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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:


10 / 30 books. 33% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
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- California (3)
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- Georgia (1)
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International:
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My Progress:


23 / 51 states. 45% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:


16 / 50 books. 32% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


21 / 50 books. 42% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


42 / 50 books. 84% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:


38 / 52 books. 73% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:


25 / 40 books. 63% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge


15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:


9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress


33.2 / 26.2 miles. 127% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress


21 / 100 books. 21% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:


56 / 104 books. 54% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress


42 / 52 books. 81% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress


57 / 165 books. 35% done!
Friday, February 12, 2016

Redemptive and Real, One By One Is a Gem of a Novel

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

A single mom, Jess Thomas struggles every day to make ends meet.  Her husband, from whom she's been separated for two years, fights depression and is unable to hold a job.  The little money Jess makes from working two part-time jobs has to stretch far enough to support herself, her 10-year-old daughter Tanzie, and her moody teenage stepson, Nicky.  So, when an incredible educational opportunity for Tanzie, a maths prodigy, arrives, Jess is heartbroken that she doesn't have the funds to take it.  A competition that could solve the problem provides a bit of a silver lining, except Jess isn't sure how she's going to transport her family all the way to Scotland.  The unfairness of it all is breaking her already battered heart.

Enter Ed Nicholls, an arrogant 33-year-old tech millionaire, who's also one of Jess' cleaning clients.  Under investigation for insider trading, he's watching his posh, successful life go down the drain.  In a move completely inconsistent with his personality, an unselfish act he doesn't quite understand himself, Ed agrees to drive Jess, Tanzie, Nicky, and their stinky dog, Norman, to Scotland.  Disgusted with the motley crew assembled in his luxury vehicle, he's sorely tempted to leave them all by the roadside.  But something about the eternally optimistic Jess and her desperate situation touches his stone cold heart.  As the miles slip by, his own troubles take a back burner, and he finds himself warming to the quartet in his care.  

But, what will happen when the road trip bubble bursts and reality seeps in again?  Will Tanzie win the competition, thus gaining entrance to the elite school she so desires to attend?  Will Jess be able to carry on?  Will Ed go to prison?  The closer the group gets to Scotland, the more the tension builds.  When everything blows up in their faces, as it inevitably does, what will happen to our heroes?  

Warm and authentic, One By One by Jojo Moyes, is a gem of a novel.  It's funny, it's sad, it's real, it's redemptive.  I laughed, I cried, I smiled, I cheered.  Seriously, I loved this book for so many different reasons—its engrossing, compelling plot; its complex, sympathetic characters; its upbeat, affable tone; etc.  Really, everything about it.  I've heard many readers rave about Jojo Moyes.  Now, I'm adding my voice to theirs.  Moyes is brilliant and I can't wait to read more from this talented English writer.  

(Readalikes:  Moyes' writing reminds me of Liane Moriarty's, although the former's has a little bit more of an edge to it.)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, sexual content, and references to illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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