Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Updates On Everything

Well, it's been a whole week and I haven't posted anything!  I've fallen behind on everything in my life.  So here's a recap of last week:

Well, it looks like I won't be able to complete my 15-book goal this month.  *sigh*.  Ah, well.  I guess I'll try it next month, which should work since I'm taking the first week off.

So what did I read this week?  Well, I'm halfway done with The Magicians, by Lev Grossman.  I'm taking my time with this one, since it's part of a buddy read.  I'm also almost done with Children Of The Storm, by Elizabeth Peters, which I'm listening to on audiobook (yay for Audible!).  And I actually finished a book this past week!  I was in charge of posting book group discussion questions for Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen.  I managed that one in 2 days! 

Here's my review:

Lost Lake, by Sarah Addison Allen
★★★ ½ (rounding up to 4)

Synopsis: The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.
That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby's past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that's left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.
It's a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.
Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she's all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer... and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.
One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren't sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it's too late?
At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.
In A Sentence: A lovely story that makes for a great, easy read
My Thoughts: I gave this author a try and I’m glad I did.  Sarah Allen created a very heartwarming story.  It’s one of those reads that give you a happy little feeling inside.  The magical aspect is subdued, so it doesn’t overpower the story, but instead complements it.  The plot follows several people, rather than just one, and all of their stories come together in the end, which is something I always enjoy (“Love Actually” is one of my favorite movies for that very reason).  All of the characters are loveable and forgiveable, so overall there’s no reason to hate this novel.  Everything is geared towards making you feel happy by the end of the story.
I will not say I loved it, however.  One reason is because I found the story extremely predictable.  And I don’t mean that I was able to vaguely figure out what would happen, I mean I was able to specifically predict the ending without error by the time I was halfway done.  The only bombshell I didn’t catch was Wes’ full story (hence 3 ½ as opposed to just 3 stars).  I really prefer having a story surprise me, so the fact that this story hardly did so prevents me from giving this a high rating.
That doesn’t mean, however, that this isn’t a great read.  Sarah Allen is a talented writer; you really get to sympathize with the characters, and the story was wonderful and creative.  It had an even greater impact on me, when the author said in her acknowledgments that she had been diagnosed with advanced-stage breast 3 years ago and is now 2 years in remission, which means that she was in a scary point in her life while writing this book.  It makes this story all the more significant. 
In general, I would recommend this novel as a good beach read.  Or, if you hit a reading slump, this book would be ideal to help pull you out.  Enjoy!

Books I'm still reading:
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Well there ya go!  Let's see if I can't finish several more books before the month is out!
-Lisa the Dancing Bookworm

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