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review 2017-04-26 22:09
Ten Thousand Words - Kelli Jean

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

All In by Lifehouse  --These lyrics describe Oliver and how he feels after he screws things up in New York.   

♫All night staring at the ceiling

counting for minutes I've been feeling this way

So far away and so alone

But you know it's alright

I came to my senses

Letting go of my defenses

There's no way I'm giving up this time

Yeah, you know I'm right here

I'm not losing you this time♫

 

Book Title:  Ten Thousand Words

Author:  Kellie Jean

Series:  Ten Thousand #1

Genre:  New Adult

Source:  Own Kindle eBook

 

Add to Goodreads

 

OVERALL RATING:  3.8/5 STARS

 

My Thoughts

 

Overall, a stimulating story, that just suffered from one substantial issue; and one tiny issue.  My bigger issue was TOO MANY SEX SCENES…this is a pet peeve of mine, lately, with the New Adult Genre.  This story had so much going for it, an interesting premise with her being a writer and Ollie as the new cover model of her series.  I loved that…and the sub-plots are also very intriguing too.  I just don't get why she felt the need to add so many full on descriptive sex scenes, sometimes it's ok to leave some of the scenes details to our imaginations.  I'm not sure if I'll keep reading this series…I might…I'll just have to do a lot of skimming through the sexy stuff if need be.  My other issue is the excessive amounts of sappiness, especially from Oliver...actually, entirely from Oliver.

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  3.5/5

Main Characters:  4.2/5

Secondary Characters: 4.8/5

The Feels:  3.7/5

Addictiveness:  3.8/5

Theme or Tone:  4.5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4/5

Backdrop (World Building): 5/5

Originality:  4.8/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Ending:  4/5 Cliffhanger:  Not for Xanthe and Oliver.  The next stories are about different characters.

 

Will I continue this series?  Maybe so.  Like I mentioned there is some interesting subplots going on that I'm sure will get delved into more in future editions.

 

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review 2017-04-26 04:27
Anything is Possible
Anything Is Possible - Elizabeth Strout

By: Elizabeth Strout

ISBN: 9780812989403

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 4/25/2017  

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +

 
From the author of My Name is Lucy Barton and the smashing hit Olive Kitteridge the HBO mini-series starring Frances McDormand (I loved) — Elizabeth Strout once again "wows" readers and her avid fans, with her insights into the human psyche — when ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Extraordinary novels, deftly combining lyrical prose with heartrending subject matter. A desperate need to be understood and accepted.

Compelling! Nine powerful and emotional stories. Grace and forgiveness. Flawed people who have experienced tragedy and haunting childhoods, abuse, mental illness, injustice, poverty, bullying, regrets, torment, war trauma, imploding lives, marriage problems, and severe loss.

People who hide behind social status. A sense of entitlement. Those who have survived and yet still remain with their own scars. There have been deep fissures in each of these families. The cracks. Some have been pushed to the breaking point, with shattering, unforeseeable consequences.

If you read My Name Is Lucy Barton (highly recommend), you may be rushing back to the title to refresh yourself, as I found myself doing.

Lucy came from a poor and dysfunctional family. She was determined and managed to escape the small town of Amgash, IL. She was diligent and became a successful author. She ultimately forgave her parents.

However, the scars of her past and the people who shaped her life, and the way she was treated by her family, siblings, and people of this town have haunted her.

Strout takes us back to some of the characters, cousins, family members, neighbors, school classmates, and siblings. We learn of the heartaches and fears, the narrow-minded thinking of these people. Where are these people today? Discovering how harsh words and actions stay with people. A profound message.

Even when someone succeeds, there are those who try and tear down the things we are most proud of. Each story sends a powerful message. Who do they blame? Are they accountable for their actions?

Broken people. Such hope for us all if only can learn to communicate. Not only with our families but the people whom we come in contact with on a daily basis. Intuitive. Being able to help those who need someone to care.

We can see from the outside a dysfunctional family can fall prey to those in a small town who do not really understand what's going on with the family as a whole, or those that make up the family (s).

We each have our own favorite stories in the collection. I enjoyed the story of Tommy, Pete, Patty, and Lucy’s return to town which did not go as expected when Vicky (sister) brings up the horrors of the past and Lucy has a panic attack driving her away. I also enjoyed the people from her past which showed up at her book signing.

Family dysfunction, problems, and crossing social classes; people are mean and they are ugly. A cruel world and Strout does not hold back. A reminder to us all. One act of compassion, caring, or kindness can make all the difference in the word.

The characters in the nine stories are shaped and at the same time, haunted by their past. They still feel trapped by the difficulties in their present day relationships and their inability to say how they truly feel. The author is a master at drawing you into the lives of her characters as she weaves in her powerful observations of human complexities and interactions. From anger, frustration, and bullying mixed with fear and cruelty.

I love this stand-out author! Her writing just keeps getting better and betters. Beautifully written, with each book I read, it makes me return to re-read or perhaps one I missed. Strout is authentic, prolific, and has mastered her skilled craft at getting inside her character’s heads, heart, and soul. They come alive on the page. ?

If you come from a small town and you happen to be the one who left and got away (I am) and became successful— you will resonate with these stories. Often those left behind are often bitter and resentful, and lash out in hateful ways and try to destroy another’s happiness when they do not have the facts. Their views are narrow and they do not think big and wide outside the box. They could have made the choice to leave. Everyone has choices. How hard do we want to strive for a better life is the question.

If you have not watched Olive Kitteridge I highly recommend. I want to watch it over and over. It stays with you. I am hoping we will get to see Anything is Possible and My Name is Lucy Barton, will be played out on the big screen. These are powerful stories that people can connect with on many levels.

There is always hope, forgiveness, and love amidst the imperfections. We are reminded that in life Anything is Possible!

For me the Washington Post article by Susan Scarf Merrell offers the perfect summary of ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE:

. . . “These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else, which is to render quiet portraits of the indignities and disappointments of normal life, and the moments of grace and kindness we are gifted in response.

Such a simple goal, so difficult to achieve. Each of these stories stands alone, but they are richer in juxtaposition to the others. And that’s because over the years, from angle after angle, Strout has been packing and unpacking how silence works — between people, within a single person, on the page, in the spaces between stories.

Omission is where you find what makes a writer a writer; it is in the silences where forgiveness and wisdom grow, and it is where Strout’s art flourishes. This new book pushes that endeavor even further.” . . . Read More


Well said. I just purchased Amy and Isabelle and Abide with Me audiobooks, I missed along the way. Highly recommend this author.

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen

This book reminds me of a plaque I have on my desk:
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
I am reminded of this each time I return to my small hometown and family. Fans of Fredrik Backman will enjoy the exploration of small town characters and the examination of the fragile human spirit.

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Anything-Is-Possible
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review 2017-04-25 23:49
The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea
The Girl Who Was Taken - Charlie Donlea
The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea is a compelling mystery-thriller. 
I gave it four stars because it kept me guessing.

It's about two abducted girls. One returns and one doesn't.

The sister of the one who doesn't became a forensic pathologist and helped
in the investigation. I received a complimentary Kindle copy from Kensington Books and NetGalley.

That did not change my opinion for this review. Link to purchase:
https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Who-Was-Taken-ebook/dp/B01JEJC8PW
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review 2017-04-25 20:06
The Janes
The Janes - B.M. Hardin

Title: The Janes
Author: B. M. Hardin
Publisher: B.M.H.
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"The Janes" by B. M. Hardin

My Thoughts...

Now I will say this one is one of the most craziest, mystery, and suspenseful novel I have ever read...but it was GOOD! This author Ms. Hardin really knows how to keep ones attention and this one definitely did it for me. Wow, Jane, Jane, Jane...and that Blonde Jane... I think it was a total of 10 of them living on the same block! This story even though it was crazy was very captivating as I turned the pages looking to read more about Jane[s]. By the time I got to the end of 'The Janes'...more twisted Janes come out front and center that goes with that saying 'when something is too good to be true, more likely.. it is!' Will 'Blonde Jane' get hers?! What disappointed me more than anything about the read was the way the husband Brice treated his Jane...like she had no idea of what she was talking about but even more of a shocker was the best friend of Jane, Charity. Oh, well to truly understand it all you will have to pick up 'The Janes' to see how well they are presented to the reader. This is definitely one heck of a story I will not forget anytime soon. Thank you to the author for doing what you do so well and that is giving the reader a good read!

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review 2017-04-25 17:26
I Found You - Lisa Jewell
Before I Met You - Lisa Jewell

This is my second book written by Lisa Jewell. I liked “The Girls in the Garden” very much and I was very keen to read another book from her. I like her writing style. Her books are easy to read and well-constructed.

“I Found You” is a character driven book. The story is broken up into three different POV and the story begins to unfold slowly. There are some twists and you can see that the stories are overlapping and connected. The story is really complex but the excellent written characters give life to the whole thing.

This book is not really a thriller. There is suspense, a lot. I really wanted to know what happened and how it was all connected. There is a lot of background to the characters, a lot of talking and it took some time until you can see where all this is heading to. The pace was a bit slow but it was far from boring. It was quite the contrary.

Lisa Jewell managed somehow to make this tragic story an easy and enjoyable read. It is almost a “Cosy Crime”. I you don’t like very drastic thrillers and are in no need for a lot of cliffhangers you will find this to be the right book for you. I enjoyed reading it and finished it in only 2 sittings.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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