Monday, February 3, 2014

book butterfly reviews -- january

I didn't read one book in December. . . not one book!  I also didn't do Christmas cards for the first time in EVER and Christmas came and went in a blink.  Since then I've reserved a ton of books at the library and gotten back on my Audio Book kick.  Just about every book I read was one of a series, which is. . . tiring.  They're never all out or available when I want them, I tend to forget from one to one, and honestly, it's just nice to finish a book and have it end and be done with it.  Some I will continue on with, others, I'm good to be done where I'm at.  Got through several last month and gave up on one surprising one.

Here's what I read in January:

"The Rise of Nine (Book 3 I Am Number Four Series)" By Pittacus Lore.


A quarter through this book and I still don't care about it... Which is too bad because I really liked the first one; second one was just ok. Giving up for now. Maybe if they make a movie out of this one I will find more interest in it.




Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19)

"Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum Book #19)" by Janet Evanovich

3 of 5 stars false

Another Stephanie plum book with more of the same.... But it had been a good six months since we'd read one, so I guess I didn't mind so much.





Seven Minutes in Heaven (The Lying Game, #6)

"Seven Minutes in Heaven (A Lying Game Book #6)" by Sara Shepard

4 of 5 stars false

This is the 6th and final book in the series of my Guilty Pleasures Fluff Reading. :D I really liked it--there were many twists and turns and just when you think you know where the plot is going, it turns on its side again. I am happy that the story was resolved as 6 is a long series.


Don't read any further if you don't want to know who dunnit!

Seriously, don't do it! It'll ruin the rest of the series for you!

And in all seriousness, now that I know who did it, I kind of want to go back and start the series over from my new perspective. Interesting...I've never really felt that way about a series.

OK SO I started thinking around book 3 about who the killer could possibly be and I really really really didn't want it to be him. Looking back, I guess I was just naive, but I really was sadly surprised (kind of) and disappointed when it turned out Ethan was the killer. He of course was her boyfriend as of Book 1? 2? And the only person she trusted. He was the one she went to with everything. He was the only one who knew she was Emma and not Sutton. He was the one with the super duper hacking powers and telescope. It really should have been more obvious (and really, I did consider it, I just pushed it away as the author wanted me to, so...well done, Sara Shepard! You got me!) I felt so bad for Emma when it turned out her boyfriend was the murderer. I wish it could have been someone else. Thusly, the writing was excellent and the surprise a good one. :)


Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1)

"Sisters Red (FairyTale Retellings #1)" by Jackson Pearce

4 of 5 stars false

This was an interesting take on the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale; I thought at first it was a trilogy, but this story ended nicely, and in looking at the next, I realize it is about completely separate characters. I do think I will continue on. This story had to do with werewolves and slaying, with a touch of romance thrown in. Exciting reading, especially the last few chapters.


Variant (Variant, #1)

"Variant (Variant #1)" by Robison Wells

3 of 5 stars false

This is a little bit Maze Runner, little bit Stepford Wives. Benson is an orphan who goes to a private school on a scholarship. But what he finds there is not all peaches and cream. People disappear, strange rules are enforced, and eventually kids start to die.
This is the first in a series, and although I like it, I didn't like it enough to continue on. Frankly, I'm getting tired of series.


Before I Fall

"Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver

4 of 5 stars false

This book is a mix between Mean Girls and Groundhog Day, but make no mistake, this is not a lighthearted funny book. It is actually very serious with some very dark and mature themes. There is sex, drugs, violence, bad language, and suicide.

The main character dies in a car crash at the end of the day one, which she then proceeds to live over and over. The plot is a little predictable, as she tries different things each day to get herself out of the loop and save her life. The character does grow and develop and become a better person, and some other interesting things happen along the way, including romance. But again, not a light-hearted funny book.

Sarah Drew narrated this, (an actress from Grey's Anatomy,) and she does an absolutely fantastic job. Probably the best audiobook I have ever listened to.


The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce, #1)

"The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1)" by Alan Bradley

3 of 5 stars false

This was a clever little story about Flavia deLuc, an 11-year old chemistry prodigy who uses her powers of deduction and science to solve a murder and clear her fathers name. It was interesting and enjoyable enough, but I always find books like this, in which the child is so completely brilliant, unbelievable and unrealistic.

I didn't realize until just now that this is also a series, one of six!  I didn't love the writing or the characters enough to continue on in the story, and this one was nicely wrapped up, so I will not continue.


So that's pretty good for one month, six.  I have a pile of actual books next to my bed, so my next post will likely be a lot smaller!  (Audio books are so easy to get through) 

What are you reading?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

book butterfly reviews -- october and november

Yadda yadda yadda, I'm busy, blah blah blah, no time to blog, excuse excuse excuse, here's what I've read lately.  :)

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1)

"Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1)" by Mira Grant

3 of 5 stars false

I didn't know this was a book about zombies until I started reading it-- you know how I never read book jackets. I thought, okay, zombies are really topical right now, this'll be good.

For a 557 page book about zombies, there was a surprising LACK of zombies. In fact, I think there are only two, maybe three scenes in the whole book in which live zombies make an appearance.

The rest is about the main characters who are press bloggers, and about the presidential campaign they're working with in the year 2040.

The first third was really boring, the middle third had some good action and plot development, and the final third was boring again. There's just way too much talking, and by talking I do not mean dialogue. I probably will not continue on in the series,



"Moon Over Manifest" by Clare Vanderpool


This is kind of an unrealistic story about a 12-year-old girl who is sent to a new town, essentially to discover her roots. She isn't given any answers as to why, or how her life fits in with the people of the town. By learning their stories, she learns about her father's past. It wasn't very believable though.

My interest in this book kind of came and wasn't interesting enough (for me) to keep my attention. The best part was that in listening to it on audio, the reader had some fantastic voices, and there were so many characters.  But now realizing this was a Newbery winner, I'm even more disappointed in its lameness.


Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story

"Wishin' and Hopin': a Christmas Story" by Wally Lamb

didn't like it (my current rating)

30 pages in I gave up because there was way too much bad language (in a Christmas book?!), disappointing. It had promise.






"Hide and Seek (The Lying Game #4)" by Sara Shepard

3 of 5 stars false

The fourth book in the series takes us through two suspects (neither of which I have been thinking is the true killer, although I'm starting to get an inkling that it's actually someone else and it's going to break my heart if that is really the case.)

These are fluff books and this one had some really rough language at the end when the twist was revealed, but there is definitely some fun plot and planning going into these books. Something I never even considered happened near the end of this one, so that just shows ya Sara Shepard has a great imagination.

I do, however, hope that there is a resolution soon. Three is generally my limit for series and we're going on 5.



"The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald

4 of 5 stars false

This is the story of a man named Nick who is the neighbor of Jay Gatsby. Becoming friends with Gatsby, Nick learns how Gatsby invented himself from out of nothing, essentially. The story includes love affairs, revenge, and murder, and was completely the opposite of anything I was expecting.

The recent release of the Leonardo diCaprio movie is what created my curiosity to read this. I listened on audio (of course) and at first found the narrator very annoying because each and every one of his voices was so over the top...however, I did end up liking his style. The story was interesting, the plot twists were unexpected, and the ultimate story that we are all bound and tied to our pasts is actually a little depressing.



"Heresy" by S.J. Parris

didn't like it (my current rating)

This is a story about a monk who has left the monastery in search for broader truth that have been deemed heresy by the church. It's pretty crassly and coarsely written with some strong language and subject matter. Even if the story appealed to me, the narrator on audiobook is really weird, and I am just not enjoying listening to it.




"Wish You Well" by David Baldacci


This is about two children who have lost their parents in an accident who then go to live with a grandmother they'd never met in the Appalachian Mountains. It is set in the early 1900s. The mother is actually incapacitated, in a coma. They meet some interesting people, find a Wishing well, and get involved in some courtroom drama focused around their grandmother's land.

It sounds good, but it really wasn't all that interesting. As I was listening to it, I was able to finish it in just over a day and a half. But never at any point did I really care about any of the characters. I didn't much care for the resolution, and some points of the story were just too far contrived.



"Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson


I feel bad about giving the most popular pirate story ever so few stars, but the truth is it just didn't hold my interest. I really enjoyed the first third of the book, but once Jim overhears the nefarious plans of the pirates while sitting in the apple barrel, I don't know, it just fell flat for me.



"Cross my Heart, Hope to Die (The Lying Game #5)" by Sara Shepard

4 of 5 stars false

This was definitely a change of pace for the story of the unsolved mystery of Becky's twin sister.  As Becky (and unknowingly, Sutton's ghost) continue to be threatened and scared and stalked, their Mom makes an appearance switching everything up.  I find it interesting that the more Becky pretends to be Sutton, the more like Sutton she truly becomes.  Will she totally Break Bad and become just as much an unlikable person as her sister was?

Guilty pleasure, these books.  Nothing redeeming in them at all.  Lots of fun though!



"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl

3 of 5 stars false

Every now and then I read a grown-up book. :) This is written by a psycho analysis and neurologist who, as a young man, was a prisoner in four separate concentration camps in Germany. The first half of the book has to do with man's reactions to tragedy and crisis, using examples from Auschwitz and the other prison camps. It is nothing short of horrifying. It is still hard to conceive that one person could do such things to another. Victor Frankel was able to use his doctorate to not only influence his fellow prisoners but also the guards while in captivity.

The second half of the book is more psycho analytical, and frankly, a little boring. I found myself skipping parts. Still, his observations are valid and note-worthy.



"The House on Tradd Street (Tradd Street #1)" by Karen White

4 of 5 stars false

Melanie is a realtor in old colonial South Carolina who sees dead people. She inherits a house enshrouded in mystery, somehow tied to her own past.

I really liked this story, right from the first page. It drew me in very quickly and easily. This book is a little bit Da Vinci Code, a little bit Steel Magnolias, a little bit Gone with the Wind. Mystery, thriller, romance all keep the story moving at a good pace. Even though this appears to be a series, this story wraps up nicely in one book.


Whew.  So I know it looks like I read a lot, but this is two months' worth and two of those I didn't get more than 30 pages into, so those don't count.  But there were a couple of really good ones in there.  I wish more books were available on audio book because I just don't have the time to sit and read without falling asleep lately.  Ha.

What are you reading?

Monday, November 11, 2013

life actually

Life is sure moving fast.  It seems the weekend is here every week before I blink.

I have nothing interesting, deep, philosophical, or particularly newsworthy to report.  I just want to say that I'm happy, even though life is racing by.  I love my friends.  :)  We've taken to doing couples date night every other week and it's been good for my soul to realize there's life outside my home and the hospital.  It's good for my relationship with Danny and it's good to share it with good people who we love so much.  I wish we had more opportunity to spend time with our family out of town...our schedules right now are seriously nuts.  Any time Dan and I share a day off it is a total gift!  The idea of days or weeks off together is completely inconceivable at this point.  He has clinicals every Friday/Saturday through December, and that's just something we have to deal with.

My kids are a mix of everything I've ever wanted and everything I'm afraid getting.  :)  They are typical kids.  They are learning and changing and making mistakes and growing and doing everything they ought to.  I worry for them and pray for them.  They are amazing and so different.  Each of them an individual person in his own right with thoughts and feelings and talents and gifts.

My school.  ...............................................................................................................................
I'm so tired of it.  I was so looking forward to this Spirituality in Healthcare class.  But it's turned out to be a giant pain in the butt.  The professor treats us as if we were doctoral students and requires so much more of us than any previous professor has.  I'm currently getting a 91% which is by far the lowest grade I've gotten in a class.  (Prior to this I think my lowest was 95% although most of them end up at 98 or so).  It doesn't matter.  It's useless.  Brainless.  I am learning nothing.  I am paying for my BSN, literally and figuratively, learning nothing about nursing in the process.  It's busy work and ridiculous.  Four more classes after this one.  I long for that time!

My work.  I love it.  I mean, most days.  I love my patients, although some days seriously kick my tail.  I just passed 6 months which blew by in a blip, I tell you. I considered moving around, applying for OB positions, but not only are there NONE available at my hospital right now, but those openings at other hospitals require 1 year experience, so I think I will need to wait until next May.  It's ok.  It's going by really fast.  I still can't believe I'm doing this.  That in 2008 I decided:  I'm going to be a nurse, and now I am.  I wish I'd figured it out long ago, although schedule-wise, it just wouldn't have worked out if the kids were any younger.  But I'm envious of those 22-year olds who I work with who are just starting out...I wish I'd done so way back then.

My ward.  Well...I'm sure I will love them, some day.  It still tugs at my heart that we have left 2nd ward.  I seriously felt so at home there, and I am very very far from feeling that now.  I know a hand-ful of people, and they are very pleasant and welcoming.  But it's been very hard to meet people since I work every other Sunday.  On those off Sundays, we've experienced Stake Conference, General Conference, and were camping once, so even though we've lived here 3 months now, I've really only been there a handful of times.  I have visiting teachers who are great, but I have not been given a visiting teaching assignment, nor a calling.  Same goes for Danny.  The ward is huge...secretly, I hope it is split soon, because that will mean that fewer people that I need to get to know.  :)

My kids, however, particularly Sean, have made lots of friends.  I'm so happy for Sean, specifically--he was the one I was most worried about, and he is the one who has acclimated the best.  He has people he texts and hangs out with, went to the movies last Friday night with some and the stake dance the next night with another.  He hangs out with a group at school and really fits in.  It makes my heart happy.

On the note of friends, I've lost a few in the last few years and that makes me sad.  Not really sure how or why it happens, but it does as we grow older, move, have fewer things in common, fewer circles shared.  It doesn't mean I think of them any less, or any less fondly.  I still want the best for them and wish I could keep up with all they do and the growing of families, etc.  Such is life, I suppose.  We'll always have memories.  :)

Been to the temple a couple of times in the last few weeks and love the new movie.  It makes me smile.  It makes me want to be a better person every time I attend.  Then I come home to a messy house or fingerprints or failed homework and I'm back to being a neurotic mom and housekeeper.  (Seriously, why can we not use doorknobs in this house?!  Why always the walls and doors?!)  Anyway, looking forward to the two new temples being built here in the valley.  More chance and opportunity to become a better person, more reminders to forgive and seek forgiveness, and more spiritual experiences to be had.

OK, so I did have a lot to say.  I have tons of pictures, but they're all on my iphone.  My house is not really any different than it was 3 months ago.  We are doing things little by little, but the budget has gone mostly to the backyard and so the inside is still design-less.  :)  We'll get there.

Someone come visit us!  :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

book butterfly reviews -- september

Good gravy, I haven't blogged since last month's book butterfly review!  This working mom thing really takes some figuring out!  The house is clean and there are groceries in the pantry, but we're still figuring out how to do carpool and get kids here and there.  Last night I had two separate people come and offer to take my boys to scouts--and neither one ended up going!  Miscommunications, my error, late planning, etc.  FAIL!  Oh well, we'll figure it out.  Maybe.  :)

On a personal note, life is good.  I really like my job.  I don't know that I love it yet, but I'm very comfortable, getting good at it, familiar with doctors and policies and how things work.  I have to admit I'm pretty good with patients--they all seem to be very comfortable with me.  I was just thinking about how I'm 5 months in. . . that at 6 months I could attempt to transfer (to OB?), but how scary the thought was to move somewhere else, learn all new ways of doing things, new doctors, new assessments, etc etc.  I'm still in love with OB, and I do hope to get there eventually, but I do not know if I am brave enough to try a transfer just yet.  I might wait until my year mark.  Who knows?

Our pool is up and running.  I think it took a grand total of 33 days to build, start to finish.  Bananas!!  So fun to watch it step by step.  Yes, we're swimming in it.  Yes, it's cold.  But we gotta get in as much as we can before it's miserable cold outside.  The kids love it.  The house (outside at least) is really coming together.  We just got solar panels put on a few days ago and next week we're getting a shipment of rock for the back landscaping. Now if I could just figure out what to do with my inside walls and such.  :)

School is going... I'm past half-way, so that's beyond awesome.  I don't care so much about it, really, not putting in much effort, and still getting pretty easy As, so I think I'm finding my niche as to how much work is necessary for this program.  (and the answer is, not much)  I'm just tired of it.  Dan and I have been in school since 2008 this time around, and I'm ready to be done.  DONE!  Five 5-week classes to go, I think!?

I said this last month, but I *love* audio books now.  It's all I use/read/listen to.  I hate the radio and always have a book going on.  At night, I'm too tired to read, so reading actual books isn't much happening unless it's in my bathtub, but even those are rare occasions these days.  I got through so many this month, all because I discovered the Overdrive app in association with the library districts.  All audio books checked out for free using my phone.  Modern Tech.  Gotta love it.

Here's what I read in September:

The Peach Keeper

"The Peach Keeper" by Sarah Addison Allen

4 of 5 stars false

An old mystery, some old grudges, thirty-something-year old friends return to town--four individuals come together centered on the restoration of a historic property and it's grand reopening. Willa is the reformed trouble maker who "settled" into a some-what life of Blah. Paxton is the Prom Queen who is still living under her parents' thumb. Collin is her brother who can't sleep, can't stay in town, and only has eyes for Willa. And Sebastian is the mystery whom everyone labeled very early on as Different. The girls' grandmothers have their own secrets about the property, hidden since the 30s.

The love stories are the best part. :) I listened to this on audio and highly recommend it. Couple parts are PG-13. Loved the mystical/magical qualities, loved the old story thrown in with the modern, loved the depth of the characters--want them to be my friends!



"The Hope of Refuge" by Cindy Woodsmall

3 of 5 stars false

Cara returns to her Amish roots to escape some bad situations back home in NYC. Immediately, she is labeled as a thief and a drunk, but there is one person, a childhood friend, who believes and protects her.

It was... Ehh it was just ok really. I lost interest in it off and on, some parts seemed pointless, some parts seemed like another book/story entirely, which makes me think the author was prepping her audience for a sequel. The end was cheesy and predictable, as these Amish stories often are. Nothin earth-shattering here, but it was a nice audible book to pass the time.



"The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis

4 of 5 stars false

This book takes the form of one of Satan's minions writing instructional letters to a demon in training. It is very theological in nature, and offers a great glimpse at how Satan works, what his desires are, and how each little sin, whether by omission or commission, is a delight to the Destroyer's heart.

I found it very interesting, and could totally see the way Satan uses rationalization and justification to sway us little by little towards the darker side. This really got me to thinking, and stayed with me long after I finished it. I'm not a huge CS Lewis fan, I did not care for the "Lion Witch and the Wardrobe" series, but I can very much tell that he was a religious and educated man.

The afterword explains how the writing of this book came very easily to him, but that he did not enjoy it at all. He also said that if he had intended to write much more, that writing from the perspective of a dark Angel would have really gotten to him, and into his soul. This is basically a how-not-to-do: if Satan is happy with our choices, then we are obviously not in the right. I'm very glad I read this.


The Lying Game (The Lying Game, #1)

"The Lying Game (The Lying Game #1)" by Sara Shepard

4 of 5 stars false

This is a really hard book to summarize and describe because it's kind of convoluted. Sutton wakes up as a ghost and is staring at someone she realizes is her long-lost-separated twin sister. The twin sister, Emma, sees a youtube video of someone who looks just like her getting murdered. Through the course of the book, she ends up taking her long-lost twin's place, lives her life, and finds that Sutton was part of a club who carried out some big time mean pranks...perhaps going one step too far and making the wrong person mad? She spends the book trying to figure out who her twin's killer is.

This ends mid-story, and I am now excited to find the next in the series. The writing and story have just enough intrigue and suspense to be mildly scary, especially since you never quite know 'whodunnit'. The added mystery of Sutton as a ghost witnessing everything Emma is doing is an interesting addition, but at this point I'm not sure it's necessary. I'm sure this will come into it more in future books, but for right now, it's only useful for the occasional flashback and distraction.

The same author wrote the Pretty Little Liars series...has anyone read those?


Never Have I Ever (The Lying Game, #2)

"Never Have I Ever (The Lying Game #2)" by Sara Shepard

3 of 5 stars false

This second installment of Pretty Little Liars wasn't as good as the first, but it was development for the series. We're learning who the killer ISN't, and delving more into the characters' intricacies.

I liked it, mostly listened to this one all in one day. Fun light romance, little bit of suspense and thriller, way too much B-word. :(


Two Truths and a Lie (The Lying Game, #3)"Two Truths and a Lie (The Lying Game #3)" by Sara Shepard

3 of 5 stars false

Twins Emma and Sutton are delving more into the mystery surrounding Sutton's murder. Sutton is still in ghost form, and Emma does not know she is even there. Romance blossoms in this one, and we rule out another suspect. I've had an idea since the first book of whom I think the killer is. We'll see if I am correct!

The nice thing is, these books are brainless and really easy to read. (Of course I'm listening to them, which makes it very easy to get through a couple a week.) I may take a small break from the series to try something else though.


Not bad, huh?  Bunch of 3s and 4s, I'll take it.  What are you reading?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

book butterfly reviews -- july ? august?

I think?  I must have missed one in there.

I only read two books in July, one published by my high school best friend (plug! plug!) and the other this vampire book.  I was getting a little sick of vampires, but this one had a bit of a spin on the whole un-dead theme.

Here's what I read in July:

Late for the Ball?

"Late for the Ball?" by Heather Gray

4 of 5 stars false

(Isn't that cover gorgeous?!)

Totally cute little tale from my totally cute friend. Read it in one short sitting and dip into a tale from another time. :)

Incidentally, visit Heather's author page here.


Infinite Days (Vampire Queen, #1)

"Infinite Days" by Rebecca Maizel

4 of 5 stars false

I got burnt out on vampire stories quite some time ago, but I really enjoyed the story of Lena and her transformation from human to vampire, back to human then back to vampire again. It sounds convoluted, but it's very good.

Her human transformation was fun and enlightening, and I enjoyed watching her fall in love truly, for the first time. I hope to continue reading this series.

Then, in August, all life went completely insane as we moved and started school again and I found that as soon as I sit/lay down with a book, I fall asleep.  Thus enters the period of my life in which 90% of my books are on audio.  I love these suckers.  I wish every book had an audio version.  It's so convenient.  Yes, it took me a while to get used to them, but now, I always have one or two on my phone and can listen in the car, doing chores around my house, or with my headphones on when I am trying to ignore my children.


Here's what I read in August:


"The Bungalow" by Sarah Jio

4 of 5 stars false

OK yes, I did read this one (mostly in my bathtub) but that's because it's Sarah Jio so I knew it would be worth it.

Le sigh!

Another fantastic story by Sarah Jio, this one set on the island of Bora Bora during WWII. Anne is an engaged nurse who decides on a whim to join the service just weeks before her wedding. Of course she meets a dashing man, has a whirlwind romance, and becomes part of a murder mystery on the island.

Sarah has such a glorious way of painting a picture with her words. Her characters all have so much depth and her stories are all so original. I love the little elements of mystery she includes in each of her novels. I have to say one thing about Ms. Jio's works, there is always a lot of pining going on. Unrequited love, et al. This one actually reminds me a bit of "An Affair to Remember" if you recall that old flick.


Chasing Fireflies

"Chasing Fireflies" by Charles Martin

4 of 5 stars false

This is another fantastic book by Charles Martin, who is now, I think, my very favorite author of all time. His descriptive power is beautiful. The symbolism, the imagery, the emotion... He is so talented.

This is a fantastic story, one that every father should read. Chase grows up as an orphan, fostered by a family who had previously lost everything. He is now a writer for a newspaper column, and is researching the story of a similar boy, found abandoned and alone, and unable to speak. There is a mystery surrounding all of their pasts, the makings of a small love story, and a whole lot of tearing at heartstrings. Highly recommended.


The Fire (Witch & Wizard, #3)

"Witch & Wizard:  The Fire" by James Patterson


Third book in the series, and halfway through, I still just didn't really care.  Gave up.



The Peach Keeper

"The Peach Keeper" by Sarah Addison Allen

4 of 5 stars false

An old mystery, some old grudges, and thirty-something year old friends return to town--four individuals come together centered on the restoration of a historic property and it's grand reopening.

Willa is the reformed trouble maker who "settled" into a some-what life of Blah. Paxton is the Prom Queen who is still living under her parents' thumb. Collin is her brother who can't sleep, can't stay in town, and only has eyes for Willa. And Sebastian is the mystery whom everyone labeled very early on as Different. The girls' grandmothers have their own secrets about the property, hidden since the 30s.

The love stories are the best part. :) Couple parts are PG-13. Loved the mystical/magical qualities, loved the old story thrown in with the modern, loved the depth of the characters--want them to be my friends!

So, there you have it.

I think if I could go through life reading only novels by Charles Martin and Sarah Jio I would need nothing else.  The two are amazing. I also think each of their books would make fantastic movies.

What are you reading?