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Book Review & Giveaway: ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes

Book Review & Giveaway: ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes

July 16, 2014 – 7:55 pm | 4 Comments

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
British novelist Jojo Moyes (Me Before You) examines the different shapes of families and the widening gap between rich people and those who …

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Book Review: LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell

July 13, 2014 – 8:31 pm |

landlineTV writer Georgie McCool finally gets a shot at writing her dream show. The problem: She needs to stay in L.A. and work on it over Christmas. Georgie’s husband Neal decides to take their young daughters, as planned, to Omaha, Nebraska, to be with his mother for the holiday. He then promptly stops answering Georgie’s calls to his cell phone, leading Georgie to fear her marriage is in big trouble.

While she’s at her mom’s house and the battery in her cell dies, Georgie finds her old yellow landline phone. She calls Neal on it and slowly realizes the phone is a line to her past—1998, to be exact, during the Christmas break when Neal proposed to her. Can she use the landline to make Neal fall in love with her all over again, or should she make sure he doesn’t marry her, knowing how unhappy he is in the present day?

Rowell’s writing is engaging enough, but I wasn’t sure I wanted Georgie and Neal to resolve their issues because they seem ill-suited for each other. Neal has been aimless his whole life. He knows what he doesn’t want, but Georgie points out he doesn’t know what he does want. So he usually just negates Georgie’s ideas without offering workable compromises.

He seems to resent her for working, but he chose to be a stay-at-home dad because he couldn’t decide on a choice of career. And he knew all about Georgie’s ambitions before they married. I have a feeling Neal will continue to be unhappy with Georgie’s demanding career if he stays.

Rowell also has the habit of overusing parentheses, sometimes three sets in a row, sometimes encasing whole paragraphs in parentheses. Parenthetical information is digressive information so this means there were many digressions from the story, which was distracting. Some of the info is arguably integral, in which case parentheses shouldn’t have been used.

But Rowell is adept at writing dialogue; her characters speak in stops and starts and interrupt each other and use real-world colloquialisms. She keeps the pace brisk, and the magic-phone concept did make me ponder who I would call from my past and what conversations—if any—I would change.

Nerd verdict: Landline doesn’t quite connect

Amazon | IndieBound

Giveaway: THE BOOK OF LIFE by Deborah Harkness

July 7, 2014 – 9:57 pm | 11 Comments
Giveaway: THE BOOK OF LIFE by Deborah Harkness

On the July Nerdy Special List posted last week, one of the recommendations was Deborah Harkness’s The Book of Life, the finale to her Book of Souls trilogy. I now have a giveaway of that book (out July 15), …

Giveaway: WAYFARING STRANGER by James Lee Burke

June 30, 2014 – 6:00 pm | 9 Comments
Giveaway: WAYFARING STRANGER by James Lee Burke

The good people at Simon & Schuster are letting me give away two copies of James Lee Burke’s new novel, Wayfaring Stranger, which comes out July 15. Here’s the book description from the author’s website:
From …

Movie Reviews: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS & EDGE OF TOMORROW

June 7, 2014 – 12:21 am | 3 Comments
Movie Reviews: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS & EDGE OF TOMORROW

Movie-studio execs must’ve thought releasing a sad teenage romance and a big sci-fi action thriller on the same weekend meant they were targeting different audiences, but I don’t belong to any one group so I …

Review & Giveaway: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR by Joël Dicker

June 5, 2014 – 7:11 pm | 7 Comments
Review & Giveaway: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HARRY QUEBERT AFFAIR by Joël Dicker

When Penguin Books acquired US rights to Joël Dicker’s The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair last year, it announced the book was the publisher’s biggest acquisition in history.
Why so much money for a debut …

Nerdy Special List June 2014

June 4, 2014 – 10:34 pm | 5 Comments
Nerdy Special List June 2014

How can it be June already? This year is flying by so fast, I can almost hear Christmas music.
But before we get there, we still have summer and summer books. Jen of Jen’s Book Thoughts …

Book Review: CLOSED DOORS by Lisa O’Donnell

June 1, 2014 – 5:33 pm | One Comment
Book Review: CLOSED DOORS by Lisa O’Donnell

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission. 
Lisa O’Donnell follows up her award-winning The Death of Bees with Closed Doors, another novel featuring a young narrator. Michael Murray, age 11, lives …

Review & Giveaway: THE THREE by Sarah Lotz

May 26, 2014 – 7:43 pm | 5 Comments
Review & Giveaway: THE THREE by Sarah Lotz

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
South African author Sarah Lotz’s The Three begins on January 12 in 2012—later known as Black Thursday—when four airplanes crash in …

Giveaway: SUSPICION by Joseph Finder

May 12, 2014 – 2:55 pm | 6 Comments
Giveaway: SUSPICION by Joseph Finder

I’m excited to say I get to give away three copies of Joseph Finder‘s latest thriller, Suspicion. This is just the first of several fantastic giveaways I’ll be hosting for the next month. If you’ve …

Nerdy Special List May 2014

May 4, 2014 – 11:44 pm | One Comment
Nerdy Special List May 2014

It’s Monday—are you grumpy and dragging your feet after the fabulous weekend you had? How about I cheer you up a little with the list of May releases my fellow book bloggers and I recommend? …

Book Review: CASEBOOK by Mona Simpson

May 1, 2014 – 9:04 pm |
Book Review: CASEBOOK by Mona Simpson

This review originally appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
At the beginning of Casebook, from PEN/Faulkner Award nominee Mona Simpson (Off Keck Road), teenage narrator Miles Adler-Hart and his twin sisters …

Giveaway: THE COLD NOWHERE by Brian Freeman

April 22, 2014 – 6:34 pm | 11 Comments
Giveaway: THE COLD NOWHERE by Brian Freeman

Just popping in to give you a chance to one of three copies of Brian Freeman‘s The Cold Nowhere from Quercus. I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet so the review will …

Book Review: THE INTERN’S HANDBOOK by Shane Kuhn

April 20, 2014 – 10:43 pm | 3 Comments
Book Review: THE INTERN’S HANDBOOK by Shane Kuhn

This originally appeared as a starred review in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.
Shane Kuhn’s The Intern’s Handbook may have an innocuous title, but the titular instruction manual is far from …

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