BACKLOG BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

My search today led to a book I purchased in May 2017.  The People at Number 9, by Felicity Everett. 

***

I don’t recall why I bought it…that was a long time ago!  But here’s the description, and I think I now have to read it!

***

Meet the new neighbours. Whose side are you on?

‘An exciting, dark novel about friendship; brutally truthful and raw’ Adele Parks, Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author

Have you met The People at Number 9?

Sara and Neil have new neighbours in their street. Glamorous and chaotic, Gav and Lou make Sara’s life seem dull. As the two couples become friends, sharing suppers, red wine and childcare, it seems a perfect couples-match. But the more Sara sees of Gav and Lou, the more she longs to change her own life. But those changes will come at a price.

***

What do you think?  What have you rediscovered today?

***

REVIEW: THE FOREVER GIRL, BY JILL SHALVIS

When Maze returns to Wildstone for the wedding of her estranged bff and the sister of her heart, it’s also a reunion of a once ragtag team of teenagers who had only each other until a tragedy tore them apart and scattered them wide.

Now as adults together again in the lake house, there are secrets and resentments mixed up in all the amazing childhood memories. Unexpectedly, they instantly fall back into their roles: Maze their reckless leader, Cat the den mother, Heather the beloved baby sister, and Walker, a man of mystery.

Life has changed all four of them in immeasurable ways. Maze and Cat must decide if they can rebuild their friendship, and Maze discovers her long-held attraction to Walker hasn’t faded with the years but has only grown stronger.

 

 

curl up and read thoughts

A reunion of the group of foster siblings launches The Forever Girl, as they all join together for the wedding of one of them.

Caitlin is the actual daughter of the foster parents, and while the others have always loved being in this family, some of them felt like they didn’t really belong.

Especially Maze, who has deep issues of abandonment and guilt for something she blames herself for…even though she has been given absolution.

Walker is also one who isn’t sure he belongs. The feeling of belonging hasn’t come easy to him, either.

His relationship with Maze has been on and off, mostly because the two of them don’t completely believe in it.

I enjoyed this story of coming together and finally reaching a place of truly belonging. 5 stars.

***

REVIEW: THE SUMMER DEAL, BY JILL SHALVIS

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She’s fierce, tough, and she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn— her long-time frenemy.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey’s best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. The bad news: when he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have real connections, possibly love, and a future—if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

 

curl up and read thoughts

A hopeful story of friendship, connection, and unexpected family, The Summer Deal tugged at my heartstrings as I found myself loving the characters and the settings.

Yes, Kinsey was a bit of a pill, but being a mean girl is her way of protecting herself. Eli is adorable, and even his big dog is lovable. I rooted for Brynn all the way through the story, and also especially liked her two moms, who sometimes smothered her and her friends, but added to the coziness of the scenes.

As we finally reach a satisfying conclusion, I knew I would want to revisit them all. 5 stars.

***

DIGGING INTO MY TBR…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s feature is a book I purchased in June 2020:  The Summer Deal, by Jill Shalvis.

***

I am sure I bought this book because the blurb sounded interesting…and because I had seen it on some blogs.

Why haven’t I  read it yet?  So many books and so little time?

***

From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes a friends-to-frenemies-to-lovers story… Add in a few secrets. Shake. Stir. Then read on a lazy summer day at the beach…

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She’s fierce, tough, and she’s keeping more than one bombshell of a secret from Brynn — her long-time frenemy.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey’s best friend, Eli, renewing her childhood crush. The good news: he’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. The bad news: when he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have real connections, possibly love, and a future—if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

***

What book have you rediscovered today?

***

MONTHLY WRAP-UP…END OF YEAR

Welcome to the End of the Year Wrap-Up. I have chosen two favorites for December, and I have completed 131 books for the year.

Favorite Books:

Genres:

     Thrillers/Mysteries:     6

     Contemporary Fiction:    2

     Literary Fiction:  1

     Paranormal Fiction:  1

***

Here are the books read.  Click links to read the reviews.

DECEMBER 2021:

1.A Simple Favor (e-book), by Darcey Bell – (244 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 12/24/21

2.Christmas Dessert Murder (e-book), by Joanne Fluke – (415 pages) – (cozy mystery) – 12/13/21

3.Do I Know You? (e-book), by Sarah Strohmeyer – (325 pages) – (mystery/thriller) – 12/7/21

4.Janes, The (e-book), by Louisa Luna – (353 pages) – (thriller) – 12/22/21

5.Last House on the Street, The (e-book), by Diane Chamberlain – (346 pages) (mystery) – 12/17/21 – (NG- 1/11/22)

6.Last Thing He Told Me, The (e-book), by Laura Dave – (303 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 12/30/21

7.Layla (e-book), by Colleen Hoover – (290 pages) – (paranormal) – 12/28/21

8.Oh William! (e-book), by Elizabeth Strout – (237 pages) – (literary fiction) – 12/19/21

9.Summer That Made Us, The (e-book), by Robyn Carr – (340 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 12/2/21

10.Wish You Were Here (e-book), by Jodi Picoult – (309 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 12/5/21

***

BOOKS READ IN DECEMBER – 10

PAGES READ IN DECEMBER – 3,162

BOOKS READ FOR THE YEAR:  131

***

Come on by and share your reading!

***

 

OVERLOOKED BOOKS…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s overlooked book has been on my Kindle since September 2015.  I don’t feel as if I have overlooked it completely, as I have seen the movie a few times,  LOL.  But I do want to actually read the book.  The Company You Keep, by Neil Gordon, takes me back to the “olden days” of the 1960s.

Now a major motion picture directed by Robert Redford and starring Shia LaBeouf, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Terence Howard, Anna Kendrick, Nick Nolte, and Stanley Tucci.

It is 2006. Seventeen-year-old Isabel Montgomery starts to receive emails from her father, a man who had abandoned her in a hotel room ten years ago when his past finally caught up with him. Why has he contacted her now? Because he needs her help and is finally ready to reveal the truth. Over the course of the next month, further emails arrive telling her more about her family’s past. Isabel discovers that her father adopted a false identity in the hope of avoiding murder charges for a robbery gone wrong in 1974. By 1996, with a marriage falling apart around him, he is one last Vietnam-era fugitives still wanted by the law. When he is finally tracked down by a young newspaper reporter in search of a story he must abandon years of safe underground life in an attempt to exonerate himself. Set against the rise and fall of the radical anti-war group the Weather Underground, The Company You Keep is a sweeping American saga about sacrifice, the righteousness of youth, and the tension between political ideals and family loyalties.

***

What have you rediscovered today?

***

REVIEW: LAYLA, BY COLLEEN HOOVER

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

curl up and read thoughts

 

As I rapidly turned the pages of Layla, I kept shaking my head, feeling confused, and not at all sure of what was happening. Could a tragic event have turned the lives of Leeds and Layla into a paranormal experience that resembled a shifting between realms?

As we begin to accept that some soul shifting was happening, another dimension turned the whole thing into a nightmare. Could there be a third soul involved?

Consulting someone from the paranormal world led to an attempt to right things in a way that could have gone very wrong.

Just when I thought nothing could salvage their realms, it seemed to happen. But would we forever wonder if their world could be right again? 4.5 was the best I could do, as I had difficulty coming to grips with the story. But the writing was great and I knew I would remember the book always.

***

CURL UP WITH AN OLDER BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s feature is a paperback book hidden away in my book cupboard!  I bought it in May 2020.  Feels Like Falling, by Kristy Woodson Harvey.

***

It’s summertime on the North Carolina coast and the livin’ is easy.

Unless, that is, you’ve just lost your mother to cancer, your sister to her extremist husband, and your husband to his executive assistant. Meet Gray Howard. Right when Gray could use a serious infusion of good karma in her life, she inadvertently gets a stranger, Diana Harrington, fired from her job at the local pharmacy.

Diana Harrington’s summer isn’t off to the greatest start either: Hours before losing her job, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared house with only a worn-out Impala for a bed. Lucky for her, Gray has an empty guest house and a very guilty conscience.

With Gray’s kindness, Diana’s tide begins to turn. But when her first love returns, every secret from her past seems to resurface all at once. And, as Gray begins to blaze a new trail, she discovers, with Diana’s help, that what she envisioned as her perfect life may not be what she wants at all.

***

What have you rediscovered today?

***

REVIEW: OH WILLIAM!, BY ELIZABETH STROUT

I would like to say a few things about my first husband, William.

Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are.

So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret—one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout’s “perfect attunement to the human condition.” There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together—even after we’ve grown apart.

At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.”

 

There is something so moving about the characters in Oh William. We feel an almost instant connection to Lucy and to William, and as Lucy tells the story of her relationship with her first husband, a part of us knows that they will always remain connected in some way. Even though they obviously frustrate each other, even criticize each other.

Lucy narrates the story like someone who is deep in thought as she traverses her life with William. The memories seem to appear out of nowhere, almost as if she has been tangentially following a journey of her life at odd moments along the way. We see glimpses of her childhood and the horrific life with her parents; her first years with William; her life afterwards and with her second husband; and then how she and William come together again as friends and companions.

Sometimes I found William irritating, and behaving like “a dickwad,” as his daughters describe him. He feels very human and flawed and appealing in many ways, too.

A book that will linger in my mind indefinitely as a five star read.

***

FORGOTTEN BOOK…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s feature is not such an old book on my shelves, but I had expected to read it sooner.  It is Layla, by Colleen Hoover, purchased December 2020.

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

***

What have your overlooked lately?

***