Monday, March 5, 2018

"The Story People" by Heather Kaufman

About this book:

When Ben Palermo inherited his uncle's bookstore in small-town New Holden, Indiana, it was like stepping back in time. The nostalgia, however, is tainted by a painful past, one that Ben would rather leave behind. Can he stay in this town and run the business that holds so many conflicting memories for him? Or will he finally sell?
  When a group of well-meaning women make it their mission to keep him in town by finding him a wife, his life is about to get more interesting ... and complicated.
  Rosemary is a children's author and illustrator with a painful history of her own. When she meets Ben, she is overwhelmed by his disarming charm . . . and familiarity. But when a series of events casts Ben in a suspicious light and a persistent friend makes claims on her heart, Rosemary must discover the truth in order to finally reconnect with her past.
  The Story People is a celebration of the connection forged when a book is opened, loved, and shared and the vision and purpose found when letting God use you wherever you are.”

Series: As of now, no.

Spiritual Content- Scriptures are mentioned, quoted, remembered, & talked about; Many Prayers & Blessings over food; Praising & Thanking God; Church going & a sermon; Quite a few Talks about God, trusting Him, & gifts; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers, praying, & blessings over food; Mentions of Thanking God; Mentions of Bibles; Mentions of those & events in the Bible; Mentions of churches, church going, hymns, services, sermons, studies, & pastors; Mentions of ministries; Mentions of youth group mission trips; Mentions of Heaven; Mentions of blessings & being blessed; A few mentions of Christians & faiths; A few mentions of religious books; A couple mentions of Vacation Bible Schools; A mention of praising God; A mention of a Christian singer;
             *Note: Impersonating a ghost to make people think a place is haunted; Mentions of making a place haunted & impersonating a ghost; A few mentions of people thinking a dog’s name is Jesus Christ & therefore blasphemy (it’s actually named after Julius Caesar); A couple mentions of superstitions; A mention of supernatural beings; A mention of hot beverages being religiously consumed; A mention of religiously avoiding something.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘confounded’, a form of ‘drat’, a ‘dumb’, a ‘sucker’, two forms of ‘idiot’, and two forms of ‘stupid’; Some eye rolling; A bit of pain & falling (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a car accident & deaths; Mentions of Rosemary’s parents (verbal) fighting and divorce & her father leaving; Mentions of breaking and entering; Mentions of pain & injuries; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of someone hitting a deer & injuries; A few mentions of a drunk’s addictions; A few mentions of (alcoholic) drinks; A couple mentions of drinking wine; A couple mentions of animal waste; A mention of bombs; A mention of a nightclub; A mention of cigarettes; A mention of vomit; A mention of jealousy;
             *Note: A couple mentions of car brands; A couple mentions of Starbucks; A mention of (the dislike of) vampires; A mention of a TV show (Gilmore Girls).

Sexual Content- an almost (semi-detailed) kiss, a jaw kiss, a cheek kiss, two not-detailed kisses, and two boarder-line barely-above-not-detailed // semi-detailed kisses; Remembering an almost kiss (up to semi-detailed); Wanting to kiss someone (up to semi-detailed); Flirting; Touches, Hand Holding, Embraces, Warmth, & Nearness (up to semi-detailed); Blushes & Butterflies; Noticing & Smelling (barely-above-not-detailed); Ben is clung to by a touchy girl; Mentions of an almost kiss, kisses, & kissing; Mentions of flirting & flirts; Mentions of a clingy, touchy girl towards Ben; Mentions of someone throwing themselves at others & thinking he’s a ladies’ man/player; Mentions of relationships, dating, asking someone out, dates, & boyfriends; Mentions of crushes & like liking someone; Mentions of blushes; A few mentions of Rosemary’s mom being seventeen when she delivered her; A few mentions of a hand kiss; A few mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of Rosemary’s dad who left their family & moved in with a woman he was seeing; A mention of friends who are boy-crazy; Love, falling in love, & the emotions (2x);
             *Note: A few mentions of inappropriately low-cut tops & dips; A few mentions of butting into someone’s business; A mention of thinking someone was acting like a pedophile (he actually wasn’t); A mention of an effeminate looking man; A mention of a woman’s curvy figure; A mention of being braless; A mention of someone butting into a conversation; A mention of wanting to tell someone to butt out.

-Benjamin “Ben” Palermo, age 29
-Rosemary Berg, age 25
                                P.O.V. switches between them & a handful of others
                                                        364 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
{Add ½ star for those who love bookstores and make-believe.}
What a gem I’ve found on my TBR shelf.
I found out about this book back in 2016 and it sat on my To-Be-Read shelf for over fourteen months before I would finally read it.
(I feel like I should mention that while the cover drew me in to wanting to know more about the plot, it was the actual back-cover that had be searching for this book. Hello, it’s set at a bookstore. Books set in bookstores with bookstore owners as our main characters is a plot avid readers will never tire of.)
The opening chapter completely pulled me into this small town in Indiana, but it was the writing that really hooked me. I am not able to tell y’all how much I was fawning over the writing style of this novel. I honestly adore it so very much. The writing style is almost poetic, but also so sweet and crisp.
I have no idea if that made sense or if it sounds like I just described a York peppermint patty, but let it be known just how much I admire the winsome writing. 
For the cast of characters, I truly respected Rosemary and found Ben to be quite funny. Not so much in a ha-ha-ha funny kind of way, but that he reminded me of a baby giraffe. He’s so awkward. Our three grandmother-type trio [Mrs. Gardner, Mrs. Baumgartner, & Mrs. Frank] were absolutely great as well with their shenanigans. Oh, the misunderstandings are hilarious.
(You know those split POV books where you like everyone, so even while you don’t want to leave this one character, the next one is just as special, and you can’t pick who you like better? That was me with all the characters in this novel.)
Content wise opinion: There was lighter spiritual content until the middle where there’s a good discussion that lasts a few pages and then carries through the rest of the book. It really was refreshing to see both main characters having a faith and go to church often on the pages. The romance was also very light (our grandmother-like trio also does some matchmaking and one of them also falls in love). The last couple of pages did have a few kisses back-to-back and a few touches, but nothing over the top and I think it was still much cleaner than a typical romance book I have reviewed in the past.
My final opinion? This novel was filled with childhood wonders of The Story People, it had that childhood fantasy of make-believing feel to it. I would definitely recommend this one to those who may have grown-up, but still have that longing of past childlike wonders. I’m sure I’ll be re-reading this one day and meanwhile, will be watching the author for what else she’ll write.

See y’all on Wednesday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.

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