Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads.
What is Standalone Sunday?
Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten. They can be just as great as book series!
Here is my selection for this week:
The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews
Book Description from Goodreads:
After her boss in a high-powered Washington public relations firm is caught in a political scandal, fledgling lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left almost broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father’s offer to help refurbish Birdsong, the old family place he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia. All it will take, he tells her, is a little paint and some TLC to turn the fading Victorian mansion into a real-estate cash cow.
But, oh, is Dempsey in for a surprise when she arrives in Guthrie. “Bird Droppings” would more aptly describe the moldering Pepto Bismol–pink dump with duct-taped windows and a driveway full of junk. There’s also a murderously grumpy old lady, one of Dempsey’s distant relations, who has claimed squatter’s rights and isn’t moving out. Ever.
Furthermore, everyone in Guthrie seems to know Dempsey’s business, from a smooth-talking real-estate agent to a cute lawyer who owns the local newspaper. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the pesky FBI agents who show up on Dempsey’s doorstep, hoping to pry information about her ex-boss from her.
All Dempsey can do is roll up her sleeves and get to work. And before long, what started as a job of necessity somehow becomes a labor of love and, ultimately, a journey that takes her to a place she never expected—back home again.
I enjoy Mary Kay Andrew’s (MKA) books: They are quick and easy to read chick-lit books. This is one I really need to read as our house is a “fixer upper” as well. It might give me different perspective on this novel. Our house does have potential, we are just not the ones to do it as we have no money or time for that. Anyone want to buy our house?:
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Published: May 17, 2016
Dates Read: February 14- March 7, 2017
My Rating: 2 Stars
Book Summary from Amazon:
Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends, and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.
So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it becomes clear that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens…in a murderous way. Now Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.
I first want to say I am a Mary Kay Andrews (MKA) fan. She is also from Georgia, and I love to support authors who live in my state. I have read some of her books that I have loved (Beach Town and Save the Date) and others that were passable. I hate to say it, but The Weekenders was of the latter.
MKA books are women’s fiction/chick lit/beach reads. They make for a quick and easy read. The Weekenders is about Riley Griggs and her daughter Maggy. Riley and her daughter are heading for Belle Isle to stay at their vacation house. While on the ferry Riley is handed some papers by a process server. Riley is not happy about those papers and her husband not showing. From that point on there are a few mysteries that occur in The Weekenders. A body shows up and it also appears that Riley’s husband has a few secrets of his own. Also entering the picture is Nate, who was involved with Riley in the past.
I can’t say too much more about the novel without spoilers. I did not become that attached to the characters, although I did like Maggy. She is a twelve year old with a serious attitude problem, and she also has juvenile diabetes. She causes drama, along with a lot of family drama in Riley’s family. I really did not have any feelings about Riley. I know you are supposed to root for her with everything she goes through, but some of that could be considered problems the wealthy have. I am far from wealthy and I suppose that is why I did not identify with her.
I admit I kept listening to the audiobook as I wanted to know about the murder. Once we find out who the murderer was I couldn’t help but giggle. I was not expecting this particular character to be the murderer. It is unrealistic as to how and when we find out who the murderer is: A conversation where the character admits to the murder right before a hurricane coming to the island. Closer to the end of the novel it just seemed like the hurricane was thrown in to make an already long book even longer. It was a bit ridiculous and far-fetched in my opinion.
I know beach reads are for fun and to throw all belief out the door, but in this case The Weekenders was a bit excessive. For me the best part of the book was the Epilogue. Everything was concluded in a nice way.
Overall, I would say skip The Weekenders and read another of MKA’s book. I would recommend the first book of hers I read, as it is what put her on my radar: Save the Date.[Top]
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
448 pages (read as an audiobook)
Published: June 3, 2014
Dates Read: June 2-25, 2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Book Summary from Amazon:
Can this wedding be saved?
Up-and-coming floral designer Cara Kryzik is about to score the wedding of a lifetime―one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for Savannah society nuptials. The only problem is, life seems to be conspiring against her. Cara’s implacable father, “The Colonel”, doesn’t believe in Cara’s business savvy and is about to call in his twenty-thousand-dollar loan. Then, on the morning that someone steals her dog, Cara’s refrigerator goes on the blink, turning twelve thousand dollars’ worth of gorgeous blooms into road kill. And if that’s not enough, the dog-napper, Jack Finnerty, turns up at her latest wedding and then mysteriously leaves her stranded on the dance floor.
All this turmoil will be solved if Cara can pull off the lavish Trappnell-Strayhorn wedding. The payday will solve all her problems―even the looming problem of a celebrated florist named Cullen Keane who is moving into her turf from Charleston. But the wedding is in six weeks, the bride is acting strangely (even for a bride) and the stepmother of the bride is becoming Cara’s biggest headache. What Cara needs is to focus, but that’s not easy when Jack is turning up at every wedding in Savannah (the man seems to know everybody), with Cara in his sights and seduction on his mind.
When Brooke Trappnell spirals into a shocking crisis and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must come to the rescue and figure out what she really believes in. Is it love? Is it her own strength? In the end, for everyone, “Save the Date” has more meanings than one. Told with Mary Kay Andrews’s trademark wit and keen eye for detail, Save the Date is one you won’t want to miss.
My review in 2015:
Mary Kay Andrews (MKA) does a great job writing quick, easy summer reads. If you ever need a “beach read” then choose a MKA book!!
Save the Date was the first Mary Kay Andrews (MKA) book I have read. I was looking for an audiobook at the library last year and found Save the Date. From the description it looked like a cute chick lit book. I was right and enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much so that I borrowed every one of MKA’s books that was available at my local library. Like chick-lit, they are quick reads, and you don’t have to “think” much while you read. MKA has become an author I enjoy. Some of her books are better than others.
I am from Georgia and the book takes place in Savannah, so that was another reason I enjoyed the book. I don’t live near Savannah, but have visited a few times. It is a great city to visit if you haven’t ever been! MKA also lives in Georgia, I believe somewhere in the Metro Atlanta area, and that is another reason I like her. I like to support local authors.
If you enjoy quick/ fun and easy to read/chick-lit/books of the “southern genre”/ wedding type books then you should read this!! And in general check out MKA’s books!!