Unpopular Books I Love

Here are books with less than 10,000 ratings on Goodreads that I quite enjoyed. Have you read any?

Together at Midnight

 

 

My review: Together At Midnight ~ Spoiler-Free Book Review 🗽 💕 🎄 🎆

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dress Codes for Small Towns

 

 

My review: Best Book I’ve read this year! Dress Codes For Small Towns by Courtney Stevens ] Spoiler-Free #BookReview

 

 

 

 

 

 

momswhodrinkandswear

 

My review: Book Review: Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving my Kids While Losing My Mind

 

 

 

 

lonely hearts hotel

 

 

My review: Whimsical Novel from Canadian Author: The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Review #spoilerfree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the little giant of aberdeen county

 

 

My Review: On Goodreads

 

 

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Book Review for Upcoming Mystery/Thriller “A Guide for Murdered Children” by Sarah Sparrow

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE.

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

 

Title: A Guide for Murdered Children

Author: Sarah Sparrow

Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Expected Publication: March 20, 2018

Page Count: 400 pages

 

 

synopsis

We all say there is no justice in this world. But what if there really was? What if the souls of murdered children were able to return briefly to this world, inhabit adult bodies and wreak ultimate revenge on the monsters who had killed them, stolen their lives?

Such is the unfathomable mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde, fresh out of rehab and finally able to find a job running a Cold Case squad in suburban Detroit. When the two rookie cops assigned to him take an obsessive interest in a decades old disappearance of a brother and sister, Willow begins to suspect something out of the ordinary is afoot. And when he uncovers a series of church basement AA-type meetings made up of the slain innocents, a new way of looking at life, death, murder and missed opportunities is revealed to him.

Mystical, harrowing and ultimately tremendously moving, A Guide for Murdered Children is a genre-busting, mind-bending twist on the fine line between the ordinary and the extraordinary.” (Goodreads)

 

My Review

A Guide for Murdered Children is separated into three books: “Closely Watched Trains”, “The Spirit Room”, and “Local and Express”. While reading the first 25% of this book the first time around I was terribly confused. I honestly had no idea what in the world was happening. The story flipped from past to present and it was challenging to keep everything straight. I almost decided to stop reading it, instead I flipped to the beginning to try again. I’m SO GLAD that I did, because I understood it much better the second time around.

Detective Willow “Dubya” Wylde is presently at a rehab in Arizona. He’s made some really bad choices in life, ruining his career and family. It’s time to make amends and restore balance. The story flips to the past where we meet brother and sister, Troy and Maya on the day they were murdered in Saggerty Falls, Michigan. Back to the present we meet Deputy Lydia Molloy as she falls to her death at the Macomb Orchard Trail and Deputy Daniel Doheny, who dies from a heart attack. In the present eleven year old Winston is also murdered around the same time that Renée “Honeychile” Devonshire dies from an asthma attack. The murdered children’s spirits enter the body of those who have recently died (usually adults except for Honeychile) in order to achieve their moment of balance by killing the person who took their life.  As the murdered children’s spirits enter their “landlords”, the “landlord” body comes back to life – so the people who know the “landlords” don’t realize they have died. I hope that made sense. I’ll wait while you go back and re-read that part…Okay, you following me?

Annie, the Porter, greets the new arrivals on the train, giving them the address for the meeting.  There are also Subalterns on the train, who are ancient, shadowy beings. Annie, The Porter, knows her replacement is coming soon but doesn’t know who it is yet.  At the meeting the murdered children are given the Guidebook of rules they must follow.

Detective Willow has a recurring dream of being on a train. In the dream the Porter gives him an address. When he wakes up he decides to go to the address, discovering it’s the new house of his ex-wife and her new husband Owen, who is Willow’s old cop partner. He makes up a story that he’s there to make amends with both of them, and Owen asks Willow to join his new Cold Case team. In Book Two and Three there are a lot of twists and turns, it kept me turning the pages wondering what in the world was going to happen next.

A Guide for Murdered Children is an extremely out-of-the-box concept of balance and forgiveness. It’s a little far-fetched for a Mystery/Thriller, you’ll have to put aside your questions and just let it be revealed to you.

The main character, Willow, is seriously annoying. I don’t think he experiences enough of a transition to make me like him in the end. If you like unlikable characters he might be right up your alley.  Although I did not enjoy Willow’s character, I enjoyed Annie, and Willow’s ex-wife. I would have loved more information about the Subalterns.

The book is too long and can benefit by an editor not afraid to trim the unnecessary bits.  If you can get past the first 25%, and let your mind wander outside of reality, then I think you’ll enjoy this thriller.

 

About the author.jpg

From what I could figure out A Guide for Murdered Children is written with a pen name, Sarah Sparrow. I attempted some digging around online, but wasn’t able to figure out the real name of the author.

Bookish Love Tag

I completely forgot to post a Book Tag for Tag Tuesday. I’m home today catching up on cleaning and stuff, so here’s my tag for Valentine’s Day ♥ Hope your love day was filled with smiles.

⋯ QUESTIONS ⋯
1. 3 book boyfriends/girlfriends
2. 3 OTPs
3. Favorite first kiss
4. What couple had the greatest sexual tension?
On Valentine’s day, which couple would…
5. …go to a fancy restaurant
6. …have a quiet picnic/walk on the beach
7. …stay at home and watch Netflix
8. …go dancing!
9. What couple do you want to get together?
10. What couple do you HATE that everyone else LOVES?

Creator -> Novel Noise  → https://youtu.be/dtvq1LuMvb0

1. 3 book boyfriends/girlfriends

James Fraser ♥ What a man. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

August Flynn ♥ This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Aragorn ♥ LOTR by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. 3 OTPs (One True Pairing)

Cinder + Prince Kai The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Rose + Pierrot The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

Kendall + Max Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

3. Favorite first kiss

Ron + Hermione (in the book, actor chemistry didn’t work for this in the movie)

4. What couple had the greatest sexual tension?

Claire + James Outlander (ooooo, soooo goooood)

On Valentine’s day, which couple would…
5. …go to a fancy restaurant

Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

On Valentine’s day, which couple would…
6. …have a quiet picnic/walk on the beach

Scarlet + Wolf, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

On Valentine’s day, which couple would…
7. …stay at home and watch Netflix

Hazel + Augustus, The Fault in our Stars by John Green

On Valentine’s day, which couple would…
8. …go dancing!

Cora Seaborne and Will Ransome, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

9. What couple do you want to get together?

Ronan and Adam, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater (I haven’t read the whole series yet)

10. What couple do you HATE that everyone else LOVES?

Four and Tris, Divergent by Veronica Roth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

I’m finally getting around to writing a book review for The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King. As always, this review is spoiler-free.

the bazaar of bad dreams

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Mass Market Paperback: 686 pages

Published 2016 by Pocket Books

synopsis

“Since Night Shift was published more than thirty-five years ago, Stephen King has dazzled an entire generation of readers with his genius as a prominent writer of short fiction. Now, in his latest collection, he once again assembles a generous array of unforgettable, tantalizing tales. There are thrilling connections between these works – themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, and what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. Magnificent, eerie, and utterly compelling, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is one of Stephen King’s finest gifts to readers everywhere – a master storyteller at his very best.” (Book Back Blurb)

Includes the new story “Cookie Jar”

Stephen King delivers an “outstanding” (USA TODAY) collection of stories, featuring revelatory autobiographical comments on when, why, and how he came to write (or rewrite) each story.” (Goodreads)

My Review

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, vivid stories that will haunt your dreams. King’s imagination is limitless. The first story, “Mile 81” is about a monster car that kills people. My favourite stories are “The Dune”, a “magical place where an invisible Moving Finger would write terrible things in the sand”, “Morality”, a story to make you wonder about how much money would someone have to pay you to commit a horrible sin, “Ur”, a story that Amazon asked King to write about the Kindle (this one has references to The Dark Tower series), “Under the weather”, an extremely disturbing love story, and “Obits”, a tale which I won’t give any info because it will give it away. Just read it.

Some reviewers have said that the stories weren’t scary, but for me, the frightening part is that aspects of each story reflect a version of events that COULD happen “in real life”. King doesn’t write simple heart-pounding typical creepy stories, he gives me that “goosebumpy” feeling of “Wow, I know this character is an ass for doing this, but I might do the same, (or know of someone who would do the same).

I think my fellow “Constant Readers” will quite enjoy these stories, but I’m not sure how someone who’s never read King’s work would enjoy The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. Have you read it? What did you think? What were your favourite stories?

Until next time…

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Riverdale Book Tag

Check out the Riverdale Book Tag Creator: https://youtu.be/lavII4Kzlnc

Here are all of the question:

1. Archie – A book with great side characters

2. Jughead – A character from a broken home

3. Veronica – A character who very easily could have been one dimensional

4. Betty – A great sibling relationship

5. Cheryl – A character who acts tough, but is secretly an emotional wreck

6. Josie And The Pussycats – A strong marginalized female who is more than just their stereotype

7. Polly – A character who gets locked up (can be physically, emotionally, mentally etc)

8. Kevin – A character who is lgbtqia+

9. Jason – A characters death that broke your heart OR a character death that made you cheer ‘finally!’

10. Riverdale – A world building win

11. Wild Card – I choose Pop’s Diner – A book featuring food 🙂

1. Archie – A book with great side characters…The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

The lunar chronicles

2. Jughead – A character from a broken home…The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi

the stonekeeper

3. Veronica – A character who very easily could have been one dimensional…The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

the little giant of aberdeen county

4. Betty – A great sibling relationship…Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Wonder

5. Cheryl – A character who acts tough, but is secretly an emotional wreck…Things to do when it’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

things to do when it's raining

6. Josie And The Pussycats – A strong marginalized female who is more than just their stereotype…Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens

Dress Codes for Small Towns

7. Polly – A character who gets locked up …The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn (2008)

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

8. Kevin – A character who is lgbtqia+…Take me With You by Andrea Gibson

Take me with you

9. Jason – A characters death that broke your heart …The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

10. Riverdale – A world building win…The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

11. Pop’s Diner – A book featuring food…Remnant Population by Elizabeth Moon

Remnant Population May 1996

Remnant Population, May 1996 Hardcover Edition (Goodreads photo)

 

If you do this tag, please link it in the comments 🙂

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Totally Should’ve Book Tag

I found this tag on Youtube, check out the Creator –> emmabooks

I have a lot of fun doing these, hope you enjoy! I’d love to hear your answers, so if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged 🙂

Tag you're it.jpg

Questions:

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

the birth house

 

Title: The Birth House

Author: Ami McKay

Published: 2007 by Vintage Canada

408 pages

Canadian Historical Fiction

The Birth House is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of the Rare family. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing and a kitchen filled with herbs and folk remedies. During the turbulent years of World War I, Dora becomes the midwife’s apprentice. Together, they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives.

When Gilbert Thomas, a brash medical doctor, comes to Scots Bay with promises of fast, painless childbirth, some of the women begin to question Miss Babineau’s methods – and after Miss Babineau’s death, Dora is left to carry on alone. In the face of fierce opposition, she must summon all of her strength to protect the birthing traditions and wisdom that have been passed down to her.

Filled with details that are as compelling as they are surprising-childbirth in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion, the prescribing of vibratory treatments to cure hysteria and a mysterious elixir called Beaver Brew- The Birth House is an unforgettable tale of the struggles women have faced to maintain control over their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medicine.”

2. Totally should’ve had a spin-off series

the little giant of aberdeen county

 

Title: The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Author: Tiffany Baker

Published: 2009 by Grand Central Publishing

341 pages

Adult, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

A multi-generational tale with many dark aspects and a touch of witchcraft, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County is the story of Truly – a girl grown massive due to a pituitary problem. Reviled and brought up in poverty, Truly finds her calling and a future that none expected.

When Truly Plaice’s mother was pregnant, the town of Aberdeen joined together in betting how record-breakingly huge the baby boy would ultimately be. The girl who proved to be Truly paid the price of her enormity; her father blamed her for her mother’s death in childbirth and was totally ill equipped to raise either this giant child or her polar opposite sister Serena Jane, the epitome of feminine perfection. When he, too, relinquished his increasingly tenuous grip on life, Truly and Serena Jane are separated–Serena Jane to live a life of privilege as the future May Queen and Truly to live on the outskirts of town on the farm of the town sadsack, the subject of constant abuse and humiliation at the hands of her peers.

Serena Jane’s beauty proves to be her greatest blessing and her biggest curse, for it makes her the obsession of classmate Bob Bob Morgan, the youngest in a line of Robert Morgans who have been doctors in Aberdeen for generations. Though they have long been the pillars of the community, the earliest Robert Morgan married the town witch, Tabitha Dyerson, and the location of her fabled shadow book–containing mysterious secrets for healing and darker powers–has been the subject of town gossip ever since. Bob Bob Morgan, one of Truly’s biggest tormentors, does the unthinkable to claim the prize of Serena Jane and changes the destiny of all Aberdeen from there on.

When Serena Jane flees town and a loveless marriage to Bob Bob, it is Truly who must become the woman of a house that she did not choose and mother to her eight-year-old nephew Bobbie. Truly’s brother-in-law is relentless and brutal; he criticizes her physique and the limitations of her health as a result and degrades her more than any one human could bear. It is only when Truly finds her calling–the ability to heal illness with herbs and naturopathic techniques–hidden within the folds of Robert Morgan’s family quilt, that she begins to regain control over her life and herself. Unearthed family secrets, however, will lead to the kind of betrayal that eventually break the Morgan family apart forever, but Truly’s reckoning with her own demons allows for both an uprooting of Aberdeen County, and the possibility of love in unexpected places.”

3. An author who totally should write more books

Tiffany Baker, the author of The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. I haven’t read her other three books yet, but I see she hasn’t published anything since 2014. I loved The Little Giant so much, I really need to read her other books ASAP.

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

Hermione should’ve ended up with Harry.

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

Revival

 

 

Title: Revival

Author: Stephen King

Published: 2014 by Scribner

405 pages

Horror, Thriller

Don’t get me wrong – I did like the ending. It was jaw-dropping. However, my curiosity would love to have an alternate ending.

 

 

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

The lunar chronicles.jpg

WHY has this not happened yet!?!?!

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

harry potter series.jpg

The books are too long for a movie to REALLY do the story justice. A TV show would provide the time to share this epic adventure without leaving anything out. Imagine bingeing 10 seasons of Harry Potter on Netflix. YES PLEASE!

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Little Deaths

 

Title: Little Deaths

Author: Emma Flint

Published: 2017 by Hachette Books

311 pages

Mystery, Historical Fiction, Thriller, Crime

Inspired by a true story.

 

 

 

9. Totally should have a cover change

See question 8. Don’t like this cover at all.

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

I don’t really pay attention to cover changes. I do like the UK versions of the Harry Potter book series than the American (or any other version).

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, or The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Not because I don’t like them. I have read most of the books in both series, but didn’t finish. It’s been so long since I’ve read them that I feel the need to go back and start at the beginning…but it’s a huge commitment! I just wish they weren’t so long 😦

Don’t forget to put your answers in the comments, or link your blog/channel!

Totally Didn’t Book Tag

Another book tag for tag tuesday 🙂

Share your answers in the comments, I’d love to hear em!

Creator –> ReadLikeWildfire

 

Questions:

1. Totally didn’t need to have a sequel/sequels.

The Friday Night Knitting Club

2. Totally didn’t need to have more than one point of view.

Little Deaths

 

Little Deaths by Emma Flint – didn’t need the reporters perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Totally didn’t need to change cover art through the middle of a series.

Thought about this for a couple of hours, but can’t think of an example.

4. Totally didn’t need a love triangle.

Divergent-series-by-Veronica-Roth

5. Totally didn’t need this book to be included in this series.

the path of daggers.jpg

 

It’s been a long time since I read The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan (over 15 years), but I absolutely remember how disappointed I felt.

 

 

 

 

 

6. Totally didn’t need a cliffhanger.

stranger in the house

 

A Stranger in the House by Shair Lapena…I won’t discuss the cliffhanger for spoilery reasons, but man…it wasn’t necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Totally didn’t need to have just one point of view.

Alone in the classroom.jpg

 

Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Totally didn’t need that much hype.

girl-on-the-train

 

 

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

 

 

 

 

 

9. Totally didn’t need a relative book reference. (Eg, For example: Hunger Games fan would love Divergent.)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them

 

 

J.K. Rowling? Say nothing more! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Totally didn’t deserve my time.

Colin Firth Sorry…

 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio #BookReview #thewonderofwonder #choosekind

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

Wonder.jpg

 

Title: Wonder

Author: R.J. Palacio

Genre: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date published: September 2017 (originally published 2012)

Page Count: 352 pages

synopsis

A special movie tie-in edition of R.J. Palacio’s #1 New York Times bestseller, now a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Daveed Diggs, and Mandy Patinkin.
Over 5 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and Auggie Pullman, the ordinary boy with the extraordinary face, who inspired a movement to Choose Kind. This special movie tie-in trade paperback edition features an eight-page full-color insert with photos from the film, a new introduction by the author, and a family discussion guide.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid–but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, a #1 New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” –indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.
Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder, #choosekind

My Review

If you haven’t heard of Wonder, you’ve been living under a rock. Both the book and movie are a big hit, and have made an enormous impact on millions of people. I do not have the talent to write a worthy review for such an important piece of literature – but I’ll give it a shot, in hopes that you’ll pick up this book, read it, then have your kids read it, and tell everyone you know to read it. Our western society is at a fork in the road, and it’s books like Wonder that may help shift the tide so we can all choose kindness.

 

Wonder is a story about acceptance, courage, compassion, loyalty, and kindness. It’s told from many perspectives: August, his sister Via, his friend Summer, his other friend Jack, and Via’s friend Miranda.

The characters feel authentic and reminded me of people I know in real life. I cried when August cried, and I laughed when he laughed. His school principal, Mr. Tushman, is like so many principals that I have worked with, hard, but kind. They work to bring the best out of you. August makes some great friends at school, Jack, Charlotte, and Summer – and he also makes some enemies, Julian. Mr. Browne, the teacher who is amazing at his job and understands how to connect with his students, not to just teach the curriculum, but to teach life changing lessons. As a parent I couldn’t help but feel connected to Augusts’ parents who struggled, like many parents, with trying to protect their children, yet give them the room to grow.

Summer is most definitely my favourite character. I would love to read an entire book about her, and I wonder what she would be like as an adult. She’s the kind of friend I wish we could all have, and the person I hope I am.

August’s first day of school
“I went straight to room 301 on the third floor. Now I was glad I’d gone on that little tour, because I knew exactly where to go and didn’t have to look up once. I noticed that some kids were definitely staring at me now. I did my thing of pretending not to notice.” page 37

“In the hallways, which were always crowded, my face would always surprise some unsuspecting kid who maybe hadn’t heard about me. The kid would make the sound you make when you hold your breath before going underwater, a little “uh!” sound. This happened maybe four or five times a day for the first few weeks: on the stairs, in front of the lockers, in the library. Five hundred kids in a school: eventually every one of them was going to see my face at some time.” page 61

“This precept means that we should be remembered for the things we do. The things we do are the most important things of all. They are more important than what we say or what we look like. The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made out of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you. That’s why your deeds are like your monuments. Built with memories instead of with stone.” August, explaining Mr. Browne’s precept, Your Deeds Are Your Monuments. page 65

 

I purposefully read Wonder slowly, because I didn’t want it to end. One of my top 10 books I’ve ever read – maybe even top five. If you haven’t read Wonder, READ IT NOW! And…Choose Kind.

About the author.jpg

“R.J. Palacio lives in NYC with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. For more than twenty years, she was an art director and graphic designer, designing book jackets for other people while waiting for the perfect time in her life to start writing her own novel. But one day several years ago, a chance encounter with an extraordinary child in front of an ice cream store made R. J. realize that the perfect time to write that novel had finally come. Wonder is her first novel. She did not design the cover, but she sure does love it.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4859212.R_J_Palacio

Things To Do When It’s Raining {Review}

All of my reviews are always SPOILER FREE 🙂

I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion. Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley, for allowing me to review.

things to do when it's raining

 

Title: Things To Do When It’s Raining

Author: Marissa Stapley

Genre:  Women’s Fiction, Canadian

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada

Date published: Expected Publication February 6, 2018

Page Count: 256 pages

 

 

synopsis

Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lily and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up and got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.

After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay by separate forces. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets that implicate Gabe and Mae’s family reveal a version of the past that will forever change Mae’s future.

From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a poignant generational story about family and secrets. With honesty and heart, Marissa Stapley reminds us of the redemptive power of love and forgiveness, and that, ultimately, family is a choice.

 

My Review

Things to do When it’s Raining takes place in Alexandria Bay, New York, on the beautiful St. Lawrence River. It’s a real place, and coincidentally it’s only about 100km away from where I live! I didn’t realize this when I requested the advance reader copy. I’ve seen the 1000 Islands area and it’s absolutely stunning. If you’ve never been, I suggest taking a trip there someday.

This story touches on themes that I think many of us can relate to: family secrets, struggling to forgive, grief, regret, and the power of love. Mae Summers grew up in Alexandria Bay. She was raised by her grandparents George and Lily after her parents Virginia and Chase died when Mae was a child. We meet Mae as an adult, living in New York City, engaged to Peter. We find out Peter has committed fraud and up and left Mae with nothing but a short note scribbled on paper. She ends up losing everything, and finds herself back at the inn her grandparents own in Alexandria Bay. After 67 years of marriage, Mae’s grandfather George finds out that his best friend who was killed in the war is the real father of Virginia (Mae’s mother). He leaves Lily to stay at a hotel. Meanwhile Lily is losing her mind and has been forgetting the names of people, places, and objects. George finds out Gabe’s father, Jonah, is in the hospital and isn’t doing well, so he calls Gabe to tell him he should probably come back to Alexandria Bay. Gabe’s mother left when he was really young, and Jonah is a drunk who used to physically and emotionally abuse Gabe. Gabe he decides he should go back to check on his Dad. Gabe and Mae get to see each other after many years, work through current life challenges and in the process reveal many secrets that have been buried for too long.

 

Mae was extremely naive. I mean…she’s an adult, and somehow had no idea what Peter was doing behind her back when she worked with him? I dunno, I found that slightly unbelievable. I had a hard time getting into the story, but once we arrived in Alexandria Bay and I got to meet George, Lily, and Jonah, I became more engaged in their stories.

 

Gabe is my favourite character. He’s been through some real crap in his life. You would think the ability to love someone else would have died in him long ago. I would have liked more info about Gabe’s life after he left Alexandria Bay.

If this story wasn’t written in third person narrative I would have been able to felt more connected to the characters. There was too much telling, not enough showing.

Overall, this is an easy read with a compelling story. If you like romance stories with family drama and secrets, then you’ll like Things to do When it’s Raining. Expected publication is next month 🙂

 

 

About the author.jpg

Marissa Stapley is the Globe and Mail bestselling author of the novel Mating for Life, and the forthcoming Things to Do When It’s Raining. She writes the commercial fiction review column “Shelf Love” for the Globe and Mail, reports on books and culture for the Toronto Star, and lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.” https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7382096.Marissa_Stapley

http://www.marissastapley.com

54321 Tag!

54321 TAG!
For this tag you’ll have to name 5 books you gave a 5 star rating for, 4 books with 4 stars, 3 books for 3 stars, 2 books for 2 stars, 1 book for 1 star.

Original Creator: Reading Whilst Vlogging

5 Books I Gave 5 Stars

4 Books I Gave 4 Stars

3 Books I Gave 3 Stars

2 Books I Gave 2 Stars

1 Book I Gave 1 Star

Northern Light