Thursday, September 22, 2016

Esperanza Rising

Synopsis (from Amazon): A reissue of Pam Munoz Ryan's bestselling backlist with a distinctive new author treatment.

Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I had to read Esperanza Rising for school, but I had purchased the book months before without knowing it would be assigned reading.  I really enjoyed Esperanza Rising and was so glad my class read it and we were able to discuss it in great detail.  Esperanza had a beautiful life in Mexico until her father died.  As she escapes to California she is faced with the reality of how hard life can be and she "rises" to every challenge.  She truly loves her family and will do anything to help them and keep them safe.  

Favorite Character(s):  Esperanza, since she is so brave and strong.

PAM Muñoz Ryan is the author of more that thirty books for young readers, including four beloved novels, Riding Freedom, Esperanza Rising, Becoming Naomi León, and Paint the Wind, which collectively have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpré Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. She lives in Southern California with her family. You can visit her at

Amazon |  Audible

Thank you for reading my review


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If I Stay

Synopsis (from Amazon): The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She WentJust One Day, and Just One Year.
Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I have not seen the movie....I always go to the book first!  I can't wait to see the movie since If I Stay was an amazing story.  I loved how we got to learn about Mia and her family/friends while she is laying in the hospital struggling for her life.  I know a lot teens have read the book, and I think it is a great book for them to read.  My son and I listened to it on our way to hockey tournament.  I was so surprised he didn't put his headphones on to tune out the audio.  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I must read Where She Went, book 2.  I would also like to read

Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Elle in the US. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Whatever After Series - Fairest of All, If the Shoe Fits, Sinks or Swim, Dream On, Bad Hair Day, Cold As Ice, and Beauty Queen

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Fairest of All: Mirror, mirror, on the basement wall . . .
Once upon a time a mirror slurped up me and my brother, and magically transported us inside Snow White's fairy tale.  Then we stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn't die, she won't get to meet her prince or get her happy ending. Oops.  Now it's up to us to fix Snow White's story. And then, fingers crossed, find our way home.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: My daughters and I have read and listened to the first seven of the books in this series and LOVE them all.  Whenever we had a trip planned we would download the next in the series.  It made the trip much more enjoyable!  Sarah Mlynowski is one of my favorite authors.  I love her adult, young adult and kids books.  

The Whatever After Series is about Abby and her brother Jonah.  They have a secret mirror in their basement and it takes them on journeys through fairytales.  It is absolutely hilarious.  Abby and Jonah couldn't be more funny.

Favorite Character(s):  Abby and Jonah just make the series.  They are too funny together and the characters work perfect together in the series.

Fast read/slow read:  So fast, even for us slower readers!

Cover:  LOVE them all - so perfect and scream Sarah + fairytale.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I have read just about everything written by Sarah, however, I just realized there is another series I wasn't aware existed, The Upside Down Magic.

Sarah is the author of both the WHATEVER AFTER and MAGIC IN MANHATTAN series, as well as DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT (March 2014), MILKRUN, FISHBOWL, AS SEEN ON TV, MONKEY BUSINESS, GIMME A CALL, TEN THINGS WE DID (AND PROBABLY SHOULDN'T HAVE) and HOW TO BE BAD (along with E.Lockhart and Lauren Myracle). Sarah's short stories and novellas include A LITTLE BIT BROKEN, A NICE FLING IS HARD TO FIND, KNOW IT ALL and CRUISIN'. Sarah also co-edited the bestselling chick-lit collections GIRLS' NIGHT IN and GIRLS' NIGHT OUT and co-wrote the first ever guide to writing chick lit, SEE JANE WRITE. 

Sarah's books have been translated into twenty-one languages and optioned to Hollywood. She was born in Montreal but now lives and writes in New York City.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Knockoff

Synopsis (from Amazon):  When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age. 

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  A great chick-lit book.  Filled with generation gaps at work humor.  In the end the "more experienced" out wits, and out plays the "less experienced!!"  I thought it was great read filled with really life humor!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes, I loved it.

Lucy Sykes has worked in the fashion world as a stylist, fashion editor, and fashion director. For six years Lucy was the fashion director at Marie Claire magazine, and was most recently fashion director for Rent the Runway. Her own children’s clothing line, Lucy Sykes New York, was sold in more than a hundred department stores worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Nordstrom. Together with her twin sister Plum, Lucy moved from London to New York City in 1997, where she now lives with her husband and two children.
Jo Piazza is an award-winning journalist and editor. She has written for The Wall Street JournalElleGlamourThe New York TimesNew York magazine, Marie Claire and Redbook.

 She is the author of Celebrity, Inc.: How Famous People Make Money and a novel, Love Rehab: A Novel in 12 Steps and If Nuns Ruled the World: Ten Sisters on a Mission. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and giant dog.


Friday, September 9, 2016

First Star I See Tonight

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.
Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.
Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. “The fact is . . . I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just . . . mildly unhinged.”
Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants of fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.
And then there’s Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.
From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Chic lit plus sports is one of my favorite genre.  I enjoyed the First Star I See Tonight and the characters.  There were some surprises tossed in to keep the interesting and moving forward. 

What Others Are Saying:  Check out what others are saying on the TLC Book Tour
Wednesday, August 24th: Books and BindingsMonday, August 29th: From the TBR PileWednesday, August 31st: Staircase WitThursday, September 1st: A Soccer Mom’s Book BlogTuesday, September 6th: As I turn the pagesWednesday, September 7th: Leigh KramerThursday, September 8th: Queen of All She ReadsFriday, September 9th: Seaside Book Nook

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: 

usan Elizabeth Phillips soared onto the New York Timesbestseller list with Dream a Little Dream. She’s the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Favorite Book of the Year Award. A resident of the Chicago suburbs, she is also a hiker, gardener, reader, wife, and mother of two grown sons.
Visit Susan at her website,, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Window Opens

Synopsis (from Amazon):  What happens when having it all proves too much to handle? In this “fresh, funny take on the age-old struggle to have it all” (People) a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny—only to learn every opportunity comes at a price.

“A winning, heartfelt debut” (Good Housekeeping), A Window Opens introduces Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a (mostly) happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker, or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up, and her work takes an unexpected turn. In the midst of her second coming of age, Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all but, what does she really want the most?

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I enjoyed A Window Opens and how Alice turned out to be so strong. Not only does she hold her family together, but does the right thing at work too.  She is the queen of the 'balancing act!"

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, I would.

Elisabeth Egan is the books editor at Glamour. Her essays and book reviews have appeared in Self, Glamour, O, The Oprah MagazinePeople, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, the Huffington Post, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times Book ReviewThe Washington Post, the Chicago Sun-Times and The Newark Star-Ledger. She lives in New Jersey with her family.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Man Called Ove

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Loved it....What I thought was a book about a grumpy old man, turned out to be a book about a man I ended up loving.  Through out the story we learn more about Ove and what makes him tick.  Just loved it!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes...can't wait to read Britt-Marie Was Here and My Grandmother Said to Tell You She's Sorry.

Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children. Visit him online at his blog:, on twitter @backmanland, or on instagram @backmansk.