What I Read: January 2017


What I Read- January 2017

I didn’t read much in December, so I am combining those two books into this post, since they did not need their own post. Additionally, since I am participating in Erin’s Reading Challenge, I separated the reviews by books for the challenge and how many points they were worth and then books that I read for fun! If you read my post with my predicted reads for the challenge, you’ll see that I read almost entirely different books!

reading challenge

Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley
(Agatha Raisin #4)

agatha raisin

+ 5 points. Freebie book

Rating: 4

Review: Great mystery that didn’t differ much from the TV show, but I watched it so long ago that I had forgotten the ending.

Die Laughing (Daisy Dalrymple #12)

die laughing

+ 20 points. Homonym book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Finally, maybe some new characters! I love Daisy’s new friends.

The Bookshop on the Corner

the bookshop on the corner

+ 15 points. Mostly green cover book

Rating: 4 stars

Review: I can’t figure out where the title came from. However, it was much better than I expected. It’s no great work of art, but the entertainment value was high.

I will add that the author’s forward is worth reading. It’s super cute and will resonate with all book lovers!

The Wrong Side of Goodbye

the wrong side of goodbye

+ 20 points. Favorite author book

Rating: 5 stars

Review: One of my favorite Harry Bosch novels!

What She Knew

what she knew

  • 10 points. Starts with a “W” book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: 3.5 at best. It’s not one of the better psychological thrillers that I’ve read. I chose to read this because I haven’t read a thriller in awhile. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment. While the ending was a surprise, I just didn’t care.

The author didn’t make me care about the mother or the detective. By including two narrators and barely flushing out the detective, I hated the police force.

I only finished it because I needed it for a reading challenge.

The Things We Wish Were True

The Things We Wish Were True

+10 points. Six word title book

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review: Strong 3.5. I didn’t rate it a 4 because that’s for a book that I would think about a lot. This was above average, though. I loved the way the author connected everyone in the neighborhood–even through hardships. Maybe redefining family.

other novels

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Wow. What an amazing story. I thought it was a bit slow going at first. I didn’t love parts of it, but I was probably identifying with Arthur, who wasn’t loving parts of it either! In the end, it’s a story of enduring love and his journey to realize that. And although he may have lost someone, he gains many more people in the end. That’s not a spoiler. And it was inspiring.

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own

spinster

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: While I don’t share the same worldview as the author, it was interesting to a) learn a lot about famous women of the past and b) how they shaped her worldview. In fact, I couldn’t be much more different from the author, other than my love of reading and writing. The author is a proud Yankee who has had several serious relationships in her life, but now that she is in her 40’s, she is unmarried. I am a month shy of 29, dated a bunch of guys not seriously and married my first real boyfriend when I was 25.

I didn’t take away a lot of facts and dates about the authors she researched. Instead, I took away an overall impression that a woman can be herself, artisticly or otherwise, with or without a relationship–despite what the author might have been trying to communicate.

Modern Lovers

modern lovers

Rating: 3 stars

Review: I wanted to love this novel, but I cringed a lot. It was like… get it together people! Why are you all so spoiled and self indulgent?

Along the Infinite Sea (Schuyler Sisters #3)along the infinte sea

Rating: 4.5

Review: I couldn’t put this novel down! While it was supposed to be about Pepper, it is mostly about an American who grows up in France and then marries a Nazi. I like that all three Schuyler Sister novels have different formats. Book one vacillates between the past and present, and this third book picks up where Pepper left off in Tiny’s story of book one; book two is a straight forward narrative; book three is finally the furthest in time, around 1966, but is mostly filled with the memories of a woman that Pepper meets.

The tangential connection between the Nazis, Germany, and France is that the woman that Pepper meets has American cousins, who are the very political family that Tiny married into. I loved the story, but I would have loved a novel that centered more on Pepper, since I love reading about the Schuyler sisters!

I’ve never really explained my thought process behind the criteria below, so here it is.

Read These: These are books that I would recommend to almost any friend or person without knowing much about their reading habits.

If You Have Time: These are books that I would recommend to someone, if I knew about what he or she liked to read. These books are more genre specific or niche books. Or, they are books that I would not tell people not to stay away from, but they aren’t high on my recommendation list.

Don’t Bother: These are books that I would never recommend to a friend. They are usually books that I wish that I hadn’t finished reading!

read these

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper

Along the Infinite Sea (And the entire Schuyler Sisters series)

if you have time

Daisy Dalrymple Series

Agatha Raisin Series

The Bookshop on the Corner

don't bother smaller

What She Knew

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own

Modern Lovers

 

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Categories: What I Read Last Month Tags: , , ,
Erin’s 2017 Reading Challenge

bookchallengebyerin6-0

I am super excited to be joining Erin’s book challenge! I spent the first few days of December putting together my list of possible books. You can join the Facebook group and read more about the 2017 Reading Challenge on her blog here.

Here are the categories and my choices!

+ 5 points. Freebie book:

The Family Way by Rhys Bowen

the-family-way

+ 10 points. Starts with a “W” book

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

we-are-all-completely-beside-ourselves

+10 points. Six word title book

The Masque of the Black Tulip by Lauren Willig

the-masque-of-the-black-tulip

+ 15 points. Mostly green cover book:

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan or

the-bookshop-on-the-corner

The Summer Queen by Elizabeth Chadwick

the-summer-queen

+ 20 points. Homonym book

Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

jane-steele

+ 20 points. Favorite author book:

The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Harry Bosch, #21) Michael Connelly

the-wrong-side-of-goodbye

+ 25 points. Book Set in City/State where you live (South Carolina):

The Underground Railroad

the-underground-railroad

+ 30 points Rory Gilmore Book

Emma by Jane Austen

emma

+ 30 points. Genre not usually read book (self help/non fiction):

This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick

this-is-where-you-belong

+ 35 points. Time travel book:

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

a-connecticut-yankee-in-king-arthurs-court

So, these are my picks, but they are totally changeable. Do you have any other suggestions? What would you pick?

 

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Categories: Reading Challenge Tags: , ,
What I’ve Been Reading

I have been too sick to read as much as I wanted the past few months. In fact, I watched the entire Gilmore Girls series and Fringe, until it got too weird. So, I decided to wait until now to sum up November and December together. It really breaks my heart that I was so sick because sharing what I read each month is the post that I look forward to the most!

2016 What I've Been Reading

Girl Waits With Gun

Girl Waits With Gun

Verdict: I wanted to like the novel.

You can read my full review here. My quick summary:

I wanted to like this novel. I was so excited to read it, but I could only chip away at it, 30 minutes a night for a month.

Overseas

overseas.jpg

Verdict: High entertainment value, yet cheesey

A bit cheesy, I still couldn’t put it down. I read it during every opportunity, which says a lot for the entertainment value! It was a nice book to read after reading some slow, arduous reads.

Pretending to Dance

Pretending To Dance Review by Back to Carolina

Verdict: An interesting novel

I wrote an indepth review here. This is a quick summary:

If you are a Diane Chamberlain fan, you should definitely pick it up. Otherwise, it is kind of a run of the mill fiction novel that employs the popular technique of slowly unraveling a story by switching back and forth between the past and the present. It certainly wasn’t innovative.

Secrets of a Charmed Life

secrets of a charmed life

Verdict: Didactic, yet a good read.

I cried a lot at the end, but it was a beautiful ending. While the moral of the story was VERY directly spoken by the characters, it was still nice. The rest of the novel didn’t feel too didactic.

The Lake House

the lake house

Verdict: A must read for all Morton fans!

You can read my full review here! Here is a quick summary:

My favorite Morton novel yet! While it was highly complex, and I did complain to a friend about that at first, it proved to be worth all of the subplots because they came together beautifully in the end. There was one that I would have liked to have flushed out more, but the novel was so long that I definitely would have chosen to leave it out, too.
And, for what it’s worth, I’ve been taking about a month or so to listen to much shorter novels, but I finished this one within several days because the characters, mystery, and overall story were so compelling. I couldn’t put it down.

Named of the Dragon

named of the dragon book cover

Verdict: Kearsley fans will pick it up.

I wrote a full review that you can read here. Here’s a summary:

Not my favorite Kearsley novel, plus I would only rate this as an average or slightly below average fiction book. I’ve read worse. At least this novel was note resting enough to keep me reading, and at a rather fast pace, because I was sure it was going to get better. And the ending didn’t suck.

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine

Verdict: I read it in a day. That says a lot!

You can read my in-dept review here, but this is a quick summary:

I listened to the audiobook in a single day. It was such an inventive scenario. I’ve never read anything like it – and I wasn’t expecting it, but it was a pleasant surprise. I highly recommend it!

After You

after you

Verdict: The perfect follow up!

I wasn’t sure how to feel about this novel. Me Before You felt like it was perfect, but Moyes nailed it again with the ending of this novel. The meat of the story was interesting, plus the way the story finished couldn’t have been more fitting.

One Step Too Far

one step too far

Verdict: Interesting storytelling technique!

I really had to pay attention, since the narration switched between the first and third person, also switching who each chapter was about. Furthermore, the narrative jumped back and forth in time, but it made for a really interesting way to tell the story. I thought it was an interesting story that was made better through the narrative technique.

I loved the way that the main character’s secret slowly unraveled and made sense to the reader through telling the story out of sequence and switching narrators. I wish I had the talent to tell a story like that!

read these

After You

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine

The Lake House

if you have time

One Step Too Far

Secrets of a Charmed Life

don't bother smaller

Girl Waits With Gun

Named of the Dragon

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads

You can read my past monthly round ups:

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading?

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

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Reading Challenge: Classics 2016

Happy new year! I thought that I’d start out with a book post, of course.

Last year, I rolled through my first 2/3 of the classics reading challenge, but as I fell sick, I didn’t continue to pursue the last few books. However, I am ready to redeem myself with this year’s Back to the Classics Challenge 2016!

back to the classics 2016 challenge

I’m also in the middle of my two year Classics Challenge, where I am reading 50 classic books by THIS Christmas Eve. You can join up any time. You can read my projected list of novels and learn more about joining here.

If you want to join the Back to the Classics Challenge 2016, click here for more information and the link up!

For this year’s classic’s challenge, these are my picks (picks are subject to change)!

Classic Book Picks:

A 19th Century Classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

The Warden, Anthony Trollope, published 1855.

A 20th Century Classic – any book published between 1900 and 1966.Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later.

Bath Tangle, Georgette Heyer, 1955

A classic by a woman author.

Evelina or the History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World, Fanny Burney, 1778

A classic in translation. Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language.

Candide, Voltaire, 1759

A classic by a non-white author. Can be African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, etc.

Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov, 1955

An adventure classic – can be fiction or non-fiction. Children’s classics like Treasure Island are acceptable in this category.

The Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain, 1875

A fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian classic. Dystopian could include classics like 1984, and children’s classics like The Hobbit are acceptable in this category also.

The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, 1937

A classic detective novel. It must include a detective, amateur or professional. This list of books from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction is a great starting point if you’re looking for ideas.

N or M?, Agatha Christie, 1941

A classic which includes the name of a place in the title. It can be the name of a house, a town, a street, etc. Examples include Bleak House, Main Street, The Belly of Paris, or The Vicar of Wakefield.

Washington Square, Henry James, 1880

A classic which has been banned or censored. If possible, please mention why this book was banned or censored in your review.

The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemmingway, 1926

Re-read a classic you read in school (high school or college). If it’s a book you loved, does it stand the test of time? If it’s a book you disliked, is it any better a second time around?

Persuasion, Jane Austen, 1817

This one is a big chore for me, since I hate rereading novels; however, I didn’t read Persuasion until Brit Lit II in college, so I’ve only read it once. Plus, Austen novels aren’t bad a second time!

A volume of classic short stories. This must be one complete volume, at least 8 short stories. It can be an anthology of stories by different authors, or all the stories can be by a single author. Children’s stories are acceptable in this category also.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, This audible novel includes 12 Stories: “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “The Red-Headed League,” “A Case of Identity,” “The Boscombe Valley Mystery,” “The Five Orange Pips,” “The Man with the Twisted Lip,” “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,” “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb,” “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor,” “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet,” and “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.”

What are your thoughts? Any suggestions for better picks? What do you plan to read this year?

Don’t forget to add me as a Goodreads friend as I try to tackle 200, instead of 150 books this year!

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Categories: Reading Challenge, Uncategorized Tags: ,
What I Read Last Month: October 2015

What I Read October 2015

So, I kicked last month off with the last published novel in my favorite series, (it took me 10 days to start reading, though). After that, though, I kicked off a huge spree on another series, so bear with me! Then I didn’t read very much because I totally dragged my feet on a final book.

Contemporary

A Dangerous Place

a dangerous place

Verdict: Maisie has a lot going on in her life.

A lot happened between the book before A Dangerous Place and A Dangerous Place. Her life was completely altered, so she was getting it back together. It was interesting and full of new characters, so it wasn’t the same old, same old. But, part of me longed for a book about what happened in between or the same old, same old that I get whenever I pick up a Dobbs novel.

Royal Spyness Mysteries 3-9
royal spyness 1

 

Royal Flush (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #3) 

Royal Blood (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #4)

royal spyness 2

Naughty in Nice (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #5) 

The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6)

 

royal spyness 3
Heirs and Graces (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #7) 

Queen of Hearts (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #8)

malice in the palace
Malice at the Palace (Royal Spyness #9) 

So, I sure read a ton of these novels last month! Really, a lot of them. I liked the first two that I read, but I was really caught up in the Maisie Dobbs series. Once I finished those, I had to pick up Her Royal Spyness again. The romance in them kept me reading and reading. I can’t wait for the next release!

Summer Secrets

summer secrets

Verdict: Average summer novel

Not much to say other than I learned a little bit about alcoholism and addiction. I listened to the novel read by the author. I wouldn’t recommend that you rush and put this at the top of your TBR list.

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)

career of evil

Verdict: A great 3rd novel in the series!

I enjoyed this novel a lot more than the second novel in the series. I loved the first one, but the second one bothered me. It was all sorts of weird. It takes a lot to weird me out. This one was released at a great time, right before Halloween!

So, I spent many, many weeks reading another novel, so I never got to more novels. Plus, pain had me watching more TV than normal. I meant to read some classics… oops!

read these

The Royal Spyness Series

if you have time

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3)

don't bother smaller

Summer Secrets

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads

You can read my past monthly round ups:

September 2015 


August 2015
 


July 2015
 


June 2015
 


May 2015
 

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

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What I Read Last Month: September 2015

What I Read September 2015

Well, I really didn’t read as much as I wanted to last month, plus this post is much later than I expected it to be! I only read a few, and by read, I mean listened to books! My symptoms are getting really bad, so I’m burning though TV shows and movies like crazy. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I went to a cervical dystonia conference at the beginning of October, so, the end of September was spent slowly packing and then watching more TV.

So, as my health deteriorates, I watch more TV and read less. I hope that October’s report will have a few more books. I am hoping to get better treatment soon.

Contemporary

The Sisters of Versailles

The Sisters of Versailles

Verdict: I was glad to read something other than British historical fiction…

I wrote an entire post, which you can read here!

Leaving Everything Most Loved

leaving everything

Verdict: Another great addition to this series

This novel won’t stand alone, but if you are a fan of this series, then I would recommend it!

The Rose Garden

the rose garden

Verdict: A different kind of time travel.

This novel was another Kearsley novel centered around the Jacobites (so far, both novels that I’ve read by her were written about that time period), but her twist on time travel made the romance novel suspenseful and fun.

We Never Asked for Wings

we never asked for wings

Verdict: For people who like good books.

I don’t write that verdict lightly. You can read my full review here!

Everybody Rise

everybody wise

Verdict: I cringed a lot.

I don’t know if the cringing was because the writing was really good, so I could feel the embarrassment for the character, or if the scenarios were like an I Love Lucy episode, minus the punch line. There was nothing funny about this book, but I did like the ending. A+ on the ending.

The Royal We

the royal we

Verdict: A lot more involved and complex than I thought it would be!

I really liked this novel, honestly. I thought it would be light-hearted and fun, but it was more complex and long. The novel was a coming of age story that dealt with things like class, money, and trust in relationships. It was really more of a relationship complicated by royalty than a fairy tale, which I liked. I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending, but it was still good, and I would still recommend it.

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

Verdict: An interesting narrative non-fiction piece!

I love narrative non-fiction novels. I don’t want to give anything away, but I loved the way that everything came together in the end. The story was so intriguing, and the fact that it is based on real life, since it seems so fictional, makes it even more sensational!

An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford #2)

an impartial witness

Verdict: An average second installment of another World War mystery series.

I don’t love and I don’t hate Bess Crawford mysteries. They are pretty vanilla with tons of loop holes. Like, how does this lay person, just a nurse, happen to stumble across so many mysteries and solve them? If I worked for the police, she’d be my suspect!

The Ashford Affair

The Ashford Affair

Verdict: For fans of Kate Morton

I haven’t read a ton of Lauren Willig’s novels, but this particular one should be a hit with Kate Morton fans! I enjoyed it.

classics

Why Shoot the Butler?

why shoot the butler

Verdict: Mystery + Love Story?

I won’t lie, I had higher hopes for this one. As a huge Heyer fan and a huge mystery fan, I thought this would be perfect. However, unlike her Regency novels, which can be downright hysterical, this one was cold and a bit scary. I have another mystery novel that she wrote that is part of a different series (with a different investigator) that I will try out, before I write her mystery novels off all together.

read these

We Never Asked for Wings

if you have time

The Ashford Affair

The Royal We

The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress

don't bother smaller

The Sisters of Versailles

Everybody Rise

What I Read: Round Up of Monthly Reads

You can read my past monthly round ups:

August 2015
July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

Also, you can find other individual book reviews, tips on saving money on Audible books, book recommendations  based on genres and all things related to literature here!

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

Did you read anything good last month? Are you participating in any challenges? What should I be reading? 

Will be linking up with The Modern Mrs. Darcy for Quick-Lit!

 

 

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

Categories: Reading, Uncategorized, What I Read Last Month Tags: , ,
Literary Ladies Book Club Reading Challenge


Reading Challenge smaller

Another book challenge? Yes! I’m linking up with See You in a Porridge to show my progress! The challenge runs from June 21, 2015 until September 21, 2015. And this reader is finished!!!

1. A YA book
If I Stay, Gayle Forman

2. Non US Author
Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (British)

3. A book that was recommended by a blogger (or instagrammer / you-tuber / goodreads-er)
Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood (Phryne Fisher Series) – This mystery and some other series were recommended by Moira at Hearth and Homefront.

4. A book that has been on your TBR list for a year or more
The Black Album, Hanif Kureishi

5. A book with a kickass female character
Pardonable Lies, Jacqueline Winspear

6. A book that is or will be a movie (or TV show).
Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death (The Grantchester Mysteries #1), James Runcie, which is a PBS series.

7. A book written by a comedian or celebrity – or even a memoirif neither of those are your jam.
Modern Romance, Aziz Ansari (READ THIS)

8. A book with a one word title.
Romola, George Eliot

9. A suspenseful book – a mystery, a thriller, a book about revenge!
Pretty Baby, Mary Kubica

10. A book about Summer, with Summer in the title, or in any way related to Summer because this is a Summer challenge!
Summerlong, Dean Bakopoulos

Don’t forget that you can be my friend on Goodreads to see what I read/give me ideas!

So, I finished up and read books that I really enjoyed (minus Romala, which was long and boring and I don’t recommend it. Ever.) them!

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

Categories: Reading, Reading Challenge Tags: , ,
Among the Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont: Review

Among the Ten Thousand Things Among Ten Thousand Things

This is a beautiful novel about love, life that ruins love, family, and what’s leftover when life is done. This new release is definitely worth your time, even though there aren’t a whole lot of reviews on it yet. I got an early copy from NetGalley – but early by about two days. So, in my typical fashion, I used my accumulating Audible credits to pick it up because I was loving it, but my new medications have my sleep messed up. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the book – even when I shed a tear or two. The book, broken into four parts, tells the story in an interesting way. The first part sets up the falling apart of the family. The short, second part, gives the reader a fast glimpse into the end of the family’s lives. How people die. How the kids grow up. Things you don’t expect in the middle of the novel. The third part of the novel, finishes telling how the wife, husband, and two kids get to part two. Mostly told from the point of view of the wife, it’s an beautiful, heart-wrenching look at the thoughts of a woman who has been betrayed and how she decides what she is going to do with that betrayal. While Among the Ten Thousand Things is not a light summer read, it is a beautiful, poignant novel. I don’t know if other readers will appreciate this part like I did, but Simon, the 15 year old son, is a wonderful representation of a teenage boy. He reminded me so much of my moody, angry, teenage brother with a bad attitude! It made me laugh a lot. The novel reminded me of the humanity in all of us. Parents are people. Kids see more than we know. And kids turn into adults who will perpetuate the cycle. Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this novel for review. All opinions are my own.

Please note that comments with links that are not relevant to the discussion will not be approved. Personal signatures with blog URLs will be deleted. Please use the Disqus profile to add your blog’s URL, so that I can find you.

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Why You Should Read Pretty Baby: A Book Review


Pretty Baby Book Review
Pretty Baby Book Review: Seriously, Sarah?

I was eager to read Pretty Baby, since I had so thoroughly enjoyed Kubica’s first novel, The Good Girl.

The story begins with a charitable mother of woman, who lives in the heart of Chicago and works at a non-profit. On the public transportation system there, she notices a homeless teenage girl holding a baby. Both the girl and the baby are not properly dressed for the cool, spring weather. The charitable woman, Heidi, runs into the teenager two more times in a short time span.

All the while, the reader is privy to the thoughts of Heidi, the homeless teenager, Heidi’s husband, and even Heidi’s teenage daughter. The narration style lends itself to the slow unfolding of secrets or lets the reader see misunderstandings that the characters don’t see. My favorite part, though, is that not all of the storytelling is chronological. There is one character who is occasionally retelling her story to someone else, in the future, when hindsight is 20/20.

Who Should Try Pretty Baby?

People who enjoyed the twists, turns, and unpredictability of Kubica’s first thriller, The Good Girl.

If you haven’t read The Good Girl, but have liked any of the popular thrillers, Pretty Baby will be a definite winner for you.

If you want to try a thriller that isn’t too gory or scary, you can also start here.

Pretty Baby has a little something for everyone who enjoys anything about interesting storytelling or psychological thrillers.

I particularly enjoyed Kubica’s examination of the mind. Two characters went through what most people would consider to be an unrecoverable hells, but each reacted in a completely opposite ways, in my opinion. I’m interested to read what other people think!

You will be able to pick up a copy on July 28! Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads “Want To Read” List, so you’ll get the email notification!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this novel, Pretty Baby, for a book review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads, if you have the time!

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Somebody I Used to Know Review


Somebody I Used to Know
Somebody I Used to Know

Somebody I Used to Know is a mystery novel by David Bell. The main character, Nick, has been haunted for 20 years by the death of his college girlfriend. Even through his marriage, his wife says that he was still in love with Marissa, the girlfriend who died in a fire. So, as a divorced middle-aged man, Nick keeps busy working for the under-dog and playing basketball with his friends.

He lives a life of the status-quo, so to speak, until a young woman who has a strong resemblance to his long-dead girlfriend shows up in the grocery store of his small town. When he approaches her, she drops her groceries and runs. The rest of the novel unfolds as Nick, with the help of another college friend, who kind of disappears halfway through the novel, start to unwind the tangled web of the past.

As I read the novel, I thought it was a great start for a first novel. I thought that the author had a really good shot at going somewhere with his writing, if he kept on writing. I was shocked when I reached the end and read at the bottom of his biography that he was the author of several other novels. To be honest, his writing wasn’t what I expect from a seasoned author.

Characters, like the main character’s college friend, come and go with little explanation. There is little to no character development of anyone other than the main character. And finally, while the ending makes sense logically, it doesn’t make sense realistically. The motives assigned to the perpetrators were a bit far-fetched in my opinion, which is why I thought the author was new and would tighten his plotlines in the future.

While I don’t regret reading this novel, I don’t recommend rushing out to read it immediately.

You can pick up a copy of Somebody I Used to Know when it publishes on July 7, 2015.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of Somebody I Used to Know for review. All opinions are entirely my own.

Don’t forget that you can add me as a friend on Goodreads so I can steal ideas on what to read next–or see your ratings, so I know what to stay away from!

 

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