Today I have three good books for you, two young adult books, Skinny by Donna Cooner and The Geography of you and me by Jennifer E. Smith, and one adult romantic suspense book, The Liar by Nora Roberts.
Sometimes you start reading a book and after the first few pages you know that this is going to be a great book for you, this is exactly what happened when I read "Skinny". After I finished page three or four of the story I knew that this book would make me feel a lot and that the story would stay with me after I read it, whenever something like this happens I'm one very happy reader.
"Skinny" tells the story of a teen with weight issues, but also with anger issues, let's say with life issues. Ever would love to be normal, would love to fit in regular sized clothes, would love to not destroy chairs at school, however she tried everything and nothing worked. But then something major changes and she has the chance to finally get to a healthy weight, to maybe go after other dreams as well. But Ever soon realizes that weighing less is not the solution for all of her issues, that she has to look into herself and work on some of her thoughts and feelings to get to a happier place.
Ever is a character that made me feel a lot, her struggles seemed real, her self-hate made me sad. I loved when she changed, when she started to realize that the answer to her issues was always within her, that losing weight was not enough. In the end the message of the book, that you need to work on your self-love, is one that many teens and also grown-ups need to hear more often.
Because I felt this instant and amazing author-reader chemistry when reading "Skinny", some things worked for me perfectly that others might criticise, just keep that in mind. The ending was maybe a bit too perfect, a bit too easy, but I'm ok with it, I love endings like that.
"Skinny" made me excited to try out more books by Donna Cooner and I plan to get her other book, "Can't look away", soon.
"The Geography of you and me" is a book that worked for me because before reading it I knew certain things about the story. I knew that the two main characters wouldn't have that much personal contact during most parts of the book, I knew that their main time together would be at the beginning and the ending of the book and I knew that these two things didn't work for some readers. So going into the book I didn't expect a classical teen romance and maybe that's why I could appreciate the story for what it is.
When a huge blackout strikes New York Lucy and Owen are stuck together in a lift of their building, starting from that point on they spend the rest of the day together and soon there is the possibility of more between them. But both are on the move and contact via e-mail and postcards not always works for them, so the question is if their relationship is over before it even started.
Lucy and Owen are characters that you can believe in, you can be sure that somewhere in the world there might be a Lucy and Owen just like the ones in the book. Two young adults whose life are changing, who don't know if they like the changes that are happening, who don't know what the future will bring. Maybe because of these uncertainties the time apart worked for me. Both Lucy and Owen needed some time away from each other to explore things on their own.
As usual with books by Jennifer E. Smith I enjoyed her writing style, it's very engaging, I also liked that she made me believe in her characters. I also appreciate the author's idea of romance, in this book and also in her other books. Maybe "The Geography of you and me" was not as great as "This is what happy looks like", but still I'm happy that I read the book and even the relatively open ending didn't bother me this time. If you like sweet YA romances with a slow pacing and not that much contact between the two main characters, then this book might be something for you.
Anybody who is surprised that this book belongs to my good books must be a new reader of About Happy Books, because otherwise you would know that books by Nora Roberts always belong to my favorite books. Nora Roberts is one of the few authors that can make pretty much everything work for me and I love her for that.
"The Liar" is Nora's romantic suspense stand-alone novel of the year and it's another good one. As soon as I got the book, I picked up my preordered copy at my local bookstore, I concentrated completely on the book, I grabbed the bookmark I always use for Nora's books and started reading.
"The Liar" tells the story of a woman who learned a few weeks ago that her relationship with her husband was a lie, after his death she finds out that pretty much nothing of what he told her was true, that she spent the last years of her life with someone she didn't know at all, with a great liar. She finds out that he was involved in illegal activities and she is burdened with the consequences of his actions.
At the beginning of the book Shelby is pretty hopeless, she doesn't know where to start, she isn't sure how to trust herself again, to trust her own thoughts, feelings and decisions. For years she believed in a lie and now she doesn't know how to get her old self-confidence back.
I loved how Shelby changed, how she finally started fighting for her little girl and her own future, how she stopped being passive, how she got her voice back. I also loved reading about her return to her family. Her family is pretty perfect, not in a glamorous, rich way, but in the amount of love and support they are giving Shelby, they are also asking some hard questions that need to be asked, maybe I loved them even more because of that.
The romance and Shelby's way back to her old strength are in the centre of the story, the mystery is there and it's for some a deadly one, but it is not the main focus and I guessed pretty early what was really going on, this didn't bother me at all.
The romance is a sweet and at times sexy one and the interactions between Griff, the love interest, and Shelby, also between Griff and Shelby's daughter Callie are amazing, I loved it whenever they had one of their special moments. Griff is one of those heroes that you want your best friend to get together with, because you know that their relationship will be filled with love, happiness and respect.
In the end some things might be solved too easily, for some the ending might be too flawless, but honestly I don't care about that at all. I love beautiful happy ever afters that promise a bright future for the characters I learned to love, so I personally loved everything about the ending and finished the book with a smile on my lips and my heart was all warm and happy.
There is one sentence in the book that describes my feelings about "The Liar" in a perfect way:
"It felt like arms hugged her heart."
Need I say more?