Themes: Family, Faith, American Football, Second Chances, Foster Children
Aaron Hill has it all—athletic good looks and the many privileges of a star quarterback. His Sundays are spent playing NFL football in front of a televised audience of millions. But Aaron’s about to receive an unexpected handoff, one that will give him a whole new view of his self-centered life.Derrick Anderson is a family man who volunteers his time with foster kids while sustaining a long career as a pro football player. But now he’s looking for a miracle. He must act as team mentor while still striving for the one thing that matters most this season—keeping a promise he made years ago.Megan Gunn works two jobs and spends her spare time helping at the youth center. Much of what she does, she does for the one boy for whom she is everything—a foster child whose dying mother left him in Megan’s care. Now she wants to adopt him, but one obstacle stands in the way. Her foster son, Cory, is convinced that 49ers quarterback Aaron Hill is his father.Two men and the game they love. A woman with a heart for the lonely and lost, and a boy who believes the impossible. Thrown together in a season of self-discovery, they’re about to learn lessons in character and grace, love and sacrifice.Because in the end life isn’t defined by what takes place on the first day of the week, but how we live it between Sundays.
Karen Kingsbury did not disappoint with this book. The two characters of Aaron Hill and Derrick Anderson were so well written. They could almost walk – or I guess I should say – throw a ball off the pages off the book. I loved that she used a real football team to place her players in rather than making one up. It makes everything seem so much more believable.
The book brings focus on to foster care. There’s even an Author’s Note and a Forward from NFL 49ers quarterback Adam Smith about how this topic became the focus of the book. Smith even has a charity with a focus on foster care – Alex Smith Foundation. Meeting Smith at a game was how Kingsbury got the idea for her book.
Anyway, the story evolved very nicely. There was some things I thought took awhile. Like Aaron and his agent. It took him a long time to see the creep for real.
The story is told through third person POV but throughout the book it switches between Aaron, Derick, Megan and Cory.
Definitely another lovely Kingsbury read. Have you read any of her books? Which ones?
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.
Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.
As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.
This book gave all the feels it should for a family drama. Teen angst with the stepmom. Full on disappearance of the dad. I mean seriously. WHERE DID HE GO?!?! With mystery, some detective work and even federal agencies to round it all out.
Now I have to be honest with you. Listening to this on audio was not my smartest move. I don’t know about you but there are certain types of books that are HARD to listen to. And mysteries definitely fall into that category. There’s a lot to keep track of. And they go at a fast pace. Well, I sometimes get a little distracted while I’m listening to a book. Which is because I’m doing other stuff. Like housework, exercising, or driving. So my mind kind of wanders a little from time to time. 99% of the time I rewind because I’m just that type of girl. But there is a LOT of rewinding with intense books. One day I’ll learn to stick to ChickLits, RomComs, Romances, Historical Fictions and Christian Fiction for listening. But until I learn. . .
That said – even with the audio aspect this book definitely did not disappoint! It was really good! Usually I like everything tied up at the end of the story. And there was a couple of things that weren’t in this case. But. . . I don’t believe it was to get us to read another book in a series. It was just the way the book finished. You – as the reader – were left to ponder about a few things. Which in those cases I like. Don’t you find it pretty cool when you’re still thinking about what might’ve happened with something in a book a month later? Yep. That’s some good writing.
And I have to recommend the Audible version that I listened to which was read by Rebecca Lowman. She did a tremendous job. I hadn’t had the opportunity to hear any of her work and I’m glad I took the chance. She has a lovely voice and she was the perfect choice for this book.
This is a book which has been on everyone’s radar since it came out. It was Reese’s Bookclub pick for May 2021. It’s also being made into a movie for Apple TV starring Julia Roberts and produced by Reese Witherspoon. I cannot wait to compare the movie with the book. And like always I’ll get back to you on what I think.
Have you had a chance to read The Last Thing He Told Me yet? Or anything else by Laura Dave? I’d love to hear what you think.
Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.
Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.
I found this book to be everything a book should be. Funny. Cute. Heartwarming. Mysterious.
Bachman did a great job of keeping some of the mystery alive until the very end. Definitely a character driven story with a large cast of people that you’ll actually get to know really well. It was enjoyable to watch the relationships grow. They were all easy to picture. And I adored getting to know the 10+ people during the course of the story.
To make things even more exciting Netflix is coming out with a series based on this very book! I can’t find a date on when it’ll be out yet – so if you have that info I’d love to get it! Everything I find just says “In Production.” When it does come out I’ll do another review to compare the book with the screen version.
Somethings to be aware of…
there is a lesbian couple
suicide is talked about
there is some violence – the book is about a bank robbery and hostage situation
adultery is referred to
I definitely loved this book. Believe it or not, it gave me all the happy feelings that I like when reading a story. And everything was wrapped up at the end – which was incredible because there was a ton of storylines going on here people.
So grab a copy. I bet ya you’ll devour it quickly.
I received this beautiful hardcover book from Book of the Month. Want to try them out? Click here and receive your first book for only $5 – Seriously! What a deal!!!
With the referral link I’ll also receive a book credit with your purchase.
You might know her as a Tony Award-winning Broadway star, who originated the role of Galinda the Good Witch in the smash musical Wicked and won a Tony for 1999’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Or you may recognize her from her starring roles on TV — The West Wing, Pushing Daisies, Sesame Street…oh, and her Huge Hit Sitcom Kristin on NBC. (Huge hit. L.A. breast-implant huge. Ask either of the people who watched it.) Or maybe you saw her sexy spread in FHM magazine? Or her appearance on Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club? Kristin is a wonderful collection of contradictions — but everyone who’s ever met her remembers her as the little girl with the big voice. At four foot eleven, Kristin Chenoweth is an immense talent in a petite but powerful package.
In this lively, laugh-out-loud book, Kristin shares her journey from Oklahoma beauty queen to Broadway leading lady, reflecting on how faith and family have kept her grounded in the dysfunctional rodeo of show biz. The daughter of an engineer and a nurse, Kristin was singing in front of thousands at Baptist conventions by age twelve and winning beauty pageants by age twenty-two. (Well, actually she was second runner-up almost every freaking time. But, hey, she’s not bitter.) On her way to a career as a professional opera singer, she stopped in New York to visit a friend and went on a whim to an audition. Through a combination of talent, hard work, and (she’s quick to add) the grace of God, Kristin took Broadway by storm. But of course, into every storm, the occasional drizzle of disaster must fall.
Filled with wit, wisdom, and backstage insight, A Little Bit Wicked is long on love and short on sleep; it’s essential reading for Kristin’s legions of fans and an uplifting story for anyone seeking motivation to follow his or her dreams — over the rainbow and beyond.
Anyone who is a fan of Kristin Chenoweth should run – not walk – to get this book. The stories she told in it made me love her so much more than I already did. And I really liked her! She bared her faith, her love for her family, her love for her friends who are like her family and even her relationships. Of course she went into her work over the years. Especially her sitcom “Kristin” which was a huge hit. And I always think behind the scenes anecdotes from the entertainment industry is interesting. Yep! I’m one of those and proud of it!
I listened to my copy of this book on audio and personally I think it made the experience 100% more enjoyable. Know why? Kristin Chenoweth herself narrated it. It was heartbreaking to hear HER tell the sad stories from her life. You could actually hear her voice breaking. When things were funny. Which was a lot of times throughout her stories – we’d be treated to her giggles. And honestly she has the greatest laugh. Then at times she’d have a couple of her friends pop in to tell their side of the story or their feelings about “Kris.” Some things to be aware:
Somethings you might want to be aware of…
there was some talk about homosexuality
there was also pre-marital sex inferred
No matter how you take in this book. I do recommend that you read it. I think anyone will enjoy it. And if you’re not already a fan of hers I think once you read this you’ll be one.
I bought my audio book through Chirp Books. Go here and you can get 20% off your 1st book.
With the referral link I’ll also receive 20% off a book with your purchase.
In a small town square of a sleepy Georgia town, seven-year-old Annie sits at her lemonade stand, raising money for her own heart transplant. At a nearby store, Reese flips through the newspaper, thinking about the latest boat he’s restoring.
As a beat-up bread truck careens around the corner, a strong wind blows Annie’s money into the road. Reese looks up in time to see Annie’s yellow dress fluttering in the wind as she runs into the road. What happens next will change both of their lives forever.
To say your life will change when you read this book is putting it lightly. You will laugh. You will cry. You will need to put down the book at times and walk away because you’ll need to get a hold of all of your crazy emotions. This book will grip your very soul.
One detail about this book is the compelling way it shows relationships between a doctor and when someone they care for is sick. Obviously this can become super difficult for those in the medical field and even more difficult if they feel like they can’t save those they love.
It was written in first person with the voice of Reese. He starts out as a recluse. With a tragic past that is slowly revealed throughout the story.
Annie is a sweet little girl who has been hit with so many tough situations in her young life that your heart can’t help but break for her. But she is the such a positive, happy, and enchanting child. She has the whole town pulling for her!
There is also Charlie who always tells it like it is. Cindy who does everything she possibly can for Annie. And of course the rest of the town, hospital staff, and cast of characters who – by the end of the book you feel as if they are your own friends and neighbors.
This was a book that when it was done I wanted there to be more. I actually finished it a couple of months ago and it is still sticking with me. It really was that good. Let me know if you’ve read this book or any others by Charles Martin. I’d love to find out what you think.
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
This book was super cute. It had love. it had romance. It had friendship. It had family. It had travel – lots or traveling around the world. What else can you ask for?
It was honestly really hard for me to put down. I easily could’ve read it one sitting but I do most of my reading before bed and for some reason my hubby has this hang-up about the light being on while he’s trying to sleep! Which is why most of books are on my Kindle. This book happens to be a beautiful hardback copy from Book of the Month though. So I waited in suspense each day… until I reached the incredible ending.
The story does take place over a 10 year period and it skips back and forth from the current time to different years in the past. So be aware – if you’re not a fan of this kind of book then I’d do a pass. Cuz the whole book is written this way.
Emily Henry also wrote Beach Reach which I also enjoyed (although not as much as this one). With writing like this she is on my watch list now.
Some things to be aware of:
There was some sex – not a lot and it definitely was not graphic
There was a homosexual wedding but it was a side story and I didn’t feel like anything was being pushed on the reader
Overall all I LOVED the book. Such a great book to come out during the summer. Especially this summer when we are itching to leave our houses and go some where.
Have you read it? I’d love to find out what you thought of it?
It’s the most sensational case of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Jessica Silver, heiress to a billion-dollar real estate fortune, vanishes on her way home from school, and her teacher, Bobby Nock, a twenty-five-year-old African American man, is the prime suspect. The subsequent trial taps straight into America’s most pressing preoccupations: race, class, sex, law enforcement, and the lurid sins of the rich and famous. It’s an open-and-shut case for the prosecution, and a quick conviction seems all but guaranteed—until Maya Seale, a young woman on the jury, convinced of Nock’s innocence, persuades the rest of the jurors to return the verdict of not guilty, a controversial decision that will change all their lives forever.
Flash forward ten years. A true-crime docuseries reassembles the jury, with particular focus on Maya, now a defense attorney herself. When one of the jurors is found dead in Maya’s hotel room, all evidence points to her as the killer. Now, she must prove her own innocence—by getting to the bottom of a case that is far from closed.
As the present-day murder investigation weaves together with the story of what really happened during their deliberation, told by each of the jurors in turn, the secrets they have all been keeping threaten to come out—with drastic consequences for all involved.
I have to admit I wasn’t too sure about this book. While I absolutely LOVE psychological thrillers, legal thrillers are not my cup of tea. But this book was such a happy surprise. It was so much more than just a courtroom drama.
This story begins with a black teacher accused of an affair with his white 15 year old student. There is enough evidence to convict him. Or is there? Surprise….
Ten years later the twelve jurors meet again for a reunion. There is another murder. More secrets. And more surprises.
Moore just kept the reader guessing. Who dunnit? You’ll have to read it to find out. AND there are three deaths or murders(?) to investigate. It’s one of those kind of books. And I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to read a thriller.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
– C.S. Lewis
This challenge looks like a ton of fun. It’s the 6th year that Unruly Reader has put on this challenge. They’ve made it where you can black out the entire card or go for BINGO by completing just a row or a column. – I’m going to try for a complete blackout.
Here’s what I’m going to try for in each of the categories but these may change. For the most part for this and most of the challenges, I’m trying to use books that have been on my TBR lists. I figured this is a great way to make that list smaller.
And don’t forget if you decide to join this challenge along with me, make sure you go to Unruly Reader‘s website here and sign up.
The categories are:
Icy – A book that takes place in snowy winter, a story featuring a cold-hearted character, or a chilling tale
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
— Neil Gaiman, Coraline
This is a challenge that is after my heart. On all of the other challenges that I’m participating in, where it’s allowed, I’m taking books off of my TBR list but this challenge INSISTS ON IT!!! On the 2020 TBR Reading Challenge there are 22 prompts and those who finish and post their reviews also have a chance to win a book… of their choice!!! This is book lovers dream!!! Thank you so much Stacked for putting this incredible challenge together!
A special thank also goes out to you at Orange County Readers for posting such great articles – especially those about all the reading challenges for this year. Seriously check out this blog. It’s really good.
If you plan on participating in this challenge make sure you go to Stacked‘s website here and get all the information.
So here are the prompts and what I’ve chosen:
A 2020 Release
Wet Work by Mark A. Hewitt – This was only released the 1st week of January so it just makes it in to 2020 deadline. The storyline looks super interesting.
Book Published in the Year You Were Born
FYI… 1972 is the year I was born
The Stepford Wives by Ira Levin – This is one of those rare times that I’ve seen the movie before I read the book (I really hate doing that). It’s been a long time since I’ve watched this film though so I figured it was a good time to read the book and then I could rewatch the movie.
Novel That Will Get a Movie Adaption in 2020
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn – I love to read books before they go onto the screen, television or movie, (see above) so I’m always reading a ‘book to screen’ book so I can try to stay caught up with them. I’m really excited about this one, too.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman – My daughter Nicole, recommended this one to me. I think she was a little surprised that I gave her no parameters for the recommendation because we read very different genres. I trust her completely though.
Book You Can Read in A Day
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson– This book has been on my TBR for over 2 years and I felt it was time to get the poor thing off. And since it is only 146 pages I can definitely knock it out in a day.
The Trial by Franz Kafka – This is another one that’s been on my TBR list for over 2 years so I really chose it to read and knock it off that list. It’s also part of the Rory Gilmore Challenge so that definitely helps.
Novel That Was Banned
The Color Purple by Alice Walker – I chose this one because I’ve heard great things about the book and the movie. Frankly I’m looking forward to both of them. Obviously the book first…
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan– I remember when this book came out and I was so excited to read it and obviously never got around to it. I can’t wait to finally read it this year!
Booker Prize Winning Book
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood – I’ve been dying to read this book since it was announced that it was coming out!!!! Loved loved loved the 1st book. Can’t wait to see how this one is…
Book by a Nobel Prize Winner
Belovedby Toni Morrison– This is another one that I’ve heard about for awhile but just haven’t picked up. I can’t wait to read it.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah– This one looks so interesting. Anything to do with history gets me excited. Especially books. Honestly I can’t wait to read it!!!
Book From Rory Gillmore Challenge
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – Another book to screen book. And I actually have NOT seen this film yet. It was pretty easy for me to pick a book for this prompt because I’m also doing the Rory Gilmore Challenge. (There will be another post for that ongoing challenge.)
Book With One-Word Title
Ragtimeby E.L. Doctorow– This is another historical fiction. My favorite genre. So this was an easy pick for me. And honestly? Look at the cover… Is it not stunning?
Tending Rosesby Lisa Wingate– This book was actually chosen ‘for me’ by a dear friend of mine. I’m in a bookclub and we take turns choosing the selections and this was hers for an upcoming month. The book looks incredible and I’m really looking forward to reading it.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez – I chose this one because it is also on the Rory Gilmore Challenge list. Two birds with one stone. I’ve been eyeing it for awhile because of the Gilmore challenge so I’m excited to finally see what it’s all about.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See – This choice kind of fell right in my lap. Immediately after I read this prompt, I was on Goodreads, trying to figure out a book to go with it. I happened to notice a friend of mine had just finished reading this book and had given it a great review. It was already on my TBR so it seemed ready made for this prompt. I can’t wait to see what it’s all about.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty – I actually had a difficult time narrowing this one down. There was quite a few books that I could’ve put here. This is one that looks super interesting though and I cannot wait to dig into it.
Diana: Her True Story by Andrew Morton – I love biographies. Especially royal biographies. To me there is just something about hearing that THEY have real problems too. And Morton is The Who’s Who for biographers so this was a no brainer.
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson– Now this book is set in Washington and I live in California, so clearly I’m going for my home country. As for the book it looks incredibly intriguing.
The Outlander Series: Book 2 ~ Dragonfly in Amber, Book 3 ~ Voyager, Book 4 ~ Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon – With the Outlander series I am once again going about the process backward. My husband and I are hooked on the television show. which if you haven’t seen Outlander you definitely need to. It’s now on Starz and Netflix. And I’ve only read 2 of the books so far but they are AMAZING. Diana Gabaldon is an incredible writer. Definitely one of my new favorites. Her passion comes through in the pages and on the screen. I can’t wait to continue this series.
Young Adult book
The Giverby Lois Lowry– I admit it. I have seen this movie already. But honestly? When I saw it I didn’t even know that there was a book. I’m so excited to read it now though.
My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira– I seriously love these types of historical fiction books that take historical details like the civil war and Abraham Lincoln. Then they weave in a fictional character to make the period come alive for us, the readers. That’s what this book does. And. I. Can. Not. Wait.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – I’ll admit it. I am not a fan of fantasy. I don’t have many books on my fantasy TBR shelf so choosing one was not easy. I chose this one because HBO has a show based on this series. I wanted to read it before my grandbabies and I watched the show together when they get older. I’ve gotta be prepared you know.
The Scarlet Letterby Nathaniel Hawthorne– Now this is just sad. I never read The Scarlet Letter while I was in school. I did go to 3 different high schools in 2 states so it may have been overlooked because of moving around. Still, I really feel there was a little bit of an oversight here. This is one of those books I’ve always felt I need to read and this is the year I’m going to get it done.
I think this challenge is going to be so much fun. I’d love for a few of my friends to try doing the challenge with me. Create your own list and lets have a “readable” 2020 together.