Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Girl Who Came Home: A Novel of the Titanic (P.S.) by Hazel Gaynor

The Girl Who Came Home is inspired by true events... I just can't seem to get away from historical fiction novels --- there something absolutely gripping and entertaining about them -- that's if they are written right and this one was (sort of).

The Titanic sunk over 100 years ago yet the tragedy that struck on April 15, 1912 still remains a much talk about and speculated event. It continues to make headline news and books surrounding the event continue to pop up.

The Girl Who Came Home is the story of fourteen individuals who a left tiny village in west Ireland to travel to American aboard the Titanic. They are all steerage passengers and the main focus is on 17 year old Maggie Murphy. Maggie survives and speaks to no one about her tragedy aboard the Titanic until decades later when she opens up to her great-granddaughter.

Maggie tells,  Grace about the sweetheart she left behind, what happened before during and after her time on the Titanic. Her life story is beautiful, tragic and inspiring.

There are a lot of flashbacks from present to past in order to tell the life stories of characters .

Don't expect most of this book take place aboard the "Titanic" because  it doesn't, however it is an enjoyable read from a debut author.

Grade: B-

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The One (The Selection) by Kiera Cass

"The One " is the third novel in, The Selection Series. It picks up right where, " The Elite" left off. There are four girls left in the competition and the stakes are higher than ever. American continues to make rash choices and she makes a major mistake that just might cost her the crown.

Cass has finally created an ending to a trilogy that doesn't make me want to toss the book across the room and regret all the time and energy I put into reading a series. Cass has remained true to her characters and although there is a degree of predictability, it is a welcomed one.

There are a few twits and turns. Characters die, characters grow and old characters return.This book exceeded my expectations and I am sure it will do the same to you.

Grade: A+

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Graduation Day (The Testing) by Joelle Charbonneau

Graduation Day is set to be released on June 17, 2014

Graduation Day is the final novel in, The Testing series.  I've really struggled to write this review --- I'm not quite sure how to feel about it. I neither love or hate it. I feel rather "meh" about the entire novel. I really struggled to finish reading it and I can't pinpoint why. 

Graduation Day has a solid plot and Cia has to face a variety of difficult choices. Once again she has to figure out who she can and cannot trust. She develop's  a variety of methods to test her friends, to see if they are friend or foe.

Cia discovers the true fate of those who have not made it trough the testing process. The question at hand is does she have what it takes to finally put an end to the testing process.

The resolution doesn't seem true to the series nor does Cia's constant wavering. This is the weakest book of the series, however I can see how some readers will find it satisfying, even if I don't.

Grade: C

Monday, May 19, 2014

The Pink Suit: A Novel by Nicole Mary Kelby

The Pink Suit is a novel based upon Jackie Kennedy's iconic pink suit.

Kate is an, Irish seamstress working for Chez Ninon, at New York fashion house. This is the fashion house that was commissioned to make the pink suit that Jackie  Kennedy wore on that fateful day in, November of 1963. 

Kate has been making the first lady's wardrobe long enough to know where every single pleat and tuck belongs. You don't have to have been alive ( I wasn't) when JFK was assasinated to appreciate the iconic photos and video taken of Mrs Kennedy on that dark day in America's history.

The story of the Pink Suit and Kate's life is unique on that it focus on the clothing and the life of a seamstress that never got to me the first lady despite creating her wardrobe.  You don't have to be a seamstress or understand the basic concepts of sewing to see the dresses and fabrics come to life.

Very few items become iconic and are remembered for generations ---- but this one suit --- this pink suit has a life of its own. The suit that has been seared into the minds of millions of people has its own story to tell and Kelby tells is story with love.

Grade: A

Friday, May 16, 2014

Dreams of Joy: A Novel by Lisa See

Dreams of Joy is a stand alone novel. I had no idea until I started writing this review that it's a sequel to See's, Shanghai Girls novel, a book that is now on my must read list, since Dreams of Joy is absolutely riveting.

Joy and Pearl narrate this historical novel in alternating points of view. Nineteen year old, Joy has been raised by her mother and aunt. She is a student at the University of Chicago and has become a defender of Mao's "New China", she joins a group that garners the attention of the FBI and INS this calls attention to her family  resulting in a tragedy.

When, Joy returns to her home in Los Angeles, China town, a family secret is revealed. Joy feels betrayed and lets her emotions get the best of her. She flees to Shanghai to met her biological father and to help rebuild Mao's "New China". Communist, China is changing at an alarming rate at is no place for a young American girl. Pearl goes to China to find and bring her daughter back to the United States and she will do anything in her power to make thi
s possible.

This book is filled with twist and turns and will keep you captivated. It is full of rich characters and vivid story lines. See's paints a portrait of red China. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Grade: A

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Promise of Stardust: A Novel by Priscille Sibley

The Promise of Stardust is Sibley's debut novel and it does not disappoint. 

Matt and Elle have know one another their entire lives and after a long break up, they navigate back to one another and get married. A tragic accident leaves, Elle brain dead and a fight for the life of her unborn child makes headline news and causes rifts in the family.

 Their love story is told from Matt's point of view. Sibley flawlessly slips back and forth between present time and the past. The courtroom action does not weight down this story. There is a degree of pro-life movement but the books main focus is about love, courage and family. 

This is one book you won't be forgetting anytime soon and an excellent novel for Jodi Picoult fans.

Grade: A

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Safe with Me: A Novel by Amy Hatvany

If you haven't read anything by, Amy Hatvany you need to drop what you are doing right this second and go out and get one of her books.

Amy brings characters to life. Safe with Me deals with a variety of issues, such as domestic abuse, the lost of a child, organ donation and the close bonds of female friendships.

This story is told in three different perspectives, that of Olivia, Hannah and Maddie.
 Hannah's daughter is in a tragic accident and Hannah donates her organs. One of the recipients of the organs is, young Maddie. Her mother, Olivia is overprotective and will do anything to make sure her daughter gets the care she needs, even if it means abuse at the hands on the man who is suppose to love and treasure her.

A chance meeting brings these three characters together and together they navigate a world of half truths and secrets that can test and break the bonds of friendship and love.

Be prepared to go on an emotional and heartbreaking journey.

Grade: A

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu


Release date: June 3, 3014

This is Mathieu's first novel and while it might be predictable it is is real. Very real, especially in this day and age ---  when gossip spreads like wild fire due to technology and bullying is making national headline news.

 This book is character driven. Each character has a unique voice and personality. There is no mixing up of characters in this read. Male voices are as distinct as the females. You're never left to question who is telling their point of view ( there are four of them).  I felt like,  I was back walking the halls of my old high school and listening to stories I found hard to believe or was to naive to accept.


Alice Franklin is popular and beautiful. She's the girl everyone wants to be, the girl all the guys want to date and then --- overnight she becomes an outcast . A "slut".  Rumor circulate that she had sex with two guys in one night at a party.When the rumor mill is starting to dry out, one the guys she supposedly had sex with dies in a car accident. He is the all American boy - handsome, popular and the high school quarterback.

 Alice is blamed for his death despite the fact that he was driving while under the influence. It it said that her texting distracted him and caused the accident.

Every story has it's own truths and lies and only one person really knows the truth about what, Alice did or didn't do.

A powerful must read! I can almost picture this book on the big screen, soon!

Grade: A+

The Embalmer by Caillé Anne-Reneé and Mullins Rhonda

The Embalmer is a short book around 80 pages or so. It's not as macabre as I was hoping but it is rather interesting. The book centers a...