Summer Reading: All fall Down, The One & Only and The Vacationers

All Fall Down by Jane Green

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Goodreads Blurb: Allison Weiss has a great job…a handsome husband…an adorable daughter…and a secret. Allison Weiss is a typical working mother, trying to balance a business, aging parents, a demanding daughter, and a marriage. But when the website she develops takes off, she finds herself challenged to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Her husband’s becoming distant, her daughter’s acting spoiled, her father is dealing with early Alzheimer’s, and her mother’s barely dealing at all. As she struggles to hold her home and work life together, and meet all of the needs of the people around her, Allison finds that the painkillers she was prescribed for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical discomfort—they help her feel calm and get her through her increasingly hectic days. Sure, she worries a bit that the bottles seem to empty a bit faster each week, but it’s not like she’s some Hollywood starlet partying all night, or a homeless person who’s lost everything. It’s not as if she has an actual problem.However, when Allison’s use gets to the point that she can no longer control—or hide—it, she ends up in a world she never thought she’d experience outside of a movie theater: rehab. Amid the teenage heroin addicts, the alcoholic grandmothers, the barely-trained “recovery coaches,” and the counselors who seem to believe that one mode of recovery fits all, Allison struggles to get her life back on track, even as she’s convincing herself that she’s not as bad off as the women around her.With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, All Fall Down is a tale of empowerment and redemption and Jennifer Weiner’s richest, most absorbing and timely story yet

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 stars. I could not get into this book.Usually if I don’t engage with the characters, unless the story line is fantastic, i really don’t get that much enjoyment from the book. This is what happened here, Allison was whinny and irritating. It is not earth shattering literature, it is a typical chick lit book that i usually love. However i found the main character irritating, therefore could not really care much about her journey , which meant i didn’t care much for the book. It is a good subject matter, and some of their thoughts on addiction are pretty great, but for one of my favorite authors, i was dissapointed. At least I’ll always have Good in Bed.

The One & Only by Emily Giffin

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Goodreads Blurb:  Thirty-three-year-old Shea Rigsby has spent her entire life in Walker, Texas—a small college town that lives and dies by football, a passion she unabashedly shares. Raised alongside her best friend, Lucy, the daughter of Walker’s legendary head coach, Clive Carr, Shea was too devoted to her hometown team to leave. Instead she stayed in Walker for college, even taking a job in the university athletic department after graduation, where she has remained for more than a decade. But when an unexpected tragedy strikes the tight-knit Walker community, Shea’s comfortable world is upended, and she begins to wonder if the life she’s chosen is really enough for her. As she finally gives up her safety net to set out on an unexpected path, Shea discovers unsettling truths about the people and things she has always trusted most—and is forced to confront her deepest desires, fears, and secrets. Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living

My Take: 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed this book, the fact that I love football and chick lit makes me the perfect demographic for it.  I enjoyed that just when you think you have the twists and turns all figured out, it swivels in a different direction. I did find Shea really enfuriating at the beginning of the book, but she started to grow on me and was a fan by the end.
My favorite joke of the book: why is a Christmas tree better than a man? Because it stays up, has cute balls and looks good with the light on

The Vacationers by Emma Straub

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Goodreads Blurb:  For the Posts, a two-week trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca with their extended family and friends is a celebration: Franny and Jim are observing their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, and their daughter, Sylvia, has graduated from high school. The sunlit island, its mountains and beaches, its tapas and tennis courts, also promise an escape from the tensions simmering at home in Manhattan. But all does not go according to plan: over the course of the vacation, secrets come to light, old and new humiliations are experienced, childhood rivalries resurface, and ancient wounds are exacerbated. This is a story of the sides of ourselves that we choose to show and those we try to conceal, of the ways we tear each other down and build each other up again, and the bonds that ultimately hold us together. With wry humor and tremendous heart, Emma Straub delivers a richly satisfying story of a family in the midst of a maelstrom of change, emerging irrevocably altered yet whole.

My Take: 4.5 out of 5 stars. As I have said before, we I’m travelling I usually put one book in my reading schedule that is related to a place in going or in the vein of what I’m doing. This book filled two buckets for me, the previously described related book but also the surprise of the summer book. The hype I had heard about the book was well placed, it is excellent. I loved the writing, the tone and the incredible family dynamics that play out in the book. It was also a perfect beach read, easy to read but with great depth and content, go read it!

 

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