What you Wish for by Katherine Center

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The first book I read by Katherine Center was “How to Walk Away”.  I was very impressed with her storyline and development of characters and looked forward to reading more from her.  When I began reading “What you Wish for”, I was not disappointed.  Center takes time to develop her characters and by the end of  this novel I felt a part of  the small community and wanted to teach at the same school as Sam Casey.

Sam Casey is a librarian who had moved from California for a new start. What she found was a community that quickly became her family.  When tragedy strikes it creates the need for a new person to lead their quirky, eclectic school.  Unfortunately, the new leader, Duncan Carpenter, isn’t interested in keeping the school’s quirky nature.  He is focused on security and safety.  Sam must decide whether to leave the place she has grown to feel at home or stay and try to convince the new principal that their unique school is worth preserving just the way it has always been.

Center does a wonderful job with this novel.  I enjoyed reading it and really felt a connection to not just the main characters but the entire faculty and neighbors that Sam lives and works with daily.  I also enjoyed the fact that there were a few surprising twists and turns throughout. If you like contemporary fiction, chick lit, or just want to engross yourself in a book that will make you long for small towns and a sense of community this book is for you.  I rate this as a 4 star book.

Twice in a Blue Moon by: Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren has always been one of my go-to authors for a great read. She has never let me down and she continues to deliver with Twice in a Blue Moon. This is a story of second chances and of forgiveness. It is a novel of learning to accept flawed people and learning that some people will never change. I enjoyed how the book began in the past before bringing up the conflict of the present. It allows the reader to have a sense of the emotions that played out in the past that made the characters who they were in the present story line. Lauren did a great job of building the characters personalities and made the reader invest in them. I recommend this novel to anyone who likes contemporary romance and chick lit.

Teardrop Shot by Tijan

Tijan is an amazingly talented writer. She broaches topics that many shy away from because of the emotions that they evoke.  In Teardrop Shot she takes both the main characters and places them in very deep emotional waters. Although very different experiences both main characters are the product of the lives they have lived up to the point of their meeting. Tijan weaves a tale that will make you laugh, cry and want to throw things. She is willing to go into topics in her writing that people don’t like to talk about but makes readers want (really makes them NEED) to discuss. I love all of Tijan’s work but Teardrop Shot really brings out all the feels.

My Journey

As I am approaching 48 years old, I realize that in all likelihood I have already lived half my life.  This past year has shown me how fleeting life is for many.  I watched my father battle cancer courageously and eventually God called him home. I have decided that before I turn 50 I want to accomplish a few things.

First, I am going to try and not let the stress of daily life and work get to me.  As a middle school teacher it is very hard not to take home the worries and work that just doesn’t get done during the school day. But, this is one of the changes I am going to try to make.

Secondly, I am going to attempt to be more positive in my daily life.  This is not saying that I am a negative Nelly (sorry all the Nelly’s out there I didn’t make up the phrase I am just using it :-)).  I usually try to be optimistic and positive but I KNOW I can do better.

Third, I am going to try to better myself and improve my health.  This past year the focus was really on my Dad and his needs more than my own health.  I wouldn’t change it for the world either, but now is the time to focus on a healthier me so my children will have me in their lives and hopefully grandchildren one day.  This includes getting more active and losing some weight (hopefully).  However, if the weight stays but I feel healthier then I am still happy.

This journey is going to be interesting, challenging and a lot of fresh material for my blogging so be prepared.

A Bridge Apart by: Joey Jones

This is the first time I have read this author so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised at the development of the story. The book cover blurb gives a general overview of what to expect from the novel but in reality the subtle growth of the plot truly draws you in. Andrew Callaway, the lead character, has it all. His life is almost perfect, or is it? Within 48 hours his solid life that he has built is in shambles. Untangling the mess of his life is where the true story lies. This is a great read for those that enjoy contemporary romance, southern small town charm and want love to win.

26722471

I Feel Pretty – Amy Schumer

There is a first time for everything and I guess this is officially my first movie review.  I wasn’t sure about going to see one of Schumer’s movies.  The last few movies, in which she was cast as a lead, relied on crude humor more than acting ability.  My friends and I decided to go see it and I laughed and connected with the story line in a way I haven’t been able to with Schumer’s work in the past.  The characters were super easy to relate to and I felt myself pulling not only for Renee, the lead, but for her friends as well. It was refreshing and entertaining.  I would recommend this to all the girls who struggle with feeling pretty.  The main idea is that everyone is pretty you just have to find it within yourself.

Those Other Women by: Nicola Moriarty

I won this book as a Goodreads giveaway. This novel had me curious just by the title alone. What other women? Were they aliens, a different culture, a new breed…what other women? This novel had me intrigued with the title but honestly as soon as I read the prologue the mystery had me hooked. Nicola Moriarty wrote a novel that was intriguing and captivating throughout. This novel made me want to continue to read even when household chores were waiting. I loved who “those other women” are and who “those women” are in real life. This is really a story about the need to lift one another up, being kind to all and not assuming things about people you barely know. It is a book of humor, mystery and real emotions. If you like chick-lit and contemporary fiction this is a book for you.