THROWBACK THURSDAY: MY MOST MEMORABLE TEARJERKERS…PART I

throwbackthursday

I began this Throwback Thursday meme as a way to share some of my old favorites as well as sharing books that I want to read that were published over a year ago. You know, the ones waiting patiently on my TBR list while I continue to pile more titles on top of them:)! I like that these older books are usually much easier than new releases to get a hold of at libraries and elsewhere. If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, you’re welcome to use my pic as well. If you’d just link back to me I’d so appreciate it

This week I decided to change things up and have a Throwback topic that features some of the most memorable books that have made me cry over the years.  It’s not often that I come across a book that moves me to tears (or sobs) so when I do those tend to stay with me. I think it takes something special on the part of an author to be able to evoke such strong emotions in a reader.

My crying picks for this week: 

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Published 2005 by Hatchette Books

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Holly couldn’t live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other’s sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

The kind of enchanting novel with cross-generational appeal that comes along once in a great while, PS, I Love You is a captivating love letter to the world!

**I just loved Holly and her love story…and this is one case where I thought the movie was just as good as the book**

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Published 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books/Viking

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. 

**Funny, witty, charming, and heartbreaking…if you haven’t met Lou you’re missing out on such a well-written character**

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Published 2009 by Hodder & Stoughton

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another.
Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

Twenty years, two people, one day. 

**Oh this book…what a phenomenal love story and with a twist I never saw coming that literally shocked me and made me a little mad at the author…I recovered and have since forgiven David Nicholls:)**

 

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Published 2008 by Harper Collins

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through.

A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a beautifully crafted and captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life…as only a dog could tell it. 

**You don’t have to be a dog lover to appreciate the message that sweet Enzo has to share. Of course, if you are a dog lover and/or owner as I am, you’ll most likely put this book at the top of your favorites pile!**

Well that’s a good start to some of my most memorable tearjerkers, stop back next Thurs for Part II, including the book that led to my biggest sob-fest EVER! 

What books have reduced you to tears? Please share in my comments! I’m always looking for more tearjerkers to add to my TBR:)

STANDALONE SUNDAY: THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU By Jonathan Tropper

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Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!

Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list

My Standalone Pick is:

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Published August 2009 by Orion

My Rating: 5 Stars

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.

******

This book gets the award for the only book I’ve ever read that made me laugh so hard I cried! There’s lots of hysterical movies out there that have made me laugh that hard but for a BOOK to do that, that’s some outstanding writing in my opinion. I’ve already re-read this book once and probably will again in the future when I need a good pick me up. In regards to the movie based on this book, while I loved Jason Bateman as Judd, I don’t think the movie came close to being as good as the book. Isn’t that usually the case though? If you’re in the mood to laugh but also be touched by this crazy family, give this book a try.

Has anyone else read this one? I’d love to hear your thoughts as well as any books you’ve all read that made you laugh 

REVIEW: THE RIVER AT NIGHT By Erica Ferencik

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From Goodreads

A high stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.

Winifred Allen needs a vacation.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare

******

 First things first..that is the perfect cover and title for this pulse pounding, can’t put it down thriller.  I went into this read not knowing anything about this story except that it was an adventure thriller in which some friends decide to go white water rafting but things end up going very wrong. I didn’t read the Goodreads or Amazon blurbs and I urge you to do the same! I’ve only included about a third of the Goodreads blurb above just to give those of you who haven’t heard of this book an idea of what it’s about because, in my opinion ,the entire Goodread’s blurb gives away too much of the story. This book is a thriller! It’s about being surprised and not knowing what’s going to happen on the river or what lurks in the wilderness so you’re along for the ride with the ladies. And what a ride it will be.

Here’s a question to ask yourself…would you choose to go white water rafting in the remote Maine wilderness for  your girls-getaway-trip, tackling a river that most people don’t even have access to? My answer was a very loud no, never, not in a million years could you pay me to go white water rafting anywhere , let alone on a remote stretch of river that’s not open to the public.  And for this very reason, of being scared at just the thought of rafting down any river, I couldn’t wait to find out what happens to these four friends when they decide to brave the very adventure that sounds terrifying to me.

It all begins with the “leader”, Pia, talking her three good friends, Rachel, Sandra and Wini into going white water rafting for their annual girls trip. Apparently, Pia is into extreme living and she has, in the past, talked the ladies into other adventure type vacations. Wini,  however, isn’t super keen on this one as they are all nearing forty and she’d rather hit a beach and relax on a chaise with some cocktails. I have to say I totally agreed with that vacation choice. She was basically strong-armed into going on the rafting trip and reluctantly headed to REI to stock up. You see, none of them except perhaps Pia had any idea what was involved, what to buy, etc. They’d never been white water rafting before! They did all have some things in common in that they were each slightly damaged from events in their lives and were looking to escape even if it was just for 5 days and even if that meant driving 9 hours, camping, being wet, and braving a raging river.  And oh, by the way , NO cell signal for the whole 5 days. Can’t you just feel that something is bound to go wrong?

I thought the author did a wonderful job of setting the story up in the first few chapters. It is told from Wini’s perspective and we get important details about the struggles each of the friends have been dealing with in their own lives as well as a good indication of their friendship ties over the years. So, by the time they hit the river, I was very invested in each lady and I especially liked Rachel, Wini, and Sandra. I even liked Rory the guide. The characters became real which just points to brilliant writing. And I was extremely worried about them because you know what else became real…the river! I literally couldn’t turn the pages fast enough once the action began and for the rest of the book I’d catch myself holding my breath. With her breathtaking, detailed writing Erica Ferencik put me right in the river as well as smack in the middle of the woods at night with them. And there are bad things looming in both places you can count on that! And the twists…I literally gasped out loud at one of them and had to re-read the section to be sure that what I had just read was true.  Upon finishing this tension filled read my first thought was…now THAT’s how you write a thriller!!

5/5 Stars

**Releasing Jan 10, 2017

**Thanks to Simon & Schuster, Jellybooks, and Erica Ferencik for providing my copy of this highly enjoyable novel