Book Review: The Accident

Book Review:  The AccidentThe Accident
by Chris Pavone
Published by Crown Publishing Group
Published March 11, 2014
Genre: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 400
Source: complimentary review copy
Visit Goodreads
Buy the Book from Amazon
As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.

The Accident is to publishing as The Devil Wears Prada is to fashion magazines.  It reads like an expose of the publishing industry and is a wild roller coaster ride following the assassinations and intrigue.  And there are quite a few bodies piling up throughout.  Each turn of the page brought a new plot detail into the open.  I was guessing all the way to the very last page.

I have not read The Expats (Pavone’s first novel) yet but intend to do so very soon.  If you like a good suspenseful thriller with lots of espionage, secrecy, and shock-value then you will probably enjoy The Accident.  It will have you asking questions like how well do we know the ones we love? and wow! is the publishing world really that intense?  And how well do we trust the government to serve the people?

Pavone’s writing is sharp.  The plot is fast-moving.  I read The Accident in one sitting because I could never get to a pausing point – I was afraid of missing something ;-)  I did have to suspend belief somewhat because I really hate to think the publishing world is that cutthroat.  The Accident was entertaining, a wonderful escape and immense fun.

Have you read The Accident?  What are your thoughts on this one?


If you purchase The Accident from Amazon or IndieBound, I will receive a small percentage at no cost to you.  This is very helpful in paying for hosting fees, giveaways and postage.  Thank you!

Reasons My Little Guy Is Smiling

I’m flipping it up on this From Left to Right Review of Reasons My Kid Is Crying and going with smiles galore from the grandson! Honestly I have been trying to capture a tear for over a month but the Little Monkey is so good natured that it’s practically impossible. Besides, smiles are infectious!

Dinosaur Food with The Land Before Time

Dinosaur Food and The Land Before Time


Because I'm Happy!

Because I’m Happy, Happy, Happy!

Inspired by the book Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke based off the Tumblr site Reasons My Son Is Crying – both are absolutely hilarious and should be added to every new parent’s “must read” collection! Join From Left to Write Book Club as we discuss Reasons My Kid Is Crying on April 15th {could be great comic relief for anyone doing the “reasons I am crying” for tax day!}  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Purchase Reasons My Kid Is Crying at IndieBound or Amazon.  I receive a small percentage if you purchase from those links, and there’s no cost to you.

Never Say Never

Never Say NeverThe Opposite of Maybe
by Maddie Dawson
Published by Broadway Books
Published April 8, 2014
Genre: chick-lit, Fiction
Pages: 400
Source: complimentary review copy
Visit Goodreads
Buy the Book from IndieBound
Buy the Book from Amazon


While growing up I insisted loud and proud I would never have children. I swore I had done my time raising my younger brothers and would never go down that road. You see, it was just my mom, me and two younger brothers from the time I was ten years old and my brothers 6 & 2 respectively. My parents were divorced and my dad stationed in Okinawa so I didn’t see him for almost eight years and my mom had to work ALL the time. It was left on me to babysit, cook & clean ~ a task I did NOT relish.

So to say I “insisted” I would never have children would be quite the understatement.

I’ve come to learn that when I insist on something {especially, when I use the term “never”} God thinks that’s kind of funny and turns my never into now.

At age 20 I discovered I was pregnant. I never considered any other option ~ to me, the options were grin and bear it.

My life was in complete turmoil.

  • My mother and I were not getting along.
  • Dreams of traveling the world, successful {and solitary} career was out, and at five months into the pregnancy I developed pre-term labor, was put on complete bed rest and given medication to prevent an early delivery. The side effects of the medication were horrendous.
  • College had to be put on the back burner ~ again.

I was not a very happy pregnant lady. I was in and out of the hospital. And about the only thing I enjoyed about being pregnant was all the food I could eat! My body was still in recovery mode from an almost fatal accident two years prior, and I was grossly underweight.

At 36 weeks there was no stopping the delivery when my water broke. By this time I was relieved to finally allow the baby to come, to quit the medication, to begin living life again. It was all about me, me, me. My needs. My wants.

And then my daughter was gently placed into my arms.

The sense of wonderment.  Joy.   Absolute awe.

I truly knew from that very second onward what it was like to love another human being unconditionally.

It was not just me now. It was not even just me and my husband. My baby girl that I struggled so hard against having opened up my world, changed my life and melted my heart all in a matter of an instant.

And now I look at my baby girl who changed my life in so many ways and cannot imagine how bereft my world would have been had I never said never. I look at her all grown up and with a child of her own and thank God he found my insisting so humorous. And I see the beautiful incredible mom and woman that my daughter has become and thank God He gifted me with this miracle.

This post was inspired by the novel The Opposite of Maybe by Maddie Dawson. At the age of 44, Rosie finds herself suddenly single and pregnant. She tries to hide in her grandmother’s home, but meets two men that will change her life forever. Join From Left to Write on April 8 we discuss The Opposite of Maybe. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. In no way did this affect my opinion or review.



Erica & The Little Monkey looking for horses.

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry

The Storied Life of AJ FikryThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin
Published by Algonquin Books
Published April 2014
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 272
Source: complimentary review copy
Visit Goodreads
Buy the Book from IndieBound
Buy the Book from Amazon


Gabrielle Zevin has created a novel that is pure 272 pages of love to the small independent bookseller.

what in this life is more personal than books?

An unhappy, poor and not-too friendly bookseller who has practically given up on living finds a package that changes him forever. A kindly Chief of Police, a one-hit wonder author and his wife Ismay who also happens to be A.J.’s sister-in-law and Amelia the galoshes-wearing, forever-optimistic sales rep for Knightley Books all of the characters are just as unique as a three-headed frog and as lovable as a “box full of chocolates!”

There ain’t nobody in the world like book people.

The writing is engaging, pulling you in from the first page when Amelia is disembarking the ferry in search of Island Books on Alice Island.   A.J. is the unlikeliest of heroes which adds to the charm of this novel ~ we can all be a hero in someone’s life; we can all make a difference. Those who put books in the hands of others that gets them reading, well, there’s a special medal somewhere for those bookish folks!

A novel of not knowing the effect our actions have on others {both good and not-so-good}, the meaning books have in our life, and learning it’s all about the connections. A beauty of a read that will have you nodding your head over A.J.’s notes about a particular novel and opinions of the E-reader while thinking of ways to travel to his Island Books & just to meet the cantankerous bookseller.

Fair warning ~ grab a box of kleenex and be prepared to cry, smile, laugh and cry once more. But after the final page has been turned, you’ll feel as though there IS good left in the world, that most people want to help, and bookish folks have been redeemed.  Highly recommended ~ both men & women will enjoy this one!

Each chapter begins with A.J.’s commentary on a book, the message of which becomes applicable ~  do you have a book that “spoke” to you at just the right time?

I received a copy of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. In no way does this alter my opinion or review of the novel.


MisperceptionsThe Idea of Him
by Holly Peterson
Published by William Morrow
Published April 1, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Women
Pages: 384
Source: complimentary review copy
Visit Goodreads
Buy the Book from IndieBound
Buy the Book from Amazon


Being a part of From Left to Write Book Club has challenged me in wonderful ways. With each book we “review” our task is to not write the typical review but to write about something from the novel that resonated. With The Idea of Him I have a plethora of topics to choose from, and each even more personal than the last.


Something I believe we can all relate to in one way or another is having the wrong perception of events.  For those of you with siblings ~ have you ever talked about a situation from growing up and each of you have a completely different version of the very same story?

My brothers are both younger than I am by 4 and 8 years respectively. I call them Little Brother and Baby Brother affectionately because at my height of 5’1 and there’s at 6’4 & 6’2, it’s fun to introduce them that way. And oh my when we take pictures together they always stick me in the middle ~ I’m never certain if it’s to accentuate their height or my shortness ~ either way though, it works!

Our parents divorced when I was 9, Little Brother 5, and Baby Brother 1. Most of our childhood was spent with our mom who we all know {now} loves us equally; however, while we were growing up we took turns believing each other was loved more. It’s become the family joke that Baby Brother is the Golden Child and loved the very most with Little Brother coming in a close second.

It wasn’t til I was grown with three children of my own I finally realized how our mom loved each of us, unconditionally, unequivocally, without a doubt, in equal measure.  What I came to realize is that all the times she told me she focused more on one of us for any season it was because the other two were doing ok and did not need her full attention.  Not that she ever ignored any of us, it’s just whichever one of us needed her the most got the most attention for that time period.  For example, when I had an almost fatal car accident at 18 it was my season to have my mom’s undivided attention.

I get that now and I believe my brothers understand as well as they each have multiple children of their own.  It’s funny how our perception of any given situation can change over time and with a bit more information, and yeah, probably maturity as well.

We are not always given the gift of time, information or maturity in the throes of interpreting a situation.  All the more reason to keep an open mind, compassionate heart and closed mouth until situations can be understood.  A lesson I continue to learn and hope to have mastered before I reach a hundred ;-)


This post was inspired by the novel The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson. Allie thought she had the perfect husband, until she finds him and another woman in a compromising position in their own apartment. Join From Left to Write on April 1st we discuss The Idea of Him. Join us for a live chat with Holly on April 3.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Happy reading my friends!




Copyright © The Novel Life / Design by: The Nectar Collective