All the Missing Girls

71suVQyb5YL.jpgNicolette (Nic) travels back to her hometown in the mountains of NC to help her brother prepare their father’s home to be sold.  Soon after she arrives, a woman goes missing.  The missing woman stirs up lots of old feelings and memories from the time when her best friend Corinne went missing ten years ago.  So it begins and we have two mysteries of missing women to follow. Are their disappearances related? What really happened when Corinne went missing all those years ago?

All the Missing Girls was definitely a page turner. The more I read, the more I just had to know what happened to the missing girls! After we find out another woman is missing, the book goes back two weeks before and goes back each day until the current day. At first, I didn’t like this technique, but in the end it was necessary in order to reveal the mystery. This is the first book in a long time that I actually stayed up past my bedtime reading because I just had to find out what happened.

“Missing girls had a way of working their way into someone’s head.  You couldn’t help but see them in everyone-how temporary and fragile we might be.  One moment here, and the next, nothing more than a photo staring from a storefront window.”
“There is nothing more dangerous, nothing more powerful, nothing more necessary and essential for survival than the lies we tell ourselves.

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the woman in cabin 10

81aHy+ij2uL.jpgLo Blackstock is a travel journalist that has been assigned to cover a small luxury cruise ship in hopes to boost her career. Before she leaves, someone breaks in while she is home and robs her apartment.  She is already shaken up when she embarks on her trip.  Then she thinks she hears a body being thrown overboard from the compartment next to hers and the mystery begins.

She begins to ask questions to try to figure out what happened. Someone leaves her a message to back off her investigation or else.  Lo already has a hard time with anxiety  and panic attacks and as things start to happen she really struggles to keep it together. She has no way to communicate with anyone that’s not on the ship. She doesn’t know who can be trusted and everyone on the ship is a suspect.
This book was a page turner and I was anxious until the end to find out what happened!  If I read a thriller, (I don’t very often) it was to be a very well written book and this one didn’t disappoint!

I’ll Give You the Sun

51cl2TJ8yJL.jpgIt’s going to be really hard to put into words how I feel about this book.  It was so beautifully written, poetic almost.  Two twins, Jude and Noah, have a very close relationship, so close they consider themselves one soul. Then some bad shit happens and they are angry with one another for a long time.

There are so many issues addressed in this book: love, loss, family, addiction, homosexuality, death, forgiveness, art, and the list goes on. This may very well be the best coming of age novel that I have ever read.  I am not a big fan of young adult/teen books, but I couldn’t even tell that’s what I was reading.

One of the most important subjects in this book is how things happen to change who we are and how we are constantly changing and re-inventing ourselves.  I think that applies to everyone, not just teenagers.  Art also plays a very important role in the book and the fact that we can lose and find ourselves in art. I think the title is pretty significant too in many ways. Some people can give us sun (hope, light, happiness) and some people can take the sun away from us as well.  This book is just beautiful. Read it! You won’t be sorry!!!

a brilliant madness

51d5KdkaxKL.jpgA lovely book of poems. I discovered Robert M. Drake on Pinterest and this is the first book of his poems that I have read. I will be buying them all.  He’s amazing. We can all find something in his poetry that we can relate to.  He talks about the beauty and tragedy of being human.  He speaks to those who have been lonely, depressed, lost and broken.  He talks about the state of the world and the importance of art, passion and pain!! He speaks to the brilliant madness in all of us!

“We live so hard that we barley live at all.”

“No one knows where they are going.  Everyone is finding themselves as they go.”

“Choose what to give the light to. What to give the soul to.”

“The art. The poetry. Now that can save your life. And the films and the music. Sometimes that is all we have, it is all we need. Art is the savior. Take it in as often as possible. It is, possibly, the only form of beauty left in humanity.”

“It is important to visit that place inside you. That place no other human is allowed to enter.”

“Life can feel relentless and getting through it might be impossible, but riding its waves can be the greatest joy imaginable. Ride it with passion.  Ride it with no fear.  Ride it until the sunshine goes away, til the moon crumbles and the night sky reminds you of the day. “

Lily and the Octopus

51-Xrs9xZFLI would have loved this book so much more if the main character (Ted) had not referred to his dog’s (Lily) tumor as an octopus and proceeded to talk to the octopus the whole time!!! I understand that it was symbolism or magical realism or something but it really ruined the book for me.  Ted went so far as to take a boat out in the ocean to hunt down and kill an octopus.  Serisously!!

That being said, the book did have some really great parts and the author is a very talented writer. It was a heart-warming and heartbreaking story about a man and his love for his dog. Having a dog that I adore myself, I could really relate to what Ted was going through.  I laughed and cried.

What I loved most about the book is what it had to say about dogs and our relationships with them.  Here are few excerpts:

“I think of how dogs are witnesses. How they are present for our most private moments, how they are there when we think of ourselves as alone. They witness our quarrels, our tears, our struggles, our fears, and all of our secret behaviors that we have to hide from our fellow humans. They witness without judgment.”

“The very best thing about dogs is how they just know when you need them most, and they’ll drop everything that they’re doing to sit with you awhile.”

“Most of all, I am thankful for Lily, who, since she entered my life, has taught me everything I know about patience and kindness and meeting adversity with quiet dignity and grace. No one makes me laugh harder, or want to hug them tighter.”

Dog lovers may enjoy this book, but you definitely need to have an open mind and a big imagination! I am actually kind of glad that the octopus story line ruined the book for me because I would probably have sobbed if I had been more engrossed in the story.