Blog Tour: This Is Not The End by Chandler Baker (Chrissy’s review)

This Is Not The End
written by Chandler Baker
published by Disney-Hyperion, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did. I read this book every free chance I had and finished it in a few hours. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that fast.

This Is Not The End is a future-ish story (the timeframe isn’t specified, but it fits in today’s world) where scientists have developed the ability to resurrect someone who has died. You can only resurrect one person on your 18th birthday, though. So, there are a lot of decisions and ethics and other factors that come into play.

Lake Devereaux tells us her story from the perspective of how many days until her 18th birthday . . . the day she must choose whether to resurrect someone and, if she chooses to do so, whom to resurrect. After surviving a horrific car accident, Lake has to decide between her best friend, her boyfriend, and one other person. Can you imagine? She learns a lot about those closest to her. I liked Lake. She wasn’t weak, but she had a lot to learn, and at times she was a bit naive, but I thought she was a great character. I didn’t like her parents throughout most of the book, but I could kind of understand what they were going through. I understood even more as Lake learned more. I really didn’t like her brother Matt for most of the story. He had some great moments, though. All the characters played their roles well.

I don’t want to give away too much of this great story, so I will just say that this book grabbed from the first page and didn’t let me go until the end.

 

 

Would I recommend it? Yes!

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
I wonder if for the rest of my life, I’ll be haunted by beautiful days.

On one cloudless, radiant summer afternoon, Lake Devereaux lost everything. The car crash claimed the lives of her best friend and boyfriend, the people who had become her family after her own fell apart. But she doesn’t have to lose them both.

The development of resurrection technology has changed the world. Under the new laws regulating the process, each person gets one resurrection to be used or forfeited on their eighteenth birthday. Mere weeks away from turning eighteen, Lake faces an impossible choice.

Envisioning life without one of the people she loves most is shattering enough, but Lake carries an additional burden: years ago, under family pressure, Lake secretly—and illegally—promised her resurrection to someone who isn’t even dead yet.

The search for answers about her future draws Lake more deeply into the secrets of her past until she begins to question everything about those closest to her. Betrayals and hurts both new and old threaten to eclipse the memories she once cherished.

Then Lake meets a boy unlike anyone she’s encountered before, who unflinchingly embraces the darkest parts of her life . . . and who believes that all resurrections are wrong.

Which path is the right one? And how can Lake start to heal when she can’t move on?

 

 

 

About the author: Chandler Baker grew up in Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania, and studied law at the University of Texas. She now lives in Austin with her husband, though her heart remains at the beach. She strongly believes that writing quality improves vastly if done while staring out at a large body of water and daydreaming. Chandler is the author of the young adult thriller Alive, as well as the High School Horror series.

Find Ms. Baker here: web, Twitter, Goodreads

 

Happy 2

 

Pop-Up Blog Tour: Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza (Chrissy’s review)

Fitness Junkie
written by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza
published by Doubleday, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I did enjoy this book. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but once I got into it, I just had to laugh while reading most of it. Some of it made me mad, some parts made me upset. But it was a good read overall.

Fitness Junkie is a satire novel that pretty much makes fun of every fad diet and exercise program out there. Yes, exercise and diet are important, but you have to admit that some of the fads out there are just ridiculous. This book highlights some of the ridiculousness. As for the characters, they weren’t bad. I didn’t like Beau at all. I thought he was a pretentious ass. Janey was a good character, but I wanted more from her. More fight against Beau and his ridiculous request. Janey’s fitness friends were okay. Some had some bad quirks and habits, especially when they start worrying about their toddlers’ weights. Not cool in my book. However, from that same mom came my favorite line, which popped up at the end of chapter 24.

 

All in all, the story moved but there wasn’t a lot of meat to it. I kind of wanted more about Janey’s business role and I would have loved more confrontation in the end, not just the ending that occurred.

 

 

Would I recommend it? Yes, this is a fun summer read that will give you a few laughs.

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads:
 From the bestselling authors of The Knockoff, an outrageously funny novel about one woman’s attempt–through clay diets, naked yoga, green juice, and cultish workout classes–to win back her career, save her best friend, and lose thirty pounds.

When Janey Sweet, CEO of a couture wedding dress company, is photographed in the front row of a fashion show eating a bruffin–the delicious lovechild of a brioche and a muffin–her best friend and business partner, Beau, gives her an ultimatum: Lose thirty pounds or lose your job. Sure, Janey has gained some weight since her divorce, and no, her beautifully cut trousers don’t fit like they used to, so Janey throws herself headlong into the world of the fitness revolution, signing up for a shockingly expensive workout pass, baring it all for Free the Nipple yoga, sweating through boot camp classes run by Sri Lankan militants and spinning to the screams of a Lycra-clad instructor with rage issues. At a juice shop she meets Jacob, a cute young guy who takes her dumpster-diving outside Whole Foods on their first date. At a shaman’s tea ceremony she meets Hugh, a silver fox who holds her hand through an ayahuasca hallucination And at a secret exercise studio Janey meets Sara Strong, the wildly popular workout guru whose special dance routine has starlets and wealthy women flocking to her for results that seem too good to be true. As Janey eschews delicious carbs, pays thousands of dollars to charlatans, and is harassed by her very own fitness bracelet, she can’t help but wonder: Did she really need to lose weight in the first place?

A hilarious send-up of the health and wellness industry, Fitness Junkie is a glorious romp through the absurd landscape of our weight-obsessed culture.

 

Happy 2

 

Summer Reading Challenge 2017: The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor (Chrissy’s review)

 

The Shark Club
written by Ann Kidd Taylor
published by Viking, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did enjoy The Shark Club. I read it every free chance I had and couldn’t put it down.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a marine biologist, and I happen to love watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, so I was so excited to read this book. The Shark Club has marine biologists, sharks, a hotel with rooms based on authors, a chef, and a precocious 6-year-old who loves sea life and prehistoric animals! This book has so many things I love. The love stories/triangles worked well. I loved Maeve’s relationship with her grandmother and with Hazel, the founding member of The Shark Club. And the men in her life are great characters, each different and distinct.

This book left me with a smile and a warm, giddy feeling. I loved the whole book, especially the ending.

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely. This is a great summer read!

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
A warm and wonderfully vivid novel about taking second chances—in life and in the sea

One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.

While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.

 

 

Happy 2

 

Summer Reading Challenge 2017: July Books and a Giveaway!

 

This month brought some really great reads for BookSparks’s Summer Reading Challenge! Check out these awesome book boxes and books!

 

 

A Game of Ghosts
written by John Connolly
published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Internationally bestselling author John Connolly returns with another superb fusion of noir and the supernatural (My Bookish Ways) in this latest thriller in his gripping Charlie Parker series.

It is deep winter and the darkness is unending. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker is assigned to track him down. Parker s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts…”

 

 

The Captain’s Daughter
written by Meg Mitchell Moore
published by Doubleday Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub comes an emotionally gripping novel about a woman who returns to her hometown in coastal Maine and finds herself pondering the age-old question of what could have been.

Growing up in Little Harbor, Maine, the daughter of a widowed lobsterman, Eliza Barnes could haul a trap and row a skiff with the best of them. But she always knew she’d leave that life behind. Now that she’s married, with two kids and a cushy front-row seat to suburban country club gossip in an affluent Massachusetts town, she feels adrift.

When her father injures himself in a boating accident, Eliza pushes the pause button on her own life to come to his aid. But when she arrives in Maine, she discovers her father’s situation is more dire than he let on. Eliza’s homecoming is further complicated by the reemergence of her first love–and memories of their shared secret. Then Eliza meets Mary Brown, a seventeen-year-old local who is at her own crossroad, and Eliza can’t help but wonder what her life would have been like if she’d stayed.

Filled with humor, insight, summer cocktails, and gorgeous sunsets, The Captain’s Daughter is a compassionate novel about the life-changing choices we make and the consequences we face in their aftermath.

 

 

 

Eden
written by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Becca Meister Fitzpatrick–wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community–is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel–with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship–will react.

Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family–her parents’ beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named “Eden.”

 

 

A Work of Art
written by Micayla Lally
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Letting go after her abrupt break-up with Samson is harder than Julene thought it would be, especially since her ex has wasted no time in burying himself in the local dating scene. But during an extended visit to her parents overseas, Julene rediscovers her love of art, and a burgeoning career develops. Samson, on the other hand, after trying valiantly–and unsuccessfully–to forget Julene, has settled instead on his own new career. 

When Julene returns home to Australia, a coincidental meeting leads to an emotional reunion–but her love and patience will be tested when she finds out just how busy Samson has been in her absence. Yes, they have both made mistakes they can work through and move past–but when a specter from Samson’s past looms, Julene wonders: Can she trust him again?

 

 

American Family
written by Catherine Marshall-Smith
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Richard and Michael, both three years sober, have just decided to celebrate their love by moving in together when Richard driven by the desire to do the right thing for his ten-year-old-daughter, Brady, whom he has never met impulsively calls his former father-in-law to connect with her. With that phone call, he jeopardizes the one good thing he has his relationship with Michael and also threatens the world of the fundamentalist Christian grandparents who love Brady and see her as payback from God for the alcohol-related death of her mother. Unable to reach an agreement, the two parties hire lawyers who have agendas far beyond the interests of the families and Brady is initially trusted into Richard and Michael s care. But when the judge learns that the young girl was present when a questionable act took place while in their custody, she returns Brady to her grandparents. Ultimately, it s not until further tragedy strikes that both families are finally motivated to actually act in the best interests of the child.”

 

 

The Shark Club
written by Ann Kidd Taylor
published by Viking, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

My review of this fantastic read will be up tomorrow!

About the book – from Goodreads: A warm and wonderfully vivid novel about taking second chances—in life and in the sea

One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.

While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.

 

 

Hello, Sunshine 
written byLaura Dave
published by Simon Schuster, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.

And then she gets hacked.

When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.

 

 

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Happy 2

 

Blog Tour: Shadow by Colleen Oakes (Chrissy’s review)

 

Shadow (Wendy Darling, Vol. 3)
written by Colleen Oakes
published by SparkPress, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did. The Wendy Darling series is a fantastic series that gives a different glimpse into the Neverland world. You can read my reviews of Stars and Seas at the links provided.

I don’t want to spoil Stars and Seas, or Shadow for that matter, so my review will be on the vague side. Read those books, then this one. Seriously.

Shadow had me staying up WAY past my bedtime reading. I had to know how this story ended. The emotions were there, and dang it if Ms. Oakes didn’t have me tearing up again. (I’m telling you, I don’t cry during books, movies, etc. But man, this one had me misty-eyed just like Seas.) Seriously, I was on the edge of my seat. I was heartbroken. I was happy. I was every emotion at some point. Some questions were answered; some hopes were dashed.

Shadow is a fitting end to this fabulous Peter Pan retelling. Am I satisfied with the finale? Yes. Do I wish for more? Absolutely. But, sadly, all stories must end sometime.

 

 

Would I recommend it? Yes, but definitely read the first two books first. Seas is my favorite.

 

Chrissy

About the book: 
Wendy Darling has found herself once again in the arms of charming Peter Pan, the god-child who desires power above all things. This time, though, Wendy burns not with passion but with a secret: with Hook as her ally, she is there to defeat the evil that lies inside of Peter, the evil that holds all Neverland hostage—the Shadow.

To do this, Wendy must quietly undo Peter from inside his heart while at the same time convincing Tink to betray the twisted love that binds them together. This is a task made nearly impossible by the arrival of Booth, her sweetheart from London and a new pawn in Peter’s manipulative game—a boy whose heart she must break in order to save his life.

As all of Neverland prepares to fight, Wendy races to untangle Peter’s connection to the Shadow, a secret long buried in the Forsaken Garden. When the time comes, pirates, mermaids, Lost Boys, and the Darling family will all rise—but if Wendy can’t call the Shadow, they will all be destroyed by Peter’s dark soul. War has come to paradise, and Neverland will never be the same.

 

 

Happy 2

 

Summer Reading Challenge 2017: The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

 

The Best of Adam SharpThe Best of Adam Sharp
written by Graeme Simsion
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksTargetWalmartBook DepositoryGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
It’s a good read. Simsion’s prose is lovely, and his characters are full and round and flawed and REAL. I’ve been thinking a lot about the complexity of relationships lately–about why people make the choices they make–and though this plot is a bit more exciting than everyday, the messages still translate: There are different kinds of love; they’re all valid. Choosing to spend your life with someone is just that–a choice. One you must make over and over and over again, constantly. The relationships between Simsion’s characters are spot-on, and while there are just a few too many lyrical references for my taste, I suppose it fits for a book about a pianist. The Best of Adam Sharp is a solid novel. I enjoyed it.

GOLDEN LINES

“They were deep into a conversation about tactics for defending a drunk-driving charge, and Angelina managed to convey without words that she was pleased that I had come and if I could put up with her friends’ rudeness in not pausing to let her introduce me, she would do so in due course. Although she might like to contribute to the discussion first. And, in the meantime, don’t go away.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: It’s certainly an interesting story.

 

Melissa

 

About the book – from Goodreads:

From the #1 bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, an unforgettable new novel about lost love and second chances

On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT.

But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?

 

 

Happy 2

 

Blog Tour: The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan (Chrissy’s review)

 

The Lake Effect
written by Erin McCahan
published by Dial Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I did enjoy The Lake Effect. It was a great read for summer.

The Lake Effect is a fun story about a high school graduate spending the summer helping an elderly Serbian woman who just needs some companionship . . . and someone to accompany her to “her” funerals. I loved that she attended funerals of all kinds, even for those she didn’t know. Not an expected summer activity for Briggs, but it meant a lot to Mrs. B. Mrs. B was perfect for Briggs, and Briggs was perfect for Mrs. B. They made a great match. He really cared about her, too. Briggs did have a hard time fitting in with the locals on some occasions, but he made some great friendships. I didn’t care for Briggs’s parents at all, especially his dad. He never seemed to actually listen to his son or his wife or his own mother. It was frustrating and sad. Grandma Ruth was a good woman, and I really liked how her story ended in the book.

This book will leave you with a smile for sure.

 

 

Would I recommend it? Sure! It is a great read for the beach this summer.

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
lake effect | n.
The effect of any lake, especially the Great Lakes, in modifying the weather in nearby areas

It’s the summer after his senior year, and driven, focused Briggs Henry is ready to leave behind his ex-girlfriend, his comically aggressive grandmother, and his parents’ money troubles for Lake Michigan and its miles of sandy beaches. He’s lined up a summer job working as a personal assistant and living in a gorgeous Victorian on the water—exactly the kind of house Briggs plans to buy his parents once he’s a multi-millionaire. But when he arrives, his boss, the eccentric Mrs. Bosic, tells him to get dressed for her funeral. Uh . . . It’s the first of many funerals they’ll attend this summer—to hilarious and eye-opening effect. Add to this a new set of friends-cum-enemies-cum-friends-again, and Abigail, the mysterious girl next door on whom Briggs’s charms repeatedly fail, and “the lake effect” is beginning to take on a whole new meaning.

“Refreshingly honest and real. Every one of Erin McCahan’s characters rings perfectly unique and true — you’ll laugh with them, struggle with them, and you’ll seriously hate to leave them when the book is over. An absolute must-read.” — Elise Allen, NYT bestselling co-author of Elixir

“The rare book that fills you with delight from the first page to the last. THE LAKE EFFECT is funny and witty and a little bit sad and every word glows with brilliance.” — Francisco X. Storkauthor of Marcelo in the Real World

“This is an unforgettable story about a boy who thinks he’s got his future figured out, a girl who knows what she wants but is scared to get it, and a little adorable Serbian woman calling all the shots. THE LAKE EFFECT will pull you in like the waves of a lake and won’t let you go until the last satisfying page!” — Stephanie Elliot, author of Sad Perfect

 

 

About the author: Erin McCahan is a native Michigander who grew up on the beaches of Grand Haven and Macatawa. Now a resident of landlocked New Albany, Ohio, she and her husband return every summer to North Beach in South Haven, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Look for them under the red-and-white-striped umbrella.

Find Ms. McCahan here: web, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

 

Happy 2

 

Pop-Up Blog Tour: Arboria Park by Kate Tyler Wall (Chrissy’s review)

Arboria Park
written by Kate Tyler Wall
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did enjoy this book. It kind of reminded me of the TV series The Wonder Years and the movie, The ’60s, that starred Julia Stiles and Jerry O’Connell.

The story follows Stacy Halloran and her family through the years from after World War II to almost present day. It is a story of changing neighborhoods, society, cultures, music, and people. Some people never change, while others do. It was like listening to the family stories during a reunion. Or going to a class reunion and reminiscing about the old school and neighborhoods. I loved that Stacy’s family was so different and multi-everything. And I loved that Stacy supported all of them. There were so many changes that occurred, but Stacy remained the same, supportive sibling/daughter/mother/aunt/friend/neighbor throughout.

Arboria Park isn’t groundbreaking or overly emotional or anything like that, but it is a good story that kept me reading.

 

Would I recommend it: Sure. It is a good, lazy summer read.

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
Stacy Halloran has lived most of her life in 1950s-era housing development Arboria Park. But her beloved neighborhood may not survive much longer. 

Despite her parents’ entreaties to “stay in the yard where it’s safe,” the Park is where young Stacy roams in quest of “real life.” Through her wanderings, she learns about the area’s agricultural history; meets people from backgrounds different than her own; watches her siblings develop interracial and same-sex relationships; helps launch the local punk-rock scene; and finally, settles as a wife and mother. As the neighborhood declines (along with her relationship with her mother), Stacy considers moving on to rescue herself and her daughter. But then a massive highway project threatens the ever-resilient Park–and it’s Stacy’s task to rally family, friends, and neighbors to save it.

 

 

Happy 2

 

Summer Reading Challenge 2017: June Books and a Giveaway!

 

Every Last Lie
written by Mary Kubica
published by Park Row Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

I’m reading this one now. It starts off with a heartbreaking car crash. What a way to start a book!

About the book – from Goodreads: New York Times bestselling author of THE GOOD GIRL, Mary Kubica is back with another exhilarating thriller as a widow’s pursuit of the truth leads her to the darkest corners of the psyche.

“The bad man, Daddy. The bad man is after us.” 

Clara Solberg’s world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident…until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened on that fateful afternoon.

Tormented by grief and her obsession that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out—and the truth is only the beginning of this twisted tale of secrets and deceit.

Told in the alternating perspectives of Clara’s investigation and Nick’s last months leading up to the crash, master of suspense Mary Kubica weaves her most chilling thriller to date—one that explores the dark recesses of a mind plagued by grief and shows that some secrets might be better left buried.

 

 

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
written by Taylor Jenkins Reid
published by Atria Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

You can read my review here!

About the book – from Goodreads: From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

 

 

The Rules of Half 
written by Jenna Patrick
published by SparkPress, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Walmart, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: If Will Fletcher’s severe bipolar disorder isn’t proof he shouldn’t be a parent, his infant daughter’s grave is. Once a happily married, successful veterinarian, he now lives with his sister and thrives as the small-town crazy of Half Moon Hollow. But when a fifteen-year-old orphan claims she’s his daughter, Will is forced back into the role he fears most: fatherhood. Her biological dad isn’t the hero Regan Whitmer hoped for, but he’s better than her abusive stepfather back in Chicago. Still haunted by her mother’s suicide and the rebellious past she fears led to it, Regan is desperate for a stable home and a normal family–things Will can’t offer. Can she ride the highs and lows of his illness to find a new definition of family? The Rules of Halfexplores what it is to be an atypical family in a small town and to be mentally ill in the wake of a tragedy–and who has the right to determine both.

 

 

The Half-Life of Remorse
written by Grant Jarrett
published by SparkPress, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: When two vagrants meet on the streets of Muncie, Indiana, they are both unaware that their paths crossed years before. Chic, crude and uneducated, is convinced that Sam is nothing more than a harmless lunatic, and Sam, emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized by events long past, regards Chic as just another denizen of the street. But Chic has spent his adult life trying to purge his soul of the brutal crime he committed as a teenager―the same botched burglary that resulted in the deaths of Sam’s wife and son. Meanwhile, Sam’s daughter Claire is still unable to give up hope that her father might someday reappear. When these three lives converge, the puzzle of the past gradually falls together, but redemption commands a high price, and what is revealed will test the limits of love and challenge the human capacity for forgiveness.

 

 

Proof
written by C.E. Tobisman
published by Thomas & Mercer, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: In this gripping sequel to C.E. Tobisman’s legal thriller Doubt, techie turned attorney Caroline Auden struggles to move on with her life after her last case nearly destroyed her career.

Still haunted by the betrayal that forced her to leave a prestigious law firm, Caroline Auden struggles to keep her fledgling practice afloat—and her paranoia in check. When her grandmother dies, she mourns losing the only constant in her life. But grief soon turns to suspicion when she discovers her grandmother left her entire estate—including a valuable antique watch, the family’s sole heirloom—to a charity called Oasis Care. On the surface, Oasis helps society’s outcasts, like Caroline’s alcoholic, homeless uncle. But as she digs deeper, Caroline uncovers a sinister plot that sends her running for her life on the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.

Plunged into a world of addicts and broken souls and operating without a phone or a computer, Caroline finds sanctuary with her uncle and a ragtag group of outcasts while building evidence for her case. As she sifts through the shadowy world of the Goliath nonprofit, Caroline is also forced to confront her own dark shadows, casting doubt on her ability—and her sanity.

 

 

Last Seen (Dr. Pepper Hunt #1)
written by J.L. Doucette
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Psychologist and police consultant Dr. Pepper Hunt, struggling to deal with the murder of her husband, leaves the private practice they shared and relocates to Wyoming. There, in the stark landscape of the high desert, there is nothing to remind her of everything she lost and left behind. Then her new patient, Kimi Benally, goes missing in a Wyoming blizzard after her last therapy session — making Pepper the last person to see her.

She knows the secrets Kimi shared in therapy hold clues to her mysterious disappearance, and she joins forces with Detective Beau Antelope to try to discover what’s happened to her. But as she follows the trail of Kimi’s obsession with the past, Pepper begins to fear the worst for her missing patient–and her own haunted memories surface.

 

 

The People We Hate at the Wedding
written by Grant Cinder
published by Flatiron Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, Book Depository, Goodreads

I can’t wait to read this one!

About the book – from Goodreads: Relationships are awful. They’ll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life.

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Chrissy’s review)

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
written by Taylor Jenkins Reid
published by Atria Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I did enjoy Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest release, but not as much as I have loved Ms. Reid’s other books. It was a departure from her usual style, in my opinion, but it was a decent story.

As I mentioned, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a different style from Ms. Reid’s other books, but it was a story that kept me turning pages. I have to say I didn’t find Evelyn’s story that surprising or heartwarming or intriguing. It read like a lot of other celebrity biographies . . . a lot of information and background but no real depth or feeling. I didn’t feel for Evelyn. I didn’t really like her. But I think that was the point. Evelyn didn’t want the readers to like her, and she made that clear from the beginning.

However, I wanted to know why Evelyn chose Monique to write her biography. Why did she choose a relatively new writer to release her story? I also would have liked to know more about Monique. We learned a little bit along the way, but I wanted to know more.

So, while I did enjoy Evelyn’s story, I don’t think it had the emotional punch or thought-provoking situations that Ms. Reid’s other books had. And I missed that.

 

Would I recommend it? If you are a Hollywood fan or a fan of Ms. Reid, then I would recommend this book, but not as your first Taylor Jenkins Reid book. Start with any of her previous books.

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

 

 

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