Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Secret DaughterSecret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kavita and Jasu, Have given birth to her second little girl in a village in India. Given how her first girl child was taken away abruptly by her husband, Kavita has secretly taken the baby to an orphanage in Mumbai where she can have a life and a future, and not suffer the same fate as her first daughter.

Krishnan and Somer, married and living in San Francisco have tried for years to have a baby, after a few miscarriages they decide to adopt a 1-yr old child from India.

In Secret Daughter, we follow the lives of these two couples and the mutual child they share, Asha, as she grows up and goes in search of her heritage. I truly enjoyed this story. I enjoyed following both couples, their lives and relationships and I absolutely loved the ending. It was a great ending to a fabulous book.

This is Gowda's debut novel and I look forward to reading more from her.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For me this was not a book about dying but about living. Hazel is a 16-year old girl living with a form of lung cancer, she has a terminal diagnosis but for now she is living and forced to attend a weekly cancer support group by her parents. This support group is where her life takes a turn and she meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor. As I was reading this book, I felt like I was watching real life unfold for the characters and instead of reading, I was watching. Watching Hazel and Augustus bloom, seeing life in their eyes. I was able to picture the characters and events in my mind and almost felt like I was eavesdropping into someone's life. The only character that annoyed me was Van Houten, but he was written that way so you can't fault him for that. This book for me was just shy of perfect, I can't really put my finger on why though.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie and see how they compare.

My favorite Quote: "We all want to be remembered [...] to leave a mark [...] The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous mini mall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, "They'll remember me now," but (a) they don't remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your mini mall becomes a lesion."

I rated this 4.5/5 Stars (A-) but rounded down on Goodreads rating scale to 4.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Making Marriage Work by Lynn Toler

Making Marriage Work: New Rules for an Old InstitutionMaking Marriage Work: New Rules for an Old Institution by Lynn Toler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am a newlywed with an amazing husband... who thinks - way too much! But in most cases, this is a really good thing. Because he is so concerned that we have the best marriage possible that he has us reading all types of marriage counseling books together. We are talking and getting to know each other on a deeper level and this is a good thing.

So far we've dabbled in a few other books but this by far is THE BEST BOOK for couples who are about to get married, newly married, or even married for many many years. It covers the gambit and it really opens up your mind to catching difficulties in a marriage before they even become issues.

This books helps you reflect within yourself to help you see how maybe you are perceived by the other person and how you can help them deal with you, and vice versa.

I plan to read every book by Lynn Toler that is available. Whether it's related to marriage or not, she is one wise woman and I really enjoyed reading this book and the discussions that have begun with my husband, but also the journey I took in self reflection while reading this book.

I've rated this book 10/10 Stars - Excellent!

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Friday, January 09, 2015

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott

The DressmakerThe Dressmaker by Kate Alcott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tess was a maid/seamstress in England and needed a fresh start. She managed to find her way on the Titanic and come into the employment of renowned fashion designer, Lady Duff Gordon. This story tells of the experience being on the Titanic as it goes down and then Tess in the weeks following the tragedy in New York City.

I liked the titanic elements and the historical truths of names, places, and events related to the titanic. I do not know much about the historical truths so I am not too worried about the history being 100% accurate. The real feel was there for me enough to not need to fact check.

I was very interested in how this story would play out. I was not thrilled with the writing or the story as I was reading but I continued to read on because I was interested to know how it would end for Tess. So the book definitely kept my interest. However, I found myself at the end feeling disappointed that there wasn't more of an ending. It was just too open ended for me. If someone were to tell me there is a sequel, then I'd say OK! and I'd be curious enough to read the next book.

Ultimately, I gave this book a C+ (5/10 rating)

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