In My Mailbox (98)


In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.


for review:

"The Garden Intrigue" by Lauren Willig
 


So excited to read the newest by this author!

"The Wolf Who Loved Me" by Lydia Dare


 
One of my fave series and I LOVE the new style of cover for these books! This one is so beautiful!!

"Words Spoken True" by Ann H. Gabhart



I really enjoyed the book I read by her set in the Shaker community, and this one is set in Louisville, KY!


"Secrets of an Accidental Duchess" by Jennifer Haymore



It must be favorite authors week for In My Mailbox, because here's another of my favorite romance authors!




While you're here, why not enter the contest!?


Win "A Mile in His Shoes" DVD! Ends 1/31

"Where Wildflowers Bloom" Review

"Where Wildflowers Bloom"
by Ann Shorey

Publisher: Revell
Release Date: Dec 1, 2011
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  



The War Between the States stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg-- as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to the Oregon Territory to start a new life, away from the memories that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family's mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.When Royal Baxter suddenly returns to town, Faith allows herself to hope that her dreams might come true. Does he truly love her? Or could another man claim her heart? Will she find that following her dreams may not mean leaving home after all?
The characters in Where Wildflowers Bloom jump off the page and into the reader's heart. Author Ann Shorey infuses her characters with the virtues and quirks that bring them fully alive as they search for contentment and love.
My Review:

This was my first book by this author, and it definitely won't be my last! I loved this story, it's exactly what I'm looking for in historical fiction. The story was about the characters first and foremost. It dealt with each character's personal struggles and how they leaned on each other to make it through.

I loved all the characters. Even though Faith was sometimes a bit immature, it fit with her character and she grew a lot. Curt was so sweet and the author explored his history with the war in a very interesting way. Curt's supportive relationship with his sister Rosemary was great to read about. It's nice to see families working together. I loved Faith's grandpa, he had such great advice!


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: A fantastic story about characters reshaping the country after the Civil War as well as themselves.

"Available December 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

Ann Shorey and Revell Books' Mercantile Memories Giveaway!

Stop by http://www.annshorey.com/contest.html for more Giveaway Details!

In Where Wildflowers Bloom, Book 1 in author Ann Shorey’s brand new Sisters at Heart series, Faith Lindberg wants nothing more than to escape her small Missouri town, and the graveyard of painful memories left by the Civil War. She plans to sell her grandfather’s mercantile, and join a wagon train bound for Oregon. But her grandfather, and a handsome stable man have other plans!

To celebrate the story, author Ann Shorey and Revell Books are proud to announce the MERCANTILE MEMORIES giveaway, featuring three incredible prizes.

GRAND PRIZE:
Our Grand Prize winner will receive an heirloom chess set, handmade from 1830s chestnut & cherry wood, just like the one Judge Lindberg and Curt use in their chess battles.

SECOND PRIZE:
Our Second Prize winner will receive a deluxe, Missouri-shaped box of mercantile goods from the Missouri Mercantile company. The box features an assortment of items just like those stocked by Faith in Lindberg’s Mercantile.

THIRD PRIZE:
Our Third Prize winner will receive a Memoirs Gift Set. Write your memoirs just like Judge Lindberg does in the story! The set includes the bestselling Writing the Memoir book, and a $30 gift card to Blurb, to create and print your story.

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Free Kindle Ebook! Jan 25


Hi everyone! 

This book has been on my to read list for awhile, so I wanted to share that's it's now available for free for Kindle! Enjoy!

"Overprotected" by Jennifer Laurens



Is anyone else singing the Britney Spears song in their head now?

UPDATE: I'm pretty sure this one is over now, so double check before you download :)

Waiting on Wednesday (100)

Celebrating my 100th Waiting on Wednesday post!! That's a lot of waiting!!


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!


This week I chose:

"The Unnaturalists"
by Tiffany Trent
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: Aug 14, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two teens find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.

Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but as she gets older, the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.

As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.
Steampunk and magical creatures and a museum? How could I not want to read this! And the cover is awesome!


What are you waiting for this week???

"Fracture" Review

"Fracture"
by Megan Miranda

Publisher: Walker & Company
Release Date: Jan 17, 2012
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  


Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine

—despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

For fans of best-sellers like Before I Fall and If I Stay, this is a fascinating and heart-rending story about love and friendship and the fine line between life and death.

My Review:

This book is definitely an interesting and new concept. I hadn't read anything quite like it before. I was really caught up in the beginning and middle of the book, but the end started to let me down just a little. Still, I would recommend it to others just because it's so new and different from most other books.

The most interesting concept of the book, in my opinion, was when Delaney started to realize that the accident on the ice and her coma didn't just affect the rest of her life, it affected many other people that she loves as well. We saw the effect that it had on her mother and her best friend Decker who both dealt with not being able to save her, and not having that control no matter how hard they tried.

There was something that happened towards the end that was really terrifying and I could have done without that whole storyline. It seemed a little over the top for me, especially for YA. There were some issues that I didn't feel were really explained or tied up in the end, as well.

I liked that the love triangle included someone who Delaney admitted was really bad for her. A lot of times a girl likes a 'bad boy' but all of his bad traits are glossed over and the girl loves him anyway. Here we see her start to fall for a 'bad boy' but realizes that he really isn't a good person and chooses not to pursue him.

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: A new and different type of story, there are still some loose ends that need tying up, but worth a read just because it's so unique!

"The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories" Review

"The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1"
by HitRECord and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Publisher: It Books (Harper Collins)
Release Date: Dec 6, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  


HitRECord’s collaborative coalition of artists and writers are making history with The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume 1, a collection of innovative crowd-sourced creative projects that pushes the limits of originality, cooperation, imagination, and inspiration. HitRECord, a grassroots creative collective founded by actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, known worldwide for his performances in (500) Days of Summer and Inception, is a forum where thousands of artists worldwide share work and contribute to their peers’ projects in writing, music, videos, illustration, and beyond. Alongside Dean Haspiel’s ACT-I-VATE, a groundbreaking comics collective, and the photographer JR’s Inside Out Project, hitRECord is a haven for budding creatives. Now, the collective has edited together its most promising stories and illustrations to serve as its face in introducing the world to a new generation of talent, in The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories.

My Review:

This tiny little book is so original and refreshing. I gobbled it down in one sitting, and I simply adored all of the thought provoking tiny stories and beautiful, quirky illustrations.

The most interesting part about the tiny stories is that you can really make up the rest of the story yourself. They all definitely have a beginning, middle, and end, but the rest of the story is up for interpretation. It really makes every one's experience of reading the stories different.

It may not take long to read this one, but readers will likely want to keep this one on their shelves to read again and see how the stories might have changed.


Bottom Line: The perfect gift book for the reader who thinks they have read everything!

Below you can see a few examples of the tiny stories in the book. Click to enlarge them, it's worth it!





Check out this video made by Joseph Gordon-Levitt about the book:



"Liar's Moon" Review

"Liar's Moon"
by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine/ Scholastic
Release Date: Nov 1, 2011 
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  


Prisons, poisons, and passions combine in a gorgeously written fantasy noir.

As a pickpocket, Digger expects to spend a night in jail every now and then. But she doesn't expect to find Lord Durrel Decath there as well--or to hear he's soon to be executed for killing his wife.

Durrel once saved Digger's life, and when she goes free, she decides to use her skills as a thief, forger, and spy to return the favor. But each new clue only opens up new mysteries. Durrel's late wife had an illegal business on the wrong side of the civil war raging just outside the city gates. Digger keeps finding forbidden magic in places it has no reason to be.

And for a thief in a town full of liars, sometimes it doesn't pay to know the truth.

My Review:

I loved the first book in this series, "Starcrossed", and I anxiously awaited the sequel all year. Maybe my anticipation was too great, but this book disappointed me a little. That special 'it' factor was missing from this one that was in the first book. There were still aspects that I loved about it, but it just wasn't as spectacular as the first book.

Of course, one of the things that I loved about the first book is still apparent in the sequel. Digger is such a fantastic female lead. I love how the traditional gender roles are reversed in this story. The boy, Durrel, is essentially the damsel in distress here, and Digger is the hero who must save him. Durrel is wrongfully serving time in jail, and it's up to Digger to use her wit and her skills to help him escape. The only thing I didn't really buy about this story was the romance between Digger and Durrel. It just wasn't believable for me.

There is a huge cliffhanger at the end of this book, so even if I was a bit disappointed in this installment of the series, I think the third book has the potential to be amazing! I will definitely read it as soon as it is released!


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: The first book was so over the top amazing, that I couldn't help but be let down a bit by the sequel. The story is still great, and I will definitely be reading the next book to see what happens next.

In My Mailbox (97)


In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren, and is a way for everyone to show their new books for the week, including those bought, swapped, won, or received for review.

This is my first IMM for 2012, so there's more than usual!

contest wins:

"Kiss of Frost" by Jennifer Estep
 
   
won from Anna at Books to Brighten your Mood and Jennifer Estep!

"Crusade" by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
 

"Matched" by Allie Condie



"Crossed" by Allie Condie



"Passion" by Lauren Kate


These four books (and more) I won from Anna at Anna's Book Blog!

 for review:

"Cinder" by Marissa Mayer


I'm so excited to receive this one for review! Looks so unique!

"The Three Colonels" by Jack Caldwell


I try to limit the Jane Austen variations, but I loved this author's first book, Pemberley Ranch!

"Last Man Standing" by Cindy Gerard



"Where Wildflowers Bloom" by Anne Shorey


I've heard a lot about this author, and can't wait to try one of her books.

What did you receive in your mailbox this week???



While you're here, why not enter the contest!?


Win "A Mile in His Shoes" DVD! Ends 1/31

Pinterest, Anyone?


Pinterest, Anyone?  

 Has anyone else joined Pinterest yet? 

I've just received my invite and it's lots of fun so far!



image from The Graphics Fairy


I'd love to follow you if you have an account too! Please leave your link in the comments and I'll start following you :) Also, if anyone has any tips they'd like to share with a newbie, I'd love to hear them!


Follow Me on Pinterest

"First Date" Review

"First Date"
by Krista McGee


Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: Jan 10, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  



The orphaned daughter of missionaries, Addy is quite content to stay in the shadows and never draw attention to herself. But when she's selected for a reality TV show to try to become the President son's prom date-a show she didn't audition for-she's suddenly in America's spotlight.
The lights, the make-up, the competitions, and the blogs discussing every move she makes all make Addy incredibly uncomfortable. But through her time at The Mansion, Addy comes to realize that first impressions aren't always right, that hiding out may not be what God had planned for her life, and that her faith should affect everything she does. It may just be that her selection wasn't random at all and that she's on this show "for such a time as this."
My Review:

I had high hopes for this cute cover, and thought it would be a light, fun read. But it wasn't as relaxing as I had hoped. The message in this book was a bit too heavy handed for my tastes. The story sounded like it had potential, but I couldn't get into it, and it seemed over the top for me.

Addy's best friend on the reality show, Kara, was probably my favorite character. She was spunky and was a lot of fun to read about. It intrigues me that the author's next book features Kara as the main character.

It was fun to read about the world of 'scripted reality' tv, which we all know isn't so much about reality. But sometimes it just went way over the top for me. Hank, for one, was just so mean!


Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: This one was a little over the top for me. While there are some great nuggets of wisdom here, I'd recommend it to those who want a very heavy Christian message in their reads.

DVD Review and Giveaway! "A Mile in His Shoes"

"A Mile in His Shoes"
DVD Review


Release Date: Jan 10, 2012
Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


My Review:

This sweet, family-friendly movie will appeal to fans of baseball and sports movies everywhere. But it's not just a baseball movie, it's a story about a boy overcoming life's obstacles and learning to believe in himself.

The movie is based on the story of Mickey Tussler, who played minor league baseball in spite of those who thought he couldn't do it due to Asperger's Syndrome. Murph, coach of the River Rats, has to do something to get his losing team back on track. Little does he know he will find a star pitcher on an obscure farm in Indiana throwing apples into a pig trough. Murph soon finds out that Mickey will help him with much more than just winning baseball games. The story that follows also shows the relationships and struggles that Mickey has with his parents, and with his new friends on the baseball team.

The movie was directed by William Dear, director of "Angels in the Outfield", so of course, it's a can't-miss for fans of baseball movies! Originally a made for tv movie, the strong directing and spot on acting by Dean Cain and Luke Schroder as the two leads make this film a much higher quality than your usual cable tv fare. Sure, some might see a few holes here or there due to budget, but most people would never notice because the story and acting are so engaging.

There are references to faith and church, but please don't let that make you think the movie is preachy, because it's a more subtle message here. It's a movie you can feel safe giving to your kids (or someone else's kids) to watch (and they will probably want to watch it over and over).


Bottom Line: A must see for baseball fans, but this story is much more than a sports movie, it's a great story about believing in yourself.


 






GIVEAWAY RULES:

Propeller has generously provided a DVD copy of "A Mile in His Shoes" for one lucky reader of my blog!

All you have to do is follow my blog publicly and leave a comment on this post with your email address! Please follow publicly or I can't tell that you are following :) Also, if you aren't comfortable leaving your email here, go ahead and leave a comment and then send me an email with your email addy


Extra Entries:
+1 Tweet this contest (leave link in comment)
+1 Post link in sidebar of your blog (leave link in comment)



Rules:
  • US only
  • Must be a follower to enter
  • Extra entries are optional and can all be left in the same comment
  • Leave a comment with your email address
  • DVD will be mailed out by the publicist, In the Hammock is not responsible for lost or missing DVDs, or the amount of time taken to ship the DVD
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Tues Jan 31
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Waiting on Wednesday (99)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!


This week I chose:

"The Selection"
by Kiera Cass
HarperTeen
Release Date: April 24, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .

The Thorn and the Blossom
 is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.
I'm really curious about this one. Definitely has a different kind of concept. And a gorgeous cover!

What are you waiting for this week???

"The Keeper" Review

"The Keeper"
by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publisher: Revell
Release Date: Jan 1, 2012
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  



Julia Lapp has planned on marrying Paul Fisher since she was a girl. Now twenty-one, she looks forward to their wedding with giddy anticipation. When Paul tells her he wants to postpone the wedding—again—she knows who is to blame. Perpetual bachelor and spreader of cold feet, Roman Troyer, the Bee Man.
Roamin' Roman travels through the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania with his hives full of bees, renting them out to farmers in need of pollinators. He relishes his nomadic life, which keeps him from thinking about all he has lost. He especially enjoys bringing his bees to Stoney Ridge each year. But with Julia on a mission to punish him for inspiring Paul's cold feet, the Lapp farm is looking decidedly less pleasant.
Can Julia secure the future she's always dreamed of? Or does God have something else in mind?
Full of the plot twists and surprises her fans love, The Keeper is the first in a new series by bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher. Through touching family relationships and trials of the heart, Fisher's vivid characters grapple with yielding to God's will when it doesn't match their own.
My Review:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is one of the best writers of Amish fiction today and this is the start to another great series. Her Amish community is a kinder, gentler type of setting but her writing shows us that members of the Amish community are just like the rest of us. Her characters are never perfect or condescending in their faith or how they treat others. They make mistakes just like everyone else.

Julia is the lead in this installment, but the story is just as much about Rome (the beekeeper), and Julia's family, including her sisters and father. And we can't forget the mysterious Fern, the housekeeper. All of the characters are so sweetly flawed, and thus, so real.

The characters do talk about faith, but never does it become overwhelming to the rest of the story. The story is more about how to live a good life than about rigid rules.


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line: I can't wait to read the rest of this new series from one of my favorite authors of Amish fiction. Her books would be a great introduction to the Amish fiction genre.

"Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group"

It’s a “Honey of a Giveaway” from Suzanne Woods Fisher!  

Suzanne is hosting a "honey of a giveaway"during the blog tour for The Keeper! During 1/3-1/17 you can enter to win an iPad2 from Suzanne and connect with her on January 17th at The Keeper Facebook Party!


During the giveaway one Grand Prize winner will receive a Prize Pack valued at $600:
  • A brand new 16 KB iPad 2 with Wi-Fi
  • A $25 gift certificate to iTunes
  • A copy of The Keeper
But wait there's more! Just click one of the icons below to enter, then on 1/17 join Suzanne for The Keeper Facebook Party! During the party Suzanne will announce the winner of the "Honey" of an iPad Giveaway and host a fun book chat and give away some fun "honey" inspired prizes - It'll be 'sweet"!

RSVP early and tell your friends!
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter

"The Pleasure of Your Kiss" Review

"The Pleasure of Your Kiss"
by Teresa Medeiros


Publisher: Pocket
Release Date: Dec 27, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  


Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fiancée from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.

The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.
My Review:

From the summary, I wasn't sure I would like the setting and plot of a sultan's harem, but I really enjoyed this book as soon as I started reading. This is a true romantic fantasy book because all of the negatives of the harem are really glossed over and it focuses on the good aspects, so you can really be swept away.

The lead characters were very nice but I really loved the supporting characters of Poppy and Farouk. They were so complex, much more than meets the eye, and it was fun unraveling the different aspects of their personalities. My question is, why can't these different types of multifaceted, flawed characters ever be the leads?

I love the type of plot where the heroine and hero are childhood sweethearts and then they are reunited. It always warms my heart. So much history is added to the story that it's so easy to believe in their love story.

Some parts of the harem tale were over the top but I suppose it all tied into the full on fantasy of the novel. If anything, these aspects were a little much for me and otherwise, this book would have received 5 stars for me.

This was my first book by Medeiros, but her fast paced and easy to read style have won me over. It definitely won't be my last book by this author.


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5



Bottom Line: A fun, fast-paced historical romanctic fantasy.

Waiting on Wednesday (98)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!


This week I chose:

"The Thorn and the Blossom: A Two-Sided Love Story"
by Theodora Goss
Quirk Books
Release Date: Jan 17, 2012

The following description is from goodreads.com:

One enchanting romance. Two lovers keeping secrets. And a uniquely crafted book that binds their stories forever.

When Evelyn Morgan walked into the village bookstore, she didn’t know she would meet the love of her life. When Brendan Thorne handed her a medieval romance, he didn’t know it would change the course of his future. It was almost as if they were the cursed lovers in the old book itself . . .

The Thorn and the Blossom
 is a remarkable literary artifact: You can open the book in either direction to decide whether you’ll first read Brendan’s, or Evelyn’s account of the mysterious love affair. Choose a side, read it like a regular novel—and when you get to the end, you’ll find yourself at a whole new beginning.
This sounds so fun and innovative! And there's not long to wait!

What are you waiting for this week???

"The Best of Me" Review

"The Best of Me"
by Nicholas Sparks


Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: Oct 11, 2011 
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:  


THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past.
My Review:

I'm not really sure that Nicholas Sparks' books are for me. I always think that the movies turn out better than the books, which is a rare feat. This one, for me, was melancholy from the very beginning, there wasn't much hope to be found. Dawson's life was so very sad from beginning to end, the only bright spots seemed to be the father figure he found in Tuck and his brief romance with Amanda. I genuinely felt sorry for him, but I had a hard time sympathizing with Amanda at all.

I'm never a fan of the cheating storyline, I feel like no one wins, and I really wasn't a fan of it here. If Amanda wanted to be with Dawson so badly, why didn't she go back to him instead of marrying Frank in the first place. Again, I found it hard to find much sympathy for her.

There were auxiliary characters' points of view throughout the novel, and I didn't really get much out of their chapters. Yes, they were all tied together at the end, but I just didn't feel like they added enough to the novel to enjoy wading through their stories. I would have preferred to see things from Frank and Amanda's points of view, with Tuck's story tying them together.


Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 2/5

Setting: 3/5

Romance: 2/5

Uniqueness: 2/5
Cover: 3/5
Writing: 3/5



Bottom Line: Overall, a very melancholy read with a very predictable Sparks style ending.

Free Ebooks for Kindle and Nook! Jan 3


Happy New Year!


Here are some new free ebooks available now for Kindle and Nook. Enjoy!


"Jenna's Cowboy" by Sharon Gillenwater
 


"Talk of the Town" by Lisa Wingate



"Paradise Valley" by Dale Cramer


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