Life After Life By Kate Atkinson

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Title: Life After Life

Author: Kate Atkinson

Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books

Publication Date: April 2, 2013

Source: Library

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Summary

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in any number of ways. Clearly history (and Kate Atkinson) have plans for her: In Ursula rests nothing less than the fate of civilization.

Review

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson is a strange exercise in the what if’s. It takes scenes from Ursula Todd’s life and studies them from all angles until something eventually clicks. It is dense and can be slightly repetitive but Kate Atkinson is such a talented writer, you will not care.

I am surprised that a literary, historical based book is so popular. It is not the easiest read and it can move rather slow in places. I think the strength here is the wonder. Who hasn’t looked back and wished something could be redone, even a miniscule nothing act. Or had the thought that something tremendous could be done if one had the foresight to do so.

Life After Life is a study in the smallness of our actions. The rippling wave caused by a stones throw. It is inventive and deserves the accolades it has received. I highly recommend Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and think it would make a perfect pick for any book club. There is so much meat to chew on, it could be discussed at great length.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Quickie Review: Shakespeare’s Landlord

Quickie Reviews are a new feature where I highlight a recently read (by me) backlist book and give it a quick review. I would like to highlight books you may have missed and those that never landed on your radar.

Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Title: Shakespeare’s Landlord

Author: Charlaine Harris

Series: Lilly Bard Mysteries #1

Publisher: Dell

Publication Date: July 7, 1997

Source: Library

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Lily Bard is a loner. Other than the day-to-day workings of her cleaning and errand-running service, she pays little attention to the town around her. But when her landlord is murdered, Lily is singled out as the prime suspect, and proving her innocence will depend on finding the real killer in quiet, secretive Shakespeare.

Review

I read this book in a sitting because I had to know who the killer was. (My guess was completely wrong, which is always good in a mystery.)  Lilly Bard is complex, tough, and has a really interesting back story. A few hot romantic scenes and tons of action, Shakespeare’s Landlord by Charlaine Harris makes for a great week-end read.

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

Review: Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: September 10, 2013

Source: eArc via NetGalley

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Summary

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review

There is just so much to say about Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I loved every second of this book and was unable to put it down. It is difficult to even find a place to start with this review because the book is near perfection.

Cather and Wren (I love this, their mother did not know they were going to be twins, so she had only picked the name Catherine) are starting their first year of college. Wren decides that she does not want to live with Cather (who goes by Cath) and wants nothing to do with the fan fiction they used to write together. Cath is, rightfully, hurt by this and starts school my keeping to herself and rarely leaving her room.

Eventually Cath starts a writing project with a classmate in her advanced fiction class. This project, and the attention of Levi who is her roommates boyfriend, start to open Cath up. She begins to try to reach out. Wren begins to party and drink to excess. Both girls really represent what a lot of young people go through with their first taste of freedom in college. The struggle to find where you belong and who you are feels very authentic here.  

The greatest part of Fangirl (and trust me, much of it is great) are the relationships. Rowell does such a good job with each character and the interactions. The dialogue is snappy and often hilarious. The relationship between Levi and Cath is outstanding. They are adorable, but hit some snags early on. The relationship just feels so real and I loved pretty much any part of the book that they both are in. There is just such an overwhelming need to root for them. To hope they can work it out.

Cath and Wren have a father who has mental health issues. The way it is handled by Rowell is both informative and heartfelt. The love that Cath and Wren have for their father, who was their sole caregiver after their mother left, is very heartfelt. Of course this relationship, and the loss of their mother, is used to illustrate why Cath and Wren both throw themselves into the world of fan fiction. Escapism at its best and even better than just reading a book, you can be the one to control the world.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is both beautifully written and wonderfully insightful coming-of-age story. The romance will give you butterflies and the dialogue will often have you laughing. The creativity of using excerpts of fan fiction (with the inclusion of passages from the actual book) are such a great touch. Fangirl is a wonderful book and one in which I highly recommend.

I was given a free eARC of Fangirl but all thoughts are my own.

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

 

Review: The Bone Season By Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Bone Season

Author: Samantha Shannon

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date: August 20, 2013

Source: eARC via NetGalley

Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal

Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

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Summary

It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

Review

I was not sure what to expect when I picked up The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. The book is hyped to be the next big thing and I try to make it my business to read all the hyped books. The fact that Samantha is such a young (21!) author and talk of film rights, I knew I just had to get my hands on this book. The extremely unusual plot (umm clairvoyants?), really did not hurt either.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is extremely ambitious. The world Shannon creates is large, intricate, and full of wonderful detail. I loved that the beginning of the book contains a list of all the different types of clairvoyants and that the back contains a glossary of different terms. (I really thought about how much my husband would enjoy that because he is obsessed with book extras such as detailed maps and diagrams of buildings or ships.) This extra detail was very helpful because this world is enormous.

The story follows Paige Mahoney as she lives a life of crime in London. Paige has a very rare form of clairvoyance and is able to join a high level crime syndicate. This group is the first time Paige felt like she can be herself. They teach her how to use her gift and become a surrogate family. She is happy in this life until she is rounded up and taken to an undisclosed location, where her world is turned upside down.

There are so many layers to The Bone Season, I can see why a seven part series is possible. We barely scratch the surface of the questions I have and what else I need to know about this world. Plus, we end with a little light romance that I would like to see more of.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon is an epic story that is non-stop excitement. Paige is a great protagonist she is complicated, brave, and a little frustrating. There is so much more here to flesh out and I will definitely be back for book two. I need to know where the story goes and learn all of the mysteries of this unique, weird little world.

I was given a of The Bone Season in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

Review: The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic By Emily Croy Barker

The Thinking Womans Guide To Real Magic by Emily Cory Barker

Title: The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic

Author: Emily Croy Barker

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Publication Date: August 1, 2013

Source: eArc via Edelweiss

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

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Summary

Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman.  During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty.  Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.

Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.

Review

Occasionally, I pick-up a book that is getting great reviews and has an interesting premise, but it is not for me. The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker is one of those books.

The book starts by introducing us to Nora, who is not doing well in either her professional nor personal life. Her long-term boyfriend dumps her and announces he is marrying another woman. She is forced to interact with him at a wedding of all places. Then during an innocent hike, Nora stumbles upon another world.

The next quarter of the book should have been interesting. Filled with world building and magical creatures, instead it is a dull plod in which nothing happens. If I had not received this book for review, I would have put it down at this point. It was obvious at this point in the book, that The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic was not for me. The book is blurbed to be for those who enjoyed A Discovery Of Witches. This should have been my clue that the problems I had with A Discovery Of Witches might be present here. Mainly, that both books are overly long and lacking in action. Sticking with the book did lead to the much more interesting second half, but I generally do not think reading should be a chore and it felt like one until I got to where the action began. I wonder if it is this category of Adult Fantasy aimed at women where the authors do not seem to focus on world building and the characters feel flat. In 576 pages, I did not really know Nora until the very end. Understanding her motives and her life before being trapped in a different world, would have gone a long way to making me more interested in The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic. I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters and never felt strongly about any of them.

Overall, I would say The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker is an OK book. It would be better if it was trimmed down and there was more action throughout. The character of Nora should have been more fleshed out before the very end. I only started to feel that I knew her in the last twenty pages of the book. In a book of this length, that does not have many characters, there is no reason for this. If you enjoyed A Discovery Of Witches by Deborah Harkness, you may enjoy The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker. If not, I would skip it.   

I was provided a copy of The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic but all opinions are my own.

Cover image and summary from goodreads.

Review: The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan

The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Title: The Son Of Neptune (The Heroes Of Olympus #2)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Publication Date: October 4, 20111

Series: The Heroes Of Olympus

Source: Purchased

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Related Reviews: The Lost Hero

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Summary

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

Review

I’m not sure what more I need to say in a review other than Percy Jackson is back in The Son Of Neptune. Percy is one of my favorite Middle Grade characters of all time and the world that Rick Riordan creates first, in Percy Jackson And The Olympians, and now in the Heroes Of Olympus series, is just wonderful. I recommend setting aside a day or two for this book because it really is impossible to put down.

The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan picks up with the prophecy we learned about in The Lost Hero. Finally, Percy is back from being missing and ends up in a camp similar to Camp Half-Blood, but with a twist. This time it is a Roman camp. I really enjoyed learning about the differences between the camps, such as the way the campers are housed by legions as opposed to godly parent and the differences in the fighting style.

In The Son Of Neptune, we get to know two new heroes who both have interesting back stories, Hazel and Frank. Their stories unfold as they work with Percy on a quest. In the typical style of Rick Riordan, they learn what they are really made of by being brave and selfless in the face of great adversity.

The Son Of Neptune ties together the overarching story of The Heroes Of Olympus which will ultimately bringing the Greek and Roman demigods together for an epic battle. I cannot wait to see where the story goes next. I highly recommend The Son Of Neptune by Rick Riordan, it is a fun, action packed read, that is full of great characters and an interesting overarching story.  

Summary and cover image from goodreads.

 

Some Quiet Place By Kelsey Sutton A Review

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Title: Some Quiet Place

Author: Kelsey Sutton

Publisher: Flux

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

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Summary

I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton is a unique novel and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Sutton personifies emotions, which the main character Elizabeth can see, but is unable to experience. Instead, Elizabeth feels nothing and goes through the motions of living. It is as if she is acting the role of a teenager, a daughter, and a friend. This is especially heartbreaking in a scene where her only close friend succumbs to cancer and she is left feeling nothing. Being filled with a nothingness does not escape the attention of those around her. Her father reacts with cruelty and violence while her mother dissociates.

Kelsey Sutton does a great job of showing the desolation in Elizabeth’s life. Her horrible home life, where she take whatever abuse is thrown at her, and the horrible way she is treated by the kids at school. The world she creates is dark and sad with small spots of light. I am not a big fan of paranormal fiction but Some Quiet Place has a unique kind of sweetness to it. It may be because the emotions are so much a part of the action but you cannot help but hold your breath hoping that Elizabeth will feel something.

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton is a well-written unique story that fans of paranormal fiction will enjoy. Some Quiet Place does live up to the beauty of its cover. I highly recommend Some Quiet Place and am looking forward to reading book two, Where Silence Gathers.

I was given a copy of Some Quiet Place on Netgalley but all thoughts are my own.

Cover images and summary from goodreads.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal A Review

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Title: Far Far Away

Author: Tom McNeal

Publisher: Knopf Books For Young Readers

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

Source: Netgalley

Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale

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Summary

It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn’t even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he’s able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it’s been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn’t been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specifically, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. But when the provocative local girl Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a grim chain of events is put into motion. And as anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings. . .

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is very unique. It has the feel of a fairy tale. It is difficult to place the time when the book takes place and this timeless aspect is very well done. The book is full of quirky characters, none more that Jeremy Johnson Johnson who is obsessed with fairy tales and whom the ghost of Jacob Grimm is a pseudo-father figure. 

The town of Never Better has that otherworldly feel to it. Filled with odd characters that are mostly likeable, especially the very spunky Ginger Boultinghouse. Ginger and her adventures take Jeremy down a path that is both dark and dangerous. The towns secrets are eventually revealed and we start to see people as they are.

Overall, Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is very enjoyable. The story itself is compelling and the writing is very strong. The problem I had with Far Far Away is how annoying Jacob Grimm is. I did not enjoy this ghost narrating much of the story and could not bring myself to like the character at all. Eventually,  as more is revealed about Jacob, he becomes a bit more likeable but overall I could have used with less of him in the book.

Far Far Away will be a delight for fairy tale fans because it does an excellent job of capturing the feel of a fairy tale. The darkness that lurks beneath the surface. The ending is quite exciting and I truly enjoyed the later third of the book the most. Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is a solid choice for fairy tale fans and those that like a story that is a bit dark but not scary.

 Cover images and summary from goodreads.

Blog Tour & Review Dirty Little Secret By Jennifer Echols

dirtylittlesecrettour

dirtylittlesecretH518

Title: Dirty Little Secret

Author: Jennifer Echols

Publisher: MTV Books

Publication Date: July 16, 2013

Source: Blog Tour

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

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Summary

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Review

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols has a lot of great elements in it. The Nashville setting, especially the scenes in the clubs, are interesting. It really gives you insight into what it takes to become big in a town full of talented musicians. The love story between Sam and Bailey get’s pretty steamy and I enjoyed how Jennifer Echols handled the sole sex scene. It is spicy without ever veering into cheesy territory.

I would have liked to have more of the family dynamic, especially between Bailey and her parents. It really does seem unnecessarily cruel when they ban her from playing her fiddle because of a few youthful indiscretions. I am not a parent, but it does seem like parenting 101 that when your child is making public, out of character mistakes, that they are often looking for attention. The fact that her parents instead decide to ignore her and focus solely on her sister, seems to cruel.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols does touch on Sam’s dysfunctional relationship with his father. A man who never made it in Nashville, even though he is obviously talented. His character is almost used as a cautionary tale of what can happen when your dreams don’t come true and gives Sam some extra dimensions. Sam is interesting that he does have serious problems at home but is so focused and driven to success that he is willing to do anything.

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols is a solid read that music lovers will enjoy. There is humor and romance plus the added depths of dealing with familial dysfunction. I enjoyed Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols and look forward to reading some of her other books.

Author

Jennifer Echols

Jennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

Playlist

I put a mix of older country, probably what Bailey and Sam played in the mall, with songs that capture a few important moments in Dirty Little Secret.

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I was given a copy of Dirty Little Secret but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Blog Tour–Review–Giveaway Saving Ben By Ashley Farley

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SavingBen

Title: Saving Ben

Author: Ashley Farley

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date: January 31, 2013

Source: Blog Tour

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Mystery

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Summary

Life is sweet for Katherine Langley. A freshman at the University of Virginia, she is free from the drama of her parents’ dysfunctional marriage and ready to focus on studying to become a nurse. Her brother, Ben, belongs to the hottest fraternity on campus, and her new roommate, Emma, is beautiful and charming, a party girl whose answer for a hangover is happy hour. She is also a psychopath.

When Katherine’s obsessive-compulsive overprotective brother succumbs to Emma’s charms and falls dangerously off-track, Katherine must save Ben from himself. Lives are threatened and someone disappears on New Year’s Day. The only evidence left: a single set of footprints in the snow.

From the university campus to a cozy cottage on Carter’s Creek, Virginia, Saving Ben is a haunting tale of love and loyalty, anger management, substance abuse, and betrayal.

Review

Saving Ben by Ashley Farley is really two stories. The first is the sibling relationship between Katherine and Ben. They are very close and always haven been. The second story is about Emma, who at first seems to be sweet and a little wild, but turns out to be someone with serious problems.

Emma and Ben begin a relationship which is pretty unhealthy from the start. In a short period of time, Ben starts to change. Katherine becomes very concern with Ben’s behavior and tries to help her brother anyway that she can. Emma not only effect’s Ben in a negative way but seems inflict damage on those closest to Katherine.

I found the beginning a bit on the slower side but Saving Ben really starts to pick-up towards the end. There is a mystery with a few twists and turns. The book errs on the side of tragic but does leave the reader with some hope. I enjoyed how Ashley Farley used her own life and relationship with her brother to shape the characters.  Saving Ben by Ashley Farley is a solid choice if you enjoy the New Adult genre and are looking for a book that is not romance centered.

About The Author

Ashley

I wrote a novel, SAVING BEN, in honor of my brother, the boy I worshipped, the man I could not save. It’s not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

I’m a wife and mother of two teenagers. I have lived in Richmond, Virginia, for seventeen years, a city I love for its history and traditions. Personal experience with my brother inspired me to become involved with the leadership symposium in my son’s school where I’ve helped bring in speakers to raise parents’ awareness of the alcohol and drug problems children face. When I’m not steering volunteer committees or working on my next novel, I can be found swimming laps or playing tennis.

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I was given a copy of Saving Ben but all opinions are my own.