Format: Hardcover

The Stars of Alabama…by Sean Dietrich #blogtour

The Stars of Alabama…by Sean Dietrich #blogtour

‘The Stars of Alabama’ tells the story of multiple characters struggling to survive in the south amid the Great Depression. The stories of various unrelated characters come together to form a beautiful tale of survival and love.       I really love Southern Fiction. It, along with historical fiction, is by far my favorite genre. When the two come together they are always a must-read for me. Sean Dietrich is known for his southern persona and storytelling and this story did not disappoint.   This book has all the things I love, a gritty struggle to make ends meet, strong but endearing characters, all set among the historical south. I really loved the characters as well as the voice of the novel. I also thought the pacing was great and I really didn’t get bored with the story at […]

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Remember Me…by Chelsea Bobulski #blogtour

Remember Me…by Chelsea Bobulski #blogtour

‘First rule of storytelling,’ he says, a glint in his eyes.’ Everything is possible.’   Nell is still trying to recover from the loss of her mom when her dad moves her across the country. The move is for his new job in a historical hotel. In 1907 Lea is being forced to marry a man she doesn’t love to improve her family’s circumstances.   I love me some historical fiction and some spooky stories. So when this novel was described as a cross between ‘Titanic’ and the ‘Shining’, I knew this story was for me.   The Winslow Hotel in this novel was a character in itself. It is so full of life and history while still being so very creepy. Having worked in the hotel industry I really loved some of the hotel lingo and inferences in the novel. […]

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

‘You’re young and your entire generation are casual with words that bear great meaning.’   ‘When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give you things, you take things.’   ‘Be wary of men with something to prove.’   ‘People think intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth.’   ‘Heartbreak is loss. Divorce is a piece of paper.’     Evelyn Hugo has been through seven husbands and a lifetimes of amazing stories. She is ready to break her silence. She chooses unknown reporter Monique Grant to write her story. Why Monique? What amazing things will she tell Monique? These are the questions on everyone’s lips as Evelyn begins to layout her entire life for everyone to see.   Oh-my-gosh. This book is […]

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Britt-Marie was Here…by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie was Here…by Fredrik Backman

He’s small and chubby and has a head of hair like a lawn the day after an impromptu barbecue.     Britt-Marie is originally a character from Fredrik Backman’s book ‘ My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry’. When Britt-Marie leaves her cheating husband to strike out on her own, she learns it’s hard to start a new life as a sixty-something woman.   Fredrik Backman writes the most amazing characters and Britt-Marie is one of his best. She is passive aggressive, judgmental, and set in her ways. She sees everyone around her as obstacles to keeping her OCD world clean and tidy.   I loved, ‘My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell She’s Sorry.’ In that book it is so easy to dislike Britt-Marie. In ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ we learn more of her back story and her life […]

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine…by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine…by Gail Honeyman

The characters in this book, especially Eleanor, are  well thought out and quirky. I found the character of Eleanor to be one of my favorite characters of all time, second only to ‘Ove’ in ‘A Man Called ‘Ove’.   In some ways Eleanor reminds me of  Britt-Marie in ‘Britt Marie’ was Here’. Both are quirky and socially awkward.   The friendships in this novel are second to none. It is wonderful to read about what a wonderful friend Raymond is to Eleanor.   Scotland is an interesting setting for this book. I have read books before with Scotland as the setting but they have been historical fiction or adventure type books. I enjoyed seeing a slice of life story set there.   I thought Eleanor’s depression is portrayed well in this novel. Depression isn’t always extreme or obvious.   I […]

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane…by Kate DiCamillo

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane…by Kate DiCamillo

    Edward Tulane is a distinguished, but vain, china rabbit. Edward’s girl Abilene loves him and he loves her right back. When Edward’s perfect life takes a turn for the worse, he learns there is more to life than trinkets and fine clothes.   I really love Kate DiCamillo. Her book ‘Because of Winn Dixie’ is one of my favorites. I only recently heard of ‘Edward Tulane’.  As soon I found out it is a story about a vain stuffed rabbit, I had to read it.   The people Edward meets along his journey all have hard luck stories. Along Edward’s travels and with every new person he meets, Edward learns a lot about himself and the world around him. He bonds with all the people he travels with and helps fill a void in each and every one of them. In […]

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Holes…by Louis Sachar

Holes…by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is accused of a crime he did not commit. He is sentenced to a boys camp in the middle of a bone dry desert. The camp is ironically named Camp Green Lake. Day in and day out the boys at the camp must dig holes in the scorching heat for the warden. This story has multiple perspectives. Stanley’s present day and the past of  Stanley’s great-great grandfather as well as the past of Camp Green Lake. ‘Holes’ is much more gritty than the average middle school novel. Its is definitely not all fairies and unicorns. There are some somewhat harsh scenes in the story but they are important part of the book . ‘Holes’ is a story about overcoming adversity and a deep message about good triumphing over evil. As for the cast of characters in the novel they are […]

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What I Leave Behind…by Alison McGhee #BlogTour

What I Leave Behind…by Alison McGhee #BlogTour

Will’s dad commits suicide. His childhood friend, Playa, is raped at a party. His mom works long over-night shifts as a nurse. Will then decides to take the negatives in his life and turn them into something completely wonderful.   Will’s father’s death helps him realize that everyone needs positive acknowledgement. He also realizes that sometimes it’s the little things that can make a difference. He gives small gifts and kind words to those around him ( his lonely boss, his friend Playa, a neglected little boy, an abused neighborhood dog).   OMG……This book is powerful, and wonderful, and heart wrenching ! ‘What I Leave Behind’, is a prime example of, “less is more.” There are so many books out there that are just way too long for what they are trying to say (read ‘The Goldfinch’). McGhee delivers a strong […]

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Tiny Bird’s Shelf: Otis and the Kittens…by Loran Long

Tiny Bird’s Shelf: Otis and the Kittens…by Loran Long

Here at ‘The Book Return’ blog we are excited to announce a new feature called ‘Tiny Bird’s Shelf’. ‘Tiny Bird’s Shelf’ will exclusively feature children’s picture books. My kids and I will read the stories together and let our readers know what we collectively think about the story.   When I saw ‘Otis and the Kittens’ on Book Outlet I had to pick it up. ‘The Otis’ series features vibrant illustrations by Loren Long. Part of the magic of the ‘Otis and the Kittens’ is discovering all the fine details of the story displayed in the illustrations. ‘Otis and the Kittens’ features the important themes of safety, family, cooperation, and friendship. My son especially enjoyed the interactions between Otis, the kittens, and the firemen. ‘Otis and the Kittens’ offers a feel good story with wonderful illustrations. It features popular children’s  themes. I […]

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Lucky Broken Girl…by Ruth Behar

Lucky Broken Girl…by Ruth Behar

‘Lucky Broken Girl’ is a middle-grade novel about a girl named Ruth. Ruth is growing up in 1960’s NYC. Her family is Jewish and Cuban . It is a semi-autobiographical novel about Ruth Behar’s childhood. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’s focus is on the year Ruth was in a full body cast following a car accident. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’ gives the reader a unique perspective about childhood injury. It explored, in gritty detail, the boredom, humiliation, sadness, and fear that Ruth experienced during her year in bed. This story was well written and I loved that none of the characters were picture perfect. Ruth could be whiny and self adsorbed at times. Her father is macho and controlling. While her mother is often resentful of Ruth’s situation. ‘Lucky Broken Girl’ is richly detailed. The diversity was well done and the history in ‘Luck […]

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