Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blog Tour Review: the Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate

Title: The Secret of Joy

Author: Melissa Senate

Rating: 1/2

Who Should Read It? Anyone who has a sister they love or has ever dreamed of having a sister; anyone who has ever over-analyzed their relationships.

What I Have to Say: Before reading this book, I had only read one other Melissa Senate book: Mary-Kate and Ashley Sweet 16 Book 5. While I loved that book, it was very much a guilty pleasure, and I wasn't really expecting good things from this one. I was wrong; it was amazing, a big, warm joy of a read.
The Secret of Joy is an incredibly touching story about two sisters who have to learn what it means to be sisters. Or rather, I should say, about two sisters who GET to learn what it means to be sisters. Because there is something amazing and beautiful and wonderful about having a sister. Despite the struggles that face these two sisters in their quest to get to know one another, when one of them doesn't really want to know the other, and despite the awkward circumstances surrounding how they meet, these two girls ARE sisters. And Melissa Senate's beautiful and fluid yet simple writing really allows the reader to feel the greatness of being a sister, of having a sister. The Secret of Joy will make you wish for the sister you never had. Or be more grateful for the sister you do have.
The awkward circumstances of their meeting and the interesting lesser characters (the hottie town carpenter, the Divorced Ladies Club of Wiscasett,. . .)introduced throughout the story turn this serious read into something that is also fun and, occasionally, laugh-out-loud funny.
This book isn't just about the relationship between sisters, though; it's also about relationships in general, and what it means to be there for someone and support them no matter what.
In the end, I think I loved this book so much for three reasons. 1)I am constantly overanalyzing all of the relationships that I have in my life, be it with my friends, my boyfriend, or my family. This book takes a really simplistic approach to stepping back and seeing what is right in front of you. 2)It takes place in the most adorable small-town in Maine. I LOVE Maine, and I dream of living in a cute small town. In a way, it reminded me of Stonybrook, Connecticut, the make-believe town from the Babysitter's Club that has always been the dream town of me and my sister. 3)My sister is one of the most important people in my life. We have worked hard at cultivating a fun, loving relationship, and I have come to learn through her and her awesomeness that NOTHING can replace having a sister. (Sorry to all ya'll out there that don't have one. :-( I will be giving this book to mine for Christmas. Shhhh, don't tell her!)

Summary (from GoodReads):When twenty-something New Yorker Rebecca Strand learns (her father's deathbed confession) that she has a twenty-six-year-old half-sister she never knew existed, she can't wait to meet her. With her lawyer boyfriend's protests ringing in her ears ("She's just going to want her share of his million-dollar estate!"), Rebecca drives to a small coastal town in Maine with the 26 letters her father wrote to Joy every year on her birthday. All alone in the world, Rebecca knocks on Joy Jayhawk's door, having no idea what to expect.

Turns out Joy, the separated mother of a little boy (Rebecca has a nephew!), isn't very interested in the "father" who turned his back on her existence from day one–or her "sister." But Rebecca is so determined to establish family bonds with Joy that she doesn't go home . . . and finds herself being welcomed into small life by some very loveable, quirky characters, including a sexy carpenter named Theo . . .

Disclosure:Thank you to Sarah from Pocket Books for sending me this book to write an honest review.


Aik said...

I think I'll check this book out. I have 2 sisters. ;)

Nice review, by the way!

Belle said...

This sounds like a sweet read!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Always interesting to read of the relationship between sisters. This sounds like a sweet, perhaps too sweet, read. I love my sister because she is my sister, can't say that I actually like her though and if we weren't sisters I'm sure we would avoid each other like the plague. And I'd still consider swapping her for a brother.

Alessandra said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I haven't got a sister, but would've loved one. I had considered Melissa Senate as a writer of chick-lit, but maybe I'm confusing her with another Melissa? Because this seems a bit too deep to be labelled as chick-lit. Anyway, nice review :)

Aarti said...

I love the cover of this one! So pretty :-)

brizmus said...

@Petty witter - oh no, sounds like you don't have at all the kind of relationship with your sister that I do. So sad. Trust me, I love my brothers to death, but you don't want to trade her for a brother.

@Alessandra - thanks for all your comments! And yes, Melissa Senate is definitely the chick lit author that you are thinking of. It's weird, though; this book is chick lit, but it was also much deeper. It sort-of reignited my love of chick lit.

Alyssa Kirk said...

I wouldn't normally pick this up but your review makes it sound worthwhile!

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Don't get me wrong, we do love each other in our own way, it's just we are such totally different charcters with nothing in common. Everyone who knows us both comments that never have they known two sisters who are so unalike. And I'm still not convinced I wouldn't swap her for a brother, mind you she'd probably swap me for another cat.

Lucía said...

I would like to have this book becouse I have a sister and I really love her, and of course like good sisters we have a lot of struggles but the thing is that she is really important to me, like a example to follow.. :D

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