Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Review: Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center

Everyone Is Beautiful: A Novel by Katherine Center

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (February 17, 2009)
ISBN-10: 1400066433
Rating (1 to 5 stars): *****


After living all her life in the same Texas town where her parents lived, Lanie Coates is uprooted to follow her husband Peter’s music career to Cambridge, Massachusetts. They pile everything they own, including their three small boys, into the car and drive across the country—leaving behind everything Lanie has ever known. Then, to add further insult to misery, Lanie’s parents decide to sell the family home—the one they’d owned since before Lanie was born—and move to Dubai.

Lanie has never felt so alone, even with the spectacularly daunting task of caring for her young and precocious children while unpacking the apartment and getting used to a new city. However, she runs into an old high school acquaintance, Amanda, who throws herself into their new friendship.

Something happens to Lanie in Cambridge: she decides it is time to find herself again. She joins the gym to finally start getting rid of the baby fat she had been carrying around for four years. Her mother sent her some cameras, so she decides to take a photography class to channel her long-ignored artistic talent. Things have never been better—until her new approach to life threatens to destroy her marriage.

Kathereine Center has a wonderful voice, telling the story with a mixture of humour and regret. Not only mothers, but many women will be able to relate to Lanie in her struggles to find the person she used to be. When I approached the end of the book, I was reading in the bath…and I was a complete prune by the time I got out, because I HAD to finish!

What truly impressed me about Everyone is Beautiful is that it inspired me to want to look at my own life to see if I am doing everything I want to be. By the end, Lanie’s musings on how we view ourselves and our relationships were so poignant that I was knocked off my feet. It truly made me look at things differently. Chick lit? Yes (and this genre is my guilty pleasure), but Everyone is Beautiful is definitely not fluff.

While my normal practice is to give away my copy after I review it, I'm sorry to say that I cannot with this one. It is a pre-release review copy and not eligible for giveaways.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


I'm a little late in announcing a couple of the winners, but I'm here now!

The winner of my review copy of Across the Pond is Jo Brielyn!

The winner of my review copy of Blackjack: Dreaming of a Morgan Horse is Tanya Katerina!

Congratulations! Please email me at with your mailing address so I can send you your books.

Still hoping to win? You still have time to win The Dead Guy or Shadow: The Curious Morgan Horse. Just make a comment on the review before the end of March!

More reviews to come, with more chances to win!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Book Review: Shadow : The Curious Morgan Horse, by Ellen Feld

Shadow: The Curious Morgan Horse (Morgan Horse Series)
by Ellen Feld

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Willow Bend Publishing; 1 edition (December 1, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0970900260
Rating (1 to 5 stars): *****


Shadow, a young Morgan foal, enjoys living in the pasture with her mother. However, when the rooster tells her all about his adventures in the woods, beyond the fence, Shadow longs to explore and meet the wild animals and see the magic pond for herself. She gets her chance when a storm causes a tree to fall on the fence, but she soon finds out that things are not exactly as the rooster described. In addition, the excitement in the woods is not as great as she thought it would be, and home becomes a much more attractive place to live.

Shadow: The Curious Morgan Horse is a delightful tale for young readers. The story is an exciting lesson about the dangers and disappointments of wandering away from home, and Jeanne Mellin’s beautiful illustrations bring the characters to life. This is an excellent introduction for children to Ellen Feld’s Morgan Horse series, which is written for a slightly older audience.

As always, comment on this post for the chance to win my review copy of Shadow: The Curious Morgan Horse for FREE! I will make my decision at the end of March.