Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Book Review: The House of Wolves, James Patterson and Mike Lupica

The House of Wolves by Patterson and Lupica book cover and review
The House of Wolves is another book that I found good, not great.

The Wolf family is a San Francisco power family. They own the professional football team, as well as the prestigious San Francisco Tribune newspaper. When the patriarch dies under mysterious circumstances, the reading of his will brings many surprises. Thirty-six-year-old daughter, Jenny, has been given control of the newspaper and the football team. Her brothers are not happy. Jenny had been an outcast and had not had contact with the family. So all sorts of things are planned to wrestle away the football team from Jenny. You see, her brothers have planned to sell the team to make a huge profit.

Jenny also suspects her father's death was actually a murder, and she's out to prove it and avenge her father's death. Nasty family. Lots of deception and backstabbing.

I'm usually a fan of Patterson and have read a couple of Lupica's books. I found that I didn't care much for the characters. Most of them weren't very nice. And maybe the book went on a bit long, although it isn't that long of a book. I was interested enough, but life got in the way and it took me a long time to finish, so that may be part of it.

It has a nice little twist at the end, but I wish this character had been introduced earlier in the book. I think the ending would have had a bigger impact. So, as stated, I liked The House of Wolves by two very popular authors. If it sounds like something you would like, I would recommend it.

Published by Little, Brown & Co., January 9, 2023
eARC obtained from Edelweiss+
400 pages

Rating: 4/5

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Book Review: Stateless, by Elizabeth Wein

Stateless, by Elizabeth Wein book cover and review
As in some previous Wein books I have read, I found Stateless to be good, not great. As a matter of fact, I finished it weeks ago and just now realized I didn't review it. What better time than the day of the book's official release. 

As the Nazis are gaining power, an air race for European young people has been arranged in the hope that it will bring everyone together. Stella North is the only female participant, representing Great Britain. She feels a lot of pressure to represent well since no one believes in her abilities as a pilot.

She loves nothing more than flying, but it loses some of the fun when she witnesses what appears to be one plane driving another plane into a crash. Who can she trust? Tension mounts as other things start happening, and all the pilots are in danger even if they don't know it. 

The relationships among the pilots are interesting and the story is well told. I just thought it all a bit far-fetched. But true to young adult fiction, it is exciting and kept my interest.

If you enjoyed Wein's other stories, Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fireetc., you will most likely like Stateless.

Published by Little, Brown BFYR (March 14, 2023)
eArc obtained from Edelweiss+
400 pages

Rating: 4/5

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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Audiobook Review: Carrie Soto is Back, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid book cover and review
I'm a tennis nut. I love to watch tennis in any form. I often have The Tennis Channel on in the background. So I really enjoyed Carrie Soto is Back.

Carrie Soto is a 37-year-old retired tennis star. Her record for winning the most Grand Slam titles has just been tied by the young Nicki Chan and she has decided to come out of retirement and win another Grand Slam because she can't stand that someone else might break her record.

Her father, Javier, has agreed to once again coach her on this quest. She also decides to train with Bowe Huntly, her contemporary, who hasn't retired. There is a bit of bad blood between these two since he and Carrie went out and then he just never called her again. But he's the only person who will agree to hit with Carrie to get her in shape. You see, Carrie was never very liked on the tennis circuit, and no one thinks she has a chance in hell to win another slam.

The relationship between Carrie and her father is probably the best part of the book. Javier is so wise--and not just about tennis. There is a lot of tennis, so if you don't understand the game, Carrie Soto isn't the book for you.

It is cute and heartfelt, even if a bit over the top at times. You can't help but root for Carrie, and not necessarily to win. Mostly just for her to grow up and come to terms with her life as it is. 

An enjoyable read (or listen.) Stacy Gonzalez does a great job with the voices. There are parts of the book in Spanish, and not all of it is translated. You mostly can imagine what is being said because of the situation, but it still bothered me. It was also really cool that Patrick Mcenroe and Mary Carillo, two tennis icons, narrated parts of the book.

If you enjoy tennis, Carrie Soto is Back is worth it.

Published by Ballentine, 2022
Audiobook obtained from libro.fm
384 pages

Rating: 4/5

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