The Stars In Our Eyes

By Julie Klam

The Stars in Our Eyes: The Famous, the Infamous, and Why We Care Way Too Much About Them by [Klam, Julie]

4 out of 5 stars

This book was right up my alley! Julie Klam and I are somewhat of the same cloth. We enjoy our celebrities. I may not be as fascinated by Jennifer Aniston as she is but I have always been intrigued by them. It goes back to reading my mom’s Photoplay and Silver Screen magazines when I was a child. That life just looked so glamorous. Ms. Klam goes into the differences of those old times when studios ruled what we saw, to today where everything seems to be fair game. It is an interesting look on why we are so obsessed with celebrities and how it seems now, anyone can be one. (Kadarshians, hint hint)

I loved the little intermissions after each chapter where different people gave their brushes with celebrities. Lots of fun! And the author herself is very, very funny. This was just a joy to read.

Left To Chance

By Amy Sue Nathan

Left to Chance: A Novel by [Nathan, Amy Sue]

4 out of 5 stars

Teddi Lerner is back home in Chance, Ohio after running away from her best friend Celia’s  funeral service. She is coming back for Shay, Celia’s 12-year-old daughter. Her dad is getting remarried and have asked Teddi to take their photos. She is a world known wedding photographer. Teddi has made quite the life for herself away from Chance. She is sought after, travels everywhere, and is dating her boss. What Teddi didn’t count on were the emotions and feeling of home that Chance would return to her.

They say you can’t go back home again but like Bon Jovi sings “Who says?” Everything is different but the people all seem the same. I loved this little town and how Ms. Nathan described it. I want to sit in Perk and have my coffee, or sit in the town square and people watch. Your heart goes out to Teddi. Your heart goes out to Shay and to Beck. It takes a turn that I didn’t expect but I ended up really wanting to happen. The characters were all so rich with emotion. You felt for everyone of them. I really enjoyed the book and will keep these characters with me for some time to come.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and St. Martin’s and this opinion is humbly my own.

Perennials

By Julie Cantrell

Perennials by [Cantrell, Julie]

5 out of 5 stars

Eva is going home for her parents’ 50th anniversary. Lovey, as she is called back home, has some trepidation. She is in the middle of closing a big client for her firm. She has such a contentious relationship with her sister Bitsy. And she is still getting over being fooled by her ex-boyfriend Reed. She thinks it will be just a short trip but when her parents beg her to stay, she does so warily. Lovey begins to notice something is not right with her mother and she also notices that she still has feelings for her long ago boyfriend Fisher, who is so much more than just a family friend.

Her father is going to surprise her mother with a memory garden and he enlists Lovey and Fisher to help. Gardening and flowers has always been a big part of Lovey and her mother’s life. I love how throughout the book, the author uses metaphors about flowers and life. It really is a lovely touch.

This is one of those reads that will make you feel all the feels. I was angry for Lovey and how hurt she had been by her sister. I was sad in quite a few parts and yes, I cried. I was happy for reasons you will find out when you read this lovely book. This is in a Christian genre so if that is not your thing, you should know going into it. I felt my faith renewed.  It left me feeling hopeful and with such a warm, fuzzy feeling. You will not be disappointed.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson and the review is my own humble opinion.

 

Little Fires Everywhere

By Celeste Ng

 

Little Fires Everywhere by [Ng, Celeste]

5 out of 5 stars

I don’t think there is much more that I can say about this book that has not been said already. It is definitely one of the best books of the year.

There is so much going on in the town of Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. When Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl arrive, things in this quiet little town are turned on their ear.  The town takes sides in an adoption case where a Chinese woman left her baby at a fire station and the baby was then adopted by a well-to-do couple. Is it nature versus nurture? They are not the only parents dealing with their children. Pearl becomes attracted to the Richardson family and her nomadic life with her mother is changed dramatically. Elena Richardson likes everything in it’s place and under control, when that starts slipping, her claws come out.

Every character is so well thought out and there is something about each of them that draws you in. It really boils down to family and the love of a mother. What would you do for your child? Each person has a different way of dealing with stress, of dealing with their lives, of being a parent.  You find yourself leaning toward feeling one way for a character and then something happens and you change your mind completely. That happened quite a few times! I think there needs to be a sequel. I really need to know what happens to every single character after the ending. Great read.

The Last Mrs. Parrish

By Live Constantine

The Last Mrs. Parrish by [Constantine, Liv]

5 out of 5 stars

Be careful what you wish for……

Amber Patterson has set her sights on handsome, rich Jackson Parrish. The only problem is that he is married to the seemingly perfect Daphne Parrish. Amber slowly insinuates herself into their lives by becoming friends with Daphne. It seems they have something in common, they both lost a sister to Cystic Fibrosis. It looks that way anyway. The first part of the book, we get Amber’s plan in detail. She is quite the wily one. She just might not be as wily as she thinks she is.

The next part of the book we see the world through Daphne’s eyes. She was swept off her feet by the powerful Jackson. She was so young and naive but he sure changes her.  She might not be so naive now.

The third part, we have the merging up to the climax and what a climax it is! Everything boils down to a stew of envy, greed, lust, love, hate and boy, is it delicious! This book is so well thought out and so perfectly structured. As you are reeled into Amber’s mind, you can see beyond what she sees with the subtlest of hints. You will love Daphne and you will root for her and maybe even let out a yelp or two. It will keep you up late into the night waiting to see how it all plays out. Bravo on a wonderful debut novel!

I happily received a copy of this book from Edelweiss  and HarperCollins. This review is solely my own humble opinion.

Turtles All The Way Down

By John Green

Turtles All the Way Down by [Green, John]

4 out of 5 stars

It has been a while since my last book. (Sound like I am going to confession) My son got married and it has been family time. I am so glad I climbed back up on the horse (or should I say turtle) with this book.

I love John Green. I am saying it up front right now. I love John Green’s books. His characters are always so real and you feel as if you are actually in their worlds. Sixteen-year-old Aza’s life is a hard one to live in. She suffers from OCD, among other things, and just trying to live the life of a teen is a hard, hard struggle. When her best friend Daisy wants her to help find missing millionaire Russell Pickett, she is hesitant. Aza went to camp with Davis, Russell’s son, years ago, a camp for kids who have lost a parent. What she doesn’t expect is to find a world outside that she might really like. If only she can let herself.

I cannot imagine living in a world like Aza. Just reading about her thoughts were tiring but to live that everyday. John Green handled it so wonderfully and so gently without making it seem easy or cute. My heart ached for her. It was an eye-opening look into mental illness. The book does have his way with humor between the kids and also his way of making you cry. Damn you, John Green! Loved it and cannot wait for whatever tearful torture he sends me next time.

The Visitors

By Catherine Burns

The Visitors by [Burns, Catherine]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Marion lives with her brother John in their old family home. She is in her fifties and he is a little older. She seems to live under his rule.  She grew up afraid of his moods and bending to them. He runs the house and the basement. The basement is locked and she is not supposed to go in there, even though she knows what’s down there, she abides by his rules. Marion lives in her own little world, filled with stuffed animals, and daydreams of a different life. Marion is a very different bird. When John takes ill, she must go into the basement and what happens after that ….

This has to be one of the creepiest books I have read in a long time. This family was so strange and so mentally ill. There were times I felt bad for Marion. She was so bullied by John but then she would do something to someone and I was not feeling the pity anymore. There were parts that seemed to drag so I found myself wanting to flip through but it is a well-written thriller.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Legends Press in exchange for an honest review.