Monday, August 31, 2015

#collaboreads: Set in Summertime

I found my book for this month's category via random google search, and I couldn't have been happier to have stumbled upon it!  I didn't have anything on my to-read list set in summertime so after a quick search I found a few options.  Cancel the Wedding is the debut novel for Carolyn T. Dingman.  The story follows Olivia's journey to discover her mother's past via a strange scattering of ashes request upon her premature death from cancer.  A summer road trip to the quaint Southern town where her mother was born and raised yet never visited as an adult allows Olivia to learn more than she ever dreamed.

What part of the book could you NOT get enough of?

I absolutely did not want to put this book down.  The mix of mystery and romance woven throughout really had a tight grip on me.  The most intriguing part of the book dealt with the mystery surrounding why Olivia's mother, Jane, wanted her ashes scattered in two quite specific areas of Huntley.  On the surface, the novel appears to revolve around Olivia and her cold feet issues, but truly SO much more is going on here.  I was fully invested in uncovering the mystery of her mother's young life.  As the daughter of a lifelong genealogist, this story was right up my alley.

How did you relate to/care for the characters?
What's your thought on the plot line and twists and turns?

As I mentioned, every aspect of the book that revolved around the life of Jane was fascinating to me.  The book begins with a prelude snapshot of a few hours of young Jane's life so the reader begins the novel at a bit of an advantage since Olivia knows absolutely nothing about her mother's past.  I really liked this element of the book because it allowed the reader to anticipate and make educated guesses about the way the story might go.  I did make a couple of correct guesses, but there were also several twists and turns that really kept me intrigued.  I deeply cared about the story line surrounding Jane and really liked the fact that two characters - Florence and Buddy - provided information, but also respected her privacy (even in death) to only answer direct questions.  This particular twist was both frustrating (as the reader just wanting to know everything right away) and brilliant (as the author allowing an opportunity to provide snapshots, but not give everything away all at once). 

What other books are like this one?
If none, did it remind you of a particular TV or movie with it's themes and characters?
Does it serendipitous-ly line-up with things going on in your life or the news right now? 

This novel was a story within a story where both stories were equally interesting and life changing for the main character.  On Goodreads, the book is compared to "Emily Giffin’s Southern charm and Jennifer Weiner’s compelling, emotionally resonant novels about the frustrations of blood ties".  I've never read Griffin, but I can see why she is compared to Weiner.  

As far as lining up serendipitous-ly with other things going on in my life, we do have seven wedding to attend this year so I guess you could say this is our year for all things wedding.  Thankfully, after this weekend, we only have two left in October!  And I thought the year we got married (last year!) would be our busiest! Ha! 

You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? 
How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages? 

I liked the design of the book.  It is simple, but really invokes the idea of journey.  The book begins with a summer road trip to Huntley, Georgia, so the cover is certainly fitting.  I like that the hood of the car is down and the sun is shining!  The other unique aspect of the novel was the opening prelude with a snippet of Jane's early life that I referenced earlier - great feature! 

How many out of five do you give this book?
Would you recommend this book to a friend?

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.  I would recommend it to anyone.  Well written story with an array of intriguing characters on a mission to discover the truth!  Can't beat that!

Andrea :)


  1. I ADORE that you found your book in a random Google search, like that's my favorite discovery method yet! :)

    Have you read any of Jodi Piccoult's books? She's a romance/mystery/thriller sort of writer that I think you'd enjoy... CANNOT put her books down, but don't want to because there's TOO MANY ELEMENTS to leave it all be without knowing the answers.

  2. I love it when a random book turns out to be a spectacular read! :)

  3. Thanks for the book suggestion, Andrea! I love reading debuts from new authors, and can't wait to add this one to my list!

  4. Ooh, this one sounds interesting! I love plots where the protagonist uncovers some sort of family history. Plus I have a soft spot for debut novels. :)

  5. Five out of five stars?! Any book that gets that from somebody catches my eye for sure! Books with strong family ties are always so interesting to me-- I find family relationships fascinating! Can't wait to check this one out! So glad you joined us.

  6. This book sounds interesting!! I will be adding it to my book list! Thanks for the review!

  7. THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD. And that cover? I'm loving it. Adding it to my list now!