Day: February 22, 2018

Book Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

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Why This Book 
I enjoyed the first two books in the ‘Me Before You’ series, then I won the third one, Still Me, by Jojo Moyes, in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was quite excited and nervous, as I adored the first book but thought the second was just decent/good. I am very glad to say this third one is much closer to the first!

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Approach & Style 
I read an advance copy of this ~378 page paperback novel in about 5 hours during a two day period. It goes very quickly as the story is quite intriguing — the writing feels effortlessly natural. It’s broken into ~35 chapters, which makes each about ten pages long. The book is told in first person POV with the perspective focused on Louisa. A few chapters have letters, emails or news articles to help push the story forward. It’s the third in a series and well-worth the read to spend with the brilliance of the characters and the backdrop.

Plot, Characters & Setting 
Louisa moves to Park Avenue in NYC to help her friend Nathan who looks after an upper class family. She’ll be a ‘friend’ or ‘assistant’ to Agnes, the younger second-wife of Mr. Gopnik who was mentioned in the second book. There are various other staff in the Gopnik household and apartment building who Louisa interacts with, as well as some new friends she makes in NYC. Lou goes home for Christmas to visit her parents and sister, as well as continues to date Sam, the paramedic, from prior books. The story is about her acclimation to a different kind of life than she had in England, as well as the process to help her figure out who she wants to be. Despite all that’s happened to her, she still has more to learn… I love that about this story! There’s romance, mystery, secrets, friendships, touristy fun, and decisions to make.

Key Thoughts 
Jojo Moyes is a phenomenal storyteller. I adore her characters, settings and scenes. I may be partial as I know a lot of the places in the book since it takes place in NYC; however, even when Lou is just wandering around with no real plot, it’s brilliant writing. The setting is always described in the perfect amount of detail with just enough for my imagination to fill in the blanks.

The characters are very real and familiar. I’ve seen them before in reality and other books, but there’s something special about their dialogue and how they relate to one another in this book. I whipped so fast through Still Me, as I just couldn’t put it down…. you think ‘I’ll just spend 30 minutes before bed,’ then find yourself 200 pages in and ready for more!

Lou’s journey is a combination of the first two books. It takes the reality from the second book with the emotions from the first book, then smashes them together in a final wrapper on discovering what makes Lou ‘still me.’

I can’t say enough good things about this book… I won’t spoil the ending, but that may be the only thing that I was a little ‘eh’ on, in terms of how she ends up relationship-wise. In this book, she struggles with long-distance Sam, meets someone new, and has to figure out what’s right for her. Part of me saw a different ending, but this one still worked. Ultimately, I love Lou… she might be one of my favorite literary characters.

Summary 
I will definitely pick up another Moyes book… after the three in this series, I know she’s an author I will enjoy for many years. I’m grateful to the friend who introduced me to this series. 🙂

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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Book Review: The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies by Laura Levine

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The Dangers of Gingerbread Cookies, a novella included in a 3-story book, written by Laura Levine is a fun holiday cozy mystery to read. It’s an in-between read that’s part of a larger series focusing on Jaine Austen. In this caper, she’s visiting her parents for the holidays and becomes stuck in the middle of her family’s often meddlesome ways… her cat has decided Jaine’s mother is perfect and Jaine is awful. Jaine’s father is getting in trouble while trying to protect Jaine. And a doctor leads 4 women on until he finally dies during a play rehearsal while acting in a lead role. It’s a short ~100 page story, but fun and easy to read. Jaine sometimes talks directly to the reader but it’s adorable in a charming way. I like her spunk. It makes me want to start reading the entire series. There are only 8 so far… maybe I can handle it!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

365 Challenge: Day 342 – Cholesterol

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Cholesterol: a compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues. Cholesterol and its derivatives are important constituents of cell membranes and precursors of other steroid compounds, but a high proportion in the blood of low-density lipoprotein (which transports cholesterol to the tissues) is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

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In a post last week, I mentioned I was visiting the doctor for a routine physical and check-up. I received the results yesterday and wasn’t surprised at all. For the most part, all is well — only one issue to address. In my last exam about 18 months ago, they mentioned my cholesterol was approaching the higher end. I understood as I tend to eat a lot of cheese, red meat and desserts. I course-corrected the problem and was back on a good swing for a few weeks to months. Somewhere afterward, I let it all go to a certain place with a certain proverbial hand-basket! I know my family has a few issues with high-cholesterol and heart disease, so I truly have no excuse for letting this go… alas, when the doctor called this time, it was not going in the proper direction. So… as I do with all things I feel uninformed on, I will research all the good and bad foods I should be considering, make a lovely little list to begin keeping the proper foods in the apartment, and deem this a permanent change.

I think the only reason this has shown up as a problem in the last 18 months is because I am now home full-time as opposed to going to an office ten hours per day. I would not snack while at work and I’d usually eat sushi or a healthy salad for lunch. Now… I find myself eating more desserts, pre-packaged foods, cheese and such… I’ll fix it. I need to. It’s important. That’s where I throw it back to you… any advice on good websites or books (or other areas) to help me weed through the facts on what changes I need to make? I have started checking some sites, but there’s way too much detail when I’d rather get a concise list of the do’s and don’ts. I ultimately prefer to trust a few places from people I know who can share their experiences. Thanks in advance!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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