“The Girl Who Chased The Moon” – Sarah Addison Allen

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“The Girl Who Chased The Moon” is the compelling story of the lives in a town called Mullaby. Emily Benedict is whisked away to this strange town after the death of her mother. Living with her grandfather, the town Giant, is going to be an adjustment, but when strange things seem to be the norm, and when her mothers blank past starts becoming written Emily begins to question everything she thought she knew. Looking for answers Emily encounters Julia, Sawyer, and Win; but the more she tries to find out about the town and her mothers past, the more questions arise…

I love Sarah Addison Allen. I read this book last weekend while camping. I had no internet signal so I couldn’t upload a review right away and then I was horrifically busy catching up on the chaos of life. Regardless, I read this book in about two days (as I do with all Allen’s books). I love the way she blends fantasy into realty, so seamlessly and believably. She has this way of just exploring the boundaries between what is happening and what could be happening. It makes for not only compelling story telling but for a way to look at the world around you in real life and get lots in the enchantment.

I highly recommend all of Allen’s books and this was no exception for me. It wasn’t the best book of hers (I still think Garden Spells takes the cake on that) but it was definitely enjoyable. There was one minor thing I wish she had gone into detail on (and I can’t quite say what without major spoilers) but let’s just hope if she ever makes a sequel she goes into the history a bit on this one thing. But even so, isn’t that most of the charm of these books? How there’s just enough fantasy that you start to believe anything is possible, but there’s enough mystery that you don’t get bogged down by logic? It keeps the atmosphere and the feeling of something bigger, greater, different it keeps that feeling of mystical and doesn’t lend itself to our trivialities.

Apologies. I rambled a bit.

But yes. Great book. Great author. Go read.

“A Hundred Summers” – Beatriz Williams

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“Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak.

That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.

Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily’s friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction…and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations.

Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever.” – Goodreads

I literally copy and pasted the synopsis from GoodReads (credited) because I didn’t like the book enough to bother typing out something myself. I read this book about two weeks ago and was putting off even posting.

The book was okay. It wasn’t aggressively horrible. I mean, it had it’s good points. It was an interesting historical fiction. There was some historical accuracy which helped shape the story. My biggest complaint is that the characters were kind of one dimensional. I mean, overall it was okay. I just felt that there was a great idea, a good theme, and then it wasn’t executed all that well… I guess I was just hoping for something…. more. I’m not even sure what I was expecting.

As a bit of a spoiler the climax and ending were a bit trite and cliche too. But normally I am totally fine with trite and cliche. And I did still like it. I’m making it sound like I thought this book was the worst thing since “50 Shades” and believe me; it’s not. I just… maybe I wasn’t in the mood for it? Or maybe it just wasn’t my cup of tea? But it might be yours? I’m not sure. I just know that at this time in my life it was not something that suited me.

“The Girl From The Well” – Rin Chupeco

  
Okiku is a 300 year old wandering spirit, seeking the destruction of those who wrong children. Tark is a 15 year old boy who holds the secrets to a mysterious family past. When their paths cross it is a swirling upheaval of past and present.  Told in a thrilling multiple perspective this novel has a quick pace and smooth flow. 

I really liked this book. I read it on Sunday and I meant to post about it then. It’s a quick read (half a day or so). It flows very seamlessly so it’s easy to get lost in. It’s not scary (in my opinion). It is a bit paranormal-thriller. There’s definitely dark elements and upsetting material. It was sad. I found myself really caring for the characters. (Then again I tend to over care). But I was really invested in Tarks secrets and Okiku’s past. 

Very well done story. I would recommend. 

“The Promise Of Amazing” – Robin Constantine

 Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet good girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now, in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s: star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, and on the fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term-paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night, their paths cross at Wren’s family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

This was the exact kind of book I needed. I started this morning, thinking a rainy Saturday was the perfect day for a book. And boy I was not mistaken. I was instantly gripped into this world. The rebel bad boy, the  cliché good girl. Whirlwind romance. Secrets. Lies. Sure it all sounds like an amped up drama troupe. And okay so maybe it is. But it’s absolutely perfect too. 

The characters have essence of Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl (easy to do with this kind of setting and these kinds of characters). I loved the drama. The crazy fast paced romance. I loved the characters. I was instantly in love with Grayson (flawed and frustrating. I more than once yelled at the book “baby no why stop!”). I got annoyed with Wren, growling in annoyance at my book. There was just something about Constantine’s writing; the way she effortlessly weaved the story together to make the characters both flawed and lovable. It was such a good read. 

I would recommend. 

The Cellar – Natasha Preston

  
Summer is out with her friends one night when a chilling voice calls to her, “Lily”. Cue Summer being abducted by a creeper in a van and carted away to an even creepier basement apartment that she will now share with three other “flowers”. Summer must try and survive to get out of this horrible nightmare.

Now usually my reviews are pretty positive. I even had someone ask me “do you just like everything you read or do you not review the bad ones?” Well. Both. I generally know what topics I like and which topics will bore me. So usually I pick only things I will likely enjoy. In addition, if I don’t like a book I don’t feel the need to criticize the author on the Internet. My cup of tea might be someone else’s bitter prune juice, my cup of bitter prune juice might be someone’s cafe au lait. And I really try and fill the world with positivity more than negativity. So really, who am I to cast aspersions. But I do sometimes get the book or two that I did read all the way through and it just wasn’t for me. And that’s okay. They’re just fewer and far between. So I can critique without being rude. I hope. 

This book was sadly one I just couldn’t get into. I felt the author was repetitive at times to the point of causing the reader (I.e. me) severe frustration. I felt the characters were underdeveloped and I felt nothing for any of them.  The plot was a good idea, I liked the concept a lot. But I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve seen a ton of reviews that call it a “heart-stopper” and “thrilling” but I didn’t feel any of those things. I hope that people like it and that I’m the odd duck but overall it wasn’t for me and I do not recommend. 

On Writing

I’ve been working on my novel a bit (one of them and finally). And I just hate when I have to torture my babies. When something heartbreaking has to happen for plot advancement. Or when they go through an emotional crisis. I just want to hug them and tell them everything will be okay. But then it’s my fault this is happening to them anyway. And isn’t that just kind of how life goes? 

Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance – Danielle Younge-Ullman

 
When Lola Carlyle’s “best” friend Sydney calls her from rehab out of the blue and tries to convince Lola to join her at Sunrise Rehab Lola thinks Sydney is insane. But the more she thinks about the long and boring summer looming ahead of her  – and the fact that the love of her life Wade Miller just so happens to be at the same rehab center – Lola starts to formulate a plot to join Sydney and win over her crush. 

Initially I thought “Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance” sounded like just a cutesy summer read. A little quirky. A bit different. I wasn’t sure how deep into “rehab” it would delve or if it would remain fairly on the surface (a mix of both FYI). The book hits on some pretty intense feelings and points (I teared up a bit at one point), but at the same time it really stays fairly light for a book dealing with a bunch of kids in rehab. 

I think, for me, one of the reasons the book was such a hook and why I ended up reading it in one sitting was because of how much I felt like Lola. Not in the sense that I’m a – to use her term – celebu-spawn but in the sense that sometimes terrible awful stuff is happening to you and yet you’re still stressing about what outfit to wear or something equally as mundane. And the way Younge-Ullman wrote Lola is so genuinely flawed that it makes you almost uncomfortable because it’s easy to see yourself in her. At least for me. 

I thought it was well done. I do have some questions I can’t possibly pose without spoilers. But alas, some questions remain unanswered. 

Good book though.

Happy reading.