Monday, March 21, 2011

Semi-Sweet: A Novel of Love and Cupcakes by Roisin Meaney~~Review

 Description (from Amazon):
Amazon buy link
Hannah Robinson is just about to open the doors to her new shop Cupcakes on the Corner when out of the blue her boyfriend Patrick announces that he's leaving her for another woman. Faced with starting a business on her own, Hannah begins to wonder if her life-long dream has just turned into a nightmare. So her best friend Adam sets his birthday as a deadline - seven months to make her shop a success, or walk away from it all. And as Hannah immerses herself in her new business, she soon discovers that she's too busy to think about Patrick and his now pregnant girlfriend ...or to notice an increasingly regular customer who has recently developed a sweet tooth for all things cupcake. But while Hannah is slowly piecing her life back together, family friend Alice's is falling apart. Her husband Tom's drinking is getting out of control and things are about to get a whole lot worse. As the seven-month milestone approaches, Hannah must decide her future. And while she's figuring out what's really important, it becomes clear to everyone that happiness in life, and in love, is all in the making.

from the publisher:
"The first edition of SEMI-SWEET was published in Ireland in February 2010 and spent five weeks in the Top 5 on the Irish Bestseller list. Roisin Meaney is the author of six books and is a consistent bestseller in Ireland. The Last Week of May and The People Next Door went to #1 and #2, respectively. Heralded as the new “Maeve Binchy,” Meaney has received high acclaim in the Irish press."

My Thoughts:
Semi Sweet is not a book that I would typically pick up to read, but from the description I thought I would give it a try and broaden my horizons yet again. From the very beginning I was pulled into Hannah's life. On the night that her friends and family were having a dinner to celebrate the upcoming opening of her Hannah's dream cupcake shop, her longtime boyfriend drops the bomb. He has found another, "didn't mean to fall in love, it just happened" and now he is moving in with the other woman. 

Hannah didn't drop into a puddle of tears and hysterics she calmly told him to get dressed or they would be late. Leaving him sitting on the bed she heads out to the dinner and makes excuses for his absence...why ruin everyone else's night.

Over the next few days she does tell her friends and family and even considers not following her dreams and opening the cupcake shop. Childhood friend, Adam, won't hear of it and sets a seven month goal...Hannah absolutely cannot throw in the towel, no matter how hard or how bad it gets with the cupcake shop. Over the course of the seven month period Hannah comes to grips with the loss and betrayal of the boyfriend, meets a couple of new guys, and becomes a success with her cupcake shop. 

You not only see Hannah's life, but we are introduced to a small town and the people living in it. Their lives are entwined with Hannah's in a sort of six degrees of separation  scenario. There is heartache a plenty to go around. At times I did find all of the other subplots a little distracting, but they worked well with the overall story. Because I am a huge romance reader, I would have loved to see more of it in the book.  Overall Semi Sweet was a very enjoyable read, and I do recommend reading it.  

I know that there are a few authors that I read that don't hale from the States, but it was very interesting to know before hand that I was reading a book that was originally published in another country prior to being released here. 

4 stars!

Friday, March 4, 2011

My reading time has been cut

Over Thanksgiving my sister n law took it upon herself to teach me a craft. Who would have thought that I would have actually picked this craft up with gusto and actually enjoy doing it? Not me or my husband I tell you. My husband would like nothing more than to go back to Iowa and ring his sister's neck for giving me yet something else to distract me from the many housekeeping things that always fall to the wayside as I sit here and read and now Crochet.
(The above picture is not mine, I borrowed the picture)
My mother made the attempt several years ago to teach me, but me being me said I am way too cool for that and never let it stick.  OK, I did have a lot on my plate at the time and certainly didn't have time to sit down and crochet a blanket. I had to work, attempt to complete a degree, and spend every spare moment with my precious daughter.

When I fell and broke my ankle, I thought hey I get plenty of time to read. I did have the time, but I couldn't make myself read. I am sure that it had a lot to do with those dreaded pain killers, but I can't put all the blame there. I just didn't want to read. So I picked up the ball of yarn my SNL gave me to practice with and gave it a go. Before I knew it I had finished a scarf. Now this scarf in my opinion is extremely ugly and needs lots of help, but my step mother loved it. So she was the lucky recipient of the finished product. Having another ball of yarn of the same color I thought I would make her a hat to go with the scarf. The hat didn't turn out quite like it was suppose to but it was still extremely cute...for a baby! I gave up on the hat.

Then I got this idea in my head. My best friend is about to be a grandmother. Well now I have a baby that I can practice with... you know make the cute little blankets and anything else that I can figure out. So I made my hubby take me to Hobby Lobby. I was still in a cast to my knee and had to be rolled in, he left me on the yarn isle while he and my son went to look at airplanes. I found the perfect yarn for a little girl, and for a set of teenage parents, "Pink Baby Camo" by Baby Bee (I think that is the company name). So I grabbed my five rolls... thats all they had and perfect for me that is what my pattern said I needed. Only I changed my mind and found another pattern that I liked so much better. Unfortunately for me that in my learning all of these stitches and how to read a pattern all by myself, I didn't realize that not all balls of yarn are the same length. I expected to be able to use the same 5 rolls for this new pattern and be good. I was so wrong. I went through my five rolls and found that I still needed more. And the store was out!! easy fix, I had the store order me 5 more and prayed that that would be enough.  In the end I shortened the length of the blanket and changed the border to something more girlly. I ended up with 3 balls left. I made the same baby hat that I accidentally made for my stepmother. I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. At the end of this project I was so fed up with crochet I didn't think I would ever do it again.

Boy was I wrong. My son's teacher is pregnant and his Kindergarten teacher is pregnant. So now I have consigned myself to make two more blankets. This time I am using the only pattern my mother knows... a granny square that keeps on going.  She says that it moves really fast... I am starting to think she is lying!! So I am bored with the blanket that I have started for the current teacher, she is due first, and decide to look through the internet for some simple and quick patterns that I can make cutesy headbands or something. Yesterday I made two!! They took absolutely no time at all.

I find myself reading less and less as I devote myself to these little projects. And unfortunately my blog has completely fallen to the wayside. I do have one review that I will definitely be getting up in the coming weeks for the book Semi Sweet. 

I hope that all of my friends in blogland are doing well and I hope to hop over to see you soon!!
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