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Review: Finding Audrey

June 13, 2015

Finding Audrey

Audrey suffers from an anxiety disorder brought on by an unnamed incident.  She wears dark glasses all the time and only leaves the house for her therapy sessions.  Progress is slow until Linus, a friend of her brother’s, comes into her life.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella is the author’s first foray in the Young Adult world so I had high expectations going into the book.  Maybe too high because I liked the book a great deal, but I didn’t love it.

The story is told from Audrey’s perspective and I think many teens will relate to her and her anxiety.  Sure, it seemed a little drama-laden at times but I think that’s fairly normal – our own anxieties make perfect sense while those of others don’t.  I really liked the way Audrey’s family handled her situation – they were patient, kind, and respectful and found help for her.  Audrey’s mother was a bit over the top at times but that didn’t bother me because I think that’s the way many teens see their parents.  There’s a cute subplot with Audrey’s mother and her battle with Audrey’s brother over the amount of time he spends in front of the computer.

I found the book to be a light, quick read but I did have one issue with it and that was Linus.  He was a nice young man but I couldn’t understand his motivation for helping Audrey.  It’s hard to say too much more without spoiling the story but the ending was pretty unrealistic and that bothered me – I hope it doesn’t give anyone suffering from anxiety unreasonable expectations.

Overall, I thought Finding Audrey was light, fun, and just a little bit quirky.  I hope Kinsella has plans to write more YA books.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

 

Giveaway: Summer Secrets

June 12, 2015

Summer Secrets

If you’re looking for the perfect summer read, I’ve got a treat for you – a giveaway of Jane Green‘s latest book, Summer Secrets!  This book will be released on June 23 and it’s already getting great buzz!

About the book:

When a shocking family secret is revealed, twenty-something journalist Cat Coombs finds herself falling into a dark spiral. Wild, glamorous nights out in London and raging hangovers the next day become her norm, leading to a terrible mistake one night while visiting family in America, on the island of Nantucket. It’s a mistake for which she can’t forgive herself. When she returns home, she confronts the unavoidable reality of her life and knows it’s time to grow up. But she doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to earn the forgiveness of the people she hurt.

As the years pass, Cat grows into her forties, a struggling single mother, coping with a new-found sobriety and determined to finally make amends. Traveling back to her past, to the family she left behind on Nantucket all those years ago, she may be able to earn their forgiveness, but in doing so she may risk losing the very people she loves the most.

Told with Jane Green’s keen eye for detailing the emotional landscape of the heart, Summer Secrets is at once a compelling drama and a beautifully rendered portrait of relationships, betrayals, and forgiveness; about accepting the things we cannot change, finding the courage to change the things we can, and being strong enough to weather the storms.

About the author:

Jane Green’s seventeenth novel, Summer Secrets, will be released in the US on June 23rd and on July 2nd in the UK. She is the author of sixteen previous New York Times Bestselling novels, including The Beach House, Jemima J, and most recently Saving Grace which is due out in paperback in early June.

She is published in over 25 languages, and has over ten million books in print worldwide. She joined the ABC News team to write their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton.  A former journalist in the UK, she has had her own radio show on BBC Radio London, and is a regular contributor on radio and TV, including as well as regularly appearing on television shows including Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart show, and The Today Show.

Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including anthologies and novellas, and features for The Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self. She has taught at writers conferences, and does regular keynote speaking.

A graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York, Green filled two of her books, Saving Grace and Promises to Keep, with recipes culled from her own collection. She says she only cooks food that is “incredibly easy, but has to look as if you have slaved over a hot stove for hours.” This is because she has five children, and has realised that “when you have five children, nobody ever invites you anywhere.”

She lives in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks. A malignant melanoma surivor who also lives with Chronic Lyme Disease, she believes gratitude and focusing on the good in life is the secret to happiness.

Thanks to the Tandem Literary, I have one copy of SUMMER SECRETS to give away. To enter to win SUMMER SECRETS, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open to those with a US address only – one entry per person, please.  I will use random.org to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EDT Monday, June 22, 2015.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Author event and giveaway: Sarah McCoy

June 11, 2015

Sarah McCoy

“You have to be called to be a writer.”

I “met” Sarah McCoy online several years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with her so I was very excited to find out she was coming to Fiction Addiction.  I marked the date on my calendar and anxiously waited for the day to come.  To be honest, I was just a tiny bit worried, though, since I’d never met her in person – what if she wasn’t the way I expected her to be?  Well, it turns out, I worried for nothing – Sarah is adorable and just as sweet as she can be!  She’s also a fantastic hugger!

Sarah earned an undergraduate degree in Communication from Virginia Tech and then worked two years in a job she hated before pursuing her MFA from Old Dominion.  It was there that she wrote her first book, The Time it Snowed in Puerto Rico.  She learned a lot with the publication of that book because it was hard to classify – should it be promoted as YA or women’s fiction?  She decided she wanted the past to enlighten us and turned to historical fiction and hasn’t looked back.  Sarah’s second book, The Baker’s Daughter, returned to bestseller lists in May.

In her newest book, The Mapmaker’s Children, Sarah brings together the stories of two women – John Brown’s daughter, Sarah, in the past and Eden in the modern day.  On the surface the two women have very different lives, but they actually have a lot in common.  This book is getting great reviews and you can read my thoughts here.

I got Sarah to autograph a copy of The Mapmaker’s Children for one lucky reader.  To enter to win an autographed copy of THE MAPMAKER’S CHILDREN, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open worldwide – one entry per person, please.  I will use random.org to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EDT Sunday, June 21 2015.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

June 10, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

These are the final two words I found in Mademoiselle Chanel by C. W. Gortner.  I really expanded my vocabulary when I read this great book!

1. satyr – “He was still here with me, tangible, his dark green eyes warm, his thick hair tousled as he leaned over me, a satyr of musk, to whisper, ‘Remember, Coco, you are only a woman . . .’”

Satyr has its origin in Greek mythology and has come to mean a lecherous man.

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2. blackamoor – “Misia’s two blackamoors, which I had not been able to part with, seemed to welcome me deeper within, the clack of my heels silenced by the thick beige carpet as I glanced toward the looking-glass kaleidoscope of my salon.”

A blackamoor is a dark skinned person.  My dictionary didn’t say so, but I have a feeling this was a derogatory term.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

BEA/NY 2015: The Events

June 9, 2015

BEAlogo

I’m sure most people know Book Expo America, or BEA, was held last month in New York and many of you are probably tired of reading about it by now.  Still, I was lucky enough to attend and wanted to get my two cents in.  I’ll start with the events.

The first event of the week for my roommate, Julie, and me was the Harper Collins Fall Preview.  This is a fabulous event where publicist from each of Harper’s imprints share the upcoming books they’re the most excited about and explain why.  Their excitement for the books is always contagious.  Immediately after the Fall Preview, Harper Collins hosted a fun party where we got to mingle with publicists, other bloggers, and authors including Elyssa Friedland, Stephanie Evanovich, Tama Janowitz and Kimberly McCreight!

Shaved Ice on High LineOn Thursday Julie and I decided to take a little time away from the trade show floor so we walked down to the Meatpacking district for breakfast and then walked The High Line to the Javits.  This adorable young lady made us a shaved ice (hand shaved!) that was delicious!  After we got to the Javits, we met with a few publicists and walked the floor before calling it a day so we could go buy tickets to a play.  We ended up seeing Something Rotten! which was a lot of fun for two bookish geeks!

Kathy & MariaFriday morning started out with a breakfast with Scholastic – they had great food and authors, including David Baldacci, R. L. Stine, and Sonia Manzano.  Manzano is Maria on Sesame Street and Julie was a total fan girl.  After breakfast we walked the floor a little bit and met with a few more publicists.

One of the highlights of BEA is the Book Group Speed Dating (hosted by The Book Report Network) event that took place Friday afternoon.  At this event, you sit at a table and publicists come around talking about books they think are great for book club discussions.  They highlight a great variety of books and even bring a few to share.

Tarot readingAfter Speed Dating, Julie and I headed to Atria‘s Blogger Meet & Greet which was a lot of fun.  We met some great authors and wonderful publicists and Zhena Muzyka read the Tarot cards for me.  I’m not sure if I believe in that stuff but what she had to say was pretty spot on.  We ended the evening at another Broadway show – this time Hedwig and the Angry Inch.  I thought it was good but not as good as Something Rotten.

It was time to pack up and head home on Saturday morning which is always bittersweet for me.

Mailbox Monday

June 8, 2015

Mailbox Monday June 8

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   Last week was all about trying to catch up after BEA.   I’m beginning to think I’ll never be caught up!  I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

June 5, 2015

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Ten year old Jamie has just moved with his father and older sister Jas.  Jas had a twin sister, Rose, who was killed in a terrorist bombing five years before and that horrific event has changed their family forever.  Jamie’s mom has left the family and his dad is mainly absent, so Jas is helping Jamie as much as she can.  Still, Jamie longs to see his mother and wants to please his father.

Jamie really doesn’t remember Rose or the bombing and he doesn’t want everyone at his new school to know about it.  He meets a wonderful new friend, but knows his dad won’t approve of her so he’s not quite sure what to do.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher is a wonderful YA book that is full of heart and soul.  Jamie’s life has been forever changed by an event that he barely remembers.  He’s sad about what happened, but he’s ready to move on, even if the rest of his family is not and he works hard to blend in at his new school.  That’s not always easy but his new friend helps and it hurts him that he has to keep her a secret.

I adored Jamie!  He’s earnest and sincere and wants to be known as someone other than the kid whose sister died in a terrorist attack.  He hopes to be like everyone else at his school so he tries to keep his past hidden from his classmates.  I thought Pitcher nailed the voice of a young boy going through such struggles and I rooted for him as I read his story.  David Tennant does a marvelous job narrating this wonderful book and I thought he brought Jamie to life.

There’s a lot to discuss in My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece including friendship, prejudices, grief, and relationships so I think it would be a terrific book for a book club discussion.  I know I talked about it a lot as I read it.  Because of some of the topics the book touches on, I’d recommend this book to older teens on up.  In fact, I think it’s a must read!

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

My friend Julie sent me this book.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

 

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