Reading for Pleasure *wink wink*

imagesAt the hair salon last summer, I took my Nook along.  My stylist said, “What are Christian and Anastasia up to *wink wink*?”  I hadn’t yet read Fifty Shades, but I had heard of Christian and Anastasia.  I said, “Oh, I’m not reading that.”  Turns out a large number of her clients WERE reading that, coming in with Fifty Shades on their e-readers, the 21st century version of a plain brown wrapper.  She whispered, “You have to check it out. Seriously. It’s hot.

So on the advice of my stylist, I did check it out.  And I’ll admit, it was sort of hot at first.  But it was also sort of degrading and stupid and repetitive.  It made me wonder just how this book became so popular, and I think it has little to do with good writing and everything to do with marketing.

We really don’t need a plain brown wrapper for Fifty Shades.  The cover is tame, discreet.  No bodice rippers or entwined bodies in sight.  This, I think, is a huge part of the appeal, legitimizing the genre somehow and making it seem less cliched and old fashioned.

I’d also call it erotica-lite.  FSOG has more of a relationship-focus than porn but more sex than a romance novel.  So it’s ok because, you know, they love each other.  Or something like that.

Book 1 of the FSOG trilogy is now the fastest selling paperback of all time, leaving a bewildered Harry Potter in the dust.  31 million copies of the trilogy have been sold worldwide.  Practically everyone’s read this book; your friends, your sister, your neighbor, the lady sitting in front of you at church.  If you haven’t read it, you’ve heard of it.  Even people who wouldn’t normally read erotica (hi…) want to check it out to see what all the fuss is about.  It’s been hand sold, woman to woman, in person and online over Facebook and Twitter.

Mommy Porn has influenced sales of racy toys and taken reading for pleasure to a whole new level.  It’s an exciting time to be in the business of selling handcuffs. Publishers have rushed to put out erotica titles for the masses, with varying degrees of quality, and covers so subtle they are perfectly acceptable on the book tables at Costco.

What, if anything, does this say about our culture?  Are we sexually frustrated?  Bored?  Oversexed?  Did we need something like Fifty Shades to give us permission to talk about our fantasies with our friends or our partners?  Or is this just pure escapism?

I don’t know, but I couldn’t get past the repetitiveness and the icky relationship between Christian and Ana.  I’m sure there have to be better titles in this genre, which I’ll admit is not without it’s charms *wink wink*.

Suggestions, anyone?

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

DownloadedFileBefore I Go To Sleep is an impressive debut by S. J. Watson.  It’s begins with a young woman waking up in bed and not knowing who or where she is, or who the older man next to her might be.  Racing to the bathroom, she looks in the mirror and finds a person looking back at her that she doesn’t recognize, an older version of herself.  She sees pictures on the mirror of this older self with the man in the bed.

That terrifying beginning is the set up for a book that deals with memory and identity.  Who are we if we don’t have our memories?

Ben, the man in the bed, patiently explains, as he does each day, who he is, who she is, what their lives are like.  Ben goes off to work, leaving her to fend for herself until she receives a phone call from Dr. Nash.

“You have amnesia,” Dr. Nash explains. “You’ve had amnesia for a long time. You can’t retain new memories, so you’ve forgotten much of what’s happened to you for your entire adult life. Every day you wake up as if you are a young woman. Some days you wake as if you are a child.”

A blank slate every day.  A mind wiped clean.  How did this happen?

She meets with Dr. Nash and he has her start a journal, which helps her put her life into context and gives her some continuity from one day to the next.  She begins to remember things; her name (Christine), her husband, Ben.  But nothing is as it seems, and she has the sense that they are hiding things from her.  Nash suggests the journal be kept hidden from Ben, who doesn’t want her seeing a doctor.  Ben is patient with Christine, but also deliberately vague and evasive.  Who can she trust?

Before I Go To Sleep is a well crafted page turner.  I thought I had it figured out a couple of times but it wasn’t until near the end that all the twists and turns came together for me, and because that was great fun, I don’t want to give too much away.  Even though the amnesia concept is a frequent plot device in fiction, I found this book compelling.  We, as readers, experience everything and discover things at the same dreadful and ominous pace as Christine.

It is a dark and delicious read.

**purchased on the Nook for a book club discussion**

Sunday Salon: my brief, intense relationship with My Name is Memory by Anna Brashares

It’s been a while since I completely gave myself and my entire day over to a book, but that’s what happened yesterday. My Name is Memory by Anna Brashares (of “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” fame) winked at me in the bookstore so I picked her up and took her home.

We became fast friends in the early chapters, when Lucy, just a regular high school girl, notices Daniel, a mysterious newcomer. Daniel is not like the others, and before Lucy even has a conversation with him, she’s obsessed.  Chapters alternate between Lucy in the current day to Daniel, in the current day too but also going all the way back to his first life in 520 A.D.

Midway through the book we were BFFs, Memory and me, attached at the hip. Daniel, it turns out, is an old soul, centuries old, who remembers all his past lives. Lucy is an old soul too but doesn’t have the memory. Daniel has been chasing Lucy, who he calls Sophia, throughout time, and wants to find a way to convince her of the truth of that. She thinks he’s crazy at first but later she has a psychic reading that changes her mind. She also sees a hypnotist and then finds some physical evidence that makes it all seem possible.

I took a break for lunch and texted someone in my book club, telling them they had to check out my new favorite book, My Name is Memory. It had a Time Traveler’s Wife quality to it that I really liked; a little romance, a little adventure, with a splash of history.

Around page 300 we were in bed together, deeply and intimately involved and tuning out the rest of the world. Daniel and Lucy’s timelines were catching up to each other and beginning to merge and things were going along like a house on fire. I was beginning to get anxious because there wasn’t much book left. How in the heck was Brashares going to wrap this thing up? My reading deliberately slowed down as I desperately tried to savor it, make it last, but I could feel the whole relationship with Memory slipping away.

And finally, in the end.. WE BROKE UP and I threw that bitch across the room in disgust.

I have not been SO MAD at a book in a long, long time. How could Brashares build things up and then just STOP WRITING in a crucial part of the story? I felt so used, so mistreated, so unsatisfied. I don’t know if I can trust her ever again.

However, we may get back together at some point because I just learned My Name is Memory is the first in a planned trilogy.  Oh.  Maybe I overreacted, just a little.

Review: Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

Left Neglected is the latest from Still Alice author, Lisa Genova.  Still Alice (reviewed HERE) was one of my favorite books of 2009, and was discussed and well-loved by my book club.  I bought Left Neglected on the Nook the minute I heard it was out.

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

In an instant, life can change forever.

Sarah Nickerson is a high-powered working mom with too much on her plate and too little time. One day, racing to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world. As she struggles to recover, she discovers she must embrace a simpler life, and in so doing begins to heal the things she’s left neglected in herself, her family, and the world around her.

My review:

Sarah is busy.  She and her husband and their nanny juggle parenting responsibilities for their 3 kids, and 80 hour work weeks are common.  They live in an affluent neighborhood, own a vacation home in Vermont, and race through their days at a breakneck pace until the minute everything changes in a horrible crash.

Sarah’s accident leaves her with a traumatic brain injury called Left Neglect Syndrome, a fascinating condition in which there is damage to the right hemisphere of the brain that causes the patient to experience a deficit in attention and failure to recognize the left side of their body or space.  They are unaware of the left of things.  Left is no longer there.  It is non-existent.

While reading about Sarah’s disregard for all things ‘left’ I tried to imagine that.  It’s not a visual problem and that’s the only way I could picture it.  Not seeing the left is one thing, but not realizing you have a left hand, or not being able to fathom where it might be, is quite another.  Only noticing things on the right (for instance, only your right leg) makes it difficult to walk.  So many things we take for granted, like getting dressed, become huge, time-consuming hurdles.

Sarah’s mother comes to help with the kids during Sarah’s months-long rehabilitation, which is a blessing and a curse.  Their relationship is complicated and distant initially due to a childhood tragedy and maternal neglect, but one of the blessings (yes, blessings) of Sarah’s brain injury is the time it affords her to grow closer to her mother and repair that relationship.  Another blessing of the brain injury:  she comes to know and appreciate the special challenges of her young son Charlie, recently diagnosed with ADD.

Sarah gets used to her new normal and learns to adapt to her special needs, but it’s a bumpy road.  She needs to come to terms with who she was and how things have changed.  It’s a painful process but not without it’s joys.

Lisa Genova is Harvard-educated with a degree in Biopsychology and a Ph.D. in Nueroscience.  She creatively pours all that scientific knowledge of the brain into her writing.  In Left Neglected she makes you understand and really feel what it means to be brain injured, just as she did in her wonderful debut novel, Still Alice, about a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s.

Left Neglected is terrific and compelling.  And if there is a moral to the story, I’d say it’s:

Slow down, people!  Pay attention.  The journey is the destination.

Note to self:

Sometimes I am truly busy.  I have a lot to do and not a lot of time to do it.

Other times I am just busy being busy.  I tell myself I thrive on multi-tasking and I think I do it well, but does anyone really need to do 14 things at once?  Must we make good use (or, rather, multiple use) of every second of every day?

I used to make phone calls while driving because I felt that driving was sort of forced down-time and what a perfect way to make it productive.  I looked around me and saw other drivers doing the very same thing.  I did it all the time until they enacted a law here in California forbidding it.  My rational brain agreed with the law and believed that distracted drivers are a true danger to themselves and others.  But even so I didn’t think it applied to me, so I kept doing it for awhile even after the law took effect.  It was a hard habit to break.

But I am now reformed.  Not because of a horrible accident or a close call or even a ticket, but because of a book.  Thank you, Lisa Genova.  I know it’s dangerous and realize I am not so special that it can’t happen to me.

Days of Prey Tour and Giveaway! Night Prey by John Sandford

Prepare yourselves..the STORM is coming!

On May 18th, the highly anticipated 20th book in John Sandford’s bestselling Prey series, Storm Prey, will hit the shelves.  Leading up to this latest release, each blogger on the Days of Prey tour was asked to read one book in the series and fill in a questionnaire, creating a timeline.

If you’re not familiar with these books, you can follow the tour in order of the dates the books were published and get to know Lucas Davenport, the brilliant detective/ladies man who is the star of the Prey series.

I was not familiar with this author or these books (where have I been??)  Let me tell you.. John Sandford and his very smooth character, Lucas Davenport, have a brand new fan!!

The book I read is the sixth in the series, called Night Prey.

Year published: 1994

Tell us about Lucas Davenport:

Lucas is described as “a tall man with heavy shoulders, dark-complected, square-faced, with the beginnings of crow’s feet at the corners of his eyes.  His dark hair was just touched with gray; his eyes were a startling blue.  A thin white scar crossed his forehead and right eye socket, and trailed down to the corner of his mouth.  He looked like a veteran athlete, a catcher or a hockey defenseman, recently retired.”  He knows everybody, is liked by all kinds of people, both men and women, and all types of people from street people to politicians respect him.

  • What is Lucas doing when he first appears in the book? Set up the scene.

Lucas is pulling up to a crime scene in his Porsche.  There’d been a fire at a machine shop that turned out to be a front for an illegal gun running operation.  It fell outside of his Minneapolis jurisdiction, but because a cop had been killed, and it was one of his contacts, he was called in.

  • Give us a sense of time and place.

The story takes place in the present and is set in and around Minneapolis/St. Paul.

  • Lucas’s occupation or professional role?

Lucas has recently been appointed Deputy Chief of the Minneapolis PD.  He’d left the department two years earlier and had gone full time with his own company, designing games and writing simulations for police dispatch computers.  He’d been making a fortune (thus the Porsche) when the new chief asked him to come back, with two objectives: put away the most dangerous and active criminals, and cover the department on the odd crimes likely to attract media attention.  So he hired a full time administrator to run his company and took the chief’s offer.  When this book opens, he’s only been back on the street for a month.

  • Lucas’s personal status (single, dating, married):

Lucas is in love.  He has a live in girlfriend, Weather Karkinnen, a surgeon in her late thirties.  He thinks they’ll get married, but she has said to him, “Don’t ask yet.”  He’s never experienced this kind of closeness and passion with anyone.  She makes him happy and he thinks about her all the time.  And yet, he’s still a bit flirty with other women, particularly an on camera news reporter for TV3, Jan Reed.  Lucas really likes and appreciates women.

  • Lucas Davenport is a known clothes-horse; did you notice any special fashion references?

There are many.  Right away you notice his attention to detail.  When he enters his office, he hangs his suit jacket carefully on a wooden hanger.  He buys his suits in New York.  At a crime scene, he takes a plastic raincoat out from the trunk of his car and lays it on the edge of a dumpster before hoisting himself up to look inside, protecting his clothes.  Once during an investigation, a woman flipped his designer tie over to check the tag.. Hermes.

Let’s talk about the mystery:

  • Avoiding spoilers, what was the crime/case being solved?

A psychopathic serial killer is killing women in a ripper/slasher fashion and has started carving the initials S J into their bodies.  Meagan Connell, an investigator who has a personal interest in the case and has painstakingly documented every detail of several murders trying to find a connection, is anxious to see the case solved quickly, as she is dying.  She teams up with Lucas Davenport to catch the maniac.

  • Does the title of your book relate to the crime?

It does.  The killings are all committed at night.

Who was your favorite supporting character, good or evil?

I really liked Meagen.  She’s tough, carries a gun and knows how to use it.  She’s focused and won’t take no for an answer.  But she also has a mile-wide chip on her shoulder and is almost militantly feminist with Lucas at first, calling him a “macho asshole.”  She relaxes a bit later on but at first her guard is up (WAY up).  After a tense initial meeting, they shake hands, and then..

She’d opted for peace, Lucas thought; but her hand was cold.  “I read your file,” he said.  “That’s nice work.”

“The possession of a vagina doesn’t necessarily indicate stupidity,” Connell said.

What was your favorite scene or quote?

One favorite scene was when they’d just left a bookstore, where the owner had mentioned to Lucas that he’d been beefing up the poetry section.  Meagan asks Lucas about it and he tells her he reads poetry.  She doesn’t believe him, calls him a liar and demands he recite a poem.  So he does- Emily Dickinson, no less.

Another scene I liked is when Lucas observes Weather performing surgery and has all kinds of new insight into her personality.

But the best and most memorable scene came at the end, and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  Let’s just say it’s a satisfying conclusion to the story!

Finally, how do you envision Lucas Davenport? If he were to be portrayed in a movie, what celebrity would play him?

I think Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would portray Lucas perfectly!  He’s got that rugged/sexy thing going and cleans up great.  You can picture him working a case in an alley, talking to drug dealers in a junkyard, or all dressed up for a night out.  Or in a towel after a shower.  He’s.. umm.. versatile in that way.

Night Prey is a wild thrill ride of a novel and John Sandford is hugely talented with this genre.  I wondered at first if I’d like it because you know the identity of the killer from the very first chapter, however as it turns out it wasn’t a problem.  The reader doesn’t know what the killer is going to do next or how it will all play out, which keeps you turning the pages.  This was my first time reading a series out of order and I worried about that too, but again it was no problem.  These books can stand alone.  Like I said earlier, I’ve become a brand new John Sandford fan, and can’t wait to read more of this series!

Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour:

Monday, May 3rd:

Rules of Prey:  Rundpinne

Shadow Prey:  Boarding in my Forties

Tuesday, May 4th:

Silent Prey:  Chick with Books

Wednesday, May 5th:

Winter Prey:  The Bluestocking Guide

Night Prey:  Books on the Brain

Thursday, May 6th:

Mind Prey:  Jen’s Book Thoughts

Sudden Prey:  Starting Fresh

Friday, May 7th:

Secret Prey:  Fantasy & SciFi Loving News & Reviews

Certain Prey:  My Two Blessings

Monday, May 10th:

Easy Prey:  Lesa’s Book Critiques

Chosen Prey:  Reading with Monie

Tuesday, May 11th:

Mortal Prey:  Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Naked Prey:  Dan’s Journal

Wednesday, May 12th

Hidden Prey:  Novel Whore

Broken Prey:  You’ve GOTTA read this!

Thursday, May 13th:

Invisible Prey:  Booktumbling.com

Friday, May 14th:

Phantom Prey:  The Novel Bookworm

Monday, May 17th:

Wicked Prey: A Bookworm’s World

Tuesday, May 18th:

Storm Prey:  Bermuda Onion

Follow The Days of Prey Tour and follow the Lucas Davenport timeline! While you’re checking out The Days of Prey Tour at the Penguin Group site, you can also read an excerpt from every single Prey novel there.  Read an excerpt of the latest release,  Storm Prey!  And here’s the direct link to read an excerpt of Night Prey.  Learn more about John Sandford at his website, JohnSandford.org

ENTER TO WIN a copy of Night Prey PLUS an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) of the new book, Storm Prey, right here!  Just leave a comment and let me know what you think of my choice of Dwayne Johnson to play Lucas Davenport.  I personally think it’s genius :-)  Hollywood, are you listening??

Not Feeling the Love for A RELIABLE WIFE

In which I rip on a book everyone loves…

Disclaimer:  This is not a review, just rambling.  I’m not trying to be a literary critic, just a reader who didn’t care for a popular book.  I know many people will disagree with me.

When A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick was suggested and then voted in as my book club’s selection for March, I was so excited.  Having seen the buzz on the book blogs last year, my expectations were pretty high.

I thought it would be a dark story set in a bleak environment.  It was.  I assumed the setting would play a role on the psyche of the characters.  It did.  Beyond that, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I couldn’t wait to find out.

Well.  Let’s just say this book is not for everyone.  I did not love it; in fact I found parts of it silly.  I’m clearly in the minority, so maybe it’s me.

Ok, so to bring you up to speed in case you haven’t read the book, there is Ralph Pruitt, a wealthy man in frozen-over Wisconsin living in a town named for his family.  He’s lived alone for 20 years with no love in his life and no family.  He owns everything and everyone works for him.  He advertises for a reliable wife and Catherine Land has answered his ad.

Catherine, we know immediately (from the back of the book and in the very beginning), is anything but honest.  She’s playing a role.  She flings her red velvet dress out the window of the train headed for Wisconsin and dons a basic black wool dress, more appropriate for an honest, sensible woman.  She has tiny blue bottles of liquid that she keeps with her.  She sews gems into the lining of her dress.  She’s up to something.

We find out soon enough that Ralph had another family, years ago.  He has an estranged son, Tony (or Andy, or some form of Antonio) from his first marriage.  Ralph made him pay for the sins of his mother and feels guilty for the way he treated him.  That guilt is the driving force of the story.

So it sounds good, right?  These aren’t really spoilers, mind you.  All of this unfolds very early on, and I’ll admit I was hooked.  I knew something was up- there were big red flashing signs all over the place- it was just a matter of what.  The book got off to a great start.  I wanted to know what would happen.

But then a lot of things went wrong, for me.  Without giving anything away, let’s just say Ralph sends Catherine on a big errand- which is the entire reason he needed a reliable wife.  My question, for those who’ve read the book, is why?  Why would he need to get married to do this?  Why did he need her to do this particular task?  Couldn’t he have paid one of the many townspeople who answered to him?  He had buckets of money.. there was no other way?

And Tony.  He also sends Catherine on an errand.  Why couldn’t he accomplish his mission on his own?  Couldn’t he have carried out his personal vendetta without her?

Yes, these men were using Catherine for their own purposes.  But please don’t feel bad for her, for she is a lying, murderous, despicable person who I thought at times was becoming a decent human but really wasn’t.  She had me fooled more than once.

There were some gaping plot holes and unexplained motivations and some head-scratcher stuff.  There was some laughable, silly dialog.  I found myself thinking, “That’s dumb” or “WTF?” a number of times.

The destructive, deceitful, selfish, sexually fixated characters were disturbing- and this book has three of them.  And I’m generally ok with dark and disturbing.   But then there were long looooong passages about sexual obsession that were a complete yawnfest.  It’s a sad day when reading about sex is boring, but the lengthy descriptive paragraphs were icky and tedious and I found myself doing a lot of skimming.

Another thing that was creepy and odd was Ralph’s obsession with people in town going mad and killing themselves or their families.  Apparently all that Wisconsin snow during the long hard winters made them crazy. Why was he so fascinated with sex, money, his long lost son, and tragic stories, to the exclusion of all else?

Ralph seemed so pathetic to me.  He did not seem like a powerful, wealthy tycoon so much as a passive old man.  Catherine, with her little blue bottles, is not a loving wife, and he knows it, and he does not care.  In fact, he welcomes her betrayal, allowing it to happen and even hastening it’s progression.  She’s aware that he knows, and everyone is acting like it’s perfectly ok.  And I did not understand that.  Why would he resign himself to that fate, willingly?  Somebody smarter than me, help me out.  Was it because he thought Andy/Tony would never come home?  And if that’s the reason, could he think of nothing else to live for (regular sex, perhaps, after the 20 year drought?)

There was a ton of repetition.  Like the phrase “such things happened”.  And I found the imagery of birds tedious.  Also the imagery of water- at first I thought the author was doing something kind of cool and subtle with the imagery, but after the 5th description of something being like water, or another mention of a bird (the heart beating like a bird, her hands fluttering like birds, “welcome home” sex like the singing of a bird, and the bird in the cage, and the bird in the garden..) I was rolling my eyes.  Again, maybe it’s just me, but I don’t need to be beaten over the head with imagery (or feathers) to get the meaning.

The whole scenario seemed vaguely familiar to me.  The frozen tundra, the long-suffering and wealthy bachelor with a haunted past, the beautiful woman with secrets of her own..  where have I read this before?  An old dusty classic from high school, perhaps?  I couldn’t place it but it had a very familiar feel.

So tonight is our book club meeting, and I cannot wait to see what everyone else thought about A Reliable Wife.  Someone else is leading the discussion tonight and I’m guessing she’s done a little research.  I’m going to sit back with my mouth closed and let the meeting unfold before I say a word about my impressions.  Maybe I will learn something and be enlightened.  Maybe I’ll see the error of my “analysis,” such as it is.  Maybe I’ll be the only one who doesn’t think the book is amazing and brilliant.  Or maybe not.

I’ll let ya know.

Review: Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich is the story of a troubled marriage on the verge of falling apart.

Irene America, the main narrator, lets us know there’s trouble right from the first sentence: “I have two diaries now,” she writes: the “real” one that is kept in a safe deposit box, and the fake one that is hidden at home.  She has discovered her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, which she sees as a huge betrayal.

Gil is desperate for information and is looking for clues as to why Irene doesn’t love him anymore; why she is slipping away.  Irene, who wants out of the marriage, uses the fake diary as revenge for Gil’s betrayal, and as a way to manipulate the situation, deliberately misleading her husband by making up scenarios and sexual escapades to enrage him and make him jealous, hoping he’ll leave.

Gil is an artist, famous for his series of paintings of his Native American wife.   He has painted Irene in every possible way, from every possible angle, from “thin and virginal” to naked, pregnant, or “frankly pornographic.”  His work borders on obsession but supports Irene and their 3 children.  While Irene has been a willing model, she still feels used and objectified by her husband, as if he’s somehow stealing her identity.  At one point she tells him, “I feel like I’m being eaten alive.”

Irene has become an alcoholic, and Gil is frequently violent, leaving the children frightened and bitter.  My allegiance shifted from one to the other as I was reading the book.. but truthfully, they were both so messed up and both so wrong in the way they behaved.  There was such a sick co-dependance.  One partner wanted out, one couldn’t let go.

The writing is urgent and tense, just like the relationship between Irene and Gil, which is alternately abusive and affectionate.  The title is taken from one tender moment in the tension- one night a storm knocks out the power, and the family-including the kids and dogs- takes candles outside to play shadow tag in the snow and the moonlight.  It was sad reading about these people who once loved each other, and even sadder to see their children desperately trying to hold things together, doing whatever they could to survive while their world collapsed around them.

Anyone who has been in a dead relationship or at the end of a troubled marriage will recognize and relate to the emotions in this book- like how there can be a moment of affection in the middle of a mountain of hate that can trigger memories of happier times and briefly reawaken old feelings.  Shadow Tag is very well written but also just incredibly sad and almost too personal and painful to read.  It consumed me for the better part of two days, but be forewarned:  you have to be in the right mood for a book like this.  It’s a heartbreaking novel from an extremely talented writer, and I’d recommend it if you’re in the mood for a sad, emotional read.

I received this book from the publisher, HarperCollins, for review.

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