Thursday, November 15, 2018

Elevation: A Novel by Stephen King

about book:

The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences.

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face–including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

my thoughts:

Another classic by King.  Loved reading Elevation this afternoon.  It was short, but emotional.  Or at least I got emotional.

Scott Carey is losing weight.  Only, it doesn't look like he is losing weight.  Say what? Yep, his body is still the same, but the scale is saying different. In fact, the scale keeps reading "weight loss" even when Scott is wearing clothes, carrying keys and coins in his pockets, and holding weights in his hands.  Sounds impossible, right? Well, apparently it is very possible.  Or at least it is possible with Scott.  So, he tells his friend, Dr. Bob.  Confounded by this medical marvel that is his friend, Dr. Bob suggests that Scott go to a hospital.  Scott refuses and swears him to secrecy.  And so, the secret begins.  Dr. Bob calls from time to time and asks about his weight. As Scott goes through this strange weight transformation, his world begins to open. 

What a book! I absolutely enjoyed reading all about Scott Carey and his "weight loss".  I wasn't sure what to expect, which I always love when reading King.  His writing is always familiar, smart, and so creative. I found myself easily caught up in the people and town of Castle Rock.  The story was short, but filled with drama, suspense, and emotion.  I'm not sure how I feel about the ending, but I suppose it couldn't have gone any other way.  All in all, another great read by King.

I would happily recommend Elevation to fans of King and anyone looking for their next great read.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

One Summer in Paris: A Novel by Sarah Morgan

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with this heartwarming novel about the power of friendship, love and what happens when an ending is just the beginning…

To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.

Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely…until she meets Grace, and everything changes.

Grace can’t believe how daring Audrey is. Audrey can’t believe how cautious newly single Grace is. Living in neighboring apartments above the bookshop, this unlikely pair offer each other just what they’ve both been missing. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding this unbreakable friendship might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

my thoughts:

Love, love, love this book!! OMG! I absolutely adored One Summer in Pars by Sarah Morgan. It was such a fantastic story.

Grace is celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary by treating her husband to a month in Paris. Their daughter will be traveling in Europe, so she figures its the perfect time for the two of them to take a vacation together.  Except, her present didn't get the reception she felt it deserved.  In fact, she wound up receiving some devastating news instead.  At dinner to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, her husband tells her he has been having an affair and that he is in love with the woman. Talk about shocker!! Grace is beyond stunned, hurt, and betrayed.  As she gets up to leave the restaurant her husband falls to the floor and has a heart attack.  She falters for a few minutes deciding whether or not to help him.  Of course she does in the end.  At the hospital he asks her to tell their daughter, but she refuses and tells he has to.  So, he does.  Life changes and no one seems happy anymore.  Her daughter asks her mom if she will still go to Paris.  Grace says she can't.  Her daughter urges her to go and tells her she will cancel her own traveling plans if her mom doesn't go.  Grace ends up going - when her husband asks for tickets to take his new girlfriend.  Yep, he has no shame.

Along with Grace's story we meet Audrey. A young lady who is finishing up her exams and ready to be free of her mom.  Audrey has fended for herself her whole life and she is tired.  Her mom is an alcoholic and knows nothing about her daughter's plans for the future.  Audrey is just hoping that this new man her mom plans on marrying will not find out she's an alcoholic.  She worries that will ruin her plans. Audrey wants to escape that summer.  She wants to head to Paris.  So, she finds herself a job and a place to stay.  And once her mom is marries, she heads off to the City of Light.  Of course, not speaking French is a problem, along with the fact that she hates to read and has found a job at a bookshop.  However, Audrey is tough and knows she will find a way to manage it all.

Luckily for us, the two become best friends.  Grace is out at night looking for a bookshop her grandmother, Mimi, had mentioned.  She's looking at a map when suddenly a man pushes her and snatches her purse.  Grace falls to ground and twists her ankle and cuts her head.  She turns to find a young woman running after the man and tackling him.  She recovers Grace's purse before the man takes off.  And she helps Grace clean up and get a ride back to her hotel.  That is how Grace and Audrey meet.  From that point, the two become attached to one another.  They bond over their problems and living in Paris.  Their friendship grows and blossoms and I just loved it so much.  I found myself loving how close they became so quickly and how much they helped each other to grow.  Their friendship is the root of the story and the highlight.

Morgan has written such a delightful story about Paris, love, friendship, and romance.  My heart broke at times and I cried  and cried.  My heart also melted when I read about the love, forgiveness, and friendship.  This book was so much fun to read.  I gobbled it up in one sitting and enjoyed every minute I spent with it. I can't wait to read more of Morgan's books.  And I would happily recommend this one to everyone looking for their next great read.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Memory by Lucy Dawson

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Many years ago something happened to my daughter Isobel, something that broke her from the inside. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces… When tragedy strikes, single mother Eve retreats with her daughter Isobel to Fox Cottage, their isolated home on the outskirts of town. Izzie, seven years old and sensitive, needs time to heal away from prying eyes. Days become years and the town moves on, but Eve won’t let go and Isobel can’t grow up. When a new family comes to Fox Cottage, their presence in the house will unearth a dark past that has long been buried… that somebody close to them would do anything to hide. It will expose secrets that Eve never knew about her own daughter – that she can scarcely believe could be true…

A heart-breaking domestic drama about families and secrets, perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Shalini Boland and Lisa Jewell.

my thoughts:

Just finished reading this one and am now mulling it over. Definitely not what I expected.  Feeling rather confused about whether I liked it or not.  Hmmm...

Eve's daughter, Isobel, experienced something traumatic as a child and she has never fully recovered. Flash forward, Eve is trying to see her house, so she and her daughter can move into something new and that has no connection with their past.  She finds a buyer in Claire - a woman new to her small town.  Only, it turns out Claire is "married" to Tim, Isobel's ex.  Seems that Claire doesn't know about the history between Eve's family and Tim's.  And let me just say its not pretty.  Regardless, Claire and her family move into Eve's old house.  They plan on renovating it and living there while they do so.  They have a young daughter named Rosie.  For Claire, this move is not something she wanted - in fact, it was forced on her.  She's just trying to make the best of it.  Tim is not happy about moving into this "new" house at all - it terrifies him and he tries to make Claire understand why.  Well, she doesn't.  And as they settle in, things begin to happen to them that rattle them deeply.  Plus, they have to deal with Isobel and Eve, more often than they would like.  Seems that no one can let go of the past - a past that Claire has no clue about.  A past that can't stop haunting them day in and day out.

Dawson does a great job of hooking you with this story's premise.  And she does bring about a load of twists and turns you wouldn't expect.  So, it is very good in some ways.  However, there is just something I found lacking in the story.  I'm not sure whether it was the character's development or if it was more to do with everything she threw in for good measure - the traumatic past, the child-like adult, the haunted house, the witchy elements, the affair, the aborted pregnancy, the broken heart, the dolls, etc..  My point is that there is a lot going on and some of it felt unfinished or unexplained.  Maybe that's why I didn't love the book.

At the end of the day, The Memory is a solid read filled with lots of mystery, suspense and drama.  There is a supernatural feel to it, which made it a bit creepy - I think it added some tension to the story.  All in all, a good book for a rainy day.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!