One of the things I love about Jill Mansell novels is all of the subplots that are going on in the background. They truly paint a whole picture of the main characters and those that surround them in the story. In Don't Want to Miss A Thing we get to know several of the villagers. Frankie, Lois, Joe, and Stephen to just name a few. They all have secrets, desires, and dreams. The way they connect with each other and Dex and Molly really make this novel so charming. There are so many different stories I could tell about the residents of Briarwood, but I won't. Just know that they all could stand alone as the stars in their own stories.
Bottom line, I have been enjoying Jill Mansell novels for many years and I always look forward to her next book. They are fresh and funny and heartwarming and always so full of charm. If you are looking for a little "feel good" type of novel then you must pick up Don't Want to Miss A Thing...more
The Theory of Opposites was laugh out loud funny in so many parts, but I also found my eyes leaking a few times, too. Willa handed the first few daysThe Theory of Opposites was laugh out loud funny in so many parts, but I also found my eyes leaking a few times, too. Willa handed the first few days of the "break" much, much better than I would have done. I would have definitely lost my shit. A married man wants a "break" and writes out a list of "rules" for the break that includes sleeping with other people? I DON'T THINK SO! I really liked Willa and ultimately I just wanted her to be happy, so I wavered between wanting her to end up with Shawn or Theo. In the end, I was pleased with the way it ended, but it did shock me the way it came about and truly was surprised with her decision. I must also comment on the utter train-wreck that is Willa's family, starting with her parents who were on their own "break" and the way they announced their "break" really gave me the first clue that her family was nuts. And nuts in a way that makes your family look normal. Did I mention that Willa has a yoga guru brother who is indicted because of a pyramid scheme? Nuts I tell you. It is no wonder that Willa clings to the routine of her marriage. ...more
Morning Glory is a beautiful novel that just renewed the longing I had in the nineties to go live on a house boat. The story is told in both present and past tense. And whether it be Ada's story or Penny's the character and charm surrounding Boat Street remains the same. The one thing that was consistent with both Penny and Ada were their sense of sadness. In a way they both suffered losses, Ada losing her family the way she did and Penny losing her youth to a bad marriage. The sense of longing in both of them is almost palpable. The difference between the two women though is noticeable with Ada. You can see the diminishing of her sadness as the book progresses and that is mostly due to Alex. There is a bit of a twist at the end of the book that I kind of guessed was coming, but it really did bring a necessary conclusion to the story.
Bottom line, Morning Glory is a wonderful little novel that takes you to another place and another time. The story will tug at your heart strings as you find yourself being swept away with Ada and Penny's heartache. If you are looking for something quick and lovely to read you will not be disappointed by Morning Glory, that I promise you....more
Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps is a comprehensive, "how-to" manual for anyone that is new to adulthood or just needs to grow up! There are fun, detailed, easy to read pieces of advice for anyone who is in the need of acting like an adult. Advice on everything from keeping house (dishes and cleaning schedules) to vehicle maintenance (really, you should name your car!), office ethics, making friends in your new neighborhoods and so much more. There are even helpful hints as to how to assert yourself both at the office and in your private life. Oh and wise financial advice such as savings accounts and investing. As a thirty-eight year old, a lot of the information shared wasn't really new to me, but I still found myself riveted and eager to continue reading. And I can really see how it would be very useful to recent college graduates and even others just venturing out on their own for the first time. Or even the second time....more
I have been working on this audio book for way too long, mostly because I took a "break" from the treadmill for a while. Even though it took me so lonI have been working on this audio book for way too long, mostly because I took a "break" from the treadmill for a while. Even though it took me so long to finish, Harlan Coben still kept me hooked. Jake Fisher was a great character and I really felt his heartache. He was so sure that Natalie was the "one" for him and he was not about to abide by her wishes to never contact her again. I also liked the friendship between Jake and Benedict. They seemed so different from each other, yet Benedict was the one person that Jake could depend on. And even that was called into question in true Harlan Coben fashion.
Bottom line, Harlan Coben is one of the best mystery novelists to ever have written a book. His books are captivating, exciting, and full of surprises. Six Years was no different. If you are looking for a good mystery, as always, Harlan Coben is the way to go.
The Whole Golden World is a riveting look at a topic that is becoming all too common in the headlines these days. Here is Morgan, a child determined tThe Whole Golden World is a riveting look at a topic that is becoming all too common in the headlines these days. Here is Morgan, a child determined to be treated like an adult, but finds herself drowning when adult situations invade her life. She tries so hard to be mature and appear mature, but when things get tough all she wants to do is curl into a ball and ignore the whole world. The dynamics between Morgan and her mother often reminded me of my relationship with my own mother when I was seventeen. That age where Mom wants to keep you a kid, but daughter wants to be treated like a grown-up. It is a tough place to be for both women. Then there is Rain, Mr. Hill's wife. This poor woman is battling infertility, which is pretty devastating in it's own right and then there is the accusations against her husband. At first her loyalty was admirable, but then even I wanted to shake her and say "wake up, woman!" From the perspective of all the main characters, the end of the book was very satisfying for me to read. It wasn't an easy conclusion, but it was satisfying.
Once Upon A Lie was one of those books that I just could not put down. I can very easily say that it was one of the better books I have recently read. The characters are so well written and multi-dimensional it was very easy to connect with them. I loved Maeve and the way she tried to stay on top of everything from her wayward father to her sneaky daughter. I found myself laughing when she busted her daughter at the party and how she did so. Her friend and employee, Jo is another character who really added some depth, and often comic relief, to the story. She has had such a horrible time recently that when Maeve tells her story, you can see how much love she has for her friend. Then there is Maeve's relationship with her ex, Cal. It is unique because while Cal destroyed their marriage by having an affair with her friend, he still has a fondness for Maeve that shows itself by his kisses on her forehead, stopping by her shop, and many other ways. It was just another facet of the book that kept you interested and hooked...more
In my homesick state of mind, I was ecstatic to find that Big Brother is set in Iowa. It was a unique middle ground as Edison is a "big dog" in the New York City jazz scene and they both grew up in the shadow of their television star father in Hollywood. Iowa was the "normal" they visited when sent to spend summers with their Grandparents. Pandora is the middle child of her family and as a middle child, I could see some qualities that I recognize in myself. Like the way she was continuously trying to make peace between her husband and Edison. It was a tense situation, but she just wanted both of the men in her life to get along. I could see both her side and her husband's side as Edison wasn't exactly easy to love at times. Pandora's effort to help her brother went beyond the norm, she put her marriage at risk to try and save her brother. I understand why she did it, but I also was fearful for her and felt sorry for her husband the way he was kind of cast aside during the process. Ultimately, it was fascinating to watch the entire process in the story. And while the outcome was not exactly what I expected (in fact it was a bit shocking) it was much more realistic than what I first thought. ...more
Ten Tiny Breaths is a bit predictable it is still a book worth reading. The characters are multi-layered and interesting characters to get to know. This book is considered a YA novel, but I caution parents of younger teens that some of the the scenes are not appropriate for younger readers, at least in my house. Maybe read it for yourself first and let me know what you think! ...more
Bottom line, psychological thrillers are one of my favorite genre to read, but The Never List is one that is going to stick with me for a while. The terror those women faced was so well written that it became my terror. It takes a certain (twisted?) kind of person to enjoy psychological thrillers of this magnitude, so read with caution....more
Bottom line, if you are looking for a fun and fluffy ready, you have GOT to grab a Kristan Higgins book. I know I have told you before, so I am curious, have any of you read a Kristan Higgins novel yet?...more
A Nantucket Christmas was a really cute book and a super fast read. And I predict that in the not too distant future it will be a really cute holidayA Nantucket Christmas was a really cute book and a super fast read. And I predict that in the not too distant future it will be a really cute holiday movie, too. I have always enjoyed Nancy Thayer's picturesque world of Nantucket and I was beyond excited when I heard that she was writing a Christmas novel. Trust me, she did not disappoint, from her words I imagine Nantucket just as perfect in winter as in summer. Nicole is a great character and her warmth and genuine spirit radiates off of the pages. She is the kind of person that I want to be my friend. I want to warn you though, there is an abandoned puppy dog featured in the book and his story can be a bit tough to read, especially if you have a soft spot for critters.
Hush Little Baby has all of the makings of a being a great book club selection. There is even a wonderful reader's guide at the end of the book to guide discussion. While some of the subject matter may be tough to read, Hush Little Baby is a great read that will engage you from the very first page. Looking for a great read? Grab Hush Little Baby and get ready for one heck of a ride....more
Covet is a novel about a marriage on the rocks. Thousands of women all over the country are in marriages that are running on auto-pilot and that is exactly what Claire and Chris have in their marriage. When Chris lost his job they spent all of their energy to hold on financially that they lost their intimacy, their connection, their strength. Getting that back is critical to Claire's happiness, but it does not seem to be for Chris. While I do think that Covet lacks the intensity that was portrayed in On the Island, it was a great novel to read. I loved how the author included the other wives in Claire's neighborhood. Although all of them appeared to be living charmed lives, each one of them have struggles. From an alcohol abuse problem to infertility and gambling issues, it was good to see that Claire wasn't the only one with struggles.
Bottom line, Covet is a novel about the ebbs and flows of marriage. The ups, the downs, the pendulum that swings one way or the other. The mark of a successful marriage is how a couple works through those ebb and flows. I think that this novel will strike a chord with women of all ages and walks of life. Life is not perfect and neither is marriage, and Covet makes that fact abundantly clear. Give it a read and let me know what you think. ...more
Leaving Haven is a really good novel. I found myself sucked into the dynamics of the various friendships. I enjoyed reading about the deep friendship between Georgia and Alice, the ease with which their friends ebbs and flows, it was genuine and real. Well until it wasn't. What happened (being careful with spoilers) really touched me and the author did a really good job conveying Georgia's emotions. I also found myself getting really ticked off at a certain male figure in the novel. He was so selfish and so thoughtless, yet he was still loved by those who shouldn't love him anymore. I don't get it....more
Bottom line, if you are a fan of post-apocalyptic novels then you will read this book and enjoy it - notice I say enjoy, not love. If you are fans of Jamie McGuire's other novels then you should read this novel and you will enjoy it - notice I said enjoy it, not love it. Go into without high expectations and you will find yourself enjoying an afternoon or two of reading. Let me know what you think!...more
The Silent Wife has to be one oft he most engrossing books I have read in a while. The author alternates perspectives with each chapter, one chapter is "Him" and the next "Her" so we get both sides of the story. We get to become familiar with Jodi's calming, measured ways. Her predictability is one of the things about her that Todd loves most. We also get to know Todd and the cocky, confident way he has about him that comes from working hard and becoming a very successful developer. There were many times that I found myself getting frustrated with Jodi for putting up with his philandering ways, even though she had her subtle ways of "getting even" I would be the kind of person to be screaming the house down. Todd on the other-hand, should be a guy to despise, yet it was hard. He has this irresistible charm about him that makes it nearly impossible to despise him. When things start coming to a head, The Silent Wife is not so silent in the most shocking ways possible. The Silent Wife moves along at a very rapid pace and with each chapter a little more is revealed until there comes a point where there is no turning back and you simply cannot put the book down until you finish. ...more
Having been in the workforce and business world for almost twenty years I thought I was pretty up to date on all of the proper business etiquette, but it was nice to brush up on my skills and learn some of the new etiquette surrounding social media and technology in the workforce. The author did a great job of including pop culture references and real life scenarios to demonstrate what is and is not appropriate in the work place. It really added life to what could be considered to be a dull topic. Those scenarios really helped the book flow along nicely and enjoyable to read.
Bottom line, I know that many of us view etiquette, even business etiquette, as "common sense" to many others it is not inherently known and a book like this is definitely needed. The Essentials of Business Etiquette is a must read for every college graduate about to enter the workforce or even someone who is switching professions mid-career. Implementing the rules of proper etiquette in the business world is sure to make one stand out to a potential employer. Definitely worth the read. ...more
Forever, Interrupted is one of those novels that packs quite a punch and leaves an unexpected emotional impact on the reader. The story flashes back and forth from the "before" months when Ben and Elsie were together and the "after" months following his death. I loved how the author weaved books and the library into the plot, it really connected me to Ben and Elsie. I also found myself connecting to Elsie and her disbelief that she was married and that he was really gone. I remember in the days and weeks after I got married it just didn't seem real, so I could really relate to Elsie in that aspect. As the months after Ben's death go by, the relationship between Elsie and Susan was an unique one. It really added to the emotional punch the book had on me.
Bottom line, I will be really surprised if Forever, Interrupted doesn't get optioned by someone in Hollywood. The story is unique and touching. In my head I was already casting the roles, Meryl Streep would make a perfect "Susan". If you are looking for something to touch your heart, find a copy of Forever, Interrupted. Like right now. Go....more
The Girl You Left Behind is a hauntingly beautiful novel that will break your heart. After the initial introduction to both women, the novel flashes back and forth between the past and the present. The details of Sophie's detainment was utterly heartbreaking. Even knowing what was likely going to be the outcome, I kept hoping that there would be a "happy ever after" for Sophie and Edouard. And so was the heartbreak that belonged to Liv. It was so clear that her life was destroyed by the loss of her husband and just when she thought she was making progress in her grief by being with Paul things blow up regarding the painting. My heart just ached for Liv, I felt so horrible for her and her loss was almost contagious to me as the reader.
Bottom line, JoJo Moyes has a way of writing such beautiful works of literature. Her characters and their feelings are so vivid that it is easy to be swept away to another place and in this novel, another time. If you are looking for a novel to touch your heart,(and really who isn't?) then you must read The Girl You Left Behind. ...more
Mary Kay Andrews is another one of those great "Summertime" authors. Her slow, Southern novels always have that "vacation" feel. Even when they are about a group of women with shitty husbands. I really liked Grace and I really like Wyatt and the rest of the group, but I found myself getting very frustrated for Grace when her ex and the floozy were trying to sabotage her new blog. As a blogger myself, I know there are ways to prevent that kind of sabotage and it frustrated me to see how long it took Grace to catch on to those tricks. Even with those minor frustrations, I found Ladies' Nights to be a fun way to pass the time while on the treadmill. Grace is a great character and I found it sweet the way she took on Sweetie ( an abandoned dog) and the house on Mandavilla Lane, not to mention Wyatt and his son. ...more
Bottom line, if you are looking for a literary masterpiece, then you need to put this book down and pick up Night Film. If you are looking for fluff and keep your expectations low (or non-existant ) then The First Affair might be the right book for you....more
Do you want a book club book that will generate hot conversation, then you have found your book. For a very long time in the state of North Carolina, the Department of Welfare used forced sterilization in order to control poverty. Diane Chamberlain has taken this dark time in history and woven a gripping tale of two young women from opposite sides of the tracks who are both struggling to survive in this world. Jane is such a naive character and to see her deal with such a heavy topic was great to see, especially when she knew her new husband disapproved. i was very pleased with the character development in all of the characters, but especially with Jane. I was almost proud of her by the end of the novel, if you can believe that. My emotions were all over the place with this novel, I started out being appalled and went through a whole range of emotions, including anger and hatred. I guess an argument (insert heated debate here) could be made that this form of eugenics would save the government a lot of money, but when the women are not even told what is happening to them, well it was absolutely horrifying.
Bottom line, I have gushed endlessly about Diane Chamberlain for years now and with good reason. Her writing is so gripping that her books are the kind of books that stay with you long after the last page. I can easily say, though, that I think Necessary Lies is one of her best books. Like I mentioned earlier, the perfect book for a book club, guaranteed to generate a lively discussion...more