Review: When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

I started this book and immediately found myself drawn in. As the book continued I admit, I started to become angry with the wife. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to let go and accept someone whom you loved a great deal had died if they remained in contact with you. I really felt bad for the husband. As the book continued on more, I became outraged at this dead wife. I kept trying to put myself in her shoes. Why would she do this? I put myself in her husband’s shoes. How awful it must have been for him. Why oh why would she do all of this? Why wouldn’t she had just been honest and up front when she was alive?

As the book approached the ending… well, I finally understood. I can’t say I agreed with her reasoning…or her methods…but I could finally understand to some degree.

Even when I was incredibly angry with these characters, I remained invested in this novel and couldn’t put it down. I rushed through it to make sure it would all turn out alright.

Sure, I figured out some of the “surprises” in the ending…however, the path I thought we would be taking to get there was different from I expected. I finished this novel and didn’t feel any anger about emotional manipulation as I often do with these “surprise twists” at the end.

Sure, it might be a novel that I won’t remember all the details next month, that happens a lot with me, but I have to say I really enjoyed this whilst I was reading it and I definitely know some mates that I would recommend this one to…very happy I picked this one to spend the day reading…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

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Review (Revisited): The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

So glad I gave Richert another try after the disaster of her last book (sorry, but I hated it!). After falling in her love with her first book, I really wanted her to redeem herself with this one…and boy did she ever! If I had any complaints I just wish it was a bit longer and had some more details with a few minor characters. I am really hoping one comes back and has her own book soon.

Sometimes reading a book is just what you need to reset your spirit and get your head in the right place. This is that book. Having attempted and abandoned 2 books previous to this one…and having read several in a row that were just so-so…well this is exactly what I needed to clear out all the clutter in my head.

As in her first book, I couldn’t wait to finish this one and had problems putting it down once I started…Another book I finished in less than 24 hours…that hardly EVER happens in my life anymore and now I have found an author that has inspired me to do it TWICE!

Can’t wait to read what she comes up with next…

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

Review: In This Moment by Karen Kingsbury

Here’s some Christian fiction that really made me think. Quinn is a public school principal, and he is questioned over and over when he decides to host a voluntary Bible study after school in order to provide some structure and direction to his students. His reputation is at stake, his relationships are threatened, and his job is on the line.

I liked the law aspect that made this book a kind of cross between John Grisham and women’s Christian fiction. I also liked the juxtaposition of the different types of dads and their relationships with their children. Kingsbury does a wonderful job writing families, though I wasn’t as impressed with the romance plot line. Quinn was a true protagonist, meeting with conflict throughout the story and accumulating secondary characters along the way who either helped or hindered his cause. Reading about Quinn’s struggles made me question my motivations, my willingness to take risks, and whether my walk in faith is even close to enough of a good example for others on this journey.

-calliope

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Review: Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

** spoiler alert ** This was hard for me. I just found it a bit far-fetched. I know bad parents exist. I know they hide from the system. However, I find it very hard to believe that Ginny was able to be place for adoption so soon and that no one discovered about baby doll. I understand that no one asked the correct questions for Ginny to explain that the baby doll was real, I just find it hard to believe that social workers never discovered her. Especially since it was obvious Ginny’s mother didn’t want to give up custody. You add to the fact that Ginny’s mother is kinda portrayed as not very intelligent, unstable and very impulsive, well it doesn’t make sense to then have her smart enough and level-headed enough to be able to hide the existence from the authorities. I feel like there would have been some supervised visits between Ginny and her mother before adoption was placed on the table. Especially since drugs were involved and Ginny’s mom went into treatment voluntarily. Maybe it’s different in other states, but when I worked within the system it was evident that the main purpose of the system is to try all means to keep families intact. Even those that (I feel) have no business intact or with parents I felt should never have second chances.

Also, the adoptive mother….I get the whole protective mother thing and maybe even postpartum depression (giving her the benefit of the doubt here) but I just don’t understand the relationship at all. I do get that Ginny might have been very difficult, but still. To turn off like that and then at the end for us all to believe in a HEA ending…it was just too much. Again, I worked within a small part of the system, so I understand that people like this do exist…but it just didn’t mesh for me like it should have in this story.

Even Ginny’s doctor didn’t seem to understand the proper way to communicate with her at times. Yes, I get it. But as a trained professional, she should have understood the basics.

I hope my review is clear, I didn’t dislike Ginny. Or even the story. And certainly not the plight that all the characters found themselves in. I just think the things I mentioned left too much of a stretch for my imagination to believe. It really ruined the whole book for me.

Until next time…
Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Review: Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Margot Cary had been curious about her biological dad for a long time, but nothing ever tempted her enough to leave big city life for a pack of estranged relatives and their rural southern lake life. Until a giant embarrassment at work got her fired – and blackballed from the industry. When a McCready relative offered her a job, she reluctantly went for it.

I loved that Margot took her job seriously at the Funeral Home/Bait Shop. I mean, this girl gave 100% every day. She even showed up in heels. I think Harper did a fantastic job with the cousin relationships, making them believable and three-dimensional without casting a shadow over the main events. And the main events? Meeting her dad of course, and … drum roll … a little sweet southern romance. Except the guy is pretty much just as southern as she is. I appreciated that Harper had Margot stay true to her non-southern-belle self!

This book had a little bit of humor (perfect milieu in the funeral home), and a lot of spunk. One liners abounded as Margot tried to take over running a town event. I think I also read a few Bless Your Hearts, and Harper provided some physical humor as well. All that fun was a good respite from the ever serious issue of Margot wanting to repair the relationship with her dad. Margot even used humor herself when uncertain about her romantic situation.

All in all, I loved this slice of southern life, with fresh characters I believed in, a big and loving family to find comfort in, and a couple of city folk who were making lake life their own.

-calliope

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Review: Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

Oh the drama! Quinn and Nora are distant sisters who would still do anything for each other. Tiffany is Nora’s bff… and a messed up drug addict with an illegitimate daughter. When Nora texts Quinn that she and Tiffany need her help, Quinn steps up. But it’s hard to know how to do the right thing when Nora won’t give her any details, and Tiffany is nowhere to be found.

I was psyched reading the first half of this book – there are good guys and bad guys, weak women and strong women, loving yet dysfunctional mothers, and a criminal so disgusting he turned my stomach. Baart weaves them all together in a dramatic and suspenseful plot, a story you don’t want to stop reading because you can’t believe what’s happening next.

And then — I’m not sure if it was my particular frame of mind, or if I’ve just read way too many books — I by mistake figured out the one big unknown. The mystery. The root of the drama. The guy who caused the secrets to grow bigger and bigger. And I hate that I figured it out, because it ruined the rest of the story for me. I skimmed the last half of the book, just in case there were some worthy plot points (and there were).

Baart is a master at expressing the love and confusion and envy and all the emotions in a sisterly relationship. What I appreciated most is that Baart lets her female characters be unapologetically themselves. There are no victims here, except maybe a little girl. The grown women own their choices, support each other, and make their own new beginnings.

-calliope

Buy LITTLE BROKEN THINGS (publishes on Nov.21, 2017)

Murder Over Mochas by Caroline Fardig

Solid, cute, cozy mystery with a dead guy, an amateur sleuth, an ex-fiancĂ©, an ex-boyfriend, a potential boyfriend, and a couple of cops. Oh – and a coffee shop! I’m going to admit, I often choose books based on their covers, and I chose this one for the coffee. #yesidid

The protagonist Juliet is likable and genuine. I liked that I could envision her expressions and feel her exasperation. The police officers and a few other secondary characters were a little bit one dimensional to me, but I didn’t mind, as I was busy trying to solve the mystery before they did. I liked Juliet’s best friend Pete, also. He’s a sturdy, reliable dude – and every cozy mystery needs a Pete.

Fardig did a nice job weaving a creative, fresh mystery with just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting. I was onto the perp before Juliet was, but it still took me a good while to do it, and I had fun from beginning to end.

-calliope

Buy MURDER OVER MOCHAS