Saturday, December 2, 2017

The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan - Reshelved Books

Hello Deweys!


Yes, that is our P.O. Box key!
Today I finished a book that I had found on the bargain table at Barnes and Noble.  I brought this novel home with me, not because I needed to buy another book.  Really, I should NOT be buying books.  I brought it home because the main character's situation reminded me of us, and such brings me to my review of The Good Neighbor by Amy Sue Nathan.  

This is a classic women's fiction / chick lit novel.  We meet Izzy Lane who is a divorced single mother of a little boy who's ex-husband, while he's there for is son in theory, is flighty and can't be trusted.  When Izzy's ex husband tells her that he doesn't have the money to help pay for their son's daycare and that he is leaving the state with his new girlfriend to "look for work," she is faced with quite a dilemma.  To make a little extra money, Izzy begins blogging for Philly Over 40, specifically about dating over 40.  The only problem is that Izzy hasn't gone on a date since her divorce.  Izzy's nights out consist of visiting her elderly neighbor who has become a dear friend and confident.  But that's not going to help her meet any men, and quite frankly Izzy doesn't seem like she wants to go out and meet any men.  Sure, the idea of dating is interesting in theory, but why be bothered? Men are just too messy and there are SO MANY weirdos out there....So, Izzy begins to invent herself an imaginary boyfriend named Mac with whom she writes about for her blog purposes.  

But you see, the small blog begins to become more and more successful.  & Izzy can't tell anyone that Mac is made up, because if her secret is out, the blog will tank.  Even her best friends think that Mac is real.  Throw in a deeper secret that Izzy's elderly neighbor has been hiding for years, and you get one messy (yet light) novel about truth, love, family, and blogging.  

So dear Dewey Readers, if you like blogs (which if you are reading this we're assuming you do!) go pick up this book and give it a read!  And dear readers, I leave you with a rating of 3.75 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  

Until the next read!
~Jessica

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Existence of Pity by Jeannie Zokan - Reshelved Books

Hey there Dewey Readers! I just finished an absolutely AMAZING book that I COULD NOT put down!  What is this amazing book, you ask?  Jeannie Zokan's The Existence of Pity.  

The cover has coffee beans! 
The Existence of Pity was one of the first books For the Love of Dewey was sent with a request to review on the blog.  Being relatively new bloggers, I'm not going to lie, I was little apprehensive  to do a review request.  It seems like a lot of pressure.  But the premise of this book interested me, and Zokan is a library science person...so needless to say, I jumped on it. 

Now, about the book.  This novel takes place in 1976 Colombia and is told from the perspective of 16 year old Josie.  Josie and her family are missionaries who are in Colombia to spread the Baptist Gospel, but just because they're serving God does not mean that everything within their family dynamic is right and holy.  In fact, the secrets that linger within the family are anything but.  Josie's father is keeping a huge secret, as is Josie's mother, and her brother.  Josie too is keeping a secret, although not as large.  Josie, plagued with horrible nightmares, is beginning to find comfort in visiting a Colombian Catholic church and praying the rosary.  This turns out to be something that her parents find to be the most blasphemous sin of all (even though I think to most people's standards, the sin's of Josie's parents are far worse). --This actually made me think of my collection of healing crystals and how I hold them for comfort / pray with them.  My mom thinks it's weird. 

Josie's family has hired help in the form of Blanca, a native Colombian woman in her 20's who is dating a police officer named Juan Fernando.  I found Blanca's character to be my favorite part of the novel.  I loved the way that Zokan incorporated her accent into the English text, giving the reader a real sense of being immersed in Colombia.  I also liked how Zokan not only successfully portrayed her to be an employee, but also as a big sister figure, a friend, and an intelligent woman who knew what was going on with each family member before they knew themselves.  Blanca doesn't miss a beat.        

Now for those of you who aren't big Christian-fiction readers, do not be turned away from this book!  While religion plays a large part in the novel, it is not preachy.  Rather it uses religion to show how people can find comfort in different ways, which is done primarily through the Catholic / Protestant divide.  Being Protestant, I understand the differences but I also realize the similarities.  Unfortunately not everyone does, and Josie's parents are an example of this.  This novel is just as much a piece of Christian-Fiction as it is a thriller, a drama, and a coming of age young adult cross over / love story.  I wish my library consortium owned enough copies of this novel so that I could have it as a book club choice in my I Read YA book group.  I think the adults in the group would really enjoy it.  And Jeannie, if you're ever visiting northern NJ, I would love to set up an author visit with you!  So Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  READ THIS BOOK! 

~Jessica 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P by Adelle Waldman - Reshelved Books

Hello Dewey Readers!  

Tonight I bring you a lovely review for Adelle Waldman's novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P.   This isn't a book I would normally pick up to read on my own, as it seemed a little *gasp* too literary.  However, in my bookish adventures I've decided to join a books & brunch book club with complete strangers! Because as you know, I like books but I LOVE brunch.


Do you see that pretty little gold key?  It's to our
For the Love of Dewey P.O. Box.  See below.
The main character annoyed the heck out of me.  Seriously, I wanted to shake him.  Part of his psychological personality remind me of a relationship gone wrong that I experienced, but really that's stretching it quite a bit.   Nathaniel P. was an asshole.     

Before I continue my rant let's have a little back story.  This novel, as you may have guessed by the title, is about the many love affairs of Nathaniel P.  Now, Nathaniel is a writer.  He went to school for literature, he has a book published, and he's a total book and writing snob.  In my first paragraph where I wrote "Because as you, " would probably piss him off.  But this is a blog and grammar rules are blurred.  Actually, they're nonexistent.  Let's make them up as we go.  Just because Nathaniel P. has love affairs, does not mean that he hasn't had lengthy relationships.  He lived with one girl shortly after college, but that tanked, and his main and most recent love interest, a six month relationship with Hannah, takes up a good portion of this novel.  But this relationship also fails because Nathaniel P. is really just a jerk.  He claims to be proactive with women's rights, but he gets annoyed with Hannah for wanting to "talk" or when her arms jiggle in a way he finds unflattering, which causes him to distance himself and then return.  These little disgust-ions (I made that word up. Take that Nathaniel P.) continue throughout this novel, causing a continues ebb and flow of Nathaniel being really into the relationship and then pulling back.  To quote Taylor Swift, he would "give love and take it away." So it's not a surprise that Hannah gets frustrated.  

So Dewey Readers, I give you a rating of 2.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.... because you know... brunch.  

~Jessica

P.S. 
Some 20-somethings, photograph keys to new apartments, we photograph keys to our P.O. Box!  Yes, you read that right!  You can now send Reviewer's Copies to P.O. Box 1481 Clifton, NJ 07015.  

Friendly Disclaimer: We can't guarantee that it will make the blog, but we WILL read it and put it on our bookstagram!