Customer Reviews for

Here, Home, Hope

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Wonderful book

Being 39 myself, I can definitely find a friend in Kelly Mills Johnson. I too have started to wonder whether or not I am really doing the right thing with my life. I guess women do go through midlife crisis as well as men do. We just hide it a little better. We tend to ...
Being 39 myself, I can definitely find a friend in Kelly Mills Johnson. I too have started to wonder whether or not I am really doing the right thing with my life. I guess women do go through midlife crisis as well as men do. We just hide it a little better. We tend to push down our feelings and pour ourselves into our families.

This book takes us on the journey of Kelly who has decided that she can no longer push back those feelings. She is ready to try to find out what she wants with her life.

This was truly a wonderfully written book. It definitely encourages readers to open up their lives to more then what is currently in them. I know that I will be reexamining what I find important and what I plan to do with the next 10, 20, or even 30 years of my life.

In fact, Kelly has inspired me to start making a Things to Change list. I know how Bucket lists were all the rage a few years back. Well, this book will have everyone wanting to make Things to Change lists. This is a list of things in your life that you are wanting to change. It could be in regards to your job, your house, your family, your friends, your clothes, your weight, anything that you don't feel satisfied with. Then slowly work your way through your list to make a more positive change in your life.

In conjunction with the Wakela's World Disclosure Statement, I received a product in order to enable my review. No other compensation has been received. My statements are an honest account of my experience with the brand. The opinions stated here are mine alone.

posted by Wakela_Runen on June 8, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A Disappointment

After reading the previous reviews (interestingly, all written within a one week period of one another,) I expected Here, Home, Hope to be far more engaging and enjoyable than it was. Instead, I felt completely disconnected from the characters - I couldn't identify wit...
After reading the previous reviews (interestingly, all written within a one week period of one another,) I expected Here, Home, Hope to be far more engaging and enjoyable than it was. Instead, I felt completely disconnected from the characters - I couldn't identify with Kelly (despite being a 30-something myself who should have plenty in common with her), and it was honestly a struggle to get through the book. The storylines were nothing new. In fact, they rang eerily similar to those of other books in the same genre, just less enticing - a woman keeping a list of things to change about herself, a friendship which is tested because of differences in morality, a young woman struggling with body-image and and eating disorder. On the surface, these seem like compelling storylines, but they simply don't pull the reader in. There was ample opportunity for Here, Home, Hope to be more interesting, but instead it felt very much like being on the outside of a series of "you had to be there" moments - you can appreciate what's being said, but you never truly feel that you're getting a full picture of the lives of these characters. I'm glad I didn't spend a great deal on this book.

posted by Steph_In_Denver on December 29, 2011

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Heartfelt

    Here, Hope, Hope by Kaira Rouda is about a mom who is having a midlife crisis. She chose to be a stay at home mom, but now that her kids are growing up, she's questioning that decision. This book takes you trough that journey of her finding herself, and the changes she wants to make in her life.
    This was a really heartfelt book. You feel like you are going on her journey with her, and it also gives you cause to question some things about your own life, and what you need to change. I especially like the fact that even though its about serious issues, you see the humor in it as well. This is definitely not a boring book!
    I would recommend it to any woman who wants to read a heartfelt and funny story. I also think that this would be a good book for a book club. It would be interesting to talk about some of the issues this book addresses in a group.
    I definitely felt inspired after reading this, and I hope you are as well!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    Total Chick Lit

    Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda Kaira Rouda is the founder of the Real Living Real Estate brand and the Real You. She is very accomplished, and decided to write a book to fulfill her dream of being an author. This book came from that dream. It is about a woman, Kelly, who is going through a mid life crisis. She re-evaluates her life, and makes some changes. It is a great book to take to the beach! Total chick lit! Fun, and reads pretty quick. Yes, I did receive a download of this book. But my review is my opinion.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Beach Read on Life.

    Life as a successful lawyer's wife and mother to two adorable sons, Kelly really should feel like she has it all. At this stage in life, these things should be comforting and being a stay-at-home mother should be all she needs. Right?

    Unfortunately, Kelly's just starting the initial stages of a mid-life crisis. A recent scare with her first mammogram test, and a general feeling of being unsettled leaves her feeling as though she's within her life, but feeling as though she is missing...something.

    And here I was, worried I wasn't ready for a thoughtful summer read! Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda, to be released May 1st by Greenleaf Book Group, is like being with friends, commiserating over marriages, children, and life in general. I adored this book - it fit perfectly in my own life right now. Haven't we all questioned whether or not we're at where we want to be, where we thought we should be, at this stage? It's not as though you don't love what you have, it's whether or not you feel grounded, as if you're really living your life.

    Let's be honest - problems are all relative. While one person appears to have the perfect life, it's not fair to say that they should just be appreciative of what they have and get over it. More often than not, they do realize that they should be grateful for what they have, and this is what compounds their guilt even more.

    And this is exactly why I loved all of the characters - they are all real. They are flawed, insecure, confused, and going through one hell of a time right now. Kelly, at the middle of it all, feels that lack of confidence weigh her down even more. Should she start her own business? What could she do after being out of the job market for fifteen years? While she commits to making changes both in her professional and personal life, she begins to put little notes throughout her home as reminders, which are oftentimes both humorous and sad. And although she has friends, they're going through their own issues, too. Along for this personal ride is "borrowed" daughter, Melanie, struggling with tough emotional issues and anorexia, which makes the summer dramatically different than Kelly anticipated.

    Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda makes me want to sit at the beach on a summer afternoon and look back at my own choices, make changes when necessary, and appreciating what I have as I ultimately become who I want to be. Kaira Rouda has made her jump into contemporary fiction with a story that is inspirational and heartwarming, one that is going to be loved by many. It is a refreshing reflection on finding beauty in everything that makes you exactly who you are.

    If you like Kristina Riggles' The Life You've Imagined or Sarah Pekkanen's Skipping a Beat, then you'll find a reassuring hug from Kaira Rouda's Here, Home, Hope.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Fun, inspiring read

    This book was a great vacation read - it moved quickly and was full of characters that most of us can find in our own lives. It reads like a memoir although it is completely fiction, save the "product placement" - Rouda has woven her own books and business brands into the story. According to the book notes, the author's main goal with the book is to encourage women in business. Certainly this book gave me inspiration to follow my entrepreneurial goals, as Kelly, the main character, quickly sets her sights on her passion and is running a booming business before the book ends.

    I liked the themes of women in business and drawing strength/resources from our friends, but again, everything seemed a little too easy. Many of the barriers that women face in following their dreams/goals for starting a business were not there for Kelly. She had unlimited financial resources due to her husband's job, her husband was very supportive of her, and her two school-aged kids were off at camp for the summer, giving her pretty much an open scheduled to take care of business. Most women in the real world don't have that.

    Many of the secondary characters are very relate-able, even if few of us can identify with Kelly, and it's really those other characters that kept me reading along, anxious to see what would happen next. Of course there's a happy ending for all, and a closing mantra of 20 focus points for women to follow (Put passions into actions, love who you are, stay connected, be grateful, etc...). So, overall, I thought that Here, Home, Hope was a lightweight, but quick moving book that would be a good "starting place" for women who dream about pursuing specific life goals, or an enjoyable "easy" read for vacation or a book club.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Great summer book. A quick read

    I loved reading this book. It was quick and the characters were very interesting. I love books with more drama than my own life. The plot was interesting with enough twists to keep me guessing about what was next. I did not want to put this down. I received a digital copy of this book for the purposes of this review from One2One network.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2011

    good summer read

    I have read Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda. I am an at home mom of 2 school aged childred so this was a fun and inspiring book for me to read. I can relate to the main character on many levels. I am inspired to start my own T2C (things to change) list and to see what comes next in my life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    Great book on how to change your life

    Here, Home, Hope is set in a fictional place named Grandville, where everyone knows your name and the grass is always greener in your own yard. Looks aren't always as they seem, as Kaira brings her readers to this beautiful town and shows that despite success, beauty, and family, appearances are never as they seem. After receiving news from her mammogram, Kelly evaluates her life and what she wants to change. Armed with post-its and a pen, she begins placing notes to herself as reminders of T2C (things to change). While her children are away at summer camp and her husband is working as a successful attorney, Kelly decides she is ready to embark on a new career. Charlotte and Kathryn, with "perfect lives, perfect marriages, perfect careers", soon let Kelly know what really happens behind the doors of beautiful homes. Kelly is thrown in the mix of helping her friend's anorexic daughter, dealing with her own mid-life crisis, being referee to her best friends as they deal with the fall-outs of their marriages, and balancing a new business that has quickly erupted into a mega success. The characters are believable making it easier to relate to your own life. This is a very fun and light read. This book is a great light summer read. The Things to Change List at the end of the book can help readers plan their own life change.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    Things to Change: Read Kaira Rouda's book!

    Here, Home, Hope is set in a fictional place named Grandville, where everyone knows your name and the grass is always greener in your own yard. However, appearances aren't always as they seem, as Kaira brings her readers to this beautiful town and shows that despite success, beauty, and family, appearances are never as they seem.

    After receiving news from her mammogram, Kelly evaluates her life and what she wants to change. Armed with post-its and a pen, she begins placing notes to herself as reminders of T2C (things to change). While her children are away at summer camp and her husband is working as a successful attorney, Kelly decides she is ready to embark on a new career.

    Charlotte and Kathryn, with "perfect lives, perfect marriages, perfect careers", soon let Kelly know what really happens behind the doors of beautiful homes. Kelly is thrown in the mix of helping her friend's anorexic daughter, dealing with her own mid-life crisis, being referee to her best friends as they deal with the fall-outs of their marriages, and balancing a new business that has quickly erupted into a mega success.

    This is a very fun and light read. I could relate with Kelly's character and felt that I was alongside her the whole time. It was refreshing to read a book that empowers women and shows that not all mid-life crisis' have to result in an affair to "find oneself". Rather, a mid-life crisis can bring people closer together and be a catalyst to positive change.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    lilacwolfandstuff review

    Here, Home, Hope a novel by Kaira Rouda...in fact this appears to be her first fiction novel. This is a story about 39 year old Kelly, during a summer where she is feeling the ultimate boredom of being a housewife and the lives of her friends enter turmoil around her. She is so stressed that the story begins with her at the Dentist's office because she bit through her mouth guard.

    It is a quirky tale, I love the TCT notes - things to change. :) Kelly writes them down and posts them throughout her house. Everyone she knows starts learning them and recognizing when she achieves one, especially her loving husband Patrick. Even when her friends and neighbors marriages fall apart, she knows she has a good one. Patrick will make you sigh and wish your man was more like that.

    I don't want to get into it too much, but while dealing with her own unhappiness, she opens up her heart and home to her friends to help them during that summer even as she is starting her own business. The flow is pretty great until the last section. The wrapping up changes pace and doesn't fit the rest of the story.

    That being said, it is a great story and I do highly recommend it. Even the hiccup at the end it was still worth while to read and I want to read it again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

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    Fast moving plot!

    Review by Stephanie:Some people observe objects and places and things. Some people observe people, and some people observe life. Kaira Rouda is one author who knows how to observe life, and it is clearly portrayed through the main character, Kelly Johnson, of her debut contemporary novel.

    The perfect time to take in a troubled teenage girl whose parents act like she doesn't exist, even when one of the parents (the mother) is your best friend, is right amid your midlife crisis. I mean, what else could be better?

    Kelly Johnson is just beginning to re-evaluate her life as a full-time stay-at-home mom, suddenly realizing she has the potential to be something greater. With the determination to take on a job in real estate, but still be the same loving mother to her two preteen sons, Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. Until Melanie -- fifteen, unsatisfied, and anorexic -- walks into her life.

    Kelly's never encountered any situation as big or as serious as this. And as she begins to realize the truth about adult selfishness and the power of the helping hand, Kelly learns more than to take care of a distant teenage girl; she learns to take care of herself.

    It was really touching how Kelly managed to really affect Melanie. The character progression was astounding; Melanie starts off snooty and unlikeable, but evolves into a sweet, understanding young lady who knows more than she leads on.

    Kelly's voice is fresh, but there is nothing really fascinating about her daily life. Rouda has a style of more telling than showing, so while reading, I was never at the edge of my seat. Things just happen throughout the novel, but I wish Rouda had done a better job of really portraying everything that occurred.

    I also feel Kelly's character is supposed to be very funny and likable, but she is the opposite of that. There is plenty of attempted wit and dry humor that, at a psychological level, should make the reader laugh out loud, but it just didn't work for me. For instance, Kelly constantly nags about herself and her life with "self-deprecating comments" (as quoted in the blurb) but at the same time, she calls herself "a great friend" and "really pretty", which just negates everything humble and likable about a character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    An inspiring read

    I liked this book. Not loved, but we can't love them all, can we? I think this may be due to the fact that my kids are still young enough to need to be actively raised and can't be sent away for the summer for camp (darn it!), so I really couldn't totally empathize with how Kelly felt.

    I do like that the author made a point of showing Kelly's struggles and how therapy and a small dose of antidepressant helped her get over that hump. The flip side to that coin is that I know that antidepressants don't always work immediately so it may give others false hope.

    I think my favorite part was reading about Kelly's business beginning and all that she did to get it off the ground. This was very exciting to me and I found myself rooting for her, hoping that everything pulled together and she was able to make a big success out of something she loved. Of course, this aspect may have been a bit unrealistic too in that business was booming immediately but it was still fun to think about how well Kelly was doing so quickly.

    I have to say that I kept expecting Kelly's husband, Patrick, to wind up to have been cheating on her. I don't know why I got this feeling - it may be from all the cheating I read about in other books and perhaps the other affairs taking place in this book itself. I'm glad he turned out to be such a great guy and I could go on liking him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Good beach read or for a book club

    Maybe I'm just at the right age and life circumstances for many of the themes of "Here, Hope, Home" to really resonate with me.

    You stare 40 in the face and your kids no longer need you as much. It takes less than the breast cancer scare main character Kelly has to make you reevaluate your life.

    I liked Kelly. She's silly, superficial and worries too much, but has a big heart. I like it that she's so flawed. Otherwise her perfect style, upper-middle class lifestyle and hot, successful husband would put me off.

    While Kelly's sons are gone to a summer-long camp, she creates a series of "Things to Change" or T2C, on Post-it notes that will help her feel like she has regained control of her life.

    I love this nod to Gretchen Rubin's "The Happiness Project", one of my favorites. Although, instead of one new thing a month, Kelly attempts dozens all at once.

    This book reminded me of the life-makeover themed novels of Susan Isaacs and Olivia Goldsmith, but transplanted in the Mid-west, updated for the 21st century and with less revenge. I enjoyed Kelly's internal dialog where she patterns herself on famous tv and movie mothers.

    Despite the barrage of secondary characters and the huge number of problems neatly solved by summer's end, I enjoyed this novel and look forward to future books by this author.

    At the end of the book, there are Kelly's list of T2C translated into the larger themes applicable to every woman and a helpful list of book club discussion questions.

    I was supplied a copy of this book for review by One2One Network. My opinions are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    Dramatic!

    Kudos to Kaira for fulfilling her lifelong dream of publishing a novel.

    The main character in this story creates a list of changes (T2C, or "things to change") she wants to implement in her life. I found it hard to keep track of them all, but they were all listed at the end of the book. Hey, it might inspire you to implement something similar in your life.

    I have to admit I had a soft spot for Kelly's husband. He is the man everyone wants because he is so loving and supportive.

    Kelly herself is inspiring because she is trying to find her identity now that her boys are growing up. She finds her niche in decorating and starts her own business.

    From gossip to affairs to eating disorders, this book is full of drama and tension. The ending hardly seemed realistic and I was left pondering if truth really is stranger than fiction!

    I was provided a free copy of Here, Home, Hope by One2One Network. All opinions are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite Kelly is a ty

    Reviewed by Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite

    Kelly is a typical suburban mom. She spends her summers alone while her children are away at camp and her husband works all day. But this summer is a little different. This summer Kelly is caught up with the idea of trying to change herself and her life. She’s determined to do something to make her life better; she’s just not sure what it is yet. To top it all off, she’s found herself with a job for the first time in over a decade and a teenage girl who she may or may not be able to save. It’s going to be an interesting time for her as she breaks back into the real world in Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda.

    I was amazed at how much Kelly was actually able to accomplish. She seemed like a typical stay-at-home mom who really didn’t want to do anything but take care of her family. But she manages to accomplish a lot more than that in quite a short amount of time. It’s really inspiring how this woman was able to do so much with her life just by deciding that it was time to do so. She doesn’t give up, no matter what the odds, and she definitely seems to have a plan for how to achieve what she wants in life. I wish I could be more like her and that I had the courage and the strength to overcome so much as well. It’s not always terrible events in life that are difficult to overcome; sometimes it’s just life in general. That’s what Here, Home, Hope by Kaira Rouda is all about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    Kaira

    "She hums quietly"

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    A Fantastic Read

    This was a truly inspiring story. I could relate to several of the characters in the book. I am truly inspired by the T2C (things to change) list. I will be looking forward to hearing more from Kelly Mills Johnson and love the writing by Kaira Rouda.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Here, Home, Hope

    For women needing to find themselves discover their strengths

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

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    7 out of 10 stars

    good plot, bland style.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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