Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is one of my favorite authors. She has the gift of storytelling. All of her books contain artfully constructed webs of plot and tremendously likable characters. This book is pretty wonderful, although it skews a little more towards character development than plot. Evelyn Hugo has been the star of Hollywood for many generations, and she’s finally ready to share her story with the world – including the truth about her seven marriages. She selects Monique Grant seemingly out of nowhere. Through a series of meetings, Monique learns all the intricate details of Evelyn’s life, and the catch is that she has to write […]

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Review: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke

The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

I loved the idea of this book. It sounds light and fun – three friends return to a year where they made some choices, and they try to make things better the second time around. In practice, this book was a lot heavier and a lot less enjoyable than I was hoping. Gabriela, Jessie, and Claire have some major drama in their lives – in both timelines. Fenton and Steinke did a great job of creating diverse characters. I loved Claire. She was practical and loving and fiercely loyal to her friends. Gabriela drove me nuts. She was stubborn to the point of recklessness. And […]

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Review: Always by Sarah Jio

Always by Sarah Jio

Always sucked me in right away. Kailey was fiercely in love in her 20s, but then Cade disappeared without explanation. Ten years later she has finally moved on. She is engaged to Ryan, but when she sees Cade, a homeless man now, outside of a restaurant one night, her whole world is turned upside down. This book alternates between the past, the music scene in Seattle in 1996, and the present, Seattle in 2008. The reader sees Kailey and Cade fall in love, and she watches Kailey try to help Cade in the present while keeping her relationship with Ryan going. I’d never read Sarah […]

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Review: The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood

In The Book That Matters Most Ava joins the book club at her local library to meet new people. Her husband left her last year, and she’s having a hard time moving on. Her best friend, Cate, the librarian, has chosen the theme “The Book That Matters Most” for the year’s book club selections. Each member chooses a book that made a lasting impact on their lives. For obvious reasons, Ann Hood had most of the characters choose classic novels (so the reader would be familiar with them), but Ava chooses a rare, out of print children’s book. It’s a book someone gave her as a gift […]

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Review: Sugar by Kimberly Stuart

Sugar by Kimberly Stuart

Sugar is a perfect read for foodies and lovers of reality TV. Charlie, a pastry chef, is lured out to Seattle by her ex-boyfriend, who’s recently opened a new restaurant. Fed up with her dead end job in NYC, Charlie agrees to be his head pastry chef, but what Avery neglects to tell her is that she will also be his co-star in a new reality television show about the restaurant. Because she’s already settled in and her best friend is so happy to have her in Seattle, Charlie reluctantly agrees to do the show. This book is a great glimpse into the riggers of […]

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Review: Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things is Jodi Picoult at her best. She takes a difficult subject, in this case racism in America, and she turns it into an extremely compelling, fictionalized narrative. This book is difficult to read. It opened my eyes even more to the hatred that abounds in this country. Ruth, an African American labor and delivery nurse, is asked not to care for a newborn because his parents are White Supremacists. When tragedy strikes, and she’s the only nurse around, she is accused of murdering the baby instead of helping to save him. She teams up with Kennedy, a white public defender on her first big case. […]

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Review: The Other Sister by Diane Dixon

The Other Sister by Diane Dixon

The Other Sister started off well. Even as adults, Ali, the more beautiful of the fraternal twins, seems to have everything that Morgan ever wanted. Blinded by jealousy, Morgan does small things to sabotage her sister’s life. I was on-board with this plot, however petty it might be. But then things kept getting weirder and weirder. Ali is raped and suddenly this turned into a suspense/crime type story. Then there was a lot of drama with Ali’s husband’s job, and she started getting jealous of his time, and we were back to women’s lit. And then a baby came into the scene, and I wasn’t sure […]

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Review: Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Leave Me is Gayle Forman’s first book “starring adult characters,” as she described it at BEA. She wanted to write a story about marriage and motherhood, with scenes of family life. I think Gayle has found her calling! I enjoyed her young adult fiction, but I loved this book! Maribeth has the hectic life of a mother who is working full time. She’s juggling everything – her career, her household duties, and caring for her twin 4-year olds. She’s doing too much, and she doesn’t feel like her husband supports her at all. When she has a heart attack at 44-years old, she is truly terrified […]

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Review: Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon

Gaining Visibility by Pamela Hearon

Gaining Visibility is a beautiful story of recovery after breast cancer, of following dreams, and of falling in love with an Italian hottie. Julia is 48-years old and has just completed reconstructive surgery after a double mastectomy 2 years earlier. Her husband left her because he couldn’t stand to look at her changed body, and her only daughter has moved to Alaska with her boyfriend. Julia has decided to travel to Italy along for a 3 week celebratory adventure. She will hike the first week and then find artwork for her interior decorating business for the later half of the trip. But when a falling rock […]

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Review: Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman

Sweet Forgiveness by Lori Nelson Spielman

After reading The Life List I knew I had to check out this book right away. Lori Nelson Spielman has once again given us a wonderful mother-daughter story. This time it’s about forgiveness. In pursuit of an original talk show idea, Hannah lies about reconciling with her mother via the Forgiveness Stones, a chain mail type fad started by her grade school enemy. Hannah is struggling to find confidence. She is desperate to become a wife and mother, but her mayor boyfriend is a total scumbag that’s just stringing her along. He is not at all supportive of her efforts to forgive her mother and seek […]

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