Friday, September 27, 2019

Review: The Unbreakables

41571748. sy475 The Unbreakables
By Lisa Barr
352 pages, published June 4, 2019 by Harper
Source: Purchased for myself

From Goodreads:

A delicious, sharp novel about a woman who jets off to France after her perfect marriage collapses, putting the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivrea lust for life, art, and steamy sex.

The worst birthday ever might just be the gift of a lifetime…

It’s Sophie Bloom’s forty-second birthday, and she’s ready for a night of celebration with Gabe, her longtime, devoted husband, and her two besties and their spouses. Dinner is served with a side of delicious gossip, including which North Grove residents were caught with their pants down on Ashley Madison after the secret on-line dating site for married and committed couples was hacked. Thirty-two million cheaters worldwide have been exposed…including Sophie’s “perfect” husband. To add insult to injury, she learns Gabe is the top cheater in their town.

Humiliated and directionless, Sophie jumps into the unknown and flees to France to meet up with her teenage daughter who is studying abroad and nursing her own heartbreak. After a brief visit to Paris, Sophie heads out to the artist enclave of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. There, for the first time in a long time, Sophie acknowledges her own desires—not her husband’s, not her daughter’s—and rediscovers her essence with painful honesty and humor, reawakening both her sensuality and ambitions as a sculptor.

As she sheds her past and travels the obstacle-filled off beaten path, Sophie Bloom is determined to blossom. Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, Sophie must decide what is broken forever...and what it means to be truly unbreakable.


 
This book seemed to be everywhere this summer, and I was so excited to finally read it!  It was my book of choice for a long weekend in California, and it was the perfect weekend vacation read! Sophie was a fantastic character. I can't imagine learning that kind of news on your birthday surrounded by your best friends.  I loved the Paris setting of this book--the author described it so well I felt like I was right there with her. It was so fun that Sophie was an artist and that the book discussed iconic artists and pieces like Rodin's Le Penseur (The Thinker) Michelangelo's David, and the Musee d'Orsay.

I loved all the supporting characters as well, and how they all played a role in Sophie finding herself again. This story was quite the adventure! Emotional and thought provoking, this book was hard to put down. I wanted to know what happened but I didn't want the book to end.  I really got swept away in it! I absolutely recommend this book, especially if you love the arts, France and French culture, or both!

At the beginning of Part II, there was this quote, that I really appreciated:

"Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one." --Stella Adler

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR




Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This Week's Topic:
 
Fall TBR

Here's my list!
 
 40700317. sy475 25813942431938374169285443853045. sx318 43982054 What Happens in Paradise


What books are you excited about for this Fall? Happy Reading!

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Blog Tour: Six Goodbyes We Never Said

 

43178166Six Goodbyes We Never Said
By Candace Ganger
320 pages, expected publication September 24, 2019
Wednesday Books, St. Martin's Publishing Group

Purchase Links
 
Note: I received this book from the publisher to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.


About the Book:


Two teens meet after tragedy and learn about love, loss, and letting go
Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her. 

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It's causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects. 

Candace Ganger's Six Goodbyes We Never Said is no love story. If you ask Naima, it’s not even a like story. But it is a story about love and fear and how sometimes you need a little help to be brave enough to say goodbye.

 


The amazing characters in this story were what made me love this book so much! Naima and Dew both warmed my heart and I related to them and felt for them in so many ways.  One of my favorite characters was also JJ--Naima's grandmother. This book is a YA that deals with some HEAVY topics--SO MANY heavy topics--PTSD, grief, OCD, social anxiety...to name a few. There was so much going on with these characters that at times it was overwhelming (imagine how the characters felt!). I felt the book did have a bit of a slow pace at times but  I still really enjoyed it.

I loved the format of the book--the voicemails from Naima's dad, her poems, and Dew's "news"  headlines at the beginning of the chapters. I LOVED Dew's headlines. You root for and feel for these characters the whole book. I felt so connected to them throughout the story. The emotional and heavy at times, this book covers areas that so need to be written about and normalized.

My favorite quote from the book--the quote that made me just STOP and re-read it, and share it:

"If you want to count the time, start with now. It's all we're guaranteed. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now."

About the Author:
 

Candace Ganger is the author of Six Goodbyes We Never Said and The Inevitable Collision of Birdie & Bash as well as a contributing writer for HelloGiggles and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, best-selling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. She lives in Ohio with her family.



Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This Week's Topic:
Favorite Things to Eat/Drink While Reading 

What a fun topic!  It's no secret I LOVE to snack while reading. In fact, I remember coming home from school and having a snack while reading a book before starting my homework. Yep, huge nerd right here! Here are my favorites!

Drinks

1. Coffee

2. Wine

3. Pepsi
 (don't judge me, I know soda is terrible for you, but...I drink it in moderation, ok?)


Food

1. Popcorn (probably my all time favorite snack)

2. Chips and Guacamole ( I LOVE making guac!!)
3. Potato chips

Not gonna lie, popcorn and a Pepsi is my ultimate FAVORITE reading snack. What are your favorite reading snacks?


Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: All the Flowers in Paris

All the Flowers in Paris
42859805By Sarah Jio
Published Augsut 13,c2019 
Ballentine Books

Note: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

From Goodreads:

Two women are connected across time by the city of Paris, a mysterious journal, and shocking secrets, sweeping from World War II to the present--for readers of Sarah's Key.

When Caroline wakes up in a Paris hospital with no memory of her past, she's confused to learn that she's lived a sad, reclusive life for years in a sprawling apartment on the Seine. Slowly regaining vague memories of a man and young child, she vows to piece her life back together--though she can't help but feel she may be in danger. A budding friendship with the chef of a charming nearby restaurant takes her mind off of her foggy past, as does a startling mystery from decades prior...

In Nazi-occupied Paris, young widow Celine lives a quiet life with her father, the local florist, and her daughter, Cosi. When a ruthless German officer discovers the family's Jewish ancestry, he blackmails Celine, forcing her to become his mistress in exchange for the others' safety. The trio plans an escape, but their mission goes horribly awry and Celine's beloved father and daughter are sent away to a cruel fate. Initially distraught, Celine fears the worst. Yet she soon discovers that Cosi has snuck away and followed her into captivity. More motivated than ever, Celine must now fight to hide and protect the person she loves most.
n
Parallel timelines intersect when Caroline discovers Celine's diary tucked away in a closet, and it is revealed that the walls of her apartment harbor dark secrets. With the help of a local student from the Sorbonne, she realizes that she may have more in common with Celine than she could ever imagine.



What a beautiful book! I'll admit it took me a bit to get really invested and hooked into this book. I've been a fan of Jio's books for a long time and know the traditional format of her books--two time frames and two story lines that weave together--but this one did not suck me in from the beginning. I almost DNF'd around 30%. However, I'm so glad I kept reading--the more I read, the more attached to the characters I became.  It was heartbreaking at times  but such a beautiful story. I read the last half of the book in one afternoon and loved how the stories came together. 

If you love Paris and WW2 historical fiction, this book is a must read. Jio's description of the streets and neighborhoods of Paris made me feel like I was there. I wanted to eat at the Bistor Jeanty and buy flowers from Papa's flower shop. I loved the French language used in the book. Though it had its share of sad moments, there were happy moments and heartwarming lessons. I definitely recommend reading this book, especially if you're a Sarah Jio fan!