Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Review: The Look of Love by Sarah Jio

Title: The Look of Love   
Author: Sarah Jio   
Published: November 2014, Plume  
Format: ARC Paperback, 320 pages   
Source: Publisher  

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Sarah Jio and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do have a few books by her on my shelf but I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet - too many books, not enough time, but rest assured, those books will be read soon!

This is a sweet and captivating story, perfect reading around the holiday season! It's a fast read, but I still found that it resonated with me. I loved the character of Jane and felt that I could relate to her and all the couples in one way or another throughout the book. I'm a big fan of the multiple storyline format, but loved the way Jane was the connection to everyone. There were a lot of characters and different stories going on, but I never once felt lost - every change felt seamless and timed just right.

This is a story of love, loss and even sacrifice. As we follow Jane and the couples throughout the year, we see the ups and downs of the different types of love that Jane must observe. It's hard not to become invested in these characters' lives and want to know how things play out - good or bad; and it's just as hard not to shed a tear or two along the way - some happy and some sad. 

This book is definitely a keeper and I could even see myself rereading it - something I don't tend to do very often. I cannot wait to pick up another Sarah Jio book - based on my reaction to this one, I have a feeling I just found a new go-to author for me! I already have Goodnight June and The Violets of March on my shelf, so I'll be starting with those. If you're a fan of Sarah Jio, what is your favorite book of hers?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story by Lisa Unger

Title: The Burning Girl: A Whispers Story   
Author: Lisa Unger    
Series: The Whispers, #2     
Published: November 2014, Gallery Books  
Format: ARC e-book, 75 pages   
Source: Netgalley   

From New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger comes the second of three stories in an e-novella about a psychic medium and the strange secrets she begins to uncover--for better or for worse.

Ten years after Eloise Montgomery discovers her psychic abilities, she is a full-fledged working psychic, with a partner and a business. Now, in The Burning Girl, she's discovering some disturbing things: secrets about her genealogy that are, perhaps, best left in the past; that her granddaughter Finley has powers of her own; and that not all of Eloise's visitors actually want to be helped. Some of them are just looking for trouble...

Writing with the same taut prose that earned her critical acclaim for her explosive thriller Beautiful Lies, Lisa Unger delivers a spellbinding story that will leave you wanting more.

My thoughts: This is the second story in Lisa Unger's The Whispers novella trilogy. I really enjoyed the first one and couldn't wait to dive in to this next one!

Taking place ten years after the previous story ends, I was immediately pulled into the storyline and read this short story in one sitting. Eloise has continued to use her gift that developed after the death of her daughter and husband to help others, but still struggles with it. She has learned to use her visions when she can, but now she has a vision that she can't be ride of...the Burning Girl. This girl is full of rage and a danger to Eloise. 

I love the characters that Lisa Unger introduces us to in this story - some familiar and some new. We get to know a little more about Eloise and her family, finding out that Amanda, her daughter, has moved across the country and started her own family. Amanda's young daughter Finley has recently started having visions and Amanda is definitely not happy about this. Ray, the private detective that Eloise works cases with, has become more than just a work partner. Agatha, a local psychic, has become Eloise's mentor and business partner.

I definitely felt like there was more of a supernatural, ghostly feel to this installment, due to the burning girl appearances, and in some cases it was a bit creepy, but I still loved it! It was darker and a bit more unsettling, with things not as wrapped up as the first when it ends...but that just has me more eager to get my hands on that final installment!


Books in this series:
  1. The Whispers
  2. The Burning Girl
  3. The Three Sisters - due out Jan 5, 2015

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Sunday Post #48 (11.23.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey

So if you remember in last week's post, I mentioned that my sister-in-law was due to have her baby this past week...well, she did!!! She had a little girl - Ingrid Evangeline and that makes niece #11 for me! We are heading up to see them for Thanksgiving and I can't wait to get some snuggle-time in with her...there's nothing better than that new-baby smell! 

I managed to get back down to see my sister and baby Nora (niece #10) yesterday and give her her new blanket that I made this past week - luckily these blankets only take a few days to make! Now I just have to finish up Ingrid's blanket and then I can get back to finishing up the scarves I am making as Christmas presents for some of my other nieces.

Baby Nora, Me and Abbie. (And the Blanket I made Nora)
Have a great week everyone and Happy Thanksgiving to all in the U.S.!!!
  *****************************************************************************************
Last 2 weeks on the Blog:                

* Review: The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar
* Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 21

Books Read:          
* Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery (mine)    
* Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery (e-book)  
* One of Us by Tawni O'Dell (review audio book)
 
Currently Reading:            
* The Look of Love by Sarah Jio (review book)

* Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (mine)            

Books Up Next:                  
* Christmas in Dixie by Beth Albright (review e-book)
* Scorched Eggs by Laura Childs (review book)


Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: The Burning Girl by Lisa Unger

* Review: The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
* Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs
* Review: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
 
 
Book Haul for last 2 weeks:     

For Review:
* Christmas in Dixie by Beth Albright (courtesy of Author)

* House Broken by Sonja Yoerg (Netgalley via Author)
* The Life Intended by Kristin Harmel (Netgalley via Publisher)
Purchased:
* You by Carolyn Kepnes (e-book - $1.99 deal!!!)

* The Cinderella Murder by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke (audio via Audible)
* Phantom Instinct by Meg Gardiner (audio via Audible)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 21



  #BookBlogWalkers is hosted by Felicia @ The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

It was quite cold here this week, so most of my walking was done indoors. I also managed to do some yoga a few times this week. I didn't get to any actual classes, but just practiced at home. I've found quite a few yoga flows online that I like to do and always feel so good after doing them.
 
Here's how my week went:  

Nov 15:  rest
Nov 16:  rest
Nov 17:  30 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga
Nov 18:  30 minutes walking

Nov 19:  45 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga
Nov 20:  30 minutes walking

Nov 21:  60 minutes walking & 30 minutes yoga
 
How did your week go?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer (audio)

Title: Nantucket Sisters   
Author: Nancy Thayer 
Narrator: Kate Rudd  
Published: June 2014, Brilliance Audio   
Length: 10 hours 5 minutes   
Source: Library 


Friendship takes center stage in New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer’s captivating, emotionally charged novel featuring all the tenderness and wit, drama and romance that readers have come to expect from this insightful, much-loved writer.

When they meet as girls on a beach in Nantucket, Maggie Drew and Emma Hudson become fast friends—though Emma’s well-heeled mother would prefer that she associate with the upscale daughters of bankers and statesmen rather than the child of a local seamstress. But the two lively, imaginative girls nevertheless spend many golden summers together building castles in the sand, creating magical worlds of their own, and forging grand plans for their future.

Even as Emma falls for Maggie’s brother, Ben, and the young women’s paths diverge, the duo remain close friends. Then the unthinkable happens: a lifelong friendship is pushed to its breaking point with the appearance of the handsome, charismatic, charming, and incredibly sexy Wall Street trader Cameron Chadwick—upending both of their lives.

Struggling with the difficult choices they have made and the secrets they have kept, Maggie and Emma find the road to love and fulfillment is full of bumps and twists, as well as entirely unexpected and quite wonderful turns of the heart. They also learn that while true love may be rare, a true friendship is rarer still.

My thoughts: Nancy Thayer is another of my go-to authors that I look forward to reading or listening to each summer with her new book. I find that I can get lost in her stories and love when they are set on Nantucket, as this one happens to be.

Maggie and Emily become best friends despite their different economical backgrounds. Emily and her parents are summer people while Maggie and her family live on Nantucket all year. Meeting when they were young girls, we journey with them as them become adults and deal with their own sets of problems and accomplishments. I really enjoyed this story and loved seeing how Maggie and Emily's relationships changed throughout time. Not only their friendship, but the relationships they had with others in their lives.

What I love about Nancy Thayer's stories is that she tends to create really likeable characters. In this case, all the characters are likeable, even though they make mistakes and break the trust of those they care about most. What I find most compelling is that the strength of Maggie and Emily's friendship really comes through, despite all the bad that goes on. 

This was a delightful, heartwarming story that will have you yearning to reach out to your own bestfriend!

Audio Thoughts: Kate Rudd is a new narrator to me. I thought she did a great job narrating this story and found her voice pleasant to listen to. She was able to give the characters their own voices, even the young children. I will definitely be checking out what else she has narrated.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

Title: The Hidden Girl    
Author: Louise Millar 
Published: August 2014, Atria/Emily Bestler Books  
Format: ARC e-book, 400 pages   
Source: Netgalley  

From “a writer to watch” (Booklist), this gripping psychological thriller follows a young woman who uncovers a terrible secret in her idyllic suburban neighborhood—but who will believe her?

Hannah Riley and her musician husband, Will, hope that a move to the Suffolk countryside will promise a fresh start.

Hannah, a human rights worker, is desperate for a child and she hopes that this new life will realise her dream.

Yet when the snow comes, Will is working in London and Hannah is cut off in their remote village. Life in Tornley turns out to be far from idyllic, who are the threatening figures who lurk near their property at night? And why is her neighbour so keen to see them leave? Plus Will's, behaviour is severely testing the bonds of her trust.

Hannah has spent her professional life doing the right thing for other people. But as she starts to unbury a terrible crime, she realises she can no longer do that without putting everything she's ever wanted at risk.

But if she does nothing, the next victim could be her...

My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Louise Millar and I decided to read it because I love psychological thrillers and am always looking for new authors in this genre.

This is a weird book. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, but right from the start, I felt myself glued to the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen, feeling that sense of foreboding. The characters are all richly drawn and strange in their own right, adding to that sense of mystery and it's hard to know who can be trusted.

It's clear from the beginning that things aren't quite right between Hannah and Will. They've been through a lot even before the book begins and now that they've bought this country home outside of London, the stress seems to go way up. They are in the middle of adopting a child after many failed IVF and other fertility treatments. Wanting everything to be perfect, Hannah has created a tight schedule to get the house into ship-shape, but a snowstorm derails her plans when Will is stuck in London. And then, stuck in the house by herself, strange things start happening.

As I started my review out, I said this book was weird. There were strange things going on at the house that I wasn't sure about. Were they really happening? Or was it from all the stress that Hannah was under? I really was confused yet intrigued. I also found myself both rooting for and against Hannah and Will. There were times that I wanted them to fix their marriage, but other times that I felt they didn't belong together. I love when an author creates such a reaction towards characters. 

I think this is a book that I'm going to have to reread to fully appreciate it. Are there clues along the way that I missed? I still find myself thinking about it and despite it's weirdness, it was a really good book! It's addictive and kept me glued to the pages wanting to know how it all ends.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Sunday Post #47 (11.9.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey

This past week I became an aunt again...my sister had baby #2 - Nora Elizabeth and I'm once again head over heels in love!!! This makes niece #10 and I can't wait to start spoiling her rotten just as I do with all the rest of my nieces and nephews. I went down early to my sister's so I could watch her 19 month old, who happens to be my goddaughter and we had so much fun. Then I took her to the hospital to meet her new sister - she's not too sure about this new baby, but she can say her name and it's really cute! Now that I know what sex the baby is, I'll be working on Nora's baby blanket this week. And, I have another new niece making her debut this coming week (hopefully!!!)...this one on my husband's side. More details on that in next week's post.
   
Have a great week everyone!!!
  *****************************************************************************************
Last 2 weeks on the Blog:                

* Review: The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes
* Review: Close to Home by Lisa Jackson
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 7
* Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in November 14

Books Read:          
* Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella (audio book)    
* The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar ( library book)  
* The Broken String by Diane Chamberlain (mine) 
* The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey (review audio book)
* Alex Cross, Run by James Patterson (mine)
 
Currently Reading:            
* Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery (mine)
* One of Us by Tawni O'Dell (review audio book)  

* Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (mine)            

Books Up Next:                  
* The Distance by Helen Giltrow (review book)
* The Look of Love by Sarah Jio (review book)
 
Recent Giveaway Winners:

* Us by David Nicholls...Suko

Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: The Hidden Girl by Louise Millar

* Review: Bones Never Lie by Kathy Reichs 
* Review: Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer
* Review: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl
 
 
Book Haul for last 2 weeks:     

Purchased:
* Ashes to Ashes by Tami Hoag (Audible)

* The Broken String by Diane Chamberlain (e-book)
From Library:
* Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter


 

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