Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Review: A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alice Pearse is faced with a dilemma when her husband decides to leave his job. She leaver her part-time job that she really enjoys to find full-time work. She thinks that she may have found the perfect job(I would think so too) getting to work with books all day long. It's a dream come true. Unfortunately, this job also comes at a time when there is so much going on in her personal life. Will Alice be able to still be present for her family as well as her new job? Will this job live up to the excitement that was offered to her at the beginning, or will things change?

I was very enthusiastic to read this book. Imagine a job where all you do is read books and talk to publishers all day long. That is my dream job. The story moved very slowly for me. Taking me 10 days to read this book, and I wasn't drawn to it in my down time to pick it up, although I was curious to find out the outcome of the book. The second half moved along a bit quicker for me.

The thing that really drew me to this book was the main character Alice. She is a book lover and her job is to read and vet books for a new concept of bookstore. Who wouldn't want a job like that, especially as a book lover. I'm not sure why is always seems that when one thing is going right in your life, other things seem to go terribly wrong. Alice is faced with many challenges after taking this position and they seem to be all flying at her face at the same time. From issues with her parents health, to marital problems and guilt of not being there for her kids as often as she was before she took the job. These are things we all face in life and how we handle them will determine our strength and character. How Alice handles these problems will be a test to her as a woman, wife, mother, daughter, friend and employee. How many balls can we juggle before they all come crashing down upon us?

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Review: The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead

The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kit Stitski is dead. He fell into the quarry during a party and drowned and ever since June no one has been able to come forward to say what really happened to him. Now that school has started, his mother is making a plea with the students to come forward with what they know. Was it just a tragic accident or did someone do something to Kit? Clementine was there, she spoke with Kit and sent him off to the bushes when he said he had to go to the bathroom. Ellie was there too, she is keeping Clementine's secret, but does she have a secret of her own? Jake was there, in fact, Kit followed him to the party. And Mac was there with Ellie, did he do something to Kit?

As a new school year starts, everyone is reflecting on the tragic night at the end of the previous school year. They've had the whole summer to think about it and now that school is back in session, Ms. Stitski wants answers and closure about what happened with her son. When she shows up for the first day of school, Jake, Clementine, Ellie, and Mac are all on edge because they feel they are responsible for Kit's death. They can't imagine that this was just an accident, something must of happened to him when he was out of their sight. But is that possible?

I really enjoyed this YA novel by Deb Loughead. I was a quick read that kept me engrossed the entire time. The author never really mentions where the story is set, and it could be any town in any country. Kids will be kids and will do what they want despite the rules set by their parents. None of the kids should have been at the quarry that night. It's a dangerous place and even more so when it is dark. Kit was mentally challenged, but loved by all in the school. The students recall happy moments with Kit that help his family to heal after this difficult situation. This is a story you could see in today's news stories. A tragic accident that took the life of an innocent person.

I think people of all ages will enjoy this book. I think it is especially important for youth to read. It has a message of honesty in the book. About being able to talk to your parents about the things that are going on in your world. The book has a strong family focus and includes diverse family structures that are seen today. I recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a good novel to read.

Thank you to NetGalley and to Dundurn for a copy of this book in exchange for my review.

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Review: Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Leave Me by Gayle Forman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a mother, there are many days that I dream about packing a bag and leaving town for a few days. But I can't do that, not without a plan and a few weeks notice. Maribeth Klein, on the other hand, does just that. She packs her bags, leaves her cell phone and laptop, and a note for her husband and off she goes. When she boards the train in New York, she's not sure where exactly she is headed, but she'll figure it out when she gets there. Two weeks post heart attack and emergency bypass surgery, she's not getting the help she needs at home and so she decides, just to pack it up and move it out and doesn't communicate with anyone for weeks. Not only does she leave behind her husband, but also their two children. Will she be able to get away and find herself again? Will she ever return home? And if she does, will things just go back to being the same way they were before.

Leave Me is a book all women who feel overworked and underappreciated will enjoy. I know I have threatened my family many times to run away from home, but I would never do it. For starters, I don't have the courage and I would feel extremely guilty about doing it. Luckily for Maribeth, she doesn't feel that way. This book was so hard to put down. I could feel myself in Maribeth's shoes. Enjoying the feeling of not having to worry about anyone but herself and getting things done for herself. As mother's we always put ourselves last in everything that we do. There have been many days that my dinner was cold when I ate it making sure that everyone else around the table was taken care of first, or I missed out on something because there was just enough for everyone else.

This is the second book I have read by Gayle Forman. Usually her books are targeted to a slightly younger audience, but she really hit this one on the head. I hope she has plans to continue to write for women like this.

A couple of my favorite lines from the book are:
The first line of the book, "Maribeth Klein was working late, waiting to sign off on the final page proofs of the December issue, when she had a heart attack."

And this line that reminded me of my husband: "My husband used to say that scars were like tattoos but with better stories."

Overall, this is one of the best books I have read this year and will be doing on my favorites list. I hope that every woman with a family will read this book and be able to appreciate the ability to run away.

I'm offering a giveaway of Behind Closed Doors. Enter here.

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