4
Apr

{review} Hidden by Catherine McKenzie 

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Hidden by Catherine McKenzie
Publication Date:  April 1, 2014

Book Description:  Why do people cheat? It’s a question we never seem to tire of asking. In Hidden, Catherine McKenzie takes a story as old as the institution of marriage and makes it new. What is so novel about her book—what hooked me from the beginning—is that it’s told in the voices of all three main characters: Jeff Manning, who is killed in a car accident; his wife, Claire, who struggles to pick up the pieces after his death; and Tish Underhill, Jeff’s coworker and friend. 

Of course, when you ask three witnesses to tell you about the same event, you get three different stories. Reading Hidden, I found myself torn in three directions—I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic to each character’s perspective. It’s no surprise that Catherine, a lawyer by day, has a keen sense of observation and an uncanny ability to tease out the flawed yet very human motivations behind her characters’ reckless actions. In this portrait of modern love and family obligations, she blurs the boundaries of fidelity and what constitutes a marital transgression. 

Was Jeff planning to walk away from the life he had built with Claire? Was Tish more than just a good friend? Will Claire ever discover if her suspicions are grounded in reality? 

A good domestic drama keeps us turning the pages at breakneck speed. A great one causes us to question even our most tightly held beliefs. Hidden does both. Just like I did, you’ll race through this book to uncover the truth.  (Source:  Amazon.com)

Review:  Catherine McKenzie is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, I really enjoyed the subject material and writing of her first few books.  I was so happy to see that she had a new book coming out!  I received this book from the publisher, but it was also one of the choices on Kindle First for the month of March which I thought was pretty awesome.

Books about adultery usually brings out a lot of loud opinions.  I’m not here to take a moral high ground on the issue of extramarital affairs.  I’m here to discuss the book and what I liked or didn’t like about it.  

I absolutely did not like the shared narration and random jumps back in time.  Of course it all ties together at the end, but was it necessarily a worthy reveal…no, it wasn’t.  Why didn’t I like this aspect of storytelling?  I personally found it very confusing.  There were no chapter names that would indicate whether Jeff, Claire or Tish was speaking.  In fact, it often took me a page to figure it out.  Obviously when Jeff’s point of view was given, we were flashing back but it should have been more clear to the reader. 

Also, I didn’t feel an emotional pull to Tish and Jeff OR to Jeff and Claire. With Tish and Jeff specifically, I did feel the pull of what might have brought them together.  I didn’t feel invested in their relationship, nor did I see the reasoning behind it.  

Though I did not enjoy this book as Catherine McKenzie’s other books, I will definitely keep reading her in the future.  I really enjoy how she takes controversial subjects and makes you think about them a different way.

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

21
Mar

{review} Cassidy Lane by Maria Murnane 

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Cassidy Lane by Maria Murnane
Publication Date:  March 4, 2014

Book Description:  Bestselling author Cassidy Lane walks into her twentieth high school reunion with several novels under her belt, but no date on her arm, and deep down she still feels like the smart girl no one asked to the prom. Then handsome Brandon Forrester confesses his teenage crush, and soon Cassidy finds herself swept up in a modern-day fairytale romance not unlike the tales she spins for a living. While their relationship blossoms, however, the new book she’s writing isn’t going as well, and for the first time in her career she considers crafting an ending that doesn’t include a proverbial walk into the sunset. Contemplating the simultaneous reversal of her own romantic fortune and that of her protagonist’s is daunting, but maybe it’s time for both her writing and her personal life to take a new path. Or is it?

Filled with Murnane’s trademark wit and optimism, a charming cast of secondary characters, and loads of heart, Cassidy Lane will have you cheering for its heroine down to the very last delightful word.  (SOURCE:  Amazon.com)

Review:  I was not expecting to relate so much to this book.  I was expecting a fun, light read (my favorite kind), I was not expecting to relate so much to a 38 year old best-selling author.  Let’s get right down to it, Cassidy is in a funk.  Someone shows her a little attention and she gets all giddy, and rightly feels upset when it ends.  She is angry, but no one understands why.  Does she have a right to feel that way over a “text relationship”?  Yes!  Been there, done that Cassidy!

Cassidy is a best-selling author, why couldn’t I relate to that part?  This story takes us through her time writing a new novel.  Her process is interesting to read about, especially how she creates new characters.  I really enjoyed this inside look into the “glamorous” life of a writer.  

One thing I really loved was the ending.  I don’t mean that in a mean way either, I really liked how realistic it was.  In fact, when I read the ending of Cassidy’s book I got kind of angry because I didn’t realize it was her book, I thought it was the end of this book.  Thank goodness it wasn’t, it was too cutesy.  I enjoy reading a book that has a realistic ending.  Sometimes things don’t work out, sometimes guys just stop talking to you…and it’s OK!  I will, however, just ignore the last sentence…unless there is a sequel.

I really enjoyed this book, Maria Murnane has yet to let me down.

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic… All thoughts and opinions are my own.

20
Mar

{review} On the Rocks by Erin Duffy 

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On the Rocks by Erin Duffy
Publication Date:  April 22, 2014

Book Description:  Six months ago, Abby’s life fell apart for the entire world to see. Her longtime boyfriend-turned-fiancé, Ben, unceremoniously dumped her—on Facebook—while she was trying on dresses for the big day.

When the usual remedies—multiple pints of Ben & Jerry’s, sweatpants, and a comfy couch—fail to work their magic, her best friend, Grace, devises a plan to get Abby back on her game. She and Abby are going to escape Boston and its reminders of Ben and head to Newport for the summer. There, in a quaint rented cottage by the sea, the girls will enjoy cool breezes, cocktails, and crowds of gorgeous men.

But no matter where they go, Abby and Grace discover that in this era of social media—when seemingly everyone is preserving every last detail of their lives online—there is no real escape. Dating has never been easy. But now that the rules are more blurred than ever, how will they find true love? And even if they do, can romance stand a chance when a girl’s every word and move can go viral with a single click?

 (SOURCE:  Amazon.com)

Review:  It’s been a long winter, very long.  I needed an escape, I needed the beach, I needed anything that would take my mind off of the snow and cold.  This book seemed like the perfect escape.

The book opens with Abby trying on wedding dresses, it’s very cringe-worthy because the reader knows what’s about to happen.  Her fiancé dumps her via Facebook.  Talk about dodging a bullet.  I found this little situation to be a little unlikely.  I know that social media is a huge part of our lives, but I would think a grown man could dump his future wife face to face.  It’s not as if he were an 18 year old boy.  So this aspect really annoyed me, but overall I could ignore that.

Cue the beach house!  Man, would I love to escape to the beach in a new town for a whole summer.  Unfortunately, the delightful setting couldn’t conceal my issues.  On one of the first nights out, Abby declares that she is going to go on two dates per week.  A lofty goal, sure, but there was absolutely no follow through.  In fact, several weeks passed before it was mentioned again.  Two dates per week would have been a fun idea for a book, I would have loved to hear about more of the dating failures.  She had a pretty big failure and awkward moment during the end of a date, paying the check has never been so awkward!

Social media has a very large presence throughout this book.  It’s kind of fun, but at the same time very frustrating.  It’s odd for me to write this on tumblr of all places, but I am so sick of social media.  I spend so much time tied to my screen, that I feel like I miss out on so much.  So while I appreciate was Duffy is trying to do by showing how social media rules our life, I found bits unrealistic…or maybe I live under a rock.  Do guys really decide that someone is not worth dating if they do not have a Facebook page?  I had never heard that! 

Overall, the writing was engaging and light.  Even though I found certain aspects to be annoying (don’t even get me started on her sister’s wedding), it did manage to get me out of my winter funk.

*This book was provided for review on Confessions of a Bookaholic…All thoughts and opinions are my own.

4
Mar

leopardheart27:

This is the most adorable version of Let It Go! I freaking love it you must watch!

3
Feb

gobookyourself:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

For more psychological struggle and women’s lives, try these…

Faces in the Water by Janet Frame for a unique insight into the mind of a woman in a New Zealand mental institution

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates for a depiction of suburban delusion and a couple’s bitter undoing

Novel about my Wife by Emily Perkins for a story of a man deciphering what went wrong with his wife, leaving compelling gaps for the reader

The Hours by Michael Cunningham for three women—connected by a novel—dealing with responsibility, disappointment, desire, and madness

This post was guest edited by writer Angela Meyer. Angela is the editor of The Great Unknown, a book of eerie Australian stories, and author of Captives, a book of flash fiction out in May.

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11
Jan
My 4 year old niece thought we should draw Frozen pictures….I was in charge of people. I obviously missed my calling.

My 4 year old niece thought we should draw Frozen pictures….I was in charge of people. I obviously missed my calling.