Review/ Winter Storms

Review/ Winter StormsWinter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand
Published by Back Bay Books on October 3rd 2017
Pages: 256
Goodreads

Are the skies clearing up at last for the Quinn family?
Some of the stormy weather of the last few years seems to have finally lifted for the Quinns, and if there's one holiday that lets them be grateful for the good times, it's Christmas. This year promises to be a celebration unlike any other as they prepare to host a family wedding at the Inn. As the special day approaches, a once-in-a-century blizzard bears down on Nantucket, threatening to keep the Quinns away from the place, and the people, they love most. Before the snow clears, the Quinns will have to survive enough upheavals to send anyone running for the spiked eggnog, in this touching novel that proves when the holidays roll around, you can always go home again.

This is the third and what was suppose to be the final book in the series as I am updating this post. Check back tomorrow for my review on Winter Solstice which I do believe is the final book but you never know.

This was another pretty quick read for me and read it within a night or two. Going into the book at the time I really want to jump in and find out what was going to happen in this last book. After reading this series I am really interested in reading her other series and perhaps I need to make that a reading challenge for 2018.

Winter Storm picks up several months after the previous book and unlike the previous books they don’t take place within several days of each but over the course Spring, Summer, Fall and winter holiday season. Its told in the same format as the Quinn family telling the story.

In this story Patrick is released from jail and his family is excited but if you think it would be all honky dory you are in for a surprise just like Patrick was when he came out. Patrick and his brother Kevin have discovered that Patrick’s wife, Jennifer has a pill addiction and her supplier is know to the family who has changed a lot since she was last seen by the family. Will Jennifer get the help she needs? Will she be able to kick the addiction?

Kevin and his soon to be wife have moved out of the Quinn’s into their own little cottage and are getting ready for their winter wedding and life seems good for them.

Ava is still in that love triangle from the last book with Scott and Nathanial. Scott is dating his colleague and Ava while Ava is dating Scott and Nathaniel. Its like she wants to have her cake and eat it too but can’t handle anyone else doing the same thing. We all know love triangles never work and eventually it will happen in this case. Thankfully Ava gets whisked away to the Caribbean and its there that she meets a handsome stranger. Could this be the start of something?

Bart is found and is coming home which makes the family happy. Everyone is excited to blessed knowing that he is safe and sound but is he really?

With a storm bearing down on the east coast can the Quinn family make it home for the holidays before its too late? Will Kelly tell his family about his newest health issues or will be keep it a secret for awhile yet?

After reading this I kept thinking there has to be another book because they can’t end like this, can they? I had to know more about Kelly and what would happen so trust me when I say this I had so many unanswered questions that I am actually hoping for a fourth book. Please let there be a fourth book.

 

Review/ Winter Stroll

Review/ Winter StrollWinter Stroll (Winter #2) by Elin Hilderbrand
Published by Little, Brown and Company on October 13th 2015
Pages: 263
Goodreads


"Happy Holidays 2015! It has been a rough year for the Quinns, but I would like to start by saying thank you for all of the well wishes and positive missives sent our way."

Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn's French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy--her devoted colleague, Scott.
Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve's baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket's traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within reach, Kelley's estranged second wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island after souring on her relationship with the inn's former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn't the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest from Christmases past as lovers old and new gather beneath the mistletoe. With jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it's going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns--and the inn--through the holidays intact.

This is the second book in the Winter series by Elin Hilderbrand.

Winter Stroll picks up a year after where Winter Street left off. I am happy that I was able to pick up the books one of the other so that it felt like I was reading just one book if that makes sense?

Another holiday season is upon the Quinn family. Like the previous book its told within a few days and the chapters are alternated between the Quinn family like the previous one. Everyone basically fills in the blanks to what has happened in the previous year while still telling what is going on in the present day.

Just like the previous book it follows the same family drama. Kelly is still struggling with the break up of his marriage to Mitzi. His oldest son, Patrick is facing possibly going to jail. His second son, Kevin is struggling with dealing with his feelings from his first marriage that failed and doesn’t want to go down that same path with Isabelle. His daughter, Ava is dealing with the fact her boyfriend decided he would rather spend be alone and she has no idea where he is as he is not in contact with her. Finally Bart is still missing in action and no one knows where he is.

There is so much more but I am going to stop since this is the second book in the series.

This was another super quick read and I read it over the course of two nights. Like the previous book it does end abruptly and since I know there is a book three I wasn’t left hanging for too long. I do look forward to continuing with the next book in the series.

 

Review/ Winter Street

Review/ Winter StreetWinter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Published by Little, Brown and Company on October 14th 2014
Pages: 352
Goodreads

In bestseller Elin Hilderbrand's first Christmas novel, a family gathers on Nantucket for a holiday filled with surprises.
Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket's Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a French housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can't get him to commit. And Bart, the youngest and only child of Kelley's second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines.
As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to getting the family together for some quality time at the inn. But when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus (or the guy who's playing Santa at the inn's annual party), utter chaos descends. With the three older children each reeling in their own dramas and Bart unreachable in Afghanistan, it might be up to Kelley's ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas at the Winter Street Inn.
Before the mulled cider is gone, the delightfully dysfunctional Quinn family will survive a love triangle, an unplanned pregnancy, a federal crime, a small house fire, many shots of whiskey, and endless rounds of Christmas caroling, in this heart-warming novel about coming home for the holidays.

As I was doing some much needed computer work I realized I had a few reviews of books that I bought/borrowed  that I never shared with you so I thought it was time to add them to my blog finally.

I remember picking up this book last year and reading it right away and I fell in love this this trilogy and had to read the other books in the series. The other books in the series are: Winter Stroll, Winter Storms and Winter Solstice. So in reality this is no longer a trilogy and I am so happy that I got to read this series.

This is Elin Hilderbrand’s first Christmas story. It takes place in Nantucket with the Quinn family. They run a family inn and every year they through a huge Christmas Eve party with a Santa and all. The house is decorated from top to bottom.

The hosts are Kelly (the dad) and his second wife, Mitzi. Kelly is looking forward to spending Christmas with his kids from his first marriage even though financial troubles are hanging over head. He is determined to make this a great Christmas until he catches his wife kissing Santa. But Kelly is shocked when he finds out its been actually going on for years and what he saw wasn’t the first time. Mitzi decides she would rather be with Santa then Kelly and packs up and leaves.

Everyone in this family has drama and it all unfolds within this book. Such as the oldest son, Patrick being investigated for unethical practices and his wife leaves taking the kids with her to go to her parents causing him to head down a downward spiral. If thats not bad enough Kevin is not happy and has a secret romance that he has been hiding from his family but decides he needs to come clean and finally the youngest child Ava who is struggling to hold onto her boyfriend and hopes that he will propose but little does she know that he doesn’t exactly feel the same way about her. Finally Bart, the son he had with Mitzi is currently in the Marines and deployed in Afganistan is missing. No one knows where he is.

As you read this you will probably think that this is going to be a Christmas to remember well in some ways it is going to a be Christmas to remember and not in a good way. This is the story if anything can go wrong it will go wrong.

The book is told in a basically a few days span with its told in several points of view from the Quinn family, Kelly, Mitzi, Margret, Ava, Kevin and Patrick. This was a great way to get to know the characters in a short amount of time.

I loved how even though Kelly and Margret are divorced she is still actively involved in and with the family and that she is still included in family events. I know sometimes divorces can be tricky but it was nice to see that yes they had issues in the past they were able to over come them.

I really enjoyed the book and it was such a fun and quick read just the thing to sort of get you into the holiday mood. Thankfully I was able to pick up the other books in the series quickly from the library so that I could continue this.

The one thing I have to say is going into the book I knew it was a trilogy so the way it ended so quickly I knew I had to read the next book right away. Reading it it honestly felt like the publisher just cut it to make a second book. So you were left hanging.

If you plan on reading this then I highly recommend you have all the books in the series before you begin.

Review/ Amish Christmas Blessings

Review/ Amish Christmas BlessingsAmish Christmas Blessings: The Midwife's Christmas Surprise\A Christmas to Remember by Marta Perry, Jo Ann Brown
Published by Love Inspired on October 18th 2016
Pages: 224
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads

Holiday Greetings From Amish Country 

The Midwife's Christmas Surprise
by Marta Perry 
Three years ago, the man Anna Zook hoped to marry left her and their Amish community for the English world. Now devoted to proving her abilities as a midwife, Anna has given up on marriage and children for herself. But when Benjamin Miller returns, now a changed man, can delivering a Christmas baby reunite these two hurting hearts? 

A Christmas to Remember
by Jo Ann Brown 
When a little girl leads shop owner Amos Stoltzfus to an Amish woman in distress, he rushes them to his family's farm. "Linda" has no memory and doesn't know if the sweet child is her daughter or even her kin. As Christmas arrives and Linda's identity is revealed, will Amos be able to claim his holiday guests as his own?

I love that we are now into December because that lets me dip into a whole new genre of reading for the next few weeks. I love reading Christmas books. Do you? What are some of your favorites?

This is two books in one. The first one is The Midwife’s Christmas Surprise by Marta Perry. In this book we meet a young woman by the name of Anna. She is learning to become a midwife and currently lives with her mentor, Elizabeth and her family. Due to her young age she is finding it hard to have the community trust her but she is working hard to prove them wrong, she just needs a boost of confidence to make it work.

No story would be complete without a little something to stir it up and this is the case when Elizabeth’s son, Benjamin returns home after being away for three years living in the English world. I think he realized that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. His family welcomes him home with open arms but will his once love, Anna do the same?

I loved reading this and wonder if  Benjamin could slowly win Anna’s heart back and he was patient and it was nice to watch this blossom.

The second story is A Christmas to Remember by Jo Ann Brown. This is actually part of the Amish Hearts series but I have to say that this can be read as a stand alone and you won’t be missing anything. I love how authors can do this with their books.

The story begins with a little girl stealing food from Amos’s grocery store. He notices this and quickly follows the girl to see where she is going and he quickly discovers she is with Linda. Linda is an Amish lady but has no memory of who she is, where she is or what has happened to her. So Amos takes it upon himself to bring these girls back to his family’s farm so that perhaps Linda can recover.

He sends out word with the Bishop to find out who these two are so that they can be reunited with their family because he knows someone out there is missing them this Christmas. Will the answers come before Christmas?

I really loved this because you could see that Amos and Linda were beginning to get close but neither wanted it to go any further until Linda regained her memory and I loved that about Amos. He was thinking of her before himself.

I really love reading these kinds of books and I hope I can dip into some more Amish books this holiday season.

 

Review/ All The Bright Places

Review/ All The Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Published by Penguin on January 8th 2015
Pages: 388
Goodreads

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it's unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the 'natural wonders' of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have been dying to read this book ever since it came out and I have to send a huge thank you to SocialBookCo (if you click on the bold text it will take you to the page so that you can buy the book at the lowest price along with many other books they have available) for sending the book to me to review.

When I got the book I knew this was going to be one book that I didn’t want to devour quickly so I paced myself. Wow what an incredible read. I am still sitting here days after finishing it thinking about the book and Violet and Finch. I have to be careful in what I write because I don’t want to give out too much of the story which I honestly have a problem with sometimes. I tend to write more then I should.

This was Jennifer Niven’s debut novel. Honestly what a debut it was. I knew going into the book that it was going to be an emotional roller coaster ride and it was. Its been awhile since a book has made me tear up.

The book is told in the perspectives of Violet and Finch. Both are seventeen year old kids going to high school. Violet is still grieving the lose of her sister who was killed in a tragic accident who is basically having a hard time going on with life and she is a popular girl and Finch is what the kids at school consider a freak a social outcast. But what others don’t realize is that Finch is truly a funny, smart, a little kooky and creative. I think if people actually got to know him they wouldn’t think he was a freak.

No secret the book begins with Violet attempting to  kill herself from the bell tower at her high school but Finch kind of gets in her way because he is doing the exact same thing. From this moment a bond forms between the two. I actually was enjoying this bond because I think they were both there at the right time for each other. Could this friendship turn into something more?

Finch basically has become engrossed with Violet and I don’t know if that’s because she was there when he was about to jump and he took that as a sign not to? So when they are in science class the teacher announces there will be a class project and he basically demands for Violet to be his partner. The project is forcing the kids in the class to wander around Indiana and find unique things about the state that they would consider hidden gems. Which I think is a great idea and more teachers should do this type of project with their students.

So through the course of discovering Indiana Violet begins to have feeling for Finch. This book is definitely a great book to read if you want to discover some hidden gems in Indiana. I have to admit I thought this was cute and special although I do have to say that these two have issues and really I even though they were good for each other they weren’t if that makes sense.

I just have to say that Jennifer Niven did a fantastic job on this debut novel. Finch and Violet have turned into my favorite characters and its been awhile since I have had favorite characters that I am still thinking about. She managed to tackle a very serious issue and she handled it with sensitivity that this book needed. I would not have a problem reading future books of Jennifer’s if they are anything like this.

 

Blog Tour & Review/ The Littlest Bigfoot

littlest-bigfoot-blogtour

Title: The Littlest Bigfoot
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Series: Book #1
Pub Date: September 13, 2016
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 304

Source: I was provided with an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster Canada for my review and participation in the tour. Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada.

About the Book:

From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.

But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.

Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else.

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I am honored to be a part of the book tour for The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner. I am a huge fan of Jennifer’s books and I have read them all so it was nice to see something new and completely different from her. I can’t wait for the second book to come out in this series.

Be sure to check out the other blog stops this week to read everyone’s thoughts on the book.

This was a fun and quick read. I think this is the perfect read for everyone to read. There is so much you can take away from the book.

Alice is a 12 year old girl. Alice is taller then most girls her age, awkward like I think most girls are at this age and has a hard time making friends. When you have one thing that is different about you its always hard to find someone who can share something with you.

Alice’s parents have in all reality checked out of their daughters life and in my opinion think of themselves as the couple who do what they want when they want because its clear when for them instead of being a parent they are shipping their daughter off from one school to another when things don’t go right instead of trying to find the perfect solution for her.

The other main character of the book is Milie. Millie is just like Alice she doesn’t fit in but for Millie her case is completely different from Alice because Millie is a Yare, and in english terms it means a bigfoot. Millie also doesn’t fit in with her tribe because she is smaller then the normal Yares, her fur is a different color and texture then the other yares and Millie is curious about everything and everyone around her especially people in the outside world.

Alice’s new school is in upper New York State right beside a beautiful lake in a quiet little town. This school is a little better then what Alice has been to but Alice is still encountering the same problem and issues of making friends. She is thrilled when it suddenly happens but realizes fairly quickly that its not all it seems and before long she is being picked on by a bully. She soon realizes that not everyone has good intentions. Being embarrassed she seeks refudge by the lake when she suddenly hears someone drowning so Alice rushes out to help the person. This person is Millie and they quickly become friends just what both girls wanted. Although at first Alice has no idea who or what Millie is and I honestly don’t think this would be a problem for Alice because all she wants is a honest and a good friend.

When a 12 year old boy threatens to expose who Millie is and where she is from the girls bang together to put a stop him. Will Alice and Millie be able to stop him before all the secrets are exposed on Millie?

I love this story and I think all young girls need to read this because we need to learn to accept ourselves for who and what we are and that we are unique for a reason. We need to be open and accepting and become friends with others who are different because that  is what makes us all unique.

When I got to the end I was like what the heck just happened. Jennifer threw that little twist in there that came out of no where and left me hanging…I am left hanging with so many questions..I need book two asap…

Review/ The Widow by Fiona Barton

Source: Book Bought

The Widow by Fiona Barton is a debut novel that I have been hearing all the buzz about lately and every time I have been in Chapters the girls are always pitching me this book because they know that I enjoyed Gone Girl and Girl on the Train so when I noticed that chapters was offering 2x the points when you purchased the book and it happened to be on sale so I figured it was time to pick it up.

What can I say for this book except for the fact that I think there was more twist and turns then any book I have recently read. I really enjoy books like that because you are lead to think one thing and then question everything else. I hate when you know what happens half way through and this has you sitting on the edge of your seat until the very last page. I should say that we know what has happened and they are basically trying to find a way to proof that it was done. That is the thing that I thought was interesting about the book. Its easy to point the finger at someone but you have to have the proof to put them away.

One thing I have to say is that even though the storyline is disturbing the author kept all the graphic material out. Which I have to say I appreciate as a mother. We all know from the premise of the book that a little girl is taken from her yard but we know really know how she died and I am okay with not knowing that just as long as she is found so that a family can be put to rest.

I really tried to hold myself back from trying to read it in one sitting and honestly it was hard because so much was happening that you wanted to stay and read to find out what was going to happen. It was a page turner.

The story is told in various view points such as the widow, reporter, detective, and there is alot of flipping back from 2006 to 2010 so you really have to keep on eye on who is talking in that chapter and what year it is. At first I found it to be a little distracting and trying to keep the story straight but once I kept track of the speaker and dates it was a little easier. I think it would have made it a little easier to read had it begun in 2006 and worked its way to 2010. That is just my personal thought.

Over all it was an interesting read but I have to say that its not really a Gone Girl or Girl on the Train kind of book that it was hyped to be like. So if you are expecting that you might be disappointed.