Posts tagged Delayed
My Shelf Monday: How to be Alive by Mary Chris Escobar

Today on my shelf: How to be Alive by Mary Chris Escobar. HTBA Cover

By far one of  my favorite reads of the year! HTBA is a fun, easy read that is simply perfect for the summer (or any time of the year).

One of my favorite things about all Mary Chris' books is her easy-to-read style of writing. It is fresh, unencumbered, and light. The prose doesn't get in the way of the story. The words fall into the background as you get lost in the story of Jen, a woman whose fiancee has just died.

My second favorite thing about all Mary Chris' books is her amazing ability to tackle heavy subjects (like your fiancee dying) without it being depressing or heavy. Somehow (beyond my comprehension) she writes stories that are positive, proactive, light, and empowering, despite the heavy subject matter. I never felt overwhelmed when reading HTBA  and I never felt depressed, only curious how Jen was going to tackle the next obstacle put in her path. By sidestepping the potentially dark emotions one experiences while grieving, Mary Chris allows the reader to delve into other questions and to reflect on their own potential to grieve and keep going. She also tackles the idea of regret and how that affects the grieving process. I really enjoyed how Jen reflected on her life and grappled with the idea of starting over, found her dreams, and learned to live. I found myself constantly contemplating whether I would take the same steps as Jen, or if I would take a different course, which allowed me to explore parts of my own personality that I rarely take the time to analyze. It was a surprisingly reflective read for me.

Mary Chris does all of this while weaving a fascinating story, incorporating wonderful secondary characters (I want a spin-off novel of Jennifer's best friends Zack and Sarah!), delicious food, career challenges, and family battles. If you are looking for something truly enjoyable to read this summer, you simply cannot go wrong with How to be Alive. 



How to be Alive, the latest novel from Mary Chris Escobar, is available now!
The novel follows Jen's journey back to herself. When she graduated from Parktown College at age 18 she was engaged, with big plans laid out for the future. Eight years later, very little has changed. Still unmarried and in the same small college town, her dreams have faded. Forced to figure out exactly what she wants in life and how to move forward, Jen finally learns the one thing they didn’t teach her at Parktown…
How to be Alive is available at all major online booksellers (details here).  Click here for an excerpt and a longer synopsis.
Excerpt and synopsis:

Here's a little look at my book club enjoying a care package from Mary Chris with goodies mention in HTBA!

HTBA club2
HTBA club
Book Review: Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar

Today I'm reviewing a book I absolutely loved reading, Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar.  While I do know Mary Chris personally, I did purchase this book and review it all on my own (and she didn't ask me to, either!)  I really loved this book and can't wait for Mary Chris to write her next novel so I can read that one, too!  Now, on to the review: NEB

Neverending Beginnings by Mary Chris Escobar is a smart, witty novel filled with relatable characters and a very interesting situation.  Our main character, Kate, is stuck living the week of her best friend’s wedding over and over (Groundhog Day style).  At first I was concerned I would become bored by seeing the same events played out again and again, but I wasn’t at all!  Each repeated week was new and different as Kate learned from her mistakes and tried desperately to end the cycle.

Along the way Kate also happens to start falling for the best man, Ben, and it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch their romance blossom because Kate is so completely clueless in the beginning.  Watching her realize her feelings over the course of the book while also getting to know Ben, who is both incredibly sweet and unmistakably manly, was one of my favorite parts.

Kate is smart and independent while also flawed without being angsty or dramatic. I think this is my favorite part of Neverending Beginnings: there was no false drama and it didn’t make me crazy.  It was a truly engaging and interesting story that made me sad to put it down but filled with excitement knowing I had something so enjoyable to pick back up.

One word of caution, while reading this book I was compelled to eat and drink the same food as the characters.  I don’t know what it was about Miss Escobar’s writing style, but the little nuances of the characters got inside my head and made me want to be part of the story—including the food and craft beer! (For more on this, check out my chat with Mary Chris)

I’m very happy Miss Escobar decided to follow up Neverending Beginnings with Delayed (only $0.99!) so I could get a glimpse of the characters down the road.  I highly recommend Neverending Beginnings (and Delayed) to anyone!

Price: $4.99

Purchase links: Amazon    Nook   Smashwords

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