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bugzna2000 has commented on (16) products.

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein
A Sudden Light

bugzna2000, November 28, 2014

Author Garth Stein’s is best known for his best selling novel Art of Racing in the Rain. I anxiously awaited his fourth novel, A Sudden Light, which couldn’t be more different. A spellbinding multi-generational mystery and ghost story set in the Pacific Northwest, this novel showcases Stein’s imagination and range. A good read, filled with interesting and quirky characters and one that kept me guessing til the end.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
The Here and Now

bugzna2000, September 22, 2014

Author Ann Brashares shifted from editor to full-time writer when her popular 2001 YA novel, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants climbed the book charts, spawned several sequels and was adapted into a Warner Brothers film. Her latest effort ��" The Here and Now ��" shows the author’s capability to transition to a different genre. This dystopian novel involves time travel, forbidden romance and mystery. I am proof that one doesn’t have to be a big sci-fi person to enjoy this book. A single act of murder is about to change the course of history unless Prenna and Ethan can stop it from happening. The development of these two characters was solid, their behaviors plausible but often exposed naivety that could be quite frustrating. The twists and turns kept me guessing and intrigued. A quick and entertaining read.
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The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
The House We Grew Up In

bugzna2000, September 8, 2014

The House We Grew Up In is a great read. In the early pages, I picked up on the hoarding overtone and didn’t think the book would be for me. Well, my first impression was wrong. I loved the story and its characters. There is the delightful and eccentric Lorelei, who is fun, spontaneous and loved by everyone who crosses her path, her home a charming mayhem. Her transition into hoarding dysfunction is overlooked by her family, her loving but passive husband Colin, daughters Megan and Beth and sons Rory and Rhys. After a tragic event one Easter, the family begins to fracture. Time goes by. The children grow up, move on, form relationships, and have inevitable struggles along the way. The author brilliantly builds their characters.

Lorelei comes to have an online confidante named Jim with whom she professes to be ‘crazy in love”. I found her letters to Jim interspersed throughout the novel to be among the most compelling aspects of the story, providing insight into Lorelei’s thinking.

Years later, something happens that brings all the family back to the “house they grew up in”. The story wraps up perfectly.
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A Song for Issy Bradley by Carys Bray
A Song for Issy Bradley

bugzna2000, September 8, 2014

The tragic death of the youngest child shatters a family. This story about their loss, grief and how to carry on is often heart-rending. Ian Bradley is the new bishop of the local Mormon church, working hard to earn the respect of his recent followers. His high-profile role requires major responsibility in this community of staunch believers, a zealous missionary often having to leave his family at all times of the day or night. On the day of his son’s birthday party, Ian is away on church business, when tragedy strikes at home. The loss is devastating and overwhelming for the family. Ian’s wife, Claire descends into a deep depression as she tries to come to terms. She questions everything about her faith and begins to withdraw when she feels her God has abandoned her. Ian believes the strength of faith will heal all, just buck up and trust that everything happens for a reason.

Ian and Claire's three children are special characters and their experiences I enjoyed reading about. They learn to cope with their heartbreak in inventive ways. The story alternates amongst the family’s different perspectives and is both heartbreaking and inspirational. It provided an interesting and insightful look into the Mormon faith, a faith I previously knew very little about.
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One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
One Plus One

bugzna2000, June 23, 2014

Jo Jo Moyes’ novel Me Before You was one of my favorite reads in 2013, so I picked up another of her novels. Could it meet my high expectations or would it pale in comparison? Well, I loved this one too. Told from the perspectives of four different people, it is a story of a single mother and her two children (a gifted daughter and a bullied son) who manage the best they can. A simple turn of events, introduction of a 4th person and a long car ride has a huge impact on their lives. I cared about all four of these characters - the author does well in the craft of developing them. Personality nuances, interactions, struggles and choices come to life. One Plus One is an enjoyable read that left me with the warm fuzzy feeling that good things happen to good people.
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