Sunday, January 18, 2015

Huge Review Round-Up

Well I have had my head in the books for the last month 
(and then some) 
and now here is the round-up of the books
 I have read and enjoyed!!!!  
I hope you enjoy them too!!!!






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How Do You Know? (Seeking Happily Ever After, #1)

What if you were approaching the end of your thirties and all of the life milestones you took for granted in your youth suddenly seemed out of reach?

On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, Maggie Piper doesn't look, act, or feel much different than she did at twenty-nine, but with her fortieth birthday speeding towards her like a freight train, she wonders if she should. The fear of a slowing metabolism, wrinkling of her skin, and the ticking of her biological clock leaves Maggie torn between a desire to settle down like most of her similarly-aged peers and concern that all is not perfect in her existing relationship. When a spontaneous request for a temporary "break" from her live-in boyfriend results in a "break-up," Maggie finds herself single once again and only twelve months from the big 4.0. In the profound yet bumpy year that follows, Maggie will learn, sometimes painfully, that life doesn't always happen on a schedule, there are no deadlines in love, and age really is just a number.

Meredith Schorr, best-selling author of light women's fiction, digs deep in her newest novel and raises the age old issue of the 'proverbial clock' that haunts many women, in a way that is refreshing and sassy no matter your age or relationship status.

My Review:
So excited this is a series.  I loved everything about this book.  I felt the characters were fleshed out amazingly, the story funny and touching, the plot engaging and original.  What a treat this book is and we get more installments!!!  I just adored Maggie...I could be her friend.  I want her to be my friend. Schorr really knows who to draw a reader in and how to keep them glued to the page.  Bravo Ms. Schorr, Bravo!!!  5 stars

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Saving Grace

Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue.  To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true. This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation, and even her sanity.  With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late.

Powerful and riveting, Jane Green's Saving Grace will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow Grace on her harrowing journey to rock bottom and back.
 

My Review:
This book was such a great read.  I had a really hard time putting it down.  It was so well written that there were times that I felt like I was going a bit mad.  Whose perception of events were the true and accurate?   How would it end?  How can this all be happening?  I would love to see this book made into a movie!  I was pulled in the story and, at times, would yell out loud at the characters while reading.  Man, such fun this book was and I have to say that I LOVED how it ended.  I won't give anything away, but WOW! 4.5 stars

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Another Night, Another Day

Three people, each crying out for help.There’s Karen, about to lose her father; Abby, whose son has autism and needs constant care, and Michael, a family man on the verge of bankruptcy. As each sinks under the strain, they’re brought together at Moreland’s Clinic.Here, behind closed doors, they reveal their deepest secrets, confront and console one another, and share plenty of laughs. But how will they cope when a new crisis strikes? From the international bestselling author, Sarah Rayner, Another Night, Another Day is the emotional story of a group of strangers who come together to heal, creating lifelong friendships along the way.

My Review:
I love when writers tackle subjects that are worth writing about, but I really love it when they pull it off brilliantly.   Rayner captures the truths in such a compelling way.  She adds in the human side, she creates the realness and included the good the bad and the ugly side of mental illness.  You cannot help but root for the characters, become attached and hope for nothing but the best for a happy outcome for all.  What an emotional read, but so well done!  4 stars

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House Broken

In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family.…
 
For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.
 
Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.
 
Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.


My Review: 
First, I am IN LOVE with this book cover.  Are you kidding me with this cuteness?!?!  But don't be fooled...what is contained inside this novel is gritty truth and human conditions mingling together to create an interesting and captivating story.  There is so much depth to the story and each character feels like they need to be there, like it all just fits so well together!!!  What a great read! 4.5 stars

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Secret of a Thousand Beauties

Set against the vibrant and intrigue-laden backdrop of 1930s China, Mingmei Yip's enthralling novel explores one woman's defiant pursuit of independence.

Spring Swallow was promised in marriage while still in her mother's belly. When the groom dies before a wedding can take place, seventeen-year-old Spring Swallow is ordered to become a ghost bride to appease his spirit. Under her in-laws' protection, she will be little more than a servant, unable to know real love or bear children. Refusing to accept her fate as a "bad-luck woman," Spring Swallow flees on her wedding day. 
In the city of Soochow, Spring Swallow joins a community of renowned embroiderers. The women work for Aunty Peony, whose exquisite stitching once earned her the Emperor's love. But when Aunty Peony agrees to replicate a famous painting--a lucrative assignment that will take a year to complete--betrayal and jealousy emerges within the group. Spring Swallow becomes entangled in each woman's story of heartbreak, even while she embarks on a dangerous affair with a young revolutionary. On a journey that leads from the remote hillsides around Soochow to cosmopolitan Peking, Spring Swallow draws on the secret techniques learned from Aunty Peony and her own indomitable strength, determined to forge a life that is truly her own. 
My Review:
Secret of a Thousand Beauties combines an interesting story with the unique history of China in the 1930s.  With the authors unusual and sparse writing style, Mingmei Yip creates a one of a kind reading experience.  I found the whole story, style and approach to telling the story be be very original.   A reader could connect to the characters and enjoy it, but for me it fell just a bit short.  I enjoyed it, but something was missing for me, but I cannot place what it was.  3 stars

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Did You Know That I Love You?

Did you know that I love you?

Could you feel it in my hugs?

From her soft kisses and soothing hugs to her tasty tea and warming mug, Bird sweetly expresses her love to Fox so he knows that no matter how big he gets or where he goes, she is always with him.

Through delightfully endearing illustrations, debut author-illustrator Christa Pierce creates a whimsical tale that will have every reader feeling loved and cherished.

Watch a video HERE

My Review:
I love this book.  I have started reading it to my boys before bed.  What is a better than going to bed with visions of unconditional love dancing in your head.  The story combined with the the beautiful illustrations with draw in any reader.  I love that you can add voices to the characters and make it loving, silly and fun.  What a great book to create a class around.  I plan to make this book into a lesson for Valentine's Day!  5 lovable stars!


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Have I Told You Today How Much I Love You?

My Review:
This is a cute book, not only about love, but also about measurement.  My son enjoyed this book because he was just learning about measuring in school.  This will also be a fun book to turn into a lesson in my Art Through Stories class. 4 stars



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