I really don't know how Making Faces could have been done any better. The story was spectacular, the charecters completely lovable and the writing flo...moreI really don't know how Making Faces could have been done any better. The story was spectacular, the charecters completely lovable and the writing flowed pretty darn close to perfectly. This was my second book by Amy Harmon, and though her writing style (very mild on the steam factor)has historically not been my favorite I'm glad I found her!(less)
It's so hard to write a review on a non-fiction book. It's real, this really happened... so how do you critique someone's life story, or their life ch...moreIt's so hard to write a review on a non-fiction book. It's real, this really happened... so how do you critique someone's life story, or their life choices? The simple fact is you can't. What I can do in my review is express my opinion on this particular author's ability to WRITE a book based on his amazing life. What he included, what he didn't and how he went about telling it.
Chris Kyle has an amazing life and he is an amazing man. He is a warrior through and through and within his book he never claimed to be anything but. He's admitted to putting his job and his country before his family. He's admitted to being a "killer". He admitted to a lot of things that, after reading some other reviews, a lot of people have chastised him for. I'm not going to do that. How can you criticize someone who has exclaimed that his life's purpose was to protect his country and fellow warrior? We need people like Chris Kyle, and throughout our history it was men like him that made our country what it is today.
In several instances throughout the book Chris expresses his opinions on specific things which could be viewed as very political. It is more than obvious which side of the fence Chris's views fall on and I believe that my opinions on his book may be a bit bias because I have very similar political views to his. Though I've read several books similar to American Sniper, I love to read about real life heros, I did feel this one was a bit more politically opinionated than others. I only say that as an advisory. Those who have different views may not enjoy or have the same feelings towards it as I did.
It's hard to put into tactful words any type of negative comment about (the book) American Sniper. I look at men like Chris Kyle in awe. There aren't adequate words to describe my respect and admiration for him, his Teammates and his (extremely understanding and brave) wife. There were instances however that I asked myself "why is he telling us this? I'd much rather hear about that". I guess overall I wanted to know more... This man has experienced such incredible things, both good and bad that I felt if you're going to tell us about your life, tell us everything, in detail!
Overall I enjoyed Chris Kyle's story very much. When finishing a non-fiction story of a real life hero I always try and reflect on myself, what can I do differently to be a better American. This book actually had a harder impact on me in this area because I visited the website created in Marc Lee's honor and read his letter. It truly got me thinking... When was the last time I did something nice for a stranger. Not because I HAD to, but simply because I could actually make a stranger's day just a little bit brighter? How wonderful would it feel if someone did that for me? (less)
I don't know what more to say other than this was not only an excellent story, but the author did a wonderful job telling it.
I take it back, I do hav...moreI don't know what more to say other than this was not only an excellent story, but the author did a wonderful job telling it.
I take it back, I do have a couple other things to add... Adam Brown was the kind of person that inspires others around him to want to be better people. This is not because he was a perfect person himself, far from it actually, but he tried, hard. In his efforts he motivated those around him to strive harder to become all they could. People like Adam Brown make me proud to not only be an American but his story provides us with hope that no matter how bad things are, no matter how low we sink, there is always a way out. In Adam's case he found Jesus. I can't say that I'm an overly spiritual person, but even if one doesn't have the same faith or beliefs as Adam the message is the same; keep trying and never give up.
Adam did some pretty horrible things in his short life. He hurt those he loved and those who loved him, repeatedly. His weaknesses however did not make him a bad person. I think in the end, for all his trials and failures they actually made him a better person. I for one took his story more to heart because he was not perfect. His efforts in overcoming huge obstacles, both self inflicted and those out of one's control should be a role model to us all. (less)
I did not read the preceding books in this series. So I do not totally feel it fair for me to rate the suspense elements of Absolution....more2 1/2 stars...
I did not read the preceding books in this series. So I do not totally feel it fair for me to rate the suspense elements of Absolution. This was obviously a plot line that had been building for several books. But if I had to say anything it would be; very edge of my seat exciting, great characters, great villain, though it didn't do enough for me to prompt going back and reading the preceding books.
Romantic suspense is not my preferred genre... So why'd I read a romantic suspense book, you ask? I am drawn to heroines who are victims of breast cancer. My low rating really comes solely from the ho-hum reflection the author made on creating a heroine who has cancer.
I admit, I am overly critical when it comes to this subject. In my opinion; get it right. Show the victims of this disease the consideration they deserve by writing an accurate depiction of the treatments, and the disease itself, or don't write about it at all... Write about something you know, or at least have put more research into than a google search.
Now, with that said Kaylea Cross obviously did some research on the clinical elements and medical terms of breast cancer treatments. I can give her credit for that. Where my issue came in; she created a completely simplified and unrealistic portrayal of the side effects of chemotherapy.
Emily going through chemo was a huge part of the plot of Absolution. The absolute worst PHYSICAL side effects of chemotherapy are: hair loss (yes I mention this one first because it's horrible), nausea and fatigue. This is without mentioning organ failure, allergic reactions that could cause death and possible seizures. ****Spoilers**** Our heroine has lost her hair and she is self conscience when her wig shifts a bit when Luke lays her down on the bed. But the wig didn't fall off when she jumped on a boat, attacked the bad guy, was thrown off the boat and was swimming? She had to rip it off her head when she was in the water so she wouldn't drawn. This is totally absurd. Unless that sucker was stapled or adhered to her head with super glue somehow, it's flying off the second she LAUNCHED HERSELF ONTO A MOVING BOAT!!! That brings me to; where the hell is Emily getting all this energy from? She's worried about the scars on her chest and her dry vagina, but she has no problems with feeling sick, eating whatever is in front of her and she seems to have the stamina of a 17 year old track star. Not accurate at all. I got the impression that the author did a search on "chemo side effects", pin pointed dry vagina and mastectomy scars to create awkward sex scenes, then hair loss because that's just obvious and felt that was all that was needed.
I feel like that person that no one likes to watch movies with... You know the one harping through the actions scenes bitching "that could never happen". I'm really not that person, honest. I know this is "fiction" and the author can create whatever the hell she wants. But I just am very particular and nit picky about my cancer stricken heroines. If a possible real life event is a major plot device it needs to be reflected accurately. And yes, everyone is different... But Emily's side effects are depicted as horrible and debilitating, when in fact the author didn't even graze the surface.
I had reservations posting this review because this is something that I obviously take very personal. And not everyone is going to hone in on the same things as I did. But I decided to go for it because isn't our reading personal? Each of us as readers is looking to get something special out of our reading experience. And I guess when I read about cancer survivors I'm looking for a kind of fictional kindred spirit, and when I don't find that, especially if the author down plays certain elements, it pisses me off. (less)
**spoiler alert** I wasn't all that taken with Who Needs a Hero by Jennifer Hart. All and all I felt she did a wonderful job of creating solid and ext...more**spoiler alert** I wasn't all that taken with Who Needs a Hero by Jennifer Hart. All and all I felt she did a wonderful job of creating solid and extremely likable characters (thus the 3 stars). But the delivery of the character's descriptions, the addition of random useless scenes, and the h/H journey towards love and each other I thought fell a bit short (thus no more than 3 stars).
Maggie is a woman whose been knocked down repeatedly by life. Her parents are dead, she's been deceived, robbed and cheated on by her former fiance', and she's been responsible for her immature and freeloading brother for far too long. With a stroke of uncharacteristic good luck she lands a job being a nanny for two young boys. The boys turn out to have one of the world's most neglectful mothers, and a soon-to-be ex husband, and one of the world's hottest and most complicated Navy SEALs as a father.
Neil is suffering from his own demons. He loves his boys but has been slammed down time and again by his former wife every time he tries to see them. His pending divorce on top of his PTSD which he developed when a SEAL mission went horribly wrong, creates an extremely difficult man to get close to. Especially for a woman like Maggie who still has extremely fresh wounds from her "jack ass" former fiance'.
Maggie is a spunky, quick witted fun loving heroine. I liked her immensely right from the beginning. She was the anchor of the book for me and her comments made me giggle out loud a few times. Neil is a lost soul. A true loving and tortured hero. He's a great alpha male who doesn't need to be an ahole to be in charge.
I felt the book fell short in a few areas. One was poor editing. First on this list was... How the hell old was she??? Did I miss something? In one spot Maggie tells her birth date as being in the year 1974, and in another she describes herself as being "twenty something with no friends". 1974 does not make one "twenty something" in the 2010s. If it does, in some off the wall book club, sign me up! Cause being born in 1975 myself I would love to be "twenty something" again. The only explanations to me on this are either poor editing or... the book took place 10 years in the past??? If that's the case I musta missed that part as well. Either way it confused and annoyed me. The character's age is a detrimental detail for me. I can't relate to a character if I don't know how old they are very early in the book. There were also several descriptions of the weather in which it was cold day in October, then all of a sudden it's a bright, warm spring day. Which is it, spring or fall?
The other area where the book didn't quite reach my inner "This is my most favorite book ever!!!" nerve, was the actual layout of the story/plot. To me the story was kind of like a quilt that is patched together. And there are a few parts that almost match, but not quite, but they are stitched in anyway.
*spoiler* There was an issue with Neil in the middle of a PTSD episode/dream he tells Maggie he loves her and than they have sex. She thinks he is lucid and completely into it but then he calls her his ex-wife's name at the end. The next day he remembers nothing of the night before. Later Maggie's friend Leo finds out about Maggie having sex with Neil during a PTSD episode. Leo gets really angry at her and says some nasty things. His anger was explained later as being tied to an incident in his past that had absolutely nothing to do with anything. Now, if done correctly an event like this could have told us a bit more about a secondary character. But the way it was presented by this author I thought made the scene useless, to the point of distracting having this involved in the story. Your mind is traveling along one path and then the author suddenly takes a quick turn you weren't expecting or wanting. This kind of thing makes the story choppy and it doesn't flow well. This was just one example of several scenes that didn't fit into the story the way that they were written. My only thought on this was, maybe it was an attempt to set up for another series type book to follow? I don't know... either way these scenes didn't work for me and I'll go back to say perhaps some additional editing could have cured this.
I think after Who Needs a Hero I would probably read Jennifer Hart again with hopes that a future book would be a bit more polished.
There were several things that drew me to Because of You. I love the big brooding hero, I love reading about characters that overcome huge obstacles a...moreThere were several things that drew me to Because of You. I love the big brooding hero, I love reading about characters that overcome huge obstacles and come out shiny on the other side. The biggest thing that drew me to this book was the fact the the heroine was a breast cancer survivor.
Shane is a soldier to the bottom of his soul. He is responsible for the men who are assigned to him and he takes that responsibility very seriously. So when soldiers are injured in a bombing while on patrol, he feels that he is at fault for their turmoil in the aftermath. The fact that he was injured in the same explosion doesn't even occur to him. Those men were his men and he let them down. Being stuck in a bed and later in a wheelchair only adds to his failure as a soldier and as their leader. Jen is a nurse assigned to the floor which Shane resides on in the hospital. Jen and Shane have a short lived past in which they shared a kiss the night before she was the nurse who deployed him. While working with Shane, Jen tries to help him through his guilt and his pain and it is discovered that though Jen talks a big talk on what Shane should be doing in the aftermath of a life trauma, she should practice what she preaches. Jen is a survivor of breast cancer who has physically recovered from her illness, but she is far from overcoming the scars it left behind.
I got choked up a few times reading this book. Being a breast cancer survivor myself I tend to gravitate towards books with heroines who are survivors. With this in mind, my own life experiences also make me very critical while reading such stories. I have yet to read any book that describes the after affects of breast cancer treatments better than Jessica Scott has. Though everyone is different, and everyone deals with life's drama differently I feel the "meat" of the reaction is the same. And being healthy yet not completely "whole" at the end of an illness or accident, no matter what it is, is going to leave someone not only physically but psychologically scarred as well. Self pity, insecurity, anger... These are all universal emotions. It's how a person reacts and moves on once all their initial shock has receded. You move forward with acceptance, or you shut down with self pity. In both Jen and Shane's case, they were shutting down. Until they looked at eachother and realized this beautiful man/woman loved him/her not despite the scars, but because of the strength they represented. Neither Jen or Shane ever really saw themselves clearly. This was all excellent character development and execution. I respect and admire any author who can create such realistic character emotions.
Now, what brought my rating down from a 5 to 4 stars. The ending... I was reading along, happy as a clam and all of a sudden... BAM!!! Epilogue. Granted, the story is a series, and this particular book had a HEA. But there just seemed to me to be a gaping hole between the realization that "hey we love each other and we're going to make it" and the end. It just ended a bit too abruptly for me.
Overall I really enjoyed Because of You. I love character driven books and the author really created a group of both secondary and primary characters that are lovable. (less)
The next time I have an urge, I need to remind myself that all though my trusted Goodreads friends rate a book very high, Romantic suspense just isn't...moreThe next time I have an urge, I need to remind myself that all though my trusted Goodreads friends rate a book very high, Romantic suspense just isn't for me. (less)
I am not sure where the band wagon for Nightfall began but I picked it up because I saw it appear on several of my GR friends to-read sh...more4 1/2 stars...
I am not sure where the band wagon for Nightfall began but I picked it up because I saw it appear on several of my GR friends to-read shelves. I followed the the group on this one and not for the first time this year I was pleasantly surprised.
Within the first few pages of Nightfall Jenna was abducted by scary muscle man Mason. Mason owes Jenna's late father a life debt which he intends to repay by keeping Jenna alive. The world as we know it has changed. Technology is gone, anything that requires the use of computer chips has been rendered useless and the world has given a new meaning to the term "survival of the fittest". Rabid dog like beasts are now roaming the country desperate for food and humans sure are tasty. When 5 strangers stumble upon Mason and Jenna in their secluded cabin Jenna offers them safety and shelter against Mason's orders.
Nightfall was a dystopian post-apocalyptic story of strangers who in the direst of circumstances find themselves having to trust one another. Most of these characters weren't given the opportunities in normal times to have someone to depend on and trust. So when the world as they knew it comes to a cataclysmic end and they are forced to work together to keep each other alive, each person has to work through their own individual struggles to survive. I loved all of these characters. Focusing on Jenna and Mason there were times throughout this action packed story that I couldn't help but picture these two as real people. The authors did an excellent job of bringing all these characters to life.
Non-stop action, blood, guts, great characters, alpha male, kick ass heroine with some romance thrown in, Nightfall was just shy of perfect for my reading tastes. I would have liked a bit more romance thrown in, but that is just personal preference and takes nothing away from the author's abilities to write an excellent book. I also thought the Epilogue left something to be desired but that's what sequels are for.
Overall I would categorize Nightfall with books like The Hunger Games, only for adults. I feel a reader who enjoyed The Hunger Games would enjoy this as well. This book makes me want to join a gym. If the time comes I have to outrun crazy man-dog-beasts I don't want to be out of shape! Kudos to the ladies who make up the author Ellen Connor I am anxiously awaiting your next book. (less)
Naughty books are occasionally a guilty pleasure for me. Their One and Only had been sitting on my Amazon wish list for quite a while and the other ni...moreNaughty books are occasionally a guilty pleasure for me. Their One and Only had been sitting on my Amazon wish list for quite a while and the other night I finally gave in and bought it.
Overall I was a bit disappointed and my biggest let down was the characters. First, the heroine was mapped out a bit weak for my taste. Both in personality and description. She didn't hem and haw too much over having two brothers being her "husbands" and what that might mean to her life. And the sex scenes didn't quite make up for her lack of character to me. The heros Sam and Tyler though they were painted out as hot and protective alpha males they didn't quite meet the mark for me either. They were identical twins that despite the very minor personality quirks that separated them as individuals, to me they mine as well have been one man with 4 hands and 2 penises (was that the whole idea and I missed it?). I guess you could look at it as a twofer, but I couldn't warm up to the idea of the two of them being so alike. I am a huge fan of the alpha male, but having TWO of the same guy telling me what to do does not sound like fun to me.
The things I did like about Their One and Only that landed 3 stars from me was the suspense plot. I thought the author did a great job of fleshing out the story. The suspense was really great, a lot of emphasis on the "who done it" kept me reading.
I guess my main disappointment was I definitely did not buy this book for the suspense but I liked it enough to buy Trista Ann Michael's work again. (less)
J R Ward's Fallen Angel series is a very pleasant surprise. Arrested and thrown in jail Isaac finds his only hope to get out and escape his past is hi...moreJ R Ward's Fallen Angel series is a very pleasant surprise. Arrested and thrown in jail Isaac finds his only hope to get out and escape his past is his beautiful public defense lawyer Grier Childe. Grier is pulled into Isaac's life by her bleeding heart and obsession to help save those in need. While Grier and Isaac are fighting for their lives escaping Isaac's evil boss, Jim Herron heaven's newest fallen angel and the world's only hope for rescue from evil, is trying to keep the demon Devinia away from his charge.
Fast paced the emotional roller coaster you jump on when starting to read Crave is a wonderful change from the normal day to day romance we've been seeing so much of lately. There was not a dull moment being so full of action, the plot is interesting and mysterious, and the characters are love (and hate) able. I absolutely love Ward's writing style. I cannot wait for the next one in this series.(less)