Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine {Gail Honeyman}

I couldn’t WAIT to read this book!  I had heard such wonderful things from so many different people!  When I finally got my hands on a copy, I was so excited…

eleanor

Synaposis from Goodreads:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

2 Stars

I read this book months ago and when I came here to review it I realized…it has left zero impression on me.  The worst books are the ones where you close the cover after you finish reading and never think about the characters or story lines again and this book is a perfect example.  I was so excited to read it…there was (is) such a buzz about it!  What I was assuming (and hoping) would have been a fun and heartwarming story ended up being a boring, sad, and depressing one instead.  The biggest thing I remember about this book was just how bored I was while reading it…but there was such a buzz about it that I felt compelled to keep reading. Such a disappointment for me because I was SO excited to read it! I’m curious to hear what others thought because this is currently such a popular book…Have you read it?  Did you like it?

Bottom Line:

There were absolutely a few scenes where I remember smiling while reading…but mostly I just remember yawning.

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Giveaway Winner, ANOTHER Giveaway, Twitter, and a Book Review (A House for Happy Mothers {Amulya Malladi})

Maddie’s Miracles Giveaway Winner:

Thank you to those who entered the giveaway on my previous post:  ****GIVEAWAY**** Maddie’s Miracles {Scott Kramer}!  I have randomly picked a winner…Congratulations Sara Lambert!  Email me (bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com) with your mailing address, I will pass it along to Scott Kramer, and he will mail your autographed copy directly to you within 5 days.  Please post on Bookcoffeehappy with your thoughts once you’ve read it!

A SECOND GIVEAWAY:

If you didn’t win…or didn’t have a chance to enter…I will be giving away a SECOND autographed copy of Maddie’s Miracles: A Book of Life (affiliate link) exclusively on my Facebook/Twitter pages!  Giveaway will begin now and will continue through Sunday night midnight CDT.  I’ll announce the winner on Facebook/Twitter with my usual Monday morning blog post announcement.  Head over to Facebook/Twitter for another chance to win this beautiful book (Facebook: search Book Coffee Happy, Twitter: @bookcoffeehappy).  Good luck!

Twitter:

Book Coffee Happy is now on TWITTER!  Please follow me @bookcoffeehappy

And now…A Book Review:

house

Fascinating topic!  I chose to read this book based on the topic alone, I had not previously heard of this title nor had I heard of this author.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In trendy Silicon Valley, Priya has everything she needs—a loving husband, a career, and a home—but the one thing she wants most is the child she’s unable to have. In a Southern Indian village, Asha doesn’t have much—raising two children in a tiny hut, she and her husband can barely keep a tin roof over their heads—but she wants a better education for her gifted son. Pressured by her family, Asha reluctantly checks into the Happy Mothers House: a baby farm where she can rent her only asset—her womb—to a childless couple overseas. To the dismay of friends and family, Priya places her faith in a woman she’s never met to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Together, the two women discover the best and the worst that India’s rising surrogacy industry has to offer, bridging continents and cultures to bring a new life into the world—and renewed hope to each other.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3 Stars

I recommend this book although the writing leaves a bit to be desired.

The plot was interesting and the story was intricately woven between the well developed characters.  The surrogacy market in India was a fascinating topic for me, especially learning the details of all that it entails.  I had no previous knowledge on this subject, and I found all of it to be so thought-provoking.

(On a side note…this is one reason why I ABSOLUTELY LOVE TO READ!  Books literally drive me to research and learn about so many topics which I otherwise would have zero knowledge.  This book is a perfect example of that.  I found myself googling this topic while I was reading this book just to learn more about the process, I found all of it fascinating and learned a great deal).

I think what ultimately led to me to not loving this book was that I wanted the author to dive even deeper into many of the story lines.  As compelling as they were, I think there were many areas in this book which could have been brought to an entirely different level had the author taken the time to explore each one in a more significant way.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it…I just wish it was written to dive even deeper into the details of the plot and into this extremely complicated topic.

Bottom Line:

Interesting topic, interesting plot, interesting characters.  The actual writing…not as interesting.

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A Stranger in the House {Shari Lapena}

stranger

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

2 Stars

Let me begin by saying that I LOVED Shari Lapena’s debut novel, The Couple Next Door.  I couldn’t put it down (review coming soon)!  As soon as I finished reading that amazing book, I was on pins and needles waiting for this one to be released.  The bar was set HIGH when I began reading this one…and it was painfully obvious from the beginning that the poor bar was about to be dramatically lowered.

This book was boring.  Even the scenes which were supposed to be exciting somehow still came across as boring.  None of the characters were particularly memorable and this entire story just kind of fell flat.  The description for the book is great, this book sounds exciting!  And then once I started reading…I was just so bored.  Took a few days to finish, yet it felt like I had been reading for years.

The ending was interesting and had me second guessing my feelings that I had been feeling throughout the whole book…maybe it wasn’t as boring as I thought?  But then I remembered…yes, yes it was (side note on a life lesson: don’t ever second guess yourself).

I’m very much looking forward to reading Shari Lapena’s newest book, An Unwanted Guest, only because The Couple Next Door was so amazing.  Fingers crossed her newest book proves to be more exciting than this one…

Bottom Line:

I read this book while laying on a gorgeous beach in Mexico with mouth watering guacamole next to me and yet I was STILL bored while reading.

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Dear Thing {Julie Cohen}

dearthing

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After years of watching her best friends Ben and Claire try for a baby, Romily has offered to give them the one thing that they want most.

Romily expects it will be easy to be a surrogate. She’s already a single mother, and she has no desire for any more children. But Romily isn’t prepared for the overwhelming feelings that have taken hold of her and which threaten to ruin her friendship with Ben and Claire-and even destroy their marriage.

Now there are three friends, two mothers and only one baby, and an impossible decision to make…

Thought-provoking, heart-rending but ultimately uplifting, Julie Cohen’s Dear Thing is a book you won’t be able to put down, until you pass it on to your best friends.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

What a thought-provoking book this was.  I loved it and loved the different angles the author took in describing each situation.  Each character’s individual story really tugged at my heartstrings and together they combined to create one interestingly intricate web. I love books where you can’t imagine how each story will be wrapped up in the end and this was a perfect example of that.  As I was reading, I couldn’t imagine how this book was going to end…and it made me want to keep reading to find out!  A beautifully told story about sensitive topics with so many complicated layers. I highly recommend this one!

Bottom Line:

A wonderfully written and thought-provoking story.

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The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul {Deborah Rodriguez}

kabulpaperback

*NOTE: This book was originally published under the title A Cup of Friendship*

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a little coffee shop in one of the most dangerous places on earth, five very different women come together.

SUNNY, the proud proprietor, who needs an ingenious plan – and fast – to keep her café and customers safe.

YAZMINA, a young pregnant woman stolen from her remote village and now abandoned on Kabul’s violent streets.

CANDACE, a wealthy American who has finally left her husband for her Afghan lover, the enigmatic Wakil.

ISABEL, a determined journalist with a secret that might keep her from the biggest story of her life.

And HALAJAN, the sixty-year-old den mother, whose long-hidden love affair breaks all the rules.

As these five women discover there’s more to one another than meets the eye, they form a unique bond that will for ever change their lives and the lives of many others.

The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul is the heart-warming and life-affirming fiction debut from the author of the bestselling memoir The Kabul Beauty School.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

5 Stars

Oh how I loved this book!  It was easy, quick, and delightful. The writing wasn’t spectacular but overall it was a quick and extremely enjoyable little read.

One of my favorite things about reading is the ability that a good book has to instantly transform me straight into different places and cultures.  I learned so much just from reading this novel and found myself googling images of Kabul and it’s culture on numerous occasions while reading.

I highly recommend this book!  The characters were compelling, the story was captivating, and the knowledge I gained was very interesting.  There are so many different story lines and I enjoyed reading each of them.  Deborah Rodriguez did a fantastic job of intertwining all of the different stories from all of the characters into one charming plot.

This book was quite different from Deborah Rodriguez’s memoir (The Kabul Beauty School) which I actually didn’t love…

As I was writing this review, I learned that Deborah Rodriguez has written a sequel, Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul!  I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to reunite with these lovely characters and to witness their stories unfold even more.

Bottom Line:

Great story, great characters, and I learned a great deal about a different and interesting culture.

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The Perfect Mother {Aimee Molloy}

perfectmother

Synopsis From Goodreads:

Vanity Fair calls it one of the most anticipated books of the summer. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Scandal’s Kerry Washington.

An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.

They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.

When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.

Though none of the other members in the group are close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

1 Star

I loathed this book. This was Aimee Molloy’s first novel and that was abundantly clear! Zero character development led to a complete disconnect between myself (the reader) and the SO many ridiculous story lines. Each character blended into the next with none of them being particularly likable. The big twist at the end was completely anticlimactic because of the lack of character development throughout the book. Way too many story lines, way too many characters, and nothing given the proper amount of time to be adequately described. Each character’s extremely dramatic backstory coupled with so many “regular” people continually interfering with an active police case made this a very annoying book to read. How did Kerry Washington ever agree to star in this upcoming movie?!  Kerry, READ THE BOOK!  Call your agent!  Get a lawyer!  BACK OUT OF THE DEAL! I so wanted to love this book…but clearly love would NOT be the word to describe my feelings towards this clearly inexperienced author or her very annoying novel.

Bottom Line

Hated it.

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November 9 {Colleen Hoover}

november

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

My Thoughts:

2 Stars

I love the idea of love at first sight.  I believe in Serendipity (I actually saw the movie 10 times in the theater)!  I love any kind of cheesiness, especially when it comes to love.  This book should be right up my alley…but sadly, it was not.

I really didn’t enjoy this book.  None of the characters were particularly likable or memorable.  I found the entire plot so unrealistic and hard to believe from the second Fallon and Ben met (which itself was a ridiculous scene). And they couldn’t just exchange phone numbers?  Really?  Even after “knowing” each other for years? They put their entire lives on hold for each other year after year when the entire basis of their relationship consisted solely of a few (strange) hours together?  As the novel went on, so did the ridiculousness of the entire plot.  I just couldn’t get on board with this book although I absolutely LOVED another book by Colleen Hoover (review coming)…

Did anyone read this?  Do you agree or disagree with me? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Bottom Line:

If you know me in real life, you know how cheesy I am.  When a book is too cheesy even for ME…well…that’s just a whole lot of cheese.

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  Thank you for your support, Xo