Bottom line, if you like reading memoirs in general, you would probably enjoy The Book of Mormon Girl. It is a quick, yet fairly uneventful read. I know that to the author and probably other Mormons, her crisis of faith was earth shattering. I am sure many people find it admirable that she still takes her children to a Mormon church, but I am not one of those people. I do not find it admirable or courageous to continue to financially support any organization that directly opposes what you believe to be right. But this I believe, Joanna Brooks has the right to believe what she wants, practice what she wants, teach her children what she wants and participate when she wants. That is her right, to believe otherwise - well it just would not be right....more
Told in a series of flashbacks mixed in with what is going on in present day, we get a better understanding for Will's heritage and how Evelyn Mitchell and Amanda Wagner got to be such good friends. We also get a better understanding of the relationship between Will and Amanda. So much was explained in Criminal, that I found myself saying "ahhhh, now it makes sense". It was also really fascinating to see what Evelyn and Amanda had to go through as women in the early days of equal rights. Their generation paved the way for me and me. I am eternally grateful for what they had to put up with in order for me to work in a male dominated world.
Bottom line, loyal readers of Karin Slaughter will be interested in Criminal. The back story of will Trent alone makes it a fascinating read. It may be a little hard for non Will Trent fans to pick this one up and not be lost. If you have read her other books, you will not be lost and you will be appreciate the history given. And of course, as always, there is a great mystery in between all of the history....more
As a dog person I found myself really enjoying Behaving Badly. Before I get too far into my review, let me just say that the dog on the cover is NOT the same breed as the dog that is Miranda's faithful companion. Her Doxie, Herman, the complete opposite of the dog shown on the cover! Silly Art Directors need to READ the books they are creating covers for, at the very least read the synopsis! Having said that, I will say that Miranda Sweet is such a compassionate character. Even though she took part in a violent act, she was just another young girl who had been led astray by a bad boyfriend and that made it so much easier to "forgive" her for her transgressions. She has an eclectic group of people in her "circle" and they just added to the unique story and you find yourself rooting for her and her happiness.
Bottom line, animal lovers are going to love Behaving Badly! The animals are just as much a part of the story as Miranda and her family/friends. And even better, the animals have "problems" that any pet owner can relate to rather easily. But animals aside, the relationship between Miranda and David is fun to watch develop and you desperately want Miranda to get her "Happily Ever After", but does she get what she wants? You will have to read Behaving Badly to find out! ...more
Heartbroken is a heart pounding suspense novel. At first I was unsure of how the three women were connected, but when it is revealed, I was really shocked. The author does a really good job of building the suspense and building the stories that when they finally do collide, you are sitting on the edge of your seat waiting to see what is going to happen.
Bottom line, beach home stories are a summer literature staple. Heartbroken takes that beach story and turns it into a masterful piece of literary suspense. If you are ready for a break from the summer staples, give Heartbroken a try....more
There has been a lot of industry buzz surrounding Wild from almost the first announcement of publication. I wavered between wanting to read the book and just letting it pass by me. I put a hold on the book so long ago that when I heard Oprah chose it for her club, I thought "Oh thank God, I put it on hold before she chose this book." I am glad that I did decide to read, Wild. Cheryl is so honest in her grief and her description of the pain she felt at the loss of her mother is so detailed and so raw it almost brings the reader to their knees.
What I enjoyed most about this book is that we get to see how the people she meets on the trail become part of the transformation Cheryl makes from a woman paralyzed by grief into this strong, confident woman who is ready to take the next step into her future. At first she is cautious and reserved with the people she encounters, but the constant encouragement and support is the kind of motivation she needs. Even though they are virtually strangers it becomes a family like atmosphere at each stop along the trail. And I think that is what Cheryl desperately needed after losing her mom and feeling abandoned by the rest of her family, people who are excited to see her and encourage her to keep going, no matter what.
Bottom line, Wild, is an absolutely fabulous read. Cheryl tells her story with such insightful and introspective honesty that it is easy to get lost in her story. She is such a strong woman and by the time she reaches Mount Hood I felt an amazing amount of admiration for the author. What she accomplished is truly astounding. This book is a must read for anyone who has suffered a loss of any kind. Cheryl's words are sure to give you strength and hope to carry on. ...more
I ended up listening to this book through Overdrive and I want to say that it was really quite enjoyable. Janet, Ina, and Janet's daughter Alex, wrote the book in a Q&A style. So to listening to Janet's thick Jersey accent as she talks about the details of being a novelist really gave it a personal feel. I felt as if she were talking directly to me. She gives a lot of great advice, the most important being, (paraphrasing) JUST WRITE IT! Getting caught up in the need for a perfect book while writing the first draft will likely ensure you never finish the first draft. (*gulp*) But the fact that hit me like a ton of bricks is this, Janet Evanovich was FORTY-THREE when she published her first book. -- Sidenote: Doesn't she look GREAT for her age?? Forty-three is not old by anyone's standards, but it is a little late to launch a new career. So to hear that your dreams CAN come true at any age has motivated me to march on and finish what I have started.
Bottom line, if anyone is looking for some basic advice from a bestselling author on what it takes to publish your novel, then grab this book. BUT - do so realizing that this book was written six years ago. Before e-books exploded onto the scene. And we all know how e-books have changed the publishing world, for both readers and authors. Having said that, this book is still full of great advice and a wonderful read for anyone trying to make their dreams come true.
Two Kisses for Maddy was an emotional read for me and I think that is because I could really feel his anguish. Mr. Logelin was very honest about the range of emotions that he went through in the initial days after Maddy's birth. He is very liberal with the use of the "f" word - but I can not fault him for that. If I were in his situation I would be using that word and more during my grieving process.
Bottom line, while this book is a memoir, it is also a love story. The love story of Matthew and Liz as well as their love for Maddy. Both before and after she was born. It might be a tough read emotionally for some, but I think it is worth the read. ...more
I really enjoyed the theme of this book. Once you are family you are always family and not even divorce can change that. I loved how Abby felt that she could turn to Jill in her time of need, even though she had divorced her dad and it had been years since they had seen each other. I also loved how Jill was willing to drop everything to be there for her step-daughters. Having said that, the mystery portion of this story really seemed to fall flat for me. I have read several of Scottoline's earlier books and I seem to remember them to be a little more edgier than Come Home.
Bottom line, while I loved the whole aspect of the relationship between Jill and Abby and Victoria, the mystery portion of the story was not as exciting as I had hoped for. If you are not looking for the gritty or hard hitting kind of mystery, then this one just might be for you....more
I really enjoyed Faith. I think it took a lot of guts for an author to take on such a scandalous topic such as the abuse case within the Catholic church. And I think she did so in an unexpected way, with the way the book ended (trying to be careful with my words!). The book is very well written and leaves me feeling sad. Sadness for Art, sadness for Sheila, sadness for young Aiden, sadness for his mother, and even sadness for all of the people of the Catholic church who felt a whole lot of disappointment as the scandal exploded. Bottom line, very good book with lots of talking points for you and your book clubs. ...more
Die For You was exactly what I needed. An audio-book for the treadmill that keeps my mind engaged enough that I don't realize how long I have been exercising. It was a well written suspense novel that did exactly what it was supposed to do. It kept me in suspense. I also really enjoyed the secondary plot of Isabel's sister, Linda and her husband, Eric. The fact that their relation was at the brink of no return, kind of like Isabel's but the outcome was so very different.
Bottom line, a very enjoyable suspense novel if you like that kind of thing. ...more
Calico Joe is a a wonderful little novel about regrets, forgiveness and how the simple act of making an apology can set your soul free. I think that this book will be the perfect Father's Day gift for so many Dad's out there. Not just because of the baseball aspect of the story, but also because of Father/Son relationship. Even a damaged relationship like the one between Paul and his father is worthy of examination at the end of one's life, if not before. Bottom line, I think that this book has many audiences and it is well worth the read. ...more
If there is ever a book that would make the perfect Chick Flick, it would be The Fixer Upper. It has all of the fixings for the perfect Reese Witherspoon movie. It is funny, romantic, sweet, and has a little suspense (very little) thrown in for good measure. Not to mention a handsome man that sweeps in to help save the day. Oh and it has house porn. A century old Greek Revival mansion set in the deep South. Seriously, it would make a GREAT movie!
Bottom line is that I really enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed watching Dempsey "blossom" from the patsy that was set up by her boss to this strong woman who tackles a home renovation project with gusto. And then kicks the sleazeball in the crotch. It was a real "I am woman hear me ROAR" kind of moment...more
Bottom line, Nearlyweds is a cute novel about every newlywed woman's worst nightmare. LOL. It was actually quite humorous and I found myself laughing quite a bit. The characters are fun and their situations are not all that unique, but the way that they handle the situation they are put in is somewhat unique. It was a fun book and well worth the read....more
I really enjoyed Life As We Knew It. The book is written as if it were ripped right from the pages of Miranda’s diary, so we only see her side of the story, but I enjoy novels written in that format. There were a few political jabs at President Bush that let me know exactly what side of the fence the author resides politically, but they are brief and if you can get past that, you will find an engrossing novel that will cause you to pause and think “What if…” The author did a really good job, in my opinion, of having the characters be realistic in their actions and reactions to the state of the world. They tried to carry on as normal as possible for as long as possible, by going to the library and post office, and even school and I really enjoyed seeing that. The one thing I questioned more than once, was as food was running low, why weren’t Miranda and her Brothers HUNTING in the woods that surround their home? Squirrels, rabbits, and even deer could have made their lives a bit less stressful.
Bottom line is that I really enjoyed Life As We Knew It. It was a fast read about a situation that we pray we will never find ourselves in at all. But it really challenged me to think about how I would behave in the event of a catastrophic event that caused me to not know where my next meal was coming from. Because it is a YA novel, there was nothing too scary in this novel. I would say that even my 12 year old could handle the content. I would even go so far as to say that I think it would make a great movie, too.
P.S. I also want to add that I liked it so much, I ran right to bn.com and bought the next two books in the series and am already almost finished with the second book!! Review is forthcoming!!...more
Overall, Ten Beach Road, was the perfect book to go with my "Spring Fever" mentality. Once I got past the whole, "Could that really happen" aspect of these three women getting possession of Ten Beach Road when there were hundreds of others still waiting for their money. The descriptions of the historical mansion was enough to satisfy my daily cravings for house porn and the relationship between the three different women was interesting and unique. I especially loved Maddie and how the Stay-At-Home-Mom had to step up to the plate when her husband's world fell apart. But each of the three women came out of this experience learning something about themselves. And I always enjoy those kind of books.
Bottom line, the unseasonably warm weather throughout the country has us all pulling out our flip-flops and margarita glasses. Ten Beach Road is the perfect book to help you get in that warm weather mentality....more
Sister is a really good novel, it is more than just a mystery novel, it is a novel about the bond of sisterhood. The bond between sisters can be so strong that not even death can break them. Having a sister myself, I really could relate to Bee's unbreakable belief that her sister did not commit suicide. It was powerful and I would be the same way. I think Sister is a novel that many women can relate to, not because of the mystery, but because we are so close to our sisters....more
Anyway, let me tell you about the book. Beth & Jennifer are coworkers at the local newspaper and one of the last papers in America to get the internet. Their paper has even gone so far as to hire an IT guy who does nothing but sits and reads all of the emails sent by staffers to ensure that no one is giving away their scoop. In the process of reading the emails between Beth and Jennifer, Lincoln has fallen in love with Beth. Will this shy, IT guy be able to overcome his shyness to let this great girl know his true feelings?
Attachments was a fun book. The book is not told entirely in epistolary format, you read all of the emails between Beth & Jennifer, but the chapters in between is Lincoln's life as he starts to come out of his shell. The characters are fun and the story is enjoyable. If you are looking for a good, unique, Chick Lit, check it out, you will totally enjoy this one!...more
Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House is about a young woman who has restlessly moved from rental house to rental house while moving back and forth from California to Lincoln, Nebraska. She finally takes the big plunge in the shark infested waters of Los Angeles real estate. Let me just say that for what Meghan Daum paid for her hovel in LA - would have bought her a mansion in Wyoming. For real. But, having lived in Lincoln, she knew that when she took the plunge.
I enjoyed Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived In That House, but I need to tell you now that the majority of the book is about the rentals she lived in leading up to her purchase. I did enjoy how she told us what she paid in rent for each home, that gave me a chance to compare to what I have paid in rent over the years. My cheapest rent was $250/month in Red Oak, Iowa and my most expensive is $1400 in Casper, Wyoming....more
Wade Rouse is the cure. A writer from the SW Missouri area himself, he has got to be one of the funniest writers I have ever read. It's All Relative is a collection of stories about Wade's holiday experiences. His tales range from hunting (make that digging for) Easter eggs as a kid to his first Thanksgiving with the "In-Laws" but NOTHING is funnier than his tale of his first Valentine's Day with his partner, Gary. I swear to God I nearly wet myself.
I never really got the humor of Augusten Burroughs or David Sedaris (don't hate me) but Wade Rouse ranks right up there with Jen Lancaster in my book. He finds humor in every situation and can turn it into a literary masterpiece with ease. Some call it witty, some call it sarcastic, but I call it perfect. If you are looking for something to take your mind off of the wrath of Mother Nature, pick up one of Wade Rouse's books and tell me what you think. ...more
Between Here and Forever is a teen lit novel packed full of the heavy stuff. There is self esteem issues, teen pregnancy,bullying, mental illness in the form of OCD, and same-sex teen relationships. By no stretch of the imagination could it could be considered "fluffy" because that is okay. Rarely is a teen's life all fluff. Don't be afraid to let your teen read this book though, Elizabeth Scott was very tasteful in addressing all of these issues without being graphic or gratuitous. I do think if you have a teen wanting to read this book, read it with them, the content is sure to lead to some wonderful conversation. ...more
I will be honest, I have read a lot of books by Beth Kendrick and this is not her best. The plot is a bit predictable and it feels as if I have met thI will be honest, I have read a lot of books by Beth Kendrick and this is not her best. The plot is a bit predictable and it feels as if I have met these characters before. But if you are looking for a bit of fluff to wile away the afternoon hours, go for it! Let me know what you think! ...more
The First Husband was a fast read. I enjoyed Annie and her story, I even felt I could relate to her in certain situations - you know like the whole getting married fast and moving across country. I was really happy with her decision in the end, because it was a tough decision to make and I really think she stayed true to herself, which is sometimes a rare thing to find in some Chick Lit novels. ...more
While I LIKED Save Me, I did not love Save Me. The author had such a huge opportunity to really generate discussions amongst readers everywhere. The last third of the book took a strange little turn that just seemed forced - it was like about 2/3 through the book she remembered it was supposed to be a mystery novel. It just felt forced. Should you skip the book? No - I think the "what would you do" scenario is enough to challenge your way of thinking and generate conversation in your book clubs, but lower your expectations for the ending. ...more
I really liked Tweak, and his fathers book A Beautiful Boy. I was a huge advocate for both books at the bookstore and would handsell it to just about anyone I could. We All Fall Down was a good book, but not nearly as good as Tweak. Told in Nic's voice it should be rated "R" just for language alone. One of the things about Tweak that held my interest was just the sheer grittiness of his addiction. The dark and dangerous places it took him. The fact that he was brutally honest about it earned him my respect. We All Fall Down was different. It lacked that "grittiness" -- which for him is good -- but it honestly did not keep me interested in the book. Overall, it was a good follow up, just not as gripping as his first novel. -- I will say, given the dark & twisty places he has been, I would love to see what kind of fiction that could come out of his mind. ...more
Miles to Go is a really fast read! It took me less than two house to catch up with Alan on his journey to Key West. I enjoyed the story as he interactMiles to Go is a really fast read! It took me less than two house to catch up with Alan on his journey to Key West. I enjoyed the story as he interacts with the people on his journey. Some a little more integral to the story than others, but all important in their own right. While the story is short and quick to read, I almost wished he would have written one long book to tell all of Alan's tale. The waiting is going to drive me nuts!
Emergency is the true tales of Neil Strauss as he learns to become self sufficient. He educated himself on how to handle firearms, how to save lives, how to survive in the wilderness just to name a few. He prepared himself and his home for the event of "What if". And in his usual intelligent wit, he has documented it all for us....more
Set in the suburbs of Dublin. Maeve Binchy takes the old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child" and turns it in to a heartwarming novel about young Frankie. Within a few minutes of her birth, Frankie's mother dies of a horrible illness. Frankie is the result of a one night stand. Her father, Noel, is an alcoholic, ill-equipped to raise a baby girl. ...more