Tag Archives: summer releases

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

Even though I was eagerly anticipating this book’s release, it sat on my bookshelf for four months. I finally got some inspiration to pick it up this weekend. Although this is not a banned book, it does help me cross of another book on my Chick Lit Challenge list. Here is my review of Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin.

Heart Of The Matter book coverTessa Russo is the mother of two young children and the wife of a renowned pediatric surgeon. Despite her own mother’s warnings, Tessa has recently given up her career to focus on her family and the pursuit of domestic happiness. From the outside, she seems destined to live a charmed life.

Valerie Anderson is an attorney and single mother to six-year-old Charlie–a boy who has never known his father. After too many disappointments, she has given up on romance–and even to some degree, friendships–believing that it is always safer not to expect too much.

Although both women live in the same Boston suburb, the two have relatively little in common aside from a fierce love for their children. But one night, a tragic accident causes their lives to converge in ways no one could have imagined.

In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most.

Heart of the Matter was one of the Books of Summer that I was eagerly anticipating. In that post I talked about two reasons I loved Giffin’s work. The first is her skill at depicting interpersonal relationships. The second is the characters she creates. Both of these skills were well represented in her latest novel.

The main thing that stuck with me after I finished this book was the realness of it. I believe this feeling was a result of the characters Giffin created. Often I find characters to be either “too perfect” or “too flawed.” When this happens, I find it difficult to become interested in the plot due to the lack of reality in the characters. In this story each character is believable due to their good mix of strengths and flaws. Each character is balanced enough to make them feel like real people instead of plot points.

The credibility of the characters lead to a quality of realism to the story. At some points the story was so personal that I felt like I was snooping into a neighbor’s life. I felt guilty enough to want to put the book down; however, my curiosity got the better of me. While this book could have easily been predictable, I never wondered what came next. I think this was due to the fact I was riveted by what I was reading and didn’t want the experience to end.

Review: I was a bit reserved in my excitement about this book due to the fact I had not enjoyed Griffin’s last two releases as much as her first two. This book ended up being perhaps my favorite of her novels. Giffin again demonstrated her great storytelling ability, creating great characters whose experiences will stay with me.

Insatiable by Meg Cabot

As the summer has now started, three of the five books on my Books of Summer post have been released. First up for review is Insatiable.

From Goodreads.com

Insatiable Book CoverSick of vampires? So is Meena Harper.But her boss is making her write about them anyway, even though Meena doesn’t believe in them.

Not that Meena isn’t familiar with the supernatural. See, Meena Harper knows how you’re going to die (not that you’re going to believe her; no one ever does).

But not even Meena’s precognition can prepare her for what happens when she meets—then makes the mistake of falling in love with—Lucien Antonescu, a modern-day prince with a bit of a dark side . . . a dark side a lot of people, like an ancient society of vampire-hunters, would prefer to see him dead for.

The problem is, he already is dead. Maybe that’s why he’s the first guy Meena’s ever met that she could see herself having a future with. See, while Meena’s always been able to see everyone else’s future, she’s never been able look into her own.

And while Lucien seems like everything Meena has ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, he might turn out to be more like a nightmare.

Now might be a good time for Meena to start learning to predict her own future . . .

If she even has one.

It took me no time at all to reach 48 books read this year. Getting to 49 has proved to be tricky. Despite the fact I have a great pile of new books sitting next to my bed, none of them have really grabbed my attention. Once I purchased Insatiable the opposite was true. I could not wait for some free time to start reading! I picked up the book and was immediately hooked. I devoured the book in a day.

As a person who is over the whole “Vampire” craze, I was interested to read Meg Cabot’s take on the subject. In the first half of the book she seemed to discuss many of the issues that I have with the vampire novels. I was excited by this because I thought it meant she would avoid these pitfalls. However as the book progressed, the opposite occurred. Does the main character find out that her boyfriend is a vampire yet still need to be with him? Yes! Is the main character just an “ordinary everyday woman” yet the two main men fall in love with her? Yup! Do these two men have a need to kill each other? Of course! These are just a few of the things Cabot had spent the first 100 pages complaining about, and here she was committing the same sins.

Despite the fact that the author hit so many of these plot pitfalls that I despise, I still ended up enjoying the book; perhaps it was due to the great overall plot. Cabot’s great storytelling ability may have won me over. The interesting characters may have been the factor that added to my enjoyment. Of course it was probably all of these great things combined that led to a tale I found interesting and engaging, despite the few issues I had with the story.

Review: While I was hesitant to read another vampire drama, my love for Meg Cabot’s work made me pick up this book. Once I started the novel I could not put it down. Although I did roll my eyes at some of the plot points, I found the completed product to be a great read.

Books of Summer

As a book lover, I am very excited for this summer. Not only does the summer offer many opportunities for lying out in the sun and reading, it also brings a bunch of new book releases! I am eagerly awaiting many of these releases as they are from some of my favorite authors.

Heart of the Matter book coverThe first summer release that has me excited is Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin. Although this book has been released — its release date was Tuesday, May 11th– I still feel it is worth a mention. I discovered Emily Giffin’s first book, Something Borrowed, while waiting in line for the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I picked up the book initially just to help me pass the time while waiting in line. An hour or so later I was engrossed in the story. I ended up buying it, and it has since become one of my favorites. I often find myself returning to this book for an impromptu re-read. I have since purchased and enjoyed Giffin’s other three releases. The author’s ability to depict relationships between people in her novels has consistently amazed me. This skill always translates to characters that I can relate to. I can’t wait to see if this is true of her new novel.

Insatiable Book CoverThe next summer release on my calendar is Insatiable by Meg Cabot. Due in bookstores on June 1st, this will be Cabot’s third release this year. Though Cabot has quite the collection of published works, none feel “cookie-cutter” in plot. I have read over thirty Meg Cabot stories and I have enjoyed them all. Each book or series has a different feel to it which really helps them stand out. That is certainly true of her newest novel. Cabot promises that Insatiable will take on the topics of Supernatural and Vampires in a new way. I can’t wait to see what that is!

Promises to Keep by Jane GreenThe third summer release I am excited about is Promises to Keep by Jane Green. I have read many of Green’s books and love how I have always been able to relate to her characters. When I was an unmarried college student, I was able to connect with the single women in her stories. Once I was married, I enjoyed her stories of the trials and tribulations newlyweds. As I leave that stage of my life, I am enjoying her stories of mothers-to-be and find them to be delightful. I hope that Promises to Keep: A Novel helps to continue that trend. This book is scheduled to be released June 15th.

Fly Away Home book coverJuly 13th is the release date of my next anticipated summer release Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner. Weiner’s ability to describe the complex feelings of relationships is a reason why she is among my favorite authors. She uses this skill in In Her Shoes to tell the story of two sisters, making this book a favorite of mine. In her novel Little Earthquakes, she is able to show the connection between young mothers with the same realism. I am interested to see which relationship she tackles in this new release as it is sure to be as moving as her previous works.

Mini Shopaholic book coverThe last summer release I am eagerly awaiting is Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. This book, to be released August 24th, is the latest in the author’s “Shopaholic” series. As a fellow shopaholic, I find main character Becky Bloomwood endearing. I have related to many of her antics and travels throughout the series. I have been wondering about Becky the birth of her daughter in the end of Shopaholic and Baby and can not wait to see what she has been up to in the time since.

These are the five summer releases that have me excited. Are any of your favorite authors releasing books this summer? What are your most anticipated summer releases? Thanks in advance for sharing!