Sunday, April 7, 2013

Get Ready for Summer with the Girls

All the Summer GirlsAll the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue is the perfect poolside book for the summer! Sometimes all you want to do is immerse yourself into someone else's life. With this book, I was able to completely lose myself in the lives of three friends hoping to reconnect with each other after years of avoided conversations and presumed betrayals have seemed to tear them apart. I have to admit that the plot line was a bit predictable but it's forgivable. Any book that I can't wait to pick up and start reading again is a winner and well worth referring.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

One Step Too Far is Just Right!

If you are desperate for a new book to put on your must-read list, One Step Too Far ticks all the boxes. April 15 is the publication release date for this provocative and enticing read, so you won't have to wait long. This is the story of a woman who feels she can only face a tragic event in her life by walking away from everyone she loves and completely refashioning her life.

The book's setting is in England and,much to my fancy, is written in typical British slang. Although I am a Midwest girl, I am also a glutton for British sayings. Not a day goes by when shat, bugger, nutter or bloody hell doesn't fall from my lips, so right there my credibility with some of you may be shot to bloody hell, but no matter. 

One Step Too Far is intriguing and the ending, I am ashamed to say, caught me off-guard. I do feel that the end of the second part of the book into the third became a little gratuitous as if the author were trying to live out her own fantasy. There were just parts that seemed so unbelievable; however, that is what fiction is all about, right? So, perhaps I shouldn't be so quick too judge. But overall, I loved this book and couldn't put it down. 

Check it out April 15, 2013. Thank you, NetGalley and Kirk Parolles Publishing for allowing me the pleasure to read this book. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Whistling Past the Graveyard

Stars: 3.5

Here is my Saturday evening book review! I announce this like I write a book review every Saturday when, let's be honest, some weeks I barely have enough time to read the stop sign at the end of my street. But, tonight I have a book to share with you.

Whistling Past the Graveyard, by Susan Crandall is the perfect mid-summer read for the beach or poolside reader wanting to escape back to Mississippi,1963. Crandall presents Starla, a fiery, red-headed 9 year old who doesn't like being told what to do or who to love. After a Fourth of July incident has her fearing reform school, Starla runs away to Nashville in search of the mother who abandoned her. Along the way Starla meets Eula who has her own set of troubles that soon include Starla.

I hate spoilers, so I won't be giving away any plot lines here. What I will share with you is that this a good coming-of-age novel that could have been a great opportunity to shed light on the racial tension during the 1960's. Unfortunately, it fell quite a bit short for me. The story moved along swiftly and the characters were believable, but at times when Crandall could have gone very deep, she only skirted the surface. In this way, the book was disappointing.

However, I enjoyed the characters Crandall created, especially Starla. Even though the book did not explore the core themes as much as I would have preferred, it is a touching, heart-breaking, at times hilarious  account of a young girl learning life's lessons of love and loss a little too soon. Put this on your summer reading list.

Whistling Past the Graveyard, by Susan Crandall is set to be available for public availability on July 2, 2013. Thank you, NetGalley for allowing me the pleasure of reading an advanced copy. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Burn Palace - Review

It always feels wonderful to have finished a good book. The Burn Palace by Stephen Dobyns is no exception. This is the first review I have attempted in a long time and, truth be told, I have contemplated this review for over a week.

First, for those of you who are new to my style of reviewing I will share this with you. I do not believe in revealing spoilers. Feel free to keep reading. I won't give anything away. I promise.

Secondly, my word is not divine. Even though I often believe I am right and the rest of the world is full of nonsense, I know that that isn't really true. So, take this or leave it. If a book sounds interesting to you, try it out and prove me wrong.

Okay . . . onto the review.

Overall, I give this book 3 stars. The plot was decent and the characters intrigued me, however sometimes I felt there were just too many characters in this book. I couldn't always keep up with them. Of course, it took me a while to read the book, which could have contributed to the disjointed nature I felt the novel presented.

The dialogue was lacking for me, however there was one phrase in the prose that stayed with me for the remainder of the novel. I enjoy books that offer a perspective I have never contemplated before and this one phrase provided that unique perspective.

". . . here was the victim and here was the horror, and the one stood beside the other like a man next to an elephant."

Does this phrase resonate with you and the different tragedies that may affect your daily lives? It forced me to consider that sometimes the tragedy, like a school shooting, takes on a persona all of its own, separate and apart from the actual incidence. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Amateur Wisdom

Every day I am reminded that I am failing to live up to my potential to be the writer that I know I am destined to be. There are a million reasons why I make both conscious and subconscious reasons to continue to sabotage my progress. I won't bore you. However, all it takes it watching other people living out their dream; taking ordinary words and stringing them together in such a way that they create an intricate tale that entices the reader to say, "Just one more page," to make me quiver with fear that I will never realize that success.

Then I look in the mirror and say, "Screw that!" I am a success. Yeah, you didn't see that one coming, did you? Sure, my novel has been a perpetual rough draft for way too long. But I have penned words. I have created an imaginary place with characters the breathe deep inside the recesses of my soul and to me that is success on a personal level. Some may say psychotic, too. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Therefore, this post is for all of my creative friends who have ever felt they do not measure up to their definition of success or another person's definition of achievement. Too much creative time is wasted on comparing yourself to others. Stay devoted to your passion and success will find you!

And, while you are mulling over that little bit of amateur wisdom check out this wonderful quote by Madeline L'Engle that I found over at the Write on Edge community.