When Laura Jean’s older sister goes to college in Scotland and the love letters she has written over the years to various boys start turning up in their mailboxes she isn’t sure what to do especially about the the one she wrote to the boy next door Josh who just became her sisters ex. Life gets a bit complicated for Laura Jean as her past comes back to her and she must navigate being the big sister and helping their father keep their home life going smoothly. Then one of her letter recipients offers her a challenge, but when it leads to more than what she agreed to can she decide what she wants and write the letter that really matters? Charming, funny and sweet. A great YA read.
My first thought after reading this was “If you liked The Fault In Our Stars you will like this.” And while the stories are somewhat similar and they both leave you with a hopeful feeling that is about where the stories end, and to be fair Zac and Mia are very different from Hannah and Gus, their circumstances are lives are their own, yet like Green’s characters they take on life in their own ways despite their illness.
First of all I want to say this is a non-fiction book about four women who played important parts in the Civil War. I read much more fiction than non-fiction, but this one looked good and I enjoyed it so I thought I would mention it in case anyone else wanted to check it out. As I mentioned the book chronicles the lives and activities of four women over the course of the Civil War. Belle Boyd is a well known Rebel spy from Virginia. She spends time in prison, ends up being banished from the north as part of her sentence and eventually marries and spends time in Europe before returning to the south after the war. Rose Greenlow was a widow who was the head of a confederate spy ring, she was eventually punished for her crimes including serving time in jail as Belle had, but in Rose’s case her youngest daughter shared her cell. Eventually she was forced to leave her beloved country. Elizabeth Van Lew was a southern women with northern roots whose family had respect within the community and she used her connections to provide food and necessary items to union prisoners held in her town and eventually she hid union soilders in a secret room and helped them leave the area. The fourth woman was Emma Edmondson who impersonated a male officer for years even becoming part of an elite spy group, then a post master before she went AWOL and joined a group providing nursing care to wounded soilders. The book has photos of the women, some of the places that are mentioned and sometimes of letters or other important documents. I found the stories of these women fascinating both for the risks they took and for their passion and devotion to their cause.
Fans of Randy Susan Meyers and new readers alike will be thrilled with this book. A touchingly woven story about a family who falls apart and then must find a way to be a family again even if they are a different family from the kind they were before. Ben is a lawyer with a hectic work week and a high stress level, his wife Maddy is a social worker with a high stress level of her own and between them they juggle their three children Emma, Gracie and Caleb. When a tragedy strikes and Maddy ends up being a much different woman than she was before Ben must deal with his own guilt and help her find a way to rebuild with him instead of without him not only for their children but because they need each other in ways they never realized until their life changed.
Apparently this book is part of a series and I have not read any of the others. Oops! I shall review the book by itself, but if you follow the series or if you decide to read the series starting at the first book might be better. This novel focuses on the lives of Lila and Elena as adults. The women choose different paths and both of them are distanced from their families and their pasts in one way or another . I liked seeing their friendship evolve as they grew into women with families and careers and also seeing glimpses of their past here and there.
Since there is an elementary school child in my house who already wants a working cell phone so he can send text messages I thought this book might be useful and it was. It does not set hard and fast rules which is good since everyone’s situation is different, instead it uses real world examples and questions to help you look at your world in a new light and decide how when and why you want technology to be a part of it. It covers issues ranging from screen time to being safe on line as your children expand their horizons. I found it insightful and useful with well organized content. If this issue is part of your world you may also find it helpful.
Libby finds out she is adopted and as one might expect tracks down her birth mother Adele through her husband Holton. Libby is desperate for answers so she ends up spending the summer working for Holton along with his assistant Tess. The summer will teach Libby about herself, about people and about Family including her own. The characters felt real to me, their reactions to life were realistic and I loved watching the story unfold. It does some things you might not expect and I don’t want to give any of them away by accident so I don’t want to go into to much detail but if you like stories about families and friends that this one is a good one to try.