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My Reviews

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Interesting
The Help

This book reminds us just how divided this country was regarding equal rights. Living in the North, I never dreamed how truly horrible the conditions were in the South for people to live together if they were not of the same color skin.

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Little Bee

This story had a fun twist on a very dark subject. The main character was someone you would want to take under your wing. It reminds you of the injustices that occur in the world everyday, and yet for a brief moment there is hope.

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Adventurous
The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

I have to admit I did not find this book to live up to the hype. The beginning of the book does not grab you and it is a bit confusing if you put the book down and come back to it. The characters are not likeable, and the double story line doesn't tie together nicely. It was nothing more than a murder mystery.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Beautiful
The Art of Racing in the Rain

I loved the perspective of Enzo. The ending made me feel so good about the loss of a pet. This was a really terrific book that I would (and have) recommended to everyone!!

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Informative
The Heretic's Daughter

This book was a very good read. I did not know very much regarding the Salem Witch Trials. This book was so informative with such a good story surrounding the facts. I had no idea there was so much cruelty involved. I highly recommend this book.

Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Room

I read this book and thought about the parallels between the boy in the room and people in the world. Our worlds are formed by that which is around us, the smaller the horizon, the scarier things on the outside seem. It was well written and I would highly recommend this book.

House Rules: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative, Interesting
House Rules

This book was very informative. I did not know very much about autism before reading this book. I liked the story and appreciated the ending.

 
Slow, Boring, Insightful
Freedom

i had high expectations for this book and was so disappointed. It was so drawn out, confusing at times, and there were too many characters who were intensely developed. It was a terrible, boring read, and when I was finished I felt like I had just wasted a week of reading time.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Inspiring, Beautiful
Redeeming Love

This was an awesome love story. The love between man and woman and the love between God and man. It's a story that makes you feel that whatever obstacles may be in your path, be assured you are loved.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Adventurous, Interesting
The Last Child

A good story based on one child's perserverance. The story showed the repercussions of an event, and the people that should have been strong fell apart and the one who should have been protected had to be strong. Lots of twists and a surprise ending.

The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Gloomy
The Confession: A Novel

Loved this book! It examined the consequences of the death penalty when one innocent person could be executed. Definitely a page turner. Good story, recommend to anyone with an open mind.

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Kitchen House: A Novel

I enjoyed this book very much. I thought it told the story of how connected slave families were. It was very enjoyable and once you start you don't want to put it down. The old south was definitely NOT a place I would want to be, whether you were white or black. Recommend it easily.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
Year of Wonders

A very good story about the plague which devestated a little town in England in 1666. It is wonderfully written. In the midst of all the death a beautiful story unfolds. I would definitely recommend this story.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Insightful
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

I loved this book. It was an easy read. I am always amazed at the prejudices people have. This book opened up dialogue between my friends and I about what people find unsettling about other people. The character of the Major was so easy to like. he was a man so settled in to his senior years, so determined to maintain a proper atmosphere about himself and yet it is he who is the most openminded. Great story, highly recommended!

Amaryllis in Blueberry by Christina Meldrum
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Gloomy, Dramatic
Amaryllis in Blueberry

The book was informative, but it was slow and was confusing at points. It kept switching from the end to the beginning to the middle. The characters were a bit muddled and not well defined. There really didn't seem to be one character you could actually root for in the story. I thought when the family went to Africa the reader would be entertained with such an awesome country as a backrop, but it was not to be. I am glad I read it, but it was not one of my favorites.

The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula Mclain
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Insightful
The Paris Wife: A Novel

I really enjoyed this book. After reading it I have a new insight into the works of Ernest Hemingway. It's funny but you always think someone brilliant until you get to know them. I think Hadley was at times amazing and other times foolish, but regardless she intended to stick with Ernest through whatever and for that she is to be admired. Great story.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dark, Pointless
Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel

I actually enjoyed this book. It is a little different, but so was the "Time Traveler's Wife". It was a love story on two levels, between a man and a woman and between twin sisters. It has a very sad ending, the point being sometimes you should leave things the way they were intended to be.

The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The 19th Wife: A Novel

This was a great story on polygamy. I learned so many things. I loved how the story was told back and forth between the actual writings of the 19th Mrs. Young and a current day murder mystery. You could see the changes and the splits of the followers of Joseph Young. I highly recommend this book to anyone who ever thought as I did ......why would a man take more than one wife and why would a wife want that for herself?

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Informative
Winter Garden

I thought the story was really good until the end. Why do author's always feel they have to tie everything into a happy ending in order for it to be a good story? I would have rated the book higher if they had let the book end as a natural ending rather than something so far fetched. The Leningrad Seige was definitely interesting. I would recommend it, but it didn't knock my socks off because of the unbelievable ending. The other part that brought the book down was this love story that was supposed to take part between Anya and her husband was barely touched on when Anya was recalling her past. I guess it wasn't that great of a love story after all!

Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Beautiful, Optimistic
Emily and Einstein

This was a fantastic book! I was hooked from the first page, finished it in two days! The book was funny, insightful, inspiring and tearful. I loved the characters, even Einstein, who not your typical likeable animal. I recommend this book to everyone!

The Hunger Games (Book 1) by Suzanne Collins
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
The Hunger Games

This was a really good read. Almost everyone in our book club who read it went on to finish the series! I liked that the book was actually brought to my attention by my teenage daughter, so not only did I get to discuss the book with our book club, but I also had a chance to talk to my daughter about her thoughts on it. I loved that for our meeting we went out to eat......get it "Hunger Games".

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Beautiful, Interesting
Prayers for Sale

This is one of those books that you start reading and it immediately has your attention. I didn't want to put it down. I was grateful it was summer and I could spend more time reading. This was so interesting and it covered every range of emotion from the saddest story to the happiest of moments with lots of humor in between! You won't regret reading this book!!

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Interesting
What Alice Forgot

This book was so inspiring. It reminds you how easily the years go by and you forget the very reasons that drew you to a person. Life just comes at you at such a fast pace and between all the hustle and bustle you lose sight of what is really important. The book was a wonderful story about two people and a second chance. I highly recommend this book!

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Interesting
Shanghai Girls: A Novel

This book was a real piece of history intertwined with a sad, and yet inspriring story. I liked the two sisters from the start and was amazed after all they had been through they never lost sight of what was importatnt; staying together, their bond. It was a really good read and I would recommend this book to everyone, especially if you have any interest in the Chinese culture in America.

Night Road: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Night Road

This started out as one of those stories that you just can't put down, and it stayed that way until the accident. Then I thought it dragged a little. The one thing I would have changed was the ending. It was all wrapped up so neat and so quickly it took away from the story line. That being said, the story itself was a topic for discussion. What would anyone do if that were their circumstance? I think it calls into play what level of forgiveness would we really have for another person if the thing that was taken from us was our child. That is what made this a story worth reading!

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic
Rules of Civility: A Novel

Loved this book! The main character was an intelligent woman making her way in the 1930's. There were many twists, and I appreciated the vocabulary. The story was so descriptive that I truly felt like she was a real person, and I really wanted to be her friend!!

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Dramatic
11/22/63: A Novel

I LOVED this book. The time travel aspect mixed with the Kennedy assasination made for superb reading. I would recommend this book to everyone with a penchant for either subject. The ending was as good as the beginning!

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Dark
Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel

An amazing journey with an amnesiac. Each day you are reminded, as she is, just what she knows about herself. As the story progresses, you realize together that many things are not as they seem. Just when you think you know what is coming, you are blindsided! Terrific read!

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Brilliant, Interesting
The Night Circus

I couldn't put this book down! It was whimsical and dramatic at the same time. All the characters were strong and played well with the backdrop of the circus. It was such a different story. It was a little bit of the movie, "The Illusionist" mixed with "Water for Elephants". I would highly recommend this book!

The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Interesting
The Language of Flowers: A Novel

The book was just an OK book. It was kind of depressing. The thing I never understood about the story was why Victoria would be unadoptable at three weeks old? I kind of saw why she would carry a lot of anger as time went on, but to be unwanted by ANYONE at three weeks old didn't make sense to me. I did like the communication with flowers, the meanings were informative,but as for the rest of the story it just didn't fall into line with real life.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Mudbound

I really liked this story. It was a quick read and that made it all the better. I liked the way the story was told by different characters which made it more interesting. One person might interpret an action one way, and someone else saw the same action completely different. The story dealt with Mississipi after the second world war, and of course there was a lot of bigotry and prejudice, but even that was told through different eyes. I liked the story and not every story, especially this one, has a happy ending.

Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Beautiful
Henry's Sisters

This book was so much fun to read. Henry was so lovable and you could just picture him in your head loving his sisters and his mom with his simple ways. His sisters were such a combination of feist and devotion. The grandmother was over the top. I laughed out loud at Amelia.......especially when her "gas tank was full". I sobbed, I laughed, I was angry, and I was amazed and surprised. This book had it all! I would highly, highly recommend this book!!!

Chasing Amanda by Melissa Foster
 
Unconvincing, Poorly Written, Pointless
Chasing Amanda

Don't waste your time with this one. It was extremely predictable and unrealistic.

Faith: A Novel by Jennifer Haigh
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Inspiring
Faith: A Novel

This is definitely the best book I have read so far this year, and I read a lot. I am a Catholic. Grew up in a Catholic family, went to Catholic school, continue to observe the traditions and practice the faith. This book was truly something different. It made no excuses for the sins of those who have committed attrocities to children, and yet, it presented something of a different view, from the family of a priest who was accused. Not only did it shed a light on what they must go through, but it also gave light on how the accusers react. This was a truly wonderful read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Interesting, Adventurous
The Snow Child: A Novel

This was a really good story. A fairy tale spun into a story that was almost believable. I loved Mabel and Jack. The descriptions of life in Alaska were so intense I could almost feel the cold when it snowed. It is one of those books that once you start you won't stop until you are finished, even if it means letting the dishes go until morning!

The Dovekeeper by Alice Hoffman
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Epic, Informative
The Dovekeepers: A Novel

It was a good story, really good, but it was very slow and drawn out. I wish the author had been more direct.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

I LOVED this book. The ending was really good, which is what I always look for in a book....how do they bring it all together. Loved the setting, the characters, and the story that unraveled, piece by piece.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Dramatic
The Yellow Birds: A Novel

This book still haunts me, even though I finished it two nights ago. I can't stop thinking of the characters. I think every American should read this book so you have a glimpse of what truly happens to our soldiers when they are sent off to war. All the care packages in the world can't ease the mental and physical stress they suffer. I have nothing but respect for these men and women who sacrifice everything to defend our freedom. This story helps the reader understand a small part of their sacrifice. A must read!

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Light Between Oceans

This was one of those story that inspire all sorts of emotions within the reader. You find yourself feeling sorry for one character and then my sympathy went to another character and I had anger for the first character. In the end, you realize what a mess we make for ourselves when we don't follow what we know to be the right thing. It also makes you question yourself on how you would have handled the situation. A really great read!

Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Interesting
Gone Girl

This book started out convincing the reader you knew what was coming. Then the book changed and you thought something else. Then in the third part, you thought there was some kind of justice. The ending was baffling. When I finished the book, I felt disappointed. It took me days after the book to finally see the ending was just as it should have been. For that reason, I loved the book even more. It made me think about it long after I had finished it and changed my original thought. I would highly recommend this book.

Divergent by Veronica Roth
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting
Divergent

If you like Hunger Games you will like this book. It is the same type of concept. A young girl who has to fight for her life in an America that is unrecognizable. Since this is the first of a trilogy, I can't say if the entire story will be as well written as the first book, but this one was definitely good. It was interesting and addictive. Once you start reading you want to keep at it until the book is finished. Good story, would definitely recommend.

The Dinner by Herman Koch
 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Interesting, Slow
The Dinner

I really liked this book. I think it is written a little slow in the beginning...too many details, but once the story starts to build you really get caught up in it and the surprises just keep on coming until you reach the very end. It's the kind of story you read and just shake your head at the end trying to imagine if these characters could actually exist. Worth the read!

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Fun
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

It was such a good story right from the beginning. A combination of fantasy and reality. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end! Highly recommend.

Sutton by J.R. Moehringer
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Adventurous, Informative
Sutton

This was a terrific story. You feel compassion for this bank robber right from the beginning and you maintain it till the very end, which is when you learn things are not always what they seem to be! Great book!

Wool by Hugh Howey
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Wool

This book was chosen for our book club and at first I thought it would be like a Stephen King novel, but it wasn\'t. It was a very interesting read. The ending leaves you wondering \"why?\" The characters were well developed and realistic, and I did miss them when I finished. I would recommend this book to others.

Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
Defending Jacob

This book is a story that will touch all parents. What would you do if you were in the position on Andy\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s parents? How far will a parent go to protect their child? The ending was truly brilliant. After you read it, you will remember all the signs were there, you just were focused on another part of the story. I would absolutely recommend this book!

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Dramatic, Brilliant
The Shadow of the Wind

This book was a true story. From start to finish you fall in love with story. The characters are well developed you miss them when you are finished with the book. Julian will be with me for a long time. I cannot express how much I truly enjoyed this book. Highly recommend!

The Oracle Glass by Judith Merkle Riley
 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Fantastic, Dramatic
The Oracle Glass

This book was a slice of history with a story. It was a very interesting look at the fortune tellers and their downfall under Louis XIV of France. It was so interesting to see how women were treated during this time period and why this was such a popular yet dangerous profession. It was definitely a good read.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Adventurous
Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

This was a funny, uplifting book about a mom who lost sight of who she was. It wasn't until you reach the end of the story, you see just how far she fell from what she once was and had hoped to accomplish. The best part of the story is that it teaches every mom who reads the book, it is never too late to pursue happiness!

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Inspiring, Beautiful
If I Stay

I loved this story. I think it opens the dialogue of what one would do if you were given the opportunity to stay in a life where you know you will face the pain of loss, but you have the hope of love, or if the pain would be too much and you take a chance that the next life will offer a greater love.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Slow
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel

Originally, I was so disappointed that this novel was written by Harper Lee. I felt like the author was trying desperately to explain a southern mentality to anyone who had never lived in that particular time and environment. However, after having time to contemplate the story more, I now see that it doesn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t really excuse the behavior of Maycombe, it just points out that when Scout was away from the town, she was able to come back with a view that was not shared by those she knew and loved. I imagine it is like being a smoker. You don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t really understand the smell until you are no longer a smoker. Then you think how can others not smell the cigarette when they smoke? It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s all perspective to where you are in your journey.

 
Interesting, Fun, Insightful
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikrey: A Novel

For a story that was based on a book store, it lacked the basics for a good story. The characters were unbelievable, the events were too far-fetched, and the ending was just a quick "let's tie this up and give it a happy ending". I wouldn't recommend it at all.

Stones in the Road by E.B. Moore
 
Poorly Written, Pointless, Boring
Stones in the Road

I found this book to be boring, unrealistic and poorly written. Without giving away the bad ending, there is no way you can convince me that a mother who has pined for her child more than ten years would not recognize him when he comes home, and yet a child who never met him knows almost immediately that this stranger is his brother.....really??? This was just one of the examples of how unconvincing the book is...from start to finish.

Dietland by Sarai Walker
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Dark, Addictive
Dietland

I started this book thinking it would be the story of a woman's journey regarding her weight loss. Instead, I was the one on the journey. This was an eye opening book, not just on the unfairness women endure today, just as much as we ever have, but on how women don't even realize how badly we are treated. One of the greatest lessons learned from this book was that women who are least attractive (to men) see the "real" side of most men. I found the book to be extremely interesting and it had a lot of valid points. I would recommend it. It definitely made for great discussion!

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Fun
The Nest

This story demonstrates how money can ruin lives. Four siblings live their lives based on the assumption that a great deal of money would be coming their way. When things don't happen as planned, each person has to figure out what is really important to them.
Great read with great message.

The Widow by Fiona Barton
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Dark
The Widow

Wow! This book kept me up at night! You keep hoping that there will be a happy ending for at least one of the main characters. The subject matter was handled well. The ending was as sad as knowing that there really are people like this in every community!

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Addictive, Dark
Behind Closed Doors

Once you start you can not stop! The ending was perfect! Highly recommend!

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