Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicole KraussDedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krauss is about Kate Hollis and the man she wants to make regret ever leaving her. Jake Sharpe has made it big, using Kate’s life to write award-winning lyrics of the songs on his platinum albums. Kate Hollis has waited thirteen years to confront him and finally has the chance when her best friend calls her up in the middle of the night to tell her he’s back in small town Croton Falls where they grew up.

Kate barely thinks of what she’s doing when she hops on that plane home a few days before Christmas. Once home, everything seems to be going wrong. Her luggage didn’t make it onto her plane so she is left with a few glittery dresses and out of date makeup from her emergency bag. Her parents are less than pleased to see her, knowing she is not there for them (they’re supposed to be vacationing as a family a few days later) but for the man who turned Kate’s world upside down.

As Kate makes her way through the next couple days as she finds a way to face Jake again, we are taken back in time to the moment Kate first moved to Croton Falls in sixth grade and laid eyes on Jake Sharpe. As the hours tick by in the present so too do the years of her past.

I loved how this story was set up with alternating chapters in the past and present. It was a nice way to show their past without reading some long summary chapter in order to know the history of their relationship. It was also nice to see that Jake Sharpe wasn’t the only things Kate had to come to terms with.

Kate is a strong character whose only misfortune is having Jake Sharpe as her Achilles’ heel. I kept reading to find out what would happen in the end and if Kate did what I wanted her to do, and she didn’t disappoint.

Stupid and Contagious

Stupid and Contagious by Caprice CraneStupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane was different from many of the books on this blog. Heaven loses her high paying PR job and ends up as a waitress where she has a hard time not talking back to rude customers. Brady struggles to keep his record label afloat and has just moved to Heaven’s apartment building.

The two meet when Heaven brings over Brady’s mail which has found itself to her instead. Brady is not impressed with his open mail and Heaven’s forward personality. Heaven can barely stand Brady in return. The two continue to bump into each other and, as such, strike up a weird form of friendship. The two take a trip to Seattle and everything changes as Brady tries to pitch an idea to a large corporation and woo a band that just might be his salvation.
This story was quirky and a wonderful read. The chapters alternated between Heaven’s and Brady’s points of view and were sometimes as short as a sentence or a word. The dialogue was witty and funny. I couldn’t seen to take myself away from the two. It was really nice to get to know both of the characters from two points of view. I loved seeing their attraction grow even when they didn’t want to admit it to themselves.
Craprice Crane has a way with words as can be evidenced by her other novel Forget About It which I also loved. I can’t wait to see more from her especially since it could be something completely different as her first two novels were from each other.

Playing James

Playing James by Sarah MasonPlaying James by Sarah Mason was hilarious. Holly was one of the most funny characters I’ve ever met. After single-handedly donating a seeing eye dog and part of another one due to her language, Holly decides that something else should be put in place. So instead of using the traditional four-letter words, Holly and the rest of her workplace has adopted the use of much hated vegetables. So it’s hard not to laugh when she utters a “holy turnips” in the middle of an internal dialogue.

Holly has just been “promoted” to the less than desirable crime correspondent and finds herself paired up with one Detective James Sabine who has no desire to have him anywhere near him. They argue, the fight, and they want to be anywhere but near each other. But when a robbery turns into a series of robberies, the two find a way to work together.

I laughed so much when I was reading this book. Holly is hilarious! And she knows just how to rile James up. The tension between the two was wonderful and kept me wanting to read. The background story of the robberies wasn’t cheesy and fit in perfectly with the main story. I couldn’t get enough of this book and can’t wait to read more by her.

What Patients Taught Me: A Medical Student’s Journey

What Patients Taught Me by Audrey YoungWhat Patients Taught Me by Dr. Audrey Young was an incredible look into medical school rotations. Dr. Young spent her rotations in drastically different places from Seattle hospitals to rural clinics to Africa. Each place had different stories and different people. Each story touched me a different way and gave me insight into what it means to be a doctor.

This book was full of true stories, some I couldn’t even believe happened to real people. But they did. And that is what makes this book so powerful. Everything in it is real. These are real people. Real people who were sick and either made full recoveries or went on to a better place. I cried, and I laughed. It made me feel a wide range of emotions. It was truly invigorating.

I devoured this book and wished I had read it slower so that I could have digested each story more before rushing onto the next one. But it was so captivating that I couldn’t stop. I had to read about the next patient, the next place. I read this in one day, when I knew I definitely should have been studying for my exams.

My pre-med adviser suggested this book to me, and I’m glad she did. It was heartwarming and gave me a picture of what my medical school experience could be and maybe should be. I know I’ll take this book with me when I go on to medical school and read it slower the next time around so that I can let each story engulf me and change me if only slightly.

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