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How I Came to Sparkle Again

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  2,105 ratings  ·  444 reviews
Set in a Colorado ski town, Kaya McLaren's How I Came To Sparkle Again is a remarkable breakout novel that chronicles three people and their journey from loss to love; heartbreak to hope

Jill Anthony spent her young adulthood in the ski town of Sparkle, Colorado.  But more than a decade has passed since she left when, only weeks after a very late miscarriage, she finds her
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
How I Came to Sparkle Again is such a sweet book. The topics it touches, infidelity and cancer, aren't new by any standard and the story is beyond predictable, but Kaya McLaren's writing won me over in the end. I really had no idea I would care so much for these quirky yet lovable characters - add in a light dose of faith and the result is this heartwarming, feel good novel that leaves behind a warm fuzzy feeling.

But I really do mean it when I say this book won me over. I could pretty much see w
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
I won this book through Goodreads First Reads.

I really wanted to like this book. The idea behind the story is a heartwarming one, but the book just fell flat for me.

I felt like the author did a poor job of developing the characters. I felt no emotional connection with them due to the lack of their depth, so I didn't feel like I cared one way or the other about what eventually happened to them. Some of the dialogue and character movements felt forced and unrealistic. The writing style at times fe
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Chick-Lit...Two women and a 10 year old girl all dealing with life changes.

Six weeks after suffering a traumatic miscarriage and life saving hysterectomy Jill finds her husband in bed with another woman. Devastated, she runs to the childhood hometown in Colorado to heal her heart.

Lisa has been running her entire life even though she has never left Sparkle, Colorado. One morning after her latest one night stand is sneaking out of her bed, she decides it's time for a change.

Cassie's mot
Ange H
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"How I Came to Sparkle Again" was a Magic Bookcase selection - I have mentioned the Magic Bookcase in other reviews. It is completely owned and curated only by me; but I constantly find books that I swear I've never seen before.

As I was reading it, I kept having delusions of being a movie producer, because if this wouldn't make an adorable, guaranteed hit movie, I don't know what would. If there are any Hollywood people reading this review - you're welcome.

The novel takes place in the ski town o
Jessica Dumitru
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I got this amazing book through First Reads giveaways.

Let me start off by saying that this is not my normal kind of book. I am an avid fantasy/science fiction reader. I love the fantastical things because real life is hard and often times sucks. However, when I saw this book in the list I stopped dead. The title is bright and pretty and the title seemed like something good was coming. I read the little blurb and cried. I lost my mother to cancer (of the brain) on October 27th 2009 and I haven't
Renee Flewelling
Jun 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Received a copy of this book through First Reads. It was ok, overall a good story, but nothing spectacular. I found there were almost too many 'side' characters, i.e. the guys in the Kennel, it was hard to keep track of who was who and in the end you didn't really need to know, they didn't really add anything to the story.

Jeanie Jackson
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
This novel is a delightfully warm and wonderful book. It is a beautiful story of friendship, romance, recovery and fun.

The four main characters are each facing a demoralizing loss. Six weeks after a miscarriage, Jill hears her husband making love to another woman in their bedroom, and in a shocked daze heads to the one place she feels she belongs, Sparkle, Colorado. Fireman-paramedic Mike Jones and his ten-year-old daughter Cassie are coping with the devastating death of wife and mother from br
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
To be honest, I almost abandoned this book after 20 pages because I thought it was a Christian fiction book. There was so much talk about God and people losing faith. It was so heavy on faith and it turned me off. I checked online to see if it is a Christian fiction book and it is not, it's actually a chick lit book. That surprised so I kept on reading. Then we are introduced to Lisa and her crew of male friends and the book just gets crude and immature. But I stuck with it because the story of ...more
How I Came to Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren was more a book of dichotomies for me. There were sections that I really enjoyed and that really touched me; there were sections that were just juvenile considering the adults involved in the story. I would have loved to have had more background development of Jill and Lisa. It was touched on, but I wanted more. I could have done with less description/activity of the Kennel and its residents.

There was one aspect of the book that really bothered me. I a
Kelly Duplechin
Oct 16, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked the book, although I can't say that I loved it. It was a little predictable in the romance department. I do have to say, though, that I was impressed that the author got me to actually "like" the kennel guys because initially I was just turned off by their lifestyle and personality. She was able to make them more appealing as the story progressed. It was a light read that really makes you remember that there is always something special about where you came from.
Michelle Marquardt
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I found it funny, moving and - for me - very relatable. Highly recommend.
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
How I Came To Sparkle Again
Kaya McLaren

My "in a nutshell" summary...

Two women, one girl and a mountain in Sparkle, Colorado...all three are learning about themselves.

My thoughts after reading this book...

This book is really about Jill...dealing with an unfaithful husband, Lisa... dealing with too much of her own unsavory behavior and Cassie...trying to live with the sadness of her mother's illness and subsequent death.  

They all live in Sparkle and they are all trying to heal.

This is a sweet s
Jun 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-borrowed
Once I saw that Kristin Hannah had written a comment about the book, I was swayed to choose it at my local library. Yes, authors do have that much power!

The book begins with Jill, a married nurse who has just suffered a heart breaking loss. Arriving home from work one day she discovers her husband, in bed, with another woman. Basically functioning on autopilot, Jill thinks about the one place where she really feels like herself- the town of Sparkle, Colorado.

In Sparkle, the reader is introduc
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
I won this book through the Goodreads Give-aways. In return I am giving my review of the book.

This book was an easy read. I read it in a day. it wasn't bad or good. I really could not get into it. I was afraid that it was a Christian love novel at first, but then I kind of came away from that thought process. There were a few Christian undertones, but nothing to assume it was intended to be a Christian romantic novel.

To me it was one of those books that you read when you are sitting somewhere
Paulina Maurovich
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is so cute, that my word for it cute and sparkly and things that are nice. The story is not exciting or mysterious it is very straight forward and normal I would say. But I just found it so captivating and cute that I couldn't stop reading. Every story I wanted to read over and over again and each story I wanted to be a part of their lives. The characters are amazing and funny, witty and special. They are all unique and its amazing how they are all connected in a way. It's a nice story ...more
The "F-bomb" and adultery three pages in. By page 33, more trash talk and porn. *roll eyes* Is this how most people live these days? Then there was a lot of talk about god--but I'm going to use little "g" as they were false gods. Plus, it seemed as if the author was throwing this in trying to make this more "literary." It didn't work.
Michelle Sallay
Feb 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this for the most part. It was pretty predictable, but was still an enjoyable read. It was very sad at times and got me to cry here and there. Overall though I think it went on a bit too long for me.

I thought the Mormon religion was given a bit of a bad rap in this book. Being a member and also being pretty open to how weird we can be sometimes I just feel like I have to defend my church a bit here. The way one of our MCs is treated in this is not how the whole of the church treats fa
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-readers
This was a beautiful story. It was a story of loss, building friendships, finding ones self, romance, and yet it was a fun read. I went through a roller coaster of emotions while reading. I'm so glad I was one of the winners that won ARC on goodreads giveaway. I have already recommended this book to many friends and family and hope that you pick up a copy too. You will not be disappointed. A Must Read!
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Well, I just loved the book. If I knew how to ski and loved the snow as much as the people in this book, I would move to Sparkle, Colorado too.

Jill Anthony is still mourning the miscarriage of her baby, but has gone back to work as a nurse. One day upon arriving home early she happens upon her husband, David, and another woman in her bedroom going to it. She snaps a picture with her phone and quietly flees from the house and from Austin, Texas and drives herself back to her childhood home of Spa
Patrice Hoffman
*Received ARC through Goodreads giveaway*

This book is about two women, and a girl who have all come to a crossroad in their lives and are really just finding what can bring them happiness again. Jill has caught her husband cheating and returns to the town she grew up in. Lisa is looking for love and no longer wants to sell her self short. And Cassie is a ten year old who has recently endured the loss of her mother. Each character is looking for some sort of calm after the storm that is their liv
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

This is an easy read. It deals with familiar topics regarding loss and grief. There really isn't much of a plot as far as romances go, but I have to made me laugh in all the right places.

I was describing this book to some friends over the weekend and found myself using the words realistic and yet fun when a storyline deals with death and the hole it leaves behind. Don't get me wrong, it isn't making fun of death, but the comic relief is pre
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received this book thru Goodreads giveaways and I really enjoyed it. It is one of those books that have tears and cheers throughout. The Kennel which is an old trailer where four men who work on the mountain seasonally live but when one is out from injuring they have a woman move i with them. Jill has ran away from her husband after finding him in their bed with another woman. She recently had a miscarriage as well so wants to go back to her roots and hook up with an old friend and her Uncle w ...more
Book Review & Giveaway: I have to admit that the book cover was what first attracted me to How I Came to Sparkle Again by Kaya McLaren. Since the title was also very interesting, I read the publisher’s blurb and knew it was something I wanted to read. Particularly with the economy still limping along, I love books about strength and renewed hope. This one definitely fit that description. This novel is for all of you who like new beginnings, skiing, sweet stories, and/or fairly clean romance. ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Full review coming Thursday, November 24th, 2016 to our blog For the Love of Dewey found at!

This novel was my first book by McLaren, and I really enjoyed it. I liked how McLaren took the broad topic of heartbreak and began to tell a story from different characters who have experienced it, but in different ways. McLaren touches upon heartbreak from loss of child, loss of parent, loss of spouse, and loss of a marriage. She also explores what constitutes love vs.
Suzanne Eastman
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
This fun heartwarming novel delivers a story that resonates with so many women today. Heartache over a lost pregnancy and a husband with a wandering eye the main character finds her way back to her home town in an effort to sort things out and find solace. She finds more than she bargained for and has to decide what direction her life should go. A crazy yet lovable cast of characters helps to keep the story flowing. This is a must read for anyone getting ready to hit ski the slopes this year...t ...more
Sharon Chance
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
After a series of dramatic turns in her life, Jill had to escape, and what better place to go than the one place in the world where she was loved unconditionally - Sparkle, Colorado!

I found this contemporary romance to be full of fun, full of naughtiness and full of love! The characters are personable and the story is fast-moving and well written. And the setting in gorgeous Colorado made me homesick for the mountains!

This is a charming, mature novel that fans of romance with a bit of spice will
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was sweet and charming, and predictable. A "beach book" about skiing and the mountains, that's as deep as the irony goes. The characters are interesting, though predictable, and the outcomes are predictable. But it's the kind of predictable that can be enjoyable, in a finding security kind of way.
+ Dragonfly+
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
A first reads win for me, Thanks! In the first few pages we get a glance into Kaya's life. The heart break of loosing her baby and the betrayal of her husband all life changing. So we are with her as she goes back to Sparkle! Really enjoyed the read!
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Great story! I won this on It's a feel good book great for summer reading on the beach. Made me feel like I was in Colorado, where I have always dreamed of living. Loved it!
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great "summer-read" book for the winter! Easy to read, predictable plot but when real life seems busy and hectic you can disappear into this one for awhile and just have fun.
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In addition to being an author, I've been an archaeologist, a massage therapist, an art teacher, an elementary teacher. After spending a couple winters in Mexico, I've returned to my roots in Washington, wher
“Miracles were just second chances if you really thought about it--second chances when all hope was lost.” 33 likes
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