Saturday, August 12, 2017

Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger - Reshelved Books

Hello Dewey Fans! 

I just finished a new novel called Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger.  It's a ya suspense novel that tackles twitter, anxiety, and fangirl culture.  

This photo was really hard to take.
I had to hold my computer backwards & upside down. 

A Brief Summary 
The novel centers around a love for a pop star named Eric Thorn.  There are Twitter pages devoted to those who love Eric, where the accounts post photos of him, essentially stalk him, and believe that they are "friends in the head" with him.  One of these Eric Thorn fans is Tessa Heart, who's Twitter handle is @TessaHeartsEric.  Tessa is agoraphobic so this Twitter interaction is just about all the communication that Tessa has with the outside world.  However, Tessa wasn't always phobic of being outside or with people.  How she became agoraphobic is one of the mysteries this novel uncovers. 

Eric Thorn also has his own private Twitter...Can you guess what it's called?.... @EricThornSucks. A hate account about himself? Yes.  Because Eric hates the Eric that the fangirls love and that his PR team has made him become.  The famous Eric is not the real Eric, and the famous Eric sort of sucks.  The fangirl nature of this book is explored when @EricThornSucks begins DMing @TessaHeartsEric.  

What I Thought  
At first I thought I might choose this book as a book club choice for my Adults Who Read YA group, but then I thought "eh...maybe not."  If it weren't for the suspense / thriller aspects of this book it could have easily fallen flat while being seen as "too childish" due to the fangirl obsession.  However, I really could not put this book down and finished it rather quickly.  The more I thought about this book, the more I liked it.  However, I don't think I'll be doing it for the next book group... at least not yet. 

So Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  

Until the next read! 


Sunday, August 6, 2017

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus- Reshelved Books

Who is ready for a new review on a new book?! 
I hope you all are eagerly waving your arms up in the air! haha.

I don't know how old the majority of our readers are but if you fall into the mid to late twenties and up, you should know about all of those classic John Hughes films from the 80s! 
Sixteen Candles! Pretty in Pink! St. Elmo's Fire! The Breakfast Club!

And this 90s baby does love Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club   :)

Let me know what you're favorite John Hughes movie is!  You can post down below OR find us on Facebook! FortheLoveofDewey is now a group and we'd love it if you joined!

But onward to the good stuff...   

One of Us is Lying is Karen McManus' debut novel.   As a YA fiction story, One of Us is Lying is a story about five teenagers, one who mysteriously ends up dead in detention.  The "who done it" and the why are what you as the reader are trying to figure out.  

This book is a mash up between the game of Clue and The Breakfast Club.

From what I could find out there on the great internet, it seems like McManus was influenced by the writings of Agatha Christie for her debut novel.  According to Book Club Babble, McManus used The Breakfast Club as her primary inspiration. 

Which is something I can totally see... Take for example Brian and Simon.  For anyone who has seen this movie, do you think that McManus loosely based Simon on Brian?? Brian had the intentions of suicide but was never success.  Simon actually *dies*...
Tabitha Lord of Book Club Babble did an *amazing* review with Karen McManus. I strongly recommend to everyone to go and check out her review!  Another good review on the book was done by The Big Thrill- you can check out that review here.

Lord brings up great questions that included awesome points.  I love how she brings up how nowadays, teenagers don't have a sense of privacy (which is true, when I was in high school, TEXT MESSAGES were just becoming a thing! and I am by no means old!).  How social media has taken over and made things that were once private, public.  (Not only that, but suicide is something that's increasing in teenagers :(  )

I very much liked the delivery of the story!  I liked how as the reader got deeper into the novel, the plot became more twisted.  The police were pitting Bronwyn, Nate, Cooper and Addie against each other- something that should have pulled them apart, made them stronger together in the end.  You slowly learn about Simon's life and 

As, I said before (because for anyone who knows me, I love to repeat myself) I liked how the book was a spin on The Breakfast Club: you had the athlete, the criminal, the brains, the outcast and the pretty girl.  While the five of them were able to walk out together at the end, One of Us is Lying loses the outcast. 

There was a twist at the end of the story that I was not expecting.  I could see how the "killer" was who they were, but I would never have imagined who was helping them.

I give this book 5 out of 5 coffee beans.  It held the right amount of suspense and it answered all of the questions that it laid out.  I didn't get tired of the characters and I didn't find them to be annoying.  The book progressed in a way that didn't leave you feeling ripped off. 

~ Jillian

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley - Reshelved Books

Why hello there, For the Love of Dewey readers!

Today I offer you a review for a well promoted  (by publishers on the IG) and highly esteemed ya novel, Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.  

This book takes place in an Australian used bookstore.  Could the setting be any more perfect?  In this bookstore there is a shelf where patrons underline words in books, leave notes and thoughts within the margins, and write letters in the hopes of someone specific finding them...while others do so in the hopes that these notes are never found at all.  In this novel there are two main characters, Henry, who's parents own the bookstore and who is suffering from his first "I don't love you anymore," and Rachel, Henry's at one time best friend, who is forever changed since she tragically lost her brother Cal to a drowning accident, and who is and always has been, secretly in love with Henry.  

In addition to love and loss, this novel also touches upon the idea of jobs that pay to live and jobs that become a meaningful part of life.  Can money buy happiness?  Sometimes, I think that it could, and I sort of wish I chose a career where a master's degree would bring in the big bucks $$$.  After all, if you're not comfortable can you ever be truly happy, or would you forever be strapped with worry?   Then again, if your passion lies within a job that doesn't pay much, would doing something else for the rest of your life lead to resentment?  Maybe resentment exists with both options. This is what I was thinking about when Henry's family proposes selling the bookstore in the hopes of giving Henry and his sister George a better life.  The bookstore itself almost seems like a fairytale place.  It is an oasis amongst the stacks.  It is something that I know I would LOVE to call home... but is it feasible for the long run? 

Overall I adored this novel.  It's cute yet thought provoking, despite Rachel's grief, isn't overly sad or depressing.  So Dear Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans

P.S. This is book is my second library book club book, and is also the 1st book to be discussed in my new group for Adults Who Love to Read YA in September!!!  For those of you in the New Jersey area who love to read ya, message or comment below to find out how you can join!


Friday, July 28, 2017

The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman

Hello wonderful For the Love of Dewey Readers!!! 

I have news for you!  I am officially an Adult Services Librarian & I'm in charge of 2 new Book Clubs a month!  My first Book Club is called Fiction Addiction and my second Book Club is for Adults who love to read YA.  I am SO excited. 

So today I am sharing a review with you that will also be my first Fiction Addiction Book Club book in August, The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman.  (For those of you in the NJ area, reach out to me and I can share with you the details so you can join!) 

This novel explores the idea of intertwining maternal family relationships, as symbolized through a charm bracelet that has been passed down from generation to generation.  The charms were collected from important events within each woman's life, allowing them to take on a certain type of strength and energy.  The strength found within these charms made me think of mine (and Jillian's) collection of healing crystals.  

But anyway, let's talk about the plot.  This novel follows the story of Lauren and Arden, a mother daughter pair living in Chicago who gets called back to Lauren's original southern home when she learns that Arden's mother, Lolly, is becoming forgetful.  Lolly begins to exhibit signs of dementia.  She has post-its everywhere to remember simple tasks and names, and she frequently begins to forget to arrive to her shift at the local ice cream parlor, Scoops, on time.  Together the three begin to recall the past all the way back from Lolly's mother, while worrying about what the future will hold.  Ultimately, this novel also explores the feelings of heartbreak, of true love, and of regret.    

Broken down into sections based off of the charms, this story is a powerful journey about placing value in one's life, remembering the past, and making memories within the present / future.  But most importantly, it is about learning to value what you have now while you still have it, and to not let regrets take over the good memories.  

I think that this novel hit on my anxiety a little bit, because our Grandmother had suffered from Alzheimer's and dementia (and to be honest, for someone only 25 years old, I can't remember s**t).  While I thought that this novel overall came off as "sweet" and endearing, and I loved how Shipman broke the book into sections based off of the charms, it didn't engulf me in the same way that some of the other novels I have read the summer so far have.  So dear Dewey Readers, for this reason I leave you with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  I hope this Book Club goes well, and I hope that by the time August 21st rolls around I can still remember what I've read! 


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

Hello everyone! I'm offering you a quick review on Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serrritella's latest novel and mother-daughter series. 

I love Lisa and Francesca's books.  They are funny.  They are witty.  And they are absoutely and 100% what I look forward to every summer.

Can we take a minute to look at the title of their latest "chick-wit" book?

Isn't it just... awesome?  It's true, it's quirky, it's funny... And I LOVE it.  

So, for those of you who aren't familiar, Lisa Scottoline, who normally is known for her thrillers, collaborates with her daughter on a series they call "chick-wit." This chick-wit consist of short little blurbs about life, womanhood, and the mother-daughter relationship.  They are light, they are airy, and they are just wonderful.    

This book in particular focuses on life and learning how to become your own lifeguard.  To me, this book in particular focused a bit to heavily on the 2017 Presidential Election.  Scottoline and Serritella do not disclose who their candidate was or what political party they are affiliated with, but I have an inkling as to which way they sway.  For me, the focus on the election sort of lowered my rating of the book (if this were a longer review, it would be 4.5 or 4 coffee beans instead of 5).  However, the election was such a large and controversial part of this year, that it's only natural that it's a large part of this year's chick-wit. 

Over all I absolutely love this mother-daughter team.  Definitely check out this book or one of their other chick-wit books this summer!  You will NOT be disappointed! 


Aren't they fun!?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable - Reshelved Books

Hello dear For the Love of Dewey Readers!

I recently just finished Michelle Gable's The Book of Summer.  I book-lusted after this novel for quite a while after seeing it on display in Barnes and Noble, but I wasn't sure I was going to buy it.  You know, I really don't need to keep buying books... actually I really need to stop. But my public library system did not own a copy, and when I saw it sitting on the shelf at my favorite local used book store in Montclair, I just knew it was meant to be. 

Aren't the hydrangeas on the cover (and in my garden) just gorgeous?! 
I totally and 100% judged this book by the cover and by how it's location is set in Nantucket.  I guess I'm a total cliche when it comes to great summer reads.  What I liked about this book was that it isn't just another summer story, but rather takes an actual environmental issue that has happened in Nantucket (the erosion of the Sconset Bluff) and personifies it to show the reader how this has effected not only one individual but also an entire family history.  Gable does this by telling the story both from present day and from a historical flashback to the 1940's, making this novel just as much as a Nantucket novel and environmental novel, as it is a WWII novel.   

A brief synopsis of the story lines:

Bess Codman is visiting Nantucket to try to get her mother to pack up her belongings and leave the house that her family has owned for generations on Sconset Bluff.  The years of erosion have slowly taken the property and sacraficed it to the ocean below.  The foundation is weak and being in the house for too much longer can be deadly.  Bess herself is going through a terrible divorce and just found out that she is pregnant.  Her mother does not leave the house easily, and is fighting to have measures taken to prevent further erosion from taking place.

Ruby (Bess' Grandmother) was married on the eve of WWII.  She struggles with her husband, brothers, and friends going off to war, while also suffering from numerous miscarriages.  The house on the bluff becomes her home as well as her strength as it is passed down onto her and thus onto the one child who she does carry to term.  

My take:

At first I thought that this novel came across as a little slow, but it soon picked up.  I loved the blending of a Nantucket summer novel, with environmental issues, and a WWII story.  It was well done and cohesively put together.  I also liked how Gable included information at the end of the novel about Sconset Bluff and the erosion.  

So dear readers, I leave you with a For the Love of Dewey rating of 4.5 out 5 Coffee Beans. 

For more information on Sconset, check out Gable's sources:

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beach House for Rent by Mary Alice Monroe - Reshelved Books

I love Mary Alice Monroe's Beach House series.  I discovered these books years ago when my Grandma's friend lent us Swimming Lesson's (Book #2).  After devouring Swimming Lessons and reading it twice, I jumped right into The Beach House (Book #1), and Beach House Memories (Book #3).  And no, they do not have to be read in order... So it's an understatement to say that I was both thrilled and excited to learn that a 4th book in the series entitled Beach House for Rent was due to be released this summer!  

You can check out brief summaries of these novels, as well as other novels by Monroe here.

I wanted to take a #bookstagram with all 4 novels,
but the other 3 are packed away in the basement... So here is my pool.

So a brief background to this series:

These books tell the story of a beach house on the North Carolina coast owned by Olivia "Lovie" Rutledge.  Lovie was known as the "turtle lady" of the shore, active in conservation, and protector of the sea turtle nests.  When Lovie's daughter Cara loses her job up North, she returns home, mending broken ties with her family and discovering both new and old relationships all linked to a love for turtles and ultimately for the beach house.  One of these relationships is in found in Toy, a young pregnant girl fleeing an abusive relationship and family situation whom Lovie takes in, and another is in her romance with Brett, a local man whom Cara falls in love with and begins to replant her Carolina roots with.  As Cara begins to learn more about her mother's past and the woman that she is, she also learns that her mother is dying from cancer. Eventually after Lovie's passing, the beach house is left to Cara, which sets the readers up for the latest installment.

Now on to the latest novel:

Beach House for Rent opens with Cara and Brett working on the beach house and getting it ready to rent for the summer.  Hence the title. The woman renting the beach house, Heather, is a young and pretty 26 who suffers from terrible social anxiety issues that became worse after her mother passed away in a car accident. There is also hinting at financial difficulties that place a strain on Cara and Brett's relationship, which becomes clearly known to reader when it is learned that they cannot make the loan payments on a tour boat they recently purchased.  The couple is now faced with a dilemma.  Should they sell Cara's beach house, or sell their home which is legally Brett's house (his name is still the only one on the deed.)  Like with Nancy Thayer's novel, this part of the book struck me.  Not because it's the life I live now, but the beach house vs. regular home is a fantasy I have contemplated in my head. Can I have a beach house now, please!? After a fight, Brett goes out for a run, where he dies suddenly of a heart attack.  This was an unexpected twist to the story that came out of nowhere to the reader, and ultimately leaves Cara utterly devastated.  Cara returns to the beach house, where along with Heather they learn to heal themselves and grow despite their grief and their guilt.    

Why I like it...
One thing that I adore about this series is how Monroe focuses on endangered wildlife.  In Swimming Lessons, Monroe did this by offering readers short facts about sea turtles.  In Beach House for Rent, Monroe does this by bringing attention to endangered shore birds.  Monroe accomplishes this both by short facts about various shore birds, and also through Heather, who is studying the birds so she can accurately paint them for postage stamps.

Why I don't...
However unlike the other novels, which I felt could be read as stand alones or even out of order, I felt that Beach House for Rent relies too much on the backstories of the other novels.  If a reader had picked up this book instead of one of the other 3 it wouldn't have the same effect.  I also was disappointed that Monroe didn't bring Toy into the story.  She mentioned her character in passing, but she was such a large and important character in Swimming Lessons and The Beach House.  I missed her.

So my dear For the Love of Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 3.5 out of 4 Coffee Beans.  I love this series, but I love Swimming Lessons and The Beach House more.  This novel alone does not do the series proper justice. 


P.S.  This series was one of the group of books that Grandma & I have successfully gotten my non-bookish mother to read and enjoy.   

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Reading- Thoughts

Happy Friday!

Since the weekend is coming up, I wanted to ask you guys what *you* have read so far this summer and what you'll be reading! What you're excited to read and even what you know you won't be interested in reading. 

I ordered two books on Monday and they came in the mail today. So, I'm super pumped to bust into that box and jump right in!  

Let me know in the comments down below what's on your list! Also, let us know if you have any recommendations!

Catch you guys soon!
~ Jillian

An awesome beach read, that is TOTAL throwback... #flashbackfriday, is The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (and I'm talking the whole series here, guys!).  I totally remember reading those books during the summers I spent in Lavallette.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck- #TheBookDrop

Happy July Dewey Family,

While my posting has become sporadic, my reading has not! I have a few reviews for you guys in the upcoming weeks that I will post.  At this moment, I will present you all with Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck.

This was the book from the June 2017 #bookdrop box- Jane Edition. 

The author prefaces the book with a letter informing the reader how she came up with her story line. In the letter included from Erika Robuck in #TheBookDrop, she tells us subscribers how Ernest Hemingway came to her one night in a dream. 

As usual with the wonderfulness that is #thebookdrop, they included a letter from Erika Robuck to us subscribers. Robuck said how Ernest Hemingway visited her one night in a dream.  In the same letter, Erika does say it herself that Hemingway's Girl does not follow The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.  For those of you who are wondering, The Paris Wife by Paula McLain is the story of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley.  

I have yet to read The Paris Wife but it is a book that I have seen before at the book store, and one that I have picked up and put down before.  I did add it to my Goodreads, maybe one day I'll get the chance to read it!

Hemingway's Girl reminded me of Flight of Dreams in that a story was formed around people who did exist.  While Ariel Lawhon based her story line for Flight of Dreams around actual passengers on the flight at the time of the crash; Robuck based her story line around one actual person and used the voice of a fictional character to tell her story. (Anyone who is curious about Flight of Dreams, can find that review here).

I'm going to be honest, I wasn't so sure that I was going to like this book. Learning that the book was about Ernest Hemingway and a young Mariella Bennett; I knew that I didn't want to read a story about how a young girl gets caught up with the infamous and captivating Hemingway. 

The book did pique my interest and I did find Ernest Hemingway to be an oddly intriguing man.  Outside of the letter that was included in #thebookdrop box, I found an interview with Erika Robuck about her novel with The Dividing Wand. The interview highlights the development of her storyline, including the ways in which she researched this novel. 

Even when I started reading the book, I was reading it with caution.  I guess you could say that I was like Pauline when she said "'You know, Mariella', said Pauline, 'I need to apologize. I used to think that you and Papa had something going on.'" (Robuck, 218).

The ending of the story... Kinda ruined it for me, as sad as it is to say....
Once the book was over, the book was over... 

To me, the book just ended abruptly. We see that Jake, Mariella and Gavin's son, is given letters Hemingway wrote to Mariella, including one from Pauline.  (If Hemingway had lost contact with Mariella, I would have been surprised.  I was however, a little sad to see that their correspondence wasn't more frequent).

Robuck did end the book with Hemingway taking his own life and reporting it in the same manner that it did happen back in 1961. 

But that was it. 

I'm giving this book 2.5 coffee beans out of five. I really didn't like it. The more I thought about the book for the review, the less I liked it.  There was a lot of build up and for the storyline to end so shortly, was kinda blah.

~ Jillian

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer - Reshelved Books

Hello fellow Dewey readers! 

Today we give you a review on Nancy Thayer's latest novel, Secrets in Summer.    Let me start off by saying that I (Jessica) absolutely loved and adored this novel.  I felt like it was my life- or rather the life that I live inside my head that was being told within these pages.  Maybe that's why I loved it so much.  

Reasons Why I Felt Like This Was My Life In a Book:

1) The main character, Darcy,  is a librarian. ✔ 
       I have my MLIS. 
2) Darcy lives by the beach. 
      Can I? Please?
3) Darcy married young and was left both heartbroken and free. 
      So I've never been married, but close enough.
4) Darcy finds someone new to love, who is a much better fit. 
5) The man Darcy falls in love with doesn't want to move into Darcy's house.  He would rather pick out a new home /  start a new life together.   
6) To do this they must both learn how to compromise.  

Did Nancy Thayer write this for me?  Nancy, if you're reading this, you don't know how much I needed a book like this right now in my life.  Thank you.

This book is fun, it is beachy, and it is impossible to put down!  I guess maybe I'm little bit biased because I felt like I could have very easily been Darcy, but nonetheless, I just want to take this book, hold it in the air, and shout "READ THIS BOOK!" at the top of my lungs. And really, you all should.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

I love this book so much, that I am giving it 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans 

P.S. Jillian and Grandma loved it too. 


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.   


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!

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!


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! 


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! 


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