REVIEW: HEART BONES, BY COLLEEN HOOVER

Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah Grim’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself.

With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbor Samson throws a wrench in that plan.

Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.

She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.

 

Heart Bones begins with the horrific sadness of Beyah’s life and how her mother’s death tosses her into the morass of uncertainty and loss. What she does have to hold onto, however, is her college scholarship in August. She just has to get through the summer.

Reconnecting with her absent father takes her to an island off of Houston, Texas, where she plans to hold it together in the meantime. So many empty days to fill. But suddenly there is someone, a young man named Samson, living right next door to her father whose sadness is a thing that draws them together, bonding them in unexpected ways.

Just when they begin to truly connect, even while knowing they will separate by summer’s end, something shocking happens that changes everything.

I loved this story, filled with so much sadness. But their hope and joy sustained them, as they clung to the belief that hearts cannot break because they have no bones.

Their love could not possibly last through all of the challenges they faced. Could it? I know that I kept rooting for them to the end. 5 stars.

***

TUESDAY POTPOURRI: “ALL THE UGLY & WONDERFUL THINGS”

Books & fairytales - TUESDAY EXCERPTS

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s book is a new download from a new-to-me author:  All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, by Bryn Greenwood.

 

 

29480865

 

Intro:  (Amy – March 1975)

My mother always started the story by saying, “Well, she was born in the backseat of a stranger’s car,” as though that explained why Wavy wasn’t normal.  It seemed to me that could happen to anybody.  Maybe on the way to the hospital, your parents’ respectable, middle class car broke down.  That was not what happened to Wavy.  She was born in the backseat of a stranger’s car, because Uncle Liam and Aunt Val were homeless, driving through Texas when their old beat-up van broke down.  Nine months pregnant, Aunt Val hitchhiked to the next town for help.  If you ever consider playing Good Samaritan to a pregnant woman, think about cleaning that up.

***

Teaser:  Going to the front window, Miss Humphries looked out.  Across the street, the two stood next to a motorcycle, the girl smiling as she buckled on her helmet.  After she climbed on the cycle, the man ducked his head and then, then he kissed her.  (p. 154).

***

Synopsis:  A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.

As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It’s safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.

By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy’s family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won’t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood’s All the Ugly and Wonderful Things challenges all we know and believe about love.

***

What do you think?  Do you want to keep reading?  Have you read it?

***

SUNDAY POTPOURRI: WHAT I LOVE…AND WHAT I HATE!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It is late in the day to create a Sunday Potpourri post, but it has been a busy one.

First, I was playing on my Curl up and Read site, getting ready for Bloggiesta that starts tomorrow…even though I have been doing a few things all week.

I could kick myself!  I read on someone’s list that they were going to purge their media files…and I think I misread that…because when I did that, the images I deleted were also deleted from the posts.

So I spent a good part of today going back in and inserting images….or deleting the “numbers” that appeared in place of the images.  And this was all done with the Old Editor, as the new one is too crazy for me…LOL.

If the Word Press gods are watching as I write this, let me tell you what I think of your “beep, beep, boop” system….GRRR!

I managed to get through half of the posts….more later.  I’m tired.

I also took a break to meet with my daughter at the Skyline Club….to hand over Noah’s project that I had printed out for him.  And I stayed for a drink…or two…or three.  LOL

 

skyline

 

Now, after working some more on the images, I am going to read this book that I am loving so far.

 

 

19083246

 

And tonight I am excited about my favorite shows:  Madame Secretary, Secrets & Lies, and The Good Wife.

***

What do you love on a Sunday?  What frustrates you?

***

REVIEW: NORA ROBERTS LAND, BY AVA MILES

91UxRlZpifL._SL1500_She grew up believing in happily-ever-after, and at her mother’s knee, she learned to love Nora Roberts’s novels and how each one seemed to follow a pattern of finding out that dreams can come true and love conquers all.

But grown-up journalist Meredith Hale, a New Yorker, has just been dumped and divorced by her husband, Richard Sommerville, another journalist, now interested in a political career. And he has lashed out at her about how her belief in Nora Roberts’s view of the world had ruined their marriage.

Determined to prove to herself that love like that does exist, Meredith heads to her home town of Dare, Colorado, to find her hero and then write about it. There she works for the family newspaper.

Meanwhile, Richard has blackmailed one of his journalists, Tanner McBride, previously a war correspondent, into taking on a project that will definitely sabotage Meredith’s plans…and hopefully keep her from using information she has about him.

What will happen to Meredith and Tanner when they finally connect? Will the instant attraction between them lead to more? What unexpected events will seemingly derail whatever they have between them? And what will be Meredith’s final conclusions about her premise?

Nora Roberts Land (Dare Valley Series, Book 1) mimics the famous author in its basics: vulnerable girl meets hunky man and they rise about a series of conflicts and finally begin a relationship. Throw in a few obstacles that they overcome and you have true love. Add in necessary ingredients, like sheer determination (by the woman) and gutsy moves by both man and woman, and you have a combustible mix and interesting characters.

The only thing that really saved this predictable novel was that I realized, despite the copycat notions, that there were a few fun and suspenseful elements that kept me reading. Otherwise, I would have had to say that this story was merely a copy of the originals created by Nora Roberts. But I was happy to conclude that the ride was a fun one, and fans of Nora Roberts will probably enjoy this book. 3.5 stars.

HUMP DAY POTPOURRI: WAITING FOR “THE NIGHTINGALE”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

wow logo another one

 

Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

Today I am looking forward to Kristin Hannah’s upcoming release, The Nightingale, due out on February 3, 2015.   I am linking to the Goodreads page.

 

 

91ALAySZBtL._SL1500_

 

Goodreads Description:  From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic novel of love and war, spanning from the 1940s to the present day, and the secret lives of those who live in a small French town.

Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle’s father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it’s not only the sisters’ relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong. With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Vivid and exquiste in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with great monstrosities, but also great humanity and strength, Kristin Hannah’s novel will provoke thought and discussion that will have readers talking long after they turn the last page.

***

It has been too long since the last book I read by this author.  This one is definitely on my “must read” list.  What are you sharing today?

***

SATURDAY POTPOURRI: FRIENDSHIP, LOVE, & ROAD TRIPS — FEB. 9

52471

I finished Big Cherry Holler earlier today….click title for review.   Needless to say, I LOVED it!  I wouldn’t categorize it as a romance novel, but there were beautiful moments and there was love.  There was also a lot of angst.  But most of all, I enjoyed seeing the “Holler” through the characters’ eyes, especially Ave Maria’s.  And when she went to Italy, I felt as though I were there, too.

In honor of “love month,” I’ve changed my blog header again to celebrate it.

cropped-picmonkey-collage-sweet-things.jpg

And I’m reading stories that make me feel good.  I’m also watching more old movies that do the same.  Like one from the mid-nineties with Whoopi Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, and Mary-Louise Parker:  Boys on the Side.

519WC39SZ1L._SL500_AA300_

A movie about friendships…albeit accidental ones.  A story about a road trip that leads the characters into moments that will only strengthen the bonds between them.

Next I’m going to plunge into another Stephanie Plum book:  Sizzling Sixteen.  I mentioned it the other day, but now I’m reading it.

7594148

What do you do on a weekend to remember friendship, love, or even road trips?