Out of Play

Out of Play

By Joy Norstrom

4 out of 5 chickadees singing!

When I read the hilarious plot summary of this book, I knew I had to get it. Gillian is fed up with her husband, mainly because of his hobby of LARP (live action role play). Her husband, Ralph, dressed up in costumes with like-minded individuals and pretends to be a character like a banshee, knight, etc. Gillian starts seeing a therapist to get help for this issue and is shocked when she advises that Gillian go on a LARP’ing trip with her husband.

Gillian ends up not telling Ralph she’s going to come along and volunteers as a kitchen wench. She acts like she’s taking her therapist’s suggestion, but she can’t help spying on her husband. She gets herself into some crazy situations and meets some, um, interesting people.

This book was completely unpredictable, which I was not expecting. It was a welcome surprise. It was also very funny, with the characters and situations. Yet it somehow also managed to do justice to the serious topic of a relationship on the rocks. A good read.

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Picture Perfect Review

Picture Perfect

By Jodi Picoult

Genre: Women’s Fiction

3 out of 5 stars. This review contains slight spoilers. This is NOT the typical Jodi Picoult book. The story begins with a woman stumbling about in the snow. Will, a half Native American police officer, finds her and takes her home. She has amnesia. Will works to help her find out who she is. It turns out that she is Cassie, an anthropologist, who met a movie star and fell in love with him. They got married and from the outside, things look picture perfect. However, after Cassie goes back home, she realizes she was wandering around in the snow because she was leaving her famous husband, Alex Rivers, who sometimes beats her. He had a traumatizing childhood and Cassie feels like it is her job to heal him.

This book shows us the Cassie and Alex love story from the beginning. The amazing thing that this book did was it made you want to root for them, even though Alex was abusive. I think Picoult was trying to make the reader understand why a wife would stay with an abusive husband. There were a lot of good parts to their life together. But there were also dark moments. This is the only book about domestic abuse that I’ve read where I actually felt sorry for the abuser and understood why the wife was with him and didn’t feel like she could leave. (Even though there is no excuse for abuse ever.)

This book also shows the reader some of Will’s Native American heritage. Honestly, Will’s part of the story was just not that interesting to me. Another critique of this book is that it moved along at a very slow pace. There was no point where I felt like I couldn’t put the book down. It wasn’t full of the typical Picoult twists and turns.

I appreciate Picoult bringing awareness to domestic abuse. However, if you’re looking for a typical Picoult read, I would choose another of her books.

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Gone Girl Review

Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn

Ok, I think I’m finally ready to review this book. This may be a very short review, though. I’ve been putting this review off because I wasn’t sure how I felt about the book. I decided to put 5 stars because I did think it was very well-written and engaging.

Despite the 5 stars, it’s hard for me to imagine recommending this book to anyone. This book was kind of disturbing and it haunted me for days afterward. Especially the ending. That is the sign of a great, really well-done book. My husband and I listened to this book on audiobook and it was a fabulous choice because it absolutely appealed to both sexes. The book may have been more creepy through audiobook because it’s like the characters are talking directly to you and their voices are in your head. Immediately, we were both hooked on the story, coming up with theories about what we thought happened. (I’m happy to say my theory was correct.) The novel kept our interest the entire time and my husband is NOT a reader. We literally sat at home doing nothing but listening for 4 hours one work night because we had to finish the story in 4 days. We had to know how it ended. If you like thrillers and suspense and can handle a bit of disturbing material, this is a book you need to read.

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Run Away Baby Review

Run Away Baby

By Holly Tierney-Bedord

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4 out of 5 stars! I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed this book. I enjoy reading about complex relationships, even when they’re totally screwed up. The first chapter of this book immediately hooked me. Abby is married to Randall, the most controlling man I have ever heard of. There are video cameras all over Abby’s house. If she is out shopping, she has to bring home receipts for proof of where she went. If there is too long between receipt times, he gets suspicious. Randall tracks her location on her phone. The abuse is not only emotional, but often, physical.

I found it interesting that Abby’s life looks so perfect to outsiders- barely needs to work, house cleaner, cook, wealthy husband, spending money, carefree life. There is so much hidden under the surface. Abby hasn’t had to provide for herself in so long she doesn’t know things like how to load a dishwasher. In the book, Abby gets a job a job 8 hours a week at Randall’s friend’s company in order to save Randall money on insurance. This begins a chain of events that lead to Abby trying to plan an escape from her life.

This book was unpredictable. I was always wondering whether or not Abby could trust certain characters. I was constantly afraid of what Randall would do to her if certain things were revealed. I really cared about her welfare. I loved all the details that went into her planning her escape. I truly felt like I was right with Abby through it all.

This was a great thriller and a very fast-paced read. The premise of the book was fascinating. I would recommend it!

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Tales from the Crib Review

Tales from the Crib Review

Author: Jennifer Coburn

Genre: Chick Lit, Women’s Fiction

Wow, this book was fabulous! This was another free iBook I downloaded and I’m so glad I did! I love books that mix serious issues with fun and this book did just that.

After a series of miscarriages, Lucy unexpectedly becomes pregnant. The day she goes to tell her husband, he says he wants a divorce. When he finds out about the baby, though, he decides they should live together and co-parent, while still seeing other people. Lucy agrees to this situation, but is secretly jealous when he brings home “perfect” Natalie.

There is a lot of stuff about Lucy giving birth and adjusting to a newborn, which leads to some funny stories. Lucy’s family is also a riot. Her cousin ends up having a ceremony to marry “herself.” Her aunts say hilarious things and her mom is VERY spiritual (not religious).

My only critique is that a lot of the problems in the book were fixed way too easily and unrealistically, but I didn’t take the book too seriously, so it didn’t bother me much. I was very sucked into the story of Lucy and her husband, Jack. This overall arching plot is peppered with lots of subplots (many of them comedic). I liked this book so much, I immediately downloaded the sequel. It’s a super funny, quick, and enjoyable read!

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