The Mother by Yvvette Edwards

The Mother by Yvvette Edwardson 2016-05-10
Pages: 256
The author of the critically acclaimed A Cupboard Full of Coats makes her hardcover debut with a provocative and timely novel about an emotionally devastated mother’s struggle to understand her teenage son’s death, and her search for meaning and hope in the wake of incomprehensible loss.

The unimaginable has happened to Marcia Williams. Her bright and beautiful sixteen-year-old son, Ryan, has been brutally murdered. Consumed by grief and rage, she must bridle her dark feelings and endure something no mother should ever have to experience: she must go to court for the trial of the killer—another teenage boy—accused of taking her son’s life.How could her son be dead? Ryan should have been safe—he wasn’t the kind of boy to find himself on the wrong end of a knife carried by a dangerous young man like Tyson Manley. But as the trial proceeds, Marcia finds her beliefs and assumptions challenged as she learns more about Ryan’s death and Tyson’s life, including his dysfunctional family. She also discovers troubling truths about her own. As the strain of Ryan’s death tests their marriage, Lloydie, her husband, pulls farther away, hiding behind a wall of secrets that masks his grief, while Marcia draws closer to her sister, who is becoming her prime confidant.One person seems to hold the answers—and the hope—Marcia needs: Tyson’s scared young girlfriend, Sweetie. But as this anguished mother has learned, nothing in life is certain. Not anymore.A beautiful, engrossing novel that illuminates some of the most important and troubling issues of our time, The Motheris a moving portrait of love, tragedy, and survival—and the aftershocks from a momentary act of cruel violence that transforms the lives of everyone it touches.

The MotherThe Mother by Yvvette Edwards
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was very interesting. It followed Marcia Williams who is about to attend the trial of the 17 yr old boy who murdered her son Ryan.

Marcia came to court with an image in her head of everyone involved and she found herself constantly having to reevaluate those assumptions. From her husband Lloydie to Sweetie the young girl Ryan had been seeing, people weren’t acting like she expected or even wanted them to.

As a mother, I couldn’t imagine the pain and anguish Marcia and Llyodie were going through. There are so many aspects of a trial that I never considered for the eyes of the families both the victims and the accused. I must admit it was uncomfortable at times. This woman’s suffering was palpable. Definitely a thought provoking read. A powerful commentary on trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy and the effect on all those affected by the crime.

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The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherryon 2015-10-30
Pages: 306
I was warned about Tristan Cole.

“Stay away from him,” people said.
“He’s cruel.”
“He’s cold.”
“He’s damaged.”

It’s easy to judge a man because of his past. To look at Tristan and see a monster.

But I couldn’t do that. I had to accept the wreckage that lived inside of him because it also lived inside of me.

We were both empty.
We were both looking for something else. Something more.
We both wanted to put together the shattered pieces of our yesterdays.

Then perhaps we could finally remember how to breathe.

Elizabeth and Tristan met after losing the loves of their respective lives (spouses). Initially I felt terrible for them but my sympathy waned as it didn’t seem like they were willing to let their past go lest people would think they didn’t love their spouse enough.

It was like they both wore their heartbreak as a badge of honor, the way widows wear black to announce their sorrow. Almost justifying Elizabeth’s aloofness and downright meanness on Tristan’s part. He was this wounded dog snapping teeth at anyone who was in his vicinity. Hence, my disbelief with the characters actions pertaining to the death of their loved ones. Specifically Elizabeth and Tristan’s lack of awareness of the full extent of both families tragic death and all those involved, especially Tristan. No names, police report etc.
Too many coincidences to be believable.  photo tumblr_lc5gs2eTGP1qzh4h6.gif
Then the coin toss and ensuing “friendship”. There was something seriously overlooked, even for Elizabeth’s oblivious to everything personality. I docked this book a whole star for that very reason. Those are huge gaffes I couldn’t over look in the story telling that was otherwise realistic and reasonably paced.

However I enjoyed the way they slowly began letting the past go and moving forward towards happiness. I loved Emma and Zeus and the white feathers. The writing was good and funny at times. I definitely felt happy for them and satisfied with the conclusion of the story. Sweet ending to a tragic beginning. I will definitely read more from this author.

Bright Side by Kim Holden

Bright Side by Kim Holdenon 2014-07-09
Pages: 389
AmazonNarrator: Lidia Dornet, Roger Wayne
Secrets. Everyone has one.Some are bigger than others.And when secrets are revealed,Some will heal you ...And some will end you.

Kate Sedgwick's life has been anything but typical. She's endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there's a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She's also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks.They both feel it.But they each have a reason to fight it. They each have a secret.And when secrets are revealed, Some will heal you ...And some will end you.

The first 60% this book was barely a 2-star and the last 40% was a 4.5 star. I actually considered stopping the audio and getting another audiobook as I was so bored, but I am glad I stuck it out. The emotional ending was worth it.

Katherine aka Kate aka Bright Side was starting college in Grant, Minnesota. She seemed to be running away from her hometown San Diego as she just suffered a devastating loss. She maintains contact with her BFF Gus, and lives with her aunt Maddie as she tries to build a new life here in cold Minnesota. We quickly learn that Kate loves music, she plays and sings. Kate has an optimistic disposition despite being poor and having lost loves ones. That’s why Gus calls her “Bright Side”. Kate is loyal, considerate and hardworking. Kate loves coffee. At coffee shop, she meets Keller Banks, but all Kate has to offer friendship. But he wants more and sets out to prove that they can be good together.

I don’t think the précis gives a good synopsis of what this book is about. Half way into this book I kept trying to figure out what this book was really about because I was bored. When the book finally hits its stride, it becomes a smooth ride. This book reminds me of he Fault in Our Stars, but a little more cliché. The characters were likable but I wish the author had given Kate and Keller a little more shade. It was almost like Kate was striving towards Sainthood and it’s hard to imagine a college student being that thoughtful, good and generally perfect. Nonetheless, I liked her because she was genuinely kind. Keller was also a near perfect character but he seemed more human.

I think this story is worth reading but just know it’s a slow burning and doesn’t pick up steam until you get to the second half of the book.

Review: Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, Book 1) by Jessica Park

Review: Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, Book 1) by Jessica ParkSeries: Flat-Out Love
on April 11th, 2011
Pages: 389
AmazonNarrator: Julia Whelan
Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.

It's not what you know--or when you see--that matters. It's about a journey.

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it. When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

Flat-Out Love comes complete with emails, Facebook status updates, and instant messages

It was not what I was expecting and it wasn’t the usual, run of the mill romantic comedy. What a pleasant surprise. I loved it.

This books starts off with Julie Seagle, leaving home in Ohio, arriving in Boston Massachusetts to attend Whitney College. Upon arrival, she found out the apartment she rented on Craigslist, didn’t really exist and she had no where to go. Luckily, her mother’s college roommate Erin Watkins lived in Cambridge, so Erin offered Julie a place to stay until she found accommodations.
Erin’s son Matt came and picked her up, and thus began Julie’s introduction to the Watkins Household.
This family was definitely a circus and it takes the entire book to unravel. see Erin was an attorney and also a scholar. Her husband Roger was another scholar who researches ecosystems involving algae etc. Oldest son Finn wasn’t there but was supposed to be gallivanting the globe during humanitarian work. Matt was a double major at MIT and youngest sister Celeste carried around a cut-out of her older brother Finn because she missed him so much.

This family was really smart and really strange, and soon Julie’s arrival began having profound changes in the family dynamics and forced the family to confront issues long swept under the rug.

This book was layered yet so enjoyable. It seemed that Finn was the family connector when I started the book because he was the golden child. But as the book progressed, it became clear that Matt was the glue that held the Watkins family together. I loved the individual as well as the family growth as everyone had to face the issues they were running from. By the end of the book, everything made more sense and I was blown away. I loved it. The narrator was awesome. This was definitely YA-NA with a bite.

If you want a YA book with some substance and was more about familial love than romantic love, then give this book a whirl. It has romantic love but this book was about personal growth and continuing a journey.