Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Luck, Love and Lemon Pie AND Wink, Poppy, Midnight - Two for Tuesday

It's been a while since I reviewed a novel because school at the end of the year is an impossibly busy moving machine. I kept up with reading, just not with writing. Going to try and catch up this summer with a few books I've placed back on the shelves with a new approach: Two for Tuesday




Luck, Love, and Lemon Pie by Amy Reichert 


When Milwaukee-area wife and mother MJ Boudreaux notices her husband Chris seems more interested in the casino than her, she’s more bothered that she isn’t upset than by her husband’s absence. She picks up poker as a way for them to spend more time together—and reignite their marital flame.

 
Although the game doesn’t give her the quality time with Chris that she’d hoped, MJ finds she has a knack for it. Increasingly unhappy at home, she turns to the felt top of the poker table for comfort. Intoxicated with newfound freedom, MJ begins spending more time at the gambling tables and less with her family, finally carving out for herself a place outside her role of wife and mother.

 
After a string of great wins, MJ finds herself in Vegas, attracting the attention of a certain magnetic poker star. But when she’s forced to choose between her family and her new exciting lifestyle, the stakes may be higher than she thought and MJ will have to play her hand carefully…or risk losing it all.


"Luck Love and Lemon Pie." Amy Reichert. Web. 31 May 2017. http://www.amyereichert.com/luck-love-and-lemon-pie


My Thoughts:  I liked this book, but I didn't love it. I read it because I loved the first novel I read by her, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, and couldn't' wait to read her sophomore debut. It fell a bit short for me. I didn't like the characters as much, really at all. And the way she wrote about a dysfunctional marriage was slightly inept to me. A lot of research holes in this with her children and the college application process and sports teams - and a lot of extremely selfish adults. I use the word "parent" loosely. The story was fine, but the way the plot proceeds and the deceit and lies and egocentric behavior between husband and wife just didn't feel realistic. Or maybe it is and I just can't get on board with it. I couldn't stand either of them, or their friends. It is absolutely ludicrous to believe a wife shouldn't be upset when her husband is meeting another woman for coffee - that he didn't tell her about - because she just needs a friend. So said wife throws herself into poker to save her marriage. Nope. Sorry Amy - this one wasn't for me. Only ☕☕  this time - but I'm not done with this author. She has just enough cheek and writing pith for me to give her third novel a go - The Simplicity of Cider.


Wink, Poppy, Midnight by April Tuckholke




Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
 
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible and tremendous.
 

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Tucholke, April. Wink, Poppy, Midnight. Web. 31 May 2017. http://www.apriltucholke.com/books

My Thoughts: I really liked this book. The characters are well-drawn and diverse. There's magic, but no "wands" - the magic lives inside those trying to be themselves. I think Tucholke creates a dynamic team of obvious high school cliches and breaks them down into humans, into unique individuals seeking only themselves; and what the reader finds is it's NOT the stereotype they are portrayed to be. I enjoyed the realness of this book - the desire to show that everyone, EVERYONE, is wearing a mask and we all just want to put it down for awhile...it's so heavy. ☕☕☕☕  from me - it would have been five, but the book ended too soon. I wanted to know more.

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