Monday, December 29, 2014

"Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," by Cheryl Strayed.

"Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," by Cheryl Strayed.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

This book was our December 2014 choice for our book club.  I had been looking forward to reading this since I had joined the club as this is my type of book, and I wasn't disappointed.  I had read a similar book about a man who had lost his wife to cancer and decided to walk the Appalachian Trail to also to "find himself,"  Hiking Through: One Man's Journey to Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail by Paul Stutzman  I did find Paul's book better, but each one had better parts to it.

In Cheryl's case I wasn't sure if I should call her brave or just plain stupid.  As some of the things she did just made me want to smack her and say "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING"!!!!  However what she did do many a person wouldn't or couldn't have done.  Losing most of your toe nails wouldn't be my idea of fun.  Carrying your weight in things you need wouldn't be fun either; but the scenery and the peace to reflect on life would be a once in a lifetime experience.

This book got mixed reviews at our book club meeting.  Although the majority of the people enjoyed the book; it was said that some poetic licence had been taken with certain parts.  As this happened a few years ago and the book was written recently, so the memory can change things.

The one thing we did all agree on, is that we want to see the movie.  That will be another book club outing for us all.

Stars out of 5 : 4 It was an enjoyable read, and I am glad I read it, but take some things she says with a grain of salt!!

"The Cellist of Sarajevo," by Steven Galloway

"The Cellist of Sarajevo," by Steven Galloway


One day a shell lands in a bread line and kills twenty-two people as the cellist watches from a window in his flat. He vows to sit in the hollow where the mortar fell and play Albinoni’s Adagio once a day for each of the twenty-two victims. The Adagio had been re-created from a fragment after the only extant score was firebombed in the Dresden Music Library, but the fact that it had been rebuilt by a different composer into something new and worthwhile gives the cellist hope.

Meanwhile, Kenan steels himself for his weekly walk through the dangerous streets to collect water for his family on the other side of town, and Dragan, a man Kenan doesn’t know, tries to make his way towards the source of the free meal he knows is waiting. Both men are almost paralyzed with fear, uncertain when the next shot will land on the bridges or streets they must cross, unwilling to talk to their old friends of what life was once like before divisions were unleashed on their city. Then there is “Arrow,” the pseudonymous name of a gifted female sniper, who is asked to protect the cellist from a hidden shooter who is out to kill him as he plays his memorial to the victims.

In this beautiful and unforgettable novel, Steven Galloway has taken an extraordinary, imaginative leap to create a story that speaks powerfully to the dignity and generosity of the human spirit under extraordinary duress.


This book was/is the choice for the January 2015 book club meeting, and to be honest I was dreading reading it.  As you read the synopsis of the book it all looks like doom and gloom; and after reading The Book Thief, I wasn't ready to read another book about war.

You will have no doubt have heard of the expression, "never judge a book by it's cover;" well that applied here.  This is one of the best written books out there.  The way the author writes is not flowery its to the point but it speaks to you in a way where you feel as though you are right there with the characters.  You truly feel the fear when Dragan and Kenan stand at the intersection wanting to cross the road, but are terrified in case a sniper will shoot them.  Arrow's concentration when picking her next target.

What really disturbed me the most though, was this happened "recently," and to think that these poor people in Sarajevo had to go through all this on a daily basis, just to get water or food makes me shake my head.  Them thinking that the outside world would come and rescue them and not doing so.

I didn't "get" the role of the Cellist in all of this.  So am interested to hear what the other members of the book club say about him.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Not a long book to read and one which you will get hooked on as soon as you start to read it.  If you don't read any other books that I review, please try and read this one, it is worthwhile.

"The Secret of Pembrooke Park," by Julie Klassen

"The Secret of Pembrooke Park," by Julie Klassen

Abigail Foster is the practical daughter. She fears she will end up a spinster, especially as she has little dowry, and the one man she thought might marry her seems to have fallen for her younger, prettier sister.

Facing financial ruin, Abigail and her father search for more affordable lodgings, until a strange solicitor arrives with an astounding offer: the use of a distant manor house abandoned for eighteen years. The Fosters journey to imposing Pembrooke Park and are startled to find it entombed as it was abruptly left: tea cups encrusted with dry tea, moth-eaten clothes in wardrobes, a doll's house left mid-play...

The handsome local curate welcomes them, but though he and his family seem acquainted with the manor's past, the only information they offer is a stern warning: Beware trespassers drawn by rumors that Pembrooke Park contains a secret room filled with treasure.

This catches Abigail's attention. Hoping to restore her family's finances--and her dowry--Abigail looks for this supposed treasure. But eerie sounds at night and footprints in the dust reveal she isn't the only one secretly searching the house.

Then Abigail begins receiving anonymous letters, containing clues about the hidden room and startling discoveries about the past.

As old friends and new foes come calling at Pembrooke Park, secrets come to light. Will Abigail find the treasure and love she seeks...or very real danger?


I enjoyed this book.  It was one of those books where you think you know what will happen next and/or who is who, only to be surprised by another twist.  There were a couple of things that were pretty obvious, but other things where you were completely surprised by the outcome.

Abigail was a perfect heroine, practical, level headed and someone you could totally rely on.  Her sister, the total opposite!!!  The Chapman family were all lovable in their own ways, even the formidable Mac Chapman the head of the household.

The secret room with the treasure was a surprise and totally not what you would expect,; don't want to say more, as it will spoil the story.  I liked the relationship between those "upstairs," and those "below stairs."  As with all books please read the authors notes at the end of the book, as it draws light on some things mentioned in the book.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5  This is quite a long book, but it had me hooked from the beginning.  The story keeps you wanting to read a "few more pages," before I go to bed, and then you find another hour has gone by.  I personally think this is the best book I have read by this author,  Well worth the read.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"Love Unexpected," by Jody Hedlund

"Love Unexpected," by Jody Hedlund

1859
Presque Isle, Michigan

What Is the Secret That Could Shipwreck Both of Their Lives?

All Emma Chambers ever wanted was a home, but when her steamboat sinks just outside Presque Isle, she's left destitute and with no place to stay.

An unlikely solution arises when the lighthouse keeper arrives in town. He's just lost his wife and is having a difficult time caring for his child. So a traveling preacher gets the idea that the keeper and Emma might be the answer to each other's dilemma. After a hasty marriage, she finds herself heading to the lighthouse with this handsome but quiet stranger. Nothing in her aimless life, though, has prepared her for parenting a rambunctious toddler, as well as managing a household.

Emma soon suspects Patrick may be hiding something from her, and then she hears a disturbing rumor about the circumstances surrounding his late wife's death. It seems as if her wish for a home and family of her own could end up leading her once more into turbulent waters.


The one thing I liked about this book was all the twists and turns and secrets.  All is not what it seems and it was like peeling an onion, trying to get down to the next layer.  This was also one of those situations where you hear something and get the wrong impression about something.  For those reasons it was a good book to read and it kept you interested.

Emma was a lovely character, and you could feel her longing to provide a good home for little Josiah and give him the love of a mother.  Patrick had many hidden layers as well that once they were peeled back made you want to go up and hug him.  

I found it interesting about the historical side of this story.  You can read more about it in the authors note at the back of the book.  This book is loosely based on Mary Chambers Garraty who along with her husband Patrick did settle on Mackinac Island and became lighthouse keepers on Presque Isle in 1860.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 This is the first book in the Beacon's of Hope series, which are based around lighthouses.  Jody as always wrote a great book and included a lot of interesting facts.  I always enjoy her books and this one wasn't any different, enjoyment wise.  Well worth the read.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"A Most Inconvenient Marriage, " by Regina Jennings

"A Most Inconvenient Marriage, " by Regina Jennings


Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun's Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.


Most Inconvenient Indeed.

With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone--a practical solution for both of them.

After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain--until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?


Loved this book.  Abigail as the lead character was a perfect choice. Hardworking, honest and a real spitfire when provoked.  You can see her love for horses and her love for helping people heal.  Even though Jeremiah's sister Rachel, is not the most friendly of people, Abigail continues to love and nurse her throughout her illness.

Jeremiah, puts his past promises first and foremost, despite the best thing that ever happened to him and, his family and home being right in front of him.  I wasn't fond of the character Laurel and found her a bit wishy washy and couldn't understand what Jeremiah saw in her.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 It was no surprise how this story ended.  There was the odd twist and turn in the book that kept you wondering and interested.  It's not a hard read and the story was easy enough to get into.  Regina is one those authors whose book are always a good read when you want a quick and easy book to keep you occupied.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Stolen," by Katariina Rosenblatt, PhD with Cecil Murphey

There is hope, even on the darkest of days
Katariina Rosenblatt was a lonely and abused young girl, yearning to be loved, wanting attention. That made her the perfect target. On an ordinary day, she met a confident young woman--someone Kat wished she could be like--who pretended to be a friend while slowly luring her into a child trafficking ring. A cycle of false friendships, threats, drugs, and violence kept her trapped.

As Kat shares her harrowing experiences, her ultimate escape, and her passionate efforts to now free other victims, you'll see that not only is sex trafficking happening frighteningly close to home--it's also something that can be stopped. Stolen is a warning, a celebration of survival, and a beacon of hope that will inspire you.


As a person who has never had to go through this nightmare, I found it difficult to relate too, to start with, but the further you get into this book, the angrier I got.  It beggars belief that these young people don't have people to watch out for them.  It also shows how vulnerable these young people are and how they reach out for the slightest bit of kindness, from where and whom ever it comes from.

This book should be a must read for young children from the ages of 11 upwards.  As it shows them what to look for and what to avoid.  I know this is not limited to just the States and this is probably happening all over the world, it has to stop.

Thankfully Kat has turned her life around and is doing something to help others who are living this nightmare.  

Stars out of 5 : 4 The target audience for this book should be pre-teens and teens.  It was an interesting read as it opened my eyes to something I knew very little about.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"The Brickmaker's Bride," by Judith Miller

"The Brickmaker's Bride," by Judith Miller

In the clay-rich hills of the newly founded state of West Virginia, two families tentatively come together to rebuild a war-torn brickmaking business.

Ewan McKay has immigrated to West Virginia with his aunt and uncle, promising to trade his skills in the clay business for financial help. Uncle Hugh purchases a brickmaking operation from a Civil War widow and her daughter, and it's Ewan's job to get the company up and running again.

Ewan seeks help from Laura, the former owner's daughter, and he quickly feels a connection with her, but she's being courted by another man--a lawyer with far more social clout and money than Ewan. Resolving that he'll make the brickworks enough of a success that he can become a partner in the business and be able to afford to bring his sisters over from Ireland, Ewan pours all his energy into the new job.

But when Hugh signs a bad business deal, all Ewan's hard work is put in jeopardy. As his hopes for the future crumble, Laura reveals something surprising. Can she help him save the brickworks, and will Ewan finally get a shot at winning her heart?


This was a lovely story about the underdog winning through hardwork, devotion to his family and his love of God.  Ewan was a great lead character that you couldn't help but love.  In contrast Winston was the total opposite, the man courting Laura.  It takes Ewan coming into Laura's life to realize that Winston is not the man for her.

I loved the details written into this book, from the fashions worn, to how bricks were made.  It was a well researched book and made it easy for the reader to image all of these things.

Ewan's uncle was a man you didn't know whether to feel sorry for; due to being married to Margaret, whose main ambition in life was to be the creme of society and made everyone around her pay for her failures.  Or to to hate him for all his slippery ways.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 A book where it is no surprise what the outcome will be, but it does have its twists and turns along the way to keep things interesting.  Well worth the read and the second book in the series will be released later on in 2015.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"The Patmos Deception," by Davis Bunn

"The Patmos Deception," by Davis Bunn

An Ancient Island Holds an Ancient Secret . . .
Nick Hennessy, 
a young Texas journalist yearning for his big break, finds himself in Europe--his assignment, to investigate the alarming disappearance of invaluable Grecian antiquities. Nick has the credentials--and cover ID--to unearth the truth. And he knows just the researcher to help him...

Carey Mathers, fresh from her studies in forensic archeology, has accepted a job with the prestigious Athens Institute for Antiquities--a dream come true, really, particularly when the Greek isle of Patmos, where the Apostle John received his vision of the Apocalypse, was a particular focus of her research.

Dimitri Rubinos, for whom the Greek islands represent his life, holds on by his fingernails to the family charter boat business. But his country's economic chaos isn't the only thing that has turned his world on its head...


I did not like the ending of this book.  It left you in mid air to my mind.  There were more questions to be answered and more of this story to be told.  Otherwise this was a good book.  I enjoyed the historical aspect to it and the description of the Greek Isles.  Made you want to be there and brought them to life.

Bit confused about the romantic intentions of Nick and Dimitri towards Carey.  Without giving away the storyline, you will not find out who holds the key to her heart in this book.  Whether there is a sequel to this book who knows?

This book kept you on your toes as you got caught up in the drama and intrigue; and there were enough twists to keep it interesting as well.  It wasn't hard to read and you could put it down and pick it up without forgetting where you were at in the story.

Stars out of 5 : 4 Great book, terrible ending!!


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"At Bluebonnet Lake," by Amanda Cabot

"At Bluebonnet Lake," by Amanda Cabot

Her life is set to warp speed. His is slowing to a crawl. But love has its own timing.

Marketing maven Kate Sherwood's world is fast-paced, challenging, and always changing. The last thing she wants to do is grind to a halt at Rainbow's End, a dilapidated resort in the Texas Hill Country. Still, she cannot deny her ailing grandmother's request to visit the place where she and her deceased husband spent one glorious week fifty years ago. There, Kate meets Greg, who appears to be the resort's unassuming handyman. But there's more to Greg than meets the eye--billions more, in fact.

Kate isn't looking for romance, but she can't deny the sparks of attraction that fly every time she and Greg are together. Could there be a future there? Or will Kate's long-sought promotion take her back to the big city?


I think a lot of people will relate to this story, especially those with fast paced lives.  This book will slow down the pace and show you how living in a small town isn't a bad thing, but it can be good for the soul and the heart......as long as you don't drink the coffee at The Sit'n'Sip...you need to read the book to get that joke!!

Greg's back story is very believable and one some people (not many though) will have experienced.  Kate's story also is one that you know could be true.  The one aspect I found charming was the romance between Sally, Kate's grandmother and Roy.  It is true the romantic bug can hit you at any age.

The one thing that is brought up a lot in the book is the Bluebonnet flower, the Texas state flower.  I did not know what it looked like so I googled it and here is a link to a photo of the flower.  I looks very similar to a lupin, which are lovely flowers.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5 An easy read which doesn't take much concentration.  No real surprises along the way.  A good book to while away a few hours.  Although I enjoyed all characters a lot, it was Greg that was my favourite as he had a good heart and soul.  It is well worth reading as it is a feel good book.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"Playing by Heart," by Anne Mateer

"Playing by Heart," by Anne Mateer
Lula Bowman has finally achieved her dream: a teaching position and a scholarship to continue her college education in mathematics. But then a shocking phone call from her sister, Jewel, changes everything.

With a heavy heart, Lula returns to her Oklahoma hometown to do right by her sister, but the only teaching job available in Dunn is combination music instructor/basketball coach. Lula doesn't even consider those real subjects!

Determined to prove herself, Lula commits to covering the job for the rest of the school year. Reluctantly, she turns to the boys' coach, Chet, to learn the newfangled game of basketball. Chet is handsome and single, but Lula has no plans to fall for a local boy. She's returning to college and her scholarship as soon as she gets Jewel back on her feet.

However, the more time she spends around Jewel's family, the girls' basketball team, music classes, and Chet, the more Lula comes to realize what she's given up in her single-minded pursuit of degree after degree. God is working on her heart, and her future is starting to look a lot different than she'd expected.


I enjoyed this book,  It was not a hard book to read and there was enough action in it to keep you interested.  I will say I am NOT a basketball fan, so there were a couple of paragraphs where I skimmed over.  However the way the author did write about the play by play were enough not to overwhelm you.  Also some of the true historical facts that were added into the story made it a bit more interesting.

All the characters were believable and all were described in such a way that you could visualize them as well.  I have been lucky to have not grown up in a time where war has been declared and have had close loved ones sign up.  I thought Chet's struggle with staying back to look after his mother and educate the youth of the town and not knowing whether or not he should sign up was also written well.  I am sure many men and now women would be able to relate with that struggle.

Stars out of 5 : 4 a pleasurable book to while away a couple of afternoons.  I enjoyed the message of God does things for a reason and sometimes it does take a while for you to realize that.  It's a feel good book that's not overly taxing on the brain.  Well worth reading.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


Saturday, October 4, 2014

"The Storied Life of A.J. Firky," by Gabrielle Zevin

"The Storied Life of A.J. Firky," by Gabrielle Zevin


Hanging over the porch of the tiny New England bookstore called Island Books is a faded sign with the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A.J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming him or for a determined sales rep named Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light. The wisdom of all those books again become the lifeblood of A.J.’s world and everything twists into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.

As books go this wasn't the worst book I have ever read, nor was it the best.  It was entertaining and relatable.  Poor A.J. has probably hit about rock bottom, when there are a couple of changes in his life.  Neither of his doing, but they make A.J.'s life do a u-turn and things start getting better in his life.

I did love the way the author described the life on the Island and in particular the book store.  By the end of the book I was thinking I wouldn't mind owning and running a book store.  This book is a pretty easy read, I read it over a couple of days.  Maya is an exceptional character and the way the author described her, made her so real.  There were a couple of details that I didn't figure out right away, but they made sense when revealed.  Part of the ending of this story is sad, but another part brings to mind the words: "to come full circle."

Stars out of 5 : 4 Well worth reading.  This book is the selection for our November book club meeting.  Due to the price $15+ depending on where you purchase it, I borrowed it from the library and there was only the one copy, so had to get it while it was on the shelf.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

"The Book Thief," by Markus Zusak

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 


If I had to describe this book in one word it would be DEPRESSING.  Now that's not to say it was a terrible book; it's not a book to make you feel happy.  Of course the topic of this book is not one of joy.  Also it doesn't help the situation when you discover Death narrates this story as well.

I found the book to be a bit choppy, with the story jumping about a bit.  Liesel was a very strong character and despite Rosa's (Mama) way and language I ended up having a soft spot for her as well.  Rudy was a bright spot in the book and a true hero.  

This period of time was not one I hope is ever repeated again.  The way the book described the treatment of Jews, made me cringe.  I tend not to read or watch movies about the Holocaust so this is not my usual type of book.  It's our book club's selection for the month of October.  I would like to watch the movie though, as for once I think the movie may be better than the book.

Stars out of 5 : 3 Found it a bit hard to get into the book.  I didn't like the way Death narrated to story, and when I read a book I do it for pleasure.  There was no "pleasure" in this book due to the subject matter.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days," by Holley Gerth

"What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days," by Holley Gerth
We all have days that make us want to pull the covers back over our heads and eat a dozen cupcakes.

Thankfully, Jesus said we don't "live on bread alone"--that includes cupcakes--"but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Matt. 4:4). What we really need is truth.

If you're tired, discouraged, or feel a little empty inside, my prayer is that by the end of our time together, you'll be refreshed and nourished in a way that will sustain you through whatever the future may hold.

Remember, you're not alone, my friend.

In this uplifting book, Holley Gerth invites you to be filled with the strength, peace, and joy that come from God's promises. Each of the 52 devotions based on the Psalms will help you remember that God is good and we're all in this together. 


This is a cute looking book is it not?  It's such a fun and happy looking book it makes you want to pick it up. This book is not one you read from front to back all in one day..............it could be done it's not that long.  It's a book you want to pick up read a chapter or two and digest what has been written.  It's a food for thought book, it makes you think.

There is something for everyone in this book.  It's full of inspiration and joy not just for when you are having a hard day, but when you need a few words to get you going on a slow start to the day.

I especially enjoyed chapter 3, "God is Thinking about You Today."

God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish ~ Psalm 9:18

Stars out of 5: 5 This is a book to keep forever.  It would make a lovely gift also.  It is well worth buying or borrowing from your library.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"The River," by Beverly Lewis

"The River," by Beverly Lewis
She looked once more at the dreaded river. Since Anna's death, it had been such a barrier . . . a place and a moment she could not seem to move past.
         
A line I can't move beyond...
The River

Tilly and Ruth, two formerly Amish sisters, are plagued by unresolved relationships when they reluctantly return to Lancaster County for their parents' landmark wedding anniversary. Since departing their Plain upbringing, Tilly has married an Englisher, but Ruth remains single and hasn't entirely forgotten her failed courtship with her Amish beau.

Past meets present as Tilly and Ruth yearn for acceptance and redemption. Can they face the future in the light of a past they can't undo?


I liked how this book was written from both sides of the Amish life.  Tilly and Ruth's characters were well thought out and very believable.  The confusing feeling they experienced from returning to see their parents after being away from the Plain life for a number of years was well written as well.

I think there is the perception that an Amish/Plain life is one of no stress and no discomfort or evil happenings.  This story tells you differently and there are a couple of surprises in it you don't see coming.

Ruth and her Amish beau is a good story and you are pulling for them to work things out and then the story changes and you don't want to see them together, so it keeps things interesting.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A really enjoyable and believable book by Beverly Lewis.  I really like the way she writes and it's a page turner, where you need to know what happens next.  It is also a bit with a few twists and turns in it that continues to make it interesting.  It's a book well worth reading, that's for sure.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"A Light in the Wilderness," by Jane Kirkpatrick

"A Light in the Wilderness," by Jane Kirkpatrick

Three very different women. One dangerous journey. And a future that seems just out of reach.
Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause most white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband and she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip your heart and mind as you travel on the dusty and dangerous Oregon Trail into the boundless American West. Based on a true story.

I kept saying, "that is so unfair," throughout this book, as Letitia had so many set back's throughout her life, in part because she was coloured and also because she was a woman.  Weaker women would have thrown in the towel and given up, but one thing Letitia had in spades was tenacity.  She also found positive things even when the chips were down.  I would have wanted to strangle Davey at some of the stupid things he did.

The friendship between Letitia, Nancy and Betsy was also lovely to read about; and what they learned from one another went above and beyond normal friendship.  What I didn't realize was that this book is based on a true story.  Make sure you read the author's note at the end, as you will find it interesting.  I found this to be a "meaty" book and one you wanted to savour, not rush through.  Lots of depth and substance in the pages.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I am a big fan of Jane Kirkpatrick's work and this didn't disappoint.  She brought all the characters to life with her descriptions.  I also appreciate how easy I have things compared to these ladies.  You had to be strong to survive their way of life.  Well worth the read especially if you enjoy pioneer stories set in the 1800's.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


"Tried and True," by Mary Connealy

"Tried and True," by Mary Connealy

Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?


I read this book in a day.  It is a light hearted book with fun characters.  However I find it hard to believe the three sisters got away with being "men" in the Civil War.  It does have a couple of little twists in it that keep the story moving along.  It's one of those "shopping list" books, where you can read the book and be thinking of other things also.

Stars out of 5 : 3.5 I do want to read the rest in the series as I think altogether they will be good books.  However as a stand alone book, this doesn't have too much "meat" in it.  The story line is a bit weak for me and too many things tend to be unbelievable with the Kylie character.  If you're looking for a book to read in a day this is a good one.  As I said before I think/and am hoping the other books in the series will be more "meaty."

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Saturday, August 23, 2014

"Secret Daughter: A Novel," by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

"Secret Daughter: A Novel," by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Somer's life is everything she imagined it would be — she's newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco — until she makes the devastating discovery she never will be able to have children.

The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter's life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life, and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again.

Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha's journey of self-discovery leads her back to India.

Compulsively readable and deeply touching, SECRET DAUGHTER is a story of the unforeseen ways in which our choices and families affect our lives, and the indelible power of love in all its many forms.

Be warned once you start this book you won't want to put it down, it hooks you right away.  It's a story that you will remember for a long, long time.  My favourite part of the book was when  Ahsa goes to India to work.  The way the author describes everyday life is compelling and so real you can imagine the sounds and smells there.

You feel empathy for both Somer and Kavita as both the adoptive and birth mother.  Kavita especially shows great strength with what she went through.  The book also shows how a hard life women and children can have in India and what a wide gap there is with how much some people have and how little the majority have.  It shows how "valuable" a male baby is over a female baby, and what some people will do when a female baby is born.  The sad thing is things often don't work out as planned and you will read about this in the book.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A super book, well worth the read.  Makes me want to go to India even more now despite the heat and the food; neither which I like.  The Foreign Terms Glossary at the back of the book is a big help.  I was a little surprised at the ending re: Asha and her birth parents.  If you have time do read this book, you will not be disappointed.

P.S. A lot of the names in the book are names of people who I know in real life, so the story felt familiar even though it is a fictional story.

Friday, August 22, 2014

"One Thousand White Women," by Jim Fergus

"One Thousand White Women," by Jim Fergus
One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.

I think my one big regret for this book is it is fiction and therefore Mary Dodd's journal's are not real.  I so wanted Mary and her friends to be actual people who actually lived in the late 1800's, as each one of them felt like "real" people that you would want to know and love.  I enjoyed the way the author brought each character to life, and if I had to chose a favourite it would have to be the English woman Helen Elizabeth Flight.  However each and every one of those women were so strong and courageous it would have been an honour to have known them.

I personally do not know much about the Cheyenne Indians, so this touched upon some things that taught me something.  I would love to read more about this era and this area of the world.  It is suggested in the book that the Cheyenne Indian men treat their women a lot better than other tribes?  Was this true?  Regardless the women worked so hard to keep them all "afloat," during these hard times.  This book also touches on how the American Government promised the Indians one thing then did another.  I know indigenous people all over the world have been through the same situation; glad it was mentioned here.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I loved this book and couldn't put it down.  I had to know what happened next.  If you do decide to read this book; and I hope you do, please read it all including the epilogue, and the Reading Group Gold Selection.  All very interesting what is written there.

"The Memory Keeper's Daughter," by Kim Edwards

"The Memory Keeper's Daughter," by Kim Edwards
Kim Edwards’s stunning novel begins on a winter night in 1964 in Lexington, Kentucky, when a blizzard forces Dr. David Henry to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy, but the doctor immediately recognizes that his daughter has Down syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse, Caroline, to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this beautifully told story that unfolds over a quarter of a century—in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that winter night long ago.

A family drama, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter explores every mother's silent fear: What would happen if you lost your child and she grew up without you? It is also an astonishing tale of love and how the mysterious ties that hold a family together help us survive the heartache that occurs when long-buried secrets are finally uncovered.


I found I had more questions than answers when reading this book.  Granted it starts in 1964 and the medical world wasn't advanced as it is now, couldn't they figure out it was twins before the birth?  Also from a legal point of view this wouldn't/shouldn't have been possible to hand over a child to someone else just like that?  Or is it?

Anyhow, one of the good things after reading this book, is Down Syndrome is more understood and better tolerated nowadays than back in the 60's.  I found both David and Norah to be selfish character's, each wrapped up in their own little worlds, together but so far apart.  Even Caroline's decision to raise Phoebe (the Down Syndrome baby) herself is quite selfish; as how did she know that Norah wouldn't want to raise the child herself?  Granted Caroline gave Phoebe a terrific home and upbringing, but it wasn't her decision to make.  Also from Norah's point of view, she didn't have closure on the "death" of her child and that is something all parents would need to my mind?

Stars out of 5 : 4 The book kept me interested, but it was missing something.  With it skipping back and forward between the two families, I feel as though we missed parts of their lives.  Am I glad I read this book; yes it was enjoyable and it made you think.  It is well worth the read for that reason alone in my opinion.

Monday, August 18, 2014

"No Time For Goodbye," by Linwood Barclay

"No Time For Goodbye," by Linwood Barclay


Fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge woke one morning to discover that her entire family–mother, father,brother–had vanished. No note, no trace, no return. Ever.  Now, twenty-five years later, she’ll learn the devastating truth.

Sometimes it’s better not to know. . . .

Cynthia is happily married with a young daughter, a new family. But the story of her old family isn’t over. A strange car in the neighborhood, untraceable phone calls, ominous “gifts”–someone has returned to her hometown to finish what was started twenty-five years ago. And no one’s innocence is guaranteed, not even her own. By the time Cynthia discovers her killer’s shocking identity, it will again be too late . . . even for goodbye.


This is our book for our September book club meeting.  I normally read the book a few days before the meeting, but decided to read this earlier for some reason.  I have never read any books by Linwood Barclay before so didn't know what to expect.  It's called "a thriller," which I found confusing, a murder, mystery would have been a better sub-title I think, but what do I know?

There was plenty of action in the book and with the twists and turns it kept you interested.  I found the character Cynthia hard work for some reason, but I guess unless you had been through the same thing as she had, who knows what you would turn out like?  I did guess a couple of the things in the book, but the one thing; I never saw coming at all.  You could have knocked me over with a feather when that situation unfolded.  I can't say what but it does involve the name/character Connie.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Had me hooked right away.  Wish the character Vince Fleming was featured more, I liked him.  It's a "meaty" book and one you need to pay attention to while you're reading it.  It took me a few days to read it.  I will definitely be checking out his other books.  Well worth you time reading this book.

Friday, August 15, 2014

"Surviving Henry," by Erin Taylor Young

"Surviving Henry," by Erin Taylor Young


Sometimes you seek out love. And sometimes it broadsides you.
You don't always know what you're getting into when you bring home a puppy. You hope for laughs and cuddles, long walks and a wagging tail. And sometimes you get . . . Henry.

Henry is a boxer who suffers from Supreme Dictator of the Universe Syndrome. He vandalizes his obedience school, leaps through windows, cheats death at every turn, and generally causes his long-suffering owner Erin Taylor Young to wonder what on earth she did wrong that God would send this dog to derail her life.

But this rogue torpedo of a dog wasn't sent to torment his owner--well, not just to torment her. Through all the hair-pulling and questioning of her own sanity, Erin learns something very powerful from Henry, a dog who brings new meaning to the concept of unconditional love.

Through his laugh-out-loud antics and jaw-dropping escapades, Henry will careen into your life and steal your heart. 


The first two sentences of this book are: "Our dog has special needs, the greatest being the need for a lobotomy.  After that, he could use a good dose of Prozac."  You know when you have read that this book is going to be fun.  It is a laugh out loud, tears rolling down your face fun, but it does have a more serious side to it at times as well.  You can't help but love Henry, and his antics well lets just say, Erin and her family have endless patience!!

I love Henry's relationship with Angel; I guess that's why Angel does what he does for a living.  If you are an animal lover you will adore this book.  This book would make a perfect gift.  Henry is one in a million that's for sure.

Stars out of 5 : 5 Pets are more than pets they are mini children and you love them as much as any member of the family, regardless of what they get up to.  This book shows you that in spades.  I can't say enough good things about this book.  Would I want to be Henry's owner, heck no, but I wouldn't mind being his adopted Grandparent!!!

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Blind Trust," by Sandra Orchard

"Blind Trust," by Sandra Orchard
Kate's not sure how deep this deception goes--but she'll do whatever it takes to find out.
Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money and can't believe that it came from her sweet elderly neighbor. Or that it has landed her in the middle of another of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and one that strikes too close to home for comfort.

As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But then will it be too late for her and Tom?


If you haven't already, I do feel you need to read the first book in this series Deadly Devotion  It will be easier to understand what has happened prior to reading Blind Trust.  This book takes a while to get going in my opinion. Once it does get going though it will hook you as there are plenty of twists and turns and some interesting things that turn up.  It will keep you thinking and wondering.

Stars out of 5 : 4 I hated the ending and I can't tell you why without giving it away.  It took me a number of days to read, which is unusual for me and is generally an indicator of how much I like/dislike a book.  Once things "heat" up in the book, it is a page turner.  I am looking forward to reading the next in the series though as there is plenty of more stories to be told.  Well worth your time reading it.  Also nice Sandra is a "local" author.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Sunday, August 10, 2014

"A Place in His Heart," by Rebecca DeMarino

"A Place in His Heart," by Rebecca DeMarino
Anglican Mary Langton longs to marry for love. Left at the altar and disgraced in her small hamlet, she is being pressured to marry the eligible son of the London milliner. Puritan Barnabas Horton still grieves the loss of his beloved wife, but he knows his two young sons need a mother.

With tender hearts, Mary and Barnabas take a leap of faith and wed. But when Barnabas's secret plans to move his family to the New World to escape persecution come to light, Mary's world is upended. How could she possibly leave her papa and her dear sister?

And will she ever reach the secret places of her husband's broken heart?


I really enjoyed this book.  It's from a period of history we learned about at school.  Saying that this book covered a lot more of the religious aspect that I don't remember learning about.

The lead characters Mary and Barnabas as well suited for one another and Mary especially, a very brave and adventurous soul.  I liked how the character Joseph was portrayed as a young boy who so missed his mother and felt he would betray her if he called Mary, mother.  It made the story even more believable.

I thoroughly enjoyed the everyday life occasions that were written about in the book.  It made you feel as though you were there.  They had a very hard life with many up and downs that's for sure.

Stars out of 5 : 4.5  I was hooked on the book right away, which is always a good sign.  I did find the love story of Mary and Barnabas a bit drawn out.  Lesser characters would have thrown in the towel I think at the way things progressed there.  I am looking forward to the next book in "The Southold Chronicles," as I need to know what will happen next.  Well worth your time reading this book, I read it in a day.

(Nothing to do with the story, but don't you think the woman on the front of the book reminds you of Nicole Kidman?)


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Available at your favourite booksel
ler from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"With Every Breath," by Elizabeth Camden

"With Every Breath," by Elizabeth Camden
In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now.

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.


This book had me hooked right from the start.  The two main characters Kate and Trevor, were so different but so much like one another at the same time with their competitive streak.  The way they spoke to one another; you knew sparks were flying between them.

The mystery element of the story was really good as well.  I never did guess who was behind all the threats and incidents.  When it was revealed it was a surprise.

Finally the medical and history side of the story was really quite fascinating and you had to admire the staff's dedication, especially Trevor's to the danger they put themselves in.  It made me think of the Ebola outbreak at the moment and what the scientists and doctors must be going through trying to find a cure for it.  So although this story was set in the late 1800's it is a very relevant story for today.

Stars out of 5 : 5 A solid 5, I read it in a day as I couldn't put it down.  I had to know what happened next.  Really well worth the read.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

"Miracle in a Dry Season," by Sarah Loudin Thomas

"Miracle in a Dry Season," by Sarah Loudin Thomas

It's 1954 and Perla Long's arrival in the sleepy town of Wise, West Virginia, was supposed to go unnoticed. She just wants a quiet, safe place for her and her daughter, Sadie, where the mistakes of her past can stay hidden. But then drought comes to Wise, and Perla is pulled into the turmoil of a town desperately in need of a miracle.

Casewell Phillips has resigned himself to life as a bachelor...until he meets Perla. She's everything he's sought in a woman, but he can't get past the sense that she's hiding something. As the drought worsens, Perla's unique gift divides the town in two, bringing both gratitude and condemnation, and placing the pair in the middle of a storm of anger and forgiveness, fear and faith.


What a wonderful book this is.  It reminds me of the story from the Bible,  feeding the 5000.  However it is a more modern story and one which shows how much kindness people can give and show in times of sorrow and despair.  It also highlights how people can and do forgive when they are the ones who are being wronged in the first place.

Perla is a truly special lady and once Casewell begins to know her, he sees that too.  The town of Wise is a unique place and I hope Sarah writes more books about this town as there are certainly many more tales to be told.  This is Sarah's debut book and she is an author I will be certainly looking forward to reading.

The way she writes her books, makes for an easy read and the descriptions make everything and everyone come to life.

Stars out of 5 : 5 I was hooked right away and I didn't want to put the book down as I wanted to know what happened next.  Well worth reading.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

"Truth Be Told," by Carol Cox

"Truth Be Told," by Carol Cox
When Amelia Wagner takes over her father's newspaper in 1893 Granite Springs, Arizona, she vows to carry on the paper's commitment to reporting only the truth. But Amelia soon learns that even the truth can have serious consequences. Her father's revealing articles about the Great Western Investment Company have caught the attention of the wrong people, and pressure mounts for Amelia to retract her father's statements.

Determined to find out the real story, Amelia begins her own investigation. She's joined by Benjamin Stone, a Great Western employee who's been assigned to keep tabs on her for the good of the company, a man Amelia finds both perplexing and intriguing.

What they uncover stuns them both--and has far-reaching implications for not only Ben and Amelia but all of Granite Springs. Can they reveal the truth before the enemy finds a way to silence them for good?


This book is a light hearted read that doesn't take much out of you.  Amelia is a go getter and not your usual demure woman of the late 1800's.  Ben is a match for her and between them they make a perfect pair.  There is a little mystery involved in this book, but it's pretty straight forward working out who is who, and what is what.  

Will I remember this book in a month or two; probably not, but it was an enjoyable book to read.  It was one of my books I can read and carry on thinking about other things, type of books!

Stars out of 5 : 4 A good book to while away a few hours and you get to learn a little something about early newspaper publishing.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. 

Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

Monday, August 4, 2014

"A Complicated Kindness," by Miriam Toews

"A Complicated Kindness," by Miriam Toews
Sixteen-year-old Nomi Nickel longs to hang out with Lou Reed and Marianne Faithfull in New York City’s East Village. Instead she’s trapped in East Village, Manitoba, a small town whose population is Mennonite: “the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if you’re a teenager.” East Village is a town with no train and no bar whose job prospects consist of slaughtering chickens at the Happy Family Farms abattoir or churning butter for tourists at the pioneer village. Ministered with an iron fist by Nomi’s uncle Hans, a.k.a. The Mouth of Darkness, East Village is a town that’s tall on rules and short on fun: no dancing, drinking, rock ’n’ roll, recreational sex, swimming, make-up, jewellery, playing pool, going to cities or staying up past nine o’clock.

As the novel begins, Nomi struggles to cope with the back-to-back departures three years earlier of Tash, her beautiful and mouthy sister, and Trudie, her warm and spirited mother. She lives with her father, Ray, a sweet yet hapless schoolteacher whose love is unconditional but whose parenting skills amount to benign neglect. Father and daughter deal with their losses in very different ways. Ray, a committed elder of the church, seeks to create an artificial sense of order by reorganizing the city dump late at night. Nomi, on the other hand, favours chaos as she tries to blunt her pain through “drugs and imagination.” Together they live in a limbo of unanswered questions.

Nomi’s first person narrative shifts effortlessly between the present and the past. Within the present, Nomi goes through the motions of finishing high school while flagrantly rebelling against Mennonite tradition. She hangs out on Suicide Hill, hooks up with a boy named Travis, goes on the Pill, wanders around town, skips class and cranks Led Zeppelin. But the past is never far from her mind as she remembers happy times with her mother and sister — as well as the painful events that led them to flee town. Throughout, in a voice both defiant and vulnerable, she offers hilarious and heartbreaking reflections on life, death, family, faith and love.

Eventually Nomi’s grief — and a growing sense of hypocrisy — cause her to spiral ever downward to a climax that seems at once startling and inevitable. But even when one more loss is heaped on her piles of losses, Nomi maintains hope and finds the imagination and willingness to envision what lies beyond.


I read this book as it is August's choice for our book club.  If I love a book I normally read it in a day or so, this one took me a week.  That's not to say I hated it, I just found it a tad drawn out.  There were moments where I laughed out loud, but overall it was pretty depressing.

By the last few chapters you begin to wonder if Nomi will actually live.  You don't know right away why her mother and her sister left, but as the book progresses it becomes obvious why.  Nomi's one more loss comes as a surprise and not something I would have guessed.  

I found the ending strange and felt there was more to tell of this story.

Stars out of 5 : 3 Nomi talks to fast......I know I can read the book as slow as I want...LOL  You do get caught up with the narrative and you can imagine Nomi's character no problem at all.  If you like books about teenage angst, this is the one for you.  Me.....not so much.