Book Club Friday | Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet & Sharp Objects

This week I read:
Description from Goodreads:
In the opening pages of Jamie Ford's stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.
This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry's world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While "scholarshipping" at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship - and innocent love - that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.
Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel's dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice - words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.
Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

My Thoughts:
It is about lasting friendship, romance, hope, and the relationship between a father and a son, and forgiveness. 
The relationship between Henry and his own father played a huge roll in where Henry's life ended up.  He made decisions for his son that not only impacted him, but those of others. 
I must say that I really liked this book.  I didn't love it, but I liked it.  I could find a few things that weren't completely cleared up for me in the end.  

 The story is mostly told by Henry.  It is told in the present day, which in this case is 1986, and in the 1940's during WW2.  WW2 is one of my favorite time periods to read about and since it also had a bit of mystery, it made it worth my time.
I also read:
Description on Goodreads:
WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
With its taut, crafted writing, Sharp Objects is addictive, haunting, and unforgettable.

My Thoughts:
This is not the type book I usually read.  I would pass it over a hundred times at the bookstore.  But after reading reviews of it last week, I picked it up Friday night.
Once I started reading, I loved it!  I mean and I really loved it.  Parts of the story were pretty easy to figure out.  One to many psych classes for me.  But the ending was a little tricky.  I loved that what you thought was the truth, just might not be.  I would totally recommend it and I can't read to others by Gillian Flynn.

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  1. Oh! I really liked Hotel on the Corner too. I haven't read Sharp Objects tho. Thanks for the reviews.

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I read Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet a few years ago. I really enjoyed it!! I'll have to talk to my book club about Sharp Objects. It sounds different.

    1. Sharp Objects was really different. At least from what I usually buy. I really liked it though.
      Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was just right up my alley. I love Historical Fiction.

  3. Sharp Objects was so freaking creepy. That ending was like: ICK. Haha!

  4. Gotta get my hands on some of Gillian Flynn's books!

  5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn blew my mind and I'm trying to gear myself up to read Sharp Objects. I bet it's just as intense and crazy!

    1. Sharp Objects was a little strange. But in a totally wonderful way.


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