I both enjoyed and didn't enjoy this book. I was confused at times and laughed out loud at other times. Thankful...moreSeven Deadlies by Gig Levangie Grazier
I both enjoyed and didn't enjoy this book. I was confused at times and laughed out loud at other times. Thankfully it is a short and really quick read; and even quicker if you skip the #coda7 chapter (final chapter) which I wholeheartedly recommend you do. This is my first book by Gigi Levangie Grazier; her writing is intriguing enough that I may try another book.
The book starts with Perry describing the three types of ignorance she has noticed but after the first chapter, Lust, we never hear about them again. And I don't believe it is ever mentioned why the book (essay application) was about the seven sins or broken up that way. I know it was mentioned a little in the #coda7 but since I'm recommending you skip that part, it isn't explained anywhere else.
Perry Gonzales is funny, quirky 14-year-old girl who is very bright and a scholarship student at a highbrow, snooty high school in California. The book is supposed to be some sort of essay for application to a college (even though she's only a freshman) and is laid out with a chapter for each of the seven deadly sins: Greed, Sloth, Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, and Wrath. Each chapter is supposedly about a fellow student that Perry helped via tutoring but really details a lot of the silliness that passes for American society these days. eg. girls crazy over boy bands, our obsession with video games and cell phones, celebrity, superstar athletes, winning and always being #1. (Hey! The Beatles were a "boy band".)
There are some lines that made me laugh out loud but the Gluttony chapter? I honestly just didn't get it. And since the ending of that chapter was bordering on Stephen King gross, I don't even want to try.
The final chapter titled #coda7 was baffling, disappointing and completely unnecessary. Not only did it NOT add anything to the story, it actually ruined the book in my opinion. I won't reveal the contents here but trust me, skip it. And what is a #coda7? Is that part of the new social media culture that I'm falling further behind on every day? Someone please explain if you can.
I gave the book 3 stars because it was quirky, unique and original although 2.5 might be closer to accurate. Perhaps we should all purse our lips to form great cheekbones like the author's picture on the jacket. Oh wait, was that envy???(less)
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the other two book in the series: "Quinn" and "Jake". "Josh" had a little more cheesy dialog...moreJosh by R.C.Ryan
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I did the other two book in the series: "Quinn" and "Jake". "Josh" had a little more cheesy dialog in a few spots and the female lead was annoying at times. Sierra is my least favorite type of female character - wishy-washy instead of standing up to a cruel person.
These characters were the weakest of the bunch. Still, R.C. Ryan writes interesting stories and they are worth a read. (less)
I would actually give this book 2.5 stars, it is a well-written basic romance novel. City slicker lawyer comes to Wyoming to settle h...moreJake by R.C. Ryan
I would actually give this book 2.5 stars, it is a well-written basic romance novel. City slicker lawyer comes to Wyoming to settle her estranged father's estate, meets super charming sexy cowboy and finds out she has a half-brother. This throws a wrench into her plans to get rid of the ranch and be back at her law firm in a week.
After Meg arrives at her father's ranch, she finds a little boy who won't talk to her and vandalism all over the ranch. Ms. Ryan does a good job taking a strong female character and keeping her strong but letting her show that even the strongest among us can be thrown for an emotional loop when we least expect it. Jake Conway, the handsome veterinarian, who lives on the next ranch over, comes over to take care of an injured colt and sparks ignite.
Personally I think it's a little corny to have people react like they touched a live electrical wire when they touch "the one" for the first time, but it's a standard line in romance novels. There are only a few clichéd moments in the book. The writing was good and easy to read; the dialog flowed and sounded real. I enjoyed the book, it was a nice break from murder mysteries.
If you like romance novels, I think you will like R.C. Ryan's books. "Jake" is the third in the Wyoming Sky trilogy following his brothers "Quinn" and "Josh". (less)
Jack McEvoy is back in "The Scarecrow" by Michael Connelly, along with Rachel Walling. Connelly's characters are th...moreThe Scarecrow by Michael Connelly.
Jack McEvoy is back in "The Scarecrow" by Michael Connelly, along with Rachel Walling. Connelly's characters are the desperately lonely. FBI agent Walling, having blown her career due to her first fling with McEvoy is ready to jump back into his bed and blow her career again. Only this time, it's "the real love" that they shouldn't have let go of 10 years ago. Sometimes I wonder if Connelly has a problem with strong women and that's why he has his female characters jumping into bed with men they barely know.
Now Jack's career with the LA Times is ending due to budget cutbacks and he decides to chase one more story to end his career on a high note. A sixteen year old drug dealer is accused of a brutal murder, his mom says he didn't do it. Jack half-heartedly agrees to look into it but he doesn't really believe the kid is innocent. Until the young cub reporter assigned to take over his beat is also murdered, while the kid is in jail. Walling and McEvoy team up to track down a serial killer that no law enforcement group is aware of. They make some really stupid assumptions and mistakes and quite frankly there was a time or two when I was like "die dummy".
In the end Jack retires to write his "great American novel" and Rachel.... well does she or doesn't she? Will a relationship finally work out for them or will her career stand in the way?
It was a pretty good book and the computer stuff the killer used is very real and scary. Pretty appropriate for right now too. (less)
I was surprised by this book in several ways. Harry Bosch smiled several times and was actually lighthearted althou...moreCity of Bones by Michael Connelly.
I was surprised by this book in several ways. Harry Bosch smiled several times and was actually lighthearted although by the end of the book, he was pretty much back to his old self. Jerry Edgar was much edgier in this book, whether it was because of the investigation into an abused child's murder or just trying on a new persona. Usually Edgar whines about having to work overtime but in CoB he was sarcastic and argumentative. Strange. And Harry's latest girlfriend is a nutcase.
In "City of Bones" a human arm bone is found and Harry's team is assigned. Lt. Billets isn't happy about wasting resources on such an old case, it will throw off their statistics. Things seemed a bit off in this book plus I wondered why it was only 5 CDs. Duh, afterward I figured out it was an abridged version. Also I could tell what 2 future books were going to be named because "The Closers" and "Lost Light" were mentioned many times. That was new to me. "City of Bones" almost reminded me of when Robert Ludlum went senile and wrote "The Road to Gandolfo", a book so different from the rest that he had to be senile.
I enjoyed this book and though I would have preferred the unabridged version, abridged was all the library had. The story had a lot of good elements and wasn't dark and brooding like so many of the other Bosch books. There were many suspects that were examined and discarded, everyone had secrets and I found myself hoping "I hope it isn't XXX or YYY." I also liked the music played on this CD. Len Cariou was the reader for CoB, he has a very nice voice but has trouble keeping his male voices distinct enough to discern who is speaking sometimes.
In the last couple of Bosch books that I've read, instances of police crossing lines has been part of the story. "City of Bones" has a cop killing a suspect that they think shot a police officer. It doesn't matter that the guy didn't, it was enough that the cops thought he did. After he was cuffed they kicked and hit him and Harry had to get him away and to the station before they killed him. Eventually the cop does shoot the guy.
One thing I have gleaned from reading these books is less and less trust in police officers and to NEVER, NEVER talk to police. They lie, they threaten (they call it 'a play') to get what they want, they search places by scaring people into cooperating and never volunteer to go to the station with them. Always get a lawyer first. Kind of scary, huh? Maybe it's just me, maybe it's the number of stories you hear on the news. I'm sure there are many good stories we don't hear, only the bad ones.
I recommend "City of Bones". I would suggest either read the book or get the unabridged version. I have a feeling that the 'abridging' may have contributed to some of the strange feeling of the book flow. (less)
Finally, finally, FINALLY! I forced myself to finish this book. If you live in Colorado it's pretty obvious that "F...moreClose Knit Killer by Maggie Sefton.
Finally, finally, FINALLY! I forced myself to finish this book. If you live in Colorado it's pretty obvious that "Fort Connor" is "Fort Collins, CO". That is even more clear when one of the police cars still mistakenly says Ft. Collins instead of Ft. Connor in one scene. That's something I might expect in the first couple of books but not the tenth. And if you've created "Fort Connor" why do your drafts still have Ft. Collins in them?
At first I thought this was just poor writing, the short sentence structure, the bad, hokey dialog. eg. Kelly: Yes, Burt, I hope Frank the cook saw something that night. Burt: I know Kelly, it would help if Frank the cook saw something.
But I finally figured out these books are written for a different target audience. Perhaps younger or a lower reading level. That's why I gave it a 2 instead of a 1-star. Knowing this didn't make the book any better for me but it made it tolerable enough to skim over stuff to get to the end.
So, this is a cozy mystery and it does have a mystery - a man is killed - on Page 81. But it took until page 202 for the super-sleuth Kelly to actually ask any questions or almost do any sleuthing. (The book is only 252 pages long.) Kelly doesn't seem to do much other than drink coffee, gossip and occasionally show people her clients' spreadsheets to explain what she does for a living. (p.s. The author's bio says she was a CPA at one time. If my accountant breached confidentiality and showed my information around like Kelly does, I'd fire her in a heartbeat. Page 27.)
And one thing that really annoyed me? How often the "bad economy" was thrown around in conversations. Almost every chapter had a mention. And yes I know the economy isn't good, but the number of times it was used in conversation was overdone. "Gee Kelly we would love to buy a house but with this bad economy and people not able to find jobs, we just don't know when we'll be able to." "I feel sorry for kids today, not being able to find jobs and buy houses." Page 3; page 13; page 15; page 50; page 59; page 60; page 61...
Now the characters aren't bad, a group of 20-somethings that play softball, hang out with friends and have pizza remind me of what my friends and I did in our 20's. And the setup is nice too. Small town Fort Collins, I mean Connor, a knit shop, a café, and the Rocky Mountains.
So my conclusion is this: This series isn't for me, which is too bad because I like to support local authors. (Ms. Sefton lives in Ft. Colins, CO) Many people rate this series highly so it obviously works for some people. Give it a try, I'd say it's individual preference whether you'll like it or not. (less)
I saw this book on a friend's 'Read' shelf on Goodreads.com and thought it would make a good change of pace. I am usua...moreomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber.
I saw this book on a friend's 'Read' shelf on Goodreads.com and thought it would make a good change of pace. I am usually wary of books set in medieval times through the nineteenth century - I get really annoyed that women were considered little more than stupid broodmares to be traded and purchased as well as the ignorance and superstition prevalent then. So many women today romanticize those times without considering what life was actually like.
"The Anatomist's Wife" is Anna Lee Huber's debut novel and very well done. Lady Darby has been scandalized since her husband's death with charges of being "unnatural". An extremely talented artist, her husband married her to avoid having to pay an illustrator for his anatomy book. Since women were considered too delicate to even know what a body looked like alive, much less dead, Kiera was labeled unnatural when her husband's activities were found out after his death. Kiera retreats to her sister and brother-in-law's estate in the Highlands of Scotland to hide from the gossip-mongers of the 'ton'. A house-party goes horribly awry when Lady Godwin is found brutally murdered and all the society attendees look suspiciously in Kiera's direction as the murderer.
I didn't figure out who the killer was before it was revealed; Huber did a good job of mis-direction. A couple at the restaurant last night leaned over as we waited for tables and said they had both read it last year when it came out and liked it. I agree and would recommend this book. (less)
Wow, I gave this romance novel 4 stars! Not because it was an exquisite, edge-of-your-seat story, but because I finally found an au...moreQuinn by R.C. Ryan.
Wow, I gave this romance novel 4 stars! Not because it was an exquisite, edge-of-your-seat story, but because I finally found an author that can write and/or has a good editor and doesn't rely exclusively on detailed sex scenes to be the focus of the entire book. In other words, there's an actual story here. I would normally have given 'Quinn' 3 stars but after the last few disastrous encounters with romance novels I was so happy I jumped it an extra star.
Cheyenne has had a tough few years. Her mom died when she was young and her brother and Dad were all the family she had left. Then Buddy died in a car accident and her Dad died up on the mountain chasing lost cattle. Now Cheyenne runs the ranch alone with Micah, who has run the house since her mom died and Buddy's best friend, Austin, who came to the ranch and stayed on to help after Buddy's death. Quinn Conway also grew up without his mother but he still had his 2 brothers, Dad and Grandpa as well as the housekeeper and cook for family.
Disturbing accidents start happening to Cheyenne and her ranch, the house is nearly burned to the ground with Cheyenne and Quinn inside, the bunkhouse is set on fire with Micah inside and when Cheyenne stays at Quinn's ranch while hers is being rebuilt, his barn is set afire. These events no longer seem like random accidents and call into question other "accidents". There is a handy villain but honestly I didn't believe it for more than a couple of pages. There was just something about the real killer that leapt out at me almost immediately.
"Quinn" describes ranching in Wyoming without getting preachy about politics or anything else. Quinn, a rancher, is also a wildlife biologist specializing in wolves, two jobs that are usually diametrically opposed on the wolf issue. There is sex, it is a romance novel after all. But Ryan doesn't take 16 pages to describe and bore you to tears with it. It's a part of the story, it isn't the whole story. When I want a more erotic story, I go with authors like Christine Feehan, J.R. Ward, or even Kresley Cole and Sherrilyn Kenyon.
For a light, quick-read kind of book that I call a "palate refresher", a book to read between other darker genres, I will definitely be coming back to R.C. Ryan aka Ruth Langan again. (less)
A little bit "Odd Thomas" with a pinch of "Harry Potter", Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is a fun read for al...moreHold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride.
A little bit "Odd Thomas" with a pinch of "Harry Potter", Hold Me Closer, Necromancer is a fun read for all ages. Though billed as a Young Adult book, I found it entertaining and at times chuckle-worthy. Our hero, Samhain (Sam) LaCroix works at a fast-food restaurant with his friends Brooke, Frank and Ramone. Finished with high school Sam isn't sure what he wants to do; not really interested in college like his friends, Sam feels restless and can't pinpoint why.
Then a prank goes wrong and Sam comes to the attention of a scary guy: Douglas Montgomery. Douglas is a necromancer and can't believe that another necromancer is in his territory without him knowing. Sam doesn't know what Douglas is talking about. The story progresses with Sam finally confronting his mom and finding out that, yes, he is a necromancer whose powers have been hidden from him and the world. The rest of the book is about Sam attempting to learn something about his powers and the strange world he's just been thrown into. The ending is a bit emotional. Letting go is sometimes the hardest thing you have to do.
Part of the fun were the book and chapter titles - most are riffs on song titles or lyrics i.e. "Hold Me Closer, Necromancer" = "Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer" or "Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting". The younger readers may not recognize many of the titles as a line from old songs but I thought they were pretty funny.
The writing is good and strong, I thought there were only a couple of weak points but they weren't big enough to take away from the story. The ending is left wide open for the future books and enough characters have been introduced that will be featured in those books. Although I did think Sam should have visited Ramone in the hospital more after Sam was released. Chris Sorensen did a good job as the reader.
I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the next book in the series: "Necromancing the Stone" - perhaps the chapter titles in this book will be from movies? :) (less)
The "Lincoln Lawyer" is back! Mickey Haller is back after taking a year sabbatical and before he can find any c...moreThe Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly.
The "Lincoln Lawyer" is back! Mickey Haller is back after taking a year sabbatical and before he can find any clients of his own, 30 cases are dropped on him because a fellow attorney died and left his entire practice to him. Including the biggest case in the news, a movie mogul accused of shooting his wife and her lover. I guess what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander in this family.
For a while I wondered if Mickey might actually have an innocent client, it took most of the book to finally answer that question. Mickey is written well, skittish about possible violent clients since he was gut-shot in the last book. I can see Matthew McConaughey totally as Mickey Haller and wouldn't mind seeing the movie now.
There are quite a few mis-directions in 'The Brass Verdict'. Why is the FBI sniffing around? What about the lover's criminal background in Europe? Bosch is his typical arrogant, jerky self in this book, doing his best to intimidate the defense lawyer into helping him because "whoever killed Vincent might come after you now too". You also know that he knows that Haller is his half-brother and that Haller doesn't know but Bosch never tells him. I think it's pretty evident that Connelly believes that police should be allowed to do anything they want to get their jobs done and that defense attorneys are wasted space.
This is the book where Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch intersect for the first time. Mickey figures out who Bosch at the end of the book and asks Bosch why he never made contact. Bosch's answer shows a truth about people, that many times we never completely get over our childhood insecurities. I also finally figured out which one is older, Bosch by a few years.
The Brass Verdict is a good story and not nearly as dark as most of the Bosch books. A really enjoyable listen. Peter Giles did a good job as the reader. (less)