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review 2017-06-02 16:54
The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
The Best Kind of Magic - Crystal Cestari

I really struggled to rate this book and went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars for awhile because I enjoyed the book, but it did have a few things that I didn't really enjoy.

I really liked the idea of the book. There are so many witch books where the main character descends from a long line of powerful witches, but not that many about the main character having that and not being a witch. I don't think I have ever read a book about a matchmaker, so I was instantly intrigued by this and definitely think that the author did a good job at describing Amber's ability and also giving the character dimension with the dilemmas relating to her matchmaking power that she faces. 

For the most part I enjoyed Amber as a character. At first the dialogue of the teenage characters was a little overkill, but that seemed to work itself out as the book progressed. As I mentioned before, Amber is faced with some matchmaking dilemmas throughout the story. I thought they were handled very well and in a believable way, even if it sometimes got a tad bit cheesy. 

I was not fond of how Amber treated her mother. She expected her mother to treat her like an adult and with respect, but she didn't really give her mother any reason to treat her that way. She acted like her mother owed her an explanation for everything that was going on and would get upset if she was left out of matters that really didn't concern her. It's probably a pretty realistic portrayal of a teenager, but I just found it so annoying.

I did enjoy the relationship between Amber and Charlie because it really built up over the book and it seemed to help Amber come to terms with being a matchmaker and a teenager. They were very cute and it was the typical popular guy and loser girl pairing, but I didn't really mind it. I did think that adding in Ivy into the mess was very cliche and was entirely only to create drama where there didn't need to be.

This book would probably appeal more to younger teens, since the characters all seemed to be sophomores in high school (or around there) and it was a light, fun read. 

*I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

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text 2017-05-14 04:26
Public Library ebook finds ... pasta!
The Glorious Pasta of Italy - Domenica Marchetti,France Ruffenach
Tuesday Night Is Pasta Night - Woman's Day Magazine,Woman's Day Magazine
101 More Things To Do With Ramen Noodles (101 Things to do With) - Toni Patrick
The 50 Best Pasta Recipes: Tasty, Fresh, and Easy to Make! - Editors Of Adams Media

Just keeping my booklikes wishlists updated while managing my library one.  Mine uses overdrive for ebook loans if anyone else funds these of interest.

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text 2017-05-10 19:01
Continuing public library ebook finds
The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 "Rooster Sauce" Recipes that Pack a Punch - Randy Clemens
Salsas!: Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin A-176 (Storey Country Wisdom Bulletin, a-176) - Glenn Andrews
Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking: More Than 80 Everyday Recipes (Quick & Easy (Chronicle Books)) - Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee,Leigh Beisch
The 50 Best Mexican Recipes: Tasty, Fresh, and Easy to Make! - Editors Of Adams Media
The "I Don't Know How to Cook" Book Mexican: 300 Everyday Easy Mexican Recipes--That Anyone Can Make at Home! - Linda Rodriguez
The 50 Best Tex-Mex Recipes: Tasty, Fresh, and Easy to Make! - Editors Of Adams Media

Will eventually check these out (my library uses overdrive).  Just finally transferring my library wishlist items over to booklikes.

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review 2017-05-10 01:52
All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg
All the Best People - Sonja Yoerg

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was a really well done story. When I first noticed saw this book, I honestly didn't give it a lot of thought. I have never read the author and hadn't really heard much about it. For some reason, I went back to it and read the description and was intrigued so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did. This was a book that really stayed in my head and made me think about everything that goes along with mental illness. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.

This book was told from multiple points of view and in different periods of time. Carole is a wife and mother leading a pretty normal life. Alison is her 11 year old daughter and the youngest child in the family. Janine is Carole's younger sister who happens to work at Alison's school. The other story that we are told is that of Carole's mother, Solange, who resides at a nearby institution. Each of these voices really worked together to tell the story well.

Carole is noticing that she is starting to have a hard time with some tasks that never caused her trouble before. She has always taken care of the shop's books but it is becoming difficult. She is hearing voices and she can't get the sound to stop. She doesn't want to go anywhere and she is not being the mother that her children need her to be at times. She is terrified about what is going on in her mind.

Alison needs her mom. She knows that something isn't right but nobody else in the family seems to think it is a big deal. Sure, her father is pitching in on some of the things her mother can't seem to get done but it isn't quite the same. She tries talking to her aunt Janine but nothing seems to happen.

Solange's story was my favorite part of the book. We meet her at the very start of the novel when Carole visits her at the institution but I wondered what her story really was. Solange and her husband, Osborn, fell in love and got married. They were from different classes and over time they learn that a lot of their beliefs were quite different. Solange was smart and opinionated and I was really curious about how her live changed so dramatically.

The writing was very well done. I really felt like each of these characters were telling me their story. I felt Carole's fear regarding the changes she couldn't control. Alison's desperation to get her mom back to normal was nicely illustrated. I really liked the fact that we learn Carole's past through Solange's story and then from Carole's memories. Each piece of the puzzle really came together to tell a story with a big impact.

I would highly recommend this book to others. It is a very well done story of a family touched by mental illness. The characters are extremely well done and the writing flows. I look forward to reading more of Sonja Yoerg's work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
This was very good. Well written and hard to put down. A really well told story about mental illness.

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review 2017-05-08 00:00
The Best Is Yet To Come
The Best Is Yet To Come - Bella Andre

Sarah Barstow comes from a family of extraordinary women, but somewhere along the way she lost the strength to back it up. She left home to find herself and wound up losing more than she could have ever dreamed. Calvin Vaughn has seen his share of tragedies. From losing his parents in the most heartbreaking of ways to finding out that sometimes love, may just not be enough. In his darkest moments, his brightest light of hope was his precious sister that gave him the will to move forward and build a secure life for her. But when love calls his name, will he heed the call of his broken heart and first love? In order to build a future, you must face your past. We live, we learn and we move on. Bella Andre writes stories that trigger many emotions all at once. The Best is Yet to Come is like taking a blind leap of faith and gaining a reward on the other side. Remarkable story.

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