This week we’re looking at a strong book about (re)discovering yourself in mid-life. This week we’re looking at Crazy To Leave You by Marilyn Simon Rothstein.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Solid Tale Of Discovering Yourself In Mid-Life. There is an overarching theme through many of the lower-starred reviews (at least as I read Goodreads early on release day, just after finishing the book myself) that they “didn’t know where this tale was going”. To me… *this is the very point of the book*. Our main character suddenly finds herself directionless after what she thought she had in the bag collapses around her, and we get to watch as she picks up the shattered pieces and rediscovers herself – and discovers her voice for possibly the very first time – in the aftermath. In this, Rothstein does a truly tremendous job of having a solid combination of support and antagonism – often in the same supporting characters. Thus showing that *everyone* is flawed to some degree, but also that *everyone* is good to some degree as well. The banter is great, the emphasis on her time at summer camp as a teen is excellent nostalgia reminiscent of Wet Hot American Summer, the slow burn romance is well executed, and even the very serious issues discussed – workforce discrimination (though never truly fleshed out there), diet “culture”, overbearing but well intentioned parents, etc – are done well, with just enough weight to give substance without becoming truly overbearing. Very much recommended.
Angsty Teen Sports Romance. For those that enjoy revisiting the high drama of falling for your best friend in high school, look no further. We’re going back to summer camp, y’all, and this time we’ve got love on the diamonds. With a fair amount of actual sports action from various practices to actual games and with all the fun of summer camp on a small college campus in the middle of nowhere, we get a solid tale of “should I/ I shouldn’t”… that we all know how will ultimately wind up, because this *is* a romance novel. 🙂 But Benjamin executes the entire story well, and when our leads *finally* get together… well, there may be quite a bit of dust in the room. And maybe someone just cut up a lot of onions too. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll probably want to knock some sense into both of these teenagers. But in the end, you’ll get a solid bit of escapism for a few hours… and isn’t that what we ultimately read fiction for anyway? Very much recommended.
This review of Foul Play With My Best Friend by Christina Benjamin was originally written on March 30, 2022.
For this blog tour we’re looking at a solid tale of four old friends coming back together in the face of a tragedy that is marred by its preachy real-world politics. For this blog tour we’re looking at The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman.
First, here’s what I had to say about the book on Goodreads:
Solid Story Brought Down By Emphasis On Real-World Politics. As a camp story and as a story of long ago friends coming back together after a tragedy and working through both the awesome times and the tragedies of both then and now, this story was really quite good. The way Shipman (a pen name for a dude, making this even more remarkable) is able to craft each of the characters and use the settings themselves as additional characters really shows just how strong of a storyteller she (he) is. Ultimately though the aftertaste of this book – if you even make it that far – will be flavored by your view of its politics and arguably more pointedly, how it portrays the side the author very clearly abhores. Me, I read to avoid the real world. Between the events of 20201 and my own real-world background as a political activist at various levels, I *really* don’t want politics in my books, and if it must be there, I want a balanced and non-preachy approach. Neither of which I got here, and thus the star deduction. Still, a worthy read and truly a good one, other than the preachy politics. Recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the opening of the book followed by the publisher details. 🙂
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman”