I really, really, really love Jane Green. I really love Jane Green writing about Nantucket. I really love this cover. Gosh, this cover is gorgeous.3.5
I really, really, really love Jane Green. I really love Jane Green writing about Nantucket. I really love this cover. Gosh, this cover is gorgeous.
I didn't really, really, really love this book.
I really hate saying that.
It's not her worst work but it's not her best. This novel follows an alcoholic named Cat through various points - highs and lows - through her life and her struggle with her disease.
The parts on Nantucket I absolutely adored. The good and bad bits. Most of Cat's story I also enjoyed - especially the scenes with her lovely mother. They were beautifully written and I'm almost jealous of her Mom - even if she's fictional.
What I didn't love was that I never quite knew where I was in the story. There's a bit where Cat says she hasn't had a relationship since her ex-husband save for a flirtation with a guy that was married at a party. Then there's a whole thing about some guy that she was hoping would go somewhere but he ended up making babies with someone else. But I thought she didn't have any feelings for anyone since her ex? Things like that kept me flipping back and forth and wondering what was going on. Like the prologue - where in time does that fit in with the story. What happened to the vodka? Was it a relapse? So much confusion! At the end I just felt kind of like a pinball that had bounced all around the place and would up with a total score but not quite sure how it all fit into place to be. I'm sure this makes no sense but maybe it will to those that read it.
Overall I still think it's a story that many will be able to sink themselves into and it is a perfect read for the summer. Just make sure you aren't reading with a head cold, like me. ...more
What a shame that these woman didn't have a better author to tell their tales because their stories are most likely much more harrowing and gripping tWhat a shame that these woman didn't have a better author to tell their tales because their stories are most likely much more harrowing and gripping than the dry, emotionless way they were presented. ...more
There are a few authors that I always look forward to reading each summer and Mary Kay Andrews is one of the tops on that list. Her books are always tThere are a few authors that I always look forward to reading each summer and Mary Kay Andrews is one of the tops on that list. Her books are always the PERFECT light read for summer yet escape from being all fluffy and nonsense. Why I haven't managed to get myself to Savannah/Tybee yet is beyond me because every time I read her books I want to immediately drive to the location of the latest novel (well except for the Outer Banks where I have been going my entire life, which she nailed perfectly).
The latest novel is set back in Savannah and focuses on Cara whom is a florist that is trying to break into high-end weddings. Cara recently inherited the business and is trying to turn things around to payoff a loan to her father and keep her nose to the grind. After her dog gets lose at the worst time, Cara is shocked when a man takes her puppy and claims it is his own. From there on the story plays out with varying characters twisting and untwisting around storylines and there's even a cameo by BeBe and Weezie (albeit just a mention). Overall it's a great beach story and a fun read.
I do have a minor gripe about BeBe and Weezie because it makes no sense that Cara had have been hired for the job, they would have hired their friends who I am drawing a blank on now but who did Weezie's flowers for her wedding. Anyway, a fan of Mary Kay Andrews should love this latest addition and the bonus is this novel is a standalone so anyone can read it! ...more
I love a good YA novel and for whatever reason, Life as We Knew It really grabbed me when I read it. It was such an interesting synopsis and I don't kI love a good YA novel and for whatever reason, Life as We Knew It really grabbed me when I read it. It was such an interesting synopsis and I don't know why but novels like this really grab me. It was a perfect balance of young enough for teens but gripping enough for adults to enjoy as well. It's sequel with Alex (The Dead and The Gone) was also good, although it didn't grab me as much as the first but I think that is partly due to already knowing what was in store environment wise. The third in the series (This World We Live In)... it was okay. I kind of liked the way the first two books ended and the thought that while life never returned to our normal, it did get to be a new normal and they survived. With all the weirdness that was the third book, I still enjoyed it for what it was but honestly, the whole Miranda/Alex thing to me seemed so forced. Still, I wasn't turned off to the point of not wanting to read the latest segment in the Last Survivors series so here we are.
The Shade of the Moon picks up 4 years after the asteroid hit the moon and life has completely changed. Outside of a few people whom have stuck it out in rural places, there are now two types of people, "clavers" who live in exclusive enclaves that you either have to know someone to live in, be somebody important or have a slip for entrance. The enclaves have filtered air, fresh food and most things given to them. Then you have the "grubs" whom are essentially the clavers slaves. They work the dirty jobs that clavers are too good for and get paid a pittance while living in crime filled cities. Very much like the world in most dytopian novels i.e. Hunger Games. There's the haves and the have-nots and no one likes each other. Jon, Lisa and Gabe live in the Sexton Clave while Alex, Miranda and their Mom live in White Birch, a grub town. HIs brother and his wife also live in a grub town but are further away so are not featured predominately in this novel.
I think my major issue with this novel is that unlike the other three, this novel is all about how horrible humans can be to one another - to strangers, to friends, to family and to lovers. While in the other books there were times that, yes, humans sucked, for the most part it was more uplifting as you saw how people helped each other along and survive in the world after the unthinkable happens. This book is all about the awful ways people treat each other, and it isn't pretty. Jon has done some pretty terrible things and some of it is written off like no big deal. Like it's not a problem that he (view spoiler)[almost rapes Julie (hide spoiler)] but it's no big deal that he routinely goes into White Birch and (view spoiler)[rapes grubs (hide spoiler)]. This book is just very depressing to read and while the end is a bit more uplifting, it takes far too long to get there.
This book is also NOT for the younger set of YA as there is quite a lot of horrible things in it like rape and murder. I'd definitely prescreen this one before letting a child read it. Heck, I'm haunted by a few scenes and I'm in my 30's! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
It's rare to find an author that gets better as the years go by, typically they have a few really great novels and then their works slowly decline asIt's rare to find an author that gets better as the years go by, typically they have a few really great novels and then their works slowly decline as they try to keep up with demand and 20+ novels in they are just lacking the spark they had originally. Diane Chamberlain is no such author, instead she gets better and better with each new novel and the latest, Necessary Lies, is one of her best yet.
Necessary Lies tells the story of June who is new to social work and takes on numerous clients, including Ivy during her first week on duty. June, a newlywed who has always been a rule breaker sees that Ivy is a bit more than the box the rest of the world has placed her into and wants better for her but it is the 1960's and change wasn't as easy back then. Their story is bookended by Brenna in the current time.
As with all of Chamberlain's novels, this was an incredibly well-written novel that immediately swept me up and took me along for the ride. I didn't want to put it down! I don't know why this novel gripped me so much, moreso than the past few of hers, but it really grabbed me and it will take a while for the story to settle down in my thoughts. The main "issue" of this novel is so horrifying that I think many will be equally transfixed by the story. I appreciate how well Ms. Chamberlain dealt with it, it's hard to believe that it is a fictional tale.
There is a short prequel to the novel, The First Lie, which helps set up the story but isn't a necessary read to understand and enjoy this novel. ...more
When I see Jen's books on my "picks" for Amazon Vine, I do a happy dance because there are few authors that I look forward to as much as her. I've espWhen I see Jen's books on my "picks" for Amazon Vine, I do a happy dance because there are few authors that I look forward to as much as her. I've especially missed her over the past year or so since her blog posts have been waning and her Ambien fueled twitter binges have seemed to come to a stop (the reason behind this is explained in this book BTW). While she's still "out there" and has had a few wars on Facebook she's not been around so much and she's definitely a person that I can always count on to make me smile with her wit. So, when I saw this book in my list of the month I clicked on that sucker as fast as possible and stalked the UPS man until it landed in my lap and proceeded to devour it in a day.
This latest installment in Jen's memoirs may be my favorite. I can't quite put a finger on it but I think it's because it's the most balanced of all of her memoirs. Most of them are non-stop laughs, which don't get me wrong - I enjoy, but this latest installment has not only the laughs but it is tempered by real life problems such as a sick beloved pet and health scares. Sometimes life isn't all fun and games and I think I liked reading a book that had the full range of what life in a year is really like. This book had me laughing out loud but it also had me crying (damn you Jen!) and I think that's why I really liked this one.
The Tao of Martha follows Jen in her quest for 2012: embrace Martha Stewart in everything from cooking to organizing to decorating and everything in between. I'm kind of in awe of how well the year went for Jen and it makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I'm not too far gone in my slovenly ways to be saved by Martha-ing up my house too. I don't know that I'll go as far as hitting up The Container Store and making my own labels but it's fun to read about your average every day person turning themselves around in a year... with a side of wit of course.
If you're a fan of Jen Lancaster I think you'll definitely enjoy this latest book. Bonus? Not a single blog post has been used. Not that it bothered me in the past but I know a lot of people were. Bonus of the bonus? Copious amounts of pictures? Finally the Martha Stewart buttercream on the cake? NO MORE FOOTNOTES! Now you can read this book on your Kindle without any finagling or cursing! *throws confetti* ...more
When perusing upcoming books by some of my favorite authors to put on my "to be read" shelf so I remember to pick them up as they become available, SwWhen perusing upcoming books by some of my favorite authors to put on my "to be read" shelf so I remember to pick them up as they become available, Sweet Salt Air was recommended to me on Amazon because of what I'd been adding. Immediately the book's name piqued my interest because there are fewer smells in this world that I love more than salt air. I then realized it is written by Barbara Delinsky and I was excited as I'd read other books of hers in the past and enjoyed them. When I then read the synopsis and saw that it was set in my beloved Maine I couldn't wait for the release date! I was super stoked when I saw this book in my offerings for Amazon Vine and jumped at the chance to read it before it came out.
Sweet Salt Air takes place on a small island in Maine (sadly I believe it is fictitious) where two friends come together for the first time in many years for a summer. Together they write a cookbook while sorting through the house and getting it ready for sale. Each friend is in a different place in life - Nicole is hiding a secret about her husband while putting a brave face on for the world to see while Charlotte is a freelance writer traveling the world but has a secret she's kept from Nicole since their last summer on the island.
I was expecting your usual fluffy beach read but I should have known to know more was to come from Ms Delinsky and she didn't disappoint. She brought Maine to life quite vividly and captured the essence of what I adore about that state. The prominent relationship in the book, the friendship between Nicole and Charlotte was well written and I enjoyed the journey with them. I had a feeling how the book would end up but I still was pleasantly surprised by a few things and especially enjoyed the romance side of the story. Finally I congratulate the author for NOT including recipes. I don't know why all of the sudden authors keep adding in recipes whenever food is involved but for some reason it isn't my cup of tea so I liked that this novel talks about food and recipes but didn't include a bagillion (or even one) of them.
Overall I enjoyed my stay on Quinnipeague and think that many others will as well. ...more