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review 2017-02-18 11:59
In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch
In Twenty Years: A Novel - Allison Winn Scotch

I dithered about this book for a while. There was something bugging me about it and then I realized. I pretty much called every single one of the endings for the characters. I didn't really like the character (Lindy) who was bisexual being portrayed as "slutty" and the poor girl/woman (Annie) who sat around harboring same lame crush on a guy (Colin) that didn't want her. I was more interested in the married couple (Catherine and Owen) but even after a while I tired of them. I think this book was a mash up of The Big Chill and I will be the first to say I was not a fan of that movie. Probably because even as a child I had no patience for selfish people (which I counted a ton as while watching that movie).

I had liked I think maybe 1 or 2 of Scotch's prior works. But the later stuff has not been doing a thing for me. I think if this had been shortened a bit, or maybe just didn't include this manic pixie girl (Bea) as this bigger than life character we never get to really see as readers it would have worked better. I just had a hard time with people who have been sporadically in touch through 20 years to all of a sudden make a sojourn back to a house they stayed at during college. Don't get me started that one of the characters is as popular as Martha Stewart and another one is a world famous musician. You don't get the sense at all from the little introduction chapter we get on these people that these are the careers they would fall into or want to do.

I don't know who I disliked the most out of the characters: Bea, Colin, Annie, or Lindy. It's pretty much a toss-up for me. I didn't care for the character of Bea based on what we see about her during some other character's flashbacks. Bea to me is very manipulative. I didn't get some wise woman living in a young woman's body. We are told constantly that Bea lived on the edge and was IMHO way too close to her friends from college. We get some bare insight into this character about finding out she's an orphan. But I ultimately didn't like how she chose to treat Annie like a small child who had to be protected.

Annie was aggravating. I never got a handle on this character either. I think that her unrequited crush on Colin and her ridiculous propelling of him onto a pedestal is what made it so hard to like this characters. Plus Scotch introduces the husband via Annie's character who you don't care for at all, but then you learn some things so you end up having some sympathy for him, and then Annie proceeds to make terrible decisions throughout the book.

The character of Lindy is a popular musician who is a lesbian some of the time but has sex with men still. I am still confused by this whole character. Did Scotch not want to have a bisexual character? Cause it made me confused why Lindy I think identifies as a lesbian though she is attracted and sleeps with men. Seriously someone help me out here, I just didn't get what was going on and what was Scotch trying to portray with this character at all. I also hated the whole Lindy can't be monogamous thing that was going on either. I know that one of my friends who is bisexual and happily married with kids now said it used to tick her off when people thought her identifying as such meant she slept around. I think ultimately I was confuse though because a secret is put out about why she really went about sleeping with the character of Colin and I just wanted to tell her to go see a therapist.

Colin I found to be gross.

Catherine and Owen were ultimately the only two characters that seemed to be fully fleshed out. I wish that Scotch had stuck with them more honestly. I was more interested in this atypical marriage which is becoming the norm (wife works and husband stays home) and seeing how Owen is feeling unfilled at this role. Heck, this is what a lot of mothers feel as well, so it would have been great to see these two acknowledging that things are not working out and how to fix it. There's just a lot of drinking, fighting, and acting crazy.

The writing was okay, though I got really confused while reading. Maybe if the book had been told in a linear fashion (start off with them about to graduate, then go to the wedding, then hit 17 years later or whenever it was they all received letters). Instead we have characters flashbacking and being in "present" time while reading chapters.

I honestly think the multiple POVs throw this book off too. We start off with Bea, then go to Annie, Lindy, and after that I believe it's Catherine, then Owen, and finally Colin. Then we beep bop around for the whole book. The last chapter made me roll my eyes a lot too. I think I was supposed to get a feeling of well being instead of annoyance that made me feel like none of these people learned a thing. We also don't equally stick with characters. Most of the book belongs to the women characters. And honestly, after two rounds of Lindy, I was pretty much done with her.

The book mentions that this is about 6 friends (a 6 pointed star) who go to Penn and I can tell you that no one calls the University of Pennsylvania Penn. If you say Penn, most people think you are talking about Penn State. I was so surprised when I realized this book was supposed to take place in Philadelphia and then I put two and two together and was like oh she mans University of Pennsylvania. And can I say that besides some random talk of cheese-steaks, I did not get Philly from this book. Let alone these people who had lived at a house nearby the university for a number of years

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photo 2016-09-09 20:22

This is missing the scotch-drinking-crying-softly-underneath-the-desk phase, but otherwise, pretty accurate.

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review 2016-09-02 00:00
Butter & Scotch: Recipes from Brooklyn's Favorite Bar and Bakery
Butter & Scotch: Recipes from Brooklyn's Favorite Bar and Bakery - Allison Kave,Keavy Landreth There is a special place in NYC, Brooklyn, where you can find desserts and craft cocktails and where you should stop by if you visit the city.

It's the only local in Brooklyn in fact, with this special formula.

Wanted by Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth both with the idea of create something unique and special but...Where to start with? They were in the business of food, but they was searching for a real novelty.

It appeared clear that in every corner of NYC there are cupcakes/bakery places and so what to add of special?

A place where people could find not just good and great desserts, explain the authors but also special cocktails. Located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, the reputation of the local grew up exponentially when press and TV started to become always more interested at the project of the two ladies.

This book: Butter &Scotch "Recipes from Brooklyn's favorite bar and bakery" by Allison Kave and Keavy Landreth that will be published on September by Abrams will introduce you to the special and loved recipes of their local Butter & Scotch wanted so badly by these two friends.

The two friends created this book for sharing with the readers some of their most beloved recipes.

The book will introduce you wagons of fine desserts, with also the directions for create them perfectly, plus stunning cocktails for you and your friends.

Allison explains her passion for cookery, bakery and food. It happened when she was still a kid and growing up she tried to develop this passion in a work. Kave wrote also another book: "The first prize pies."

Butter & Scotch was born with this special formula because there weren't any kind of bars like this one thought by the two friends in Brooklyn.

Enjoy this book, perfect, sophisticated gift for Christmas as well.

Superb illustrations, wonderful sections where you will find the perfect dessert or cocktail for the special event you are living, this one will be a great, wonderful and useful cookbook for you or your loved ones in every occasion.

Many thanks to Netgalley for this book! Pictures from Abrams website.
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review 2016-07-01 08:33
In Twenty Years
In Twenty Years - Allison Winn Scotch
ISBN: 9781503935242
Publisher:  Lake Union 
Publication Date: 7/1/2016 
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 4 Stars

A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Contemporary Chick-lit queen, Allison Winn Scotch returns following (2013) The Theory of Opposites with a perfect summer sizzler to celebrate July 4th, IN TWENTY YEARS,from nostalgia, to reconnections—a reunion of friendship, relationships, love, loss, mixed with lots of wit and heart.

Bea was the glue which held them all together. Their last night under the same roof as a six-point star. They all loved each other, and her wish was to come together in twenty years at the same house. She made this possible; however, she was in the only one which will not be in attendance.

Twenty years ago, six Penn college students which shared a house, would come together. A time capsule. Their twentieth reunion. Forty-forty two years old. Where would they e their life’s journey? Would they have regrets?

1998: Annie and Lindy were off to New York. Annie had lined up a job in PR. Lindy was intent on being a superstar. Owen and Catherine were set to domesticate outside of Chicago. Colin was driving west to Palo Alto for medical school. A neurosurgeon. Bea made them all promise, that nothing would change. They were her family. They believed in the impossible. Their star, and destiny.

2016: They each receive a mysterious letter in the mail. Requesting their presence. They had not seen each other in thirteen years. The horrible day at Bea’s funeral. They were all there: Annie, Catherine, Owen, Colin, and Lindy.

Mail arrives for everyone from an attorney in New York. On behalf of Beatrice “Bea” Shoemaker. She had asked a notice be sent to everyone in June 2016. The executor of her will, back in 2003. She purchased the former residence on campus at the University of Pennsylvania. The executor has managed the row house and according to her will - will vacate the premises for the summer of 2016. The weekend of July 2016 on the eve of Bea’s July 4th birthday—her fortieth.

Bea had set aside something important for all. The stipulations—no one could receive the said item until the five of them are all together for her birthday.

From indiscretions of youth, resentments, secrets, fears, dreams, loves, and ambitions. Of course, things have not remained the same, over the years for anyone. They all have led different lives, each with different sets of problems.

Catherine, the CEO of a domestic empire. Owen, a stay-at-home dad, were picture-perfect college sweethearts—but now teeter on the brink of disaster.

Lindy, a well-known musician, is pushing middle age in an industry that’s all about youth and slowly self-destructing as she grapples with her own identity.

Colin: Behind his smile, handsome plastic surgeon harbors the heartbreaking truth about his own history with Bea.

Annie carefully curates her life on Instagram and Facebook, keeping up appearances so she doesn’t have to face the truth about her own empty life.

From five different points of view we hear from each character. From flaws, friendships, and dreams of youth. An ideal beach summer read, with perfect timing for the July release date. What did Bea hope for in twenty years? Who would she be, and what did she dream of? They would do it together, as one. They are the six-point star, now a five- point new star. Family. Friendship, Relationships. Beautiful Fireworks!

Each person will need to face the past in order to heal, and move forward with their lives. Long buried secrets are exposed. Grab a hammock, a cocktail, some quiet time, and enjoy the holiday read of old friends!

If you have read any of Scotch’s previous books, you can expect lots of wit and drama, with her well-developed characters, capturing the nostalgia and youth. Contemporary chick-lit, sprinkled with social media, trends, drama, with music and events of the times. Fans of Sarah Pekkanen, Jennifer Weiner, Julie Buxbaum, and Emily Giffin will love this poignant reunion!

The book reminds of an older movie (1983) The Big Chill, an American comedy-drama film with the plot focusing on a group of baby boomer college friends who reunite after 15 years when one of their old comrades, Alex, commits suicide without warning. (Beaufort, SC) Also influencing the TV series, Thirty Something.

Can you even imagine what you would have in common with your college friends, especially when you get to be my age? OMG—nothing. This book really takes you back at some of the crazy choices we made.

Loved the Author's inspiration behind the book.


Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!In-Twenty-Years/cmoa/56f2019b0cf266a29256bb8a
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review 2016-06-30 16:28
In Twenty Years - Allison Winn Scotch

#INTWENTYYEARS  AVAILABLE 7/1/16  LOVED, LOVED THIS BOOK!!  5 STARS! @aswinn #LAKEUNIONPUBLISHING  This was a great book about 5 friends from college kids kind of forced to get together for their 20 something reunion by one of their "family" members who had deceased. It dealt with their grown up frustrations, realizations, and life way after their time together in college. I so enjoyed reading this book. I felt for most of the characters, even Leon who wasn't even part of their group, but seemed to be able to calm and talk to most of the characters liked their deceased friend, Bea.

I loved the story and the characters. It was kind of funny to watch them grow further, even though they are 40 years old now, and really realize what they meant to each other. It's a story where you can connect with the characters and actually feel where they are at this time in their life. Of course, I am close to that age and can certainly connect. There were chuckles, laughs and sobbing while reading this and I truly enjoyed it.

Thanks Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I truly want to go back to college with these guys and just hang out. Such a GREAT read!!

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