Sunday, January 01, 2012

THE BUNGALOW by SARAH JIO

Winner of 
The Bungalow~
Congrats to:
Karen K!
(kmkuka)
Please email me at stephanieelliot@gmail.com
with your address so you can receive your book!

 INTRODUCING ... 
2012 MaNiC'S WeeKLY ReaDS ... 
A book a week ALL YEAR LONG!

Hi guys! I’m so excited to bring a new feature to MaNiC MoMMy – along with regular posts about writing, my family, gripes and the usual manic goings-on, I’ll also be featuring a great new book and author EVERY week with a chance for you to WIN that book!

I’m also extremely in awe that I’ve got half the year already scheduled filled with great books to share, and I’m very excited and thrilled that the first book of 2012 that I get to feature is Sarah Jio’s second novel, The Bungalow!

So … here goes! Knock that hangover outta your head and start reading ...




Magical.

That’s the word that fell from my lips when I closed Sarah Jio’s latest book. It’s just magical.

And I’m going to be completely honest with this review, and tell you some surprising thoughts I had about it. For those of you who know me, you know I’m not a big reader of historical novels.

I just don’t get into them. For instance, I could bet my life that if someone told me, “Hey, you gotta pick up this book – it’s set 1942, right smack in the middle of World War II” I'd be like, "nope, I'm not going to read that." And they’d be like, “But it’s got soldiers in it, with uniforms.” I’d still be like, “I’m not too sure.”

You know why? Because I don’t read war stories. Never. 

(Remind me to not be so closed-minded from now on!!)

But, I picked this one up because this is Sarah Jio’s book. And she wrote The Violets of March, which was a great book. And the cover of The Bungalow is stunning. Vibrant, and gorgeous. Which will definitely be a plus for people like me who may not be initially attracted to books with a war-like setting. Many will be drawn to the beautiful cover, then fall in love with the beautiful story.

And oh my gosh, this book sucks you in immediately. In fact, from the very first chapter, I emailed Sarah and I told her that it felt like I was reading a scene straight out of The Help, and I could totally see The Bungalow as a movie – in as few as the first 15 pages – it’s that colorful.

It’s amazing to me that such a young writer can capture the feeling of the 1940s like that. Jio’s voice is spot-on as a 21-year-old woman grappling with the decision to go overseas to serve as a nurse in the war, or to stay home and marry the man she is not sure she loves.

But, the main character, Anne Calloway, does go to Bora-Bora, with her best friend Kitty, to serve in the war as a nurse. What happens on the island, and in the bungalow with Westry, the young soldier Anne falls in love with, will unequivocally change her life forever.

That’s ALL I’m going to tell you about the story, except that there’s also a murder that will haunt Anne for 70 years, and a mysterious painting. Did I mention I was an art history minor and I LOVE any story that tosses in some art stuff. LOVE it.

I loved this book because in a way, it reminds me of Titanic, how the old woman begins telling the story and there’s the flashback of the story, and I was especially surprised that I was so drawn to a historical novel. This just proves to me that I can be more open to books of a different time! However, I knew this would be a good book to start out with since I was familiar with The Violets of March.
 
Here, taken from Sarah’s website, is the back of the book blurb:

A sweeping saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting… In the summer of 1942, twenty-one-year-old Anne Calloway, newly engaged, sets off to serve in the Army Nurse Corps on the Pacific island of Bora-Bora. More exhilarated by the adventure of a lifetime than she ever was by her predictable fiancĂ©, she is drawn to a mysterious soldier named Westry, and their friendship soon blossoms into hues as deep as the hibiscus flowers native to the island. under the thatched roof of an abandoned beach bungalow, the two share a private world–until they witness a gruesome crime, Westry is suddenly redeployed, and the idyll vanishes into the winds of war. A timeless story of enduring passion, The bungalow chronicles Anne’s determination to discover the truth about the twin losses–of life and, and of love–that have haunted her for seventy years.

It is days later now, since I've finished the book, and I still find myself thinking of various scenes (especially one particular hot beach scene!). I can picture Westry and Anne on the big screen, and see them perfectly in color. I have a big feeling that this one will make it there. I truly hope it does. This book definitely belongs in the movies!

And YES! Thanks to Sarah, you can win a copy of The Bungalow!

Since it is the New Year, and since Anne in the story made choices that led her down a path she may have regretted, tell me what your plans are for the New Year so that you don’t have regrets in your own life!

Thank you Sarah for another amazing book, and for you MaNiC readers, Sarah will have ANOTHER book out in September 2012 called Blackberry Winter!
 
DETAILS:
I’ll choose a winner (US or Canada only please!) most likely on Friday or Saturday each week, and when I choose YOU, I’ll always post a comment in the thread saying that the comments are now closed, so that’ll be your clue that you can no longer enter. I’ll post the winner’s name (make sure to leave an IDENTIFYING NAME – no ‘jen’ or ‘sue’ – make it UNIQUE!) at the top of the post after it’s been announced.

Then next week, and every week during the year, I’ll be featuring and giving away another book. If this takes off successfully, I may be giving away more than one book a week! (If I can manage it!)

Thanks readers, and Happy New Year! What a great way to start out the year!

88 comments:

jdstec said...

Happy New Year! I plan to enjoy life more. Stop and smell the roses, and all that. Harder than it sounds.

Bev V said...

I'd like to read more, stress less, finally get a grip on parts of my life that have been out of control in the past few years.

Happy New Year!

Shaggy552 (at) gmail (dot) com

Melissa said...

First, I just read The Violets of March and I loved it, couldn't put it down. So I'm dying to read this one.

For your question, I'm going to try to be more present in what I do. I guess less multi tasking and more focusing on one thing at a time, especially the time with my two boys (6 and 3). Happy New Year!

Melissa Rem

Joelle said...

Happy New Year! My plans are to travel more (2 cruises booked) and to put less stock in people who only continue to disappoint.

joelle :D

michelle m! said...

I will become a grandmother in a few days, so I want to be healthier and have many years to enjoy my new grandson!

equinn726 said...

Happy New Year! As always, thank you for doing these giveaways, such a fun treat to read about all of the books and to read everyone's comments. This year I plan to finish my last 2 semesters of nursing school, pass the NCLEX and become an RN :)

Lilianarenee said...

Happy New Year MaNiC!
Plans for the new include doing things for my happiness and not the happiness of others.
If I put myself first then I cannot regret the outcome of my year.

Nearl said...

I need to start putting away money for random issues that pop up. I just moved to Boston from CA and it's taking me awhile to adjust to the financial change. I would like to start a savings so that I don't have to always stress about it when things happen. That and of course lose weight. As long as I stick to my plan I will have no regrets!

Margaret said...

Happy New Year! I'm a nail biter especially when I'm reading a good book. I've even bought a few lovely nail polishes on boxing day to help me stop the habit.

Margaret(Literary Chanteuse)
singitm@hotmail.com

Juliet Farmer said...

this year, my plan is to accept myself as i am. maybe if i spend less time stressing about my frizzy hair or a new wrinkle, i will have more time to LIVE!

Ally said...

I plan to be much more organized. I want to be better at scheduling and not wasting so much time.
Ally N

Read Baby Read said...

I'm resolving not to get ANOTHER pink slip this year. I'd also like to double the amount of books I read this year. It's almost a book a week, very lofty goal, but I know I can do it!
Happy New Year
Mel
mellsimons (at) gmail (dot) com

LizzybethDJ said...

Happy 2012! 2011 was a very trying year - I lost my job, struggled with trying to conceive, and lost a baby just before our second trimester. So my goal for 2012 is to just have a positive outlook, hope for the best and take life as it comes.

Mom'sLove said...

hi! I plan on using what I already have. Not go out and buy more, more, and more. Use what I have...
Amanda
Byacourt at g mail dot com

Nanette said...

Manic...this sounds like an amazing story! I am not usually drawn to period pieces, either, but this sounds like a winner! Anyway, my plan for the new year is to find a new job...ASAP. I have been miserable where I'm at for WAY too long. Fingers crossed on that one!! :) Happy New Year and thanks again for doing another giveaway...YOU ROCK! Nan

nan.newell@gci.net

cindy r said...

I can't believe Sarah Jio has another novel coming out this year .... I'm still waiting to see if Miami is on her THE BUNGALOW tour which should be announced any minute! I can't wait to read this one and winning it would just be too cool! Happy, healthy 2012 everyone! cindy&sassyinmiami
writeoncindy(at)yahoo.com(dot)com

Kristi said...

Happy New Year! My plans are to make sure that I don't take my husband for granted. Sometimes I get lazy and start to.

BRN2SHOP9 said...

I plan to finish grad school and start a real life!

brn2shop9 at gmail dot com

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Woo Hoo, MM!! This one is a winner, for sure! Always in the hunt for a new read (and I was an Art History major!);
hmmm... resolution: spend a little time each week getting ORGANIZED.
Wish me luck. :) Happy New Year!!

Krystal said...

Happy New Year, MaNiC!!! This year I plan to be the best me I can be. Not only for myself but fir the benefit of my husband and two babies!

kndyer

TaraUB said...

Going to work on a healthier lifestyle so I don't regret it later in life.

Dolly said...

After losing my husband at age 38, I've been living my life the last 10 years so as not to have any (more) regrets, so my plans for 2012 are to continue to do so.

Happy New Year to one and all, and thank you MaNiC, for your blog, and giveaways (I like your new plan!), and your funny funny stories!

jcsites2002 at hotmail dot com

Amy R. said...

I'm going to explore my love for photography more! And write more :)

Books & Reviews said...

Happy New Year, Manic. I plan to enjoy life more and let the small things go.

Ready To Be A Momma said...

I plan to keep on the path I'm on and continue my weight loss journey. 50 lbs down, at least another 10-15 to go!
qweska8402

susieqlaw said...

I plan to keep walking daily, keep reading, to follow my heart wherever it leads me, and to finally win a Book Give Away this year!

Susan Breece

Hanna said...

Set an intention this year rather than making a list of resolutions I'll feel bad about not tackling every single one of them.

"To love fully, confidently and without pause"

Happy New Year!

-Hanna S.

Carly said...

I am going to be finishing my Master's in 2012 and, hopefully, I'll be on the path to getting healthier too. So, better mind and body. No regrets in 2012!

Carly Haynes

Kim W. said...

I plan to try & be more patient, which in the long run should have health benefits for both me and my family :D

Happy New Year!

Margie said...

Happy New Year! This sounds like a wonderful book. For this new year, I'll try to get more exercise, eat more healthy foods, and find more "me" time to read and knit. I'd also like to be more creative in the kitchen.
Margie T

Kelleyc said...

This year I want to spend more time with my friends and have some more one-on-one time (date nights) with my hubby!! Love my kids, but we need some "us" time!!!

kconley1215 (at) msn (dot) com

Colleen Turner said...

This year I want to really work on continuing my efforts to get healthy....eat right, exercise everyday, etc. My husband and I are taking a trip together, just the two of us, in April and I would really love to feel comfortable in a bathing suit :). Happy New Year everyone!!!
Colleen Turner

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

My husband just hit a milestone birthday this year and I will follow in a few more. It is really making me stop to think about how precious and possibly short the rest of our lives remain to be lived. I will be doing all that I can to make sure that I enjoy my 'older' age.

I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Violets of March and cannot wait to read The Bungalow.... and everything else Sarah writes!

And you are going to make 2012 an exciting year for a ton of readers! Thanks so much!!

suzebomb(at)gmail.com

Melissa said...

Happy New Year, MM! I plan to relax and have a bit more patience this year!

-tmd636

A.C. Morris said...

This year I am determined to run my first marathon. I've been running for a couple of years now and really feel like I'm ready this year. They're kind of hard to find out here, but I've been looking! Happy New Years!

faithspage said...

Happy New Year. Sounds like a great book.
kyfaithw at aol dot com

Denise said...

I love this new feature! This year, I will graduate from law school, so I'd like to try to freak out less and get a job so that I can start paying those loans!

Bridget said...

Start eating healthy and working out, again.

IamBTinRB

Anonymous said...

Very excited about the new feature, MaNiC. I Have come to count on you to introduce me to new authors I might not otherwise discover. Thank you!

My plans for this year are to lead a healthier lifestyle and to continue to lower our family's expenses.

Colbey J

Terri said...

Happy New Year! This year, I just want to make it happy and work on being the best version of me that is possible.

Terri M.

buttah said...

I'd like to possibly make a career change...do something that I love for a change, and have a passion for. I want to love stronger and deeper, and just live life to the fullest every day!!

karenk said...

Happy New Year....and what a fabulous way to begin 2012...thanks for the chance to read this novel...my goal for this year...to make time to read 'a little' more :)

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Hally said...

Happy New Year Manic & Family! Woot woot for the kids back in school, no?

I'd like to be a more paitient mother. And definately more active with them outside this summer/fall. I am determined to take them camping somewhere other than our backyard. :)

Thanks for the great giveaway.

Jessica said...

I don't really have many plans for the new year. I never make resolutions. I guess I want to spend more time with family.

Thanks!

-Jessica Meddick
walkingcorpse11@hotmail.com

DaphneSFL said...

My plan for the new year is to try everything. New restaurants, new classes, new hair color...everything. All the things I say "I wanna try that/go there/read that/learn how to" I'm DOING!

Leah B said...

My goal for the new year is to get healthy! I am really going to try this year.

Erin G said...

I'm going to try to yell less, and be more empathic with my children :)And manage my money better too!
erinaaron616 at bex dot net

Christina said...

Wow it's January already???!!

This year I really want to try to not get all stressed out about things I can't control. I haven't figured out how to do this yet though!

So excited for all of the books you'll be giving away in 2012!
ChristinaL

Jencey said...

I want to get more accomplished.

Jencey
jenceyg msn com.

Looks like a great book who wouldn't love a story that takes place during World War II? :)

EBrowning said...

My goal this year is to continue on with school so that I can have job security and not have to worry so much about the future!

ludy2288 said...

I want to live simply, remembering ot connect with friends and family and share loves and laughter and not get caught up in the rat race life can be.

Emily said...

I have a couple...one is that I'd like to read at least one book per month. I used to read SO much, and I just don't anymore...and I realized I missed it.

Another is becoming a healthier person. Since March 2011, I've lost 40 pounds, and brought down the "numbers in my blood test" in really great way. I want to continue that in 2012, and really make the healthy choices I've gotten used to into habits.

Emily116

Ronda C. in B'ham said...

This new year I plan on asking for help when I need it. Learning really fast that I can't do it all and it is ok to ask for help.

Dani In Chicago said...

My plan for this year is to release an old love that is not serving me, and to finish writing my novel

danisilvia223 at gmail dot com

Tiffany Drew said...

Happy New Year!

My plan is to lose weight and get healthy!

jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

Becki****CA said...

2012 - want to spend quality time with my parents - my Dad is suffering from dementia and is slowly disappearing . . ..

Carie Casey said...

I want to be a better mom.

carie
carie_linn at yahoo dot com

crystal717 said...

I'm going to get in shape and be healthy. But most importantly, I'm GETTING MARRIED!!! :D

crystal717 <3

Emma S. said...

I signed up to run a half marathon in March, so I plan on getting in shape and being healthier.

Anonymous said...

My plan is to purge unneeded items in our house. Get rid of clutter & simplify!

Happy (streamlined) New Year!

JenFee9476

absolutahnie said...

striving to be more positive. too often i find myself making myself MORE miserable because i focus on all the didn't, couldn't, won't, can't stuff. my life is pretty wonderful and i lose sight of that because of really dumb things...

Katie said...

My plan for the new year is to not worry so much about money and to have some fun with my husband and enjoy ourselves before the children start coming.

Lizett34 said...

Happy New Year! My goal this year is to be more healthy, physically, emotionally and mentally!

Bernadette7 said...

This year I am getting married...twice...once on a beautiful island with our immediate families only and once with everyone we know in NY...my goal is to remember that both of these evnts are just celebrations and love plannign every mionute of both....and not to kill anyone in the process.
-Bernadette7

BrendaL71 said...

Hi Manic, for the new year I just hope that it turns out better and more successful than last year. As long as my family is safe, I guess there isn't much more to ask for.

JordanOnTheRun said...

I've heard nothing but great things about this book - I hope I get a chance to read it!

My plan for the new year is to unplug more, run more, and enjoy life more.

Happy New Year!

jordanweber at live dot com

EKB said...

dying to read this book! loved "violets"!! I plan on appreciate every moment with my 2 little girls - all the good and the crazy- and l follow a dream of mine I have put on hold for a long time because I am afraid to fail. I will never know if I never try...the worst that can happen is...I fail, right? :-} in the end nothing is worse than regret.

Kristi said...

I plan to not be so hard on myself and try to let go of the fear of failing. Too often I find myself expecting perfection and trying to please others (AND those are too very difficult things to do). So this year, I'm going to give myself more credit and enjoy things!

Kristi Hooke

robynn78 said...

Try not to be bothered by the people in life who don't want to be a part of my kids life.. It will be hard I know that, butsometimes you just wish...

Tanya quilts in CO said...

I want to focus more on me this new year...Not work, not family, not friends, but ME!!!!!

kathygold9778 said...

Happy New Year! Excited for your new give-a-ways! Hopefully, this year I can read more and stress less...because when I read I can feel the stress melt away. Thanks for all you do.

kathygold9778

Jenn3128 said...

I'm planning on not worrying so much this year.

Neckmeat said...

Happy New Year Manic! :)

I'm trying to stay more organized & on top of my work so I don't have breakdowns like I did last year. Stupid stressful jobs!

Lauri said...

Happy New Year. My goal is to read more books and to take better care of myself.

jennyjend said...

Happy New Year! My goal this year is to keep track of how many books I read this year. That's the only goal im setting!

Megan said...

I plan to not let myself get so stressed out anymore. Happy New Year!
Eloisepeaches

Lesley Davis, Esq said...

I plan to worry less & eat more real unprocessed food. Hopefully I'll sleep better & weigh less;) Thanks for another giveaway!

your invisible pixie said...

My plan is to read more! That and make some big changes in my life, no matter how scary. :)

CAnative said...

I am going to try to enjoy the little things that we all take for granted. Maybe slow down a bit and just enjoy the moment I'm in without thinking "what's next".

Nicole

Jeffie T said...

I don't like resolutions. But two of my goals for the year are 175 jazzercise classes and to read 50 books.

Leslie said...

For the new year, I plan on becoming better at maintaining a clean house and not having small moments of panic because someone is coming over. I also want to get my body toned again (i.e. exercise more regularly) as I am turning 40 this year! It will be an awesome year :) LeslieGC

Kristen said...

I can't believe I haven't entered this one yet! LOVED Violets and can't wait for this one!!!

My resolution is to de-clutter! I found a blog that gives you one task a day and I'm going to try to keep it up for 3 months! :)

Kristen27

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

ooooo - Kristin - you should share that blog with us - I think most of us could use some guidance in de-cluttering! I know I could!

LynnBelo said...

My new year plan is finally take charge of my body (I've already joined a gym and hired a trainer), to finally stop smoking, to go on more date nights with my boyfriend of nearly 3 years, and to be more present in every moment, good or bad.

Kristin said...

I'm starting the New Year off in a positive mindset. Last year threw me for a loop but I ended the year in a much better place. I'm determined to stay positive and take whatever life throws at me in stride.

Miss you

Kristin in IL

Anonymous said...

I will make sure to try to enjoy what I am doing so there are no regrets. Happy New Year!

-Donna W.

Nancye said...

I plan to spend more quality time with my kids this year. Not just sitting near them, but I want to be actively involved in doing things with them. They enjoy it and so do I!

Nancye in KY
nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Thanks for entering to win THE BUNGALOW! No more entries will be taken to qualify for this book, but please check back for the next book being featured!