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review 2017-04-18 21:57
Keep Holding On
Keep Holding On - Susane Colasanti

How did I end up reading two books on teen suicide back to back? The inner flap of this book was misleading. The romance angle wasn't nearly as big a plot point as it makes you think. No, instead you are given a short, very unoriginal story full of flat, typical cliche characters. Nothing about this book was unique. Rich kids bullying the poor kid, and the poor kid is pretty but doesn't realize it. Her mother is verbally abusive, neglects her and starves her. And the level of bullying at this high school is beyond anything I have ever seen. It was more like middle school tactics: tearing up notebooks in front of teachers and the teachers just let it happen? What? Breaking into lockers and destroying everything inside and nobody witnesses this time-consuming process? Throwing mashed potatoes at a girl and getting it in her hair in the middle of a crowded cafeteria? We had teachers everywhere in my high school lunch room. Someone would have been suspended. This is the most ridiculous high school I have ever read about. Does no teacher pay attention? Lord, these kids skipped class more than I have ever seen. And nobody batted an eye.

 

Plus the mother. Now, I wrote about an abusive mother in The Dragon God's Son because I grew up with one. But this mother was something else. She starved, verbal abused and pretty much hated her daughter. But then a social worker says her daughter might be suicidal and suddenly she cares. That isn't how it works. That women would have kept on hating her child if she hadn't been caught. It was unrealistic. 

 

The whole book was unrealistic. It was campy, cheesy, cliche, and plain dull. It sort of made it seem like your horrible bullied life will all be fine if you find a sexy boy to love you. Fuck that. Fuck you, book.

 

 

P.s. rape culture. Again, fuck you. There was no repercussion for rape. It was just shrugged off. That is not okay. I will never recommend this trash.

 

 

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text 2017-04-10 17:44
Born A Crime
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood - Trevor Noah

All I kept hearing about this book was how amazing it was. And man, it did not disappoint. South Africa is no joke. Trevor manages to tell some horrible stories with good humor. He's honest, up front and open about his own criminal past, he tells about the abuse he suffered at the hands of his stepfather and he shows an undying love for his family. He's a true testament to the rags to riches story. If you need an eye opening account of a real, poor life, read this book.

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review 2017-04-04 21:26
Why, Saga, why?!?!
Saga, Volume 7 - Fiona Staples,Brian K. Vaughan

Why do make me have feels?! I prefer to live my life as a soulless shell. 

 

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review 2017-03-27 18:14
Almost Missed You
Almost Missed You: A Novel - Jessica Strawser

By: Jessica Strawser

ISBN: 9781250107602

Publisher:  St. Martin's Press

Publication Date: 3/28/2017 

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars

 
Mind-Expanding! Jessica Strawser delivers a thought-provoking, creative, gripping, page-turning mystery and suspenseful debut, ALMOST MISSED YOU.

The what ifs . . . Meant to be. Almost. Destiny. A Chance Meeting. Imagine if . . . ?

Marriage, friendship, motherhood, romance, trust, and betrayal. Pushing life's boundaries. Life is complex yet intriguing. Providence, the stars, chance, luck, serendipity, fortune, kismet, karma.

"What has fate in store for me?" FATE: The development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.

2016: Violet and Finn are married with a son named Bear. They are on vacation in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida (North Miami). Life was good. Violet was a great mother. They had met six years ago, on this very beach on the other side of the pier. It was an instant electric connection. However, they were interrupted before they had the chance of exchanging information.

Dominoes. How did they end up together? Were they positioned perfectly? Why were they interrupted?

However, now, years later their well-planned getaway, turns tragic. Had her husband planned this all along?

Violet comes in from the beach to her ninth-floor hotel room to check on her son. Horrified, her son is gone. Her husband is not there. All their belongings are gone. Nothing left but her things. How could this have happened? Every trace of her husband and son were done. As if they had been figments of her imagination.

The author takes us back to 2010, a T-shirt, a camp from Pennsylvania, where the couple met in Sunny Isles Beach, FL. An odd coincidence? Their interruption. An emergency on the beach separated them. Was it meant to be, after all?

Finn comes back from meeting this woman whom he thinks he will never see again. Someone from Cincinnati area. How was it possible they had managed to have a real connection and yet find out so little about each other?

Enter: Craigslist’s Missed Connections. Finn drafted his post. “Care to pick up where fate left off?”

However, the person who replied was not Violet. It was Maribel. A stranger. What if he had not placed the ad? Maribel would not be dead. He would not be self-destructing. A life imploding.

Flashing back and forth from the past to the present, Violet is frantic. The police are involved. The FBI. An investigation. No one has found her husband and child.

Their best friends: Caitlin and her husband, George. They had twin boys close to the same age as Bear. Caitlin and Finn were friends since college. Why on earth would Finn do such a thing? How could any wife be as truly blindsided as Violet had been?

Finn’s parents were dead. He had a secret past. Perhaps, PTSD? Things Violet did not know. The investigation brings things to light, about her husband and friend. What would make him do such a drastic thing? She must get her son back. Could Missed Connections be the answer once again?

From Finn, Caitlin, to Violet, the suspense and emotions are high. Violet soon learns Finn was not the husband and man she thought he was at all. He was a kidnapper.

Finn soon blackmails Caitlin. George is a powerful man and comes from prestigious political family. Caitlin knows his reputation is at stake. Finn wants to hide out in their Kentucky remote cabin until he gets his head on straight.

Now Caitlin is caught between her best friend, Violet and sympathizes with her being a mother— to being fearful that Finn could ruin her own marriage and family with a secret. Guilt and fear. The consequences were terrifying.

Dark secrets from the past.

Lined up perfectly, yet so many things crossed their path. The first time they met. Years later. The reconnection. What had happened during all those years in between?

Finn knew he needed to give back Bear to Violet; however, could not stand to let him go. He could no longer see a way for them both to have him together. He could not see a way for Violet to remain in his life at all. Not after everything that had happened.

The metaphor. The dominoes.

“There had been 1,001 chances and reason for them not to end up together. And there was really only one chance, and really only one reason, for it to go the other way.”

Finn’s survivor guilt (Maribel), is at the heart of the story. Caitlin and Violet are secondary.

Wow! Strawser delivers an intriguing debut. Complex, well-written, and unputdownable. Readers will be frustrated, nerve-wracked, and engaged all at the same time. The showdown at the cabin will have you on pins and needles. For fans of mystery, domestic suspense, psychological, and contemporary.

So many questions . . . False or real? Trust. Life, marriage, friendships, love? Do you really know the people you are friends with and the person you are married to? Why do people choose to ignore all the signs? Do we settle?

However, as they say, “Life is like an elevator. On your way up, sometimes you have to stop and let some people off.”

We all have looked back at a job offer in California, New York, Arizona, or a life choice? The what ifs? How would my life be different if I had made a different choice? Taken an alternate path. Two roads. Which one? Will the outcome be the same, or dramatically different?

Whether you have or have not had a chance encounter in your lifetime, a special person, time or place, ALMOST MISSED YOU will make you contemplate. The what if? An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

In a recent online interview with the author:
. . . “The idea for ‘Almost Missed You’ comes from my own fascination with the idea of fate and the importance people put on meeting ‘the one,’ and on what’s supposedly meant to be,” Jessica explains. “We place such cultural importance on how couples meet, how paths cross and fates intertwine. I wanted to explore if that’s always for the best.”


She indeed accomplishes her goal.

From Cincinnati, OH, a remote cabin in Kentucky to some of my familiar places I have lived and worked: Asheville, NC, Sunny Isles (North Miami), and St. Augustine, FL . . . the author takes us on a journey. How these places, people, things . . . connect and bring together the story of memories, what happened and what did not.

Cannot wait to see what comes next!

For fans of Kimberly S. Belle, Paula Treick DeBoard, Renee Carlino, Colleen Hoover, Kate Moretti, Laura McNeill, and Emilie Richards. Some of my favorites.

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

 
Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/03/Almost-Missed-You
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review 2017-02-26 09:34
The Nearness of You
The Nearness of You: A Novel - Amanda Eyre Ward

By:  Amanda Eyre Ward

ISBN:  9781101887158

Publisher: Random House 

Publication Date: 2/21/2017 

Format: Hardcover  

My Rating: 4 Stars

 
Storyteller, Amanda Eyre Ward returns following (2015) The Same Sky with another thought-provoking and gripping tale of four wounded characters in THE NEARNESS OF YOU. (Beautiful cover ).

What does it take to be a real mother? With highly charged topics, Ward delves deeply into the emotions of the human psyche and what it takes to be a family. A surrogate young girl goes missing, disrupting the lives of all that are near and dear to the unborn child.

Set in Houston, Texas –Hyland and Suzette Kendell are married and celebrating their anniversary. It is the year, 2000 and the couple have been married for fifteen years and approaching forty years of age.

Suzette is a successful heart surgeon and Hyland an architect. He came from a horrific childhood and he would love to have children and a family. His parents had been killed in a car accident when he was eleven and grew up in the foster care system. He now works from home and desperately wants a family.

However, workaholic Suzette had been upfront from the beginning, she did not want children. Her mom was mentally ill and in an institution. She most likely would always remain there until she died.

Her father had died years earlier and her mom went a little crazy- erratic and paranoid, causing serious trauma for Suzette during her childhood. She too was sick in college; however, controls it with her meds. They continue to keep her mother in a nice facility and sometimes she tells herself her mom is really dead.

Suzette does not want to pass this sickness to children. She wants it to end here. She could not be the easy, breezy, fertile wife Hyland might have wanted; however, she would not be made to feel that she was lacking.

They are now ready for surrogacy. Hyland would sire a child. He was delighted with the opportunity of becoming a father. He would medically impregnate someone younger who would carry the baby to term. Suzette could keep working without interruption. It was a win-win. Or so she thought.

Suzette panicked and was scared, similar to PTSD, due to her own childhood dramas. They find what they think is the perfect candidate and was going to pay her $35,000 to cover the cost. However, the gal backs out due to Suzette being busy with work. She was not going to apologize for doing her job.

In the meantime, Suzette deals with life and death daily. Giving life after ending life with tragedy at the hospital. She cared deeply for her patients and she connected better with the babies than the adults. Each was a reminder.

Months pass and there is another candidate. This girl was much younger and inexperienced. She had never been married and never had a child, like the first candidate.

As a last resort, they decide on Dorrie (age 21). She gets pregnant quickly. We hear from different POVs. She worked at Sea-o-Rama feeding penguins. She wanted to escape her life and get off Galveston Island. She could finally move away from her mother and her dull disappointment—away from the stories about her deadbeat dad. It meant a bigger life: college, and a chance to succeed. When she had seen the ad, she knew this was the only way to attain money for college. A way out.

However, could she lease her body, and then hand over her child? She would trade nine months of her life. She earned less than $10.00 hour at her current job. The gift of life. It was love versus money. Which would win out in the end? Could she go through with it? Or escape?

She could drive away from Texas and make a life on Grand Isle, Louisiana. She needed to escape her own sad mom’s depression and alcoholism. However, without money, how would she live and support herself and her unborn child? How will Suzette and Hyland go on knowing their child was out there somewhere?

Dorrie is a dreamer and wants to wrap herself around books and living in a seaside cottage. She dreams of a life with her baby. She is immature and not thinking of how. She cannot live in a motel with no money, especially when this couple had money and would have the cops or PIs after her.

On the run, she meets another lonely girl, Jayne taking care of her own disturbed junkie prostitute mom. Another young girl, trying to escape her surroundings for a better life. Will they find solace in one another? Jayne is intrigued by the girl in room 29. They hit the road together.
 


Later when an illness arrives, and more problems, things change. However, there are still some secrets which are not revealed until the end.

The author takes us on a hauntingly beautiful emotional heartfelt journey. Told with compassion - from tragedy, pain, loss, and love. What it means to be a mother. A family. When matters of the heart are conflicted. From “The Nearness of You" an old Ella Fitzgerald song, to a desperate search for a mother.

Can a woman who fixes hearts mend one close to her own? Fast forward fifteen years later.

Every character is searching for a mother’s love and acceptance. Guilt. A yearning for atonement. Courage. Your heart goes out to all the flawed characters (they do make some poor choices); a situation when there seems there is no easy way out. Someone will be hurt. What it takes to be a family. They are not always the traditional ones.

I loved the quote: “The mother is the one who stays in the room.” (no matter how difficult, when she wants to run and hide).

I read two moving and beautiful books in a row about motherhood. They come in all shapes and sizes each with their own set of struggles. Highly recommend both: Amanda Eyre Ward’s THE NEARNESS OF YOU and Sally Hepworth’s The Mother's Promise.

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/05/The-Nearness-of-You
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