Saturday, November 18, 2017

Where have I been?

The million dollar question...where have I been? I'm always reading, but I confess I don't always have the drive to do blog posts. I also started reading, and then stopped reading several books that I just found a little boring. And I made the genius decision to start tackling several books that are 400-plus pages at the same time. Add all that up...and I haven't posted in more than a month.

But I digress, lets catch up with what I have finished reading lately.

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

I bought Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen when it first came out -- two years ago. I remember braving a loooonnnnggggg self-checkout line at Walmart to buy this book. Then, like a lot of my books it started to collect dust on shelf. But this year I was determined to read more of my own books. On a whim, I finally decided to read this. It's also my first foray into reading a Sarah Dessen book.

The short: Teenage Sydney has long lived in her older brother, Peyton's, shadow. He gets all of the attention, no matter how badly he screws up. And now, after a drunk driving accident leaves a young boy in a wheelchair Peyton is headed to prison. Even with Peyton gone, Sydney is still questioning her place and self-worth within her own family. That is until she switches schools, makes new friends, and is welcomed into the arms of the Chatham family. Has Sydney finally found her place in life?

Thoughts: I LOVED this! It kind of reminded me of Jodi Picoult's writing. The strong friendships and family dynamics are what make this story work. Sydney's mom is someone who always has to have it together. She always has a plan, even when it comes to Peyton being in prison. Sydney's mom can find any reason to excuse Peyton's behavior. She can find any reason to rally behind him. But it takes so much more to see the pain that Sydney is in. Sydney's new friends, Layla and Mac can see that pain and help her through it. Sydney just needs to find the strength to tell her parents her true feelings...before it's too late.

Rating: O.M.G.!!


When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
                                                     
The short: A car crash changes the lives of just about everyone in the small town of Worthy, Georgia. In one car, three teenage girls are killed instantly, leaving their families and friends to pick up the pieces. In the other car, a teenage boy named Graham is left with severe injuries and the lasting memory that he took three people. But everyone, not just Graham, will be forced to take a hard look at their own lives in When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen.

Thoughts: A short but impactful book. Every character has some issue, some flaw that they were able to ignore until the accident. Finding the strength within and truly knowing your worth is the only way to move on.

Rating: Superb

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Lake Union) in exchange for an honest review.

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

The short: Luisa "Lu" Brant is the new state's attorney. A grisly murder committed by a homeless man, offers Lu the chance to make a name for herself and step out of the shadow of her father -- a man who once occupied the very office she now holds. But what seems like a routine case will spark memories of the past. A past that could have dire consequences for her family in Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman.

Thoughts: I had high hopes for this one. The cover seemed to imply that something sinister took place. I was expecting a payoff that never came. It takes until the last 75-80 pages before the real plot is revealed. I felt like this book was a big buildup to nothing. The larger plot also seemed to come out of left field. I do like Laura Lippman's writing style, but I was a bit indifferent to this book as a whole.

Rating: Give it a try

Note: received a copy of the book from the publisher (William Morrow) in exchange for an honest review.
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