Monthly Archives: April 2013

The Time Of My Life – Cecila Ahern

The time of my lifeThe Time of My Life by Cecila Ahern
Age: Adult
Genre: Fiction, Chick-Lit, Conduct of Life -Fiction
Source: Publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Find this book at your local library

 

Lucy Silchester’s life is in a rut. She lives in hovel of a studio apartment, doesn’t get along with her parents and sits broken-hearted over her lost love. All the while, she’s living in a giant nest of lies she conducted post break-up, and can’t figure out a way to untangle the mess she’s made. After a series of attempts, Lucy finally responds on a message that she receives and returns a call to her life, who happens to by male. Soon, Lucy’s life shows up at her apartment, follows her to work, to her parent’s and becomes the source of change that she’s been needing to get her life back on track.

I’m a huge fan of Cecila Ahern, so image how stoked I was to win a copy of her newest title. Sadly, although I did enjoy the book, it’s really not her best work. The entire concept of a life audit, and the person’s life being an actual person that you have to deal with is an interesting one. The main downfall is that the characters and their personalities weren’t very original, and it has a very chick-lit ending which was OK, but nothing stellar. The book was also fairly predictable. Although the concept was interesting and new, not much else in the book was very original. The moral of the story relied on too many clichés; be true to yourself, don’t judge a book by its cover, you have to be happy with your life to be happy with anyone else, etc.

For the most part, Lucy is really annoying for the majority of the book, almost rivaling Tamara Goodwin from The Book of Tomorrows. I would have liked to learn more about her family though. There were a few plot twists, but some of the twists felt forced rather than naturally occurring. If I really had to pinpoint it to anything, it was the dialogue between Lucy and her friends. It felt too…scripted. Everything felt very by the book and formulaic. Ahern has done a fantastic job with magical realism in the past, but this one could have used a few more revisions and more depth of personality in all the characters. It’s still a decent read, don’t get me wrong. There are humorous moments. I, for one, have a small crush on Lucy’s life.

Union Street Bakery Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Katie! Please respond to my e-mail by next week so that we can get you a copy of the book. 

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Union Street Bakery – Review

The Union Street BakeryUnion Street Bakery by Mary Ellen Taylor
Age: Adult
Genre: Chick-Lit, food-lit
Source: Publicist for my honest review
Publisher: Berkeley Original Paperback, 2013
Find this book at your local library
 

After having lost her dream finance job in Washington DC, Daisy McCrae moves back to Virginia, and re-enters her old life. She’s living with her parents and helping her two sisters take care of the bakery that’s been in their family for generations. Upon coming back to the small town of Alexandria, Daisy is haunted by ghosts of the past, literally and figuratively. When she was 3, she was abandoned in the bakery by her birth mother and was adopted by the bakery owners, the McCrae’s.

Still licking her wounds from losing her job and lifestyle in DC, Daisy receives a 150 year old journal from Mabel Woodrow, the oldest woman in town, shortly after Mabel passes away. Now, as Daisy tries to make sense of her life, and the life of Susie the slave girl who wrote the journal, she discovers that the past isn’t meant to be forgotten, it sticks around and forces you to look ahead into your future.

Although it falls into the category of chick-lit quite easily, there is a bit more substance to this book. I loved the way she wove history and modern times together, syncing the two storylines together. Although it was a tad predictable, it was still an enjoyable read. The mention of the baked goods helped keep my interest in the book, as do the recipes in the back. There were a few issues with continuity, but since I read and ARC copy, I’m sure those issues have been edited since the final printing.

My only other complaint is that I wish the author had expanded or better incorporated the ghosts of the past more. I could see where she was going with them, and I thought it would make this book much more gothic and eerie, but I don’t think that was the author’s tone. Instead, the ghosts seemed listless an didn’t really serve a purpose. Plus, I didn’t understand Daisy’s reaction to them, at all. It seemed to easy-going.

Overall, this is a really fun read, one that’ll have you pulling out your mixing bowl and baking supplies from the pantry. One that’ll make you want to research your family tree and learn about your past. It’s a book that you have a chance to win if you enter my giveaway! Click here to enter.  The giveaway runs until the 14th, so you still have plenty time to enter.