Wonderfully written and researched, but absolutely heartbreaking and upsetting realizing that this is far more the norm as opposed to the exception toWonderfully written and researched, but absolutely heartbreaking and upsetting realizing that this is far more the norm as opposed to the exception to the rule....more
Stuart MacBride is an evil genius and I absolutely love it.
I was first introduced to the world of Stuart MacBride back in October when I had the chancStuart MacBride is an evil genius and I absolutely love it.
I was first introduced to the world of Stuart MacBride back in October when I had the chance to attend a murder mystery evening with him at Harper Collins Canada HQ (HCC Facebook Page ftw). I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it ended up being amazing. At the end of the evening, all attendees were given a copy of his latest book Birthdays for the Dead. I can’t even adequately describe just how amazing this book is.
Birthdays for the Dead is a stand alone book and a bit of a break from MacBride’s popular Logan McRae series. The main character in Birthdays for the Dead is a cop with some questionable habits named Ash Henderson. Those same habits don’t stop Ash from being fiercely protective of the ones he loves.
Enter the Birthday Boy!
In Birthdays for the Dead, the aptly named Birthday Boy kidnaps girls just before their thirteenth birthday. Then on their birthday, the parents of the missing girl receive a birthday card. But of course this is no ordinary birthday card with picture of cake, glitter and sappy messages of well wishes. On this special birthday card is a picture of the missing birthday girl being tortured. The Birthday Boy continues to send cards to the parents every year on the missing girls birthday, with each picture of her torture being more gruesome.
Suffice to say that Ash’s younger daughter ends up being one of the victims of the Birthday Boy. The book follows Ash as he races to save his daughter and put an end to the Birthday Boy once and for all.
Birthdays for the Dead is just so dark and gritty. It moves at a relatively fast pace which really keeps the book flowing. While it does have dark sarcastic humour throughout the book, it is by no means for the squeamish or faint-at-heart. This book is top notch for me and will be standard upon which I judge all other crime novels.
P.S. If you haven’t had the chance, you really need to read Stuart MacBride’s short story the Princess and the Pervert. He read it to us at the Harper Collins event and it was hysterical. Disturbing, but funny all the same....more
Why yes, I will drop everything I am doing to read a new book by Steve Berry and that is exactly what I did when the publisher sent me a finished copyWhy yes, I will drop everything I am doing to read a new book by Steve Berry and that is exactly what I did when the publisher sent me a finished copy of his latest novel The Columbus Affair, in stores on May 15, 2012. Let me clear something up right from the start. The Columbus Affair is not part of the author’s wildly successful Cotton Malone series, but rather is a stand alone novel. While I was initially excited for a new book, I was kind of hesitant about moving on to a different cast of characters. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a shot and it was so worth it. As a matter of fact, as much as I like the Cotton Malone series, The Columbus Affair far surpasses any of the books in that series.
‘Speak the truth and speak it ever, cost it what it will’
The Columbus Affair, like the author’s previous books, takes us to a whole host of locations as the story unfolds. From the streets of Prague and Vienna, to sunny Orlando. None of the locations were more central to the plot than the beautiful island of Jamaica. Not only do you get exposed to Jamaica as it is currently, but you also get a fabulous history and language lesson. Steve Berry manages to show you the Jamaica of the past and the present and believe me, it’s much more than just a bunch of nice beaches. It was such a joy to see a part of my own heritage and culture explored and explained to the wider masses as part of this book.
‘Jamaica has a little of everything but not quite enough of anything’
On top of the locale, history and language lessons that are mixed in a part of the story, I really enjoyed the characters in The Columbus Affair. I absolutely loved that every last character was flawed and not one character was suffering from what I like to call ‘the white knight syndrome’. The protagonist, Tom Sagan, was written in such a way that you were never quite sure just how much of a ‘good guy’ he really is. Just when you think you have him figured out, he would do something to blow that assumption right out of the water.
‘Di innocent and di fool could pass fi twin’
What can I even say about the story that Steve Berry has created in The Columbus Affair, using Christopher Columbus and his voyages to The New World as the basis, other than to say it absolutely masterful. The author takes you on an almost 2000 year old mystery and manages to tie it into some of the most important periods in history. If you want to pick up one book this spring that will both engage and challenge you, I recommend that you make it The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry....more
Have you read this book yet? If your answer is no, then why not?
Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those bookReview: Originally posted to All I Ever Read
Have you read this book yet? If your answer is no, then why not?
Thirteen Reasons Why is one of those books that you read that leaves a lasting impression on you once you are done.. I personally have recommended it to pretty much everyone who has asked me the question “do you have any recommendations for a good book to read?” in the past month and a half. In fact, I sent my copy home with one of my assistants when she went on vacation. This is one of those books that I wish they would make part of the regular high school curriculum. There is so much to be learned from this book and so much relevance to a teenager’s life, no matter what decade it happens to be. I wish this book had been around when I was in high school. It would have explained so much to not only me, but my peers as well.
Not everyone who reads this book will like it. In fact some will hate it and some will tell you that it’s not believable. In my opinion, they are missing the point.
For me, the book wasn’t so much about suicide as it was about demonstrating the consequences of of our actions. To me, the book was about the fact that we are all connected as people and have the ability to influence each others lives, good or bad. The book was about recognizing that what seems like it’s no big deal to you and me, can mean the world to someone else. The book at it’s core, for me, is about recognizing that my actions and my words just aren’t about me and that they have the ability to hurt or to heal; enlighten or deceive.
That is the reason why I will read this book again and again and continue to recommend it to anyone who asks....more
I have said it before and I will say it again, I love Debra Anastasia. This love began with her debut novel Crushed Seraphim, and it then followed intI have said it before and I will say it again, I love Debra Anastasia. This love began with her debut novel Crushed Seraphim, and it then followed into my love for her on Twitter (you can follow her here). So when I was contacted about possibly reviewing a copy of her latest book Poughkeepsie, I didn’t hesitate to jump at the chance. Best. Decision. Ever.
I admit, that when I started reading Poughkeepsie, I had absolutely no idea what the book was about. The fact that Debra wrote it was more than enough to get me to read it and I can honestly say that I wasn’t disappointed.
It’s still hard for me to define Poughkeepsie and tell you exactly what it was about, but I will give it a shot.
At its core Poughkeepsie is about a romance between Blake and Livia. But to say that that was all Poughkeepsie was about is to seriously sell the book short. Yes, it is about romance. But it is also about family. It’s about connections. It’s about the resilience of the human spirit.
The characters that Debra Anastasia has created are just phenomenal and support the story so well. You have Livia who has a heart of gold, Blake whose spirit is so heartbreakingly beautiful, Kyle who is lost an constantly searching to be enough, Cole who has struggled to contain the rage inside of him, and Beckett. Who could forget wonderful, conflicted, loyal and naughty Beckett? On the surface, none of these characters seem to have anything in common with one another. As you dive further and further into the story, you see the ties and bonds between them and you watch as they are tested, reformed and strengthened.
There is plenty of action, suspense, romance and hilarity to be found in Poughkeepsie. Debra Anastasia has outdone herself with her latest novel and as long as she keeps writing like this I will keep reading. ...more
Now I loved Cinder. So when Marissa Meyer's follow-up Scarlet showed up in my mailbox I was positively giddy with excitement. I immediately threw my rNow I loved Cinder. So when Marissa Meyer's follow-up Scarlet showed up in my mailbox I was positively giddy with excitement. I immediately threw my reading schedule out the window, poured a glass of wine and cracked it open. Let me tell you, it was so, so worth it.
I'm not even gonna lie. I normally don't like books that everyone else does and I generally try to stay away from books that have a lot of 'hype' surrounding them. For me, the books with the most 'hype' surrounding them rarely live up to my expectations and I'm usually left feeling disappointed and with a 'that's it' feeling by the end. I am happy to say that this is not the case with the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series.
Scarlet, not only has all the makings of being a great story, but it also furthers along what is surely becoming an epic adventure. The introduction of new characters, dynamic characters, only further adds to the believability and enjoyability of the story. Can I just say Throne (awesome) and Wolf (swoon)!
While Scarlet is a reimagined version of Little Red Riding Hood, a story that most of us is familiar with, there was such dimension and depth in this story, and the characters, that you kind of forget how the original Little Red Riding Hood goes. I think that is the true testament of Meyer's writing and storytelling ability that she was able to get me to forget about the original story completely and just delve right into what she had created and just enjoy it from beginning to end.
The only sucky thing about Scarlet is that it ended and now I have to wait until 2014 for Cress to be released! What ever will I do to pass the time?...more
I’ve been slacking a bit. I originally read Girl in Shades back in October 2011, and should have written my review then. The problem was that I just couldn’t put my thoughts into words. Well I sat down and read it a second time hoping that it would finally help me get the words out. So here goes nothing.
After two reads in a period of 4 months, there are no words I can use to adequately describe my love for Girl in Shades by Allison Baggio. Really, I am serious. NO.WORDS. But because I am a reviewer, I am certainly going to try.
Girl in Shades is a coming of age story. The main character Maya is just such an interesting and amazing character. With every page I read, I just found myself on this journey with her and ultimately I found myself privileged to be along for the ride. There is just something so wonderful and inspiring about watching Maya challenged time and time again, and every time it happens, she just picks herself up and keeps moving.
I also just loved Allison’s writing. The pacing of the story was great and I had no problem diving right in. I think I finished the book in one sitting actually. I just became so invested in what was going on that I couldn’t put the book down. The first person narration felt very intimate and personal drew me into the story from the beginning.
Girl in Shades is an intense character driven drama that should be read by everyone. ...more
Let me start this review off by saying that I have a cast iron stomach. I also have a pretty warped sReview Originally posted over at All I Ever Read
Let me start this review off by saying that I have a cast iron stomach. I also have a pretty warped sense of humor and I am not usually bothered by things that would make most people spend the rest of their lives on a psychiatrist's couch. Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott disturbed me so much that it actually made me physically ill.
I have read books about abuse and I have read books about child abuse. None of the other books I have read have have communicated the utter devastation, degradation and hopelessness that is demonstrated in Living Dead Girl. It's not enough to just say that Alice is a victim and to get glimpses of the abuse that she has and is suffering.
What makes this story so profoundly disturbing is the insight into both the minds of Alice and her captor/abuser/tormentor Ray. To see that Alice knows that she is never going to get out of this, in the traditional sense of being rescued and going home, but rather that the only way out for her is death and to watch her accept and welcome this is absolutely horrifying.
All I have to say is thank the lord that this book was only 170 pages long. I don't think I could have handled reading much more....more
When I got into the office this morning, one of my co-workers asked me the same question she asks me eMore reviews like this one at: Nicole About Town
When I got into the office this morning, one of my co-workers asked me the same question she asks me everyday, ‘Nicole, what book are you reading right now and describe it in one word?’ My reply: ‘I just finished reading Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley and honestly, it was haunting’. Even now sitting down to write this review two hours later, I’m still not even sure where to start. I guess you could say that I am in complete and total awe of this amazing book; complete and utter wonder at the incredibly detailed and believable story woven throughout the novel. And let’s be honest, I’m a little creeped out as well by just how realistic Pretty Girl-13 was from beginning to end.
There was so much going on with this book, that I don’t even know what to tell you. Is it a book about a girl who was abducted and returns three year later with no memory? Yes, and I honestly thought that was all that this book was going to be about. Not so. There is so much more going on in Pretty Girl-13 and all are dealt with so well. Pretty Girl-13 introduces the concept of ‘Dissociative Identity Disorder’, also referred to as DID, and that is where the real story begins. We get explanations about DID that aren’t too clinical that the reader gets bogged down with information, and we get demonstrations of the various ‘alters’ that are inhabiting Angie’s psyche and the parts they have played in keeping her alive. Quite honestly, Pretty Girl-13 gave such a great introduction to DID that it’s something I’m interested in researching further at some point.
Liz Coley deals with several horrifying and sensitive topics very well in Pretty Girl-13. The topics of psychological issues, and their triggers, and abduction and abuse of a child are really weighty topics to be tackled in any novel, let alone a young adult novel. There are always the worries of either getting too detailed for the audience or trivializing the entire experience to worry about. Pretty Girl-13 does none of those things, it absolutely nails those topics and issues for the target audience. Like Want to Go Private by Sarah Darer Littman, Pretty Girl-13 is one of those books that should be read by both parents and teens alike.