25 January 2010

The Secret of Joy | Book Review and Contest

Authoress: Melissa Senate
Pages: 330
Genre: Adult Fiction

My summary: Rebecca learns (on her father's death bed) that when she was two years old her kind doting dad once cheated on her mother and fathered another girl. A little girl he never saw, visited, helped support, or even acknowledged. Now, at almost thirty years of age, with nothing to lose and everything to gain Rebecca sets out to find her half sister.

My say: Some stories just resonate within you. They crawl up in side your chest and take residence. Some writers know just how to describe a feeling, thought, or emotion. They leave you thinking, "Wow. She felt and wondered the very same things I would have in her situation." That is how The Secret of Joy left me.

Main character: Beautifully resilient
Plot: Heartbreaking yet hopeful
Writing: Thoughtful and thought provoking
Setting: Alluring and welcoming
Story and theme: Believable

My verdict: Rebecca's journey through understanding why people cheat and what makes family family is an honest endearing venture through love's ugly (sometimes insecure and other times glorious) underbelly.

My recommendation: Read this when you are feeling reflective. No worries it is heavy but it is served light.

My cover thoughts: This fun lively cover is perfect for the story. If I knew how to do cartwheels I would be doing some right now.

My star rating: 5 out of 5 stars; I loved it so much I want to read it again.

My kiddie-o-meter: Sex, some foul language, and a strong base of infidelity and marital woes make this tale best suited for older teens and adults.

My adult-o-meter: Adults will love this story and the wide array of interesting female characters.

My shout-outs: I am so glad I won this book over at Reading with Tequila. I may never have read it otherwise and I am so grateful I did. Thank you Jennifer!

More reviews of The Secret of Joy can be found at:

My interest in the author: I am off to learn more about Melissa Senate.

My contest:
Because I love spreading the love please enter to win my gently used copy of The Secret of Joy. Comment with your email address below. Contest ends March 7th. You must be a follower and resident of the US or Canada to enter.

My final thoughts: This book got me thinking what would you do if you suddenly learned you had a half sister?


  1. Great review!! Sounds like a really deep story! I'd love to enter the contest! Thanks for hosting!

    inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Juju, you are beyond adorable. :)

    This book sounds great. I've seen it in a lot of stores... but I've never read any of Melissa Senate's works. I'll have to now. As for the question of finding out if I had a half-sibling? I think I'd freak out big-time! I'm an only child so if I found out I had another sister (or brother) I'd feel very strange!

  3. Oh and yes, I wantz to enter your contest.

    email is: piratepenguinreads(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. I would be so mad at my dad! Though it might be nice to have a sister close to my own age...


  5. arghhh!!! again...
    i can't participate in ur contest!!!
    haha!!! this is a really good book..
    thanks for a cute review!! =)

  6. Very good review. Like the book already!

  7. Don't enter me as I've already got a copy. Great review! I also felt the very same way about this book! :-)

  8. Thanks JuJu for the mention of my review too. I'm glad you liked it. It was my first Melissa Senate and I really enjoyed it as well!

  9. This sounds like an interesting read. I'm not familiar with this author. Thanks for the review Juju!

    mrso_d at yahoo dot com

  10. This has been on my wish list for quite a while. Great review. I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks.

    meah56 AT gmail DOT com

    What would I do? First I'd be astounded, lol. Then, I guess I'd want to meet her. Maybe I'd feel differently after reading this book. Maybe.

  11. I just became a follower and would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

  12. HUH, I actually learned last year that I had a half brother. He is about 5 years older than me, it was wierd, especially when I met him. I am curious to read this, I could identify.


  13. Not entering...just commenting! =0)
    Nice review! What would I do if I found out I had a half-sister? Wow...well, let's see...question my mother or father as to why I am finding out about this now (hey..all those times I was in trouble and an only child...I could have had someone to blame!)...I'd definitely want to get to know more about them. See if we shared any common interests and such. They are family after all. Thanks for sharing....and happy reading!

  14. Elie: Oh wow! Thank you for sharing.

    Wanda: Welcome :)

    Michelle (Red Headed Book Child): This was my first Melissa Senate too. I did see the tv movie See Jane Date but this was my first time reading one of her books.

    cj'alhafiz: I'm so sorry! I pay for shipping my self :( One of these days I'll figure out a way an affordable way to ship internationally.

    GMR: I'm with you. I think I would search for common ground. My siblings are one of the joys of my life so I would be happy to welcome more.

  15. Wow, this sounds like a powerful book! One that is sure to stay with you long after the last page. I'll definitely be looking for this one in the store.


  16. Great review! I've never heard of this before, but it sounds good. I read another book, Secrets of Truth and Beauty, in which the MC finds out about a sister she never knew she had. Very good book.


  17. Great review, Juju!

    I LOVED this book too. I felt exactly as you did - - I wanted to read it again. Maybe because this actually did happen to me - - finding out I had a sister when I was an adult. So the story definitely resonated to me.

    Thanks for the shout out on my review and blog as well!

    Happy Monday!

  18. Ooh, I can see your header now! IT LOOKS SO LOVELY! And so awesome!!!


    Anyway, oh my gosh! A contest for this book! I've been dying to read it! I think it was one of my WoWs before...I'd love to enter, anyhow!
    > justeena_25(at)yahoo(dot)ca

    Amazing review, by the way. I love the feeling when feeling reflective. Lol :)

  19. Lori: Whoa! Thank you for sharing :)

    Justine: Thank you sweet pea :)

    The Book Owl: I'm off to check out that title :) Thank you!

    Emidy: Thanks for coming by :)

  20. Glad to see a review of this one - I saw it for the first time of Free Book Friday recently. I will add it to the TBR.

    thanks for the contest - my email is leenbeen2001 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  21. Nice review! Sounds like a good book. If I found out I had a half-sister I'd bum some $ off her. But then again she may have gotten the lazy gene too and would bum some from me.

  22. Brilliant review! I'd love a chance to win! mel dot helmers at gmail dot com :)

  23. Very Interesting...Mellisa Senate new Author for me. I might need to sneak around and check her out. Awesome review JuJu

  24. Great review! I really like your presentation. Straight forward and to the point. I don't need to search through paragraphs looks for what I really want to know. Awesome!

  25. Sounds really good (and I love the way you do reviews!).


  26. This is not something I'd normally pick (chick list/romance) but you made it sounds so interesting :)

    I'm a follower already :)

    cytljjb @ gmail . com

  27. BTW, forgot to say, I love your review format :)

  28. justpeachy36@yahoo.com

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

  29. Great review! I haven't heard anything but good things about this book. Your review makes me even more eager to read it!


  30. I am a huge fan of Mellisa Senate. I haven't read this book though. Thanks for the review.


    ~Erin D.

  31. Super-cute cover, I might just have to check it out! Great review! (:

  32. this book sounds really good and id love a chance at winning a copy. i need some well written chick lit right now.

  33. Great review! This one sounds really interesting, I'll definitely have to add it to my list. The only problem I have is with the cover (superficial, I know). It just falls into the headless woman category...which tends to bother me haha.

  34. Great contest! I've been wanting to read this one!


  35. This type of book isn't really my cup of tea, but since you liked it so much, maybe I'd get a copy if I ever see one at the store. :)

  36. Lisa: Toooo funny!

    Booksnob & Lea & Christa: Thank you so much :)

    Erin * Tammie: Welcome! This was my first Melissa Senate and now I know I need to read more :)

    Lizzy: LOL noted!

  37. When I was at school, my friend received a letter from her father who she hadn't seen since she was baby. He wanted to get to know her and introduce her to his family. She was such a lovely person. I'm wondering how she must have really felt deep inside after reading about this book.

  38. Becky: Wow. Excellent thought. Thank you for sharing. You have me wondering what it would feel like to be the other sister.

  39. This sounds like a good one. Thanks for the chance. bekki1820cb at gmail

  40. Oh great review, it looks really good!
    Personally, I wouldn't be surprised at all if I learned I had one or more siblings running around in the wild! My dad has had so many women in his life that I lost count along the way!

    Thank you for the contest, here is my email :)

    infiniteshelf at gmail dot com

  41. Kay: Sounds like your dad and my dad are cut from the same clothe ;) When I was reading this I was thinking the very same thing. Thanks for stopping by :)

  42. Great review

    Enter me -katybug2373@gmail.com
    I'm a follower

  43. Please enter me in the contest. I'm a follower.


  44. This looks like a great book! Thanks for the chance! I am a follower.

    If I suddenly had a 1/2 sister (close to my age) we would be close like sisters should be. We would be supportive, loving, and raising our families side by side. This relationship would be everything that I don't have with my sister.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  45. This looks like a good one! Please include me in your giveaway. Thanks. (I'm a follower)
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  46. Sounds great! It would be rather strange if I suddenly found out about a half-sister. I am the only girl in my family and am used to being the "princess", LOL!


  47. This sounds like a really awesome book! I don't know what I'd do if I woke up to find a new half sister tomorow. I'd want to get to know her and love her though.


  48. If I found out I had a half sister I would be excited. I have an older sister but another would be nice also.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    I am follower

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  49. Count me in. (follower)
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  50. This sounds like a very interesting book. I would like to think that I would go looking for a sibling that I did not know I had.

    I am a follower.

    seriousreader at live dot com

  51. You write such lovely reviews! You just choose the perfect words. "heavy but served light" - love it!

    Please include me in the giveaway. I really can't wait to read this one!


  52. Please enter me in this giveaway!

    I'm a follower.

    familyhistree at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

  53. ****Please note:***
    This contest is closed.
    The winner was announced 3/9/2010.


    Please continue to check my right hand sidebar for upcoming contests.

  54. This book looks great, I'll have to check it out!

  55. 1 Funky Woman: I loved it. Hope you do too :)