Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 5, 2015

If you have not read Me Before You (Why not??  I told you to go read it over two years ago!) then you probably should skip over this review.   After You is the long awaited sequel to my favorite book of 2013. It has been nearly two years since Lou said her final good-bye to Will.  She has only been going through the motions, not really living the life Will wanted her to live.  She goes to work at her job as a waitress at an airport bar and then she comes home.  And that is it.  One night there is a freak accident and Lou ends up falling off her roof.   She goes home to her parent's house to recover, but after weeks of their smothering she is ready to go home.  And they are willing to let her go back to her apartment with one condition - she needs to attend grief counseling, for Lou's family isn't entirely convinced that Lou had an "accident".   Lou isn't home long when there is a knock at her door and the young woman on the other side says that she is Will Traynor's daughter.  Lou finds herself immersed in the feelings she has been trying so hard to bury.   Will she be able to help the troubled teenager and find the true direction her life is supposed to take?

I often have thought about Louisa Clark and what her life was like after Will died. I am not surprised that her life has kind of stalled-out, anybody who went through what she did would need some time to get back to normal.  About the same time that Lily enters her life so does Sam the ambulance driver.  He was on duty the night that Lou fell off the roof and he was instrumental in saving her life and keeps popping up at the strangest times.  While Lou is afraid to fall in love again she does enjoy his company and he makes her feel something she hasn't felt in a very long time - hope.    As much as I wanted to love After You it did not recreate the feelings that I felt while reading Me Before You. The author really challenged my own beliefs about sensitive topics and that emotional roller coaster is why I loved the first book so much.  That ride is just not there for After You. I loved catching up with Lou, I loved checking in on her and her family, I even loved the way she handled the whole Lily situation, but I was a little disappointed that the emotional ride was just not there.

Bottom line - if you read Me Before You then you have to read After You, you just have to.  But you must temper your expectations and go into it knowing that Me Before You was a one of a kind novel than cannot be replicated.  Definitely catch up with Lou, but just know that the hard part of her story has already passed.


(71)After You by JoJo Moyes

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Alice Pearse is apprehensive when her husband tells her that he is leaving his job as a successful lawyer to start his own practice.  She knows that their family of five cannot survive on her income as a part-time book editor for a women's magazine, so Alice starts her job search.  She lands at a start-up company called Scroll.  Scroll is the pet project of a large conglomeration that has grandiose ideas of yet again reinventing the way people buy books and read those books.  Alice is beyond thrilled to be part of such an endeavor and when she receives a first edition of her favorite book on her first day she is sure that she has found the perfect job.  Scroll is demanding of both Alice's time and energy.  She has to sacrifice the majority of her duties at home to her husband and their nanny, Jessie.  She works long and exhausting hours, but she does it because she believes in the mission of the company. And then her father's cancer returns, life at home is falling completely apart, and the company she was so proud to work for has changed their vision.  Alice is heartbroken about her father and torn between providing for her family and honoring her true self.  And will her marriage survive everything that is being thrown at them?

I really, really, really enjoyed A Window Opens. I didn't realize it until I had finished the book and was able to digest everything that I realized it was one of the best books of the year.  Unfortunately I completely understand what it is like to become disillusioned with a company that you thought was a perfect fit for you. There is a huge sense of disappointment and coming to that realization could bring even the strongest of women to their knees.  Alice tried to hang on for as  long as she could and that was admirable.  She kept hoping that Scroll would turn around and be the company she believed they could be.   Bibliophiles are going to love this book.  There are so many references to popular books both past and present.  It feels like Alice is truly one of us.   And it was so telling when her husband pointed out that she hadn't really read for pleasure since taking the job at Scroll.  Any bibliophile will tell you that not reading is the sign of true distress.   There were some heartbreaking points in the book, but I was content with the way things were wrapped up.  A bit inspiring even.

Bottom line - A Window Opens is an introspective look about one woman's struggle with fulfillment and the struggle of maintaining a work/life balance.  Book club patrons are going to find  lots to discuss with this one.  A definite must read!


(70)A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Claire is devastated when her wealthy husband, Paul, is brutally murdered in a random street crime. When Claire arrives home from the cemetery on the day of his funeral she discovers that someone has broken into her house.  During the investigation Claire discovers something troubling on her husband's computer.  That something challenges everything Claire thought she knew about her husband. As she digs deeper she begins to wonder if her husband may know something about her sister, Julia, that went missing over two decades ago.  Once Claire starts to unravel the the truth she reaches out to her estranged sister Lydia, and together they will not stop until they know everything, no matter what the cost.

WARNING:  Pretty Girls has some pretty disturbing subject matter, I won't give it away, but I think it is safe to say that the average reader may find it too much to take.   But, having said that,  oooooooooh, Pretty Girls is so good!  From the very beginning we learn that Claire is just coming off house arrest and is on parole, but you are well into the second half of the book before we learn why.  That kind of suspense is sheer genius. The reason wasn't even crucial to the main story, but I was dying to know why she was on parole!  Claire and Lydia have been estranged for a very long time, but their relationship has so many layers and complexities.  When we learn the cause of their estrangement it is enough to make one sad and maybe even a bit angry, but they are together now and you hope their relationship will survive beyond this moment in time.  In the end there are some shocking revelations, some scary situations, and some downright horrifying experiences.  But the author remained true to the story and it ended the only way it could.

Bottom line - Karin Slaughter is one of the most beloved crime novelists in the country.  With Pretty Girls she deviates from  her familiar characters and goes darker than she ever has before and with great success.  Like I said earlier, though, Pretty Girls is pretty dark and twisted, but if you have the stomach for dark and twisted , you will love this book.


(69)Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Jenny Tate has been divorced for more than a year and is finally ready to let go of the life she lived in New York City.  She is looking forward to being back in her quaint little hometown where she can drop in on her sister, Rachael, her devoted husband, Adam, and her three nieces anytime she wants.  Moving her wedding dress business was easy, as was settling back into small town life.  Her handsome neighbor, Leo, makes it even easier as they dance around their growing attraction.  His way with his piano students and quick wit have Jenny feeling things she doesn't want to be feeling.   Soon some really hard truths come to light about Rachael's "idyllic" marriage and the sisters are forced to examine their differing views on exactly what constitutes an "idyllic" or even functionable relationship.

I have grown to become a fan of Kristan Higgins over the last few years  and find myself thoroughly enjoying her romance novels.   If You Only Knew is Higgins' first attempt at more fiction and less romance, but she made the transition with ease and I think she did a great job.   If You Only Knew is told in the alternating voices of Jenny and Rachael.    Two sisters with two different perspectives on love and marriage.   But the realization I came to while reading this book is that those perspectives are fluid and always evolving based on your current situation in life.  Just married -well of course you are in love with love.  Just divorced - well, of course, the complete opposite.   For Jenny Tate, even though her own marriage didn't work out, she still had to believe in marriage - her career depended on it.   Jenny & Leo's burgeoning relationship had all of that wit and humor I have come to expect from the author and I found myself laughing out loud several times. It is revealed late in the book that there is a bit more depth to Leo than I expected, but it made me love him even more.  And of course there is a dog (and I am not referring to Adam).  There is always a dog to fall in love with in her books.

Bottom line - If You Only Knew is a quick and wonderful read with characters you are eager to get to know.  Definitely worth the read if you are looking for a fun escape.


(68)If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

Monday, September 7, 2015

Even though Letty Espinosa has two children, fifteen year old Alex and six year old Luna, she has never really had to be a mother to them.  Her own mother stepped in and was the one to make sure the kids had food and clothes and made it to school on time.  But now Letty's parents have returned to Mexico and Letty is forced to be a mother for the first time in her life.   It is a rough transition for both Letty and the kids.  Alex is hesitant to trust his mother to be able to care for them and Luna- well, Luna misses her grandparents so much she can hardly stand it.  It doesn't take Letty long to catch on to this "mother" thing and she realizes that she wants better for her kids.  She concocts a plan to get them into a better neighborhood and better schools, but struggles and worries with each step.  Things get even more muddied when Alex's father comes back into their lives.  Will Letty finally be able to feel like she deserves the life she has, including her children or will the balancing act give way and force them all back into the life Letty worked so hard to get them away from?

We Never Asked For Wings is one of those books where the title really fits the story.  Alex is a fifteen year old boy who has an awful lot on his shoulders for such a young man. He is wicked smart and so kind, but he was born on the wrong side of the tracks. And the thing is that Letty doesn't know her son at all.  I had a really hard time liking Letty, in fact I despised her at first. But the harder she worked at making things right the more I started coming around.  Letty's story is just one of millions out there, a single mother working hard to provide her kids with a little something more than she had and it is scary.  Letty was scared that she wouldn't be able to do it and I think once her fear became evident it was easier for me to like her. Fear is an understandable emotion.   We are introduced to Alex's girlfriend, Yesenia, and the fact that she is not in the States legally.  It open ups a whole new level of fear for Letty.  She is afraid that Alex will make the same mistakes she made and follow in her footsteps, instead of his fathers.  In the end, things worked out the way they were meant to, but it wasn't an easy path.

Bottom line - I found We Never Asked for Wings to be a beautiful and honest look at the human side of the immigration debate.  The Espinosa family is just one story, but their story - all stories - are worth knowing.


(67)We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Sunday, September 6, 2015

I have to apologize for going silent the last few weeks.  We moved and the chaos involved with moving has ruled my world for the last month or so.  Things are settling down and we are getting back to normal, so I expect to get back to my regular reading.

In a few short weeks Terrell Darcy Goodwin will be executed because of Tessa Cartwright's testimony in a trial that happened twenty years ago.  Tessa was one of the victims known as the "Black-Eyed Susans."  She was the only survivor dumped with the dead bodies of other women murdered and left in a ditch.  The murderer believed that Tessa was dead, too.   Now there is a race by some activist to prove that Terrell Darcy Goodwin is innocent and they have enlisted the help of Tessa.  And after all these years even Tessa believes that she made a mistake by testifying against Terrell Darcy Goodwin.  Who else but the murderer could be leaving Tessa Black-Eyed Susans over the years?  Will Tessa and this small group of people be able to prove Goodwin's innocence before it is too late?

Black-Eyed Susans was a fast paced suspense novel.  The chapters alternate between the Tessa of today and the sixteen year old Tessie in the days after she was found in a pile of dead women. Obviously there is a difference between the two, but the events of those days has definitely shaped the woman that Tessa is today.  She is a cautious woman who has taught her own teen-aged daughter to be alert and aware, fueled by her past, she is determined to not repeat it.  I found myself drawn to Tessa's determination to never be a victim again.  She took the steps necessary to become her own protector.  From her ability to handle a weapon to thought out plans of what to do if there is every an intruder. It just proved to me that Tessa was never going to be a victim again.   In the end  the truth is revealed in the most shocking of ways.

Bottom line - Black-Eyed Susans is one of those books that will suck you in and keep you hooked until the very last page.  Such a good read!


(66)Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Happy Tuesday!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Happy Tuesday !!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Molly Sanderson's sleep is disturbed by a call from her editor.  All of the "real" reporters in her small-town newspaper are unavailable and her boss needs her to go cover a story.  A body was found out near the local university and the paper needs somebody on the scene.   So Molly goes and she is shocked to discover the body is that is of a baby girl.  The revelation brings up all sorts of old feelings for Molly as it has barely been two years since she lost her own baby.  But Molly is determined to stay on the story and report the story in an impartial manner, trying to build credibility for her new career.  As she starts digging into the story she realizes that some dark secrets may have to be revealed in order to find out the truth about what happened to that baby.  Secrets involving her best friend, Stella, Stella's teen son, and the university that employs Molly's husband. Will Molly be able to remain impartial and get the job done?

Whey They Found Her is told from the viewpoint of three Ridgedale women.  Molly Sanderson, Barbara - a local mother and wife of the chief of police, and Sandy - a local teen from the wrong side of the tracks. The three women couldn't be more different, but they are bound by that poor baby.  There were many times throughout the story that I found myself wishing I could just smack Barbara.  She was so over-the-top that it made it tough to like her and "reading" the book on Audible only makes her that much more unlikable. The tone of her voice was so harsh and judgmental in almost every instance she instantly became the bad guy.    Sandy, on the other hand,  was easy to like .  Her mother's life is a cautionary tale, but Sandy did want better for herself and that is how her path crosses with Barbara.  Barbara's daughter, Hannah, has been tutoring Sandy for her GED, which Barbara says will look good on college applications. Kimberly McCreight does a great job of dissecting the relationships and dynamics of a small town and the intricacies of the secrets that hold the town together.  The whole time you are reading the book you are trying to guess two things - who did the baby belong to and how did she end up in that creek. By the time you get to the end of the book several shocking secrets have been revealed, including the father of the baby found in the creek and it is jaw-dropping.

Bottom line - Kimberly McCreight is making a name for herself as one of the premier suspense authors our time.  She builds her stories in such an intricate and layered fashion that you find yourself unable to tear yourself away from her world.  It makes for a thrilling read.


(65)Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis come from two different worlds.  Rachel lives a comfortable life in Florida with her parents, even though she has a congenital heart defect, she still leads a pretty easy life and even is a bit spoiled.   Andy Landis is the only child of a single woman who struggle to make ends meet.  Growing up on the streets of Philadelphia, Andy has led a pretty solitary life, his only friend is an older man.  The two meet as eight year-old kids in the emergency room of a Florida hospital.  That chance meeting sets the tone for the rest their lives.  They meet again by random happenstance when they are teenagers and that starts a romance that will eventually span decades.   It is in college though that their vastly different backgrounds cause problems for the two young lovers.  Andy got a full ride athletic scholarship for track and Rachel is deeply entrenched in the Greek system at a posh private university. When Andy visits Rachel for a formal he realizes that Rachel lives in a privileged world that he is likely never going to know.  Will the two be able to get past their differences to live a "happily ever after" life together?

Who Do You Love is a love-story that spans decades.  Their story is told by both Andy and Rachel.  You get inside the heads of both of these characters and learn what they are thinking, feeling, hoping, and dreaming.  I really felt that I knew both characters intimately and that added to my investment in their happiness. The author did an amazing job at character development for both Rachel and Andy.  Especially Rachel, who went from a spoiled sorority girl to working as a social worker in one of the toughest cities in the world.  It was great to watch her grow and realize that there is more to life than her own world view.    One thing I loved about their relationship was that there were times they weren't "together" , but they were still very much on the other person's mind.  Like when Rachel was in Manhattan on 9/11 or Andy found out the truth about his dad. Whenever something major happened in their lives it was the other person they thought about.  It just showed how their bond was so strong.   Things didn't go exactly as I thought they  would, but the end was satisfying and even a bit enjoyable.

Bottom line -  Who Do You Love is an enchanting tale about true love, destiny, and the bonds that can develop between two people from a young age.  Definitely a heartwarming read that will once again have you believing in true love.


(64) Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Jack Jordan is a highly respected journalist who is willing to be put in the most dangerous of situations in order to get the story.  Kitty Carricoe is  a mother and wife in the most prestigious Chicago suburb. Her only concerns are PTA meetings and birthday parties.  Jack and Kitty have been bitter enemies ever since college.  Their animosity is legendary, but they have one thing in common, their best friend Sarabeth.  When Sarabeth's husband is tragically and suspiciously killed in a plane crash Jack comes in off of her  assignment and Kitty leaves her posh Lakeside neighborhood and they come together to help Sarabeth through her crisis.   Speculation starts to mount that Trip was up to no good with his client's money and the two enemies decide to  pair up to get to the bottom of his shenanigans.  Their "investigation" takes them to the most unlikely places and discovers the most unlikely truths.  Will they be able to bury the hatchet once and for all?

Jen Lancaster is one author whose sense of humor comes through with every word she writes. There were many times throughout the book that I found myself chuckling and even laughing out loud. Jack and Kitty were fun characters,  Kitty is so over the top she was almost cartoonish - at first.  The more we get to know Kitty the more we realize that there is more to her than meets the eye. I liked Jack from the very beginning and found her to be easier to relate to  than Kitty.  Once the two of them teamed up they were a force to be reckoned with in quite the hysterical manner.    I will say that I was very surprised by the end of the book.  Typically I can figure that type of stuff out rather quickly, but Jen Lancaster surprised me!

Bottom line - The Best of Enemies was a light and fun read.  One where you can lose yourself in the fun and fluffy world created by one of my favorite authors.  Definitely worth the read!


(63)The Best of Enemies by Jen Lancaster

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Heidi Wood has always had a "save the world" mentality.  She works in a Literacy Center helping refugee students learn English.  She is vigilant about recycling and often lectures her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Zoe, on the social injustices in the world. But even Chris didn't think that Heidi would bring home a homeless teen and her new baby.  Heidi spotted Willow and Ruby while on her way home from work one day and when she spots them again Heidi approaches the young woman and invites her to dinner.  Heidi is instantly taken with the young baby, Ruby and finds herself inviting them to stay with them.  Chris is appalled and scared for his family's safety, while Zoe just wants them all to go away.  It isn't long before Heidi is utterly consumed with the young baby, the memories of her lost baby haunting her every moment  and driving her every decision. Soon her obsession with the baby is causing her to ignore all aspects of her life.  The question remains, who is Willow and Ruby?  Where did they come from and why does Willow have blood on her crusty shirt? Is Heidi's obsession  putting her family's life in danger?

Pretty Baby is one of those thrillers that is told from alternating perspectives. First there is Heidi, then there is Chris, and finally there is Willow.  But Willow's perspective is from a different time.  She slowly reveals where she has come from and the horrifying events that led her to become homeless in Chicago with a baby.  But Willow's story is revealed as she is telling it to a social worker in a juvenile corrections facility. And knowing that is what drives the suspense.   As the book progresses you start to understand and really empathize with Willow at the same time that you watch Heidi come completely unraveled.  The drama of it is truly hypnotizing.  Then there is Chris, who is trying to hold it all together for his family.  He is getting worn out by all the travel and all of the temptations that come with being a road warrior.  He just wants to be home with his family, but he sees Heidi slipping away with her obsession, he just never realized how bad it had gotten until the truth is revealed.  His steadiness just offsets all of the crazy in a way that adds to the authenticity of the story.

Bottom line - Pretty Baby is one of those books that will hook you early and keep you on the edge of your seat.  Pretty Baby has been getting a lot of media buzz and for good reason.  This is not one to miss!


(62)Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica

Friday, July 31, 2015

Don't Believe Me? Just Read! -- Unread Book It Up!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It is the eve of Ramie's thirty-eighth birthday and  Ramie is reflective on her life thus far. While she is wildly more successful than she ever thought possible, her personal life is not where she thought it would be at this age.  With one break-up after another Ramie isn't entirely sure that she has been in love since her high school boyfriend, Brendan. When Ramie wakes up on her thirty-eighth birthday she is shocked to discover that it is twenty years ago on her eighteenth birthday.   She rejoices at seeing her long deceased father and beloved childhood dog, but she also is eager to see Brendan again and a bit apprehensive about actually having to go back to high school.  A few days back in high school is all it takes before Ramie  wakes up on the eve of her twenty-eighth birthday.  She is a teacher and married to Brendan.  And expecting their first child.   Everything she thought she wanted out of life, but still she finds herself longing for something more.   Finally Ramie gets back to her thirties , but will she realize how important it is to live the life she has instead of longing for the life she doesn't have?

If I Could Turn Back Time was a fluffy "what if" kind of book.  I enjoyed Ramie and thought she was a great character.  She does exactly what I would do If I Could Go Back In Time - she tells her boyfriend's parents to go all in on Microsoft.  I also loved how much "love" Ramie gives to her father - she really showed appreciation for being able to see her deceased father again. And even tries to convince him to see a doctor early in an effort to prevent his heart attack.   Ramie also decides to be a little more inhibited than she was her first time as a teenager.  Like not waiting to lose her virginity, but she is also  more reserved about things like her best friend binge drinking.   I was a bit surprised at how the story ended.  Beth Harbison could have gone for the easy conclusion, but she didn't, and I respect that in an author.

Bottom line - If I Could Turn Back Time was a fun, fluffy read.  Ladies of a certain generation (ahem; me) will get a kick out of the 90's references and will give you a little bit of an opportunity to go back in time.


(61)If I Could Turn Back Time by Beth Harbison

Happy Tuesday!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sandy and Ben Tremont have built their dream home in the mountains of the Adirondacks.  It glows with warmth on a cold winter night as Sandy waits for her husband and their teenage daughter, Ivy, to come home.  The family dynamics have been a bit tense lately as Ivy has hit those "difficult" teen years, but she is determined to make their evening a pleasant, relaxing one.  What Sandy doesn't know is that two convicts have escaped the nearby prison and have found their way to her neighborhood and will soon be on their doorstep.

Nick and Harlan have been cellmates for years and have concocted a scheme to escape prison.  Nick is the more evil of the two and uses Harlan to execute his deadly plans.  But, the pair did not come upon the Tremont home by mistake.  There is deep, ugly connection between Sandy and Nick and when it comes to light it threatens to destroy everything Sandy has built with her family.  But the immediate concern is for her family.  Will the Tremont family survive a night with two escaped convicts?

From almost the first page of As Night Falls the author creates this vivid world that plays like a movie in your head.  Almost from the beginning I was trying to cast the movie in my head.  Who will play Sandy?  Who will play Ben? Jenny Milchman's agent better be shopping this book around Hollywood, because it is a movie I would definitely watch.  The author's descriptions so vivid that it was borderline terrifying.  I loved Sandy and her way of trying to keep things from escalating, yet still trying to find ways to get them to safety.  Throughout the book there are a few chapters that explains where Sandy came from and how she got to where she is today.   In some ways I  think that her family history was more jaw-dropping than what was happening in present day.  As the story is catapulting to it's conclusion you find your pulse racing and your heart pounding and you are desperate for Sandy and her family to be safe.   It is the ultimate thrill-ride!

Bottom line - As Night Falls breathes life back into the old "page-turner" moniker.  I truly found myself so engrossed and on the edge of my seat and I could not wait to see what happened next.  Now I can't wait to see it on the big screen.


(60)As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Brittany Gibbons is a wife, a mother, a blogger, and a fat girl.  She has become an internet sensation with her level of  uninhibited comfort in her own skin.  In her new book, Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It Brittany shares what it was like growing up as a fat girl.  She talks about her early childhood and teen years being overweight through all of those years.  She did have a boyfriend (who she went on to marry) and a very active social life, but she always felt a little on the outside because of her weight.  Brittany also talks about her relationship with her family, friends, the opposite sex,  and the crippling anxiety that nearly turned her into an agoraphobic while in college.   Then Brittany got married and had babies, started a blog, stripped on stage at TedX, and wrote a book.

I had never heard of Brittany Gibbons before buying this book.  The title of the book appealed to me as a fellow fat girl and I wanted to see what she had to say.  I wanted to see if her experiences have been anything like mine.  In broad generalities, maybe, but Brittany's experiences are definitely her own.   Brittany definitely has a level of self-confidence that is often lacking in overweight women, at times myself included.  Though, that kind empowerment is often needed to help overweight women become a little more comfortable in their own skin.  I admire Brittany's fearlessness when it comes to displaying her body on the internet.  I am not sure I would have that confidence even if I were a size 10. I admire anybody that has the balls to give a Ted Talk and to strip on stage takes it to a whole different level. I will say that there were several times Brittany comes across as really crass. Using language that some of you might find offensive and discussing stuff that would make even the most open-minded person cringe.   After checking out Brittany's website I realize that is just her personality and likely what attracts many of her thousands of followers.  And I say more power to her - just be aware.

Bottom line -  While Brittany Gibbons may come across a bit brash she has an important message that millions of women need to hear.  Her ability to be comfortable in her own skin is something that all women, fat or skinny, could learn from.


(59)Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 20, 2015

It is the night before her wedding and Kate is starting out her night with a carefully crafted social media post.  Kate is thirty-five and has waited a long time to find her future husband, Max, and is excited for her Facebook friends to know about the perfect night about to happen.  She sees all of the posts from her friends that promote their "perfect" lives with the perfect husbands and perfect children and now Kate gets to join their ranks.   Except her perfect night turns into a perfect nightmare when Max tells her he wants to call off the wedding and might be in love with Kate's co-worker, Courtney.  Kate is devastated, but doesn't take to Facebook yet.  But when she does she realizes that anything she posts to Facebook because reality.  Kate uses her special power to her advantage in the form of a "do-over" with Max in the month leading up to their wedding. But it doesn't matter what she posts it seems to push Max and Courtney closer together.  Will Kate be able to post enough Facebook posts to save her wedding and perfect life?  Or will she realize that sometimes there is no fighting fate?

Facebook has become such an integral part in how we connect with our family, friends, and people from our past.  I found myself practically twitching this weekend when I was in the land of no WiFi and no cell service (aka rural South Dakota).  It was good for me to unplug and really enjoy the time with my family, but I did feel a bit disconnected from the world.  And then I started reading The Status of All Things on the way home and I realized that maybe I have something in common with Kate.   Kate looks to Facebook to validate her choices in life and that is evident in the first few pages in the book when she wants to change her wedding hair-style at the last minute because of something her Facebook friend said or did.  The power Kate discovers that she has goes directly to her head and starts posting random stuff to hurt Courtney rather than help herself.  It soon becomes evident that no matter what Kate posts there are some things she just can't change.   But, what she does realize is that she can change herself. Her behaviors, her attitude, and her life.  Even though Kate seemed like a major diva at times, I really enjoyed The Status of All Things.  I think there is an important message there that needs to be read and it is wrapped up in fun characters and a unique premise.

Bottom line - social media is one of those things that is here to stay, but as shown in The Status of All Things it can be used for good or evil.  A fun read, especially for those of us who might have a bit of a social media problem. *cough cough*


(58)The Status of All Things by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke