Juliet’s Answer One Man’s Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak by Glenn Dixon

This novel was really cool, it is the story of a man who goes to Italy to answer letters that lovers write to Juliet and await her answer.  Kind of like a mystical Dear Abby I guess.  I loved seeing behind the scenes of how such a thing gets done, and I loved the little details in the novel’s description that made it feel so real.  This might be a great valentine book for the bookworms you love.

Always by Sarah Jio

Always is the story of a woman caught between two men, caught between her past and her two futures.  Kailey Crane has always known what she wants and when she meets equally driven rising star Cade McAllistar the sparks fly and soon the two are destined for each other, until it all ends in the blink of an eye.  Hurt and saddened Kailey picks up the pieces and moves on.  When she falls for Ryan she things she has found true love again but she has never been able to put Cade behind her and when their paths cross again she can’t help but help him even though it leaves her doubting the future she was so sure of.  I loved the tension between Kailey and Ryan and Cade and the way the story is woven through time and the narrative switches between past and present.   A story about not only love, but the way love connects us together forever.

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda by Rachel Hulin

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is told entrierly via letter and email between fraternal twins.  The format is witty and fun and it is very cool to see their lives unfold message via message.  Harry and Matilda both have their share of problems and I found myself laughing and cheering them on as the pages and plots unfolded.   A warm and witty look at family dynamics.

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

New teacher Molly Nicoll is drawn into the world of her students all of whom unbeknownst to her were part of a middle school tragedy.  All of her students carry a scar from what happened and where they fall on the social scale does not exempt them.   Dave struggles to keep up with his parents expectations, Nick the scam artist who just wants to get by, and Emma who is a gifted dancer and party girl.  Molly struggles with the line between teacher and friend as everything in their world and hers becomes public via social media.  A unique perspective on high school in the digital age and the roles of teachers as social media becomes the norm.  Unique and distinct characters add to the richness of this novel.

If You Were Here Jennie Yabroff January 3rd 2017

Tess was happy on the fringe at her prep school until her mother made her a social outcast, now Tabitha is her only friend and they spend lots of time watching Sixteen Candles among other things.  As an 80’s girl I was fine with that and enjoyed remembering parts of the movie.  Tabitha slowly changes and the distance between the friends grows until tragedy changes their world forever.  Now I don’t want that last line to seem overly dramatic, although it does, but I also don’t want to give anything away either, so you will have to read and decide how that line should be interpreted.  That said I loved the characters in this story.  Tess who wants to be normal but knows she can’t be, Tabitha who likes her anyway, Tess’s Mom who really does try but life is full of limitations for her, Tess’s Dad who is trying to keep the sky from falling, and Tess’s grandmother who offers Tess honesty and wisdom and adds her own special magic to the story.  A wonderful story of growing up and figuring out your place in the world.

Elfie Run stats

So today I finished my first virtual 10K walk, my son and husband run 5k’s a few times a year but this time of year it is too cold to be outside at least for me, so I tried a virtual race I could do from home.  Stats below.  The race benefited Toys for Tots.elf-run

The Nerdy and the Dirty by B. T. Gottfred

I loved this story about love and being who you are.  Benedict is the definition of a nerd or a geek, from this choices in reading material to his wardrobe he is not liked by his fellow students.  Pen is well liked among her classmates and has a steady boyfriend who she thinks she will marry one day, but her safe comfortable life feels like a lie to her because she is afraid to say and do what she thinks she is caught up in being who she thinks other people want to be and does not feel that she can be herself.  In a short time Pen and Benedict will cross paths often and each time they begin to see each other differently but when they realize there may be more to this than they thought things get very interesting very quickly.  I loved these warm and quirky characters who were honest and open from the first page.  I was sorry to have to leave them on the last page.  A great story about high school and growing up and being who you are.