Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Review: New Uses for Old Boyfriends by Beth Kendrick







Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for New Uses for Old Boyfriends.  We received a copy of Beth Kendrick's book for an honest review.







About the book:

After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything...but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget...and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.
I love when fun, enjoyable books teach us lessons on life.  New Uses for Old Boyfriends does just that!  Lila Alders has always kept up appearances and done all of the things that were expected of her.  She married someone that provided her with a lifestyle other people might be jealous of and had a career on TV.  Her life takes a turn for the worst when her contract with her job is not renewed and her husband informs her that he has found someone else to be with.  So Lila packs up her life in her newly purchased FUV (her SUV that she purchased to stick it to her ex-husband) and heads back to her hometown of Black Dog Bay.  Lila's mother, Daphne, still lives there, but is struggling with her own problems.  Daphne is a recent widow and on top of missing her husband is having a lot of financial difficulties.  

Lila learns that her mother has spent waaaaayyyy beyond her means and does not see a way out of the hole.  Meanwhile, Lila's old high school flame, Ben, has come back to town and her mother will do anything to match them back up.  Lila (without the help of her mother, who is in total denial) tries to help clean out the home she grew up in in preparation to sell it.  She discovers a ton of priceless vintage clothing her mother has accumulated over the years and she has an idea to save her mom and herself.  Through a ton of good luck (thanks Ben!) and stars aligning (you'll find out the help of an old high school classmate that she doesn't even remember, Malcolm, that helps make things possible), the two women set out to start a vintage clothing store that will attract the wealthier tourists of Black Dog Bay.  Things start looking up for Lila and Daphne, but unfortunately they have another stroke of bad luck come their way.  I won't give away the details of that, but they both have to learn about themselves again and learn to pick up the pieces.    

Beth Kendrick wrote a great book to continue the Black Dog Series.  Each one can be a stand alone book, but it is always fun to see glimpses of other characters make their way into each book.  I really cared about these characters and felt for them when things didn't go their way.  I loved how Lila learned not to do what was expected of her but rather what she really wants.  Daphne always wants Lila to project an outside image that just doesn't seem to fit Lila anymore.  Lila also discovers to take her life into her own hands and take action to turn things for her and her mom around.  She is able to also teach her mom a few lessons along the way and Daphne discovers she is capable of doing things she never though possible.  I love how this book teaches the reader that even though a person's circumstances seem to be insurmountable, if they just take the next five minutes at a time, then they can do it.  I feel like Lila taught me that you can have more inner strength than you think is possible of yourself.  Even though Lila and Daphne have a lot of troubles in this book, they are able to have a lot of fun and gain great new friends along the way.  This book was sad, but hilarious due to the FUV (I love that!) and Malcolm (who was in the military) and Lila's covert operations language they use to communicate.   
I am so glad that I had an opportunity to read and review New Uses for Old Boyfriends and I am sure once you pick up this book, you will too! :)

Buy the book:
     Amazon


Praise for the book:


"Beth Kendrick has written a sharp, sassy, surprisingly emotional story that will make readers laugh out loud from page one and sigh from the heart at the end.  Light and lovely perfection!"
—Roxanne St. Claire, New York Times bestselling author on CURE FOR THE COMMON BREAKUP

“A smart, funny spin on happily-ever-after!"
—Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author

"Kendrick writes with a wicked sense of humor and great wisdom about the power of friendship [and] the importance of true love."
The Chicago Tribune









About the author:

Beth Kendrick is the author of The Week Before the Wedding, The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service, and Nearlyweds, which was turned into a Hallmark Channel original movie. She lives in Arizona with her two rescue dogs, but she loves to vacation at the Delaware shore, where she goes to Funland, eats boardwalk fries, and wishes that the Whinery really existed.

Connect with the author:

   Facebook:  http://on.fb.me/1hyNbYy
   Twitter: http://bit.ly/1gSjj3h
   Website: http://bit.ly/1lQXUw
   Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1hyN7Ie



Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: Blushing by Katie Delahanty





If you remember correctly, this past summer the Vise Library was given an advanced copy of Katie Delahanty's first book In Bloom.  (Our review of that book is here.Through the powers of the internet after my review, I have had contact with Katie's editor.  Since I enjoyed first book so much, I was given a copy of Katie Delahanty's newest book, Blushing.  This was given to me out of my love for the first book as a gift, not with any promises of a review.  However, since we (Vise Library) love books and authors so much, I decided to write a review regardless.  Reviews (good or bad) help authors in many ways.  Anyways, on with what Blushing is about and what I took away from the book!









About the book:

My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Engaged.

When Berkeley proposed I thought we’d live happily ever after—we’d plan our wedding and he’d tour with the Brightside while I continued designing lingerie. But instead he dropped a bombshell that turned my life upside down: he’s set to star in a movie with, who else, his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about is #Berkstina.

Berkeley wants me to work on set as a costume designer—a dream come true—but there’s a catch; we have to keep our relationship secret. I’m okay with not being photographed, but the sneaking around, the lies, the love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. I know Berkeley is passionate and driven, but he has so much going on—I don’t know if we can take it. I’m starting to wonder how well I know him.


I love him, but am I ready to drop everything and decide the rest of my life? To become Olivia Dalton?




So as I stated above, I LOVED Katie's first book.  I was very excited to be given the opportunity to read her book before publication.  Sometimes with sequels to movie or books there is the possibility of the letdown, but honestly, I wasn't worried about that at all with Katie Delahanty's newest book.  I enjoyed the story of Liv and Berkeley so much, that I was anxious (in a good way!) to continue reading about their story.

This book pretty much picks up right where the last one ended.  There is not any significant amount of time that has elapsed.  (Thank goodness, I'd hate to miss anything!)  Berkeley and Liv are now engaged and trying to figure out the details.  However, because Berkeley is starring in a movie with an old (and very famous & very liked) girlfriend, the two have to keep their engagement secret.  Berkeley has a lot at stake with this movie, so it is very important that Liv, who will be working as a costume designer on the movie, isn't recognized or seen with him.  Liv has to go under a transformation to keep a low profile.  At first, Liv can handle it, but the longer this charade goes on, the harder keeping it up (and their relationship) becomes.  Liv eventually becomes very secluded where doubts start creeping in.

Gosh, I wish I could dive more into the plot of this, but I do not want to give any of the major events away.  (And I DESPERATELY need someone to discuss this book with!)  I will tell you that I loved it (shocker, I know...)!   Like any relationship, Liv and Berkeley are still trying to figure out their relationship and each other.  They have a few added obstacles with the fame and now having to keep their engagement to themselves.  We get to explore different cities (New York and Pittsburgh) with these two and get to catch up with Liv's our old friends, Blair, Parker, Boots and Mark! There are a few different twists to this book and people's REAL personalities also are revealed.  

I was very happy with the ending, but if certain circumstances did not come to light, I would have been content with it going in the complete opposite direction.  I think this is due to Katie's writing.  I think the way she writes these characters makes you want to root and support them in any decision that they make.  They just feel REAL, that's really all there is to it. She also makes it possible to feel the emotions that Liv is experiencing.  I remember being almost as anxious as Liv was in some of the scenes when she was interacting with certain characters.  I'm pretty sure I haven't been this anxious about a character since I stayed up late in college reading the 5th Harry Potter book that featured Professor Umbridge (ugh, that women...)!  I just could empathize with Liv as some things started unraveling.  I take that as a good thing, because I was able to become so engrossed with this story.  These characters are not overly dramatic, but they do have real life circumstances and events happening to them.  I cannot comprehend Hollywood or the movie/music scene, but I felt like what is happening between Liv and Berkeley is relatable.  Even though at times Liv struggles and has burdens to deal with, she becomes a stronger person in the end for it. I wish I was part of the Brightside gang!

One thing I was happy to see again in this book was the tweets and messages from the characters before each chapter.  They seem to give a little insight into what you will be reading about.  They don't give too much away, but they keep you wondering what you, as the reader, will be experiencing in the next chapter.  (Plus, you can never get too much of Liv & the gang!) I think it's great to see Liv grow as a person and realize what she wants to do and needs out of life.  She has to figure out some of the logistics of her life that she has not contemplated before. And also like the first book, I went back to reread some of the major happenings to experience them again.  Some books just stick with you and never get old - this is one of those books & series.  Again, like the first book, I stayed up way too late reading this and ignoring other things I should have been doing.  (Sorry husband for not feeding you!  I am sure he TOTALLY understands!)  If you want a fun read with GREAT characters in it, make sure and check this one out! Even though I received a gift copy of this book, I purchased one to send to my kindle.  You should too!

Side note: Be on the lookout in early March for a special blog post for Liv... :)

p.s. I have heard that there will be a third book in this series, but not sure who or what that entails - either way, I am sold and counting down the days until it comes out!  *HAPPY DANCE!*  








About the author:

Katie Delahanty never knew she was a writer. Her childhood obsessions centered on old movies, costumes, fashion, playing dress up, and books. Lots of books. On her quest to play make believe for a living she decided she wanted to be a fashion designer and after satisfying her practical parents by graduating from UCLA with a BA in Communication Studies. She went on to pursue her design dreams with a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. Now in charge of the ecommerce business for In Bloom Lingerie, she was asked to start the company blog. Not knowing what to say about lingerie but needing to use bridal keywords, she decided to start a fictional serial about how a girl named Olivia Bloom, who worked for In Bloom Lingerie, became engaged. And that's when Katie fell in love with storytelling and the path to make believe became clear. She hasn't looked back since.

Connect with the author:
·         Facebook
·         Twitter
·         Website 
·         Goodreads

Buy the book:

·         Amazon Kindle


'Praise for In Bloom:

"In Bloom is absolutely magical. With Olivia Bloom, Katie Delahanty has created a heroine who will both capture your heart and leave you longing to move to Los Angeles to pursue your own Hollywood dream. A dazzling debut novel with adventure, humor, and passion."--Marjorie Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Summer at Tiffany

"A delightful and dazzling Hollywood romp that had me laughing and loving all the way through!" --Ophelia London, author of
 Abby Road

"We're all Livs at heart...if she can meet her Prince Charming, maybe, just maybe, we can too. Liv reminds us to take a risk...to jump, to soar and...live!" --Lola Jaye, author of By the Time You Read This

Monday, January 19, 2015

Book Review: What is Found, What is Lost by Anne Leigh Parrish







Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for What is Found, What is Lost.  We received a copy of Anne Leigh Parrish's book for an honest review.






About the book:

Freddie was raised on faith. It’s in her blood. Yet rather than seeking solace from the Almighty when she loses her husband of many years, she enters a state of quiet contemplation—until her daughter, and then her sister, each come home with a host of problems of their own, and her solitude is brought to an end. As Freddie helps her daughter and sister deal with their troubles, her own painful past—a wretched childhood at the hands of an unbalanced, pious mother—begins to occupy her thoughts more than ever, as does Anna, the grandmother she’s always wished she’d known better. Freddie feels that she and Anna are connected, not just through blood but through the raising of difficult daughters, and it’s a kinship that makes her wonder what unseen forces have shaped her life. With all that to hand, a new family crisis rears its head—and it forces Freddie to confront the questions she’s asked so many times: What does it mean to believe in God? And does God even care?
What is Found, What is Lost discusses the issues of life and religion through four generations of women from one family.  The women all come from different places but at the same time their lives are interwoven with similarities.  The women question their religion and faith (if they have any) at some point.  One of the women is extremely devout throughout her life, but near the end of her life, she begins to question if she did the right thing for her children.  Another one of the characters throughout this book states numerous times that she does not believe in religion due to her childhood, but we catch glimpses though the eyes of other characters that in fact that may not be true.  The women at one point or another in their lives leave something of their past behind in order to move on with their future.  This book explores how at times of hardship we can either question our faith or turn towards to it.  One thing that I found interesting about this book is that even though the women are looking to get away from something or someone in order to be happy, they have to work for that happiness and relationship.  That is true about everyday life.  This book also shows that we have to ask for what we want and have those tough conversations with people to understand or we may never to get to have those conversations due to running out of time.  We may never get the closure we need from those conversations and always be left wondering.  These characters try to run in the opposite direction of of the generation before them, but in the end they end up in being in a similar situation that they were trying to get away from.  They believe that the woman's way of life before them is flawed, but in the end everyone's life is flawed in some way.  


Buy the book:
·        Amazon


Praise for the book:


In What is Found, What is Lost, Anne Leigh Parrish has crafted an elegant and powerful novel that explores the intricacies of family and faith. It is a heart wrenching tale of four generations of women. . . their relationships and quiet tragedies . . . linger long after the last page is turned. Ms. Parrish's vibrant prose guides the reader through the story with a deft hand. Simply put, What Is Found, What Is Lost is a novel on par with the best in American letters. As a debut, it is a tour de force that demands serious attention. - Lawrence Parlier, author of Sierra Court Blues

“Anne Leigh Parrish’s fine debut novel, What Is Found, What Is Lost, is a moving and graceful tale that delves deeply into the histories of two sisters, Freddie and Holly. The women reinvent their lives and fortunes as adults, but despite new identities, find they must learn to navigate the complex network of family ties and family lies that bind them together. Parrish, in clear, deft prose, explores the meaning of motherhood, faith, loyalty, and tenderness; effortless, she carries her readers through four generations of one family’s checkered history of love.”
—Mary Akers, author of Bones Of An Inland Sea

“In What Is Found, What Is Lost, Anne Leigh Parrish ruminates on faith and lack of, as well as family and love. With writing akin to the comfort of a conversation over a familiar kitchen table, she takes us on a journey through the years—both skeptical and believing, both hard and bright—to get at the hearts of these women, marriages, mothers and daughters, these relationships. Parrish isn’t afraid to let us drift to the darkness, but we can trust that we will find her on her hands and knees, looking for the lost flashlight to guide our way. What Is Found, What Is Lost, is a deft novel full of rich characters and even richer emotions that will leave a pleasant ache in your bones.”
—Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Every Kiss A War








About the author:

Since 1982, Anne Leigh Parrish has called Seattle, Washington home. A native of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Anne spent her high school years in Princeton, New Jersey, and then made her way west.
Anne graduated from the University of Colorado, then moved once more to Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington. After earning her MBA, Anne realized her first and only love was writing, which she has pursued relentlessly for many years.

Her story collection, Our Love Could Light The World, is a Kirkus Reviews recommended Indie title, and a finalist in both the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards and the USA Book News Best Book Awards.

Connect with the author:
·        Facebook
·        Website



Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen







Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for The Resurrection of Tess Blessing.  We received a copy of Lesley Kagen's book for an honest review.





About the book:

After she’s diagnosed with breast cancer, forty-nine-year old Tess sets forth on a mission to complete her TO-DO List before, what she’s sure is, her impending death. She needs to make peace with her estranged sister, Birdie, scatter her mother’s long-kept ashes, rescue her daughter, Haddie, from the grip of an eating disorder, guide her teenage son, Henry, through a bumpy adolescence, and reignite the spark in her almost thirty-year marriage to her husband, Will.
Tess is aided on her quest by narrator, Grace, who lends the story its most brilliant elements: subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity. Is Grace an imaginary friend, guardian angel, or a part of Tess that knows better than she? The Resurrection of Tess Blessing is by turns poignant, gritty, spiritually uplifting, and hilarious as hell.
Lesley Kagen has created an unforgettable, redemptive story about a middle-aged woman with the odds stacked against her, who discovers that in the end, love really does conquer all

Tess Blessing has received some horrific news: she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She has a terrible feeling that this disease will kill her and she sets out to enjoy and make things right in her life.  She doesn't tell her two children that she has cancer, because she feels that they have enough to deal with.  Her daughter has a very serious eating disorder and Tess is afraid the news will spin her even further out of control.  She is afraid to burden her son with her illness.  Tess eventually tells her husband the news, but his original response to the news is that he believes Tess is overreacting.  Tess also believes that her husband is having an affair with the woman he dated before meeting Tess.  Tess has a lot to deal with and due to very traumatic events early in life; Tess suffers with PTSD.  Tess seems to expect the worse of her situation and worries more than normal people.

This novel takes you through Tess' journey as she learns to deal and suffer through this illness. She sets out to make things easy for her family and try to get to the root of everyone's problems.  Tess has long been estranged from her sister and sets to repair that relationship as well.  Tess Blessing has her own obstacles to overcome during this story.  Even though I do not know what it like to have PTSD, I can understand the way Tess operated due to her previous circumstances.  The reasoning behind Tess' daughter's eating disorder shows that something that seems so minor can trigger something major.  This also illustrates that even though you think you can be trying to hide your struggles from other people, you may not actually be doing a good job of that.  This book has an interesting way of showing the inter-workings of Tess' mind and how just one event can change the way you think and act.  You also realize with this book that things can always be worse and to enjoy what you have right in front of you.


Buy the book:
·        Amazon


Praise for the book:


“How wonderful it is to spend time inside Lesley Kagen’s creative mind. In The Resurrection of Tess Blessing, Kagen deftly illustrates her gift for blending the serious and the funny, the light and the dark. With a touch of magical realism, she once again creates a story that’s as hopeful as it is poignant. As a reader, I feel safe in her hands.”
   —Diane Chamberlain, international bestselling author of Necessary Lies and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes 
“Kagen’s talent shines in this wholly original and richly imagined story where unbearable heartache is softened with humor and a touch of magic.”
   —Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Me 
“Read The Resurrection of Tess Blessing, but don’t read it in public because it’ll yank the emotions out of you. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and by the end you’ll be Tess Blessing’s best friend.”
   —Cathy Lamb, bestselling author of What I Remember Most 







About the author:

Lesley Kagen is an actress, voice-over talent, former restaurateur, sought-after speaker, and award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of five previous novels. Her work has been translated into seven languages. A mother of two and grandmother of two, she lives in a hundred-year-old farm house in a small town in Wisconsin. Visit with her on Facebook and at her web site www.lesleykagen.com 

Connect with the author:
·        Facebook
·        Website



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fall Reading Challenge 2014: Save Me by Kristyn Kusek Lewis #FRC2014



This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!










The book for our How to Save a Life 101 class is Save Me by Kristyn Kusek Lewis.


About the book:

Daphne Mitchell has always believed in cause and effect, right and wrong, good and bad. The good: her dream job as a doctor; Owen, her childhood sweetheart and now husband; the beautiful farmhouse they're restoring together. In fact, most of her life has been good--until the day Owen comes home early from work to tell her he's fallen head over heels for someone else.

Unable to hate him, but also equally incapable of moving forward, Daphne's life hangs in limbo until the day Owen's new girlfriend sustains near-fatal injuries in a car accident. As Daphne becomes a pillar of support for the devastated Owen, and realizes that reconciliation may lie within her grasp, she has to find out whether forgiveness is possible and decide which path is the right one for her.


Save Me is a plot line that terrifies me as a newlywed (less than a week!).  With that being said I think Kristyn Kusek Lewis' story has several things to take from it and gain insight into our own lives.  When Daphne's husband, Owen,  tells her that he has met someone else, she is absolutely shocked.  They are both doctors and have just purchased a house to fix up together.  They have been together for ten years and Daphne definitely did not see this coming.  Owen tells her that he needs time away and to figure out what he wants.  Daphne feels like she is in a state of limbo until out of the blue Owen contacts her and needs her help.  It turns out that Owen's "friend" has been in a very serious car accident and he seeks Daphne for comfort.  Daphne's family and friends warn her that it is not healthy for herself to help Owen.  However, she feels like she should, even if it makes their relationship even more complicated.  There are a lot of plot twists that I wish I could discuss and go further into, but just know that there are some that you as the reader do not see coming.  You also get to see why and how Daphne navigates through her life after Owen's bombshell is dropped on her.  Does she start over or take him back?  Can they even get back?

This story has really made me think, for several reasons.  Daphne and Owen had a lot of history.  They knew each other as kids and then reconnected later.  They had goals together and kept going towards the next goal on their list.  We all do that.  I am definitely guilty of it.  "Work a little harder to get the house, car, etc."  I think one of the main lessons of this book is that we can become complacent.  Even though Owen did a terrible thing, Daphne realizes that the two of them together were not really living their lives together.  Daphne really learns to do things for herself and make decisions based on what is best for her (regardless of what others may think about her choices).  I think both of these things are good lessons to learn and not forget.  I think Lewis' storytelling made me really sympathize with Daphne.  I felt like I really understood why she made decisions that she did.  She weighs every action that she makes regarding her marriage and even second guesses herself constantly.  That felt very realistic to me (I do this on little stuff every single day).  Daphne also has really great friends and family to rely on for support.  Some of them have very differing viewpoints, but all of those opinions appear to be out of love for Daphne.  Lewis' storytelling has a very fresh and realistic feel to something that is, unfortunately, way too common and prevalent in real life and books.  Read this book to learn from Daphne and Owen's mistakes instead of looking back at your own and wishing you could look forward instead!


Buy the book:
·        Amazon Hardcover
·        Amazon Kindle








About the author:

Kristyn Kusek Lewis is the author of HOW LUCKY YOU ARE (Grand Central), a novel about three adult women and the growing pains of an enduring friendship. HOW LUCKY reached #1 on Barnes & Noble's Top 100/Bestselling NOOK Books and was a Target Emerging Authors Pick. Her next novel, a love story about two doctors, a tragic accident, and the power of forgiveness, will be published by Grand Central in early 2015.

A former magazine editor at publications including Glamour and Child, Kristyn has been writing for national publications for over fifteen years. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, Reader's Digest, Glamour, Self, Redbook, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Parents, Allure, Good Housekeeping, Cooking Light, Health, Men's Health, the New York Daily News, and many more.

Kristyn is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she earned an MFA in creative writing. She lives in North Carolina with her family.

Connect with the author:
·        Twitter: https://twitter.com/kkuseklewis
·        Website: http://kristynkuseklewis.com/
·        Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/KristynKusekLewis





If you want to find out more about the Fall Reading Challenge and the rest of our course schedule, click our student ID above!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fall Reading Challenge 2014: Both of Me by Jonathon Friesen #FRC2014



This fall, members of the Vise Library are going back to school by participating in a Fall Reading Challenge. We have received copies of several books from publishers for honest reviews. We hope that you enjoy these reviews (and books)!









The book for our Personality Psychology class is Both of Me by Johnathon Friesen.


About the book:

It was supposed to be just another flight, another escape into a foreign place where she could forget her past, forget her attachments. Until Clara found herself seated next to an alluring boy named Elias Phinn—a boy who seems to know secrets she has barely been able to admit to herself for years.

When her carry-on bag is accidentally switched with Elias’s identical pack, Clara uses the luggage tag to track down her things. At that address she discovers there is not one Elias Phinn, but two: the odd, paranoid, artistic, and often angry Elias she met on the plane, who lives in an imaginary world of his own making called Salem; and the kind, sweet, and soon irresistible Elias who greets her at the door, and who has no recollection of ever meeting Clara at all. As she learns of Elias’s dissociative identity disorder, and finds herself quickly entangled in both of Elias’s lives, Clara makes a decision that could change all of them forever. She is going to find out what the Salem Elias knows about her past, and how, even if it means playing along with his otherworldly quest. And she is going to find a way to keep the gentle Elias she’s beginning to love from ever disappearing again.


Clara meets Elias on an airplane.  Clara has been trying to run away from her life and the things she blames herself for in her past.  Elias intrigues her while they are on the plane together.  After her flight she realizes that Elias' bag looks exactly like hers and he has taken her bag instead of his own.  She is able to track him down to a bed and breakfast that his mom owns.  Once she sees Elias again, things do not seem right.  He doesn't remember who she is, ever seeing her, or that he took her bag.  Clara learns from Elias' mother that he has a personality disorder.  When he is one identity he does not remember things that have happened while he is in the other identity.  Clara spends time with Elias after his mother needs someone to take him somewhere.  She learns that she really likes the first Elias that she met and thinks she can help him stay that way.  However, in order to do this she has to travel with the second Elias to the place his mind goes while he is that Elias.  They end up going on an actual journey to try and piece together the bizarre things that Elias believes.  In the end, you find out there is a certain reason that there are two of Elias.  

This story took a little bit of time for me to figure out the two different personalities.  The journey that Elias and Clara go on eventually is therapeutic to both of them in a way.   This trip helps Clara confront her own fears from her past.  Something tragic in the end happens that is just utterly sad.  This book was not all sad, but also hilarious at times.  Clara and Elias end up picking up another individual for their journey and the way this happens had me laughing out loud!  Everyone that meets Elias really enjoys being around him.  There was a statement in the book that was so true. Elias is able to communicate and persuade people in ways that others can't and he in reality is two different people.  Normally this type of story is not my thing, but it is always good to branch out.  If I hadn't, I would not have read such a great story and completely missed out!  Elias really did touch people and I am still thinking about him long after reading this book.  


Buy the book:
·        Amazon Hardcover: http://amzn.to/1tmaZSn







About the author:

Jonathan Friesen is an author, speaker, and youth writing coach from Mora, Minnesota. His first young adult novel, Jerk, California, received the ALA Schneider Award. When he’s not writing, speaking at schools, or teaching, Jonathan loves to travel and hang out with his wife and three kids.

Connect with the author:
·        Facebook: http://on.fb.me/YAe8DI
·        Twitter: https://twitter.com/FriesenJonathan
·        Website: http://www.jonathanfriesen.com/
·        Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1peSxLj





If you want to find out more about the Fall Reading Challenge and the rest of our course schedule, click our student ID above!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Book Review: Passionate Nutrition by Jennifer Adler with Jess Thomson







Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for Passionate Nutrition.  We received a copy of Jennifer Adler's book for an honest review.

About the book:

This power foods healthy living guidebook will inspire readers will eat well, lose weight, and embrace food as medicine. “Food as medicine” is a powerfully healing way to eat and was embraced by nutritionist Jennifer Adler as she recovered from a malnour­ished childhood and adolescence. Part power-foods cookbook, part handbook for healthy living and eating, and part memoir, Passionate Nutrition provides digestible information, tips, and techniques for how to find your way to optimal health. She focuses on abundant eat­ing (as opposed to restrictive eating), and explores what she calls “the healthy trinity”—digestion, balance, and whole foods. Adler guides and encourages readers to shift their diet to achieve this desirable bal­ance, introduces power foods we should all eat, and provides healthy ways to lose weight, along with simple recipes to optimize health. With her personal story interwoven, readers will be inspired to embrace the healthy power of food.


With so many diet and nutrition books out there to read, it can be hard to figure out what is really accurate.  One book can tell you to not eat any carbs and another will tell you not to eat a lot of red meat.  With that being said, Jennifer Adler's advice comes from personal experience.  She talks about how she was very sickly as a child and from her experience of eating to get well.  She offers a lot of great tips and ideas from her own experiences that have worked for her and others.  Nothing in this book seems overly complex or unrealistic.  In one of the chapters Adler talks about just by looking at a person, often times she can pinpoint nutritional issues that cause them.  For instance she discusses contributing factors to acne or dandruff.  

This book is more than just a nutritional book.  There are recipes included and stories about her own life that had to be hard to put in a book.  She gives beauty tips and how to eat for energy or deficiencies in your diet.  She also discusses how the right foods improve your health but in a round about way can improve emotional well-being.  Jennifer discusses different types of eaters to help you identify what kind of person you are (are you always on the goal or do you try to self-sabotage yourself with food?).  I do not know why, but there was a bullet point that really stuck with me about restaurants. She mentions that the reason that higher end restaurant's food tastes better is because they use higher-end ingredients.  Everything is usually fresh.  However, some of the restaurants that are not as expensive use shelf-stable foods (or frozen) and lower quality vegetables.  This seems like general knowledge due to price and cost saving measures on the lower qualities business side.  However, most people cannot afford to go out to eat at the more expensive restaurants on a regular basis.  She suggests people use those types of restaurants as celebratory meals.  Again, this seems like general knowledge.  However, I know I am guilty for going not necessarily a fast food restaurant but an affordable sit-down restaurant because sometimes that is just easy.  However, sometimes I need to really think about what is better for me in the long run as far as what I put in my body.  This is a great handbook with lots of bullet points and dinner ideas.  It explains certain types of food and why they are good for your health.  The chapters are broken up so that it easy to find something that you want to reference back to later on.  I loved how everything was explained in layman's terms!  If you are looking for a nutritional book with a little more than telling you to eat this or that, look into this book!


Buy the book:
·        Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1pLkEBP
·        Amazon Hardcover: http://amzn.to/1lhRBGm








About the authors:


Jennifer Adler is a Certified Nutritionist in the State of Washington, an adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University, and co-founder of the International Eating Disorders Institute. She holds a Master's of Science in Clinical Nutrition and Counseling and a Graduate Certificate in Spirituality, Health and Medicine from Bastyr University. She was trained at the School of Natural Cookery in Boulder, CO. She lives on Bainbridge Island, WA.

Jess Thomson is a Seattle-based freelance writer and cookbook author who has written for Sunset, Cooking Light, Edible Seattle, and Seattle Met magazines.

Connect with the author:
·        Facebook: http://on.fb.me/VEXfWH
·        Twitter: https://twitter.com/JenniferAdler

·        Website: http://www.passionatenutrition.com





If you want to find out more about the Fall Reading Challenge and the rest of our course schedule, click our student ID above!