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Seems like yesterday that I was here to divulge my recent reads for the summer of 2016.
But somehow, it’s now Fall and yet my reading hasn’t fallen off by any means. Also, have gotten so much positive feedback from my book roundup posts that I am happy to keep this series going here.
So, I thought what better time than now to dive into what I have read so far and give some great reading suggestions for the fall months and beyond.
Sit back and delve into my list below:
Thanks to Net Galley for ARC, as I had seen a few others reviews on this book and was excited to sink my reading chops into this one. I actually read this to and from Disney on my flights, as well as late at night after returning from the parks. The perfect summer vacation read for all those who were fellow 1990s college attendees and truly could relate to the friends backstories as I lived and did attend college right around the same time period. Also, being one year shy of 40 myself have had many of the same feelings about my youth and descent into my own mid life, as well.
That said, this books is centered around a group of six former Penn State graduates, who lived together during those tumultuous college years. They have since each gone their separate ways since those college days with the exception of Catherine and Owen, who were college sweethearts and have been married for years since their own college days.
What brings them back together is the 40th birthday of one of their own, Be a, who has since passed on, but left a request for them to get back together on what indeed would have been her 40th birthday. Be a was always the one to help unite them back then and still even years later in death is trying to do similar.
I honestly quite enjoyed getting to know each of the friends, as well as their once friendship through their eyes, as well as their now present lives, too. I think my favorite part and most relatable was that of Catherine, who is now a lifestyle blogger (being one myself) as the stresses in her now life were oh so very relatable to me.
That said would very much recommend for those who are a similar age and for a fun, light and enjoyable summer read.
I had been on a summer themed reading kick in all honesty.
So, when I saw this title on my local Barnes and Noble book shelf, I decided I needed to give it a go.
Then, I read reviews on here, but being that I try my best to take reviews with a grain of salt, I proceeded, but still with a bit of caution.
The basic story of the married couple of Nick and Olivia retiring to the south after many years of living the fast-paced good life in NYC.
I will say that the reviews of it being slow going at best were very true and I was actually in the middle of reading before I went away on vacation, opting to put it down to read another book and finishing that book much easier before returning to this book upon my own return from vacation.
There is a story to had here though and the plot does build later int the book with one of the supporting characters going missing. But as much as I wanted to see it through and see how and why this character went missing, I also still struggled to finish it. I did however complete it and while as I said it is slow going at best and a very weak buildup, as well as conclusion, I am glad that I did indeed finish this book if nothing else.
This might not have been one of my favorite books of this past year, but still would give this author another go down the road as I have heard great things about some of her authors novels. That said, I would say if you are looking for a summer/beach themed read give this a try, but not to waste purchasing this one and borrow from your local library if you are still interested in reading it.
OK, so I had been reading another book right before having come across this one at my local library that I was having trouble getting into. I gladly put that one to the side and gave A Girl’s Guide a chance.
From the opening sentences in the prologue, I was hooked and devoured this book in less than 36 hours.
The general plot of a mother-in-law (Leanne) and daughter-in-law (Nichole) bonding over the mutual infidelities of their husbands was refreshing. Both these ladies not only deeply cared about each other, but also were strong forces to be reckoned with. I truly enjoyed getting to know them better throughout the book and couldn’t help rooting for them to find happiness and overcome their earlier obstacles with love and more.
While this book would be considered chick-lit, it still had so much more to offer, including humor, heart, romance and an overall fun and enjoyable read.
So, cannot recommend enough for all looking for an inspiring book to tackle.
I had first seen this title in Netgalley, but truly just didn’t get around to reading. Then, on a recent trip to my local library along with A Girl’s Guide, I came across this title to checkout and decided to give check it, as well.
I haven’t read a good and proper mystery and was a nice change of pace from the lighter chick lit type books I have been reading the past few weeks here.
The novel opens with younger pre-teen sister Pip taking care of her mother, Clare and slipping out into the local communal garden that they live near to try and locate her lost, Irish twin sister, Grace, who just celebrated her 13th birthday earlier that day. What Pip finds is Grace unconscious, bleeding and half-undressed.
The story is then transported back to some months before when and why Pip, her mom and Grace first moved into their new flat.
We get to see how the girls befriended the other young kids that lived locally and how the magical garden that just happens to be pretty much outside their own backyard is an integral part of the plot that unfolds right before our eyes.
While, I agree with the consensus here that this book isn’t necessarily a major thriller by any means, still is an enjoyable and satisfying mystery that I couldn’t help, but want to find out who did bring harm to the aforementioned, Grace.
I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention, the beautiful and descriptive language that Lisa Jewell used to make the garden jump right off the page and pretty much come to life.
Totally recommend to all looking for a suspenseful story as I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks to NetGalley for ARC of this novel.
The fact that this book’s description gave me the heads up that it was a thriller along the lines of Gone Girl (most mystery genre now can’t help, but be compared) and Reconstructing Amelia and the actual plot sounded as though it was a fresh and new storyline, I thought I’d like to get the chance to read and see for myself.
The main storyline began with the odd, but still real friendship between Glo, a young college student, who just transferred to the college at hand after a failed semester at a much larger college setting and Cyn, the perfect, pretty blonde from the outside looking in.
Glo just can’t believe that Cyn would want to befriend her and does everything she can to impress her new friend. The two girls do seemingly get along pretty well that is until they both fall for the same guy, Raj.
Glo just can’t believe that Raj would want her, but he also has eyes for Cyn, who in turn has her sights set on him, too. But it is Cyn, who talks both Glo and Raj into Raj dating both he girls. Somehow, all seem to agree to this quite twisted relationship setup.
But, then both girls go on an ill fated trip to Costa Rica, where Cyn goes missing and is pronounced dead. The second half of the book showcases Glo, her guilt from that one tragic evening and her now marriage and relationship to non-other than the shared boyfriend of these two friends, Raj.
But even though Cyn was pronounced dead, it would appear as she may have indeed survived, yet the major issue we are left to find out as this book unfolds further is the the how and why.
Honestly, all that said while I did enjoy this book to some degree, something did feel like it was missing and in the end I honestly didn’t care how it turned out or even why/how Cyn survived. Don’t get me wrong, I did finish Love Her Madly, but it really wasn’t one of my favorite from this genre.
Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for ARC.
Sometimes you just hear about a book and know it is going to be one to be discussed for a long time to come.
It was exactly that way for me when I first heard about All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, but Bryn Greenwood for the August BOTM club book.
See the thing is on the surface the story of an adult male, Kellen and 13 year old girl, Wavy Quinn having sexual relations, should be very disturbing, especially for a mother of two young girls, such as myself.
The problem is while the underlying story was indeed disturbing, however the overall story of how Wavy, the young girl in question’s world in general, was just tragic and highly controversial. See she is the young daughter of Liam Quinn, a drug dealer, who runs a meth lab and a mother, Val Quinn, who not only is mentally disturbed, but also doesn’t really show any redeeming qualities as a mother to Wavy or her younger brother, Donal.
And while I also saw the comparisons to the classic novel, Lolita, which I read years back, as well, I would say that other than a minor having sexual contact with an adult, is where the similarities end for these two novels.
See Lolita, was in control always and she was truly and utterly psychologically damaged beyond compare, whereas Wavy is anything, but in control of the chaotic world around her. She might have her own psychological demons to deal with, but who wouldn’t with parents, such as hers.
I would also even go so far as to say that Wavy was made to grow up way before her time, because of this and learn to take care of herself and her brother, too.
Whether you will agree or disagree with my assessment here of this book and the story at hand, I can honestly say this it is a compelling and worth-while read for anyone looking for a worthy book to dig into and become immersed into.
I saw a review for this book on blogging friend, Allie’s website and from the title and then her subsequent review added this one to my list.
See I loved the concept of being able to possibly relive one year of your life and that being the year the three friends (Jessie, Claire and Gabriela) the book centered around turned forty (I will be forty a year from now), I couldn’t resist.
The reasons for reliving the year the turned forty differed for each friend, but one thing remained the same this was an important year that shaped the lives of all three by the time they turned fifty, ten years later.
For Jessie, it was the year she gave birth to her youngest son, who was conceived rom an affair she had with a father of a young boy that went to school with her twin girls. See once her husband, Grant found out about this affair, he left her and ended their marriage. Jessie would give anything to get him back and work through the issues that arose from the affair and the child that it produced.
Gabriela at the age of forty made the choice after her husband told he he no longer wanted children to forgo the whole notion of becoming a mom to focus on her career of being a best selling author. But always wondered what if and decides that she would like a second chance to try to conceive and be a mother.
At forty, Claire’s mother found out she had cancer and passed away before the year was up, as well as Claire’s daughter, Emily having her own problems having been brought up only by Claire, who was a single mom. This was also the year she met her ex-boyfriend, Mason, who may have been the one she let get away. Going back for Claire would give her the opportunity to help her mom get diagnosed sooner, hoping to save her life this time out, as well as help her daughter to not go down the same, dark path she once did. Also, Claire would have a second chance at that love she thought was long gone and lost with Mason.
But with going back, these three woman could have all they wanted or create more and greater problems then they ever could have imagined for themselves in the future.
That said a big part of the charm of this one is seeing how it will all turn out with the second chance they have indeed been give and granted.
Thanks to Penguin Group and Dutton Publishing for the ARC of this novel, which I admit as soon as I saw the description was hooked and gladly accepted the copy for review. Seriously, I saved the best for last!
The story itself goes back and forth between the 1950s era and present day. I was more than excited to read about the glamorous and famous, Barbizon Hotel, which in the 1950s was a hotel that housed women aspiring to be secretaries, models and even wanting to work in the publishing field.
During the 1950s, the hotel saw many famous women call this place home, including Sylvia Path, Candice Bergen and more.
But the real story that we are treated a look back at is that of Darby McLaughlin, who lived there and was enrolled at the Katherine Gibbs school to become a secretary.
She initially befriends a Ford model, Stella and a few of her other model friends, but after a bit of a falling out becomes to know and enjoy an unlikely friendship with Esme, a maid at The Barbizon Hotel. This friendship is where the story truly takes off for Darby finding her enjoying quite an adventure with singing, romance and more.
Darby still is living there in the present time (2016), but now it is no longer a hotel, but has gone condo with Darby’s apartment being rent controlled. This is when Rose Lewin first discovers Darby living above her. As Rose’s once perfect world comes crumbling down as her politically picture-perfect boyfriend dumps her to go back to his family (ex-wife and daughters), she becomes intrigued and ensconced in Darby’s tragic story, which she hope to investigate and report on Darby’s story.
Told through varying narratives in the 1950s with Darby’s tale and the present with Rose’s, I initially thought I would be more invested in the 1950s saga, but Rose’s present day tale was just as intriguing and worthy of play, too.
That said, The Dollhouse was a pure delight with mystery, romance and so much more that I happily recommend for those looking for a historical fiction novel to sink your teeth into.
So there you have it and what I have read in recent times and what hopefully will make a great starting point for all who may be struggling with what to read this upcoming fall.
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