Just Read

Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado, Eric Newman and Candace Lee

Genre: Chick-lit, contemporary fiction

Chelsea is a new single mother of two, recently separated from her NFL superstar husband. She is really and truly on her own, trying to make a go of the cafe she has inherited from her mother. Her mother, and her grandmother before her, used to run the cafe – the Higher Grounds Cafe – and Chelsea is determined to bring business to a level where she can make a tidy profit. This is not easy, though – her mother has left her with a huge debt, her husband isn’t making things easy for her, and it is getting tougher and tougher to lead a happy life with her children who are nuts about their father. When a miracle happens at the Higher Grounds Cafe, things change big time. All of this and more makes up the story of Miracle At The Higher Grounds Cafe.

I give full points to the concept of the story. I loved the cafe setting, though this is not the first novel to have such a setting. The miracle that happens at the cafe and the God Blog (you’ll have to read the book to find out what this is!) and the twists and turns that this brings about to the story are definitely unique and make for an interesting read.

That said, I didn’t fall for any of the characters in the book. None of them, including Chelsea, seemed to be well developed. Many of the events and characters were too good to be true, and much removed from real life, I felt. There was a bit too much of ‘Praise the lord’, too, I thought, but then, that is to be expected of a Christian fiction book. (No offense meant to anyone here, just my thoughts!)

Overall, I had a very lukewarm experience of reading this book. It didn’t move me at all, neither did any of the characters touch me. It was a below-average read for me, I would say.

PS: This was a book I received from NetGalley.

After You by Jojo Moyes

Genre: Chick-lit, contemporary fiction

I absolutely adored Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, a book that I read a couple of years back. So, naturally, I was all excited when I heard that a sequel to the book was out, called After You. But then, I went on to read a whole lot of negative reviews for After You, and I didn’t want anything spoiling, in my head, the magic of Me Before You. So, After You was put on hold, till, recently, I decided to, just like that, give it a go – ‘Whatever. I need to find out what happened to Lou!,’ I told myself. And went on to read After You and finish it in a few days’ time.

How did I like the book, you ask? Well, honestly, it was a let-down after Me Before You. The twists and turns in the story felt rather unnecessary and forced. Lou wasn’t her loveable, flawed self in this book, but sounded like a twat. After You wasn’t strong enough – or really needed – I felt. Yes, I got the closure I needed after Me Before You, but now I think I would have rather left my mind to wander and imagine that closure. This sequel seems forced.

There are moments, though, when the brilliance of the author shines through, even in After You. Only, they are few and far between, unlike Me Before You, which a brilliant book through and through. The first book seemed so natural and beautiful and thought-provoking, while the sequel felt forced and unnatural.

I feel let down by the sequel. This isn’t something that I enjoyed reading.

Have you read any of the books? What were your thoughts about them?

What are you reading at the moment?


3 thoughts on “Just Read

  1. So I will not read After You in a hurry. Probably later whenever I get hold of a copy. Great to read your thoughts. Now I know to have lower expectations.


    1. @Elizabeth

      It was so very disappointing to read after the brilliant Me Before You. That said, After You has its own share of brilliant moments too, though not as many as Me Before You.

      But then, hey, you might enjoy After You more than I did! These things are always subjective, no?


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