Tag Archives: Kerry Reichs

‘What You Wish For’ by Kerry Reichs

23 Jan

After Christmas I went on a shopping spree on Amazon because I got a gift certificate and was more than ready to use it. Hell, I’ve been born ready to spent money on Amazon. One of the items in my shopping cart was she newest novel by Kerry Reichs.

You’ve read my gushing on and on about her previous book and if you haven’t, well, you must be new around here. I was excited to finally read this and also a little bit worried if it could live up to my expectations.

The style of the book is different from her previous ones. It’s a multi-character story, so every chapter focusses on a different character. What unites them is their wish to become parents only they are not what anyone would call a traditional family. Far from it. There is the 40-year old actress named Dimple, 50-year old Wyatt who is a high school principle and Maryn the breast cancer survivor who is now sterile. All of them are single and struggle with the prospects of a society that sees family as a mom and dad and kids. Not a single mother. Especially not a single heterosexual man trying to adopt a baby. He surely must be a pedophile, why would he want to have kids?

Throw a couple of other characters into the mix, like Wyatt’s cousin who is healthy and fertile as you can be but never wanted kids and doesn’t change her mind and you’ve got yourself a story. Just imagine, there are women out there who don’t want children, it is possible. Then there is Maryn’s ex-husband whom she is suing for the right to use the eggs they harvested, fertilised and stored in a cryobank before beginning chemotherapy. Andy is against it for reasons I don’t quite understand. He also starts to run for city council and that turns into an ugly mess soon. Last but not least we have director Julian who challenges Dimple to go out of her comfort zone in order to get a role.

In the beginning I struggled a little bit with the jump from one character to the other. I’m not used to so many players in the mix but once I settled into the story I was fine. I really liked the story, the characters and the message it sent. There is more to a family than a mom and a dad. Also, I just love Kerry’s writing style.

There were just some minor things that irritated me, mostly for personal reasons. First of all, when Dimple refers to her libido or inner whatever as LaMimi I’m instantly reminded of 50 Shades of Grey and Ana’s inner goddess. So that’s a dealbreaker. Then there is the legal aspect of Maryn suing Andy over the use of their embryos. Eh, I read about that at length in ‘Sing You Home’ by Jodi Picoult even if it had different circumstances. Also, I’m not that into legal matters. As I said, minor hiccups.

What I liked though was the mention of one character from Leaving Unknown, Laura/Lola, the girl that works at the studios in LA. She is mentioned once but I saw it as a treat and was happy that I recognised her. It’s just a funny occurrence. Then there is the matter that the Reichs women must think Summer is THE name of the rebound wife. Andy’s second wife is named Summer and if I remember correctly, so is the fiancé of Pete who is Tempe Brennan’s ex-husband in the novels by Kerry’s mother, Kathy Reichs.

In the end, all characters come together through different circumstances. It’s heartbreaking and bittersweet but also a good ending. I liked where the book went and not everything turned out exactly as I expected which is always a plus.

There is a Q&A at the end of the book and there is one excerpt I want to share with you because it’s so nice and sad and great and… It’s a letter from one of the characters. It’s not a part of the book but something Kerry envisioned for the character.

I had a second chance to do everything I wanted, but that is rare. Never wait to be asked twice to dance. Dance. Laugh often. Be noisy. Hug your father. Do something every day that doesn’t make rational sense. Be joyful, though you considered all the facts. Love freely, and love those who don’t deserve it. Do a selfless thing each day. Every day won’t be the best day in your life, but that’s okay. If someone were to tell you the world would end tomorrow, plant a tree. Most of all, don’t be afraid of risk. If you open yourself to opportunities, fortuities will land on your shoulder like birds. The only thing that holds you back in life is yourself. I give you permission. Go for it.

Reading this made me cry all over again after I was done crying about the actual book. Maybe it’s wrong to measure the quality of a book by the fact if it made me cry or not but that’s juts how I roll. If I cried, it means the story touched me enough to make me care – to be a catalyst for the feelings I cannot let free on my own.

This is a story about wanting to have kids without having the opportunity to do so on your own. It’s about health that is not distributed fairly and most importantly, it’s a story about family values. A kid can grow up happy having just a single parent, or two mommies or two daddies as long as it’s cared and loved for. There’s nothing more that matters.

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30 Days of Books – Day 25

25 Nov

A character you can relate to the most

Previously: A book that you wish more people would have read

The character I can identify with the most is Maeve Conelly from The Good Luck Girl/ Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs. I talked about how much I love this book before and before *smiles* and that is mostly because of the main character.

Maeve battled leukemia and somehow during chemotherapy, getting better and  relapsing she lost herself. She graduated college but had no clue what to do with her degree, instead she was living over her budget avoiding serious business, being a hypochondriac and avoiding responsibility until her parents cut her off. She decides to move to LA for a fresh start. To do so, she drives her car across America and when it breaks down in a place called Unknown Arizona, she has to wait for the mechanic to come back and earn the money to pay for the repairs.

The only thing she thinks she is good at is running, whenever a situation is too much for her, she puts on her shoes and runs until she feels better. She is also a book nerd and loves colourful knee socks. This feels all too familiar, granted I haven’t battled cancer myself but been there while Mom did and lost. I know the feeling when all you want to do is run until your muscles burn and you’re just not thinking anymore. I need my runs in order to be a balanced human being and keeping my temper in check when life gets especially stressful. I also love books and socks, mostly striped socks but in general all that are fun and bright.

There were times I felt lost, I still don’t know what I will do in 6 months after I graduate form university so yeah, Maeve Connelly is my spirit animal. But I think I could do worse because in the end, she sees herself for the amazing person she really is and learns to deal with her survivors guilt.

Next: A book that changed your opinion about something

30 Days of Books – Day 20

20 Nov

Favourite romance book

Previously: Favourite book turned into a movie

There are soooooo many romance novels out there and I’ve read quite a few because I love fluff and happy couples and that stuff sometimes. This is again a vey hard choice – I want to go with something that was already on this list but in order not to repeat myself, today’s choice is: Best Day of Someone Else’s Life by Kerry Reichs. It’s actually the predecessor to The Good Luck Girl and features related characters.

The main character is Kevin ‘Vi’ Conelly – her parents really wanted a boy. She is in her 30s and suddenly, she gets all these invitations to weddings of friends and colleagues which is awkward for her because she has no one in her life even though all those people seem to have found an idiot to love them. Thus continues a long series of weddings she has to attend and/or even take part in. Some of her experiences are funny and embarrassing and she manages to keep her spirits high.  Through some up’s and down’s she finds a really decent guy.

This book is well written, for chick-lit and if that’s your thing, I can only recommend it, also Kerry’s second book.

Next: Favourite book from your childhood

30 Days of Books – Day 02

2 Nov

A Book that you’ve read more than 3 times

Previously: Best Book you read last year

I’m not much of a re-reader of books but ‘The Good Luck Girl’ by Kerry Reichs who is the daughter of Kathy Reichs didn’t give me a choice. I think I read it 3 or 4 times in one YEAR. Also, I gushed about this book before and why I love it so much, so check out my earlier post cause I’m too lazy to write about it again.

BTW, this book has two titles, in the US it’s called Leaving Unknown which I actually find more fitting for the storyline than the UK title.

At the moment I am actively trying to restrain myself from reading it again because there are a number of books sitting on my shelves waiting to be read but instead I want to grab this one and indulge myself again. But I won’t. I’ll stay strong.

Next: Your favourite Series

Do you ever skip ahead?

19 Jul

Today I came across a blog entry by one of my favourite authors, Kerry Reichs. If you’re a long time follower of Lazy Happy Bored Happy Sad, you may remember me declaring my love for her previous novel Leaving Unkown/ The Good Luck Girl. Anyway, Kerry has published a new book, ‘What You Wish For‘ and I cannot wait to read it. There’s only one problem, if I buy it now, I buy the US version and then the book won’t match the two I already own and my shelf would be in more disarray than I would like it to be. Yes, I know I sound quite OCD but damn it, I love order. So I’m hoping ‘What You Wish For’ will be published by Orion in the UK rather sooner than later. Or else I need to mentally prepare myself for yet another series (no they’re not sequels but still belong together) of books that do not match. Like these:

My heart still cries silently over the fact that my Thursday Next collection is now officially out of order every time I walk by that shelf but I wasn’t able to resist the dumping price on the last book so I decided my heart would have to get over it. Nope, still isn’t but whatever.

Moving on.

With her guest post, Kerry got me thinking about my reading habits. Yes, I do peek at the end of books as well. Book lovers all over the world are now officially allowed to disrespect me for it. But, tell me, have you never looked ahead? Never? Not even while reading Harry Potter?? LIARS!

I even look ahead chapter wise when the book is not very fascinating or I’m tired. Can I justify staying up for another 10-20 pages or do I turn off the light and try to sleep instead? I like reading chapter-wise. I hate having to stop mid-chapter because I just can’t keep my eyes open any longer or because I get disrupted so I need to plan it. Is there enough time before the appointment for me to get through this or not?

But it’s not always about planning, sometimes I skip ahead to see if things turn out the way I want them to, or if there is (finally) something interesting coming up, or when this stupid part is finally over. Let me tell you though, all my skipping ahead, stealing glances at the end, hasn’t helped me with ‘Great Expectations’. I’m now over halfway through and I’m still waiting for something interesting to happen to Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham. But NOTHING EVER DOES!! Sure, the narrative is fine but the storyline is extremely boring to me.

With the last Harry Potter, I couldn’t help but read the very last chapter first, I needed to know he survived in order to start reading the book. Nonetheless my first reading of The Deathly Hallows was done in such a haste, that after finishing it, I started right at the beginning again to get in everything of the story I missed in my hazy attempt to find out what happens to every single one of the characters I loved and cared for for so long.

I read a lot of crime and mystery novels and even though I know the protagonists survive because, let’s face it, there will be sequels, I still need to reassure myself of the fact that they get out of harmful situations alive. I get scared for the characters, which is probably the whole point of it but I’m a sissy that way.

Reading the last page first is not as bad a thing as many people want you to believe though, or at least, that’s what I think. Reading the last page is mostly confusing and without understanding what has happened before, you’re not even able to understand the ending. Last pages are not endings! They’re just last words to a story you cannot fathom unless you understand the lead-up to those last words. Real endings happen sometime before the last page.

Another thing I do to books is read them simultaneously. I never did that while I was younger, because I thought it would be better to read one book at a time. I’m long over it though. Like right now, I’m reading ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The Help’. The first one I carry around when I take my mom to appointments because then I actually cannot get out of reading it while ‘The Help’ is what I read in bed. Some books just require more effort to get through them than is good but I stick by them.

Most of them, anyways. I’ve so far, rarely given up on a book. I never made it through ‘Moby Dick’ though. Maybe one day, I’ll find the strength in myself to give it another try just right now, time is too precious to waste it on an old man’s obsession with a white whale. Technically I also never finished ‘Dead Souls’ by Gogol but as the last chapters were incomplete I gave up one day and haven’t regretted it.

Now you know my reading secrets. What are yours? Do you peek at the endings? What books did you gave up and never looked back at?

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