Wow…just Wow. I wish I could get away with leaving it at that folks.
Black Iris simply blew my mind…in more ways than one and let me assure you…all ofWow…just Wow. I wish I could get away with leaving it at that folks.
Black Iris simply blew my mind…in more ways than one and let me assure you…all of them were good!
I confess that I knew this would be one heck of a ride after reading Raeder’s Untouchable. I have yet to put together a readable review for that title. And Black Iris blew that clear out of the water.
To start Leah’s writing is amazing…lyrical, poetic, descriptive…everything that my heart yearns for in a good read.
“Falling for someone is like pulling a loose thread. It happens stitch by stitch. You feel whole most of the time even while the seams pop, the knots loosen, everything that holds you together coming undone. It feels incredible, this opening of yourself to the world. Not like the unraveling it is. Only afterward do you glance down at the tangle of string around your feet that used to be a person who was whole and self-contained and realize that love is not a thing that we create. It’s an undoing.”
The pacing on this one is also just perfect…I simply could not put it down. I loved the way we jumped back and forth through time…slowly learning the full story. I will also confess that I felt this was also the one drawback to the novel. Much as I enjoyed the technique, I felt that it jumped a bit too much and often I had to really stop and think hard about where and when I was which took away from my reading bliss a little bit. That said…I wasn’t hindered too much and finished this read in record time.
The plot kept me guessing all the way through and then surprised and blew my mind. The relationships were real and complicated and gritty and diverse and I loved each and every one even though I honestly could not find it in me to like even one of the characters! We know from the beginning that we are dealing with a troubled and potentially unreliable narrator:
“I am not the heroine of this story. And I’m not trying to be cute. It’s the truth. I’m diagnosed borderline and seriously fucked-up. I hold grudges. I bottle my hate until it ferments into poison, and then I get high off the fumes. I’m completely dysfunctional and that’s the way I like it, so don’t expect a character arc where I finally find Redemption, Growth, and Change, or learn How to Forgive Myself and Others.”
But what a fascinating one!! Laney doesn’t justify or explain herself and she owns up to every aspect of herself…if that’s not a strong individual – I don’t know what is.
“If I was gay, I wouldn’t need an asterisk beside my name. I could stop worrying if the girl I like will bounce when she finds out I also like dick. I could have a coming-out party without people thinking I just want attention. I wouldn’t have to explain that I fall in love with minds, not genders or body parts. People wouldn’t say I’m ‘just a slut’ or ‘faking it’ or ‘undecided’ or ‘confused.’ I’m not confused. I don’t categorize people by who I’m allowed to like and who I’m allowed to love. Love doesn’t fit into boxes like that. It’s blurry, slippery, quantum. It’s only limited by our perceptions and before we slap a label on it and cram it into some category, everything is possible.”
This book is crazy screwed up with all kinds of crazy people, crazy situations, crazy relationships and well…just all things crazy and I devoured every last word. I don’t know if this book is for everyone and it was certainly outside my comfort zone a bit, but I am so pleased I read it and hope that you do too!...more
This was my favorite Eastman yet! We have all of the characters that we love. Clyde and Mac. Clyde’s wacky family including her Mother a Tarot Card reThis was my favorite Eastman yet! We have all of the characters that we love. Clyde and Mac. Clyde’s wacky family including her Mother a Tarot Card reader and her Aunt a Pet Psychic and Pendulum pro. We also get to know Mac’s mom Lucille a bit more in this one and she was a great foil to Clyde’s family.
Unlike the previous two books, this one takes place at an awesome Victorian Castle turned Bed and Breakfast complete with secret rooms and hidden passages. Throw in a blizzard during a knitting convention (confession time – I so want to be a knitter!!) that effectively snows everyone in and downs the power and phone lines and we have the perfect setting for a murder mystery. A cozy version of Christie novel.
I loved the how Clyde and Mac finally got to actually work together to solve a case and even how Mac begrudgingly let Aunt Vi in on the case. Their relationship and his acceptance of her gift and her family is growing nicely:)
The paranormal aspects remained fairly minimal in this third edition of the Family Fortune Mysteries…but I wasn’t as disappointed as I was with Pall in The Family and Be Careful What You Witch For. I already knew that they were more character development than plot and I enjoyed this one that much more for it.
A great cozy mystery that will keep you guessing as you meet suspect after suspect, I can’t recommend this series enough. Perfect for cuddling on the couch with a cup of tea…A Fright to the Death will leave you feeling warm and satisfied and itching for the next book in the series.
NOTE: These can be read out of order without the reader being lost, but I strongly suggest starting at Book 1: A Pall in the Family for maximum enjoyment.
Can we talk about that cover for a moment? Absolutely perfect as are all of the covers in this series! ...more
The Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman may be the cutest book I’ve read in a long long time! I literally caught myself stopping and reacting out loud muThe Truth About Jack by Jody Gehrman may be the cutest book I’ve read in a long long time! I literally caught myself stopping and reacting out loud multiple times while reading this one. Saying things like.. “Oh my gosh”… “Aawww” ..etc throughout.
Dakota and Jack were both great characters. I liked them both…even Jack despite his deceit because I knew it was coming from a good place. He was a little bit of a stalker but seeing things from his viewpoint was a comfort and never left the reader fearing his motives. They are both fleshed out enough to be believable and likable without being too complex or angst ridden as so many YA characters tend to be.
The secondary characters in this one really shine especially Atilla and Joaquin…I really loved them and wanted to know more of their back stories than we got in this one.
The plot follows a predicable arc but overall this story is so sweet and cute with such great characters and Jody’s flawless writing style that you won’t mind that one bit.
If you are looking for a super cute read with amazing prose don’t hesitate to pick up The Truth About Jack....more
~Tucker‘s writing style meshes perfectly with my tastes. The story is paced just right and once started I didn’t want to put it downPurrfect Elements:
~Tucker‘s writing style meshes perfectly with my tastes. The story is paced just right and once started I didn’t want to put it down. ~With a fairly complex plot and a bit of mystery – Becoming Rain is definitely not your typical New Adult read. ~The dual POV’s. Sometimes dual POV’s can be really annoying…but K.A. Tucker has perfected the art. I love being able to see into both Clara and especially Luke’s minds. ~Luke really grew on me as a character. I was so worried about him in Burying Water and continued to fear he wouldn’t “do the right thing” here in Becoming Rain. It took me a bit of time to really get to know and like him but luckily for me (and Clara) he stepped up. ~The chemistry between Clara and Luke was amazing! Phew! I could not help but keep rooting for them despite the situation that they were in. ~As much as it also frustrated me, I loved seeing how Clara dealt with the conflict between her feeling and her job and how she managed (at least almost) to satisfy both with minimal compromise.
Less than Purrfect Elements:
~The secondary characters were not as strong as in book 1. I missed Jesse’s family so much… ~As with any undercover operation where the lines start to blur…you start to question what would really happen and what is just beyond the realm of acceptable behavior. I suggest a suspension of disbelief on this aspect in order to fully enjoy this read.
Another win by K.A. Tucker:) I can not wait to read the 3rd book in the Burying Water series – Chasing River! Not only because K.A. Tucker is simply amazing…but because it sounds like it takes place in Ireland!!...more
~Nora Roberts is one of my “Go to” authors. I have yet to read one of her books that I didn’t enjoy. The Liar follows predictable paPurrfect Elements:
~Nora Roberts is one of my “Go to” authors. I have yet to read one of her books that I didn’t enjoy. The Liar follows predictable patterns and and is a smooth easy read. ~Shelby is a really likable character – she shows such amazing inner strength in the face of what would appear to be an insurmountable obstacle and she does it with such class. One can’t help but like and respect her. ~The secondary characters really make this story. Shelby has an amazingly supportive family. Her parents, grandparents and siblings are all wonderful in their own right…and put together add up to quite the loving ensemble. ~Griffin…Griffin…Griffin! Could this man be any more perfect? He’s almost, but not quite, too good to be true. The way he interacted with Callie…made me swoon :)
Less than Purrfect Elements:
~The suspense part of the story left a little to be desired. It was a bit slow moving and never really built up as much as I’d hoped. ~The ending was a little too predictable…though still enjoyable.
Although this one didn’t completely wow me, it was still a great read. I love Nora Roberts – her books all feel like a big warm hug at the end :)...more
~Though 8th in the Whiskey Creek series this book reads just fine as a stand alone:) I was so happy that I could just dive right in. ~The small tLikes:
~Though 8th in the Whiskey Creek series this book reads just fine as a stand alone:) I was so happy that I could just dive right in. ~The small town setting - I love small town settings...all the personalities, the fact that everyone knows everyone else's business and the fact that in most cases people end up sticking together but sometimes that's not until after they've done some serious damage to each other. ~The guys are real Southern gentlemen - Despite perhaps feeling otherwise...they seem to always do the right thing. ~The sweet and slow second chance romance - I love the way that second chance romances allow for a real connection between the characters without ever having to feel rushed. ~Phoenix's back story - I really felt for her and thought it added so much more depth to her character. ~Jacob's openhearted nature...he welcomes the chance to get to know the mother he's never met and is the first to trust his instincts and trust her. ~How selfless and forgiving Phoenix was - she's an amazingly kind individual despite all the hardship she has experienced
~How selfless and forgiving Phoenix was - yes this goes both ways. She was almost too sweet and forgiving. I really wished she had shown a bit more spine...but then she wouldn't be who she was. ~Sort of ties into the above - I found it hard to believe that she didn't fight harder to avoid being convicted all those years ago or to share her story after the fact. ~I wanted a bit more of a resolution with Phoenix's mother. I felt like that part of her story was not fully complete.
A warm and cozy story that flowed at a perfect pace. The characters were well developed and relateable, the plot mostly believable and the romance beautiful and sweet. I definitely recommend this to lovers of small town romance. ...more
With a synopsis describing The Deep as “The Abyss meets The Shining,”, I knew I would not be able to pass this one up. I thoroughly enjoyed Cutter’s TWith a synopsis describing The Deep as “The Abyss meets The Shining,”, I knew I would not be able to pass this one up. I thoroughly enjoyed Cutter’s The Troop and couldn’t wait to submerge myself in The Deep. I was not disappointed.
This was definitely the best kind of combination of horror and psychological thriller.
Cutter does an amazing job of taking every day people just like you and me and putting them into horrific pressure cooker situations and letting us see how they (we?) react. First we are lulled into a false sense of calm. Yes there is a horrible plague terrorizing the planet…but life goes on…civilation has yet to fall apart. With the resilience for which humans are known we continue to go on…normal daily life continues. And then our apparently average veterinarian is called upon to brave the depths in an attempt to save an experiment that may well be man kind’s only hope. And that is were it all goes down hill.
As soon as the decent begins the sense of foreboding and claustrophobia sets in and it continues to build until the very end. This read is not for the faint of heart or the weak of heart…just thinking back upon it makes my heart feel as if it suddenly weighs 200 pounds.
Set in a place where no man has any right to ever exist…it is beyond creepy to navigate the halls of the Trieste with Luke and LB and even more creepy to navigate Luke’s mind while he’s aboard the Trieste. (A warning: a large portion of this story includes flashbacks of Luke’s life. I thought this added to the story as a whole but I can see how others might have thought it to be too much) This tale gets dark and twisty and just flat out scary…fast!
All of the characters are well fleshed out and play their parts perfectly. I would not say that I had too much of a connection with any of them in particular…well except for LB -hard not to lover her. Despite that though, I had no problem feeling this read.
I confess that I was a little bit disappointed with the end…I felt it to be a bit anti-climactic…but I think that sometimes writers create something so spectacular that they back themselves into corners from which they can not really escape. That said I definitely recommend this one to horror and psychological thriller lovers. This one could definitely leave you with nightmares…
Narration notes: Corey Brill who also narrated The Troop does a fantastic job bringing cutter’s latest creation to life....more
Middle Grade reads can be hit or miss for me, but having read and loved a couple of other books by Alice Hoffman I had confidence that she wouldn't leMiddle Grade reads can be hit or miss for me, but having read and loved a couple of other books by Alice Hoffman I had confidence that she wouldn't let me down. (One of these days I really will read more of her.)
I'll lead with my sole criticism...the fact that it felt like Hoffman over simplified with this one due to her target audience. Middle Grade readers can handle a lot more depth than she gives them credit for with Nightbird...but with that said it was still an amazing piece of writing.
Hoffman knows how to evoke emotion and senses. I could feel Twig's loneliness, hear the birdsong, smell her mother's pink apple pie.... It was all so real in the most deliciously dreamy way.
As expected this read was simply charming and imbued with elegant magic. Predictably, I loved the small New England town and it's cast of characters that we slowly learn about through Twig as she opens herself up to the townsfolk, friendship and possibilities all in one formative summer. I loved the story too...the love and friendships, the growth and faith, the hope and magic. This is one of those reads that leaves one feeling snuggled in a warm throw with a cup of tea on a chilly Autumn day.
I think Alice Hoffman herself sums it up best in this paragraph from her introduction:
"For my readers who are searching for the same things I searched for, Nightbird is a book of hope, for the lonely, the friendless, the girl who is different, the boy who has secrets to keep. In it, magic can be found in unexpected places, right next door or scrawled on a piece of paper hidden in an old desk. It takes place in a summer when everything changes, when the moon is red, when friendships are forged, and when love can be found at your own front door." ~Alice Hoffman...more
So if you all saw my review from Saturday, you know that I really had terribly conflicted feelings after reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire.So if you all saw my review from Saturday, you know that I really had terribly conflicted feelings after reading Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. That is why I was pretty unsure about Red Hill; add in zombies which have never really appealed to me and this should have been a book that I passed on. But something told me to try this one and boy am I glad that I did. Jamie McGuire knocked my socks off with this one. I think I have finally gotten the whole zombie thing - the point of it is that it's not about zombies it's about the people trying to survive the zombies and how they face the terrible situation surrounding them and still manage to maintain their humanity.
Red Hill is narrated by three characters: Scarlet - a thirty-something divorced mother struggling to find her children, Nathan - a thirty-something father just trying to make it out alive and protect his young daughter and Miranda - a teen traveling with her sister and their boyfriends and doing their best to make it to their father's ranch.
We alternate between each of their perspectives, getting glimpses of what's happening as this pandemic starts and spreads and seeing how they deal with the pressure, and how their relationships with each other and with the strangers that they meet develop and change.
I think that Miranda was perhaps my favorite character. There's just something about her voice that I loved. Her strength and her spunk and her love for those around her really appealed to me as she took charge and kept a level head throughout. I also adored the boyfriends Bryce and Cooper...the relationships that these girls had made me envious. And I really struggled when one of them became especially strained and looked like it was about to break.
Scarlet was an equally amazing character. She did whatever it took, sometimes at the detriment of the relationships with people around her, but she had one goal in mind - reuniting with her children and doing whatever it took to make that happen. Sometimes I shook my head at her actions...not sure if I should be frightened of her single-mindedness or frightened. She was one tough lady.
Nathan was great character as well perhaps, more for the side stories that surrounded him, than for himself. Perhaps I just didn't connect to him as much since he was male but that said I did enjoy his character and his quest to protect his daughter and find a safe place to raise her in the middle of an apocalypse.
It was interesting to see how they kept slipping by each other in the first half of the story, before all reaching Red Hill ranch. We got glimpses one person's story through another person's eyes without them even realizing it because they didn't know each other yet. And then it was even more fascinating to see how they all formed one family once they got to Red Hill and how their relationships developed and changed within that environment.
After listening to this audiobook I certainly have a much better feel for Jamie McGuire's storytelling capabilities and her character development. I won't say that the world building was stellar but to be honest it seemed so secondary to the real story here that I didn't mind one bit that the pandemic back story left something to be desired. Her character development and descriptions of the action kept me sucked in. This plot and story line was an amazing mechanism to explore characters and relationships.
All of the narrators involved with this production were amazing. They really made the characters come to life and I wouldn't hesitate to pick up an audiobook narrated by any one of them in the future.
I'm not sure if there will be more Red Hill – I know there is a novella which I can't wait to read to learn a little bit more about some secondary characters perspectives on this pandemic/apocalypse - but I really do hope that we get a another book to follow up on our main characters and see where the world is after a time. I'll be the first one to pick it up if one is forthcoming....more