Monday, May 11, 2009

Review: Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

Hello everyone :)

How was your week-end? I hope that you all enjoyed Mother's Day :) Me, I spent my week-end reading :) Been a while since I did that... I've also re-addicted myself to Minesweeper ^_^; I love that game... I know, it's simple... but I think it's a great game :) Thing is, I get super competitive and try to lower my best times... Few years ago, I was able to complete the 99 mines under 100 seconds.

Anyway, enough about Minesweeper... Let's talk book :) Today, I chose to go with Summer on Blossom Street, one of my highly anticipated books of April/May.

Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
published by Mira in April 2009 (Hardcover format)
Knitting and life. They’re both about beginnings—and endings. That’s why it makes sense for Lydia Goetz, owner of A Good Yarn on Seattle’s Blossom Street, to offer a class called Knit to Quit. It’s for people who want to quit something—or someone!—and start a new phase of their lives.

First to join is Phoebe Rylander. She recently ended her engagement to a man who doesn’t know the meaning of faithful, and she’s trying to get over him. Then there’s Alix Turner. She and her husband, Jordan, want a baby, which means she has to quit smoking. And Bryan Hutchinson joins the class because he needs a way to deal with the stress of running his family’s business—not to mention the lawsuit brought against him by an unscrupulous lawyer.

Life can be as complicated as a knitting pattern. Just ask Anne Marie Roche. She and her adopted daughter, Ellen, finally have the happiness they wished for. And then a stranger comes to her bookstore asking questions.

Or ask Lydia herself. Not only is she coping with her increasingly frail mother, but she and Brad have unexpectedly become foster parents to an angry, defiant twelve-year-old.

But as Lydia already knows, when life gets difficult and your stitches are snarled, your friends can always help!

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Blossom Street, book #5

The Story: As usual, there are many storylines going on in this book. I think that the book description does a good job summarizing everything up, so I won't go in the details.

My Opinion: I've really enjoyed the previous books in this series. My favorite character so far has been Alix, the angry girl from the "wrong" side of the track falling in love with the minister's son... which is one of the reasons why I was anticipating this book so much, because Alix was going to have a storyline in this book :) I've also enjoyed the series because it depicts the life of normal people overcoming obstacles in their lives. The writing style is engaging and these books are fun to read... However, I have to admit, Summer on Blossom Street was quite a disappointment.

I have nothing to say about the writing style. If you've enjoyed the writing style in previous books, there's no reason for you to not enjoy it this time around. Ms Macomber has a very gentle writing style. It's very unique to her, in my opinion. It's funny how the series takes place in Seattle, but I have the feeling of a small community - which in a sense, it is since we're focusing on a street. Anyway, the best words to describe Ms Macomber's writing style is gentle and calm in my opinion.

So why did I find this book disappointing? Basically, because there were too many storylines and not enough development. First of all, Alix storyline was way too short! I understood why she was worried about becoming a mother... however, that's it. Even the resolution at the end was too fast! It would have been fun to see her and Jordan discuss it a little bit or something. Lydia's storyline about wanting to adopt was a tad too predictable... especially given that it was very similar to the last book storyline (Twenty Wishes). Speaking of the last book, there was a storyline involving Anne-Marie and her new adopted daugther, Emily... with Emily's biological father showing up unexpected. I just wasn't interested in that storyline, so I skimmed it ^_^; Finally, the last storyline was Phoebe and Hutch, which in a way, was the most interesting... Phoebe is engaged to this super charming guy... only, he's already cheated once on her... but with peer pressure and because she loves him, she took him back. Only this time, he was arrested for solicitation... and Phoebe put her foot down and broke up with him. The thing is that he doesn't understand the word "no" and kept pursuing Phoebe. So to remind herself not to give in, Phoebe signed up for the "Knit to Quit" class. In the class, she meets Hutch who's really a nice guy. I liked the romance between the two. I liked how Phoebe put her foot down... and I was as outraged as her when people around her told her she should forgive her ex-fiance... Especially her mother. Seriously?!? The guy thought that hiring a prostitute wasn't cheating and therefore, was excusable. Ugh, hello!! So good for Phoebe, she was way better off without that guy! I'm sorry for her that her entourage wasn't more supporting of her... and I'm glad she realized what kind of man he was. So yes, I enjoyed seeing the budding relationship between Phoebe and Hutch. I thought it was sweet and very believable. I liked Hutch as well :) A normal and nice man... and very sweet! :) That book about dating that he was reading... very cute LOL :) Although I enjoyed their relationship, I wanted more. I felt like sometimes, I was missing pieces and bits :( Also, the conflict at the end could have been expandable or at least, dealt a different way.

Overall, it wasn't that Summer on Blossom Street was a bad book. It just wasn't enough to be satisfying. Perhaps reducing the number of storylines would have been better.

My Grade: C-. Personally, I felt like I would have been more forgiving if this book hasn't been published in hardcover format. Like I said, this book wasn't a bad book, I would have liked it to focus more on certain storylines than others. However, did I feel like it was worth hardcover price? Unfortunately no. I like Ms Macomber style and her storylines - they really focus on relationships and their evolutions... However, I don't think this one was as good as the first three books. I'd like to see her mix it up a little more in the next one - which I intend to read... My best advice is to wait for this one to be released in paperback format or go to the library.

7 comments:

  1. I have such hard time with Macomber. Her writing just doesn't appeal to me. I read her "Navy" series, and then couldn't read anything else. Meh.

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  2. I've only read one book by this author and while it was ok it didn't make me want to run out and buy other books by her. Sorry you were disappointed in this one.

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  3. I've been reading Dakota Born by DM off and on for months and I've only made it to chapter 5. I can't say if it's me, the writing style, or the story that's making it so hard for me to get into the book. I should probably try another one and see if that goes better.

    I hope your next DB works better for you than this one. :)

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  4. I read the first two books I think. I meant to read the others but just never got around to it.

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  5. Lori - Yeah, I don't think her writing is for everyone. So far, only this series has appealed to me, I have to admit. I have a few other books by her that I haven't read yet...

    Tracy - Okay, I don't think she'll ever be a wowzer, but she's consistent :) Sometimes, consistency trumps wow (rarely, but sometimes :P)...

    Brie - I blame the fact that Dakota Born is a reprint :P but yeah, seriously, I only read the Blossom Street series. I don't run off to the bookstore to buy her other series ^_^;

    Isabel - Let me know if you ever get around :)

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  6. I think I read books 1 & 2 in this series but never picked up the next one. Did the same with her Cedar Cover series. Too much time between books I think.

    I like the way you describe her writing - gentle describes it perfectly.

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  7. Leslie - Well, it seems her writing is an acquired taste :P LOL. Problem I think is that she just have a LOT of storylines going on... and for long series like Cedar Cove, well it becomes monotonous. Anyway, we'll see what's the next book in this series is going to be. Might just borrow it or read it in store instead...

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