The Peach Keeper

March 30, 2011

The Peach Keeper
By: Sarah Addison Allen

Pages: 273

Summary: Willa was the "Walls of Water High School Joker" who had everyone fooled. After having left for a few years, she now owns her own store and lives in what used to be her Dad's house. Paxton is the girl who always did what made her Mother happy- even backing out at the last minute from buying her own place. She's continuing the family heritage. But is she happy? Will she do what she needs to in order to be? Sebastian spent his youth trying to fit in. When he found a group of friends who let him feel accepted, he didn't argue what others thought of him. But, is he really what everyone thinks he is? Colin wanted to live his life on his terms. In high school everyone thought he was the "joker" until the truth came out. He left home, but work brings him temporarily back. Will he stay? 4 people who struggle to put the past behind them and go after the future they want. Oh, and did I mention a skull, suitcase, & old newspaper is found when an old Peach tree is unearthed? Who's skull was it? How did it get there? And who was it connected to?

If you read the summary of the book from the book jacket you'll be going into the book expecting something else. I know this, because it's what I did. The skeleton storyline is not the main storyline. In fact, it's a small part of the book. I was looking forward to reading about it and thought it was going to be more front and center. Not so.

The bulk of the book is these 4 characters putting the past to rest and figuring out what they want now. Each is an enjoyable storyline and interesting to see what shaped them into who they were then and now. Paxton and Willa were never friends, but they become friends through the story. I loved reading about each character's past, present, and their hopes for the future. it was great to see how each took control of their lives and went after what would make them happy.

If the book summary had been accurate, I wouldn't have a complaint. Sarah Addison Allen is a great writer, and wrote another good book in The Peach Keeper. Sadly, I just went into it thinking it was about something else and was disappointed when I found out otherwise.

Rating: Borrow From The Library/ Buy It

Bookstore Jackpot!

March 27, 2011

A few weeks ago I had a girls' night out with one of my friends. She took me to a place I had never been, nor had any clue was there. A place I like to call the bookstore jackpot! This place is a bookstore where EVERY book in it is only $1.00!! Hardcovers, paperbacks, children's books... All for only $1.00.

Granted, some of the books have been well "loved" by previous owners, but a lot were in pretty good condition. I've found gems like Gone With The Wind and Garden Spells. I've found books I loved, but lost when I loaned them to people- like Steve Berry books. And, of course, I've found books that sounded interesting.

How can a store sell books for only $1.00? I have no idea. I do know they are an off shoot of Crown books. I also know they have taken over half of an old grocery store location. It isn't much to look at from the inside-just wall to wall books. There are old check out stands that have a flat piece of cardboard and stacks of books for customers to peruse.

With any used bookstore, the selection is not always the greatest. Sometimes you find lots of great books, sometimes you don't. You aren't always guaranteed to find books you're hoping to find. The books range in condition. For the most part, new releases aren't there. However, it's great for older books you love and books you're willing to try since each is only going to be a dollar.

I, for one, plan to thoroughly "invest" money in the store's future. My husband, however, doesn't see it that way. Oh well. I figure over time, he will.:)


March 25, 2011

By: Anna Godbersen
405 Pages

Elizabeth deals with the aftermath of losing Will. Diana and Henry want to be together, but will Penelope allow it to happen? Claire's money source dies, but did he leave her anything in his will? See what happens when jealousy takes over and the lengths it will go to.

#3 in the Luxe series was every bit as good as the others have been. Envy finds Penelope finally wed to Henry, though their life isn't as she hoped it would be. She may be happy, but her dear hubby is not. Henry's heart still belongs to Diana. When Penelope schemes to accompany Henry on a fishing trip to Florida, he one ups his wife y telling Diana he wants her there. Penelope is forced to accept that Henry's feelings for Diana are not going to go away easily. And while she may be able to handle Diana, can she really scheme to keep her husband when he makes a life-changing decision.

Elizabeth still mourns the loss of her love, and secret husband, Will. Society is beginning to wonder when she'll re-emerge, and she's in no rush to do so. However, when Penelope invites her on a trip to Florida, Elizabeth is forced to go when her mother accepts for her. Elizabeth takes Diana with her. While in Florida she begins to feel slight interest for her old friend Teddy. But everything changes when she makes another discovery. Will Teddy be her night in shining armor?

Claire has been benefiting from the kindness (and money) of Carey Lewis Longhorn. Instead of staying with him in New York when he becomes sick, Claire accompanies her friend Penelope to Florida. While she's gone, Longhorn dies. Claire is summoned back to New York and promptly stripped of most the things Longhorn gave her. Sent out to the bitter cold with next to nothing, is this the end of Claire's social-climbing dreams? Or does Longhorn's will change her life?

Envy was every bit as good as I hoped it would be. I look forward to seeing how the series ends in the #4-and final- book.

Rating: Buy It

Reading Frustration

March 23, 2011

Yup, that's me. I'm reading at a snail's pace. I've never been a fast reader, so this shouldn't be any surprise to me. However, when I'm anxious to finish the book I'm reading (Envy) so I can start a new book (The Peach Keeper) my frustration level increases.

Truthfully, it's my own fault. The book I'm reading shouldn't have to pay for my lack of book release attention. I got used to The Peach Keeper's release date being so far ahead on the calendar, I was shocked when the date was suddenly 2 days away. Had I paid more attention I would have made sure to finish my current book in time, or not started it yet.

The worst part is that Envy is a great read. I'm loving it. But I can't stay focused on the task at hand. I keep thinking of how The Peach Keeper is on my shelf, ready to be read. It's like the whole "Grass is greener..." saying. I'm not able to fully appreciate what I have at the moment because I'm dreaming of something else.

It's times like these (sadly, this isn't the first time I've done this) when I wish I read faster than I do. Or had more time to devote to reading. But, I'm not a fast reader and am currently suffering from reading ADD, or something. I'm just going to have to buckle down and finish Envy soon. I'm more than half way through, so it shouldn't take long. In fact, I should get back to reading it now that I've vented here.

New Release Notice

March 21, 2011

Tomorrow is a day that has been long awaited for by many- including me. For tomorrow Sarah Addison Allen's The Peach keeper is released. I, for one, intend to be among those who buy it. My only question is should I get the book itself, on in ebook form? I can't wait to sink myself into another Addison creation!

Bedroom Makeover!

March 17, 2011

I've been living in my house for a couple of years, now. In this time my bedroom has remained as it was when we moved in- white & plain. Reason? I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. No vision came to me as far as colors or theme. However, all that changed when I bought the "Chantilly" comforter set from Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

I'm enlisting the help of my talented friend, Tracy, and my master bedroom & bathroom will finally look good. We're going to paint the walls a light lavender color, put white sheer curtains on my window, and who knows what else.

I can't wait. Thank you, tax money, for coming in so I can finally take care of this thorn in my side.

The Carrie Diaries

March 16, 2011

The Carrie Diaries
By: Candace Bushnell
389 Pages

Spend senior year in high school with Carrie Bradshaw. See how she handles the drama that goes with dating Sebastian. Meet her friends and see which of them are still friends by the end of the year. Watch her writing grow and take flight.

I waited awhile to read this book. I'm a huge fan of the show and movies, so I had mixed feelings about the book that introduces you a younger Carrie. Truthfully, I didn't know if this book would do justice to the character that eventually became embraced by millions as an adult.

The books begins with Carrie starting her senior year. She has her group of friends: Maggie, The Mouse, Walt, and Lali. Maggie and Walt have been dating for a couple of years, but break up when she meets someone else and he makes a discovery of his own. Sebastian is the "new kid" who is the token bad boy. He has no qualms of getting Carrie into hot water when he sets his sights on her. Lali is the girl who appears to hold resentment and goes from friend to enemy over the course of the book.

You get little tidbits on her writing throughout the book, but it comes out fully towards the end of the book. I have to say, that was my favorite part. In an attempt to increase her chances of getting into The New School's writing program, in New York City, Carrie joins her school's paper. Eventually she uses this platform to write exposes on a few of the students under the guise of her pen name.

Overall, the book was nothing to write home about. My favorite part of the book was her writing, and I wished there had been more of it. I had a hard time getting behind a handful of the characters' names. The book sets up perfectly for it's sequel, Summer in the City, which comes out next month.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Juvenile as an adult... yeah or neigh?

March 8, 2011

So, I read this book for the kids blog. The target age range is 9-12, so it isn't quite Young Adult. I had been wanting to read it for awhile, but never got around to it. I loved the idea of mothers & daughters having a book club and reading the same book together; there was so much potential.

Well, I thought it would be an easy read, but I struggled through most of it. For starters, the book club story line was fractional, which was a bummer for me. I was hoping there would be more of it than there was. Oh well. I understand that readers are going to want to focus on the characters and how Little Women affected them.

I think my problem was reading a book meant for young kids, but reading it as an adult. When you're at middle school age and dealing with things, you don't have the ability to realize the bigger picture. You don't know how to rationalize things and realize the root of the problem is in the teaser, not you. So many times I wanted to ask Becca, the teaser, why she even cared or paid attention to the people she teased. I wasn't able to read the book with a junior high mentality, because I'm no longer in junior high.

Am I the only one this has happened with? Am I the only one who struggles with reading a book meant for a different audience or age, and just isn't able to get as into it?

Journey Through The Classics- Gone With The Wind

March 3, 2011

Gone With The Wind
By: Margaret Mitchell

I should start by saying I had no intention of reading this book. Nope, I was seriously thinking of reading the sequel, Scarlett. I didn't think I needed to read it. I saw the movie in junior high and thought I knew the story from that. I stress the words: I thought. It was a last minute change of mind made in a used bookstore when I found a copy of Gone With The Wind for $1.00. I'll be honest in saying the book's length also was deterring factor. Over 1,000 pages is a long book and it would take me forever to read it. I am so glad I changed my mind because every page was well worth it.

It has taken me a few days to write this commentary. How do you describe this book? I've heard it referred to the greatest love story of all time. I've heard it called a walk down the Civil War lane. Truthfully, I'm having a hard time pinning down a quick way of describing this book. It was everything I had ever heard it described as, plus more. I'll think I'll let the author of this masterpiece speak for herself when she said she wrote about survival being the theme to the book.

Scarlett O'Hara is a spoiled, snobby, arrogant Southern Belle. The only thing she concerns herself with are boys- and if they happen to be courting someone else at the time she decides she wants them, oh well. However, the one boy she loves most, Ashley Wilkes, is the one she can't have. When his engagement to Melanie is announced at a BBQ, a rejected and bitter Scarlett does what any sound woman would do: she marries another boy before he's shipped off to war out of spite. The Civil War begins, her new husband dies, and she becomes a widow and expectant mother.

As the War unleashes it's worst, Scarlett transforms from the pampered girl to a gutsy woman who does whatever needs to be done to survive. From a daring, life-threatening escape out of Atlanta with her son and seriously ill/pregnant Melanie to murdering a Yankee. From losing her beloved Mother to marrying her sister's beau to prevent losing Tara, there becomes no end to what Scarlett won't do and the journey is an incredible read that keeps you going back to see what else will she conquer over.

Life does not slow down or get easier once the War ends. Scarlett is front and center for the Reconstruction. Post Civil War life finds her a mother and widow, both for the second time. She bucks tradition and goes into business for herself. A hasty marriage to the scoundrel, Rhett, doesn't improve things for her. But she makes no apologies for her behavior or decisions and never looks back. Scarlett is driven by the fear of everything she has now being taken from her again. She fears being hungry and does what she needs to in order to prevent it from happening.

Through her journey she has the kind hearted Melanie in her corner always defending her and coming to her defense. Her object of desire, Ashley, struggles to adjust to his new life. Rhett is always in the background helping her in many endeavors. From their first meeting you love the interaction between these two characters. When Scarlett tells him he is no gentleman, he doesn't miss a beat in responding with "... and you are no lady." It was perfect! It was great. They match each other perfectly and it's heartbreaking to see what they do to each other once they finally do get together.

It may have taken me a month to read the book, but it was well worth it. Margaret Mitchell made me feel like I was there with Scarlett and company through it all. I got an education in the Civil War that no history class gave. I would whole heatedly recommend Gone With The Wind to any historical fiction fan. The author does an incredible job of combining history and engrossing storyline. I was swept up from the first page to the last. As I read this epic story I knew I was reading an amazing, timeless book that would stay with me forever.

Never Judge A Book by It's Cover: I Do!

March 1, 2011

I haven't been able to get to my blog lately and I apologize for this. I hope to have a review for you in the near future, but I thought I would give you a little nugget to enjoy (hopefully )until then. Here are some of my thoughts on the cover art found on books:

We all know it's what's on the inside that is supposed to matter, not the outside. But let's face it, the outside packaging does factor in - a lot. I'm guilty of it, in spades, when it comes to choosing books. Especially when I read the classics. I'll be honest, the cover is a HUGE selling point for me. I'm not going to pick the book with the plain cover. I know it shouldn't matter, but, to me, it does.

In my opinion, book covers often set the mood for the book. If I'm reading a classic, I love the covers that are older paintings representative of the story. I think that's why I lean towards the Barnes & Noble classics, for the most part. If it's a fluffy fiction book, I am drawn to the covers that are bright, catchy, & fun. Sophie Kinsella books are great examples of this. And let's be honest, in the romance genre the cover is essential. When you want a book full of lust and sex, you're going to pick the one with the couple locked in a hot embrace. And the guy NEEDS to have a hot body, just like the girl needs to have a body I wish I had. Puny, plain, & boring will NOT do.

I'm one of those people who enjoys looking at book covers. The story inside, is most important, but it's almost like I bond with books when I like their covers. Thankfully, I don't think I'm the only one. Call me shallow, call me petty, but I love good artwork on books. What do you think on the book covers?

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