Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Skim



In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 2/11/2019:


Finished:





I love it when I read two distinctly different books in a week. It makes it easier to remember the books and to write my reviews. The Last Romantics is one of those books that will stick with me for a very long time. I really can't recommend this one more; seriously grab it and read it ravenously. Ghosted was a book that got great buzz but I wasn't sure how it would be but I really enjoyed it. Definitely didn't go where I thought it was going.

Currently Reading: 



Looking Forward To:




Another solid week in the reading department even if my audio is taking me a little time to make my way through. It's not because China Dolls isn't great, it is, but pesky meetings at work get in the way. Anything that's taking you a little longer to get through than you originally thought?


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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Skim


In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 2/4/2019:


Finished:






Forget You Know Me is about what happens when our lives and lies spin out of our control and the repercussions of that decisions. The Pearl That Broke Its Shell  is a wonderful novel that is reminiscent of Khalid Hussaini story telling. It will move you to tears and you will cheer on these women. 


Currently Reading: 



Looking Forward To:



I really can't complain about my books lately. This week was a good variety with with mystery/thriller, historical fiction and a contemporary fiction genres. Anything on your radar lately that you want to share?





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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Julie's Review: Forget You Know Me


Author: Jessica Strawser
Series: None
Publication Date: February 5, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Obtained: publisher via NetGalley

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Solid mystery with an AHH moment
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit―in the friendship and the marriage. When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child. What Liza sees next will change everything. Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side―but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw. Or is there? In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own. And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either. But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this. Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain. One moment will change things for them all. ~amazon.com  


Review: Forget You Know Me can be a mystery/thriller/women's fiction depending on which part of the novel you are reading. Molly and Liza have been friends since they were young girls but distance has put a dent in their once strong bond; not only physical but emotionally. Molly has been dealing with debilitating pain for years since having her kids with no answers. She struggles with daily chores and tasks while getting little help from her husband, Daniel. Liza has been trying to adjust to Chicago and her life there. So it's understandable that maybe things aren't how they used to be when they were together all the time.

This all changes one night when Liza sees a man creep into Molly’s house while they are video chatting when Molly goes to check on the kids. Liza freaks out while Molly acts like it's no big deal. Meanwhile, Liza has to deal with her own tragedy that causes her to move back home and start her life from the ground up.

What is revealed is a web of lies that threaten Molly’s marriage and her friendship with Liza. What Ms. Strawser conveys through her writing is that friendships like marriage have peaks and valleys. Friendship takes work just like marriage but it often the thing that we put the least effort into during certain times in our lives. Neither Molly or Liza received more sympathy from me because their situations were very different. Molly was desperate for help that she felt she wasn't getting and it led her to make some stupid decisions. I felt that Daniel's subplot wasn't fully necessary but I understand why she wrote it in: to make Molly and him on even ground.

The book does have a shoe dropping moment that blind sided me which definitely added to the novel. I would definitely recommend this one to those who like a mystery woven in with contemporary/women's fiction. 


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Monday, February 4, 2019

Julie's Review: The Wartime Sisters


Author: Lynda Cohen Loigman
Series: None
Publication Date: January 22, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 304
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: A story of family and understanding how you fit in yours
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Summary: Two estranged sisters, raised in Brooklyn and each burdened with her own shocking secret, are reunited at the Springfield Armory in the early days of WWII. While one sister lives in relative ease on the bucolic Armory campus as an officer’s wife, the other arrives as a war widow and takes a position in the Armory factories as a “soldier of production.” Resentment festers between the two, and secrets are shattered when a mysterious figure from the past reemerges in their lives.~amazon.com

Review: Ruth and Millie couldn't be more different. Ruth is reserved/serious and Millie is carefree. It really doesn't help that their parents feed into these personalities so much so that it drives a huge wedge between the sisters. It also doesn't help that Millie gets all the attention from whatever young man comes to court Ruth. Their parents also don't cultivate an atmosphere for the girls to develop a relationship.

The story is told through both Ruth and Millie's eyes along with a few friends they meet along the way; Lillian and Arietta. Their childhood is reflected upon while they learn how to deal with each other in the present without ever fully understanding their past. They have to learn how to act like sisters when other people are watching instead of the strangers they are to each other.

These types of stories about sisters are always interesting to me because while growing up I didn't appreciate mine (there's a 4 year difference), she's definitely my best friend. While our parents probably treated us different there was a reason for it and it never drove a wedge between us.

While this for me was ultimately a family story, the backdrop of the Springfield Armory during WWII added to the novel as well.  It is a story of resilience and perseverance. I highly recommend it.




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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sunday Skim


In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 1/28/2019:


Finished:


The Winter of the Witch is the final novel of the Winternight trilogy. This trilogy is out of my normal genre read but I'm so happy that I read it. The character development is off the charts fantastic. The Wartime Sisters is about 2 very different sisters who have never been close but have now been given the chance to repair the past all with World War II as a back ground.



Currently Reading: 

Looking Forward To:




My kids had 3 days off this week due to snow and cold. I worked from home those 3 days and they were surprisingly productive. It was also a great reading week. Although there was a bit of a lag on getting a new audiobook but then of course 3 came in at once! I hope you all stayed warm this week!


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Friday, February 1, 2019

Julie's Review: The Winter of the Witch


Author: Katherine Arden
Series: Winternight Trilogy #3
Publication Date: January 8, 2018
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 352
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Fantasy
Rating: 4.5/5
Bottom Line: It was a great end to a wonderful series
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Summary: Reviewers called Katherine Arden’s novels The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower “lyrical,” “emotionally stirring,” and “utterly bewitching.” The Winternight Trilogy introduced an unforgettable heroine, Vasilisa Petrovna, a girl determined to forge her own path in a world that would rather lock her away. Her gifts and her courage have drawn the attention of Morozko, the winter-king, but it is too soon to know if this connection will prove a blessing or a curse. Now Moscow has been struck by disaster. Its people are searching for answers—and for someone to blame. Vasya finds herself alone, beset on all sides. The Grand Prince is in a rage, choosing allies that will lead him on a path to war and ruin. A wicked demon returns, stronger than ever and determined to spread chaos. Caught at the center of the conflict is Vasya, who finds the fate of two worlds resting on her shoulders. Her destiny uncertain, Vasya will uncover surprising truths about herself and her history as she desperately tries to save Russia, Morozko, and the magical world she treasures. But she may not be able to save them all. ~amazon.com  

Review: When a friend recommended the first in the series The Bear and the Nightingale I wasn't sure since it's folklore/fantasy; two genres I really don't read. I have to say that I'm happy that I did. This trilogy has been one of the best reads out of my comfort zone that I've had in a long time. Vasya is a force to be reckoned with. She is sure of herself and her beliefs even in the face of the worst evil you can imagine. She is the defender of her family and the defender of a world of beliefs that the Russian people have turned their back on.

The Winter of the Witch is the tumultuous conclusion to the series that has Vasya questioning herself and her loyalties. She is up against 2 powerful enemies who have joined forces to destroy her and everything she loves. She has to find it within herself to be courageous and strong to fight for those that can't fight for herself.

This is a series that is about family, love, self-love, self-worth and finding yourself. If you are a fan of folklore or Russian history then you won't want to miss this trilogy. I also can't wait to see what Ms. Arden writes next.   


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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday Skim


In the vain of trying something new here on the blog, I thought I might start with some Sunday posts summarizing what I've read, what I plan to start and upcoming books I'm looking forward to.

Week of 1/21/2019:


Finished:




I've long been a fan of Robin Williams so when he died I was crushed. So I waited for a while to listen to the audio of it and wasn't disappointed. There were many things I didn't know about him and his career that I found fascinating.

Currently Reading: 


Looking Forward To:



And my  pace this week slowed down a bit. My husband was out of town and as mom Uber it didn't leave me a lot of free time to read. I'm hoping to finish my current read early in the week and move on to the next one. They are predicting a ton of snow tonight/tomorrow and then Arctic temperatures Wednesday, so I'm sure my kids will be home at some point this week. How was your week?

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Julie's Review: One Day in December



Author: Josie Silver
Series: None
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages: 416
Obtained: library
Genre:  Romance
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Just what I needed: a wonderful love story
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away. Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be. What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness. ~amazon.com

Review: One Day In December is one of those books that you will want made into a movie immediately after you read it. It's also the type of book that if you have one day to read it in, you can do that too. Oh and it's British (swoon).

It fits the bill as a romance novel and I do not mean that as an insult. It has angst, it has moments that will make you laugh and ones that will make you cry. It is about finding love, sacrificing your own happiness for someone close to you. It is about growing up and growing into yourself.

We meet Laurie as she's riding the bus home from work when at a bus stop she locked eyes with a young man who takes her breath away. She can't be sure but she feels like he felt something too. But she didn't take immediate action so she spend the next year looking for him only for him to enter her life for real as her roommate/best friend's new boyfriend.  So Laurie let's it go. She doesn't speak up and tell Sarah that her new love is Bus Stop boy.

What ensues is a lot of pining but eventually moving on for all of them. I loved Laurie. She was a wonderful young woman to root for. You never rooted against Sarah and part of me wondered how Ms. Silver would chose to end this novel.

If you are looking for a lovely novel to lose yourself in, go and get this one!


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