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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

9 / 30 books. 30% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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- California (3)
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- England (6)
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My Progress:

14 / 51 states. 27% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

13 / 50 books. 26% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

18 / 50 books. 36% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

37 / 50 books. 74% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

29 / 52 books. 56% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

22 / 40 books. 55% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

13 / 40 books. 33% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

5 / 25 books. 20% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

22 / 26.2 miles. 84% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

18 / 100 books. 18% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

43 / 104 books. 41% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

35 / 52 books. 67% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

39 / 165 books. 24% done!
Friday, June 01, 2018

Grief Novel Poignant and Engaging

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Maddy Starling may have left her family, but she can't quite leave them alone.  Even as a ghost, she worries about her workaholic husband and their grief-stricken 16-year-old daughter, Eve.  Without Maddy there to bridge the gap, to keep the household running and manage everyone's emotions, what will become of her fractured family?  The least she can do is find a replacement for herself, someone who can be a companion to Brady and a loving mentor for Eve.  She thinks she may have found the perfect woman in Rory Murray, an elementary school teacher who's tutoring Eve.  Is Rory, who comes with her own baggage, really a suitable stand-in?  Can Maddy somehow "push" her and Brady together?

In the meantime, Brady and Eve have to learn how to cope without the wife and mother who's always held them together.  Neither one can quite grasp the fact that Maddy—the most put together woman either of them has ever known—committed suicide, purposely leaving them behind.  It makes no sense.  Reading Maddy's diary brings some answers, but also more questions.  Why would someone like Maddy jump off a building, ending what seemed like a perfect life?  In order to rebuild their shattered lives, Brady and Eve must come to terms with what happened on that rooftop and learn to forge a new future for themselves.  Can they find their way, even as Maddy's influence grows more and more difficult to assert?  Can Maddy, Brady, and Eve figure out how to move on, even when all they want is to go back to the way things were?  

I'm known for writing honest reviews, but Jenny over at Alternate Readality takes the art to a whole new (and often hilarious) level, so when she raves about a book, I pay attention.  She recently recommended I Liked My Life, a debut novel by Abby Fabiaschi, which I also ended up enjoying.  While I didn't love the book quite as much as Jenny did, I agree that it features solid writing, intriguing characters, and a plot that kept me turning pages.  The story feels raw and real, but it's also funny and hopeful.  All of the main characters are complex, sympathetic, and interesting, which makes it easy to root for their happiness.  Fabiaschi even throws in some plot twists to keep things interesting.  All in all, then, I Liked My Life makes for an engaging, thought-provoking read that I thoroughly enjoyed.  

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for strong language, violence, mild sexual content, and depictions of underage drinking

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

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