Top Ten Tuesdays | Top Ten Best Books of 2016

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Book Review | My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home by Lisa Anselmo

ptparisAuthour:
Lisa Anselmo
Format:
E-galley
Publication date:
October 11th 2016
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
As someone who has a close relationship with her mother, I can’t even begin to imagine my life without her. As a result, I felt this book would resonate with me as the author loses her mother to cancer, and it forces her to re-evaluate her life after having lived with a mother who always needed to be in control.

I adored the travel aspect of the book, as I always do in the books I read. Although, I must confess I have never been to Paris and it had not been high on my travel priority list for some time. However, My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home made me reconsider my hesitations about visiting “The City of Lights”. This may also be a result of the drool worthy, glorious descriptions that the author provides of the various foods she samples while in Paris and France.

One of my favourite sections in My (Part-Time) Paris Life was the chapter titled, “Le Dating Game”. I enjoyed this chapter for the reason that Anselmo acknowledges that dating is difficult, especially in another country with a different culture. And it was refreshing to glimpse her reflections on her past and acknowledge how her tight relationship with her mother has affected her love life. I especially love that in the end she came to the conclusion that she needs to embrace her independence and to become re-acquainted with herself as an “individual” before embarking on any serious romance.

And while I wish there was more to her story and adventure in the book, I’ll definitely be checking out her mini web series. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a good, self-searching memoir about dealing with grief, and learning to just let yourself be happy in life. If it hasn’t crossed your mind to visit “La Ville-Lumière”, it definitely will after reading this book.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Baggage Check by M.J. Pullen

baggageAuthour:
M.J. Pullen
Format:
E-galley
Publication date:
July 12th 2016
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Having not read any of the previous books in M.J. Pullen’s the Marriage Pact series, I went into this book with little judgment concerning the protagonist, Rebecca who had tried to “steal” her best friend’s husband, Jake in the first book. And perhaps this was a good thing, as I ended up enjoying Baggage Check more than I probably would have if I had read Marci’s book first.

The premise of Baggage Check is basically what you’d expect it’s mainly light, fluffy and entertaining read, however amidst all that, it also shows how Rebecca has to confront her past demons in order to move on and become truly content in life. What I liked best was how early on in the novel, Marci committed to moving on from her feelings for Jake, her friend’s husband and stuck with it in spite of it being difficult for her. Of all her friends, I personally found Rebecca the most relatable in that there are times when I feel lost and talentless compared to those around me. In addition, I could relate to her younger self running away from her problems at home in Alabama to Georgia after her senior year as I would’ve done the same at her age if I was in her shoes.

All that being said, my favourite element of this book were the blog entries by Marci. Possibly for the reason that I too am I blogger, I enjoyed reading the entries as they gave another perspective to the events of the book and detail what’s happening with the rest of her friends while Rebecca is back in Alabama cleaning up her family’s mess. In the end, while I would have liked to see more of Alex and Rebecca together I felt that Baggage Check was a satisfying conclusion overall as it brought all the characters together in the finale in a realistic manner

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.