Book Review · Books

Come Home

Lisa Scottoline hooked me with her hilarious memoirs written with her daughter Francesca. It wasn’t till this year when I borrowed a copy of, Every Fifteen Minutes, that I discovered her magic at writing fiction.

Lisa’s fiction is realistic, intense, colorful, emotional and hard to put down.  This novel is about the life of pediatrician, Jill Farrow, whose rebuilding her life after an ugly divorce with her ex-husband  William. She has a new relationship with a loving man named Sam. Her daughter Megan feels love and protected by her mom’s fiancé. Life takes an ugly turn when Jill’s ex-step daughter Abby shows up  drunk with the news that her dad, William is dead. Jill can’t stand her ex, but still cares about his daughters Abby and Victoria. Abby is sure her dad was murdered due to how died. Jill doesn’t want to believe the worst, but when Abby goes missing she wonders if there is something to Abby’s suspicions.

This book deals with the topics of divorce, what makes up a family and can ex family members still be considered family after the divorce is finalized? What would you do for loved ones even when society tells you it shouldn’t matter now that you are divorced and out of their lives? This book is fast paced. I read it in 2 days. 410 pages of nonstop, action, guessing where Lisa was taking the storyline and rooting for Lisa.

Book Review · Books

Over Our Dead Bodies

Since I am a big fan of “Six Feet Under,” I grabbed this book up when I saw it at Half Price books. I’ve watched that show at least 3x all the way through and each time I watch it a different character stands out to me. “Six Feet Under,” got me interested in the mortuary profession, so any reading material related peaks my interest.

This book is filled with stories about humorous funerals, different myths explained on what being a mortician is actually like, the history behind epitaphs and more. If you enjoyed “Six Feet Under,” you might find this book funny, insightful, charming and intriguing.

Book Review · Books

Some Thoughts About Relationships By Colin Wright

I heard about Colin Wright from the best friends that started The Minimalists, Josh and Ryan. I was interested to read his books so I was excited to read his book on relationships last weekend.

Colin covers what he calls his polices when it comes to his relationships whether they are platonic or romantic based. His policies range from not drinking coffee after a certain time to be sure he’s able to get a good night’s sleep to making sure he communicates clearly in his relationships. Colin also, discusses the different types of relationships that are out there. As long as two people are adults and consenting then there are a variety of relationships from being in an open relationship or a poly relationship besides the traditional monogamous relationship. Colin also mentioned different societal myths of sorts like there is only one soulmate for each of us versus acknowledging that in our life time we may connect on a soulmate level if with different individuals and to put that level of pressure on one person is unfair and unrealistic.

Colin writes in a personal, readable manner.  If you are looking for a quick, helpful read I recommend this book. Colin suggests outside the box solutions, so to be ready to be challenged.

Book Review · Books

The Women In The Walls

Amy’s second YA horror novel is a step up from Daughters Unto Devils.   Similar horror themes, but a smoother read for me. The cover keeps in true creepy fashion with lettering looking like dripping blood. The fog in the background adds a nice mysterious element.

Lucy Acosta is the daughter of a man who can’t be bothered because he’s, too busy planning estate parties for the country club. Lucy’s cousin Margaret and her mom Penelope live with them in their mansion. Both girls are homeschooled by tutors. Margaret and Lucy are best friends until Margaret’s mom Penelope walks into the woods behind their house and never comes back. Lucy finds it strange her dad stops searching for her after only two weeks.  Margaret starts to act weird. Emotional one moment and bitchy the next. Margaret tells Lucy she didn’t really know Penelope. Lucy is closer to Penelope than Margaret is. She thought Margaret was merely jealous, till Lucy uncovers something deep in the back of Margaret’s closet. Lucy has secrets of her own. She’s a self harmer. Will Penelope ever return? Will Margaret’s strange behavior ever be explained? What secrets does the old mansion hold? What is the scratching noises Margaret shows Lucy?

If you are a fan of horror this one won’t disappoint. It’s an improvement from Amy’s debut novel. I think I will definitely steer clear of horror. I’m just, too spiritually sensitive to read it.

Book Review · Books

Daughters Unto Devils


Horror is the one genre I don’t read. Ever. Till I reconnected with Youtuber Bisky Scribbles and I thought I’d give it a try. YA horror that is. I have read Stephen King, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve read him or Dean Koontz.

The title and cover of this book was a tad on the classic creepy level. Covers can make or break picking out a title. I almost resisted, but since I bought Amy’s newest title I figured I’d get her debut novel as well.

The storyline is of Amanda Verner and her family moving from the top of a mountain down to a prairie sounds innocent enough, until strange things start occurring. Prior to their move they are stuck inside their cabin due to bad winter weather, where they are snowed in. I think Amanda goes mentally ill. Her ma has a scary delivery of their new baby sister Hannah because their mom is sick with a high fever and can’t leave the cabin to get a doctor. Due to this Hannah is born blind and I believe deaf. Their ma is grief stricken over Hannah’s disabilities. Their pa try’s to stay stoick and keep the family focused on the Lord.

Amanda has a younger sister Emily whose her best friend along with a younger brother and sister. Her and Emily share everything about their lives with each other, until Amanda winds up prenant by the local post office boy. She feels evil having had sex before marriage and is scared she will be kicked out of her home if her parents find out.

Moving to the prairie more strange events keep occurring. The most glaring one is the new homestead they take over. The previous owner was either a messy butcher or something more sinister occurred. A house filled with dried blood all over? Cue creepy music. Will Amanda survive delivering her baby? Will her relationship with Emily be restored? If you are a fan of horror you might enjoy this book. For me not so much. I think I will stick with suspense novels.

Book Review · Books

Lion


I saw the movie, “Lion,” before I bought the book. Usually I like to read a book first before seeing the movie, but in this case I’m glad I did. The movie is so verbatim of the memoir I felt like I was just reading the movie via words vs visually through a movie.

This is the memoir of Saroo from India getting lost and separated from his brother Guddu at five years old. He begs to go out and help his brother gather what food they can find for their family.  Being little Saroo is sleepy with it being late at night so he rests on a train station bench. Guddu tells him to stay put and he’ll be right back, but when Saroo wakes up his brother is nowhere to be found. He looks around the station and even in some of the trains.  Thinking his brother will find him inside one, Saroo lays down for more sleep. The next thing he knows is that waking up the train is in motion and he’s stuck on the train.

Saroo winds up far from home with a limited vocabulary of how to express where his home is and who his family is. A few people try to help him with no success locating his family, so he winds up in a scary orphanage. Thankfully a nice Australian couple want to adopt him, so Saroo gets to fly for the first time. His new parents are loving and patient. Saroo even gains a brother, another adoptee from India.

Saroo keeps his memories of home in the back of his mind, to never forget them. He loves and thrives in his new home, country and family. After college he decides he wants to find his family. How to find it with the minimal information he remembers as a little five-year old? Welcome the lovely technology of Google Earth.

This memoir is beautifully written. It tugs at your heart, your sense of what makes up a family and how memories can bring miracles. Go see the movie first though. You won’t regret it.

Book Review · Books

The You I’ve Never Known

Ellen Hopkins never disappoints and The You I’ve Never Known   is her best yet. This thick tome follows the story of Ariel and her journey coming to terms with her sexuality. Her father is a mechanic who has quite the temper and paranoia of them living anywhere for, too long of a time. Ariel wonders why they don’t stay in any place very long. That is until they land in Sonora, CA.

With her new home comes making new friends with Monica and Gabe. Ariel has never had a boyfriend before and she’s not sure if she just might like girls. Monica is a closet lesbian and Gabe is the cute nephew of her dad’s current girlfriend. Ariel is leery to open herself to having friends since her dad always would yank her away to live in a new place.

When Gabe and Ariel discover one of Ariel’s rich classmates injured in a horseback ridding incident Ariel is in the lime light for saving her classmate’s life. Her dad is livid because the media is involved and that was one of his big rules. Don’t talk to or be seen by cops and don’t be interviewed. Why not Ariel has no clue why he’s so paranoid.

Growing up Ariel’s dad told her how her mom abandoned them to run off with her lesbian lover. Seeds of hate and distrust have been sown since Ariel was little. Sure she’d love to have a mother figure in her life. Every time they live with a new girlfriend of her dads a part of Ariel hopes this one will stick, but they never stay around long enough.

Will Ariel ever have a mother figure in her life? Will her mom ever reappear? Why has her dad kept them moving from place to place for her whole life? Can Ariel start to establish roots in Sonora? Read this gripping book and find out.