Book Love

The Bookstore

The Bookstore - Deborah Meyler


The author did a tremendous job with character and setting development. I loved the bookstore, the employees and all the weird characters involved. I enjoyed Esme's strength insomuch as she went through with the pregnancy and continued working towards her Masters Degree. I did not, however, enjoy the fact that she was also portrayed as a love blind female who never kicked the asinine Mitchell and his family to the curb. The book ended on a note that made it seem as if Esme would take him back again if he asked. I wanted to see her get mad, get over him, become stronger and wiser, hook up with Luke, etc. etc. Hence the reason for 3 stars. 

(show spoiler)

I will be watching for more books by this author. Perhaps a sequel that will portray Esme in a stronger light!!

The Cutting Season

The Cutting Season: A Novel - Attica Locke

I picked this book up, was hooked, and read it in one day. A 5 star read for me!! 

The grand old plantation, Belle Vie, was brought to life with the author's words. I could see the river, the cottages and old schoolhouse, the old oaks and weeping willows, the hydrangeas, the haunting presence of the slave quarters, the cane fields. 
Answers to some questions were hinted at, but slow in coming which kept me engrossed in the story....wanting all the answers! Especially given the beginning and the discovery of a female migrant workers body on plantation grounds. 

Excerpt: "A reminder, really, that Belle Vie, its beauty, was not to be trusted. ......She should have known that one day it would spit out what it no longer had use for, the secrets it would no longer keep." 

Caren Gray was an easy character for me to like. Perhaps it was the hardships she endured or because she was a single mother trying her best to raise her nine year old daughter. She was the great, great, great..... granddaughter of slaves who had worked Belle Vie's cane fields and endured through the greatest shame of the south; slavery. Slaves whose history came back to life through re-enactments that were held on the plantation along with tours and the hosting of events. She had been raised on Belle Vie, the daughter of the plantation cook, the playmate of the Clancy's sons Raymond and Bobby, especially Bobby, until the difference in their circumstances became too much to maintain the childhood friendships. 

Her nine year old daughter Morgan was a handful who harbored a resentment because of the absence of her father. It seemed from the beginning that Morgan knew a lot more about the inner workings of the employees than her mother gave her credit for. Once again, Caren's return to the plantation and employment was a mystery particularly given the hints that she had been impatient to leave and never return. 

As the story progressed, the tensions mounted until the answers were revealed. Some were jaw dropping for me and I debated giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 only because I disagreed with Caren's final decision. 

To leave the plantation that was rightfully hers, to not fight for ownership, to let it be sold and destroyed, how could she let this happen? I still think of this ending with sadness but as I try to place myself in her shoes, the decision is more easily understood.

(show spoiler)

All in all, this story kept me entranced until the final page. I haven't gotten so wrapped up in a book for quite a while and am anxious to read more by this author!

Gone Girl

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

How do I describe this book? It was strange! And the ending? Even stranger!! 

Just when I thought I had it figured out, I was surprised again. I totally admire the author's imagination.

This book seriously reinforces the old saying: "There is a fine line between love and hate" and takes it to a whole other dimension. 

It is a mind-game; too good to put down-too bad to comprehend, psychologically twisted story!

This is not usually the kind of book I enjoy. In this case, however, I'm not sorry I read it. Can I recommend it? That is a tough question. But I suppose as I try to come up with an answer, I would have to say Yes, Read It! If nothing else, the 'WOW' factor is amazing!! 

The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel

The Sweetness of Forgetting - Kristin Harmel

Really enjoyed this book! 

Discussion Rooms - Create Groups and Book Clubs

Reblogged from BookLikes:

We all know that book lovers love discussing books and sharing their reading experiences. We're opening discussion rooms on BookLikes where you can create reading groups, book clubs and set up discussions about books you enjoyed. 


This is the first version of groups, we'll be constantly improving and releasing new additional features so stay tuned :)


Discussion rooms are added on the top of the page next to Explore, Giveaways, Daily Deals, Goodies and Friends.


Creating group is easy, just fill up the form with name, image, description, rules and tags and hit Create at the bottom of the page.



You are the administrator of the group and it is you who is responsible for keeping your discussion rooms clean, safe and sound. 


As an administrator you can:

- set up and remove discussions and particular posts;

- block and unblock members from entering the discussion room;

- remove members from your group.


Please take a look at several rules mentioned on the "Create group" page. 


Each BookLikes member can join a given group, set up a discussion or enter existing discussions and add his/her posts.


As a creator of a discussion you can:

- add books to discussion topic; books will be visible in group overview and once you enter a given discussion;

- add your posts.


All information about a given group, its rules, tags and administrator are visible on Group info page.



You cannot add discussion topics or posts if you have not joined the group. But you can read the thread. 



We've also prepared several options for discussion notifications.


An administrator of the group has the following options: All (mail and notifications), notifications only or none for new members and new discussions. Options for administrator are available on Group info page.



An administrator and each member of a group can set up new posts notifications on particular discussion page. The notification option are visible just under the discussion topic on Discussion Page



So now get ready for discussion and book talks :-)


Discussion rooms presented today are in their first version and we'll be developing, improving and adding new features to them so stay tuned and let us know what you think :-)


 Here are several things that we will be working on in discussion rooms:

- private groups,

- discussion members' profiles and stats,

- adding books and links to posts in particular discussion,

- adding group moderators by administrator.



Now you can find books without covers on your Shelf and easily add missing book covers to make your shelf look better organized. Select sort by cover in table view of your Shelf and you'll see books with green covers - click on the cover and upload cover image.

Lighthouse Bay

Lighthouse Bay - Kimberley Freeman

Sometimes when you are anticipating a book from a beloved author you set your sights too high. I think that's what happened with this book. I loved "Wildflower Hill" so, but this story just didn't draw me in the same way. Maybe it was just me, so try it yourself. I'll be anxious to see what other GR friends think!! 

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty - What do I say about this one? It was ok, I liked it.....but I was expecting a light southern read. The quirky characters helped lighten it, but there were still tough subjects covered in this book. I think my problem was that I really didn't relate to any of the main characters very well. The point of view of Liza after her stroke really bothered me and how the words were in her mind but she couldn't vocalize them. I felt sympathy for the matriarch Ginny and also for her granddaughter Mosey, but Liza's antics were over the top and she was not a person I liked....on the other hand I had to sympathize with her because of her stroke. I also had a problem with the relationship between Lawrence and Ginny; it was kinda unbelievable to me. It seems the author portrayed Ginny (Big) as having her shit together at 45, but then had her ripping her clothes off after meeting Lawrence again for the first time in 12 years. Liza just had sex with anyone, married or not. She blackmailed Claire, who was the matriarch of the rich family in the book. She sent pictures to Mosey's real mother all those years, she had a secret 'tree house' that she would meet men at, Mosey even snuck after her and caught her in the act once! I enjoyed the relationship between Mosey and her best friend Roger and how they included Patti in their circle. But the whole scene where Roger and Mosey went to find her mother....that was just way over the top. And how the resemblance between the two was so great but then the mother was described in such a way that how would you be able to see any resemblance?Perhaps it was my mood and my expectations of what I would be reading were so different from what I got. Don't read this book thinking you are getting a light southern read, and you may love it!
The Savage Garden - Mark Mills This book was hard for me to get into. The redeeming part was the descriptions of the garden. Though I'm not really into Greek Mythology, the way the statues were described made me feel like I was right there walking through the garden with Adam. The explanations of the hidden meaning in the statues was something of a reach for me to grasp, as was the top floor of the villa being sealed off for so many years. The relationship between Adam and his brother, the way he worried about his mother, the portrait of the Signora, Maria, Antoinette, and other characters, these things made me care a little more for the story.I believe the author's writing was superb, I just don't think this was the book for me. You may love don't let my opinion sway you from giving it a try!
The Death of Bees - Lisa O'Donnell Make no mistake, this is a dark story. Not for the faint of heart. This book was compared to "The Secret Life of Bees" and I have to say it is a much more grimy, gritty, nasty tale of two young girls left to fend for themselves after the 'death' of their parents. The comparison is way off base, let's get that straight!! It's been quite a while since I read a book in one sitting, but that's exactly what happened with this one and I'm not sure exactly why. After about Chapter 3-4, I thought I'm not going to finish this. Instead I kept reading. Kind of like when you pass an accident and you can't help but look. Yes, just like that. The way the author kept referring to the stench of death in the house, in the bedroom of Gene and Izzy even though Marnie scrubbed and scrubbed with bleach. The way Marnie looked out for her younger sister Nelly, Nelly's idiosyncrasies, Lennie's story, the ice cream man/drug dealer, Vlado, the grandfather, every single character was developed with a dark side. I have to give this book four stars because I did read it in one sitting, I kept turning the pages on this glimpse of the darkness of humans, I came to care about what happened to the girls and Lennie, but as I said this is not a feel good kind of story and definitely not for the faint of heart.
Plain Truth - Jodi Picoult I have to give this book 4 stars because the story was informative and interesting and wrapped itself around my heart strings from the first page. How could I sympathize with a (girl) who might/might not have killed her baby? But sympathize I did, over and over. Picoult made me understand how these things can happen, how people disassociate from traumatic events. The way the author weaved in Katie's remembrances of that morning little by little, the way I felt like I was present at that farm, my sympathy for the son, Katie, Adam, Samuel, Sarah, each character. The reason why I didn't give this book 5 stars? Only because of the ending. It really bothers me! I can understand why Sarah would do this, I just can't understand how. And I tell myself that the baby was already dead, Sarah just hid it. When I go back and re-read the ending, this is not what it says. But on the other hand, it doesn't say that it didn't happen that way either. Then I try to wrap my mind around the character of Sarah. I keep coming back to the fact that she watched her daughter go through police interviews, the guilt, and court....and she never spoke up and told the truth. This goes against everything the author led us to believe the Amish stood for. So in my opinion, the mother was the one with problems all along....deep rooted mental problems. And then we have Adam and Katie; they walked away from each other. There was no discussion about making it work; two people from two different worlds. I guess by this time Katie knew that she could not leave the farm, the Amish way of life, not even for the man she was so in love with. So that brings me to Samuel. He, in my opinion, is the strongest character and the one who holds all of my sympathies. What a man, to forgive and stand by Katie. Perhaps I should be giving this book 5 stars, because an ending that can bother me so much, even if I didn't like it? One that I will think about and re-write in my head. Is that the sign of a 5 star read?

Looking for Me

Looking for Me - Beth Hoffman It's not often that I will find myself with tears rolling down my face while reading a book....but this one got me and not just once...but several times! Hoffman's first book, [b:Saving CeeCee Honeycutt|6617928|Saving CeeCee Honeycutt|Beth Hoffman||6812044] went on my favorites list, so when I saw she had a new one out I was anxious to read it. So many times a second book just doesn't live up to the first book. In this case with this book, it went above and beyond my expectations. I borrowed this one from the library, but I have to buy a copy to keep on my bookshelf! That's how much I liked it!
Blood Red - Heather Graham I've read some of Heather Graham's other paranormal type books and enjoyed them, so when I saw this one at the library book sale for a quarter, I grabbed it. Way outside my normal reads, but all in all I have to say I enjoyed it as light entertainment with only a little eye rolling thrown in! I know that my daughter who is a vampire nut will really enjoy this book. So for 25 cents, I didn't go wrong!
The Fate of Mercy Alban - Wendy Webb OK I'm debating between 3 and 4 stars for this one and I decided on 4 because I enjoyed reading the entire book.....that is until answers were revealed. Revelations provided did not match the portrait painted of characters in this book. I was looking for, anticipating, expecting a logical explanation for Mercy Alban even thought maybe there would be a '6th Sense' kind of twist. That Mercy's mother and grandmother were witches who raised her from the dead; that's a little too far out for me I guess. I read over other friends reviews and it seems like I'm alone with my opinion. Don't let my thoughts dissuade you from reading this book. You may love the ending!! I enjoyed the budding romance, the characters, the setting, the entire book.....until the end. Maybe you will love it!
The Silver Star - Jeannette Walls I finished this book yesterday and I'm still thinking about Liz, her sister Bean, their dysfunctional mother Charlotte, and Uncle Tinsley. Hence the reason I am giving this book 4 stars. I'm trying to be a little more discerning about giving out 5 stars! As I read over other reviews of this book, it seems that people's opinions are running the gauntlet from very disappointed to loved it & Walls can do no wrong.I don't see this book listed as one for young adults, but I believe this would be the target audience. Are the characters as developed as they were in The Glass Castle or Half Broke Horses; maybe not. However, Walls provided enough information on each character for me to fill in the rest, the gray areas if you will and become wrapped up in the story. So what is this story about?? The author sets the stage with Liz who is 15 being the caretaker of her younger sister Bean who is 12...."My sister saved my life when I was just a baby"...the first sentence of the book. Their mother is portrayed as an eccentric singer/songwriter who is at an audition in LA and whose big break is just around the corner. The girls are expecting her return any day, but instead they receive a letter with $200 in it to make sure the girls have enough money for chicken pot pies until she returns. This is kind of silly, but the author's depiction of Bean's love of chicken pot pies is spot on! When their mother doesn't return and the police start sniffing around, Liz and Bean purchase a bus ticket to Virginia to a small town where their mother grew up and where their Uncle Tinsley still lives in the family home. The reader knows from the get go that the author is portraying the dysfunction of a family in 1970 America. Uncle Tinsley is portrayed as a widow whose hoarding has gotten out of control since losing his wife. Bean meets her aunt & cousins and her aunt gives her the silver star her father got in the war and tells her the story of his death as he defended her mother's honor. There is a villain in the story in the form of one Mr. Maddox who is the mill boss. The girls start working for him even though there is bad blood between their uncle and him. A tragic event involving Liz leads to charges against Mr. Maddox, the return of their mother, and a trial. The story continues with their mother returning to New York City and the girls staying with Uncle Tinsley in small town Virginia.The ending is perfect for a sequel to this book! I'll be watching to see what Ms. Walls is going to bring readers next!


Maine - I have to give this book 4 stars because it kept me interested until the end....but the ending wow! If you like books with an ending all wrapped up in a bow, then this one isn't for you! I've re-read the last sentence at least 3 times and I still don't get it! Need to ask the author....just what did she mean???? I got wrapped up in the characters lives and enjoyed each one in a different way. Yes, Alice wasn't a very nice person for the most part. Yes, it was sad that she lived her life filled with guilt and it made the reader understand how she became the person she was. I enjoyed Maggie and was glad she found the strength to move on. I also enjoyed Ann Marie, but Katherine was a difficult character to like. All in all I found this a satisfying read.
44 Charles Street: A  Novel - Danielle Steel It's been quite a while since I read a Danielle Steel book, but I always loved her books. So when I got this one from PBS, I was anxiously looking forward to reading it.I'm not sure exactly what went wrong with this book, but it just didn't capture my attention and the characters never became 'real' for me. I think part of it was too many contradictions; I hate his womanizing I love him and I'm going to marry him, I love this I'm going to sell it, she's such a sweet and innocent she's a sex crazed nympho, I dislike my she's interesting.If you are in the mood for a Danielle Steel book, don't choose this one.