Book Review: Appearances by Sondra Helene

“Those who’ve seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up but no one can” – Irving Berlin

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3.5 disco balls

Published: April 9, 2019 by She Writes Press
Category: Women’s Fiction, Family Drama

I was recently selected to be a BookSparks 2019 Spring Campaign #SwipeRightonReading Ambassador! Over the next few weeks I will receive three ‘blind date with a book’ books. First up was debut novel Appearances by Sondra Helene.

When I first read the synopsis, I immediately thought of the song from White Christmas:  Sisters. Apparently I am not the only one; KIRKUS Reviews had the same thought and offered the following quote for the book’s back cover: “Sisters,’ the old Irving Berlin song, wrinkly covers primal themes of romance and family; this novel takes them with detail and realism…[and] makes quietly clear how precious any extra time with a loved one can be.Read More »

Book Review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Book Birthday

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Publish Date: October 2, 2018 by Ballantine Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Life

Jodi Picoult is my favorite author so I know I may be a bit bias, but trust me when I say that this book was one of her most compelling and thrilling reads. She is known for addressing controversial subjects, but does extensive research to present both sides in an authentic, realistic way.Read More »

Book Review: On Beauty by Zadie Smith

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3.5 disco balls

Published: June 4, 2005 by Penguin Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction

On Beauty by Zadie Smith is 442 pages. A very, very slow 442 pages in which you need to be fully engaged and present while reading. This is not a book you can breeze through, as the book would mention of certain characters: it is intellectual. There is no doubt that Smith is a talented writer, I just struggled a bit in establishing a reading pace with this one.

On Beauty follows the Belsey family: an interracial couple, Howard and Kiki, married thirty years living in an upper middle class town with their three children, Jerome, Zora and Levi.

  • Howard is an art history professor at a local liberal arts college who is hard to like; he always has an opinion (its most always negative) and he’s always right (or so he thinks)
  • Kiki used to be a beautiful spitfire but has gained a significant amount of weight; still a spitfire but that magnetic confidence doesn’t exude from her like it used to (I blame Howard)
  • Jerome is a young man trying to find himself in religion and grapples with adulthood and his relationship with his family; he is the rational one of the bunch
  • Zora is Howard 2.0 with the spunk of Kiki; she yearns to be accepted but her approach in getting what she yearns for is more alienating than endearing
  • Levi is sixteen and going through an identity crisis; he is passionate and loyal and trying to find something worth fighting for (his family doesn’t understand him – as any teenager would say)Read More »

Saturday Spotlight: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Introducing Saturday Nite Reader’s weekly meme: Saturday Spotlight! Each Saturday I will spotlight a book I have read or am currently reading; and, of course what I think is special about it. I invite you to participate as well! Just link back to my weekly post and don’t forget to add your spotlight link in the comment section for all to see. Happy Sharing! XO, Nikki

img_0093This Week:
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Published: April 6, 2004 by Atria Books
Category: Fiction, Contemporary
New York Times Best Selling Author

I vividly remember reading this book at my desk during a lunch break and ugly cried before that term even reemerged as a trend: this was back in 2006.

This is the book that started my never ending love of Jodi Picoult books. Fast-forward 12 years and I have collected all her books in hardcover: I had to scour used book stores and online until I found every single last one. Have you done the same thing with your favorite author?

I do have one piece of advice: stay away from the movie. It did not do this book justice at all, not even close. It was a completely different ending, and the shocking twist of the book’s ending made the book what it was. I can’t believe they changed it, what was Warner Bros. thinking?!

Goodreads Stats:
4.06 average rating   *   938,135 Ratings   *   31,584 Reviews
Saturday Nite Reader rating: 5 disco balls

Goodreads Synopsis:
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged…until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister — and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

‘My Sister’s Keeper’ examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child’s life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in ‘My Sister’s Keeper’, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

Have you read this book? Do tell! Have a book to spotlight: remember to share your links in the comments below.

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Purchase Links
Amazon:  Kindle  Paperback  Audible
Barnes & Noble:  Nook  Paperback  Hardcover

My Jodi Collection:

 

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My 2 ¢: Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney

Watching Glass ShatterFirst off, author James J. Cudney is super passionate about his fans and their feedback of his book. I happened upon Watching Glass Shatter in my goodreads feed and followed the author on social media – here I found him to be personable, relatable and utterly humble.

Watching Glass Shatter could be the start of a new soap opera: move over General Hospital, Young & the Restless, Days of Our Lives…there is a new game in town. I’m calling it: The Glass House. Matriarch Olivia Glass would certainly give Erica Kane a run for her $$Read More »