Friday, September 19, 2014

To See the Moon Again
by Jamie Langston Turner

Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 400
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  The first step to letting go of the past is forgiving it… 

Every day of her life Julia Rich lives with the memory of a horrible accident she caused long ago. In the years since, she has tried to hide her guilt in the quiet routine of teaching at a small South Carolina college, avoiding close relationships with family and would-be friends. But one day a phone call from Carmen, a niece she has never met, disrupts her carefully controlled world.

Carmen is a study in contrasts—comical yet wise, sunny yet contemplative, soft yet assertive. As she sets about gently drawing Julia from her self-imposed solitude into a place of hope, she also seeks her own peace for past mistakes.

Together, the two women embark on a journey that takes Julia far from the familiar comfort of home and gives Carmen the courage to open her heart. Together, their sightseeing trip turns into a discovery of truth, grace, redemption, and, finally, love…



Kritters Thoughts:  Most family dramas deal with siblings or parents and children, this book was unique in the aunt/niece relationship and I loved it.  As an aunt myself and not a mother, I loved reading a book that solely focused on this unique relationship.  Julia Rich is a professor on the cusp of a sabbatical year and just recently lost her husband, so her quiet house is comforting and unnerving at the same time.  Carmen is the niece who has been wandering for awhile and running away from something that only with the help of her aunt she can confront and find something that she can call home.

With two very quirky characters, I was nervous this book was going to get artsy and quirky, but the author balanced the quirkiness of the characters with true heart and the perfect developing relationship.  I wasn't quite sure where the book was going to go and then the author threw in the truth to Carmen and from that point on, I was sucked in and couldn't read fast enough!  Although it took some time to get to that point, I don't think I would have wanted it to come any earlier.

A sweet book with quirky characters that made for a perfect weekend of reading.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin Random House.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Someone Else's Love Story
by Joshilyn Jackson

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 352
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  At twenty-one, Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Natty, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Catholic mother and Jewish father. She’s got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up in a gas station mini-mart and falling in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who willingly steps between the armed robber and her son.

Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn’t define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice.

Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, in a funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness,; about a virgin birth, a sacrifice, and a resurrection; about falling in love, and learning that things aren’t always what they seem—or what we hope they will be. It’s a novel about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need.


Kritters Thoughts:  A crazy love story that started in the most craziest of ways and sure had the ups and downs, but I can't divulge where it ended!  (It's too good to spoil!)  Shandi is a young single mom and throughout the book I had to keep reminding myself of how young she was because she definitely didn't act like it at times.  William is a scientist to the core and may lack in the social skills, but definitely doesn't lack in the book smarts.  These two along with a few others are held up in a convenience store and that is where the crazy love story started.

Shandi was a great character, there were a few moments where I thought she repeated herself and once had an enlightenment, but went back to doing the same thing she did before.  There were a few times where I wanted to smack her and say wake up!  William was the same way, he had some moments where I really gravitated towards him and then he would have a moment where I greatly disliked him - thankfully the good outweighed the bad!

This was a solid love story.  It is only my second Joshilyn Jackson read and I would have to say I think I loved the other a little more (Backseat Saints), but I would still recommend this to readers who love the romantic comedy genre.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

House of Wonder
by Sarah Healy

Publisher: NAL Trade
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Amazon:  When we were little and I needed Warren, I would rub my earlobe.  And perhaps it was the alchemy of childhood, a magic that happened because I believed it could, but I swear it worked. He always came.

Theirs wasn’t always the misfit family in the neighborhood. Jenna Parsons’s childhood was one of block parties and barbecues, where her mother, a former beauty queen, continued her reign and her twin brother, Warren, was viewed as just another oddball kid. But as her mother’s shopaholic habits intensified, and her brother’s behavior became viewed as more strange than quirky, Jenna sought to distance herself from them. She is devoted to her career and her four-year-old daughter, Rose. But now, in his peculiar way, Warren summons her back to 62 Royal Court.

What she finds there—a house in disrepair, a neighborhood on tenterhooks over a rash of petty thefts, and evidence of past traumas her mother has kept hidden—will challenge Jenna as never before. But as she stands by her family, she also begins to find beauty in unexpected places, strength in unlikely people, and a future she couldn’t have imagined. 


Kritters Thoughts:  A set of twins that were born on the same day, but from that day forward have led very different lives.  Jenna is a single mom trying to raise her daughter while also building her own business with her best friend.  Her twin Warren has never left their mother or the safety of their family home and could maybe be on the autism spectrum.  Jenna returns to her family home a few times and realizes that the neighborhood has changed and her family may not be so welcome with all of their quirks!

I love reading about twins, both when they are so similar and in this case when they are so different.  They still had their ways of communicating with each other that no one else would understand and I love how Jenna sees Warren as a brother and doesn't see any disabilities that he may have.  I absolutely enjoyed the ups and downs of the neighborhood, being a new home owner it was fun to hear about how neighborhoods must change as generations move in and out.  

This was one fantastic family novel with perfectly dramatic characters that played off each other so well.  If you are wary of family dramas, I would still pick this one up, the drama was realistic and not over the top - nowhere near soap opera level!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Penguin Random House.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ghosting
by Edith Pattou

Publisher: Skyspace
Pages: 392
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes altering lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario all too familiar from current real-life headlines. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.


Kritters Thoughts:  Written in verse, this is only the second or third book that I have read in this style and each time I am amazed at how very few words can be used to get the same point across.  Told through a lot of perspectives, it took a moment to get the relationships between all of the characters, but once I had that down, this book read so fast!  

Told in two parts, the before and the after, the before completely sets the scene of mostly high school seniors, enjoying the last days of summer before senior year will begin.  With beverages, a gun and the need for scary their night turns a horrible turn fast and they all have to live with the consequences.  This may sound weird, but I loved the debate as to who was at fault for it all, once you read it you will understand.

If you are a Ellen Hopkins fan, I would say this one would be right up your alley.  If Ellen Hopkins is a little dramatic in her topic choice, this one has drama, but seems to be on the tamer side.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from BookSparks PR.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ballroom
by Alice Simpson

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Time has eroded the glamour of the Ballroom, but at the end of the 1990s, a small crowd of loyal patrons still makes its way past the floor-to-ceiling columns which frame the once grand hall each Sunday evening. Sweeping across the worn parquet floor under a peeling indigo ceiling, these men and women succumb to the magic of the music, looking for love and connection, eager to erase the drab reality of their complicated lives.

Nearly forty and still single, Sarah Dreyfus is desperate for love and sure she’ll find it with debonair Gabriel Katz, a dazzling peacock who dances to distract himself from his crumbling marriage. Tired of the bachelor life, Joseph believes that his yearning for a wife and family will be fulfilled—if only he can get Sarah to notice him. Besotted with beautiful young Maria Rodriguez, elderly dance instructor Harry Korn knows they can find happiness together. Maria, one of the Ballroom’s stars, has a dream of her own, a passion her broken-hearted father refuses to accept or understand.



Kritters Thoughts:  Told in short chapters from each person's perspective, this book was different.  Each character comes to the Ballroom every Sunday evening and participates in the dancing that evening, but their friendships and relationships are just on the surface and they each have things that they are hiding and easy to hide as they don't even know each other's last names.

I enjoyed this book, but didn't love it as much as I thought it would.  I grew up as a dancer, so I thought this book would be right up my alley, but the only reason this was a like and not a love was kind of petty - I wish that there were a few more characters that were younger, most of them were of the older variety and I wish there were a few dancers that were younger.  

I loved the dancing.  I loved the passion that each person had and the dedication to dancing.  I loved the pursuit of a partner and the drama about partner abandonment.  

This was a like, not love, but I would still completely recommend it to readers.  


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 14, 2014


WHAT a crazy week!  A friend's birthday dinner, a baseball game, a work happy hour and just the craziness in event planning and being an assistant to a very busy CEO!  So very little reading occurred until this weekend when I curled up with some pre fall crisp weather and ran through some books! and I am hoping with a work trip this next week and some hours on a plane for some full on reading time!  

Is September crazy for anyone else?

A meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
The Story of Land and Sea by Katy Simpson Smith
I Shall Be Near to You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
To See the Moon Again by Jamie Langston Turner
Ballroom by Alice Simpson
Ghosting by Edith Pattou

Currently Reading:
House of Wonder by Sarah Healy

Next on the TBR pile:
Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Shall Be Near To You
by Erin Lindsay McCabe

Publisher: Crown
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.

Rosetta drills with the men, prepares herself for battle, and faces the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Fearing discovery of her secret, Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s as their marriage is tested by war. Inspired by over two hundred and fifty documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.


Kritters Thoughts:  Another historical fiction, but this one during the civil war and from the beginning, I was hooked!  Newly married Rosetta can't stand to stay in a house on her in-laws property, so she decides to join her husband in the war.

Rosetta was a fantastic character.  She was likeable and it was easy to cheer her on in her endeavors, and maybe cringe too!  Even though this story is told from a woman's perspective I still felt the grittiness of war and it didn't lack the real truths of what life was like on the front lines.  

If you love the Civil War time period and want to hear about how some women wanted to be a part of it, this is the book for you.

I had read a similar storyline for book club and none of us really loved it, so I will definitely be recommending this one to them as a great story about women taking roles in the Civil War.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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