The Bookseller Book Review

Synopsis:The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

Title – The Bookseller  (Website, Goodreads, Amazon, BarnsAndNoble)

Author – Cynthia Swanson (Website, Goodreads)

Published – March 3rd 2015

Classification – Fiction

Summary – Kitty Miller enjoys her life as a single lady who owns a bookstore with her best friend Frieda. However, as her dreams of her alternative life become more and more real, Kitty wonders if she is really as satisfied as she thought she was.

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Thoughts: The Bookseller was one book I took on a weekend Upper Michigan trip to visit family. I’m not sure if this was a good idea or not…because this meant I was reading about a person waking up in a different room than one she fell asleep in. And here I am..waking up in a room that is not my bedroom.

But maybe this added to my liking of the story!

The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson book reviewI thoroughly enjoyed The Bookseller. The author has the writing talent to sway the reader as the story goes on. When reading the chapter set during her single life, I was swayed into thinking that life is the right one for Kitty. Then I read the next chapter set during her married family life and I was almost convinced that life is the correct one.

In some further digging after I finish, I found some wonderful book discussion questions (link here). I would have LOVED to participate in a group discussion about The Bookseller. It is such a wonderful story with so much depth.

Want to discuss The Bookseller with me? Comment below! I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts – there is so much to talk about!

Conclusion: The Bookseller is going on my recommended book list for everybody!

Room Book Review

Synopsis:Room

Title – Room  (Website, Goodreads, Amazon, BarnsAndNoble)

Author – Emma Donoghue (Website, Goodreads)

Published – September 13th 2010

Classification – Fiction

Summary – Jack is five years old and has lived in Room his whole life. Ma makes breakfast, and they do their stretches and exercise all within the four walls. At the end of the day, he sleeps in Wardrobe with the door closed so Old Nick can’t see him during Old Nick’s nightly visits. Never have been outside of Room, Jack has to be very brave to pull off Ma’s escape plan.

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Thoughts: I wanted to be emotionally prepared to be drawn into “Ma” and Jack’s world. Room was sitting in the pile of books by my nightstand for a few months before I could summon up the courage to open it up and start reading.

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Yet, when I finally read it, I was shocked I wasn’t as moved by the story as much as I expected to be. Yes it was a sad and intriguing story, but it lacked to touch on some of the heartbreak and suffering Jack and Ma had to go through. Maybe it was the child’s point of view that didn’t allow me to fully engage with Room. Maybe it was lack of backstory from Ma’s time in captivity which I wrongfully assumed I was going to read about. I’m not sure. Perhaps I should read another book written from a child’s point of view to see if the innocents of the child takes away the depth of a story.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I read it. I definitely wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. But…(don’t hate me for this)… you can basically get all that you need to know from the book’s Wikipedia page.

That being said, I think other readers will enjoy this read.

Conclusion: I thought I’d be more emotionally engaged with Room than what I was.

Was this just me? Have you read Room? What did you think? How does the movie compare? What are some other books written from a child’s point of view that I should pick up?

 

Chasing Perfect Book Review

Synopsis:Chasing Perfect

Title – Chasing Perfect  (Website, Goodreads, Amazon, BarnsAndNoble)

Author – Susan Mallery (Website, Goodreads)

Published – January 1st 2010

Classification – Contemporary Romance

Summary – In Fool’s Gold, California, the men don’t stay. The problem of the imbalance of men vs. woman is a problem Charity Jones is hired to fix as the City Planner. Charity sees Fool’s Gold as the perfect small town she can settle down in. It is also the home of Josh Golden, the world famous bicyclist, who is the second youngest winner of the Tour de France. Josh makes the whole town swoon, which is exactly the type of boy Charity swore off. She wanted boring and sensible. But how could she do boring when Josh leaves her breathless?

 

Chasing Perfect is the first book in the Fool’s Gold Romance series by Susan Mallery.

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Thoughts:

A few months ago, I read Kiss Me, the 17th book in the Fool’s Gold series. I enjoyed it so I thought I’d read another in the series. Why not start at the beginning?

 

Unfortunately, I did not enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed Kiss Me. Charity was an okay character at best. She meets Josh right away and was “mesmerized” by him. Apparently so was the rest of the people in the meeting…and the whole town! Every single conversation she had with someone led to talk of how perfect and attractive Josh was. The townspeople even had a serious conversation about how good they think Josh would be in bed. They then asked Charity for a confirmation. Really? I don’t know anybody in real life that can produce the same reaction as Josh got from a whole community. They act like they’ve never seen a guy before (the gender imbalance of the town isn’t that bad!).

Chasing Perfect

I can’t believe they are actually talking about Josh this way either.

Since Josh was a very unbelievable character for me and the story didn’t have much meat, I found it hard to read. Since I’m being honest, I have to admit I cheated a little. I skipped about 40 some pages and quickly skimmed a few of the chapters. Life is too short to read crummy books, right?

 

I hate giving books bad reviews. I’m sorry.

Was I too critical? Have you read this book? Do you recommend? Should I try another Susan Mallery book?
Conclusion: I enjoyed Kiss Me, the 17th book in the Fool’s Gold series but if I would have started on this book, the first in the series, I wouldn’t have continued. This book is not one I recommend picking up. 

Hope Flames Book Review

Synopsis:FullSizeRender (2)

Title – Hope Flames (Website, Goodreads, Amazon, BarnsAndNoble)

Author – Jaci Burton (Website, Goodreads)

Published – January 1st 2013

Classification – Contemporary Romance

 

Summary – Emma moves back to her hometown, Hope, to open her vet practice and is determined to be independent. Hometown cop Luke, with his police dog Boomer, are loving the bachelor life. Clearly neither one wants to enter a relationship, but since their first meeting they can’t stop thinking about each other.

 

Hope Flames is the first in an ongoing series. The fifth was just published on Dec 1st, 2015 and the 6th book is expected to publish on July 26th, 2016.

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Thoughts:

Even before the first two chapters were done I was hooked because I LOVED the characters. Emma just became a business owner of the town’s veterinary clinic. She lives on her own (with her dog) and has a good group of girl friends. She is strong, independent, and kind. Luke….well I fell in love with his character in the first two paragraphs:

 

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Who could not love Luke?

 

On a side note: Burton, in my opinion, totally could have played upon the sexy cop more. Oh well, Luke was still swoon worthy.

 

Ok, so I like the characters but the second time they interact is very very AWKWARD. Read for yourself:

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I would die of embarrassment.

 

However, after this brief moment is over, the rest of the book is free from awkward situations. They aren’t klutzy together; they don’t stumble over each other. Emma and Luke together is perfection.

 

Therefore, I am going to have to disagree with this reviewer. This is a book for someone who loves small town (that is me). And people who love dogs (that is me too, & apparently this dog-lovin’ reviewer).

 

Don’t worry, it is not one of those sad books where the dogs passes away. Nope, none of the dogs die. Who wants to read about that? Nobody.

 

I’m not sure if I’ll read the second book in the Hope series because I’m not sure if I can move on from Emma and Luke. Should I pick it up? What about other Jaci Burton books?

 

Conclusion: Burton created lovable characters that fall easily into a relationship. It’s an A+.

Kiss Me Book Review

Synopsis:Kiss Me

Title – Kiss Me (Website, Goodreads, Amazon, BarnsAndNoble)

Author – Susan Mallery (Website, Goodreads)

Published – June 30th 2015

Classification – Romance fiction

Summary – Zane has trouble raising his younger ex-step-brother, Chase, on the inherited cattle ranch in Fool’s Gold. Forced into doing a cattle drive for tourists, Zane is taking every opportunity to show Chase that what he did was wrong. Maya, Zane’s other step-sibling, asks Phoebe to come to the ranch to help. As one last favor, Phoebe agrees and finds she enjoys Fool’s Gold. Phoebe and Zane obviously have chemistry, but is either one of them ready for a relationship?

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Thoughts:

This book I picked up while making the mistake of browsing the new fiction bookcase in the library. This is a mistake because I end up leaving with an armful of books I did not plan to pick up… 

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Kiss Me was attractive because I really was in the mood for a romance that doesn’t take place in a time where people called each other Duke or Madame.

Of course, like numerous times before, I find out that it is part of a series after I finish and go to write a review. Turns out, Kiss Me is #17 in the Fool’s Gold series. Susan Mallery has so many books out…how have I not heard of her before?

 

Fool’s Gold is the little town where the series takes place. It even has its own website. (Besides the fiction town, I think Fool’s Gold, California is a real place. It is also the title of one of my mom’s favorite movies 🙂 )

 

I can attest that you don’t have to read other Fool’s Gold books in order to understand this one. In fact, I did not pick up on any relation to other books. While reading reviews, some said that there is a character or two that popped in, but any affiliation went over my head.

 

This blog agrees with me on the fact that, with all the doom and gloom in real life, it is nice to read a book that has a good (healthy) relationship.

 

The characters were ones I could connect with. The character Phoebe made me think of Friends.

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I didn’t picture them looking the same, but they both were nice and kinda quirky (both talked to animals!) Zane reminded me of the author Zane who writes romance novels that are FAR from clean. Zane doesn’t talk much and the romantic in me wishes he would just tell Phoebe how he felt, but that is part of his character I guess. I loved him anyway.

 

Despite all this, the cover had little relevancy. Zane is a cowboy so where is his hat? And there was no bike anywhere in the story. This is the only downfall of the book.

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Kiss Me has been named “Best Book of the Month” in romance by the editors at Amazon.com. I can see why; I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end. I probably will end up reading other books in the series.

 

Conclusion: Kiss Me is one I recommend for anybody in the mood for a light, contemporary romance.

 

Have you read Kiss me? What did you think? Should I pick up other books in the series? Comment below!

 

**addition made on 1/26/2016:

I ended up reading the first book of this series, called Chasing Perfect. Read my review Here

The Actress Book Review

Synopsis:  

Title – The Actress (GoodreadsAmazonBarnsAndNoble)The Actress

Author – Amy Sohn (WebsiteGoodreads)

Published – July 1st 2014

Classification – Fiction

Summary – Maddy’s first indie film directed by her boyfriend Dan gets recognized at a Film Festival where she meets Bridget, the manager of Steven Weller, a Hollywood heartthrob. In a jiffy she lands her next role playing opposite of Steven Weller, where her career takes off and she gets swept off her feet.

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Thoughts:

I must admit, this book was hard to get into at first. There is lots of names, movie titles, and places thrown at you all at once which I really dislike. I was afraid I wasn’t going to make it far in the book.

After a bit though, I was able to get into the plot line and wanted to know what Maddy was going to do next. I was almost rushing through the book to find out how it ends.

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Every once in awhile the point of view changed without notice and I had to go back to reread parts to understand it. The different angle included information that was important to the story, but added confusion to the reader. If Sohn could clean this up or make it more smoother, I think it would make this book a bit better.

What I enjoyed from this book was the different angle Sohn took on the topic of an aspiring actress. This is drastically different from Lauren Graham’s Someday, Someday, Maybe. Sohn did not write your typical struggling actress viewpoint. She took you from the first “interview” to living the life of a well-known famous actress. The benefits and downfalls of being famous came too, but were sprinkled into part of the books so it felt natural.

I found myself scrutinizing Maddy’s actions constantly. She was so different from me and I felt like I was looking into the story rather than feeling empathy. The writing style had a big part of this too.

The ups and downs of marriage were heavily hit on within the book. In fact, I think this book was more on the marriage aspect than acting which makes me wonder how she picked the title. The ending did not have to deal with acting at all…

**spoiler**

Here are some ways Huffington Post says common outcomes of when their spouse comes out as gay. I liked reading about how Maddy reacted but, like I said earlier, I sort-of rushed through the book because I wanted to find out the choice Maddy made. The other stuff wasn’t as interesting to me.

The Actress

Conclusion: I may gain more by rereading The Actress…but I probably won’t.

Will you pick this book up? What did you think? Should I read it again?

Someday, Someday, Maybe Book Review

Title – Someday, Someday, Maybe Someday, Someday, Maybe Book Cover(GoodreadsAmazonBarnsAndNoble)

Author – Lauren Graham (WebsiteGoodreads)

Classification –Fiction

Summary – Franny has three months to go in her three year plan to make it as an actress in New York City.

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Thoughts: ***warning: spoilers!**

I have to be honest – this book probably would not have been picked up if not for the author. Lauren Graham is the beloved actress famously known from Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, and Evan Almighty. This is her debut novel and, out of fandom, I had to read it.

Someday Someday Maybe Book Review tumblr Lauren Graham Gif2 tumblr Lauren Graham Gif3 tumblr Lauren Graham Gif4

Lauren Graham talks about Peter Krause reading her novel, “Someday, Someday, Maybe” on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

Plus, as an avid reader herself, I thought I struck it rich.

Lauren Graham

I felt the main character, Franny, was an exact mirror image of this. However, as much as I enjoy Graham’s roles, I didn’t enjoy the dense quirky-ness and worry-wart attitude of Franny.

And was it just me or were all the other characters too cliche?

The plot line isn’t too engaging (hence the one sentence summary). Oh, she’s an actress in New York City with hopes of “making it big?” She has a few commercials under her belt? When she does get her first gig, she’s worried about the nudity?

Am I being too harsh?

Someday, Someday, Maybe

I felt the love aspect in this book could have been better done as well. Oh, the “friend” ends up being the love interest? Ok, I’m done.

I should check with the people over at goodreads why they chose this book as Best Fiction 2013. Perhaps they could elaborate on why it is in the same list as Genette Wall’s The Silver Star and Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller who I think are both outstanding authors.

Maybe I should have picked up the audiobook instead, which Graham voices. Or perhaps Graham should write a nonfiction book about how she made it as an actress! I think I’d really like that book.

Conclusion: Not a fan of the book. Still a fan of Lauren Graham.

Have you read Someday, Someday, Maybe? Did I not read it though the same lens? What do you think?

Someday, Someday, Maybe