Last spring I went on a Life As We Knew It binge and read the first three books in just a few days, ever since I have been anxiously awaiting the fourth book. It was unique to see that the book was from Jon's perspective, but I was completely disheartened to see that he had been sucked into the snobbery that is prevalent in Sexton. There were many, many times that I was almost disgusted with not only Sexton, but Jon as well. There was an event (don't want to give away too much) that finally shook Jon out of his comfort zone and he started to realize that the way things were wasn't right. I will say that it was nice to "see" familiar characters and see how they were doing in their "new normal". It also challenged me to think about what I would do in that kind of scenario. Oh, and the author definitely left it open for another book and I sure hope that she follows through, I love these books!
Bottom line, loyal fans of the Life As We Knew It will not be disappointed with the fourth book in the series. You may get a bit discouraged at first with what is happening in Sexton & White Birch, but you must stick with it until the end. I promise, you will not be disappointed!(less)
Cathy Lamb has become a very successful author because of her ability to create such unique and quirky characters. If you Could See What I See is no different. Meggie, herself, is not that quirky, but she is the most damaged of all the O'Rourke girls. Her marriage cost her a lot, and through out the book the author flashes back to the darkest times of Meggie's marriage. The handsome Chief of Police, Ben, that lives across the street has expressed his interest in Meggie, but she is afraid to pollute him with her damage. Meggie's spitfire of a Grandma is a fun character to watch in action, not to mention Meggie's own mother, Brianna, a world renowned sex therapist that is known for her creative methods. She loves her daughters tremendously, but is glad that they are taking over the family company and not her. Throw into the mix a nephew who believes he should have been a girl, another nephew who is single handily trying to save the pet population in Oregon, and a niece who has had more sex in the last month than Meggie has had in years. They all add a special something to the story, but I think my favorite thing about this book was the way Meggie and her sisters put together the "Fashion Story". Instead of doing a regular Fashion Show, they enlisted the help of all their staff and put together a "Fashion Story" that was unique, clever, and tugged at my heartstrings.
Bottom line, Cathy Lamb, is a talented author who has a way of creating characters that find a way into your heart. If You Could See What I See is a heartwarming story of the healing power of love and family. If you are looking for something good to read that will tug on those heartstrings, Cathy Lamb's newest novel will not disappoint.(less)
Bottom line, Time Flies is a quick read that I could easily relate to as my own class reunion looms on the near horizon. If you are looking for a fun book to take you down memory lane, then you must ad Time Flies to your Summer reading list. (less)
I LOVED this book! I read Big Girl Panties from the viewpoint of a fat woman who has been trying to get in shape and lose weight for the last six months and is married to a man who loves me no matter what size I am, but also willing to support me in my efforts. But I also read this book as a once previously single woman with a disability who dated men who hesitated being seen in public with me because of my disability. I know firsthand what those insecurities are like and how they influence your actions and reactions. So I could really, really empathize with Holly. I could empathize with her feelings of inadequacy, especially after she saw Logan's ex girlfriends. I could empathize with her trying to laugh off what happened between them, even though it killed her inside. I loved everything about Holly, her spunk, her determination, her easy going ways. And Logan, Logan scored big points with me when he got the call from Holly in the middle of the night, but I wanted to smack him senseless later in the book and at times his ego was almost too big for the pages. And I loved the way I found myself wiping my eyes when things go south, I cared so much for Holly that her story made me cry.
Bottom line, any book that makes me care so much for it's characters that I cry like a baby gets a "Best of" from me. I was able to relate to Holly more than any character I have read in a long time and that really struck a chord with me. I am anxious to see more from this debut author, she has set the bar high with Big Girl Panties and I hope it only goes up from here.
Bottom line, while Always Watching wasn't nearly as terrifying for me as Never Knowing, there was still the underlying element of fear. If you are ready for a read to make your hair stand on end without requiring a night light, Always Watching will be for you. (less)
Bottom line, when it is all said and done, The Moon and More is just about a normal teenage girl with a normal family and normal problems. There is a certain kind of beauty that can be found in "normal". The Moon and More was the first novel I have ready by Sarah Dessen and I rather enjoyed it.(less)
Flashing between Europe and Texas, The Doll shows us the battle on both sides of the ocean. Bradford's desperate attempts to rescue Michael's loved ones, hoping that their efforts will help Michael escape in Europe. Taylor Stevens also did a great job at exposing the horrible injustice that is human trafficking. Human trafficking is a very real thing that happens all over the world, even the United States, yet it is not really something you see on the nightly news. With each book that Taylor Stevens writes, she unveils a little bit more about the person that is Vanessa "Michael" Munroe. She is such a complex, layered character, that I like a little bit more with each passing chapter. Her interaction with Neeva in this novel revealed even more of her character and I really, really liked those interactions. (less)
He's Gone is a very well written book about the consequences of our actions. In the days that Ian is missing, Dani reflects on their relationship. How it began, where it began, how it developed into the marriage they have today and she is a bit disappointed in the truths she forces herself to face. Disappointed in herself and the pain she has caused others. But she is also desperate to remember what happened when they got home from that party Saturday night. As a reader you can sense the frenzy of panic building in Dani with each day that Ian is missing. It just keeps building and building until the truth comes out. Sometimes in books like this the conclusion is a bit of a disappointment, but I was really satisfied with the conclusion of He's Gone. (less)
When you think about it, the concept behind The Glass Wives is so unique, really, could YOU imagine inviting the woman who broke up your marriage to live with you after the death of her husband, your ex-husband? Evie's two closest friends Beth and Laney think that she has lost her ever-lovin mind and don't waste any opportunity to let her know it, too. And maybe she has, but I can totally understand that she felt it was really her only option. I can also understand her desire to give her twins whatever they need in order to help heal, but to invite "the other woman" into her home, I just don't know if I could be so generous. There is also a "betrayal" that comes to light with Evie's friend that causes Evie to question the black & white of her life, it is a nice subplot in a story that touches the heart.
Bottom line, The Glass Wives is a very well written novel about two women and one man. Forgiveness, healing, and sacrifice are all themes you will find in this novel. I found myself feeling empathy and compassion for both women and I found myself wanting a "happy ever after" for both women. That is never a bad thing, right?(less)
It took me a few chapters to feel connected to Caleb and his story, but when I did, I was swept away to Costa Rica with Caleb and his family. The chapters are told from different viewpoints, so you get all sides of the story, but there is no indication as to whose telling the chapter until you just start reading. It does make things a bit disjointed, but not so much that you can't keep up. I found myself most interested in Caleb's chapters. Trying to get into his head and understand why he did the things he did really kept me engrossed in the story. I even felt the concern for Caleb growing in ME as I was reading the story, it was a unique feeling. And oh, the breathtaking scenery the author describes through out the whole book is stunning, not to mention the wildlife that is found through out the story, well the scenery made it very easy to get swept away to Costa Rica with Caleb and his family. (less)
Okay, first of all. This is the first Jill Mansell novel where I was close to the heroines age (I will be 38 in two months) yet we are at such different spots in our life. But not really. Ginny is battling empty nest syndrome, but by no stretch of the imagination is she a dried up old maid type of mom. She is just seeking the direction she next wants to take with her life. She no longer has a child at home to focus all of her energy on, so now what? Ginny was really a character that I could enjoy. Her love for her friends and her daughter and even her ex-husband made her a character with character, if that makes sense. I also enjoyed the sub-plot of Jem off on her own for the first time and desperately trying to be an adult in an adult world when she very much still has a young woman's heart. And then there is Finn, the cute boss... sigh... Even with his extra baggage and the funny misunderstanding when he first met Ginny, well I was rooting for him from the very beginning.
Bottom line, while I am a very loyal Jill Mansell reader I didn't realize how much her last two books was lacking until I read Thinking of You. I loved Thinking of You and flew through it in just a couple of days. It is one of those books that will touch your heart, make you laugh, and even make you cry with everything that Ginny goes through. As a woman in her late 30's I found a lot of myself in Ginny and that always makes for a good read.(less)
even though it took me most of the book to "get it" - I really think that The Time of My Life has an important message. If you love Irish literature, then you are very familiar with Cecelia Ahern and you are not likely to miss this book, but don't give up on it too early, even though it seems "weird" you must stay with it to the end. It is well worth the read, I promise!(less)
Bottom line, With or Without You is a raw, gritty novel about a young girl struggling to survive a childhood that would have chewed up and spat out ju...moreBottom line, With or Without You is a raw, gritty novel about a young girl struggling to survive a childhood that would have chewed up and spat out just about any other soul. Nikki is obviously a strong woman who has a great gift for telling a story and I am glad that she did survive to tell us her cautionary tale. If you are in the need of feeling better about your own childhood, then you must read With or Without You. I promise you that you will feel better about your life.
I found it rather easy to get caught up in the world of Carey and Janessa. Carey is a very likable character and the author wrote Nessa to be one of the sweetest little girls to be found in a book. My heart ached at the tender way Carey "mothered" Nessa, the love she has for that little girl is so evident. My heart also ached for Carey as she adjusted to going to high school, especially with her Step-Sister not exactly being welcoming. Then there is Melisa, Carey's Step-Mother. I was really worried that it would be a "Step-Monster" scenario, but the author wrote Melisa to be a warm, caring, and accepting kind of Step-Mother, the kind of Mother that Carey wished her real mother was like. And don't get me started on Shorty the dog....needed tissues for Shorty the dog.
Bottom line, If You Find Me was a really good book to read. I found myself getting caught up in Carey and Janessa's world. The love they have for each other is quite evident. There were many parts of the book where I felt so sad for their situation and what happened in the woods, but their perseverance is very admirable. If you are a fan of Young Adult literature, I really think you should check out If You Find Me!(less)
Sarah Pekkanen is quickly making a name for herself among women's fiction readers. It is easy to lose yourself in one of her books and pretend like her characters are your friends, too. The Best of Us is no different. The ease at which the three old friends get together is something many of us experience with our own old friends. While the three women seem to be at ease with each other, for the most part, their relationship with Dwight does not come across as easy and their relationship with his wife even less so. Especially when some truths start to come to light. It is even a bit uncomfortable at times. But the story, the dynamics and worries withstanding, is pretty fun to read. How can it not be with a beach, plenty of alcohol and an all expenses paid vacation.
Bottom line, The Best of Us may be a bit early to be considered a "beach read" - but it really is a great book to take to the beach. The story is fun without being too fluffy. The characters are interesting without being too cliche. If you are looking for a "take me away" kind of book, The Best of Us might be right up your alley.(less)
I know that not everyone enjoys period pieces, but Z is really worth the read. It was a bit hard to get into at first, but by the time you get to New...more I know that not everyone enjoys period pieces, but Z is really worth the read. It was a bit hard to get into at first, but by the time you get to New York City with Scott and Zelda you are swept away by the glitz and glamour of the roaring twenties and it is impossible to put the book down. It really is a book that should not be missed by fans of American Literature.
Have you ever read a book where you just feel GOOD about life when you are finished? I really think that The Lost Husband is a "feel-good" kind of book. Libby is such a great character, I enjoyed everything about her and I really enjoyed how the author avoided the "fish out of water" hi-jinx that can usually be found in "city girl moves to the country" books. Oh, she let it be known that Libby was out of her element in subtle ways, like having to teach the kids what "go outside & play" really means and getting used to no television or internet. There were just no silly mishaps involving the goats or muddy yards. But anyway, I found myself envying Libby and her quiet farm evenings with a porch swing and all of the windows open. And O'Conner? More city girls would be moving to farms if every farm came with a man like O'Conner!
Bottom line, The Lost Husband was a sweet, tender, feel-good kind of read. I found myself enjoying the farm and Libby and Aunt Jean so much that I did not want the story to end. The Lost Husband is an enjoyable read that I think will have you longing for the farm, too.(less)
Evidence of Life was a unique kind of mystery. You heart aches for Abby because she just can't seem to come to terms with the loss of her husband and...moreEvidence of Life was a unique kind of mystery. You heart aches for Abby because she just can't seem to come to terms with the loss of her husband and daughter, yet as the story goes on, you also start to question what really happened to Nick and Lindsey. I liked how her friends rallied around her, but it annoyed me a bit, too, when they were really questioning her sanity.
Bottom line, Evidence of Life is a bit of a page turner. Easy to read and well written it goes by pretty fast. If you are looking for a good mystery, pick up Evidence of Life
I really, really enjoyed Revenge of the Girl With the Great Personality. Lexi is a great character and I really enjoyed her friendship with Benny and Cam. I wanted to literally beat her mother to a pulp. And when the "big event" happened towards the end of the book I cried at the injustice Lexi's mom was heaping upon her. It is just heartbreaking to think that there are mothers out there who play favorites and destroy every ounce of self esteem in their children. There were times that I thought the author went over the top with Mac's character. I know seven year olds can be precocious, but some of her dialogue was just far too advanced for a seven year old, I found myself rolling my eyes a couple of times.(less)
The Best Man was a fun book to read. Faith is a feisty character with a feisty family that reminded me a bit of my own family. I can understand her hesitation of going home after being publicly humiliated, small towns have long memories, don't ya know? The chemistry between Faith and Levi was sizzling and really added to the story. And of course, there was an adorable puppy dog at the heart of everything. (less)
I have found myself gravitating towards novels about Step-Moms recently, especially since becoming one myself . Grace's situation is almost identical to mine. She took on the huge responsibility of caring for her younger brother a lot when she was still a kid herself, causing her to really not want kids when she became an adult. (For me it was two younger brothers) She met and fell in love with a man who had two kids a boy and a girl, and felt like he did not want more kids. (So did I!) . I know that if something ever happened to our kids mother, I would become a full-time Step-Mother and I am perfectly okay with that. If I were Grace, though, I would have been pretty pissed and VERY vocal about the fact that Victor pretty much just LEFT her alone with the kids. I understand there were special circumstances at the restaurant, but when your family needs you so desperately, you just figure it out.
Bottom line, Heart Like Mine was a very sweet, tender novel about the growing pains of a family. In a world where Step-Moms and "born" everyday, I think there are a lot of women out there who will find a lot in common with Grace, like I did. Amy Hatvany is making quite a name for herself in Women's Fiction. She writes well written, hard hitting novels that will make you think and are likely to make you cry(less)
The Avalon Ladie's Scrapbooking Society was a cute novel. On the one hand it made me think of my own smalltown hometown - but it also made me very glad that I no longer have to deal with that "everybody in everybody else's business" - it is pretty standard for small towns and made me so very glad that I live in the city now! I did enjoy all of Avalon's residents, especially Yvonne, but I would probably get irritated with Bettie's interfering ways real quick like.
Bottom line, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a quaint little novel about a quaint little town. Fans of scrapbooking will fondly recognize some of the terms and tools mentioned and maybe even a little bit of themselves in the characters. I will be interested in hearing what my scrapbooking sisters think of this one!(less)
I have never been pregnant so I have never had an opportunity to have Postpartum Depression, but the picture that Rosalind Noonan paints with her words is so very frightening. While Chelsea has the support of her family you can FEEL her desperation leaking off the pages because she realizes that her family doesn't realize just how desperate the situation has become. Then when Annabelle goes missing, we - the reader - don't know what happened. We don't know who did the unthinkable, making All She Ever Wanted the ultimate page turner.
Bottom line, All She Ever Wanted was a "can't put down" book for me. I stayed up long past my bedtime to read this one in one sitting and as an old woman it takes a special book to get me to stay up late reading. I think there are millions of women out there who can relate to Chelsea and her Postpartum Depression - and the rest of us will get just a glimpse at what it must feel like. (less)
I have been a fan of Cathy Kelly for many years. Her Irish Fiction has transports me to the "home" that I have never seen. Her latest work, Christmas Magic, is a compilation of short stories that will seem warm, familiar and likely to touch your heart. From office Christmas parties to neighborhood mailmen (postmen) to familial issues that always pop up around the holidays this collection holds something for everyone.
Bottom line, if you are looking to supplement all of the Christmas movies that pop up this time of year, then you must pick up Christmas Magic. The writing is so engaging and the characters so well written you find yourself thinking about them even after you have moved onto the next story. With character such as Millie, Stevie, and Frankie you are sure to find yourself flying through the pages!(less)
The Middlesteins is told from all different angles in all different periods of Edie's life and at the start of each chapter from Edie's perspective is her weight at that moment in time. (nice, huh?) But the underlying theme in each chapter is Edie's weight. And while her family would LIKE you to believe that they are concerned about Edie's weight because of her health, the feeling I got was that they were concerned for more selfish reasons. Like being embarrassed by her size. It was especially interesting to me to see all of the reactions when she brought a date to the big party. In fact it even made me mad on her behalf that they were so shocked that she actually had a date.
Bottom line, The Middlesteins is not just another ordinary book about family dynamics. Well it is, but when you factor in Edie's weight and all of the family's perceptions (and realities) that go with it, you have a pretty exceptional book. Let me know what you think!(less)
If you are reading this review, then you probably have (or have had) a favorite bookstore. A place where you walk in and are recognized by somebody. A place where you can go and escape in the stacks, among the sounds and smells that are associated with any bookstore, no matter what the size or the name on the door. The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap will take you back to that place, to those feelings you have when you walk through the door. Trust me, it is a fun journey you won't regret taking!(less)
I admit, when I realized one of Bruno's primary reasons for visiting Ireland I got that rock in your stomach feeling that it was going to purely be a Republican bashing novel. (For the record I am a registered Libertarian) And while there was a great deal of "Bush bashing" , my irritation waned with the development of the love story of Addie and Bruno as it started to overshadow the hate. I still have pretty strong feelings about Authors pushing political agendas in novels, but I was able to look past that to the heart of the story. Love. (less)
Just in time for the Holiday book season, The Bridge is a sweet and heartwarming novel about the impact a place like a bookstore can make on your life. We all should be so lucky to have a place like The Bridge in our lives. I enjoyed all of the characters in the story, but I was a bit irritated by Molly's timid nature, just because I don't like the way she handled her father's meddling. At the beginning of her new book, The Bridge, prolific Christian Fiction author, Karen Kingsbury, gives props to not only bookstores, but booksellers. And that means a lot to folks like me. It is nice to feel appreciated by the authors whose work we sell.
Overall, the Winter weather we have been having, really put me in the mood for my first "Christmas" book of the season. (less)
Emma Tupper is a sweet character at a crossroads in her life, by no fault of her own and she is not sure which way to go. Right back to the life that she was living or improve her life by switching jobs, boyfriends, and apartments. I enjoyed everything about Emma. Her feelings about her situation really translated well to the reader, my heart ached for her. I also really enjoyed the relationship between her and her best friend, especially the way her entire family enveloped Emma at Christmas, it was really heartwarming.
Bottom line, Forgotten is an enjoyable book on so many levels. The characters, the scenery, the level of conflict that Emma faced. It all joined together to make Forgotten an unforgettable novel. (less)