Releasing Now Book Addicts: Fade In

Okay book addicts, I have a brand new book hot off the presses that I know you’re just going to eat up! Before you fade out from all of your St. Patrick’s day fun, be sure to check out Fade In

Fade In by M. Mabie

Fade In by M. Mabie

Fade In by M. Mabie

Contemporary Romance

Release Day: March 16, 2014 (That’s today bitches, so buy it now!)

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SYNOPSIS:

Tatum Elliot is a successful writer on a hit television show, lives in an Upper East Side apartment and loves her life. She wouldn’t change a thing. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have a choice. She’s losing her sight.

Tripping over her tongue and her heels, Tatum all too quickly realizes that the things which appeared so important before are slowly slipping away leaving room for what really matters. With the support of her best friends, family and colleagues, she begins to see that there’s much more to life… and herself.

 When Ben Harris enters her life as her new personal assistant, she can’t tell if it’s his good looks and charm that are working on her libido, or his kind and helpful nature working on her heart? Whatever it is, neither one of them can resist it.

 As her vision fades out, a world of love and happiness just might…Fade In.

 (Fade In is a contemporary-romance novel about laughing through your tears and telling life to, quite frankly, “Suck it.” This novel contains sexual situations that the author may or may not have tried at home… for your safety, of course. Research is research.)

Fade In Teaser!!

Fade In Teaser!! (Doesn’t that just make you melt into a puddle of emotion?)

An Excerpt From the Book:

I only met her briefly on one occasion, but she left a pockmark in my mind.  She was dynamite and she had an indefinitely long fuse that never stopped burning.  Those around her never knew when she would blow up, not looking away because she was a mess who was fun to watch.

I hope she’s still like that when my mind drifts back to her through the years that pass by.

Maybe I should have shared the cab.  Got in with her.  Stayed with her.

I don’t know.

Who ever really knows that it is the first time, the first time you meet?  It’s only the first time after there’s a second time.  Up until then, it’s just an only.  One moment to the next could alter everything.

Every decision pushes you or pulls you where you’re going in life.

At times, after running into her, when I felt like I was pushing every day to do better, to get further, make a bigger difference, and like I was getting nowhere and I was just spinning my tires, I’d think of her.

She pulls life along.  That girl was making life keep up with her.

And that’s too special to forget.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

M. Mabie lives in Illinois with her husband. She loves reading and writing romance, and an active member of the Indie Author Romance Chicks. She cares about politics, but will not discuss them in public. She uses the same fork at every meal, watches Wayne’s World while cleaning, and lets her dog sleep on her head. M. Mabie has never been accused of being tight lipped or shy. In fact, if you listen very closely you can probably hear her flapping her gums.

You’re encouraged to contact M. Mabie about her future works, as well as this one.

 Website  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway  (Click the link to enter now!)

Fade In Book Cover.... Be sure to check this book out asap!

Fade In Book Cover…. Be sure to check this book out asap!

So what are you waiting for?! Head over to one of the above or below purchase links and buy this bad boy now!

It’ll be oh so worth your while!

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Forever Interrupted

Welcome back to book addiction central!

I hope time has found you well, and that you’ve been able to sink yourself into something deliciously enthralling.

Now as most of you know, last week I took a little walk on the dark side by reading Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. While that little trek was fun and fantastically crazy, I decided that my next book unearthed from The Never Ending Book Basket should be something a tad bit little lighter.

(Or at least something with a little less body dismemberment.)

Despite my quest to find something lighter to read, I found myself in the throes of a story that can be described as anything but light. Sure there weren’t murders and mystery weaving their way through the book, but I surprisingly still found myself reading a story full of anguish and despair.

(Luckily this book wasn’t all doom and gloom because it was full of some seriously sweet moments !)

So while I may have come up a tad short on my desire to find something a little lighter, I did find a lovely little book that is described as being “not your average love story.”

Today at The Never Ending Book Basket I tackle that not so average love story by reviewing Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Forever Interrupted tells the story of Elsie Porter, a young woman who finds herself head over heels in love for Ben Ross. (And we’re talking “Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, cant-live-without-each-other love.” Yay for you if you know where that quote is from!)

Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Forever Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

After a romance that seems as long as a blink of an eye, the two have eloped and find themselves blissfully happy. Then just 9 days after eloping, Ben is killed on impact in a car accident, and Elsie is thrust onto the path of mourning the loss of her husband. She’s also dealing with the fact that she’s just now meeting her mother in law who didn’t even know she existed. (And that is just the first 15 pages.)

Forever Interrupted is told in alternating timelines that start with an ending and a beginning. These timelines trace Elsie and Ben’s, as well as Elsie and Susan’s relationships as they develop over the course of the story.

  • The ending timeline starts from the moment when Ben’s life ends, and follows Elsie as she mourns her late husband, and begins her very complicated and raw relationship with her new mother in law Susan.
  • The beginning timeline begins at the very start of Elsie and Ben’s relationship, and follows them from their very first meeting until the very end of their short, but extremely passionate love affair.

Through these alternating timelines and stories you see how Elsie and Ben came to be, and you fall in love with how they fell in love. (It will seriously make you want to melt into a puddle of emotion.) You also get to see the tumultuous ride that Elsie begins after she has to bury the love she thought would be with her forever. Elsie’s journey throughout this book is truly what moves and makes this book, and the feelings she has rightfully set the pace and tone for this book.

What I simply loved in this book:

  • The alternating timelines. This honestly made the book for me. I loved seeing Elsie and Ben at the beginning and end of their love affair. It made their love story come alive to see these timelines interwoven together so beautifully, and it honestly made me love this story so much more. This set up also created the absolute perfect balance between the happiness and sadness throughout the book.
  • Ben’s death. Clearly since Ben’s fate is determined 10 pages in, I knew what was coming, but it made it all the more real seeing the emotion build to and from this defining event. In the present tense you got to see the aftershocks of such a horrific event. In the past building up to the present you literally get to feel every emotion that made you fall in love with Ben. Having these feelings “backwards” made me feel for Ben and those affected by his death so much more because I already knew the fate that laid ahead.
  • Elsie’s pain and anguish. So I told you this book had a lot of despair and anguish, and I am not exaggerating on that. You are literally thrown head first into Elsie’s pain, and its sink or swim time. (At times I think you can literally touch the pain that Elsie is feeling. It’s just tangible.) The author does a fantastic job of making you absorb this pain and anguish, and as much as you may not like that, it makes the feelings in this book very, very real.
  • Elsie and Susan’s relationship. In addition to Elsie and Ben’s relationship, you also get to see the ebbs and flows of Elsie and her mother in law Susan’s relationship. This one takes a little more time to develop into something substantial, but when you get there, it’s just grand. (And messy, and complicated, and funny, and painful, and just so fucking real. But in the end it’ll just blow your socks off.)
  • The multiple kinds of love. This book is full of different kinds of love and relationships, and I really enjoyed getting to read every single one of them. You get to see the love between couples, parents and their children, friends, and even strangers. Love is in the air in this book, which makes you feel just a tad bit tingly inside.
  • The complicatedness. Life and people are complicated. They are messy, complex, and difficult, but that is just the way it is. Forever Interrupted does a spectacular job of showing this complicatedness in many dynamic ways. It also just adds a grounding aspect to the book that makes you realize that these “complications” are what makes life what it is.

Forever Interrupted is described as being “not your average love story”, and that sentiment rings very true. While it is overflowing with love, (and does have a wonderful love story within its pages) it is a book about beginnings and endings. (I couldn’t help but link to that song there.) It shows a couple at their beginning and their end, and everything in between is full of magic, pain, anguish, laughter, and of course, love.

It was also extremely easy to relate to the characters even though I’ve never been in any of their shoes. I found it really simple to love and accept all the characters for all their quirks and faults, because it made them who they are, and they accepted that. (And in turn I accepted them. How cyclical!)

In the end, Forever Interrupted is still a story about love. Reading this book you get to watch that love as it begins, grows, breathes, ends, continues, and weaves its way through. That love is definitely something you’ll want to see for yourself.

To end this post I leave you with the epitaph for this book. It was originally posted on Craigslist, and it honestly does a phenomenal job of summing up the mountain of feelings in Forever Interrupted:

“Every morning when I wake up I forget for a fraction of a second that you are gone and I reach for you. All I ever find is the cold side of the bed. My eyes settle on the picture of us in Paris, on the bedside table, and I am overjoyed that even though the time was brief I loved you and you loved me.”

(I may or may not have just started crying typing that. You can take a guess on that one…)

To learn more about Taylor Jenkins Reid check out the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/taylorjenkinsreidbooks (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/tjenkinsreid (Twitter)

http://www.taylorjenkinsreid.com/ (Website)

Two For One Special (Love Unrehearsed & Love Unscripted)

Attention book readers, we have a two for one special on our hands at The Never Ending Book Basket!

(In my mind I just imagined that being blasted over a crackling loud speaker in a warehouse filled to the brim with books, also known as my own personal happy place.)

I guess I should let you know that I didn’t actually just read a book named two for one special. The title for this post comes from the fact that today is your lucky day!

Want to know why?!

Today, you get two book reviews for the price of one! Go you!

Told ya, today was your day!

Please try and contain your exuberance out there!

Now that you know where my oh so clever title for this post came from (and I know you just have to be smiling right now!), I can now talk about the amazing two books that I just recently finished and are today’s two for one special.

This week I read Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber.

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber.

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber. (For the record I thought it was fantastic to put that dried bouquet on top of the books. Am I the next big photographer? Probably not, but I do sure love this picture!)

So why a two for one special?

These books are basically two parts to a one whole extremely lovable story, (think of them as part one and part two respectively) so I found it only right to review them together.

Let me tell you, I was very eager to read these two books. I came across the second book, Love Unrehearsed while shopping with another book addict, and I was hooked in by the promise of reading a fantastic love story that I wouldn’t forget.

I will just be honest with the fact that I am a HUGE sucker for a love story, and boy was this a love story to die for. I ate up every page, and was completely enamored with the main characters, Taryn and Ryan.

Their love practically pole vaulted off the page.

Since I don’t want to give away too much of the actual plot line of these two books (‘cause we don’t do that shit on here!), let me tell you a little about Taryn and Ryan:

  • Meet Taryn: Taryn is a young, extremely caring, strong willed, and down to Earth woman who is running a small pub in a tiny Rhode Island town. She has a huge heart, and always puts others first. At the beginning she can be found rolling her eyes at the hoopla over the huge movie being filmed in town. She will not play into any of that, until she unexpectedly finds herself helping and falling very hard for Ryan Christensen, the A list actor starring in the film.
  • Meet Ryan: Ryan Christensen is on top of the world. He is the gorgeous guy rising to the top of the acting world, and almost every female is obsessed with him. Ryan just wanted to do what he loved, but he never expected to have his every move scrutinized and followed by throngs of women. Literally. That fanatic obsession is exactly what leads him to meeting Taryn. Ryan is clearly guarded, but is oh so charming and fiercely protective of what he holds dear, but when he meets Taryn all bets are off.

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed follows Taryn and Ryan as they try to give love a chance. Both of these characters have pasts and presents that make them reluctant to take the leap of faith. They are both guarded, and they have their reasons for holding back, but these books explore what happens when they give it all a chance.

When they come together it’s messy, complicated, and scary as hell, but the journey they go on together is one that will just make your heart melt.

These books are filled to the brim with swoon worthy moments, drama ridden crazies, and lines that will have you becoming a puddle of emotions. They also contain some unforgettable supporting characters that are the icing on the cake! (Try not to like them. I dare ya!)

Some of my favorite aspects of the books:

  • It’s a love story, hello?! What can I say, I am a sucker for a love story. I love reading about love, and watching two characters fall for one another. (NEWSFLASH: If you don’t, this book probably isn’t for you.) And boy do they fall in this story. This love story is well described, and provides all the adorable little details that will make you want to put this couple on a Hallmark card ASAP. The love described is well thought out and written, and will have you fighting like hell that everything works out for the two lovebirds.
  • The drama. There’s no such thing as a love story without drama, right? Both Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed have some juicy bits of drama that may include, but are not limited to: psychotic fans, crazy exes, ridiculously good looking male characters, paparazzi galore, sneaky bitches, plenty of innuendo, a smidge bit of illegal substances, and more crazy fan mail than you can shake a stick at.
  • The moments radiating love. There are a ton of these moments within both books, and they will really make you see, feel, hear, and even touch all the love pouring out of this book. Feel the love people, feel the love.
  • The length of the books. Now clearly I enjoy reading, so book length isn’t daunting to me whatsoever, so I personally prefer a good book that provides a solid plot line and characters over a longer than average book. I spent almost 1,000 pages combined with Taryn and Ryan. Some may say these books are too long, but the plot line is well developed and the characters keep the story going. (And honestly, by the end, I still wanted to read more!)
  • The A list guy and the girl next door. It’s a story you think you’ve heard before, but this spin is well worth the ride. Ryan Christensen is to die for. He is good looking, charming, and he has a heart of gold. Taryn is the girl you love to love, who is witty, loving, and actually has her shit together. She fights like hell for what she wants, and is as strongly independent as you can get. (Score one for strong female characters!) And who wouldn’t enjoy reading about an A list actor falling for the girl next door?
  • How it all comes together. (The lack of further explanation here is deliberate. No spoilers here. You want to find out what happens to Taryn and Ryan, go read the damn books. Now. Please and thank you.)

Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed tells the story of two people who have every reason to not believe in love, yet find themselves putting their faith in one another. This story contains moments that will make you want to laugh out loud, smile, and maybe even cringe. (But in a good way, I promise!)

It may be a sappy love story, oozing with heart rendering moments, but it is story that will have you truly believing and trusting in the power of love.

And who doesn’t want that? (For the record, that question can be considered rhetorical if you do not want to answer yes.)

Hope you enjoyed this two for one special. It was definitely worth the late nights of reading.

Let me know what you think, and I am curious to see what opinions you all have of love stories in general.

Let the reading of love commence!

ps. If you’d like to learn more about Love Unscripted and Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber, feel free to check out the following links:

http://www.tinareber.com/ (website)

https://www.facebook.com/authortinareber (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/tinareber (Twitter)

Bloom

Happy New Year fellow book readers!

I hope you were all able to ring in the New Year in the best possible way!

How did I ring in the New Year you ask? Well I did what I love to do: I thought about everything I love and hold dear. In that thought process, my mind drifted off (as it often does) to the most recent book I was able to read.

This book stayed in my mind over the last few days of 2013, so I found it only fitting to bring its fantastic message into the New Year and to you!

I find that the book I most recently finished is the best possible choice for my first post of 2014, as it is all about finding beauty and happiness in unexpected situations. I am thinking that discovering more beauty and happiness is something we could all use a little more of in our lives.

Thus in my first official post of 2014 we will explore Bloom by Kelle Hampton.

Bloom by Kelle Hampton

Bloom by Kelle Hampton

Bloom is a magnificent memoir that follows a mother’s journey from the day that she welcomes her second child into the world. On that day the mother is as excited as anyone would be at such an event. That day becomes something much more when her baby girl is born, and she learns that her new baby has Down syndrome.

Bloom begins as Hampton describes the day her beautiful baby girl Nella came into the world, and all of the events and emotions that surrounded her as her life changed before her very eyes. After pouring out all she felt and thought in those first few moments and days into a truly moving piece of writing, Hampton begins to discuss the first year of her new baby and family’s lives.

What ensues in this memoir is a poignant story about a mother’s love for her child and family, and what happens when the unexpected occurs and she finds herself on a path that she never knew she’d be on, but is one filled with true beauty, happiness, and love.

I have wanted to read Bloom for quite some time now. I first read of Hampton’s story almost two years ago, when I read her original blog post detailing her daughter’s birth. I came across the post on one of my favorite websites, Pinterest, and I was instantly taken in by Hampton’s words describing how her daughter came into this wondrous world. There was also one line that really stuck with me, one that I could not get out of my head, and one that I would emphasize when telling people about this amazing story I had read on the internet. (I promise to tell you that one later.)

Flash forward a little over a year later and I was in the book store (very shocking, I know) and I came across a gorgeous book cover that drew me in. Turning that book over and reading the summary on the back had me realizing that the very book I held in my hand, was the memoir of the woman who wrote that moving story I so long ago read.

Suffice to say that book made it to the top of my infamous to buy list. (I probably should have gotten it then, but at that current moment I was still in college selling children’s shoes to feed my caffeine and book addictions. And sadly, buying books then was something I unfortunately had to wait to do.)

Flash forward even more time, and I finally was able to find that striking book again, and I devoured it cover to cover in less than a day.

(My advice on this one: if you find a book you think you’re going to really love, buy it then. Don’t put it off, because the joy you find in reading a truly mesmerizing book like Bloom, is well worth sacrificing a week’s worth of coffee for.)

What I simply adored about this book:

  • Hampton’s poignant point of view. Kelle Hampton’s original blog post radiated all of her poignancy. That effervescent poignancy continues in her memoir as she pours everything into this book, and leaves nothing behind, which creates a book that is truly unforgettable. The way that she shares her and her family’s story truly comes from the heart, and will give you a glimpse into what it means to find true and heartfelt beauty in the unexpected. This story is hers to tell, and you won’t soon forget experiencing what she details in her memoir.
  • The pictures. This is truthfully the most visually appealing book I have ever read. There is a reason that this book’s cover drew me in. The photography taken and provided by Hampton documenting her and her family’s story is absolutely stunning. Pages and pages of this book are filled with these vibrant pictures that connect and magnify every emotion and event that Hampton describes. By the end of this book, you will have heartfelt appreciation for pictures and what they can truly show.
  • The joy and beauty that is tangible. While reading, I felt as if I could almost touch the joy, happiness, and beauty that Hampton describes throughout everything documented in her memoir. There are plenty of places in this memoir that Hampton conveys what her and her family’s journey was like, and it certainly isn’t always sunshine and roses. Though when Hampton describes many moments that were filled with joy and beauty, she does it with so much detail and feeling that you can almost touch it. She simply shows you what it truly means to find the beauty and joy.

Suffice to say, I truly enjoyed reading Bloom. The author presents her wholly authentic experience, as she welcomed the unexpected into her life. Her extraordinary memoir documents all of the ups and downs her and her family go through, but truly demonstrates what it means to love a child.

I have probably done a horribly inaccurate job of describing how wonderful this book is, but it is truly a book you will not soon forget. This is the author’s story. It’s her point of view, it’s her life, and it’s real, and as I’ve said before on here, I think we can all learn a lot from one another. I sure learned a lot from her.

As Hampton points out, we are all truly more alike than different, and beauty and joy are all around us, even in the unexpected.

I want to end this post with the words that stuck with me the most from Hampton’s original post, and her memoir. In both, Hampton describes how she knew the moment her daughter was born that she had Down syndrome, and then she continues to describe what happened from that point until her pediatrician came in.

Her pediatrician comes to her and tells her what she already knows, but before that she tells her the very most important thing: “The first thing I am going to tell you is that your daughter is beautiful and perfect.” (pg. 8, Bloom)

That is what I will always remember from reading Hampton’s story. Her daughter, and every other child/person/human being on this planet is beautiful and perfect, and that is the descriptor that matters and comes first every time. Throughout her writing, Hampton personifies that sentiment, and it is truly beautiful to read and experience.

I think we need to remember that as we begin this New Year. We are all different, and that makes us unique, but we are all human and we are all beautiful no matter what else might go into the equation.

Thus as we begin 2014 I encourage everyone, and especially myself, to find the beauty and to find the joy in all the expected and unexpectedness we will come across in this wondrous coming year and life.

 Bring on the beauty and joy of 2014!

ps. If you would like to learn more about Kelle Hampton and her amazing memoir you can find anything and everything here:

http://www.kellehampton.com/  (Blog)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Enjoying-the-Small-Things-Kelle-Hampton/160436387376707 (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/KelleHampton  (Twitter)

Looking for Alaska

Sorry for the delay in posts friends. Let’s just say it has been a crazy couple of weeks for this book addict, and sadly reading has been on the down low. But now it is once again time to resume my “addiction” with a surefire vengeance.

For my first book back on the blog, I decided to read a book from my never ending basket that I was guaranteed to love. Start back on a good page, right?

How did I know that I would love this book, you ask?

Well since I know you’re that damn curious, I will inform you that I have read from this author before, and he is a phenomenal writer, so it was pretty much guaranteed I would love this book too. And shockingly, I did. (That last sentence has a tad bit of sarcasm in it. Just a smidge.)

Thus this week on The Never Ending Book Basket I will be reviewing Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska by John Green (Yes this picture was taken by an A on purpose. You have got to love my thought process and camera taking skills, right?!)

Looking for Alaska has been on my to read list for quite a while now. I was eager to read it since I loved one of his other books The Fault in Our Stars about as a much as I will probably love my first born child. It was that good. I have since personally told at least 27 people to read it, as well as made my mother cry at least 5 times when I was talking about it. Yay me!

I think it took me a total of 5 hours to devour this book from beginning to end, and I was not disappointed one bit by this particular literary journey with Mr. Green.

Looking for Alaska is a book full of searching and finding, seeking and discovering, and of course looking and understanding. The story itself follows Pudge (nickname, of course), as he starts his junior year of high school at Culver Creek Boarding School.

Pudge is going to Culver Creek to find his great perhaps. (I am not explaining that one, so you’ll just have to read to figure out what exactly that means!) On that never ending search he comes across some unforgettable people, including one Alaska Young (real name, of course). Pudge is looking for a plethora of things in this story, but clearly very prominent is his seeking for some morsel of understanding about Alaska, and what is going on in that head of hers.

Alaska is his and many others enigma, and he is instantly enamored by her in more ways than one.

This book follows Pudge and his engaging cast of vibrant classmates, as they work their way through the labyrinth that is life at Culver Creek and everything beyond. Green does an incredible job of weaving a story about young adults, while asking and exploring some pretty tough questions that plague just about any generation you can think of. Looking for Alaska demonstrates beautifully what it means to be someone who is young, looking for answers, and seeking just a little bit of understanding.

The story itself is split into two parts. There is a before, and there is an after. I will not tell you much about what that exactly means for the story, but let’s just say both parts make for a remarkable read.

Per my usual format on here, a list of some of my favorite things in Looking for Alaska:

  • Alaska Young. Alaska is an extraordinary character, and probably one of the most complex characters I have ever had the chance to delve into. (And that’s after I read Gone Girl, with that crazy ass complex main character!) Alaska is like Regina George from Mean Girls in that she is decidedly hard to describe and explain. (That’s about where there similarity stops, but you have to admit clicking on that link and re-watching that clip was fun!) Despite my lack thereof description, Green does a fantastic job of weaving her and her spirit into the story flawlessly. Alaska is a paradox. Everyone is looking for her in some way, and what I found reading was that I was looking for her as well. I was looking for those little jagged pieces of her to put her all together. Was I successful with that? Probably not, but it was sure as hell fun attempting to put her magnificent pieces together.
  • The male perspective. This story is told from Pudge’s point of view. Being a 22 year old female, I was worried that it may be a tad hard to put myself in the shoes of an adolescent boy. (That perspective isn’t somewhere I normally go, clearly.) Surprisingly, putting myself in his shoes was easy as pie. Pudge’s point of view presents a realistic and wholly relatable perspective. Believe me, by the end of this book you will care for Pudge so much you’ll want to reach in and just give him a big old hug, and maybe some nicotine patches.
  • The plethora of pleasurable nicknames with one exception. Some of the just plain awesome nicknames in this book include: Pudge, the Colonel, Weekday Warriors, Bufriedos, and the Eagle. And of course there is Alaska Young which is no nickname, but shines just as much.
  • The laugh out loud moments. This being my second experience with John Green, I was not surprised to find I was laughing out loud frequently with Looking for Alaska. Whether it was from something Pudge or any of his vibrantly hysterical classmates were saying and doing, or from the multitude of pranks pulled in this book, I can honestly say I laughed about every 4 and a half minutes while reading. (That’s an exact measurement in case you’re wondering.)
  • The almighty word. While Looking for Alaska has many great words, Pudge’s talent of knowing the last words of famous people adds the glue to this entire story. These famous last words are dispersed throughout, and add a new dimension and sense of logic to what is being told. They make for some pretty unforgettable moments, and help all those looking for something find that morsel of something in some way, shape, or form.

I could continue this list for pages, but I will stop there because I am sure your eyes are glazing over by now with all this love. Suffice to say I LOVED Looking for Alaska.

Green presents characters that are wholly authentic and relatable, even if you would never think it going into that first page. Looking for Alaska is a story about looking for what is out there in the world and what is inside us, and attempting to find some kind of answer, whatever or wherever that may be.

This book takes on a story and a set of characters that will remain with you, and will remind you of what it truly means to be young and in that age of discovery that we refer to as life.

I encourage you to take this journey with Pudge and his friends as you go looking, because no matter who you are, where you come from, or how old you are, you will find something in this book that will truly speak to you. I promise, and I never go back on my promises.

As I finish off this post, I want to leave you with some last words and the quote that stuck with me the most from reading. I won’t give you a ton of context for it, but just know I think it accurately sums up a pretty important facet from Looking for Alaska as well as for life itself.

“Thomas Edison’s last words were: ‘It’s very beautiful over there.’ I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

Here’s hoping.

ps. If you would like to learn more about John Green and his self and books you can learn more at the following links. (Click on the links. Do it. I dare you not to love his books.)

http://johngreenbooks.com/ (His website)

https://www.facebook.com/JohnGreenfans (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/realjohngreen (Twitter)

Belong to Me

Thank the lord for snow storms. Or more accurately, thank the weatherman for predicting 3-5 inches of snow and only producing about 2 inches of slushy ice mix.

Thanks to that 2 inches of slushy ice mix, I was able to enjoy a couple of snow days. (The ability to do this may or may not have been a driving factor in my career choice as a teacher. Just kidding, but it is a nice little perk.)

So thanks to the couple of snow days I have been able to enjoy, I was able to continue my never ending quest in finding the “end” to my Never Ending Book Basket by finishing yet another great book.

The book up for discussion this week is Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos.

Belong To Me

Belong To Me

This was the third book that I have read by this author over the past year. I stumbled across her first book Love Walked In, in my favorite used book store and was captured by the warm and inviting characters she created.

Fast forward almost a year later, and while perusing the shelves of another books store, I came across Belong to Me, which was a follow up book to Loved Walked In. I couldn’t pass up the chance to sink in with those inviting characters again, so I quickly added the book to my book basket.

Let me start off by saying that Belong to Me can be read as a stand-alone book. It does connect to Love Walked In, but you can connect and love this story and its characters without having read the aforementioned book. (Though I highly recommend reading both.)

Belong to Me is a story about people and connections. And believe me, you will feel those connections throughout every page of this book.

This book, like others by Marisa de los Santos, is told in alternating perspectives. This book presents the perspectives of three very different and unique characters. I’ll break it down for you easily:

  • First you got Cornelia. She was also one of the perspectives in Love Walked In, and is by far my favorite character in both books. Cornelia is not your average modern woman, and she is a breath of fresh air to this story and its characters. She quotes old books and movies, moves to her own little beat, and doesn’t give two shits about what people think of her. (Hence, why I love her character so much!) In Belong to Me, she has recently moved with her husband Teo to the suburbs from the city, and is busy navigating what that move entails as she is thrown into the shark infested waters of suburbia.
  • That’s where Piper comes in. She’s one of those above-mentioned sharks. I wanted to not like Piper, because she can be the epitome of a mean girl who says and does some not so nice things. By the end of this book though, Piper had weaseled her way into my heart. Piper is the typical mother, doing it all, while balancing taking care of her ailing best friend who is slipping away to cancer. Throughout this story, Piper tries to find the balance in her life while taking care of her family, her ailing best friend’s family, as well as trying for once to take care of herself.
  • Last but not least is Dev. Dev, short for Deveroux, is a fourteen year old boy new to the same suburb where Cornelia and Piper live. He moves to town with his mother, Lake, who has brought him here to attend a school for the gifted. Dev is clearly very gifted, and is a very smart and intuitive young man. Dev’s point of view in the story offers a look at these characters that as a reader you do not expect. Let’s just say, looking at the world through Dev’s eyes is very interesting to say the least, and will have you really thinking about what this wonderful boy has to offer to this story.

So there you have all three very distinct and wonderful perspectives of this book.

I won’t reveal too much of the plot line of this story, but again I will say that this story is about connection. It is about how people come together in the strangest of situations and times. Watching and reading of these connections throughout Belong to Me created an fantastic experience.

Reading how Cornelia, Piper, and Dev’s stories intertwine together is breathtaking. There is even a little bit of mystery to solve with their stories, as you try to piece together how all three of these characters come together and connect. And believe me, the way they connect is mind blowing in a lot of ways.

As per most of my posts, I will give a lovely little list of what I adored in this book:

  • The very well described and developed characters. As I mentioned earlier, I love the characters in this book. They are all warm and inviting (even Piper, eek!) and will draw you in immediately. The author does a simply spectacular job of describing and developing each character in this book, even if they aren’t providing their own point of view. By the end of this book you will feel as if you know each and every one of these characters, and you will most definitely care wholeheartedly for them.
  • The multiple perspectives. I LOVE when books are told in multiple perspectives. I think it adds a new side to the story, and provides an insight into the characters and the story itself. This book was no different. Each perspective in this book is different and unique, and provides further insight into the connections laced throughout the book itself.
  • Authenticity. This book and its characters ooze authenticness. What I mean by that is that these characters are described so realistically that I am pretty sure they could and actually do exist somewhere in some form. The feelings and emotions portrayed by the characters in this book are wholly authentic. We have all felt at one time what they feel. We have all been (or will be) in one of their shoes at one point in our lives. In essence, these characters are authentically real in every way.
  • The theme of connection. Throughout this book there is a theme of connection. I haven’t exposed all of that connectedness yet, but if you read this book you will so totally feel connected. Connection is a powerful thing, and this book presents connection at its best. It shows what happens when people from all walks of life come together, and find how connection can change them in ways that they never knew how.

In the end, Belong to Me is a story about connection. It’s about how we all connect to those we love, those we know, and even those we don’t know.

This story presents three very distinct characters who are all searching for that connection, even if they don’t know it yet. The connection they find will lead them to places they never knew they’d be, but where they truly do belong.

Thus, this story is about finding those who truly belong to you, and what it means to call them yours.

Belong to Me will have you reading and feeling that connectedness until the very last page, and in the end will make you ecstatic to know there is such a thing as true connection.

Sea Change, By Karen White

The time has finally come for the egg to hatch. It is now time for my first book review on The Never Ending Book Basket. If you’re new to the blog, please feel free to peruse the site to learn more about what is going on up in here. (Insert DMX song lyrics here… Now can’t you here that song in your head, or is that just me?)

But without further ado, let the book talking begin.

Sea Change, By Karen White

Sea Change, By Karen White

I will preface this review by saying that this is not the first book that I have read by this author, Karen White. It is actually the fifth. I stumbled across one of her books in a used book store a few years ago, and fell in love with the fantastic characters she created in her book Falling Home.  Since then I have been hooked, and I have slowly been making my way through the many wonderful books she has written. (Let’s just say I am really happy I stumbled across that first book, because she is by far one of my favorite author’s currently, and pretty much has been since I read that first book)

This time I found myself reading her book Sea Change, which was published in 2011. Sea Change follows two interwoven stories set on St. Simons Island in Georgia. The book presents two love stories two hundred years apart: Pamela and Geoffrey in the early 1800s, and Ava and Matthew in the present day. The way that these characters love stories intertwine together is simply breathtaking, and will have you reeling to figure out how everything and everyone fits together.

One of the most notable characters in the book is the setting of the story itself. Karen White does a simply remarkable job of describing the south, and how life works there. As someone who has lived in the grey area between the north and the south, it was easy as taking in a breath to feel as if you were standing there with the characters in the setting that Karen White describes. (Though I will point out Maryland is below the Mason Dixon line, technically making it apart of the south) The setting of the book is a character unto itself, helping set up many of the story lines that occur, as well as just being so thoughtfully described that it is easy to imagine you can taste the salt of the St. Simon’s air on the tip of your tongue.

Sea Change, like many of Karen White’s books is told in multiple perspectives of women who are interconnected throughout the story. Ava, her mother Gloria, and Pamela’s stories are seamlessly created and connected together over the course of the book. Each of their stories presents an intricate puzzle piece that helps make the big picture clearer by the end. One thing I love about the books I have read by Karen White is that she does a glorious job of meshing a little bit of mystery, and a whole lot of love together to make a story that will hook you in until the very last page.

I won’t get too deep into the actual plot line of the story, to find that out you’ll just have to read the book. Now before you get all pissy, didn’t I tell you I wouldn’t be revealing anything on here, but I will be super sweet and give you a smidge of a tease. 🙂

This story follows Ava as she embarks into a new chapter in her life after marrying Matthew after a rather short, but meaningful courtship. She then finds herself living in a new place, surrounded by people who know more about her husband and his past then she does, while she still finds herself looking for something she doesn’t yet know how to describe. Ava is searching for something, has been all her life, and this story captures that journey at its most mysterious peak.

Along with her story, you will get to see inside the head of Gloria, Ava’s mother, and will begin to understand more about Ava’s past, and how present events came about. And if that isn’t enough to get you hooked, the book then presents Pamela’s story, told 200 years prior to present day. Pamela’s story in itself is enough to make you swoon, and will have you desperately trying to connect all the puzzle pieces you will receive while reading this book.

Let’s just say, the finished puzzle is well worth making your mind go into overdrive to connect it all. Once realized, the connections and stories created throughout the book are simply magical, and will probably make you want to call your mother. (You don’t have to do that, but let’s just say you’ll probably want to.)

I must say that when I often describe Karen White’s books to others, I usually say “Her books are what I imagine a Nicholas Sparks book would be like if I ever actually read a Nicholas Sparks book.”(I only say Nicholas Sparks just so that the people who are more familiar with his books, can begin to have a frame of reference for what I am saying)  I have said this quite often as I adore her books, and while I have actually read one Nicholas Sparks book, I’m not sure my descriptor of this author’s books is doing her enough justice. Every single one of Karen White’s books that I have had the joy to read has been simply unforgettable. In each book she presents a dynamic group of characters all linked in some way, while setting her stories in various mesmerizing locations in the south. If you never considered loving the south, be warned, you will LOVE it after reading any one of her books.

Simply put, Karen White’s books are the go to for brilliant stories filled with vibrant characters set in the charming south.

In closing, Sea Change presents a moving story told by a dynamic group of connected women who will go to extraordinary odds for those they love. That is honestly what I took away most from reading this book. Love. This story demonstrates the power within love, and within those who will do anything in their power to show it, create it, find it, and spread it to those who matter most.

If you would like to learn more about Karen White and her books, the link to her website and Facebook page is below. (And I truly recommend any of her books. This was my fifth time reading a book of hers, and I cannot wait to read the rest. Be assured, this will not be the last time one of her magnificent books is on this page.)

http://www.karen-white.com/

https://www.facebook.com/karenwhiteauthor

Until next time fellow book addicts, may your desire to read far outweigh any errant thought that could drive you to stop.