Looking for Me

( 68 )

Overview

A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in...

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Looking for Me: A Novel

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Overview

A Southern novel of family and antiques from the bestselling author of the beloved Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

Beth Hoffman’s bestselling debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, won admirers and acclaim with its heartwarming story and cast of unforgettable characters. Now her unique flair for evocative settings and richly drawn Southern personalities shines in her compelling new novel, Looking for Me.

Teddi Overman found her life’s passion for furniture in a broken-down chair left on the side of the road in rural Kentucky. She learns to turn other people’s castoffs into beautifully restored antiques, and eventually finds a way to open her own shop in Charleston. There, Teddi builds a life for herself as unexpected and quirky as the customers who visit her shop.  Though Teddi is surrounded by remarkable friends and finds love in the most surprising way, nothing can alleviate the haunting uncertainty she’s felt in the years since her brother Josh’s mysterious disappearance. When signs emerge that Josh might still be alive, Teddi is drawn home to Kentucky.  It’s a journey that could help her come to terms with her shattered family—and to find herself at last.  But first she must decide what to let go of and what to keep.

Looking for Me brilliantly melds together themes of family, hope, loss, and a mature once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. The result is a tremendously moving story that is destined to make bestselling author Beth Hoffman a novelist to whom readers will return again and again as they have with Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, and Joshilyn Jackson.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hoffman’s follow-up to Saving CeeCee Honeycutt presents her fans with a delightful character piece for a lazy day. Upon graduating from high school, Theodora “Teddi” Overman leaves her childhood home in rural Kentucky to pursue her passion for restoring old furniture. Her decision strains an already fragile relationship with her mother, but Teddi is content with the life she makes for herself in her Charleston antiques shop. One item from her past, however, continues to haunt her: the still-unexplained disappearance of her brother, Josh. When Teddi’s mother dies after an unexpected stroke, clues start to emerge that Josh has been alive all these years, and Teddi must confront her painful memories anew. On a trip back home, Teddi returns to Red River Gorge, the beautiful, secluded area where her brother was last seen. Though readers may question certain plot turns, these less plausible moments won’t detract too much from the enjoyment to be found in Teddi’s story. Hoffman’s novel of a woman putting the pieces of her family’s secrets together combines a deep dramatic impact with Southern charm. Agent: Catherine Drayton, Inkwell Management. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Self-taught furniture restorer and successful business owner Teddi Overman has built a good life. Yet a mystery from her past lingers. Raised in Kentucky, Teddi had an idyllic, if offbeat childhood. Her controlling mother, Franny, discounted her ability to transform junk into art, even after Teddi's faux-finished bedside table earned her $100 and an invitation to visit an antiques dealer in Charleston. Franny instead bought Teddi a typewriter as a graduation gift and pushed her to go to secretarial school. Teddi's father, silent and supportive, gave her a car and a map: her tickets to freedom. Josh--Teddi's younger brother, a gifted naturalist and possible vigilante--gave her a horned owl's feather and wished her luck. But then Teddi broke her mother's heart, her father died, and Josh disappeared. Burying herself in her work, Teddi relies on her quirky collection of friends and foes. Mr. Palmer, the owner of the Charleston antiques store, gives Teddi her first chance and introduces her to Albert, a brilliant furniture repairer. Olivia, a rare books conservationist and Teddi's best friend, meets her in the cemetery for emergency confidences over lunch. Tedra and Preston Calhoun help her negotiate the world of bank loans with distinct Southern charm. And then there's Miz Tula Jane Poteet: a nice but forgetful little old lady or a kleptomaniac? Of course, her lawyer son eagerly pays for all of Tula Jane's "purchases," but he just as eagerly cuts short every conversation with Teddi. Just as love begins to nudge at the edges of Teddi's life, she is forced to reckon with Josh's disappearance and her mother's dashed expectations. Hoffman's (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, 2010) sophomore novel confusingly mingles a charming Southern-girl romance with a weighty mystery. The romance resolves predictably, yet the mystery leaves far too many loose threads.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670025831
  • Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 158,070
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Beth Hoffman

Beth Hoffman was the president and co-owner of an interior design studio in Cincinnati before becoming a full-time writer. Looking for Me is her second novel. Her debut, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, was a New York Times bestseller in hardcover and paperback. She lives with her husband and two cats in northern Kentucky.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(39)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    6th grader review

    As a 6th. Grader with a reading level of a 12th. Grader this book and Saving CeeCee Honeycutt are two of my favorite books EVER! I do reccomend theese books and you should to. ALWAYS take time to sit down and read :)

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This is such a good book. When I started reading it, I couldn¿

    This is such a good book. When I started reading it, I couldn’t stop, and I read it cover to cover until late in the AM. Teddi Overman is a woman who owns and operates an antiques business. Ever since she was a child in Kentucky, she has been drawn to old things and the inherent beauty within them. She has a complicated relationship with her mother, an embittered widow. She also had or maybe still has a younger brother who disappeared many years ago. In her heart, Teddi feels that Josh is still alive even though common sense would say otherwise. Josh was a sensitive young man who was intensely connected to the wildlife near their home, especially birds. An episode with an abused dog is the catalyst for Josh’s disappearance.
    The love that Teddi has for older things is integral to the story and how she can see the most beat up piece of furniture and find the beauty in it. Her mother always wanted her to do something more practical and has never even visited her home or shop in Charleston. Fortunately, she has a good relationship with her grandmother who lives in a facility and who gives her the emotional support she needs.
    The other characters in the book are well developed and add color to the story. Reading about how Teddi developed her business and met her employees was interesting and gave the reader more of Teddi’s history. Her friend Olivia is a book restorer and is obsessed with old books much like Teddi is with her antiques. Teddi has a persistent shoplifting customer who indirectly leads to Teddi finding romance in her life.
    What was interesting to me was the fact that Teddi was able to see the value in older things, but was so blind when it came to her mother. It isn’t until it’s too late that Teddi discovers that there was so much more to her mother’s life the Teddi never knew about and that shaped who her mother was. Like Teddi’s beloved antiques, her mother had many layers that covered the person within, presenting an old worn out appearance that Teddi couldn’t see behind. Teddi does resolve her issues with her mother in a way that is satisfying but sad at the same time. The mystery of her brother’s disappearance is also resolved on some level. When the book ended, I wanted more. I wasn’t ready to stop reading. I look forward to reading a future book by this talented author.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Haunting, mysterious and lyrical, Beth Hoffman¿s Looking For Me

    Haunting, mysterious and lyrical, Beth Hoffman’s Looking For Me is the story of Teddi and her journey from a hardscrabble life in Kentucky to charming, genteel, gentrified Charleston. But it’s really the story of the defining sadness of our lives, and the person we remain at our core no matter where we go or what we become. And most of all, it’s about the hope that sustains us against all odds. After reading Looking for Me, you’ll never think of Emily Dickinson’s line, “Hope is the thing with feathers” in quite the same way again. Sure to spark fabulous conversations with friends and book clubs. - Claire Cook

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    When an author has a spectacular debut novel, there is often a l

    When an author has a spectacular debut novel, there is often a lot of pressure and high expectations for the writer’s second work to be equally as amazing.

    For Beth Hoffman, her first book, “Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt” had an amazing debut, becoming an instantly beloved favorite and garnering Hoffman thousands of devoted fans.

    Now, Hoffman’s second book, “Looking For Me,” has been released, and I can personally testify that this novel is equally as brilliant, if not more so, than her first. That’s quite an accomplishment, but then Beth Hoffman is quite a writer.

    In “Looking For Me,” Hoffman takes her readers into the world of Teddi Overman, a young Kentucky woman who has a flair for refinishing antique furniture and a past filled with both joy and sorrow.

    Teddi grew up on her family’s farm in rural Kentucky. She and her brother had an idyllic childhood, running free in the woods and mountains that surrounded their home. Teddi found she had a talent for taking other people’s castoff furniture and turning it into things of beauty, while her brother Josh formed a special relationship with the nature and animals that populated the hills.

    But, as often happens, childhood ended and Teddi found herself longing to try her talents in the big city of Charleston, much to her mother’s chagrin. So she left home in the middle of the night, off to pursue her dreams. Josh stayed to help with the farm, but become more and more reclusive and spent most of his time in the woods, helping to preserve the natural surroundings and fighting off poachers and those who would harm the animals.

    Then one day, he disappeared and no trace of him was ever found again. Teddi’s family was devastated, and Josh’s mysterious disappearance changed the family dynamics forever.

    Years passed, and Teddi became the owner of a flourishing antique and furniture refinishing shop in Charleston, and by all accounts, was a very successful woman. But her thoughts always returned to Kentucky and the memories of her missing brother, while she continued to struggle with the unanswered questions. With the help of friends and with confidence in herself, Teddi manages to overcome her grief to find a positive way to reconcile her past and move forward with her future.

    Beth Hoffman’s writing in “Looking For Me” is absolutely lyrical. Her descriptions of the Kentucky farmlands and the beauty of Charleston are breathtaking, and her characters are people you’d want to get to know and become friends with. Hoffman’s mastery of storytelling has been honed to a fine art with this novel, as is evident in a story filled with romance, mystery, and a wonderful tale of finding oneself. This is not a book to be rushed through. It is a novel to be savored, relished and thoroughly enjoyed.

    Fans of well-written literary fiction will enjoy this novel as well as those who are fond of Southern fiction. I highly recommend this novel.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    This novel is a winner from the first sentence.  Looking for Me

    This novel is a winner from the first sentence.  Looking for Me is an opus of the struggle between a daughter and her mother and the wounds of an ordinary life in an extraordinary world of adulthood.  The story is poignant, hilarious, sad and revealing.  Kudos to Beth Hoffman for inspiring the world to read and enjoy it!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Teddi dragged home her first antique before she even reached her

    Teddi dragged home her first antique before she even reached her teens. With the help of her grandmother she fixed up that chair and her passion for making old things new again was born. With a little help from her father she is able to leave Kentucky after high school and head to South Carolina and eventually becomes the owner of her very own antique store.




    She builds a life for herself there but she keeps being drawn back to her home in Kentucky. Her little brother disappeared into thin air several years ago when he was just 17. He was a very special young man with a very special gift. He had such a natural way with animals, especially birds, and a true passion for saving them along with their habitats. If he wouldn’t have disappeared Teddi was sure he would have been a Park Ranger.




    When signs emerge that her brother may still be alive she returns home again and tries to come to grips with what she learns about her shattered family. She may even find herself after all these years.



    Beth Hoffman is a gifted storyteller. She takes us on Teddi’s life long journey where she yearns to find her brother but in truth is looking for herself.




    These characters jump off the page and write into your heart. While Teddi is the main character the supporting characters are rich and superbly written as well. I have to be careful not to give too much away so I will say each and every character is multifaceted and the reader is allowed to peel back the layers as the story evolves. Hoffman moves back and forth between present and past effortlessly.




    Teddi’s brother, Josh, collected bird feathers which he studied extensively. Different wings mean different things. Josh would give feathers to Teddi and as she was packing for South Carolina she opened a drawer and found a feather with a note that said:




    “From the highest branch he watches and waits.
    The horned owl keeps secrets.”




    These little bits of wisdom and feather folklore are a thread that continues through the entire story. Some are quite profound and thought provoking. A few really struck me as relevant not only to the story but my own life.  




    This is a story about family and friendship,  love and  loss, hope and dreams. It is also about the choices made during our lifetimes and how we deal with life’s up and downs. Not only did Teddi find herself, I also found a bit more about myself in these pages. Be warned you may shed a few tears but you will also be sharing a few smiles as well.




    A wonderful heartwarming and inspiring story. Definitely one of the best I have read this year. 10 Starfish!!

    4 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This book grabbed me from the first paragraph

    This book grabbed me from the first paragraph I thought it was a memorable start: “Some people run towards life, arms flung wide in anticipation. Others crack open the door and take a one-eyed peek to see what’s out there. Then there are those who give up on life long before their heart stops beating- all used up, worn out, and caved in, yet wake each morning and shuffle their tired legs through another. Maybe they’re hoping for change—a miracle, even—but runaway dreams and lost years hang heavily in their backs. It’s the only coat they know how to wear.” Teddi is a great character she is so down to earth yet driven artistically, we share her life in present day and flashbacks and her journey is not always a happy one. The descriptions of the furniture that Teddi restores sound so amazing you can see them clearly in your head (I want a chest made by her). The people Teddi meets in her life that help on her path to her dreams are great, especially Mr. Palmer he sees her amazing talent in her first piece and later he takes her in and gives her so much support to live out her dream, he’s a great character. Also in the shop are Albert & Inez who I also fell in love with and also her best friend Olivia and Granny Belle I also loved that Teddi let people be themselves she never judged her friends (her mother may be a different story but I am not going to spoil that for you). But these are the people in her adult life and the two people that believed in her are gone, her father and her brother Josh but Josh isn’t dead at least not to Teddi he walked away from the farm one day and was never seen again but Teddi has always believed he is out there in the woods living in nature and with the animals he loves. Josh is also an amazing character written with such feeling and conviction, and makes me want to believe what Teddi believes! Towards the end of the book I slowed reading, I got to a certain point and didn’t want to know what happens because that would mean the end of the book...I've picked it up and set it down about three times I don't want to leave yet! Done now, I miss these characters already! Beth Hoffman is a great storyteller she makes you care about each and every person, there is no bad guys just people who make choices on how to act that affects others in ways they may not realize until it is too late. She made me want to go to Charleston to see the amazing architecture and to go to every antique shop until I find one of Teddi’s chests. Also we have a few of Charleston’s more colorful characters in Mrs. Poteet and Zelda who make life interesting. I adored this book, it is very different from CeeCee yet gives you major feels like CeeCee did, but really that and it being set in the south are the only similarities, I thought this was a unique book with a hint of magical realism coming from the Native American beliefs held by Josh. I say this is unique because there isn’t really a lot going on, it is just Teddi’s life, yet I couldn’t put it down and as I said I didn’t want to stop when I got to the end. Beth Hoffman made me feel like the people in this book could be my friend, that is the magic of her writing, she makes you care. I will read anything she puts on paper! 5 Stars

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2013

    "Never tie your happiness to the end of someone else's kite

    "Never tie your happiness to the end of someone else's kite."

    The patches and quips of wisdom within the pages are part of the charm of Teddi Overman's story found in Beth Hoffman's second novel, LOOKING FOR ME. The voice is another, so engaging and powerful that the story is unputdownable (if that can be a word).

    In the opening pages, the reader gets a glimpse into the heart of the main character: a scrappy and endearing Kentucky farm girl as she learns to cope with the world, her difficult family, and her brother's mysterious disappearance. Over time, Teddi begins to find her place in the world, refinishing mistreated antiques with a dream to sell them in her own upscale antique shop.

    I laughed out loud at Teddi's eccentricities (having lunch with Pernelia) and loved her heart for animals and flowers and art. As Teddi begins to discover herself and her purpose, I experienced the discovery right along with her.

    LOOKING FOR ME is a treasure of a novel, one sure to touch readers deeply with its generous helping of heart. It's a perfect sit-on-the-porch-with-a-glass-of-tea book.

    I loved LOOKING FOR ME and recommend buying two copies -- one for yourself and one as a gift for a friend.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Very Enjoyable

    Ms. Hoffman writes from the heart. I love how she uses language in her writing. Would recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2013

    Oh Ms. Hoffman you've done it even better.  Although I loved &qu

    Oh Ms. Hoffman you've done it even better.  Although I loved "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt", "Looking for Me" is one notch above.  I loved the emotion, tenderness, despair and the occasional quirkyness.  Let me tell you, you will need a box of tissues while reading this great novel; coming from a non-crier this says a lot.  Make sure you read this great new release from Beth Hoffman, you'll be glad you did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    Loved it!

    Good vacation read. Spent the day in Charleston yesterday and it was fun imagining Teddie roaming around there.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Charming Story

    This was a charming story. The heroine, Teddi is very likeable, as well as many of the other characters. The mystery of what happened to Teddi's brother adds intrigue to the story. I enjoyed reading this story very much.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2013

    I loved this book from the beginning to the very end. It had me

    I loved this book from the beginning to the very end. It had me a little teary to actually crying, and chuckling to actually laughing out loud.  There was information about the beauty of antiques, animal rescue and rehabilitation, the city of Charleston, SC, the beautiful hills of Kentucky, and the wonderful mysteries of family love. It was difficult for me to put the book down. I hope it won't be too long before Beth Hoffman provides us with another wonderful story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2013

    As compellingly and beautifully written as her debut novel - Sav

    As compellingly and beautifully written as her debut novel - Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt. Just loved it! Please keep writing Beth!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Heartbreaking and Mesmerizing

    The Southern charm seeps out and surrounds you in LOOKING FOR ME. It’s heart-wrenching at times with laugh-out-loud moments woven throughout the story. Narrator Jenna Lamia may live in Los Angeles, but she does an excellent job with the Southern flare in this story. Her cadence pulls you in and holds your attention while her mannerisms adds to the charm of the characters. Between Lamia’s vocalizations and the author’s vivid characters, listeners will feel they are a part of the story and won’t be ready to leave when it ends. Teddi Overman grew up on a farm in Kentucky, but left home in the middle of the night when she was 18 leaving only a letter for each member of her family. She traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, where she began a career as an antiques dealer and faux-finishing specialist. There she built a life for herself with a group of zany friends - Olivia, Inez, and Albert. Teddi is always drawn back to her family’s farm and the mysterious beauty of the Red River Gorge. It was there that her brother, Josh, went missing when he was only a teenager. While many, including her family, believe Josh is dead, Teddi continues to believe he is alive and thriving in the wilderness. Josh always had a special bond with animals and nature. He was the healer of animals and she was the healer of furniture. When signs that Josh might still be alive surface, Teddi’s world is turned upside and she begins searching for answers. Her path leads her to discover things about her family she never know and better understand how her brother’s disappearance tore her family apart. LOOKING FOR ME is told from Teddi’s viewpoint as an adult while she copes with running her business; caring for her grandmother, Grammy Belle; and trying to decide where her life is going. The story reverts back to her childhood at times, giving glimpses of what the family’s life was like before and after Josh’s disappearance. There are bits of romance intermingled to add a good balance to the story. While there is a bit of a mystery and some romance involved, this story is about family and life in general. It’s about how people face the hardships and triumphs in different ways and how we can know people, but never really know them - even family. Author Beth Hoffman has created likable, well-developed characters that readers will want to visit again. She writes in such a manner that you feel the characters’ pain and sorrow, as well as their joy and hope. Hoffman’s eye for detail translates into vivid descriptions of the countryside and animals, the feel and texture of the furniture and antiques Teddi deals with, and the kaleidoscope of emotions the characters encounter. She draws you deeper into the story as she presents you with an element, only to withhold the true nature of the item leading you to ponder about it before she reveals all. LOOKING FOR ME appears at first glance to be a lengthy book (and audio). However, as you’re pulled into the lives of Teddi and those surrounding her, you’ll begin to think it’s not long enough for you’ll want to know more and more. Be prepared with a box of tissue handy as there are moments of sadness and heartbreak, but hope always abounds. This is a story about the travels in one’s life and striving for happiness, compassion and family. FTC Full Disclosure - The book was also sent to my by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    Excellent Book!

    This was the book I started my summer reading, and it did not disappoint! I was sad to see it end! The author is very gifted! I have loved both of her books, and I can't wait for the next!!!!! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2013

    This was a really good book! It's the second book by the author

    This was a really good book! It's the second book by the author that I've read and loved both!!! 
    I really didn't want this book to end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2013

    Antiques roadshow meets Vanished

    Hoffman does regional american fiction so well. For this jersey girl, it's an exotic journey to kentucky farmlands and magical charleston. Sent me to google more than once out of sheer curiosity. I also enjoyed spending time with her characters although I never quite felt i knew any of them very well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2013

    I loved this book and hated it when it ended. I was totally abs

    I loved this book and hated it when it ended. I was totally absorbed in the characters, they were real and beliveable. I laughed and cried during this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone, probably one of the best books I have read all year.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2013

    I loved "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" and wondered if Beth

    I loved "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" and wondered if Beth Hoffman could match it with her second book - she has! I regreted getting to the last page, I didn't want it to end. I am eagerly awaiting her next book. She's become one of my favorite authors. Thank you Beth Hoffman.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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