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review 2020-02-12 01:04
THE BOOKSHOP OF YESTERDAYS by Amy Meyerson
The Bookshop of Yesterdays - Amy Meyerson

Miranda inherits her late uncle's bookshop in Los Angeles. He leaves her a final scavenger hunt where she needs to find books and people. She goes on the hunt and it is not what she expected. Her life changes in many ways.

This was not what I expected but it was excellent. I could not have followed the clues but she finds people that knew her uncle and slowly she puts his and her stories together. Her parents are not forthcoming until she solves the hunt. I liked Miranda but she was wishy-washy at times and allowed things to happen to her. Once she discovered her backbone and the truth I liked her a lot better. When she started making choices instead going with the flow she became a much better character. I also liked Lee whom she had to find. He was the most honest of all. I will read more of this author.

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review 2020-02-03 16:37
Review ~ Awesome!
Call Me Cass - Kelly Stone Gamble

Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest.

 

Cass Adams has come a long way since she buried her husband in the yard. She’s got a man who loves her. Okay, so he was her brother-in-law, but now he’s her baby daddy. And she has a dog who she named Dog. But one thing she isn’t happy about are the visions that came with her pregnancy. She keeps seeing her best friend Maryanne dying. Well, shit. It was bad enough seeing and chatting with the occasional dead person, but now she’s having visions of future conversationalists? Ugh. And then the unthinkable happens. A super tornado hits her home town and nothing will ever be the same again.

 

I cannot tell you how much I love Cass Adams and her whole weird life in the small town of Deacon, Kansas. If you haven't read book 1, They Call Me Crazy and book 2, Call Me Daddy, you don’t need to. You can enjoy this book without having read a single word of what came before. But why the fuck would you want to do that?! Books 1 & 2 are awesome! Small town shenanigans, several POVs, and a touch of the paranormal added gives this a full-bodied read like you wouldn’t believe. Kinda like Fat Tina and her gentleman’s club. And I’m going to tell you a secret. I never really liked Maryanne so I wasn’t too upset about Cass’s visions about her. There. I said it. If you haven’t read this series then stop, drop, and roll. Oops. No. I mean, stop what you are doing and grab them up. I guarantee you will fall into Cass’s world and not want to come home.

Source: imavoraciousreader.blogspot.com/2020/02/call-me-cass.html
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review 2019-05-14 15:59
Review ~ Meh
Love-Lines - Sheri Langer

Book source ~ ARC. My review is voluntary and honest.

 

Fordham Price is just trying to juggle home, family, and a job while serial dating to hopefully find a companion so she doesn’t end up alone. Or at least find someone worthy enough to scratch the sex itch. But she’s not having any luck. Her life gets even more complicated when a co-worker ups and leaves and her boss drops the book she was working on into Fordham’s lap. After whining for quite some time, so pulls up her big girl panties and digs in.

 

It’s not often I pick up a book by Red Adept Publishing and end up not liking it. The blurb for this one sounded pretty good, so I dug in. And found I didn’t care for Fordham. At all. Man, what a whiner. When her old flame blows into town and picks up with her like the years in-between never existed, I did not like or trust him. But Fordham ate him up like he was the biggest, juiciest, chocolate-covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries.

 

I love Whitty, Fordham’s 10-yr-old daughter and her mom (who lives with them), but Fordham just got on my nerves too much to enjoy the book. The writing itself is great though and maybe I’m being too picky. I’m sure there are others out there who would sympathize and connect with Fordham, but unfortunately I’m not one of them.

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review 2019-01-14 19:16
Citadel
Citadel - Jack Remick
Trisha deTours is a book editor for women's erotic fiction at Pinnacle Books.  Her personal life often reflects the books she edits as Trisha hunts for men on the beach and discards them after sex.  When scientistDaiva Izokaitis moves into Trisha's complex, Trisha finds a new friend and discovers that she has written a manuscript.  The manuscript doesn't exactly fit in with with Pinnacle's normal works, but might be exactly what they are looking for.  As Trisha dives into Daiva's book, Citadel described as a post-lesbian, scientific look at our future, Trisha becomes immersed in the characters and story so much that she begins to mix reality and fiction to become one of the characters herself.  As Citadel blends more into real life, Trisha and Daiva are helping to create the future of Citadel. 
 
Citadel is a very different and surprising work.  Using the technique of a book within a book, we see the editing process as well as the effect that a book can have on the reader.  When Trisha began to read Daiva's manuscript, I think I was just as confused and intrigued as Trisha.  The manuscript is difficult to read at first, however, like Trisha, I could see parts of myself and other women I know in the characters.  The writing is very in your face, not hiding any of the issues that women in every culture may deal with on a daily basis.  There is also a good amount of science involved in the novel as Daiva  works with genetics and bases her book on current research such as creating life without the Y chromosome.  With this addition of science, a lot of important questions arise such as: What is human?  What is desire?  Can we ever live together peacefully?  For me, the most interesting part of the story is that Citadel begins to become reality as more people read Daiva's book.  Overall, a unique and important story that will connect with many readers. 
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2018-04-26 19:27
"The Trick To Time" by Kit De Waal -Highly Recommended
The Trick To Time - Kit de Waal

I chose"The Trick To Time" by Kit De Waal as one of the six books I wanted to read from the sixteen books on the 2018 Women's Fiction Prize Longlist and I'm delighted that I did as it is one of the best books I've read so far this year. I recommend the audiobook version of "The Trick To Time" as Fiona Shaw's narration is perfect. Hearing the voices of the two Irish Aunts nicknames Pestilence and Famine, I was transported back to listening to my grandmother and her sister who spoke in exactly the same way.

 

I went into the book without reading the publisher's summary and I'm glad I did as it reads like the summary of a different book entirely, suggesting either magical realism or a historical romance.

 

For me, the strength of "The Trick To Time" is that exists purely to tell the story of how the main character, Mona, came to be Mona. The story is told in two parallel timelines: Mona as she reaches her sixtieth birthday, living alone in a seaside town in England, making dolls and providing some mysterious service to some of the women who visit her shop and Mona as a little girl, growing up in Ireland and then moving, in her late teens, to Birmingham to make a new life for herself.

 

The thing that most engaged me about the book was understanding how the little girl playing on the beach, and the young woman going nervously to her first dance in Birmingham, became the calm, strong but sad woman who makes wooden dolls. The parallel timeline structure of the book kept this at the centre of my attention and kept surprising me, not through the use of tricks or crazy plot twists but by how real and honest the changes in Mona seemed. I'm the same age as Mona and when I look back, I also wonder how the boy I was became the man I am. I was there and I yet I understand Mona's journey better than my own.

 

I was delighted to see that the sixty-year-old Mona isn't presented either as an old-woman far along the crone road or a woman still pretending to be twenty. Mona knows herself, she knows what's happened to her, she recognises the compromises and limitations in how she lives now and she has still a strong desire to find a way to live her life.

 

There is a real sense of time passing and perceptions changing while the people themselves remain who they have always truly been as if time simply wears away the bits of themselves that they'd only dressed up in in their youth.

 

This is a deeply empathic book about the nature of grief, the enduring impact of loss and the effect of time on emotions, memory and our own sense of identity.

 

I won't put spoilers in this review so I won't talk about the central trauma of Mona's life, except to say that it made me angry and it made me cry and it filled me with deep admiration for the service that Mona provided to others in later life.

 

Mona is a working-class Irish woman, living as an immigrant in Birmingham at the time of the IRA bombing that unleashed so much pain and hate.  Her ambition is simple: to make a family with the man she loves. By today's standards, they have nothing but they have enough to live independently and dream of a life filled with children who are loved and cared for with: "A roof on the house, food on the table and a coat on the hook".. I recognise those kinds of circumstances and that simple ambition but I rarely see it in books that are nominated for literary prizes. I also recognise the situation of being an immigrant and just trying to make your way. I like the matter-of-fact way this was dealt with: no polemics, no dog-whistle posturing, just an honest personal narrative.

 

The writing is beautiful without being flowery. From the beginning, I understood that there was more going on than I yet knew about and that understanding filled me with pleasant anticipation of a real story worth waiting for. It was a story that caught me by surprise time and again, up to the final chapter, but each surprise made more sense of Mona's life and actions rather than feeling like a magic trick.

 

Although this is Mona's story, the other people in it are more than cyphers. They are people with histories and emotions and opinions of their own and they rarely take the path that convention or cliché would channel them to.

 

For example, Mona's father is a complex and compassionate man. When his still-young wife is dying and Mona, his daughter, is playing on the beach to avoid her mother's illness, he finds her and persuades her to spend time with her mother. He says:
 
"One day, you will want these hours back, my girl. You will wonder how you lost them and you will want to get them back. There's a trick to time. You can make it expand or you can make it contract. Make it shorter or make it longer." 

The gentle, sad truth of this sets the tone for the whole novel.

 

I'll be reading Kit de Waal's back-catalogue and anything else she publishes. I think she's an extraordinary talent.

 

4480If you'd like to know more about her and how she wrote "The Trick To Time", take a look at this Interview with Kit de Waal in "The Guardian" covering:

"The novelist on her Irish heritage, the passing of time and why she’s glad she didn’t start young"

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