Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven 


3.92  ·  Rating details ·  27,651 Ratings  ·  4,512 Reviews
Download or read online for free Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Holding Up the Universe
by Jennifer Niven
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

“Dear friend, You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only you there is. Don’t be afraid to leave the castle. It’s a great big world out there. Love, a fellow reader”

“We're all weird and damaged in our own way. You're not the only one.”

“People are shitty for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they're just shitty people. Sometimes people have been shitty to them and, even though they don't realize it, they take that shitty upbringing and go out into the world and treat others the same way. Sometimes they're shitty because they're afraid. Sometimes they choose to be shitty to others before others can be shitty to them. So it's like self-defensive shittiness.”




Reviews


Welcome to the internet in the year 2017. Where a simple book blurb broke the internet for a few days. A teenage girl who was rescued from her house because her weight kept her a prisoner. Then through in a statement about how she is returning to high school aka..the real world after being homeschooled.
I KNOW!! Let's all run and one star and bash the book.

Not.

And all you guys thought I was the biggest bully on here didn't you?

Because I had (for once) stopped to think about what the book meant..and it made me drool all over myself.
I didn't jump on the bandwagon. I wanted the book even more.
Because I've been a bit on the fat side many times in my life. I lose some weight and then I gain some weight. Big dang deal. (I can say that now-I couldn't when I was this character's age.) I home-school my kid. AND YES sometimes we talk about him joining the 'real world' again. Does that mean he is socially awkward? Hell no.

This book is something that if I had it in high-school I would have highlighted ever stinking line of it. It would have became my Shelby bible of how to deal with all the assholes that dwell in high-school. (and real life)

These characters:
Libby Stout, she is the girl that was taken from her house. By a crane. Because her mom had died suddenly and she could not cope. Food became her crutch, her dad didn't know how to deal with it and tried..he did try. But when someone is bent on self destruction-sometimes that path can't be detoured. She does finally reach that point (when the crane is brought out) that her dad knows that help is needed. He wants to save his daughter. He gets her help.
Then comes to the point in the story where she is going back to school. She has lost some weight, she is still overweight by public opinion. BUT this girl totally knows who she is.

For example..on the first day back at school.
"Hey," he says.
"Hey."
"Is it true fat girls give better blow jobs?"
"I don't know. I've never gotten a blow job from a fat girl.".


Jack Masselin: This kid hides the fact that he recognizes no one's face. Not even his own family. He once screamed that his mom was kidnapping him because she had gotten a haircut and he didn't have the familiar markers to place her in his mind.
He plays the cool guy at school but he lives in fear that someone will discover his secret.
Then they end up in group counseling together. This is not a boy rescue the fat girl story. This is a story of two people realizing who exactly they are..and owning it.
People are shitty for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they're just shitty people. Sometimes people have been shitty to them and, even though they don't realize it, they take that shitty upbringing and go out into the world and treat others the same way. Sometimes they're shitty because they're afraid. Sometimes they choose to be shitty to others before others can be shitty to them. So it's like self-defensive shittiness.

Books like this are exactly why I read young adult.
***********************************************************************************
You know I don't care what anyone thinks, I just loved the hell out of this book! I happy cried so many times in this book. And there will probably be some *SPOILERS* I don't know, my feelings right now are out of control. 
This review is going to be all over the place because I'm crazy and that's just the way it is.

I love Libby so much! In this book she has so much courage. Even when she was low and things hurt her, she had courage like no one I know. Those hateful, horrible kids said some of the most horrible things to her. I just can't fathom.

My name is Libby Strout. You've probably heard of me. You've probably watched the video of me being rescued from my own house. At last count, 6,345,981 people have watched it, so there's a good chance you're one of them. Three years ago, I was American's Fattest Teen. I weighed 653 pounds at my heaviest, which means I was approximately 500 pounds overweight. I haven't always been fat. The short version of the story is that my mom died and I got fat, but somehow I'm still here. This is no way my father's fault.

Two months after I was rescued, we moved to a different neighborhood on the other side of town. These days I can leave the house on my own. I've lost 302 pounds. The size of two entire people. I have around 190 left to go, and I'm fine with that. I like who I am. For one thing, I can run now. And ride in the car. And buy clothes at the mall instead of special-ordering them. And I can twirl. Aside from no longer being afraid of organ failure, that may be the best thing about now versus then.

Tomorrow is my first day of school since fifth grade. My new title will be high school junior, which, let's face it, sounds a lot better than America's Fattest Teen. But it's hard to be anything but TERRIFIED OUT OF MY SKULL.

I wait for the panic attack to come.


And of course we all know when she gets to school the jerkholes start bullying her! I hate them so much I could just scream!
But Libby is a force of nature. She don't take too much shite from anyone! She ignores it or in case of boys, she just knocks them on their arse! She my hero!

This is the way she meets the other main character, Jack. I love him too. I will get to him in a minute. He's going to do something to Libby that is a horrible prank for the big girls. He puts a note in her bag before talking about it and apologizing, but he gets what he deserves =)

I'm lying on the cafeteria floor, and the girl is standing over me. My jaw feels knocked loose, it's over somewhere in Ohio. I give it a rub to make sure it's still attached, and my hand comes away covered in blood.

I say, "What the hell?" My words are garbled. Jesus, I think she broke my voice box. "Why did you punch me?"

"WHY DID YOU GRAB ME?"


My eyes go to her backpack, to the letter sticking out of the pocket I just managed to shove it into. I want to say You'll understand later, but I can't speak because I'm wiping the blood from my mouth.

Jack is popular dude at the school, but he has a big problem. He has prosopagnosia.
PROSOPAGNOSIA: 1. An inability to recognize the faces of familiar people, typically as a result of damage to the brain. 2. when everyone is a stranger.

Jack has figured this out for himself by research. He has never told his family or friends. He gets away with it by other means. You can read the book and find out.

When Libby was little she lived across the street from three boys and I loved it because she called them Sam, Dean and Cas =) She loved the show "Supernatural" too. They were her only friends, well friends in her head. Until that day she was taken from her home by crane and moved away.

The story goes back and forth to things that happened in the past to the present. And, it wasn't confusing at all. I'm surprised because I get confused easy!

It turns out that Libby and Jack are pushed together by being in a group after school for being bad. Then they start to get to know each other and it's so fun and it's so wonderful. They help each other. And yeah, some sad stuff happens but it all works out in the end.

And let me tell you, there is one part where Libby stands up to the whole school in such a way that I cried my eyes out. I wish I could add the excerpt like the other ones but it's one you should read for yourself. I just love her. Did I say that already? This book makes me feel sad, mad and good. Libby makes me feel good for so many reasons and that's enough for me. I will read this many times and get some inspiration from Libby. I wish I had a friend like her. The saddest part is, I almost didn't read this book because of so many negative reviews. It does have a lot of good reviews but now I don't care what people think, I read what I want and I'm glad. I found a gem that works for ME! ♥
***********************************************************************************
This was equal parts special and frustrating for me. But definitely more emphasis on the special. There were moments when my Vulcan soul FAILED ME COMPLETELY and I turned into a mush of squishy feels. FEEEEEEEELS. I think Jennifer Niven is a WIZARD OF FEELS STABBING and I love her for it. Omg. I did love this book. I did. But there were several things that made me pout in a puddle but I'll get to them in a moment. PATIENCE, GRASSHOPPER.

Also: this is not as devastating as All the Bright Places. hahhaahha. THANK YOU. I DON'T FEEL LIKE MY HEART JUST GOT RIPPED OUT. But the whole time I was absolutely dreading the ending....so I actually have all the thumping gasping feels anyway because I WAS SO WORRIED. Ahem.

I'm having a crisis. Nevermind me.

So this story is about being seen, basically. It's equal parts about Libby (who is known as the "fattest teen in America") and Jack (who has prosopagnosia). I reeeally loved the storyline. It was so poignant and beautifully written. Like hold my cupcake, Bob, I need to yell THE WRITING OF JENNIFER NIVEN IS SOMETHING GORGEOUS TO BE UPHELD ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS. I love it. It gets me in the feels and makes me want to do glorious things. I loved the messages of self-worth and I loooved how everything tied together.

Brief List Of Other Things I Loved:
• There are Supernatural references. SO MANY SUPERNATURAL REFERENCES. #win
• There is SO MUCH DANCING.
• There is much diversity of colour, size, and (briefly) sexuality.
• Jack has a gorgeous afro and a deep love of his hair and this pleases me greatly because HAIR APPRECIATION IS MY THING.

I love love looooooved Jack. I GOTTA ADMIT HE IS A PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL OF BAD DECISIONS. He really makes sucky decisions. And he is a coward a bit. But at the same time I related to him a lot because of the face-blind aspect. I don't have prosopagnosia, but I struggle to recognise people's faces to a mild degree and I fail at reading emotions on faces completely -- so just the fact that Jack could walk into a room of people and have NO IDEA WHO THEY WERE OR WHAT THEY THOUGHT OF HIM was so relatable AND IT NEARLY MADE ME CRY.

Libby...I struggled with a lot. This is because she has a very self-righteous attitude and she makes just as many dumb decisions as Jack -- but yet she doesn't seem to ever be sorry about them? At least Jack recognised he was a JERK. Whereas Libby just justified herself. Plus there was a scene at the end. But I loved all the self-love Libby talked about and how she had SUCH epic slap-backs to the bullies. Like let me applaud.

AND DID I MENTION THERE IS SO MUCH DANCING?!?!? I love it. Jack and Libby just DANCE and it is the most simply beautiful thing of ever. THESE PRECIOUS CHILDREN OF HEART ACHE AND SORROW. <3

I also totally got squished with emotions. Mainly "omg this is adorable" and "omg I can't even with how much I love them" and "please do not let my precious adorable cinnamon roll Jack die because I love him so". Gaahhhhhhhhh...I loved this.

I mean, there are a few negatives. Aside from not really connecting with Libby at all, I was surprised that there wasn't much variation in the settings. I didn't really understand a lot of the characters motivations. Like why wouldn't Jack tell his parents he's face-blind?? And why wouldn't Libby go to the principal when she was bullied, yet she told other students to go to the principal when they were bullied?? I IS THE CONFUSED. Also Jack can't recognise his family (fair; he has a disorder and this makes sense) but even in his own home he says stuff like "the man I assume is my father"...which makes no sense, in my opinion, because heck, who else would it be?? I can recognise my family coming down the stairs without even looking at them. Maybe this is just picky: but there was a lot of repetition whenever he was with his family about him figuring out who was who despite it being pretty obvious with faces aside. I mean, he has ONE FEMALE (mother) in his house. Of course it's going to be his mother tell him to put the coffee down or whatnot???

All in all: duuuude, this story is a precious little universe and I could not put it down. I COULD NOT!! Every time I did, I wanted to snatch it back up again. I adored Jack and his lion-mane afro and his swagger. And I looove books that want to talk about self-worth and not hiding and just BEING YOU, because these are some of the most important things to talk about of ever. THE WRITING IS DIVINE AND I JUST HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS WHAT IS THIS.
***********************************************************************************
Holding Up the Universe was an interesting and moving read with complex characters and a unique storyline. I listened the the audio version of this book and once I hit play, I didn’t want to stop. When I read All the Bright Places earlier this year, I had the same feeling of being hooked. I’m happy to report the author was able to pull this off not once, but twice.

Our story centers around Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby is formally ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. She’s spent a lot of her young adult life getting healthy and she is nowhere near thin, but she’s happy with herself. She decides to take the plunge, stop homeschooling and go to high school. Libby is a fantastic character. I loved that she’s just herself. She has a great relationship with her dad and meets some good friends throughout this journey for her. She also meets Jack Masselin in a very unconventional way.

Jack’s got it good in high school, or so everything thinks. He’s popular, has a pretty girlfriend and a lot of friends. He’s funny, charming and cool. But he struggles every single moment of every single day. See, Jack has this secret. He can’t recognize faces. I can’t even imagine how that would feel. To wake up each morning, look at my husband and not recognize his face. That’s how it is for Jack. He knows his brother’s hair style, and he can tell his other brother by his ears, but the system is not flawless. Libby is the only one who knows about this and is able to help him. He doesn't always deserve her help, but that's not the point. It's just the way Libby is. I love her for it.

Jack and Libby’s relationship is complicated at first. The way they meet, the reason they’re spending so much time together. Their friendship grew and developed as the story progressed. I loved them both and I loved that they had each others backs. Jack won me over early on, just knowing he was rooting for Libby from the very start warmed my heart. Even though there were some hard to read moments, the story, overall, was a positive one. I felt happy when I finished. I give this one 4 stars!

    Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

***********************************************************************************
REREAD! I fell in love with this book allll over again! I adore Libby. I adore what she stands for. I love what this book stands for. The hope it instills. How personal it is to the author and how appreciative I am that she shared her story with us. I'm rooting for this book! I'm rooting for myself. I'm rooting for all the readers who have ever felt less than. As Libby would say about herself, ‘I am magic!’, and so, as are you.



Initial review!
I'm sure a lot of you will remember the ton of backlash this book received when the blurb was revealed. I mean, let's not get into that aspect of people having the audacity to judge and write-off a book when they haven't read a single page of it. It's aggravating to the core!

So, having read the book, yes, there is a lot of 'fat-shaming' that's mentioned throughout the book. Fat-shaming that the main character has to deal with, i.e. the bullying she goes through, because of her weight. But also the main character 'fat-shaming' herself, because of her insecurity, as a direct result of the bullies and other factors.

I personally don't see how this is a problem, to bring to light this sort of issue. Yes, it was slightly uncomfortable to read at times, making it real and raw. But we ask for diverse and complex books/characters, then moan when a 'controversial' topic is raised. This is exactly the kind of realistic bullshit some people unfortunately, have to deal with, as ugly as it may seem. As well as the insecurity and the mental-health issues that come alongside it. I don't understand how it was even assumed that the author was ridiculing people who deal with weight and mental-health problems. If perhaps they'd waited a little longer for some clarification, and did their research, they'd have known that this topic is quite personal to the author.

But that's not all that the book is about. Yes, the character struggles with her weight, she's insecure to an extent, but she's absolutely fuckin' strong!!! She's almost sure about who she is. As sure as a teenager can be. She refuses to let her weight define her, stand in her way of her dreams, and fights the fuck back against anyone that dares to ridicule her. And she's happy, dammit!

This element is what made the book for me. She was headstrong to begin with, because she made herself be so! Though there are romantic aspects, her problems didn't magically disappear, because there was a guy in her life. But she refused to hide her true self.

Because of this, I feel that this book is so empowering! A book that those who feel that can relate to Libby, can find strength in. Though Libby encompasses aspects of her personality that may contradict or clash — i.e. being insecure, yet not giving a flying fuck about anyone — it's a great message that one can take away. You're never fully one or the other, anyway.

This is what I personally got from this book. I guess, like every other book, people will interpret it differently, according to their own understanding and worldview. And this is mine.


Initial review:
Okay, wow. It's 4am. Read this book in less than a day. My heart is floating. I'm dying with feels.

I was not expecting to love this book so much.
***********************************************************************************
“I know what you’re thinking- if you hate it so much and it’s such a burden, just lose the weight, and then that job will go away. But I’m comfortable where I am. I may lose more weight. I may not. But why should what I weigh affect other people? I mean unless I’m sitting on them, who cares?”

To be honest, I was not a fan of All the Bright Places and I wouldn’t have been this curious about Holding Up the Universe had it not been for the controversy that erupted long before its release. But the more the issue grew, the more I got so pulled to the book that I just had to buy it when it was out on our local bookstores. This time, my gut feel was right and the book is completely worth all my curiosity.

Let me help out our community of readers by pointing straight out what the book is/what it is not so as to avoid judging it just by its blurb alone.

But before that, just an excerpt from the book about “judging” *winks*: “Life is too short to judge others. It is not our job to tell someone what they feel or who they are. Why not spend some time judging yourself? I don’t know you, but I can guarantee you have some issues you can work on. And maybe you’ve got a fit body and a perfect face, but I’ll wager you have insecurities too…”

What the book is:

✔ A contemporary romantic novel so yes, it could be cheesy with several cheesy romantic declarations a girl wouldn’t normally hear from a guy [Now if you don’t like this stuff, then it’s probably not for you. ;)]

✔ It’s about mental illness. Both Libby and Jack suffer from unique sorts of mental illness. Libby suffered from depression while Jack has face-blindness or prosopagnosia.

✔ A serious read but approached with light, almost comic writing style that addresses social issues with positive conviction and inspiration.

✔ A moving, uplifting story that encourages people to be comfortable in their own skin, in their physical appearance/condition because that is what makes every person uniquely beautiful.

What the book is not:

✖ It's not about a fat girl whose life changes because of a cool guy. It’s actually about a cool girl and an equally cool guy who have decided to accept who and what they are even if that isn’t what is generally accepted by society.

✖ It’s not about a skinny guy telling the story of a fat girl. It’s about a special guy who sees a special girl not because of her physical weight but of her inner weight, because she has the biggest heart, because she matters greatly.

✖ It’s not trying to romanticize mental illness. It’s simply trying to say that everyone should have an equal chance at everything this life has to offer and yes even though it may sound cheesy, that does include love life, romance and all.

✖ It’s not against life. In fact, it’s very pro-life. It’s not about just moving on after a loss of a loved one but moving differently, creating new experiences and living life anew.

I agree with my friend, (Ate) Shelby. (Do check out her awesome, very insightful review by clicking her name). Ms. Jennifer Niven does deserve a pat on the back. If or when I meet her in person, I’m definitely giving her a big, big hug. <3
***********************************************************************************
I don't usually rate before reading but I am doing it here. If others who haven't read it can give it a 1 based on a synopsis, then I feel free to rate it a 5/5 before reading.

I have a few questions:

1. Why are people getting annoyed and commenting that a 'skinny' author shouldn't be writing about a 'fat' person?!? Are we saying that authors should only write about what they are? No more white authors writing about anything other than a white character then. George R.R. Martin please stop publishing, you've never been a dragon or a woman so I think you need to stop writing about them. J.K. Rowling, are you a witch... No?!? Take back HP, it's all lies!

2. The human race thing... Why are people sniping in on that? Do they not understand the context. It's not saying she's finally rejoining the human world because she wasn't human before. It talks about the fact she was homeschooled... away from others. She's going back to school... rejoining the human race is just a quirky way of putting it. I've used similar phrases when I've returned to work after two weeks off sick.

3. The crane: This has been a reality for so many people who are very overweight so why can't it be wrote about or shown in movies!?! >.<


Gah. Maybe wait till you've read the book before you judge every little thing about it. It's like a 100 word synopsis for god sake >.<
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28686840-holding-up-the-universe

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  12,714 Ratings  ·  799 Reviews
Download or read online for free Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben
Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben
With unmatched suspense and emotional insight, Harlan Coben explores the big secrets and little lies that can destroy a relationship, a family, and even a town in this powerful new thriller.

Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon “Nap” Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo’s girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks—and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.

When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions—about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana—whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

“Daisy wore a clingy black dress with a neckline so deep it could tutor philosophy.”

“My great-grandfather, Dad often told us, saved his best wines for special occasions. He was killed when the Nazis invaded Paris. The Nazis ended up drinking his wine. Lesson: you never wait. When I was growing up, we used only the good plates. We used the best linens. We drank out of Waterford crystal. When my father died, his wine cellar was nearly empty.”





Reviews


Ah yes, the ever faithful Coben novel. The comfort and confidence I feel in his work knows no bounds; whether I am on a string of enjoyable reads or stuck in a month long slump, his books are always devoured and relished. You could say I shove his books into the hands of strangers on a regular basis that I regularly recommend his novels in the most appropriate fashion, and with good reason- they are compulsive thrillers filled with dry humor and wit that anyone can relate to. As one of my top 3 favorite authors of all time, I think it's safe to say my review cannot be wholly unbiased, but if you'll stick with me I'm going to try and give you impartial facts as to why you may love this book too.

1- Coben based this book on true events that happened in his hometown. That's right, this story may be his most believable and realistic to date, if solely for the fact that it was inspired by two things that had taken place where he lives. I'm not going to tell you about it so that you can buy the book and read it for yourself, but it's all explained right in the prologue and naturally sets the tone for the entire read.

2- This book is downright hilarious. Ok, I know that sounds weird for a thriller that involves grisly murders and disturbing content to be funny, but you just have to read it to see what I mean. Anyone who has been a longtime fan of Coben is aware of his sense of dry humor and ability to infuse even the most tense situations with comic relief. This particular standalone was reminiscent of the same air of intelligent banter found in the author's Myron Bolitar series, which is a HUGE plus for me as it's one of my favorite series of all time. <--- Check out other reviews if you don't believe me; they'll agree on the MB reference as well.

3. The story isn't rigid and predictable. You know how sometimes you can read a string of thrillers in a row and wonder where one starts and the next ends because they all appear the same? Not so here; Coben has whipped up heaping piles of intrigue and suspense for sure, but also added in a dash of humor and romance for good measure. I love how I don't feel confined to thinking I'm in a single genre when I read these books; when I dive in it just feels like natural writing and remains uplifting no matter how dark the story turns.

These are just a few reasons why I found Don't Let Go to be such an excellent read; if you have enjoyed the author's previous novels you'll likely find this one just as refreshing and exciting as his past books. Highly recommended for those who enjoy a multitude of gut busters (those are my laughs when I snort at the same time) along with their serious stories. I'm once again in my dry spell of waiting for the next book to be written and published, but in the meantime I'll reminisce over all the feels of DLG. I can't wait to see what the majority thinks of this book!
***********************************************************************************
One of my all-time favorite authors has done it again! An absolutely superb, stand-alone thriller to add to his (and my) collection.

Nap is a police detective who has never fully recovered from the death of his twin brother Leo. Along with his girlfriend Diane, Leo died tragically when the couple were just teenagers.

Unbelievably, that same night, Nap lost his girlfriend Maura…only she went missing, and was never heard from again. 15 years later he is still the walking-wounded. Emotionally devastated and left to ponder “what if?” He also carries on a constant inner-dialogue with his deceased brother. A very unique and clever angle that took me a bit to get used to, but once I warmed up to it I completely enjoyed his inner conversations.

With a knock on the door, news comes that his long lost girlfriend Maura may have resurfaced. Only problem…it’s tied to the death of another childhood friend. Could this be related to why Leo died mysteriously so many years ago? As Nap starts digging into the past, there are others out there determined to keep the secrets of the past buried forever.

Absolutely outstanding! Loved everything about this book from start to finish! As good as his Myron Bolitar series, this one does not disappoint! There is even a cameo appearance! Yeah! Would highly recommend to all Harlan Coben fans!
***********************************************************************************
5 Brilliant Shining Stars.

"Don't Let Go" is the Best Standalone Harlan Coben has EVER written.  Hands Down.

Detective Napoleon Dumas, known as “Nap” lives and works in a small New Jersey town.  He has been searching for answers his whole life.  Or at least for the last fifteen years -since his senior year of high school to be exact.  That is when Nap lost his twin brother Leo.  When Leo and his girlfriend Diana were found dead – on the railroad tracks in their hometown.  No one ever determined the exact cause of death.  At that exact same time, Nap’s high school girlfriend Maura disappeared.  Vanished, almost into thin air as if she never existed.  It tore him apart, losing all three of them at once.  He has never been the same.

Now, fifteen years later, Nap is informed that Maura’s finger prints are found at the scene of a crime in a neighboring town (involving someone else from their high school).  Nap is astounded and he feel that this incident has to be linked to what happened to his brother.

In order to uncover the truth, Nap enlists help from his mentor Augie and his best friend Ellie, both of whom have been with him from the get go.  The ride it takes them all on is dangerous, twisted and full of surprises.

“Don’t Let Go” is one of the best books Harlan Coben has ever written.  It contains interesting, intriguing characters who you can't help but care about deeply, its brilliantly written and has an extremely well-developed plot.  The mystery is complex, compelling and completely exhilarating.  While I guessed the ending fairly early on, it did not spoil the book for me in any way whatever.

For those of you who have read Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series, this book reminded me a lot of those.  Best friends Nap and Ellie’s friendship reminded me of Myron and Esperanza's (especially the in the earlier sports agent books).  I immediately loved Nap and Ellie's characters and this story - in fact, I adored it.  Nap’s past, his search for answers, the crime he decides to solve on his own – it all creates an incredible story – one that sucks you in and that won’t let go until you turn the final page.  Though I admit that the Myron Bolitar series is my favorite of Harlan Coben’s works, I would love to see more of Nap in the future.
***********************************************************************************

Harlan Coben has achieved another mic drop with his latest book, Don't Let Go.

Don't you hate it when "real life" gets in the way of your reading? If work hadn't gotten in the way, and we hadn't been without power due to a storm for more than 24 hours, I would have devoured this book in one sitting. But even spread out over a few days, this book knocked me out, and once again reminded me (after the fantastic Home last year) what a fantastic writer Coben is.

Napoleon "Nap" Dumas is a police detective in his suburban New Jersey hometown. Now in his mid-30s, living in his childhood home, he's never quite gotten over the death of his twin brother Leo during their senior year in high school. Leo and his girlfriend Diana were found dead on the local railroad tracks, believed to be either poor judgment due to drugs and alcohol, or some kind of double suicide. Nap never could understand how Leo could either make such a colossal mistake or how he could be so desperate, and this lack of closure has haunted him for years.

And if the shock of Leo and Diana's death wasn't enough for Nap to handle, his girlfriend Maura, also a friend of Leo and Diana's, disappeared that night. No matter how hard Nap tried to find her, he never could, and never understood why she left. Fifteen years later, Nap gets an alert that Maura's fingerprints have turned up in a rental car involved in the murder of a policeman, who, it turned out, was in the same high school class as Nap, Leo, and Maura. Suddenly Nap may be able to find answers to the two questions that have plagued him for years, and he is determined to do everything he can to uncover the truth, no matter how many people warn him simply to let it go.

But instead of finding answers, Nap keeps finding more questions, questions he might not want to know the answer to, questions which involve Leo and Maura and Diana and other high school classmates. And for some reason, right in the middle of all of the questions is a mystery surrounding an abandoned military base in their hometown, which some believed was far more nefarious than the story presented by the government.

What happened that fateful night which changed the course of so many lives? Was it government conspiracy, youthful folly gone wrong, or something even more sinister? Will finding the answers set Nap free to live his life, finally able to put the past behind him, or should he take the advice of those who tell him—and not all do it gently—to let it go? And will Nap even survive his hunt for the truth?

Much like Home, not only did Don't Let Go pack some punches, but it also contained a lot of raw emotional power as well. Nap, Maura, his best friend Ellie, and Diana's father (and Nap's mentor) Augie were fascinating characters, each with secrets of their own. Every time I thought I knew where the book was going Coben took the plot in a slightly different direction, and I was truly hooked from start to finish.

How many of us have wondered about whether we could have changed the course of a tragedy if we had only acted differently, or acted at all? That knowledge doesn't always help, and it creates a burden we must bear until we're ready to move on. That burden is so deeply felt in Don't Let Go, and Coben's mastery with the plot's twists and turns as well as its emotional intricacies makes this an excellent book.
***********************************************************************************
Harlan Coben, the king of literary suspense, is back at it again!

Coben is my go to author for when I need a sure thing - he just ripped me out of a month long book slump with this here little tale, and I am oh so grateful. You really can’t go wrong with his books, he is a master at this genre and always delivers. I love that I catch myself saying “What in the world is going on?!” at least once a chapter in his books. He constantly keeps you on your toes and wondering where the ride will take you.

I very much enjoyed the forward, where Coben explains his inspiration for this book - an actual location which existed in his hometown. He has woven a deeply intricate tale based on this locale, one that I won’t soon forget.

The characters are flawed and real, the dialogue is witty, and the story has suspense, intrigue and a dash of romance.

If you are a fan of this genre, you certainly can’t go wrong with this book!

4.5 stars
***********************************************************************************
Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben is a 2017 Dutton publication.

An ingenious, potent, and disturbing thriller-

Napoleon ‘Nap’ Dumas’ was enjoying an active senior year in high school, where both he and his twin brother, Leo, were involved in serious romantic relationships, and were busy with extracurricular activities- Leo, with his conspiracy club, and Nap with his hockey team. But, Nap’s world stops on a dime, when Leo and his girlfriend, Diana, are found dead on the railroad tracks, and Nap’s girlfriend, Maura, suddenly leaves town, leaving no traces of her whereabouts for the next fifteen years.

Nap, who went on to become a cop, is still haunted by Maura’s sudden departure and has grieved every single day for his twin brother.

But, when a fellow officer is killed, Leo recognizes him as one of Leo’s buddies from the ‘The Conspiracy Club’, back in high school. But the real kicker is that Maura was with him when he was gunned down, but managed to escape.

This event seems to set off a domino effect, when another member of the ‘The Conspiracy Club’ disappears, and yet another goes completely off grid.

Nap begins to believe Leo and Diana did not die in a senseless drug and alcohol fueled accident, or a suicide pact. Determined to discover the truth about his brother’s death, Nap starts to look into why ‘The Conspiracy Club’ was so interested in an abandoned Nike Missile site. Is there a connection? After all these years, why has Maura suddenly reappeared and why are members of the conspiracy club being murdered?

At this point, I could just say- It’s Harlan Coben. Read it. You’ll like it, I promise.


But, if you need a push, here you go-

I think you will really like Nap. He is unconventional, has a tendency of taking the law into his own hands, has no qualms about breaking the rules from time to time, but is still a straight up guy, who feels things very deeply, and is loyal to a fault.

If you like conspiracy theories, (and who doesn’t like a good conspiracy theory), there’s a really good one woven into the plot, plus it’s quasi- factual. This story also has a cold case element to it, as well, which happens to be one of my favorite crime tropes.

Naturally, it wouldn’t be a HC novel without a couple of steep inclines, breath sucking free falls, a few dangerous hairpin curves, and maybe add in one or two gut punching revelations, for kicks and giggles.

The story is very absorbing, the characters are unique and surprising, and while I say this after nearly every Coben novel- the conclusion of this book is a real stunner. I sat staring into space for about five minutes after I finished the last chapter. Seriously, it was so shocking, it had a numbing effect.

So, back to where we started- It’s Harlan Coben. Read it. You’ll like it, I promise!

5 stars
***********************************************************************************

Traveling Sister Special Read Review by Brenda and Norma with Kaceey and Lindsay's thoughts.

Don't Let Go is an outstanding and solid new standalone thriller from the thriller master himself (in Brenda and Kaceey's opinion lol) Harlan Coben that we all were very excited to have received from Edelweiss.

We decided to read it as a special birthday read for Brenda's 50th birthday and thought it extremely fitting as this has been Brenda's all time favourite author for some time now. Brenda and Kaceey who are big time fans of Harlan Coben were very excited to read this along with Norma and Lindsay who have only read one or two of his books so far. Brenda only recently introduced Norma to a Harlan Coben novel not too long ago. Don’t Let Go lived up to all the hype created by Brenda and Kaceey for Norma and Lindsay. They are now fans and there will be more Harlan Coben books in the future for these Traveling Sisters.

Don't Let Go is a fast-paced story with big secrets and lies that reach back to 15 years ago. Harlan Coben does a great job revealing layers of deceit along with clues and throwing in a bit of red herrings along the way. He didn't have all of us guessing to the end, although Norma quickly became suspicious early on, she was still left surprised with a few twists as there were plenty of twists and secrets to reveal.

Harlan Coben takes a hometown legend and builds quite an interesting and creative story here that had all of us quickly turning those pages with Norma reading and finishing it mostly in one day. We left the very exciting, suspenseful and intense ending to read together so we could message our thoughts and suspicions to each other. Which makes it all that more of an interesting and enjoyable reading experience for us.

Don't Let Go started off with a bang and didn’t let go to the very end leaving all of us looking forward to our next read by Harlan Coben! We highly recommend adding this one to the top of your list and Don't Let Go till you read it!
***********************************************************************************
Harlan Coben delivers an intensely suspenseful, captivating, fast-paced thriller that kept me guessing from start to finish. I have read one other book by Coben (The Innocent) which was good, but didn’t “wow” me. With encouragement from my fantastic “sisters” Brenda, Norma and Kaceey, I jumped on board this Traveling Sister Read and tried out Coben’s latest book and it definitely lived up to the hype!

I loved the main character, Nap! He is a police detective who finds himself working a case that involves his personal life from fifteen years ago. I enjoyed following Nap on his journey to explore and expose lies and buried secrets to uncover the mystery that has long haunted him. Nap’s journey takes many unexpected twists and turns and keeps the suspense building as the pages fly by. His sarcastic and witty humour had me giggling throughout every chapter.

This novel was a great re-introduction for me to Coben’s writing. I am definitely hungry for more books from this author and will make sure I add some to my reading list in the near future.

A big thank you to Edelweiss, Penguin Publishing Group and Harlan Coben for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34001659-don-t-let-go

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge #1) by Ken Follett 


4.29  ·  Rating details ·  506,883 Ratings  ·  26,741 Reviews
The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge #1) by Ken Follett download or read it online for free
The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge #1)
by Ken Follett
Ken Follett is known worldwide as the master of split-second suspense, but his most beloved and bestselling book tells the magnificent tale of a twelfth-century monk driven to do the seemingly impossible: build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has ever known.

Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

“Having faith in God did not mean sitting back and doing nothing. It meant believing you would find success if you did your best honestly and energetically.”

“The most expensive part of building is the mistakes.”




Reviews


I devour books. That is my euphemism for being so OCD that I can't put it down and live my life until I finish it. For shorter books, that's generally not a problem, but for the 974 page Pillars of the Earth...well, let's just say we ran out of food, my children clung to my legs asking for food, and the floors did not get vacuumed for a good five days while I whittled away at this book.

CLIFF HANGER: This book is not a cliff-hanger at the end of every chapter kind of book, which makes it easier to read it in multiple sittings. However, Follett does such a masterful job of character development, that I found myself wanting to know what was going to happen next whether the end of the chapter contained a cliffhanger ending or not.

CHARACTER DEV'T: Each character is so beautifully defined and fleshed out, that they become almost real. I felt that I knew them personally, that I could accurately predict how they would react in different situations. None of them were 100% good or bad, just like in real life. Some priests were holy, others evil; some were rich people with big hearts, others with small minds and evil intentions; some poor farmers were judgmental, w/narrow-minded attitudes, others opened their doors to strangers.

PLOT/PACE: Foreshadowing was a very powerful convention that Follett skillfully weaved in and out of every chapter. It gave subtle hints, but never so overt as to suggest that the reader may be an imbecile. Backstories meander and come to closure at such a nice pace, that it always feels like something is happening and things are being resolved, for better or for worse.

THEMES: My favorite theme was that natural consequences followed the actions of the characters. (I'm still a bit out of sorts after reading the deus ex machina riddled Breaking Dawn, where all the natural consequences of three books worth of actions were completely erased-ugh.) There was a natural ebb and flow of triumph and misfortunes in Pillars of the Earth. Good things happened to bad people and bad things happened to good people, just like in real life. Follett does not try to save his characters from themselves, or from each other, and I enjoyed that very much.

STRONG WOMEN: I absolutely adored the strong women in this book! What a joy to read about Aliena, carving out her own future after her world had been turned upside down! Life knocked her down plenty, but each time, she got up, made a plan, and triumphed eventually. Ellen, and Agnes in her own way, were also strong women.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: As strange as it sounds, with all of the despair and misery that took place, the overarching take home for me, was HOPE. In the face of overwhelming adversity, these characters triumphed. The road was hard and the journey was long, but they CHOSE hope. They CHOSE faith. And in the end, that was all that mattered.

Pillars of the Earth will be on my favorite books list for a very long time.
***********************************************************************************
     “The most expensive part of building is the mistakes.”


Look, it's difficult to explain exactly why I liked this book. Seriously, if you take a look at the blurb, note the 973 pages, and the fact it's a very long story about building a cathedral in Medieval England, you might think I've been smoking something. But for me - and I'm assuming for a large number of other readers - it was so damn compelling.

I'm going to get the crap out of the way first - if you are sensitive to scenes of rape, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. Medieval England is a shitfest of misogyny, violence, accusations of witchcraft and, yes, rape. One of the scenes is especially disturbing and graphic; I actually had to take a break from the book after reading it.

I should say that it is not portrayed as a positive, or even a normal, thing. Scenes of rape and brutal violence in the book largely serve to make us despise William Hamleigh with a ferocious passion. It turns out that a deep, seething hatred can really keep you turning pages, waiting for that bastard to get what he rightly deserves.

Anyway, yes, the main plot is about the building of the fictional Kingsbridge cathedral. But, really, it is about all the characters that come into contact with Kingsbridge, its cathedral, and Prior Philip - their loves, desires, ambitions, conflicts and heartbreaks. I was pulled in from the very dramatic prologue when a young woman arrives at a hanging and curses the three men who guaranteed her beloved's execution.

There are love stories in here, as well as tales of ruthless ambition, and betrayal. Follett has created some incredible and unforgettable characters: Tom Builder, Philip, Ellen, Jack, Aliena, and Waleran Bigod. And, of course, that snivelling stain on humanity that is William Hamleigh.

I haven't read any of Follett's other work, but it is not surprising to hear he was a thriller writer before beginning The Pillars of the Earth. He has carried that with him into this story. Just when everything seems to be going right, some catastrophe happens to throw a spanner in the works. Just when it looks like Philip is going to succeed, some more shit happens. But it was an effective way to keep me looking over my shoulder.

It's a strange book because it's a bloody, heart-pounding page-turner wrapped up in a 900-page, serious-looking, cathedral-building package. Strange, and yet I find myself wanting more. I guess I'll have to read World Without End.
***********************************************************************************
This book was so completely fantastic that I almost forgot the outside world existed when I was reading it. I’ve never be so emotionally invested in a story, as I was with this. It’s a rare book that does this to me. I think it’s because it follows the characters through such a large proportion of their lives, resulting in a large amount of intimacy and investment with them. Indeed, this novel spans a massive period of forty years and has 1000+ pages; this is no light reading; it is deep, emotive and completely brilliant.

The intense story
So much happens within this novel. It’s impossible to lay it down in a brief summary; these characters, quite literally, go through hell. Such is the life of commoners in the period. They are good folk, and are just trying to erect a church for the betterment of their town. However, the corruptness of the local nobility, and the church hierarchy itself, almost prevents them from achieving their aim. Prior Phillip and Jack the Builder are forced to seek out the aid from their monarch, but because of the turmoil of the civil war, this monarch keeps changing. They have a choice of two royal courts to appeal to. Both are convinced they have the legitimate claim to England’s throne. Picking the wrong side would lead to the ultimate ruination of a folk that simply want to live in peace, and celebrate God’s glory on earth.

Well, this is the mere surface level of the plot. This book is so much beyond it. It is a story of betrayal and seduction; it is a story of love and hardship; it is a story of human nature and the all-encompassing morals that imposes. It is just fantastic in every sense. The characters are real, and their hardships are even realer. These are truly some of the most human characters I‘ve ever read about; these people could have existed.
This is no less true for the villains of the book, William Hamleigh in particular is characterised superbly. For all his ruthless aggression, and sense of entitlement, he’s still a coward at heart. He’d never admit it to anyone, but the reader knows of what he is; the reader can see his blackening yellow heart. He is a product of society, and his parent’s ruthless ambition. He doesn’t deserve sympathy because of this, but the reason why he is the man he is can be seen by looking at his origins. His parents ruined him; he has no restraint; he has nobody to tell him no. So, to his mind, he can get away with anything. He even has a Bishop who will gladly absolve all his sins. He’s actions have no consequences; he can murder and rape without feeling the consequences. This is an incredibly dangerous mind-set, and one that almost destroys the protagonists of the book. He's a nasty man.

The strength of the church

Follet also weighs the potential power of the church. I love the way he contrasts godly Prior Phillip with the twisted Bishop Waleran. It shows us two routes the church could take; it shows us two possibilities for God’s monument on Earth. Prior Phillip is everything the church should be; he is kind and forgiving; he is benevolent and just: he is a true believer of Christ’s teachings. He is in the church for the simple reason that he is a man of faith. Contrastingly, Bishop Waleran is a tyrannical despot. He represents evryhting the church shouldn’t be; he is the personification of its potential evil. The Bishop is vain, greedy and ambitious. In this his will is his own; he is completely self-serving. He abuses his power to meet his own ends and self-aggrandisement. So, he is slightly corrupt. He’s only in the church for its political power and rewards. In this, he is not a true believer of his own faith.

By contrasting these two characters Follet demonstrates how the church has the power to do great good and also great evil. This, for me, is quite a strong message to take from the book because it shows us the dividing nature of man, of life, of good and evil; it shows us that all things can be benevolent or terrible. It also hints at redemption. If something is this bad, it can be made into something good once more; it has the potential to be as it should be in the right hands. I do love this story. It shows that if people can come together, to achieve something greater than themselves then humanity is not lost despite the backdrop of war, corruptness and general chaos.
Jack begins the novel as a mute boy with little human socialisation. At the end of the novel he is a respected builder and farther of the town. He is the anchor of Follet’s story telling. Everything centres on Jack, and his family history. His narrative questions the restraints the common man lived under in the period; it highlights the injustice the legal system exerted in the time. He cannot marry his love without a written divorce from his horrible step-brother who’d sooner see him live in misery than have the happiness he couldn’t achieve. The church doctrine almost prevents him from being a farther to his child. But, he perseveres and overcomes the restrictions of the church, his awful step-brother and the corruptness of society itself. Jack’s story is one of human perseverance and fortitude; it is a story of a man who somehow managed to survive a system that was completely against him.

“Nevertheless, the book gave Jack a feeling he had never had before, that the past was like a story, in which one thing led to another, and the world was not a boundless mystery, but a finite thing that could be comprehended. ”

This is a phenomenal story, and though that I’ve got hundreds of books I want to read in my lifetime, and little enough time to read them in, this is a book I will definitely be reading again in the future; it’s a story that I simply have to revisit regardless of its vast length. This is a book I just have to read again.
***********************************************************************************
Confession time: This is not a book I would have picked out for myself. First of all, look at the size of this kitten squisher! Second of all, Amanda's hate-filled review of it is one of my favorite reviews on Goodreads. However, it's one of my girlfriend's favorite books and when she suggested I give it a read, I knew what was good for me. Lucky for me, I enjoyed it.

Pillars of the Earth is a multigenerational tale about the construction of a cathedral in a fictitious English town in the 1100s. Many threads are followed for it's nigh-1000 page girth. Tom Builder goes from being an expectant father to a widow to a master builder. Philip becomes a prior and the ruler of Kingsbridge. And lets not forget Jack, Aliena, Richard, Waleran, that bastard William Hamleigh, or any of the many other characters.

Ken Follett was primarily known as a thriller writer before Pillars and it shows. Every time things appear to be going right for the good guys and it looks like the cathedral is back on track, another monkey wrench is thrown into the works. For a book with very little in the way of action, I was enthralled. You can squeeze a lot of plot complications in nearly 1000 pages and Follett jammed in as many as he could. I have to admire the kind of planning it took to write something like this.

As I said before, I always found the size of this thing daunting but I probably shouldn't have. It's a best seller, and best sellers aren't known for being difficult reads. Since Follett is a thriller writer, he tended to keep things to the point for the most part, though I thought he was ignoring Elmore Leonard's rule about not writing the parts people skip a few times.

I don't really want to say much about the plot for fear of spoiling anything. It's a long read but the ending is worth the time it takes to get there.
***********************************************************************************
Ahem.
"Pillars of the Earth" is a very long book. It's got a lot of soap-opera-like twists and turns - no amnesia, but just about everything else, including mistaken identities, illicit marriages, illicit lack of marriage, illegitimate children, questionable parentage, love triangles, revenge, greed, power, a few murders, rape, witches, politics, knights, swords and horsies. OK, that last bit is not so soap-opera-like. There's also lots and lots of architecture. And it's a very long book.

Main story follows a single family of stone masons for (roughly) three generations, and the extended families associated with re-marrying, etc. Around this family revolves an aspiring monk/prior, a powerful but morally questionable bishop, a ruthless Earl (title, not name), and several kings. The thing is, even with all the re-marrying and such, there are so many evolving inter-relationships between these main characters as the struggle for political power unfolds, and of course everybody grows up, has children, etc - that EVERYTHING seems to happen to this small group of people. And just when you think things have settled down for a while, something else happens, or attempts to happen. And these things keep happening for approximately 980 pages.

Along the way, you learn a lot about medieval culture - particularly the role of religion, the political power of a monestary, priory, or diocese - how life is funded, and just how much it sucks to be a serf. There's also quite a bit of focus on the reason for, and the means to, building cathedrals - Follett muses in his Foreward that one of the things he never could understand is why people in such destitute times would have put so much energy into buildings of such scale, and this book addresses that. You also learn a lot about architecture and the evolution of cathedral-building. I can also now tell you the difference between a nave, chancel, transept, cloister, and clerestory. Oh, and probably 7 different words for "horse".

Really though, I very much enjoyed it, despite its very lengthy nature. Very full of words. Long. Not a day went by I didn't read at least 50 pages (note - at that rate, it will still take about 3 weeks to finish).
The building is a constant, its a reason to keep the central family of masons from wandering off and having more illicit marriages, and its a reason for the ongoing political power struggles. It's essential, but it's not distracting, and the cathedral is not the focus. The people are. They're engaging, you feel for them, you assign labels (good, evil) you change labels several times (he's pretty self-serving and conniving for a "good" guy), and you constantly wonder just what more can possibly happen to these people. There's also an underlying mystery that keeps you wondering... right up until 100 pages too soon.

My only complaint is this - the big climax occurs, the mystery is revealed, it all comes together - and there are still 100 pages to go. The last part of the wrap-up, the rise and fall, takes a while, has an interesting but probably unnecessary historically accurate reference to English church vs. king to give the whole novel an air of "this could have really happened in some obscure English medieval village somewhere, I wonder which cathedral this is supposed to be? Can I go see the real thing?" But it loses momentum right at the very end. Loose ends nicely tied up, but it wasn't the gripping page turner it had been in the first 900 pages. By that time, though, you've got so few pages in your right hand you just keep going because the end is in sight.
***********************************************************************************
How does one review a book that one cannot even describe?

So many times after gushing about how good Pillars was, people ask me, What’s it about?

And I, swirling in the happy aftermath of a mind so blown away that it’s still traveling near the speed of light, struggle to gather what’s left of analytical thinking and dumbly blurt, “Um, it’s about building this cathedral…”
Way to not to sell a book.

I still have trouble really describing Pillars in a way that satisfies. Because while it is about building a cathedral, it’s about so much more. It’s about love, hate, sacrifice, duty, honor, sorrow, ambition, dreams… It’s about cold, hard life in the Middle Ages during decades of civil unrest where both good and bad people, downtrodden and as hungry as they are, still dream and compete and seek a sense of accomplishment in their lives.

People like you and me, just some centuries and a culture apart.

And like life, not everything is pleasant.

There are many ups and downs in the novel, so many that you learn to brace yourself for the worst when someone emerges victorious because you know that there will be payback. The characters go through a lot of hardships, and it’s pretty darn painful to read. The devastation that Prior Phillip felt when some part of his cathedral project was foiled is just as heartbreaking as the physical violation of Aliena’s body.

On the flip side, when the characters felt joy, it was extremely acute. When Tom finally landed a job, I breathed a sigh of relief. When Aliena got revenge on the priest who was supposed to “take care” of her father’s money, I felt a ruthless surge of satisfaction. It’s like I’m with these characters, that they are real and I am next to them. Their life is not a bucket full of cotton candy. It’s bitter, vile, and hard; but it’s also sweet, gentle, and satisfying in turn.

Pillars does dramatize the lives of these characters by placing them in a zero sum system; when one gains, the other has to lose. What resulted was an intricate web between the characters, some more attached to one than the other. Each move that one character made had a profound effect on the other. While this may have been contrived for some, I found it fascinating to follow these lives and see how much they crisscross and tangle. The concept that every action has consequences is something that is definitely fleshed out in Pillars, which I think is a life lesson that not many people dwell on.

Despite their differences, what every character had in common was that the thread of their lives all intersect at the focal point of this one cathedral. Every significant action in the novel is somehow directly or indirectly connected to the construction of this cathedral.

And my, what a construction project it is to build a cathedral! Ken Follett really studied up on this subject and did a fantastic job depicting the grandeur and openness of cathedrals. Cathedrals really are complicated works of architecture. Even the darker, more foreboding ones of the early middle ages were incredibly expensive and a huge pain to build. The type of “open air” cathedral with flying buttresses and colored glass that so amazed Jack is really a sight to behold, even in modern standards, with their intricacy and careful architectural balancing. Some of Follett’s best writing emerges when he describes the smooth arches, the interior of the nave, the structure of the transepts, and the light streaming in through elongated windows that brightened darkened corners, an innovation thought to be structurally impossible in a stone building.

The book does have its faults. Follett’s writing was not all that consistent. It was jarring to read Follett’s grandiose descriptions of cathedrals and then, on the next page, read about William Hamleigh fantasizing about violating women. The violence was graphic, almost to the point of being gratuitous, but then again everything about Follett's writing was graphic. I personally take no issue with graphic violence, but people who do should take note that the prose of this novel is in-your-face blunt.

My overall impression of the novel is that it is a tour de force of storytelling; a story that weaves together the lives of enemies and friends who are not all completely evil or good, who have their own dreams and ambitions, and who are willing to do dirty yet necessary things to achieve their ends. Some are more good than others, some are almost saintly, and others are steaming piles of doo. But somehow, amazingly, they are all parties in the construction of this one cathedral, and the cathedral connects them in both death and life.

Faults aside, the sheer force of the story compelled me to give this five stars. It’s not a perfect novel, and the novel doesn't showcase perfect writing. But it’s a really good story, something so grand and epic that it can’t be adequately captured in just a few sentences.

FIVE SHINY GOLD STARS AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
***********************************************************************************
There aren't many things left to say when it comes to Ken Follett's masterpiece. The Pillars of the Earth is one of the most beautiful, haunting, exquisitely well-written novels of all time. It is a ''showstopper'' book not only in the Historical Fiction genre, but in Literature in general. Still, for an obsessed reader of historical novels like yours trully, it can become the standard by which all other historical sagas are measured. I don't know whether this is just and right, but it does happen to me every so often.

It is a rare occassion when you have a multitude of characters and every single one of them has something to offer and attract the reader's interest. Not even A Song of Ice and Fire in all its glory has achieved this, in my opinion. However, here we have good characters with whom we agonize over their fates, evil characters whom we hate with passion, and characters that stand in a gray area, driving the story forward. Aliena is one of the best female protagonists in Literature, and Waleran with William Hamleigh fight for the title of the ''best villain'' in the genre. The TV-series adaptation was really good, with a plethora of excellent casting choices. Ian McShane, Matthew McFadyen, Rufus Sewell and David Oakes steal the show.

If you haven't read it yet, a) under which rock have you been hiding?, and b) read it as soon as you can. Thank me later;)
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5043.The_Pillars_of_the_Earth

Tangled by Emma Chase

Tangled (Tangled #1) by Emma Chase

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  91,980 Ratings  ·  8,761 Reviews
Tangled by Emma Chase download or read online for free
Tangled by Emma Chase
Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed?

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life?

Can Drew Evans win at love?

Tangled is not your mother’s romance novel. It is an outrageous, passionate, witty narrative about a man who knows a lot about women…just not as much as he thinks he knows. As he tells his story, Drew learns the one thing he never wanted in life, is the only thing he can’t live without.

“She talks like you. It’s not every day you hear a four-year-old say Prince Charming is a douchebag who’s only holding Cinderella back.”

"That’s my girl.”

“For God's sake, don't let her watch Cinderella. What kind of example is that? A mindless twit who can't even remember where she left her damn shoe, so she has to wait for some douchebag in tights to bring it to her? Give me a frigging break!”





Reviews


Amazing. A must-read. Every single sentence from that guy's brain/mouth is priceless.
My mind is in awesome-coma, so I'm gonna try to show my feelings the best I can :))

Best book ever to be written completely from the hero's POV!
I don't remember the last time I had so much fun reading something!

Seriously people, don't read too many reviews, just go in blind and read the book!!!!!!! You'll love it more!!! And it is completely awesome!!!!
***********************************************************************************
Hilarious, romantic, all-out FUN!!

Think Wallbanger meets Beautiful Bastard :)

You smiling yet?

I was hooked from the first line and smiling wide by the end of the first page. If you are a fan of enemies-to-lovers stories, you will LOVE Tangled!

I swear half my book is highlighted. I laughed out loud, grinned till my cheeks ached and just generally loved it!

The story is about Drew. In real life, Drew is a clean-shaven, well-groomed, expensive suit wearing professional. But, at the start of the story, he’s a miserable un-showered, un-shaven heap locked in a messy apartment overflowing with old pizza boxes while claiming to have the flu.

Right.

What he really has is a bad case of the Break Up.

See Real Life Drew was once a player. Why settle for one when there were so many willing ones tripping over themselves to be with him?

“I’ve never seduced a woman before.
Shocking, I know.
Let me clarify. I’ve never had to seduce a woman before, not in the typical sense. Usually it just takes a look, a wink, a smile. A friendly greeting, maybe a drink or two. After that, the only verbal exchange involves short, one-word phrases like harder, more, lower… You get the point.”
But he’s fallen in love. Finally. Problem is, she’s getting married… to someone else. Hence the miserable, moping, un-shaved heap. This is his story.

It starts off going back in time to when they first met. Drew meets Kate at a club one night and, despite the flirting, she walks away. When Kate gets hired by his office, it puts him in a frustrating situation because office romances are on his no-no list.
     “Kate Brooks is officially scratched off my list of potentials. She is forbidden, untouchable, a no-way-never. Right next to my friends’ ex-girlfriends, the boss’ daughter, and my sister’s best friends.
    Well, that last category is a bit of a gray area.”


We are told the story by Drew. He can be a bit of an asshat but you really just can’t help falling for him – he’s that lovable. He both narrates the events and breaks the 4th wall by talking directly to us as the reader. It’s totally awesome! It’s like he’s right there telling you the story. There are times when his commentary on what was going on just had me in stitches. Here’s a random quote:
     “Once again, to the ladies out there — here’s a fact for you: Men pretty much have sex on the brain twenty-four-seven. The exact figure is like every 5.2 seconds or some shit like that.

    The point is, when you ask, “What do you want for dinner?” we’re thinking about screwing you on the kitchen counter. When you’re telling us about the sappy film you watched with your girlfriends last week, we’re thinking about the porno we saw on cable last night. When you show us the designer shoes you bought on sale, we’re thinking how nice they would look on our shoulders.

    I just thought you’d want to know. Don’t shoot the messenger.” 
And if you like strong heroines, you will LOVE Kate. She is smart, confident, sassy and absolutely determined not to become another notch on Drew’s bed post. She has plans, dreams, goals and no time for a playboy.
     “If we’re going to work together, Drew, I think we’re should get a few things straight. I’m not your sweetheart. My name is Kate — Katherine. Use it. And I’m not a kiss-ass. I don’t have to be. My work speaks for itself.”


Their banter and ‘sparring’ was just priceless! Tangled was essentially an enemies-to-lovers story about guy falling in love for the first time with a girl who goes toe-to-toe with him on everything. I loved watching them work through their issues. And when Drew finally decides to fight for Kate’s heart, the lengths to which he goes are just laugh-out-loud awesome!

    “It makes me want to kiss her and strangle her at the same time. I’ve never been into S&M, but I’m beginning to see its benefits.”


The book wasn’t always funny per say, but the whole mood was light hearted. The sex was hot, the characters were lovable, the writing was witty and it has a happy ending :)

If you are looking for a FUN read, this is it!!!!

4.5 stars
***********************************************************************************
Poor Drew. He looks like a zombie when he's got the flu. *pets* *evil grin*
Isn't it strange that every man who's got the flu is dying--right in front of your eyes. A sick man is always moaning a woman's ears off. Terrible.
Reminds me of my two little guys and my ex…all their antics…tsk-tsk...
My mom told me once that if men would bear kids, then the couples would never have more than one child. Men couldn't withstand the pain, they would cave in after the first delivery.

I apologize in advance for adding too many quotes and for getting a tiny bit long-winded. There's something you need to know, though. Drew is the perfect man-whore and Baba is the perfect quotes-whore. Ramps up the fun factor, it's all good. *cough*
     But I have rules—standards, you might say. One of them is no screwing around at the office. I don’t shit where I eat, I don’t fuck where I work. Never mind the sexual harassment issues it would bring up;  it’s just not good business. It’s unprofessional.
    
    And she works here. In my office, where I have sworn to never…ever…screw around. Her warm, soft hand slides perfectly into mine, and two thoughts enter my head simultaneously.
    The first is: God hates me.  The second is: I have been a naughty, naughty boy for most of my life, and this is my payback. And you know what they say about payback, right?
    Yep. She’s one hairy bitch.
    
    “Well, you could do the noble thing and bow out.” Yeah—like that’ll happen.
    “In your dreams.”
    I smirk. „Actually my dreams involve you bending over something…not bowing.”
    She makes a disgusted sound. “Could you be any more of a pig?”
    “I was kidding. Why do you have to be so fucking serious all the time? You should learn how to take a joke.”
    “I can take a joke,” she tells me, sounding insulted.
    “Yeah? When?”
    “When it’s not being delivered by a childish jackass who thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”
    “I am not childish.”
    God’s gift on the other hand?  My record speaks for itself.
    “Oh, bite me.”
    I wish.
    „Nice comeback, Kate. Very mature.“
    “You’re a jerk.“
    „You’re a…an Alexandra.”
    She pauses a second and looks at me blankly.
    “What the hell does that even mean?”
    Think about it. It will come to you.
Kate walks into her office and closes the door, leaving me standing on the outside. This is where men got the shitty end of the stick, people. When God gave Eve that extra rib? He should have given us something extra too. Like mental telepathy.
I once heard my mother tell my father that she shouldn’t have to explain why she was pissed.  That if he didn’t already know what he’d done wrong, then he wasn’t really sorry for it. What the fuck does that even mean? Newsflash, ladies:  We can’t read your thoughts. And frankly, I’m not entirely sure I’d want to. The female mind is a scary place to be.

Oh yeah. Just one more little detail you should know: I haven’t gotten laid in twelve days.
Twelve days.
Two hundred and eighty-eight sex-free hours. I can’t calculate the minutes—it’s too depressing. Remember all work and no play makes Drew a cranky boy? Well, at this point, Drew is practically a goddamned psychopath, okay?

Because you know how some people have gay-dar? Well, I have dump-dar. That means I can pick out a recently dumped female a mile away. They’re easy pickings. All you have to tell them is that their ex is an idiot for letting them go, and they’ll be begging you to nail them.'
 Just so you know, men don’t expect a woman to smell like Winter Pine or Niagara Falls or whatever the fuck those feminine products say. It’s a pussy—it’s supposed to smell like one. That’s the fucking turn on.

I read an article once that said having sex extends the human life span. At this rate, Kate and I are going to live forever. I’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve done it. It’s like a mosquito bite—the more you scratch, the more it itches.
I’m just glad I bought the extra-large box of condoms at Costco.
***********************************************************************************
 So after seeing this book completely TAKE OVER my newsfeed in what could only be described as “ Goodreads Tangled-Gate of 2013”…
 5+++ Fantastic and Hilarious Stars!!!
If you are like me and you adore the lovable assholes, the jerks, and the manwhores... then Drew Evans is just the guy for you!!! This book had me hooked from the very first page and I couldn’t get enough! Being inside Drew Evan’s head was amazing! One of the funniest and most enjoyable stories I have read in a really long time!
Meet Drew Evans. He is a successful business man, a handsome guy, he’s got great friends, a loving family, and as many women as he could ever want. Drew is hot and Drew knows it. Drew doesn’t do relationships. He never makes promises, he just does his thing.
Throughout this story, Drew gives us a ton of fun facts and info:


    Men are visual. We wouldn’t be fucking you if we didn’t want to look at you. You can write that down.

    I control my dick. My dick does not control me.

    I sleep naked, by the way. You should try it. If you haven’t slept naked, you haven’t lived. But thats beside the point.

    For those ladies out there who are listening, let me give you some free advice: If a guy who you just met at a club calls you baby, sweetheart, angel or any other generic endearment? Don’t make the mistake of thinking he’s so into you, he’s already thinking up pet names. It’s because he can’t or doesn’t care to remember your actual name.

    Deep down- I’m a momma’s boy. I’m man enough to admit it. And trust me, I’m not the only one. Explains a lot, doesn’t it?

    Here’s a fact for you – once I’m done, I’m done. I’m not the kind of guy who rides the same rollercoaster twice


You get the idea of what kind of guy he is, yeah? Well, Drew hasn’t been himself. He has ‘the flu’. The last week he hasn’t been well. And it all has to do with one woman.   
Kate works with Drew. She is new at the firm and she is ready to succeed. She is smart, beautiful, feisty and she intrigues Drew in every way. There is something different about Kate. While competing against each other for the same account, these two bicker and banter back and forth... its hilarious! There is also some major sexual tension going on, but there are complications. They get to know each other better and Drew decides he wants Kate. Drew screws up a ton, but he is a guy, what do you expect? He goes through some great lengths to make it better.
Some of the BEST lines:

    It makes me want to kiss her and strangle her at the same time. I’ve never been into S&M. But I’m beginning to see its benefits.

    Edward Cullen can take his stupid heroine and OD on it. Kate is my own personal brand of Viagra.

    Twelve days. Its a frigging record. I haven’t had a drought like this since the winter of ninety-nine.

    “God! Oh God!”

    “God’s not the one fucking you, baby.”
    “Drew... Drew... yes... Drew!”
    Much better.

    “You have no sense of self-preservation, do you?”
“No, not at the moment. I’m too focused on... fornication.”

    I blame Adam. Now theres a guy who had the world by the balls. Walking around naked, a hot chick to satisfy his every whim. I sure hope that apple was tasty, ‘cause he really fucked it up for the rest of us.

I can’t tell you how impressed I was with this debut novel! I don’t think I have ever read a book that has made me smile and laugh so much. I love the male pov and it was a treat to have the whole story written in the male’s pov! The whole time I was reading, I felt like Drew was talking to me. Drew is the best kind of character. He is funny, sarcastic, sexy and sweet! I couldn’t get enough of him! And I liked Kate too lol! The whole thing- It was great! Can I say there was nothing I didn’t like about this one! Loved everything it! Going on the favorites shelf for sure. Emma Chase- I will read ANYTHING you write lady! This was fantastic! Looking for a fun and awesome read... pick this one up!!!
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18297707-tangled

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton


4.1  ·  Rating details ·  147,417 Ratings  ·  12,004 Reviews
Download or read online for free Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...

“He was wooing me. And I was letting him woo. I wanted the woo. I deserved the woo. I needed the wow that would surely follow the woo, but for now, the woo? It was whoa.”

“Fucking Wallbanger,” I hissed, frozed on the spot.
His grin slid off as well as he played place-the-face for a moment. “Fucking Pink Nightie Girl.”

“You done with work?
Yep, at home waiting for you.
Now that's a nice visual...
Prepare yourself, I'm taking bread out of the oven.
Don't tease me woman...zucchini?
Cranberry orange. Mmmm...
No woman has ever done breakfast bread foreplay the way you do.
Ha! When you coming?
Can't. Drive. Straight.
Can we have one conversation when you're not twelve?
Sorry, I'll be there in 30
Perfect, that will give me time to frost my buns.
Pardon me?
Oh, didn't I tell you? I also made cinnamon rolls.
Be there in 25.”





Reviews


5 HUGE STARS!!!!

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!!
EVERYONE HAS TO READ IT!!!

This book was brilliant!!
Pure gold!
I’m in love with Simon.
Completely, utterly in love.
My cheeks ache from laughing.
My heart is happy.
Did I mention I love this book?

This book was pure, decadent, lighthearted, un-put-downable, FUN!! A well-written, perfect blend of all things happy, romantic, sweet, funny (hilarious, really), melty, swoony, witty, steamy, with just enough tender, deeper moments to make my heart squeeze. I fell in love with everything – the characters, the writing, the story… and Clive. The most awesome cat ever to grace the pages of a novel.

It was just one winning line after another. I swear to freaking God, more than half my book is highlighted. No joke!!

The banter! The chemistry! The flirting! The texts!!!! *melt* The nooking! The wooing! … this book is just loaded with win!

I read most of it with a big stupid grin plastered on my face and pretty much just alternated between squeeing, squealing, giggling, snorting, crying, shaking and cackling with laughter.

What’s this book about though? Now, usually, I write my own descriptions, but I love the official blurb too much so here it is:

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

Simon “Wallbanger” Parker. Cocky, charming, sexy as all hell, confident… and once we got to know him better, sweep-you-off-your-feet swoony. I adored him, its that simple. He has made me list of top book boyfriends ever! I loved that his character had depth. At first you kind of wondered if he was just a bit of a manwhore but I loved that there was a whole background to him. And its hard not to love a man who is obsessed with baked goods.

“You want me to cut you a piece — okay, or you could just do that.” I frowned as he took a giant bite out of the end.
“Thif if mine, righ?” he asked, spraying crumbs.
“How do you function in normal society?” I asked shaking my head as he took another monster bite.

I loved Caroline too. She was sweet yet feisty and refreshingly direct about everything. Brain, Heart, Nerves, Backbone, and of course, O were brilliant additions to the story!

I loved how casually Simon and Caroline’s relationship developed. They were seriously one of the sweetest couples ever but there was no falling into bed on first sight for them.

“Now, you listen, mister.” I said, trying for a more adult tone. “I’m not going to spend every night listening to you try to crash your girl’s head through my wall with the force of your dick alone! No way, buddy.”

They went from cockblocker/wallbanger to truce status to friends to lovers. The whole process just warmed my heart. And throw in a healthy dollop of sexual tension and innuendos out the wazoo and you pretty much have a recipe for awesome.

“I like that we’re taking things slow. You give good woo,” I whispered.

I never once felt any urges to throttle a character, or yell at them.. no eye rolling. Nothing. I was just one purely satisfied reader … Oh, and “Simon goes commando. God bless America.”

Flaily Pink Nightie Girl and Mr Wallbanger Snorey Pants will always have a special place in my heart <3

Guys, READ THIS BOOK!!!!!
***********************************************************************************
BANG BANG BANG!


Oh God............


BANG BANG BANG!!


Oh God................


BANG BANG BANG!!!


OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOOOOOODDDD!!!!!!!

THE WALLS ARE SHAKING, PICTURES ARE FALLING DOWN!!!! RUN FOR COVER PEOPLE!!! GRAB YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK, SHOVE IT DOWN YOUR DRESS AND HIDE UNDER THE TABLE!! I THINK WE'RE HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


BUT Wait A Sec...........Not an earthquake...........nope, definitely not an earthquake.......One, only one wall is shaking.....LIKE SOMEONE'S BANGING ON IT!!!!

Let's take a closer look, Shall we?

“OH, GOD.”

Thump.

“Oh, God.”

Thump thump.

What the…

“Oh, God, that’s so good!”

“Mmmm…Yeah, baby. Right there. Just like that…Don’t stop, don’t stop!”

OH! OH! OOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mystery solved, readers!


Meet NOT The Wallbanger.....
BUT THE WALLBANGER!!!!!!!!!!!
 Name : Simon Wallbanger Parker

Age : 28 years

Occupation : Freelance photographer

Interests : Pleasing the ladies by doing it in a rattling-the headboard-shaking-the-wall-making-a-woman-meow-and-giggle style with maybe some spanking thrown in!!! He can definitely bang it home, ladies!!!
Meet 'O'. This Orgasm (O) is the....

Property of: Caroline Pink Nightie Girl Reynolds, a 26 year old interior designer.

Missing since: Last Six Months

Culprit: Cory Weinstein. The machine-gun fucker who’d hijacked the O

Description of the event by the victim: This was the worst kind of sex. This was machine-gun style: fast, fast, fast. This was thirty seconds on the tits, sixty seconds on something that was about an inch above where he should have been, and then in. And out. And in. And out. And in. And out.

But at least it was over quick, right? Hell, no. This horribleness went on for months. Well, no. But for almost thirty minutes. Of in. And out. And in. And out. My poor hoohah felt like it had been sandblasted.
Remedies Tried: Jason Bourne, Matt Damon, George Clooney.....

ALL OF THEM HAVE FAILED!!!!!!

WHAT TO DO NOW??????????????

Let's look for someone closer to home........
Simon Wallbanger meet Caroline. Caroline meet Simon Wallbanger!!!!


Problem solved!!!! YAYYY!!


But, NO WAIT, WHAT'S THIS?


“Why are you such a manwhoring asshole?” I asked.

“Why are you such a cockblocking priss?” he asked
NOOOOOOOOOO...........NOW, HOW WILL WE EVER FIND....
Oh no.........I'm not crying.......Alright, yes I am......but how can I not when I'm laughing so hard!!!

[image error]


So, readers....why don't you continue the search while I LA-U-GH MY HE-AD O-F-F!!!!!
WARNING: 1)Beware of one-night stands that could make your 'O' go on a vacation for a long time or even forever. :0

2)Be aware of the walls you build
and what could be on the other side

3) Clive, the cat too is trying to find his 'one and only' Purina ever since he heard the 'meow'ing through the walls and fell in love or maybe lust(so what if he's neutered? He's allowed to have feelings!!)!!......He is now following in the footsteps of the Wallbanger!!!! So, beware, he's one hissy and horny ball of lust and fur!!

Clive: I allowed myself to dream. Of her. The one that got away...........
***********************************************************************************
Chapter 1
So, what do you think about me?
Well you weren't short at all :D
Well yeah I'm pretty long... and thick...
Just about average I'd say
Pfttt you are average missy! Didn't you like all the humor?
Yeah it was good I guess, the scene with Dr. Ross was the best :D
Ohhhh yes, makes me think of dirty things, that man. I wish I had my O back :(
Yes, I wish it too! Your O brought more frustration to me than it did to you!
Whatcha sayin'? You didn't like all the sexual frustration? How is that possible?
How is that possible indeed -.-
And what about my story? What did you think of that?
Story? What story? Book, all you talked about was the lack of orgasms, flirtation, sexual frustration, sex... I may have forgotten a sexual thing or two that were mentioned :P
Mmmmmmm sexxxxxx. Me wants the big O :(
Hello book! Focus! I am talking to you!
Talking? Talking about sex? Mmmmmm sexxxxxx. Me wants the big O :(
I am facepalming here! Can you try to have a nice conversation without thinking of sex?
Me? Thinking about sex? Mmmmmmm sexxxxxx. Me wants the big O :(
Sigh. I give up.
Did you just write "sigh"???
Well that's a hell of a time to start noticing!! :P
Chapter 2
Blacky, Simon, Caroline, The Cat, The Book and The Friends are on a road trip, traveling in the car together:


Blacky
OMG I have to endure several hours in the car with Mr. Horny and Ms. Hornier and the CatfromHell. Ughhh. The friends are interesting though, but even they think of nothing but sex. I see Simon is looking at Caroline in a smouldering way. His eyes don't stop twinkling for goodness sake!

Simon
Why am I thinking about Caroline all the time? Hm must mean I want to wallbang her too. Damn that will be tough cause she can't stop arguing with me. Why does she hate me so much? Oh yeah, I bang girls like crazy. Mmmmmmmm. Banging... Walls... Why doesn't this car have walls?????

Caroline
Simon keeps touching the inside of the car, I don't think he likes it. He does like f*cking girls through the wall though. I want to be f*cked through a wall :( Wait, no! I don't! I hate Simon! But he's so pretty, my lower Caroline says... I don't care! He's a jerk! But I keep flirting with him all the time, my lower Caroline says... So what! I can flirt and do whatever I like 'cause I don't have my O anymore. Oh O how I miss you :(((

The CatfromHell
They don't have a clue *evil laugh*. I will make their lives misarable *evil laugh*. The girl loves me, but I don't plan to let her have her O back with the arrogant man *evil laugh*. I will spoil all their plans eventually *evil laugh*. My throat hurts from all the evil laughing *coughs*

Simon
Did that cat just evil laughed at me???? I must be hearing things. Oh well back to thinking about sex. And Caroline. Damn, I'm hard. Will she stop looking at me with those hungry eyes? Damn, I'm even harder now. Must. Squirm. In. My. Seat!

Caroline
Simon keeps squirming all the time. What is his problem??? He's got to have a big hard-on just for me. Too bad I can't give it to him cause he's a jerk and I don't have my O back. But I feel some suspicious fluttering, my lower Caroline says... YAY! I'm gonna jump him as soon as I can! Without actually having sex with him! Ahhhh I just love that sexual frustration...

The Friends
They are all so stupid ahahahaha we have found our someones to have sex with ahahahahaha we don't suffer any sexual frustration ahahahahaha

Blacky
OMG these people are driving me crazy! Simon is trying to hide his hard-on, Caroline is talking to her belly, the cat is making some funny evil noises, and the friends are probably high or something, they can't stop laughing. Jeez :((( Is anything going to happen here that doesn't have anything to do with sex or having sex or the lack of sex???
Guess not :(

The Book
I am so happy :D Everyone is horny and thinking about sex! So awesome! I am never going to let anyone do it ever again! Well, maybe The Friends will. But man oh man, there's nothing better than blue balls and frustration! Just love it! Oh I have to think of a few scenes (well make it dozen at least), where they'll want to have sex but couldn't do it for some reason! Oh yes! I think I will form an alliance with The CatfromHell. Awesome!
Chapter 3
Oh! Mmmmm.. Yes, more to the left! Harder! Yesssssss... Oh yes, that's soooo gooood! Harder, yes, there! Push it! Ohhhhhhhhh I just love going to the masseur! You'd THINK I was doing something naughty. But no.
Lots of these in the book too :DDD
Anyway let me tell you what I thought about it in general.
No plot whatsoever.
Too much sexual frustration.
Humor was OK, but would be better if there was just a bit less of it, you know, sometimes too much of a good thing can make you sick :D
I don't really mind the fact that they had to wait practically for the (view spoiler) Read lots of books like that, didn't mind it. In this case, all the sex talk and sex thought, and lack of orgasm talk, and lack of orgasm thought, and flirting all the freaking time, and getting it on a few times, just to stop at the good part... No. A bit f*cking no for me. Every damn chapter was about the things I said above, nothing else. It may be good to read this in small doses, but a whole book? No. Thanks. Sorry.
Chapter 4
What I liked:

My favorite scene from the whole book is when they watched the Exorcist, and they slept together in her bed. Very very lovely, and I think the only scene that was nice without some sexual overtones. Maybe there were a few, but nothing that stood out. Perfect scene in my opinion :)
When they went to Spain :) Even though when I read that they'll go through all the bases before the deed... I lost a few million neurons from that, my brain kinda had a stroke or something cause I wanted to burn the damn book if only I had the paperback. Lucky for me I have an e-book reader so I felt too sorry to smash it to bits. But I was tempted!!!!
Anyway, the ending of Spain was great, very realistic and I'm glad the author did it that way!
The style of writing was VERY good, can't say anything about that, I just wish the humor and sex-everything was a little toned down, and if there was a story thrown in. But oh well, can't have everything, right??
Chapter 5
Text messages between The Book and Blacky

So you didn't like me very much then? :((
I did like you, you poor sex-obsessed thing! But I guess I wanted a bit more from you...
Blacky, you just have lousy taste in books, admit it! I am awesome!
Hey, won't argue with you there :D You might be awesome, but to someone else.
And I sure am! Look at all the other great reviews I have :P
I am! I did! And I hope my review won't turn anyone from the book, it isn't my fault my brain couldn't cope with it :((
Nice of you to admit your deranged brain Blacky! I knew there must have been something seriously wrong with you if you didn't like me! Phew! Glad to know now eheheheheh
Hey just don't spread it around OK?!
No problemo, my Blacky :D I will just continue my sexless scheming for other people! Oh yeah!
***********************************************************************************
I was an addict craving her dose.I was lost in a dull world full of mundane stuff for so long I almost became a mundane myself.After a month of abstinence from reading and severe book deprivation,after long days and bookless nights,the time came to return where I belong.
And I had to celebrate!I wanted something light.I wanted saucy and funny and Wallbanger promised to deliver them all.And oh boy,it did!But it also delivered sweet,and fluffy,and dreamy and a new book boyfriend that reduced me into a puddle of goo.It's official people,I'm in love!Again!
     “Fucking Wallbanger,” I hissed, frozed on the spot.
    His grin slid off as well as he played place-the-face for a moment. “Fucking Pink Nightie Girl.”


Caroline has a wonderful job and wonderful friends and a wonderful new apartment and a wonderful cat and her life would be-guess what-wonderful if it wasn't for two things:her missing O and her neighbor's loud midnight activities.

    “The girl next door was meowing. What in the world was my neighbor packing to make that happen?”


What sucks though is that the aforementioned annoying but gifted neighbor is super hot.Sahara hot.And that Caroline is forced to play nice with Simon despite wanting to bang his head on the banging wall but at the same time she wants him to bang her against the god-banging wall.See the problem here?

    “You gonna bang my walls, Simon?” I laughed.
    “You have no idea,” he promised.”


The result?Tension,innuendos,sexual frustration,banters,tension,laugh-out-loud moments,tension and did I mention tension?
Oh,and a really horny cat!
Alice Clayton's writing is freaking hilarious,I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard!I had permanently a huge grin plastered on my face and I hosted a butterfly party in my stomach and that wasn't the work of Caroline and Simon's off-the-charts chemistry alone!The way their feelings developed and unfolded was really heartwarming and sweet,a slowly burning process that made Wallbanger a really romantic book!They cooked together,they watched movies together,they shared their secrets and hopes and then they gave in to their animal attraction.I must admit I never expected a guy named Simon to be this sexy!Oh how I wish I had a wallbanging neighbor but alas!,the closest house is my late grandfather's house.If I hear those walls banging,it will be the beginning of a Supernatural episode and not a great romance.Unless Sam Winchester pops up and rescues me.That would be nice.
My point is,if you want to laugh and swoon and escape stupid reality,this is the book for you!Plus,you're going to meet a very interesting cat...
Source: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15858248-wallbanger