Tag: fiction

Two from the Heart

Author: James Patterson
Published: April 10, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: January 2-11, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars

Book Description from Amazon:

Anne McWilliams has lost everything. After her marriage falls apart and a hurricane destroys her home she realizes that her life has fallen out of focus. So she takes to the road to ask long lost friends and strangers a simple question: “What’s your best story?” Can the funny, tragic, inspirational tales she hears on her journey help Anne see what she’s been missing?

Tyler Bron seemingly has it all-a successful company and more money than he knows how to spend. But he has no life. So he hires a struggling novelist to write one for him. There are no limits to the fictional world that Bron’s money can transform into a reality, and he soon becomes the protagonist of a love story beyond his wildest imagination. But will Tyler Bron be able to write the happy ending himself?

Jessica’s Review:

Two From the Heart is made up two novellas: Tell Me Your Best Story and Write Me a Life. They were both decent stories but for me something was missing. It was a quick read at just five discs for the audiobook. There is a theme explored for both novellas: How stories can shape our life in one form or another.

Tell Me Your Best Story:

Anne McWilliams is our protagonist and she has dealt with two life changing events in a very short time.  The first event was her failed marriage.  The second event is what changes her life forever. Her home and darkroom (which is her livelihood) is destroyed by a hurricane.  She is anti-technology so she loses everything with her photography. Instead of dealing with this devastating loss she decides to go on an adventure all over the country. She sees old friends and also meets new people along the way asking “What is your best story?” During this adventure she decides to turn this into a book with these people’s stories and a picture of them.  As with all road trip adventures, it becomes life changing — for the better — for Anne.

I did not like Anne dropping everything with her home. She all but forgets about it and just moves on. No clean up, nothing!  What a way to ignore your responsibilities.  I would be devastated if this happened to me, but I can’t see myself just dropping everything else and becoming carefree.  Now, I did like the premise of the book she decides to write and photograph.  In fact it would be one I would most likely buy. Everyone has a ‘best story’, what is yours?

Write Me A Life:

We meet Damian Crane, a struggling author who is approached by Tyler Bron, an extremely wealthy man, who happens to have no life.  Tyler Bron tells Damian to write him a life and whatever he writes WILL happen, with no limitations.  So begins a “create your own adventure” type story.  Both Crane and Bron wonder what they got themselves into and you wonder how the story will end.  Will Crane continue the story or will Bron be able to create his ending on his own?

I liked the premise of this novella better. Audio may not be the format for this story as the narration goes between Crane and Bron and I had difficulties keeping them straight.  Reading it in print may be clearer as to who the narrator is for each chapter. It did not help that the narrator did not distinguish the two character’s voices in any way. I had to go back several times; I was getting confused as to who each narrator was.  I lost some interest in the middle of the story.  The ending is satisfying.

Though not the best, Two from the Heart is not the worst either. If you want a quick read in between books, I would recommend it.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Author: Alexis M. Smith
Published: January 17, 2012
177 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Isabel is a single, twenty-something thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska. Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories―the remnants―of those around her and she begins to tell her own story.

Kim’s Review:

This was a quick and easy read. The story is not action packed, but it is emotional. Isabel is a likeable character that gives us a glimpse into her past and into her heart. She doesn’t spend time complaining about things and by the end of the story, it was nice to see her adapt and move on with her life. I loved her junker tendencies and her love of vintage.

Stokes, a vet who works at the library with Isabel, is one of those characters that reminds you of the guy you crushed on in high school. This story brings back all of those feelings of nervousness and butterflies that I’m sure we all felt back when we quietly admired the guys or girls around us. This isn’t a long review because this book was a simple, short story. It isn’t deeply philosophical, or intellectual, or full of energy. It’s a quiet story that is nostalgic and sentimental. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy story that still has a lot of feeling.

Purchase Links
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Letters from the Looney Bin

Author: Thatcher C. Nalley
158 Pages
Published: June 11, 2014

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

Description from Amazon:

LETTERS FROM THE LOONEY BIN is a #1 Amazon Bestseller! In the late 1970s the Emerson Rose Asylum became completely abandoned – all the patients, doctors, staff, vanished and were never seen again. The events circling this mass exodus have been one of the most baffling disappearances in history. Until now. A stack of bundled letters was found inside a tattered asylum mattress during the Emerson demolition. These letters, all addressed to the pseudonym Dr. Quill, were written by the patients as they documented the demise of the Emerson Rose Asylum. The patients innocently convey their dire pasts while the events occurring hint toward dark happenings outside their doors. Haunting, their words conjure feelings both grim and promising, as they secretly conjure a plan of mass exodus from the volatile institution. The names have been changed, but the stories have not. Though their identities are protected, the essence of these patients’ challenges, triumphs, corruptions, salvations, and most of all, their human spirit, remains untouched. Their journey will become your journey as the patients chronicle their final months in these, Letters from the Looney Bin.

Kim’s Review:

Here’s another one that I can’t tell if it’s real or not! I definitely seem to gravitate towards books like that! And this one is really good! Crazy people are so fascinating. Combine the insane with an insane asylum and a conspiracy, then you have Letters from the Looney Bin. I loved reading all about why each inmate has been committed. And then to see their discontent with their doctors. I know that this will probably show my ignorance, but dude, I’d love to go to an asylum! Who wants to come visit Emerson Rose Asylum with me? Ivan won’t come with me to any abandoned buildings . . . he doesn’t want to get arrested. Where’s the fun in that?? Well, I read this book in one sitting. I found it intriguing and mysterious and downright engrossing! I absolutely recommend this to anyone who enjoys psychiatric hospitals or mysteries or secret conspiracies! An awesome 5 star read!!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK