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Showing posts from March, 2017

Who You Think I Am by Camille Laurens: A Review

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I heard about Camille Laurens' novel Who You Think I Am from Shelf Awareness.  When I read what the book was about, I was intrigued because it sounded a lot like Catfish, the movie and television show about people who pretend to be someone they are not in order to seduce or harass people online.  When Claire Millecam, a teacher, is treated cruelly by her boyfriend, Joe, she creates a fake Facebook account as Claire Antunes and befriends Joe's friend, Chris.

I found this book very difficult and cumbersome to read.  Most of the book is told with only one side speaking so there are times when the narrator answers questions that we, as readers, are not privy to.  Reading a string of "Yes.  No.  Yes.  Yes." when I have no knowledge of the questions being asked is frustrating.  Most of the book was told from the perspective of a psychiatric patient and I believed that the author was trying to make this felt in the writing until the psychiatrist's point of view was als…

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid: A Review

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Saeed and Nadia are lucky to be well-educated and from caring families that live in homes protected by the government.  This affords some amount of protection from the religious fundamentalists that threaten their city and homeland.  Unfortunately, the protection is not enough and the new lovers must find a way out of the country.  They must leave behind their families and communities and navigate the world of refugees while also kindling their relationship.

I heard about this book because it was one of the March Book of the Month Club selections.  While I loved the characters for the very beginning, the story moved too slowly for me for almost half of the book.  Then, it started to grow on me.  This book had a lot of different things going on.  There was the romance between Nadia and Saeed.  Saeed is a quiet, studious young man who lives with his parents but Nadia is a headstrong young woman who left her family's home despite their objections.  While they had very different pers…

All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg: A Review

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Leave Me by Gayle Forman: A Review

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Maribeth Klein is a busy woman.  She is so busy with work, her husband, and her young twins that she fails to notice that she is having a heart attack (which, according to the American Red Cross, is not that uncommon).  After having emergency bypass surgery, her husband asks her adoptive mother to come take care of her but her mother makes more of a mess than if she had just left her alone.  Her husband is less of a help than he believes himself to be and her twins are too young to understand that their Mommy is sick and refuse to accept that she can't be involved as she was before.  Maribeth can't heal while being a caretaker for everyone, but herself, so she decides to just leave.  She takes cash out of the bank, hops on a train to Pittsburgh and leaves all of her responsibilities behind.  After making friends with a new cardiologist, a couple of college students, and the woman who is helping her to find her birth mother, Maribeth learns to slow down and appreciate the peopl…

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh: A Review

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Since Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, so many authors and publicists have pushed to have their books compared to the hit thriller.  I Let You Go is one book that does actually remind me a lot of Flynn's novels.  There is the same slow build with a crazy twist halfway through.  It's not quite as dramatic and doesn't have the twists and turns that a lot of other mystery or thrillers do but there is plenty of suspense that builds nice and slow.  The ending shocked me.

Jacob is walking home with his mother from school when he runs in front of a car and is instantly killed after it hits him.  The driver leaves the scene of the accident and the case quickly goes cold as detectives Ray and Kate try to sift through evidence that doesn't seem to be there while having to deal with police bureaucracy and family matters.  Jenna tries to put the tragedy behind her by moving into a secluded cottage near the coast in Wales and tries to resist the temptation of a romantic relationship…

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See: A Review

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Lisa See is one of my favorite all-time authors.  I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan several years ago and was instantly hooked on See's exquisite storytelling.  Since then, I have read Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, Dreams of Joy, and China Dolls.  I always eagerly await See's next new tale about China and the everyday people that inhabit the country and read the book as soon as it is released.

See's most recent novel, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, follows Li-Yan, a young girl growing up among the Akha people, one of the minority groups that live in the Yunnan province of China.  Li-Yan and her family harvest tea and are one day visited by a businessman from Hong Kong, Mr. Huang, who wants to purchase tea for Pu'er, a fermented tea cake the is likely to contain a multitude of health benefits.  Thanks to her teacher's tutoring, Li-Yan is the most educated member of her community and the only one who can be counted on to negotiate with Mr. Huang.  Li-Yan is…

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson: A Review

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Tina, also known as Tiny, is a Goonda- a street thug.  Her and her mother are refugees from Congo that have moved to Kenya to escape the militias that have overrun the country.  Her mother worked as a maid for a wealthy business man, Mr. Greyhill, who has done shady business in the past, which her mother threatens to uncover.  When Tina's mother is found dead in Mr. Greyhill's office the very next day, Tina immediately believes that Mr. Greyhill is the one who killed her mother and seeks justice by attempting a heist to steal information from his home.  When Mr. Greyhill's son, Michael, catches Tina in the act, he asks for the chance to prove that his father was not the one who killed Tina's mother.  The two search for information about Tina's mother's past that will prove that Mr. Greyhill did kill her or exonerate him in Tina's mind.

Young Adult fiction is usually not for me.  I have read some YA books that I have really enjoyed (The Hunger Games trilogy…

Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato: A Review

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Eight-year-old albino Edgar, his mother, Lucy, and his grandmother, Florence, live together in the house that Florence's son, Frank, grew up and suffered a mental illness in.  Florence and Lucy are still grieving after the death of Frank and Lucy struggles to connect with Edgar as Florence treats him as her own.  After Florence's death, Lucy has to learn to care for Edgar but struggles to do so effectively.  When a man befriends Edgar, Edgar seeks his comfort about the death of his grandmother and the coldness of his mother, but the man's intentions with Edgar are not solely benevolent and Lucy is wrought with sadness after Edgar's disappearance.

I honestly chose to read this book because of the title.  Lucy is the name of my cat and with one of the main characters being named Lucy, I was immediately drawn to it.  When I read what it was about, it was a book I knew I had to read.  This book took me a bit longer to read than many other books; because it is 544 pages bu…