Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Figgs by Ali Bryan

4 Star

Meet the Figgs. June, the family's matriarch, looks forward to a quiet retirement — if only she can get her three adult children to finally, finally, move out of the house. But her dreams are shattered when her son Derek unexpectedly becomes a single father. Now there's a newborn baby at home, and Derek's older siblings are showing no sign of going anywhere either. In the midst of the chaos, June's husband, Randy, has a shocking revelation.

With family life flying fast and furious around her, June finds herself thinking about her parents — adoptive and biological. Where did she come from? Will her new grandson be traumatized without his mother? And why in the world are all the kids still at home, anyway?

Kathryn - 4 Star

I initially picked this one up because I am always interested in Canadian authors- I'm inclined to read something from my own country if it crosses my path.  I wasn't disappointed in The Figgs, they were some of the truest personalities I've come across lately and therefore the novel held great appeal.   

While I adored the realistic nature of their interactions and their different situations I also felt the plot occasionally lacked cohesiveness.  And yet, the message regarding different families and varying dynamics on relationships was strong.  
I loved Derek and his unassuming nature, his clear love for his son and his resolve to be a dad.   The daughter was head first in a world of self-discovery and the other son was also trying to make his mark.  Although all adult children you could feel the center of the puzzle was still the parents, specifically June.   She was a cross between myself and my mother and I could hear her internal dialogue echoing in my own head.  I also was charmed by the quirky marriage and found them to be sweet and irritating with each other in equal measure.

A look at modern adult family life with a twist, I enjoyed The Figgs.  I wish the novel had continued a little bit longer though, I don't yet feel satisfied with their lot!

Thank you to Freehand Books for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Ali Bryan:
Website     Twitter     Goodreads

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Little Big Love by Katy Regan

5 Star

About a Boy meets Parenthood in this smart, big-hearted love story about a family for whom everything changed one night, a decade ago, and the young boy who unites them all.

Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

This book was one that I truly loved. A great story full of emotions, it struck me as a story that many of us could probably relate to. A family going through a lot of things, but mostly because Zac was getting older and he wanted answers about his Dad. This is largely the main reason why so many things came to happen throughout the novel as his mother, Juliet, and his grandfather, Mick, had no choice but to come to terms with the past and reveal the truth to each other and even come to term with it themselves.

I always enjoy books that change the narrator and this one is no exception, moving from the three main characters and back again. I love the different perspectives it gave, as well as the way the story was woven together, until the very last bit was revealed. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the family and the genuine caring you could feel throughout. The book was the type that was perfect as on the day I read it as I was feeling a bit down and it definitely ended up being a feel good story. But I can’t say it was just that as it felt like so much more to me.

I could see this book becoming a great movie that would appeal to many and also can’t wait to read more by this author as she writes exactly the types of books I love most.

Thank you to Penguin Random House for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Katy Regan:
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Friday, July 20, 2018

The Summer of New Beginnings by Bette Lee Crosby

 2 Star

Aspiring journalist Meghan Briggs has always been the responsible one in the family. So when her father passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind his at-risk business, she steps up to save his legacy—even if that means putting her own dreams on hold.

Tracy couldn’t be more different from her sister. She’s always been the rebellious type, without much direction in life. But in the wake of her latest romantic disaster, she finds herself moving back home as a single mother.

As Tracy experiences the difficulties of new motherhood, Meghan faces her own struggle: trying not to fall for the stray puppy she rescued. This is no time for attachments—not to the adorable “Sox,” whose owner is bound to turn up any day, and certainly not to the handsome new vet in town. But as the summer unfolds, she discovers that, like Sox, she may need rescuing, too.

As both sisters navigate unexpected challenges and exciting new relationships, they’ll find that putting the past to rest can make way for beautiful new beginnings. 

Kathryn - 2 Star

I enjoy this author's connection with her characters and fully feel that she's invested in their lives.  The Summer of New Beginnings includes two daughters and their mother as the sources for the story and daughter Meghan is the main voice.  I liked though, that despite being secondary characters, the mother and Tracy both were clear in their positions and challenges.  

I was inspired by Tracy when she made the decision to take her life into her own hands.  She needed to be in control to be able to help her young son.  I also enjoyed their mother, she is a strong personality but not overbearing (not completely at any rate!). 

What wasn't so great for me was Meghan.  I didn't really get to know her and felt her attachment to her father a little overwhelming for her plot lines.  She seemed so intently devoted to carrying on his business and I never really understood why there was the need to continue it, unless it was financial?  It wasn't clear why she needed to persevere.  I grasped that she wanted to pursue his legacy but not why she felt such a responsibility.  I suppose this is the heart of why I didn't connect with Meghan, I liked her I just didn't fully understand her.

It was a fun read but I didn't connect as much as I have done in the past with this author.

Thank you to the author for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Bette Lee Crosby:


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