author: Andrea Dunlop
Andrea Dunlop takes you off on an adventure many can only dream about; a new life in the beautiful world of Buenos Aires. The circumstances leading up to this new life are all but haunting and the harder Liz tries to run from this, the quicker it seems to catch back up. Can she escape the monster in her past? Can those that knew her in the “before” ever accept her and love her again?
It took me a bit to decide on what to rate this novel. I loved that it wasn’t a slow burn before you ever even saw a glimpse of what was to come, yet it didn’t divulge the exciting details all at once. Dunlop gives us a side-by-side narrative of both the lives of one girl, Katie Cleary and Liz Sullivan, fine-tuning her ability to give you just enough excitement to keep you moving along but also a slow enough pace to let you enjoy the new lifestyle Liz created and to immerse yourself into her new world. It was a beautiful cat-and-mouse game that most authors do not play with.
I gave this book 3.5 stars due to the fact that I feel like this book could have had a lot more depth in the characters. I feel like towards the end the plot got thinner and the characters got more glossed over in order to finish the story.
I would still recommend this book as it was an enjoyable read, and I feel like it is a good book to read another book along side of if you are that kind of reader.
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author: Katherine Center
publisher: St. Martins Press
A book with a story to tell that hasn’t settled on what type it wants to be is a little how I felt about How to Walk Away. If I had to pick, I would say it was a combination of Contemporary Fiction (aka Family Drama-lite-) meets Women’s Fiction meets Chick-Lit and it truly doesn’t know who it wants to be.
I toyed back and forth with giving this a 4 star review, a 3 star, or somewhere in the middle and landed on 3 stars. Here’s why..
The 4 stars of this book
There were a LOT of goosebumps going on. There were truly some good, deep moments where I genuinely appreciated the author’s writing. She didn’t always tie a neat bow at the end of everything (almost, but not always and certainly not on the most important part). She, many times, made me feel like this was true to life in some ways. SOME ways.
The 3 stars
I could technically claim 2.5 stars on some of this stuff but I’ll give it 3 because this IS chick-lit(ish) and so I need to be fair and judge off that. But there were too many times, in my opinion, where the author made it far too simple. A lot of glossing over of emotions, accepting things for what they are, and certain unemotional responses to where there should be something. She always made sure to throw it in there, it wasn’t just some emotional empty hole, but it was like “oh yeah and I was pissed. See me throw this. Okay we’re good now .I told you I was angry , let’s move on.” And She didn’t seem to stay consistent within that.
Overall, for the first time ever, I think I understand now when people say an author manipulated their emotions. I don’t feel like Katherine Center necessarily manipulated me but I do feel like instead of making this a great story just by excellent writing (which I know she is no doubt capable of), it was a good story based mostly off all the feels the book gave you. That was the heart of it. I don’t want that in a book. I want it to be real.
All this to say I will still pick up the next book Katherine Center writes. She is a good writer and I’m looking forward to seeing more of what she has to offer. Thank you for the work you do!
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author: Fredrick Backman
publisher: Atria Books
Fredrik Backman writes a short on all the hilarious, anxiety-ridden, fearful and confusing moments of being a parent. He starts off with the lightest of humors and morphs along the way, carrying with him a plethora of “been there” and “what were you thinking” stories, some of which that will have you surprising yourself in fits of laughter. True to the Backman way.
“Maybe you don’t even want to do a sport. You might want to play golf instead! And that’s all right too!”
(haha. Sorry to all you golfers reading this…)
He points out the less thought of but oh so true nature of humanity…
“Sometimes we have to get rid of stuff to make room for new stuff, and then we start to miss the old stuff so much that we have to build new stuff that pretends to be the old stuff.”
…highlights the confusion of illogical ideas behind children toys…
“The worst crap is actually the crap we bought before you were even born. Like a toy sheep containing a speaker that was meant to simulate “whale song” and help you sleep better. Why wasn’t that crap shaped like a whale? Huh? That still bothers me.”
…has a few hilarious, laugh-out-loud moments that I absolutely will not spoil… you just have to read the book…
…and then manages to end with a twist of a story that might have you in tears, especially if you have ever experienced anything remotely like what he experienced. Again, I will not spoil this moment. You have to read it for yourself…
Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books and Fredrik Backman for this ARC.
“Your mother loves nothing in this life as much as she loves dancing, and she chose to share her time on Earth with a man she can’t dance with without seriously fearing for her safety. She chose me. And then you came along. And you love music. And when you dance, you and she… If I could only choose one single moment to live inside for all eternity, it would be that. I can’t tell you anything about love. Nothing more than that.”
(my only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was because the beginning of the book was very repetitive. It felt like fillers. But the book truly grew and he did a fantastic job showing us the Fredrik Backman we know and love in all his books. Thankful for such a talented writer and for his family, supporting him for all the world to get to enjoy.)