Happy Labor Day! The unofficial end to summer is here and to me, July feels like it was very long ago, but August flew by. Fall is my favorite time of the year, so I’m not incredibly sad to see summer go, but I will miss the more laid back approach that summer brings with it.
August was not the best for me book-wise. I started a lot of really promising books, Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky and Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza, that I just could not get through. I used to never abandon books and would suffer through the ones that I did not like, but now if I can’t get through, I have to give it up, even if it is getting amazing reviews.
Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center
Full disclosure, I received a digital ARC of this book in December and read it then, but it was released in August, and even though it has been a few months since I read it, this is a story that stayed fresh in my mind.
Cassie, a firefighter in Texas seems to have everything going for her professionally, until a call from her ill mother has her relocating to Massachusetts to help take care of her. Cassie left a fire station that was extremely progressive, but that isn’t what she walks into in Massachusetts, her fellow firefighters don’t want to work with a woman and they let her know it. She tries to not let it get to her, proving to them and her mother that she is a tough as nails, but when the rookie firefighter who started on the same day as her, shows her compassion, Cassie realizes what she is missing in her life. Due to trauma she experienced as a teenager, Cassie doesn’t let anyone get too close to her and has built walls around herself to not let anyone in. But as her mother and the rookie start to chip away at these walls, she realizes that not only does she have to forgive others, but also most importantly, she needs to forgive herself.
Cassie is the type of character you can’t help but root for. You feel her pain and her victories. It’s a moving story that had me crying a few times throughout the book. I could not put this book down!
On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci
I had never heard of Nina Bocci before I received an email inviting me to read On the Corner of Love and Hate, and the premise sounded like something I would enjoy, so I figured I would take a chance on the book. I got sucked right into this story and flew through reading since I just could not put it down.
Emma works for the community development office of her hometown Hope Lake, where here father is the mayor. When her father decides not to run for office again, Emma’s co-worker and friend since she was a child, Cooper decides to run. Emma always liked Cooper but incidents in both high school and college left her heartbroken and now she hates Cooper. With Cooper struggling with making a connection to voters, he asks Emma to become his campaign manager and rehab his womanizing image. As they begin to work closely together, feelings that were buried start coming up to the surface and both Emma and Cooper have to come face to face with the past.
This was definitely a fun read and reminded me of the Hallmark Movies I love to watch. It is the first in a series and I’m looking forward to reading more about the residents of Hope Lake.
The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger
I had such high expectations for this book, and while I didn’t hate it, I also didn’t love it and find it odd why it is getting such rave reviews.
The Gifted School follows four families where the mothers are all best friends and doing everything in their power to get their children accepted into a new public school for gifted children that is opening up in their town. I think if the book stopped at that and then didn’t throw in a storyline of one of the father’s struggling to pay his bills and taking out a million credit cards to move around his debt, a teen daughter overcoming drug and alcohol use and going behind her mother’s back to apply to the school, and then the ridiculous curveball thrown in at the end, the book could’ve been a lot better. I felt that there were way too many storylines competing with each other and in a book that was already long, it just dragged it down.
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
In Her Shoes by Weiner is one of my favorite books, but I haven’t kept up with all of her books that she wrote after that. A few people I know had recommended the book, so I figured it was about time to catch up with Weiner. Mrs. Everything follows the lives of sisters Jo and Bethie from when they were children in 1950s Michigan to present day and the discovery that each sister goes on throughout the years. I enjoyed the story, I did find it a little long at times, but Weiner does a terrific job at keeping your attention even in the slow parts.