THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

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I found this title as a deal of the day on Amazon for my kindle. It was a really captivating story about a group of neighborhood friends who are affected by near-tragic circumstances one summer. It is told through multiple points of view, and with each chapter, you discover a little more about each person as the layers are lifted away. There’s a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, a bit of intrigue. I really enjoyed this read and the ending was quite satisfying! Honestly, it’s the perfect summer read!

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

 

Saturday Snapshot: Bolton Fair

If you’ve read me for a while, or are a facebook friend, you know I volunteer on the committee to run an agricultural fair in our small town of Bolton. The fair has been going for over 130 years. I organize the music/bands for the weekend.

Last weekend was the fair and a friend took this shot of my kids on one of the midway rides:

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They were just coming in for a landing!

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Here’s my music tent. We have bands in it all day! (where did that baby bottle come from??)

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I love the fair at night! So pretty!

Since I’m in the tent all day, I don’t get out too much, but there are some very cute baby animals at the fair every year, and a lot of 4-H kids with their animals. The pig races are a huge hit, though I missed them this year; and people pack in for the demolition derby at night and the (really really LOUD) monster truck rallies (fair photo):

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Though I have to say, I’m just kind of the quiet, music type!

Is there a fair in your town in the summer?

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at http://www.westmetromommy.blogspot.com

See her site for participation info.

YA Review : WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

I had heard some buzz about this book, so I ordered it from Amazon for my Kindle for when it was released earlier this month. This is the kind of book that people say, “I can’t talk about it without giving it away”. Okay – that’s true, but I can say this: this was one of those books that you start to read and can’t put down. I read it almost entirely straight through as I was trying to figure out what was going on. It’s memorable and heart-breaking and just really, really good – all at the same time.

In WE WERE LIARS, Cadence Sinclair has grown up as the eldest grandchild of the wealthy and well-known Sinclair family. They spend their summers together on an island off the coast of Massachusetts. They play, they argue, they exist as a big sprawling family. Cadence spends her long summer days with her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and their friend Gat. Then one summer, while they are in their teens, things change. Decisions are made and actions follow which have devastating consequences.

Loved loved loved this book. I’d suggest it for older teens (and adults – if you read YA, and you should!).

Can’t say more without spoilers, but I’ve added a You Tube clip of the author reading from the novel:

Review: ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS by Meg Donohue

I had the chance to hear Meg Donohue read from her new book at my local fave indie bookshop (The Concord Bookshop) where I purchased her ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS. This is a great summertime read as it’s set on the Jersey Shore.

Three longtime girlfriends, Kate, Dani, and Vanessa, reunite for one long weekend at the beach. Each one has her own issues and problems: Kate’s fiance has just broken up with her and she then learns she is pregnant; Dani has substance abuse problems and can’t keep a job, meanwhile she is trying to write a cathartic novel; Vanessa is feeling tied down as a stay at home mom and has learned that her husband has strayed. All three are still feeling the loss of Kate’s twin brother, Colin, who tragically drowned when they were last at the shore several years earlier. Each of them also carries her own guilt and secrets about that final night, too.

All in all I liked this book. Ms. Donohue’s writing is fluid and the characters are well-developed. I did feel a bit “old” reading this. The characters are all twenty-nine and still getting their lives together. (I’m in my forties and twenty-nine seems a long time ago!). They all also have experienced a lot of drama! While I liked the subplot of the secrets surrounding Colin’s death, I didn’t feel like I got to really know him as a character. He was definitely headed for self-destruction, and I wasn’t entirely sure why each girl blamed herself so much for his death, but I did like the theme of self acceptance and self forgiveness that came through at the end.

If you are looking for a summer read about friendship and self growth, then take a look at ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS!