Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion



Description:



The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Rosie Project, starring the same extraordinary couple now living in New York and unexpectedly expecting their first child. Get ready to fall in love all over again.

Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge because— surprise!—Rosie is pregnant. 

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie. 

As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most. 



***Many thanks to Net Galley and Simon and Schuster for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This novel will be published on December 30th, 2014.***



This insomniac's opinion:


Oh. Ugh. Just ugh.


I loathe when a second novel in a series doesn't come even close to living up  to the first(do any of them??). I loved The Rosie Project so, so much. I fell in love with Don and Rosie and tucked them into my heart for safekeeping. This novel finds us back with the characters we love, but now outer circumstances are forcing our beloved couple apart.


This novel was slow-moving and disappointing for me. The character of the social worker was so unbelievable that whole sections of the novel fell flat.


Still, over all-definitely worth the read if you liked the first novel.


Rating: 3 stars






The Good Sister by Jamie Kain





Description


The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious fate have taken Sarah’s life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tailspin of grief and confusion. Asha has questions. Rachel has secrets. And Sarah, waking up in the afterlife, must piece together how she got there.
Jamie Kain brings us The Good Sister, a stunning debut young adult novel about love in all its joyful, painful, exhilarating manifestations, and about the ties that bind us together, in life and beyond.

**Many thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin's Press for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.***
This insomniac's opinion:
I tend to have a thing for sister reads. Why? I imagine it's the juxtaposition between the close bond and the intense rivalry that many sisterhoods have. Makes for a good read, right?
This YA novel explored the highs and lows of sisterhood while unraveling the secrets of Sarah's life...and death.
Rating: 3.5 stars: Fast moving, emotional and entertaining without being too heavy for a teen drama.   



The Best Kind of Trouble by Lauren Dane




Description

She has complete control…and he's determined to take it away 

A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton's world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly—especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley…. 

And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for. 

Even after years of the rock-and-roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more…even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there's a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved—and the only compromise is between the sheets!
***Many thanks to Net Galley and Harlequin for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
This insomniac's opinion:
Ah, my bookish friends- I have a confession for you.
Yes- ANOTHER one.
I requested this novel on Net Galley purely because I LOVE this author on twitter. It is not my usual reading style, but I thought-what do I have to lose?
It was a very enjoyable read, with likeable, if a bit unbelievable characters. This book is not for those that do not like hot sex scenes, but this insomniac doesn't mind a little heat every now and again- how else can an Iowa girl stay warm in the winter?
Rating:
3 stars for an enjoyable, don't-take-me-too-seriously, hot romp. Place your fan next to your reading chairs, Bookish Babes!

The End of Innocence by Allegra Jordan





Description

On the eve of WWI, two students fall in love in Harvard’s hallowed halls, and must face a world at war from opposing sides. 
The spirited daughter of a suffragette, Helen Windship Brooks is struggling to find her place in Boston bluestocking society. When she wins a coveted place in an all-male writing course, she meets the enigmatic Wils Brandl, a German nobleman’s son and one of the university’s star students. 
But when Wils is called to fight for the Kaiser, he turns into a campus target, and Boston’s elegant society becomes a battleground. As Wils decides whether to give up his adopted country, Helen is forced to choose if she is ready to fight for what she loves most. 
The End of Innocence recalls the society world of Edith Wharton and the star-crossed love of Atonement—a powerful, gorgeously wrought debut of love and hope set against the brutal realities of war. Inspired by a little-known controversy at America’s most prestigious university, it will be published on the centenary of WWI.
***Many thanks to Net Galley and Sourcebooks for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. ***
This insomnic's opinion:
This novel was well-written, for sure. However, it was a bit meandering and I never felt fully vested in the characters.
The end should have been sad for me, as the reader, but I simply wasn't vested enough in the story or the characters to care.
Rating:
3 stars. Not quite the novel for me, but I'll keep my mind open if the author has another novel in the future as this one did have potential.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21894404-the-end-of-innocence?from_search=true

Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyer





Description

From the bestselling author of The Comfort of Lies, an engrossing look at the darker side of a marriage—and at how an ordinary family responds to an extraordinary crisis.

Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he’s lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids—which works to keep a fragile peace—until the rainy day when they’re together in the car and Ben’s volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.

Randy Susan Meyers takes us inside the hearts and minds of her characters, alternating among the perspectives of Maddy, Ben, and their fourteen-year-old daughter. Accidents of Marriage is a provocative and stunning novel that will resonate deeply with women from all walks of life, ultimately revealing the challenges of family, faith, and forgiveness.


***Many thanks to Net Galley and Atria books for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. ***


This insomniac's opinion:

You can always count on Randy Susan Meyer to give a no-holds barred emotional accounting of whatever situation her current novel is about. This is no exception.

This novel addressed the tender topic of spousal anger and emotional neglect and how that can change a family forever.

I vacillated between feeling badly for Maddy, the protagonist in this novel, and just wishing she would take a stand in the way she likely coaches her clients to(she is a social worker in the novel). She was a likeable and honest character and I understood her from the beginning.


Rating: 4 stars. Solid writing and a good read if you like an emotional and female-driven novel.




https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18774980-accidents-of-marriage?from_search=true

Sunday, October 12, 2014

You by Caroline Kepnes


Many thanks to Atria books and Net Galley for the advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Novel Synopsis(via Goodreads):

Love hurts...

When aspiring writer Guinevere Beck strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe works, he’s instantly smitten. Beck is everything Joe has ever wanted: She’s gorgeous, tough, razor-smart, and as sexy as his wildest dreams.

Beck doesn’t know it yet, but she’s perfect for him, and soon she can’t resist her feelings for a guy who seems custom made for her. But there’s more to Joe than Beck realizes, and much more to Beck than her oh-so-perfect fa├žade. Their mutual obsession quickly spirals into a whirlwind of deadly consequences . . .

A chilling account of unrelenting passion, Caroline Kepnes’s You is a perversely romantic thriller that’s more dangerously clever than any you’ve read before.

This insomniac's opinion: 

Holy buckets! That escalated quickly! 

I have honestly never read a novel from the perspective of "the bad guy" that was so wholly engrossing before. I was drawn in slowly and was suddenly rushing through to the mad finish as though I was an accomplice. It felt dirty. Wonderfully dirty. 

Not my usual cup of tea by any stretch(and likely wouldn't be for everyone-vivid sex scenes, profanity, brutality) but I will not be forgetting this one for a while!

Worth staying up all night to read?

I cannot state enough that this novel was not for everyone, but I stayed up all night for sure!

Rating: 4 stars




The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin


Many thanks to Atria Books and Net Galley for the advanced reader's copy of this novel.

Book Synopsis(via Goodreads):
"Human beings are more productive than ever before, but they're also unhappier. They feel oppressed by the limits of their lives: the boredom, the repetition, the fatigue. What if you could use your sleep to do more—to receive all of the traditional regenerative benefits while problem-solving, healing, even experiencing alternate worlds?

Wouldn't you be capable of extraordinary things?"


So asks Dr. Adrian Keller, a charismatic medical researcher who has staked his career on the therapeutic potential of lucid dreaming. Keller is headmaster of a BOARDING SCHOOL in Northern California where Sylvie Patterson, a student, falls in love with a spirited classmate named Gabe. Over the next six years, Gabe and Sylvie become increasingly involved in Keller's work, following him from the redwood forests of Eureka, CA to the coast of New England.

But when Keller receives a commission from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Sylvie and Gabe stumble into a tangled, dangerous relationship with their intriguing neighbors, and Sylvie begins to doubt the ethics of Keller's research. As she navigates the hazy, permeable boundaries between what is real and what isn't, who can be trusted and who cannot, Sylvie also faces surprising developments in herself: an unexpected infatuation, growing paranoia and a new sense of rebellion.

Both a coming-of-age story and an exploration of the subconscious mind, THE ANATOMY OF DREAMS explores the murky landscape of the human psyche and the fine line that defines our moral boundaries.

This insomniac's opinion: 

I requested this novel because I loved the concept and am rather fascinated with the idea of lucid dreaming. Unfortunately, it wasn't well executed. 

The novel was slow moving, even to the point of being tedious at times. I hung on and kept reading simply because I was hoping for a big finish. The entire novel seemed to be setting up for a big twist at the end and I LOVE a big twist. However, the big twist was, well-little. And, also-not really a twist as I had a good idea of what was going to happen. 

Worth staying up all night to read?

No. Kudos to the author on a great concept, but it didn't pan out for me. 

Rating: 2 stars


F by Daniel Kehlmann


Many thanks to Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group and Net Galley for the advanced readers copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Synopsis(via Net Galley): F is for family. F is for fortune. F is for fraud. F is for fate.
 
From the internationally acclaimed author of Measuring the World, here is a dazzling tragicomedy about three brothers whose father takes on the occult and both wins and loses.
 
Arthur is a dilettante, a wannabe writer who decides to fill an afternoon by taking his three young sons to a performance by the Great Lindemann, Master of Hypnosis. While allowing one of them to be called onto the stage and made a spectacle of, Arthur declares himself to be immune to hypnosis and a disbeliever in all magic. But the Great Lindemann knows better. He gets Arthur to tell him his deepest secrets and then tells him to make them real. That night, Arthur empties the family bank account, takes his passport, and vanishes. He’s going to become a world-famous author, a master of the mystical. (F is for fake.)
 
But what of the boys? Martin, painfully shy, grows up to be a Catholic priest without a vocation. (F is for faith, and lack of it.) Eric becomes a financier (F is for fraud), losing touch with reality as he faces ruin, while Ivan, destined for glory as a painter, instead becomes a forger. (F is for forgery, too.) They’ve settled into their life choices, but when the summer of the global finiancial crisis dawns they’re thrown together again with cataclysmic results.
 
Wildly funny, heartbreaking, tragic, Daniel Kehlmann’s novel about truth, family, and the terrible power of fortune is a fictional triumph.


This insomniac's opinion:

Ugh. Just Ugh. I do not have ADD/ADHD but reading this book made me feel as though I did. As soon as I was acclimated to the story, there's a complete shift and I was to find my feet again. It's disconcerting and discombobulating. 

This became one of those books that one absolutely DREADS continuing to read and I found myself finding anything at all else to do in order to avoid the book-dishes, laundry, root canals.... 

Worth staying up all night to read?

Uh, no. Didn't you just read the above review?

Rating: 

1 star