Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vacation Update

Hi!

My vacation is almost over, and I'm not ready to go back to the city. The weather here has been colder than I expected, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I spent a good portion of my time relaxing and reading. Today I'm trying to get caught up with reviews. My back has been hurting for two days, and I need it to get better before our 11 hour car ride back home. I thought I would share some pictures, and let everyone know that my reviews will start back next week. I've missed my blog and the community!






Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vacation Notice



I was going to try and write a few more reviews this week, but my attention span hasn't been so good the last few days. I have a lot to get done in the next two days. We leave Saturday for two weeks. I think i'll take the 2 weeks off, and try to schedule some reviews in advance.



Happy reading!

While I'm on vacation, I'm going to try Bloglovin.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Love Anthony by Lisa Genova



Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 320
Released: Sept 2012
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5



Synopsis:


Love Anthony is centered around Olivia and Beth. Both women have their lives turned upside down, and they must find away to stay afloat. Olivia’s world came crashing down when her three year old son was diagnosed with autism. Anthony hated to be touched, wouldn’t look at his parents and couldn’t speak. Just as Olivia was learning to live with Anthony’s autism and not worry about everyone else, he suddenly passed away. Since the death of Anthony, Olivia and her husband have separated and filed for divorce. She’s moved to Nantucket and hopes to pick up what’s left and put together some semblance of a life.


Beth Ellis has three beautiful daughters and a distant husband. When she receives a card that reveals her husband is having an affair, Beth isn’t even surprised. Fourteen years of marriage and she’s suddenly unsure of her future. While her husband is walking out the door, she wants to tell him not to go, she wants him to stay. Beth begins to reevaluate her life, and she begins to write. She’s always loved writing, but never took the time for her own interests. When Beth uncaps her pen, she finds the voice of a little boy with autism, and begins to write a story in his perspective.



Review:


Love Anthony will pull at your heart strings, leave you in tears, but in the end you’ll be glad you read it. This book is impossible to put down. The story of Olivia and Beth is so heartbreaking and real. Their chance encounter brings them together, and Beth’s book brings Olivia closure. Olivia did everything for her son, but she would love to know if he truly understood that she loved him. Once Anthony was diagnosed, their lives were forever charged. They stopped being invited to birthday parties, and Olivia had to realize that her son would not accomplish the same milestones as other children. Her world became very small and lonely.


Beth is so confused, angry and scared. Her fear makes her want her husband back, but Jimmy seems content with this other woman. She doesn't feel good enough. Beth realizes that she’s been putting herself last, and she needs to find something for herself. When she begins writing, she has trouble keeping up with the words that spill out from her pen. She begins to realize she is more than just a mother and wife.


Lisa Genova’s writing is beautiful, her storytelling is incredible. This will be a book that you keep recommending over and over. I couldn’t wait to write my review for this one, because I want everyone to read it. I was emotionally captivated by this story. Both Olivia and Beth were compelling characters. Their lives uprooted, and eventually they begin to pick up the leftover pieces. I read Still Alive by Genova and years later, I can vividly remember the book. Love Anthony will certainly have the same impact on me.

On Sale September 25th!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mailbox Monday

Hi everyone!

I'm 5 days away from vacation! I can't wait to have the time off from work. I don't have anything scheduled for those two weeks, but I'll try and review some books during that time. I've been getting a lot of reading done and can't wait to review.

I got one book for review this week.


The Fine Color of Rust by P A O'Reilly


I've also bought some Ebooks.

Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Magnified World by Grace O'Connell

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney

 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Review: Gold by Chris Cleave



Publisher: Bond Street Books
Pages: 336
Released: 2012
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3/5



Synopsis:

Zoe and Kate met when they were nineteen and both competing for a spot in a competitive program for cyclists. They both dreamed of winning at the Olympics. Over the years, they have become close and counted on each other to get them through life’s difficult hurdles. Zoe has won multiple gold metals, but the London Olympics are coming up, and it’s her last chance to win a medal. Her whole life is consumed with cycling and she doesn’t know how to survive without her rigorous training. Zoe has always done anything and everything to win. Kate on the other hand has always had boundaries that she wasn’t willing to cross. Kate has always been good enough to win gold, but she’s never had the chance to compete. The birth of her daughter delayed her dream, and then her daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia, further stalling her plans. Kate knows the London games is her last chance, she wants to go everything within her power to win.



Review:

I wanted to love Gold, but I didn’t. I thought the book was well written and the storyline was original and interesting. The first half of the book was really enjoyable, but half-way through some secrets are uncovered that left me really uneasy. At that point, I struggled with the characters. They didn’t feel as real or sincere. I don’t want to spoil it, but I stopped relating to the characters and thought they were very selfish. The relationship between Kate and her husband Jack suddenly seemed forced.

I think this book is definitely worth the time to read. I’ve read many rave reviews, but it just didn’t resonate that well with me. This is my first novel by Chris Cleave, and I would really like to give his other books a try. I thought the book was good, just not as good as I expected.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Downton Abbey


I don't watch much television, but I kept hearing about Downton Abbey on twitter. I was really curious about the show, I finally downloaded Season 1 from Itunes and I'm hooked! I'm on my last episode and will be downloading Season 2 shortly. If you haven't watched this series, I highly recommend it!

Have you been watching?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Review: Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann


Publisher: Bond Street Books
Released: 2012
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5



Synopsis:

Nick and her cousin Helena have always been inseparable. When the Second World War comes to a close, the young women find themselves parting ways. Helena moves to Los Angeles to marry an up and coming producer, after the death of her first husband, she will sacrifice everything to make this marriage work. Nick tries to settle into a domestic life with her husband, but Hughes is always working and very distant. Nick has never been comfortable in the kitchen, but she tries her best to make her husband proud. After the two cousins become mothers, their lives change even more and they can’t wait to spend a summer together. Everyone seems to have a perfect life, and bright future. When Nick’s daughter, Daisy, and Helena’s son, Ed, discover the body of a maid who was gruesomely murdered, the charade becomes to unravel and readers discover what’s really going on in the lives of these women. Helena’s husband can’t spare one moment when his life revolves around producing a movie about an ex-love. He wants Helena to give up her family’s money to support his dream. Nick seems to have the perfect life, but she’s bored and tempted. She tries to help Helena as much a possible but she doesn’t necessarily want the help. The last ten years have been rocky.



Review:

Klaussman’s debut novel is extremely well written, and worth the read. Tigers in Red Weather is an entertaining and suspenseful read. The story is told in 5 character perspectives, and really adds to the storytelling. This is not something that I would normally enjoy, but Klaussman develops each character so well, that I couldn’t help but enjoy each new perspective. It was a great way to get a glimpse into each character’s mind, and how they each interpret situations. A character’s actions towards another, doesn’t necessarily show what they think of the other person. The intimate insights are thought provoking.

The chronological order of the story line is not linear, character flashbacks forces readers to go back through time and relive a memory through a different character’s perspective. This mostly adds to the story and builds a better understanding of what happened to each individual. While it may sound repetitive, it is not. I thought this style of the story was incredibly well done.

Tigers in Red Weather is a perfect summer read, filled with great characters, and strong writing. This is not a simple, light read, it is an intelligent summer read filled with historical details. This book is highly recommended for those who like character driven stories.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In My Mailbox

I had a great week for review books this week. So many great books, I can't wait to dive in. I can't believe August is already here, and my vacation is coming up in two weeks!

 

Here is what I got this week:

The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

Imperfect Bliss by Susan Fales-Hill

The Emperor or Paris by CS Richardson

The Blondes by Emily Schultz

When We Argued All Night by Alice Mattison

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch

The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany


I'll link up the books tomorrow.


Happy reading!

 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany



Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 320
Released: 2012
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5



Synopsis:

Nicole Hunter has been distancing herself from her family for the past ten years, living in San Francisco with a man she is not sure she would marry. Nicole is a registered therapist, but when she decides her own life is too complicated to start offering others advice, she chooses to become a baker. Nicole is forced to confront her past, when she hears that her severely disabled sister Jenny, was raped while institutionalized and is now pregnant. Nichole and her sister have always been close, but Nicole’s guilt has kept her away from her sister for far too long. Nichole returns home, and demands that she take care of her sister until she gives birth. Returning home leaves Nichole seeking answers from her mother.



Review:

The Language of Sisters is another beautifully written story by Amy Hatvany. She consistently writes stories that tear at your heart and leave readers rooting for the characters. Hatvany writes about topics that are difficult but real, and forces readers to think about people in those situations.

Nicole is a very interesting character. She doesn’t feel settled in her life, but she’s reluctant to go home. After so much time has passed, it gets easier to stay away and harder to return. She loves her sister, but her relationship with her mother causes her to remain distant. Nicole’s childhood revolved around her sister, her mother and her were the primary caretakers. Jenny’s unknown disability left her helpless and mute, their mother spent so much time trying to cure Jenny and get answers that Nicole felt left behind. Their father was abusive towards Jenny, resorting to physical violence when he became overwhelmed. He demanded that she be institutionalized. When Nichole’s mother agrees to have Jenny placed, it’s becomes a critical reason why their relationship becomes even more strained. How can a mother choose an abusive husband over their helpless child?

There is a lot that can be discussed with this novel and it would make a great book club read. All of Amy Hatvany’s books have remained with me long after I closed the books. She creates stories that cause readers to rethink a difficult situation, and be able to put themselves in those shoes. Her stories give readers a sense of the everyday lives and relationships of the characters, strong secondary characters are well developed and cement the story. I highly recommend all of Amy Hatvany’s books. A great writer is even better when they can continually awe readers.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Month in Review: July



I had a really good reading month for July. After the move, I was ready to get back to my reading pace. My goal for 2012 was to read 80 books, and I'm already up to 65 books read! I don't consider myself a fast reader, so I think this is pretty great. my vacation is coming up in a few weeks, and I can't wait!

Here is the list of books I read this month:

56. Overseas by Beatriz Williams

57. The Opposite of Tidy by Carrie Mac

58. Traveler's Rest by Ann Tatlock

59. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

60. Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green

61. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

62. The Sarishop Widow by Shobhan Bantwal

63. Tiger's in Red Weather by Liza Klaussman (Review to come)

64. The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany (Review to come)

65. Gold by Chris Cleave (Review to come)



My Favorite books for the month were:


Overseas, Language of Sisters and Tiger's in Red Weather.


Happy reading!