Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Thank you Judi, from Judi's Mind Over Matter for the Beautiful Blog Award! I am very flattered to have received this.....(BIG GRIN)

The rules:
I am supposed to tell you 7 things about myself and then pass it on to 15 other Beautiful Bloggers.

  1. I'm scared of flying.
  2. I'm a friend for life.
  3. I have a purse addiction.
  4. Fall is my favorite season.
  5. I dye my hair.
  6. I love Myrtle Beach.
  7. I'm a good listener.
I can't come up with 15 bloggers to pass this along to, so I will just list the ones I've chosen:

Jeanne at A Cup Of Tea and A Cozy For Me

Darlyn at dArLyN & bOoKs

Melissa at I Swim for Oceans

Kris at The Cajun Book Lady

Mel U at The Reading Life

Waiting On Wednesday

After reading Department of Lost & Found and loving it, I am eager to read Allison Winn Scotch's new novel, The One That I Want!

What if you woke up one day to all your dreams coming true...but those dreams were more like nightmares?

illy Farmer is thirty-two years old and has the perfect life she always dreamed of: married to her high school sweetheart, working as a school guidance counselor, trying for a baby. Perfect.

But one sweltering afternoon at the local fair, everything changes. Tilly wanders into a fortune teller's tent and meets an old childhood friend, who offers her more than just a reading. "I'm giving you the gift of clarity," her friend says. "It's what I always through you needed." And soon enough, Tilly starts seeing things: her alcoholic father relapsing, staggering out of a bar with his car keys in hand; her husband uprooting their happy, stable life, a packed U-Haul in their driveway. And even more disturbing, these visions start coming true. Suddenly Tilly's perfect life, so meticulously mapped out, seems to be crumbling around her. And as she furiously races to keep up with - and hopefully change - her destiny, she faces the question: Which life does she want? The one she's carefully nursed for decades, or the one she never considered possible?

What if you could see into the future? Would you want to know what fate has in store?

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307464504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307464507
What are YOU waiting for today?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Review - The Department of Lost & Found by Allison Winn Scotch

Natalie Miller had a great life: good boyfriend, great job, a life that was really going somewhere. But then came that dreaded word––cancer. And nothing will ever be the same again. Her boyfriend dumped her, her job as a Senator's aide is going down the tube due to some nasty leaks to the press, and her body has become a slave to the whims of chemo. Natalie is not sure how or why her life has spun out of control, but she's determined to get it back. Even if that means rooting around in her past, starting from the ground up, and finding that maybe––just maybe––giving up control isn't such a bad thing.

My Thoughts: I LOVED this story! I wasn't sure I was going to like it in the beginning, because the story focused not only on Natalie's cancer, but her job and love life also. The story comes together nicely, it is not all doom and gloom about her illness.....there is even romance thrown in for good measure.

When Natalie is given her diagnosis, her current boyfriend dumps her. She sets her sights on contacting the five true loves from her past, to find out why their relationships didn't last. I thought that this was a cute diversion from the story. Natalie's parents are absent for the most important part of her treatment; a past true love shows up and is there for her. Just when you think it is FATE that will bring them back together, the story turns in another direction.

I liked Allison Winn Scotch's writing style. She is very descriptive....I could picture the characters and places in my head while reading. I will definitely read more by this author!

This is a chick lit/drama/comedy all wrapped up in a wonderful story about forgiveness, love, and finding your own true happiness.

Photobucket Very Good!

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Avon A (April 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006116142X
About the Author

After losing a close friend to breast cancer, Allison Winn Scotch cathartically set out to write a story with a happier ending. While Winn Scotch is the first to point out that Natalie and her thirty-one-year-old friend shared very few similarities, her friend's resilient spirit and courage in the face of an illness that took her life are felt throughout the novel. Winn Scotch has contributed to Family Circle, Glamour, InStyle Weddings, Men's Health, Parents, Prevention, Redbook, Self, Shape, Woman's Day, Women's Health, and others. She lives in New York with her husband, her son and daughter, and their dog.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read*
* Open to a random page*

*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page *
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

My teaser today is from Dark Places by Gillian Flynn:

~She pulled herself off the floor, wiped her face with a mildewy washcloth. Her face was always red, her eyes always pink, so it was impossible to tell if she'd been crying, the only advantage to looking like a skinned rat.~ pg.104

What's YOUR teaser today?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Book Review - Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman

Product Description

A compelling, often hilarious, and unfailingly compassionate portrait of life inside a women’s prison

When Piper Kerman was sent to prison for a ten-year-old crime, she barely resembled the reckless young woman she’d been when, shortly after graduating Smith College, she’d committed the misdeeds that would eventually catch up with her.Happily ensconced in a New York City apartment, with a promising career and an attentive boyfriend, she was suddenly forced to reckon with the consequences of her very brief, very careless dalliance in the world of drug trafficking.

Kerman spent thirteen months in prison, eleven of them at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, where she met a surprising and varied community of women living under exceptional circumstances. In Orange Is the New Black, Kerman tells the story of those long months locked up in a place with its own codes of behavior and arbitrary hierarchies, where a practical joke is as common as an unprovoked fight, and where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated.

Revealing, moving, and enraging, Orange Is the New Black offers a unique perspective on the criminal justice system, the reasons we send so many people to prison, and what happens to them when they’re there

My Thoughts: Prior to reading this, I steeled myself against what I thought was to come: prison brutality, rape scenes and violence. What I got was a memoir full of love and friendships, lessons given and lessons learned.

Piper's family was extremely supportive of her while she was incarcerated. Her fiance, Larry, made weekly visits to see her. She was very fortunate to have a loving support system outside of the prison's walls. Inside the prison's walls, having a support system proved to be as nurturing and as strong as her own family's.

Right away she was taken under the protective wings of other prisoners. They helped her ease into life at the prison, showing her the ropes.....things that she needed to do and things that she should never do. She formed strong bonds with these women, some of whom she found rough on the outside and gentle on the inside.

She temporarily gets sent to Chicago and is subjected to an entirely different prison environment. She misses her friends and her life at Danbury, but she ends up making the best of a bad situation....even when she encounters a couple of "friends" that were involved with her crime a decade ago.

I was amazed at Piper's strength and character. I was ecstatic when she was able to switch from her electrician's job to painting and construction, which allowed her to partake in painting picnic tables down by a lake. She was so happy to see the water and the boats that she cried. We never realize how much we take for granted every single day.

This is a touching and sometimes hilarious story that I highly recommend. I'm so glad that I read it and will certainly be telling others about it.

Photobucket Very Good!

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385523386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385523387
About the Author Piper Kerman is vice president of a Washington, D.C.–based communications firm that works with foundations and nonprofits. A graduate of Smith College, she lives in Brooklyn.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mail Call


Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

I had a great week last week, book-wise. Each book that I received had been on my wish list for a very long time.

From my Paperbackswap Wishlist:

The Blue Cotton Go
wn: A Midwife's Memoir by Patricia Harman

The Ballad of West Tenth Street by Marjorie Kernan

Purchased from PBS Marketplace:

Looking for Salvatio
n at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore

The Department of Lost & Found by Allison Winn Scotch

Won from Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here:
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

From Librarything's Early Reviewer program:

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman

What's in YOUR mailbox today?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

On My Wishlist #2

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you can list all the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

Baggage Claim by Tanya Michna:

From Goodreads: Two women with nothing in common except look-alike luggage embark on a journey that will transform their lives...

When Beth Overton, a stay-at-home mom, learns that her husband has fallen short on his part of their marriage bargain, she's forced to rethink hers. But first she's got to retrieve the luggage she's accidentally switched with someone else...

Carly Frazer, a divorced history professor, keeps telling herself she's got her life completely under control...until it falls completely apart. With a major career move in doubt and her recently widowed mother moving in, Carly's got troubles galore-and another woman's suitcase.

When Beth and Carly meet in a hotel bar to switch bags, they are two very different women who never guess that a twist of fate, and their subsequent unlikely friendship, are about to take their lives in surprising new directions...

The Star Shack by Lila Castle:

Pete and Annabelle live for their summers together on Gingerbread Beach. They've always believed they were a perfect pair… until junior year, when Annabelle becomes obsessed with astrology. Now they can hardly stand each other. Pete thinks that Annabelle (a Leo) has become a total flake; Annabelle thinks Pete (a Scorpio) has become an uptight jerk.

When Annabelle dares Pete to open a summer business on the Boardwalk generating personalized horoscopes, their fast-paced, hilarious bickering soon rises to a fever pitch. The he-said/she-said advice of the Star Shack is wildly popular and seems able to fix any relationship problem… except their own.

But when one of Annabelle's star charts helps catch a thief, Pete might have to admit that the stars could really hold the key to the future… and to his own heart.

About the Author

When not writing LILA CASTLE can be found dancing the tango somewhere in her home city of New York or eating out at her favorite French bistro. She has a number of other interests, too, including travel, baseball, exotic hair-care products, and of course, astrology.

Whats on YOUR wishlist today?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Review - Letter to My Daughter by George Bishop

Product Description From

Dear Elizabeth,

It’s early morning and I’m sitting here wondering where you are, hoping you’re all right.

A fight, ended by a slap, sends Elizabeth out the door of her Baton Rouge home on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Her mother, Laura, is left to fret and worry—and remember. Wracked with guilt as she awaits Liz’s return, Laura begins a letter to her daughter, hoping to convey “everything I’ve always meant to tell you but never have.”

In her painfully candid confession, Laura shares memories of her own troubled adolescence in rural Louisiana, growing up in an intensely conservative household. She recounts her relationship with a boy she loved despite her parents’ disapproval, the fateful events that led to her being sent away to a strict Catholic boarding school, the personal tragedy brought upon her by the Vietnam War, and, finally, the meaning of the enigmatic tattoo below her right hip.

Absorbing and affirming, George Bishop’s magnificent debut brilliantly captures a sense of time and place with a distinct and inviting voice. Letter to My Daughter is a heartwrenching novel of mothers, daughters, and the lessons we all learn when we come of age.

My Thoughts: When I had seen this book around the blogosphere, I noted that the author was male and I assumed the story was about a father writing a letter to his daughter. So, imagine my surprise when I began the story...and it was the mother who was the narrator, and author of the letter. I was not only surprised, but delighted as the story took hold of me, and I met Laura Jenkins; first as a worried mother of a runaway teenager, then going back in time to her adolescence, getting to know her during the most painful years of her life. In the letter to her daughter Liz, she reveals secrets that she has kept for decades. She outlines her life beginning when she was her daughter's age, fifteen, and what she endured growing up. She keeps reminding her daughter in the letter that things were "not that much different" between she and her parents than they were between Liz and her parents.

This is a book that can be read straight one sitting. Yes, it's that good. George Bishop is a very talented and gifted author. He accomplishes the amazing task of verbalizing the special relationship between a mother and her daughter so beautifully. I can honestly say that I was very satisfied with the end of the story. Have a box of tissues handy while you are reading this'll need them.

Photobucket Very Good!

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515988

About the Author: George Bishop holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he won the department’s Award of Excellence for a collection of stories. He has spent most of the past decade living and teaching overseas in Slovakia, Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, India, and Japan. He now lives in New Orleans.

***I received this book from Early Reviewers Program***

Friday Finds

Friday Finds hosted by Should Be Reading asks us to share what great books we heard about or discovered in the past week.

My pick today for Friday Finds is Slow Motion: A True Story by Dani Shapiro. Here is a summary from

Dani Shapiro was rescued by tragedy. At the age of 23 she is a wreck. A Sarah Lawrence college dropout, she is living as the mistress--one of many, she would later find out--of her best friend's stepfather, Lenny, a high-profile New York City lawyer. It is the height of the excessive '80s, and Lenny goes to extravagant lengths to keep his woman--putting her up in a large downtown apartment, draping her in furs and flashy gems, and spiriting her away by Concorde to Paris for weekend flings. When she isn't with Lenny, Shapiro leisurely courts an acting and modeling career and actively pursues her drug dealer, who delivers cocaine to her door. She is at an expensive spa in California--at a far remove from the middle-class, orthodox Jewish home in which she was raised--when, one snowy night, her parents' car careens into a highway median. When she returns to New Jersey, to her parents' hospital bedsides, she begins the journey to discover and mine her inner strength. She succeeds, and though the process is as arduous as it is painful, Shapiro finds within herself the power to nurse her mother through nearly 100 broken bones, to survive her father's death, and to reset the course of her life. Slow Motion ends where its subject's troubles began: with Shapiro, newly single, re-enrolling as an undergrad at Sarah Lawrence.

Shapiro, who is the author of three previous novels, writes sparely and lacks the excessive self-consciousness that plagues some memoirs. She develops her story carefully, drawing readers ever closer into her most intimate thoughts and fears. This honest, and sometimes brutal account of loss and recovery is an inspiration.

I really love memoirs so I can't wait to read this!

What did YOU find today?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Booking Through Thursday - Break

Today's BTT question is:

Do you take breaks while reading a book? Or read it straight through? (And, by breaks, I don’t mean sleeping, eating and going to work; I mean putting it aside for a time while you read something else.) .

I sometimes do take breaks, but usually that means that I am not really into the book. I find it difficult to put a book down for a period of time, then start reading another one, then go back to the original, because I get characters and plots confused.

If I am really enjoying a book, then there are no breaks. Every waking moment when I am not at work, I am reading it.

What about you?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My pick for today's Waiting On Wednesday is The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride, due to be release on May 25, 2010.

From Goodreads:

It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.

May 25th 2010 by EgmontUSA (first published 2010)

Hardcover, 288 pages
1606840851 (isbn13: 9781606840856)

What are YOU waiting for today?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book Review - Pretty Little Dirty by Amanda Boyden

Lisa sees the life of her gorgeous best friend Celeste as just about perfect: she has a gigantic house, two older sisters to coach her through the hazards of high school, and loving, lively parents. As Lisa's own home has long been a place devoid of joyful noise—her mother has shut herself off in her bedroom for years—Lisa joins the Diamond household, slipping into their routine of sit-down suppers and soaking in the delicious normalcy of Diamond family life. But what begins as the story of two young women living a charmed adolescence, one of mastering dance moves and the protocols of male-female interaction, soon swirls into an intoxicating novel of art, music, and self-destructive impulses as Lisa and Celeste dare each other ever onward.

My Thoughts: Wow. This book really shocked me. It doesn't take much to shock me, but this did it. Two best friends growing up together. They meet in sixth grade, while taking a placement exam to get into a prestigious prep school. Their friendship begins immediately.

The first paragraph:

I met Celeste in one of those lucky years of childhood you get before anybody significant dies-before Grandma goes, before your dad's secretary doesn't beat breast cancer, before the pharmacist gets into the car wreck. Celeste fit those years perfectly: me with my illusions of everyone living on into some hazy infinity of old age, Celeste with her surreal beauty, her otherworldly trust, her yellow eyes more gold than green, her skin, her lips, her-god!-her grace. You wouldn't believe how beautiful a sixth-grader could be until you saw her.

They are together every summer, and celebrate special moments together; their first kisses, first dates, first experiences with alcohol and drugs, then later their first sexual encounters. I envied their closeness....and knew that they would be there for each other no matter what. I think the best thing about this book is the end.....It blindsided me....never saw it coming.
This is a gritty, raw and surprising coming-of-age story that I will never forget.

Photobucket Very Good!

"Pretty Little Dirty takes a classic coming-of-age tale and turns it inside out, then gives it a few kicks in the head for good measure. Funny, sexy, inventively told, and scary as hell—a gutsy debut." –Dani Shapiro, author of Family History

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (March 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400096820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400096824

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read*
* Open to a random page*

*Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page *
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! ;)

My teaser today comes from Pretty Little Dirty by Amanda Boyden. This is another book that was a fast read for me.

~As leaves ruddied brown and maroon, and stiff-armed jackets came out of our storage closets, Celeste and I found ourselves at the head of the homecoming float committee. After all, we were the freshman girls who had kicked sophmore ass on Lynne P.'s floor. ~pg.231

What's YOUR teaser today?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mailbox Monday

I received the following books last week from

Under the Dome by Stephen King: Just the size of this book frightens me!

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

A Cat Named Darwin by William Jordan

In this endearing memoir, William Jordan's reluctant adoption of a stray cat leads to an unexpectedly deep bond, one that will be immediately recognizable to anyone who has ever fallen under the spell of a pet. When Jordan brings Darwin into his home, he is forced into a commitment more devoted and sincere than any he has known before. He observes Darwin not only with the lovestruck gaze of a doting pet owner but also with the keen eye of a trained scientist, and he ruminates insightfully on the complex relationship between humans and their pets. Through issues of territory and separation, sickness and health, Jordan's heartrending memoir of his relationship with Darwin is made irresistible by his "self-effacing honesty, his ever-present wit, and, above all, the unashamed nakedness of his emotions"

What was in YOUR mailbox today?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book Review - What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

When Evie's father returned home from World War II, the family fell back into its normal life pretty quickly. But Joe Spooner brought more back with him than just good war stories. When movie-star handsome Peter Coleridge, a young ex-GI who served in Joe's company in postwar Austria, shows up, Evie is suddenly caught in a complicated web of lies that she only slowly recognizes. She finds herself falling for Peter, ignoring the secrets that surround him . . . until a tragedy occurs that shatters her family and breaks her life in two.

As she begins to realize that almost everything she believed to be a truth was really a lie, Evie must get to the heart of the deceptions and choose between her loyalty to her parents and her feelings for the man she loves. Someone will have to be betrayed. The question is . . . who?

My Thoughts: I read this book in one sitting. Absolutely could not put it down. I was immediately caught up in Evie Spooner's life....Sixteen years old, shares secrets with her best friend, just beginning to get boy-crazy, and longs to be more like her mom. Beverly Spooner is a beauty and has the figure of a pin-up girl. She is constantly telling her daughter not to "grow up too fast". Evie yearns to wear lipstick and dresses like her mom.

A sudden spur-of-the moment trip to Palm Beach Florida changes everything. Her stepdad Joe decides they need a vacation, and they head down to Florida. Before the trip, he gets a mysterious phone call....a man wanting to know if he was the same Joe Spooner that he knew from the war. Joe denies it. Then in Florida, the lie catches up with him.

Some ugly truths are revealed, and Evie gets caught smack-dab in the middle of them. However, she is transformed in Palm Beach....she falls in love with a man seven years older than she, her wardrobe changes, thanks to a generous new friend that she meets at the hotel...her life changes dramatically. She becomes older and wiser beyond her sixteen years and her loyalty is put to the ultimate test.

There were several "Oh no!" moments for me while reading this awesome novel. I can't recommend it enough.

Photobucket Outstanding!

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439903483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439903486
Literary Awards:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

On My Wishlist #1

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you can list all the books that you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming.

This is my first time participating in this meme.....I have so many wish list books! I'd love to share some of them with you.

The Visibles by Sara Shepard
published: May 5th 2009 by Free Press
Hardcover, 304 pages
isbn: 1416597360 (isbn13: 9781416597360)

From Goodreads:
In her tightly constructed and captivating first adult novel, bestselling YA author Shepard (the Pretty Little Liars series) explores a family’s biological and emotional interconnectedness—for better or for worse. When 15-year-old Summer Davis is told by a substitute biology teacher that “DNA makes up everything inside you,” and that “nothing else matters... you can’t escape your parents and they can’t escape you,” the silken threads that she imagines link her to her vanished mother become something more like shackles and chains as her mentally ill father’s slow decay continues and eventually lands him in an institution. Summer clings to the hope that her father will get better while simultaneously experimenting with ways to escape the gloomy life she’s inherited; her path eventually leads to the genetics lab at NYU, but the opportunity to pursue her own dreams is undermined by her father, whose deeply hidden secrets begin to trickle out and eat away at the family’s foundation. It’s complicated, rewarding and full of heart, and Shepard creates a rich reading experience in shying from simple answers and happy endings.

Chasing Demons by Christy Tillery French
published: August 25th 2003 by Mystery and Suspense Press
Paperback, 194 pages
isbn: 0595291236 (isbn13: 9780595291236)

For 12 years, Kendra Salvatori has lived under the dominion of her abusive husband, Tony, head of a small but powerful criminal organization in the Southeast. When she loses her unborn baby at the hands of her husband, Kendra flees to Black Mountain, NC, where she collapses in the barn of retired hostage negotiator, Garth Fisher. Garth, who has been living in seclusion while trying to deal with a tragic past mistake, seeks redemption by vowing to protect Kendra from her ultimate fate when her raging husband finds her. Together, the two unite to face their demons through their love for one another and their fierce passion to remain together.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
288 pages
Dial; 1 edition (March 9, 2010)

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey
dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in
town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.


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