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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Spring Book Reviews

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Hey y'all!

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet-I can't wait to share today's post with y'all.
I've been very intentional in making it my goals for April and May to read more books for pleasure and I've really knocked a dent in those goals and done more than I planned for which really pleases me!

Nicholas Sparks has long been one of my favorite authors and I really enjoyed this book even more so than some of his others that I've read.

I'm going to paste in the synopsis from Amazon:
Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life - boating, swimming , and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, THE CHOICE ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

Now that I've read the book & I discovered that this movie is streaming on Hulu I want to watch it now!

This is such a classic "young adult" novel that I read with my 7th grade reading class that I teach. We started out with Giver, went on to Gathering Blue, and finished up Messenger just before school ended. I've previously read Son as well and if you were ever a fan of The Giver then I highly suggest reading all of the books in the quartet. 

Here's what Amazon has to say about Gathering Blue:
Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

Even though this is written for younger readers, I enjoyed re-reading it at 23 and I think it's very interesting to read it and compare it to the society that we live in now-it has something different for everyone that each person can take away.

Another Nicholas Sparks book, but I received this one for Valentine's Day and really wanted to finally get around to reading it. It's another one that actually made me smile and be happy to read...but it still had the classic Sparks "cut your heart out and make you want to cry" parts. But isn't that why we read Nicholas Sparks books anyway?

Amazon says:
At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear...and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

If you're looking for a book that can hold your interest and entertain you, but also makes you thoughtful of your own relationships and choices in your life then try this one out for a spin. I think it would be a great summer read!

Weirdly enough, I read two books in the past two months with the same name-they have nothing to do with each other though.
This one was such an interesting read for me because it's almost broken down into two parts; it starts out focused on a young girl (Sandy) who is about to be a senior in high school in the 70s and she becomes pregnant-so the first half of the book is her journey to decide to keep the babies (yup, babies-twins!) and give them up for adoption.
The second half of the book is Sandy many years later & she is a teacher (which made me feel so much empathy with her character) and eventually meeting her twins later in life and the way that all happens.
Overall-I really loved this one!

Here's what Amazon says...
Even as a pregnant, unwed teen in 1974, Sandy Lincoln wanted to do the right thing. But when an ageless woman approached her in a convenience store with a mysterious prophecy and a warning, doing the right thing became even more unclear. She made the best choice she could...and has lived with the consequences. 
More than thirty years later, a pregnant teen has come into her life, and Sandy's long-ago decision has come back to haunt her. The stakes rise quickly, leaving Sandy with split seconds to choose once more. But will her choice bring life...or death?

This is the last book that I was able to read with my reading class this semester and I really enjoyed studying these Lois Lowry books with them!

The vocabulary in them introduces new words to them (& sometimes to me too!) and the storyline is very interesting and keeps you guessing.
I like how it starts tying the characters from the first two books together while still maintaining it's own story. 

Here's what Amazon has to say: 
Strange changes are taking place in Village. Once a utopian community that prided itself on its welcome to new strangers, Village will soon be closed to all outsiders. As one of the few people able to travel through the dangerous Forest, Matty must deliver the message of Village’s closing and try to convince Seer’s daughter to return with him before it’s too late. But Forest has become hostile to Matty as well, and he must risk everything to fight his way through it, armed only with an emerging power he cannot yet explain or understand.

Even if you're not a teacher or someone who might be reading this with other younger people, I still think you can enjoy this-especially since utopian type novels are so popular right now!

I received many recommendations to read Elin Hilderbrand when I first revealed my love-affair with Nicholas Sparks books (& the fact that I've now read every single one of them, some more than once).
Her novels are set in Nantucket so they have the same beachy vibe which I love for spring and summer reading.

Amazon says:
A warm June evening, a local tradition: the students of Nantucket High have gathered for a bonfire on the beach. What begins as a graduation night celebration ends in tragedy after a horrible car crash leaves the driver, Penny Alistair, dead, and her twin brother in a coma. The other passengers, Penny's boyfriend, Jake, and her friend Demeter, are physically unhurt--but the emotional damage is overwhelming. Questions linger about what happened before Penny took the wheel.

As summer unfolds, startling truths are revealed about the survivors and their parents--secrets kept, promises broken, hearts betrayed. Elin Hilderbrand explores the power of community, family, and honesty, and proves that even from the ashes of sorrow new love can take flight.

Here's To Us by Elin Hildebrand
This was the last book that I finished and I really enjoyed it.
Once again, another novel based on Nantucket, it follows the story of three of a Deacon (a famous chef)'s wives in the days and weeks following his death and the ins and outs of saying goodbye to a man that they all loved.

Amazon says:
Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe has always been a force of nature with an insatiable appetite for life. But after that appetite contributes to Deacon's shocking death in his favorite place on earth, a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage, his (messy, complicated) family is reeling. Now Deacon's three wives, his children, and his best friend gather on the island he loved to say farewell. The three very different women have long been bitter rivals, each wanting to claim the primary place in Deacon's life and his heart. But as they slowly let go of the resentments they've held onto for years and remember the good times, secrets are revealed, confidences are shared, and improbable bonds are formed as this unlikely family says goodbye to the man who brought them all together, for better or worse--and the women he loved find new ways to love again.

Well y'all, that's all for my Spring reads-hopefully at the end of the summer (or the middle!) I'll have another book review list for you.

Below please leave your book suggestions-I'm open to lots of different types of reads :)

Until next time. . .


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