Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Mother's Day Garden by Kimberly Cates

# of book read so far this year: 27
Title: The Mother's Day Garden
Author: Kimberly Cates
Date Finished: 4/29/08
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
# of pages: 406
Series: n/a
blurb: Hannah always wanted a houseful of children, but ended up only having 1 daughter named Becca, who recently went off to college. Hannah has also been sick and had a hysterectomy, which means she'll never have anymore children. Since she's been sick, her and her busband, Sam, have slowly started to drift apart. One day, Hannah finds a baby on her back porch. There is a note from the baby's mother saying she wanted Hannah to raise her baby and that she knew Hannah would take good care of her. The baby is also named after Hannah's grandmother, which leads Hannah to believe one of Becca's friends is the mother of this baby. Sam is totally against trying to get custody of the baby, but eventually gives in pretty soon, gets attached to Ellie. Hannah's friend Josie, who's a social worker, tries to help them get custody of Ellie. She unknowingly asks Tony Blake to be Ellie's Guardian Ad Litem. This stirs up all kinds of emotions up for Hannah. Tony Blake was her boyfriend back in highschool, and he got her pregnant. Then he left her. She had a baby girl that she put up for adoption. When she went to check on the baby 3 months after putting it up for adoption, she found out the baby had died of SIDS. Hannah had never told her Sam about Tony, or about how she'd had a baby and gave it up for adoption. The reason WHY she never told him was because she thought he'd hate her, since his own mother abandoned him when he was a child. So, Hannah and Sam keep baby Ellie for about a month. They tell Becca about this baby, and at first Becca is not happy at all, and acts very cold toward Hannah, and toward the baby. Then, she too starts to form a special connection with Ellie. Then, one day Rachel Johnson, one of Becca's friends, steps forward and admits that Ellie is her baby, and that she wants her back. So, they finally agree to give Rachel her baby back. They help her get custody of her baby back. Through all of this, Hannah tells Sam the truth and they try to make a fresh start to their relationship and move on and try to bridge the distance between them.
personal thoughts/opinions: I thought it was a good book. I really thought Becca was the mother at first, then when I started reading about Rachel's mom, Margo, and how perfect and proper she was, I knew it had to be Rachel. I'm glad they agreed to give Rachel the baby back. I could see where it could've turned into to this huge custody battle, which would've made an interesting twist to the story. I didn't like Tony Blake at all, and at times, I thought Becca was a spoiled Brat. I felt sorry for Hannah in the beginning, and could understand why she didn't want to tell Sam the truth, but felt so relieved for her when she finally did tell him the truth. I did think the ending was a little bit unrealistic, but other than that it was a great story.
What did you like best about the book? It definitely kept my attention, didn't seem to drag on at all. There were a few surprises, and when you thought you knew how things would end up, the book would take an unexpected turn.
What didn’t you like about the book? probably the way Becca acted at times, even the way Sam acted toward the baby at first. And I didn't like the ending.
why you read it? One of my goals this year was to try some new authors, and this was a new author for me.
Was this book recommended to you or did you find it on your own? I found it on my own by researching this author
Would you recommend it to others? yeah I think I would
Do you want to read more books by this author? yes I bought a couple of her books that I haven't read yet.
Does it remind you of other books you’ve already read? yeah I've read a couple stories about adoption before, and it reminds me of a Jacquelyn Mitchard book, Theory of Relativity.
Did you find it hard to stay interested in this book? no
Was this book what you expected?What book are you planning to read next? I want to finish up The Trouble With Angels by Debbie Macomber

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky

# of book read so far this year: 27

Title: The Secret Between Us

Author: Barbara Delinsky

Date Finished: 4/23/08

Genre: Contemporary Fiction (Barbara Delinsky is also considered a romance writer)

# of pages: 343

Series: ~~~~~~~~~
blurb: One rainy night, Deborah picks her daughter, Grace, up at a party and lets her drive home. A Man runs out in front of their car, and they hit him. Deborah sends Grace home and says that she was driving. They guy they hit is Cal, and he happens to be Grace's History teacher. He ends up dying because he's taking a certain medication, which was a blood thinner, which no one knew he was taking. The fact that Deborah lied is causing Grace a lot of stress, and ruining the relationship with her friends at school, and with her mom. Finally, Grace is able to come clean to everyone including the District Attorney, and at that same time they find a suicide note from Cal. So, Grace and Deborah are proven innocent and put on probation.
personal thoughts/opinions: I'd probably give this book a 3.5 out of 5 if I rated books. I'm glad I checked this book out from the library as opposed to buying it. I was hoping they'd come clean with the truth, and figured they probably would. Cal and his wife just seemd really wierd.....I also thought it was really odd that Deborah kept in touch with Tom, Cal's brother.
What did you like best about the book? it kept my interest....it was a very interesting storyline, nothing like anything I'd read before.
What didn’t you like about the book? some of the characters.
why you read it? I like Barbara Delinsky, and tend to read her books as they come out.
Was this book recommended to you or did you find it on your own? I keep up with her upcoming releases, so I found it on my own.
Would you recommend it to others? I would recommend they get it from the library, or wait until it comes out in paperback.
Do you want to read more books by this author? yes I have several more of her books in my bookshelves.
Does it remind you of other books you’ve already read? I could see Jodi Picoult writing a storyline like this.
Did you find it hard to stay interested in this book? no
Was this book what you expected? yeah pretty much
What book are you planning to read next? I'm planning to finish The Mother's Day Garden by Kimberly Cates

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

# of book read so far this year: 26
Title: Whispering Rock
Author: Robyn Carr
Date Finished: 4/19/08
Genre: Romance
# of pages: 363
Series: Virgin River Trilogy
blurb: Brie, Jack's sister, was recently raped while she's recovering and trying to get on with her life she spends a lot of time with Mike Valenzuela, much to Brie's Brother, Jack's, dismay. Mike They soon fall in love and he asks her to marry him. Hope McRea also offers Mike a job as the town's cop. Paige and Preacher, who were recently married get pregnant, Jack and Mel get pregnant with their second child. There are some newcomers to Virgin River, including Tom, Walt, and Vanessa, After seeing two girls who appear to have been raped, Mel is very concerned that there seems to be a lot of date rape going on among the Teenagers of Virgin River. With Tom's help, he's able to arrest the two boys who he finds guilty. Vanessa, who's new to Virgin River, is also pregnant, and right before she gives birth, her husband, who's in the Marine Corps, dies. His best friend, Paul, who has always been attracted to Vanessa, helps her through her grief and is her labor coach when she has her son.
personal thoughts/opinions: I didn't really like Brie or Vanessa.....both seemed kind of self-centered, and somewhat Manipulative. Vanessa basically tricked Paul into being her labor coach, something he wasn't comfortable doing.
What did you like best about the book? I enjoyed hearing about Mel and Jack and Preacher and Paige....those are my favorite couples.
What didn’t you like about the book? all the stuff about the rape. I guess it just shows that these things still happen even in a small town.
why you read it? I had read the first two books in this series, and was eager to read this one too!
Was this book recommended to you or did you find it on your own? it was recommended to me by people in one of my book groups.
Would you recommend it to others? Not so much this book, but definitely the series
Do you want to read more books by this author? yes, I'd really like to read Never Too Late and I'm anxious to read the Grace Valley Trilogy
Does it remind you of other books you’ve already read? yeah this series reminds me of a couple other series I've read that are based in small towns.
Did you find it hard to stay interested in this book? Not at all. I finished it in a day and a half. That should tell you something.
Was this book what you expected? I honestly didn't expect the rape issue to happen to the teenagers, and I didn't expect the newcomers. But I figured that Brie and Mike would end up married, and I HOPED that Paige and Preacher would have a baby. I didn't expect that Mel would end up pregnant again.
What book are you planning to read next? The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Making Waves by Cassandra King

# of book read so far this year: 25
Title: Making Waves
Author: Cassandra King
Date Finished: 4/17/08
Genre: Contemporary fiction
# of pages: 276
Series: ~~~~~
blurb: Donette recently inherited her aunt's beauty salon, and her husband, Tim, was involved in a horrible accident two years ago leaving him crippled. The accident was his best friend, Taylor's fault. That accident ended their friendship. Now, Taylor has come back to Zion county to try to rekindle their friendship. Tim also has a lot of artistic talent, and after seeing the sign he made for Donnette's shop, Taylor makes arrangements to give Tim a scholarship to go to school to take drawing classes. This book was written in 6 chapters, written from the viewpoints of Donette, Taylor, Taylor's aunt Della, and Ellis, Taylor's cousin Sonny's girlfriend. It was set in 1985 in a small Alabama town.
personal thoughts/opinions: This book was a bit hard to follow at times. It was hard to keep track of who was who. But other than that it definitely kept my interest. I was very interested in hearing about Tim and Donnete. Tim reminded me of my boyfriend, so I'm sure that had something to do with my interest in the story.
What did you like best about the book? My favorite couple was Tim and Donette. I didn't really care for most of the other people.
What didn’t you like about the book? It was confusing, I would've loved to have read Tim's take on things.
why you read it? I saw it on the shelves at the library, and from reading the back of the book, it looked interesting, so I read it.
Was this book recommended to you or did you find it on your own? I found it on my own
Would you recommend it to others? It's hard to say....probably not....the only reason I liked it was because Tim reminded me of my boyfriend. Other than that it was a confusing storyline.
Do you want to read more books by this author? I'm thinking of reading The Same Sweet Girls, but I'm not rushing out to the library to get it.
Does it remind you of other books you’ve already read? actually no....I've never really read a book thats left me so confused
Did you find it hard to stay interested in this book? No, it kept my interest
Was this book what you expected? No, I expected the whole thing to be centered around Tim and Donette, just from what the back cover said. I didn't expect it to be written from the viewpoints of four different people.
What book are you planning to read next? Whispering Rock by Robyn Carr

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr

# of book read so far this year: 24
Title: Shelter Mountain
Author: Robyn Carr
Date Finished: 4/14/08
Genre: Romance
# of pages: 376
Series: Virgin River Trilogy
blurb: The book begins with Paige and her 3 year old son, Christopher, coming into Jack's Bar. Paige is from Los Angeles and trying to run from her abusive husband. Preacher agrees to let her stay there as long as she needs to. Paige's ex husband manages to find her, then is sent to jail for possesion of drugs. While Paige is staying at the bar, her and Preacher become close friends, which soon leads into a relationship. At first, both are afraid to admit their feelings for each other, afraid that the other doesn't feel the same way. Toward the end of the book, Paige's now EX-husband has gotten out of jail, and comes and kidnaps Paige. She is found, and she's ok, and Wes is sentenced to 25 years of Prison without parole. After that, Paige realizes it's all over and she can finally relax. Her and Preacher get married on the frame of Jack and Mel's new home.
Jack and Mel are getting used to married life and anxiously await the arrival of their little girl Emma----who turns out to be a BOY- who they name David. Jack buys a piece of land with a beautiful view overlooking the valley, and plans to build them a big home.
Ricky and Liz are still together, and Liz is pregnant. Unfortunately, when she goes into labor they discover her baby is no longer alive.
Mike Valenzeula, a good friend of preachers, comes to Virgin River to recover from the shooting. He soon realizes how much he loves Virgin River and decides to live there for good. He buys a huge RV, that is more like an apartment.
personal thoughts/opinions: I loved this book! I think I loved it better than Virgin River. There were tons of surprises.
What did you like best about the book? It definitely kept my interest, there were tons of surprises, you thought you knew what to expect, but then again you really didn't.
What didn’t you like about the book? nothing!
why you read it? This series was recommended to me by one of my book groups. I'm so glad they told me about this series. If it hadn't been for them, I probably would've never found out about it.
Was this book recommended to you or did you find it on your own? It was recommended to me
Would you recommend it to others? Oh definitely
Do you want to read more books by this author?
Does it remind you of other books you’ve already read? I think it sort of reminded me of Enough (this was made into a movie starring Jennifer Lopez). Also The Cedar Cove Series by Debbie Macomber and Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs...
Did you find it hard to stay interested in this book? not at all...It picked up right where Virgin River left off and kept me hooked. I even stayed up until 2:30am one night reading.
Was this book what you expected? yes
What book are you planning to read next? Making Waves by Cassandra King

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Christmas Blessing by Donna VanLiere

# of book read so far this year: 23
Title: The Christmas Blessing
Author: Donna VanLiere
Date Finished: 4/11/08
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
# of pages: 212
Series: Christmas Hope Series #2
blurb: This book is a sequel to The Christmas Shoes. Nathan is now in college, a medical student in his third year. He's questioning whether he is really meant to be a doctor, and what he's really meant to do. He meets several people along the way that help him. Megan is a freshman in college, and also an athlete. She was born with a hole in her heart, but but she still continues to beat her records. She is also organizing a run to raise money for scholarships for cardiology patients. Charlie is a little boy and was born only one working ventricle in his heart. Hope is 5 years old and has an enlarged heart and waited for a heart transplant for 6 months before a heart became available for her. Nathan first met her when he sat in on her transplant surgery.
As Christmas approaches, Meghan is diagnosed with Hepatitis and anxiously awaits a liver transplant, and one to become available. Charlie passed away on Christmas Day, and his liver ended up being the closest match for Meghan. So, it was definitely a miracle for her. They had the Charlie Bennett Scholarship run and raised $100,000. The book ends with Nathan and Meghan getting married.
personal thoughts/opinions: I'm eager to read the next book in the series now so I can hear the rest of the story. I was suprised at how the ending went...I read the last half of the book expecting for something to happen to Megan, especially as it got closer to Christmas.
why you read it? I really enjoyed The Christmas Shoes and definitely wanted to read the rest of the books in the series. They're great little inspirational stories and quick reads.
Was this book recommended to you or did you find it on your own? I think I may have heard others talking about this series, or I found it by looking at different book websites (amazon, etc.)
Would you recommend it to others? Yes I would
Do you want to read more books by this author? Yes, I plan to read the rest of the books in the series, and I would also like to check out some of her other books.
Does it remind you of other books you’ve already read? It does remind me a little of the Christmas Box Series by Richard Paul Evans.
Did you find it hard to stay interested in this book? Not at all, in fact, I think it got even better as the story went on.
Was this book what you expected? Yeah it was pretty much what I expected
What book are you planning to read next? Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr....I might start that book before I finish this one, and read the two at the same time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The residents of Virgin River

Who's who in Virgin River

Melinda Monroe- Goes by "Mel".... Grew up in Seattle, Washington. she is a Nurse Practitioner/Certified Nurse Midwife from Los Angeles. Recently lost her husband Mark, who was shot and Killed in a Robbery. Future Wife of Jack Sheridan and PREGNANT!!!!!

Joey- Mel's sister. Lives in Colorada Spring, Colorado. Married and has 3 children. Really wanted Mel to come there to live near her.

Jack Sheridan- Former Sargeant in the Marines. Currently Own's Jack's Bar. Future husband of Mel. Daddy-to-be. Has 4 sisters and 8 neices. Grew up in Sacramento, CA. Jack's Bar does not have a menu, and they only make 1, sometimes 2 items for each meal. It's a popular place for residents to gather. People seem to show up there at any given time, and you never know who you might find.

Sam Sheridan- Jack's father. Lives in Sacramento, CA.

Hope McCrea- Donated cabin for Mel to live in while she was in Virgin River.

Dr. Mullins- the only doctor in Virgin River. Everyone calls him "Doc". Doc's clinic is right across from Jack's Bar. Mel lived in the upstairs of the clinic for a short time. Never married and has lived in Virgin River all his life.

Ricky- Works at Jack's Bar. Almost like a son to Jack. Sixteen years old.

John Middleton- the Cook at Jack at the bar.....everyone calls him "PREACHER". Lives in the room over Jack's Bar.

Polly Fishburn- married to Darryl .gives birth to their first child, a little baby boy.

Connie- Married to Ron. They own the curner storethe corner store.

Joy- Connie's best friend. Married to BruceOpened up the little library on Tuesdays.

Liz- Connie's nieces. 14 years old. Dates Ricky for awhile.

Lydia Sudder- Ricky's grandmother. Ricky lives with her since his parents died when he was a baby.

Cheryl Creighton

Fish Bristol- fisherman, married to Carrie

Harv- lineman for the telephone company

Buck Anderson- Sheep Rancher, married to Lilly

Lilly Anderson- is the one who gave birth to Chloe, the little baby that Mel and Doc found on the porch the day after Mel arrived in town. Has 7 kids and 7 grandchildren.

Jo Fitch- married to Nick

Clifford Paulis- lives in a small compound of shacks and trailers.

Sondra Patterson- married to has two children, expecting her third baby. gives birth to a baby boy

Anne Givens- in her late twenties. Lives on a big orchard with her husband Jeremy...gives birth to a baby boy

Henry Depardeau- Sheriff's Deputy

Mike Valenzuela- good friend of Jack and Preacher, new resident of Virgin River. Currently recovering from being shot 3 times by gangbanger.

Paige- finds Jack's Bar one night while lost on roads of Virgin River. Originally from Los Angeles. Trying to run from her abusive husband. Has 3 year old son Christopher. Soon becomes Preacher's wife.

Brie- Jack's younger sister, recently divorced her husband after she discovered he was cheating on her with her best friend.

Tom Booth- high school student. goes out with Brenda

Walt Booth- retired three star general from the Army and recently moved to Virgin River with his son and daughter. Lost his wife in a car accident a few years ago.

Vanessa- Tom's sister, Walt's daughter- pregnant, her husband Matt is in the Marine Corps.

Zach Hadley- new teacher at Valley High School


June Hudson- town doctor, married to Jim. has 1 child, a baby boy named Jamie

Doc Hudson- June's father

Dr. John Stone- was town doctor before June. Married to Sue. Sue gives birth to their first child, a baby boy.

Virgin River by Rabyn Carr

Virgin River takes place in Northern California, near Humboldt. Mel decides to move to Virgin River to be their nurse. She wants to get away from Los Angeles, after her husband is shot in a robbery. All the hopes she has of a Serene little town are dashed when she arrives to find the cabin she's supposed to arrive in Filthy dirty and a porch that is collapsing. She is ready to leave town, and actually on her way out of town, when they find a little baby on the Doorstep. She decides to stay in Virgin River to take care of the little baby, but only for a few days. As a midwife, she can't bring her self to turn her back on a baby. A few days turns into a few weeks, as more people start coming to her for help. She meets Jack Sheridan and soon they fall in love. She has a hard time, though, letting go of her past and her husband. So, it takes her a little time to admit her feelings for Jack and realize that it's ok to move on. At the end of the book, she gets pregnant with Jack's child, and they plan to marry.

My Thoughts.....

Wow, I can honestly say that when I first started reading this book, I wasn't so sure I'd like it. I was losing interest, but after putting it down and picking it back up a little while later, I COULD NOT put this book down. This kept my attention up until the very end. This book was recommended to me by one of my online book groups, and I'm so glad I took their advice. I think the thing that caught my attention originally, was that someone said this series reminded them of Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Series, which I absolutely love. I can't wait to read the next two books in this series, Shelter Mountain and Whispering Rock. I plan to start Shelter Mountain tomorrow! And I'm very excited for the Christmas book to come out later this year.

I think it was pretty obvious from the start that IF Mel decided to stay, she'd end up with Jack. I wasn't expecting her to get pregnant so soon, though. However, it was a nice change from the usual storyline where the guy proposes and then they get married, and THEN they have a baby soon after. I was also suprised to find out who Chloe's real mother was. I thought it might be Cheryl, but then again I wasn't so sure. I loved the small town feel of the community. Where everyone knows everyone and they all care about each other. I don't think there are enough communities like that anymore.

I know there are other thoughts I had about this story, but I can't think of them right now. All I can say is that there wasn't a single person aside from Calvin, and the dude in the black range rover" that I didn't like. I can't wait to see them again in the next book. And most of all, I can't wait to hear about Mel and Jack's wedding and their new baby. I also found mention of John and Susan and June and Jim....I loved them and definitely hope to hear more about them in the Grace Valley Series.

I finished Virgin River on 4/9/08

Monday, April 7, 2008

Oceans Apart by Karen Kingsbury

# of book read so far this year: 21
Title: Oceans Apart
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Year Published: 2004
Rating (1-5): 5
Date Finished: 4/7/08
Genre: Christian Fiction
# of pages: 350
Number in Series: ~~~~
Where did the book come from: library
Why I read it: I read an excerpt of this book in Beyond Tuesday Morning recently, and it made me want to read the story.
Blurb (story line): 7 years earlier, Kiahna and Conner had an affair, which resulted in her getting pregnant with Max. Now Kiahna, a flight attendant, is killed when the plane crashes. She has left instructions for the attorney to contact Max'sd father, Conner. Conner doesn't even know she got pregnant, and has never told his wife. He also has two daughters. Another one of Kiahna's wishes was that Max go visit his father for two weeks, and if everything went well during that visit, Max could live with him from then on. Conner's wife, Michele has a really hard time finding it in her heart to forgive Conner, and at first, she doesn't think their marriage will survive if Max is around. She relies on her relationship with God to help her figure out what to do. In the end, she realizes what the right thing to do really is, and Max (and his beloved labrador retriever, Buddy) comes to live with his dad.

Also, Conner has refused to speak to his dad for the last years, after he refused to help him purchase the small airport. During the time everything was going on, Conner realized that he was to blame for a lot of things, including the falling out with his father. Luckily, with the help of Michele, he is able to reach out and bridge the distance between them.
My personal thoughts and comments: I LOVED this book.....I knew just by reading the excerpt that I would love it, and once I started, I couldn't put this book down. Especially in the end. I didn't really like the way Ramey broke the news of Max's mom's death to him. And I couldn't believe that Michele and Conner were willing to send Max home. Especially since Max was Conner's son! And Michele would've been totally selfish to do so and go through with it. Max had nothing to do with the affair, and it really wouldn't be fair to deny him the chance to have his father in his life, something he's ALWAYS wanted, just because he was a reminder of the affair. I was so happy when they changed their minds. I found myself wanting to keep reading just to find out what happened. I didn't like the other couple who wanted to adopt Max at all. It seemed like all they wanted him for was so he could do all the work for them. And they wouldn't allow him to keep buddy.

The next Karen Kingsbury book I plan to read is Like Dandelion Dust and I know it will be just as good as the three of her books I've already read have been.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

First Mates by Cecilia Dowdy

# of book read so far this year: 20
Title: First Mates
Author: Cecilia Dowdy
Year Published: 2005
Rating (1-5): 5
Date Finished: 4/6/08
Genre: Inspirational Romance
# of pages: 251
Number in Series: ~~~
Where did the book come from: library
Why I read it: I read the back cover, and it looked good!
Blurb (story line): Rainy, a girl who's trying to get over her recent breakup with her unfaithful boyfriend, and Winston, a guy who's trying to grieve the death of his twin sister, meet on a cruise ship. They have such a good time on the cruise ship that they continue to see each other after the cruise is over since they live in the same area. Eventually, Rainy begins to question Winston's past and his Christian faith. She wants to be sure that he's not just saying he's Christian just to please her. Eventually, he is able to assure her that his faith is very important to him. And Rainy realizes that it doesn't matter WHEN you start understanding the meaning of faith, it just matters that you do.
My personal thoughts and comments: This was a cute, but corny story. I did think Rainy was a bit insecure at times, and way too caught up on her ex-boyfriend Jordan, who didn't even deserve her anyway. I knew right away that Rainy and Winston would end up married. I thought they were perfect for each other. This was the first Steeple Hill Romance book I've read, and I will definitely read more.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope

This was a true story about the case from 2006 in Indiana, with the group of college kids, including Laura Van Ryn and Whitney Cerak, who were involved in the accident. Everyone thought that Laura survived and Whitney died on the scene. But 5 weeks later, after Laura(Whitney) woke from her coma, they learned that she was really Whitney.

I'm going to write this entry a little differently than I usually do. I just finished "Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope" written by Don and Susie Van Ryn, Newell, Colleen, and Whitney Cerak, and Mark Tabb.

This was one of those books that once I picked up, it was impossible to put down. I had actually started other books, but put them down in order to read this book. I do find it hard to believe that Laura's family didn't realize the girl in the bed wasn't Laura considering they had spent 5 weeks at her bedside. Especially, after noticing certain things, like the clothes that the authorities gave them after the accident, the belly button ring, the teeth, and comments from others. This case was actually featured on Dateline NBC recently, and I went back and watched all the video clips. The book said everything that was said in the video clips, maybe even more. One thing that the book pointed out that the videos different was Ruthanne, Don's sister in law making a comment "I don't care what anyone says. That doesn't look like Laura to me." It kinda seemed like her comment was dismissed. This happened one other time, and actually that's what led them to finding out who Laura really was. I also found it odd that Neither set of parents identified their daughter. The Ceraks didn't want to because they wanted to remember their daughter the way she was before the accident, which was understandable.

However, I definitely admire both families. I could not imagine being in either of their shoes and could not imagine what they must've been feeling. And I especially admired the Van Ryn family for the way they dealt with finding out that the girl they though was their daughter was really not.

I definitely give this book 5 stars and would recommend it to anyone. I finished this book on 4/5/2008.