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review 2017-09-25 17:13
The Goddesses by Swan Huntley
The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

I'm not really sure what I just read. 

At the end of the day, all this book did was serve to remind me why I stay away from books classified as "chick-lit". If we're being honest, I picked it up because I was in the mood for something fluffy. I figured between the cover and the fact that the book is set in Hawaii, I'd get lots of fluff. I did get some fluff. Right up until about the last 30% of the book, there was all kinds of fluff. Then at the 70% mark, the book completely went off the rails of the crazy train. In more ways than one. 

Nancy made me want to pull my hair out. I just can't abide bad mothers. I know they exist. I know there's nothing I can do about it. That doesn't mean they can't still drive me bonkers. Nancy drove me bonkers. She completely ignores her teenage twins (Which, as a mother of twins, I can tell you that's a mistake at any age. They are crafty little turds.) and then gets upset when they start misbehaving. Really? 

Ana. Pronounced On-a by the way. But don't worry if you can't remember that. The author takes several opportunities to remind you. Don't even get me started on Ana. I guess the thing that irritates me the most is that Ana is clearly suffering from one (or several) mental illness(es). The author had an opportunity with Ana to bring attention to mental illness and instead she decided to go all Fatal Attraction on the reader. I guess we are just suppose to accept that people act this way and it's completely normal. 

It's all my fault really. I should just stick to my guns and stay away from "chick-lit".

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review 2017-07-25 19:30
The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

When Nancy and her family arrive in Kona, Hawaii, they are desperate for a fresh start. Nancy's husband has cheated on her; they sleep in separate bedrooms and their twin sons have been acting out, setting off illegal fireworks. But Hawaii is paradise: they plant an orange tree in the yard; they share a bed once again and Nancy resolves to make a happy life for herself. She starts taking a yoga class and there she meets Ana, the charismatic teacher. Ana has short, black hair, a warm smile, and a hard-won wisdom that resonates deeply within Nancy. They are soon spending all their time together, sharing dinners, relaxing in Ana's hot tub, driving around Kona in the cute little car Ana helps Nancy buy. As Nancy grows closer and closer to Ana—skipping family dinners and leaving the twins to their own devices she feels a happiness and understanding unlike anything she's ever experienced, and she knows that she will do anything Ana asks of her. A mesmerizing story of friendship and manipulation set against the idyllic tropical world of the Big Island, The Goddesses is a stunning psychological novel by one of our most exciting young writers.

 

This could be classified as an adult coming of age book in a way, and was quite strange.

 

I was expecting more magical realism, but this was far more psychological than anything else. I wanted it to be more of a thriller, and I think it could have succeeded more if it embraced this category over women's fiction.

 

The fascinating look at a sort of mid-life crisis going on was quite poignant, and the best part about this book was definitely seeing how Nancy's relationship with her husband evolved in relation to her own space in the world.

 

The end made the book worth it, and the sort of sad feeling, but the lack of regret (to be ambiguous without spoiling) added more of an honest note to the novel.

 

Overall, though, this book felt wondering, and I couldn't quite get absorbed into why I should care about what was going on.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-07-20 01:23
An Interesting Twist
The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

The author has a wonderful writing style that pulls a reader in and this one was quite interesting at times and had great potential. My problem with it is that I felt like I was reading a soap opera with some not so likable characters. In my opinion, the most likable characters in the book were Nancy's teenage sons and even they had their moments.

Nancy was boring and judgmental, more often than not, at least until the end. She's so concerned about her marriage that she moves to Hawaii, but then proceeds to spend as much time as possible away from that family. I understand and can sympathize with her situation, but as a married woman and a mother, I couldn't get on board with her actions. Ana is certainly a psychopath and it was easy to see her manipulation of Nancy and the situations they were in, but I was disappointed with her endgame. After everything that happened, I expected much more. The wayward husband, Chuck, does at least try to make things right, and honestly, his actions were the only ones that made sense to me - I didn't agree with them, but they did make sense. 

There is an interesting twist at the end that I didn't see coming, but by the time I got there, it was too little, too late for me to have much more than a meh feeling about the whole book. 

 
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review 2017-07-17 18:55
The Goddesses
The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

Title:  The Goddesses: A Novel

Author:  Swan Huntley

Publisher: Doubleday

Reviewed By:  Arlena Dean

Rating: Four

Review:

 

"The Goddesses" by Swan Huntley

 

My Thoughts....

 

What will happen when Nancy want a change in her life as she 'jump starts her family' by moving to Hawaii?  This poor lady had been through so much with that cheating husband Chuck and twin boys that seemed to in into something one way or another.  With all of this drama going on in Nancy's life would moving to Hawaii cause her some happiness?  What happens when she moves to Hawaii with her family?  Who is the woman Nancy will meet and what affect will she have on life?  What will happen when Nancy finally gets out of this disillusion that she had felt so apart of?   This is a interesting part of the read as the story shows just how people often look for happiness in the wrong place.  I will say that was quite a toxic friendship.  Will Nancy learn that one can't live through other people?  Be prepared for lots and lots of drama! I will also say that author really knows how to give the reader a good entertaining read of thrills and  suspense that will keep one reading to see what will happen next in this beautiful Hawaiian setting.  I found "The Goddesses" quite a interesting read that even thought it was captivating it could be somewhat a frustrating read at times too. 

 

Thank you to Net Gallery for the read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-09-02 01:19
Girls and Goddesses
Girls, Goddesses and Giants: Tales of Heroines from Around the World - Lari Don

      Arc provided by Lerner Publishing Group through Netgalley
                Release Date: September 1rt

This was an interesting collection of  twelve short stories for young readers with young girls as heroes.
These are tales full of wit, wisdom and sometimes self sacrifice.
Now, I know that I am not this book's intended audience, but I've become accustomed to middle grade books that are brilliantly written. I didn't find that to be the case here. I found the writing style to be serviceable, but maybe that was already the goal: to have the tales told in a more traditional way.

Chi and the Seven-headed Dragon (Chinese legend) - 3,5 Stars
One day, a dragon with seven heads appears in the Kingdom. The Emperor who likes things quiet _who doesn't?_is less than thrilled by this circumstance, and following his counsellors' advices decides to feed the dragon with what is supposed to be his favourite food: little girls. -_-
Typical.
 Weeks and years go by, until courageous (and bright) Chi appears. Then, and all by herself she is able to properly deal with the dragon: it may involve a different diet ;)

Inanna and the Box of Monsters (Sumerian myth) - 3.5
A story about Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of Love ( no, I had never heard of her) , who wasn't content with the power she already had, and how she came to acquire more of it.
A story that shows us that not even the God of Wisdom can resist a goddess, if she decides that she wants something from him.
According to Inanna, the ends definitely justify the means ;)
Also good friends always come in handy!

The Wolf in the Bed (French folktale) - 3.5 Stars
"Once there was a young girl who lived at the edge of the forest."

Was this the first Red Riding Hood story?
I don't know. Apparently it was one of the firsts in which the girl saved herself all by herself.

Telesilla and the Gates of Argos (Greek legend) - 4 Stars

When the city of Argos is invaded by the Spartans, and Argos' men fail to protect it, it will be up to Telesilla, a young schollar, who will command the rest of the population into the protection of their city.

“We are the women of Argos and we are defending our homes.”

A wise woman who knew what drove most men.
Ego.

Durga and the Demon (Indian myth) - 3.5 Stars
The story of the fight between a super powerful demon ( aren't they all?) and a woman. "A tall dark woman named Durga."
A story of the "type" be careful what you wish for...


Kopecho and the Two Suns (Venezuelan myth) - 3.5 Stars
Another perfect example to which if you want a job well done, you have to do it yourself... even at great risk.

Mbango and the Whirlpool (Cameroonian folktale) - 2.5 Stars
 The perils of envy...

Hervor and the Cursed Sword (Norse legend ) - 2.5 Stars
The story of a powerful cursed sword and the family who kept it throughout the years.
Because like they say, "it's our family curse".
Well then...you can keep it.

Visiting Baba Yaga (Russian folktale) - 4 Stars
Or basically how to survive your wicked stepmother whom to make matters even worse, is also related to Baba Yaga...
Can't a girl ever catch a break?

Aliquipiso and the Cliff (Native American legend) - 4 Stars
In which the self sacrifice of a girl managed to save the rest of her tribe.

Tokoyo and the Skin Rope (Japanese legend) - 4 Stars
Good deeds never go without reward? Also, what's with so many girls sacrifices? *says she in a naive tone of voice*


The Giant’s Heart (Scottish folktale)- 4 Stars
In which a Princess must beat the Giant who has kidnapped her, in a match of wits. Now, she only has to find where he keeps his heart... and be able of destroying it.

All in all, a rich and interesting collection for young readers.

Author's Official Site

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