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Summerlost
Summerlost
by Ally Condie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.97
90 used & new from $6.84

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Summerlost by Ally Condie is a beautiful, rare and rich novel, March 29, 2016
This review is from: Summerlost (Hardcover)
Summerlost by Ally Condie is a beautiful, rare and rich novel. I've always wanted to start a Mother Daughter Book Group or a Book Group for Boys. This would be a top pick on my list.
I would count down the days to discuss this with the group. I'd spend a lot of time in the candy aisle picking up Cedar's favorite candies to serve, or trying my hand at making lemon and raspberry tarts she eats at the Festival. I'd hang twinkly lights in the trees, spread blankets on the grass and stack thick copies of Shakespeare's plays (hoping to entice younger readers to become familiar with one of my favorite authors). I'd hand out Mason jars before we met and ask each person to fill it up with things that remind them of someone they have love. I might even try to make a few Lisette Chamberlain Tour t-shirts and "Times of Our Seasons" Soap Opera Posters.
I'd choose Summerlost as our pick, not only because is it an engaging story of a summer spent exploring a new town and working at a Shakespeare Festival, but it is novel that explores the emotions that accompany grief and fear, and also friendship and family love. What a gift for middle age readers to have a companion if they themselves are experiencing those emotions, or a story to introduce readers to those themes if they have not experienced them yet themselves. Condie's poetic writing is moving, but also filled with humor and heartbreak in just the right doses. I have yet to read a book by Condie that hasn't grown in significance to me long after I close the cover. I finished this weeks ago and yet in quiet moments I'll come back in my mind to favorite parts or themes that build and connect for me. Brilliant.
Cedar and Leo and their stories (and friends and families) will live much longer than just the space of one summer. I would highly recommend this as a TOP 2016 PICK.


Peaceful Parenting Affirmations
Peaceful Parenting Affirmations
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I cannot recommend these highly enough, February 2, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I cannot recommend these highly enough! I have listened to them now hundreds of times. Not only did it change my parenting, but it changed how I viewed myself. Do not think one second longer about whether or not you should purchase them--it will be the best $10 you spend this week. I promise.


Atlantia
Atlantia
by Ally Condie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.02
155 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book is kind of like a good Horcrux, October 29, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Atlantia (Hardcover)
I wish each of my friends had finished reading Atlantia right now. Then, I would invite you all to my house where we could have an Atlantia themed party on my deck. I'd set a long table with brown burlap and sparkly turquoise ribbon, strewn with hundreds of shells. Overhead I'd string metallic silver leaves and lights. We'd eat delicious food from Above and Below. Then we'd all take our dog eared copies of Atlantia from our purses, sink into our chairs and chat. . .

about the awesomeness of this book. Sigh.

A year ago I saved this quote by editor Cheryl Klein: ". . .a book is kind of like a good Horcrux, if we can imagine that- A piece of the writer's soul, preserved in a physical object for all time. And changing the lives of all those who come in contact with it." I came away changed by this bit of Condie's soul preserved in this novel.

Atlantia is rich, detailed, and soul-filling. It featured one of the most UNIQUE worlds I have read, ever. I must admit I am DYING for it to be made into a movie. I would love to see this world of Above and Below on the big screen. I also wouldn't mind seeing Rio and True:).

I love the political, cultural, and religious systems that Condie created. Again, unlike another other novel I've read. I'm trying to keep this spoiler-free (that's why I need you to all come over here so we can talk in person!). . .but I loved the way each thread tied up at the end completely satisfying and unexpected.

You will root for Rio, fall in love with True. You will also want to swim in the underwater lanes, travel by boat through the city and enter the gargoyle-filled temples. This is a world I want to see and live in. With characters I would like to be friends (well, most of them).

I found myself tearing through this book, but of course trying to slow myself down to savor it. I frequently grinned and shouted, "It's genius!" This was obviously a very carefully crafted story.

I have already ordered a small army of copies to give as gifts. Each Christmas I usually choose one favorite book of the year to give away. Atlantia is an easy choice this year. One I can share with my closest friends, mom, and daughter (who already read and loved it and declared it her 2014 favorite as well). Since I can't gift it to each and every one of you, give yourself a gift and order it now. Trust me. You will love it. Then we can have that party I am imagining. . .

. . .and at the end of our book group party, we'd each choose a shell that best represents our own life's story and remember we each have an important story to tell.

Thank you again, Ally Condie for sharing this story.


You Belong With Me: Book 1 in the Love and Dessert Trilogy
You Belong With Me: Book 1 in the Love and Dessert Trilogy
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun New Shannon Guymons Series, February 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Love and Dessert? What could be a better combination? A fun premises of sisters setting up a bakery in a small town. I live in a small town and could just imagine all these characters and their dynamics. As always, I appreciate authors who keep it clean. . .


I Belong With You: Book 2 in the Love and Dessert Trilogy
I Belong With You: Book 2 in the Love and Dessert Trilogy
Price: $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Dessert, February 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you love Shannon Guymon, then add this one to your reading list! What could be better than a book that starts off with sisters pre-buying their perfect wedding dresses? Adorable. A personal thank you to an author who knows how to write a fun, great novel with romantic tension-while keeping it clean. Thank you!!!


My Sweetheart: Book 3 in the Love and Dessert Trilogy
My Sweetheart: Book 3 in the Love and Dessert Trilogy
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Chocolate Chip Cookies and Rugby. . .Yes, Please!, February 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Alright, so hands down Tate is my favorite of Guymon's male characters. I ate this book up in a couple of hours--and really wish I would have had some chocolate chip cookie dough on hand to bake while I was reading it. Better yet, I wish I had a neighborhood cupcake store. . .featuring Jane's creations. A perfect, light, clean read for Valentine's Day. . .and this book does features one of my favorite all time "book kisses."


Come To Me: Book 1 in the Love and Trust Trilogy
Come To Me: Book 1 in the Love and Trust Trilogy
Price: $4.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun weekend read!, February 7, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a perfect book to snuggle up with on a winter weekend (next to the fireplace is an excellent choice). I always know that I can relax and enjoy Guymon's stories, because I won't come across any content that I couldn't share with my Grandma (we swap books all the time). . .but that the story will also be engaging and just the right amount of romance! Wren is a great character, different than most heroines, in a good way! I will say I will never cook the same way again, after learning Wren's secret to great meals! I met my husband while working in a restaurant--so this was a fun read for me. Guymon's characters feel so real that I almost believe they could live down the street from me. I'm just disappointed I can't order a Friday night meal at the Iron Skillet after a rugby game and pick up a cupcake afterwards. . .I am certainly looking forward to the other books in this series. . .and I have a few guesses on which couples they might feature.


Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3)
Reached (Matched Trilogy Book 3)
by Ally Condie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.99
264 used & new from $0.01

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Conclusion to a Timeless Series, November 13, 2012
Hardcover (edit)
review

Every once in a while a book comes along that begs you to clear off your shelves. . .because the other books are not quite fit to be shelved next to it. A book that makes you want to take all (but a rare handful) of five star ratings back, because the other five stars do not compare. A book you hold with reverent awe when you finish it. A book that leaves you carved out and filled back up, because it is so beautiful and you wonder that a person could create such a thing of beauty. A book that you know you will recommend over and over again and buy stacks of for Christmas gifts (and birthday gifts, and just because you-must-read-this-book gifts).

Reached is, without a doubt, my top pick of 2012.

This review will forever be in adequate to convey the amazing depth, poetry, characterization and storytelling of Reached. This is, my favorite ending to any series I have ever read. It is a seamless read. It is a rare book that can take three points of view and work magic like this. The pacing and reveals were well-timed and I found myself reading through the entire day until I finished it. As in, I could not tear myself away. I started reading at 5:45 in the morning and finished it that evening.

After reading Crossed, I walked around for days, part of my head in that world. I rolled the possibilities for the final book over in my mind. My predictions of what would happen next. None of my predictions were close. Reached is original and layered and the threads, symbols, and plot is unique and amazing. As the book was nearing the end and more things were revealed and tied up I found myself gasping at the genius of it and ridiculously happy that I could not have predicted in any way the ending to this series.

This book is mature, in the true sense of the word. The characters make choices that require heart, mind and character. Each character has a satisfying, and what feels to be a true ending. I didn't want it to end, ever. . .but it ended so well I felt it was complete. I can't wait to read it again because I would not allow myself to stop reading long enough to find my post-it notes. Now, I can go back slowly and mark all my favorite passages. Oh, the writing. Sigh. There are so many beautiful lines that I predict will be quoted over and over.

Other books may entertain, or inform, or leave you breathless from plotting. . .and Reached does this as well, but it does something more. This book is a classic, because it made me grow. Because its beauty alone moved me. . .you know that beautiful moment as a reader when you experience a complete emotional catharsis while reading a character's journey and you feel your own world shift? For me, I wanted to create as soon as I closed its cover.

On a personal note. . .which is the reason we read, right? I know that this book changed me. I have a handful of books that I call my "books for life." The books that earn a place on a special shelf in my bookcase. The books that shape my life. The books that come at just the right time to inspire. Most often these books are the ones that fill me with courage. I cried while I read Reached. Near the end I found myself broken open with emotion, because I saw the beauty of creation as Cassia saw it. And I had felt afraid, to create something, something that certainly wouldn't be as lovely as the book I held in my hand. But I realized what a gift creation is. And what courage it does take to create, even when it is less than perfect. The courage it takes to make your own voice heard.

I thank Ally, for making her voice heard through this timeless series.


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