Book Review: Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can’t be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby’s friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.

But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.

With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.

It is hard to write a review on this book and not give to much a way. It is distressing and yet intriguing. I am still really not sure what to think of this one truly. It is a mystery and it has a lot of different levels and layers to the mystery to it. Disturbing..and creepy and yet you can not help but read it. Another reviewer said if it was music it would be jazz, a movie David Lynch movie, yeah I think that is about right.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Lacey’s House by Joanne Graham

Lacey Carmichael leads a solitary life. To her neighbours she is the mad old woman who lives at the end of the lane, crazy but harmless.

Until she is arrested on suspicion of murder.

When Rachel Moore arrives in the village, escaping her own demons, the two women form an unlikely bond.Unravelling in each other tales of loss and heartache, they become friends.

Rachel sees beyond the rumours, believing in her innocence, but as details of Lacey’s life are revealed, Rachel is left questioning where the truth really lies.

Another strong and emotional read that will pull you through the gamete of emotions. This one was a little hard for me to read because of the strong subject matter, in the sense that it took me a little longer then some books. This was not a fast read but it was a very good read. I would recommend this to someone who is looking for a well written novel that has depth to it. This is a story that is going to stick with you for a long time after you have read it.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Confessions of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

Release date: June 27th 2013

Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the winter playground of the rich and famous, Confessions of a Chalet Girl is a fun and flirty contemporary romance novella from the fabulous Lorraine Wilson.

The slopes seriously start to heat up when chalet girl Holly is propositioned by her sexy new boss!

Well I am not sure the events would happen like they did so fast in real life. The casual hacking of face book and twitter that Magda did as well, was a little bit meh. However over all the story was a good one. This was a very fast read and cute. I rather liked Holly and the boss man Scott was the kind of handsome rugged fellow you would expect at a ski resort. I can admit I was a bit jealous of Holly not just for the super handsome fellow she was having and enjoying in all the ways you expect but the wonderful alps. I would not mind a nice fun swim in some of the natural pools that she enjoyed. All in all, fun, fast and flirty just what I needed after the heavy read I took on before this one. This is a good one for summer.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The Book of Secrets by Elizabeth Joy Arnold

Release Date: July 2nd 2013

At once a captivating mystery, a love letter to classic literature, and a sharp-eyed examination of marriage, The Book of Secrets is a gripping novel of family, friendship, and the undeniable pull of the past.

After more than twenty years of marriage, Chloe Sinclair comes home one night to find that her husband, Nate, is gone. All he has left behind is a cryptic note explaining that he’s returned to their childhood town, a place Chloe never wants to see again.

While trying to reach Nate, Chloe stumbles upon a notebook tucked inside his antique copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Written in code, the pages contain long-buried secrets from their past, and clues to why he went home after all these years. As Chloe struggles to decipher the notebook’s hidden messages, she revisits the seminal moments of their youth: the day she met the enigmatic Sinclair children ane the increasingly dangerous games they played to escape their troubled childhoods; the first time Nate kissed her, camped out on the beach like Robinson Crusoe; and the elaborate plan she and Nate devised, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, to break away from his oppressive father. As the reason for Nate’s absence comes to light, the truth will forever shatter everything Chloe knows—about her husband, his family, and herself.

The first thought that went through my head when I finished this book was intense. This has to be one of the best written books I have read. The wonderful intertwining of books I love like Narnia and Robinson Crusoe with the story of love, loss, lies and a deep mystery. This book has so many layers when you are done with it your not even really sure you should be. Like you want to delve into more chapters because it really was that good. I felt so deep into the lives of the stories of the characters. I played along with them as they did a play with Narnia, grieved at the loss of a Son and was I was completely stunned when everything came to light along with them. This is a fantastic book and I recommend you read it.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The View from Garden City by Carolyn Baugh

Author Carolyn Baugh tells the moving story of a young American student living in the Garden City district of Cairo. Having come to study Arabic, she learns far more from the Egyptian women, young and old, she meets within the swirl and tumult of Garden City. Living, loving, and flourishing amid the fierce inflexibility of tradition, these women reveal a fascinating world of arranged marriages, secret romances, and the often turbulent bonds between four generations of Arab mothers and daughters.

Meet the women of Garden City:

Huda, who waited desperately for the man she loved until she could wait no longer
Karima, who found her husband in a collapsing post-war world
Afkar, who paid a dreadful price for her freedom
Selwa, who suffered through the deaths of her children
Yusriyya, who left her native village for a new life in the city
Samira, who loved a man who was not hers

Rich with the sights and sounds of modern Egypt, The View from Garden City lifts the veil of privacy to explore the stunning inner strength of women torn between their dreams for the future and the sacrifices women must make in a world of harsh realities.

This is a read that I was conflicted about from the first couple of pages. The writing style put me off a little bit because it is not what I usually enjoy personally. Some of the actions that take place seemed to me a little bit off putting as well or not what is normal. There is a disclaimer from the author however that does explain that. Now those complaints aside it is a good book overall.

My favorite character I think is Huda. She at times is immature but really she is just a flawed person trying to deal the best she can with what life has given her, what one of us doesn’t do that? The scenes are painted vividly and you can almost hear the noise, smell the traffic and the spices and everything that unfolds before your eyes. This one gets a middle of the ground rating for me, but it was not a total waste of time I think if your someone who could deal with the tense it is written in better then me you will really enjoy it.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain

I laughed, I cried I gave this book the not easy to get this year 5 gemstones from me. If I had more to give I would give it more! This is a fantastic book that has everything in it that makes for a good and emotional story. You will follow the life of Denny and his family, the ups and downs through the eyes of the loyalist friend of them all, Enzo the dog.

Having dogs myself and having always had them since I was a young child it is not hard to imagine the thoughts as they go through Enzo’s head. I have often wondered if my dogs are thinking the same thing and with some expressions they get I give them their own voice. Like Denny I often have conversations with my dogs. What true pet owner doesn’t? I think the only thing missing in the whole of things that Enzo takes on is what he would have done if there was also a cat in the house.

The events that take place in this story are so emotional. From Denny struggling to become what he wishes in his career, to his marriage, the child and his wife dying of brain cancer. As if that was not bad enough the Grandparents scheme to take his child away. All while Enzo ages but stays loyal, and shows us what is going on as a dog would see it. This is a must read for anyone.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

What does it mean to be a good mother? How far would you go in the name of love — and justice?

Perfect Match

In the course of her everyday work, career-driven assistant district attorney Nina Frost prosecutes child molesters and works determinedly to ensure that a legal system with too many loopholes keeps these criminals behind bars. But when her own five-year-old son, Nathaniel, is traumatized by a sexual assault, Nina and her husband, Caleb, a quiet and methodical stone mason, are shattered, ripped apart by an enraging sense of helplessness in the face of a futile justice system that Nina knows all too well. In a heartbeat, Nina’s absolute truths and convictions are turned upside down, and she hurtles toward a plan to exact her own justice for her son — no matter the consequence, whatever the sacrifice

This is not my favorite of Jodi Picoult’s works. It seemed like the book was written in haste and things were made a lot more complex then they really needed to be. The premise itself seemed like a good idea and overall in the broad strokes it was. However because of the not needed overly complex things put into the story you just do not feel that connected to it at all. Which is sad because the subject matter is deep and you SHOULD feel connected. I like the authors work but this one is not high on my list.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: The Lost Husband: A Novel by Katherine Center

Dear Libby, It occurs to me that you and your two children have been living with your mother for—Dear Lord!—two whole years, and I’m writing to see if you’d like to be rescued.

The letter comes out of the blue, and just in time for Libby Moran, who—after the sudden death of her husband, Danny—went to stay with her hypercritical mother. Now her crazy Aunt Jean has offered Libby an escape: a job and a place to live on her farm in the Texas Hill Country. Before she can talk herself out of it, Libby is packing the minivan, grabbing the kids, and hitting the road.

Life on Aunt Jean’s goat farm is both more wonderful and more mysterious than Libby could have imagined. Beyond the animals and the strenuous work, there is quiet—deep, country quiet. But there is also a shaggy, gruff (though purportedly handsome, under all that hair) farm manager with a tragic home life, a formerly famous feed-store clerk who claims she can contact Danny “on the other side,” and the eccentric aunt Libby never really knew but who turns out to be exactly what she’s been looking for. And despite everything she’s lost, Libby soon realizes how much more she’s found. She hasn’t just traded one kind of crazy for another: She may actually have found the place to bring her little family—and herself—back to life.

This was a really good book and to be honest while I was eager to read it I did not think that I would like it and connect with it as well as I did. But you could not help but feel sucked in by the cast of characters. You had the annoying and selfish Mom Marsha, Libby the paranoid but learning to live again, her kids who were just some great kids but had some issues too. Crazy but fantastic and fun Aunt Jean and of course the “Hot Farmer” the handsome O’Connor. I have to say perhaps my favorite character was indeed O’connor. He is so loyal, interesting and just how he really does not only help Libby but help himself.

The read was emotional. It takes you up and down and then up again and really is a story about finding oneself after tragedy. How do you come around when you have lost someone so very important in your life? I would recommend this one to read it is a good book.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Table for Seven by Whitney Gaskell

Release Date April 23rd 2013

A warm and witty novel about friendship, fine dining, and learning that life doesn’t always turn out quite how we expect it to—perfect for fans of Barbara O’Neal and Nancy Thayer

On New Year’s Eve, Fran and Will Parrish host a dinner party, serving their friends a gourmet feast. The night is such a success that the group decides to form a monthly dinner party club. But what starts as an excuse to enjoy the company of fellow foodies ends up having lasting repercussions on each member of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club.

Fran and Will face the possibility that their comfortable marriage may not be as infallible as they once thought. Audrey has to figure out how to move on and start a new life after the untimely death of her young husband. Perfectionist Jaime suspects that her husband, Mark, might be having an affair. Coop, a flirtatious bachelor who never commits to a third date, is blindsided when he falls in love for the first time. Leland, a widower, is a wise counselor and firm believer that bacon makes everything taste better.

Over the course of a year, against a backdrop of mouthwatering meals, relationships are forged, marriages are tested, and the members of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club find their lives forever changed.

Table for Seven was a great read that took you into the lives of the Table for Seven Club. What starts out as just a fun new years eve dinner turns into a monthly event and ends up changing the lives of everyone involved. Each one of the characters has something that you love about them and something that you did not like to much. If I had to pick a favorite it would be Coop! This is a book I would recommend for those who want a real life, well written book that will make them emotional. You will laugh, you will will feel when reading table for seven.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Alice Hartley’s Happiness by Philippa Gregory

When Professor Charles Pringle does not react to his wife`s special birthday dance of the seven veils, Alice decides to leave him and moves in with an unsuspecting student, Michael. His aunt dies and leaves him her house, so the couple move in and convert it into a “growth centre”.

Well thanks to this book I now find myself really locked in a book slump. I hope to break that slump soon.

I have loved Phillipa Gregory’s other works and I mean loved. I was very excited to delve into something that seemed a little different but since it was Gregory would be good. Sadly I was to be disappointed. While the writing is still in the usual reader friendly style that makes the book easy to read and a fast read, the story is just bad. There is not a single likeable character in the whole of the book. I wanted to like Alice at first being dumped by her Husband, a free spirit. That like did not last very long at all.

Once again that seems to be all I can say about this book. I have issues with saying negative things about books, but safe to say I did not enjoy this one much at all.

My Gemstone Rating:


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