The Opposite of Loneliness- A Book Reivew

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and StoriesThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was hauntingly beautiful and strange to read.

Mariana Keegan was a literary student at Yale with a keen sense of life at a very young age. Mariana died in a car accident and this book shows what an awful loss it was for the whole world.

The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of Mariana’s fiction and non-fiction stories. It is a touching tribute to a beautiful writer.

I found the stories to be engaging and terrific. I especially loved the fiction ones. You could tell that Mariana used a lot of her real life interactions to create these lovable characters in such a short period of time. I would have loved to read a full book of these characters that she created.

The non-fiction ones were a bit harder for me to connect with, but there were real and honest and very touching.

I also think that the family and friends that created this book did an outstanding job of creating this theme for a book from writings of a creative young girl who never meant to create such a theme. Its so interesting that her writings can all tie into this greater understanding of human nature and what its like to be lonely and also what its like to be the opposite of lonely.

I commend this family and friends for creating this art, because I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to create such a personal experience for everyone to read.

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel review- it was like all the characters were just supporting characters, supporting this mind blowing story which was the real main character.

This book was mind expanding and frustrating all at the same time. The thought process of creating this before and after world was amazing, while the characters and their progress were a bit slow. Overall a great book but I found it hard to connect because of the characters.

I just tried to type a synopsis of this book and erased it three times in a row….

So I decided to take an excerpt directly from the book description (cheating I know but the book is just too complex to explain)

“Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all.”

You can read the whole synopsis by clicking on the quote.

This book was intense and vivid. It depicted this terrifying world where everything was gone and we were all reduced to savages. It took everything we are used to and ruined it, changed it, and made us look like selfish pigs in a digital world where everything is handed to us on a silver platter. This book made me seriously look at the way I live my life, the things I take for granted every day. It was terrifying to think about how easily this pandemic could happen, how easily it did happen in this book. One character was haunted by the last cell phone conversation he had; not to his wife, but to his boss about a meeting the next day and an email that he would “shoot over” to the client. How simple that action seemed to be and how it was the last thing he was thinking about in the old world.

So, it seems like I loved the book right? I did. The plot and the intensity of the situation that the characters were in made this a delightful read. The problem, for me, was the characters. I think it depends on the type of reader you are. I find that I connect best with the book when I can connect with the characters and this book didn’t give you that. The story was outstanding and the characters were not meant to steal the show. They were there so that you had that emotional connection to the story. But that was a problem for me, I wanted to feel the horror that they were experiencing.

I wanted to feel more for the characters and I just couldn’t. It didn’t ruin the book for me though, because the story was so good that it stood up on its own, it was like all the characters were just supporting characters, supporting this mind blowing story which was the real main character.

I would love to hear what you thought about the book!! How did you like the ending? Did you feel the same for the characters?

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler- A fitting title for a charming book

If I could have given a half star review, this would be a 3.5 rating

This book stumped me. It’s not a bad book; in fact I rather enjoyed the storyline and the quirky characters. The title is fitting, yet at the end I felt like I was left holding the spool but there was still some blue thread on it. Maybe that is how Anne Tyler wanted it though, it leaves you to decide what you think will be the ending. It leaves it up to you to picture how the story unfolds after we turn the last page.

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Pure Genius on Paper- All the Light we Cannot See- Anthony Doerr

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Outstanding. This book was a mesmerizingly beautiful experience with eloquent characters and a hauntingly beautiful premise. Antony Doerr created an outstanding story that depicted World War II in a whole new light. Using children as his characters created a new layer of the story that made this book stand out.

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An inspiring tale: The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

This was an enlightening book filled with wonderful stories and beautifully written sentences. Wingate painted a perfect picture of the Outer Banks.prayer box

 

“Other people’s judgment doesn’t have any power unless you offer yourself up for trial, so don’t.”

― Lisa Wingate, The Prayer Box

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Another brilliant chilling novel: Faithful Place by Tana French

Another stunning book by Tana French. Her words and characters are so riveting and deep that you find yourself thinking about them even while you are not reading the book.

Tana French

Frank Mackey comes from a roughed up Irish town called Faithful Place where tough soled kids run amok in the road and go home to even tougher souled parents. (Spellings intended) Frank’s whole life is ripped apart when his high school sweetheart doesn’t meet him the night they are to run off together. Frank leaves town and doesn’t return until he is called back after 22 years to an old suitcase, a body, and a whole town full of memories. Can Frank and the Dublin Murder Squad find out who killed Rosie before the town and the memories strangle Frank?

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My rambling thoughts on Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue

Who can even resist a book with three adorable lab puppies looking out at you? Well, my daughter certainly couldn’t (she is only 2 after all) so I picked up this book at the last minute at the library and I am very glad that I did. A really sweet, wonderful read!!! (click on the book to go to Amazon to buy it today!)

Dog Crazy Continue reading

Long Paw of the Law by Laurie Anne Marie, an outstanding new author!

“Long Paw of the Law” is a really great first book in a series and I look forward to the rest. Laurie Anne Marie did a great job of creating this twisting and turning story with a quirky plot line and out of the mold characters.
Amazon The Long arm of the Law Continue reading

Its your lucky day!! Three for the price of…….

Did I trick ya with my title?! Did you think you were going to be getting three Rolexes for the price of one? Or three trips for the price of one? Or three rolls of toilet paper for the price of one? Well then……

It’s your lucky day! You get three book reviews for the price of nothing!! I have been a reading machine lately and have been trying to keep up on my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads since I read the reviews of others so much, I decided that I should share my opinions as well. I read three books in three days and I combined my reviews into one post for you! Two are in a series written by G.K. Parks; The Warhol Incident and Mimicry of Banshees. The third was a Meg Cabot book called The Boy Next Door. Below is a picture of the cover of all three! Let me know what you think of the books as well as of my review of them. I was not thorough because although these books were good, they were fun easy reads and I didn’t want to delve too deep 🙂

PS All the pictures are links to Amazon so you can buy these wonderful books too! Make sure you let me know if you are going to get them!

The Warhol Incident by G.K. Parksparks, GK Warhol

This book was great. I got it free from Amazon and it turned into a really great read! The characters were engaging and the plot line was enticing. The book is about an ex-federal agent Alexis Parker and her life now that she isn’t an agent. She gets mixed up in a sadistic murderers plan when she is enlisted to escort a painting from France. Her love interest, who also happens to be the CEO of the company she is consulting on securities with is also ever present. The book is long; I will say that but every page has a new twist with an engaging plotline. There are awesome scenes filled with terror and suspense and I was literally trembling at the thought of Alex’s fate. It helps that there is this forbidden romance that courses through the book and adds to the suspense of the book. G.K. Parks does a great job of making the characters likeable and not going over the top with the plot lines. There is a lot going on in the book but I find when a book has too many lines running all at the same time that I lose interest quickly. That was not the case with this book. Parks writes the suspense scenes wonderfully, with just the right amount of detail that you can picture the horrific scenes perfectly. For a free book on Amazon, I have to say this one rates on my top twenty! I would definitely recommend and of course, since it’s a series I have already bought the second book and can’t wait to crack it open!!

Mimicry of Banshees by G.K. Parkerparks, GK Mimicry

I was less intrigued with this book than with the other book I read by this author. It was along the same lines as The Warhol Incident which was #2 in the series; this book still painted a good picture and had me caught up in all of Alex’s drama. It was just lacking that umph that I needed.

Martin, Alex’s boss/complicated romance, is found on his yacht with a murdered model. Alex works to help find the killer while keeping Martin out of trouble. She fights going back to work in the public sector law enforcement but somehow keeps getting dragged in. Will she find the killer before they turn back to Martin as the lead suspect? Will they somehow make this makeshift relationship work?

The last question was all that I ended up caring about. I found that the girl that was murdered was not a real character in the book, which made it hard for me to want revenge on her killer. I found the middle parts of the book to be boring and in fact skipped over them. There was little need for most of the conversations, nothing important to the story line happened during those pages which made me lose a bit of interest. The author did a good job of keeping the same characters in the novels, which helped the storyline because you didn’t really have to get to know them again. He also continued the battle that Alex was having with herself over staying a cop or not which was a nice line to think about, however got dull during this book. There was some potential in the undercover stint that Alex has to do but it ended up kind of falling flat.

I still was pulling for the romance between Martin and Alex and liked the suspense that G.K. Parks built in regards to their relationship, it gave me that nice fluttery feeling when they saw each other and that frustrated feeling when they were off again. However when the book got boring in the middle so did Alex and Martin’s relationship.

Perhaps I was too pumped up for this book, or had read 4 books in 48 hours (IK, I don’t know what got into me) but I wished more for this book after the last one hooked me so well. I read the other comments that people wrote and perhaps it was just my personal preference after so much love for the Warhol Incident. I hope that my comments do not dissuade any of you from trying this book because the author did a great job on the other ones; this one just wasn’t so much for me!

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot cabot, meg

This book was good. It wasn’t really great but it kept me up until almost 11 o’clock last night finishing it so it had to be pretty good right! The book is about a girl, Mel whose next door neighbor gets attacked and how she meets this boy, Max/John who ends up being perfect for her but he has a secret that he is hiding from Mel. Meg Cabot does a great job of building up the story without any real dialogue while the events are happening. Sorry, let me explain- As you can read from the previous comments, it’s entirely written in email format. Everything that happens is told to another person via an email which is hilarious and irksome at the same time. while nice to read differently for a change, and it’s cute and funny that you get the picture from all these different eyes, it also made me less vested in the characters. I found that the ranting and raving from the other points of view were not really what I wanted to read and just skipped them. I was interested in the romance and what was going to happen and found that it was hard to really “care” what the other characters thought or did. There were other plot lines that cursed through the book, new love, a new marriage, a pesky boss, and nosy co-workers but I didn’t really care too much about them. Maybe it was because there was no explaining them, so there was no real way for me to picture them? I am not sure. But I don’t want to bash the book, because as I said, it still kept me up reading until the very end! It was fun to try a new book with a different writing style and while I am not sad that I read it, I am not thrilled that I read it either.

Thanks for reading!!

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Premiere, A Love Story Book Review

That moment when a book pulls you in is….pure bliss. It’s that feeling of anticipation that feeling that you want it to be over RIGHT NOW and yet at the same time it can’t possibly end because then it will, well, be over!  “Premiere: A Love Story” was recently that book for me. It may be considered “Chick Lit” and may not be the deepest, most thought provoking novel I have read it still was a captivating story with great, likable characters that had me rooting for them until the very end.

premiere

I recently started getting ARC ebooks from Netgalley and just read “Premiere: A Love Story” By Tracy Ewens. It is a brilliantly written love story that somehow manages to set itself apart from the millions of other love stories.

The main character is a girl, Samantha, who grew up and now lives in the same small town in California. She works in a little theater and is happy with her just “fine” life. Then her past, in the form of Peter, comes back to her and she is forced to relive all the good and bad memories that come with it. The way that the author explains the passion and connection between Samantha, her complicated best friend Peter, is outstanding. There is hate and anger and love and friendship coursing throughout the whole book and it keeps you entertained until the very end. The characters develop easily and as the plot unfolds it is enjoyable to root for the couple to make it. There is some great comic relief by the third musketeer in Grady which helps to balance all the love and hate that is getting thrown around. There is a nice diversity to the book in that Sam and Peter already have a history. It lends nicely to a great time-filler while we all wait not so patiently for the climax. Ewens did a wonderful job of building up all this tension and passion and just as much as Peter and Sam couldn’t contain it any longer, neither could the reader. She also does a great job of creating a deeper book than just another romance novel. She deals with deep seeded issues of coming to age and finding one’s self amid loss and hormones.

Perhaps I took a particular liking to it because the main character is a home-grown tomboy like I was, but I think that even if you weren’t raised in a small town, the likability of the characters and the passion of the story will hook you instantly.  I like when you don’t have to wait for a book to develop. In this book there is tension and passion straight from the beginning. In every page, even when the two main characters aren’t the focus you can still feel them there and every page keeps you reading.  I also like this book because although the love scenes are passionate, they are not raunchy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Fifty Shades but it’s nice to get that warm fuzzy feeling in your stomach and to use your own imagination to picture how the whole “event” plays out. And then there is that ending where, just when you thought you had it figured out, the author catches ya with a curveball that has you even more captivated then before. I love the climax after the climax and that is just what this book had!

I have recently rekindled a lost love for reading and love to share my thoughts with others. I would love to start conversations about books you have read and would also love to give feedback if you have a book you would like me to read! Nothing like curling up with a good book, some tea or wine, a comfy blanket and just getting lost in someone’s make believe reality! I would love to hear what everyone else has to say about this book Premiere! Anyone who has read it and agrees? Anyone dislike it? I didn’t hear much about this book and didn’t see it on a lot of lists and am curious as to why. It is a really great read and recommend it to all!

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