#BookReview
Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

#BookReview Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma HealeyTitle: Elizabeth Is Missing

Author: Emma Healey

Published by: Vintage Canada on June 2, 2015

Genres: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 288

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7/10

 

 

Synopsis:

In this darkly riveting debut novel—a sophisticated psychological mystery that is also a heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging—an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared, and her search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences.

Maud, an aging grandmother, is slowly losing her memory—and her grip on everyday life. Yet she refuses to forget her best friend Elizabeth, who she is convinced is missing and in terrible danger.

But no one will listen to Maud—not her frustrated daughter, Helen, not her caretakers, not the police, and especially not Elizabeth’s mercurial son, Peter. Armed with handwritten notes she leaves for herself and an overwhelming feeling that Elizabeth needs her help, Maud resolves to discover the truth and save her beloved friend.

This singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present. But the clues she discovers seem only to lead her deeper into her past, to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II.

As vivid memories of a tragedy that occurred more fifty years ago come flooding back, Maud discovers new momentum in her search for her friend. Could the mystery of Sukey’s disappearance hold the key to finding Elizabeth?


Review:

This was an interesting book for me.

On the one hand, I feel the author did a really good job narrating the story from the perspective of an elderly woman suffering from dementia and all the disjointed thoughts, actions and images that come along with that. A task I am confident is not an easy one. 

On the other hand, there were times that I was frustrated and confused with the overall flow. 

Saying that, I think the story shows a true reflection of the affects dementia has not only on the suffers but also on their caregivers.

I would say this book is good, not great, but definitely unique.

 

#BookReview
I Was Here by Gayle Forman

#BookReview I Was Here by Gayle FormanTitle: I Was Here

Author: Gayle Forman

Published by: Viking Juvenile on January 27, 2015

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Pages: 270

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two Peas in a pod.

Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything – so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben Allister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open – until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.


Review:

This book deals with the very serious subject matter of teen suicide and the affects that it has on those left behind, such as parents, friends, acquaintances.

The book is narrated by “Cody”, the best friend, and the plot involves her struggle to grieve and to rid herself of guilt, while at the same time trying to uncover the “why” of it all.

The story is written in a very real way. There is no gloss or glamour. The characters are flawed and must endure other hardships than just the main plot.

All in all, although the story is about a dark issue, I think the author does well to show the importance of hope and self forgiveness by the end of the story.

I think this is definitely worth a read, especially for all those young adults out there.

 

How Lucky Am I…

So one of my favourite things happened to me yesterday…

I had a return to drop off at my local public library, and like a true avid reader I couldn’t just drop off without popping in to see what might be out on the shelves.

That is when it occurred. First the door from the back opened, then I saw the cart full of brand new, just received books.

Really, what could I do. I couldn’t resist.

Needless to say, even though I have piles and piles of books around my house just waiting to be be read, I had to pick up a few. (Reviews to follow soon!)

I mean who wouldn’t. Brand new books. The pages crisp. The covers pristine and that new book smell. There’s only one word to describe it.

AWESOME!

Eat your heart out Neil Pastiche. Maybe you should put that in your next Book of Awesome!

#BookReview
The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern

#BookReview The Marble Collector by Cecelia AhernTitle: The Marble Collector

Author: Cecelia Ahern

Published by: HarperCollins UK on October 29, 2015

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 304

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

A forgotten childhood. A discovered life.
What if you only had one day to find out who you really were?

When Sabrina Boggs stumbles upon a mysterious collection of her father’s possessions, she discovers a truth where she never knew there was a lie. The familiar man she grew up with is suddenly a stranger to her.

An unexpected break in her monotonous daily routine leaves her just one day to unlock the secrets of the man she thought she knew. A day that unearths memories, stories and people she never knew existed. A day that changes her and those around her forever.

The Marble Collector is a thought-provoking novel about how the most ordinary decisions we make can have the most extraordinary consequences for how we live our lives. And how sometimes it’s only by shining on a light on someone else, that you can truly understand yourself.


Review:

I really liked this book.

It was a heartwarming story that engrossed you from the get go. And like most Cecilia Ahern’s books it made you laugh, made you cry, and also made you cheer.

It has a wonderful cast of characters. Uses a past/present, back and forth, style to give depth into the father/daughter relationship between Sabrina and Fergus. And ultimately, it showcases the long-lasting effects secrets can have on those we love, and the importance of finding one’s true identity for happiness.

I’m certainly glad I picked it up. It’s definitely worth reading.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

About Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. She is now published in nearly fifty countries, and has sold over twenty-five million copies of her novels worldwide. Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series.

#BookReview
Compulsion by Allison Brennan
@Allison_Brennan

#BookReview Compulsion by Allison Brennan @Allison_BrennanTitle: Compulsion

Author: Allison Brennan

Series: Max Revere #2

Published by: Minotaur Books on February 2, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 480

Format: Paperback

Source: Borrowed

Book Rating: 8/10

 

Synopsis:

Investigative reporter Maxine Revere has a theory: that the five New York City murders for which Adam Bachman is being tried are just part of his killing spree. In probing the disappearance of a retired couple who vanished the prior summer, Max uncovers striking similarities to Bachman’s MO and develops a theory that Bachman wasn’t working alone.

Max wins a coveted pre-trial interview with the killer, whose disarming composure in the face of her questions is combined with uncomfortable knowledge of Max’s own past. She leaves the room convinced, but unable to prove, that Bachman knows exactly what happened to the missing couple. The D.A. wants nothing to jeopardize his case against Bachman and refuses to consider Max’s theory. With no physical evidence, Max has to rely on her own wits and investigative prowess to dig deep into Bachman’s past. The picture that Max puts together is far darker and more deadly than she ever imagined.

As Max gets closer to the truth, she doesn’t realize that she’s walking down a road that has been paved just for her. That every step she takes brings her one step closer to a brilliant, methodical sociopath who has been waiting for her to make just one small mistake.

And when she does, he’ll be there waiting.

Max Revere returns in another gripping, pulse-pounding thriller from New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan.

Compulsion is a gripping, pulse-pounding thriller that readers will not want to put down.”-Crimespree magazine


Review:

Allison Brennan has written numerous books and once again has produced a great mystery that’s full of suspense and intrigue. This story is the second book in the Max Revere series.

As in the first novel in the series, Notorious, the characters are complex and interesting and are further evolved throughout this story.

The plot is action-packed, well written, with numerous twists and turns and sub-plots that intermingle to leave you guessing till the end.

This was another great read and I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Allison Brennan, visit her website at: allisonbrennan.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @Allison_Brennan

 

 

About Allison Brennan

Allison Brennan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels and many short stories. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, she lives in Northern California with her husband Dan and their five children.

#BookReview
The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene
@VanessaGBooks

#BookReview The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene @VanessaGBooksTitle: The Seafront Tea Room

Author: Vanessa Greene

Published by: Berkley Publishing on December 1, 2015

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction

Pages: 353

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

The first rule of afternoon tea: never rush. Take time to savor it. Just like friendship…

The Seafront Tearoom is an insider secret in small-town Scarborough – a beach-front haven with the best tea and cakes in town – and  journalist Charlie Harrison would love to put it on the map with a feature in her magazine. But single mom Kat Murray doesn’t want to see her favorite sanctuary overrun by tourists, and begs Charlie to seek out other options. She offers her help, as a “tea obsessive,” and so does French au pair Séraphine Moreau, whose upbringing makes her a connoisseur of everything sweet and indulgent.

Together the three women will scour the countryside for quaint hideaways and hidden gems, sharing along the way their secrets, disappointments, and dreams – and discovering that friendship, like tea, takes time to steep. But learning too that once you open your heart, the possibilities are endless. 


Review:

This is a warm, sweet story about family, friendship, heartbreak, and love.

It has lovable characters, exquisite description, a wonderful seaside setting, and lots of tea and cakes.

It is a light, easy read. Perfect for a day at the beach or a cool day snuggled up on the couch.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

About Vanessa Greene

Vanessa Greene is a writer of romantic fiction, and lover of tea, cake and car boot sales. She grew up in north London, the youngest of three children, and always wanted to be a writer. Back then she wrote whenever it was quiet, in her room at dawn before school, in the shed full of spiders and in the cellar.

She studied English at university in Brighton then went into publishing – She was a book editor through her twenties, before picking up a pen again at thirty-one and writing The Vintage Teacup Club. Along the way she's also taught English as a foreign language in Mexico and Ecuador, and learned to tango in Buenos Aires.

She lives in London (in a pink house) with her husband and toddler son.

#BookReview
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

#BookReview The Boston Girl by Anita DiamantTitle: The Boston Girl

Author: Anita Diamant

Published by: Scribner on December 9, 2014

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 320

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

 

 

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, comes an unforgettable coming-of-age novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century.

Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie’s intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can’t imagine – a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.

Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her “How did you get to be the woman you are today?” She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.

Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Anita Diamant’s previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman’s complicated life in twentieth-century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.


Review:

I really enjoyed this book.

This is the life story of Addie, an eighty-five-year-old woman, who was born and raised in Boston in the early 1900s to Jewish immigrants. It is a sentimental story that touches on the importance of friendship, family relationships, the fight for women to be educated and employed outside the home, love, loss, disappointment, frustration, and success.

I thought this story was extremely interesting and captivating, and I really liked the way it was narrated.

I would definitely recommend this for book clubs.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

About Anita Diamant

Anita Diamant is the author of twelve books -- the newest novel being THE BOSTON GIRL.

Anita is best-known for her first novel, THE RED TENT, which was published in 1997 and won the 2001 Booksense Book of the Year Award. Based on the biblical story of Dinah, THE RED TENT became a word-of-mouth bestseller in the US and overseas, where it has been published in more than 25 countries.

Three other novels followed: GOOD HARBOR, THE LAST DAYS OF DOGTOWN and, DAY AFTER NIGHT.

Anita has also written six non-fiction guides to contemporary Jewish life, which have become classic reference books: THE NEW JEWISH WEDDING, THE JEWISH BABY BOOK, LIVING A JEWISH LIFE, CHOOSING A JEWISH LIFE, HOW TO RAISE A JEWISH CHILD, and SAYING KADDISH..

An award-winning journalist, Diamant's articles have appeared in the Boston Globe Magazine, Real Simple, Parenting Magazine, Hadassah, Reform Judaism, Boston Magazine and Yankee Magazine.PITCHING MY TENT, a collection personal essays, is drawn from twenty years worth of newspaper and magazine columns.

#BookReview
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

#BookReview One Plus One by Jojo MoyesTitle: One Plus One

Author: Jojo Moyes

Published by: Penguin Books on March 31, 2015

Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You.
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages… maybe ever.


Review:

This book captured my attention from the very start and kept it.

It is a charming story with flawed, quirky, lovable characters you can’t help but root for.

The story is rich in humour, hardship, heartbreak, and romance. The writing is poetic and flows effortlessly.

This is a great way to spend an afternoon. I highly recommend it.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

About Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes' novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.

#BookReview
Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons
@drkellyparsons

#BookReview Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons @drkellyparsonsTitle: Doing Harm

Author: Kelly Parsons

Published by: St. Martin's Press on February 4, 2014

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 368

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8/10

 

 

Synopsis:

“It’s amazing that there are so many different ways to die in a hospital that have nothing to do with being sick…”

Steve Mitchell, happily married with a wife and two kids, is in line for a coveted position at Boston’s University Hospital when his world goes awry. His over-reaching ambition causes him to  botch a major surgery, and another of his patients mysteriously dies. Steve’s nightmare goes from bad to worse when he learns that the mysterious death was no accident but the act of a sociopath.  A sociopath he knows and who has information that could destroy Steve’s career and marriage.  A sociopath for whom killing is more than a means to an end: it’s a game.  Because he is under a cloud of suspicion and has no evidence, he knows that any accusations he makes won’t be believed. So he must struggle to turn the tables, even as the killer skillfully blocks his every move. Detailing the politics of hospitals, the hierarchy among doctors and the life and death decisions that are made by flawed human beings, Doing Harm marks the debut of a major fiction career.


Review:

I thought this was a great medical thriller.

The writing was incredibly detailed and descriptive.

The characters are intelligent, chilling, and egotistical. And the plot is intense, action-packed and suspenseful with twists and turns that will kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. 

I really enjoyed this book and definitely look forward to picking up the next Kelly Parsons book.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following Amazon links.

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

About Kelly Parsons

KELLY PARSONS is a surgeon and professor at the University of California, San Diego. He lives with his family in Southern California.

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