Fall Reading List: 10 Books I Can’t Wait to Read
fall reading list I know I always think of Summer reading lists because they're light, fun, and great for vacation. However, there is nothing more fun than having a list of books to dive into on a rainy fall afternoon, sitting on the back porch while the weather is just right,  or a story to capture your imagination while you drink your coffee in your cozy flannel pajamas.

fall reading collage

I haven't read any of these (so, don't blame me if any are bad...), but here is what I'm planning on reading this Fall!

Girl Waits with Gun

girl waits with gun From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine

the gilded life A modern-day Gatsby tale of forbidden love, family secrets and the true price of wealth.

The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last A new novel from Margaret Atwood must be read, of course!

Named of the Dragon

named of the dragon I have read two Kearsly novels recently and this one seems a bit different, so I am ready to try it!

After You

after you The sequel to Me Before You... enough said.

The Killing Kind

the killing kind A hitman who only kills other hitmen winds up a target himself.

The Lake House

the lake house A new Kate Morton novel is a must-read!

The Crossing

the crossing The newest Harry Bosch novel. I just can't say no! Fall seems to be the season of book releases. I already have this on preorder to arrive as soon as it is released!

The Nightingale

the nightingale This novel isn't new, but it's been on my list for so long that it's time for me to tackle it! Not only are the reviews good, but if I'm going to judge a book by its cover, I'd pick this one, too.

Did You Ever Have a Family

did you ever have a family This debut novel and Man Booker short-list caught my attention the moment a read a synopsis. I can't wait to dive in!  

What are you going to read this fall?

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Categories: Reading Tags: ,
The Best Season: Fall Give Away!
Fall is my favorite season! It always has been. I loved going back to school (nerd alert!), the clothes are the most comfortable and cozy, and they food is delicious! Now fall includes my husband's birthday, my anniversary, and my dog's birthday. Living near Charlotte means tons of festivals, access to Ashville, Montreat, and Greenville, South Carolina. There seems to be bluegrass music and a warm drink around every corner. I'm teaming up Jenna from A Savory Feast plus a lot of other wonderful bloggers to celebrate fall over the next week with fall themed posts. We'll be linking up our posts so that you can celebrate with us. I participated last year and couldn't have had more fun! So, check out the giveaway below and stick around for the rest of the posts! It's fun to see each blogger apply the theme of "Fall" to their niche!


We are so excited about the arrival of Fall, so we are celebrating with a giveaway! Enter to win this fun prize pack filled with all sorts of Fall-themed goodies and a Starbucks gift card. Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

Fall Welcome Week Hosts To Travel and Beyond // The Beauty Section // Back to Carolina //

Yellow Dog Pink Pig // Natasha Byrd // Glitz & Gritz // Set Free // Mandy Living Life

Wetherills Say I Do // Life w/ Mrs. G. and the Artist // The Gift of Gab

Sustaining the Powers // Bright Green Door // A Savory Feast // No Small Life

Giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age and older. Entries will be accepted via the Rafflecopter below from 9/23/2015 to 9/30/2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Winner will be randomly selected and will be verified. Winner will be emailed and must respond with a mailing address within 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

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Categories: Giveaways Tags:
We Never Asked for Wings: A Beautiful Novel

we never asked for wings book review we never asked for wings book review

Verdict: Must Read for Everyone!

We Never Asked for Wings is the highly anticipated novel by the New York Times Best Selling author of The Language of Flowers. The story, We Never Asked for Wings, takes place around San Francisco, where the single mother of two children had been sharing her childhood apartment with her parents for her entire life. Unfortunately, her parents, who were undocumented when they crossed the border from Mexico into the United States go back to Mexico, to visit a dying relative, when the story begins.

This story touched my heart in so many ways. I loved how Diffenbaugh covered so many topics in one novel and brought them together beautifully. The story is told by two different narrators, the mother and the son. In a way, it's a coming of age story for each of them, even though they are 18 years apart. The story doesn't just pull on the readers heart strings. It examines love, loss, politics, and why people treat people the way they do.

This story has something for everyone. I would recommend it to high school students through adults. It's about first love. It's about family. It's about finding love. It's about life. While the book is fiction, I could picture the novel being based on a true story. It's probably the true story of too many families. Since it was fiction, it was "white washed," in a way, so there was always money to borrow in a pinch or those sorts of things. However, it was a book that I couldn't put down. As a mostly mystery book reader, I was highly impressed with how much I loved this book.

Do yourself a favor and pick it up today!

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this novel.

If you love to read, add me as a friend on Goodreads, so you can keep up real-time.

You can purchase the novel wherever books are sold or add it to your TBR list on Goodreads here. Don't forget to check out Vanessa Diffenbaugh's website, if you're interested in more information.

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Categories: Book Review Tags: , ,
Bream Gives Me Hiccups: A Book Review

Bream Gives Me Hiccups Book Review bream gives me hiccups

Verdict: A must read for humor-lovers!

I won't lie, I snatched up the chance to read this as soon as possible because, well, Zombieland is my favorite movie ever. I was interested to see what Jesse Eisenberg could put to page. Most telling, I thought, was his thank you page at the end of the novel. They gave me the most insight into his inspiration. I won't give anything away. Save the end for the end! As I mentioned in my monthly book review round up, this book is a must read! Bream Gives Me Hiccups is a hilarious mix of short stories, some longer than others. Eisenberg mixes different mediums to tell stories and weave a slight thread about revolution into the story. It's a little bit out of left field, but it adds some "random" funniness to the story. Oddly enough, my two favorite stories are written from a child's point of view first, when he writes about his life through a series of restaurant/life reviews that are very touching and insightful and then from a series of letters written by female freshman in college to her high school college counselor as her mental health starts to unravel. I'm partial to audiobooks, but I read the ebook of Bream Gives Me Hiccups, which was hilarious. I have to guess that the audiobook would be even more funny, since Audible.com lists the narrators as Jesse Eisenberg, Hallie Eisenberg (his sister), Annapurna Sriram, Erin Darke, and Colin Nissan. I like that Eisenberg has his sister narrating since in several short stories, an unnamed narrator has his sister email the narrator's girlfriend, text him early in the morning, and so forth. I'd love to know how much of the unnamed narrator's sister is based on his real life sister! Basically, if you're looking for something fun and quick, let the multi-talented Jesse Eisenberg entertain you! I really can't tell you how funny this novel is. I wouldn't compare it to BJ Novak's short stories since Novak's stories were almost entirely prose, if you are looking to compare celebrity short stories. I really enjoyed the different styles of writing captured in a single book, plus the wit and humor. It was great to see him take on all of the different characters. With all of the celebrity novels coming out, I'm glad Eisenberg gave us short stories!

You can pick up the novel when it comes out on September 8, 2015!

Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to review this novel.

Don't forget that you can go here to check out more of my book reviews, monthly book round ups, and all things literary (like how to save money on audible!). Also, if you love Goodreads, don't forget to add me as a friend because I'm always looking to see what other people are reading!

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Categories: Book Review, Reading Tags: ,
What I Read Last Month: August
What I Read August So, I did not read many classics in July - at least ones that weren't written by Georgette Heyer. This month I didn't read a single classic novel, but I'm almost at my goal of 50 novels in 2 years, but it's only been about 8 months! Instead of star ratings, I've put "verdicts" of read or don't read under each novel. Star ratings are too subjective for each reviewer! I'm still ranking the books at the bottom for definitely read and read if you have time. It's hard to rank novels that are parts of series, too. So, I hope you'll get some ideas. I'm really indebted to some bloggers for rating novels from series, though, because I've found tons of hours of entertainment. Contemporary

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs #6)

Among the Mad

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

This novel was a slight departure from the normal narrative. While we didn't know who the "bad guy" was during the novel, there were excerpts of him writing to himself in his journal. I likened it a little to when you know who the unsub is in a Criminal Minds episode. Not as good. However, the overall message about war ravaging the mind hit home. Although, I am not sure if the author is beating a dead horse at this point. PTSD is a huge problem (and was after all wars, even when it wasn't recognized), but I wish she would find a mystery for Dobbs that doesn't involve shell shock. I will say that the further I read into the Maisie Dobbs series, the less New Age it seems. There just isn't room for all the weird stuff from the first few novels.

Days of Awe

days of awe

Verdict: Don't Read

Ambiguous endings can be perfect. However, I think there needs to be some type of moral or life lesson/takeaway from the ambiguous ending. Without some type of lesson-learned for the main character, it's just a shitty way of ending the novel quickly. You can read my full review here...

Luckiest Girl Alive

luckiest girl alive

Verdict: Read

Luckiest Girl Alive is the perfect foil for Days of Awe. While it seems like Luckiest Girl Alive would be super trashy and smutty, it wasn't, and neither was Days of Awe. The difference is that while neither had neat or tidy endings - and you really aren't sure what the main character of Luckiest Girl Alive is going to do, you do know that she learned something about herself and life from her experiences. I don't want to spoil the other book, but I just wanted to return it to the writer and demand more. I wanted to know what Iz learned about the nature of life, love, relationships, or even just herself. But the ending was a cop out. Obviously, I feel personally offended because I thoroughly enjoyed everything up until the last page. Wink

The Mapping of Love and Death (Maisie Dobbs #7)

The Mapping of Love and Death

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

I particularly liked this installment of the Maisie Dobbs series because Maisie is learning more about herself, solving more complex mysteries, and my brain works overtime trying to keep up, which is fun, since a lot of mystery novels can be fairly trite.

A Desperate Fortune

A Desperate Fortune

Verdict: Read

My mom recommended this novel to me. I've seen tons of Kearsley novels pop up on book review link ups, but I've never read one. I frequently read phrases like "Kearsley is an automatic buy for me," so when my mom mentioned that I might like the historical mystery being solved in the present, which is slightly reminiscent of a Morton novel, I had to say yes. I enjoyed the ensemble of characters. The main character was quirky, sweet, and endearing, and the rest of the characters range from domineering to completely laid back. I like that Kearsley can create such a variety of characters. Also, the mystery and history were fascinating.

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (The Grantchester Mysteries #2)

Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night

Verdict: Check out this series and read it!

I actually got my husband to listen to this one in the car! We are watching BBC television series, where they turned the first novel into a six part, I think..., series. I've read that this novel is currently in production! I definitely loved the follow up!

A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness #2)

A Royal Pain

Verdict: Give this quirky series a chance!

This was a funny follow up to the first novel in the series! I am looking forward to reading more because I love how the main character is developing, and of course, I want to see how her love life develops, too!

The Fifth Gospel

The Fifth Gospel

Verdict: Don't Read

I wanted to like this novel. I really did. I liked Caldwell's first novel so much! This novel was so long. If I hadn't been listening to the audio, I would have put the paperback down. I was confused a lot because I don't know much about the hierarchy of the Catholic church or their internal justice system. It was really, really tedious in parts.

Go Set a Watchman

go set a watchman

Verdict: Read

I wasn't sure what to expect with this novel. It was a lot to process. It can probably mean a lot of different things to different people depending on a lot of different factors. Personally, I thought the novel was a nice way of saying that idealism sounds good and we should strive for a better world, but it doesn't happen overnight. But, for a short novel, barely more than a short story, there was a lot there.

Dexter Is Dead (Dexter #8)

dexter is dead

Verdict: Undecided

I was always a fan (I watched the whole series!) of Dexter on TV. When this novel came out, I read that you could read it without reading the rest of the series, if you'd seen the TV show. There are some major discrepancies between the show and the TV series, based on reading the last novel, so I want to go back and read the series. I read the novel because I wanted to know how the author wanted the series to end, rather than the TV writers/producers. Overall, I have to say, I'm more of a fan of the personality of the TV Dexter than the book Dexter. It's interesting how the the show interpreted the character (maybe made him more likable?) than the novel. I am only basing this on one novel, though.

Trunk Music (Harry Bosch #5)

trunk music

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

So, I've been reading the Harry Bosch series out of order for years. I decided to fill in some gaps. Now, as I write this post, I realize, I'm juggling a lot of series! I just watched all of the Harry Bosch series on Amazon, which is much different than the later Harry Bosch novels, so that rekindled my interest. I plan on reading/listening to many more! I always look forward to the fall/winter of each year, when Connelly seems to be alternating the release of a Bosch or Lincoln Lawyer novel.

A Lesson in Secrets (Maisie Dobbs #8)

a lesson in secrets

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

I waited almost the entire month for this novel to come in from the library! It was a departure from the normal Dobbs mystery. Instead of taking of a client, she worked for the government in the capacity of a spy, but of course, she couldn't help but solve a murder too. I liked the advancements in her personal life, too!

The Murderer's Daughter


Verdict: Don't Read

I really thought the title was misleading. Not bad enough for me to quit reading, but not good enough for me to recommend. I wrote a full review here, if you want know more, in case you do want to read it.

A Window Opens

A Window Opens

Verdict: Read

Wow! I felt like I was back in college... I read this novel for Netgalley, which meant that it archived on August 25. I waited a bit late to start reading, but I was rewarded. The novel started slowly, but, it sped up and got better! Read my full review here!

The Secret History

the secret history

Verdict: Read

This novel took me a really long time just to listen to, so I can't imagine reading it! I mentioned to a friend how much I enjoyed The Likeness by Tana French, so she suggested this novel. I also happened to already have enjoyed Tarrt's second novel, so this was on my TBR list.

Bream Gives Me Hiccups

bream gives me hiccups

Verdict: Read

This novel of short stories was hilarious! I read an advanced copy from Netgally, but I couldn't stop thinking how funny the novel would be on audio, read by the author! When I looked at Audible, I saw that Jesse Eisenberg would be reading it, when it gets released. I was laughing a lot at Eisenburg's use of stories told through different mediums, like emails, text messages, and restaurant ratings. My full review will be coming soon! The book will be available September 8!

Angels Flight Harry Bosch #6

angels flight

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

So, I'm reading more Harry Bosch novels to fill that void left by the end of the Amazon television series and to catch myself up to where I was. Don't you hate when you read series out order? Especially over the course of years?

Elegy for Eddie (Maisie Dobbs #9)

elegy for eddie

Verdict: Read if you like the series!

This was a touching story of Maisie finding justice for a friend with whom she grew up. Sadly, along the way, time is passing and WWI is getting further away and England is getting closer to entering WWII. Anyway, as I am continuing to battle this fever, this series is an easy listen (I'm so glad that my library has all of the novels on Overdrive!), plus Maisie's personal life is shaping up, so it's also something to keep me interested in the series! I was never much of a series person before, but now I like learning to love characters as they grow, plus each novel has an interesting storyline.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Verdict: Read!

Ok. I know I am REALLY late reading this novel, but wow! I loved it. I laughed. I cried. My heart was full by the end of the novel. I know this novel was published years ago, but I missed reading it. First of all, I absolutely love reading novels written in the epistolary style. Secondly, this book was funny, and full of love. I wanted to live on the island (after the Germans left, of course).

read these

Go Set a Watchman

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Secret History

Bream Gives Me Hiccups

if you have time

Luckiest Girl Alive

A Desperate Fortune

A Window Opens

don't bother smaller

The Fifth Gospel

The Murderer's Daughter

Days of Awe

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads You can read my past monthly round ups: July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 And other archived roundups here!

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

(My TBR List has 500+ books on it... and I keep picking up more books. Do I have a problem?!)

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

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Categories: What I Read Last Month
A Window Opens: What Matters in Life

A Window Opens Book Review A Window Opens

I find a star system too subjective, so bottom line: I would recommend this novel!

A Window Opens follows the main character, Alice, who is a mother of three small children. At first, she juggles the a part time career and trying to be the best PTA mom, while her husband works full time in New York City as a lawyer. Unfortunately, not long after the novel starts, her husband realizes that he won't have a future at his law firm, so he decides to strike out on his own. As the title implies, the novel is about doors closing and windows opening instead. Honestly, I shed a few tears because I read the book at a rough time in my own life, like the main character. The novel is about struggling families and choosing to be right rather than happy before even more family disasters strike. I really loved Alice, the main character. She is full of passion. She isn't perfect, but she's trying. The beginning of the novel captured my attention, yet it did take me a few tries to get going. Along with the Alice's adventure in venturing into full time employment and trying to be a good mom, plus take care of her dying father, and strained relationship with her husband, there are lots of sweet and funny moments with her children. Overall, the story really hit home how important family (both biological and friends - the family that you pick) are. You'll also love this book if you're a book-lover because Alice is a book reviewer for a magazine at the beginning of the novel, makes wonderful allusions to all sorts of literary things throughout the story, oh, and her best friend owns a small book store. If you read about their concept of the "No Guilt Book Club," you'll be dying for someone you know to start one. I would go! I'll leave you with this short line that left me with a few tears and made me go run and hug my husband: And if we've learned anything this year, it's that life is short. You need to be happy.

Don't forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads! Check back for more book reviews and my monthly roundups!

You can pick up A Window Opens on Tuesday, August 25, 2015!

Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to honestly review this novel.

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The Murderer’s Daughter: An Interesting Novel

The Muderer's Daughter Book Review kell__jkt_all_r1.indd

The Murderer's Daughter follows the life of a woman who is the daughter of a murderer, as the title implies. However, I think the title is a bit misleading. [If you read it, leave a comment and let me know if you agree!] I don't want to spoil anything, but the murdering part of her parentage isn't really what shaped her life. It's the part that comes before and after it. The main character, Grace, though, is a tremendously gifted child, who is fortunate enough to land in a situation where her talents are fostered. Her interest in psychology and eventual career allows her to help other victims of trauma, but also creates an interesting twist when her past and present collide. I did like the narrative style of weaving the story of her past with her present, so it is like the unwrapping of many presents. It is almost two stories in one. It is the story of how she became the woman she is, which is highly guarded, private, and solitary, while also the story of how she is seeking to find out the identity of who is trying to kill her because she doesn't want to take her story to the police. I love the main character, although the story borders on far-fetched. There are just too many convenient circumstances to make the book "tidy" and wrap-up nicely for my taste. While there were unexpected twists and turns, I just kept thinking "this is all too convenient" as I read the novel. It was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end, so I could read the conclusion, which was well done, in my opinion. However, in my opinion, I just just kept coming back to the fact that everything wrapped up too well. I don't know if that was to keep the book a readable length or to keep it simple. But, for a psychological thriller, there was a ton of psychology and not as much thrilling! Thanks to Netgalley for allowing me to give an honest review of this book!  
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Not a Book Post
Not a book post I've kept the blog pretty impersonal for the past 6 months to a year. I do enjoy writing about books, especially because they're easy to write about when I don't feel well. However, I thought I'd play catch up and write not about books! And maybe give you a little peak at why I mostly wrote about books. The last year or so of my life has mostly been spent in bed. I try to get up, but it is always one step forward and two steps back. I watch TV with my husband because other than listening to the Serial podcast, he doesn't really like group reading.
  • Recently, I took a quick trip to Charleston with my husband, because the doctors keep telling me to leave the house. However, it only caused a lot of my symptoms to flare.
  • Back in the Spring, I didn't know what was wrong with my legs, so when I went to the doctor, they sent me to PT, but I only got worse. Way worse. Finally, it took two months to get a rheumatologist appointment, so all I could do was suffer. I used a walker for awhile, plus had to take a ton of pain meds and now an anti-inflammatory.
IMG_8756 11141342_754905566526_3892952901041232665_n

Cute walker in the back.

  • I got my Botox shots a few weeks ago, which are a lot harder to schedule and get to than you would think, since my doctor reschedules a lot. Something went wrong and my head is actually falling forward now. It makes life really hard. My other doctor showed my husband how to tape my neck up. For my dystonia pals, I am going to write a tutorial later. It keeps you from drooling on yourself.
  • Since I'm not always mobile, we put a mini-fridge beside my bed. While I always wanted a refrigerator in my bedroom as a kid, I didn't want to have to get one because I am not mobile. What's also bad is that I keep losing weight no matter how much I try to lose it safely through PT. (Being chronically ill can make your weight yo-yo, but usually go up. This is the first time it's gone down without diligent calorie counting and exercise). Since I can't have someone with me 24 hours a day, I've really started liking these almonds - since I have to have a snack that isn't heated/cooked. They taste like the Vanilla Almond Special K, which I love.
  • There is an odd contradiction going on. I take one medication that makes me dislike sweets/lose my appetite. (I thought that I had miraculously kicked my soda habit on my own, but then I researched the medication some more, only to find, that in addition to weight loss side effects, studies showed that people lost their fondness for sweets!) I take another that makes me unable to drink water because it tastes like metal. Some foods taste bad. So, I absolutely cannot drink water. After totally cutting out soda, I am having to drink sweetened drinks, if I want to drink at all. I have to carry the squeeze bottles of flavoring around in my purse.
IMG_8763 Image-1 (1) IMG_8767
  • I have been enjoying using Faded to edit my photos. I don't know why, but it's more awesome than anything else than I've tried.
  • The fall is my favorite! I gave my husband his early birthday present because I couldn't stand it. September is his birthday, October is always homecoming, November is our anniversary, Rylie's birthday, and Thanksgiving! I desperately want to feel better so that I can celebrate these things.

IMG_8762Early birthday present for my husband! I couldn't wait!


+ So, now I'm just trying to get better. Trying to get off the medications that hurt me. But, right now, I have a hard time taking care of myself. I am doing everything I can do, but it's a lot harder than just wanting it.


So, I got a cute planner to try to help myself and track my symptoms, but every time my symptoms get so bad that they need to be written down, it is hard to write them down...

I guess that's my story (not about books)!

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Categories: Currently Tags:
Top Ten Tuesday: Most Read Authors!
my top ten most read authors I'm linking up with Broke and Bookish to list my most read authors (and I'd love to hear your's!). I'm not sure that these are my most read of all time, but most read recently! Daphne du Maurier Rebecca was my favorite novel in high school. Recently, I've delved back into more of her novels. David Baldacci Well, since I read then entire King and Maxwell series, Baldacci makes it to the top of the list. georgette heyer Heyer, who I found recently, has provided me with hours and hours of entertainment while I've been sick and unable to sleep. henry james I'm not sure why, but I have been reading a ton of Henry James recently. Most of the novels are super long, though! jacqueline winspear Since I'm working my way through the Maise Dobbs series, Winspear has made her way to the top of my list! Jonathan Tropper I only have one or two more Tropper novels left. I love his stuff! Michael Connelly Well, since I read all of the Lincoln Lawyer novels and most of the Harry Bosch novels, Connelly makes the top of the list! Philippa Gregory You may be sensing a theme... Since I read the entire Cousins War series, plus a few other Gregory novels, she has risen to the top! Tana French After the all 5 Dublin Murder Squad series novels (and I eagerly await more...), again French goes to the top. Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite novelists, oddly enough. I don't know why. William Faulkner Other than Flannery O'Connor, Faulkner is one of my favorite southern Gothic novelists!

Who are your most read and go-to authors?!

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Categories: Uncategorized
“You fundamentally misunderstand the concept.”

Days of Awe Review days of awe book review: back to carolina

Days of Awe is about Isabel Moore, a teacher, mother, and wife. The novel begins with the death of her best friend and fellow teacher, Josie. The novel vacillates between the past and the present. When Iz, as her friends call her, was a child, and her dissolving marriage. The novel explores how Iz juggles so many life changes at once, how her past shaped her present, and most of all how to cope with grief as she feels like she may be responsible for Josie's death. Iz sees how easy it is to second guess everything and go back years and trace events that lead to Josie's death. As a reader, I was engrossed in the story. I was emotionally invested in the characters, who were well developed. My heart broke when Iz's heart broke. I got mad at the other teachers when Iz got mad at the other teachers. I was rooting for her. However, the ending left me disappointed. There was no ending. Not really. Endings to novels definitely don't need to be neat and clean. I don't need them wrapped up in a box with a bow. However, when I think about ambiguous endings that are done correctly - an ending where I don't know what happens to the characters, really - I still feel satisfied. Satisfying ambiguous endings are satisfying because the main character or characters have not only learned something, but they've applied it to their life. Even if they learn not to care about what other people think about them, and they exhibit a glimmer of hope in their eyes or they kick their crappy boyfriend to the curb, but now they have to move back home with their batty family. I don't learn how they rebuild their lives, but I know that they've come out better people and something good is going to come out of the bad situations in the the novel. Days of Awe leaves the reader hanging. I don't know if Iz's empowerment is implied, which if it is, it isn't done well, but honestly when I finished the novel, I wanted to hand it back to the editor and the author with a big fat F in red at the top and write "try again." Or, maybe to borrow a phrase from my least favorite professor on a literary criticism test that I failed as a baby sophomore, who didn't belong in the class, I could write at the top "You fundamentally misunderstand the concept." Ms. Fox and her editors need to try again because they fundamentally misunderstand how to end a story. It's really a shame because I couldn't put down the novel. When I got to the last page, I was stunned that it was the ending. Thank you to NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.  
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