Monday, April 23, 2018

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

My rating: 4.6

Aviva Grossman is a congressional intern who has an affair with the married congressman. When the affair comes to light it is a social media frenzy. She can't get a job or rebuild her life. Aviva quickly realizes she is a household name and the stigma will follow her.




This is a funny, sharp novel that captures women and their relationships. I really enjoyed the light easy writing style.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs

My rating: 4.8

Women need love and men need respect. If you fight giving your spouse what they need, they won't give what you need. If you know what they need, give it and see what happens. I did and was pretty amazed at the results.


Although this is very Christian based, I feel that anyone of any religious or non-religious belief could benefit from this book. It is the type of book that is easy to skim over the scriptural sections if you wish and still glean the message of the book.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

My Rating: 4.7

A Corporate team building event of hiking in the wilderness ends with one of the women not returning and the other women all telling a slightly different version of what happened. This flashes back and forth between the detectives interviewing the women and trying to piece together what happened and flashbacks to the events that unfolded of the women's hike. All the while, searchers are in the woods trying to find the missing woman.

This was phenomenal at capturing the emotional baggage of each woman and how the corporate boardroom dynamics don't translate out to the wilderness. If I had any doubt, this book has confirmed I don't want to do a hiking team building event with my co-workers!  Will definitely read more by Harper.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

My rating: 3.5

After the recent loss of their baby son, Pauline, her husband and their daughters take an offer from an uncle to move to Philadelphia and become partners in the funeral business. While they are adjusting to their new life, they also have to deal with the outbreak of the Spanish flu. One day, while mother and daughter are delivering food to the sick, the daughter finds a young baby, his mother dead from the flu. They decide to keep him and he gives them all a purpose to hold on to in their chaotic world.


I enjoyed the alternating POV of the mother and the daughters. While I enjoyed the portion about the Spanish flu immensely the light fluffiness characters that were lacking in depth didn't seem to fit. There were also a LOT of coincidences at the end that allowed everything to be tied up in such a pretty neat bow it felt like a script for Hallmark Weekly Movie (hate that!) Definitely enjoyed the first portion more than the ending which is too bad as it had promise to be better.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Likeness by Tana French

My Rating: 4.9

Cassie Maddox has transferred out of the Dublin Murder squad but an urgent phone call tells her to come to a grisly crime scene. The victim looks EXACTLY like Cassie and carries ID identifying herself as "Alexandra Madison", which is an alias Cassie once used as an undercover cop. Suddenly, Cassie must discover not only who killed this girl, but, more importantly, who is this girl?


Wow. Tana French hits it out of the park. With perfect pitch she captures every note of how it would feel to see your doppelganger dead before you, to have to go undercover and take on her life and be Cassie playing Lexie. I loved the audio version which captured hte Irish accents. You don't need to read the first book in this series Into the Woods to enjoy this book but, it was also excellent so, why not :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

My rating: 5.0

It is 1974 and former POW Ernt Allbright comes home a changed man. He thinks that inheriting some land with a house on it in Alaska could be the new lease on life that he and his family so desperately need.  He takes his wife Clara and 13 year old daughter Leni to live off the grid in the wilds of Alaska. This is about love, coming of age story, family and about Alaska....and Hannah captures all of it flawlessly.

There wasn't one thing that I didn't love about this book.  WOW! Every character, even the unlikable ones, were so well done. I was in Maui and Arizona while reading this and with Hannah's descriptions of Alaska, I felt cold! You understand how hard and unforgiving Alaska is and how this family wasn't prepared to deal with it and so many other things. I also loved The Nightingale. She could be my new favorite author.

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 feels...in 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.