Death and Other Happy Endings

“There are some people in this world to whom things happen. I am not one of them. I lead an ordinary life. I do regular things. That’s not to say my life is boring, but it’s not a life full of big ‘you won’t believe what happened to me’ stories, either. Until now. When this happened. Honestly, it really did…”

Death and Other Happy Endings
By Melanie Cantor
Source: Advance review copy

Jennifer is sitting at her doctor’s office and he’s just told her she has a rare blood disorder which is aggressive and untreatable. She was completely unprepared for the news given that she is only 43 years old and was only just feeling bloated and tired. Surely it could be some other diagnosis but there it is, she now has three months left to live.

Stunned, she leaves the doctors office and rather than thinking of a bucket list of things she needs to do before the end, she decides to instead write three very honest and heartfelt letters to the people that have hurt her the most. Her sister, her ex-husband and her ex-boyfriend.

Yes, there are scenes where Jennifer is crying and bemoaning her fate and but many others where she decides to throw caution to the wind and have some fun. She has a wonderful best friend who is there to rally around her and it seems her letters have some very positive consequences.

Really liked Jennifer and could understand why she dealt with some of the people in her life the way she did. What I had a hard time with was her accepting her fate without more questions but then again, I guess then we wouldn’t have a story. So, you do have to gloss over that aspect and enjoy the story-telling.

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

“Larchmont Boulevard is the linear heart of Larchmont Village, populated by cafes, restaurants, boutiques, artisanal stores of many kinds, and one of the few remaining independent bookstores in Los Angeles. That’s where Nina Lee Hill works; spinster of this parish and heroine of both her own life and the book you’re holding in your lovely hand.”

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
By Abbi Waxman
Source: Advance review copy

Nina has her days all planned out between her work at the bookstore, her book group meetings and her trivia nights. She doesn’t do well in social situations, plus they tend to cause her a lot of anxiety and she’d rather stick to what she knows.

However, her life is about to get a bit more complicated with when she hears from a lawyer that her father has died and has left her in his will. She’s about to meet a lot of family some who are welcoming and others who view her with distrust. She really just wants to go back to the way things are and not have to deal with having to meet a bunch of new people.

Plus, the sporty and handsome guy in her trivia group seems to be trying to impress her. Nina thinks that if he’s that good at sports trivia it’s doubtful he’s a reader but he is definitely handsome.

As a bookworm myself I really liked a protagonist who loves books, belongs to book groups and schedules time to read. I thought there were some really cute moments as Nina is trying to brave her new social circle and some others that made me feel for her, like when her anxiety is so crippling that all she can do is hug herself and be alone. Overall this made for a quick enjoyable read.

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On the Nightstand

I thought it was time to do a bit of a recap on what I’m currently reading. I’m trying not to have too many books going on at once as otherwise I feel like I make no progress in them. Granted, I have one here that was my first book of the year and I’m only half-way through it. Ok, let’s go:

Despues del Invierno by Guadalupe Nettel. I’ve enjoyed reading about Claudio and Cecilia. She lives in Paris and he lives in NYC and their lives intersect when he’s in Paris and visiting his friends. He feels an immediate bond with her but is it love? I’m don’t like Claudio’s character very much so I’m actually hoping she doesn’t fall for him but we’ll see. My goal is to finish this book by the end of the month.

Out of Bounds by Val McDermid. I’ve already told you a bit about this one but it’s basically a detective in Scotland who works on cold cases. She’s struggling as her partner recently died but focusing on a new lead on an old case may help her save herself.

The Address by Fiona Davis. Going back and forth between 1880s and 1980s, this is the story of The Dakota building in NYC. A fictionalized account of one of the landmark buildings of NYC. Sara is the staff manager who left London to try her luck with this new venture and in 1980s we have Bailey who’s just left rehab and needs to restart her design career which takes her to do some renovations at the Dakota. I love reading about Sara’s story not so much about Bailey and her trials but I’m looking forward to discovering the connection between the two women.

The Farm by Joanne Ramos. Jane’s trying to eke out a living for her young daughter and herself so when she’s presented with the opportunity to be a surrogate, she thinks this may be the way out. I don’t know if there are sinister happenings going on but that’s the vibe I had before I started this book and so far that’s not the case.

The month is flying by so let’s see what I can finish by next week. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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