Month: August 2015

WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS

Posted August 28, 2015 by Ashley in Adult, Book Review, Contemporary / 1 Comment

WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGSWe Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Format: Hardcover
Genres: Fiction
on August 18th 2015
Pages: 320
Published by Ballantine Books Source: Publisher
Goodreads

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.
For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.
Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.

This book really got me, and in more ways than one. I had had a particularly hard week at work- not just regular work stress–I mean contemplating leaving my job after nearly 6 years–stress. When I came home to this book on my doorstep, I burst into tears and hugged it to my chest. To be completely honest, I don’t know how it arrived at my house, it had been so long since I’ve received a physical copy of an ARC I was really surprised and grateful that it appeared when it did. Was this something I signed up for on Goodreads? Was this sent from the Penguin Random House lovelies I met at BEA? I really didn’t know but I do know it arrived on my doorstep just in time.

Once I dived into this amazing story, I fell head over heels in love with every single character. It took me a while to warm up to Letty but once I did I really really loved her. She made some poor decisions early in her life and it took her a long time to figure out what really matters. When she finally pulled it together, nothing else mattered except her children Alex-15 and Luna-6.  

Alex is easily my favorite character. He is smart, selfless, loving and unlike most teenagers I’ve ever met, I kind of want to be him! Of course every great book has to have a love interest-or two, when these two guys walk into Letty’s life, she doesn’t quite know what to do with them because they are both amazing in their own ways. In the end I love the choice she made, even though for a while I was rooting for the other guy!

Have I said yet that I love this book? Maybe it’s the timing in which it arrived in my life, (it could just be the amazing author too) but this easily falls into my “Favorite of all time” list and I will continue insisted everyone I know read it.  

five-stars

Have you read this book or anything else by Vanessa Diffenbaugh? If so, let’s chat!

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A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN

Posted August 27, 2015 by Ashley in Book Review, Middle Grade / 2 Comments

A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEENA Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Format: ARC
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
on September 1st 2015
Pages: 240
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens Source: Publisher
Goodreads

Pram Bellamy is special--she can talk to ghosts. She doesn't have too many friends amongst the living, but that's all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.
Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram's power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

 

Pram gets herself and her new-very much alive friend in a bit of trouble when she visits Lady Savant in the middle of the night. Prams mother hung herself when she was pregnant with Pram and her father left before that. All she wants is to find her father and have a relationship with him. But when Lady Savant kidnaps her and tries to take her power, things take a terrible turn for the worse. The only beings who can save Clarence and Pram are not even alive.

This is my first DeStefano novel and I really enjoyed it. Pram is a character you can’t help but fall in love with, she loves to read, she is a bit odd and she is loyal and loving. As a mother of a Middle Grade reader, I don’t particularly like the pregnant mother hanging herself at the beginning of the book. My daughter was instantly drawn to the cover and the story but I know if I let her read the book (which I won’t) she wouldn’t be able to get past the mommy killing herself and trying to kill her daughter part. I also feel I might have to caution parents at the bookstore on this as well. Overall though, I enjoyed the book and I am excited to see what adventures DeStefano comes up with for Pram, Felix and Clarence in the next book.

three-half-stars

Have you read this book or any other books by Lauren DeStefano? If so, lets chat!

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THE HUSBAND’S SECRET

Posted August 18, 2015 by Ashley in Book Review / 6 Comments

THE HUSBAND’S SECRETThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
Format: Paperback
Genres: Fiction
on July 30th 2013
Pages: 396
Published by Berkley Goodreads

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be read
My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died...

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.
Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

There are some secrets that should just be left hidden in the dark where no one can find them, ever.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick finds a letter in her attic addressed to her. It’s from her husband John-Paul and the instructions are not to open until his death. Cecilia finds this letter while her husband is very much alive, but away on a business trip. When she informs John-Paul that she found the letter, he begs her not to open it; the tone in his voice changes and he is fierce in his demands that she is not open the letter. But when John-Paul comes home unexpectedly, from his business trip and begins rummaging through the attic in the middle of the night, Cecilia decide to read the letter she promised never to read.

It is then, in that moment, Cecilia’s life changes forever. Her family will never be the same, her relationship with her husband forever changed. Now Cecilia shares the burden of the secret with John-Paul and it’s almost killing her keeping in all inside and trying to figure out what to do. But it turns out Fate make the decision for her but it’s not her or her husband who pays for the mistakes of the past, it’s someone far more innocent and undeserving. 

I can’t even begin, I just…it’s so…ugh this book!

Even months after I read this book, I am still enamored with it. This is my favorite type of book to read. It sucks you in from the beginning and keeps you guessing page after page. Then once “it” happens, you’re in shock (I gasped out loud),  you get so angry, then come the tears. I can’t say enough about this book, it is so good! It has definitely moved to my “Favorites of All Times” list. Read it, everyone read it! Then let me know so I can flail with you when your done.

four-stars

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Read Authors

Posted August 12, 2015 by Ashley in Top Ten Tuesdays / 2 Comments

Top10

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This week is top ten authors you’ve read the most books from. Let me just say this post was much easier because Goodreads keeps track for you, also this post has made me realize I read a lot of series…here is my list.

#1 Janet Evanovich (22) – The Stephanie Plum series, quick fun reads.poster-one-for-the-money

#2 Charlaine Harris (14)- The Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood series

TrueBlood

#3 Tess Gerritsen (10)- The Rizzoli and Isles series LOVE LOVE LOVE!

RizzoliandIsles

#4 J.K. Rowling (7)- Harry Potter (obviously!) 

HarryChosen

#5 Diana Gabaldon (7)- OUTLANDER!

Outlander

#6  Rick Riordian (5) – The Percy Jackson and Olympians

#7 Jennifer Weiner-(5) In Her Shoes, Good in Bed, Little Earthquakes, We All Fall Down, Then Came You

#8 Tana French (5)– The Dublin Murder Squad

#9 Kristin Hannah (5)– The Things We Do For Love, Once in Every Life, Firefly Lane, Fly Away and The Glass Case

#10 Cassandra Clare (4)– The Mortal Instruments

Have you read any of these books? If so let’s chat!

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VALIANT BY SARAH MCGUIRE

Posted August 6, 2015 by Ashley in Book Review, Middle Grade / 0 Comments

VALIANT BY SARAH MCGUIREValiant by Sarah McGuire
Format: Hardcover
Genres: Middle Grade
on April 28th 2015
Pages: 384
Published by Carolrhoda Books Goodreads

Saville despises the bolts of velvet and silk that her father loves- he's always prized them more than he's ever loved her. Yet when he's struck ill, she'll do anything to survive, even donning boys' clothes and begging a commission to sew for the king.
Piecing together a fine coat is far simpler than unknotting court gossip about an army of giants led by a man who cannot be defeated. And they're marching toward Reggen to seize the throne. But Saville knows giants are just stories, and no man is immortal.
Then she meets them, two scouts as tall as trees. She tricks them into leaving, but tales of the daring tailor's triumph quickly spin into impossible feats of giant-slaying. And mere stories won't deter the Duke and his larger-than-life army.
Now only a courageous and clever tailor girl can see beyond the rumors to save the kingdom again.

Saville’s father is the best tailor in Daniver but he can’t seem to abide by the rules set in place by the cities tailors guild; so he decides to move his daughter to Reggan, a city that has no such guild. Shortly after they arrive in Reggan, the tailor falls ill and become paralyzed, unable to move any part of his body. It doesn’t take long before Saville is almost out of patience, money and food. Knowing that the only thing she can do to survive is sew she decides to follow through with her father’s plan–get to the king and prove to him that she is the best tailor in all the land and gain his trust–and his money. This proves to be problematic because girls are not trusted to touch the king let alone take his measurements. So, Saville dresses as a boy and wins the commission of the king.

It takes Saville months and months to create the pieces the king has requested, she spends all her time indoors. Saville’s only friend is Will, a young homeless boy she takes in off the streets. The duo become quite the team and even though Will discovers Saville’s biggest secret but he swears to never tell.

Rumors begin in the city about an impending war with giants as big as trees and a mysterious new Duke who claims he is the rightful heir to the throne. Saville doesn’t believe in giants–they are just fairy tales right? Wrong. When the giants make their first appearance in the field outside the city, the townspeople are frantic, the giants have picked someone up and started tossing them around like a rag-doll. By the time Saville reaches the field, she is horrified to discover it’s Will the giants have in their grasp.

jack-the-giant-slayer1

The events that follow will take the reader on a non-stop adventure through the castle’s long-lost secret passageways,  over castle walls into the giant camp, and up close with the feeble king of Reggan.

I have to be honest here, the only reason I read this book is because I set up an author event with Sarah McGuire. This book may not have come across my radar any other way.

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Before the first chapter was over, I hated Saville’s father whom she called the Tailor. He loved his fabrics far more than his daughter and that didn’t sit well with me at all. He is a cold, unloving character and It’s sad that the Tailor is her only family left and he seems to not care for her at all. Perhaps that’s what made Saville the lovable heroine she turned out to be.  I would definitely recommend this book to any young girl looking for a good fairy tale with a strong female heroine. I was pleasantly surprised with this debut author.

three-half-stars

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