BOOK HUNGRY: life happens

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email/phone. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month OR, well, we used to all post reviews. now, i think, it’s just patty and me. but anyways, go for it. click on their names above and if they have a review up, it’ll take you to there. enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

LIFE HAPPENS by sandra steffen

what it’s about from amazon: 

She’s Hiding Something…

Well, everyone is hiding something—but Mya Donohue’s secret is knocking on the front door, in no uncertain terms. Mya is about to answer to the daughter she’d given birth to nineteen years ago, and Elle has news for her biological mother. Mya is not only a mom, but a grandmother, too. And Elle isn’t sticking around for long. She can’t.

Offering Mya their assistance are her best friends—the only ones who will dare tell her the truth in unmitigated terms; her mother—a woman still sowing her own share of wild oats; and Elle’s father—a man of few words, but usually memorable ones, at that.

my opinion:

i liked it. i didn’t love it. the characters were interesting enough, the writing smooth enough, the reheated romance hot enough, the overall story compelling enough, but i don’t feel the need to re-read it, which kind of bums me out because i have my own shiny copy courtesy of kelly. yes, she was kind enough to send us all a digital copy of this book, which meant no long waits at the library! woohoo!! yay kelly!!! you rock!!!!

ahem, back to the book.

for some reason, my new thing with books is the ending and if the ending (whether it’s loud or slow or quiet or fast or cliff-hanger-y or wraps things up) remains true to the character, i dig it. i can think of three books (off the top of my head) that did this and it made me love those books all the more.

what books? GONE GIRL by gillian flynn, TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE by jessica lemmon and I HUNT KILLERS by barry lyga.

those endings weren’t necessarily tidy, but they were fearless. they made me either pump my fist, applaud, or hug the book close and with the exception of TEMPTING THE BILLIONAIRE, they’re not happy endings and i’m a HEA kind of girl, so this new method i have of deciding which books i like has caught me off guard.

my point? LIFE HAPPENS had a nice ending. a tidy ending. it was way too happily ever after. no, i don’t want people to die and no it’s not that i’m thinking misery loves company (though it does), it’s just that this ending felt like it was what the author wanted, not what the characters needed. again, i don’t mean the characters wanted doom and gloom, but i don’t think they wanted their lives tied up with a bow either. especially not elle. she’s not a pink ribbon kind of a girl and this, to me, was a pink ribbon kind of ending.

that said, i don’t think it was a waste of time to read this book. in fact, it’s helped me to articulate what’s going on in my brain re: endings and it just may help me better formulate the ending to my own MS, as i’ve just jumped back into it.

thank you for this lesson, kelly!

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4 Responses to “BOOK HUNGRY: life happens”

  1. Karla Nellenbach Says:

    well said, Abs. Although I did want a death because well, I’m me and I like those kinds of endings (much to my own characters’ detriment) :)

    • abby mumford Says:

      the ending (and my reaction to it) surprised me because i usually like a HEA and up to that point, i was enjoying the book. however, i just couldn’t get over the tidiness of it which ultimately colored my overall view.

  2. Kelly Breakey (@kellybreakey) Says:

    And I am glad I was able to help you with your future writings. For me I loved the HEA because the ending of the book before the epilogue left so many questions unanswered and honestly, when I read anything tagged as a romance it better have a happy ending. That said, I loved this book because Mya and Dean weren’t shiny and new; they had a past, a history and while she hadn’t wallowed in misery for 19 years, something was missing.

    I think pretty much that “second chance to get it right” books are my all time fav. And this one had that in spades. Looking forward to next months discussion.

    • abby mumford Says:

      this one definitely had the “second chance to get it right” storyline in multiple varieties. and see, your descriptions of why you like this book make me relook at it with a rosier (rather than gray) tint to it. you’re always surprising me, kel!

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