The Grown Ups

Author: Robin Antalek
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads: From the author of The Summer We Fell Apart, an evocative and emotionally resonant coming-of-age novel involving three friends that explores what it means to be happy, what it means to grow up, and how difficult it is to do both together

The summer he’s fifteen, Sam enjoys, for a few secret months, the unexpected attention of Suzie Epstein. For reasons Sam doesn’t entirely understand, he and Suzie keep their budding relationship hidden from their close knit group of friends. But as the summer ends, Sam’s world unexpectedly shatters twice: Suzie’s parents are moving to a new city to save their marriage, and his own mother has suddenly left the house, leaving Sam’s father alone to raise two sons.

Watching as her parents’ marital troubles escalate, Suzie takes on the responsibility of raising her two younger brothers and plans an early escape to college and independence. Though she thinks of Sam, she deeply misses her closest friend Bella, but makes no attempt to reconnect, embarrassed by the destructive wake of her parents as they left the only place Suzie called home. Years later, a chance meeting with Sam’s older brother will reunite her with both Sam and Bella – and force her to confront her past and her friends.

After losing Suzie, Bella finds her first real love in Sam. But Sam’s inability to commit to her or even his own future eventually drives them apart. In contrast, Bella’s old friend Suzie—and Sam’s older brother, Michael—seem to have worked it all out, leaving Bella to wonder where she went wrong.

Spanning over a decade, told in alternating voices, The Grown Ups explores the indelible bonds between friends and family and the challenges that threaten to divide them.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story line was really well done.  I liked the family drama, the characters were interesting and it was easy to read.  All the chapters are clearly  marked as to whose perspective is moving the story along. 
At times it felt like a soap opera.  Everyone was involved with someone else who had secrets they shared with someone else!  Eventually. the relationships worked themselves out.  The ending was well done, but a bit sad.
Side Note: The foul language was annoying and abundant.  At times, it seemed it was just thrown in there without making sense at all.

 

 
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The Cottages on Silver Beach

Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  Years after betraying her, he’s back in Haven Point…and ready to learn the truth.

Megan Hamilton never really liked Elliot Bailey. He turned his back on her family when they needed him the most and it almost tore them all apart. So she’s shocked when Elliot arrives at her family’s inn, needing a place to stay and asking questions that dredge up the past. Megan will rent him a cottage, but that’s where it ends—no matter how gorgeous Elliot has become.

Coming back home to Haven Point was the last thing bestselling writer Elliot Bailey thought he’d ever do. But the book he’s writing now is his most personal one yet and it’s drawn him back to the woman he can’t get out of his mind. Seeing Megan again is harder than he expected and it brings up feelings he’d thought were long buried. Could this be his chance to win over his first love?

Ope’s Opinion:  This book read like a soap opera – it kept repeating facts, like you weren’t really paying attention.  The romance was slow and building – I liked that part.  Megan and Elliott really seemed to be friends before the relationship became more.

If you have been reading RaeAnne Thayne’s Haven Point books, you will enjoy this one, but it is not my favorite one of hers.  The ending was not as conclusive as I am used to with her books.  It just seemed to end – I think it is leading into Luke’s story in her next book.

Happy Blogaversary!

Six years ago I started writing about the books I loved to read and haven’t stopped!
It is hard to believe I am still doing it. The joy of reading was passed to me from my mother and I have passed it to my daughters who are now passing it my grandchildren.  It is fun to look back on all that I have read – new authors I found ( some who aren’t new – just new to me ) – finding a book I didn’t think I would really like and falling in love with it  – and always being surprised when an author or publisher contacts me and wants me to read their book.  OH, the joy of reading – I hope to have many more years of this fun!

Thank you for going on this ride with me.

Three Shoeboxes

Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: Fiction Studio Books
Genre: Fiction / Mental Health
Source:  Steven Manchester

 

Goodreads:  The latest emotional rollercoaster of a novel from a master of tearjerkers and family fiction.

Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home, and a successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. Because an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has invaded Mac’s fragile mind and it is about to drop him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system, and the struggles of an invisible disease, he loses everything—most importantly his family.

One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes might contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

Ope’s Opinion: If you are a male or have a male reader in your life, I would suggest this book.  It is about PTSD, but it also about a man dealing with his emotions and learning how to share them.

Steven Manchester writes in such a way that sweeps you away into another world and you forget what time it is or what else you were suppose to be doing.  Although the subject is hard to read it went quickly.  It didn’t feel depressing or drag you down.

 

Out Now

Paris and Australia settings, a wedding and some unexpected curves in the road –
sound like your kind of story – buy it today!

Goodreads:  When is it right to follow your heart? From the plains of rural Australia to Paris, the City of Love, lose yourself in this touching and romantic story by the bestselling author of THE HORSEMAN

Ten years ago, Rachael West chose not to move to Sydney with high-school sweetheart Matthew. Instead she stayed on the family wheat farm, caring for her seriously ill mother and letting go of her dreams. Now, Matthew is marrying someone else. And Rachael is invited to the wedding, a lavish affair in Paris, courtesy of the flamboyant family of Matthew’s fiancée – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at someone else’s expense in Europe’s most romantic city.

She is utterly unprepared for what the week brings. Friendships will be upended, secrets will be revealed – and on the eve of the wedding, Rachael is faced with an impossible dilemma: should she give up on the promise of love, or destroy another woman’s life for a chance at happiness?

Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks for this wonderful read.

This story of a man dealing with PTSD, how is family is effect and what it takes
to make it through the hard times.

Goodreads:  The latest emotional rollercoaster of a novel from a master of tearjerkers and family fiction.

Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home, and a successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. Because an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has invaded Mac’s fragile mind and it is about to drop him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system, and the struggles of an invisible disease, he loses everything—most importantly his family.

One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes might contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

Thank you Steven Manchester for sharing your writing talents.

The Paris Wedding

Author: Charlotte Nash
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  William Morrow Paperbacks

Goodreads:  Ten years ago, Rachael West chose not to move to Sydney with high-school sweetheart Matthew. Instead she stayed on the family wheat farm, caring for her seriously ill mother and letting go of her dreams. Now, Matthew is marrying someone else. And Rachael is invited to the wedding, a lavish affair in Paris, courtesy of the flamboyant family of Matthew’s fiancée – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at someone else’s expense in Europe’s most romantic city.

She is utterly unprepared for what the week brings. Friendships will be upended, secrets will be revealed – and on the eve of the wedding, Rachael is faced with an impossible dilemma: should she give up on the promise of love, or destroy another woman’s life for a chance at happiness?

If you enjoy reading Rachael Treasure and Rachael Johns, you’ll fall in love with this deliciously poignant story about family and friends, and love lost and found.

Ope’s Opinion:  I was trying to tell my daughter about this book – this is how I described it – very Australian, lots of Paris tourist stuff, and a really endearing story.  That is just the surface of this book.  The story is like going down a windy country road – there are a lot of curves in the story, some you will expect, many are a surprise.  The story kept moving throughout the whole book.

Rachael was finding her way through hard times and heart break.  It made her journey feel real.  A few times, I wanted her to have more of a back bone, but she did learn from her mistakes and grew in the process.

The ending was exactly what I wanted it to be.  It let you know where everyone ended up.