Saturday, October 31, 2015

Review | The Look of Love by Sarah Jio

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
Published by Plume
Publish Date: November 25, 2014

Source: Book - Library, Audiobook - Library
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon 

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.  (Goodreads)

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio

My Thoughts The Look of Love is my first book by Author Sarah Jio, chosen because I wanted to listen to an audiobook while I did some work around the house and this one was available in my library's digital stacks. Also! My friend Jamie has recommended this author to me before and I haven't read her books yet. (She actually recommended Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio, but that book was not available at the time. Soon, Jamie!)

Briefly: Jane Williams has just found out that she has an interesting gift: the ability to "see" when two people love one another. Her vision actually changes to a blurry, cloudy sort of thing and that's how she knows there is real love there. Jane has been given the task of identifying six types of love and writing about them in a journal before her thirtieth birthday. Failure to do this means that she will never find her own true love. 

Once Jane realizes she has this gift, she also realizes that she's been seeing people love one another for a very long time without realizing it. 


The Look of Love is basically the examination of Jane's circle of friends and their romantic lives...except through Jane's eyes, which is like looking through love-colored glasses, if you can imagine such a thing. Sometimes I laughed, sometimes I smiled, and sometimes my heart broke as pieces of the intertwining stories were revealed. In this book, not everyone ends up with the all-encompassing, dramatic type of love like we seen in the movies, but that's okay. 

I loved the heartwarming tales of people finding true love. Who doesn't love stories like that? My heart broke a couple of times, too. Some of the stories that did not end up like I wanted them to, or maybe didn't take the course that I expected. Such is the way of life and love, and I think that is why I enjoyed this book so much. I loved the mixture and community of these people with different life experiences, how they were all connected, and how they all experienced differing types of the same emotion. 

I really just think that this was a case of the right book at the right time for me, and I love when that happens. This book felt like a good cup of coffee and a warm blanket. I'd love to read it again without the audiobook, perhaps in paperback format. I'd love to hold the story in my hand. Does that sound weird? Maybe. In any case, this is a perfect combination of magical realism and contemporary-not too much, but perfect. This might have been my first book by Sarah Jio but already I've found myself looking at my digital library for more of her backlist.

I recommend The Look of Love by Sarah Jio to readers that enjoy adult contemporary fiction with romance and a touch of magical realism. 


The Look of Love will appeal to fans of:

Adult Contemporary Fiction 
with Romance & Magical Realism
Intermingling Storylines
Women's Fiction

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio
is currently available for purchase.  


Some of Sarah Jio's Books: 


I wonder which one I'll read next...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Review | Nocte by Courtney Cole

Nocte by Courtney Cole 
Series: The Nocte Trilogy #1
Published by LakeHouse Press, Inc.
Publish Date: November 3, 2014

Source: Author
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon 

My name is Calla Price. I'm eighteen years old, and I'm one half of a whole. My other half—my twin brother, my Finn—is crazy. I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I'm terrified he'll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me. I'm doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I'm drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline. Dare DuBray. He's my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I'm afraid, where I belong, where I'm lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. He has the power to destroy me. Maybe that's ok. Because I can't seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt. Why? Because of a secret. A secret I'm so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming. You won't either.  (Goodreads)

Nocte by Courtney Cole

My Thoughts:  I started Nocte by Courtney Cole late in the afternoon and I COULDN'T STOP. I fell asleep reading it (creepy, you guys) and when I woke up in the morning, I immediately finished it with my coffee. 


Calla and Finn Price are twins. Two halves of a whole, Calla says. But Finn has Schizo Affective Disorder and Calla feels like it is her responsibility to keep him from slipping, to keep him okay, to keep him sane. To take him to group therapy, to make sure he is on his meds. These two have a great relationship and Calla is happy to take care of her brother. But when Dare DuBray enters the picture, she suddenly finds herself wanting just a little bit of freedom to experience love. Only a little, though, because she knows that without her help, Finn would slip and that would be the end of her brother, the end of everything. 


I think it is impossible to talk too much about this book without giving anything away, so I'll just say a few things: 

1. As I often do, I started this book knowing nothing except that I loved Courtney Cole's books. I hadn't even read the summary. I did not realize that as little info as possible would be the best way to read this book, but how fortunate for me! I recommend knowing as little as possible before going in because...

2. There is a twist thrown in at a certain point that I never figured out beforehand. I'm so thrilled that it surprised me! I had formed some theories about what on earth was going on and what the secret could be as the book progressed, but to be honest, my theories weren't great and they were all wrong anyway. I love the twist and am eager to see how it plays into the rest of the series. Also...

3. After the twist, hold on tight-because there is a cliffhanger! WHAT? I know. As far as I remember, I haven't read any cliffhanger-y books by Ms. Cole, but I TRUST HER. I'm also really glad that I've waited until this trilogy is completed so I can read the next book soon. Because goodness gracious.

4. No love triangle. 


Nocte by Courtney Cole had me flipping through the pages really quickly. I didn't mean to read it in such a short time, but I couldn't help it. Every chapter seemed to make me want to read just. one. more. because I felt like this story was fun and compelling. My favorite parts were Finn's POV chapters that were sprinkled throughout the book - they were short, a little bit creepy, and slightly cryptic. 

I loved this one. Loved it! Nocte by Courtney Cole felt perfect for a fall read, with just enough of the creepy-factor for this time of year and a quick-enough pace to have my heart racing, wondering what comes next. Even knowing the secret(s) now, I'M STILL MAKING THEORIES. Why? Because of that cliffhanger! I can't wait to see what happens in the next two books.


Nocte will appeal to fans of:

Mystery with Romance
Romance: No triangle.
Great Sibling Relationship
Mental Illness, Grief
Alternating POV

Nocte by Courtney Cole
is currently available for purchase.  


The Nocte Trilogy (+ Novella) : 


CAN'T WAIT to continue with these books! 
The first one was a page-turner, for sure. 

Also, love these covers!