Maybe isn’t Always Positive: The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson Book Review

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The Opposite of Maybe

By: Maddie Dawson

Released: April 8th, 2014 by Broadway Books

Length: 400 Pages

Genre: Women’s Literature

Rating: Four Stars

Acquired: via Netgalley

 

This is what happens when you settle: your boyfriend of over fifteen years decides to move the both of you across country to start up a museum full of teacups with a guy he met most, leaving behind your 88 year old grandmother- you sprain your foot, have a mini-break down and stay with her, then find out your pregnant after you both decided from day one to never have kids. Throw in a hot gardener/housekeeper and you have a novel about second choices and chances worth the reader’s while.

After fifteen years together, and no ring in sight, Rosie and Jonathon have lived a life together that perfectly suited them–until he gets a call to help start a teacup museum in California that prompts an impromptu proposal at a diner. But, when they wedding plans go sour, and Jonathon has to cancel, Rosie begins to awaken from her fifteen years of comfortable slumber. From there, after a fight and calling off the move, Jonathon continues his journey to California without her as she moves back in with her eighty-eight year old, accident prone Grandmother who has conveniently forgotten to tell her about the handsome, younger new help she has hired.

Tony is also at a difficult stage in is life. He just found out his wife and mother to his child is a lesbian; and, is now living with his best friend’s wife. The new lover won’t allow Tony to see his son very often, forcing him to sneak around to see him and hide in his car.

It is Tony who first suggests forty-four year old “I can’t get pregnant, I’m too old” Rosie is pregnant. She said that line a couple of times. But, surprise, she gets pregnant anyway! As Jonathon was always anti-kids, Tony becomes the one really there for her. Could he be more…

I read this book in one afternoon it was that good. I just couldn’t put it down. Every chance I got that day, my nose was in that book. All the characters were great. Jonathon was approximately boring and self-centered. Rosie’s grandmother Soapie was fantastic. She had wit, brains, and attitude. I loved her; and wished, at times, she was my Grandmother. Tony had a scene that melted my heart. I cried, I really really did. I read his speech twice and cried. It was realistic, meaningful, and not forced at all. He was possibly my favorite character. Rosie was great, too. I liked how she grew on her own. Once she got rid of Jonathon, she became a better person.

This was just an overall great book. There aren’t many bad things, if any, to say about the book. I loved them all. Rosie had snark that I loved. The characters were developed well. The plot moved along nicely. I would recommend this book as a nice afternoon beach read. You will get sucked in almost immediately. I know I did. It is one of those books you get a lot out of, but don’t need to put much energy into. It really is a great, quick fun read. I hope you give it a chance.

Happy reading!

 

Greetings from Lost Lake: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen Book Review

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Lost Lake

By: Sarah Addison Allen

Released January 21st, 2014 by St. Martin Press

Length: 302 pages

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Magical Realism

Rating: Five Stars

Acquired: via netgalley

 

You can never the beginning. But you can always change the end.

That one sentence, said by a somewhat minor character staying for one last summer at Lost Lake echoes throughout the entire novel; although it is said closer to the end, it is true throughout the hole book. Each main character, newly widowed Kate, her daughter Devin, Kate’s estranged, great Aunt Eby, Kate’s old childhood friend she spent one good summer with, Wes, they all are stuck and looking to change their ending–they just don’t know it yet. Even the rather minor characters like Selma, who wears a charm bracelet that allows her to marry eight already married men and she’s on her last charm. And, Bulahdeen, who said that heavy statement; her husband has Alzheimer’s, and as many times as she has read novels, she has tried to change her endings.

This novel isn’t just about Eby selling Lost Lake; or Kate “waking up” after a year since her husband died; or Devin befriended an alligator no one thought was on the property, that could only be seen by her, leaving clues; or, each of the three guests at the lake; or, Wes who never stopped loving Kate. It is about creating your own ending that isn’t an ending after all. It’s more of a “in the mean time”.  A “happily ever right now”. Allen creates characters that are somewhat more than broken in many ways and puts them back together in only ways that she can.

Allen still has her Southern charm. And that magical realism that got me when I read my first Sarah Addison Allen book; and, never stopped. I loved the allegory of the alligator. I won’t give away the reason behind him, but the reason is touching, sweet, and really special. Brings the book together. I loved the theme and idea of creating a new ending for yourself. Not really rejecting the one you had, but doing a do-over. A second chance on our own terms. Allen proved, to me, once again, why she is one of my favorite authors. Her voice is so unique and offers something I don’t normally get from other contemporary authors.

I would highly recommend reading any of Allen’s fabulous books. She is so talented. This book is no exception.

Love and Death go hand in hand: Undertaking Love by Kat French Book Review

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Undertaking Love

By Kat French

Released April, 2013 by Authonomy, HarperCollins

Length: 280 Pages

Genre: Chick Lit

Rating: Four and a half stars

Acquired: via netgalley

What can go wrong when a funeral parlor opens up next to a wedding chapel? 

Undertaking Love is Kat French’s debut novel. Known as Kitty French in the erotica genre, French tries her hand at something new and succeeds brilliantly.

American Marla Jacobs moved to England ten years prior. Never a believer of love or marriage, she has owned her own Las Vegas style Wedding Chapel for the past few years. When the building next to her opens up, and her new neighbors move in, it isn’t the cupcake shop she thought was coming. Instead it is a funeral parlor ran by the new man in town Gabriel Ryan; his business threatening Marla’s and all she has built for herself in the quiet town. Too bad Gabriel Ryan is good-looking and everything Marla has wanted. Even with her protests, petitions, and newspaper boyfriend, Marla has to fight for her business and protect her heart. But, can she?

Gabriel Ryan didn’t know there was a Wedding Chapel next door. He just wanted to open up  funeral parlor in a town that didn’t have one. Was that too much to ask? Then, he meets Marla Jacobs. While she is after his head, he tries to protect himself from the woman he can’t stop thinking about. Can a funeral parlor and a wedding chapel really coexist? Will Gabriel and Marla get their act together?

This was a great read. I am not a big fan of women’s literature. I do read it from time to time, but don’t often find myself gravitating towards it. The title was too witty to pass up. Undertaking Love? Made me smile. Then, I read page one, then page fifty, and just couldn’t stop myself. I immediately got caught up in the story. Everything Gabriel Ryan did made me smile and swoon a little more. Marla Jacobs was a smart, strong, and level-minded woman. She was one of those characters I would want to be friends with. And slap her each time she made a mean comment to sexy Gabriel she didn’t mean.  And, Gabriel. My did I ever swoon? He did so many sweet things for her. Swoon worthy. And, melt did I ever? Read it and see all the things he did. Fireworks, the perfect birthday present, and so forth. If I could find a man like him.

French also wrote perhaps the best metaphor for love. Every day this woman wore a lighthouse broach wherever she went; it was a gift from her husband. Why a lighthouse? Why? Because she was her husband’s lighthouse on top of his rocks. How sweet is that? That metaphor continues through the end of the book; it was just so awe-inspiring to think of. And how it connects in the end is great. I didn’t have tears, but I was close. It was just too sweet. And, a quote I will always remember.

If you are looking for a sweet, light read, this is for you. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. Even after a week or so, I am still thinking about the book and the lighthouse. I hope you pick it up. I might just read it again and buy myself a copy. It would make a great Valentine’s Day reread.

Happy reading!

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