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review 2015-06-14 11:26
The Last Good Day of the Year
The Last Good Day Of The Year - Jessica Warman

It was New Years Eve and his suit was all too familiar, the bright red with the white fur outlining his coat, the beard was the dead giveaway but this guy was way too skinny and given the timeline, he really should be in the North Pole. Upon further investigation, his actions were all wrong for his character, as he appeared inside their house, snatching up their little sister and never returning her. Yes, Santa took their sister. Actually it was Steven, Gretchen’s former boyfriend dressed up like Santa who committed this horrible crime, it was his teeth that led investigators to him. It was the summer of 1985 and Jessica Warman allows us, as readers, to relive this terrible time in history through the eyes of Sam, the sister of Turtle the child who was abducted. Sam was there that night and claims she saw Santa/Steven take Turtle. What shocked me was that Gretchen is Sam and Turtle’s older sister, her boyfriend was the offender.   What an issue to deal with as a family.   Sam had a great friend and neighbor, Remy who was her everything. They were inseparable growing up and even now dealing with this tragic event, he had her back. It reminded me of the days growing up, having a best friend who was always there day and night just outside your door, that you could run over and talk to on the stoop or just be silly with for no reason at all, that was Sam and Remy. This terrible event causes the family to move away, an author writes a book highlighting the event surrounding the abduction and then years later the family must return to the house they had rented out, for they have no other option. Remy and Sam’s relationship is distant, this feeling I was not ready for. What caused this distance between them, I adored their relationship but I knew Warman had more in store for me; she was always full of surprises. As Sam helps Remy’s mother with some cleaning she uncovers some photos which brings back some childhood memories, I love how she cherishes those memories even when her relationship with Remy is challenged at the moment. Retreating to the tree house she once shared with him, comfort and the nostalgia surrounding her, she reminisces about her childhood afternoons they spent there. I long for their relationship to get back on track, are they ignoring each other for a reason? This novel is a comfortable, relaxing mystery shifting from the present day when the family returns to their home where the abduction took place and then back in history when the actual abduction took place. Jessica Warman is one of my favorite author’s and although this one is not one of my favorites of hers, it really had a lot of twists, surprises and was great read on a rainy day.

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review 2015-05-11 19:40
The Last Good Day Of The Year - Jessica Warman

I enjoyed this book. It was sad to see the family progressions after their child has been kidnapped. There were a few slow parts, but not enough for me to lose interest. The ending was not one I saw coming at all. As a matter of fact it was the farthest from my mind. I like the story and the characters and think the author did a really good job going back to the past and then forwards to present time.

I would definitely recommend this book.

Thank you Bloomsbury and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this very good book.

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text 2015-04-04 23:26
1979 was a bizarre year for publishing.....

Looking at my stats for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, I felt I needed to search out a few books in my TBR pile to read to knock out a couple of prompts. The one that stumped me was "a book published the year you were born" - 1979 here I come! GoodReads had a list of the top 200 books published that year.....wow is all I can say. Some of those titles....yeah. So you have Stephen King and Anne Rice, Janette Oke (Christian author), Kathleen Woodwiss and VC Andrews (yep, that book was published in 1979) - those are just the authors off the top of my head.


Reading further down the list, I came upon Silver Storm by Cythnia Wright. It sounded familiar so I checked my TBR spreadsheet (yeah, I needed one to keep track of what is still waiting to be read....) and there it was (at the bottom, because I organized it according to the author's last name). Score! Bodice ripper from the late 1970s means this is going to be the highlight of my summer reading (I am planning on reading it on my birthday which is in August) or going to be the worst. reading. ever. The original cover is so totally old skool romance.


Image result for silver storm by cynthia wright

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text 2014-12-23 08:11
Have you been good this year? Merry Christmas & Who Wants A Book Package?


Christmas is the most magical time of year. You can also feel the magic on BookLikes and switch on the winter mode on your Dashboard with the Snowman icon - click it to make it snow :-)


Due to Christmas time we're postponing Thursday release until the first day of January. But don't go far -- we do have a special holiday treat for you :-)


We've prepared two surprise packages filled up with books and gadgets: one is called Nice Books, and the other Naught Books -- this is a blind Christmas book date so you have to trust us and rely on our literary taste :-)


So, who wants them? 


If you're nodding your head and saying loud "Yes!" you're in! 


This is what you have to do: post a photo of you with your book/e-reader in a holiday spirit on your BookLikes blog - make sure to add the BookLikes Christmas tag so we could find your photo set. 


And remember to write a note which book package would you like to get: Nice books or Naughty books. Be creative: dress up, climb the tree, build a cozy reading room igloo, make a ski reading slide... go crazy!


Can't wait to see your Christmas book inspired photos! We'll pick 2 winners and the deadline is January 10, 2015. 


And this is a cozy one took by one of BookLikes' teammates :-) 



Best wishes!


May this holiday season sparkle and shine. Let’s share the magic with each other this entire season and in the new year. May all your wishes and dreams come true and may you feel this happiness all year round. Best wishes to all of you!


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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-03-07 10:58
Completed March 7, 2014
Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy - Susan Spencer-Wendel,Bret Witter

Like The End of Your Life Book Club, this was a book about death and dying that reminded me just how cynical and judgmental I have become.


I like to say that I "lead with compassion".  In my work assisting a local legislator, i have been exposed to many social issues, including dying with dignity.  I believe that each and every one of us should have the opportunity to leave this world on our own terms, in our own unique way.


i admire the author for her strength of character, and for her commitment to live out her final days without dwelling on her condition or the loss of so much that makes us feel human.  However (here comes the cynical and judgmental part!) this book BOTHERED me, on a number of levels:


1.  For someone living on borrowed time, someone who writes so passionately about her love for her children...why spend so much of the time you have left far from home, away from them?


2.  Some of the most meaningful portions of the book involved the author's discovery of her late birth father's homeland and his wonderful, welcoming relatives.  Why not introduce your children to that aspect of your life while you can still see it through their eyes?  Why wait until you are gone to make the introductions?


3.  The "moments" depicted often feel manufactured and put on.  I'm sorry, but a woman should try on her first (and hopefully only!) wedding gown when she has a ring and a date, and is hopelessly in love with Mr. / Ms. Right.  Not before.


4.  Permanent make-up???  Really???  The "setting" of this book - Palm Beach - plays a vital role in how I approach this book, and in how I perceive the author.  We're not talking Compton, California here.  That makes a heartbreaking journey just a little more comfortable, and so much of the book had me rolling my eyes at the resources and connections that helped ease the way;


5.  The decision not to be honest with the kids about how the journey will end was a source of confusion and sadness for me.  Yes, children should be sheltered from adult tragedies, but these are not babies.  I think the youngest is ten or eleven.  One of them has Asperger's.  There are truths that can be shared, gently and kindly, without shattering their hearts or their souls.  And they probably know far more than we think they do.


But...well...who am i to judge?


This book is extremely well-written, and I discovered a new favourite narrator, Karen White.  But it is a true story, and I needed more from it than it delivered.  May lightning strike me down for saying so :)

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