Thursday, January 2, 2014

Fashionably Late To...Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer

"Hatred is not the opposite of love--indifference is. 
Being forgettable is way worse."
--Liza Palmer, Nowhere But Home

Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks, 384 pages
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2013
Source: Bought

Goodreads Description

Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family's reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It's been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can't be that bad…

Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?

At least she has a new job-sure it's cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don't complain!

But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.

Sidenote: Welcome to the first post and the book that inspired my newest feature 'Fashionably Late To...' In keeping with the Beauty and the Beast inspired theme for my blog, Fasionably Late To...will highlight those books that I read and that I want to KICK MYSELF IN THE FACT for not having read sooner thus inspiring  me to be fashionably late to said book's party. Nowhere but Home was one of those books. I can't believe I didn't read this book sooner and, hey, better late than never, right? :)
The Belle

Um, everything? Ok, where do I begin? QUEENIE!! Love love love times a million. She is sassy, outspoken, doesn’t take shit, a little lost, and loves her family with everything she has. I feel like she is misunderstood by a lot of people in her life. She is closed off and guarded and has really been dealt a shit hand in life. I just looooooved her characterization. I felt like I really could connect to her emotions and what she was going through. I’m in my mid-20s and while I have a lot of goals and am very driven to accomplish them, there is a part of me that is kind of like, ok what now? What am I waiting for? I don’t know how to explain it but I feel like Queenie is both confused yet also knows the general area she knows her life wants to go. I feel similarly in what I’m trying to figure out in my life so I really got her characters.

The writing. I was in Texas y’all for the entirety of this book. I am SO going to try and travel nurse down there. Going to a Texas high school football game has been on my bucket list since Friday Night Lights (the movie) came out. The line stating that no matter where you go to church, football is religion in Texas—LOVED. I NEED to make this checkmark happen on my bucket list and I felt like Liza Palmer’s writing got me a little closer without leaving the comfort of my home.

The baby mama drama. Hell to the yes, I was tuning in to this episode of Teen Mom: Where Are They Now. While my heart absolutely broke for some of the women in these situations, the drama that they carry with them after all these years was incredible. I kept thinking of that line in Superbad when he yells, “PEOPLE DON’T FORGET!” Cuz shit, they really don’t. I loved how Merry Carole handled herself. I also loved her. She continued to be calm, cool, and collected in the face of some of the worst bullying. Me?...shit, I was on par with Queenie and would have been 100% on board with yelling at these bitches and calling them out on their bullshit. I commended her character for always being classy and never stooping to their level…I could not have done the same but it brought so much more to the book that she was opposite of Queenie in that respect.

The entire aspect of Queenie’s job at the prison. Wow. I was blown away with how emotional I got while reading this part. I didn’t think it would affect me as much as it did but I would be reading about her cooking and I would all of the sudden just want to cry…it hit you like a lineback during a blitz. The writing during these scenes was so deep and powerful and really got you thinking about death and mortality and the choices we make and how we choose to forgive and react to people who have done terrible things. AND I have to talk about the food. I am not a foodie by any means. I have no sophistication in my palate but I LOVED reading about how she cooks. I want to take a cooking class…like yesterday.

One last Belle of a though. Queenie’s growth. There is so much to be said about a character who grows to be better as an adult. I can relate to this so much and I just felt like I got what Queenie was all about. I touched on it above a little bit but I just loved how she really looked at herself, what she wanted, what she needed in her life, and said screw everybody else and went after what she wanted. Love. Her.

The Beast
I loved the romantic portion we got in the book…but as always, I want more kissing. I am a selfish and obsessive book boyfriend junkie so I loved what I got but I would have liked more. The book definitely wasn’t focused or about the romantic relationships she has but I wouldn’t have minded juuuust a little bit more.

Should You RSVP to this Ball? 
YES! Oh my gosh, YES! Even if you usually stay away from adult fiction, go read this. You will fall in love with Queenie and Texas and big hair and football. Buy your Friday night ticket to this book and you will definitely come out with a win. 


  1. I am so glad that you loved this too!

    I just realized we didn't even discuss the bullying/mama drama (as you put it) in our Joint Review but ugh that part really fired me up. I don't know if I would have been able to keep it classy like Merry but I understand why she acted the way she did.

    The prison scenes also made me really emotional. So well done, and such a great way to learn about our character and for our character to learn about herself. God, I hope my mom reads this soon! I lent it to her SO many months ago and NOTHING YET. UGH.

    Moral of the story: so glad I gave into the book pushing because... this one was so good.

  2. I haven't read this one yet, but when I do I'm sure I'll be commending Merry on her class. I don't deal well with bullies and I'll be the girl screaming right back at those bitches. This one is definitely already on my TBR list and I can't wait to read it! Everyone raves about it. Guess I'll be fashionably late as well. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I freaking loved this book! Queenie was amazing. This book made me think about a lot of things in my own life-- especially how it is so easy to let the past dictate the future. I also agree on the scenes in the prison.... my throat was aching as I read them! I could never do that job. Also, heck yeah Liza Palmer TOOK US TO TEXAS! So many great characters overall. You know I love Everett, especially the scene at the bbq. <3 So happy you loved it!

      LOL... i love how it announces to the world that i removed my comment. i made a typo and was thankful i could delete and fix... had no idea it would put a sign on my back. hahaha

  4. I've seen so many of you guys rave about this! I really need to check it out. I am ready for it to take me on a trip to texas! plus, I love football. I love it when football is incorporated in books. =) Queenie also sounds amazing, I'm looking forward to meeting her!

  5. I think I need to read this... :) I'm getting it next time I'm at the bookstore!!


  6. I can't believe I haven't read this book when clearly so many people I adore - you, Cassie, Hannah, Betty, Estelle, Magan - LOVED it. It sounds like an incredible read, and I think that intimidates me a little bit. But the story sounds absolutely beautiful, and Queenie seems like a phenomenal main character!


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