Thursday, June 22, 2017

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han - Reshelved Books

Hello fellow Dewey readers!

I just finished reading Jenny Han's highly anticipated and final novel in the Lara Jean trilogy, and I was NOT disappointed!  For those of you who aren't familiar with the series, the novels follow the storyline of Lara Jean, a young teenager who lives with her father and three sisters, and who's mother had tragically passed away.  In addition to love and loss, the novels tackle cultural issues (the girls and their mother are Korean but their father is Caucasian),  as well as change, growth, and coming to age.  You can view my review of the second novel in the series, P.S. I Still Love You, here.  


In Always and Forever, Lara Jean, Lara Jean is about to graduate from high school, leaving her little sister, Kitty, as the last sister living full-time in the family home.  Amidst this change, Lara Jean's father is also getting married to the woman across the street!  For Lara Jean and Kitty this is exciting, but for their older sister Margot it is troubling.  Not because Margot is jealous or upset, but more so because she realizes how much has changed in the short time she has been away from her family while overseas at a Scottish University.  

This novel explores first love and whether or not it can last and stand up to life's changes.  It explores the idea of sacrifice in the name of something that is and can be great, and it also explores the idea that while change is scary, with acceptance it doesn't always have to be.  

So Dewey readers, I leave you with a rating of 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans for this book and the overall series. If you're looking for a cute series defiantly pick this one up!  You won't be disappointed.   

~Jessica    

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

BookCon 2017 Haul

Hello For the Love of Dewey Readers.

This year BookCon was back in NYC, which means that I was able to attend!  I thought that I would share with you my #BookHaul.  

For those of you not familiar with BookCon, it's an event similar to ComicCon, held at the Javits Center in New York.   It's a place where publishers, authors, and most importantly, BOOK LOVERS gather.  A big draw is free ARC's and book signings with favorite authors.  

Jillian & I had attended back in 2015 and came home with quite the #BookHaul.  We even met Elin Hildebrand, Jodi Picoult, and Susan Mallery!  We also listened to an interesting panel about writing by Sloane Crosley, the author of The Clasp.  


2015 BookCon Haul. 
This year, I attended with my boyfriend.  He likes nonfiction.  

Day 1: Saturday was okay.  There weren't too many ARCs, but there were a lot of nonfiction titles.  I was a little disappointed.  In 2015 it felt like free books were EVERYWHERE and there were SO many popular authors signing both adult and ya titles.  

Saturday BookCon Haul. 


Day 2: Sunday was much better. I found and ARC of Elin Hildebrand's new book The Identicals, which I am super excited about!  Unfortunately, we did't get too many signed this year.  Unlike 2015, this year required tickets for individual authors that had to be reserved way in advance.   And even with tickets, those lines were LONG.  Maybe if more booths and popular authors were signing / giving away items at the same time it would cut down on the long lines because attendees would have to choose between them.  You wouldn't be able to see them all, but at least you would be able to see the few you really wanted to.  
Sunday BookCon Haul. 
My Boyfriend's BookCon Haul.
Happy Reading!
~Jessica 

Monday, June 5, 2017

About That Man by Sherryl Woods- Quick Review

Hi everyone!

Long time no post for me! Life has been a little hectic with balancing baby C and going back to work. 


Two weeks ago, baby C and I were strolling the aisles of the local Stop and Shop when I stumbled upon the book section. (Coincidence? Maybe...) Causally, I couldn't helps myself and I ended up reading back covers until I found a book that sparked my interest. 


I give you all my quick little review of About That Man by Sherryl Woods

The story follows Daisy Spencer and (Detective) Walker Ames in the fictional town of Trinity Harbor, Virginia. Daisy and Walker have a cross encounter when Daisy fosters Walker's nephew, Tommy. 

Walker and Daisy were instantly attracted to each other when they first met. And who could blame Daisy for getting swept away by Walker? Who doesn't love a man in uniform!?


I found About That Man to be a quick read, and one that was packed with a lot of emotion.  


Do Daisy and Walker become a couple? Does Tommy end up staying in Trinity Harbor with Daisy or move to Washing D.C. with Walker? 


Read About That Man and found out!


Happy readings and see you guys real soon!

~ Jillian







Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon - Reshelved Books

Hello fellow Deweys! 

Today I finished reading Nicola Yoon's The Sun is Also a Star.  I absolutely loved her novel Everything, Everything so I was excited to see a copy her latest book on my library's ya shelf.  The Sun is Also a Star is a love story that tackles the scientific perspective of love against the romantic perspective, by finding ways to blend the two together in order to find an example of a love that is real.  This novel also goes beyond the typical ya romance by broaching tough issues such as deportation and family racism.  



Natasha and her family are from Jamaica.  Natasha's father came to America to pursue a dream of acting.  A dream that has not been able to support the family of four.  When the family's visa's expire and Natasha's father is in trouble for a DUI, the family faces deportation.  Natasha, who has dreams of going to college, tries to fight her own deportation but nonetheless fails.  At one point the reader feels sympathy for Natasha.  Is it her fault that her family came to America, allowed her to grow up here, and ultimately let her down?  Should she pay for her parent's mistakes?  In the novel, Yoon mentions that Natasha knew her family was illegal and that her mother was going to buy her a Social Security Card with real stolen numbers so she could go to college.  Knowing that her mother was going to do that for her, and now can't, makes Natasha's heart break a little.  However, Yoon also mentions through the voice of Daniel, the boy Natasha falls in love with, that Natasha shouldn't be blamed because "She was a kid.  She didn't have choice.  It's not like she could have said Mom, Dad, our visa expired.  We should go back to Jamaica now" (Yoon, 2017, p. 294).  This makes the reader wonder could Natasha have said something?  Or is this newly found love blind? 

The relationship between Natasha and Daniel forms within 1 day.  In fact, the entire novel minus the last 10 or so pages encapsulates that of a single day.  For me this seemed to diminish the credibility of their love.  Personally, I believe in love at first sight because I've experienced it. Is it a love that works and lasts forever?  Well, that's up in the air.  But it definitely is and can be a love that is real.  It's the amount of activities and conversations within the novel that take place within a single day that I don't believe in. Along with the relationship of Natasha and Daniel, Yoon ties in the struggle of familial racism.  Daniel, a Korean boy, is supposed to fall in love with a nice Korean girl.  Not Natasha. Yet they do anyway.

While the format of The Sun is Also a Star mainly bounces between the perspectives of Natasha and Daniel, other perspectives are also thrown in, such as Natasha's father, a server in a Korean restaurant, a flight attendant, and explanations of science.  For me this gave the novel a unique and well rounded spin.  However, that one day story line sort of irked me. So For the Love of Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 3 out of 5 Coffee Beans.    

Copy Referenced: 
Yoon, N. (2016). The sun is also a star. New York: Delacorte Press.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Love Anthony & Just Like Other Daughters - Reshelved Books

Hello everyone!  Today I am offering you all a 2 for the price of 1 book review.  These two books tackle the subject of disablities in the forms of Autism and Downs Syndrome, focusing on their effects on family relationships.  



Love Anthony by Lisa Genova tells the stories of two women, Olivia, who's son Anthony was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3 and passes away shortly after from causes the reader is not sure of until the very end, and Beth, a woman with three daughters who is struggling with the infidelity of her husband.   I had read an AR copy of this book so I'm not sure how the finalized published draft has or had changed.  However, the back summary on my copy of the book only mentions the storyline with Olivia, which I found to be interesting because the novel opens with Beth and the discovery that her husband had cheated.  What ties the two story lines together is Beth's writing of a novel inspired by Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, and who's main character is a boy with Autism.   While I enjoyed this book, I struggled to finish it.  This could easily be because I have been working long nights on cleaning and fixing up my new home.  I. Am. Exhausted. But honestly, the book just didn't wow me.  I found myself skimming through the sections of Beth's novel, and when I was more than halfway through, didn't really feel like I learned anything more about the characters than I had already found out in the beginning.  Up until tonight I was going to give this book a rating of 2.5 out of 5 Coffee beans, but once I got to page 250 the book did pick up.  I really did enjoy the ending.   So For the Love of Dewey Readers, for this book I am going to give 3 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  That being said, my Grandma also read this book and gave it 5.   

Just Like Other Daughters by Colleen Faulkner... why did it take me so long to start this book?  I used to read 2 books a week.  What is wrong with me?  And this was a library copy for Pete's sake!...  This is the second book I have read and reviewed by Faulkner.  I absolutely LOVED Julia's Daughters, so was excited to give another book by Faulkner a try.  I was not disappointed.  Just Like Other Daughters is similar to Love Anthony, where character Alicia struggles with her daughter Chole's Down Syndrome.  It shows the struggle that Chole's diagnosis has placed on her family, contributing to Alicia's divorce from Chole's father, as well as a difficulty in her dating life.  Unlike Love Anthony, which gives the reader an inside perspective on the thought process of a boy with autism through Beth's fictional tale, Just Like Other Daughters allows the reader to hear the same story both from Alicia's voice and from Chole's.  One thing that really made this novel stand apart was how it explores the ideas of love and of romantic relationships between mentally disabled adults.  While reading this book, I had taken a break to skim through GoodReads reviews.  I wanted to see if other readers were loving this book as much as I was.  One review made me pause, it read, "This book angered me."  I know I shouldn't have, but I read the comments to that review and it sort of spoiled the ending.  While I didn't necessarily love the ending, it did not anger me.  This book really made me think about love, about relationships, and about life. Therefore, I am going to give a rating of 4.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.     

Happy Reading!

~Jessica 

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Little French Bistro by Nina George - Reshelved Books

Guess what!? I won a book in a GoodReads giveaway! *yippeeeee!

When The Little French Bistro by Nina George arrived in the mail I was super excited.  It looked like a cute Parisian read that I could not wait to get my hands on.  I had George's other novel, The Little Paris Bookshop, on my to-read list for a while after seeing it advertised at NYC BookCon two years back.  It's safe to say that she has been on my dewey-radar for a while... 

Isn't this cover adorable!?

After the reading slump that I have been in, I was hoping that this novel would grip me and hold my attention.  I want to be cleaning the bathrooms of my new house and wish I was reading.  NOT reading and wishing I was still cleaning the bathrooms. In the beginning it gripped me and I loved it! But towards the end? Not so much.

The Little French Bistro opens with the story of woman who lives in Germany and is questioning her life and all of the choices that she has made throughout it.  She is married to a man who does not truly love, value, or treat her well.  She is lonely, she is regretful, and she is depressed enough to attempt suicide by jumping into a river.  The river that she jumps in (I'm pretty sure) separates Germany from France.  Miraculously, the woman is saved by a Parisian man.  My knowledge of geography sucks, so I had to look at a map to confirm that France and Germany do in fact border each other.  I should feel shamed. Anyway, back to the book...

At first I liked the way that this novel was written, in a style that brought to mind the feeling that I had while reading  Guy de Maupassant's short story The Necklace and thus also Solane Crosley's novel The Clasp.  Two pieces of writing that I adore.  However, this feeling slowly began to leave and left me flat.  At times I wasn't even sure what was going on in the novel.  Am I losing my reading touch?  Am I just over tired?  I turned to GoodRead's reviews of the novel to hopefully calm my reading worries.  It can't just be me, right?  Other people had to not love this book too?  Most readers rated this book with 4 out of 5 stars, but there were a fair amount of other readers who simply did not love it.  Maybe I expected something lighter, or maybe I just didn't know what to expect.  


So For the Love of Dewey readers, I leave you with a rating of 2 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  If you have read this book or Nina George's other novel, please comment below with what you thought! 

~Jessica  

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman- #TheBookDrop

Happy World Book Day!

It's beautiful out here in the Dirty (You know, people call New Jersey "Dirty Jersey"... Yes? Maybe? Anyway...)

Okay everyone... You all need to read what I'm about to say...

Everyone needs to go out and buy this book.  Just stop whatever you're doing and hop in your car or on a bus, train OR the subway (even a helicopter, if need be) and go out and get this book (And if you live in Northern NJ, you'll need to find an open bookstore on Sunday. Depending on your county of residence. You all know who you are...!).

Maybe all of that was a slight exaggeration... Maybe it was not!
I do, however; recommend going out and grabbing yourself a copy of The Two Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman.
I must say that the last two books from #TheBookDrop have been *fantastic* reads! I am even more excited to see what the May book for the Jane Box will be.  The pressure is ON #TheBookDrop. Don't let me down now!



One thing is for sure though and that is this book is an EXCELLENT read! There is a reason why it has received such praise as Loigman's debut novel.

Loigman presents the complex dynamics that exist in relationships between both husband and wife and families. 

The book follows the two families of brothers, Mort and Abe.  Mort is married to Rose and has three daughters: Judith, Mimi and Dinah (and Teddy).  Abe is married to Helen and together they have four boys: Harry, Sam, George and Joe (and Natalie).  As a reader we see the interactions between Mort and Abe; and we see how the relationship between Rose and Helen becomes strained and falls apart. 

You can find Loigman's inspiration behind The Two Family House here.  Normally, I would paraphrase it but I believe that in this case, it's better to read Loigman's words directly.  

I don't want to say too much about the book because I don't want to give out any spoilers! 

But...

There was not one thing that I didn't like about this novel. 
...The story was captivating.
...The actors were well developed and thought out. 

The story had a sense of mystery to it.  All the clues were there to solve the mystery (I thought) but Loigman was still able to provide a slight sense of suspense until those last few chapters.  Along with that sense of mystery and suspense, there was also sadness and tragedy, happiness and love.  

Aside from showing how family dynamics can differ, how relationships between the closest of people can fall apart, and how love can fade away.

The book contains Reading Group Gold, where the other issues I also feel like the the issue of postpartum depression was present in the novel, I thought you could see that Rose might have been affected by it.  That was the first thing that I thought about when we learned that her relationship changed with Helen and how she was often found in front of the window staring out or napping.

I'm giving this book five out of five coffee beans. I hope that everyone who reads it finds much as enjoyment as I did (:

~ Jillian

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti - Reshelved Books

Happy April everyone!

Spring WAS in the air here in New Jersey... It HAD been WARM- like 57 degrees warm.  Which WAS quite welcoming given the crappy weather that we've had.  The first day of April was rather chilly and the last day in March was just rain... Cold yucky rain but much needed rain at that! Then it was really nice on Sunday and Monday but then the rest of the week was meh. Like I took Baby C out in the stroller down through the downtown streets in the town where I grew up.

But alas... The warm weather is finally back it seems! Today especially!!

So to add a little something-something today, we have my review for this week! This week is a YA fiction review.  
(For those of you who might be wondering about the April 2017 #TheBookDrop Jane Box book, I am in the process of writing the review (love, love, LOVE the book!) and it will be up soon!)

Aahh.... I love YA fiction... Why? You may ask. I love YA fiction because there's a beginning, a middle and an end. There's no fuss. There is just wonderfulness.




The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti is this week's review from moi. 
I hate that I'm going to write this but... I really didn't care too much for this book. I know! Crazy right?? Since I'm usually one to say I like this book or that I love that one.  This one... I sadly did not like.  We'll get to why I didn't like it later on though.  

First things first!

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is the book that follows Hawthorn Creely, a high school student on her quest to solve the missing person's case of Lizzie Lovett; in addition to navigating herself and figuring out who she is and what her role in life is.
Lizzie Lovett is a 21 year old female who was in the same class as Rush, Hawthorn's older brother.  Lizzie goes out into the woods one night camping with boyfriend Enzo (Lorenzo) - only for her to disappear into the dark.

From the fall, when Hawthorn first heard that Lizzie Lovett disappeared until the winter time-the reader is with Hawhtorn when she finds out what happened to Lizzie and when she finds herself. We watch as Hawthorn chases her theory that Lizzie turned into a mythical creature (a werewolf to be exact) as she is accompanied by Enzo.  We also get to see Hawthorn go through a break with Emily, her best friend and how she (Hawthorn) forges new friendships with people she never thought she would associate with.  

I found an interview with Bustle, where Chelsea Sedoti stated that her inspiration from The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett came from her own feelings toward a story of a missing girl-someone she never had any interaction with.  Sedoti explains that while she never met the girl, she was obsessed with her story, even though her disappearance was "nothing overly mysterious". You can find that article here.  Sedoti goes on to explain a little about her character Hawthorn in the article as well.

I had a love-hate relationship with this book. 

I feel like the way in which Sedoti tells the story of Hawthorn is great.  She was able to express Hawthorn's emotions and thoughts beautifully in her writing.  As a writer, Sedoti was able to convince me that maybe, just maybe, Hawthorn was right when she believed that Lizzie turned into a werewolf.  To me, when a writer is able to do that, that's really impressive. You were also on this emotion roller coaster ride with Hawthorn. I felt anxious for her when Emily announced that they needed a break. I also was sad for Hawthorn after she slept with Enzo.  I was left yearning for Hawthorn to find the happiness that she deserved.  

The issues that Sedoti tackled in The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, where issues that everyone has come across in their teenaged years. We've all had falling outs with our friends or taken breaks from our friends, like Hawthorn and Emily did.  Even falling for someone who's older than you.  The biggest issue, I think, that Sedoti addressed was finding happiness and finding yourself.

Hawthorn had this perceived notion that Lizzie was happy.  She viewed Lizzie as someone who didn't have any problems, someone who had the world at their fingertips. Lizzie's happiness is something that Hawthorn so desperately wanted.  Hawthorn had, what I would call, an obsession with Lizzie.  I use the word "obsession" because Hawthorn went on to get hired as a waitress at the Sunshine Cafe (where Lizzie worked before she "disappeared") and Hawthorn had a brief relationship with Enzo (Lizzie's boyfriend at the time of her disappearance). 
She had one conversation with Lizzie when she was a freshman and hiding in the girl's locker room.  From that moment, Hawthorn believed that she and Lizzie had a "special connection" and that they would be able to forge a friendship.  But when she found Lizzie in the hallway, Lizzie couldn't remember Hawthorn's name much less the conversation that she had with Hawthorn. It's even mention in the book that this is moment where the love/hate feeling Hawthorn has for Lizzie starts.

The aspect of the novel that I did not like was how Hawthorn acted.  I felt like she was terribly immature.  It was something that drove me over the edge on multiple occasions throughout the book.  It got to the point where I was considering not finishing it because I wanted to grab Hawthorn by her shoulders and shake her.  I was proud of Hawthorn by the end of the book though, you could see that she had grown up and starting to find her way.

I give this book 3.5 coffee beans out of 5.  Even though it wasn't my favorite book, I still believe that it's worth a recommendation.  If you liked Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, then I believe that you would like The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett.

~JBG




Article that was referenced:
https://www.bustle.com/articles/156938-see-the-hundred-lies-of-lizzie-lovett-cover-read-the-first-chapter-of-this-ya



Saturday, April 8, 2017

The You I've Never Known By Ellen Hopkins- Reshelved Books

I almost wasn't going to review this book.  At first  when I was reading it I wasn't sure I liked it, or even sure that it was really something that I felt like reading.  Hopkins usually tackles tough subjects in her books.  Im using the word usually as an overly generalized survey of her work, as the only other book I've read by her was Crank.  However, I love the way that she uses poetic verse to tell a story that is smooth, coherent  and quick.  So, when I saw this book on my public library's shelf, I took it home to give it a chance.    





Like CrankThe You I've Never Known tackles tough subjects often considered taboo, such as sexual orientation, the act of sex itself, the idea of belonging, and domestic mental / physical abuse.  However, what really piqued my interest and made me want to write this review was the underlying story line that Hopkins hints at and has come together in the end.  In this story there are two character voices.  Ariel, the voice of a young girl written in poetic verse who lives with her father because her mother "ran off with a woman," and who herself struggles with sexual identity, and Maya a teenager who's voice is written in prose and has become a pregnant young wife to an abusive man.  As the story progresses we see how these two different character's stories slowly diverge and blend.  Is Ariel really who she thinks she is? Is Maya more than what the reader knows her to be? 

At the end Hopkins writes that inspiration for this novel came from her own personal life, when her husband (or rather ex-husband) kidnapped their child.  This opens up a whole new world of difficult subjects.  Parental child abduction.  Without meaning it to be a spoiler, had I know that this personal and tragic event in Hopkins life inspired the story I think I would have enjoyed it much more from the beginning.  

So my dear For the Love of Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 3 out of 5 coffee beans.  

Happy Reading. 

~Jessica  

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Mermaid Collector by Erika Marks - Reshelved Books

Hello dear For the Love of Dewey Readers!

After finishing  Julia's Daughters by Colleen Faulkner I thought I was going to have a terrible book hangover and have trouble getting into a new book.  It was snowing outside, so I wanted something beachy to take my mind off of the snow -- but not summery.   I had just packed up a bunch of books in preparation for my big move coming up this spring (including most of my to-read pile) and found this one that I have been meaning to read for probably 3 years now.  I'm terrible, I know.

These are all books...except for that red box...

At first I thought that Erika Marks' The Mermaid Collector was going to be too much fantasy based.  I guess I wasn't sure what exactly to expect and I was a little bit apprehensive.  But nonetheless, I started reading it and had trouble putting it down.  



The lighthouse on the cover looks just like the Portland Lighthouse
 I was lucky enough to visit this past fall.


This novel is as much of a love story as it is a historical fiction and ghost story about the origin of local myth and legend.  It follows the present day stories of Tess Patterson and Tom Grace, two people who have given up on love, lost parents to tragic deaths, and are struggling to heal themselves and learn to trust others.  Tess Patterson has grown up in Maine, living near the water with both her mother and step-father, until her mother commits suicide by drowning in the cove.  Tom Grace, comes to costal Maine when he inherits the light keeper's house after his family falls victim to a tragic hit-and-run accident.  An accident that takes the life of his parents.  What makes this book stand out from other novels that deal with love, tragedy, heartbreak, and family issues is seen from the historical flashbacks that tie the custom of the annual Mermaid Festival of the present to the novel's mermaid lore of the past.     

This novel offers reader's glimpses of  the couple that perviously lived in the Light Keeper's house back in the 1800's by telling the mermaid legend in segments that leave the reader wanting more.  Showing how  love, loss, tragedy and the past can have haunting and lasting impressions on the future.  Do ghosts exist in the physical sense?  Or a ghosts the rippling effects the past has on the present? 

So my dear Fothe Love of Dewey readers, I give you ANOTHER rating of 5 out of 5 coffee beans

I could not put this book down, and I was so sad when it was over.  I have such a terrible book hangover that now I don't even know what I want to read!

Does anyone have any suggestions? 

~Jessica     

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Will You Find Us?

Not to long ago we read about a campaign via our Twitter Page (@theloveofdewey) about book fairies.  Yes, you read that right.  Magical book fairies that leave books in unexpected and mysterious places for readers to find, devour, and pass on.  I absolutely loved this idea and ordered some stickers right away.  You can read more about them on The Book Fairies' website

After ordering my set of stickers, I had to order business cards for a Mid-Atlantic Regional Archiving Conference (MARAC) I am presenting at this spring.  But of course, I did this at midnight and in my sleep-deprived state put the wrong professional web address on them and had to order more.  Does anyone with a MLIS really need personal business cards?  Now I have 100 non-useable and 100 useable ones.... But that's not what I really wanted to tell you...

While I was ordering my second batch of library business cards I decided to create some for For the Love of Dewey.  Wouldn't it be fun to hid them around town?  In places like the coffee shop, at the park, in the bathroom at the mall?  Wouldn't it be even better if we placed our cards inside a beloved book for people with bookish hearts to find?

So here is the For the Love of Dewey movement inspired by The Book Fairies and my business card accident.  For those of you who find a card, a book, or both, come to our blog and tell us!  Tell us that you found our card and what you think of the book.  And when you're done reading it, leave it somewhere for another book lover to find.  Let's see how far these books and the love for all things dewey can go!     

You can comment below here, on our Book Club page, or our GoodReads group.  Come and spread the bookish love! 

~Jessica 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon - #TheBookDrop

Happy Monday Deweys!

Drum roll please.....as promised... Here is my review of Flight of Dreams
*the crowd goes wild*

Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon was the featured March 2017 #TheBookDrop The Jane box book.
--> This is a reshelved book but I wanted to make the main focus on the title of the post that this book is from #TheBookDrop.  #TheBookDrop is a subscription box that I'm subscribed to and I find it to be quite awesome!  It's also a box that isn't crazy expensive.  It's nice to know that every month, I'll have a book delivered to my doorstep (which to me is like waking up on Christmas morning and finding those presents under the tree).  Buying books now is something that's still a little challenging because Baby C is still too little to be out in public places. 


#TheBookDrop included the book, a letter from Ariel Lawhon and a bookplate. 

I really enjoyed this book which I am surprised to find myself saying.  I usually don't go toward novels that are based off of historical events. (I have nothing against history, it's just not my thing when I'm picking out a book). 

I am a Jersey Girl and sadly I knew NOTHING of the Hindenburg! I don't know why and I am rather embarrassed to say that.  It was something happened down in South Jersey and I knew that a blimp (I wasn't even calling it a ZEPPELIN) caught fire but nothing more.  For some reason I thought that the Lindbergh kidnapping five years before was related to the Hindenburg - it's not. 

Usually the box includes the book and why the curator of the box chose the book.  What was really cool about this month's #TheBookDrop box is that it included a letter from Ariel Lawhon.  In her letter she explained her inspiration behind Flight of Dreams.  As we know, my new thing is researching an author's inspiration for their novel.  So this was like being able to have my cake and eat it too!

I started writing this post before I got super far into the book.  I figured that if I researched the Hindenburg beforehand, it would provide me with a better understanding of what was being presented in the book as historical fact and how Lawhon's imagination took those facts and spun everything into a wonderfully captivating story. 

A little backstory on the Hindenburg Zeppelin or a dirigible... The ill fated event occurred on May 6, 1937 in Lakehurst, NJ at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, where only 62 survived out of the 97 on board.  The Hindenburg made trips from Germany to New York and to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Hindenburg was named the German elected president in 1925. The Hindenburg was the first zeppelin to be constructed around carrying helium-- helium is a natural gas that is less flammable than hydrogen.  Due to restrictions in the United States (it was feared that Hitler would use the helium for "military purposes"), the Hindenburg was unable to fly with helium -- it was redesigned to be flown with hydrogen instead. The Hindenburg was 803 feet in length and could travel at a speed of 80mph.  It was decorated with the flag of the Nazi Party--the new German national flag at the time in 1936, and it bore the symbol of the Olympic Rings to promote the Summer Olympic games-- in 1936 the Summer Olympics took place in Berlin. 

Now... full ahead into the book!

I loved how the book was written with such detail.  On every page, Lawhon was able to paint a clear picture of the characters and the environment that surrounded them.  Lawhon also based her characters on the passengers on the Hindenburg at the time of the fire - which I also thought was really cool (as you can see, I told you that I don't read historical fiction!).  Her characters also shared the same fates as those who they were based on-- if someone had passed away in the book, it was because they passed away in the explosion (which she explains at the end of the novel).  

The book focuses between five different characters: Emilie - "The Stewardess", Max - "The Navigator", Edward- "The American", Werner - "The Cabin Boy" and Gertrud - "The Journalist". The novel also takes place over the course of three days, which was the duration of the final flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Lakewood, New Jersey. As the reader, you see how each character interacts with one another and how they feel.  Each character provides information to one another that pulls the book together.  Whether its from the crew interacting with each other, the passengers with another or the crew and the passengers speaking to each other.

The stories of these five people are intertwined- the story is intricately woven.

I felt like you could feel the love that Max Zabel had for Emilie Imhof, the way that he cared for her and the desire that they shared for one another.  I found Max to be handsome, he reminded me a lot of G (who is a merchant marine) and Emilie was a character that I couldn't get a good read on--she was very secretive.  The character who I was very interested in learning more about was Edward Douglas ("The American"), I wanted to know who he was and why he there.  I thought that he was a rather creepy character- one that you couldn't get away from. Werner Franz ("The Cabin Boy") was another character that I really liked- a fourteen year old boy who grew up right in front of your eyes with the turn of every page.  Gertrud Adelt was a character who wasn't all that she seemed- she was portrayed as having a rock solid exterior but she did have her moments of softness. Both Emilie and Gertrud were characters who were defying the boundaries in Germany at that time-- Emilie was the first stewardess aboard a Nazi airship and Gertrud was a journalist (one who didn't seem so keen on the Nazis).

Flight of Dreams is nothing short of literary awesomeness and I give this book five (5) out of five (5) coffee beans.  It's a captivating page turner and it leaves you guessing at every page especially during the fateful final day when the Hindenburg is in flight.  Its a little bit romance, a little bit of a mystery and a whole lot of wonderful reading!

~Jillian


P.S. For those who are curious, these are the links to the websites that I found background information on the Hindenburg! http://www.unmuseum.org/hindenburg.htm 
https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2012/05/75-years-since-the-hindenburg-disaster/100292/
http://facesofthehindenburg.blogspot.com/


Monday, March 20, 2017

Julia's Daughters by Colleen Faulkner - Reshelved Books

Guys, I think I found a new favorite author!

I stumbled across Julia's Daughters by Colleen Faulkner in the dollar store where I was looking for a bucket.  As someone who is in the process of moving and renovating a home, did I need a new book? No.  Should I be buying a new book? No.  Do I have the money for a new book?  Not really... I need housewares.  But I was drawn to this book not only because the cover is gorgeous and #bookstagram worthy, but because it sounded SO good and authors like Susan Wiggs, Holly Chamberlin, and Cathy Lamb have raved about Faulkner's other work. So I came home with both a bucket and a new book.  


Isn't this book just beautiful? 
  
Imagine you had a daughter who died as a passenger in a tragic car accident because the person driving ran a stop sign...But what if the person driving was your other daughter? 

Julia's Daughters explores the story of a family who lost a daughter to this type of tragedy, following the grief, guilt, and healing that parallels a journey of a mother and daughter road trip from Las Vegas to Maine.  The premise for this book sort of reminded me of Night Road by Kristin Hannah. (It's an awesome and gut wrenching read. You should definitely check it out!) Anyway, Julia's Daughters switches between the voices of the mother, Julia, and her two remaining daughters, Haley and Izzy, to show not only how grief effects them individually but also how they come to heal together. Lately I have been reading a lot of young adult fiction and have been in a reading slump regarding adult fiction.  Reading a novel like this, with both adult and young adult character perspectives, was a surprising and nice transition between genres.

This novel was such a quick read.  I started it on a Sunday evening and finished it on a Tuesday.  When I wasn't reading it I was WISHING I was reading it.  Aren't those the best kind of books?

And so I leave you my dear For the Love of Dewey readers, with a rating of 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.

And the best part?  Faulkner's other novels look just as good.  

~Jessica       

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Everything, Everything By Nicola Yoon - Reshelved Books


Hello fellow For the Love of Dewey Readers!  *Woof, Woof!* I just read an amazing book that left we with a complete and utter book hangover.  This book, just like the photo below, is EVERYTHING. 
Dogs and books are everything. 

I stumbled upon Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon while I was scrolling through Facebook one evening before bed.  Someone had shared a trailer to a movie that was coming out and it looked good. I don't really watch movies, but when I found out it was also a book I got SO excited.  I immediately placed it on hold at my library, and it was everything I hoped it to be and more.   

I LOVED photographing this book. 

So, what would you do if you had a terrible illness that suppressed your immune system to the point where you had to live inside, be homeschooled online, only see certain visitors monitored for their health, and breathe filtered air?  What kind of person would you be?  Do you think that you would know what you were missing if you never knew it was there?  For Madeline Whittier this is her reality and the only life she has known.  Madeline  has a rare disease known as SCIDS, which the novel describes as a disease that surprises her immune system to the point where any "trigger" has the point to kill her.  I have never heard about SCIDS before, so I decided to learn more about it.  As a future librarian and person with anxiety, I probably shouldn't have Googled it but I did.  Did I mention that I wasn't feeling well when I read it?...  Anyway for those of you who are curious, here is a link to a website dedicated to SCIDS.    

Back to the book. 

One day, a new family moves into the house next door.  The boy, who is about her age, and his sister go to Madeline's house to bring over a bundt cake, but over course they can't come in and Madeline's mother cannot accept the cake.  This sparks an interest and  online friendship that blossoms into sneaky yet sterilized visits between Madeline and her new neighbor, ultimately causing Madeline to question her life, her dreams, and love.  

A For the Love of Dewey rating of 5 out of 5 coffee beans! This book is gripping, it is inspiring, and it's a bookish love story.  Check out the trailer to the movie to be released this year!

~Jessica




P.S.  Nicola Yoon liked our post on Twitter!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

After the Fall by Kate Hart- Reshelved Books

Hello again Dewey Family, 

This time I present you with After the Fall by Kate Hart.

This book was wonderful! I really did enjoy it.  After the Fall was another book that I could not put down! It was laced with such emotion and it made you feel for the characters (and I don't think that's an easy thing to do!)




NOW, I know what you guys are saying "But Jillian you've been reading books that fall into this category... You reviewed Thirteen Reasons Why *and* The Most Dangerous Place on Earth". Yes yes, I did...this is something that I can not deny. 


Side Note: I promise that I am going to review March's #Bookdrop next - Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon. I'm in the process of reading this book 

(PSA for our IG! @fortheloveofdewey -- you'll be able to check out all of our current reads here... Or you can look up to your left... Right under all of those tabs...)

After the Fall is Kate Hart's debut novel.  Knowing that this was her debut novel and nothing else about the novel didn't satisfy me.  I was wanting to know about this book!


SO! I figured that I would start incorporating a little bit of the background information that I find about the authors (if this is a debut novel) or try to find the inspiration the novel (if it's posted within the vast internet) -- wish me luck, this may be a failed idea. haha.   


With my trusty curiosity in hand, I searched the internet high and low in hopes to find Hart's inspiration...


My searching did pay off!  I was able to find an interview with Ms. Hart from 2010 on the blog We Do Write, you can view the interview here. In her interview with Dorothy from We Do Write, Kate said that her inspiration for After the Fall came from a "local hiking accident" - that sparked her to wonder how she and her friends would have been able to handle the same situation. It wasn't until I finished the book that in the final pages that Hart mentions how her own assault and the loss of a friend influenced her book. 


(Wandering Bark Books had an interesting Q&A with Hart as well - you can find how she handled the love triangle that is in the book.  You can read that Q&A here).


On to the book...

After the Fall follows Raychel Sanders and Matt Riachardson, two best friends since forever. Matt secretly likes Raychel and Raychel is secretly dating Matt's younger brother, Andrew. 

As the reader, you can really feel for Raychel.  You feel for her when you hear how she's been assaulted by Carson (not once but *twice*).  You feel for her when she thought that maybe Carson did actually like her for her and not for anything else like the rumors that follow her. You feel for her again, when she learns who her mother is dating and when she gets into a big fight with Matt; resulting in massive disappointment.  A horrible hiking accident happens causing life as Raychel and Matt know it falls apart. Life will never be the same for either of them and neither will be their friendship. 


SPOILER ALERT!! 

If you don't want to know what happens... DON'T READ PAST THIS LINE!! 
I don't want to ruin anything for those of you who do want to read the book. 

I felt bad for Raychel. I did. No one deserves to be assaulted. No one deserves to be taken advantage of like that. To lose that sense of trust and security. To be stripped down and to be made to feel so vulnerable. That's wrong in every possible way. As I wrote before, it broke my heart to read that her character was happy that there someone out there who was interested in her for her and not because of the rumors about her. To me, that's heartbreaking. 


But (I know I shouldn't start a sentence with "but") Raychel did start to irritate me when she was (for lack of a better term) "sneaking around" with Andrew. I thought that was really crappy of her character.  This guy has been your friend for (what's mentioned in the book) the better part of a decade, and you go and start dating his brother without saying anything to him! That's really crappy! I'm sorry guys. Matt genuinely cared about Raychel (even though we could see that his character was quite overbearing) and I think that's why it bothered me so much that she didn't say anything to him until everything started to fall apart.


To me, it seemed like Raychel's relationship with Andrew seemed a little out of left field. I didn't find it to be very developed- it just kind of happened. I didn't even really get the vibe that she was crushing on him until she borrowed his shirt.  

Carson's assault on Raychel was a formative part of the book (IMO) but it seemed to have died off... Then the reader hears about Carson again, when Raychel takes her "revenge" on him (if you can even say that) and when he apologizes.  Part 2 had a whole different focus -I felt that that was a little strange. 

I was sad at the end of the book.  I guess I wanted Raychel and Matt to see past their differences and to come together once again.  I didn't want to see them end. They had been friends for so long, that it was sad to seem them continue to drift apart.  

As the saying goes: all good things must come to an end...

After the Fall gets a review of four (4) coffee beans out of five (5).

~JBG

Websites Referenced: https://wanderingbarkbooks.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/guest-post-after-the-fall-by-kate-hart-qa/
http://we-do-write.blogspot.com/2010/08/interview-with-kate-hart.html