Sometimes I notice the oddest thing about books. Quite some time back, I noticed that every book I was reading had the word ‘girl’ in the title. Or if the word girl was not in the title, the book was about a girl in distress.
Then there were the ‘wife‘ books.
And then the ‘beach‘ books.
And, not surprisingly at all, I noticed I had read several books that all had the number ‘one‘ in the title. So, I thought I would share the best of those books with you today. (I am also linking reviews to all the above categories.)
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The One by John Marrs
This is an interesting little book with quite a premise. A developer has created a “matching” service that uses your DNA to match you to the one human that is your soulmate. After finding out you are matched you can pay extra to get the identity of your match and then meet. People are doing this by the millions. When the matched couple meets there are immediate sparks and an amazing connection. Sounds intriguing, right?
The novel features five people that have been matched. The chapters alternate between each of the main five and always leave you hanging. It might seem confusing at first, but the people are all so different that you can keep all the back stories separate.
Mandy is a single woman that is matched to Richard. She becomes very involved with his mother and sister for reasons I cannot tell you.
Christopher is matched to Amy, who is a police officer. Christopher’s back story has some elements that might be disturbing, but never forget that Amy is a cop.
Jade is matched to Kevin and he lives far away in Australia. They communicate by emails and messages or phone calls, but he claims he cannot use Skype or face-timing so she isn’t able to see him, except in photos. Hmmmm…
Nick is matched to a very unexpected person. He has a girlfriend named Sally and two good friends that were matched and seem perfect for one another. Nick and Sally decide to go through the matching service to see if somehow they are actually really matched. I guess you can figure this one out.
Ellie is matched to Tim. Ellie is quite wealthy and has bodyguards that trail around with her all the time. When you find out why she is so wealthy you will laugh!
Now, that is all I can tell you! I found the book intriguing if not a little hard to believe at times. There were some contrivances I found annoying, but I still wanted to see how each couple turned out. There is a little twist at the end that you will enjoy! 4.5 stars!
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
This. Book. I am already going to say it will be on my favorites list at the end of the year.
It’s the story of Mary Beth and husband Glen- a married couple in their prime. They have three teenage children. There is Ruby, a high school student, with a quirky personality and the strong will of that age. She is really delightful but can be obstinate and abrupt (again, she is a teenager). There are twins, Alex and Max, that are as different as daylight and dark. Alex is outgoing, an athlete, and popular at school. Max is more introverted and is having some personal issues as the story begins.
Mary Beth is a devoted mother with her own landscaping business and Glen is an eye doctor. Everything seems just picture perfect, with the normal family issues when raising children. Subtle changes begin when Ruby lets her mom know she is breaking up with her boyfriend. Kiernan is someone she has known since early childhood and it is quite shocking that Ruby wants to be away from him.
Things seem to escalate as Max begins therapy for depression and Mary Beth’s attention is focused more on him than anything else. Subtle hints at what is looming might have been there for her to see, but ultimately the tragic events play out in an act of violence that leaves everyone reeling.
The emotions of this book are raw and hard to read. However, the author is mesmerizing in the soft prose and the descriptions of what happens to this family.
Mary Beth: I have two selves now, too, the one that goes out in the world and says the right things and nods and listens and even sometimes smiles, and the real woman, who watches her in wonder, who is nothing but a wound, a wound that will not stop throbbing except when it is anesthetized. I know what the world wants. It wants me to heal. But to heal I would have to forget…
Five+ stars for this one. It is a book you will remember and aren’t those the best ones?
Her One Mistake by Heidi Perks
This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat! The two main characters are women, one with three young children and the other with one four-year-old daughter.
Harriet has the four-year-old and needs to leave her with a babysitter while she attends a bookkeeping course at a local hotel. She asks her best friend, Charlotte, to keep Alice. Charlotte agrees and takes all the children to a school fair. This is all unusual because Harriet has never left Alice with anyone and the course she is saying she is taking seems out of character for her, too.
At the fair, the three older children excitedly take off to get on an inflatable running ride and Charlotte waits with her youngest child for all of them to make it through the ride. Only Alice never comes out. Charlotte even goes inside the ride herself but cannot find Alice.
The police are called and the investigation begins into the disappearance of this tiny girl. Who took her? Who saw anything suspicious? Was Charlotte negligent in her watching of Alice?
In the meantime, you meet Harriet’s husband. The first few times he corrected Harriet’s memories I thought she must be responsible for the whole mess of what has happened to Alice. She must be suffering from some sort of dementia. At any rate, the forgetfulness and mistaken events that Harriet has will play a part in this story, as will the husband.
This one is a book you will need to read to find out more! Eventually, as you read, you will pick up on some clues that are being sprinkled around and you will think you have this one all figured out! Don’t be fooled! About midway through a little twist will surprise you.
And finally, what was the one mistake? And who made it? I have my own theory and you will, too. I’d love to hear from you after you read this one! Let’s compare our ideas about the mistake!
One Day in December by Josie Silver
This book was a little different! Definitely chick-lit, but enjoyable.
It is the story of Laurie who sees a man from her bus window. Their eyes meet and they have an amazing instant connection. As the bus pulls away she wonders who he is and wants to see him again, of course, because she truly believes this is love at first sight. Weeks go by before she sees him again and it just happens to turn out that he is her best friend’s boyfriend.
Will she keep the secret of their connection (although, for goodness sake, they only made eye contact)?
They become good friends and for the next ten years randomly see one another. There are misunderstandings, some drama, and some missed opportunities to get together. This was a page-turner for me! Try it- 5 stars!
One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
This author also wrote Me Before You, a book I enjoyed. It’s the story of a paralyzed man and the woman that is hired to be his nurse/companion. You should also read that one!
This book, One Plus One, is the story of Jess and her daughter Tanzie and step-son Nicky. Jess is working two jobs to pay bills and take care of her children. Nicky’s biological mom abandoned him and his dad, Marty, moved away to live with his own mom. Despite her attempts to get Marty to take responsibility for his two children and help with their bills, he will not. He has her convinced that he is jobless and ill. (Could be a secret…)
Then Jess meets Ed Nicholls. She is his house cleaner and one night she also rescues him from driving while intoxicated. Jess also works at the bar where he became drunk. Eventually, he will rescue her.
Tanzie you will find out is a little math genius and needs to go many miles from home to compete in a math tournament. If she does well they can earn a lot of money and this will help finance her further education at a private school. This is where Ed comes in. He has a car and drives them a really long distance.
Their misadventures will keep you laughing and you will also cheer that they work through the problems- which include car sickness, injuries, nowhere to sleep, and a very large dog. Does Tanzie compete in the tournament? How does she do? What will happen with Marty? And Ed? (Ed, by the way, has some major troubles of his own!)
You should try this one. It’s well written with some funny parts and some with great insight. It’s the story of the two families and all the problems each has. Five Stars!
One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
Another page-turner! Chris Brennan arrives in a new town and interviews for a teaching position which will also include coaching. He seems to be a perfect candidate for the job, an absolute dream come true for the school. Over his first few days at his new position, he makes friends with colleagues and his high school students.
On the surface, everything looks fine.
But, is it? Chris seems to be planning something. He becomes particularly close with Ryan and plots to further the relationship. It seems he wants Ryan to confide in him. Chris is looking for someone that he can influence. What is he up to?
Get ready! This one will take a complete twist you won’t see coming. As the events involving the students, Chris, his interest in one of the moms, and a threat to a neighboring town all come together, you will wonder whose side Chris is really on.
This one was very entertaining and well written. I did raise an eyebrow at a scene very near the end (I thought it highly improbable), but overall I give this one 4.5 stars! This author is almost always fabulous!