Review: First Comes Love by Emily Griffin

first-comes-loveI’ve read many Emily Giffin books in my time…This was nothing like any of the previous books that I’ve read by her. If you’re looking for some silly lighthearted reading, this isn’t the book I would recommend to you.

I have to admit, I was looking for silly and lighthearted when I picked up this novel…so was a bit disappointed.

This is a hard book to review. Not just because it was different from I expected. I just found it extremely hard to get into. At about 20% I was wishing I hadn’t even started it. I can’t say there was much of anything I was enjoying. I didn’t like the characters. More so, I hated the way they treated one another.

At about 40% – 50% things turned around and I didn’t want to put the book down. However, I can’t stress this enough, I absolutely HATED one of the characters, and as much as I tried to make allowances for her behaviour, I simply could not set my dislike aside. Even as I finished the last page, I still was flabbergasted at an adult acting like she did.

I’m not sure if Griffin meant for me to feel that the character that was presented as the most unsettled and immature, in my opinion, turned out to be more mature than the majority of the others, including the one that was settled, smart, and level-headed. Perhaps it should be noted at this point that everyone that leads a *perfect* life might, in fact, be hiding just how messed up their life really is…and those that seem scattered, and unsettled, might in fact be solid, steady, and perfectly okay.

Yes, the second half of the book is really engaging and you’re invested in the characters, and was well worth the time of the reader…however, I don’t think it should take half a book for things to start being interesting.

The book is really full of some adults that over the process of 15 years seem to revert to selfish children. I don’t feel any of those things ultimately changed at the end of the novel…I wouldn’t want those type of people surrounding me in real life…and sadly, at the end of the day, I didn’t want them surrounding me in my literary life either…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now First Comes Love by Emily Griffin

Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

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In spite of the wide range of tastes we Muses have in books, there have been several times two of us have read & reviewed the same book. But I do believe this may be the first threepeat.  And it’s one that’s well worthy of that distinction.

A nurse.  A new father. An up and coming attorney.  After the unexpected death of a newborn, their paths cross in a most unfortunate way.  Ruth has worked hard to get where she is, and as a much respected nurse she never expected to be on trial for murder.  But that’s just what happens when the white supremacist parents decide that she alone is responsible for the death of their baby.  Her only hope is Kennedy, a still wet-behind-the-ears public defender who has never defended a murder case.

If you’re interested in a story that just sticks to the plot outlined above, this is not the book for you.  But if you’re interested in something that goes deeper, to the very core of what we believe, then you’ll be pulled in from the very first page.  Whether you agree with the ideas presented by the author or not, it will no doubt make you question everything you believe.

Jodi Picoult never ceases to amaze me.  And she never shies away from controversial issues, taking them and weaving a story so compelling that you can’t put it down.  This one is no exception.  And as an aside, the Audible version of this one was outstanding with different narrators bringing the main characters to life for better or for worse.  A timely story from one of the best!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Small Great Things

Review: Always by Sarah Jio

alwaysI enjoyed this book…but it just wasn’t a great book for me. It felt a bit flat…More like an outline for a great book, but missing all the real meat of the story.

At the end of the day though I have to hand it to Jio. So often in love triangles, the author always turns around and tries to make one of the characters into some sort of villain or undesirable person to make it easier for the reader to accept the choices made. Jio didn’t do that. She kept it real. I really appreciate that. I wish more authors did so. Life isn’t always in black and white with clear-cut choices…so why should books be?

This book also made me miss Seattle a wee bit…okay….more than a wee bit…I knew all of the places mentioned.

I wish I had loved this book more. It was a great story and yes, I found it interesting. It was also a very quick read for me. I couldn’t wait to see what happened so I had a hard time putting it down. That happens less and less these days, so again, I give even more props to Jio.

I don’t wish to discourage anyone from reading this book. Please do pick it up and give it a try. It is a good book….but it did feel a bit like a lifetime made for TV movie.

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Always by Sarah Jio

Review: Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice

2924362First, I can’t believe this book was written almost 40 years ago!

Second, I can’t believe I haven’t bothered to read it up until now.

Third, it is worth all the hype.

Finally, a message to my dear Louis –

Louis, Louis, Louis…you are not a tortured soul…you’re just a big fat whiner…..get over yourself man…..

Bwhahahahahahahahaha

Brilliant book. Amazing really….

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

28587957You won’t find any spoilers here…if you’re looking for that you can just move on by…ha!

Honestly, you won’t find much at all here…there simply aren’t words enough that I can say to make you understand how much I loved this novel.

What’s more, there are no words for just how much this book resonated with me. The truths that lie within, that we all know, but refuse to accept as truths…just because we know they are wrong…or we choose to believe that they have nothing to do with us and are in no way, shape, or form our fault.

I don’t want to say Picoult was brave in the writing of this novel. However, that’s just not true…it’s not how we should look at the writing of this novel. This was the right thing to do. The elephant in the room needs to be acknowledged….I hope that this novel is the start of things to come….

Equity…

Read this book…Recommend this book…Buy a copy of this book and give it to a stranger…But most of all….Discuss this book with as many people as you can…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy your copy nowSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Review: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

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What can I say about Jodi Picoult?  Her stories have moved me in ways few others have been able to.  From the stories of families lost to love found, she gets me every time.  For some reason this one had slipped by me until recently.  And that’s a shame, because it’s one of her best to date.

Jenna is a child without a mother, and also very much without a father.  Her mom disappeared years ago after a tragic accident (or not?) at the family’s elephant sanctuary.  And her dad, for all intents and purposes, is lost to her as well as he wastes away in a mental institution.  Even though she has the love of her grandmother, she just can’t come to terms with the fact that her mom is not in her life.  Is it because she doesn’t want to be or because she can’t?  So Jenna enlists the help of a washed-up psychic along with the detective from the decade old case.  With their help, can she finally figure out what happened all those years ago?

Playing a central role in the story are the elephants.  Not just the physicalness of them, but of the similarities between their emotions and the emotions of humans.  So very different, but so very much alike.  For anyone who thinks these animals don’t feel, don’t love, don’t grieve,  I dare you to make that argument after reading this book.

This book is about so many things.  It’s about a child without a mother, a missing person, an unsolved mystery, and of course, the elephants.  It’s a cliffhanger until the very end.  And just in case you think you’ve figured it out before the last chapter, you’re wrong…

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Leaving Time

Review: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

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With every new piece of historical fiction I read, I gain something.  Knowledge about a previously unheard of occurrence, deeper understanding of an event, compassion for a character that I never imagined…these things are all possible with a good story.  Lilac Girls  takes a horrible time most are familiar with, the Holocaust, and introduces the reader to an aspect that many have never heard of.

The year is 1939.  Hitler has just invaded Poland.  France is next.  With her work at the French consulate, Caroline feels the tragedy more than most New Yorkers.  Her job takes her into the lives of those most affected, finding homes for children orphaned by the war and arranging care packages for families.

Across the sea, Kasia witnesses her childhood stripped away as her town is taken over. Not satisfied just sitting by and watching everything she loves destroyed, she begins working for the underground resistance movement.  Never in her wildest dreams does she imagine that not only will this endanger her life, but the lives of her mother and sister as well.  When her secret life is discovered, they’re all rounded up and shipped off to Ravensbruck, a concentration camp for women.

It’s here that they cross paths with Herta.  Her path in life has been changed as well, although surely in not as tragic a way as Kasia’s.  Before the invasion, Herta was well on her way to becoming a respected German doctor.  Now she’s deep into war crimes and horrible experiments at Ravensbruck.

This is yet another story that reminds the reader of one of the darkest times in our world’s history, a time when people were persecuted and killed simply for who they were.  It’s heartbreaking and thought-provoking at the same time, especially in today’s tumultuous climate.  It’s also a story of love and survival and hope, things that can get people through some of the darkest times.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Lilac Girls