Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
Publication Date: March 20. 2018

You might know Lisa Genova from her other works such as, "Still Alice", "Left Neglected", "Love Anthony" and my personal favorite, "Inside the O'Briens". Lisa Genova is best known for her ability to take medical fiction to a new high. 

Her character's become your friends, family, loved one or you." Every Note Played" follows, Richard a professional, renowned classical pianist  diagnosed with ALS.  His entire life up until that point has been his music, his piano but ALS is cruel and he slowly loses his ability to play.  His hands will never again touch the ivory keys and the music will no longer flow through his veins. 

Richard keeps his diagnosis a secret and is in denial but he is quick to find out that while his mind is in denial his body isn't. He slowly starts to deteriorate and when he can no longer care for himself he moves in with this ex-wife, Karina who reluctantly becomes his caregiver. It is important to note that, Karina herself is a piano player and that their music is brought them together many, many years ago. 

Richard and Karina navigate this new world of theirs in which they both had to adjust to his illness in order to make his life as comfortable as possible. Along they way there is self discovery and healing.

ALS takes and takes from Richards. It takes body, his dignity, his independence and his essence but it gives him something he never knew he was missing, something he never knew he wanted. 
Genova wrapped the ending up perfectly and while this is my least favorite of her novels it is still worth the time and energy it takes. Just prepare yourself for an emotional journey as some self reflection. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down is a powerful portrayal of mental illness. Green captures the essence of being anxiety drawn and having OCD compulsion. As someone who has battled anxiety and panic attacks for over a decade, I can tell you that the circling thoughts that spiral from the main character are true to form. To date this is one of the best fiction novels I have read dealing with anxiety disorder. I see a great deal of myself in the main character, Aza.

Aza is sixteen years old and suffers from anxiety and compulsions. Daisy is Aza's best friend and a Star Wars fan-fiction writer. Davis is a friend from childhood with whom Aza reconnects with following the disappearance of his billionaire father.

Daisy and Aza attempt to solve the disappearance of the billionaire but along the way they, Aza in particular forms a bond with Davis and through this bond the readers are able to get a truer glimpse of the inside of Aza's mind and mental illness.

The relationships in this novel are interesting and entertaining. I love the way Green deals and details Aza's thought process but what I also enjoy is that Green also covers what it is like to be a friend or family member of someone who suffers from anxiety and OCD because it isn't easy to be on that end of the spectrum.

I do enjoy the story but I could have done without the mystery of the billionaire it just didn't showcase Green's best work and didn't add anything to it but don't let that stop you from picking up this book.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Sometimes I Lie: A NovelMar 13, 2018 by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie will be released March 13, 2018 

"We are all made of flesh and stars, but we all become dust in the end. Best to shine while you can."

There is nothing more exciting than having a book, an advance readers copy a that arrive at your home unexpectedly for review.  I set this little gem aside because I wanted to be able to give it my full attention and read it in one or two days, rather than a week or longer. I wanted to put 100% of my attention into it and my biggest regret is not reading it sooner! I ended up devouring it in under a a day. The characters are fabulous, well developed and this story had more twists and turns then I have experienced in ages. 

Amber Reynolds our main character "wakes" up in a hospital, with no knowledge of what has happened to her. She can't speak or move but she can hear everything going on around her. Her coma status allows for so many people to say and do things one normally wouldn't say or do to a person who is awake. This gives, Amber insight into what is going on, while leaving readers in the dark (they just don't know they are in the dark!).  Amber uses her coma as a way to help her unravel and determine what has happened to her. 

Like many good psychological thrillers, our story teller is unreliable and mess with your head. Be prepared for an emotional mind crush. The characters are intriguing, chilling and frighting as you see bits of them in people you know and yourself.

The final twist took me by surprise ... and this doesn't happen to me! I can usually spot them
miles away!  It's pure genius and I am looking forward to many more novels by, Feeney! 
I marked more than 17 tabs in this novel of moments and passages that moved me in both a physical, emotional and mental way. I have a habit of writing down phrases from books that move me and this is a record high for me....

Friday, December 8, 2017

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella 
Publication Date: February 13, 2018

"Love is finding one person infinitely fascinating."

There are approximately10 authors who's books I read without question. I don't bother to read the synopsis, I just sink my teeth into it and trust that I will be entertained.  When given the opportunity to read Kinsella's newest book, I jumped at the chance. I was enchanted from the start.
Sylvie and Dan have been together for 10. They have lovely twin daughters, a happy marriage and a great life but when they are told that they can expect to live another 68 years panic sets in for both parties. That's nearly 7 more decades together! How will they survive? Will their marriage withstand it? Will they get bored of one another? How will they manage? 
They devise a plan to keep things interesting, Operation "Surprise Me". They make a plan to surprise one another and it leads to some funny and entertaining moments. There are twists, sexy bits and good laughs. 
Surprise Me is a wee bit different from Kinsella's other novels. The writing is different and there is a level of mystery but she succeeded in creating a great cast of characters and a charming story.

The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson

Charlotte Gorman is a librarian, a "nerd" and enjoys being casual and comfy. Her twin sister, Ginny is an famous instagram conte...