Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Almost Sisters - Book Review

The hardest thing about moving is leaving good friends behind. Fortunately, The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson arrived in my mailbox at the perfect time when I was the most lonely and missing my best friends.  There are a few authors whose books have become like my best friends. I can always count on them to deliver with humor, eccentric and lovable characters and plot lines that surprise and delight.  Joshilyn Jackson is one of those authors. With it's cheery, popsicle-bright cover, I couldn't wait to read The Almost Sisters and devoured it quickly. It didn't exactly help my insomnia but it did cheer me up.

Leia Birch is a famous graphic novel artist/author. She might not be mobbed by adoring fans at the grocery store but she is pretty popular at a comic book convention. Batman is thrilled to be sharing a few drinks with his favorite author and Leia is pretty thrilled to be spending the evening with Batman. A few more drinks and Batman ends up in her hotel room. It's completely out of character so  the next morning she tosses the card with his phone number in the trash.

Now, Leia is pregnant. But she doesn't have time to think about that. Her step-sister Rachel's marriage is in crisis and her grandma is sick. As her only living relative, Leia needs to head south to help her grandmother pack up the old house and prepare to move to an assisted-living facility. Her grandmother has been acting pretty weirdly and things are about the get more crazy in her hometown.

Filled with quirky characters, The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson did not disappoint. It was exactly what I have come to expect and love about her novels. While being sweet and humorous, Jackson also addresses some pretty serious topics. She makes even large problems approachable and shows that even one person can do just little things to make the world a better place.

I loved the surprise plot twists and how these characters interact with each other. Now I want to move next door and be neighbors and best friends with Leia and her grandma Birchie and Wattie and Rachel.

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson is published by William Morrow and released on July 11, 2017.

The Almost Sisters is also a SheReads.org summer selection.

**I received a complimentary copy of The Almost Sisters. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

Friday, July 7, 2017

Some Books I Really Liked

It's 100 degrees outside right now. Since the air conditioner has been broken for over a month, it's almost that hot inside the house. Between the heat and the list of things to do to get ready for Young Women Camp next week, my brain might literally be fried. At least it feels too fried to write meaningful reviews of each of these novels, though they legitimately deserve them. At the very least they definitely need a shout-out because I really liked them. A lot.

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall is a delightful novel about ten-year-old Willow Havens and her obstinate yet captivating mother Polly. Polly was recently widowed and in her fifties when Willow was born. Having an older mother who doesn't conform and is keeping secrets, Willow is constantly fearful that Polly will die. Willow is determined to uncover all these secrets before cancer can take her mother's life.

The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall is published by Pamela Dorman Books and released in March 2017.

Touch by Courtney Maum is a surprisingly good novel. Sloane Jacobsen has accepted a new job that will move her from Paris back to New York City and her family. She's a respected and powerful trend forecaster and the giant tech firm Mammoth has hired her for their ground-breaking conference that will celebrate those that are voluntarily childless. Sloane is perfect for the job. She is content with the life that she's created for herself--no kids, a partner obsessed with "neo-sensuality" and a focus on her career. Or is she?

Touch by Courtney Maum is published by Putnam is and released on May 30, 2017.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld is a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. It's a lot of fun. I listened to the audio book and enjoyed it immensely. Stifled is pretty loyal to the original but  her characters are definitely not in the 18th century.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld is published by Random House and released in April 2017.

I also listened to the audio Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See. My girls used to tease me about how many books I own by Lisa See. I definitely enjoy her novels so it wasn't a surprise that I also loved this one. Li-yan lives with her family in the remote village of Yunnan where they prize their tea leaves. An education offers Li-yan a chance to leave the ancient traditions of her Akha people.

Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See is published by Scribner and released in March 2017.

**I received complimentary copies of Touch and The Book of Polly. I purchased the audio books of Eligible and Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. No compensation was received.**