In case you missed Suzanna and my original announcement, Reading Wednesday happens the last Wednesday of the month. Simply join our linkup anytime before the following last Wednesday of the month and share what books you've been reading. No rules, just an easy way for us book lovers to enjoy a "blogger's book club". This month I read 2 books. A Book Club Pick and the second a Personal Pick. Here are the books I read along with a synopsis and my thoughts on each novel.
The Island by Elin Hilderbrand
Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess's lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor in her Connecticut back yard to the color of the cocktail napkins. Like any mother of a bride-to-be, she is weathering the storms of excitement and chaos, tears and joy. But Birdie, a woman who prides herself on preparing for every possibility, could never have predicted the late-night phone call from Chess, abruptly announcing that she's cancelled her engagement.
It's only the first hint of what will be a summer of upheavals and revelations. Before the dust has even begun to settle, far worse news arrives, sending Chess into a tailspin of despair. Reluctantly taking a break from the first new romance she's embarked on since the recent end of her 30-year marriage, Birdie circles the wagons and enlists the help of her younger daughter Tate and her own sister India. Soon all four are headed for beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket, where their family has summered for generations. No phones, no television, no grocery store - a place without distractions where they can escape their troubles.
But throw sisters, daughters, ex-lovers, and long-kept secrets onto a remote island, and what might sound like a peaceful getaway becomes much more. Before summer has ended, dramatic truths are uncovered, old loves are rekindled, and new loves make themselves known. It's a summertime story only Elin Hilderbrand can tell, filled with the heartache, laughter, and surprises that have made her page-turning, bestselling novels as much a part of summer as a long afternoon on a sunny beach.
I really wanted to love this book because I've heard so many great things about the author and her work but I was a left a bit bored at parts, making this one a tough one to really enjoy. I usually work through books in days and this one took nearly 2 weeks. The story line itself is wonderful. Watching relationships grow from loss to something of substance and happiness makes this a total "feel good" read but one that isn't full of romantic moments that seem unrealistic. Overall this book was worth reading but left me looking for something with more wow factor. I hope Hilderbrand's other books do more for me when I pick them up this week from the library.
My Book Club Pick
The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.
Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.
As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.
Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.
From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.
I think the author does a fabulous job of sharing the point of view of someone who has lost a loved one to suicide with getting into deep on the suicide itself, since suicide is such a personal experience. This could be because of her real life experience (she lost her brother) so I enjoyed the point of view of Lex, who is grieving such a painful loss. Throughout the book you feel the range of emotions the characters go through. From sadness to disbelief to wonder to angry to forgiveness and understanding. The book is a fast read and while there are moments that bored me a bit, the overall message and storyline was enjoyable and one I would recommend to others, especially if you wanted a quick and easy read.
For February, I will be reading The Room by Emma Donoghue (Personal Pick)
and Before I Go by Colleen Oakley (Book Club Pick).
Now it's your turn to share what you've been reading. Add our button to your book themed post and linkup your book reviews and list. You have until February 23rd to add your January reads to this linkup.