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Search tags: Deb-Caletti
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review 2017-03-11 21:53
What's Become of Her: A Novel - Deb Caletti

This was a great story about a woman (Isabelle) who falls fast and deeply for a tourist (Henry) who newly arrives to the island that she grew up on. She has just recently returned to the island after her mother's death to take over the family's tourism business. Her life having suddenly changed due to a recent divorce that she is struggling with getting over.

The man arrives via seaplane and as Isabelle reaches out to help Henry off the plane, she immediately is attracted to his looks. Henry also feels the electricity. It's not long before he's hanging around her and asking her out.

A concerned friend looks into Henry's past and discovers that Henry has a deceased fiancee as well as a deceased wife. Both of whom have died under suspicious circumstances. Should Isabelle be afraid?

This story that had me definitely turning those pages pretty fast. Especially when someone far away is concerned for Isabelle and starts sending her packages to warn her. Is Henry guilty?

A great read that kept me perplexed and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thanks Random House/Ballantine for approving my request and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2016-06-03 02:02
Review: The Story of Us by Deb Caletti
The Story of Us - Deb Caletti

Quick review for a quick read. I'll admit that Deb Caletti seems to draw me into her stories because her characters always feel very vivid and draw me in whenever I pick up a book by her. "The Story of Us" was a good read, if a bit convoluted in terms of the narration. In parts it worked, in others it didn't. It's the story of Cricket (a.k.a Catherine) - a young woman who's in between a number of different relationships and weights in her life. Her mother's getting married to Dan Jax (a man who's much more supportive than Cricket's father, but Cricket worries about her mother being able to stay grounded given her previous relationships and the difficult road navigating out of them). Cricket's going to visit her new family, she's on the rocks of a relationship with her boyfriend Janssen, intrigued by a new boy (Ash), among other things. This book has a lot going on and it does feel like a weighted read in spurts. If it's anything, I liked Cricket's voice and the fact that I could very well imagine the family dynamics in this novel. It was very well drawn in terms of showcasing the character personalities - with certain moments bringing a goofy grin to my face.

Yet, I'll say that the style of the narrative - told between the present and the letters that Cricket writes to Janssen - did bug me a little as I was going along. It didn't make for as smooth of a read as I was hoping. The book does quite a bit of backtracking to show how close Janssen and Cricket were at one point and how involved he was with her family through a number of difficult situations (in addition to their love of dogs. I'll admit I knew the dog story and respective events were coming well before the ending ever did, and that saddened me.) I feel like I wish I could've known Janssen a little more considering the letters are only presented in a one-sided progression (we only read Cricket's responses, not what Janssen writes to her.) Some of them I loved for the slice of life examination of their relationship, though. Yet the main focus of those letters built up to the mistake that Cricket had been apologizing for the bulk of the narrative and explained why she'd had such a falling out with Janssen in the first place. It took a while for the reveal to come, which I understood fit with the theme of Cricket being overwhelmed by the many changes in her life - just a matter of being ready to meet them. I'm not sure why for me it didn't hit as hard for emotion as it should've, despite how I connected with parts of the narrative. Maybe that was the issue, because it was handed to me in pieces than as a whole.

I liked this book and thought it was a great coming-of-age read. I just wish the journey had been a little more smooth in its presentation for me.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

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review 2016-05-07 05:54
Review: He's Gone by Deb Caletti
He's Gone - Deb Caletti

Initial reaction: I thought it was actually quite a nice mystery and compelling read. I didn't really put this book down as I followed Dani's struggles to remember what happened the night her husband disappeared. It's a decent character study of a woman who has a lot of complicated relationships and explores the issues behind them as well as the overarching mystery. I think the comparisons to "Gone Girl" actually do it a disservice because it's a very different novel than that. I liked it quite a bit.

Full review:

Quick review for a somewhat quick read. Deb Caletti's "He's Gone" is a tale of an unreliable narrator, a mystery, and a complex character study all in one swoop. I personally would not have compared this to Flynn's "Gone Girl", but there are very (keyword: very) minor similarities. Dani is a woman carrying many different weights in her life, and it's just one more weight when her husband doesn't come home after a night in which they were both drunk and presumably had an argument. Her memory is scant, and her fear grows as progressive pieces of the night and of previous weeks fall into places. Dani toys with the idea of never coming home or imagining something happening to her given the situations in her life, but she never thinks it would be her husband who would take to the task first. It's really a novel that shows a series of deteriorating relationships and self-doubt/blame on Dani's part, but at the same time, the intimacy of Dani's perspective and emotions keep it very vivid. I found myself intrigued as to both the overarching mystery of what happened to her husband and also following her backstory.

Don't get me wrong, Dani's life is by all measures complicated and complex. She's "the other woman" in her husband's relationships (yes, cheating is a central focus in this book) and it's intricately tied to not just former relationships in her life but also her present. It ties up a little neater than I was expecting given the weight of the build-up the story has from the beginning, and there are some moments that feel a little more weighted for pacing - but the story itself still gripped me because of how well it captures Dani's actions and reactions in the moment. Caletti has a gift for that kind of focus that's present in her YA works, and it certainly works here in the first adult work I've read from her. I'm definitely interested in reading more from her in the future.

Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from Edelweiss from the publisher, but also purchased an audio copy from Audible.

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text 2015-07-17 03:27
Forthcoming library reads
He's Gone - Deb Caletti
Love Is the Drug - Alaya Dawn Johnson
The Start of Me and You - Emery Lord
Don't Look Back - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Dreamland - Sarah Dessen

Last post for tonight before I dive back into my book, but I went to the library again for another haul because some books I put on hold came in (and I still have more, but they won't be in until sometime in the next week or so, I think).

 

Sarah Dessen's "Dreamland" is a re-read, but I haven't read it in years.  I remember it was the first book by the author that I both read and loved.

 

"Don't Look Back"  I've tried to read before, but I kept having to return it to the library because it was such in high demand.  Same with "The Start of Me and You".  But now I have both of them back, and I'm not going to let my reading time lapse this go-around. I want to read them.

 

"He's Gone" by Deb Caletti is one I had as a NetGalley read, but I decided to get the hardcover to see how it went.

 

And "Love is the Drug" is one I've partly read by Alaya Dawn Johnson.  I'm going to be honest, I like "Love is the Drug" a LOT more than "The Summer Prince," so far.  The writing seems a lot smoother to follow and the premise really intruginig (and honestly, I wish I'd loved "The Summer Prince" more, but I had a lot of problems with it despite the intrigue of the world and set-up.)  But I'm going to see how it goes for the long haul before I tell my end thoughts.

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review 2015-06-28 21:13
The Secrets She Keeps
The Secrets She Keeps: A Novel - Deb Caletti

By Deb Caletti 

ISBN:  9780345548108

Publisher:  Random House/Bantam Dell  

Publication Date:  7/7/2015

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  4 Stars   

 

A special thank you to Random House/Bantam and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

THE SECRETS SHE KEEPS by Deb Caletti, is a quirky novel of women gathering at their aunt’s Nevada divorce ranch, a place where high society women gathered in the 1950s to obtain their quickie divorce, from the men they so longed to be rid of.

“Longed for him. Got him. Shit.“– Margaret Atwood, Six Word Story

Told from Nash (past) and Callie (present) voices in alternating chapters we hear from aunt and niece. When Callie finds a mysterious woman’s phone number in her husband’s possession, she thinks he is having an affair.

All sorts of family drama: Empty nesters: Thomas and Callie. Shay, Callie’s sister also family issues. And the aunt, Nash manages the divorce ranch. Nash of course is acting weird and secretive.

Callie, travels to Tamarosa Ranch to visit Nash, her elderly aunt-she has some big secrets from back in the 40s-50’s on the divorce ranch and her sister Shay joins them. Now the three women begin their journey of present day trials of love and marriage; with loves, losses, and some mysteries of the past with the ranch’s scandalous history. I enjoyed the past, more so than the present--as always find the secrets of the older generation more intriguing.

The two sisters, stroll down memory lane, they recall this familiar place and now it seems to have gone downhill. You know how you recall something from your youth and you return and it is not how you remember? In addition, their aunt is acting odd, and is hoarding all this stuff from the fifties and is very secretive about it.

The negatives: The books starts out with too much in your face all at once making my head spin, with confusion and frustration, while putting it down more than once, with a rather impatient feeling. Would have preferred a slower introduction of characters with a good backstory and easing into the drama filled lives. I tend to agree with some of the other reviewers: it is too tedious a read. Not really my type of book.

The positives: Some nice quotes, humor, and liked the Aunt Nash, eighty years old and her past, managing the divorce ranch where women would come to stay for weeks to establish residency and then their quickie divorce. There are beautiful scenes with the landscape and horses. Some good relationship dynamics; however, could not get past the overall pacing, and the fast introduction of too many characters to quickly, distracting from the root of the story buried underneath.

This was my second adult book by Deb Caletti, having read HE’S GONE,  quite some time ago, and enjoyed the author’s writing style.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-Secrets-She-Keeps/cmoa/5511bc2b0cf2aa181157c739
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