Pellerini’s 2017 Book Reviews

Reading is something that makes me relax.  The books take me to another time and place, opening my mind to new experiences.  When I come along a book that I LOVE, I want to instantly share the great news with fellow bibliophiles.

This year I am going to add a little twist to Pellerini with the addition of this book review page.   After each of the books I complete, I will rate it on a scale of 1 to 5.

1  = “Don’t even bother.  I’m sorry they killed trees to make this book.”.

5 = “I didn’t want to put the book, down.  I could’ve kept reading if there were more pages in the book. A must-read.”

I hope you enjoy my reviews and be sure to post some recommendations and your thoughts in the comments below!  If you’re interested in buying the books, please click on the book title or image!  (They are affiliate links, and although you will not be charged a penny more than usual, I may get compensation.  So, thank you!).  Welcome to:


The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar has been on my reading list for quite some time.  I wanted to read it but there were so many other books that were vying for my attention that it kind of slipped to the bottom portion of the list.  UNTIL Overdrive informed me that it was available from my local library.

Thinking it must be a sign, I downloaded the e-book version.  The Bell Jar tells the story of Esther, a young lady conflicted with depression and the thoughts of suicide.  It sounds at first like a very dark read, but in fact it is somewhat the opposite.  It’s not cheery by any means, but you learn to care for Esther and hope she makes the right decisions.  I especially like the symbolism of the glass bell jar.

PELLERINI RATING: I would give this book a 4.  Cool fact – The Bell Jar was written over 50 years ago.

The Clancys of Queens by Tara Clancy

If you grew up in the 80’s in New York – Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island – this book should be on your reading list.  I am not one for memoirs and was hesitant to review this book for that very reason, but am so glad I took it on.  Tara, a daughter of two loving divorced parents, tells the story of her childhood in a way that kept me turning pages.  It brought back some fun memories of my childhood.  I felt like I was part of her childhood, part of her L.E.T. friends.  The trip with her mom to LA was hysterical and eye opening at the same time.  I loved the detail, the humor and the reality.

PELLERINI RATING: 5  I didn’t want it to end.  I look forward to Tara’s next book (please tell me she has one in the works!).

Life After by Kate Ganshert

Life After is now one of my favorite books of the year!  Once I was a few chapters in, I knew this was another one of those books that I would read and think that I know what’s going to happen next, but be surprised instead.  There wasn’t one time that I felt the need to skim through paragraphs or portions of books (unfortunately happens with some of the books I review) – I enjoyed every last word and truly had a yearning to read what was going to happen next.

By the end of the book, I felt like Autumn and I were friends and longed for her to have peace – along with the other victims’ families affected by the massacre.

PELLERINI RATING: 5 – when I look forward to getting back into the thick of the story, that totally deserves a 5!!

June: A Novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

I truly didn’t want the book to end.  I’d read Bittersweet recently and really enjoyed it, but June has taken the cake.  I enjoyed how the book switched from current day to back when everything leading up to present day occurred.  I felt like I lived in the small town in Ohio with Lindie, June and Apatha – my three favorite characters.  I loved to hate Tate and really got into the twisted story of how everyone was connected.

PELLERINI RATING: 5 – I hope that Beverly writes another book soon!!!

The Heirs by Susan Reiger

Already a fan of Susan Reiger’s writing (The Divorce Papers, A Novel), I had high expectations for The Heirs.  The Heirs starts out quite sad, with the death of Rupert, but that is where the story begins.  At first I thought it was going to be about his five sons but was surprised (and happy) to find out there were a lot more characters involved than initially expected.  It was a bit hard at first to piece together how these characters were connected to Rupert (each chapter tells one of the heirs’ story), but by the end of the book I could’ve drawn his eclectic family tree.  Great read – definitely recommend checking it out!


The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

Who thought that so many bad, and good, things could happen in one day?  The Coincidence of Coconut Cake was a fast read for me.  Although there were some parts in the beginning that led me to believe what would happen in the future (foreshadowing), there were a lot of twists to the story that I didn’t expect.  I fell in love with the older couple (you will too); I wanted to taste the meals that were being painstakingly prepared throughout the story; and I wanted true love to prevail.  Great beach read!


Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney, to me, is best described as a cool read.  The characters are creatively spun together.  The writing is very casual and flows well.  I was able to connect both Bobbi and Frances (the main characters) with people I currently know so it made the read even more interesting.  There were plot twists that I didn’t expect (which I love) as well as a non-conventional ending in the respect that I really didn’t see it coming.