Monday, July 21, 2014

Book Review - Season of Dragonflies - by Sarah Creech

Season of the Dragonflies: A Novel


From Barnesandnoble.com:
"For generations, the Lenore women have manufactured a fragrance unlike any other. Hidden in the quiet rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, their perfumery guards unique and mysterious ingredients. A secret known only to a select clientele of movie stars, politicians, artists, and CEOs, the Lenores' signature elixir is the key to success for the world's most powerful women.
Willow, the coolly elegant matriarch, is the brains behind the operation. Her gorgeous golden-haired daughter, Mya, is its heart. Like her foremothers, Mya can "read" scents and envision their power to influence events. But Willow's younger daughter, dark-haired, soulful Lucia, claims no magical touch; wanting no part of the family business, she has left the mountains to make her own way in New York City.
When a divorce leaves Lucia at loose ends, she returns to the Blue Ridge Mountains for an uncomfortable family reunion and discovers trouble brewing. Willow is experiencing strange spells of forgetfulness. Mya is romancing a younger man and plotting to take the reins of the business. A client is threatening blackmail. And most ominously, the strange, magical plants that provide the perfume's secret ingredient seem to be dying.
With the Lenore empire at stake, the sister who can save their lucrative scent stands to inherit when Willow steps down. Though Mya schemes, Lucia has suddenly begun to show signs of possessing her own special abilities. And her return to the mountains—heralded by a swarm of blue dragonflies—may be the answer they all need.
Capturing the essence of sisterhood with the sweetness of flowers, Season of the Dragonflies is a beguiling tale of practical magic, old secrets, and new love."

I really liked this book. It reminds me very much of Sarah Addison Allen! It's a book full of strong women (good or bad) and how they evolve and love.
I loved the magic/supernatural/instinct things she has going on, it adds something whimsical and nice.
I liked that not everything was neat. I like that the people we care about have some messy things going on.
It was a quick read and I look forward to more!


 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Book Review - The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank

The Last Original Wife: A Novel
 
From Barnesandnoble.com:
"Experience the sultry Southern atmosphere of Atlanta and the magic of the Carolina Lowcountry in this funny and poignant tale of one audacious woman's quest to find the love she deserves
Leslie Anne Greene Carter is The Last Original Wife among her husband Wesley's wildly successful Atlanta social set. But if losing her friends to tanned and toned young Barbie brides isn't painful enough, a series of setbacks shake Les's world and push her to the edge. She's had enough of playing the good wife to a husband who thinks he's doing her a favor by keeping her around. She's going to take some time for herself—in the familiar comforts and stunning beauty of Charleston, her beloved hometown. And she's going to reclaim the carefree girl who spent lazy summers with her first love on Sullivans Island. Daring to listen to her inner voice, she will realize what she wants . . . and find the life of which she's always dreamed.
The Last Original Wife is an intoxicating tale of family, friendship, self-discovery, and love that is as salty as a Lowcountry breeze and as invigorating as a dip in Carolina waters on a sizzling summer day."
Well this is about a year over due. Literally. Last year when I drove to Nash County to visit and let baby meet everyone, this book came along in hope that I would read something. I just read it.
I love Lowcountry books. This book is so Southern, I just love it.
I loved how Frank told the story from different perspectives and she did it brilliantly. The Wes parts were so different from the Les parts that it's amazing they came from the same person.
I love how Les came into herself. She discovered how crappy things were for her and she changed them. She did so without causing a huge scene (sort of) and she did it without being nasty to people. She made her life her own and that was great.
I like how it felt like Wes would learn something even if it was only that he would miss Les.
I'm not sure how to describe it but I had a weird vibe about Jonathan.
I adored Harlan and Danette and Nadir!
I like the character development in this book. I love to see characters learn from themselves and others.
This is a great beach read!


 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Book Review - The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich

The Sweet Spot
 
From Barnesandnoble.com:
"A sizzling story of everyone’s favorite couple from amazing Stephanie Evanovich’s New York Times bestseller Big Girl Panties: hunky professional baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife Amanda.
When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets Amanda at her restaurant, it’s love at first sight. While Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god-build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet. And a curvy girl who likes to cook and eat isn’t interested in being around the catty, stick-thin herd of females chasing Chase and his teammates.
But Chase isn’t about to strike out. A man who isn’t interested in playing the field, he’s a monogamist who wants an independent woman like Amanda. His hopes rally when she discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pre-game rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.
Then a tabloid discovers the truth and turns their spanking good fun into a late- night punchline. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?"

I read through this book in a matter of days. It was fun!
I liked both Amanda and Chase, although towards the end I was a little confused by the way some things played out, it was still a good summer read.
I read Big Girl Panties when it came out and I think I remember liking the characters in that a little better. I liked Amanda and Chase as secondary characters in that book but didn't really love any secondary characters in this book.
This is the perfect book to sit in your lawn chair and soak up some sun in (that's what I did!)

 


 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Book Review - The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic
 
From Barnesandnoble.com:
 
"A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman. . . .
Ireland, 1912 . . .
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage to survive. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that fateful night again.
Chicago, 1982 . . .
Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her great-grandmother Maggie shares the painful secret about Titanic that she's harbored for almost a lifetime, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads both her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.
Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy's impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants."
 I liked this book quite a lot. I like historical anything and Gaynor did a great job of weaving between the two times.
I adored Maggie and I loved Seamus. This story was so sweet with love.
Gaynor did an excellent job of building up to the sinking of the Titanic that I wished the whole while that somehow the story would change. I loved the characters just the way she wanted.
The story was a quick, good read! It ended just perfectly!
This is a sweet love story, excellent historical fiction, and a great beach read!


 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Book Review - Intervention by Terri Blackstock

Intervention: A Novel
 
From Barnesandnoble.com:
"It was her last hope---and the beginning of a new nightmare
Barbara Covington has one more chance to save her daughter from a devastating addiction, by staging an intervention. But when eighteen-year-old Emily disappears on the way to drug treatment---and her interventionist is found dead at the airport---Barbara enters her darkest nightmare of all.
Barbara and her son set out to find Emily before Detective Kent Harlan arrests her for a crime he is sure she committed. Fearing for Emily's life, Barbara maintains her daughter's innocence. But does she really know her anymore? Meanwhile, Kent has questions of his own. His gut tells him that this is a case of an addict killing for drugs, but as he gets to know Barbara, he begins to hope he's wrong about Emily.
The mysteries intensify as everyone's panic grows: Did Emily's obsession with drugs lead her to commit murder---or is she another victim of a cold-blooded killer?
In this gripping novel of intrigue and suspense, bestselling author Terri Blackstock delivers the up-all-night drama that readers around the world have come to expect from her."

It's been a while since I've read any Christian fiction, but this was a good place to start. I already had it on my nook so I just picked it so I wouldn't have to spend anything. I've read Blackstock before and I liked her.
This book reminded me of why. She weaves in just enough of everything without over doing it. She doesn't beat you over the head with all the things you are doing wrong and have her characters make you feel guilty for not living just so. She gives her characters problems that you could relate to. She has excellent character development without being unbelievable. They learn and grow just enough, but not too much.
Her plots have just enough suspense and a this one had a tiny hint of possible romance to satisfy both of those things if you're looking for them.
I liked this book, it was a quick read. It didn't bring me down to a level that she couldn't recover with a happy ending but she also didn't give you a trite ending with a bow on top.




 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief
 
 
From Barnesandnoble.com:
"The extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller that is now a major motion picture, Markus Zusak's unforgettable story is about the ability of books to feed the soul.It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time."

I don't even know where to start. This book. This book is devastatingly beautiful. It was terrible, it was amazing.
The words in this book were meant to be together. It is woven together like love in a devastating way. I really don't know how to say it.
What was it like to be the person that discovered this book? The person that read it for the very first time knowing, just knowing what it would bring to the people who would read it after them.
This story is not real, this is something that I had to remind myself of while reading it. A person, just a person created this glorious story in his mind. He needed to get it out and he did it magnificently.
It reminded me how terrible and ugly people are. How we can hurt each other, how love is not always the biggest thing. How people can just speak, just say words and the whole world changes.
Read this book. It's not happy, it ends. It's not a happy ending, it's not a happy beginning or middle. It's beautiful and I feel better for having read it.




 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Revamp!

So my poor blog has been lacking for quite a while, so I'm hoping to get back into it on a regular basis and am asking my readers are there any particular things that you would like to see?

I hopefully will be able to get back to review some books on a regular basis. I hope to keep more up to date with all the wonderful and amazing things that my Monkey is doing. I'd also like to get some milspouse/military type things up on a regular basis as well.

I'm thinking about doing a link-up to get me going as well.

Any tips, advice, or complaints I'm kidding, no complaints!

Here's to you, bloggie! I hope we see each other more now!