Sunday, December 27, 2015

Murder on Moloka'i - Slate Ridge Press Edition by Chip Hughes


Dec 27, 2015  

I give this book 3.5 stars. It was good but not as intense and a page turner crime mystery as I would have wanted it to be. There weren't enough twists and turns in the book.After reading Molokai by Alan Brennert a while back, I was able to connect the locations in both the books. I have never been to Hawaii, but I am learning more about it as I read books set in Hawaii.
I got this Kindle book as a freebie from Book Bub. I don't know if I will continue with the series. I will have to check out my library to see if the series is part of their inventory.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Watcher by Jo Robertson


Dec 20, 2015  

Forensic psychiatrist Kate Myers believes the killer of two teenage girls in Bigler County, California, is the same man who savagely murdered her twin sister over fifteen years ago. Working with a single-minded tenacity, she sets out to prove it.

Deputy Sheriff Ben Slater hides his personal pain behind the job, but Kate's arrival in his county knocks his world on its axis. He wants to believe her wild theory, but the idea of a serial killer with the kind of pathology she proposes is too bizarre.

Together they work to find a killer whose roots began in a small town in Bigler County, but whose violence spread across the nation. A Janus-like killer, more monster than man, he fixates on Kate. The killer wants

This is a free book I downloaded from Book Bub. This was a new author for me. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

My Review:

I had no problem getting into this books since I like crime books.
This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read in long time. The author doesn’t rush you through the story—you’re given time to get to know the two main characters and the villain—but everything you learn increases the tension and danger. By the way, the villian gave me the creeps. The story weaves in past and present. There are a number of unexpected twists and turns with an explosive ending. About the last 100 pages or so had me glued. There was no way I could put the book down at that point. If it ever becomes a movie, I know I will be sitting on the edge of my seat.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cut Me Loose by Leah Vincent


Oct 29,20 15 

Read in October, 2015

In the vein of Prozac Nation and Girl, Interrupted, an electrifying memoir about a young woman's promiscuous and self-destructive spiral after being cast out of her ultra-Orthodox Jewish family

Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, a fundamentalist sect of ultra-Orthodox Judaism. As the daughter of an influential rabbi, Leah and her ten siblings were raised to worship two things: God and the men who ruled their world. But the tradition-bound future Leah envisioned for herself was cut short when, at sixteen, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend, a violation of religious law that forbids contact between members of the opposite sex. Leah's parents were unforgiving. Afraid, in part, that her behavior would affect the marriage prospects of their other children, they put her on a plane and cut off ties. Cast out in New York City, without a father or husband tethering her to the Orthodox community, Leah was unprepared to navigate the freedoms of secular life. She spent the next few years using her sexuality as a way of attracting the male approval she had been conditioned to seek out as a child, while becoming increasingly unfaithful to the religious dogma of her past. Fast-paced, mesmerizing, and brutally honest, Cut Me Loose tells the story of one woman's harrowing struggle to define herself as an individual. Through Leah's eyes, we confront not only the oppressive world of religious fundamentalism, but also the broader issues that face even the most secular young women as they grapple with sexuality and identity.

My Review:

I liked the book. It was a fast, interesting memoir of the author's life as a girl raised in an Orthodox Jewish home. I understand how she felt the need to reject the laws of her upbringing since they were very strict.
I found her to be very brave when she decided to set out and discover what it was like to live in a secular world. Her experiences were shocking and harrowing . I found this part of the book, which was a good majority of it, to be heartbreaking, too graphic and repetitive. This was the path Leah chose to follow.
I am glad the book ended on a positive note but it was too rushed and abrupt by ending in a couple of sentences. I would have liked to have seen more details about her new life. The author keeps the reader hanging as to the future of Leah's life. Too much of a cliffhanger.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts

Oct 11, 20 15  

Three modern sisters bound by the timeless beauty of Ireland...

The eldest Concannon sister, Maggie, is a reclusive, stubborn and free-spirited glassmaker—with a heart worth winning.

Margaret Mary is a glass artist with an independent streak as fierce as her volatile temper. Hand-blowing glass is a difficult and exacting art, and while she may produce the delicate and the fragile, Maggie is a strong and opinionated woman, a Clare woman, with all the turbulence of that fascinating west country.

One man, Dublin gallery owner Rogan Sweeney, has seen the soul in Maggie’s art, and vows to help her build a career. When he comes to Maggie’s studio, her heart is inflamed by their fierce attraction—and her scarred past is slowly healed by love. Maggie is a young but lonely woman. She lost her beloved dad five years ago and her relationship with her mother is far from good. Actually, because of her mother she prefers loneliness and she doesn’t want to marry. She really doesn’t trust anyone, expect her sister Brianna who is very kind. Maggie is an artist and when in her life comes Rogan the owner of an international art gallery, many things will change in her life either she want it or not.

My Review:
I found the book to be very descriptive of the setting (Ireland) and characters. Nora Roberts has a way with words. She uses similes, metaphors and lots of adjectives. I felt like I was part of the setting and that I knew the characters.

I loved Maggie's stubborn character. She was a strong person but with a good heart even with a mother whose main purpose is to make her life a living hell but no matter what she was determined to keep her promise to her father, once he died, to care for her mother and sister.Maggie was a lonely woman because of her upbringing.I felt so sorry for her. I would be bitter if my mom treated me as evil as her mom, Maeve, did. What a horrible life to lead.She doesn’t want to marry either because she doesn't trust anyone, except her sister, Brianna, who is very kind. I certainly understood why she felt the way she did because of her evil mom.Another horrible thing to endure. I loved how her life started to change in a positive way as the story moved on even though she fought it all the way.

Parts of the book went at a slow pace. I found myself putting it down too often because of that, I gave it 3*. Even so, I will read the next book in the trilogy. I am curious to see how the characters' lives change or stay the same.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Sep 02, 2015  

Read in September, 2015

You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.

My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

My Review:

I found the book to be wonderful. It's the first book in a series. The themes included bullying, peer pressure and showing kindness to all people, no matter what abnormalities they may have. The book was heartwarming and emotional. Get the tissues ready. It talked about the struggles that Auggie had to encounter with other children because of his deformed physical appearance. My heart went out to him as I was reading. I think all children and adults should read this book so they can see what it feels like to be bullied. I definitely liked the ending. It taught a good lesson.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright


Aug 15, 2015  

The story of marriage, family, and forgiveness that has become not just a bestseller but an instant classic.

Their story begins with one letter on their wedding night, a letter from the groom, promising to write his bride every week—for as long they both shall live.

Thirty-nine years later, Jack and Laurel Cooper die in each other's arms. And when their grown children return to the family B&B to arrange the funeral, they discover thousands of letters.

The letters they read tell of surprising joys and sorrows. They also hint at a shocking family secret—and ultimately force the children to confront a life-changing moment of truth.

My Review::

I found the book to be a sweet, touching, emotional story about a family and the secrets they have kept from one another and their challenges they have had along the way. Each family member had a valid reason for their secrets. As the secrets start to unravel, the book becomes more mysterious. I like those kind of stories. I always try to guess the outcomes and I was quite surprised with some of them in this book. The author kept me guessing until the end.
I also like how Jack wrote letters to his wife every Wed. throughout their marriage. They turned into a diary about his feelings, events in their marriage, his devotion to her and their family challenges. The story unravels through these letters.
The book sends the message that whatever happens in life, good or bad, we should always forgive one another. I found it hard to forgive some of the things that happened in this book. You will have to read the book to see what they are.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

's review
Jul 21,20 15  ·  edit

I never read a book by Amanda Quick, but I will probably be reading some of her other books. She goes under other names just like Nora Roberts is also J.D. Robb. I usually don't read historical fiction books but this one was an exception. The setting took place in high society Victorian England. I liked the different expressions the characters used to explain different parts of the story. Quite different from what I am used to hearing.

This book involves 2 love stories but not overly done at all. I don't like reading books that include nothing but romance. This book also includes the murder of 5 women, and a spy scandal. There was something about the beginning of the book that pulled me in but I am not sure of what it was. Different characters were introduced and lots of clues as well. AS with any other mystery/suspense story the reader has to remember all of them in order to solve the mystery. I found the middle of the book not so captivating . As the story unraveled with all the clues coming together (last 100 pages or so)I was glued to the book. I was surprised to learn who the murderer was and why the events and people in his life lead up to his murder spree.