Sunday’s On The Phone To Monday by Christine Reilly: Book Review

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Synopsis: The Middlesteins meets The Virgin Suicides in this arresting family love story about the eccentric yet tightknit Simone family, coping with tragedy during 90s New York, struggling to reconnect with each other and heal.

Claudio and Mathilde Simone, once romantic bohemians hopelessly enamored with each other, find themselves nestled in domesticity in New York, running a struggling vinyl record store and parenting three daughters as best they can: Natasha, an overachieving prodigy; sensitive Lucy, with her debilitating heart condition; and Carly, adopted from China and quietly fixated on her true origins.

With prose that is as keen and illuminating as it is whimsical and luminous, debut novelist Christine Reilly tells the unusual love story of this family. Poignant and humane, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is a deft exploration of the tender ties that bind families together, even as they threaten to tear them apart.

Publisher: Touchstone

Date Published: April 5, 2016

Date Read: July 2016

Number of Pages: 323

Source: Author provided a copy in exchange for an honest review

 

REVIEW

 

This book has this melancholic feel to it, the kind of melancholia a reader craves once in a while. It scratches a different itch that not all books could.

This book was sent to me by the author in an exchange for an honest review. From the moment I read the blurb, it instantly piqued my interest, though not really something right up my alley, but this book sounded different, it seems like it has its own gravitational pull and the reader will just fall into it like it is the most natural thing. And I did, I succumbed to it, immersed myself in the story like nothing mattered in the world, because for a moment the only thing that mattered was the lives of the characters inside this beautiful book.

Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday is not your typical read, it is not something you encounter on a regular basis. It was truly a gem. It was all encompassing, covering all facets of life such as love, family, mental illness, the society, loss and so much more. It was life encapsulated into a single book. It was the connection of all the characters that made this book stand out, there was the conventional relationship and the not so usual ones, but everything jived into this perfect harmony that you just couldn’t help but be engrossed by it. It was melancholic as it was raw. The book was written so beautifully, I actually ran out out of sticky tabs. There are so many great passages written here, reflections about life and love. The one thing I noticed about this book was how relatable it was. It magnified the simple things, and we are all aware about the saying that sometimes it is the small things that truly matter. Has this happened to you? Like for an instance you are thinking about a certain thing, it was just something nonsensical, and a little silly to share with others so you just keep it to yourself? This book, assured me that whatever I was thinking, or whatever feeling I was having no matter how silly or noncommittal, that it still counts, or matters. I loved that in a book, the way it reaches out to its readers, how every experience real or fictional, came from something that existed long before us. That what we truly feel and think is universal, and there was some sense of comfort in that.

As I was reading this book, it kind of gave off The Bell Jar vibe, which as most of us already know is one of the most depressing books written of all time. It wasn’t entirely like The Bell Jar, but there are bits and parts of the book that instantly reminded me of Sylvia Plath’s novel. I cannot say that the similarity is palpable, but there was hint of it in this book, making it more engaging and interesting. If you enjoyed The Bell Jar, I think you’ll like this book as well, but don’t go on expecting something as depressing, let’s just put it this way, Sunday’s on The Phone to Monday will give you that nostalgic feeling that no other book could.

The characters in this story were different in their own ways. They are readily identifiable from each other. I loved how the story started the way it did, it was like a journey of some sort with bits and pieces of flashbacks that make it coherent and polished. I learned that this book was originally intended to be a poetry book, and I can definitely see the beautiful play on words. It was lyrical in every sense of the word.

The book will leave you with a calm feeling. It was the peace and quiet after a heavy down pour, it was proportional to the feeling of sipping a hot cup of tea in a cold rainy afternoon. It is as if, everything in the world is okay once more. It is the kind of book that need not require exaggerated events, or heart stopping twists, it was as true and as raw as it could get and there is definitely beauty in that. I loved this book, I wish everyone could find time to read it!

Rating: rating_4stars

“She gave him all the tools he needed to hurt her, and he did the same. Wasn’t that the logic in love?”
― Christine ReillySunday’s on the Phone to Monday

Consequences by Aleatha Romig

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Synopsis: Book #1 of the Bestselling Consequences series:

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Aleatha Romig comes a suspenseful thriller about secrets and deception, passion and love, choices and consequences.

Every action has consequences.

Waking in an unfamiliar bedroom in a luxurious mansion, Claire Nichols is terrified to discover that a chance encounter led her into the cruel hands of her abductor, Anthony Rawlings. Claire has no understanding of why she’s there, but it’s been made abundantly clear—she is now his acquisition and every action has consequences.

Learn the rules to survive.

Facing incomprehensible circumstances, Claire must learn to survive her new reality—every aspect of her livelihood depends upon the tall, dark-eyed tycoon who is a true master of deception. Driven by unknown demons, he has no tolerance for imperfection, in any aspect of his life, including his recent acquisition. Anthony may appear to the world as a handsome, benevolent businessman, but in reality Claire knows firsthand that he’s a menacing, controlling captor with very strict rules: do as you’re told, public failure is not an option, and appearances are of the utmost importance.

Captivate the captor.

To fit together the pieces of the puzzle, Claire must follow his rules. Will her plan work, or will Anthony become enthralled by Claire’s beauty, resilience, and determination, changing the game forever? If that happens, will either of them survive the consequences?

Nobody ever did or ever will escape the consequences of his choices.—Alfred A. Montapert

Date Published: August 5, 2011, 368 pages

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation

Date Read: May 2013

Series: Book 1 of Consequences Series

REVIEW:

Dark. Twisted. Intelligent. Dragging. Disturbing

Let me start by saying that I was really looking for a book that will sweep me off my feet, rather the male character would. Honestly I just wanted a light read with not so heavy plot or drama and that would just leave me feeling good about life, love or everything in general. I just wanted to feel good. THIS BOOK DID NOT MAKE ME FEEL GOOD, not even in its simplest meaning or in its simplest form. Can I just say that I was angry the whole time I was reading it? I was seriously contemplating on throwing my e-reader or just grab something and just throw it and watch it shatter into pieces, just to be done with it. I even entertained the thought of not finishing the book, but I decided against it (obviously). well after all a half-finished book is a half-finished love affair. Do you even know that feeling that you are so mad about what was happening in it yet you still continued reading? Hoping all the madness would be somewhat vindicated in the end? Were any of my fury or madness vindicated? I don’t know. Maybe? But then I thought of the Afterward part of the book and I thought the madness was never vindicated. Okay I’d settled to halfly-vindicated. Maybe if I continue reading the next book TRUTH maybe then I would get the justice I deserve.

I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book accompanied by numerous great reviews here in Goodreads. Mind-fucked and mind-blown were just the two popular reviews this book had. Was my mind blown? A little, but I would like to give credits to myself that I somehow saw it (the twist and the ending) coming. This book reminded me of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, maybe if I had read this book first I would have been really shocked by the turn of events.

As I was reading the first few chapters I was reminded of the Fifty Shades Trilogy, all the while I thought it would just be like all BDSM and all that stuff, but I was proven wrong, yes the sub-dom part really played a part on the story, but it doesn’t revolved around it, the story is even deeper. The plot was well thought of, I would really commend Aleatha Romig on that. Everything that happened had its connection towards the end. And I really felt for Claire’s character. And can I just say too that internally I was creaming that Anthony is a Psycho? He really is and I really hate him. I say this book is effective because it was able to move me and draw out emotions, not all books can do that. A criticism though, I find the book too long, I thought there were some parts that can easily be dispensed with and also there were parts that I don’t know, maybe it lacked the proper description, especially the wedding ceremony itself, (oops spoiler sorry) I was hoping that the I dos and the vows will be described profoundly so as to make it vivid for one’s imagination. But all in all, I think it was a good read.

I need to get over the fury and madness I have in myself before proceeding to TRUTH. So if you like psycho-thriller or a twisted twist (eh?) this is definitely the book for you. But if you are hoping for romance, swoon-worthy male character or all the cheeseball stuff, I am so sorry put this book down and grab a YA novel instead.

4/5 Stars

Love is when one person knows all your secrets, your deepest, darkest, most dreadful secrets of which no one else in the world knows. And yet in the end, that one person does not think any less of you.