Friday, September 25, 2009

Beach Trip: A Novel by Cathy Holton

Beach Trip: A Novel by Cathy Holton
Women's Fiction

True friendships, ones that grow with you and strengthen over time, are hard to find. Especially when everyone involved ultimately has to go their separate ways. Sometimes it's something you do or don't do; other times it's just the path that life takes you down. Whatever the cause, more often than not we, as a people, make our way through life with only a handful of timeless friends. Most others come in to our life for a season, and then silently slip away never to be heard from again.

For Annie, Lola, Mel, and Sara the journey hasn't always been easy. When they all met in college life was at an all time high. Studying, partying, and just goofing off together was the name of the game. It was a life they could all enjoy and it was what brought them together. But as often times happens, life eventually got in the way. The ties that bound the friends together began to stretch and even fray; leaving each girl alone to follow her own road in life.

Undeterred by the twenty plus years that have passed since all four women have been together, the friends decide it's time for a reuinion. It's a long overdue homecoming, and one that's sure to be a time of fun and excitement. Except before everyone can truly begin to enjoy everyone else's company they must each take a trip down memory lane and learn to let go. With years worth of experiences, both good and bad, under their belts each of the women must learn to move forward and live in the moment. They must all learn to forgive and forget, to live and to let live. It's a process that is difficult, but soothing like a cool salve to a fresh wound. And it's a process that is absolutely necessary if this beach trip is going to be a success.

Some novels reach out and grab you at the very first word, igniting a fire within you that renders you completely unable to put the book down. For me, this was not one of those books. Don't get me wrong, the story was good. However, try as I might, I did not feel any connection to the story or any of the characters. I had such great expectations for this book, considering it is about such a wonderful thing- timeless female friendship, which is why I found it incredibly odd that I could not get in to the storyline.

I love a book that grabs ahold of me in such a way that it enraptures me, but I found nothing here that did it for me. If I'm being perfectly honest, I actually struggled to get through it. The plot and characters were well developed and written, and each definitely had their shining moments. As a whole though, for me, none of it was exciting enough to hold my attention. Reading it actually became a chore because I was continually getting bored and easily distracted, which is very unlike me when it comes to a book that I think sounds as good as I thought this one did. So, I'm really not sure what to say. I know lots of other people who read this book had nothing but great things to say about it. That's wonderful, and I'm so glad to hear it. I'm just sorry I wasn't able to give it such positive marks myself.

~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Free Library of Philadelphia Needs Your Help!

If you or someone you know lives in the Philidelphia area you have likely already heard the disheartening news about what's to become of their Free Library there in the months ahead. Unfortunately, it seems that due to state budget cuts or simple lack of financial planning all of the Philidelphia Free Libraries are at risk of being closed effective October 2, 2009. As anyone with a love for books knows, we simply can't allow this to happen!

Books are a huge part of libraries, but what we must remember is that our libraries offer so much more than just the opportunity to read and borrow books. Additionally, they offer media services where patrons can check out audio and video products for use at home. They offer free on-site computer stations with internet service, so job seekers can look and apply for jobs; so students can do homework and online research; so seniors can get needed information about social security and other benefits. There are countless programs and services available to the community through the library, and all are free. That's why it is so important, especially in today's economy, for our libraries to be available and well funded.

With libraries being in such popular demand by children and adults alike, residents in the Philidelphia area must band together now to contact their elected state officials to let them know that losing the Philidelphia Free Community Library system is not an option. Let your voices be heard, and be sure to pass along the word to anyone you know who will also feel the loss should the government not come up with a budget solution quickly.

Here's the link to the Free Library of Philadelphia home page- When you get there a pop-up window should open up with the link for how to contact your local Philadelphia region elected official(s). Also, should you be interested in more information on this, please feel free to check out the library's We Need Action Now! page.

~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

April & Oliver: A Novel by Tess Callahan

April is devoted to her brother Buddy, and knows that no matter how many ups or downs life throws her way he will always be there to help her through. What she doesn't consider is who will get her through when Buddy himself is no longer around. Killed in a tragic automobile accident, Buddy's death rips through April, tearing her to the core. Of all the things in April's messed up life, Buddy was the one thing, the one person she could truly count on. Without him, April's world grows bleak and dim, even more so than before.

It's not as though she's got a lot going for her. Stuck in a dead end job tending bar and caught up in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship, April finds her world completely coming apart at the seems. The downward spiral only quickens when Oliver, April's childhood best friend, shows up at her brother's funeral- with his new fiance'. As a child, April derived her deepest pleasure from the times she spent with Oliver and Buddy. They were inseparable. Unfortunately, as they grew up, April and Oliver also grew apart.

The skeletons in April's closet prevented her from going to college and making something of herself, but Oliver seized his opportunity when it arrived. The day that Oliver went off without April was the day he started living for himself, but even within his now sober and sensible world Oliver finds there is something missing. He's about to have everything a guy could ever hope for- a successful career and a gorgeous wife. Yet when Oliver returns home for Buddy's funeral it's as if the past all comes rushing back to him with full force.

Oliver always cared deeply for the audacious and broken April, and seeing her again after so many years causes a need to stir inside of him. A need to fix her. A need to heal her. A need to understand her. It's not as though he sets out on a road to claim her as his own. Be that as it may, the sexually charged atmosphere that was once thought to be extinguished only rushes to a full blaze once again. Neither knows what he or she really wants from the other, yet both find themselves drawn inexplicably together despite all that they know about one another.

Rich in story and drama, April & Oliver is a page turner that will make you fall in love with its disfunctional characters as they get back to the basics of who they are and why. Not to worry though, it's not all hearts and roses. And there's certainly plenty of angst to go around. However, this is a book that, when all is said and done, I believe will leave readers with a satisfied, heart warming grin on their faces. It's a story that comes together in such an irresistible way readers can't help but be drawn to the painful and romantic narrative. Perhaps it is one which will even cause readers to travel back in time, if be it briefly, to consider their own first love, possibly in a different light than ever before.

April & Oliver is, simply put, one I can't help but recommend!


~Bookish Mom, aka RebekahC