Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Review: Sorrow Bound, by David Mark @davidmarkwriter

I can't get enough of Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy. In Sorrow Bound, we see the same confused, compassionate human just trying to do his job, which is catching serial killers.

In case you are unfamiliar, McAvoy is a Scottish detective, working in Hull, England. The plots of these books are never predictable. Yes, there are murders, but whenever you think, "ah, they've solved it!" well, I wouldn't count on it.

Some of the good luck Aector experiences, as well as the bad luck, is a bit over the top, but I love the character and I find the books hard to put down.

I usually don't quote books, and this is from an ARC, so may change, but I just thought this described Aector's character to a tee:

"He wants to know who did it. Why. Wants to stop it happening again. Wants to ensure that whoever loved this woman is at least given a face to hate. He wishes the bloody psychologist were here, now. It would be the only way she could ever understand what makes him do a job he hates. Wants to tell her that this is what he is. What he forces himself to be. Here, at the place between sorrow and good-bye."

All of the main characters continue to grow and develop. Aector's wife and his boss in particular. They are true to form and add much to the character of the stories.

Oh, the end. Well, I won't say too much but to say -- Why????

You can read Sorrow Bound as a stand-alone, but you should really read the others in the series also. Here are my reviews of The Dark Winter and Original Skin.

Published by Blue Rider Press, July 3, 2014
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
352 pages

Rating: 4.5/5





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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - Slowly

I only received one book this week. Not like I don't already have an overwhelming TBR, so as much as I want NEW BOOKS, these weeks also make me a little thankful.

For Review:
Perfectly Good White Boy, by Carrie Mesrobian from NetGalley
I was intrigued by her other book, Sex and Violence, so I couldn't pass this up.

How about you? Big week or little? Leave me a link and make sure to visit our hosts, Team Tynga's Reviews. Thanks for stopping by.




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Friday, June 27, 2014

Feature & Follow Friday: Favorite Books this Year

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
Since I answered this week's question last week, I'll answer last week's question now!

What are your favorite books of 2014 so far?

So far in 2014 I have given 10 books a rating of "5 Hats." Here are a few of my absolute favorites of those.

A Mad, Wicked Folly, by Sharon Biggs Waller
Great historical fiction

This is What Happy Looks Like, by Jennifer E. Smith
Another romantic winner by Smith

Fire & Ash, by Jonathan Maberry
Can't get enough of Maberry's monsters!

Dreams of Gods and Monsters, by Laini Taylor
Probably my #1 favorite, Taylor writes an absolutely stunning story

Thanks for visiting. So, what are your favorite books or mugs? Leave me a link, whatever question you answered! Thanks to Alison and Parajunkee for hosting. Have a lovely weekend.




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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

I really enjoyed Just One Day but I felt it kind of bogged down in spots.

It’s kind of a predictable story. Allyson meets a guy, Willem, while on a tour of Europe. They spend an unforgettable day in Paris, then, through circumstances, they are parted. Did he just abandon Allyson as a one night stand? So....what do YOU think is going to happen? Yep. A bit predictable.

Allyson goes back to her life in the U. S., college, but is a different person because being with Willem changed her life. But did it change his? She has to find out.

Shakespeare plays a big part in this story and I loved that. I really enjoyed the beginning and the end, but the middle (when Allyson was at college) was really slow for me. I guess because I knew what was coming and I just wanted to get on with it.

There are nuances that make this book stand out. The relationship between Allyson and her mom. Her relationship with her best friend from high school. And...Dee. Loved him. Those are the things that make Just One Day “recommendable.”

The end, even though a little bit predictable, was still unknown. There was a nice surprise that I thought was great.

So yea. If you like contemporary romances, definitely add Just One Day to the list. It’s a stand out.

Published by Dutton, 2103
Copy obtained from the library
369 pages

Rating: 4/5





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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear

I'm a huge historical fiction fan, and there seems to be a dearth of books about World War I, so when I saw The Care and Management of Lies, written by a well-known author, I couldn't pass it up. For the most part, I really enjoyed the book

Kezia and Thea are best friends. Well, at least they were all through school. But now Kezia is  going to marry Tom, Thea's brother, and move to the family farm to become a farm wife. Thea is enjoying her job as a teacher in London, so the girls have grown apart.

It is surprising how well Kezia takes to farm life. She is a society girl, and knows nothing about cooking or running a household. But she works hard and she and Tom have a great relationship. Shortly after they are married, World War I breaks out, and Tom enlists. Kezia must now run the entire farm, with the help of a few men who for various reasons can't fight in the war.

Thea, always a suffragette, is now protesting the war, and when she is in danger of being arrested for sedition, she has a change of heart and joins a medical team and runs an ambulance transporting wounded from the front lines to the hospital.

The Care and Management of Lies does a good job of describing life in the trenches for the soldiers, as well as the changes in the lives of those left behind in England. Not a lot happens, but Kezia is a wonderful character, and I enjoyed reading the letters she wrote to Tom, and seeing her become such a strong woman. Ultimately, The Care and Management of Lies is a book about surviving a world turned upside down and holding true to what is important.

Winspear writes very beautifully, and The Care and Management of Lies will be enjoyed by those who want to know more about life during the war. The characters are memorable and while the book is heartbreaking, it's also heartwarming.

Published by Harper, July 1, 2014
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
336 pages

Rating: 4/5





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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Book Review: Unstoppable, by S. R. Johannes




Unstoppable, the third book in the Nature of Grace series, keeps up the excitement -- even more than the first two books (Untraceable and Uncontrollable).

Grace is now living in Florida, in the Everglades, with her grandmother. Her grandmother has a boyfriend who has a nephew, Dylan. Dylan has a girlfriend, Sadie.

Sadie is an activist. Her cause is to try to rid Florida of its many roadside zoos, where animals are held under the most horrible circumstances. So she stages a protest. Grace attends the protest, and on the way home finds a Florida panther that is badly injured and has chains around its neck. She, of course, brings the panther home.

This starts what turns out to be a harrowing, exciting, thrilling, dangerous, and heart-stopping adventure that I don't want to say too much about. Suffice it to say that Grace, Dylan, and Sadie get into some serious trouble and their lives are threatened. Johannes is not afraid to show us some very cruel ways for humans to die, as well as cruelty to animals. The thrill factor of Unstoppable is the strongest point of the book.  This is the definition of "a page turner."

It's easy to get wrapped up in Unstoppable. That also makes it easier to overlook the extremely STUPID decisions that were made at times. Not just the teens, either. Sometimes what the adults do just doesn't make sense. But, adventure lovers will be willing to overlook these issues for the sake of the action.

Unstoppable would work as a stand alone, although the first two books were even better in my opinion, and there are references to these stories in Unstoppable. And, we get a visit from some beloved characters from the earlier books too.

Grace is a feisty character that, while making impulsive decisions, will keep your heart pounding. And, you will love her because of her sincere love for all animals.

Published by Amazon Digital Services, May 29, 2014
eBook obtained from the author
209 pages

Rating: 3/5





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Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: The Vanishing Season, by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Even though The Vanishing Season is a short book and the writing is fine, I just found myself a bit bored.

Maggie has moved from the bustle of Chicago to a very isolated small town because her mom lost her job. It's a difficult move, but Maggie has a neighbor, Pauline, who she easily makes friends with. The other main character is Liam, another neighbor who is madly (and obviously) in love with Pauline. But Pauline doesn't see Liam that way. Maggie is attracted to Liam, but tries very hard NOT to be.

The other aspect of the story is that teen girls are being murdered. So now their isolated little town is also scared and almost completely shuts down over the harsh winter. And Pauline gets sent away to her aunt until the killer is caught.

There are side notes from an unknown character -- seems like a ghost -- that is looking down on all the happenings.  This being doesn't offer much insight, and I found it a bit confusing and unnecessary. Although, at the end you do find out who/what this being is.

I just didn't get very excited about The Vanishing Season. The murders, which were supposed to cramp their style, didn't really seem to hold them back much. The romance was predictable. The characters were fine, and I thought they behaved realistically.

Just....nothing much happened. The last 10% of The Vanishing Season is exciting, but the rest is all build up. The book reads quickly and easily and I would offer it to contemporary romance fans. But The Vanishing Season doesn't offer anything unique and wouldn't be my first choice.

Published by HarperTeen, July 1, 2014
eARC obtained from Edelweiss
272 pages

Rating: 3/5





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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - Again

So, what did you get this week? I didn't get a lot, but here they are:

For Review:

Unstoppable, by S.R. Johannes from the author

Torn Away, by Jennifer Brown from NetGalley

Heir of Fire, by Sarah J. Maas from NetGalley

Thanks to Team Tynga's Reviews for hosting. Leave me a link so I can add to my list!




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Friday, June 20, 2014

Feature & Follow Friday -- Coffee Mugs!

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

This week's question is fun and different. I used to collect mugs, but I've gotten rid of a lot of them. Here's the task:

Post a photo of your favorite coffee mug (or mugs if you can’t choose just one).

Well, my current favorite also happens to be my newest mug. I posted these pictures after I got this one for mother's day:



I also have to mention one of my other favorites. I really like the shape of this one, as well as the sentiment.


And just one more. My kids gave me this one several years ago. It's small, so I don't usually drink out of it. But it is unique also because it's made of corn. They brought it home from vacation as a souvenir, but here's a link where you can buy one.


Can't wait to see your favorites! Leave me a link. Thanks again to Parajunkee and Alison for hosting FFF. Enjoy your weekend.






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