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beautyandthebook

Beauty and the Book

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Four Past Midnight
Stephen King
A Million Little Pieces
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Anybody But Him - Claire Baxter In this sweet novella, we are introduced to Nicola, a successful business woman who has recently returned home for a few months. Little does she know that those three months will re-introduce her to the man who shattered her heart in high school and lead to a different perspective on events that have happened in the past. Blair is the handsome, charming, artistic high-school-heart-breaker, but he very quickly makes it clear that things are different now from what they used to be. Blair is easy to like and makes an effort to welcome Nicola back home. Meanwhile, Nicola despises Blair and has a very tight grip on the past and everything negative thing that has ever happened to her. Eventually, Blair is able to break through Nicola’s walls that she has put up and teach her that sometimes, we have to let go of the past in order to have a future.

I really enjoyed the majority of the characters in this book. Blair seemed sincere and his excuses for what happened in high were legitimate (even though they were excuses for bad behavior.) I loved Nicola’s parents and their quirkiness (definitely some dementia going on that was never fully addressed.) I was happy to see that Nicola’s best friend was able to move on and find happiness for herself. But despite all of that, I never warmed up to Nicola. She seems to base her whole life around judgment. She holds onto the quick judgments she made as a child (which were distorted) and uses them to color her world. She is also very concerned with everyone else’s judgment of her and allows that to impact her confidence and ability to be herself. I like to think that Blair eventually helped Nicola to overcome her strong hold on the past but it would have been nice to see some of that happen in the book.
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