Friday, March 16, 2018

Literary Quote

Sometimes a quote from an author or a book is all you need for the day to say what you are thinking.  People ask why do I love reading so much, many times it's because authors can say the things that I wish I was able to say, maybe not specifically what Vonnegut says here, but in general.  Through characters and story authors can say a multitude of things.  This goes with the idea that literature is a reflection of life in some form or another, and I love the way he says it.

What are some of your favorite quotes from literature, authors, or in general?  Let me know in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Once Gone

Title: Once Gone
Author: Blake Pierce
Genre: Mystery, thriller, suspense
Source: Kindle Ebook
Rating: 4 out of 5 paws

Throughout the forests and other rural lands women are turning up murdered and posed in chilling poses.  FBI Agent Bill knows exactly who he needs/wants on the case, his former partner Riley Paige.  The question is is she ready to return to work after her own ordeal?  Riley is the best FBI Agent, she sees and thinks of things differently than the other agents.  She is determined to figure out the motive for these killings and find the latest victim before it is too late.  But is she confusing this monster with the one who haunts her dreams?  Can Riley look past her past and face the case in front of her or will her trauma cause her to fail the women and potentially lose her job?  It becomes a race against time as Riley fights the bureau and herself to discover who the killer is in time.

This was one of those novels that sat on my kindle for a while now and I haven't gotten the chance to read it until now.  I am happy I picked it on a whim the other day.  It is a chilling tale from the beginning to the end.  There are elements about the way the bodies are posed that give it a unique chill.  You will find yourself trying to figure out what dolls have to do with the murders and why the killer poses the women as dolls.  I found myself unable to put the novel down even when someone was speaking to me.  This is one of those stories that drags you into the depths of the tale and holds you captive until the very end.

I absolutely love the character of Riley, she is flawfully strong.  What I mean is she is a powerful character with a ton of strengths, but also completely flawed and doesn't fully think before she acts.  I found myself yelling at her for doing something stupid only to remind myself that I would probably have done something equally stupid.  I love how Pierce shows her struggling with things in her personal life as much as her professional life and what happens when she muddles the two.  I love how her brokenness is portrayed and you can feel the emotions coming of the page, the fear, frustration, anger she feels throughout the book is palpable. 

It is somewhat predictable, but also unpredictable at the same time.  You can almost predict what Riley is going to do based on her actions throughout the novel.  But then you can't predict how things will turn out or what direction Pierce is taking things.  I love it.  I couldn't be more excited about randomly picking a book from my Kindle library.

I wonder to myself why it took me so long to really dig into this book because it is fantastic.  I am recommending it to anyone who is looking for a good compelling mystery novel.  Blake Pierce really set the stage for this series and I am excited to see what is in store for Riley and readers.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Dead Fish

Title: Dead Fish
Author: Ruth Carrington
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Source; Ebook via Netgalley
Rating: 2 out of 5 paws

Upon arriving home, Geoffrey Quinn is immediately arrested on the murder of his wife and children  His wife was found burned in the boiler, the children remain missing.  Alison Hope is a young defender assigned to the case, she is skeptical about his innocence as the evidence is compelling.  As she continues to investigate the crime, she discovers a darker world within the wealthy in the community.  Time is running out fast and Alison must unravel the mystery before it is too late and Quinn is convicted of a crime he didn't commit.

I had such high hopes for this novel, and sadly was disappointed.  Not only does the story come off as cliché, it isn't compelling enough to keep me engaged.  I found it difficult to finish the novel and almost didn't on several occasions.  There are some interesting ideas throughout the novel, but they were not portrayed in a good manner.

The flow of the story was rather choppy, it would be fast paced and exciting one minute then sluggish and slow the next.  I struggled to stay interested in the characters as they seem too ordinary, there was nothing that made me relate to them or feel any emotion towards them.  I think if Carrington went back through and added more depth to the characters this would be a different story.  It honestly does start off well, but then slowly drops off and declines.  There was a lot of different vices used throughout such as alcohol, drugs, sex etc, I understand that was the point, but it came to feel like it was a bit too much, too difficult to keep track and interested.  There were WAAY to many red herrings, and I began to wonder when we were going to get to the point of the tale.

Overall it was an interesting idea, granted one done before but I had hoped Carrington would do it differently, add a unique twist to it that made me go "WOW" unfortunately that did not happen.  While I think there are people who would enjoy this novel and would recommend other readers to give it a shot and see it fairs with them.  It just was not my cup of tea.

** I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review**

Friday, March 2, 2018

Behind Closed Doors

Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: B.A. Paris
Genre: Thriller
Source: Paperback
Rating: 5 out of 5 paws

On the surface, Grace and Jack seem to have the perfect marriage and are completely devoted to one another.  Jack is a successful lawyer protecting battered women, while Grace is the perfect little housewife with the green thumb and cooking skills that rival Gordon Ramsey.  But behind closed doors things are not always as they appear.  Grace and Jack are suspiciously never apart and it seems Jack always has his hand on her elbow or back, one might see this as a sign of affection, but could it be more?  Why doesn't Grace's friend ever see her without Jack.  What secrets could this couple be hiding behind closed doors?

I kept seeing this book in the stores, on Goodreads, and being recommended by friends in my book club.  I finally picked it up and snuggled into bed with the literary cats and devoured this book.  Everything else faded, I barely heard text messages or even the music I had playing.  I got lost in this story I could not get enough.  Everything I read online had me intrigued to begin with and then once I started in on it exceeded my expectations.

I was a little weary about reading it because I was unsure if there would be actual abuse which is something sometimes I have a hard time handling, but with all the raving reviews, I decided to see how dark this book actually got.  I can honestly say there is no outright physical abuse, it is all psychological. Jack feeds off fear and the anticipation of what will happen next, and the thrill of attempted escapes and pretending to be the perfect husband to the perfect wife knowing what is hidden within his perfect home. 

Paris' writing is fantastic and there are so many quotes and moments that make the reader kind of snicker even though this is a rather serious novel such as Millie's claims of not liking "Jorj Kooney" (George Clooney)  here are a few samples of Paris's writing from the book:

“We go downstairs and in the hall, he takes my coat from the cupboard and holds it open while I slip my arms into it. In the drive outside, he holds the car door for me and waits until I’m in. As he closes it behind me, I can’t help thinking it’s a shame he’s such a sadistic bastard, because he has wonderful manners.”

“And afterwards, as he drank in the sound of her fear and breathed in the smell of it, he wished he could keep her there for eternity"

Paris has an excellent way with using her words to describe every emotion, every sense, every interaction and minute detail.  She spared nothing with this novel and nothing is filler information.  It goes back and forth between present and past, but it doesn't mess up with the continuity of the novel and it is easy to follow along and keep up with what is happening and when.  I love the intelligence of not only Grace, but also Millie.  I loved seeing a character with a major disability like Down Syndrome be portrayed as highly intelligent and capable of many things.  I think this is something we need to see more often to help bring awareness to the awful stereotypes.  And the ending oh my gosh, it really makes the book.

So far this is probably the best book I have read this year, and I highly recommend it to everyone who is looking for that one great book to read.  I cannot wait to get my hands on another one of her books.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Magnus and The Jewelled Book of the Universe

Title: Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe
Author: S.L Browne
Genre: Children's, Adventure, Fantasy
Source: Ebook - Netgalley
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Magnus is a young boy who discovers he is actually from a tribe of Aliens known as Guardians of the Universe.  His mentor Marlo fears an evil wizard named Murdamond will try to destroy their planet after he has destroyed Earth.  Magnus discovers the evil wizard kidnapped his parents and is holding them hostage.  Now Magnus needs to not only save his parents, but also his planet and the whole universe from this evil man.    He utilizes all his power, his friendships with humans and dinosaurs as well as the Jewelled Book of the Universe (which decided it wanted to be a girl to make things interesting).  Will he be able to discover everything he needs to in time to save the world as he knows it?

Netgalley is one of my favorite places to find new books and new authors.  S.L. Browne is a new children's author and makes a name for herself with her debut novel.   While the title may be a mouth-full the story itself was very enjoyable to read and exciting for young readers.  The writing is simplistic, but again this is meant for children not adults.  It was very creative and descriptive that a child would love with characters a child would love as well. There isn't much depth to the characters or the story, but then again I am an adult reading from an adult POV.  It is a story of a young boy who discovers things about himself that he never knew, and comes to terms with those things as well as tries to save his parents. 

Brownes novel takes a look at some very adult themes such as greed and global awareness, and puts into a child-like perspective which is very well done and this book is a good way to introduce those things to young readers.  It doesn't seem like a lot happens in the story, but this is a part of series so it's common for the first book to sort of build things up for the next one, and to a child there may have been a lot of things happening.

As I was reading I thought to myself, would this have been a book I would have enjoyed as a kid of 7-9 years old and the answer is yes.  Children don't need long extensive books that delve deep into the woes of the world.  They need on that is appealing, easy to read and on their level, and that is exactly what Browne accomplished with her book.  I hope to see more from her (him?).

Friday, February 23, 2018

The 11th Hour

Title: The 11th Hour
Author: Kristine Scarrow
Genre: YA, Thriller
Source: Ebook - Net galley
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Annika thinks she is in love.  Dylan is everything a young girl could want and she believes her future lies with him.  When she begins to neglect her friends, work and quits her activities her parents try to protect her by saying she cannot see him.  But she knows he loves her and their future will be a fairy tale.  That is until she runs away with him, and discovers he is not the person she thought he was and is in need so professional help. But with her safety at risk, she doesn't know what to do or who to turn to.

*I received an ARC from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I didn't know what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I'm still a little torn after finishing it. Everything I read about it has me torn and I am not sure where to even begin.  It opens with their plans to run away nothing leading up to it, just Annika planning her morning so she can runaway without a second thought.  We get snippets of a backstory but in my opinion it's not enough to form an real opinion or attachment to the kids.  The POVs were difficult to read.  Annika simply came off as the annoying teenage girl that gives us everything and I mean everything for a boy she just started dating (we aren't told how long they have dated before they decide to just run away), friends, activities even work.  Dylan's POV is choppy and unfinished sentences.

There is a lot that happens in this novel and it all happens in a span of 11 hours which seems a little too fast paced.  I almost wish the story was drawn out a little more.  Sometimes a longer book the builds up the suspense and story is better than a shorter one that just throws readers unexpected right into the middle of the conflict.  One good thing is that readers will not expect the outcome of the story, you might think you do but Scarrow pulls out a twist and surprises her readers. 

I understand what the message Scarrow was trying to convey and it is an important one: mental illness is a serious disease that 1) one should not be ashamed of, 2) talked openly about rather than hidden especially from those we love, and 3) needs to have more awareness.  But I don't think it was conveyed in a proper way.  Granted Dylan's depression and inability to handle stress even after a short amount of time was something important to show.  I think it could been drawn out rather than all at once.  The build up is important.

I would suggest it, I think young adults would enjoy reading it and get lost into the darker folds of the story.