Book Club Friday......And I have three books to share!!!
I missed last week and I have been a reading fool, so here goes.....
The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner
Actors aren’t the only ones trying to make it in Hollywood.…At twenty-three, Ruth Saunders left her childhood home in Massachusetts and headed west with her seventy-year-old grandma in tow, hoping to make it as a screenwriter. Six years later, she hits the jackpot when she gets The Call: the sitcom she wrote, The Next Best Thing, has gotten the green light, and Ruthie’s going to be the showrunner. But her dreams of Hollywood happiness are threatened by demanding actors, number-crunching executives, an unrequited crush on her boss, and her grandmother’s impending nuptials.
Set against the fascinating backdrop of Los Angeles show business culture, with an insider’s ear for writer’s room showdowns and an eye for bad backstage behavior and set politics, Jennifer Weiner’s new novel is a rollicking ride on the Hollywood roller coaster, a heartfelt story about what it’s like for a young woman to love, and lose, in the land where dreams come true.
Jennifer Weiner is one of my favorite authors. Her last book was not that great, but I did enjoy this one. It is about a young girl with a scar on her face that moves to LA with her grandmother to become a writer. Her pilot gets picked up and she has to deal with the craziness of LA. I loved the actors that she worked with and the references to other Hollywood actors thrown in there (names changed, but if you follow celebs like I do, you get most of the references). I rooted for Ruth the entire time and felt this book was an easy read. Weiner does have better books (Good in Bed), but this was in the upper part of my favs of hers.4 out of 5 stars
Come Home by Lisa Scottoline
Lisa Scottoline has delivered taut thrillers with a powerful emotional wallop in her New York Times bestsellers Save Me, Think Twice, and Look Again. Now, with her new novel, Come Home, she ratchets up the suspense with the riveting story of a mother who sacrifices her future for a child from her past.
Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her---though it is stressful---and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.
But Jill’s life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don’t add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can’t turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.
I have liked everything else that I have read by this author, but I was a little disappointed in this one. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I was expecting a little more like what she wrote in Save Me (highly recommended). To me, this story was unbelievable and took extremely unexpected turns. While normally I love a good twist, this was a little out there when I wasn't expecting a thriller type story. It was good, but not in my top picks for this author. In fact, I have actually gone back and added some of her earlier works to my "to read" list. 3 1/2 stars out of 5 (I think I would have rated higher if I didn't have different expectations)
Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne
Fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Reid has spent her life protecting her sister, Jaime, from their parents' cruel mistakes. Their father, who'd rather work the system than a job, pours every dollar into his many vices, denying his daughters the shoes and clothing they need. Their mother, once a loving parent, is going through a post-post-adolescent rebellious streak and finds love with a dangerous ex-con. When she chooses starting a new family over raising her first-born girls, Elizabeth and Jaime are separated and forced to rely on the begrudging kindness of increasingly distant relatives.
A string of broken promises that begins with Liz's mother swearing, "I would never hurt you, Liz. You're family," propels her between guest beds in two states searching for a safe home. All the while, Liz is burdened by her stake in a bleak pact with a deceitful adult: to tell the truth about the darkest of her circumstances will cost her the ability to shelter Jaime. As Liz spirals into the abyss of fear and shame that haunts her sleepless nights, can she break free from her bonds in time to fight for her life?
This book made me very sad. It is always hard to read about kids growing up in a less than perfect life. Not to diminish what the heroine went through, but I did expect a lot worse. It was very sad though to read the mother's role (or lack of) in her life. I rooted for Elizabeth the whole time and thought she was an excellent big sis. In the end, it was a pretty quick read. Maybe 3 out of 5 stars.
Whew...if you are still reading, thanks for hanging in there!
If you have read any of these......what did you think? Disagree/Agree?
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