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review 2017-07-20 18:02
Everything We Left Behind: A Novel - Kerry Lonsdale

This is the continuation of the series "Everything We Keep". The first book dealt with Aimee who attended her fiance's funeral instead of her nuptials on her wedding day. This book tells us what really happened to James in Mexico. Well, eventually.

James is now Carlos and living in Mexico, has two sons, a deceased wife and owns an art gallery. He knows nothing of James. Freaky, but true.

Luckily, I had this book on my TBR pile right after I finished the first in the series. I picked it up right after finishing the first book. I could not wait. This one continued the flow, with some overlapping - which is to be expected, and I was right back into the story again. I'm not sure whether there will be more in this series. I could see that there could be. Telling the story of Aimee's life after finding James would be my guess if there is another book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. This was the first time that I had read this author and will definitely be adding her name to the list of authors to read.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-07-20 16:58
Everything We Keep: A Novel - Kerry Lonsdale

I savored this book until the very end. That was when I started to savor the next book in this series. Thankfully, I already a copy of it and was to imbibe that book and conquer my excitement.

This was a very touching story. A woman who's fiance goes missing two months before the wedding while on an unexpected rushed trip to Mexico. The book opens with Aimee, a sous chef at her parent's restaurant, attending her fiance's funeral on her wedding day. The funeral is at the same church, with the same flowers and mostly the same people. A total heartbreak scene that will gain your sympathy for sure. After the funeral, she is accosted by a stranger who tells her that James, her fiance, is till alive.

The book goes back and forth as to whether James is still alive. The blurb leaves you hanging, so I will also. I can say that I was mesmerized by the story and haunted. There were a few times when I thought Aimee might have went a little too far, but it didn't stop me from reading this book.

A very mesmerizing read that kept me very interested and entertained. 

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-07-16 09:16
Some are Eventual
Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales - Stephen King

This is a very well put together collection. What I mean is, almost a third in, it was good, but not awesome. Too much male perspective, maybe. But then it kept getting better an better, and I finished it very satisfied. Not as good as "Nightmares and Dreamscapes", but better than "Skeleton Crew" in my love vs meh stories ratio.

Autopsy Room Four: Weird mix between humorous and harrowing. Likely most of the laughs were out of sheer adrenaline.

The Man in The Black Suit: Childhood nightmare. That dialogue was... *shudder*

All that you love will be carried away: Dreary. Reminded me of Road-work, and his Bachman's writing.

The Death of Jack Hamilston: I guess this one goes in the same bunch with "The Fifth Quarter", but even more "The Wedding Gig". Not my thing.

In the Deathroom: Lots of testosterone on this one too, but it was awesome.

 

It occurred to Fletcher that in the end there might only be one way to tell the thugs from the patriots: when they saw their own death rising in your eyes like water, patriots made speeches. The thugs, on the other hand, gave you the number of their Swiss bank account and offered to put you on-line.

 

And that great line. I'm sure I've read it before, but I can't remember where.

The Little Sisters of Eluria: Bitter-sweet spoiler. Another reminder that I have to get this saga once and for all. And a big time *Ick!*

Everything is Eventual: So disturbing, to read what the young guy says, but to also read between the lines, waiting for the other shoe to drop for him too. "Firestarter" world?

Theory of Pets: I almost bursted something laughing. Then it turn on you. Loved it.

Road Virus Heads North: Revisited themes.

Lunch at the Gotham Café: It misleads you very nicely. It was great.

That Feeling, You Can Only Say What it is in French: Jesus! (yeah, terrible irony). This one was the best and most disturbing for me.

1408: King going Lovecraftian on you.

Riding the Bullet: Starts disturbing, gets harrowing, ends... bittersweet?

Luckey Quarter: That was depressing. I also kept wondering if she was an addict.

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review 2017-07-06 14:05
Before Everything - Victoria Redel

Before cancer, before aging, before children, before marriage, before divorce they were friends. The Old Friends, forged before everything.

 

When Anna’s cancer returns the Old Friends gather at her house. Ostensibly to say goodbye, some are having a harder time accepting that Anna is no longer fighting the battle against the disease. As friends both old and ‘new’ come to visit we see how Anna has affected the lives of her many friends.

 

There is no doubt that this is a sad story, a book about dying is bound to be, but it is also filled with bright moments. Recalls of family holidays, dinner parties, kitchen gatherings with children running wild intersperse the darker memories. The reader is taken through the trials that each of the Old Friends has had to endure, trials which have solidified the relationship between the five friends.

 

There are no big moments in Before Everything. The story takes us back to occurrences that have stood out in the lives of the women, and bring us to the present day when they have to come to terms with the fact that the Old Friends are going to alter irrevocably.  It is an examination of grief. Helen, Ming, Caroline and Molly are all trying to come to terms with the impending loss of their friend. Their anger, despair, sadness and love is examined throughout. Some refuse to allow Anna to ‘give in’, willing her, almost begging her to fight, as she has before. There are those who have to deal with their jealousy of Anna’s friends, both old and new. Victoria Redel deals with all of these emotions in an understanding and real way. No one appears too unreasonable, too annoying or too selfish.

 

Whilst the story does inevitably focus on death it is also the study of life. Of how a person affects others, how incidents and interactions can change the course of a person’s live, or just brighten someone’s day.

 

A gently paced, reflective story about living and dying.

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review 2017-07-01 21:48
[REVIEW] Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Everything, Everything - Nicola Yoon

I predicted the twist from the very beginning so that really took me away from the narrative. I did not like how the end was wrapped up in a somewhat neat bow. It all seemed dismissive to me. It's hard to explain. The middle is a bit of a slog to get through. It was too easy to stop reading and do something else. This book also has a case ofinsta-love but one that I can excuse given the fact that Madeline has never been exposed to a situation like this before. 

However, the I-love-you scene was strangely anticlimactic and not very heartfelt. It read like the author had to get them to say that cause they were going to have sex in the next chapter.

(spoiler show)


That being said, I enjoyed how easy this book is to read because the chapters are so short and Ms. Yoon's prose is so breezy. I loved the little illustrations that complimented the reading experience. This is one of those books that--should you choose to read it--you should buy a physical copy. I loved that Madeline was biracial. I loved that she loves The Little Prince almost as much as I do.

Still, I can't get over that 'twist' or how that end was so... incomplete.

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