Thursday, April 28, 2016

TLC Book Tours: Capture

About Capture

Capture cover• Hardcover: 416 pages • Publisher: Harper Wave (April 12, 2016) Why do we think, feel, and act in ways we wish we did not? For decades, Dr. David A. Kessler has studied this question with regard to tobacco, food, and drugs. Over the course of these investigations, he identified one underlying mechanism common to a broad range of human suffering. This phenomenon—capture—is the process by which our attention is hijacked and our brains commandeered by forces outside our control. In Capture, Dr. Kessler considers some of the most profound questions we face as human beings: What are the origins of mental afflictions, from everyday unhappiness to addiction and depression—and how are they connected? Where does healing and transcendence fit into this realm of emotional experience? Analyzing an array of insights from psychology, medicine, neuroscience, literature, philosophy, and theology, Dr. Kessler deconstructs centuries of thinking, examining the central role of capture in mental illness and questioning traditional labels that have obscured our understanding of it. With a new basis for understanding the phenomenon of capture, he explores the concept through the emotionally resonant stories of both well-known and unknown people caught in its throes. The closer we can come to fully comprehending the nature of capture, Dr. Kessler argues, the better equipped we are to eventually alleviate its deleterious effects and successfully change our thinking and behaviors. Ultimately, Capture offers insight into how we form thoughts and emotions, manage trauma, and heal. For the first time, we can begin to understand the underpinnings not only of mental illness but also of our everyday worries and anxieties. Capture is an intimate and critical exploration of the most enduring human mystery of all: the mind. 

 “Kessler proposes an original theory of the mind. His cogent argument is that a great deal of the apparently inexplicable behavior of human beings is the result of impulses, drives, and obsessions that may share fundamental neural and psychodynamic mechanisms. This carefully researched book is both startling and engaging, and is written with brio.”—Andrew Solomon, National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon 

 “In this richly documented, beautifully written, and original work, David Kessler has given us an idea that explains one of the most strange and most powerful processes in the human brain.”—E. O. Wilson, University Professor Emeritus, Harvard University

 “Capture is a breakthrough book. In a world of increasingly specialized knowledge, it takes a particular gift and some stubbornness to cut across the fields of neuroscience, psychiatry, philosophy, and psychology, and to ask the fundamental question: Why is it that we allow our best selves to be captured and torpedoed by thoughts and actions that sink us? Kessler’s exploration of the question makes for a compelling read. His ultimate answer is profound and one that could be life changing and life saving. I know I will be handing this book out for just that reason.”—Abraham Verghese, MD, author of Cutting for Stone

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As a psychology nerd, I loved this book! Dr. Kessler went very in-depth in this book, explaining much of the history of psychology, as well as several case studies to support his concept of "capture."  Capture is some sort of stimulus, such as a thought, person, place, idea, or something similar that takes hold of our attention ("captures" our attention) and alters our thoughts, perceptions, or actions. Once introducing the concept, the concept is explored through a variety of case studies that make up the bulk of the book.

The case studies were so interesting--many of them were famous people like Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, and extensively detailed accounts of David Foster Wallace's struggle with anxiety, depression, and ultimately, committing suicide. He also linked his theory to violent acts like the Columbine school shooting, and spiritual leaders like Martin Luther. I love how he connected the psychological concepts to all areas of life.

Though the book is very detailed an in-depth, Dr. Kessler has a fantastic way of writing the material in a way that the general public can understand. You do not have to be a psychology nerd like me to enjoy this book. It's easy to understand, and very insightful.  If you're interested in psychology in any way, I definitely recommend this book!

My rating: 4 stars

About David A. Kessler, M.D.

David Kessler APDavid A. Kessler, MD served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is the author of A Question of Intent and The End of Overeating, a New York Times bestseller. He is a pediatrician and has been the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Kessler is a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago Law School, and Harvard Medical School.

Click here for the full tour schedule.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Ten Bookworm Delights

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Week's Topic:  

Top Ten Bookworm Delights (inspired by this post)

1. Book Mail! Especially ARC's. Or giveaway wins. Or books from friends. Or...anything bookish!

2. Beautiful covers. Yes, I am a cover snob!

3. Reading events like Dewey's and Bout of Books!

4. Finding other blogger friends that like pretty much the exact same books you do! For me, this is Brandie over at Brandie is a Book Junkie!

5. The Friends of the Library Book Sale!

I bought this cool tote bag at this year's sale!

6. When you have an entire morning/afternoon/evening to yourself, your current read, and a delicious snack/beverage....

7. When an author you love comments on your posts, or starts following you, or both!

8.  The smell of a book! Of course.

9. When a book you've been on the hold list for at the library finally comes in!

10. When both your home and your work are walking distance from two library branches...

What are some of your Bookish Delights?

Monday, April 25, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too!

Recently Finished:


Had a hard time getting into this one. A DNF for me.


A good, solid read. 3.5 stars. Look for my TLC Book Tours review on May 13!

Currently Reading:



Up Next:

Tell Me Three Things

What are you reading this week? Happy Reading!

Bout of Books 16 sign up!

Bout of Books

It's that time again!!! Bout of Books 16 is May 9th through May 15th. Bout of Books is my absolute favorite reading event.  I love this event so much mainly because of the opportunity to connect with other readers and bloggers. You don't have to have a blog to sign up--you can use any social media platform to participate. Here's the official blurb:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

Want to sign up? You can do so here!

Goals post will be live on May 6th!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Dewey's Readathon TBR!


Tomorrow is Dewey's 24 hour Readathon!  I'm excited to participate again this time, and look forward to a relaxing day of reading. I'm going to the beach with my hubby and some close friends this weekend (SO EXCITED)  but beach weekend definitely means reading time for me!

Since I'm spending the weekend with friends, I'm not going to do anything crazy like staying up all night reading or anything, but my goal is to relax, have fun, and have some good quality reading time throughout the day. I do have a TBR list. I'm not anticipating getting through all these, but these are the books on my radar:


Already started this one, hoping to finish it this weekend. Review post for TLC Book Tours on May 13.
Tell Me Three Things

Bought this one on Brandie's excellent recommendation. Excited to start it!


I was on the hold list for this one at the library and picked it up yesterday!

What are you reading this weekend? Have fun, fellow readathon participants!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Review: The Year We Turned Forty

26240981Title: The Year We Turned Forty
Authors: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
336 pages, publish date April 26, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Women's Fiction

Note: I received this book from NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own. 

From Goodreads:

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he's getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she's recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

I absolutely loved The Status of All Things, so I was ecstatic to receive an ARC of Liz and Lisa's latest novel!  I am thrilled to report it did not disappoint! What I love about Liz and Lisa's books is the level of creativity in their stories.  Who hasn't though about changing some of their life decisions, or "what if I had done this instead?"? This book explores that topic brilliantly. In some ways, it reminded me a lot of Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid, but this one focused on changing a whole year instead of focusing on one decision. I loved that they used three best friends as the main characters as well.

Speaking of the characters...I loved them!! A lot of times in books that focus on multiple characters I find myself more interested in one character or the other, being bored with the chapters for the characters I didn't like. Not so with this book! I loved all three characters for different reasons, though I think I related to Claire the most.

Though entertaining and humorous, The Year We Turned Forty  will seriously make you think.  It is an emotional, heartwarming, and thought provoking read. There were a few times in the book where I just stopped reading and thought about what I've just read. One quote in particular stood out:

"You didn't fail at all. Some things aren't supposed to be fixed. If you came back a thousand times, you still couldn't change this."

How many things in your life do you wish you could go back and change? I know I can think of a few. But this book  showed that we either can't control some things in our life--or we may not want to. I cannot recommend this book enough.  This is a must-read!!

Overall rating for "The Year We Turned Forty": 5 stars

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 18, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?


This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too!

Recently Finished:


A cute read, but didn't love it. 3.5 stars


A good YA read! 4 stars

Currently Reading:


Review for TLC Book Torus on April 28


Up Next:


What are you reading this week?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Promo Blitz: Withering Hope

Contemporary Romance
Date Published: January 18, 2015

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This is a full-length, STANDALONE romance.

Aimee’s wedding is supposed to turn out perfect. Her dress, her fiancé and the location—the idyllic holiday ranch in Brazil—are perfect.

But all Aimee’s plans come crashing down when the private jet that’s taking her from the U.S. to the ranch—where her fiancé awaits her—defects mid-flight and the pilot is forced to perform an emergency landing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

With no way to reach civilisation, being rescued is Aimee and Tristan’s—the pilot—only hope. A slim one that slowly withers away, desperation taking its place. Because death wanders in the jungle under many forms: starvation, diseases. Beasts.

As Aimee and Tristan fight to find ways to survive, they grow closer. Together they discover that facing old, inner agonies carved by painful pasts takes just as much courage, if not even more, than facing the rainforest.

Despite her devotion to her fiancé, Aimee can’t hide her feelings for Tristan—the man for whom she’s slowly becoming everything. You can hide many things in the rainforest. But not lies. Or love.

Withering Hope is the story of a man who desperately needs forgiveness and the woman who brings him hope. It is a story in which hope births wings and blooms into a love that is as beautiful and intense as it is forbidden.


Tristan pours a few drops of shower gel over my board and then over his. It's not enough to clean the clothes, but it makes them smell better. That's as high as we can hope given our circumstances, and we're very careful to waste as little shower gel as possible.

"What's your favorite color?" Tristan asks. At last he's enjoying our little questioning game and initiates it almost as often as I do.


"That's a non-color," Tristan says with a smile, tsk-tsking.

"Well, it's the one I like most," I say defensively.

"That's why you have so much white clothing?"

"Yeah," I say, surprised he noticed that. I wore white a lot in L.A.

He nods, as if considering something. "You look good in white."

I blush slightly. One of the wavy short sleeves of the dress I’m wearing falls off my shoulder. I raise my hand to put it back in place as Tristan does the same. Our hands meet mid-way, and when our fingers touch, electricity zips through us. It’s so intense, I feel a burning sensation in my fingers even after we break contact. The warmth spreads from my fingers, rising to my cheeks, and I blush, confused, even more so when I realize Tristan is avoiding my gaze.

"You look good in everything you wear,” he says, “Aimee."

I flinch a bit at the sound of my name. I usually do when he says it. And he says it often, ever since I asked him to. I can’t pinpoint how or why, but it sounds different now.

After a few minutes I ask, "What's your favorite meal?"

He doesn't miss a beat. "Omelette."

I snicker. "That doesn't qualify as a meal," I say, seizing the chance to get back at him for mocking my favorite color. "No one dreams about an omelette. That's a last resort food anyone can cook. Pick something else."

"Well, that's what I like. I love an omelette for breakfast. It's a privilege to be able to eat one while sitting in a comfortable chair, reading the newspaper."

That's a bit weird, but I let it go. Every day here must be a privilege for him since we eat eggs almost every morning, though boiled, not an omelette. Maybe it's his guilty pleasure. Like coffee is for me.

"I don't know about omelettes, but I like my coffee in the morning."

"I know," he says, smiling even wider. "At 7:00 a.m. sharp. With one spoon of sugar."

"You're perceptive," I say. "What else did you notice about me?"

"You like to change your haircut every six months and—”

"Wow. You'd make a perfect boyfriend," I say, stunned. "Most men don't notice things like that."

His expression hardens, and I bite my lip. Stepping into forbidden territory again.

"I meant it as a compliment," I add, though I have the feeling that won't help.

"I just like to observe… the little things," he says, clipping out the words. I mull them over for a few seconds in silence.

About the Author

Welcome! My name is Layla Hagen and I am a Contemporary Romance author.

I fell in love with books when I was nine years old, and my love affair with stories continues even now, many years later. I write romantic stories and can't wait to share them with the world. And I drink coffee. Lots of it :-D

Contact Links
Twitter: @laylahagen

Purchase Links

$50 Gift Card

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blog Tour: What Happens in the T.A. Williams


I was super excited when Karan Eleni contacted me to be a part of this tour! I'd read and reviewed What Happens in Tuscany from NetGalley and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to read another book by this author! 

Title: What Happens in the Alps...
Author: T.A. Williams
262 pages, published March 21, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit

Publisher: Harlequin/Carina UK

Note: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley to facilitate my review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are my own.

Purchase Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK iTunes Barnes & Noble

Two years ago, Annie Brewer’s life was turned upside down when her adrenaline-junkie husband died in a tragic climbing accident. So she’s hoping that moving to the beautiful village of Santorso in the Italian Alps will finally put her life back on track!
She might be going into business with her oldest friend – notorious lady-charmer Matt Brown – but men are definitely out of the question for Annie! That is, until she bumps into tall, dark and delicious Alessandro Lago on the ski slopes…and spontaneously says ‘Yes’ to a date!
It must be the crisp, mountain air but suddenly, anything seems possible. The only trouble is, chivalrous Matt is looking more gorgeous than ever…

What a fun read! What I love most about Trevor's books is there is always a Black Lab involved. If you know me, you know I love my black lab! So many things to love about this book: the beautiful setting in Santorso, gorgeous European men, talk about delicious Italian food...all things I love in a good chick lit novel! And of course I absolutely adored Leo, the black Lab! I loved Annie's character and related to her well. I think everyone can relate to loss at some level, and the hard choices to move on afterwards. I rooted for Annie's success in her new business and her opening her heart to new love. How did she get lucky enough to have TWO European men?! Loved both Alessandro and Matt,though I won't go into detail about which I loved more, because I don't want to give anything away!

Though I predicted a few things about the end, I've said countless times in chick lit reviews: that predictability is so comforting sometimes, especially when I'm in the mood for a read like this. This is  a lighthearted, entertaining read perfect for a cozy weekend spent reading. Trevor has a lovely writing style that is easy to follow and draws you in during the first chapter. This book was a fast read because of how immersed I became in the story and how hard it was to put down. I look forward to future "What Happens" books from this great author!

About the Author:

Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.
Blog Tour Organized by:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

TLC Book Tours: All Stories are Love Stories

All Stories Are Love Stories coverAbout All Stories Are Love Stories

• Hardcover: 368 pages • Publisher: Harper (March 22, 2016) An achingly beautiful novel about the power of nature, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring strength of love On Valentine's Day, two major earthquakes strike San Francisco within the same hour, devastating the city and its primary entry points, sparking fires throughout, and leaving its residents without power, gas, or water. Among the disparate survivors whose fates will become intertwined are Max, a man who began the day with birthday celebrations tinged with regret; Vashti, a young woman who has already buried three of the people she loved most . . . but cannot forget Max, the one who got away; and Gene, a Stanford geologist who knows far too much about the terrifying earthquakes that have damaged this beautiful city and irrevocably changed the course of their lives. As day turns to night and fires burn across the city, Max and Vashti, trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium, must confront each other and face the truth about their past, while Gene embarks on a frantic search through the realization of his worst nightmares to find his way back home to his ailing lover. And by morning, nothing will be the same.
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If you just hear the title of this book, you think it's just another cheesy romance, but you'd be totally wrong!  I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end, and the main reason I enjoyed it so much was because of Elizabeth Percer's eloquent, beautiful, GORGEOUS writing.  It flows so well and is so wonderfully written.  The story was engaging as well--what drew me to the book originally was its comparison to Station Eleven--which I loved--and it is very similar in a lot of ways. What I liked about this book in relation to that comparison was that it wasn't quite as far fetched--a devastating earthquake hitting San Francisco is absolutely, and unfortunately, plausible--and that made the book easier to relate to for me.  Several times I found myself thinking about where I am at different parts of the day and what it would be like to experience the earthquake there and potentially be trapped. Like Gene, for instance, who experience the earthquake in the middle of a traffic jam on the freeway.  Or max, in an auditorium that completely collapses. 

I loved the character and the different perspectives. The book mainly followed Max and Vashti, who have a complicated history together, as well as Gene, a University professor. I related to all of them, really, which I feel is an attribute of a great writer. 

Yes, there are love stories in this book, but it also explores so many themes and issues completely relevant in today's society. I absolutely recommend this book if you're looking for a book that has a deeper meaning and makes you think!

Author Elizabeth Percer
Image Credit: Patrick Stull

About Elizabeth Percer

Elizabeth Percer is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has twice been honored by the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation. She received a BA in English from Wellesley and a PhD in arts education from Stanford University, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship for the National Writing Project at UC Berkeley. She lives in California with her husband and three children. All Stories Are Love Stories is her second novel. Visit Elizabeth at her website,, and follow her on Facebook.

Monday, April 11, 2016

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?


This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn @ Book Date. You should join in, too!

I finished a FANTASTIC book this week! My five star review will be on the blog May 3 (pub date for the book)

Recently Finished:

A Drop in the Ocean
LOVED IT! 5 stars!!!

Currently Reading:


(This one just came in on hold for me at the library!

Up Next:

Not sure yet I'm such a mood reader! What are you reading this week?

Friday, April 8, 2016

Book Beginnings: A Drop in the Ocean

Book Beginnings Fridays is a weekly event hosted by fellow Oregon blogger Gilion at Rose City Reader.  The purpose is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

This week I started reading A Drop in the Ocean by Jenni Ogden. I received this book via NetGalley, and was initially disappointed to find that it wasn't available on Kindle. Couldn't get the downloadable PDF to work. So, I finally just replied honestly to the publisher that I was disappointed it wasn't on Kindle, but that I would still read it once it came out because I was so excited about this book. Not 30 minutes later Caitlin Hamilton from Caitlin Hamilton Marketing emailed me and offered me a print galley of this book. I am beyond grateful! Goes to show if you are honest and polite, good things happen. Thanks Caitlin! Here are the first lines of the book:

"On my forty-ninth birthday my shining career came to an inauspicious end. It took with it the jobs of four promising young scientists and catapulted my loyal research technician into premature retirement, an unjust reward for countless years of dedicated scut work."

27037952From Goodreads:

On her 49th birthday, Anna Fergusson, Boston neuroscientist and dedicated introvert, arrives at an unwanted crossroads when the funding for her research lab is cut. With her confidence shattered and her future uncertain, on impulse she rents a cabin for a year on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. However Turtle Island, alive with sea birds and nesting Green turtles, is not the retreat she expected. Here she finds love for the eccentric islanders who become her family; for Tom, the laid-back turtle whisperer; and for the turtles whose ancient mothering instincts move her to tears. But Anna finds that even on her idyllic drop in the ocean there is pain, and as the months fly past her dream for a new life is threatened by a darkness that challenges everything she has come to believe about the power of love. Evocative and thought-provoking, A Drop in the Ocean is a story about second chances and hard lessons learned in the gentlest of ways.

I'm LOVING this one so far, you guys! And not just because of that beautiful cover! What are you reading this weekend? Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: First Comes Love

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Author: Emily Giffin
Publication Date: June 28, 2016

From Goodreads:

In this dazzling new novel, Emily Giffin, the #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Something Borrowed, Where We Belong, andThe One & Only introduces a pair of sisters who find themselves at a crossroads.

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.
Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.
On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. 
As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

I LOVE Emily Giffin--she is one of my favorite authors! I am so excited to read this book! What are you waiting on this week?