The Other Side of the Pillow. Zane. 2014. Atria Books. 288 pages. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Zane’s newest release is best described an exploration of common pitfalls of relationships. It’s part romance, part self-help, and all parts interesting. Through its characters, Zane highlights the havoc caused by infidelity, mistrust, poor communication, chance events, and myriad other problems that plague today’s relationships. The book revolves around Tevin’s courtship if Jemistry. This story is told from the perspectives of both Jemistry and Tevin, and the reader is introduced to their closest friends and family, all of whose relationships have varied impacts on how the two approach their own relationship.
The Good Enough Husband. Sylvie Fox. [ARC provided courtesy of LibraryThing Member Giveaway.] Sometimes you just have get away. Pack some things, get in your car, and drive. That’s exactly what Hannah Keesling does when she finds herself contemplating whether to walk away from her marriage to her husband Michael. She’s trapped in what she considers a passionless marriage with someone who doesn’t understand her. Her getaway is supposed to give her a chance to really think about what she wants, not just with her marriage, but also with her life, with solitude. However, a carsick dog puts her squarely in the path of veterinarian Ben Cooper in a small town in Oregon – just a pit stop on her path. For her dog’s benefit, she’s forced to spend her down time in the coastal town and has an unlikely opportunity to get closer to the doctor.
Watson and Holmes: A Study in Black. Karl Bollers. 2013. 144 pages. New Paradigm Studios. [Source: Personal Copy] Anyone who knows me remotely knows I adore Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes. I grew up seeing two thick volumes of “The Complete Sherlock Holmes” on the bookshelf and always knew he was a brilliant detective. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I endeavored to read Doyle’s works, that I understood the hype. Sherlock Holmes is my spirit animal, if spirit animals could be literary characters from the 19th century. When I discovered New Paradigm Studios had jumped into the arena with a modern, urban re-imagining of the famous detective duo, in graphic novel format no less, I had to check it out. Image-based reading isn’t my primary area of expertise; I read the newspaper comics as a teen, but with the exception of one, I never latched on to any comic strip with passion. Frankly, I wasn’t at all sure what to expect with Watson and Holmes and worried that it wouldn’t hold my interest due to a lack of depth to the story. Admittedly, I prefer novels to any other form of literature, but I was willing…
The Hardest of Ways. Rashawnda Ungerer. 2015. 629 pages [Source: Advance copy provided courtesy of author.] What happens when you finally realize all the ways you’ve been stabbed in the back (sometimes literally) over the course of a lifetime? Do you get mad? Probably. Do you get even? Without a question. Such is the story of Cecelia Clark and her apparent guardian angel, Gordon Hale. These two cross paths accidentally, but a series of very unfortunate events thrust them back into each other’s respective paths, forcing them to learn more about one another, come to terms with their painful upbringings and rely on each other to eventually face their demons head-on. The Hardest of Ways is a the debut novel from author Rashawnda Ungerer, and to be simple, it’s a great start. Ungerer weaves an intricate story of new and old romances, not-so organized crime, and a ridiculous amount of killing, doing so in a way I didn’t expect, but found enticing all the same.
Poof! R.D. Knighten. 2013. 27 pages. Gembay Books. [Source: personal copy.] A friend sent this book to me, thinking it would be a great topic for me and my daughter. Poof is a short story that follows a day in the life of Robin, a little girl of color, and her unexpected romp in the rain. When her beautiful braids poof up after a rain storm, she’s upset that her cute hairstyle is no more. Robin talks to her friend Leslie whose own hair became wavy in the rain. Together the two girls compare the benefits of each hair type, coming to an understanding about how the differences have their own pluses and minuses. Later, Robin talks to her own mother about her hair, eventually realizing how her hair texture allows her to be stylish and creative, when she just thought it lost its beauty.