I have been reading at a decent pace lately, I am pretty proud of myself. Although, I should not take any credit...it is the books themselves who carry me through their pages quickly, anticipation growing as I need to know more about the stories. I have read a few more since my last post:
By Accident by Susan Kelly (From Goodreads):
A grieving mother finds solace from her son’s death in a relationship that quickly blurs the line between friendship and intimacy. By Accident portrays a year in the life of a woman after the accidental death of her teenage son. Laura Lucas is numbed by the loss, a loss that is paralleled in the spate of upscale construction—and attendant destruction—in her starter-home neighborhood. It’s about Laura's relationship with a young tree surgeon who slowly becomes a replacement for her son—but also an object of desire.
The story reveals the delicate nexus where solace becomes sex; the role of men and women as unmarried friends; and examines grief in a marriage. It portrays the pain of change and the poignancy of acceptance through Laura's eyes, and occasionally, through the quirky outlook of her ten-year-old daughter. And before the story ends, another brutal, random accident will redefine Laura's life once again.
I expected this story to have more lust and desire between the two main characters, Laura and Elliot. Instead, it focuses more on how the Lucas Family deals with the loss of their teenaged son, Whit. Laura is unable to let go, her husband grieves in his own way, and Ebie, their ten year old daughter, watches as her family starts to unravel. That is, until Elliot moves in next door. He is a tree surgeon by trade, a fun-loving, good-looking single 28 year old guy, who slowly begins to bring Laura out of her grieving state. Laura's husband is distrustful, Ebie is delighted, and Laura has mixed feelings. As I said, this story did not go in the direction that I thought it would, but, it was a good read!
Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks:
When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.
But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.
I have read some Nicholas Sparks books, but not all of them. Some of them I have started, and had to put down...too predictable, some characters unlikable. The ones that I have read all the way through, I loved (Message In A Bottle, Nights In Rodanthe, A Walk To Remember)....even though they were predictable. I fell in love with the characters and their stories...sometimes it is just nice to get lost in a sweet romance novel. Safe Haven took me by surprise. It was a definite change from Spark's other novels...it was a nice change. It was not just a woman and a man falling in love, over-coming obstacles that lead to a happily ever after. It was so much more. I fell in love with "Katie" a.k.a. Erin, an abused woman on the run from her psychotic husband. I loved the setting of the story, Southport, NC, a small coastal town, very historical and picturesque. The story moved along at a fast pace. I read in in a day, and loved every minute of it. If you haven't read it yet, and are a Nicholas Sparks fan, you're in for a wonderful surprise.
Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner:
Some bonds can never be broken...
Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That's what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they're both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school's scapegoat.
Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents' house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She's just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. "Something horrible has happened," Val tells Addie, "and you're the only one who can help."
Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It's about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.
I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did! I have not read any other Jennifer Weiner novels, and now that I've read this one, I am excited to try her others. I picked this one up solely because I loved the cover! I was pleasantly surprised! Not only is it about two girls who vowed in elementary school that they would be BFF's, it is also a mystery and adventure story with a romance on the side. It is definitely a chick lit book, but so much more. The characters are likable and believable, and this story is definitely not predictable. Worth reading!!
I am currently reading Fiction Ruined My Family by Jeanne Darst, and Over And Under by Todd Tucker.
Happy Friday everyone ~ Have a fun-filled reading weekend!