Reviews in a flash!

The last few months have been crazy busy!  I realized I read a few books that I didn't review that I read in May/June. 
Gold: I really enjoyed this novel!  I'm not an 'elite' athlete but I train for events like elite's... taking training, nutrition, sleep, goals, etc into consideration.  I loved the cycling part and reading how training intrudes on life, or maybe it's better to say how life intrudes with an Olympian.

In the beginning I was concerned with the Star Wars references but they made sense after a while - a little girl's way to deal with her illness. 

The timing is perfect, with the Olympics less than a month away.  Cleave is a brilliant writer.  I wonder how long I have to wait for his next novel.

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Kate and Zoe met at nineteen when they both made the cut for the national training program in track cycling—a sport that demands intense focus, blinding exertion, and unwavering commitment. Now at thirty-two, the women are facing their last and biggest race: the 2012 Olympics. Each wants desperately to win gold, and each has more than a medal to lose.

The First Husband: I read this one in a day, while sitting on the deck enjoying a sunny day.  I'm a fan of Laura Dave so it's no surprise that I liked this book.  A fun summer selection. 

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: Los Angeles–based travel writer Annie Adams thinks she has it all. Nick, her longtime film director boyfriend, has finally hit the big time, her column is syndicated, and they've got a great dog. Then Nick moves out. Three months later, Annie is married to Griffin, a down-to-earth chef with a restaurant in the Berkshires. When Nick asks for a second chance, Annie is torn between her husband and the man she might have been meant to marry.

The Cost of Hope: I'm a sucker for a memoir.  I enjoy reading other peoples stories, and I'm willing to 'just go with it'.  I know liberties are taken, and that it's one person's view of a situation/event. 

I didn't realize how hard it can be for some to get coverage while ill, or how the healthcare system really works.  This is Terence's story about his illness and the story of the healthcare system, from his wife's experience. It was really interesting.  With the author being an acclaimed reporter, the story may of lacked a bit of the emotional tug that I was looking for but overall I'm happy I read it.

Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis: From Pulitzer Prize winner Amanda Bennett comes a moving, eye-opening, and beautifully written memoir - The Cost of Hope chronicles the extraordinary measures Amanda and Terence take to preserve not only Terence’s life but also the life of their family. After his death, Bennett uses her skills as a veteran investigative reporter to determine the cost of their mission of hope. What she discovers raises important questions many people face, and vital issues about the intricacies of America’s healthcare system.