Don't Let Me Go - Catherine Ryan Hyde ★★★

I watched the movie "Pay It Forward" and I read the novel "When I found You." Based on my opinions of those two titles, when I had the opportunity to download a free Amazon/Kindle copy of  "Don't Let me Go" by Catherine Ryan Hyde I jumped at the chance. Both Pay It Forward and When I Found you, are books that I would  recommend someone else. They would be books that I would suggest be the next Book Club Read....Most people have seen Pay It Forward by now and most likely will agree with me that it was a very good movie. I'm sure that this is also an instance, where the book was better. When I found you, had me reading late into the night until my eyes couldn't take it....It left me wishing the book would not end. So, with that I expected the same greatness for Don't Let Me Go.
I think I may have set my standards too high.

Don't Let Me Go is about a 10 year old girl Grace whose has no friends and an addict for a mother. She ventures out onto the front steps of her apartment for hours on end and no one says a word. Billy, her agoraphobic neighbor, does something he doesn't normally do. Ever. He talked to Grace. What was one little conversation, turned into Grace making friends with a few tenants from her apartment complex. After social services came by to check in on Grace after an anonymous phone call, her friends decide that Grace cannot be taken away. They devise a plan to keep Grace out of the system, and to get her mother clean.

After I finished reading this novel, I was undecided how I felt about it. I thought 3/5 stars was fair. I guess I may have liked this title better, if I didn't have my expectations set on the same level as I did with the previous works from Hyde. I wanted there to be more sustenance I guess. Yes, there is major character development, but I wasn't really feeling it. I'm still on the fence on how I felt, so I'm not entirely sure I can give a very good review of this book. I'm leaning more towards is just being another novel that I read that doesn't leave a lasting impression. Not something that would be the first book I recommend to someone. Maybe when I have the chance to pick up another title from Hyde, I'll go into without any preconceived notions or high expectations.


Night Road - Kristin Hannah ★★★★

The most recent novel my book club selected to read was Night Road by Kristin Hannah. I believe this was a good choice because it gave depth to our discussion. Night Road had each member of our group feel some sort of emotion that they wouldn't normally feel when reading a book...my members, most parents (some new, some old), said it touched close to home.

Lexi bounces from one foster home to another until her druggie mother "straightens up" for a brief period, then falls off the wagon only for Lexi to be put right back into the system. Lexi's mother ends up overdosing and is offered the chance to stay with an aunt she never knew she had. Lexi accepts.

Zach has it all. Nice house, popular, football star. Mia, his twin sister shines in the limelight of her brother. Jude, the mother of the twins hopes for the best for her children. She wants them to succeed but protects them to the fullest.

Freshman year of high school, Lexi becomes friends with Mia. Jude does not like it because she does not want Mia to get hurt by another girl that is only friends with her to get close to Zach.  Three years later, Mia and Lexi are best friends. Soon enough Zach and Lexi fall in love and the three of them(Mia, Zach and Lexi), are inseparable.

One night before graduation there is a terrible accident that brings Jude's world crashing down. Her worse fears are brought to the surface and there is nothing she can do to make it right. The novel then goes over the next six years of their lives with all the ups and downs. Its worth a read for both teenagers and parents.

I gave this book 4/5 stars. Hannah narrates the novel through different characters rather than having one main character tell the entire story.  For this novel, I believe this tactic worked only because it gives you the prospectives from all different sides. Me, not being a mother could not understand some things but when it was Jude narrating, I understood a little better. This novel made my mad at times...made me sad at times...and when you have a novel that can make you "feel" while reading it....its worth reading.  Lifetime movie? I see it happening.

The only reason why I did not give it five stars, would be the same reasoning the rest of my book club members had. Hannah did an excellent job giving detailed information on character growth, but towards the end of the book it lacked the detail.  There were chapters and chapters leading up to a pivotal point, and once we got there....the book just ended. It just seemed rushed.


Sins of the Father - Jeffrey Archer ★★★★ 1/2

The Sins of the Father is the sequel to Only Time Will Tell and Archer has done it again. Archer has created another novel that entraps the reader into the story. Just like in Only Time Will Tell, Sins of the Father is the same story told a few times by a different character but each time a little more information is put forth. Harry Clifton is now across seas in a predicament that he never should of gotten himself into but in Harry's eyes, he will do anything it'll take for the one he loves will be set free and "happy." I am not a big fan of history, yet I did enjoy how Archer used huge events in history and tied them into this book. With Archer using actual facts in a fictional world, it makes the story seem more real. More intense. I'll be anticipating the 3rd installment of the Clifton Chronicles.
I marked this 4.5 stars, because through the first book (Only Time Will Tell) and the second (The Sins of the Father) Archer has dragged out a huge significant detail. I understand the reason why he has done so, however, at the end of the second book I got mad that it wasn't "resolved" yet. Oh well, I guess that will be apart of the third book. I just hope we find out the truth in the third and it doesn't get pushed out til the last book.
Oh, and the best part was towards the end with Hugo.