After You

Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

 

Goodreads: “You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future…

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

Ope’s Opinion: Some times it is fun to read where a character went from the authors perspective, some times it is more fun to let them go where you envisioned.  In this case, it was a toss up.  The movie and book of Me Before You were perfect and complete in a way, even though you didn’t know what Lou did after Will.

I did really appreciate that Jojo Moyes kept Lou’s voice as it was in the previous book.  Obviously she had changed since knowing Will, but you could tell Lou was still there under the grief and struggle to move on.

 

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Crossing Oceans

Author: Gina Holmes
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But being told you’re dying has a way of changing things. Years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter, Isabella, must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank-toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . Who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter. As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love and its ability to change everything–to heal old hurts, bring new beginnings . . . Even overcome the impossible. A stunning debut about love and loss from a talented new voice.

Ope’s Opinion:  Be sure to have some tissues near by before you start this book.  It will surely make you cry and warm your heart at the same time.  The mother’s love in this book is like no other love.

This is the best kind of Christian Fiction – the characters are definitely centered on God, but they have real lives and no one is preaching at you.  If you have never Christian Fiction before and aren’t sure about it – pick this one up.

Now I want to go read my other book by Gina Holmes that is on my book shelf.

Starlight on Willow Lake

starlight

Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: MIRA
Genre:  Romance
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs sweeps readers away to a sun-drenched summer on the shores of Willow Lake in a stunning tale of the delicate ties that bind a family together… and the secrets that tear them apart…

When caregiver Faith McCallum arrives at the enchanted, lakeside estate of Avalon’s renowned Bellamy family, she’s intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. But she faces a formidable challenge in the form of her stubborn and difficult new employer, Alice Bellamy. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued client, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Mason Bellamy—Alice’s charismatic son, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan…and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.

The last place Mason wants to be is a remote town in the Catskills, far from his life in the city, and Faith McCallum is supposed to be the key to his escape. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet strong-willed caregiver as a live-in nurse gives his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to return to his no-attachments routine. For Faith, it means stability for her daughters and a much-needed new home. When Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice’s accident, Mason is forced to reconsider his desire to keep everyone, including his mother, at a distance. Now he finds himself wondering if the supercharged life he’s created for himself is what he truly wants…and whether exploring his past might lead to a new life—and lasting love—on the tranquil shores of Willow Lake.

Ope’s Opinion:  Oh, this book had me from beginning to end.  I enjoyed the whole story, all the characters, even the minor ones.  It was well written and kept a great pace throughout the book.  Even though this is part of a series ( I have not read it all ), it could stand alone.

Parts of the book were predictable ( especially the ending ), but that is part of the charm of the story.  Knowing where it was going didn’t ruin the journey to get there.

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Object of My Affection

objectsAuthor: Jill Smolinski
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

 

Goodreads:  In the humorous, heartfelt new novel by the author of The Next Thing on My List, a personal organizer must somehow convince a reclusive artist to give up her hoarding ways and let go of the stuff she’s hung on to for decades.

Lucy Bloom is broke, freshly dumped by her boyfriend, and forced to sell her house to send her nineteen-year-old son to drug rehab. Although she’s lost it all, she’s determined to start over. So when she’s offered a high-paying gig helping clear the clutter from the home of reclusive and eccentric painter Marva Meier Rios, Lucy grabs it. Armed with the organizing expertise she gained while writing her book, Things Are Not People, and fueled by a burning desire to get her life back on track, Lucy rolls up her sleeves to take on the mess that fills every room of Marva’s huge home. Lucy soon learns that the real challenge may be taking on Marva, who seems to love the objects in her home too much to let go of any of them.

While trying to stay on course toward a strict deadline—and with an ex-boyfriend back in the picture, a new romance on the scene, and her son’s rehab not going as planned—Lucy discovers that Marva isn’t just hoarding, she is also hiding a big secret. The two form an unlikely bond, as each learns from the other that there are those things in life we keep, those we need to let go—but it’s not always easy to know the difference.

Ope’s Opinion: This story of two women, their relationships with their sons and their relationships with each other just didn’t draw me in.  I couldn’t really relate all that much to either one of them.   The part I did like is the cleaning up of Marva’s house!  Is it crazy, but that was my favorite part of the book.  I did enjoy the strange and unusual way that Marva and Lucy became friends. 

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Invincible Summer

invincible

Author: Alice Adams
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: BEA 2016

 

Goodreads:  Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who’s pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences-she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partyer. But as their twenties give way to their thirties, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth- and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again, but in ways they never could have imagined.

A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world.

Ope’s Opinion: Do you like books set in London with British flare to it?  Then you might want to read this book.  The characters and situations were predictable.  For the most part, you get the surface facts of their lives, but not really the deeper meaning of it, so it was hard to get invested in how it was going to turn out in the end.  It was an easy, sort of summer read, not deep or leave you with lasting memories. 

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Life and Other Near-Death Experience

lifeAuthor: Camille Pagan
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

 

Goodreads:  Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist—but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her.

With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah. Despite her new sunny locale, her plans go awry when she finds that she can’t quite outrun the past or bring herself to face an unknowable future. Every day of tropical bliss may be an invitation to disaster, but with her twin brother on her trail and a new relationship on the horizon, Libby is determined to forget about fate. Will she risk it all to live—and love—a little longer?

From critically acclaimed author Camille Pagán comes a hilarious and hopeful story about a woman choosing between a “perfect” life and actually living.

Ope’s Opinion:  This book started out kind of all over place.  It felt scattered to me, but that may be how you feel when you get so much hard news at the same time.  Then Libby seemed to run away – which may not have been a unusual reaction in those circumstances.

Although, this book had heavy subjects, it was a light, quick read.  It was a different perspective then I expected.

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The Ordinary Life

life

Author: Jennifer Walkup
Publisher: Luminis Books, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Sometimes hope is the most extraordinary gift of all.

High-school radio host Jasmine Torres’s life is full of family dysfunction, but if she can score the internship of her dreams with a New York City radio station, she knows she can turn things around.

That is, until her brother Danny’s latest seizure forces her to miss the interview, and she’s back to the endless loop of missing school for his doctor appointments, picking up the pieces of her mother’s booze-soaked life, and stressing about Danny’s future.

Then she meets Wes. He’s the perfect combination of smart, cute, and funny. He also happens to have epilepsy like her brother. Wes is living a normal life despite his medical issues, which gives Jasmine hope for Danny. But memories of her cheating ex-boyfriend keep her from going on a real date with Wes, no matter how many times he asks her.

Jasmine can’t control everything. Not who wins the internship, not her mother’s addiction, not her brother’s health—not even where her heart will lead her. She wishes she could just have an ordinary life, but maybe what she already has is pretty extraordinary after all.

Ope’s Opinion:   If you are looking for a wonderfully, sweet, young adult book for yourself or someone who loves young adult reads, I highly recommend this book.  The characters are someone you know ( or maybe you ), the story is sweet ( but not saccharin sweet ), and you will enjoy all the relationships. 

Jasmine’s life isn’t easy, but she makes the best of it.  She is strong, independent, caring and stands on her own two feet.  She is an example of a young adult I would want my teen reading about.  

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