Waiting on Wednesday: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins

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TITLE:
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
AUTHOR:
Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Veronica Roth
PAGES:
400 pages
PUBLISHER:
St. Martin’s Griffin
GENRE:
Romance
RELEASE DATE:
May 17, 2016

SYNOPSIS:
Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Preorder HERE

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Review – The Lost Codex (OPSIG Team Black Series), by Alan Jacobson

I don’t often read books that are part of a series, especially a book right in the middle of a series. However, the premise of this one caught my attention and so I thought I’d give it a go. Sometimes it pays to listen to your gut feelings!

Meet Karen Vail, a member of the FBI’s Behavior Analysis Unit (BAU – think Criminal Minds). Enjoying a coffee with her partner, Karen is suddenly caught up in a massive explosion and is thrust into a top secret investigation that concerns terrorism, diplomatic issues at the highest level, and a religious time-bomb that is just waiting to explode.

What initially attracted me to the plot was the religious aspect of the “lost codex”. Now, I’m not a religious person, however, it fascinates me that religion has the power to topple governments, and change the discourse for the future. Also, it helps that this missing codex, is actually a real document that is currently still M.I.A.

This book is a great, intelligent thriller, and a quick read. The characters are complex, believable and fun! This is only a short review, but if you want kill a couple of days reading a fascinating adventure, then pick this book up and immerse yourself!

Pegasus.

The Lost Codex (OPSIG Team Black)

One Day Only!

Hi guys and girls!   Has anyone read The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure? Well, if you did, and loved it as much as I did, you’ll be pleased to know that his newest book, House of Thieves, is on sale – today only – for $1.99 (Kindle version)!     If you haven’t read The Paris Architect, here is my review.    

Watch this space for my review of House of Thieves!

Until then,

Pegasus.

House of Thieves: A Novel

Review – A Long Way Down, by Nick Hornby.

10073People say that brain surgery is hard, and I agree, it probably is, but I also imagine that writing a story about suicide, and making it into a dark comedy, is also very hard!   Nick Hornby has achieved this major feat in his novel, A Long Way Down.   Now, this book came out 10 years ago, but it is the first Hornby novel that I have read.   I’d always been interested in picking up one of his novels (Hornby is perhaps most famously known for his novel, About a Boy), but it was a case of never pulling the trigger, so to speak.    Well, I’m certainly glad that I did!

The novel explores the lives and interactions of four characters that incidentally meet on the top of a building on New Years Eve; all have the intent of jumping off said building.    Hmmm…. Sounds pretty grim, huh?   Well, let me give you an example of what drew me in:

Can I explain why I wanted to jump off the top of  tower block?  Of course I can explain why I wanted to jump off the top of a tower block.  I’m not a bloody idiot.  I can explain it because it wasn’t inexplicable: It wasn’t a logical decision, the product of proper thought.  It wasn’t even very serious thought, either.

The first few lines of the book are full of dark humor, philosophy (actual, realistic philosophical thinking) and candor.   Hornby’s use of the first person narrative really draws you in and entices you into each character’s experiences and story.   Talking of which, the characters are a huge reason this novel works so well; each character is real.  They all have their flaws, and you will spend a considerable amount of time disliking them, wanting to slap them silly, but at the same time, wanting to give them a hug and talk things out with them.   I think when you’re story circles around such a profound and personal theme of wondering how your life has ended up the way it has and not seeing any way forward, the characters need to be real; they need to be human – someone we can relate to.

Hornby is British, so his humor is very dark, discrete and dry.  I personally loved it, but I can see how a lot of people may miss it, or simply not find it amusing.   However, I think this novel will have something for everyone, as it offers hope, perspective and a good old fashioned kick up the rear end.    It’s not all doom and gloom, but it also doesn’t offer a glossy shine on life.  Oh, and there is a film version of this book, on Netflix, and while it isn’t a bad  film, it doesn’t offer nearly the same amount as the book does (and in my opinion, the casting person for that movie should have read the book a little more carefully!), so steer clear until you have finished the book!

Until next time,

Pegasus.

A Long Way Down

Pegasus’ book of the year.

Ahhh… A Little Life!   I smile and grimace whenever I see that book in the shops, or hear that someone has read it for the first time.   The reason for this dichotomy of reactions?  This book will destroy you and heal you at the same time.   Yanagihara takes you on a full throttle journey, covering the the entire range of life and the emotions involved.

A Little Life follows four best friends from when they are roommates at college right through the next 30 or so years.   We have Jude, Malcolm, JB and Willem.   All have different personalities and ways of handling issues.  We explore their lives as they try and deal with revelations, tragedy, happiness, fame, and each other.   However, rest assured, that Yanagihara’s novel isn’t just your standard coming of age drama.  No.  It goes deep into who we are , how much we can endure, and what it means to truly live.  Imagine Nicholas Sparks on steroids but with half the sentiment.

One of my favourite aspects about this novel is the author’s use of language;  It is truly phenomenal.   Having the ability to evoke a sense of horror and shock without being explicit, is a true art form.  The language is raw, yet it never becomes explicit just for the sake of shock value.  It is believable, poetic and realistic all in one.

This isn’t an easy read whatsoever, however, it draws you in and keeps you hooked.   I wouldn’t read this next to a cozy fire with Christmas music playing, but I would definitely recommend that you start the new year with this brilliant read!

A Little Life: A Novel

Review: My Kind of Wonderful (Cedar Ridge) by Jill Shalvis

  
Bailey and Hud have nothing in common, not even mutual friends, so it’s a little awkward when they meet and feel The Chemistry. Oh, they try to dance around it, but fate plus Hud’s nosy family members equals a giant push toward each other. 

I loved that the more of the mural Bailey paints, the more she really gets to know Hud. And it’s awesome to see a guy love a woman just to love her – not to prove something or fix something or settle for something. 
The ski setting was exciting, the family members lent comfort and familiarity, and Hud missing his brother lent some realistic sorrow to an otherwise pretty idealistic (BTW that’s how I like ’em) story. 

Best part? Hud and Bailey figuring out what they DO have in common: good hearts. 

Excellent addition to the Cedar Ridge series! 

 Sigh. I thought it couldn’t get better than Lucky Harbor… but it does. 

-calliope

Buy MY KIND OF WONDERFUL

Review: The Lake House by Kate Morton

  
I thought The Lake House would be a little historical fiction with maybe a romance and a mystery thrown in. But the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. This novel is virtually perfect technically, in its voice, in the way of character and plot development, and most importantly EMOTIONALLY. Though I dislike flashbacks/ decades alternating in the chapters, it was the perfect manner in which to present this tangled web of intrigue, drama, war and peace, family, and love.

-calliope

Buy THE LAKE HOUSE

Review: Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner

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I love books by Jennifer Weiner. She has an uncanny ability to take something mundane, commonplace even, and weave an incredible story around it. This older story from her collection of hits is no exception.

This is a story of four women and how their lives come together in a most unexpected way. There’s Jules, a young college student desperate to save her father from himself. Annie lives a simple life as a mother and wife but longs to do more. India is trying to find happiness by remaking herself. And there’s Bettina, probably the most practical of the bunch who knows something is amiss when her very wealthy father takes a new bride. Finally, at the center of it all is a baby. Wanted by some, not expected by others.

On the surface this is a simple enough story, one that could be found in real life often enough. But here’s where the magic of the author comes into play. Jennifer Weiner is able to delve deeply into the past of each of these characters. She makes us understand their motives and even care about them. This is what keeps you reading until the very end.

It’s fairly common for authors to write their stories from different perspectives. Sometimes it works, but just as often it overwhelms the story. That’s not the case with this book. I had no problem switching between characters and even found myself looking forward to a new chapter which brought a new voice. Is the storyline a bit far fetched at times? Of course. But that’s why it’s fiction. It’s okay to suspend your sense of reality and lose yourself in a great story such as this one!

 

~Thalia

Buy It Now:   Then Came You

Review: Heir to Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson

01 heir What a sweet addition to the Edenbrooke story line. Go HERE to read my Edenbrooke review.

When I heard that Julianne was writing a short prequel, I was super excited. I adored Edenbrooke and couldn’t wait to catch a glimpse into Philip’s head. In fact, my daughter loved Edenbrooke so much, she squealed when I told her about this short story. I read it first, because I’m faster than her, and read her this quote and I swear, she swooned. My anti-romance 13 yr old swooned. I was so proud.

“A trap door closed around my heart, and in that moment, I was helpless. Whether she loved me for my money or myself, whether she loved me at all, whether her heart was even available for the winning…none of it mattered. I was smitten to the core.”

My heart is happy and is now craving a reread of both books.

~Melpomene

Buy Edenbrooke: A Proper Romance
Heir to Edenbrooke

Review: A Body to Spare by Sue Ann Jaffarian

  
Here we have Book 10 in the Odelia Grey Mystery series… And it’s TERRIFIC. Jaffarian makes Odelia’s crazy world of hit men, private eyes, cops and ex-cons seem almost run of the mill. But it’s still a surprise to find a dead guy in the trunk of her car. 

The dead guy has a bizarre past. Odelia and the gang manage to dig into it and find more than one bad apple who could be responsible. As usual, the more they know, the deeper trouble they get themselves into. 

Jaffarian rocks at creating believable relationships. Whether it’s Odelia’s marriage, immediate family, or professional contacts, I like eavesdropping on their conversations and coming along for the ride while they solve the mystery. 

You can read the books in this series as standalones, but if you choose to read several, go in somewhat chronological order. 🙂 

-calliope

Buy A BODY TO SPARE