The Year We Turned Forty: A Novel by Liz Fenton Lisa Steinke

netgalleyLiz and Lisa are back with another great novel. What would you do if you had the chance to return to an earlier pivotal year in your life and possibly change it? For Jessie it might give her the chance to save her marriage, it may give Claire a chance to get her Mom to the doctor sooner and for Gabriela it can provide a chance to have the child she always wanted. Yet returning to the past has it’s own set of complications none of the friends considered and when they must decide at the end of the year if they want to stay or return to the future the choice is not as cut and dried as they thought it would be. Both laugh out loud funny and heart wrenching and everything in between The Year we Turned Forty is a novel of life and choices good and bad and the friends and family that you stumble through the good and bad with. Warm and witty and touching.

The Goodbye Year by Kaira Rouda

For a group of parents who are stumbling through senior year with their children the looming question of what next is getting closer and closer.  For Midwestern transplant Melanie she must decide if she wants to stay in California and what in the world she will do there when Dane is safely at college.  Sarah has spent years providing everything her daughter Ashley needs to be successful in the world, but now that that job is almost done the question of how to reconnect with her husband is on her mind often.  Middle school principal and schedule queen Carol is busy just getting though the day, but her husband Will is feeling the need for a bit of freedom and for Lauren who is married to an older man their are also questions of what the future may and could be.  A look at growing up and starting over from the viewpoints of parents and kids.  A touching portrait of parents and children and how the world is not always as it seems.

Parting Gifts by Katrina Anne Willis

Oldest sister Catherine is battling breast cancer and wondering when her life will get back to “normal” and what that might be.  Middle sister Anne is fighting to have the suburban life she didn’t grow up but wants her children to have.  She is overwhelmed with pre-school and playgroup and a mounting stack of bills.  Youngest sister Jessica just wanted to escape, and she fled to California A.S.A.P. but she has moved back to town.  What all three sisters want is to be loved and to belong to something bigger than themselves, yet for each one of them the prize remains elusive at best.  Catherine has never had a long term close relationship other than her best friend Michelle from college, Anne must control everything and everyone and Jessica wants to make peace with her past and move on but it is much harder than it seems.  Anne must deal with the day to day issues for their mother Eva who is battling Alzheimer’s and despite the passing of their larger than life father Big Jim the girls are still not close at all.  Jessica has been out of touch for years and Catherine and Anne are not close by any stretch of the imagination, yet life will continue to try to bring the sisters back together, but will it be too little to late? #itsrainingbooks

 

 

The Memory Jar by Elissa Janine Hoole

When Taylor and Scott have a snow mobile accident on top of all the other things going on in their lives it is more that Taylor can take, but at least she is awake, the problem is she doesn’t really remember what happened, did she cause the accident and if so than whatever happens to Scott is her fault.  Taylor must decide how to make peace with her past and decide what she wants for her future, but at the moment it takes all she has just to get out of bed and shower and attend a class or two.  Taylor’s therapist gives her a memory jar so she can write down and store her memories and hopefully figure out the puzzle her life has become, but like everyone else Taylor learns life is never as simple as it could be, but it might not be as hard as she wants it to be either.  A touching portrait of life and lost and hope and dreams. netgalley

Eleven Things I Promised by Catherine Clark April 5th

Frances and Stella are the kind of friends who challenge each other and make each other better, and they are always honest with each other so at Stella’s insistence Frances agrees to do a week long charity bike ride with Stella and go to prom, but when the world goes sideways as Frances is trying on prom gowns neither girl will ever be the same.  Frances must find something to do and some way of keeping the hopes and dreams she and Stella had going and when she finds a list of challenges for the bike ride on Stella’s desk she knows she has to do them like it or not.  There are easy things on the list like swimming in a biking outfit and a wearing a swimsuit for one days ride and then there are harder things like that amusement park ride that has always terrified Frances.  Can Frances really do this?  Frances will learn many things about herself and about her biking teammates during a week of self discovery that will benefit others but teach Frances and her fellow riders about themselves as well.  I loved the dynamic between Frances and Stella and I love Frances for doing this ride despite how hard it is for her and how out of place she feels.  I admire her spunk and grit, but even that isn’t enough to get her to the finish line, it will take being honest with her team mates and a shared goal to get them all across the finish line and into their future.  A warm and touching read about growing up in many ways, yet still being innocent and open to the things life presents to you.

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer April 5th

netgalleyThe Midnight Watch is the story of the night the Titanic sank as you have not heard it before.  A reporter happens on a report that one of the ships in the vicinity of titanic did not imediately rush to her aid and the story unfolds told by the reporter and also by the crew members of the SS Californian.  The story unfolds bit by bit as these kinds of stories do and  Steadman the reporter who knows there is more to this than meets the eye and refuses to give up even years later.  The story of Steadman and his search interweaves with the story of the crew of the SS Californian and some of the passengers of the doomed ship as well.  It is a story that is unique.

Remember to Forget, Revised and Expanded from Wattpad sensation @_smilelikeniall by Ashley Royer

Levi’s world falls apart in hours and he is left to deal with his changed reality.  As his depression gets worse and he continues to remain silent totally silent his mother sends him from their home in Australasia to Maine, USA to live with his father hoping that a total change will force him out of his funk.  Now on top of all his other issues Levi must deal with the father he has not seen in years and the culture shock of living in a totally new place, but gradually he finds a few good friends including three year old Lucy and slowly puts his world back together.  A moving story about rebuilding after a huge loss, finding the courage to live again.  Levi touched me with his honest and open story and I loved watching how Lucy melted his heart and wormed her way into his life. Witty, touching and warm yet not afraid to ask tough questions and demand answers.