Monday, April 2, 2018

A few quick book reviews - Best Day Ever; Kaira Rouda and Lucky Us; Amy Bloom

Best Day Ever; Kaira Rouda
Graydon House - 2017


Best Day Ever is a novel that takes place in a single day. On the surface, Paul Strom seems to have the perfect life. His wife Mia is lovely, the couple has two young sons, a beautiful home, and a lake house as well.  Paul's planned what he hopes will be the "Best Day Ever" as he whisks Mia away for some alone time at the lake retreat while the boys are left with a babysitter.

As the couple travels by car to their destination, the tension builds and the reader begins to realize that lies and other secrets within this marriage are certain to ruin any other plans Paul had for the weekend.  

The story is narrated by Paul, who is really a self-absorbed liar.  The tension builds as you turn each page, making for a quick, absorbing read. There were a few twists along the read and a surprise ending as well which made me happy I decided to try this one.

Rating - 4.5/5 stars



Lucky Us; Amy Bloom
Random House - 2015

Lucky Us was our book group selection for March and while the most of the group liked this book to some degree, we really got to appreciate it more after our open, lively discussion.  Some of the members then wanted to reread it after our discussion.

The opening quote, hooked me and made me chuckle as well - “My father’s wife died. My mother said we should drive down to his place and see what might be in it for us.”

A coming of age story with half-sisters Eva and Iris at the heart of the novel. These half-siblings have been disappointed by their family and the two couldn't be more different. The story takes around WWII and many of the characters have been dealt some bad breaks in life, but despite their struggles, I wanted to know them better. Many of the characters are quite eccentric which made for some humorous moments. There were quite a few characters introduced along the way, most were well drawn, some so memorable, and others I despised. A story about luck and about what constitutes a family.

Rating - 4/5 stars

17 comments:

  1. Best Day Ever wasn't all that realistic but it was FUN to read. Sometimes that's okay.

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    1. True, about the realistic part but, none the less, it hooked me immediately.

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  2. I loved Best Day Ever! I've been trying to decide whether to read Lucky Us. Overdrive has it if I decide to.

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    1. Glad u enjoyed Best Day Ever. I liked the writing a lot in Lucky Ones. One reader told me they enjoyed Amy Bloom's "Away" even more.

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  3. I loved Lucky Us! Actually I love Amy Bloom. Your review captures the book well. Amy Bloom has a new novel out called White Houses, about the relationship between Eleanor Roosevelt and her female lover. I can't wait to read it.

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    1. Glad u are an Amy Bloom fan. I read White Houses and liked it but, I preferred the NF, Eleanor and Hick by Susan Quinn, which gives you a better feel for the women.

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  4. I have heard some really good reports about BEST DAY EVER. Still need to read it. Looks like you thought it was a good choice, Diane.

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  5. I loved The Best Day Ever too. I'll have to look into Lucky Us.

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    1. Best Day Ever seems to have been popular among bloggers and most were pleased with it as well. Lucky Us was well written - a few too many characters but, still good.

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  6. These both sound really good. That happens in my book group a lot - people like the book more or rethink their initial opinion after discussing it. I love that!

    Sue

    Book By Book

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    1. Sue, I like when a lively discussion makes you rethink your initial impression of a book.

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  7. Those both sound good and everyone can use a best day!

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  8. These both look good, have a great reading week.

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  9. I want to read both of these but certainly that opening in the Amy Bloom novel is something else!

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