Very interesting read! I think most adopted children wonder about their birth parents at some point in their life. I was very impressed with Sara's de...moreVery interesting read! I think most adopted children wonder about their birth parents at some point in their life. I was very impressed with Sara's dedication once she realized that she had the power to take down a serial killer.(less)
Chevy Stevens' thrillers are gripping and visceral. For spoiler-related-reasons, I won't divulge why, but I almost threw up during certain sections of...moreChevy Stevens' thrillers are gripping and visceral. For spoiler-related-reasons, I won't divulge why, but I almost threw up during certain sections of this story. I was absolutely heartbroken for Annie.(less)
Love love love. Anne and Isabel had a great story to read. I LOVED seeing how afraid of Elizabeth Woodville they were...especially knowing that they b...moreLove love love. Anne and Isabel had a great story to read. I LOVED seeing how afraid of Elizabeth Woodville they were...especially knowing that they barely ranked on her radar. It's amazing how far women will go to protect themselves from a perceived threat, and I was genuinely sorry that they were living in fear for no reason.(less)
I mentioned a while ago that Kevin Kowalski might be the only hero in a romance novel I'd actually date in real life.
Well, I'd take Ryan over Kevin an...moreI mentioned a while ago that Kevin Kowalski might be the only hero in a romance novel I'd actually date in real life.
Well, I'd take Ryan over Kevin any day. What a great guy! Don't get me wrong, he's a well-developed character with a normal amount of character flaws, but overall, he's a winner for me.
Lauren also ranks high on my list of favourite characters. What I enjoy most about Shannon Stacey's novels are characters I want to know and genuinely care about as they face conflict throughout the novels.(less)
Great ideas that mesh with my parenting philosophy. Wish they didn't advocate sleep training from a young age, though. I don't think it's appropriate...moreGreat ideas that mesh with my parenting philosophy. Wish they didn't advocate sleep training from a young age, though. I don't think it's appropriate to practise CIO with children before they have a solid sense of object permanence.(less)
I almost didn't believe that this was a Jacqueline Carey novel. Gone was the rich, polished prose from the Kusheline cycles, and instead she adopted a...moreI almost didn't believe that this was a Jacqueline Carey novel. Gone was the rich, polished prose from the Kusheline cycles, and instead she adopted a modern voice.
While I actually really enjoyed the story, it felt a bit mainstream, run-of-the-mill for me. I've given it four stars because I'm grading on a bell curve, but I didn't feel that it held up to Carey's other works.(less)
This book was okay. I thought the potential was missed because there was too much focus on the regular, day-to-day teenage drama without enough focus...moreThis book was okay. I thought the potential was missed because there was too much focus on the regular, day-to-day teenage drama without enough focus on what was really going on in Emma's home. I felt the horror was diminished by not seeing enough of Emma's relationship with Carole, George or the kids. Rating is boosted based on a solid ending.(less)
This was a pretty good book. However, Oath Bound was so absolutely fantastic that this book fell short for me. I felt like there was a lot more in Liv...moreThis was a pretty good book. However, Oath Bound was so absolutely fantastic that this book fell short for me. I felt like there was a lot more in Liv and Cam's story left untold and I was disappointed to switch narrators. I just didn't connect with Kori and Ian the same way, and the story itself wasn't as strong.
Still worth a read, though. The first book was just exceptionally hard to live up to, so I think I'm grading this harder than I would be if it was a standalone story.(less)
The first thing I have to say is that having read the book, I actually don’t love the cover as much as I thought I did. First of all, Kenzie has wa...moreThe first thing I have to say is that having read the book, I actually don’t love the cover as much as I thought I did. First of all, Kenzie has way more tattoos than that — and secondly, if you’re going to feature a neck tattoo, it really should be a raven. Or at least a peony.
But I digress.
I love Pamela Callow. I love Kate Lange. And I love secondary characters like reformed alcoholic, criminal lawyer Eddie Bent and Detective Ethan Drake. So what’s not to love about Tattooed? Other than the cover photo…not much.
Lawyer Kate Lange has never forgiven herself for being the driver of the car in a crash that killed her sister, Imogen, seventeen years ago. She’d been dragging her sister away from a party where Imogen had been snorting lines of crack. So when Frances Sloane, the mother of the party’s host Kenzie, asks her for legal advice, she’s a bit conflicted. Frances has advanced ALS and wants Kate’s help in taking on the law against assisted suicide. Kenzie, who moved away from Halifax shortly after Imogen’s death, comes back to say her final goodbyes to her mother. And Kenzie knows a bit more about Imogen’s last days — and a bit more about the body found in a nearby peat bog — than she’d like Kate to know. Finally, a recently released prisoner named John McNally is watching them both. He wants to kill Kate — and he wants Kenzie to help him.
There’s so much going on in this book. It’s told from multiple viewpoints: Kate’s, Kenzie’s, Ethan’s, and McNally’s. It’s interesting to see the story evolve from inside the heads of four very different people. Even though you know from page one who the bad guy is, that’s common in this series, and it doesn’t ruin anything. Pamela’s novels are about the HOW and the WHY more than the WHO. They’re about discovering secrets and never quite seeing how all the pieces connect until the last page.
I like that Pamela spends a lot of time researching her novels, because they always seem very plausible. And as I’m planning my next tattoo (it’ll be my third), I had a lot of fun reading about tattooing techniques and prison tats (although I am not planning to ever get one of those).
If you enjoy intrigue, suspense, and pulse-raising thrillers, you can’t do better than Pamela Callow. If this sounds like it’s up your alley, start with Damaged and Indefensible, books 1 and 2 in the Kate Lange series. With a fourth book in the contract (and personally I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for more after that), there’s still more to come.(less)
For those of us who are atheists, or were at least raised non-religious or as non-believers, it can be hard to understand the difficulty behind...moreFor those of us who are atheists, or were at least raised non-religious or as non-believers, it can be hard to understand the difficulty behind giving up everything you’ve known to break free of a life you don’t want. It’s also hard for anyone to picture a life this different from our own. I love to read books about unfamiliar lifestyles — and discussed this in my review of Leah’s Choice — and since this book is a memoir and not a novel, it’s an especially interesting inside look.
Devoireh grows up as a Hasidic Jew in Williamsburg, NY. Her mother left the faith when she was a baby and her father is mentally handicapped, so she lives with her bubby and zeidy (Yiddish words for grandmother and grandfather). Hasidic Jews are perhaps THE most religious sect of Judaism, and Devoireh has little freedoms. She has to sneak out to the library and hide books under her mattress, even if they are religious texts, because they are not allowed. The crowning part of her childhood rebellion was the purchase of an English translation of the Talmud, the book upon which her entire faith is based and which she would, as a woman, never be permitted to read.
When she is seventeen, she is engaged to a man named Eli whom she has known for perhaps all of thirty minutes. She starts to dream that by moving out and becoming a married woman, she will have more freedom than she did as a child.
Then she learns of the rules of niddah (how at certain times of the month she is considered impure) and the harsh immersions in the ritual mikvah baths that are required to return her to a “pure” state.
And then she and her husband have extreme difficulties consummating the marriage, and any chance of true intimacy between them seems less and less likely.
When Devoireh becomes pregnant, she realises she wants more for herself and her son. But without even a high school diploma, how will she get them out when she knows nobody on the outside?
For me, this was an especially powerful read because my mother left her Orthodox Jewish family behind when she married my dad. She was raised religious but not overly orthodox, but her parents and siblings grew more and more extreme while she became less so. And when she made the decision to marry my dad, her parents and sister cut all ties.
Although Orthodox Jews are not quite as fanatical as Hasidics (I laughed to see them constantly referred to as “modern”), it is still rare for someone to leave the fold.
I am impressed with Devoireh’s story for showing the world how hard it can really be to leave your religious roots behind, and embrace secular culture. It is never an easy decision and she should be commended for making tough choices to give herself and her son the life she dreamed they could have. I do wish she could have spent a little more time focusing on the difficulties of severing ties with the people she did love, instead of only focusing on how she distanced herself from everyone.