Blurb or Paragraph? #1

Word Art

So today I thought I would try something different and look at a book I haven’t read and see what makes me want to read it more…. The blurb or paragraph!

RULES:

Pick a book on your TBR that you haven’t read.

Copy the blurb from Goodreads or Amazon

Pick a random paragraph from anywhere in the book

Vote on what makes you want to read it more blurb or paragraph!

The book I have chosen today is… 

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

The Weight of Silence

Synopsis

It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn’s shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.

Seven-year-old Calli Clark is sweet, gentle, a dreamer who suffers from selective mutism brought on by tragedy that pulled her deep into silence as a toddler.

Calli’s mother, Antonia, tried to be the best mother she could within the confines of marriage to a mostly absent, often angry husband. Now, though she denies that her husband could be involved in the possible abductions, she fears her decision to stay in her marriage has cost her more than her daughter’s voice.

Petra Gregory is Calli’s best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra nor Calli has been heard from since their disappearance was discovered. Desperate to find his child, Martin Gregory is forced to confront a side of himself he did not know existed beneath his intellectual, professorial demeanor.

Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

Paragraph

Callie had traveled deeper into the forest, beyond any spot she had been before. She was lost, the fawn had long since left to join it’s mother. Calli wandered around, trying to get her bearings. The trees here were thick and shielded the sun’s rays from her though the air remained steamy, heavy with moisture.

Verdict:

Okay so for this one I can easily say its the blurb that really makes me want to pick up the book. Perhaps I haven’t chosen an interesting enough paragraph but I basically opened up the book and went with the first one that I saw. Not that the writing doesn’t seem good but there is so much mystery in that synopsis and I’m way to nosy!

Blurb: 1                             Paragraph: 0

How would you vote??

 

 

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Book Review: The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom

 

Synopsis

‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, 36986900swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’

‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’

Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…

Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.

And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.

Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?

 

Review

Image result for three and a half out of five stars

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Now this is a story that right of the bat tells you it’s probably not gonna have a super happy ending, our main character is diagnosed with terminal cancer right at the start, and this is her story on how she is able to take a good hard look at her life and make the changes she wants to make while she still can. This is of course exacerbated by the fact that she finds our her husband is having an affair. All in all not a good week.

Now it did take me a little while to warm up to Jenny, she was just a little to passive about pretty much everything going on around her and she spends an awful lot of time thinking about how much better everything was in the past. This is something that starts from before her cancer diagnosis and remains a staple-point throughout the story. While I think it was a very understandable reaction to everything that was going on in her life, it did start to get a bit tedious.

What I did like about the book was how the author was able to approach a rather difficult subject and inject it with a whole lot of humor, not only does it lighten what had the potential to be a pretty dark book but it provides a coping mechanism for the character. I really did like the writing throughout the book as I felt I was really able to follow Jenny’s train of thought as she goes through all sorts of different situations, and while I didn’t necessarily agree with everything she was doing/thinking, it was great to have such a clear and concise narrative as to the why. It also gives a clear message of how everyone deals with things differently as well as to not always sweat the small things, as they don’t always matter in the grand scheme of things. The main thing I did love about the book though was the way the author was able to not make everything about the cancer diagnosis, something in which Jenny was adamant about as well!

Rating: 3.5/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Probably

 

Book Review: The Would-Be Mommy – Jacqueline Diamond

Synopsis

From the moment he arrives at Safe Harbor Medical, Ian Martin is on infant overload.The Would-Be Mommy (Safe Harbor Medical #1) But the story he’s covering gets a lot more interesting when the adventure-seeking reporter meets Jennifer Serra, an intriguing PR director who has created a stir by taking home one of the center’s unwanted newborns!Jennifer has always wanted a child of her own. Her dream becomes thrilling reality when she agrees to temporarily–permanently?–be a mother to a sweet baby girl. Ian could complete the picture–Jennifer sees how easily he bonds with little Rosalie.

But just when she begins to look at Ian as potential father material, the dashing journalist dredges up a scandal from Jennifer’s past that could jeopardize her plans for adoption…and for a future with Ian…

Review

Image result for four and half stars

Thank You to the Author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I started reading this book in the mood for a short and sweet romance, and that’s exactly what I got! It was the kind of book that sucked you in straight away and you immediately wanted to find out more. I think one of the main reasons for this was the likability of the characters, I found them easy to like and to rally behind from the beginning. Jennifer especially as she was more often then not just trying to make the best out of every situation.

In regards to the story itself it was a lot more in-depth then I had initially thought it would be, as I mentioned above I went into this expecting a short but sweet romance story with a few obstacles in the way before they got their happily ever after, however the book provided more than a few surprises along the way with a far more in depth character development and background than I was expecting which I really enjoyed. It also provided at credible twist to the story which really brought everything together while still being something I hadn’t expected.

Something else which I hadn’t been expecting was the way it managed to bring up a lot of important issues throughout the novel, motherhood and providing the best life for babies I think was the core issue, however it also puts an interesting light on the influence of not only social media but how news articles and so on can effect public opinion. In regards to the romance part of the story their is a bit of instalove but not to the extent of head of heels first meeting but instead I felt it worked really well within the story. The only thing I would of liked to of seen more of was some more story and development of other characters, however as this is part of a series (#17 so far!) I’m guessing they may have a story of their own! Definitely a series I want to check out more of and a great Beach and Wine kinda read.

Rating: 4.5/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

 

 

 

Married to a Cave Man – Damien Owens

Synopsis

Married to a Cave Man

Three young couples doing their best to keep the magic alive amid the nappies, bills and dirty dishes in recession-hit Dublin. When each of these husbands decides that he deserves a man cave simmering tensions come to the boil. A heartfelt comic novel about the trials of modern marriage.

Review

Image result for three out of five stars image

 

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a story of three married couples as they try to deal with various different aspects in their married life. What ends up tying them all together is ‘the man cave’, that little area for the men to relax, unwind, whatever they may need.

What I liked at the very start was how the author introduced the couples, which was of course their first meeting, I loved this because although a short introductory chapter it gives you a vital piece of history as well as letting you know what everyone thought of each other at first glance. For me that really drew me into the story, most likely as I’m incredible nosy and love to find out how things turn out.

After we did get past the initial meetings and onto the real nitty gritty parts, I did find it hard at times to keep up with who was who, now there are six characters main characters to follow and just for the first few chapters at least I did struggle a tad to remember who was married to who. Once I did figure all that out, it was easy to see the different dynamics, different struggles and different personalities which were all fairly fleshed out. It did also lead to a lot more internal screaming towards every single character as no one was able to see any of the problems their spouses were facing. Now this might just be because as a reader it can be pretty easy to tell what’s going on, especially with all that internal dialogue, but my goodness I was definitely getting more than a little irritated at times.

It did however give a pretty good and pretty honest depiction of what a relationship can really be like, without all the romance and when life really decides to kick you while your down. It also gives a valid depiction of what can happen in a relationship when both partners let pride get in the way and stubbornness of course. Now even though this was a well written book, I just couldn’t really lose myself in it and I can’t really pinpoint why, I feel as if the points the author was going for were well received, as mentioned it gives an accurate depiction of struggles people face, but it didn’t have the certain factor that allowed me to completely lose myself in the book. This may just be me though. I was really hoping that the ending would knock my socks of and all would be forgiven but I only kind of liked how one couple was able to resolve their problems. If anything I wouldn’t of minded an epilogue to find out how the characters were doing down the road, but once again that may just be my overall nosiness!

 

Rating: 3/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Probably

 

 

 

First Line Fridays #8

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First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

 

“The irony did not escape Jessica Thomas that she lost the best job she’d ever had because of a diamond. Not because she stole it but because she didn’t.”

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And the winner is…….

‘One Plus One ‘ by Jojo Moyes!

One Plus One

 

This is a book I got on vacation, and then proceeded to spend the next few hours devouring it as opposed to you know, actually going outside. No regrets. I know Jojo Moyes is usually know for ‘Me before You’ but to be honest it’s not one of my favorite book by her, not by a long shot. This one however came pretty close, one I would always recommend!

Goodreads Synopsis:

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages… maybe ever

Have you read it? What were your thoughts?

Book Review: Life After Joe by Ann Benjamin

Synopsis

When the love of your life leaves, where do you go?

When thirty-something Liz McNeil is unexpectedly widowed, she has no idea what to do

Life After Joe

with her life. After the initial shock of her husband’s death wears off, she packs up her car and sets off on a tour of the country with Joe’s urn in the passenger seat. Using social media to connect with a variety of friends and family, Liz works through her grief in a number of unpredictable methods. As she shares her experience via blog posts, on a road trip full of surprises, Liz takes what life has given her and makes the best of her situation.

Will Liz ever be able to experience love again? Readers of P.S. I Love You will definitely be interested in the journey of this courageous young woman and her struggle for a new normal.

Review

Image result for four out of five stars

Life after Joe is a bittersweet story about an unexpected widow and her efforts to regain control of her life after the absolute worst thing could possibly happen. Now at this point in my life, I haven’t lost someone I am truly close too, this is something I am incredibly grateful for, especially after reading through the roller-coaster of emotions that poor Liz has to work through.

As the synopsis states, Liz begins to try and find some sense in her new life by starting a blog, which is the format for how the book was written. This is something I really enjoyed reading through especially with how well the blog posts were written. It really gave it a sense that we were following someone on a journey as they wrote down their ‘raw’ thoughts and emotions. (It also might have something to do with how much I like writing and reading blogs!)

It also wasn’t a book that just focused on the sadness and turmoil Liz was feeling but there was points of happiness, hope and understanding. It was a story where it was just as easy to laugh as it was to cry. I didn’t feel that everything that happened to Liz was completely believable, but her emotions and how she reacted to her surroundings definitely were. In regards to the characters, I did sometimes get a tad confused just because as Liz travels around we are introduced to a lot of them, and because of this not many got a great deal of character development, but I think in a book like this the development and journey of the main character was much more important, which kind of let everyone else get away with it.

Overall it was a very enjoyable read, and as the synopsis mentioned anyone that was a fan of P.S I Love You will most likely adore this book as well!

Rating: 4/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

About the Author:

A little about me? So glad you asked. I am an author and ex-pat living in Dubai, UAE. I enjoy travel, am obsessed with Pinterest, love the musical Newsies, support UGA football, and recently embarked on a career as a freelance writer. You may recognize me from my other writing persona, Courtney Brandt, author of six young adult marching novels.

If you are interested you can buy the book here or download it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

A World Without Color – Bernard Jan

Synopsis

One story. Two endings. Genuine and fictional. Which ending is yours?

What do you say to someone who is dying? And what do you say when that someone A World Without Color: A True Story Of the Last Three Days With My Catcan’t understand a word you are saying? How do you comfort each other throughout… and beyond?

My love, if you go away in a few days, the world will lose its colors and darken like the land of Mordor. If you go away and leave me to wander aimlessly, alone in this sea become wild, like a ship with a broken rudder and drowned sailors, and if I don’t find comfort in the warmth of your body, clutched in my embrace at the end of the day, I’m afraid I won’t survive.

“I don’t regret anything. Marcel was not only my cat, he was my everything. My brother, my friend, my world shrank in a soft gray-striped furry ball.”—Bernard Jan

Powerful. Emotional. Honest.

A heartfelt and moving novella.

Review

Image result for four out of five stars text

Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Now this is a book I had no expectations going into, what had initially interested me in the memoir, was finding out how the author was able to share the highly intimate journey of a family pet passing away into a story.

What I found immediately was the raw emotion that the author is feeling is perfectly described on the page, they hold nothing back as they describe not only the situation, but the importance of Marcel to them. You really do feel as if your right alongside them as they go through their final three days.

Now this is probably not a novel to start reading if you are already feeling a tad down that down, when reading it’s so hard no not get caught up in emotion and at times it did feel quite a struggle to get through, not due to bad writing or anything like that but because it puts into sharp focus whats important and that you should really be hugging your pets right now!

At the same time it probably would provide some comfort to those that may of experienced a loss like this, their is a definite feeling that your not alone, as well as perhaps sharing some of your grief. The author does make the story deeply personal and perhaps just that little bit too emotional if anything. However it is a beautiful touching read.

Rating: 4/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes