September 2, 2014

Accidents of Marriage

"Love isn't an excuse for anything but treating someone well." ~ pg. 139

How do you know when a marriage is too broken to fix? Maddy fell in love with Ben years ago. Now she is struggling to balance her career and raise three children while keeping her marriage in tact. The smallest thing can make Ben lash out in rage. For the sake of their children, she walks around on eggshells to keep peace in the home. Until one day, Ben's temper causes a car accident leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

"Each morning she spun the wheel on the Ben chart, hoping the arrow would hit happy husband, or at least neutral guy." ~ pg. 13

Accidents of Marriage is told from the point of view of Maddy, Ben and their 14-year-old daughter Emma. I normally do not care for novels told from multiple points of view but it was necessary in this book to show how emotional abuse, traumatic injury and recovery affects an entire family. The novel has three sections: Before, Asleep, and After.

Although I got a sense of Maddy's fearful yet strong character from the first paragraph, it took a few chapters for me to get into the story. When I finally did, I steadily read to see how the accident and its effect unfolded. Randy Susan Meyers' writing is descriptive and detailed. Not many people discuss the darker side of marriage. Rage is real. Thanks to author Randy Susan Meyers for raising domestic abuse awareness in fiction form.

Accidents of Marriage releases today! Add this book to your reading lists. In fact, recommend it to others. If my review is not convincing enough, watch the book trailer below.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: Accidents of Marriage
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Published: September 2014
Pages: 310
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥

September 1, 2014

2014 Bookish Challenges Update

2014 Reading Challenge
My goal is to read 70 books in 2014. I have read 62 books so far (89% to goal). You can continue to monitor my progress by the tracker in the lower right column of this blog.
My goal is to read 17,000+ pages in 2014. I have reached this goal and read 18,133 pages so far.

My Little Pocketbooks
My goal is to read 7-12 books by or about a person of color in 2014. I have reached this goal and read 18 books by or about a person of color.

My goal is to read 6 books from my TBR pile. I have read 5 books so far.
1. A book that has been on my Goodreads "to-read" shelf the longest. ✓
2. A book that is on my physical bookcase(s). ✓
3. A book I got for free.
4. A book recommended by a friend. ✓
5. A book that was a best seller. ✓
6. A book from a series. ✓

My goal is to continue reading books in the Kinsey Millhone alphabet series. I have only read one more book (K) in the series so far.

View all of Literary Marie's Memes and Reading Challenges here.


Bye, Blogging Break

July 10, 2014

US vs. UK

The UK is my hometown glory but I live in the US. The US vs. UK bookish meme compares book covers published in the two countries.

Today's first comparison is Half of a Yellow Sun. The US cover shows a full yellow sun with a silhouette of a woman walking in a field. The UK cover shows the side profile of a woman's face with yellow and pink accent colors. No question which book would grab my attention from a book shelf first: UK!

Total: US 24, UK 25

The second comparison is Shopaholic to the Stars. The US cover is very plain with just a yellow background, block lettering and a pink high heel. The UK cover is more chick lit and Becky Bloomwood-y with a woman holding shopping bags walking in Hollywood. The UK cover matches the title perfectly.

Total: US 24, UK 26

July 9, 2014

Eleanor & Park

"Nothing before you counts. And I can't even imagine an after." ~ pg. 184

I know a book has touched me when it takes weeks to sort through my thoughts and write a coherent review. Bookheart Vern and I buddy-read Eleanor & Park late last month after a recommendation from another bookheart Heather. I am still googly-eyed at the love story. STILL.

This is the love story of two misfits. Eleanor is a redhead that is often teased by classmates. Park is a 16-year-old kid that reads comics books and has good taste in music. Neither teen is popular but over the course of a school year, they form a bond. Reading, laughing, talking, listening and helping each other through young life. They really were the best thing to ever happen to each other.

Eleanor & Park is so touching. It will remind you of first love. It will make you stay up hours reading. The two characters will occupy your mind long after the last words are read. In fact, I wanted to re-read the book immediately after finishing. Again, it has been a couple weeks and I am still thinking about them.

"She'd never expected to have a love scene straight out of a Judy Blume book." ~ pg. 214

Some compare Eleanor & Park to The Fault in Our Stars far as star-crossed teens in love. While I don't think Eleanor & Park is better than TFiOS, it is a very close second. (Speaking of second, I need a sequel, Rainbow!)

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: February 2013
Pages: 252
Edition: eBook
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥


July 8, 2014

All Fall Down

"A couple of Vicodin and I could function just fine." ~ pg. 17

We have all heard the persuasive prescription pills commercials that list symptoms we swear we have. We find ourselves nodding yes to all of the questions. Then ignore the rambling of side effects, self-diagnosing ourselves and convinced we have an issue all because of this late-night commercial. When Allison Weiss takes a magazine quiz while waiting in the pediatrician's office, she wonders whether she is addicted to prescription pills. Is popping a Percocet or Vicodin so wrong if the doctor prescribed it? If it helps sooth after a long day? If a pill temporarily lets you escape a distant husband, a daughter who is acting out, a father with early Alzheimer's and a barely-coping mother? Hmmm. 

All Fall Down is about a woman's struggle with addiction, acceptance and rehab. It has tender moments that made me want to reach out and hug Allison. There are also comedic moments where I couldn't help but laugh. I may joke around and call Nurse Jackie my "pill-popping soulmate" but Allison is a character that earned a spot in my head too. All Fall Down was more than just another fiction book. It was a look down the rabbit hole of someone else's eyes.

I have read all of Jennifer Weiner's books. Some are better than others, but all are worth reading. There is a reason she is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten novels. The topics are realistic, modern and mature. All Fall Down fits right in with the rest of your work and is worth reading. Be sure to follow Jennifer Weiner on Twitter as well. She is one of my favorite author tweeters. She has a sense of humor, offers good writing advice, watches reality TV right along with us, and still finds time to pen novels for readers and chick-lit lovers to enjoy. Bookhearts, I recommend this triumphant story. All Fall Down was recently published on June 17. Order your copy!

DISCLAIMER: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Title: All Fall Down
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Published: June 2014
Pages: 314
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥