Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Can an author have ‘street cred’? They sure as shit can if they reference only one of the best songs ever in the first four words of the book.

If you know Pink Floyd and you've read the book, you will understand me when I say Comfortably Numb is the first half of this book. Even before I read Ten Tiny Breaths, I always felt a sense of dread set in when I heard this song. Like I was swimming in the ocean and was suddenly pulled in by the strongest of undertows, unrelenting in its need to pull me under. If people could have their own theme songs, this would by Kacey and Trent's. In the end and metaphorically speaking, Kacey takes this song, and literally kicks it’s a** in with the sweetest of roundhouses.

I think I’ve said before that I really don’t like it when I can see the ‘surprise’ that the author is trying to cleverly revel before the actual grand event. There are certain books I’ve made exceptions for, because in those cases, the reveal is not the story. Ten Tiny Breaths is one of those exceptions. When it all comes crashing down for Kacey and Trent again, you really see the substance of what all the other characters are made of. Up until that point, you really like the secondary characters; you know that there is more to them that what scratches the surface.

When Kacey breaks, you realize that the author is like a trainer preparing a boxer for the fight of their life. That this is their moment to show everyone what they are made of; that they deserve to be in that ring; that they will take care if it. When the boxer knocks the crap out of their opponent in one blow, the trainer knows that they had helped the boxer prepare for this moment. Miss Tucker’s development of the secondary characters makes the concluding half of the story. She prepared them for that moment, and it becomes evident that calling them ‘secondary’ would be an insult. Kacey literally struggles to breathe, but a moment comes when she is no longer drowning. I’m sure it would have been easier to write a simpler ending, but it would have discredited all the recovery that Kacey and Trent worked towards.

I can throw some more cliches in here, but suffice to say, I love this book. And I might need another Billy bookcase, seeing as I NEED to own this in paperback as well and I'm running out of bookshelf space.

Allen, Texas

I flew from Toronto, Ontario (Canada) to Allen, Texas for my first-ever book-signing.

I'm not an obsessed fan. No one needs restraining orders. I just love to read. And honestly, I think my husband just wanted me out of the house for the weekend. Until the moment he said he was flying me in, my head had been buried in books for the past 30 days.

The enormity of this even has still not settled in, nor has the fact that I actually got to meet +Jamie McGuire , Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber, and Amy Tannenbaum.

The first three ladies make my short-list of my most favourite authors of all time. I was lucky enough to sit in the 2nd row, amongst other book-lovers like myself. I wasn't ridiculed for having read Beautiful Disaster more then 10 times. My obsession with Will Cooper was understood. And my new-found love of anything Economics was accepted. It was nirvana. And because it was in a bookstore, it was nirvana with a cherry on top!

And this is where the book-nerd in me really shines.

The crowd went wild when +Jamie McGuire walked in with her family. I was really excited, but never being the type to go 'total fan-girl' in public, I internalized. Until I saw that her editor, Amy Tannenbaum, was walking behind her.

Then I really geeked out! I turned to a few women I had made friends with, and had my moment. Holy mother EFF! That's Amy Tannenbaum. As in the EDITOR! I was a bit miffed that they didn't share my excitement on the same scale.

And then she came over to talk to me! I was later interviewed by ABC. Something about flying in from another country for the weekend to get books signed didn't seem like what the average person would do. People thought it was awesome. No offence to ABC, but I was more excited to have this picture taken.

Even Ms. McGuire's oldest daughter knew who I was. I was in absolute awe of the entire event.

I got my books signed earlier than most, thanks to standing in line and getting a wrist-band (which I now use as a back-up bookmark!). I chatted with others, which is not like me at all. I'm actually quite shy, but talk of Rush from Fallen Too Far ( +Abbi Glines ) and Kellen Kyle (S.C. Stephens) had everyone loose-lipped. I actually had the nerve to tell a handful of people that they were crazy for not yet having read The Sea of Tranquility by +Katja Millay . I ended up walking out of the bookstore with a massive list of 'must-read' books.

The moment I left the book-signing, I think something in my core had shifted. It felt wrong to leave a place where my obsession with reading was accepted. I was leaving 'my kind' behind.

As I started packing, I realized I didn't have bubble-wrap to pack-up my newly signed precious cargo! Crap!

Lesson learned for BookBash - bring bubble wrap.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Love Unrehearsed by Tina Reber

I purchased this book on Friday February 1st at 12:57pm. I remember the time because I used the receipt as my bookmark for the next 2 days as I consumed this book. The day I bought it, I made one ginormours error though – waiting to read until I was on my way home. I should have 'called in sick' after lunch. I almost stayed on the train so I could keep reading. For what’s possibly the 2nd time in my life, I thought that the 40 minute train ride and another 40 minute bus ride home weren’t long enough.

The story of Ryan and Taryn continues in such a realistic manner. From the first chapter, I was so flabbergasted by the author’s ability to take such an out-of-this world situation and make it seem so real. Love Unscripted was such a delight, but I really didn’t think it could get any better. And believe me; I lived for nothing but the first book when I got it.

It was such a relief to read about a couple trying to sort their issues out in a mature way (well, most of the time anyway). Yeah there were arguments, some tears, and what I would classify as adult versions of temper-tantrums. But even with all that, they talked. They reasoned. They tried to understand where the other was coming. They were never malicious towards each other. I loved Ryan’s protectiveness over Taryn, and her devotion to him during some really awkward moments. I could never truly empathize with being in love with such a public figure, but after reading this book, I’d give it a try if it was with Ryan. And I wasn’t already married.

In all the chaos that was their reality, you really saw that Ryan was just some guy who loved a girl. And that Taryn loved him just as much. Not for the celebrity. Not for the travelling. Not for the free clothes. Not for the money.

Just when I didn’t think I could love this book more than I already did, Ryan gave his speech. I'm a sucker for HEAs, and this one was PERFECT. I try not to fling the P-word around often, but when I do, I mean it wholeheartedly.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

I saw a barrage of mentions for Flat-Out Love on Twitter, advertising the ebook for some ridiculously low price. I guess the publicity worked, because it got on my radar. It turns out I have a sub-par e-reader, because I couldn’t get it on mine. I think this was the book-God’s way of telling me it was going to be worth the purchase in paperback. Unfortunately, when I added the book to my cart, I noticed I had 3 orders awaiting shipment. This was already on top of the 10 (!) books I just purchased over the weekend. I paused. There was no way my husband could see yet another deliver from either Amazon or Chapters. So I had it delivered to the store!

Lets start with the basics.

I love the cover. I stared at it. I ran my fingers over it. I sighed. It was beautiful - it is beautiful. This gave me great hope for the rest of the book. I only read the first line of the synopsis. I didn’t read any reviews either. I wanted to enjoy this author without any prejudice.

The Watkins family is pretty dysfunctional. Some might think that Celeste is in need of a serious intervention. Even with this family’s significant issues, there is so much humour in this book. I had a couple of embarrassing moments on public transit when I burst out laughing and couldn’t contain it. I got some looks, and just pointed to the books while mouthing “buy this book”.

I love Matt. I’m looking to get a t-shirt that says this, though with the obvious caveat that he’s a character from a book (if you know where I can get one, please let me know)!. Matt’s geekiness is sexy, but you soon realize that there is so much more to him than his IQ. I think if his character were the tough-as-nails, will-beat-anyone-up type, I wouldn’t find him appealing. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I live for Excel spreadsheets.
When I first ‘met’ Finn, I was so torn. It really sucks when there are 2 amazing characters that you are rooting for, all the while having internal conflict with yourself because you feel like you are betraying one of them. I really wanted to be Julie in those moments of candid conversation and silly banter. And the elevator ride!

I think Julie had a lot on her shoulders throughout the story, but in the end, I felt that she had this ‘calm’ about her. I think it takes a lot to write characters that have imperfections, but even more to make them relate-able and believable.I don’t think anything she did in this book was because it as expected of her by the other characters. She had the sincere heart to do what she thought was best, though sometimes having her attempts at ‘fixing’ things fail epically.

I knew something was happening, but I could never be sure. The author had me questioning everything, but ultimately, the delivery was superb. The story became heartbreaking, and my moments of laughter were substituted with sobbing. I really can’t say more about this book without giving too much away. Any misconceptions you might have about this story should be tossed out of an air plane (I’m now a fan of skydiving!).

I ‘rate’ books on the following criteria: 
  1. How likely is it that I’ll reread this?
  2. Do I want this in paperback and therefore on my actual bookshelf?
  3. Would I feel happier / calmer if I owned more than 1 copy and more than 1 format?
So Ms. Jessica Park, author of Flat-Out Love
  1. I will reread this and probably pass it on to my child. I might have to have a daughter in case my son doesn't want it.
  2. yes – and though we are downsizing houses, my books are coming with me.
  3. I have a second copy of the paperback in my Amazon cart. And I have an account with Audible for a reason.

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley‏

I had really high hopes for this book. I realized it was set from a younger POV, but I still wanted to enjoy it. I really liked the first chapter. It held a lot of promise. I even didn’t mind the second chapter, but I noticed that I had to constantly tell myself to “think like a 16 year old”. Doing this really helped, but there were some parts where the rational 28 year-old in me came out and wanted to just smack one or more of the characters.
I noticed some commentary about the writing after I read the book. For most part, I agree with what was said, but teenagers actually talk like that. They do stupid things all the time, and try to invent cooler expletives than your standard f***, a**, s***, etc. I can’t fault the author for trying to capture the honesty of teenagers. On the other-hand, there were some issues that were overly sugar -coated. But then again maybe this is the older me thinking this way.
I didn’t realize until after I was done that the author was not American. It was really difficult to understand why teenagers (who I assumed lived in the States) insisted on using British phrases. At first I thought it was “their thing”, but as the book went on, it started to really annoy me.
I don’t regret buying this book (thus supporting a self-published writer), but I think this was a one-time read.

My "I've neglected some stuff to read these books" List

I'm constantly asked for titles of books I've read. Here is a list and I'll update it as I read. These are books I own, and for me to have spent money on them means I consider them worthy. You may not agree, but you are entitled to your opinion. The ones that have me obsessed will have "read NOW" in ()s. All these books are REALLY good, but there are some that just make life a bit better. 


The Proposition (Book 1) - Katie Ashley
The Proposal (Book 2) - Katie Ashely
The Gamble (Book 1) - Kristen Ashley
Rock Chick (Book 1) - Kristen Ashley
S.E.C.R.E.T. (Book 1) - L. Marie Adeline
S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared (Book 2) - L. Marie Adeline
At Any Price - Brenna Aubrey


Picturing Perfect - Melissa Brown
Present Perfect - Alison G. Bailey
Past Imperfect - Alison G. Bailey
Uncivilized - Sawyer Bennett
Eversea - Natasha Boyd
Driven (Book 1) - K. Bromberg
Fueled (Book 2) - K. Bromberg
Crashed (Book 3) - K. Bromberg


The Hook Up - Kristen Callihan
My Favorite Mistake - Chelsea M. Cameron
Losing It - Cora Carmack
Faking It - Cora Carmack - I need more!
Beauty from Pain (Book 1) - Georgia Cates (read NOW)
Beauty from Surrender (Book 2) - Georgia Cates
Tangled (Book 1)- Emma Chase - I absolutely loved the POV and the honesty!
Twisted (Book 2) - Emma Chase
Loving Mr. Daniels - Brittainy C. Cherry
Wallbanger - Alice Clayton (read NOW) absolutely hilarious...and all the other stuff too ;)
The Unidentified Redhead (Book 1) - Alice Clayton (read NOW) H.I.L.A.R.I.O.U.S!
The Redhead Revealed (Book 2) - Alice Clayton
The Redhead Plays Her Hand (Book 3) - Alice Clayton - this entire series is a must re-read for me!
Stranded with a Billionaire - Jessica Clare
Sweet Thing - Renee Carlino
Shark Bait (GYP Book 1) - +Jenn Cooksey (read NOW) forget the kids, the housework and the significant other! JUST READ THIS BOOK!
The Other Fish in the Sea (GYP Book 2) - +Jenn Cooksey if you are reading this, then promise me you'll read ANYTHING by this author?! Pinky swear!
Shark Out of Water (GYP Book 3) - readthebookorIwillfindawaytomakeyou!justkidding...notreally!
Painted Faces - L.H. Cosway
Rule (Book 1) - Jay Crownover - all about hot alpha boys with issues (but oh so good!)
Jet (Book 2) - Jay Crownover
Better When He's Bad (Book 1) - Jay Crownover
One Night With Sole Regret series - Olivia Cunning (read NOW) - this is such a guilty-pleasure read...


Bared to You (Book 1) - Sylvia Day
Reflected in You (Book 2) - Sylvia Day
Entwined with You (Book 3) - Sylvia Day
Captivated by You (Book 4) - Sylvia Day
Barely Breathing - Rebecca Donovan
Reason to Breathe - Rebecca Donovan
Bully (Book 1) - Penelope Douglas
Until You (Book 1.5) - Penelope Douglas
The Bet - Rachel Van Dyken
That Boy (Book 1)- Jillian Dodd (read NOW)
That Wedding (Book 2) - Jillian Dodd


Such a Rush - Jennifer Echols
REAL - Katy Evans (Remy = NOW)
Memoirs of a Gigolo - Volumes 1-8 - Livia Ellis different from my normal reads, but very...uh...interesting. Still a good read though!


The Opportunist - Tarryn Fisher (read NOW) but not when on an island with no one to talk 'books' with!
Dirty Red - Tarryn Fisher (same as above)
Thief - Tarryn Fisher (give me a break - READ THE DAMN BOOKS ALREADY)
Mud Vein - Tarryn Fisher - suspense, anxiety, and heartache Tarryn Fisher style
Try (Book 1) - Ella Frank (read NOW) - Logan and Tate are out of this world. And Tate is not a chick.
Take (Book 2) - Ella Frank (read NOW)


Back to You - Priscilla Glenn (read NOW)
Emancipating Andie - Priscilla Glenn
Coming Home - Priscilla Glenn (read NOW)
The Vincent Boys - Abbi Glines (read NOW) - Beau Vincent be still my heart!
The Vincent Brothers - Abbi Glines (read NOW)
Fallen Too Far - Abbi Glines (read NOW) - Holy Range Rover! NOW!
Never Too Far - Abbi Glines
Forever Too Far - Abbi Glines
Rush Too Far - Abbi Glines
Breathe - Abbi Glines
Because of Low - Abbi Glines (read NOW)
While it Lasts - Abbi Glines
Just for Now - Abbi Glines <-- the BEST of the Sea Breeze series
Twisted Perfection - Abbi Glines
Simple Perfection - Abbi Glines
Must Love Otters - Eliza Gordon (read NOW) I.L.O.V.E.D.T.H.I.S.x.100
The Secret Daughter - Shilpi Gowda
The Abundance of Katherines - John Green
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green (read NOW) - believe ALL the hype
On the Island - Tracy Garvis Graves (read NOW)
Strings - Kendall Grey (read NOW) but read the WARNING first
Beats - Kendall Grey
Scoring Wilder - R.S. Grey


Emerge (Book 1) - S.E. Hall - I want to carve Liis *hearts* Dane into a tree!
Embrace (Book 2) - S.E. Hall
Entangled (Book 2.5) - S.E. Hall
Making Faces - Amy Harmon (read NOW) - believe the hype. read the book. then read it again. and again. and again.
Best Kept Secret - Amy Hatvany (read NOW)
Heart Like Mine - Amy Hatvany (read NOW)
On Every Street - Karina Halle
Sins & Needles - Karina Halle (Team Javier. And no, I'm not crazy)
Bold Tricks - Karina Halle (Damn you Javier - I should have chosen Camden all along)
Love, in English (Book 1) - Karina Halle (read NOW)
Love, in Spanish (Book 2) - Karina Halle (read NOW) and the anxiety almost killed me!
Slammed - Colleen Hoover (read NOW)
Point of Retreat - Colleen Hoover (read NOW)
This Girl - Colleen Hoover (read NOW)
Hopeless - Colleen Hoover (read NOW)
Losing Hope - Colleen Hoover (this is a book that you should have read a week ago. You should be ashamed for waiting so long)
Finding Cinderella - Colleen Hoover (I'm fully #TEAMDANIEL)
Maybe Someday - Colleen Hoover (read NOW) so so so so GOOD!
Maybe Not - Colleen Hoover - novella to accompany Maybe Someday
Ugly Love - Colleen Hoover (read NOW)
The Forgotten Ones - Laura Howard



Take This Regret (Book 1) - A.L. Jackson
If Forever Comes (Book 2) - A.L. Jackson
The Woefield Poultry Collective - Susan Juby (read NOW)
Welcome to Sugartown - Carmen Jenner (read NOW) - you might be tempted to bake pies!
Enjoy Your Stay - Carmen Jenner


Connected (Book 1) - Kim Karr (read NOW) and email me when you're me ;)
Torn (Book 2) - Kim Karr
Bear, Otter, and the Kid (Book 1) - T.J. Klune (read NOW) one of the BEST books I've ever read.
Who We Are (Book 2) - T.J. Klune (read NOW)
The Art of Breathing (Book 3) - T.J. Klune (read NOW) this entire series absolutely blew me away. But it's M/M, which might not be for everyone.


Arouse (Book 1) - Nina Lane
Allure (Book 2) - Nina Lane
Awaken (Book 3) - Nina Lane
Beautiful Bastard - Christina Lauren
Until I Break - M. Leighton
In Flight (Book 1) - R.K. Lilley
Mile High (Book 2) - R.K. Lilley
Grounded (Book 3) - R.K. Lilley


This Man (Book 1) - Jodi Ellen Malpas (read NOW) - holy hell! Jesse Ward is an ass worth reading about!
Beneath This Man (Book 2) - Jodi Ellen Malpas) - keep reading this series!
This Man Confessed (Book 3) - Jodi Ellen Malpas) - and once you're done, start all over again. Or not. Or start all over again...
Beautiful Disaster - Jamie McGuire (read NOW) - if you haven't read this - I just don't have words!
Walking Disaster - Jamie McGuire
A Beautiful Wedding - Jamie McGuire
Beautiful Oblivion - Jamie McGuire
Providence - Jamie McGuire
Requiem - Jamie McGuire
Eden - Jamie McGuire
Red Hill - Jamie McGuire (yes there are zombies, but it's not a zombie book!)
Happenstance (Book 1) - Jamie McGuire
Happenstance (Book 2) - Jamie McGuire
Collide - Gail McHugh
Pulse - Gail McHugh (conclusion to Collide - and I must say, I liked this one a lot more!)
Roses - Leila Meacham
The Sea of Tranquility - +Katja Millay  (read NOW) - actually, you should have read this YESTERDAY
Naked (The Blackstone Affair #1) - Raine Miller
All In (The Blackstone Affair #2) - Raine Miller
Eyes Wide Open (The BlackStone Affair #3) - Raine Miller
Me Before You - Jojo Moyes (read NOW) - make sure you have at least a box of tissues handy
White Trash Beautiful (Book 1) - Teresa Mummert
White Trashed Damaged (Book 2) - Teresa Mummert




Flat-Out Love - Jessica Park (read NOW) and when you are done, read it again 2x.
Flat-Out Matt - Jessica Park (read NOW) but only if you read Flat-Out Love. And follow the same instructions!
Flat-Out Celeste - Jessica Park
Left Drowning - Jessica Park (read NOW) feel free to call me when you get to 70% and you feel the chunks rising
Relatively Famous - Jessica Park
Night Owl - M. Pierce (read NOW) asshole main character but, holy mother!
The Album - Ashley Pullo (read NOW) not your average angst filled story but full of heartache and humour



Nocturne - Andrea Randall & Charles Sheehan-Miles (READ NOW) - YES!!!
In the Stillness - Andrea Randall
Unteachable - Leah Raeder (READ NOW) - will be one of my favourite books for the unforeseen future!
Unravel - Calia Read
Love Unscripted - Tina Reber (read NOW)
Love Unrehearsed - Tina Reber (read NOW)
The Edge of Never - J.A. Redmerski
Gabriel's Inferno (Book 1) - Sylvain Reynard - don't read the series until the 3rd book comes out - the wait will kill you!
Gabriel's Rapture (Book 2) - Sylvain Reynard
Gabriel's Redemption (Book 3) - Sylvain Reynard - AND now you can read the entire series (which I've done about 5 times)
Until November - Aurora Rose Reynolds
Consequences (Book 1) - Aleatha Romig (read NOW) this is a cluster bomb of a mind-f***
Truth (Book 2) - Aleatha Romig (read NOW) it's the follow-up to the above, but at a whole new level!
Convicted (Book 3) - Aleatha Romig (read NOW) - and I'm so sad that this series is over *wiping away tears*
The Low Notes - Kate Roth - My book boyfriend is a teacher at Wexley Falls High School <- is a bumper sticker my husband will not let me put on our car!


Undeniable - Madeline Sheehan (read NOW) - very gritty and raw but Deuce...*sigh*
Unbeautifully - Madeline Sheehan (read NOW) - Deuce...Ripper...God can this woman write bad boys!
Unattainable - Madeline Sheehan
Unbeloved - Madeline Sheehan
The Secret of Ella and Micha - Jessica Sorensen
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden - Jessica Sorensen
Thoughtless - S.C. Stephens (read NOW) - 2 words: Kellan Kyle
Effortless - S.C. Stephens (read NOW) - still the same 2 words
Reckless - S.C. Stephens (read NOW) - there is a pattern...
Archer's Voice - Mia Sheridan
The Perfect Game - J. Sterling
Axel - Harper Sloan
A Prior Engagement - S.L. Scott
Lick (Stage Dive, #1) - +Kylie Scott (read NOW) this book made me incoherent but in THE best way EVER!
Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma (read NOW) totally taboo topic but stunning writing and lots of crippling heartache


Blindfolded Innocence (Book 1) - Alessandra Torre
Masked Innocence (Book 2) - Alessandra Torre
End of the Innocence (Book 3) - Alessandra Torre
Black Lies - Alessandra Torre
The Mighty Storm - Samantha Towle
Ten Tiny Breaths - K.A. Tucker (read NOW)
One Tiny Lie - K.A. Tucker (read NOW)
Four Seconds to Lose - K.A. Tucker - TTB and OTL were both NOWs. FStL is a EFFING NOW!
Five Ways to Fall - K.A. Tucker



Little Black Book - Tabitha Vargo


Stepbrother Dearest - Penelope Ward
Easy - Tammara Weber (read NOW)
Reaper's Property - Joanna Wylde
Falling Into You - Jasinda Wilder



On Dublin Street - Samantha Young (read NOW) - and buy the audiobook!
Down London Road - Samantha Young
Castle Hill - Samantha Young


On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

I really, really, REALLY liked this book. It took me a couple of days to get over this obsession with Braden, but even as I write this, I’m not sure it’s completely gone. And I’ve read the entire thing 3 times!

There have been some comparisons of this book to Fifty Shades. On Dublin Street lacks the erotica aspect, but the relationship between the two main characters is just as intense. The banter between Joss and Braden is hilarious at times, and I think it balances the otherwise heart stopping sexiness (couldn’t think of another word). There is something so delicious about a guy who acts like an ass, but has the ‘skills’, personality, and looks to back it up. Some might think I’m putting the women’s lib movement back some by saying that, but have you seen what people think Braden should look like? Holy mother!

Unfortunately, I’ve read some books in this genre that have been atrocious, but this book did not disappoint in the slightest. It was exactly what a hopeless romantic like me needed. I was so enamoured by the characters, that I noticed myself reading with a Scottish accent. I had to stop, because just the thought of hearing Braden with an accent was causing immensely inappropriate thoughts to occur.

This is a book you curl up with on your reading chair and ignore everyone for. And I’ll probably do this again several times in the upcoming months.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Heart Like Mine by Amy Hatvany

I think I have to mention that this book is not available to the masses until March. It was sent to me by the publisher as a complete surprise. I was not asked to review it, nor was it given to me in favour of a good review. The following opinions are mine, and mine only. If you know me, you know I love to read; it consumes me. I read another book by Amy Hatvany, and it blew me away. I feel so privileged to have been given to opportunity to read “Heart Like Mine”.

I can pinpoint the exact page that I fell in love with this book (8 if you were curious). I’m not sure why I was expecting anything other than perfection, but shame on me for thinking it was only going to be “good”.

This is not a light read, and anyone who has ever lost a significant person in their life can attest to that. With a fairly heavy subject matter, it’s refreshing to see that the characters are not whiny, desperately tying to “fix” everything. They're dealing with the cards they were dealt in the best way possible. They are honest in their actions; their moments of fear and happiness. I was so emotionally invested in this family dynamic. I started crying when Grace acknowledged her fears, and bawled my eyes out when Victor did the same. I didn’t for a moment think that any outburst was unnecessary, no matter by which character – it made it real.

I think what “made” this books for me was how the story was told from the various points of view, during different time periods. I’ve read a lot, and I can assure that this is not always done in the best interest of the story. It can be completely irrelevant and can do a huge injustice to the characters. This author was perfect in her character development, in that she showed a direct correlation between the past and the present.

I wasn’t expecting the typical “happily ever after” because this is not that type of book. This is about life. And as we all know, life cannot always be wrapped up in pretty paper with a beautiful bow on top. Even if you wrap it in newspaper and use tuck tape, a gift is a gift.