Category: Contemporary

Legacy: An Anthology (#30Authors)

May 18, 2015 Contemporary, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary, Magical Realism, Memoir, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction 7 ★★★

Legacy: An Anthology (#30Authors)Title: Legacy
Author: Adria J. Cimino, Allison Hiltz, David Whitehouse, Didier Quémener, J.J. Hensley, Jenny Milchman, Kristopher Jansma, Lizzie Harwood, Marissa Stapley, Maureen Foley, Paula Young Lee, Piper Punches, Regina Calcaterra, Stephanie Carroll, Vicki Lesage
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads


Last year, I was able to participate in the fun #30Authors event, connecting authors with bloggers and readers. This interaction led to the creation of Legacy, a collection of short stories written specifically for the anthology. This collection includes both fiction and nonfiction pieces, all connected by their exploration of the idea of legacy. Read more »


The Hilltop

November 11, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Review 12 ★★

The HilltopTitle: The Hilltop
Author: Assaf Gavron
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: Although I enjoyed the understated humor in this story, the plot and characters were unengaging and I found much of the story too dark and gritty.

“On a rocky, beautiful hilltop stands Ma’aleh Hermesh C, a fledgling community flying under the radar. According to the government it doesn’t exist; according to the military it must be defended.[…]One of the settlement’s steadfast residents is Gabi Kupper, a one-time free spirit and kibbutz-dweller, who undergoes a religious awakening. The delicate routines of Gabi’s new life are thrown into turmoil with the sudden arrival of Roni, his prodigal brother, who, years after venturing to America in search of fortune, arrives at Gabi’s door, penniless. To the settlement’s dismay, Roni soon hatches a plan to sell the “artisanal” olive oil from the Palestinian village to Tel Aviv yuppies. When a curious Washington Post correspondent stumbles into their midst, Ma’aleh Hermesh C becomes the focus of an international diplomatic scandal and faces its greatest test yet.” (source) Read more »


Accidents of Marriage

September 30, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction 9 ★★★

Accidents of MarriageTitle: Accidents of Marriage
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: This was a gripping book, but more tense than emotionally moving, and I didn’t feel as though the main character had enough agency.

“Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he’s lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids – which works to keep a fragile peace – until the rainy day when they’re together in the car and Ben’s volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.” (Source) Read more »


The Story Hour

August 19, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Literary, Review, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★★

The Story HourTitle: The Story Hour
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: The author’s beautiful writing made me experience the character’s emotions very deeply, but the emotional impact of the ending was weak compared to the rest of the book.

Psychologist Maggie has always been willing to try unorthodox methods and has become known for her ability to help in tough cases. When she is asked to help Lakshmi, an isolated Indian immigrant who tried to commit suicide, it is clear that unorthodox methods are called for. Lakshmi understand therapy to mean making friends with Maggie and Maggie relates to Lakshmi too much to maintain her usual distance. As these two very different women learn each other’s biggest mistakes, their differing backgrounds and expectations of their relationship will threaten their friendship, making it hard for them to forgive one another.
Read more »


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

August 6, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Literary 23

228044Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
Author: Mark Haddon
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: The writing style of this book was unique and fascinating, but the plot felt incomplete.

Although Christopher has an incredible memory for factual information, he has a hard time understanding human emotions. He’s smart and logical, but also very sheltered. When he discovers that his neighbor’s dog has been killed, he decides to emulate his favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes, and try to find out who is responsible. In order to investigate, Christopher will have to do things outside his comfort zone and what he learns may be even more frightening. Read more »


How To Build a Girl Read-Along – Part 4

August 4, 2014 Blogger Events, Contemporary, Fiction 8

caitlin moranWe’re up to chapter 20 and things are really picking up! Be warned, spoilers below. So far, the experience of reading this book for me has been very different from anything else I’ve ever read. I feel emotionally invested in Johanna. I care when she’s sad and get excited when she’s happy and do all the worrying she should be doing about STDs and unwanted pregnancies and pervs she might encounter going home with random guys. However, I also feel like an outside observer who’s just really, really curious where this is all going. Johanna’s life is so crazy and different from mine and I can’t wait to see what happens. Read more »


One Plus One

July 1, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Women's Fiction 18

18693716Title: One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Yet another awesome read from Jojo Moyes, with unique but believable characters, lots of emotional ups and downs, and a fun plot.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.” (Source) Read more »



April 8, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Romance 26

VintageTitle: Vintage
Author: Susan Gloss
Source: from publisher for TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This is a beautiful, amazing, wonderful book which explores female friendship and stands as a powerful testament to the idea that the modern woman can be anyone she wants to be.

As I may have mentioned once or twice, I love books where people’s lives intersect and they all become happier as a result. This is one of those stories. At the beginning, I thought I might be getting tired of that story. I thought this particular story might feel clichéd and exactly like all the others. However, the more I read, the more I was convinced this was something special. The writing did remind me of The Wedding Bees or Lost Lake. Susan Glass does a wonderful job creating a vivid world with a cheerful atmosphere. Her writing is bright and colorful, making reading this book a delightful experience. Initially, I wasn’t sure I liked the fashion references, especially since I’m not fashionable enough to get all of them. I did, however, think the idea of focusing each chapter on one item from Violet’s store (described at the beginning of the chapter) gave this book a unique character. I eventually got used to the in-chapter fashion references too.
Read more »


Someone Else’s Love Story

November 25, 2013 Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction 17

17349119Title: Someone Else’s Love Story
Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Source: from publisher for SheReads book club
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book was so good I practically forgot to take notes, with spectacularly unique and believable characters driving a fascinating plot.

Single mother Shandi is deeply, lovingly devoted to her brilliant three year old son, so when the handsome William steps between her son and an armed robber, she immediately loves him too. Unfortunately for Shandi, William is still barely recovering from a devastating tragedy in his life and he has some secrets of his own. Their interaction will help both of them find out what they want and what they need as their lives shift around them. Read more »


Painted Hands

September 24, 2013 Contemporary, Fiction 8

16045113 (1)Title: Painted Hands
Author: Jennifer Zobair
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: A timely and well written story, this book not only gave interesting glimpses into a different culture but also shared some very relatable stories from modern women who care about their careers.

Zainab Mir is already pushing against cultural expectations by working for a Republican senator and things only get more complicated as she befriends a gay reporter; is featured in a suggestive magazine article; and falls for a Muslim-bashing member of the opposition. Amra Abbas also has a high powered career, dreaming of becoming a partner in a law firm. When she reconnects with a childhood crush she conceals her career ambitions until the point at which reconciliation might not be possible. Read more »