The Pact

The Pact: A Love Story

By Jodi Picoult

I’m torn about how many stars to give this one. On one hand, it was well-written and engaging. At no point did I consider not finishing it. On the other hand, it was not a very realistic or believeable story. There was one aspect of the ending that was ridiculously unbelievable and in the “discussion with the author” part at the end of my book, Jodi admitted she didn’t like the ending, but thought readers would hate her if she did something different. I can definitely see that she has matured because I’m sure she would go with her original ending had she written the book now.

Chris Harte and Emily Gold have grown up together their whole lives. No one is surprised when they start dating. When Chris is injured and Emily killed from a gunshot wound to the head, Chris says they made a suicide pact. Emily’s mother believes that Chris killed Emily, while her father believes he’s innocent. We don’t know what really happened until the end (although it’s not a surprise) at Chris’s murder trial.

I found it unbelievable that Emily showed zero signs of suicide and didn’t confide in anyone except Chris. The characters bothered me with their decisions, especially Chris and Emily. I really don’t like the subtitle “A Love Story” because Chris even admits at one point that Emily didn’t love him to do what she did. She didn’t consider the after effects for him. Chris’s story, when the truth was finally revealed, seemed like quite a stretch. I would recommend a different Picoult novel instead. 2 out of 5 chickadees singing.

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The Accidental Family Book Review

The Accidental Family

By Rowan Coleman

Genre: Chick lit, Women’s fiction

4 out of 5 stars! I really enjoyed being back in Sophie Mill’s world! It’s been about a year and a half since I read the first book in this series, The Accidental Mother, all in one day when I was home sick. You can read that review here. The first book is summed up nicely enough in the beginning so don’t worry if it’s been a while since you’ve read the first or even if you haven’t read the first one. Book one ended with Sophie giving up her life in London and telling Louis she was in love with him. She now lives near the girls and Louis in a bed and breakfast and spends nearly all day with them. Life is peaceful and happy. When Louis proposes, Sophie isn’t quite sure that she’s ready for it. After all, it hasn’t even been a year since the girls’ mother died. She accepts, but goes back and forth between whether they should marry or not. At this point, Sophie was a little annoying with her indecision, but at the same time, I understood it because I’ve been going through a situation lately where I’m constantly changing my mind about what to do. The book did start off a little slow but at about a third of the way through it, all sorts of drama starts happening and I stayed up late just to finish it!

I can’t say too much about the drama because I don’t want to give anything away, but Louis started to become the annoying one! He was truly being an idiot at times and I felt bad for Sophie. I do think that the author could have made Louis a little more like-able overall. I couldn’t always see what Sophie saw in him. He could be very immature and irresponsible. Regardless, I did enjoy the way that the story ended. One of the twists I didn’t see coming, but the others were foreshadowed. I like that we get to visit some old characters, but also meet some new ones. This is a sweet book for readers who are looking for something mainly light and breezy, but with some drama and romance thrown in.

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Cradled Dreams Book Review

Cradled Dreams

Author: Beverly  Hoffman

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Drama

Published: April 23, 2013 by Abbot Press

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3 out of 5 stars! I was given this book in exchange for an honest review as part of a Brook Cottage Books tour. I love reading about complicated ethical issues, especially related to the unprecedented situations technology puts us in. In this book, Georgie has been unable to get pregnant. Her sister-in-law, Robin, has a broken heart over it. At Thanksgiving, she blurts out that she is willing to carry a child for Georgie. The family takes nearly a year to decide if they want to move forward with the offer. They sit down and work through every question they come up with. They have a contract written. They seek religious advice. It appears as if everything has been thought out.

However, as Robin feels the baby growing within her, she begins to wonder how she can give it to Georgie to raise. She is torn between feeling like she is abandoning the life inside her and breaking Georgie’s heart. For much of the book, Georgie and her husband prepare for the child, not knowing Robin’s struggle.

There are many outside characters in this story that are somewhat (often very loosely) connected with the two main characters. I enjoyed reading about Elizabeth, Georgie’s mother and Robin’s mother-in-law, who is still recovering from the loss of her husband. Georgie and Robin attend different churches and various church members are profiled. I didn’t like this part of the story. It profiled “Christians” on completely opposite ends of the spectrum- those who are legalistic, judgmental, and self-righteous and those who believe every path/religion/spirituality leads to God. I am a Christian and I found most of the character’s belief systems to be inconsistent and unrealistic. I think the author was trying to make a religious point with the book, but it was very unclear to me what it was. I thought it would have been better to focus in on the two main characters. Perhaps she could have profiled their husbands’ thoughts and feelings rather than focusing on outside characters.

When the book was relaying the story of Georgie and Robin, I was engaged. Although I got frustrated with Robin, I did understand where she was coming from. My heart hurt so much for Georgie with the possibility that she might not end up with the baby she had longed for for so long. I definitely became attached to the characters and wanted to see them end up fulfilled and happy. I would recommend this book to those who are interested in the ethics of surrogacy and in reading about family relationships.

 

Cradled Dreams

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Big Little Lies Review

Big Little Lies Review

Sorry, no Man Crush Monday today. Instead, here’s a book review!

Title: Big Little Lies

Author: Liane Moriarty

Genre: Drama, Fiction

Pages: 460

Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons on July 29, 2014

This book took longer to suck me in than most of her books. I’m not sure why. I guess it was difficult to follow all the different characters at first. By the end of the book, though, I was doing my typical, “Oh my gosh! I can’t believe what she just revealed!” like I do with most Moriarty books. 

This story was mainly about three different women who all have children in kindergarten at the same time. Madeleine is remarried with two children and a third from her previous marriage. Unfortunately, her ex-husband and his new wife, Bonnie, live in the same town as her and their younger daughter is in the same class as Madeleine’s younger daughter. Madeleine can feel her older daughter, Abigail, slipping away from her, impressed by Bonnie’s new age lifestyle. 

Celeste and Perry have what appears to be a perfect marriage. Perry is very successful and makes more money than they know what to do with. They have twin boys. Jane recently moved to the area. She’s a single mother of one son, Ziggy. 

This book has mommy drama, bullying, relationship drama, etc., but I can’t say too much without giving some of the book’s surprises away. It was my least favorite of her books so far, only because it took me a while to get into. Still, I would recommend this book for fans of women’s fiction and drama. Moriarty is an awesome author. :)

***The buy link above is from Amazon. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Totlandia Series… thus far

Review of the Totlandia Series… thus far

Hey Chick Lit Chickadees! I just discovered this crazy new series called, “Totlandia” by Josie Brown. This series has tons of drama, drama, drama! Right now, there are four books out, but the series isn’t over. Considering that the playgroup featured in the book goes up to Fivesies, there could be up to 20 books in the series! The four books out chronicle the lives of four wanna-be members of the prestigious PHM&TC playgroup. They also show the secret life of the club’s founder, Bettina. Each of the wanna-be members has a secret that, if revealed, would probably prevent them from joining the club. You see, the club has many unwritten rules from Bettina- no overweight moms, no working moms, no single moms, etc.

Bettina’s life is the club. She wants the club to keep its prestigious social standing and continue to be feared and revered by the other moms. However, Bettina’s personal life is not nearly as perfect as it looks on the outside. Her husband, Art, isn’t handling their finances well (among other secrets that I can’t give away, but you will find out later!)

Jade has a scandalous past and is being paid by her ex-husband to play mommy to her son, Oliver, to keep him in the club. Jade’s ex wants nothing to do with her, except for using her to get their son in the club. But Jade is determined to win him back.

Lorna is Bettina’s sister-in-law and they’re constantly in competition for Bettina’s mother’s attention and doting. Lorna loves her son, but is worried that he is developing more slowly than the other babies. She’s trying to hide his slow development from the others, especially Bettina, who she believes would use any excuse to get them kicked out.

Jillian is mom to twin girls, who finds out her husband is cheating on her and wants to leave her for “the other woman.” Jillian is in a huge financial mess due to this situation, but has to act like she is still married to a successful man to stay in the club. She struggles to pay the mortgage, but is expected to finance club events and charities.

Ally’s story was most interesting to me. Her gay guy friend, Barry, donated sperm to make her daughter, Zoe. He and his partner are Zoe’s godparents, but for the purposes of the club, Ally acts like she’s married to Barry. Ally and Jade’s ex-husband have a mutual attraction to each other that Ally tries to fight.

I loved getting to be inside each person’s story. I loved how they were all different, but had some things in common- each wanted an exclusive spot and had something to hide! It was crazy and funny to read about the Mom and Tots Club events and how particular Bettina was about everything. The parents all want the best for their children and truly want to find friends, so they were likeable. I thought a book about wealthy, high-class parents fighting for exclusive spots would make me HATE the characters, but they were much more likeable than I expected. 

Each book chronicles a season in the lives of the “onesies.” Secrets eventually come out as the books continue and drama ensues, but friendships also develop. Each of the books made me immediately purchase and download the next book because I was so sucked into each person’s story. The stories are shorter than most e-books.

Mature reader warning: There are some S & M scenes as the book series goes on. I found those easy to skip, since they are only part of one character’s story, and it’s easy to see where the next character’s story starts.

Overall, this is an enjoyable, engaging, easy-to-read story series. I’m definitely going to continue reading it as new books come out! 4 out of 5 chickadees singing.

 

***The buy links above are from Amazon. Pictures are from the author and used with permission. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion. I DO, however, receive a small commission when a book purchase is made by clicking on the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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