Us by Curtis Wiklund

With a focus on the little things, this cute book will bring the romantic out in anyone.

3/5 stars.
ebook, 114 pages.
Read on November 11, 2017.

One of the best things about Goodreads and Netgalley is coming across books that you would not have found otherwise, like this book. After spotting it on Goodreads I was happy to see that it was available on Netgalley and gladly devoured it.

The creation of this book is thanks to the internet as the author posted some of his sketches online and found that they went viral. The book is brief, with a little over 100 pages and while some images follow a consistent style, others contain different mediums and complexities. The author began the project after being inspired by his wife’s own art project and committed to drawing or doodling one image a day with the main topic being about his everyday life with his wife. ae5f3c3d8556e89b4a7a6735b3f077a8From the trivial every day to the intimate moments that only couples can share, the author allows the reader a glimpse into his marriage. With a focus on the little things, this cute book will bring the romantic out in anyone.

This book is best read in one sitting and would make a great gift for a wedding shower or anniversary.  The book and story are uncomplicated, as it just follows everyday life with no hailing climax or conflict, but it is meant to induce smiles rather than reflection.

This beauty will be available just in time for the holidays, December 5, 2017, and would make a great stocking stuffer and keepsake for that special person in your life. Pre-order your copy today!

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Claire meets the love of her life when she is six years old. His name is Henry and at the time of their first meeting he is a grown man. Now, this isn’t as creepy as it sounds!

Well written love stories do exist!

4/5 stars.
Hardcover, 518 pages.
Read from July 11 to 13, 2016.

This is one of those books that kept popping up for me. It has been repeatedly added to some of the top to-read lists, like the “100 Books to Read Before you Die”, which I tend to check once an a while to see how many I’ve read. That was this motivating factor that made me pick up this novel. Though the list hasn’t always provided me with good reading, for example “On the Road“, this one turned out to be a real gem.  I also knew it was popular but had no idea what the plot was about, which is just how I like it.

Claire meets the love of her life when she is six years old. His name is Henry and at the time of their first meeting he is a grown man. Now, this isn’t as creepy as it sounds! Henry has the ability to travel through time, though he cannot control it. It often happens during times of stress and he does not know where he will end up, though usually on a different plane of his own history. Henry discovered he had this ability as a young boy and with his abilities was actually able to mentor his young self. However, this ability is far from a gift as it has often puts him in very dangerous situations.

When Henry time-travels, his clothes do not come with him and this is how he meets Claire. Claire who is sitting in her favourite spot in a pasture comes across Henry, naked. She provides him with clothes and the two of them begin to get to know each other, well, Claire gets to know Henry anyway, as Henry has already shared part of his life with Claire in his present. Claire becomes infatuated with Henry as she grows older and Henry does his best to keep the knowledge of the future from her. Claire worries about Henry and about what situations he will find himself in when he travels naked and alone. She does not know how long he will be gone for and if he will be okay.

As the two of them work to try and determine the cause of Henry’s genetic mutation for time travel, Henry learns something about his future that will shake the love that they share.

Now what was great about this novel is that the plot wasn’t overly romanticized. You know what I mean, the cheesiness that comes with sappy romance plots. I can honestly say, that I enjoyed every bit of this novel because of that. The author managed to pull off a well written love story that didn’t make me want to barf by the end! The author also did a magnificent job with the rotating time frames and narrators.  I never felt lost or confused so the author set out her chapters appropriately. Additionally the book deals with a science fiction topic, like time travel and makes it relatable and realistic. The author doesn’t glorify time travel, in fact she shows us the nitty grittiness of it and how much it devastates Claire and Henry. Time travel brings them together but it also tears them apart.

Overall this is one of the better novels I have read this last year. I would recommend this book to nearly everyone. I mean, unless you’re completely against romance stories. Or time travel. Then don’t. But it’s your loss!

 

Ruby’s Choice by D.F. Jones

2/5 stars.
ebook, 173 pages.
Read from April 06 to 18, 2016.

I would like to thank the Online Bookclub for providing me with a copy of this book for review. I selected this novel as I found the plot description to be very intriguing, however, the plot that I actually read left me disappointed. I was under the expectation that this book was going to be more about three friends who discovered some fascinating magical objects but instead I was left with a romance novel that required no magical interludes. However, this book still has many good qualities and would appeal to anyone interested in the romance genre.

As children, Ruby and her friends, find a cave with some interesting remains. Each of them pockets an item from the cave to keep. Set in Tennessee the late 1970s, Ruby is now a young adult with big dreams to run and manage the grocery store that she is working at. She has also long discovered that the item that she discovered in that cave with her friends as a child is no ordinary item, in fact, it allows her glimpses into the future through her dreams. During one vibrant dream, she sees a man whom she does not recognize but sees herself falling madly in love with him. As destiny would have it, the handsome stranger, Reed, comes in to the shop while she is working along with his equally handsome friend, Brent. She is deeply attracted to them both but she can’t shake the dream she had with Reed. She soon discovers that the two of them are notorious players who have created a game they call “Tap It”. Each of them will date the same woman and who ever she says she loves first is the winner in which they will then both cut ties with her. Disgusted, Ruby is determined to beat them at their own game and tries to play them both.  However she undermines her own feelings in the process as well as the power of the destiny that was predicted for her in her dreams.

While the writing wasn’t terrible, the story just wasn’t for me. And to be honest, the author could have completely cut the part out of the cave and the magical items and just focused on the romance between the characters because that was clearly the central story. If the book description and beginning plot had been described as such, then I likely wouldn’t feel so deceived right now.  Even Ruby’s friends felt like unnecessary characters, especially Jerry. His character literally adding nothing to this plot and no place in this book, though I’m sure he was thrown in so that it could tie in to the next book. I don’t like it when authors do that and an editor would have been able to spot that,  but that is one downsides of self published books. The characters, while described well were extremely stereotypical. Ruby was the “it” girl that had it all, beauty, brains and boldness. Nothing new.  Overall the magical sub plot felt unnecessary and randomly thrown in just so the author could create a magical series involving the friends.

Having said that, the author has a solid writing style and can most definitely tell a story. I was intrigued enough to finish the novel, even if some of the romance turned me off. While romance may not be a genre I enjoy reading, this book will be a winner for anyone who appreciates the genre.