Book Review: The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

marriage-lie

The day after their seventh wedding anniversary, Will leaves his wife, Iris, in bed with a beautiful new ring and a promise that he is ready to start a family when he gets back from his business trip in Florida. Iris goes to work thinking that it’s just another day counseling high school students. Little does she know, her world is about to be torn apart. A plane, heading to Seattle, has crashed, and she is informed that Will was one of the passengers. Iris immediately thinks there has been a mistake because Will was going to Orlando, not Seattle. Days turn into weeks and Iris discovers that her life with Will, her marriage with Will, was nothing but a web of lies.

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle should be on everyone’s to-read list in 2017; it would make an fantastic book club choice. As soon as  I finished the first chapter, I was obsessed. Iris and Will seem to be utterly in love after seven years of marriage. I wanted them to make babies and stay in their little happiness bubble forever. Unfortunately, every lie that is slowly unraveled makes happily-ever-after seemingly impossible. This story is uniquely devastating. Imagine thinking you lost someone you love in a plane crash and then realizing you didn’t know that person at all. That is what Iris feels throughout the novel: a series of ups, downs, and everything in between.

There isn’t much I didn’t like about The Marriage Lie. All of the characters are depicted well. Iris’ family is wonderful. They take a horrible situation and make it bearable.  Evan, another person who lost his family in the plane crash, is a great friend to Iris and slowly became one of my favorite characters in the book. I can’t imagine not only losing a spouse in such a horrible accident, but also a child. I also really liked Iris’ twin brother Dave. There are so many characters in this novel, but none of them seem out of place; they all serve a purpose.

I really enjoy a mystery that leaves me thinking, “What the heck could possibly happen to make this book even better?” I thought this at the end of every chapter. There are so many twists in The Marriage Lie, I couldn’t even count them if I wanted to. The end is better than I could have ever predicted and coming from me, that means a lot. I like to pick apart endings, but this one is perfect. I wish I didn’t read this book so fast. I should have savored it longer, lingered on each word instead of rushing through it. It is just that good.

The Marriage Lie will be available for purchase on December 27, 2016.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Review: Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

two-by-twoI haven’t read a Nicholas Sparks book in a long time. Reading his books feels like going home. They’re familiar: Full of love, family, and ugly tears. Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks made me question my priorities. It made me want to live it the present. It made me want to chase after my dreams. There aren’t many books that make you feel that way anymore, are there?

Russ and Vivian seem to have the perfect marriage and the perfect family. London, who is about to start Kindergarten, is portrayed as the ideal child; she is easy-going, loves art class, and adores Barbies. When Russ decides that he hates is job, and is probably about to get fired, he decides to open up his own advertisement company. Vivian, who is stay at home mom, with London, decides that she is not going to stop using credit cards and getting mani/pedi’s just because money is a little tight. When Russ’s business doesn’t start up as quick as expected, Vivian decides to take it upon herself to start working full-time, leaving London in Russ’s care, over the summer, without daycare. In the meantime, Russ learns that his child’s best friend is the son of an ex-girlfriend, someone he once thought he would marry.

I honestly don’t know why Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks received so many bad reviews. I know that sometimes, people read to escape reality, and Nicolas Sparks likes to paint a beautiful picture of amazing love. This book is no different although, others may disagree. There is a lot of true love in this story: love from the past, love between parents and children, and a whole lot of family love.

A couple qualms I had with this book are: it was very long, the twist 3/4 into the book threw me for a loop, and how the ending just seemed rushed. Other than that, I fell for these characters, except for Vivian, and wanted them all to end up happily ever after. Unfortunately, in life,  fairy tales aren’t always real.

I really like the tie in with the book children’s book, Two by Two. Russ and Vivian read this fictional book to London before bed. It would be neat if it were a real book, or if Nicolas Sparks came out with a children’s book to go along with his adult novel. I personally love Goodnight, Ark by Laura Sassi, which is wonderful retelling of the Noah’s Ark story. Even though there isn’t a real children’s novel to accompany this book, there is a soundtrack that is available  through January 3 , for free, which is inspired by the novel, in collaboration with JD Eicher. Head over to the author’s website to download the digital CD (four songs) after signing up for an email newsletter. (The CD can be downloaded directly from the website. No purchase necessary.) How cool is that? Also, how adorable is the book’s cover? Russ is pretty much the perfect dad and even though Vivian doesn’t  think he is the perfect husband, he seems pretty awesome to me.