Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Friday, May 27, 2011
The timeline of The Goodbye Quilt is short—the entire book (minus the epilogue) takes place during the road trip Linda and her daughter Molly make to get Molly to her first day of college. It is a big deal for Linda (who never finished college) that her very accomplished daughter got a scholarship for an excellent private university. But there are two mini-conflicts: Molly sort of wants to stay in Wyoming with her boyfriend and Linda has no idea what to do with herself now that her only child is leaving home. Linda likens this loss to death, which seems a little over the top, but it is true that Linda believes she’ll have no purpose once Molly is gone. For now, Linda’s thrown herself into making a quilt with patches representing things from Molly’s childhood.
The relationship between Linda and Molly was unrealistic at times. They were very accepting of each other’s opinions and remarks even when Linda made critical statements to Molly. Even more unbelievable was when Molly wavered on going away to college; Linda just accepted that maybe it wouldn’t happen and assured Molly things would be fine either way. The story is cute, but there’s no real substance.
Review copy provided by Planned Television Arts.
Here's the publisher description:
"The story is one that is envisioned by many: a relative, an old woman who has lived in the same home for a lifetime, passes away, her death prompting the inevitable task of sorting through her effects by her surviving family. But in the attic in this particular house, a treasure trove of historic importance is found. Rarely does this become an actuality, but when Helene Elias died, no one could put a price on what she left behind.
Helene Elias was born Helene Frank, sister to Otto Frank, and therefore aunt to Anne Frank. Ensconced upstairs in the house she inherited from her mother, and eventually passed on to her son, Buddy Elias, Anne’s cousin and childhood playmate, was the documented legacy of the Frank family: a vast collection of photos, letters, drawings, poems, and postcards preserved throughout decades—a cache of over 6,000 documents in all.
Chronicled by Buddy’s wife, Gertrude, and renowned German author Mirjam Pressler, these findings weave an indelible, engaging, and endearing portrait of the family that shaped Anne Frank. They wrote to one another voluminously; recounted summer holidays, and wrote about love and hardships. They reassured one another during the terrible years and waited anxiously for news after the war had ended. Through these letters, they rejoiced in new life, and honored the memories of those they lost.
Anne’s family believed themselves to ordinary members of Germany’s bourgeoisie. That they were wrong is part of history, and we celebrate them here with this extraordinary account."
The rules: Enter by leaving a comment to this post with your email (if I can't contact you, you can't win). You can gain additional entries by leaving separate comments letting me know that you're a follower (one extra each for the blog and Twitter) or have posted a link to the giveaway on your site. The deadline to enter is 11:59pm Pacific on June 18. Winners will be selected at random. Since this is from Doubleday the winners must have a mailing addresses in the US; no PO Boxes.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I enjoyed finding out how they got to their estrangement in 2010 through the alternating chapters, but it was also incredibly frustrating to keep discovering how absolutely clueless Cam was about her daughter's life. Actually just about everything regarding Cam was frustrating. She seemed to be a drama queen who enjoyed complaining. Furthermore, she completely wrote off the opinions of anyone who disagreed with her, including her daughter and ex-husband (who joined a religious sect that Cam terms a cult and is dismissive of). Aubrey, who goes through a number of normal teenage things like fitting in, dating, and making future plans, was very relatable and made The Gap Year a pleasure to read.
Review copy provided by Amazon Vine.
Friday, May 20, 2011
good, but the execution leaves something to be desired. First, there's the constant use of past or present participle. People just don't talk like that. And then there was the now clichéd rival SAHM trying to sabotage Kelly. Since Kelly easily sidestepped Rachel's interference, the character really added nothing to the plot. She was just another character with unclear motives.
Review copy provided by BookSparks PR.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
My reviews can be found here and here. The publisher descriptions are below:
Going Cowboy Crazy: "DOUBLE TROUBLE
Faith Aldridge wants answers. Bramble, Texas is the only place she can find them . . . as well as Hope, the identical twin sister she never knew she had. But the townsfolk reckon that shy city-girl Faith is really her long-lost sister Hope, back in Bramble at last. And they're fixin' to do whatever it takes to heat things up between her and Hope's long-time flame, Slate Calhoun. If that means rustling her car, spreading rumors like wildfire, and reining in some explosive secrets, well, there's no way like the Lone Star way . . .
But Slate's no fool. The woman in his truck may look like Hope, yet the way she feels in his arms is altogether new. He's determined to keep this twin in his bed and out of his heart. Trouble is, the real Hope is headed home, and she's got her own designs on Slate. If Faith wants to avoid heartbreak, she'll have to show a certain ruggedly handsome cowboy that this crazy-impossible love is worth fighting for."
Make Mine a Bad Boy: "THERE'S A NEW BRIDE IN TOWN!
Hope Scroggs is finally ready to get hitched. After years of sowing her wild oats, the former head cheerleader and homecoming queen has returned to Bramble, Texas, to marry her high school flame. But her perfect wedding plans are stomped to smithereens when her adoring cowboy two-steps down the aisle with someone else. Now Hope is stuck with the one man from her past she can't shake: Colt Lomax, an irresistible bad boy whose sultry kisses are hotter than the Panhandle in August . . .
Colt lives for freedom and the open road; he never gets attached, never looks back. Still, he can't forget the night of passion he once shared with Bramble's sweetheart--a night he wouldn't mind repeating. So, he piles on the Texas charm to tease the feisty beauty back into his bed, while she tries her darnedest to resist. But something unexpected is about to tie their fates together . . . and oh, baby, will it ever!"
The rules: Enter by leaving a comment to this post with your email (if I can't contact you, you can't win). You can gain additional entries by leaving separate comments letting me know that you're a follower (one extra each for the blog and Twitter) or have posted a link to the giveaway on your site. The deadline to enter is 11:59pm Pacific on June 11. Winner will be selected at random. Since this is from Hachette the winners must have a mailing addresses in the US or Canada; no PO Boxes.
As the townsfolk gossip, Hope begins secretly hooking up with bad boy Colt, who’s also the older brother of Hope’s best friend Shirlene. This time the romance was much more believable than what Katie Lane created in Going Cowboy Crazy. Hope was also a more interesting lead than her twin; she had more spunk and (of course) more emotional ties to the community.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Forever.
Going Cowboy Crazy is a cute story filled with drama, but the romance was a bit unbelievable (and slightly creepy given the twin element). I found myself skimming the romantic scenes, but thoroughly enjoyed Faith’s interactions with Shirlene (a friend of Hope’s) and Austin (a teen who is new in town).
Review copy provided by the publisher, Forever.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Here's the publisher description:
"THESE HEROES ARE 100 PERCENT RAW, DANGEROUS, AND...UNDENIABLY SEXY.
New York Times bestselling authors Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dianna Love, and Cindy Gerard and rising romance star Laura Griffin mix seduction and suspense in three irresistible romantic adventures. From sultry international jungles to the rugged terrain of the American Southwest, join the larger-than-life, scorching-hot alpha heroes of the Bureau of American Defense, Black Ops, Inc., and the U.S. Navy SEALs for all the pulse-pounding, heart-racing, toe-curling excitement. They're cool under pressure, steamy under the sheets, and when the enemy strikes, there's not a lethal mission these gorgeous men can't handle..."
The rules: Enter by leaving a comment to this post with your email (if I can't contact you, you can't win). You can gain additional entries by leaving separate comments letting me know that you're a follower (one extra each for the blog and Twitter) or have posted a link to the giveaway on your site. The deadline to enter is 11:59pm Pacific on May 28. Winner will be selected at random. Since this is from Simon & Schuster the winner must have a mailing address in the US; no PO Boxes.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Although I’m pretty sure I would’ve been annoyed if Fulda had been a coworker (she definitely overshares her ailments with her coworkers and is absent far too often for a new employee), I did feel sympathy for her plight. Each doctor believed he or she could cure Fulda’s headache, but the treatments never worked; and each treatment created yet another medical bill that depleted Fulda’s savings. But there were also a few times when Fulda was a little too snarky about the people who genuinely wanted to help; she sometimes came across as self-absorbed and ungrateful as a result.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Friday, May 6, 2011
This novel is set on Bainbridge Island, which is not far from where I live. Very frequently I’m turned off by books that attempt a Pacific Northwest setting despite the author knowing nothing more than the clichéd Seattle rain. As Sarah Jio grew up in a town (Poulsbo, if you’re curious) right by Bainbridge Island, she had no problem nailing the differences between the city and the towns surrounding Seattle. Only a local could easily throw in the off-hand comment about a McDonald’s on the island.
The Violets of March is so amazingly good that there’s really not an adjective to describe how completely I loved this debut from Sarah Jio. Some books are so amazing they beg to be raced through; The Violets of March is the kind of book that’s so wonderful that I kept stopping so I could analyze the plot and prolong my time with Emily. I was very much caught up in the mystery and trying to figure out the true identities of the people from the diary. Each second spent with The Violets of March was a pleasure.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Plume.