Month: April 2014

My Thoughts On “One Plus One” by Jojo Moyes

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As a huge fan of the amazing book “Me Before You”, I nearly did a cartwheel in the kitchen when the publishers sent me an Advanced Review Copy of Moyes’ newest novel, “One Plus One”.

As a mother of four, I immediately fell in love with this novel. It is the story of a mother, Jess, determined to do anything in order to help her children get their chance in this world. Her daughter, Tanzie, is very gifted when it comes to math. Her teacher tests her in order to see the extent of her gift and recommends her to a local private school.

Unfortunately, even with extensive help from the school, Jess cannot afford it. So the teacher recommends that Tanzie try to win a math contest in nearby Scotland. She just needs a little help to get there.

In walks Ed, the most unlikely of heroes as he is facing jail time for insider trading. But this serious, geeky businessman finds everything he has been missing in this haphazard family.

I laughed. I giggled. I cheered. I gasped. “One Plus One” is a fun road-trip of a novel. “Me Before You” is a great book club book because it lends itself to a great discussion. “One Plus One” is simply a great read about a mother who never quits, even when everyone around her tells her that she should.

The author is British, so watch out for those bloody F-bombs. It’s available in July!

My Thoughts On Between Shades of Gray By Ruta Sepetys

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It was really hard to get excited about this book. I did not understand the full plot of this book, but I did understand it involved a work camp. And it’s hard to want to dig into a book about a teenager in a work camp in Siberia.

That said, every book club needs to read this book. Written for a youth audience, it is not excessively violent. It tells an important story — the work camps that were established by the Soviets. There are no Americans coming in to save the day and open the camps.

Reality does not allow the happiest of endings, but the very last few lines allows for some hope.

What I’m Reading Now: Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

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Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life–until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart.

Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives.

Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp.

But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

My Thoughts On Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

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This trilogy started off so strongly with Everneath, a modern day Persephone story. The second book, Everbound, was too rushed. The story line itself was very well done, but the scenes were undeveloped and the ending in particular was a little confusing.

Evertrue is somewhere between Everneath and Everbound. It lost the magic of Everneath because the love triangle is gone. There is no question who her choice is, and it is rather disappointing because I liked Cole a lot. But it was certainly better than Everbound. The ending, in particular, was very well written.

What I’m Reading Now: Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

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Inspired by the Persephone myth, this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy—whose captivating first book earned a VOYA Perfect Ten of 2011 and a Whitney Award—explores the resilience of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki as they journeyed through the labyrinth of the Everneath together, and now she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself. Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process, using everything they can think of. Even Cole has become an unlikely ally—but for how long? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him—and, together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more.

Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld—or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

What I’m Reading Now: Life After Life

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What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Ursula’s world is in turmoil, facing the unspeakable evil of the two greatest wars in history. What power and force can one woman exert over the fate of civilization — if only she has the chance?

Wildly inventive, darkly comic, startlingly poignant — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.

My Thoughts On Home Matters by Julie N. Ford

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Six authors got together in order to write “A Ripple Effect Romance” where the character to a new book is found in the previous book. It is a creative and fun idea.

The first book is Home Matters by Julie N. Ford. It is the story of Olivia, a girl who was told by her mother that she was going to be a star. The day finally does come when the lands the leading role on “Home Matters” (think Love It Or List It) but at the height of her success, she realizes that she is longing for something else. He’s handsome and occasionally walks around with a plunger.

This was a short, fun read (129 pages) — perfect for a lazy day.