Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri


Publisher: Knopf Canada
Released: September 2013
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

Subhash and his brother Udayan were always inseparable, born 15 months apart and often mistaken for one another. While they were very similar, Udayan was always the more outspoken and fearless one. Subhash wasn’t as impulsive, and tended to do what was expected of him and not cause his parents worry.  When Udayan finds himself drawn into the Naxalite rebellion, Subhash supports his brother but doesn’t get as involved. Subhash hoped Udayan would outgrow his rebellious ways; he remained focused on school and left home to attend school in the US. As Udayan’s political passion escalates, he defies his parents by marrying a woman for love and not by his parents choosing. Shortly afterward, Udayan is arrested and killed, his family is shattered and Subhash tries to piece together the fragments of his family.

Review:

The Lowland is a riveting read that fans of Lahiri have come to expect. Her newest novel is no exception, spanning multiple generations, readers dive into a close family who is torn apart by political unrest. The death of Udayan has a long lasting residual effect on his loved ones. Secrets were hidden, that threaten to be exposed causing further damage. Subhash tries his best to protect Udayan’s wife, but his own life is forever turned around and his relationship with his parent’s is strained. Subhash is no longer the “good” child, he is the child that survived. Guilt seeps into Subhash’s life which denies him a life of possibilities. His brother’s choices and his own choices during this time, leave him living a very different life.


It’s really hard to review The Lowland, because Lahiri is such an exceptional writer and I don’t feel like my review is doing her any justice. Her characters are real, raw and exposed to readers. Lahiri’s setting in both Calcutta and Rhode Island really brings the novel to life.  Since this novel covers Subhash’s lifetime, I don’t want to give away too many details. Subhash was the one who tried to smooth over and do what he thought was best. He was the one who tries to help everyone, but he was the one who suffered the most. I highly recommend this one; the story, the writing, the characters, the atmosphere makes this book irresistible and hard to put down. 

Releases: September 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty


Publisher: Putnam/ Amy Einhorn
Released: 2013
Pages: 416
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

In The Husband’s Secret three women: Cecelia, Rachel and Tess are at a crossroads in their life. Cecelia finds a letter that her husband has addressed to her in the event that he passes away before her.  The letter doesn’t really bother her until she mentions it to her husband and he becomes very defensive that she should not read it. His actions immediately change and Cecelia is wondering what could he possibly have wrote that would make him act this way. Rachel is living with the fact that her teenage daughter was murdered many years ago, and her murdered was never found. Her son is now a father himself, and he announces that his family is moving far away. Rachel is disappointed that she’ll have no one around. Tess has to come to terms with her husband ‘falling in love’ with her best friend and cousin. She packs up and goes to her mother’s while she tries to sort out what happened in her marriage. How did she get blindsided with this?

Review:

The Husband’s Secret was a great read. I loved the three story line, I cared about each woman. Normally when I read stories with multiple story line, I tend to enjoy one more than the others but this wasn't the case. I thoroughly enjoyed each one. Cecelia has the perfect home, and family but everything comes tumbling down when her husband reveals his secret. Her burden is deep, and she doesn't know how to react or move on. The secret was nothing that I expected, and it made the book that much more fascinating.  Rachel’s is dealing with the anniversary of her daughter’s death and new suspicions about who could have killed her daughter. Tess meets Rachel and Cecelia when she enrolls her son in a new school, and begins to learn more about who they are. Tess struggles with her son asking about his father, and deciding what is the best for him.

I thought The Husband’s Wife started a little slow, but once the secret was revealed, I was glued to the pages. I couldn't wait to see if it would be revealed to everyone or how Moriarty would plot the story. Each characters can my sympathized with, and readers will really want to see them overcome their obstacles. I did have an issue with the epilogue- it left me disappointed but as I thought about it more, it was believable, just not what I hoped.


If you’re looking for a great read, I would recommend this one. Despite my issues with the slow beginning and the disappointing ending, I thought it was well written and captivating. I can understand why this book has received raved reviews. This was my first novel by Moriarty and I will definitely add her others to my wish list. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Changes to Mrs Q Book Addict



I've finally returned from my hiatus, it's been a few weeks and I'm enjoying reading again. For awhile, I was getting nervous because books REALLY didn't interest me. Books are my way of escaping and relaxing, and blogging is my way of sharing my thoughts and opinions. In addition to sharing my reviews with fellow readers, I also enjoy having a log of my reviews for my own personal use. I like to go back and reread my reviews if I've forgotten about a particular book.

I've decided to change a few things on my blog. I will no longer participate in weekly meme's and only post book reviews, and/or discussion posts. I want my blog to primarily be book reviews. I will not be posting every day, I don't read fast enough to be able to do that. I also want to stop feeling intimidated by chunkier books. I tend to stay away from them because I'm worried about getting a review posted. My goal is to read and review, and not worry about stats, comments or subscribers. I don't want to feel intimidated by my Goodreads yearly goal. At first I wanted to read 100 but I've since decreased this to 80. When I first started blogging in 2009, I was so concerned about stats but now I want a more relaxed approach to blogging. No comments, don't necessarily mean less stats. I don't want to feel like I'm posting something, just to have something posted for that day.

I will also no longer participate in blog tours. I don't read well under deadlines, and this will continually be a problem when the baby comes. So, no more blog tours. I will accept review books, but I will be more selective.

Thank you for those who have stuck with me all these years, and I hope you continue to enjoy reading my reviews.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson


Publisher: Simon and Schuster Young Readers
Released: 2013
Pages: 480
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5.5

Synopsis:

When Taylor learns that her father has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he doesn’t have long to live, she’s devastated. Each passing day on the calendar feels like a countdown to her father’s final days. She doesn’t know how to react around him; she’s not sure what to say to him. She’s always been close with her father, but she never really expresses her feelings to him, and now she feels like it might be awkward. While she can see her father deteriorating, he wants to keep some semblance of normal. Taylor’s parents decide that the family will spend the summer together at their old lake house, which stresses out Taylor even more.  The last time she was at the lake house, she left behind a best friend and boyfriend. She’s not sure if she can face them again. Her reaction is to flee, her reaction is always to flee but this time there is no escaping. Taylor spends the summer making memories with her father, and coming to terms with his failing condition, leaning on her family and strengthening their bond.

Review:

I loved Second Chance Summer, and I would highly recommend it. While this book is considered young adult, I think it’s impossible not to relate to Taylor. Matson does an incredible job allowing readers to understand Taylor’s emotions, and her struggles. Yes, her father only has months to live but in the meantime life goes on. The family doesn’t just pause and remain stagnant. Her father encourages her to get a summer job, her sister is forced to learn tennis, and her brother spends all his time studying. Taylor’s family learns to live with each other and not constantly be thinking about the inevitable.

Taylor’s character is strong, independent, and vulnerable. Her life has forever changed, and it will continue to never be the same. She learns to value the time she does have with her father, and make memories while they still can. At the same time, she’s forced to face her ex- boyfriend and ex-best friend. It’s been years since she ran away, and lost contact with them. Small town life doesn’t give you a lot of opportunities to continue to ignore each other.


I haven’t read Morgan Matson’s debut book Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, but I certainly will now. Her writing is incredibly descriptive and atmospheric. I’m not a crier, and I cried. Readers who have a close relationship with their father, will easily put themselves in Taylor’s situation. Her family is an average, busy family and could be your own. I think Second Chance Summer is a great summer read, but can be read at any time. Once again, highly recommended! This will be one of my favorites of the year.