All Summer Long

I’ve read a lot of Dorothea Benton Frank’s books because duh, Charleston beaches. All Summer Long was my least favorite. If I had been able to find another light and easy read on my library cart, I’d have probably quit it about 75 pages in. I just did not like the characters and there wasn’t enough “Charleston” for me.

I ended up liking it slightly better towards the ends but not so much. (My favorite characters were NOT the main characters who moved to Sullivan’s Island. I pretty much hated them both.)

The Two-Family House

I probably would have liked The Two-Family House a little more if I hadn’t figured out the entire story from the 2 page prologue.

Having said that, I did like the ending. It wasn’t all a complete happily ever after, which would have been really screwed up considering the entire storyline.

The Hopefuls

Awhile back, we needed a new audiobook and The Hopefuls caught my eye (mostly because I thought it said it was a Jennifer Crusie book, hahaha.)

It was a little slow for me and I didn’t really like the characters very much, so I never felt compelled to listen to it. I don’t think we listened to it at all during our drive to or from Orlando for BH17… that should tell you something. That’s a long ass drive, lol.

It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t great.

Two if by Sea

I liked Two if by Sea mostly.

I didn’t much like Frank but liked all of the other characters. I also didn’t really grok the “bad guys” all that much. I mean I got it but I think I expected a lot more from them than I got at the end. And the ending was completely predictable, so there’s that.

Black Wave

I cannot even begin to describe Black Wave.

It’s Michelle Tea.

I wanted to throw it across the room, often. So it took me a long, long time to finish.

It’s Michelle Tea.

Fiction. Memoir. Fiction. Memoir. Fantasy. Memoir. Matt Dillon. Fiction. Dystopian Fiction. Memoir.

Madness.

It’s Michelle Tea.

The Sweetest Sound

I have no idea why The Sweetest Sound was on my library cart. Maybe I impulse picked it up from some random display at the library? Or maybe I saw it on some book list and reserved it? Weird.

It’s a middle grade fiction about a very shy girl and her hidden talent (singing) and overcoming fears and growing up. It was … ok. Not great, not horrible.

The Lotterys Plus One

I’m not sure what I expected from a children’s book written by Emma Donoghue but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t The Lotterys Plus One. Oh sure, I expected an LGBTQ family but this family? Not so much, lol.

There are FOUR parents, a lesbian couple and a gay couple. They have quirky names like PopCorn and CardaMom. The kids are all named after trees, except for Briar… she changed her name to Brian, and while she is adamant about NOT being a GIRl, she’s also not saying she’s a BOY. Gender is hard, or really simple — take your pick, both are true.

Besides the fact that there are eight zillion people in this book, all with quirky names, and you have to try to keep track of who is who you also have to deal with the fact that the family has weird names for EVERYTHING. Family meetings are called “fleetings,” the back porch of the house is called the “derriere,” the extra bedroom is called “spare oom,” something isn’t excellent, it’s egg salad… this is all a little overwheling. It’s fun, but on top of the all of the weird family names, it’s messy.

In fact everything about this book is messy, which is why you should absolutely read it.

The family is super messy and quirky and I kind of love them, even if I could do without the weird/cutesy names. The children came to the family in a variety of ways and have a variety of ethnicity, personalities, (and some issues.) Some were biological to some of the parents. One has what’s probably ADHD, one is a shaken baby.

And then there’s the grandfather… the one who has messy problems of his own, the least of which is that he’s an old white conservative dude from a small town in Canada and he things families should be made up of one man, one woman, and hopefully the same race/ethnicity. He also thinks people should behave in more traditional ways. And, there’s more… he is the plus one in this story, and he is what drives the plot line.

Donoghue throws a lot into this one tiny book and in the end, I loved it. I could do with fewer odd names/language choices but I get it. The family is quirky. I’ll take them as they are (and TW says there are or will be more books, so I’ll read them.)

The Chosen Maiden

Turns out I really liked The Chosen Maiden even though I almost quit it twice. In fact, I meant to quit it and return it on the way to Orlando because it was going to come due while we were gone, and it couldn’t be renewed. But, I forgot to put it in the library bag and didn’t realize it until I was dumping the books into the return bin.

Since I forgot to return it, and it was already late, I thought I should try again to finish it… and that’s when I got hooked. I have no idea why it took more than 100 pages for me to really get into the story, but it did. I stayed up way too late one night reading it and had only about 50 pages left when I realized how late it was and finally put it down. (And now, I kind of want to go to the ballet.)

Tuesday Night Miracles

Awhile back, TW asked me to name some books about women’s journeys — where they go on a trip and find themselves or learn some lesson or bond with other women and I immediately said Kris Radish has written a lot of those books, hasn’t she? Which led me to see if she’s written any books we haven’t read (since we haven’t read any of her books in years, I figured it was likely) and whether any of her books were available in large print for TW’s mom because I wasn’t sure she’d read them…

Which is how Tuesday Night Miracles made it onto our shelf.

Typical Radish — women facing huge issues come together and get their lives together, mostly. It was a nice book to read in between some of the longer or more complex things on my shelf.

The Second Mrs. Hockaday

I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about The Second Mrs. Hockaday since it was told through diary entries/letters AND it was set in a somewhat fictional South Carolina.

(When the author talks about Traveler’s Joy, I think Traveler’s Rest… when the author uses some real city names but not all real city names, there’s a confusion in my head that almost ruined the story for me. What was the point of the not real places? I don’t get that… I never understand why writers do this… whatever…)

Turns out I really liked it. The diary entries helped with a feeling of suspense, (though I was pretty sure I knew what happened from the first 20 pages, I didn’t know the details), and the writing was wonderful.