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

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

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

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.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 4.4

Typical Slaughter style, this starts off with a shockingly explosive scene of what happened to the Quinn family in their small rural home. Flash forward almost 30 years and Charlie, the good daughter, has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer. Then, another shocking tragedy unfolds that pulls the whole town into the nightmare.


I loved so many of the characters. As with all Slaughter novels, this isn't for anyone squeamish as she doesn't spare the graphic details. I loved the unexpected ending.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens by Becky Albertalli

My rating: 2.5

Simon is a high-school boy who is gay but not open about it .He has an anonymous gay email penpal  that things are getting flirtatious with....and the email falls into the wrong hands so Simon is now getting blackmailed.


This book was 'cute' at best but VERY juvenile and had a simplistic plot line. Definitely not following the current trend of "mature young adult". I wanted to like it a lot more than I did. I am not sure where the high ratings are coming from (teens?) as this wasn't near as good as Carry On and the emailing plot line paled in comparison to "Tell Me Three Things" that did it so beautifully.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Best Books of 2017

I love reviewing my year in books and looking at my 'Best of 2017'. It is hard to believe that I had 20 books this past year that made my 'Best of 2017' list - that is over one a month! It honestly felt like a 'good' book year but not a 'great' one...until I reflect on the list. As I look back on each book, it brings the memories of the characters and storyline that swept me away. It makes me want to reread each one!

Please share below with your stand-out books from 2017. I hope that 2018 is amazing and holds many fabulous books for us, as well as the time to savor them.

        

       

        

        


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

My rating: 3.2

After a woman walking her dog retrieves something more sinister than a stick, four friends reunite when one sends a message saying "I need you". This flashes back and forth between their boarding school days and present day. It helps you to understand their lying game, close bond as well as the mysterious disappearance of a teacher (who is also one of the girl's father).


For me, this was marginally better than The Woman In Cabin 10. I am adverse to whiny unlikable female characters. Sorry to all of you who loved this but I think that I am just not a Ruth Ware fan.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Bookmarks Jan/Feb 2018


For a change, I seem to be the last one to get my Bookmarks Magazine. It was worth the wait. Even though there aren't as many books as previous months, I am excited about their descriptions and can't wait to read them.

      


    

Let me know if you have read amazing books lately or, if you also get Bookmarks, let me know your picks!  Merry Christmas and I hope Santa brings you some fabulous books :-)

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

My rating: 3.0

Down and out Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide in London. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. His new secretary/sidekick Robin has contagious enthusiasm for detection.


This Murder/Mystery is by J.K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.Everyone knows that J.K. Rowling is an incredible writer. I really enjoyed the characters of Cormoran Strike and his lovable assistant Robin. The story line however left a lot to be desired and seemed to add so many irrelevant details that I was glad to have it done.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Odd Child Out by Gilly MacMillan

My rating: 3.2

Best friends Noah Sandler, a British boy, and Abdi Mahad, a Somalian refuge, have always been inseparable. But when Noah is found floating unconscious in Bristol's Feeder Canal, Abdi can't--or won't--tell anyone what happened.


Unfortunately, this wasn't as good as the first book in this series. The characters were very flat and one dimensional.  Noah's family is not especially sympathetic and despite having a terminal disease, it was hard to feel compassion for Noah. There was no mystery here ...just the usual refugees are good and white people are bad. I am tired of these political agenda one dimensional books that seem to be all the rage lately. Definitely do not recommend.