death of a mother did to young children and she was worried about her own young children.
Bottom line, Glitter and Glue is one of those heart-warming books that would be the perfect book to share with your own mother or daughter. ...more
Lydia's Party follows Lydia and her friends as they prepare for the party. We are privy to all of their inner thoughts as they anticipate, and in some cases dread, the party to come. From these different perspectives the reader gets to really see their various relationships with Lydia and each other. They are all from different places in their lives, but they all have one thing in common, Lydia. It is was wonderful to get in the head of each character to a certain degree and by the time Lydia is ready to make her big announcement, I kind of know what to expect from each of them with their reactions. I want to be careful with how I word things so not to giveaway the big "reveal". I had pretty much figured out what was going to be said, but I wasn't entirely sure until Lydia tells us, the reader, what she is going to tell her friends. The rest of the book went rather quickly and required a few tissues as it really touched my heart. ...more
I have always been a big fan of Harriet Evans and her books set in the UK, but I admit I was a little excited to read one set in America. I really enjoyed how the author told both Sophie's story and Eve's story in alternating voices. I also really enjoyed how much the two women's lives paralleled each other. Even though they were decades apart they really had so much in common from their UK upbringing to the same type of relationship with their parents. There were so many background characters that I enjoyed, too. They really added color to the story. I will say that I had figured out (almost immediately) who was leaving Sophie the threatening messages and white roses. That disappointed me a little, but not enough to keep me from liking the book....more
Carla Buckley is an author who knows how to tell a good story. In The Deepest Secret she challenges her readers to blur the lines between right and wrong and as a reader it can be uncomfortable. But I could stop reading. The Deepest Secret is one of those books sure to make you think and will definitely generate discussion at your next book club. Give it a chance....more
While I will always buy anything written by Jen Lancaster, I think I prefer her memoirs over her fiction. Yes they are fun and entertaining and should definitely be read, but I find her memoirs to be just a bit more realistic. (That was intended to be a funny because of the sci-fi-ish themes to her novels) Anyway, I read Twisted Sisters in one sitting and when I was done, I found myself trying to find the release date of the next Jen Lancaster memoir (nothing revealed yet). ...more
Safe With Me is one of those books that I absolutely devoured. I stopped reading long enough to eat and then I was back with my nose buried in the pagSafe With Me is one of those books that I absolutely devoured. I stopped reading long enough to eat and then I was back with my nose buried in the pages. This is one of those stories told in alternating voices, Hannah, Olivia, and Maddie all share the responsibility of telling their stories and each voice has a unique perspective to their shared story. As can be expected,Hannah is so tore up by her grief that it is all she can do to put one foot in front of another. Hannah is just so relieved that her daughter is alive that she pushes aside the fact that her husband abuses her. And Maddie is so wrapped up in her own world (like teenagers are known to do) that she ignores the fact that her father hits her mother. And that she is lying to strange men on the internet. And that her new "friends" are anything but friends. I think her perspective interested me the most. Here Maddie has a new lease on life, literally, and it almost makes her fearless. Or maybe that is just the teenager in her. But, I loved how well the author developed these three women. The character development in all three of them are astounding and seems so natural that I forgot it was fiction.
Uganda Be Kidding Me is full of raunchy humor that would likely make your mother blush, but that is the exact reason why you should be reading it. There were several times where I found myself laughing so hard that my sides hurt. That kind of laughter can't be bad, right?...more
Little Mercies is a thought provoking novel about survival, priorities, and the sacrifices we make in life. The characters are written so well it feels like you could reach out and hug them. There is a readers guide included in the book, so be sure to put Little Mercies on the list for your next book club selection. You won't go wrong. I promise....more
The Never Never Sisters is kind of like the anti-beach read. In most "Beach Read" books the book is set at the beach or (summer home) with lazy days and never-ending relaxation. That is what Paige hoped for at the beginning of the summer, but soon it was clear that this summer was going to be full of stress and anxiety. And maybe the end of her marriage. Almost from the beginning I didn't like Dave, there was just something about him that just made my spidey senses tingle. Paige's relationship with Sloane was an interesting one. Very early it becomes clear that a lot of Paige's memories from that time were crafted by her mother and it took nearly two decades for Paige to realize how dangerous that can be. I enjoyed seeing their relationship bloom and I loved the way Sloane and her fiance was part of the reason Paige really examined her own marriage. Paige desperately wanted to cling to the thought that her marriage was just fine and I am glad her sister was there to help her when she discovered it wasn't fine at all. That is what sisters are for, right?
Bottom line, even though The Never Never Sisters is an "anti-beach read" it is still a great book to take on vacation with you. You will find yourself caught up in all of Paige's drama, but at the same time your heart will get those warm fuzzies as you watch her relationship with Sloane blossom into the kind of relationship sisters are supposed to have. Definitely a good read to pass away the summer days....more
Goodnight June is a fictional story about how Margaret Wise Brown came up with the idea of one of the most famous children's books ever printed, you mGoodnight June is a fictional story about how Margaret Wise Brown came up with the idea of one of the most famous children's books ever printed, you may have heard of it? Goodnight Moon. There is no known inspiration for the book, so Sarah Jio thought it might be fun to create one. The author makes it very clear from the very beginning of the book that it is a fictional account, but that doesn't make it any less cool. The premise is that June's Aunt Ruby and "Brownie" were good friends and corresponded by mail, discussing everything from their romantic lives to their strained relationships with their respective sisters, and of course their love for children's literature. Aunt Ruby hid two letters at a time in books referenced in the previous letters, sending June on a bit of a literary treasure hunt. It was fun to read the letters with June and it was great fun seeing all of the references made to popular kid lit at the time, like Pippi Longstocking. As much as I loved that part of the story, I really did not like the relationship between June and her own sister. I understand why the author put it in the book (to parallel Ruby and MWB's experiences) but, I do not think it flowed naturally in the book, even out of place a bit. It even had me thinking "WTF just happened here?" But despite all of that I really, really liked Goodnight June.
Bottom line, it is no surprise to any of you how much bookstores mean to me and I love reading books about bookstores. Goodnight June is not only a love story about a great author, but also an ode to bookstores and booksellers everywhere. Definitely a book that book nerds (such as myself) should read. And you know where to go to buy it, right? Your nearest bookstore, of course!!...more
Mary Kay Andrews is one of those authors who is synonymous with summer in my mind. I always love reading her books with their strong characters, horrible exes, and budding relationships. And of course there is always the summer theme weaved throughout. This year it is weddings. Who hasn't been to a wedding in summer? Not only did I enjoy watching Cara's relationship with Jack, but her friendship with Bert had some ups and downs that kept things interesting. There were a few times where I even found myself getting angry on Cara's behalf, between the competition and her ex I wanted to smack a few people for her. But in the end, as always, things work out and you are left with a happy feeling in your heart.
Bottom line, Save the Date is a fun summer read about a popular summer event. Weddings. With some behind the scenes insights and great characters you get a fun read to throw in the beach bag. Enjoy!...more
Even though this is their first novel, I have been fans of Lisa and Liz for years, following their blog(now renamed) Chick Lit is Not Dead. I was so hEven though this is their first novel, I have been fans of Lisa and Liz for years, following their blog(now renamed) Chick Lit is Not Dead. I was so happy for them when I heard they were publishing their first book and I was not disappointed! Casey and Rachel kind of reminded me of my BFF and I. We have been friends for over twenty-five years and are about as opposite as Casey and Rachel. But it was obvious that even though the two friends were so different it was quite obvious how much they loved each other. Especially when life took them down two very different paths. They were both initially like fish out of water, but both Casey and Rachel settled into each other's lives in a way that made them both realize what was missing from their own lives. That was the neatest thing to see. Not that they could get a better understanding for each other (like the old Freaky Friday movie) but because they could each see and admit that there WAS something missing in their lives.
Bottom line, Your Perfect Life was a fun read and quick read. Nothing too strenuous and you got to meet some fun characters. Another great one to throw in the beach bag this summer.
The Fever was a fairly fast read that was part mystery, part YA, and part Sci-Fi. One may even say that the book is a bit political because there was a huge chunk of the book where people were saying the HPV vaccine was behind the mysterious illness and they never should have forced their daughters to have it. It even went so far as for Lise's mom hiring lawyers because she was so convinced that the vaccine was what caused her daughter's illness. I think one of the things that kept me so interested in the book was that most of the characters seemed to be one or two steps removed from being completely unhinged. From the teen girls, to some of their mothers and even Deenie's father were all a degree of "hot mess." Obviously as the book progresses the truth is revealed and it is a bit of a shocker. Totally not what I was expecting, but really it pulled the book all together and gave it a nice solid conclusion.
Bottom line, not exactly my favorite read of the summer, but definitely worth the read. If you have teen girls in your life you might find it enlightening to read or even a bit terrifying. It might even make a good book club selection because of the HPV vaccine debate. *Shrug* Let me know what you think. ...more
Even though Jennifer Weiner is one of the reigning queens of Chick Lit I really hesitated to give this book a Chick Lit label. All Fall Down has a lot more "meat" to it than your average Chick Lit novels. Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem in suburban communities all across the country and the author tackles that subject in a way that may actually open up dialogue and the eyes of people who think they don't have a problem. Allie is about as normal you can get and is really the poster image of suburban mom. She faces the same struggles that so many women in America face - trying to juggle her career with her family all while maintaining a healthy relationship with her spouse. I almost felt ashamed to watch her spiral out of control, like I was spying on my neighbor or reading her private journal. Yet I couldn't stop reading because I was desperate to see how things turned out for Allie and her family. And you know what, I was okay with the conclusion of the story. Not hokey or forced. Real.
Bottom line, All Fall Down is one of the better Chick Lit novels I have read in a very long time. The subject matter of the book is one that needs to be addressed and may force some uncomfortable conversations in your local book club or "Mommy & Me" group. But as the author illustrates, those conversations need to happen. Good luck and know you are not alone. ...more
I found myself so engrossed in Toni's story that I felt myself overcome with emotion. The author told Toni's story both past and present in alternating chapters. My heart ached for her on several occasions. Especially at the way Toni's mother talked to her. I know it happens, but man is it tough to read. I admit that it was one scene with Captain, Toni's rescue dog, that just about ripped my heart out. The one thing was that I never felt the connection between Ryan and Toni. It was supposed to be this great love, but I just never felt it. The end was not what I expected either. I had my suspicions at who really killed Nicole, but the way it played kept me on the edge of my seat.
Bottom line, That Night, is a great mystery.. The writing is compassionate, engaging, and incredibly suspenseful, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat. If you are looking for a mystery to take on your summer vacation, That Night needs to be the first book in the bag....more
The Glass Kitchen is a fun read for the summer. There was even a magical element that reminded me of Sarah Addison Allen. I loved Portia as a strong female character and the way she was determined to put her life back together. But it was the chemistry between the Portia and Gabriel that really steamed up the pages. The way their relationship developed, though, reminded a lot of my Grandmother's old Harlequins. Strong businessman with struggling divorcee in a secret relationship. It was almost nostalgic. I also loved the quirkiness of Gabriel's youngest daughter, Ariel. She really made the story that much more enjoyable. I will say there were times in the middle of the book where it seemed to drag a bit, but for the most part it kept moving right along.
Bottom line, The Glass Kitchen is a fun novel about a woman trying to put her life back together. It was a fun, easy read. Another great book for the beach bag this summer!...more
First of all the audiobook version of Keep Quiet was narrated by Ron Livingston. I admit, it was a bit weird to listen to Jack Berger (if you get that reference you TRULY are my people!) reading me a story. Once I got past that I got swept away in the fast paced mystery. There were a few times where I felt like Jake was a big old asshole, but I realized that his behavior was coming from a place of fear. In a twisted sort of way what happen was good for the Buckman family because it gave Ryan to really see how much his father loved him and that he would do absolutely anything for his family. The end wrapped things up quite nicely and with a few twists that even took this mystery novel veteran by surprise.
Bottom line, Keep Quiet is another blockbuster hit for Lisa Scottoline. She has created a story that illustrates the love that most parents feel for their children. You know that feeling - the one that gives you super powers to do anything to protect your baby. Keep Quiet is a great read and having Ron Livingston read it to you is an absolute bonus. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!...more