Nicole Says…Read These Books

By Nicole McManus

Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand

Seabiscuit rose to fame by being a long-shot and winning the Triple Crown and people’s hearts. Laura Hillenbrand brings to life the entire world of horse racing during the Great Depression.

My reading group had read Unbroken, several years ago, but I had not read this Triple Crown biography. It was an eye-opening read into the world of the horse racing and the men that put their faith in an unlikely horse. During a tumultuous time period, Seabiscuit managed to break the news by giving everyone a reason to have hope and cheer. The author has an incredible writing style that will take the readers’ breath away. Readers will feel as though they are a part of the team, and they will even re-read chapters, just to make sure they didn’t miss any of the excitement.

Just Let Go, by Courtney Walsh

Grady Benson’s ski career has been going downhill quickly. Between crashes and bad behavior, this former Olympian has no idea how to get back on the team. He thinks his way is best and doesn’t understand why his coaches won’t let him do things his way. When he gets stuck with community service in a small town, he fears he has lost all hope of making it back to the Olympics. Quinn Collins just became the owner of her mother’s flower shop. Her dream is to win a big competition in order to see her mother for the first time, as she abandoned Quinn. Will these two be able to make peace with their pasts in order to follow their dreams?

This is the first book that I have read by Courtney Walsh. It was a well-written story that didn’t make me feel as though I missed something from the first book. Though the characters’ experiences are not ones that most readers experienced, the characters’ emotions are something that all readers can relate to. This book is about accepting the past in order to grow and move forward into the future. The story is filled with descriptions that bring the small town to life. The cast of secondary characters is quite hilarious in their antics to keep Grady and Quinn close. This is a cute story with a powerful deeper meaning.

Tangerine, by Christine Mangan

In the 1950s, Alice escapes to Tangier to begin a new life. However, when her former best friend arrives, she knows she won’t be able to keep the past hidden. An accident is what ties Lucy and Alice together, but it is also what drove them apart. When Alice’s husband goes missing, she must decide whether she can trust her former friend or if the truth from that fateful night is too much to handle.

Tangerine is an incredible first novel by Christine Mangan. Readers will quickly add her to their must-read lists, as they anxiously await news of her next book. Mixing historical fiction, suspense and destination-read, this book has something to offer for everyone. The time period and setting truly drive this story. The beginning will grip readers’ attention, while the ending is quite unpredictable. The middle is a bit slow, but readers will need to know what secret Lucy and Alice share.

About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at

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