One Plus One Review

One Plus One

By Jojo Moyes

I really liked this book! I read her “Ship of Brides” and wasn’t a huge fan, but I loved “Me Before You.” This was a really sweet and cute story.

Single mom Jess has everything on her shoulders. She’s trying to make life better for her goth stepson, Nicky, and her math geek daughter, Tanzie. She works at a bar and cleans houses, but is barely making it financially. When Tanzie is given the opportunity to attend a private school for advanced students, Jess is heartbroken because she can’t afford it. When she hears about a math Olympics with a cash prize, she takes her ex’s car and decides to drive the kids there. She is quickly pulled over for having an expired license and expired registration. A man she cleans house for, Ed, sees her on the side of the road and offers to drive them to the Olympics. He feels like doing some good in the world after being arrested for insider training. So this wealthy man ends up spending about a week road tripping with a broke young mom, her two odd (in an affectionate way) kids, and their smelly dog.

I loved that these people from such different worlds were kind of thrown together. Every character was so unique and special. Jess is so relatable. She’s a really good person who cares so much about her kids. She wants to do the right thing, but finds it impossible in her circumstances. Ed made a stupid mistake, but we see him grow and change a lot. Nicky thinks he’s a loner in this world, but her learns to find his “tribe.” Tanzie is a sweetheart who finds numbers comforting.

This book was fairly predictable, but that didn’t bother me. I loved reading about these characters. The story moved at a good pace. The author made me care about these characters and their stories. I was rooting for them all the way. An enjoyable story.

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All I Can Handle Book Review

All I Can Handle: I’m no Mother Theresa: A Life Raising Three Girls with Autism

By Kim Stagliano

Genre: Memoir, Parenting

This book is probably a 3.5. Like many other reviewers, I was hoping this book would be more about how Kim manages three girls with autism and what their day to day lives are like. There was a lot of information in this book about various autism controversies. Do vaccines cause autism? Is autism exacerbated by diet? Should we try to “cure” autism or accept neurodiversity? These are a few of the issues that Kim brings up. While I found her discussions somewhat interesting, I wanted a little more memoir to this book.

Kim has a great sense of humor that shines through with her writing. She tells some hilarious stories that parents of children with autism will definitely be able to relate to. The book includes some personal pictures, which was a nice touch. Kim is at her best when telling stories about her life and her girls- I just wish there had been even more of that in the book.

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The Good Girlfriend’s Guide to Getting Even Book Review

The Good Girlfriend’s Guide to Getting Even

By Anna Bell

Genre: Chick Lit

Read my review of another Anna Bell book here.

4 out of 5 chickadees singing!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and am voluntarily reviewing it.

This book was pretty hilarious and had quite a few moments where I was chuckling out loud and my husband looked at me like I was crazy! In this novel, Lexi finds out her sports-obsessed boyfriend, Will, skipped out on her close friend’s wedding to attend a sporting event! Will doesn’t know that Lexi knows, so she decides to get even with him before she confronts him. She decides that she will make him miss some sporting events for revenge. Lexi is also trying to become an author so when she has an assignment in her writing class to start a blog, she ends up writing about her attempts to “get even.”

One thing I thought could be improved upon would be to make Lexi more likable, as I started feeling so bad for Will, and eventually got annoyed with her deception. The second thing was that the book was also pretty predictable, as I figured out the ending of the book pretty quickly. These were minor critiques and I still really enjoyed the book.

This is a great, fluffy chick lit mixed with some humor and some romance. I liked that there was somewhat of a secondary love interest character for Lexi. That was an interesting subplot. When the story ends, there are a few fun “extras” at the end of the book- one is an article written by Lexi about what to do if your significant other is sport’s obsessed. I would recommend this book to ANY fan of chick lit!

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Rome Un-Holiday Book Review

Rome Un-Holiday (Samantha Stone Mystery Book 3)

By Katie Bloomstrom

4 out of 5 stars! I was given this book and am voluntarily reviewing it. This series is what would happen if Becky Bloomwood decided to become a detective! As a thank you for her work in Las Vegas, Leah is taking Sam to Rome with her to relax, see the sights, and attend a movie career. Their time of pampering is quickly ended when Vitale’s (Leah’s grandfather) bodyguard is shot and then Vitale and his ambulance disappear! Sam’s search for Vitale gets more complicated as the case continue.

I, again, love the blog format! It’s so funny to read comments from Sam’s friends back home and random trolls. I love Sam’s mission solving style. It just seems so realistic how she often gets “stuck” and needs help. Luckily, she has hot FBI agent, Eddie, around. I liked seeing their relationship progress, even though the book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger for them.

The characters in here are funny and enjoyable. The plot moved along at a good pace and the mystery makes logical sense. This is a fun read!

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Room Book Review

Room

By Emma Donoghue

4 out of 5 stars! Some spoilers ahead!

When I heard what this book was about, I expected it to be a lot darker than it was. However, this dark story is told from the point of view of young Jack who doesn’t know anything except his situation. He is happy and content with his life.

Five year old Jack lives with Ma in tiny shed. This room is the only world that Jack knows. He thinks that what he sees on the TV are made up stories about other worlds. He views room as it’s own universe. In reality, Ma was kidnapped at age 19 and locked in a garden shed that is inescapable. Her captor abuses her and so Jack is born. 

It was incredible to read about the love and bond that Jack and Ma had. Ma tried to make things as “normal” for Jack as possible. She makes up games from the few objects they have. For example, they thread a string through broken eggshells to make a snake. They do “P.E.” by running around the rug. They stick to a strict routine. I was amazed by Ma’s creativity and resilience. 

Eventually, Ma and Jack escape in a not-so-believable part of the story. I thought this was going to be the main part of the book, but it was actually quite a small part. After this, we read about Ma and Jack adjusting to the real world. I thought that the author did a pretty good job of showing the challenges that Jack would face coming into such a new environment. It seemed like he had sensory processing disorder as well as some OCD. In the room, Jack’s life was extremely small and predictable. His mother and he were never apart because there was no space to be apart! Ma is relieved to be back in the world and wants to move on with life, but Jack misses things about his old life. 

This is an emotional and moving book! If you can handle the “baby talk” Jack often uses, I recommend this story.

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