The Year We Turned Forty
Published: April 26, 2016
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 2-8, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.
Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.
Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.
Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.
But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…
I just had my big 40th birthday at the end of April and thought that this novel would be a good one to start my new decade of life, and it was! The authors, Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been BFFs for many years and written quite a few novels together, but this is the first one of theirs I have read.
The Year We Turned Forty focuses on three ladies (Jessie, Gabriela, and Claire) who have been friends forever. They have all just recently turned 50 and are given a special opportunity to go back ten years to the year they all turned 40 and re-live that year. This was the year that changed everything for the ladies in different ways and they all have their reasons for wanting to go back. But will going back in time and making different choices make life better or worse? And what ultimate choice will they make?
This is a thought provoking and also very enjoyable novel. Who hasn’t thought about if you could go back and change something? If given the opportunity, would you actually do it and what happens to the rest of the world with changing just one decision???? One decision can change so much, and it might not actually be for the better.
The Year We Turned Forty may have been my first novel by ‘Liz & Lisa’ but it will not be my last. I will be reading them again!
Author: Kristin Hannah
Published: February 5, 2008
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.
So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.
From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.
Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.
Firefly Lane is for anyone who ever drank Boone’s Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it’s the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It’s about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you. Firefly Lane is a story you’ll never forget . . . one you’ll want to pass on to your best friend.
Welp, it made me ugly cry and poor Ivan had to deal with me. It was a quick read and kept me engaged and entertained. The story was filled with crazy ups and downs and just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, I didn’t and something else happened. I decided to give 4 stars since I did enjoy reading the book and I’m glad I read it.
However, I will say that I severely disliked most of the characters in this book. Tully was insufferable from the beginning. I hated the way she bullied everyone into giving her whatever she wanted and then dared to play the victim. She also completely ignored Kate’s authority as mother when dealing with Kate’s kids. Kate thankfully wasn’t quite as bad and I identified with her more. She was Tully’s shadow and support and spent her life knowing she was just second best. But she spent a lot of that time just being a doormat.
How Hannah wrote an entire book based on such a toxic relationship, I’ll never know. I also disliked how we never saw certain portions of their lives. It’s like Hannah got tired of writing so she just put “a few years later …” and then left it at that. Overall, I’m glad I read Firefly Lane, I actually enjoyed it … but if I ever meet women like Tully and Kate, I’m running the other way!!
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Published: October 30, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 2.5 stars
Dates Read: October 17-29, 2019
The author of The Wedding Date serves up a novel about what happens when a public proposal doesn’t turn into a happy ending, thanks to a woman who knows exactly how to make one on her own…
When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise–or happen in front of 45,000 people.
When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…
At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…
My friend Devin told me about this one and that it was not for her… She warned me, but did I listen to her???? Nope, not at all and I should have! The premise of The Proposal is what made me want to read it. Can you imagine that happening to you!?!?!
I liked how there was diversity for the characters, but most of it came off as cliché to me. Fortunately diversity is growing in novels now whether the diversity is race, religion, sexual identity/preference, or even disability. Unfortunately, I was not attached to these characters as they really were not likeable for me. Once the novel starts going in a certain direction you know how this story is going to ultimately end.
There was a lot of foul language in the novel, which did not seem necessary. I do read romances from time to time and I guess I like the sweet romances a ’la Katherine Center (which hers can have some intensity to them) . I did not need all the details with the sex that occurred. We get it, Nik is having some great sex.
The reason I gave it 2.5 stars versus just 2 stars was the beginning, I loved everything about it! Nikole was not even expecting a proposal and what happened afterwards that day was the best part of the novel. From the beginning I thought I was in for a novel I was going to really enjoy. Sadly, the rest did not deliver for me.
This is one I just cannot recommend.[Top]