Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review Round-Up

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After Her

The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and The Good Daughters returns with a warm and haunting novel of sisterhood, adolescence, sacrifice, and suspense

"Maynard illuminates the human experience."-People magazine

It's the summer of 1979, and a dry, hot, northern California school vacation stretches ahead for Rachel and her younger sister Patty-the daughters a larger-than-life, irresistibly handsome and chronically unfaithful detective father who loves to make women happy, and the mother whose heart he broke. 

Left to their own devices, the inseparable sisters spend their days studying record jackets, concocting elaborate fantasies about the life of the mysterious neighbor who moves in down the street, and playing dangerous games on the mountain that rises up behind their house.

When young women start showing up dead on the mountain, the girls' father is charged with finding the man responsible, known as The Sunset Strangler. Seeing her father's life slowly unravel when he fails to stop the murders, Rachel embarks on her most dangerous game yet: setting herself up as bait to catch the killer, with consequences that will destroy her father's career and alter the lives of everyone she loves. 

It is not until thirty years later that Rachel, who has never given up hope of vindicating her father, finally smokes out the killer, bringing her back to the territory of her childhood, and uncovering a long-buried family secret. 

As with her novel, Labor Day, Maynard's newest work is part thriller, part love story, Loosely inspired by the Trailside Killer case that terrorized Marin County in the late seventies, her tale delves deep into the alternately thrilling and terrifying landscape of a young girl's first explorations of adult sexuality and the loss of innocence, the bond between sisters-and into a daughter's tender but damaged relationship with her father, and what it is to finally trust a man.

MRS MOMMY BOOKNERD'S REVIEW:
Another capturing tale woven my the master story teller, Joyce Maynard.  Told in a distinct voice that Maynard is known for, you will be pulled into the story. Maynard writes a descriptive story which can read long, but there are always twists and turns that come at unexpected times.  When you read a novel by Maynard you know you will be entertained  and will enjoy the journey she takes you on.



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22046654

Yes Mommy: The Mayhem and Madness of Not Saying No

What kind of mother doesn’t say no to her kids? One who is clearly angling for the Mother of the Year trophy – or an extended stay in a mental institution. After deciding to eliminate the words no, don’t and stop from her parenting vocabulary for one month, Amy Sprenger documents what life is like with her three young children. Spoiler alert: she’s still alive, so her experiment didn’t actually kill her. It just felt like it might most days.

You’ll cringe when the kids turn feral in Whole Foods, sympathize when Amy hides from them behind the locked bathroom door and question her sanity when she consents to a day as Yes Wife. But throughout, you’ll laugh at Amy’s month of mothering missteps and misadventures. This is what happens when you stop saying no and start saying yes – to everything.

MRS MOMMY BOOKNERD'S REVIEW:
I just finished reading Amy Sprenger's honest, funny and charming book....well it was more like a parenting experiment. You are allowed to follow her on her outrageous and fun experiment with her children! I found Sprenger to be refreshing and heartwarming.  She writes in ways any parent can relate to! Yes Mommy is a book you will think about long after you finish it and will make you reconsider what you say to your child!!!  Another 5 star hit!

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18730133

Help for the Haunted: A Novel

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18505788

One Hundred Names: A Novel

A beautiful story about so much more than a mystery needing to be solved, it is one of those books that grabs you as a person and changes you after you read it.  You learn things about yourself in the process...it is a book that speaks to the reader directly through the written word and a moving story. It is a honest, true and sincere story. I am sure any reader can take something away from this novel....5 stars
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18140586

Here's Looking at You

The new novel from the bestselling author of You Had Me At Hello. What if the last person you wanted to see was the person you needed? After the runaway success of You Had Me At Hello, Mhairi McFarlane is back with a new cast of characters in her second book, Here's Looking At You. In essence it's an ugly duckling tale. Our heroine Aureliana returns to school after fifteen years for a reunion. School doesn't hold happy memories for her, as being a roly poly Italian (known as the Italian Galleon), and always armed with a Tupperware full of pungent Mediterranean food, she was bullied incessantly throughout her years there. Now in her 30s, Aureliana wants to put the past behind her once and for all and face up to the bullies who made her life hell. But she is much-changed from the girl she once was - all curves and because I'm worth it hair - and no one recognises her when she arrives. Losing her bottle, she backs out on her plan for revenge and slinks off, hoping never to be reminded of her years at school again. But fate gets in the way, and after the reunion her path keeps crossing with James - major hunk and Aureliana's major crush back at school. But alas, as a cronie to the bullies, Aureliana to this day believes that his beautiful exterior hides an ugly interior. As they continue to cross paths a love/hate relationship ensues until eventually something shifts, and they both start to discover what the person underneath is really like...Full of Mhairi's trademark laugh out loud humour, Here's Looking At You is a novel about facing your demons and being happy with who you really are.
MRS MOMMY BOOKNERD'S REVIEW:
McFarlane is a new favorite author of mine!  Such humorous stories with well fleshed out characters that play out like a movie in your mind.  The misadventures are easy to relate to, original and have I said they are FUNNY, because it is laugh out loud funny!   I said the same thing about YOU HAD ME AT HELLO, another great read.  I want these books to become movies!  Loved it...5 stars!
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18695289
Breakwater Bay
An abandoned baby, a glorious old Newport mansion, and awakening romance combine in Breakwater Bay, an engaging story that echoes the flair, humor, and emotional depth of Kristin Hannah's popular novels
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18635039
The Hurricane Sisters
Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, The Hurricane Sisters is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.
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Ah, motherhood. Butterfly kisses. First steps. Sippy cup missiles aimed directly at your feet. Now, for every mom who's dreamed of a global uprising against goodie bags, or who's gotten caught throwing out her preschooler's latest interpretive finger painting, there is Mommy A to Z -- an alphabetical exploration of the everyday absurdities involved in raising tiny humans. Topics include:
  • A is for Art Projects: Or, what to do with that one-eyed "penguin" in your kid's backpack.
  • F is for Fashion: How to go from Hot Mama to Baby Mama in 5 easy steps.
  • H is for Holidays: Prepare to cash out your 401(k).
  • I is for Imaginary Friends: Why they're not weird. Or creepy. Or weird.
  • M is for Movies: Or, everything my kid learned about death, she learned from Disney.
  • P is for Play Dates: Why they're like blind dating--with apple juice.
Combining personal anecdotes with a dash of sarcasm, plenty of humor, and lots of love, Mommy A to Z is the perfect antidote to grocery-store meltdowns, potty-training showdowns, and birthday-party burnout.
MRS MOMMY BOOKNERD'S REVIEW:
An honest and humorous look at parenting and all its up and downs.  Easy to read and practical in its tips. 3.5 stars

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