Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour: Family Pieces

Welcome to my third blog tour post! First of all, THANK YOU to Samantha at Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours for organizing this tour and for Misa Rush for sending me her debut novel to review.

Let's start with the synopsis from Goodreads:

What do you do when your once charmed life falls to pieces?

Karsen Woods' life seems charmed from her hunkalicious boyfriend to her picture-perfect midwestern roots. Away at college, even the necklace she wears serves as a constant connection home - a family tradition created when her grandfather handmade each immediate relative an interlinking charm. Each piece crafted in the shape of a puzzle piece, each one interlinking perfectly together. But when the unexpected death of her mother turns her world upside down, she discovers there is a missing piece of her treasured family tradition and her life as she once knew it may never be the same.

Addison Reynolds resides in her posh Manhattan condominium and wraps her personal identity around running Urbane, the magazine empire built by her father. In a moment of haste, Addison divulges her deepest secret to her closest friend Emily - a secret she never intended to disclose.

Could one choice, one secret, bond two unlikely women forever?
When I started reading this book I honestly wasn't too sure what to expect. Happily, what I found was a book I thoroughly enjoyed and would definitely recommend to others. I will warn you that this post may seem a little disorganized and incomplete. This is because I don't want to give anything away and there are little twists that I don't want to spoil for anyone. Bear with me, please?

Normally I do not like books that start off with two or more characters who don't know each other and have seemingly nothing in common until halfway through the book when they meet. Drives. Me. Nuts. With that being said, I was a little concerned when I realized that the two main characters, Karsen and Addison, had no idea who the other was when the book started. Not to worry though! I knew at page 16 they were somehow connected, figured out how they were connected at page 37, and these hunches were confirmed at page 178. For those of you who have read this book already - were you able to figure out the twists?
You may think that I wouldn't enjoy the book so much if I had the main plot twist sorted out pretty early on. But that actually wasn't the case. I liked that it was predictable but not formulaic. Does that make sense? It was predictable in the fact that there were the typical devices that are found in most chick lit books along with the fact that I had it essentially figured out. However, it wasn't like any chick lit novel I had ever read before. Yes, the twist is found in other stories but it's done in a fresh and unique way in Family Pieces.

The one thing that did bother me was the fact that the two main women, Karsen and Addison, were not as three dimensional as I would have liked. I think this is because there were so many secondary characters that had such a huge impact on the novel and the story's progression - Brad, Hanna, Russell, Jacob, and Emily. There was also James...I won't say anything else about him, except that I had a hunch about how this plot line would go too. I was on fire! Anyway, I liked all the other characters and am so glad they were there but I wish I knew more about Karsen and Addison. The one thing that I really wanted to know was how Karsen went from being in school for science (PS kudos to her! There's no way I could do that. I'll stick with my Bachelor of Arts degree, thank you.) to what she ends up doing at the end of the novel. And I'm not even entirely sure what that is. This little issue with the novel definitely wasn't a deal breaker for me, just something that could have made the book even better.

This novel takes a family and tests them way beyond normal limits in a short period of time. While that had the potential to seem like horribly bad karma, Rush makes it work. There's the massive hit that Karsen takes when she finds out her mother has died, and then it's followed with quick one, two, three punches that keep delivering the hits. What makes this all bearable is the fact that Karsen has such an amazing family system, which is kind of the key to whole novel. A family may start with blood relatives but it can grow to include best friends and even people who start out as complete strangers. I loved that about this book - that everyone had a connection with each other, and such a powerful one, but it was believable. It really makes you take a minute to think about your own family and the people you're so close to and realize how important they are.

Overall, I loved the book. Flew through it because I needed to know what was going to happen but was sad when it was over. Even though there was an epilogue, I still wanted to know how things really worked out for everyone. I suggest you track down this book and read it. You won't be disappointed :)

Please join Chick Lit Plus and Misa on Thursday June 23rd at 6 pm CST (7 pm EST) for a TwitParty! Use the hashtag #CLPMisa to ask your questions and participate!

Stay tuned because I have a guest post from Misa for Tuesday!


  1. Thanks for the great review Kaley!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the story! Thank you for your wonderful review :)


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