Tag: Books: Contemporary

Review: Looking For Me

Posted 20 May, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Looking for Me
By: Beth Hoffman
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Penguin Group Viking via NetGalley

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop. Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky. It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last. But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

I believe I first came across this book on GoodReads. The premise of the novel sounded interesting–the main character works in a repairs and antiques store–and of course I always love a good novel featuring some family drama. I was fortunate to have been approved a galley copy of this novel from the publishers via NetGalley. This book will be released on May 28th.

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Review: The First Rule of Swimming

Posted 14 May, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

The First Rule of Swimming
By: Courtney Angela Brkic
Format/Source: galley courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

A woman must leave her island home to search for her missing sister-and confront the haunted history of her family.

Magdalena does not panic when she learns that her younger sister has disappeared. A free-spirit, Jadranka has always been prone to mysterious absences. But when weeks pass with no word, Magdalena leaves the isolated Croatian island where their family has always lived and sets off to New York to find her sister. Her search begins to unspool the dark history of their family, reaching back three generations to a country torn by war.

A haunting and sure-footed debut by an award-winning writer, The First Rule of Swimming explores the legacy of betrayal and loss in a place where beauty is fused inextricably with hardship, and where individuals are forced to make wrenching choices as they are swept up in the tides of history.

This story caught my attention recently for 4 reasons:

  1. the title of the novel (simple yet curious)
  2. the premise of the novel (family drama always catches my attention)
  3. it’s set in Croatia (haven’t read very many novels in this location)
  4. the cover’s pretty =D

So naturally this novel ended up on my want-to-read list. I was kindly approved a galley copy of this novel from NetGalley.

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Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe

Posted 10 May, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Someday, Someday, Maybe
By: Lauren Graham
Format/Source: galley courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works. Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet. Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.

I recently found out about this novel through GoodReads and was rather excited about it. I loved watching Lauren Graham on Gilmore Girls so I was curious about her first fiction novel would go. I was approved of a reading galley of the novel from NetGalley.

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Review: Attachments

Posted 8 May, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

By: Rainbow Rowell
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

I can’t remember where I came across this book…must definitely had been someone on my friends list over at GoodReads who mentioned it. The author’s name was familiar as her second book, Eleanor & Park has been getting a lot of great buzz on the book blogging world. The premise sounded really fun and cute so I had to check it out.

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Review: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Posted 2 May, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
By: Anthony Marra
Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of the publisher & GoodReads First Reads programme

In the final days of December 2004, in a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa hides in the woods when her father is abducted by Russian forces. Fearing for her life, she flees with their neighbor Akhmed–a failed physician–to the bombed-out hospital, where Sonja, the one remaining doctor, treats a steady stream of wounded rebels and refugees and mourns her missing sister. Over the course of five dramatic days, Akhmed and Sonja reach back into their pasts to unravel the intricate mystery of coincidence, betrayal, and forgiveness that unexpectedly binds them and decides their fate.

With The English Patient‘s dramatic sweep and The Tiger’s Wife‘s expert sense of place, Marra gives us a searing debut about the transcendent power of love in wartime, and how it can cause us to become greater than we ever thought possible.

I first heard about this book through the GoodReads First Reads programme where I won a copy. The premise sounded very interesting–I haven’t read any books set in Chechnya beyond what I learned in history classes, which makes this book especially interesting–and it’s already catching some buzz. It will be available for purchase on May 7th.

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