Friday, March 16, 2018

A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapene

My Rating: 3.9

Tom comes home to find his wife Karen has vanished and yet didn't lock the door, left behind her cell phone, purse and ID. A knock from the police tells him that she was in an accident in a very bad part of town and is in the hospital. Karen's concussion leaves her with no memory of the events.

This had lots of twists and turns. Some of the characters felt cheezy but if you go with it, it was a fun read. IMO, this wasn't as good as her previous book A Couple Next Door but still a fun read.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Final Girls by Riley Sagar

My rating: 4.7

Final girls is named for the girl who is left alive at the end of a horror movie. This thriller is about three girls who have each survived horrific mass murder sprees. It starts 10 years after 5 of Quincy Carpenter's friends were murdered and she was the lone survivor. She is trying desperately to put it behind her and have a 'normal' life.

This was a great beach read full of suspense and twists. It definitely had me guessing until the end and I enjoyed the final twist and ending.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Taster by V.S. Alexander

My Rating: 4.5

In 1943, Magda finds herself working as a food taster for Hitler at the Berghof mountain retreat. Magda gets drawn into a plot that tests her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and ultimately, vengeance.

This was very interesting in terms of the story but also understanding some of the things with Hitler. The circumstances of Hitler's death has been disputed and Alexander weaves a fascinating plausible historical fiction novel around this. The characters could have had more depth and the story dragged at times but overall, it was a good read.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney

My Rating: 4.3

Emma and Jane rent the same house three years apart. It is a unique house with a unique landlord. He has a LOT of rules. There is a long list of question such as "make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life." Most applicants aren't approved. Unfortunately for Emma and Jane, they are both approved and even though they never know each other, their lives intersect.

I quite enjoyed this light beach read psychological thriller. It was fast paced and kept me guessing till the end. I am not surprised that Ron Howard has picked up the movie rights and I would love to see how he interprets it for the big screen.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

My Rating: 4.8

Rill is 12 years old and lives on a riverboat with her four younger siblings. When their father takes their pregnant mother to the hospital, strangers arrive and rip them from their riverboat home. They are thrown into the Tennessee Children's Home Society Orphanage which they quickly to realize is a very dark sinister place.

This was an amazingly well told story that captured the true life story of Georgia Tann and her horrific 30 years of kidnapping and selling children. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Best Kind Of People by Zoe Whittall

My Rating: 2.5

Beloved teacher, husband and father George Woodbury is arrested for sexual impropriety sending his whole family reeling.  Each member vacillates between wanting to believe in his innocence and fearful of his guilt.

This explores the emotional impact each family member excruciating detail.  The writing is at a mediocre level and the plot doesn't even try for the same level. This has the feels of a bad made for television scipt.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bookmarks Magazine - Mar/Apr 2018

Just when I wasn't very excited about anything in my reading queue, my Bookmarks Magazine arrived - perfect timing!!!  I spent a decadent evening, reading reviews and adding books to my queue. Here are the ones I selected. Let me know what you are reading of, if you get Bookmarks what books I missed.




Friday, February 16, 2018

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4.8

Ruth is a labor and delivery nurse with over twenty years experience and is very good at her job. Ruth gets banned from caring for a baby as she is Black and the baby's parents are White Supremacist.

I always enjoy books told from alternating viewpoints but, I felt Turk was very shallow, stereotyped and one dimensional. I know he wasn't supposed to be likable but I really wish he would have been more realistic and complex. I loved Ruth and Kennedy and thought they were both very well developed and relate-able. The active vs passive racism really gave me thought - wow. I didn't see the ending at all. Overall, I thought this was an excellent thought provoking book and am looking forward to the upcoming book club discussion.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Girl In The Tower by Katherine Arden

My Rating: 3.8

This is the second novel in this Russian fairytale series. The heroine Vasilisa grew up in the Russian wilderness being told fairy tales around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. But Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.

While this was extremely well written, it felt like it needed more editing. There were many times when I almost abandoned this but kept with it as I enjoyed the first book so much. Unfortunately, this didn't measure up for me. I don't know that I will continue on with this series.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn

My Rating: 1.5

Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times--and spying on her neighbors. When a family moves in across the way and Anna looks out the window one night to see the unfolding of a horrific scene...things unfold from there.

I am in the minority but I found this book a boring struggle to get through. The protagonist is an unreliable drugging alcoholic with a plot that is based on various old thriller movies. I have no idea how this is deserving of the high ratings. I felt that this was over-hyped and a mishmash of old thriller movies. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 3.0

This is a short novella about the meaning of life.

I have mixed emotions about this. While I always love Backman's writing style, I don't like short stories.This also felt very disjointed. I am not sure if that is what has me so conflicted or, like others, I felt that this shouldn't have been a standalone novella but put in a collection of short stories. I am just glad that for 96 pages, I didn't pay for it and got it from my library.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart

My rating: 4.4

Quinn and her husband are staying in a house directly across the lake from her mother Liz. Quinn gets a text from her estranged sister Nora saying she has something for her. When they meet, Nora drops off a little girl, Lucy, and leaves with no explanation other than to keep her safe.

This unfolded quietly and yet with a lot of suspense. It varies between the four women's perspective of Nora, Quinn, Tiffany and Liz. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed nosy meddling Liz's character.  I felt that the characters were quite shallow and could have been better developed but, overall this was well told and I will definitely read more by Baart.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4.8

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique listens as Evelyn tells all from her start in the 1950's to her exit in the 1980's along with her flings and marriages along the way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this. With HollyWeird how it is today, this was a throwback to the 'glamour days' which also included a lot of politics and scheming but somehow was more "pure" (wrong word to describe the sordidness but, you hopefully know what I mean). Even though Evelyn is a blonde haired Cuban girl, I couldn't help picturing Liz Taylor throughout the whole book. This tackled some serious topics and handled them beautifully. A quick read that I utterly enjoyed and I had no idea of the ending.

Monday, January 8, 2018

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

My Rating: 4.4

10 years ago, Nicolette's best friend Corinne went missing. Nic comes back to town to deal with her ailing father when a second girl, Annaleise, goes missing.

This being written backwards - from Day 15 to Day 1 - is either something you will love or hate. I loved it. I felt there could have been better character development but it was definitely enjoyable and kept me on the edge of my seat. I had no idea about the ending which is always great.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney

My rating: 2.0

Detective Lottie Parker is in charge of investigating a string of murders including a woman who is found dead in a cathedral and a young man who is found hanging dead from a tree in his yard. Are they related?  How?  Detective Parker has to figure out how they tie together and the possible motive.

There was so much I didn't like about this book.  For starters, the inconsistencies. Lottie gets extremely upset with her daughter in one scene and in the next gets upset with someone else and the author says "it is not at all like her to be upset"  HUH? Did she forget that Lottie flies off the handle and gets rattled often? There were so many character incongruities that irked me. The characters were very shallow (the bad men were all bad and their personalities felt very superficial). I didn't like any of the characters and found myself wanting it to be over. Wishing I would have stopped reading this but thankfully, it is completely forgettable.