Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

imageWhen a woman and her husband, desperate for a baby, find themselves unable to conceive, they decide to take further steps. Since it is the husband who is infertile, the heroine decides to use a donor. And all seems to be well. Three months pass and she is happily pregnant. But a shocking revelation occurs when she discovers that a man arrested for a series of brutal murders is her donor – the biological father of the child she is carrying. Delving deeper to uncover the truth, the heroine must face her worst fears, and confront a terrifying truth.

The premise of this book is different. Christine. who has finally become pregnant through IVF using donor sperm, spots someone on TV who has very similar looks to the picture of their sperm donor. When she insists on finding out if it is their donor or not she opens up a huge can of worms and trouble in the process. her husband, Marcus, insists she gives up on trying to find out if the man who has been arrested is actually their donor, Christine enlists the help of her best friend to find out the truth but she has taken things too far.

I did find her determination to find out the truth to be all consuming to the point of near destruction a bit much, almost as much as Marcus is about not finding out. The twists and turns in the story are head spinning and leaves you guessing as to exactly who 3319 is and what id actually going on.
All in all it is implausible that Christine would go through all that she went through just to find out who 3319 is. Marcus, I really didn’t like him at all, was controlling and very emotionally stand offish due to the fact that he felt that he wasn’t the baby’s father.

I struggled with this one and am torn about how I feel about this story once I let it sit and digest a bit. At first I was going to give it a 4 star but the more I thought about it the more I felt like it was more of a 3 star book. A good read but not that realistic as to the lengths that were taken with the characters.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

3/5 stars

Crash

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Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

imageBritt-Marie can’t stand mess. She eats dinner at precisely the right time and starts her day at six in the morning because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But at sixty-three, Britt-Marie has had enough. She finally walks out on her loveless forty-year marriage and finds a job in the only place she can: Borg, a small, derelict town devastated by the financial crisis. For the fastidious Britt-Marie, this new world of noisy children, muddy floors, and a roommate who is a rat (literally), is a hard adjustment.

As for the citizens of Borg, with everything that they know crumbling around them, the only thing that they have left to hold onto is something Britt-Marie absolutely loathes: their love of soccer. When the village’s youth team becomes desperate for a coach, they set their sights on her. She’s the least likely candidate, but their need is obvious and there is no one else to do it.

 

Having recently read A Man Called Ove, I was excited to see this book on Netgalley.  I have to admit it took me longer to warm up to Britt-Marie than I did to Ove.  Britt-Marie is a slave to her lists, her rigid timetable, manners and she is OCD when it comes to cleaning.  She is the type of woman who goes unnoticed, she is social inept and doesn’t have a sense of humour.  She wants to be seen but is so afraid of what others may think as she struggles to find her place in life.  When she stumbles into Borg, trying to find a new life and to live outside her comfort zone she doesn’t know what she is getting into.

This story also revolves around soccer, a game she can’t stand.  When the local neighbourhood kids take it upon themselves to appoint her as their new coach she is at a loss at what to do besides laundering their jerseys.  She slowly integrates herself to the town and it’s people, she finds that while things don’t always go according to plan sometimes things just work out for the best.

I loved seeing Britt-Marie slowly emerge like a butterfly from its cocoon. Her transformation was painfully slow but no less wonderful to read.  She is like many women who live for taking care of the home and finds it impossible to figure out who she is outside of that environment.  Stuck in a rut and with no self esteem or worth without her husband by her side she struggles to find herself after only taking care of others for so long.

The kids in this story are amazingly written.  You get a glimpse into their lives and how much they impact on Britt-Marie, how they bring her out of her shell.  She becomes a better person because of them.

This was a wonderful book!  If you read A Man Called Ove you will love this book as well.  Don’t let this one pass you by.

ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5/5 Stars

Crash

Pre-Order: Amazon

Pre-Order: Amazon UK

 

The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White

image

From a distance, Felix Fitzwilliam, the son of an old English family, is a good husband and father. But, obsessed with order and routine, he’s a prisoner to perfection. Disengaged from the emotional life of his North Carolina family, Felix has let his wife, Ella, deal with their special-needs son by herself.

A talented jewelry designer turned full-time mother, Ella is the family rock…until her heart attack shatters their carefully structured existence. Now Harry, a gifted teen grappling with the chaos of Tourette’s, confronts a world outside his parents’ control, one that tests his desire for independence.

As Harry searches for his future, and Ella adapts to the limits of her failing health, Felix struggles with his past and present roles. To prevent the family from being ripped apart, they must each bend with the inevitability of change and reinforce the ties that bind.

It didn’t take me long to fall deeply into this book.  When we meet Ella she is on a plane going back home when she suffers a heart attack that leaves her very disabled.  Her mother died of a fatal heart attack when she was 47, the same age as Ella, who wonders if the same fate is in store for her.  She has been the sole caregiver to her son, Harry, who suffers from Tourette’s.  Felix is a hands off type of father who gladly relinquished the role to his wife, he never felt that he would be a good father with what he had to endure in his own childhood.

Felix has to step up and take care of not only Ella but Harry as well.  Harry and Felix don’t see eye to eye.  Felix can’t stand how uncontrolled Harry is, how sloppy he is and seemingly uncaring how his tics affect those around him.  As things get worse on the home front Felix realises that his control and routine has been thrown out the window and he can’t cope.  Can he and Harry get their act together and try to get to know each other better and can Felix relax the steel grip he has on everything around him before it’s too late?

The characters are so well written that you fall for them, quirks and all.  It was hard to see the change in roles that Felix and Ella had and how they had to adapt to keep Harry well balanced.  The change in the whole family dynamics was wonderfully written and the transformation in Felix was a joy to read.  He struggled with the things that defined him as a man and as a father, his English upbringing was a hindrance and it was something he had to slowly overcome.  His whole life had turned upside down and he had to discover how to be the father and husband he needed to be.

My husband is English and I could see some of the same characteristics between my husband and Felix.  The whole British ” stiff upper lip” and not showing how they feel is something I still struggle with even after all these years.

I fell in love with this book, so beautifully written that you fall into it.  I found myself blinking at the end of it and was a bit sad that it had ended.  One of the best books I have read this year so far!

 

5/5 stars

Crash

 

Buy: Amazon

Buy: B&N

Buy: Amazon UK

 

New & Upcoming Adult Coloring Books

I saw this coloring book over the weekend and it inspired me to look to see what’s new & coming up.

 Released last week. Amazon 

  Isn’t this Japanese edition gorgeous? Currently out of stock at Amazon.
  Out March 29, 2016. Amazon
 Out April 5, 2016. Amazon

  Out May 17, 2016. Amazon
   Out June 7, 2016. Amazon
  Out August 9, 2016. Amazon

  Out August 9, 2016. Amazon
Aren’t they all beautiful to collect & color? Which ones are you excited to have? 

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

imageAt the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

I read this book in a day, once I started I just could not put it down. It starts with Paul talking about being ill in the first chapter, he knows something isn’t right and thinks he knows what is happening. You see him looking over scans of himself and you know it’s bad news.

The second part is him talking about his life before and during medical school. There is just something about him that seems like he would make a fabulous doctor, something about him that makes him want to find out not only about life but death.

The third and last part of the book is about his cancer, how he copes, his dreams and thought about dying. He talks about what it is doing to his body, his career and his relationship with those around him. It’s a very clinical viewpoint, one that you would expect from a doctor. There is no screaming and writhing in pain, there is focused though and an almost clinical detachment about what he is going through. He wants to know how long he has so he can plan his time but as we all know, time can’t be measured when it comes to cancer. What did happen is that his illness made him become a better doctor. He and his wife decided to go ahead and have a child, to live each day knowing that each could be his last. He said as long as he was breathing he was alive and living…. that in itself has got to be a huge thing to achieve.

There is a lot of pain but also a lot of hope and the way he faced his own mortality was just incredible! I don’t think I would have been as brave as what he was in those final days. As I read the epilog written by his wife the tears streamed down my face. I haven’t read many books written by those who are on deaths door but this made an impact with me on how he dealt with his diagnosis and dealt with staring death in the face.

5/5 stars

Crash

Buy: Amazon

Buy: B&N

Buy:Amazon UK

 

March Books

Here’s a look of what we are reading and reviewing in March. 

CRASH:

Out March 1. Goodreads Info

  Out March 15. Goodreads

  Out March 15. Goodreads
  Out March 31. Amazon

VI:

  

 Out March 1. Goodreads

  Out (hahaha) March 8. Goodreads
  Out March 17. Goodreads
   
 Out March 7 & March 28 (2-part serial). Goodreads

Other Books of Interest:

  Out March 1. Goodreads

  Out March 8. Goodreads
  Out March 8. Goodreads 
 Out March 22. It’s a standalone.  Goodreads
  Out March 29. Goodreads

  Out March 29. Goodreads
Tell us what book(s) you are excited to read.