A Look at Books in 2014

It's New Year's Eve- how is that even possible! 
I want to talk real quick about the books I've read this year. I thought I had read a  TON because there were a million top picks running through my head but after looking at the list, I realized I barely read 30 books this year, which is really not like me at all! Probably something to do with the fact that I managed to get engaged, elope and move all in 6 months...all that craziness will definitely put a damper on one's extra time to read but I can't say I hate it.  Here are my picks for favorites and not-so-favorites. Enjoy! 

My Favorites, Hands Down:

The controversy surrounding this book was a little crazy. She's the most talented, witty and electrically imaginative woman in this generation and I just want to be her friend. 

This is the mother ship book for moms everywhere. It's Desperate Housewives meets Snapped and it couldn't be more perfect. 

Ding Ding Ding! Finally a book whose movie wasn't a complete let down! Both the book and the movie were amazing! 

This book was a slam dunk for me and I CANNOT wait for The Rose Effect! (Part 2) This would be my number one book to recommend for the year! 

My "I Wasn't That Impressed" picks: 

I know Jodi is always a favorite among you all but this just was a flop for me

This just had major potential and I think it would have been a hit if there was narration instead of just letters and correspondence between the characters. 

I love Rainbow. And when I say love, I mean to say that I admire her to the top of mountains. However, this time-travel theme just couldn't hook me. Maybe I just don't have the imagination for it? 

Check out all of the books I've read this year here
I want to know about your books of 2014 ! 
Tell me about the good, the bad and the ugly! 

My resolutions for the New Year? Read Nick Hornby , more John Green, at least 3 classics (Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc.) and I want to read at least 50 books. Join the pledge on Goodreads with me!

What are your book resolutions?

Book Review: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

What do you hate most about reading a  book you don't love?

The anticipation and then the subsequent let down?

The wasted time spent reading a mediocre book when you could have been reading your next favorite novel?

The let down after being so intrigued by the description?

For me, the worst part of not liking a book is when I a fan of the author already because of their other books.

The biggest sadness I've ran into with authors is Leila Mecham. She wrote Roses, which is one of my all time favorites. After that, she wrote Tumbleweeds and let me tell you about a whomp. I was so, just like, wahhhh about it. The first one as a multi-generation saga about a family's cotton plantation. Tumbleweeds was about a high school love triangle and one of the men turned into a priest.


So anyway, a few years ago, I read My Sister's Keeper, before it was a movie. I loved the story, even though it made me completely bawl my eyes out. It was gut-wrenching. I was in awe of Jody Picoult's ability to write about something so terrifyingly sad in such a beautiful way. It was the kind of story that stuck with you, made you think about it long after you finished the last page. So naturally, I looked for more of her books but they all were just too.damn.sad. I never finished another one. So when I saw Leaving Time, I thought I would give it a try because it didn't feature a dying child.

I hate to say this, but I didn't love it. 
It's about a woman who studied the grief patterns in elephants- especially those of mothers who have lost their calves. It was an intriguing concept, especially coupled with the main characters. A woman went missing 10 years ago and her daughter is looking for her. While searching, the daughter finds a physic...and it just kind of goes downhill from there. 

Jodi tries to make a parallel between grieving elephant mothers and the bond between human mother and child. I get that, but it just never "clicked." 

There were good moments where the momentum built up after you find out that there was a suspicious death the night that Jenna's mother disappeared. But that's about it. 

I was intrigued, as always, by Jodi's characters. She does a great job creating people who you can imagine vividly. I want to love her books, I really do. But the stories are just not there for me. Her writing is gorgeous and I can appreciate that much.

I'd say, read this book if you have a considerate imagination. 
I have an imagination, but I just can't take some things seriously and this book was a bit of a stretch for me. I couldn't make a connection with the elephants, which played a very large role in the book. 

Maybe it was the physic, maybe it was the vision of an elephant and a little girl walking off into the sunset holding hands(trunks) together, or maybe I am a hard critic, but this book was a downer for me.  

What is your favorite Jodi Picoult book? 

Remember That One Time We Said I Do?

Remember that one time I saw our wedding pictures and fell in love ? 

Because we all know that pictures are the best part of the wedding, especially when time has passed and then you get to relive the day all over again looking through all the snapshots! 

and that one time we had the most perfect book themed reception at the most adorable winery, Windy Wine Co. in Osborn, Mo.

And that one time when we were on top of the Kansas City Public Library and it was just too perfect to dance among the giant chess pieces...

And that other time that ModCloth had the most perfect dress...

And that other time his letter made me cry 

And his smile made my heart burst 

And I gave him a watch before we walked down the aisle so he'd make it in time

I am so blessed to have fellow bloggers who love books as much as I do who sent me piles of their favorite books to help me decorate the tables! You know who are and I want you to know how special it was to me! 

My favorite author, Wendy Lawless, author of the huge hit, Chanel Bonfire, also helped us celebrate by sending her favorite books and a note I will cherish forever: 

It's been almost 2 months and we still talk about our wedding every day.

All credit to these amazing photos goes to my sister, owner and photographer at Peace of You Photography in Kansas City, Mo.

Book Round Up

Finally, some quiet time to actually blog! 
On top of Halloween, looking for a house, having the kids busy with school and activities, I have some time to put together one of my favorite posts to do, a book round up! It has literally taken me days to finish this post but better late then never, right?! 
Here's a collection of books that have caught my eye lately with an explanation about why I think it sounds like a good read along with a short synopsis. Enjoy! 

Reunion by Hannah Pittard

I just love a good reunion. High school, family, old friends. There's just something about revisiting the past while comparing it to your present that is interesting. The possibilities for drama are endless.

In Reunion, you'll find a woman who is, according to herself, failing at life. Her career and her marriage have ended and now she's facing her siblings (whole, step and half) in the wake of her father's death. There's ex wives, old feuds and a father she never really understood. All of these combine for a book I think would be perfect for a rainy day. 

Is it just me, or is this the greatest title ever? Something about bones is slightly scary and  unnerving and the word "clocks" makes me feel anxious. It may one of the most intriguing book titles I have heard about in a long time. Just that was enough to snag it a spot on my must read list. That and the fact that I have seen it getting lot of book buzz lately. 

A fifteen-year-old runaway hears voices. A wealthy boy from the right side of the tracks. Something paranormal is tying several different characters from various parts of the world together. The mystery spans decades-1984 to 2043 and the New Yorker review called it a mysterious masterpiece. And you can't really argue with the New Yorker, can you? 

Two things I have a lot of curiosity and experience with: Accidents and Marriage, which is  why it caught my attention. That, and the fact that it tackles the much less talked about  type of abuse. We hear about physical abuse but there's also emotional abuse that many people face (myself included) that also needs to be talked about, It made me want to read it even more. Emotional abuse is still abuse, even if the bruises left behind aren't visable. 

Maddy is a wife and mother who is constantly playing catch up in life. She's devoted to being a good mother and to not setting off her husband's temper. But the day comes when she can't avoid his outbursts any longer and she finds herself in the hospital and her life off balance. This is a story of how a woman battles again emotional abuse and fights for her family. 

Right now, I am devouring The Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld and audiobook and deciding whether or not to start Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult or Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I've read samples on my Kindle for both and loved them! What would your vote be? 

If you are looking for more great book choices, check out the 2014 Best Books of Goodreads awards going on right now. They have a great list of top books plus you get to vote for your favorites! Coming soon, I will be sharing with you which ones I would choose as the winners!   

The Perfect Commercial for Unperfect Moms

Reasons why this video is my life:

First, I DID start a blog...and do a half ass job of posting a couple times a month, or week if I happen to find super powers somewhere. But I still love it!  

One time, I too made the mistake of driving with children and balloons in my car. I told one of the kids to stop, for the love of PETE, banging a balloon on my head. After threatening to throw the balloon out the window 10 times I snapped. I threw the car into park  at a stop sign, got out and stomped those balloons to their untimely death. The silence from the backseat after that was like heaven to my ears. 

R2 is lucky to get to dance class dressed in a proper leotard. She's worn a leopard print skirt before and a gymnastics leotard, though, gosh darn it. Can I get an "amen" for whatever it takes to get them out the door? 

I do want R2 to look up to me...as long as it's not for my sailor's mouth or my addiction to Diet Dr. Pepper and bad reality television. 

My kids will never know the joy of having a hamster. I refuse. I can still smell the wood chips from the cage my gerbil who lived way longer than my mom thought he would. She bought him to make up for the fact that she had to give away our Yorky. And because the guy at Earl May said gerbils have a short life span. Four years, several pairs of socks and a dented, bald tail later, Chucky taught me a lot about pets. For one, I learned that you should check their cage doors before leaving for school so their tails aren't caught all day....I also learned that you should probably research life expediencies of rodents before making an uninformed commitment and locking yourself in for pet purgatory. 

You see, the reason I love this commercial so much is because it shows the unglamorous side of motherhood and the silliest of the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves. 

I never ever thought I would be a "perfect" mom and although I admire some of the moms on Pinterest, I am totally okay with the fact that my "crafts" will usually show up on the sarcastic "nailed it" side of the meme. But that's okay. Because tonight, R1 and I sat down on the living room floor and painted his Halloween costume together. I wanted it to be perfect- but he was begging to paint the eyes on his own costume. So I said, what the hell, why not? and let him paint the eye brows on his Lego man head. And of course they are totally crooked but the smile on his face after looking at the finished product was absolutely perfect. 

Funny that my mother mishaps (losing a kid, for example) are so far from making me a perfect mom, but ironically, I always end up describing that my kids' smiles at the end of the day are...well, perfect. 

Book Review: Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Duhnam

 I am happy to say that I can easily name my favorite book of the year thus far!

I bring you:

Not That Kind of Girl, A Young Woman Tells of What She's "Learned" 
By Lena Duhnman

First of all, I think it's safe to say that we would all need to put "learned" in quote marks when telling others our life lessons. Because how do we really know if we have fully learned, comprehended and appreciated all of our life experiences? In the whole scheme of my 28 years, my life lessons are a spec of what is to come, I am sure. (Which is scary because just considering reliving for the sake of retelling them all for you gives me heart palpitations) 

If you don't already know, Lena Dunham is a  actress, screenwriter, producer, and director. She's the star actress and creator of the HBO show, Girls, which has a bazillon awards under its belt. Do yourself a favor and binge watch it, starting yesterday. This is Lena's memoir about her adolescence and I can only hope she'll write more, considering she's still in her 20s. 

Not That Kind of Girl paints a picture of the path that probably led Lena to most of the crazy ass scenarios that the characters on Girls find themselves in (cocaine addiction, low self-esteem, OCD, co-dependent relationships)  you know, the usual. 

So basically, Lena Dunham and I are soul sisters, cut from the same cloth. I nodded along with her as she mused about her parents, her inability to mix in with the crowd and her need to act out in spite of self. I related to everything. Our insecurities mirror each other. Apart from her cocaine experimentations- we were pretty much on the same wave length, although my addiction to cheap wine is probably just as bad. 

Lena writes about her life via short snip bits of summer camp nightmares, cringe worthy sexual encounters, awkward parenting moments, identity crisis and anything that falls into the category of a young woman in the 2000s trying to figure what the hell is going on. Like I said, this book could have probably been my own recollections, with a few weird stepdads and a sheltered midwest upbringing thrown into the mix. 

One of the most powerful messages came at the end of the book where Lena muses about finally finding an adult relationship that is built on a strong foundation of unconditional love and mutual respect... 

She spoke to the young woman in all of us about relationships with other women.... 

And about our relationship with our inner self...

And about our present...and about getting to a future that fits us. 

I can't really put into words or "review" what this book is all about. It's about being a female, growing (up, old, inward, outward)  life, and the crap that happens to us when we are asking "why" all the time. Come to think of it, there's also a lot mixed in about what happens when we stop asking "why" and just LIVE.

What other reason do you need to read it? 

Book Round Up: My Favorite Creepy Reads for Halloween

The leaves are turning, the pumpkins are carved and I am high from spray painting costumes so you know it must be time for Halloween! I always say that Christmas is my favorite holiday but then when Halloween rolls around I find myself getting totally revved up. It's the candy corn, the caramel Tootsie pops, the pumpkin patches...and the crisp Fall weather that makes snuggling up on the couch the most perfect place to be. The only way it could be better is if you have a spooky book to read just in time for good Ol' Hallow's Eve. So if you're looking for a scare I bring you: 

Gone Girl

I remember reading this book in stunned silence. I remember wondering how in the world an author comes up with the psychopath that is Amy Dunn and then being chilled to the bone watching her frame her dumbfounded husband. It's creepy to know that there really are people out there in the world like this. Gone Girl fits the bill for a great Halloween read not just because of the bloodshed and murder, but above all because of the cruelty and the pure evilness inside the main character. I have heard a lot of varying opinions about the movie adaptation. We saw it this week and I definitely didn't hate it. Of course, the book was way better (like I even need to say that) but it had some great moments. The cinematography added a creepy element to the story that is only up to your imagination in the book so that was a huge plus. (Who are we kidding, the major plus is Neil Patrick Harris and Ben Afflack's butts, let's just be honest). 

The BFG by Roald Dahl

This book comes highly recommended by Ryder, whose teacher read it in class. It's about a (big) friendly giant who captures an orphan named Sophie. With giants named Bone Cruncher and The Gizzard Gulper, little kids eat this book up. It's scary by not TOO scary, because it's also Reese approved so both my kids really enjoy it. 

Best of Edgar Allen Poe

My college roommates bought this collection for me for Christmas one year and I remember reading it in my dark lonely dorm room many times, during my more "moody" writing days. And truly, everyone can stand to learn a lesson or two from "The Tell Tale Heart." 

Wuthering Heights

Orphans, jealousy, revenge, cruelty, abuse, alcoholism, all  in early 19th century England. What's not to be scared of?  Any story this old that is still chilling after so many decades deserves reverence. I think the cruelty of people like the characters in this book are scarier than witches and goblins could ever be.

Desperation by Steven King

I have NO idea why I read this. I was going through a deep dark stage in my book choices apparently. It was probably around the time I read Malice by Danielle Steel and a bunch of Dean Koontz. All I remember is a disgusting cop whose face was melting, zombies everywhere and a jail cell. And that's enough for me to put it on this list.  

What's your favorite Halloween read? 

Book Review: Holding Onto Georiga

I love reviewing popular and trending books because it means I will probably hear from alot of others who've also read the book. It's always so fun to hear if others are enjoying the same books for similar reasons. 

I also love telling you about books you might not have heard of because I love helping people discover books they'll love. In the spirit of spreading the love, I bring you a review of: 

Holding Onto Georgia by Courtney Giardina 

Holding On To Georgia brings you a girl named Rylan who just feels a little lost. As lost as the old photo of her ex boyfriend should be. Instead, she carries the photo with her everywhere, a constant reminder that love hurts. That photo and her broken heart are what keeps Rylan on the outskirts of any potential new relationship, except when a certain man moves into her apartment building. 

Holding On To Georgia is the kind of book you'd wish you read before you started dating in high school because the characters and their emotions are all great examples of what can go wrong (and sometimes, right) when you put your heart on the line. Secondly, and most importantly, the author includes tidbits of advice that all young women should hear, like this: 

"Not all guys are the devil, you know. The path to the right guy is paved with a shitload of wrong ones. We've got to get them all out of the way first so we can appreciate the right one when he arrives." 

What girl wouldn't have loved to have had that nugget of advice in her back pocket to remind her that broken hearts are simply not the end of the world? 

When Rylan meets Wesley Kade, the newest tenant in her apartment building, she tries to ignore the spark that he ignites. I could relate to Rylan's need to resist falling for Kade. What woman can't? That's one of the reasons why Holding Onto Georgia is a great book. Every woman who has ever been stung by love can relate to it. 

There are realistic characters in the book, who have realistic conversations with each other that we've all had in our actual day to day lives. Courtney Giardina created conversational dialogue that is easy to follow along with. The pages kept flipping without skipping a beat. 

There was an air of mystery around Kade's character, which I really enjoyed. I knew there was something holding him back from pursuing Rylan. He definitely had a sadness about him, but I couldn't put my finger on it. It didn't take long to realize why he was hesitating and I can't say I blamed him much. Rylan and Kade both tell their own sides of the story and watching them skirt around the issue of each other is a fun game of cat and mouse and you will find yourself rooting for them to figure it all out together. 

Every woman who loves to read wants a book that she can identify with and even better, she loves a book that makes her believe in love. For all of us who have had broken hearts, reading a love story like Holding On To Georgia will make your heart beat a little faster and your step a little lighter. 

Kudos to Courtney Giardina for reminding us that love is always ready for you, as long you are ready for it. If you need a little reminder of that, just pick up your own e-copy of Holding On To Georgia on Amazon tomorrow. You'll be glad you did. 

Holding On To Georgia will be available for pre-order on Amazon starting TOMORROW so be on the look out! It will be on sale on October 21. Check out Courtney Giardina's Author page on Amazon for more information and to read about her first novel, Tear Stained Beaches.

Happy Reading! 

That's What She Read's Perfect Books for Autumn Reading

For the next couple of months, your Pinterest is going to be jam packed with pumpkin crafts and wreaths made of burlap and leaves. Your Instagram will have countless manicured hands grasping steaming cups of PSL and Facebook will be colored with school pride as moms post selfies while huddled together in the football stadium. And while I will undoubtedly and unashamedly be participating in all of these Autumn festivities, the main thing I love to do in Fall (besides trying to pass leggings as pants) is to cozy up on the couch with the windows open reading a great book. In case you need a couple of book suggestions so that you can do the same, here's my list of perfect books to read in the Fall. Some old, some new, but all meant to get you in the mood for my favorite season of the year!

Little Women-This classic is a must. It's the perfect setting for the season, plus any story about sisters gives me a warm and cozy feeling. When I read this as a little girl, I remember tying blankets around my waste to pretend I had dresses like the March girls.

The One and Only by Emily Giffin- She's the genius author behind Something Blue, Something Borrowed and Baby Proof so you know you can't go wrong. This book is perfect for Fall because it's allll about football. And there's nothing better than enjoying a great game, tailgate food and hoodie sweatshirts on a cool crisp October game day, right? Shea is a Texas girl and a University of Walker graduate who bleeds teal- the team color of her alma mater-and there's nothing she wouldn't do to make sure that her favorite football team makes the playoffs. Falling in love with her best friend's father and the head coach of her beloved team might not have been the best play, but it definitely makes for a great game.

Cider House Rules ) This is just a classic that would be perfect for a chilly morning. Plus it has cider in the title, which is oveall, the only acceptable autumn drink.

Wild by Cheryl Strayed- There's something about Fall that makes me appreciate nature. And really, what else can make you feel one with nature more than a real-life account of a woman's 1,100 mile hike up the Pacific Northwest Trail? Not to mention, Reese Witherspoon is starring in the movie version right now so read and watch!

The Night Circus by Erin Morenstern - There's magic, beautiful costumes and mystery, so it's a perfect story to get you in the mood for All Hallow's Eve.

Autumn Getaway by Jennifer Gracen - It's all in the title. Plus, golden falling leaves adorn the cover so it passes that test too. Sometimes, sweaters, leggings and a cool breeze just call for a good romance that you can cozy up on the couch with. 

The Witches of East End- Melissa Beauchamp -Here's another great read to get you in the mood for Halloween. Plus, the next best thing to do in the Fall if you are not reading is to binge watch a TV show and I've heard great things about this one. 

What is on your reading list for next couple of months?

Book Review: Big Little Lies

Do you remember those girls in elementary school who were so perfect they were intimidating, whose compliment on your lunchbox made your entire week, and whose shoes you were always eyeing with jealousy? Well now those girls are all grown up with their own kindergartners and someone wrote a book about them.

They have everything, the big shiny SUVs, the perfect volunteering resume and the rich husbands with perfect kids to match. Only now, one of them is a murderer and it all started on the kindergarten playground...

This is Big Little Lies and there's nothing little about it. It's everything we've been missing since Desperate Housewives went off the air. The entire book has momentum that just keeps building and building. Not a lot can surprise people these days but this book definitely has the punch. 

The character development is great. I could see a little of myself in each of the mothers, the good and the bad. It is a great illustration of how far mothers will go to ensure their children are protected and loved, but also shows the pitfalls of our competitive human natures and our need for acceptance.

First, you meet one of my favorite characters, Madeline. I kept imagining Terri Hatcher's character in DH. She's lovable in her vulnerability but she's just just as much a scheming ladder climber as the rest of them. She's also the queen gossip which makes her always entertaining. I always appreciate when an author is able to write comically such as Moriarty does in this book. I laughed out loud, which doesn't happen often enough when I read! 

Jane and Celeste are two other characters that I couldn't get enough of. I honestly wish each of these ladies would have had their own book that I could dive into. The book lets you get a glimpse into each of theirs lives- but only enough that you get to know them, not enough for you to really know who's responsible for the dead body. Even though you'll find that there may be possibility any of them is capable it, because they all have a little crazy showing. 

The plots and twists start when one child accuses Jane's son of choking her on the playground. That's when the claws come out and the moms start teaming up against each other.  Then comes the competition that seems to be ever present among mothers and their children. Each mom is fighting to be the most involved, to look the most put together, to throw the best birthday party. As you learn about each character and their own struggles, background and home lives, you begin to feel a momentum build up that leads to a confrontation that's a totally satisfying climatic conclusion. 

One wife is hiding a horrific secret and silently suffering. Another is hiding her shame, another tries to masks her insecurities with false confidence. There's one who is raising her daughter alongside her ex husband and his new family, and another with no friends in sight. I could relate to so many of their situations.

It's a great "murder" mystery for anyone who doesn't like all the blood and guts that comes with most thrillers. It kept me guessing until the end and when it all came crashing down, I had to reread the whole scene because I was so caught off guard. It's a breezy read, perfect for summer, but it is also heavy enough, because of the emotional issues, that it sucks you in long after you've discovered the culprit. 

I feel like this one of the most vague book reviews I've ever written but it's just that I don't want to give anything away. Just know that there's a great story line that moves fast, there are cliff hangers, funny "little lies" peppered in through out the story from outlying characters and a build up to a really great ending.

Read it. Read it to be thankful that most moms are not this crazy (at least none that I have seen...yet), and because you'll be reminded that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. 

Book Review: The Rosie Project

Lately, I have been hitting the good book mother load. 
As in, I've been so buried in them I don't have time to write about how good they are. 
Which is just a shame because my favorite thing about good books is telling people about them and nearly ruining the plot for them.  Just kidding, I would never do that, I promise. 

So, I bring you The Rosie Project

"An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love."

This book has the most lovable unlovable character I've ever met. Don Tillman is a genetics professor who is so socially challenged, it made me giggle out loud. He's oddly charming, too smart to relate to normal people and over the top obsessive compulsive. All things that have been stacked up against him and his goal to find a wife. Until he decides to start the Wife Project. He comes up with pages and pages of questions he thinks he can hand to women to fill out and it will help him weed out the ones he deems ill-equipped for marriage.  
He times his evenings down to the minute. He has a system for the meals that he prepares identically each week. He is literally living on autopilot. I wanted to believe at first he was just a little kid with an "aw, shucks" personality, whose mother just cut up his steak for one too many years as a child, but as I read more about Don's character, I began to realize that he was an adult with a brilliant mind that was struggling to handle social norms. The book explores many interesting facets of autism and human nature. Topics which I've found myself skirting around, never fully understanding or comprehending. Don's story changed that for me. I don't get it all now, but somehow, Simision really hit the nail on the head by creating a character whose shoes are so well written, you feel like you actually are walking in them.

Don knows that he should have a wife because that is what is expected in life, but he doesn't have the capabilities of understanding the concept of loving a woman enough to marry her. 
Until he meets Rosie. 
Now, if I thought I loved Don, then I love Rosie just as much. She's punky, she's sassy, she's smart. But she's also hurt and a little lost and desperately searching for any connection to a life that means something. She has a question she's been searching to answer her whole life and stumbling upon a obsessive-compulsive, lonely genetics professor weirdly  has a way to help her find it. 

“But I’m not good at understanding what other people want.’
‘Tell me something I don’t know,’ said Rosie for no obvious reason.

I quickly searched my mind for an interesting fact. 
‘Ahhh…The testicles of drone bees and wasp spiders explode during sex.” 

Both Rosie and Don are completely caught off guard by the concept of love. One, because she wasn't even looking. And the other, because he didn't even know he was capable of it. 
There are were twists in this story, but for the most part, I knew how it was going to end. Normally, I'd put that in a con category but I loved Don and Rosie so much, knew they went together so essentially, that I was okay with the predictability.  I was surprised and satisfied at the same time. It was just that kind of book.

My recommendation? Read it. Read it on a weekend where you are feeling a little disenchanted by the power of love, or when you are tired of thinking people don't still do nice things for each other. Because they do. Because love is still enchanting. Nice, compassionate people who care about others, who want to do each other favors, who are genuinely affected by what happens to the people around them, they do exist. Sometimes it just takes our own selves to move outside of our comfort zones, to ignore social barriers or norms, and scale those obstacles to find each other. For Rosie and Don, for me in my own life, jumping those walls has been worth all the while.