Friday, September 19, 2014

Another Round of Super Short Book Reviews!

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

This book deals with the ethical debate surrounding euthanasia while acquainting us with an unforgettable, Bridget Jones-like main character who finds herself caring for quadriplegic man whose misery seems insurmountable. This book will run you through the gamut of emotions.

2. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

A beautifully written story with well-crafted characters. Tom Sherbourne is a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, a small island nearly half a day's journey from Australia's coast. He falls in love with a girl on the mainland, and the two start their life together on the isolated island. They weather several miscarriages before the day a boat washes ashore carrying a dead man and a baby. What happens next will alter their relationship and change the course of their lives forever. Stedman's characters are three dimensional, and I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

3. Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

This is your typical Sparks novel- he explores heartbreak, hope, and forgiveness while weaving the story of two middle-aged individuals who fall madly in love during a weekend stay in Rodanthe. Sparks has a bad habit of telling as opposed to showing and of creating characters that are caricatures. The plus side: his novels are a guaranteed warm-fuzzy escape from reality.

4. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

This novel is set in the South in 1964 and tells the story of Lily Owens, a young white girl who has had her share of tragedy. When Lily's nanny, a proud black woman named Rosaleen, is arrested after insulting a group of racist white men, she decides to take matters into her own hands by springing Rosaleen from jail. After the escape, the unlikely duo are taken in by a tight-knit trio of sisters who own a beekeeping operation. This is a heartwarming story about womanhood and empowerment during the civil rights movement.

5. The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand

Dabney Kimball Beech, a well-known matchmaker on Nantucket Island, is dying of pancreatic cancer, but, before she goes, she's determined to find the perfect matches for the people that she loves the most including her husband, her daughter, and, wait for it, her lover! This is not Hilderbrand's best work. The characters are nearly as ridiculous as their names!

6. Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman

This is a memoir and a surprisingly good one. I watched the TV series (which I loved) prior to reading this but had low expectations for the book. Memoirs can be self-indulgent, but Kerman spends less time over-analyzing herself and her situation and more time exploring the relationships that she forms with her fellow inmates. Kerman is engaging, great at highlighting instances of white privilege, but is sometimes too careful, too polite. Overall, this is an interesting read that will give you a glimpse into America's prison problem.

Have you read anything lately? Tell us how you felt about it by emailing We'll post your review on our blog!

Sharlene  Edwards

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