Siracusa by Delia Ephron

Published: July 12th, 2016

“New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn, his wife Taylor, and their daughter Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage. Ephron delivers a meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none can see coming.”

This story was a ride!! It was slow to start to begin, but once you start to get into it, it really gets good. I couldn’t put it down. I read most of the book in 24 hours. The characters were unlikeable, but that’s what gets you in the story. Then, there’s Finn and Taylor’s daughter, Snow. She is mysterious and shy, but this book will have you really thinking about her character. The reader will know when they’ve hit the motherload of the story because you will. not. stop. reading. Things get entirely warped, emotional, and captivating. Love love love this book. Would honestly recommend it to anyone.

About The Author:
Bestselling author and screenwriter Delia Ephron’s most recent novel is Siracusa. Her other novels include The Lion Is In and Hanging Up. She has written humor books for all ages, including How to Eat Like a Child and Do I Have to Say Hello?; and nonfiction, most recently Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.). Her films include You’ve Got Mail, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Hanging Up (based on her novel), and Michael. Her journalism has appeared in The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Her hit play Love, Loss, and What I Wore (co-written with Nora Ephron) ran for more than two years off-Broadway and has been performed all over the world. She lives in New York City.

Rating: ★★★★★

Saving Grace by Jane Green

Published: December 30th, 2014

“Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue. To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true. This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation, and even her sanity. With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late.”

This book starts out with Grace Chapman, who is married to successful author Ted Chapman, scared out of her mind at when her husband is going to finally break. This book focused on many different mental disorders. While Saving Grace was very informative, it was also slow to read. I had to put it down and pick it back up again to finish it. A plot doesn’t really take off until a fourth way in or so. Wasn’t my favorite book on the planet, but it definitely had many wonderful elements.

About the Author:
Jane Green’s eighteenth novel, Falling, is soon to be released with Berkley/Penguin; she is the author of sixteen previous New York Times Bestselling novels, and known as one of the world’s leading authors in women’s fiction, with over ten million books in print, and translations in over 25 languages. Previous novels have included The Beach House, Second Chance, Jemima J, and Tempting Fate. She joined the ABC News team to write their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.  A former journalist in the UK, she has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV, including as well as regularly appearing on television shows including Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart show, and The Today Show. Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including anthologies and novellas, and features for The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has taught at writers conferences, and does regular keynote speaking, and has a weekly column in The Lady magazine, England’s longest running weekly magazine. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Green is bringing out her first cookbook: Good Taste , with Berkley in October 2016. She is a storyteller for The Moth radio hour on NPR, and lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks. A cancer survivor, she continues to raise awareness for Malignant Melanoma, Hashimoto’s Disease, and Lyme Disease.


Rating: ★★★

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Published: May 31st, 2016

Didn’t you ever just simply want to…stop? Star athlete and straight-A student Nanette O’Hare has played the role of dutiful daughter for as long as she can remember. But one day, a beloved teacher gives her his worn copy of The Bubblegum Reaper—a mysterious, out-of-print cult classic—and the rebel within Nanette awakens. As the new and outspoken Nanette attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, she befriends the reclusive author and falls in love with a young, troubled poet. Forced to make some hard choices that bring devastating consequences, Nanette learns the hard way that rebellion can sometimes come at a high price.”

The book starts out with learning about Nanette who is an awesome soccer player who is about to start her future. She’s a senior in high school, and finds herself reading a book that would change her life forever. When she reads this book, she has a crisis trying to figure out who she is and what she wants. Every Exquisite Thing was a capturing novel from the very beginning. Going through Nanette’s journey of finding herself with her was excellent. Empowering.

About the Author:
Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including The Silver Linings Playbook, which was made into an Oscar-winning film, and The Good Luck Of Right Now. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention. Q lives with his wife, the novelist-pianist Alicia Bessette, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Rating★★★★★

The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews

Published: May 17th, 2016

“Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found. So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens…in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything. Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for, The Weekenders is the perfect summer escape.”

This story starts with Riley Griggs waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry with her daughter. This was the weekend where Riley and her husband were going to tell their daughter about their impending divorce. However, when her husband, Wendell, doesn’t show, Riley has no choice but to freak out when she is handed divorce papers (or what she thought was divorce papers) on the ferry, leaving her daughter to have a meltdown of her own. The next morning, a sheriff shows up at Riley’s mother’s house to tell her that things have taken a murderous turn.

This book had a good amount of mystery, and the perfect amount of romance. It wasn’t my favorite Mary Kay Andrews book, but it definitely had wonderful moments throughout the story that keeps the reader entertained.

About the Author:
Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002. Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

Rating: ★★★★

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Published: April 14th, 2011

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ” Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives. Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke. When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories. By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself. What would he say . . . ?”

This story was extremely interesting. I’ve never heard of a premise quite like this one. It starts with the story of Lincoln and how his love life is not as quite as up to date as it could be. The time frame is a little outdated for now, but it is interesting because it takes place around Y2K and at the Courier. It’s Lincoln’s job to read the email’s of his co-workers and send warnings to those who get flagged. That’s where he finds the emails of two best friends, Beth and Jennifer who talk about anything under the sun.

He should give them warnings, but he finds that he can’t. He also finds himself falling for a woman that’s in a relationship. After Lincoln’s troubling past relationship, he is apprehensive to meet her. This story was definitely a romantic adventure and I loved it from start to finish. Definitely would recommend this to anyone.

About the Author:
Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On.). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love. When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Rating: ★★★★★

Love May Fail by Matthew Quick

Published: June 16th, 2015

“Portia Kane is having a meltdown. After escaping her ritzy Florida life and her cheating pornographer husband, she finds herself back in South Jersey, a place that remains largely unchanged from the years of her unhappy youth. Lost and alone, looking for the goodness she believes still exists in the world, Portia sets off on a quest to save the one man who always believed in her – and in all of his students: her beloved high school English teacher, Mr. Vernon, who has retired broken and alone after a traumatic classroom incident. Will a sassy nun, an ex-heroin addict, a metal-head little boy, and her hoarder mother help or hurt Portia’s chances on this quest to resurrect a good man and find renewed hope in the human race? Love May Fail is a story of the great highs and lows of existence: the heartache and daring choices it takes to become the person you know (deep down) you are meant to be.”

To begin, the first few sentences of this book caught my attention right away. It starts with Portia, drunk in her closet, awaiting her husband to arrive with his mistress. Almost immediately, I was captivated with what would happen next.

It took me a total of two days to read this book. Usually, I am a slow reader, and I also like to take my time and see if I’m getting the full grasp of what the book has to offer. I could not put this book down for the life of me. It had me hooked the whole way through, and I’m happy that I got to experience Portia’s life.

About the Author:
Matthew Quick (aka Q) is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including The Silver Linings Playbook, which was made into an Oscar-winning film, and The Good Luck Of Right Now. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has received a PEN/Hemingway Award Honorable Mention. Q lives with his wife, the novelist-pianist Alicia Bessette, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

My favorite thing about Matthew Quick is that he grew up right around the corner from me. All of his books take place in Philadelphia/South Jersey, and that area is where I was born and raised. The settings for his books are absolutely a bonus in my eyes.

Rating: ★★★★★